Our 2016 Speaker Staff Included:

Meet our professionals

Clark Ajwani

Los Angeles County Department of Public Works

Clark Ajwani, a licensed professional civil engineer in California, has provided strategic planning and project management of environmental sustainability projects for more than nine years with the County of Los Angeles. Recently, Ajwani has been at the forefront of implementing the county’s Roadmap to a Sustainable Waste Management Future, including efforts to recycling organic waste and integrating conversion technologies into the municipal solid waste system.

He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He continues to develop innovative and comprehensive solutions for environmental issues in Los Angeles County.

Jim Keefe

Ljupka Arsova

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

Ljupka Arsova, GBB Senior Consultant, has been in the solid waste management industry since 2007, and brings a specialty in anaerobic digestion and advanced technologies for processing organic and mixed solid waste. Her experience extends beyond the U.S. borders in assisting public and private clients through strategic technical and economic feasibility analyses of solid waste processing technologies; analyses and projections of potential feedstock; and leading procurement processes. For private clients she has completed market research studies for emerging technologies’ vendors and assisted in strategic development of project proposals. At GBB she is responsible for data collection and maintenance of a conversion technologies database on the U.S. market and worldwide.

Jim Bohlig

ReCommunity Holdings

Jim Bohlig is the founder and former CEO of ReCommunity Holdings. In his previous roles with ReCommunity and as President and Chief Operating Officer of Casella Waste as well as in his current role with Repower South, Bohlig is one of the original inventors of ReEngineered Feedstock™ technology which Repower South has licensed from Accordant Energy. Accordant Energy is owner of the technology and its intellectual property rights. While at Recommunity Holdings, Bohlig was instrumental in obtaining Accordant's critical Non-Hazardous Secondary Material Determination letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Nuclear Power Program, Bohlig has built nuclear power plants and independent power projects for Westinghouse around the world. In his capacity over 22 years at Casella Waste, Bohlig was a prime mover in the development of Casella Waste System as a Integrated Waste Management provider for the Northeast.

John Carlton

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

John Carlton, P.E., BCEE, GBB Senior Vice President, has more than 27 years of solid waste management experience as a consultant and in executive positions for public-sector authorities. As a consultant, he has over 13 years of experience with waste-to-energy projects, strategic solid waste management plan development, procurements, landfill baseliner and closure designs, and landfill photovoltaic projects. He also has over 12 years of experience as Executive Director of the Pollution Control Financing Authority of Warren County, in Oxford, NJ, and as Director, Division of Solid Waste and Recycling Services, of the Hunterdon County Utilities Authority, in Flemington, NJ.

Marco Castaldi

Associate Professor
The City College of New York

Born in New York City, Marco Castaldi received his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering (magna cum laude) from Manhattan College. He earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from UCLA and holds minors in advanced theoretical physics and astrophysics. He currently serves as associate professor of the chemical engineering department at The City College of the City University of New York.

Prior to his academic career, Professor Castaldi worked as manager of the Fuel Processor Component Development for Precision Combustion Inc. in New Haven, Connecticut, overseeing projects totaling $5 million.

Jim Keefe

Tim Cesarek

Enerkem, Inc.

Tim Cesarek joined Enerkem’s management team as senior vice president, business development, in March 2012. He has acquired more than 25 years of experience in business development, private equity and corporate venture capital. Cesarek most recently served as managing director of the Organic Growth Group at Waste Management, where he was responsible for finding synergistic growth opportunities in optimizing value from waste material, particularly through its conversion into biofuels, renewable chemicals and energy. Prior to joining Waste Management, Cesarek was president of the corporate venture group of Koch Industries. He has directly invested in and managed more than $750 million in private debt and equity investments across various industries.

Jim Keefe

Chip Clements

Clements Environmental

Mr. Ernest V. (Chip) Clements III, PE, has worked in the solid waste and recycling field for more than 40 years. His experience includes both the private and public sectors and covers a full spectrum of facility design and operations, regulatory compliance, feasibility studies and program development activities. Clements is the founder and president of Clements Environmental Corp., a solid waste management firm he started in 1987. Clements is a leading expert in the analysis, permitting and development of conversion technology facilities, MRF and transfer stations, composting sites and C&D facilities. He has a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and a Master of Science, both from the University of Illinois.

Jim Keefe

Craig Cookson

American Chemistry Council

Craig Cookson is the director of sustainability and recycling for the Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council. Cookson is responsible for leading the Plastics Division’s strategic national initiatives to increase the recycling of plastics, advance opportunities for energy recovery and promote awareness of plastics’ role in providing sustainable solutions to society’s greatest challenges. Before joining ACC, Cookson was the vice president of Integrated Business Strategies at 720 Strategies, where he designed and implemented strategic grassroots programs for corporate, association and nonprofit clients.

Luc De Baere

Organic Waste Systems

Luc A. De Baere obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay in chemistry and waste management. From 1980 to 1987, he was responsible for the research and development of the DRANCO process, a dry anaerobic process for the digestion of organic fractions derived from municipal solid waste. Since 1988, he has been the general manager and the managing director of Organic Waste Systems (OWS), which commercializes the Dranco technology. De Baere holds several patents in the area of anaerobic digestion of solid waste.

Jim Keefe

Johannes Escudero

RNG Coalition

Mr. Johannes D. Escudero is the founder and chief executive officer of the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas Inc. (RNG Coalition), a national nonprofit that was founded in 2011 to provide public policy advocacy and education on behalf of the renewable natural gas industry in North America. Escudero has more than 15 years of organizational leadership experience, with a diverse background in nonprofit management, business development, higher education, politics, governmental, legislative and regulatory affairs. Prior to founding the RNG Coalition, Escudero served as legislative director in the California State Assembly.

Alex Gorodetsky

Alter NRG Corp.

Alex holds chemical engineering and MBA degrees from the University of Alberta. He has been with Alter NRG since its inception and is focused on advancing plasma gasification towards commercial acceptance globally. In his prior experience, Alex advanced several plasma based high temperature processes from lab to commercial scale. He has previously worked in the fields of physical vapour deposition, reaction sintering, gasification and coal upgrading. With Alter NRG, Alex has held the positions of Lead Engineer, Director - Global Technology and is currently Vice President – Sales Engineering.

Bill Moore

Harvey Gershman

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

Harvey Gershman, GBB president and co-founder, has been active in the solid waste management field as an adviser to government and industry for more than 40 years, specializing in strategic guidance and infrastructure, and services development assistance to solid waste service/system managers and owners. Gershman has managed the preparation of many long-term plans, market studies, cost and independent feasibility analyses, technology reviews, contractor procurements, contracts development and negotiations, and project financing activities for a broad range of recycling, composting, solid waste management, waste-to-energy and district energy projects. These projects have resulted in sustainable, efficient integrated waste management systems accepted by the community and its leadership.

Jim Keefe

Eric Herbert

Zero Waste Energy, LLC

Mr. Eric Herbert has more than 20 years of senior executive leadership experience in the solid waste industry and more than 10 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry. He has led two large regional waste companies as president or chief operating officer. Mr. Herbert’s solid waste experience includes all elements of the business from acquisitions and competitive proposals to collection and hauling operations as well as recyclables processing, including single stream and mixed waste, composting and landfill operations. Since 2010, Mr. Herbert has been leading Zero Waste Energy as a founder and CEO focused on advanced waste processing projects.

Brent Jaklin

Greenlane Biogas

A renewable energy professional, Brent Jaklin has more than 17 years of experience in alternative fuels, low emission technologies and renewable natural gas projects where he has been involved in all stages—from product development, testing, design, project management, plant installation and commissioning to operator training and field services. Upon completing his mechanical engineering degree at Lakehead University, Jaklin worked for Westport Innovations and QuestAir Technologies before joining Greenlane Biogas, where he serves as managing director and is responsible for the company’s strategic direction and achievement of its corporate goals. Prior to this position, he spent some time at FortisBC.

Alan Johnson

quasar energy group

Alan Johnson joined quasar in 2009 and has been instrumental in the project execution of all of quasar’s portfolio of projects. In his current position as vice president, project development and engineering, his responsibilities including managing the company’s anaerobic digestion projects for high-profile clients. He brings 30-plus years of experience in manufacturing and business startups, having held positions in industrial engineering, human resources, quality, marketing, and sales and general management primarily in the automotive supply industry that included rubber, plastics, fiberglass and steel. Johnson is a registered engineer in Ohio, New York, Missouri, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, California and Virginia.

Stewart Leeth

Smithfield Foods

Mr. Stewart Leeth serves as vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods Inc., where he has worked since 2008. In this role, Leeth leads companywide regulatory initiatives and directs the company’s sustainability program. He also is responsible for legal affairs for Smithfield’s hog production division and serves as vice president of the Smithfield Foundation.

Prior to joining Smithfield Foods, Leeth was a partner at the Virginia law firm of McGuireWoods. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law and earned a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of Richmond.

Ted Michaels

AJW, Inc.

Ted Michaels is a partner at AJW Inc. and has 20 years of experience in federal and state government affairs during which time he has served elected officials, trade associations and companies with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Since 2005, Michaels has served as president of the Energy Recovery Council (ERC), the national trade association representing the companies and communities engaged in the waste-to-energy sector.

He previously served as staff director of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund and Waste Management.

Jim Miller

JR Millers & Associates

James R. Miller has been a leading design professional and technical advisor in the solid waste management industry for more than 30 years. His work demonstrates a focus on integrating process and nonprocess requirements with overall plant layout and site configuration. He brings a wealth of expertise in designing facilities to maximize functionality and efficiency and to minimize life cycle costs.

Sean Moen

Atlas ReFuel

Sean Moen has nearly a decade in the commercial cardlock & fleet fueling industry. Sean join Atlas ReFuel in 2015 after many years with a local petroleum distributor in Sacramento, CA. As the General Manager for Atlas ReFuel, Sean is responsible for all facets of the natural gas business – from site maintenance to station growth and long-term strategic planning. In addition, Sean is accountable for quality controlling and communicating with our RNG (renewable natural gas) production partner; whom operates North America’s first direct food waste to transportation fuel anaerobic digestion production facility. Sean is actively engaged in several projects to bring RNG to market and has recently signed a contract to build another natural gas fuel station in the Bay Area of California.

Nathan Rich

Executive Director
Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District

Nathan Rich has been the executive director of Wasatch Integrated Waste Management District since 2001, where he joined as a facility engineer in 1999. He has overseen the installation of pollution control upgrades at the district’s waste-to-energy facility, the completion of a joint landfill gas-to-energy project with the U.S. Air Force, construction and operation of a green waste recycling program, construction of substantial other upgrades at the Davis Landfill and Davis Energy Recovery Facility.

Rich worked for Bingham Environmental from 1994 to 1999, moving from staff engineer to project manager.

Rich is active in the local chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America.

P. John Ruth Jr.

CTBH Partners

John Ruth is the founder and managing partner of CTBH Partners, a strategic consulting firm, where he specializes in assisting companies with the issuance of tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds within the solid waste industry. Prior to founding CTBH Partners, Ruth spent six years in the merchant banking group of White Mountains Insurance Group where he executed strategic investment and financial projects for a $5 billion global reinsurance holding company. He is a CFA charterholder, received his master’s degree in business administration from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and his bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Saint John’s University (MN).

Dan Sandoval

Steve Simmons

Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

Stephen Simmons, GBB Vice President, is a sustainable development business leader with more than 30 years of experience in the energy and environmental services sectors. He is highly experienced in program and project management, new business development, waste and power marketing, technology evaluation, business financial modeling, profit and loss management, facility design, procurement, and construction having worked with leading international energy operating companies and engineering/consulting firms. Throughout his career, he has helped communities and companies develop programs and projects implementing the 3 E’s of sustainability: ecology, economy, and equity.

Dan Sandoval

Kristin Smith

Renewable Energy from Waste magazine

Kristin Smith is the editor of Construction & Demolition Recycling and Renewable Energy from Waste magazines for the Recycling Today Media Group, based in Valley View, Ohio. In her role as editor, Kristin is responsible for shaping the editorial direction and providing relevant market-driven content for The Recycling Today Media Group’s portfolio of print and online products and conferences. In her five years with the publishing group, Kristin has built strong relationships within the solid waste, waste-to-energy, recycling and demolition industries. She has traveled extensively to visit job sites and facility installations as well as to represent the publishing group at industry events.

Paul Stout


Mr. Paul Stout, P.E., is Cornerstone’s region vice president, overseeing all aspects of the company’s West Region operations. He has 24 years of experience in air quality and landfill gas projects and is a leader in the LFG field. Stout’s experience includes all aspects of LFG projects, including LFG migration assessment, energy feasibility studies, all phases of design, permitting, construction, startup, and operations and maintenance. He also assists on landfill design, landfill permitting, materials recovery facility permitting and hazardous waste remediation projects.

Stout received a Master of Science degree in environmental/civil engineering and Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jim Keefe

Craig Stuart-Paul


Prior to founding Fiberight in 2006, Craig Stuart-Paul has been involved in the science, operations and management of both the recycling and brewery businesses for almost two decades. Mr. Stuart-Paul launched the Oxford Brewing Co., Maryland's first microbrewery. He segued into the recycling business with the formation of Resource Recovery of Maryland in 1994, which focused on processing recycled glass into furnace-ready material for the glass container industry. In 1996, he formed Fairfax Recycling Inc., a company that recycled residential materials collected in central Maryland and northern Virginia. Mr. Stuart-Paul then formed Atlantic Recycling Technologies LLC and Fiberight LLC to develop advanced fiber recovery and alternative fuel technologies.

Fanis Tsilionis


Fanis Tsilionis obtained a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). Since 2000, he has been involved in several environmental projects, in all aspects of project implementation (design, procurement, construction and operation). From 2006 to 2010 he was technical director at EPEM Engineering S.A., responsible for many designs in Wastewater and Municipal Solid Waste treatment projects and since 2010 he is a Senior Engineer in the engineering department of HELECTOR S.A., acting as Project Manager for the technological and mechanical works of the construction of four MBT plants.

Jim Keefe

Mo Vargas

Concord Blue Energy, Inc.

Mr. Mauricio “Mo” Vargas is the CEO for Concord Blue Energy, where he is responsible for the strategic growth of the company as well as the planning, growth, execution and risk management of all current projects and new business for Concord Blue. He has more than 20 years of experience in the energy and environmental markets. Prior to Concord Blue, he served as the business leader for the more than $100 million bioenergy and EPC line of business for Lockheed Martin Energy. Vargas also previously served as the executive vice president for corporate development at Plasco Energy Group.

Eberhard Veit


Eberhard Veit is research and development manager at Eisenmann Corp. and has served in various engineering, project management and managerial positions at the company’s Germany and U.S. locations since 1987. He holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Veit was born and raised in Germany and has lived in the U.S. since 1992. His international experience and fluency in several languages is paired with hands-on experience with equipment and processes in biogas generation from a variety of feed sources and various other industries. He specializes in process engineering, energy optimization, emissions control, renewable energy and plant integration.

Rob White

Sierra Energy

Rob White is the newly appointed executive director of the Sierra Energy Research Park (SERP) and the chief strategist for Sierra Energy, a waste gasification and renewable energy company. Named a White House “Champion of Change for Local Innovation,” Mr. White has been recognized by regional, national and international organizations for his work on economic development, regional innovation clusters, and partnerships with federal agencies. As a registered professional geologist in California, White has broad experience in environmental studies, engineering, regulations and risk management. He also conducts government relations, industry outreach and research development with academic institutions for the organization.

Jim Wollschlager

Organix Solutions

Mr. Jim Wollschlager has three decades of management experience as a business leader in the Minneapolis-St. Paul/Twin Cities business community. As chief operating officer for Randy’s Environmental Services, he has overseen acquisitions, acquired permitting and successfully secured municipal and commercial contracts. Most recently, he co-developed the Blue Bag Organics program for Randy’s Environmental Services. In addition, Wollschlager provides leadership and oversight as CEO of Organix Solutions, where he monitors financial performance, assures appropriate controls and accountability are in place for all resources.

Additional Speakers Include:

Erik Neandross, Gladstein Neandross & Associates
Michael Silva, CR&R Incorporated