ABC Board Election 2019
- Nominating Period: Nov. 12 – Dec. 8
- Voting: Dec. 9 – Dec. 15
- Directors Announced: Dec. 18
- First meeting with new directors: January Board Meeting (TBD)
Online voting will open on December 9. ABC members will be notified via email by Electionbuddy with instructions on how to vote. Your dues must have been paid in order to receive your ballot.
Submit your nominations to [email protected]
Amy McCrae Kessler
EVP, Head of Environmental & Regulatory Affairs
View Amy's Bio
Amy McCrae Kessler is EVP, Head of Environmental & Regulatory Affairs and a Founding Member of Turning Earth, LLC, a developer of integrated organics recycling facilities that recycle food waste to produce renewable energy, compost, and heat for greenhouses using proprietary dry high solids anaerobic digestion & in-vessel composting technology.
She is a member the Board of Directors of the American Biogas Council where she serves as Co-Chair of the Council’s Federal Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee & Co-Chair of the AD Co-Products Working Group. A Member of the Board since 2010, she served as Vice Chair of the ABC from 2014-2015, 2012-2013; Co-Chair AD Co-Products Working Group 2014-present; Co-Chair Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Committee from 2013-present, 2010-2012, building the ABC’s most popular program from the ground up.
Ms. McCrae Kessler has extensive environmental & administrative law, project development & federal advocacy experience spanning multiple practice disciplines, including local, state & federal permitting of novel technologies & complex facilities, regulatory compliance, land use, planning & zoning, facility siting, community outreach, public policy, government relations & advocacy with expertise in a range of environmental issues, including sustainable materials management, renewable energy, organics recycling, anaerobic digestion and composting, food waste reduction, water conservation, climate change mitigation, nutrient & soil management.
Prior to launching Turning Earth, Ms. McCrae Kessler practiced environmental, international environmental and administrative law at Arnold & Porter, LLP in New York and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London. Ms. Kessler has advised clients on a broad range of environmental issues in the context of litigation, regulatory compliance, permitting and corporate, banking and real estate transactions. In addition, she has counseled sovereign states on a variety of environmental issues.
Before joining the private sector, Ms. McCrae Kessler dedicated time to public service and non-profit organizations including the Office of International Environmental Policy at the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Center for International Environmental Law. In addition to numerous speaking engagements at national, state and local conferences and industry events, Ms. McCrae Kessler has written about organics recycling, benefits of biogas systems, advantages of high solids anaerobic digestion technology, federal environmental and tax policy, permitting strategy, organics diversion and developing standards for testing and certification of AD co-products, the importance of seeking a NAICS code for the composting industry as well as on the subjects of international environmental law and the environmental impacts of projects funded through multilateral lending institutions.
Ms. McCrae Kessler is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Ms. McCrae Kessler received her JD, summa cum laude, from American University Washington College of Law in 1998 where she was a senior staff member of The American University Law Review. She received her BA in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 1992.
View Amy's Statement
VP Sales and Technology
View Brent's Bio
Brent started his career working for Westport Innovations, developing natural gas fuel systems for the heavy duty truck market. He then joined Greenlane Biogas in 2009 to start up the North American office. He brings to Greenlane 20+ years’ experience in the alternative energy, natural gas and renewable natural gas sectors, with wide ranging responsibilities including sales, customer relations, project management, supplier management, service and installation and commissioning of biogas upgrading plants. Prior to joining Greenlane, Brent held roles with PSA solution provider QuestAir Technologies and gas utility FortisBC. Brent holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lakehead University.
View Brent's Statement
During my time in the biogas industry I have had the opportunity to participate in projects in Europe, Asia, South America, and North America. This has given me an appreciation for the different approaches used around this global market. I would like to bring this global market knowledge to the ABC, to ensure that we can learn from the lessons of other markets. I also see that this market is very fragmented, which is stunting it’s growth and not allowing us to realize our full potential. I would like to work on ways to help bring this together and make it an easier path for those doing business in this space, whether a Project Developer, Financer, or Technology Provider.
Senior Managing Director
Baker Tilly Capital
View Mike's Bio
Mike has more than 20 years of experience providing financial advisory and private investment banking services to clients, the last 12 years focused exclusively on the energy and infrastructure industry. This includes development support, deal structuring, tax credit monetization, grant procurement, funding placement of both equity and debt and general corporate finance consulting.
Mike assists clients in a wide range of energy sectors including utilities, manufacturers, universities, municipalities and developers. Mike’s scope of assistance typically includes a lead role in the project/transaction, including feasibility, due diligence and project development support, deal structuring and valuation support, identification and sourcing of capital needs, and transaction/funding negotiation and closing support.
Mike was an original founder of Baker Tilly’s Energy and Infrastructure (EIG) practice in late 2007. Since that time, the EIG team has supported over 200 projects that are either built or under construction, ranging from $5 million to $400 million and totalling more than $3.4 billion of construction value. These projects include energy from waste, biomass, wind, solar, hydro and geothermal heating and cooling.
Prior to 2007, Mike advised clients on more than $350 million of completed transactions across a wide variety of industries.
View Mike's Statement
I appreciate very much being nominated for the ABC Board of Directors election. The opportunity to actively support this organization and industry is one of great interest to me both personally and professionally.
If elected, I would plan to contribute in the following manner:
- Actively participate with coordination and implementation of outreach and education efforts with the financial community in order to increase their comfort level in funding biogas projects. This would include the following types of funding parties:
- Regional and national banks
- Potential tax investors
- Private equity, mezzanine and other infrastructure funds
- Support ABC’s efforts with state and local government organizations that express interest in policies/initiatives to support biogas projects
- As appropriate, work within our firm’s client base to encourage new members to join ABC
- Participate as co-chair or another leadership role on an ABC committee – would look for input from existing Board members as to greatest area of need and fit for my background.
DMT Clear Gas Solutions
View Robert's Bio
Robert Lems, M.Sc., is an expert in the field of biogas upgrading, gas desulfurization, and wastewater treatment. His previous experience as DMT’s R&D Manager highlights his irrepressible passion for pioneering and market development, particularly for technologies that stimulate the circular economy. Lems believes in a ‘clear and prosperous future’ and has made it his company’s mission. Since 2015, he has helped DMT establish a local office in Portland and more than 15 projects in North America.
View Robert's Statement
What I bring to the ABC board is 15 years of experience in the biogas industry in both Europe and the US. I have a fast technology knowledge of all the technologies within the biogas industry on both a theoretical and practical level. If elected, I would like to help lead the RNG committee. I have a broad knowledge about how RNG is produced and all technologies involved from pre-treatment, desulphurization, siloxane removal and gas upgrading (CO2 removal) to gas grid injection. I am also interested in the operations or eRIN commitiee although I have less specific experience for these.
Technical Director of Sustainable Solutions
View Jessica's Bio
Jessica Linville-LeRoy, Ph.D., E.I. expertise ranges from lab-scale anaerobic digestion optimization studies to full-scale digester operation focused on high-strength industrial wastewater, and fats, oils and grease (FOG) co-digestion.
She currently works at Mendota Agri-Products as the Technical Director of Sustainable Solutions where she established lab-scale digesters, rebuilt their 2.4M gallon lagoon digester and optimized high-strength industrial wastewater co-digestion. Previously, she owned Nullam Consulting, LLC focused on digester optimization. She has conducted research at both Oak Ridge National Laboratory focused on increasing microbial robustness and Argonne National Laboratory focused increasing the in-situ methane content during anaerobic digestion of food waste and sewage sludge utilizing biochar. While at Argonne National Laboratory she conducted BMP studies and scaled her research from 1L semi-continuous digesters to a 100,000 gallon 3-phase anaerobic digester system at an industry partner’s facility. She has also participated in the Department of Energy funded Energy I-Corps entrepreneurial program twice where she developed a large industry network. She has collaborated on 14 peer-reviewed journal articles and has presented 30 platform presentations. She has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Tennessee.
View Jessica's Statement
If elected to the board, I would bring a wide range of unique experiences ranging from research conducted at government facilities to digester operations at a private company. I have in-depth knowledge of food waste, high-strength industrial wastewater, and fats, oils, and grease (FOG) co-digestion. I would like to become more involved in the Operations Committee and Digester Certification Program. I would focus on finding ways to develop a community among digester operators within the ABC where we can share questions and experiences in operations. I see an increasing shift towards adding food waste, high-strength industrial wastewater and FOG to municipal digester without a mechanism for understanding the impacts on the digester. My goal would be help foster this understanding through community discussions, webinars or in-person training so that the industry can become more profitable through increased tipping fees and biogas production. I would also like to be involved in the Policy Committee to bring additional focus to industrial and high-strength wastewater digesters. Current policy puts non-traditional digesters at a significant disadvantage but offers a large growth area for the biogas industry.
Renewable Energy Acquisition
Trillium CNG/Love’s Travel Stops
View Charles' Bio
Charles works on the renewable energy acquisition team for Trillium, which is a member of the Love’s family of companies.
Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores is one of the largest privately held companies in America with 500+ locations in 41 states.
Trillium, is focused on developing and building the infrastructure required to support a low-carbon transportation future, including hydrogen fuel cell, battery electric, solar and renewable natural gas technologies. Charles is responsible for providing offtake agreements and evaluating RNG development and acquisition opportunities with dairy farms, municipal wastewater treatment facilities and landfill gas projects. Mr. Love also works with the business development team to place RNG with municipal, transit, waste and trucking demand clients.
Charles is an advocate for the renewable fuels industry; he works on public policy items focused on renewable natural gas, electrification and hydrogen transportation legislation and regulations.
View Charles' Statement
If elected to the ABC board I will (a.) work to educate policymakers on the benefits of RNG and how ABC members play a key role helping our country create clean-energy jobs in rural communities and (b.) grow ABC membership so we can all benefit from the “Low-Carbon RNG Revolution” that’s taking hold in America.
Biogas Program Director
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
View Brian's Bio
Brian M. Langolf, M.S. has 10 years of biogas operations, research and laboratory analysis, and interpretation experience. He currently works at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh serving as the Biogas Program Director. This role involves technical oversight of biogas operations, conduct biogas research and provide digester training and consulting services, and internal and external program outreach. This program supports many academic and sustainability programs on campus and in the local community. Brian has been a member of the American Biogas Council (ABC) since 2012 and has currently served one term on the board of directors.
View Brian's Statement
If re-elected to the ABC board I would like to continue to bring technical expertise and leadership to projects that improve the standardization and safety of the biogas industry. I have been very involved in the development and implementation of programs such as the Digester Operator Training Program and Digestate Certification Program and would like to continue to work on these and other related programs to further development of the U.S. biogas industry. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has a core pillar revolving around sustainability. ABC strengthens that mission by promoting renewable and sustainable energy especially in rural communities surrounding our campus.
View Sean's Bio
Sean Mezei, Principal at Dekany Consulting, has been involved in over 60 projects landfill gas and biogas upgrading projects in the last 20 years, with previous positions at QuestAir and as President of Greenlane Biogas. Over the years he has been involved is several national level Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) road mapping and specification setting committees, spoken at dozens of landfill gas and biogas conferences and is currently co-chair of the American Biogas Council’s Renewable Natural Gas working group. Sean holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia and a Masters of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University.
View Sean's Statement
Sean Mezei, P. Eng., MBA, has been active in the ABC since its founding and has served as the RNG Working Group’s Co-Chair since it was formed in 2014. Over the years he has also aided ABC’s efforts to get biogas-friendly rules and specifications in California, New York, North Carolina, Washington, other states, and at the federal level. Sean has been involved in over 60 RNG projects over the last 20 years, including the first farm-based biogas to RNG project in the US. If selected to the ABC’s board, his focus would be on raising the awareness of RNG to gas utilities and providing them the information they need to make the RNG interconnection process less costly and more straightforward.
Vice President of Customers and Communities
Vermont Gas Systems
View Thomas's Bio
Thomas Murray currently serves as the Vice President of Customers and Communities for Vermont Gas Systems, overseeing the company’s Energy Service Team and External Relations. Tom is leading the company’s innovation initiatives, which includes becoming the first gas utility in the nation to offer a Renewable Natural Gas program and other decarbonation efforts. In 2020, Tom will serve as the chairman of the American Gas Association’s Sustainability Committee, where he is driving the national effort to incorporate RNG into the supply portfolio of the nation’s gas utilities. Tom also handles legislative, community and key stakeholder relationships for the company. Prior to joining Vermont Gas, Tom served as the state of Vermont’s Chief Information Officer and the Commissioner of Information and Innovation. He has also served as the state’s Deputy Commissioner of the Economic Development. Tom worked in the telecommunications industry for over fifteen years with TDS Telecom and Rural Cellular Corporation. Tom grew up in Montpelier, VT, graduated from Western New England University (BS/BA) and Champlain College (MS).
View Thomas's Statement
It would be an honor to serve on the ABC Board, I am a passionate advocate for the Biogas industry and the growing opportunity presented by Renewable Natural Gas. As a board member, I would strive to strengthen the organization and to build more momentum within the gas utility sector to allow timely, low cost interconnections. The industry faces an inflection point, where we have the unique opportunity for even greater acceleration of growth. It would be my pleasure to assist ABC in meeting that challenge and achieving the industry’s full potential.
VP of Biogas Engineering
View Bernie's Bio
Mr. Sheff brings 34 years of experience in the design and operation of digesters and nutrient management systems. His first digester started in December of 1991 at a packing facility in Plainwell, Michigan. He has provided trouble shooting for digestion systems across the United States and Europe and is a professional engineer licensed in 4 states. Mr. Sheff will provide principal oversight to all anaerobic digestion projects. Mr. Sheff is the current chairman of the ABC Board.
View Bernie's Statement
My time on the Board of the American biogas Council (ABC) has been one of the highlights of my entire career. We have made so many positive impacts for the industry and hope is that you will allow me, with the next two years, to finish what we started. This coming year will be the First Annual Biogas Americas, this will focus on the Operators, Developers, Agriculture and Industry Owners and Technology Providers who are and will benefit from the efforts of the ABC. This will be a unique and special event catering to all participants in our industry. I am proud to be working on this effort daily, it is a labor of love.
As many have heard me say, I do this for your children and grandchildren. We must change the world and I start everyday thinking of how the ABC can move our agenda forward.
I humbly ask for two more years to fill out the plans we have on all fronts. Personally I am working daily to create a special event in June and continue to take operators training to new heights and have a certification program. This is more hands on training programs focused on various pieces of digester equipment and adding a developers training course.
As always contact me at any time to discuss a direction or path forward you would like to see the ABC undertake.
View Mark's Bio
Mark Stoermann is the Chief Operating Officer for Newtrient. Mark came to this position as an outgrowth of his experience with developing and building CNG stations, anaerobic digesters, and the biogas upgrading system at Fair Oaks Farms.
Before coming to Newtrient, Mark was the Chief Operating Officer for STAR BioEnergy LLC, the anaerobic digestion division of STAR Energy LLC, a company committed to the development of sustainable, renewable energy projects across the country. Mark was previously the Director of Operations for AMP Americas, a company committed to building out CNG infrastructure along the U.S. highway system. As the Project Manager for Fair Oaks Dairy Farms and Select Milk Producers, Mark was responsible for the construction of three anaerobic digesters that processed sand laden dairy manure. These projects included electrical generation, gas cleaning, rCNG as transportation fuel, and nutrient recovery projects.
In addition to the renewable energy industry, Mark has worked in the dairy and food processing industry over the past 35 years holding a variety of project, operations, and material management positions. He worked for Kraft Foods, Michigan Milk Producers, Raskas Cheese Products, ConAgra Foods, Fair Oaks Dairy Farm and Select Milk Producers.
View Mark's Statement
I have been a part of the biogas industry for over 20 years and had key roles in many projects related to bringing this form of renewable energy to a place where it’s full value can be realized. I believe in the important work that is being done by the ABC and would be honored to continue serving on the board as we move the industry forward. I look forward to continuing to provide input and leadership for the exciting initiatives that started with the rebranding and will now be continued with the Biogas Americas Conference by ABC. I will also continue to participate on the important outreach that ABC does to Federal & State Legislators and Regulatory Personnel. We have accomplished so much over my time on the board and the opportunities ahead of us are truly exciting.
- Who’s on the ABC Board now?
- How many seats are up for election?
Eight – There are 13 elected positions total with eight up for election this year. ABC has 21 Directors overall: 13 elected, 3 ex-officio (Executive Director Patrick Serfass, ABC Treasurer Melissa VanOrnum, and Director Emeritus Nora Goldstein), and 5 Sustaining Members. Sustaining Members receive an automatic Board position for any year their membership is in good standing. Your organization can upgrade to Sustaining Membership at any time, skip the election, and join the Board immediately. Interested? Please email Patrick Serfass ([email protected]) if you’d like to know more about Sustaining Membership.
- Whose terms are ending?
- Bernie Sheff, Montrose Environmental
- Mark Stoermann, Newtrient
- Brian Langolf, UW Oshkosh
- Amy McCrae Kessler, Turning Earth
- Norma McDonald, Organic Waste Systems
- What are the main responsibilities of Directors?
- Please refer to page 5 of the ABC bylaws.
- Attend Board meetings.The Board generally meets monthly–11 times a year by conference call for 90 minutes, and once a year in person. Recently, the in-person meeting has been in Washington, DC in the spring/summer to coincide with Hill office visits. ABC’s fly-in for 2020 is tentatively planned for April.
- Directors are expected to take a leadership position in a Council program (existing or new) and to help engage the rest of the membership to participate and support the activities of the ABC which are designed to grow the biogas industry.
- How long are the terms for Directors?
With the exception of Sustaining Members, Director terms are two years, but Directors may be re-elected for additional 2-year terms without limit.
- Are there term limits?
No director may be elected for a term longer than two years, but Directors may be re-elected for additional 2-year terms without limit.
- How do I nominate someone? May I nominate myself?
Simply email their name, company, and email address to [email protected]. You may nominate yourself if you wish!
- Is there a Nominating Committee?
Yes. The ABC bylaws call for a Nominating Committee to be established in order to ensure a full slate of candidates is available to the members when voting and to help identify strong candidates to run for the Board. The open nominating process will continue and the existence of the Nominating Committee should not discourage any member from running. The combination of the open process and the Nominating Committee should result in the best possible slate of potential Directors for members to choose from when you vote next month.
If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We look forward to your participation and please don’t forget to vote!