The American Biogas Council is the only national trade association representing the entire U.S. biogas industry. We represent over 260 companies and 3,000 professionals throughout the biogas supply chain that are dedicated to maximizing the production and use of biogas from organic waste. Biogas systems protect our air, water and soil by recycling organic material, like food waste and manure, into renewable energy and soil products. The American Biogas Council is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade association based in Washington, DC.
Board of Directors
Bernie Sheff, PE
Montrose Environmental Group
Sievers Family Farms
American Biogas Council
Live Oak Bank
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
Trillium – A Love’s Company
Patrick J. Foody
Director of Policy
State Policy Coordinator
Bryan Sievers, Manager, Sievers Family Farm
A descendant of German and Norwegian immigrants that settled in Iowa between 1850 and 1873, Bryan Sievers, and his wife Lisa, are the current generation of owners and operators of the Sievers’ farm. Bryan is an enthusiastic environmental steward of the land and takes pride in using all available resources, including the air, land, water, and sun for their highest and best use. The Sievers’ 2,300-acre farming operation, 2,400 head beef cattle feedlot, and renewable energy facility is located in western Scott County, Iowa near Stockton.
In 2009, this philosophy became the motivation behind implementing the combined heat and power (CHP) anaerobic digester project. The Sievers were looking to dramatically expand the farm’s beef cattle feedlot but had concerns about any of the expansion’s effects on their carbon footprint, water quality, soil health, and the environment. The solution was a 1 MW CHP system fueled by the methane produced from two 970,000 gallon anaerobic digesters utilizing beef cattle manure, agricultural processing waste streams, cover crops, and other co-feeds.
AgriReNew, a company created by the Sievers and their partners, Dr. William and Judy Davidson, commissioned their digesters and CHP power plant in 2013. Today, the digesters process over 55,000 gallons per day of cattle manure and other off-site co-feeds in the complete-mix system. The electricity that’s generated, 24 hours per day 7 days per week, is sold to their local service provider, Interstate Power and Light (Alliant Energy).
In 2014, AgriReNew received the Agricultural Biogas Project of the Year Award from the American Biogas Council and received the 2014 Iowa Environmental Excellence Award for their anaerobic digester project.
Bryan and Lisa are 1982 graduates of Iowa State University. Bryan received his degree in Agricultural Business while Lisa received her degree in Industrial Administration with an emphasis in Accounting. Lisa is also a Certified Public Accountant. Bryan and Lisa have two children and five grandchildren. Bryan’s past experiences include being a 3-year letterman on the Iowa State University baseball team, leadership roles in the Iowa Farm Bureau, serving two terms in the Iowa Legislature (one term in the Iowa House and one term in the Iowa Senate), and is currently serving as Chair of the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Biomass Conversion committee. This committee is responsible for creating an Action Plan to expand Iowa’s biomass production and processing capacity as part of a comprehensive renewable energy strategy through Governor Kim Reynolds’ Iowa Energy Plan.
Randy Beck, Waste Management
Randy Beck is a 35 year career professional, currently at the helm of Waste Management’s Renewable Energy group (WMRE) where his current focus is development of LFG to RNG facilities. Specializing in operations of power generation and gas compression equipment, he spent ten years as WMRE’s Director of Operations with responsibility for 80+ beneficial use projects ranging from LFG to Electricity, LFG to Direct Gas Sales and LFG to RNG. This position brought a strong education in various gas treatment technologies as well as an education in managing 300+ reciprocating engines, 30+ gas turbines and 130+ facility operations personnel. Prior to his career with WMRE, he spent 20 years with Caterpillar and Detroit Diesel/Allison dealers in various operational leadership roles.
Patrick Serfass, Executive Director
Patrick Serfass is Executive Director of the American Biogas Council. Patrick has led the American Biogas Council since it was formed in 2010 when he helped 22 companies come together to form the first and still only trade association representing the entire biogas industry in the US. The ABC now represents over 260 organizations and has a network of more than 17,000 stakeholders in the biogas industry. In addition to biogas, Patrick has nearly 20 years’ experience growing clean energy industries, like solar, hydrogen, and woody biomass, through the company that manages the ABC, Technology Transition Corporation. In Patrick’s early career, he was a physical oceanographer, architectural engineer and designed unmanned deep ocean vehicles. Patrick holds a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College.
Melissa VanOrnum, Vice President of Marketing, DVO, INc.
Bernie Sheff, Vice President of Engineering, Montrose Environmental Group, Inc.
Bernie Sheff holds both Bachelors and Masters of Science in Civil Engineering from Michigan State University. He has been a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan since 1988 and is also registered in the states of Massachusetts, Ohio and Indiana. He started his career with STS Consultants (STS) in 1984 as an assistant project engineer. He became the VP of the Michigan region for STS and completed his first digestion project as part of a 1 MGD wastewater treatment facility in 1991. This facility a large beef abattoir in SW Michigan was one of many projects in the animal processing arena including systems at duck, chicken and hog operations.
Since early 2000 he has focused on nutrient recovery, sand separation and digestion in the agricultural market, most significantly the dairy industry and the co-digestion of residuals from confined feeding operations and food processing residuals. A 3 year board member, in November of 2014 he was elected as Chairman of the Board of the American Biogas Council.
Craig Frear, Director of Research and Technology, Regenis
Over the last decade, Dr. Frear’s research has focused on enhancements to anaerobic digestion, biochemical recovery from waste and development of bio-refinery principles for rural and urban communities.
He holds five patents (with two pending) including an ammonia stripping system to remove ammonia from wastewater without the use of chemicals.
In addition to his research, Dr. Frear is the author of over sixty peer-reviewed publications on methane capture to create biogas and nutrient management to allow liquid from manure to be safely reused. He has also served as an investigator on numerous federal and state grants in the same scientific classifications.
Craig holds a PhD in Engineering Science from Washington State University, a MA in Educational Administration from Columbia University, and BA in Chemistry and Theology from St. Olaf College.
Peter Ettinger, Bioenergy DevCo
Peter Ettinger is Executive Vice President of BTS BioEnergy, a technology leader in the biological transformation of excess organics typically destined for incineration or already crowded landfills, residues and agricultural by-products and crops into sustainable energy and organic fertilizer. BTS serves industrial and agricultural companies, local cities and counties, the food and composting industry as well as providers and users of renewable energy.
Ettinger has over 20 years of experience in the fields of business, operational development, marketing, and sales. His advisory and implementation work in both public and private companies has resulted in significant operational and financial gains. Peter has taught entrepreneurship and commercialization strategies at Johns Hopkins Medical School and throughout the State of Maryland. His most recent work has been focused on the agricultural field with organically based products aimed at remedies for soil depletion.
Donald Chahbazpour, Director of Regulatory Strategy – Future of Heat
Donald Chahbazpour is currently the Director of Regulatory Strategy – Future of Heat at National Grid’s Regulatory and Customer Strategy Group. Don is leading company’s efforts to implement gas decarbonization and reduce methane emissions through policy, strategy and technology. The group is also responsible for engaging stakeholders to raise awareness regarding the potential of renewable natural gas and hydrogen, and how the gas network can enable a low carbon future.
Before his current position, Don was the Director of Climate Change Compliance. His previous positions at National Grid include Corporate Strategy, M&A and Energy Procurement. Prior to National Grid, Don was working for a startup energy technology company focusing on emerging distributed generation technologies and related regulatory issues.
Don has a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration (MPA) from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor’s with honors in Mechanical Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Nora Goldstein, Editor, BioCycle
John Dannan, Principal, Generate Capital
Mr. Dannan serves as a Principal leading the Organic Waste team at Generate Capital since fall 2016. He has over 18 years of financial markets experience, including 10 years of lending and asset management experience in the energy and infrastructure sectors. At Generate Mr. Dannan has overseen the creation of one of the largest organic waste processing businesses in North America covering animal manure, food waste, and biosolids processing projects.
Prior to joining Generate Capital, Mr. Dannan founded Energy & Infrastructure Capital, LLC (“EIC”), a Stamford based asset manager focused on debt investments. During this time EIC invested approximately $200 million in US energy and infrastructure debt on behalf of US and international investors. Prior to EIC, Mr. Dannan served as Vice President at Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management where he was responsible for investment strategy, capital raising and transaction execution. Prior to Deutsche, Mr. Dannan worked at Aladdin Capital Management’s Infrastructure Debt business, and Dresdner Kleinwort’s infrastructure financing, M&A and loan workout teams. Mr. Dannan received a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Economics with Accounting from Loughborough University, England.
Mike Land, Senior Managing Director, Baker Tilly Capital
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.
Patrick J. Foody – Executive Vice President, Advanced Biofuels
Pat joined Iogen in 1985 and is responsible for the company’s commercial and project development activities outside of Brazil, including the development of opportunities and partnerships to produce advanced and cellulosic biofuels in North America. Pat has held numerous senior positions at Iogen, leading development and commercialization programs in the biofuels and biochemical space. He has been responsible for: the start-up and growth of Iogen’s enzyme business, managing commercial relationships worldwide; the design, construction and commissioning of Iogen’s cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant; and the development of Iogen’s cellulosic ethanol project development capacity, including feedstock supply chain management, site development, product marketing, process engineering, cost engineering, and project contracting. Pat has a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Michigan.
Brian Langolf, Biogas Program Director, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
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.
Charles Love, Renewable Energy Acquisition Team, Trillium
Charles Love works on the renewable energy acquisition team for Trillium, which is a member of the Love’s Travel Stops family of companies. Love’s, is one of the largest privately held companies in the America, with 450+ 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 developing RNG projects for the company including dairy farms, wastewater treatment facilities and landfills. Mr. Love also works with RNG developers to market their gas production through long-term offtake agreements. Charles is also an advocate for the industry; he works on public policy items related to RNG & Hydrogen transportation regulations.
Charles graduated from St. Gregory’s University and started his third company at the age of 21 (seafood importing, processing, distribution and retail). Charles changed gears going from the seafood business into the renewable energy industry and now lives in Austin with his wife of twenty-one years and three children.
Charles believes we can all do our part to make the world a better place for the next 10 generations.
Craig Murphy, Head of Portfolio Management, Brightmark LLC
Craig Murphy is the Head of Portfolio Management at Brightmark, a global leader in waste solutions to combat complex environmental challenges. Brightmark develops, owns and operates renewable natural gas & plastics renewal projects. Brightmark is on a mission to reimagine waste and is working to create a world without waste.
Mr. Murphy drives the company’s efforts in development, origination and acquisitions of RNG projects. He has over 15 years of renewable energy experience. He has successfully built and purchased solar, wind, CHP, RNG as well as other energy projects in the US and globally. Currently he focuses on directing Brightmark’s origination team on which projects to focus their efforts on and implementing RNG projects from conception through construction.
Craig holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt and an M.B.A. in finance from University of Chicago- Booth.
Tom Murray, Vice President of Customers and Communities, Vermont Gas Systems
Thomas Murray currently serves as the Vice President, Decarbonization Technology 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).
Bryan Nudelbacher, Director of Business Development, U.S. Gain
Bryan Nudelbacher is the Director of Business Development for U.S. Gain, a leader in development, procurement and distribution of renewable natural gas for the transportation and energy markets. As a vertically integrated supplier, U.S. Gain is involved in all aspects of the RNG supply chain – enabling access to the cleanest sustainable energy solutions, at the best value.
Bryan has been instrumental in development of U.S. Gain’s CNG & RNG businesses through his depth of industry knowledge, strategic thinking and leadership. Specific experience includes: RNG project registration and ongoing compliance, credit monetization and intricate expertise in the RFS and LCFS programs. Bryan’s credentials provide a unique, impactful perspective to both support the ABC and drive the RNG industry forward.
Tanya Peacock, Manager, Public Policy and Planning, SoCalGas
Tanya Peacock has extensive experience in energy and environmental policy development. In her current role managing the Public Policy and Planning team for Southern California Gas Company, Peacock is responsible for federal, state, and local legislative analysis, local and regional planning, development of outreach and communications strategies, and climate and renewable gas policy development, with a focus on hydrogen.
In previous roles at SoCalGas, she managed Cap and Trade policy development and implementation, led the rate design group, managed participation in interstate pipeline rate cases at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and developed energy efficiency programs.
Ms. Peacock is on the Boards of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, the California Hydrogen Business Council (Chair of Advocacy and Chair of Pipeline Injection and Gas System Integration Committees) and MoveLA. Ms. Peacock is a member of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the LA regional chapter of the State’s Assessment of Climate Change Impacts. Ms. Peacock holds a B.A. from Mills College and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University.
Brad Pleima, Senior Engineer, EcoEngineers
Brad is a Senior Engineer and leads EcoEngineers’ renewable natural gas line of business guiding municipalities, industries, and project developers implementing biogas to RNG projects. He is a licensed Professional Engineer with over 15 years of experience in the planning, engineering design, and construction of water, wastewater, and renewable energy projects and has worked with over 100 renewable energy facilities to help with consulting or compliance related activities. He has a civil engineering degree from Iowa State University and is currently a licensed professional engineer in 13 states.
Mark Stoermann, Chief Operating Officer, Newtrient
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.
Lauren Toretta, President, CH4 Biogas
Lauren is President and a partner of CH4 Biogas, a leader in bringing proven, clean energy biogas solutions to the United States. At CH4, Lauren has a wide range of responsibilities, including managing corporate strategy and operations. Lauren is leading the CH4 Biogas focus on working with the agricultural and food & beverages sectors to provide environmental waste and renewable energy solutions. Starting in 2012, Lauren led financing and business development for the company on its growth trajectory. As a result of those efforts, CH4 Biogas has multiple operating biogas facilities and several facilities in development with attention on future projects in the Northeast and Midwest. In her role, Lauren has also been very involved with the development of the industry through policy by helping to build awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of anaerobic digestion.
Prior to joining CH4 Biogas, Lauren spent over fifteen years in sales and strategy roles for industrial and environmental companies. The bulk of this time was spent in sales and marketing for GE Industrial and strategy consulting with McKinsey & Co. Lauren has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Harvard College in Environmental Science and Public Policy, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Bill Tyndall, Managing Director, Environmental Energy Capital LLC
Max Vernier, Head of Bioenergy Finance, Live Oak Bank
Max Vernier is the head of Bioenergy Finance at Live Oak Bank on the Energy & Infrastructure team. The team has deployed over $1B in debt financing for small-scale distributed energy generation and energy efficiency since 2016 across solar, PV + storage, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, leachate management, landfill gas to energy, anaerobic digesters and biogas, composting facilities, small scale biorefineries, and biobased product manufacturing. Live Oak is the largest SBA and USDA Rural Development lender in the U.S. by volume of originations.