2015 Conference Speaker Profiles

Darryl Rose, PFI Chairman, 2014-2015
Darryl Rose has been the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Energex Pellet Fuel since its inception in 1993 and is concluding a one-year term as Chairman of the PFI Board of Directors. In addition to his leadership on the PFI Board, he maintains active roles on three PFI committees: Standards, Membership and Conference. Darryl has been an NFI pellet certified instructor and is co-inventor of the Prometheus Pellet Fuel Basket which enables a user to burn wood pellets in a woodstove or fireplace.

Stephen Faehner, Incoming PFI Chairman, 2015-2016
Stephen Faehner is an owner of American Wood Fibers and the son of its founder, Frank Faehner. Stephen graduated with a Business Management degree from Andrews University in 1993. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pellet Fuels Institute and the Biomass Thermal Energy Council.

For the past 20 years Stephen’s role at AWF has included operations manager, director of business development, and vice president of sales. Over that time he has worked directly with large customers, directed multi-million dollar acquisitions, and was instrumental in leading AWF into the wood pellet business. He has presented papers at several industry conferences both domestically and internationally.

Jennifer Hedrick, PFI Executive Director
Jennifer Hedrick is the Executive Director of the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI). Located in Arlington, Virginia, PFI is a trade association comprised of pellet fuel manufacturers, industry suppliers, and associate members whose mission is to promote energy independence through the efficient use of clean, renewable, densified biomass fuel. Jennifer has been with PFI since 2008, serving first as the Association Manager before being appointed Executive Director in 2011. Prior to coming to PFI, Jennifer spent several years at Georgetown University Law Center where she worked for a public policy initiative focused on workplace flexibility. Jennifer is a member of ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership, and serves on its Greater Washington Committee. She received a B.S. from Bridgewater College and an M.A. from Virginia Tech.

Monday, July 20, 2015

9:00 – 10:30am Global Pellet Market Overview and Analysis

John Arsenault, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
John Arsenault is the Director of Market Access and Promotion at the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) and Director of the Pellet Group of the Quebec Wood Export Bureau (QWEB). Previously, John was the Biomass Energy Manager for the Biogenie division of Englobe Corp. John also worked for Energex Pellet Fuel Inc. for 14 years and oversaw the operations and overseas markets. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the Vice President for the WPAC. John has received training from the University of Sherbooke, where he received a Bachelors degree in applied science with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA.

Cora Dickson, International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce
Cora Dickson is a renewable energy sector analyst in the Office of Energy and Environmental Industries at the International Trade administration (ITA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. She currently focuses on biofuels, biomass, and waste-to-energy. Since joining ITA in 2001, Ms. Dickson has worked on several sectors and markets (particularly in the Asia region) to address policy concerns with foreign governments on behalf of U.S. exporters. She earned a master’s degree in International Communication from The American University in 1999.

Johan Granath, Ekman
Johan Granath is a graduate from the Gothenburg School of Economics. After two years at General Electric in the UK and Sweden, he joined Ekman & Co in 1998 as Credit Manager and later Vice President of Finance.

In 2008 Johan set up Ekman & Co’s Bioenergy division, which trades with most large end-users of biomass in Europe as well as a large number of heat plants and industries. Ekman are exclusive representatives of the Vyborgskaya plant in Russia and the Viridis plant in Eastern Canada. In addition, Ekman operates an integrated operation in the residential heating market in Scandinavia, and delivers residential pellets to several other European markets including Germany and Italy.

Seth Walker, RISI
Seth Walker is RISI’s Bioenergy Economist. He currently produces RISI’s North American Bioenergy Forecast and aides in the production of RISI’s International Timber Service. As a consultant, he has conducted several due diligence, fiber supply and site selection studies for the forest products and bioenergy industries. Seth previously covered timber pricing in the US South and Pacific Northwest as editor of RISI’s Timber Transaction Price Service and Log Lines delivered log price report. He recently produced RISI’s 2014 Global Wood Pellet Demand Study. Seth joined RISI in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Resource Economics and Commerce from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Science in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, also from URI.

Stan Elliot, Pacific Coast Fiber Fuels/Olympus Pellets (Moderator)
Stan has spent the past 12 years in the wood pellet business. Stan worked for Bear Mountain Forest Products prior to taking his current position at Pacific Coast Fiber Fuels in 2011.

Stan has enjoyed participating and speaking at pellet conferences in the US, Sweden, Austria and Italy. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon, and he lives with his wife Lisa in Tacoma, WA.

11:00 – 12:15pm Enhancing Pellet Operations

Chuck Coffin, Timken

Chuck is a 40 year veteran of Timken. He has had responsibility for Original Equipment, Industrial Aftermarket and End User customers across most markets, but most recently he is focused on the Forest Products marketplace in the SE. Chuck is a graduate of the University of Maine with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Currently serving as Manager of Timken’s Atlanta District.

Eric Conn, Conn, Maciel, Carey
Eric J. Conn is a founding partner and Chair of the national OSHA Practice Group at the law firm Conn Maciel Carey PLLC, where his practice focuses on all aspects of occupational safety and health law. Mr. Conn represents employers during inspections and enforcement actions involving OSHA, MSHA, EPA and state and local safety agencies. He also handles all aspects of OSHA litigation, from contests of citations to criminal prosecutions, as well as compliance counseling.

Harold Lawson, Kedde-Fenwal
Mr. Lawson’s career in Special Hazards Fire Protection started in January of 1976. Since that time he’s worked for some of the largest Kidde Fire Systems distributors in the country designing fire protection systems in a variety of industrial and manufacturing environments. In May of 2009 Mr. Lawson began working with Kidde Fenwal. Throughout Harold’s career, he has worked in fire protection system design, involving specialized detection, extinguishment and suppression systems for Industrial and Manufacturing facilities.

Ryan Morrow, Firefly AB
Ryan has been Firefly’s North American Director since 2008. Firefly is one the global leaders in Fire Prevention and Fire Protection Systems and the Company has been in business for over 40 years. Firefly offers some of the most advanced technology in the world and continues to lead the necessary development this crucial segment with over forty patents in place.

Ryan grew up in Eugene, Oregon and graduated from the University of Arizona with honors and has been living in Stockholm, Sweden for the past 20 years.

1:45 – 2:45pm Policy Update: State, Regional and National Initiatives

Dr. Anthony (Tony) Crooks, USDA Rural Development

Dr. Anthony Crooks is the Renewable Energy Policy Specialist with USDA, Rural Development. Tony helps to administrate Farm Bill, Title IX Energy programs that support advanced biofuels, renewable energy, and energy efficiency improvements.

Since 2009, Tony has helped USDA and Rural Development to invest over $960 million toward wood energy projects that power rural America, create green jobs, improve the environment, and support President Obama’s “All of the Above” energy strategy.

Rob Davis, Forest Energy Corp.
Rob Davis is the Owner of Forest Energy Corporation in Show Low, Arizona, which he founded in 1991. Forest Energy manufactures wood pellet fuel and other densified biomass products, from the residues of forest restoration efforts and provides heat to over 50,000 homes throughout the West. He entered the forest and biomass energy business after 20 years building industrial mining, power and water facilities. He is a native of New Mexico and a graduate Mechanical Engineer. Davis is a past president and director of the Pellet Fuels Institute, a founding board member of BTEC (Biomass Thermal Energy Council) and a board member of Federal Forest Resource Coalition and White Mountain Apache Timber Co.

Pat Rita, Orion Advocates
Patrick Rita represents a number of corporate and association clients before Congress and the federal Executive branch. Pat brings over 25 years of experience with public policy on a wide range of issues. He started his career working on Capitol Hill, including positions with U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey from Nebraska and for the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. Before founding Orion Advocates, a government relations consulting firm, Pat headed the American Forest & Paper Association’s government affairs program, where he was responsible for overseeing lobbying at the international, federal, state and local levels of government.

Bruce Lisle, Energex (Moderator)
In 1993, Mr. Lisle founded Energex Pellet Fuel and serves as its President and CEO. He was a Director of the Pellet Fuels Institute for 19 years, four years as PFI’s President and currently chairs their Government Affairs Committee. He was awarded the Pillar Award by PFI for outstanding service to the pellet fuels industry. He was also a Director of the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association for several years. He is currently Chairman of the Pennsylvania Biomass Energy Association. He has a patent pending as co-inventor of the BIO-500F pellet fired furnace. Mr. Lisle’s chapter “The History of the Wood Pellet Industry on the East Coast” was published in a book titled Wood-Based Energy in the Northern Forests. He is also on the BioRenewable Systems Advisory Committee at Penn State’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

2:45 – 3:30pm Tools to Optimize Pellet Producers

Justin Price, P.E., Evergreen Engineering, Inc.
Justin Price brings over 20 years of wood products engineering experience to the Pellet industry, first as a consulting engineer for a major firm in the South, then as the western regional engineering manager for Georgia-Pacific, and finally joining the ownership group of Evergreen Engineering in Eugene, Oregon.

At Evergreen, Justin leads the major projects division, leading project managers whose focus ranges from construction of wood pellet plants, to anaerobic digestion, to chemical process scalability.

David Waechter, Verdante Bioenergy
David Waechter is Founder of Verdante Bioenergy Services - a technology consulting firm focused entirely on the biomass energy sector. Waechter has knowledge and experience in a range of industries including petroleum distribution, agriculture, education, scientific research, and public policy. He earned his bachelor’s in Biology and Anthropology and his Master’s degree from Appalachian State University. He is a certified Corporate Social Responsibility Practitioner and a Professional Energy Manager. David is a proud Rotarian and strongly supports the 4-way test of ethics.

Kenny Lisle, Energex (Moderator)
Kenny Lisle is the Quality Manager for Energex Corporation, as well as a member of the sales team. Kenny joined Energex in March 2013 as a Sales Associate. In the winter of 2014, Kenny was selected to implement the PFI Standards Program at the Energex plants in Mifflintown, PA and Lac-Megantic, Quebec. He currently sits on the Government Affairs and Conference Committees for PFI.

4:00 – 5:15pm Standards Compliance: Overview & Impact

Guy Colonna, National Fire Protection Association
Guy Colonna joined NFPA in 1986 and is currently Division Manager for the Industrial and Chemical Engineering department. He holds engineering degrees from the US Coast Guard Academy and Stanford University and is a registered professional engineer.

He has served as Staff Liaison to committees dealing with safeguards at dust hazard process locations, explosion protection systems including venting of deflagrations, and chemical classification and is the editor of the NFPA Guide to Combustible Dusts.

John Crouch, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue
John Crouch is the Director of Public Affairs for HPBA the principle trade association for woodstoves, pellet stoves, all related products. He has collaborated with USEPA on In-situ field studies, and with the Agency’s Burn-Wise program, as well as many woodstove change-out programs. Recently he has supported the Pellet Fuel’s Institute’s efforts on Fuel Standards, as well as their involvement with a major Federal Grant known as “Waste to Wisdom”. He resides, with his family, in Sacramento, CA.

John Shimek, Hearth and Home Technologies
John Shimek is the Senior Vice President of Dealer Sales for North America at Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT). Responsible for driving dealer sales in the United States and Canada, John has worked in both sales and marketing and has been at HHT since 2001. Before that, he was with Heat & Glo for 12 years.

Chris Wiberg, Timber Products Inspection
Chris Wiberg is the Manager of Biomass Energy Services at Timber Products Inspection (TP) and Biomass Energy Lab (BEL). His primary responsibilities include serving as the manager of the biomass laboratory as well as the manager of pellet mill auditing and inspection services for the implementation of the PFI Standards Program and EN plus. He also assists pellet producers in the set up and operation of internal testing laboratories and quality management programs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

8:45 – 9:15am Waste to Wisdom: Utilizing Forest Residues for Energy

John Crouch, Hearth, Patio & Barbecue

John Crouch is the Director of Public Affairs for HPBA the principle trade association for woodstoves, pellet stoves, all related products. He has collaborated with USEPA on In-situ field studies, and with the Agency’s Burn-Wise program, as well as many woodstove change-out programs. Recently he has supported the Pellet Fuel’s Institute’s efforts on Fuel Standards, as well as their involvement with a major Federal Grant known as “Waste to Wisdom”. He resides, with his family, in Sacramento, CA.

Aaron Norris, Norris Thermal Technologies
Aaron has a BA in Communications from Taylor University in Upland, IN. Aaron is the President of Norris Thermal Technologies Inc. Over the last 27 years, Aaron has contributed significantly to the innovative development and introduction of new equipment and processes for the food industry and alternative energy markets in North America. The company represents and manufacturers several process systems including Beltomatic (dryers), Safesteril (steam sterilization of low moisture foods) and Biogreen (thermal conversion technology).

9:15 – 10:15am Exploring New Markets for Pellets

Annalisa Paniz, AIEL (Italian Pellet Association)

Annalisa Paniz is a Project Manager in AIEL, where she works in the field of quality assurance of wood fuels - particularly the standardization of Pellet quality assurance. She has a degree in Forestry and Environmental Science.

Ms. Paniz is a member of CEN / TC 335 working group 2, a member of European Pellet Council, a manager of the ENplus certification in Italy and has the role of coordinating and technical support of Gruppo Apparecchi Domestici / Domestic Heaters’ Group. She also contributes to publications on Pellet market research at national and international levels, is an editorial coordinator of Agriforenergy magazine

Damali Rhett, Enviva
Ms. Damali Rhett is the current Commercial Director at Enviva. At Enviva, Damali is in charge of new market development including the US Domestic market for residential and other pellet uses. At Enviva, Damali works both internally, with customers and other industry groups to further Enviva’s commitment to renewable and sustainable energy. After graduating from the Tuck School of Business, Damali worked as a sought-after strategy adviser to energy companies specializing in business process transformation. She worked with clients such as Pepco, the Department of Energy, National Grid, Suncor, Irving Oil and DTE Energy. During her time as a consultant, she led several energy based efforts including coordinating national trainings related to the electric utility industry, and creating content for use by thousands of consulting practitioners. Damali was also a requested speaker leading several training sessions related to electric utilities, renewables and alternative energy and shareholder value. Additionally, Damali spoke on several panels and discussions on topics such as infrastructure, merger activity and the future of regulated utilities.

Damali is also the author of several published white papers on electric utilities and market trends and impacts. She is a member of the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE), American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) and Young Professionals in Energy. In her personal time, Damali is an active speaker on leadership and business topics for a variety of organizations. Damali received her AB from Dartmouth College in Psychology and lives in Washington, DC and enjoys baking and traveling.

William Strauss, Future Metrics
William Strauss is the President and founder of FutureMetrics. Bill is globally recognized as a leading expert in the pellet sector. Bill continues to be a thought leader in the sector and has published numerous papers on a variety of subjects relevant to the wood pellet sector. He is also a founder and a Director of Maine Energy Systems, the largest manufacturer of European style automatic pellet fueled central heating systems in North America. He has an MBA (specializing in Finance) and a PhD (Economics and Earth Systems Science).

10:45 – 12:00pm Sustainability and Carbon: Their Impact on Market Opportunity and Growth

Thomas Buchholz, Spatial Informatics Group
Dr. Thomas Buchholz is a Senior Scientist at the Spatial Informatics Group LLC and leads SIG’s forestry and agriculture domain. Thomas collaborates with governments, academia, non-profits and the private sector in the management and economics of natural forests as well as timber and biomass plantations. This work includes carbon accounting of forest based bioenergy use in the US, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Thomas is also an affiliate of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.

Michael Snow, American Hardwood Export Council
Michael S. Snow has been the Executive Director of the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) since 1999, where he oversees the Council's promotional programs around the globe, and manages AHEC's overseas offices in Europe, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and China. Previously, he served as AHEC's Program Manager for Europe, China and Japan.

Mr. Snow holds a Master's Degree in International Economics from the George Washington University, and a BA in Developmental Economics from the University of Wisconsin. Before joining AHEC, Michael served as a Consultant on international education and travel programs for the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Associates, and spent several years in Seville, Spain teaching economics courses in English and Spanish for the University of Wisconsin.