Tom Waggoner is the founder and former CEO of Staar Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA), a company with a current market value in excess of $3 billion. Since leaving Staar in 1989, Tom served as a mortgage lender and founding president of the Arkansas Mortgage Professionals Association. Tom has served as a board member, advisor, or interim officer to a number of early-stage, growth and mature companies and nonprofit organizations. He is currently the lead independent director of AlterAg Industries, Inc., and Managing Director of Community Solar Partners. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Education degree in Education Technology from the University of Arkansas.
Danny Moscaritolo has served as the CEO of Remediation Earth Inc, a firm specializing in treatment and thermochemical conversion (pyrolisis, gasification) of what would otherwise have been polluting waste. He has been working at converting waste materials such as medical waste, tires, sorted non-recyclable plastics, sludges from waste water treatment plants, and biomass into high quality fuel and other energy by-products. Danny was previously CTO and chief operating officer of Convergence Ethanol Inc, which he co-founded and which went public in 2004. Prior to that, he worked with companies like Union Carbide and ESCO on industrial filtration, cryogenics and gases including hydrogen. Danny holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Buffalo.
Sameer Sirdeshpande has experience and prior background in developing, financing and delivering large-scale, high-return, clean energy, biofuels and renewable fuels projects across North America. An MEng in electrical engineering with an MBA in finance and marketing from Cornell, Sameer's prior experience is in oilfield engineering at Schlumberger, investment banking at Barclays Capital / Jefferies and fintech at Bloomberg. Sameer focuses on the development of infrastructure and revenue contracts for green hydrogen in the transportation and power sectors in North America.
Chris Claybaker has spent the past 25 years in public service as city mayor, chamber of commerce president and/or regional economic development director within the state of Arkansas. Before his election as Mayor of Camden, Claybaker owned abstract and title insurance offices in south Arkansas, having significant experience as a land man in the oil and gas industry. His experience in the title industry and economic development brings valuable insight to working with municipal utilities and local and state agencies, especially in the area of industrial development. Chris earned a degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Deepak Balachandran is an entrepreneur with a twenty-five year history of trying out new initiatives, from agriculture to consumer electronics to content management to IT. Deepak brings with him a flair for marketing and an understanding of IT and data management. His most significant work was in educational technology, and he was one of the key team members in building what was at one time America's largest Supplemental education companies. Deepak is actively engaged with entrepreneurship and innovation support activities in the public sphere, and is a member of the Innovation Council of his Alma Mater, the National Institute of Technology Calicut, India, and a mentor with K-DISC, the innovation support agency of the state of Kerala, India.
Jim Schnoes comes to the team with a strong background in financial management, having served as the Commercial Banker and then Treasurer at JB Hunt during its high-growth years. Jim is a career Commercial/Investment banking and finance executive with extensive experience in transportation and logistics, banking, and consulting. This includes C-Suite experience in start-ups, turn-arounds, capital formation, VC finance, and M&A, as well as Board positions. His contacts within the transportation and finance communities will be important to SyntexNRG’s development and financing of the emerging markets we will be entering.
William (Billy) Riggs, Ph.D., AICP, LEED AP is a global expert and thought leader in the areas of automation and future mobility, clean technology, urban development and sustainable cities. He is an entrepreneur and a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Management. Dr. Riggs has worked in venture capital and management consulting, and has been an advisor on technology, transportation engineering, and urban development. With two decades of experience working as an urban planner, economist, scholar and engineer, he has over 100 publications and has been featured in multiple global media outlets such as the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Atlantic. Dr. Riggs sits on the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Committee on Policy and Law and the Committee on the Landscape and the Built Environment.
Passionately committed to solving today’s hardest, multi-faceted problems. Menka Sethi uses her combined background as an architect and business strategist to translate languages across disciplines, and to lead teams of diverse partners toward shared goals and bold solutions. Menke has served as chief operating officer in a rapidly expanding battery company in the EV market and as Head of Growth or Growth Advisor to three of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing technical firms. Her passion is focused on the shortage of affordable housing in most fast-growing cities, and especially northern California’s high-tech corridor. She has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA in real estate finance from Columbia University. Menka also teaches courses in Housing & Planning and Real Estate Finance at Cal Poly University.
Steve Crolius is President of Carbon-Neutral Consulting LLC, a business strategy firm that provides counsel to companies faced with opportunities and challenges driven by the energy transition. Over the course of his career, Steve has held senior positions at the Boston Consulting Group, Telesis, and Alliance Consulting Group. He led the Transportation Program at the Clinton Climate Initiative from 2006 to 2013. He is now President Emeritus of the Ammonia Energy Association after serving as the Association’s President from 2017 to 2021.
J. Craig Fischenich, PhD, PE is Principal at FIScH Engineering and a professional engineer, researcher, and educator with 40 years of experience applying engineering and ecological principles to complex water resource projects with environmental aims. He has played a key role in more than 400 river and coastal restoration, habitat improvement, navigation, erosion control, and flood management projects throughout the U.S. and overseas. He was the principal investigator for the USACE on related R&D efforts for aquatic ecosystem restoration, endangered species recovery, and adaptive management. He has published over 250 journal papers, reports, and conference papers, and is frequently called upon to serve on technical panels and serve as subject-matter-expert.
Harry Jordan has a long and distinguished career in retail merchandising, having started Item Merchants, Inc. upon leaving his position as Senior Manager Global Sourcing for Walmart. He has served as an adjunct instructor for the NW Arkansas Community College Certified Retail Analyst Program and presently supports the Shell Energy team as senior advisor for various Licensed Product initiatives.
Scott Shreve has spent the majority of his career as an independent wholesale energy consultant and broker, working primarily in the areas of electricity and natural gas contracts. Formerly president of his own firm, he recently joined Priority Power Management, LLC as a business development director serving the central plains states. Scott’s knowledge of the wholesale power market along with PPM’s relationships to the utility decision-makers is important to the success of the Hydrogen Power Grid business concept. Priority Power Management LLC, an independent energy management services and consulting firm with operations in 31 US states that has managed 94 TWh of energy, valued at $2.7 billion.
As a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Dr. Susan Rupp brings a unique scientific perspective to sustainable bioenergy development that is not often recognized in the field. She has a particular interest in evaluating the economic and biological effects of using plant material for bioenergy production. Susan has a PhD in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University and was recently nominated by the U.S. Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture to serve a 3-year term on the Biomass Research Development Technical Advisory Committee. Susan also serves as executive VP of Lee Enterprises Consulting, perhaps the world’s largest biomass conversion consultancy. Lee brings over 200 subject matter experts in biochemistry, thermal conversion, biofuels, marketing, finance, and regulatory affairs to advise on an as-needed basis.
Jeremy Mall is Director of Business Development at Murex LLC, a global energy marketing and trading company. Jeremy has over 15 years of experience in ethanol marketing, risk management, and Low Carbon Fuel Standard space. He has developed a marketing plan for 300 million gallons of new ethanol plants and managed the commodity risk for 400 million gallons of annual plant production. Jeremy develops and manages Murex’s domestic and international low carbon strategy assisting its customers and suppliers as they navigate changing low carbon dynamics. Prior to Joining Murex, Jeremy was Vice President of Operational Trading for Abengoa Bioenergy and a Chemical Engineer for Monsanto. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri as well as an MBA from Washington University.