West Virginia Department of Commerce Speaker Bios

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Speaker Bios

Charlie Burd
Ron Cantley
Brett Chandler
Nicholas “Corky” Demarco
Randy Harris
Jennifer Hedrick
David R. Heppner
Jeff Herholdt
Chris Ilardi

Gene Kitts
T J Meadows
Cullen Naumoff
Charles Patton
Joe Price
Bill Raney
Jeremy Richardson
John Sirc

Deck S. Slone
Dr. Briggs White

Charlie BurdCharlie Burd
Executive Director
Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, Inc.

Charlie joined IOGA as its executive director in July 2002.  His duties include managing the day-to-day operations of the 750 member trade association and overseeing IOGA’s legislative efforts.

Prior to joining IOGAWV, Charlie spent 29 years with Hope Gas (CNG and then Dominion Resources), where he held a variety of operations, sales and management positions.  At the time of his departure in 2002, he served as Hope’s manager of economic development. 

Charlie holds an associate’s degree in higher accounting from Mountain State College (’76) and a BA from Glenville State College (’82).  He is also a 1995 graduate of the University Of Oklahoma’s “Economic Development Institute” where he completed his thesis work relating to the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.  Charlie has also earned the distinction as a “Certified Economic Developer”. 

In conjunction with his IOGAWV duties and responsibilities, Charlie serves on the Industry Advisory Board for the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at WVU; is chairman of the Public Outreach Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission; serves on the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s Liaison Committee, and is actively involved with the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the West Virginia Manufacturers Association.  Charlie is also a 2001 graduate of the WV Chamber sponsored “Leadership-West Virginia”. 

Charlie is an avid sports enthusiast who loves baseball, golf and West Virginia University football and basketball.  He is a retired baseball umpire with 22 years experience at the professional, collegiate and high school levels having umpired over 1,900 career games.    Charlie remains very active with youth sports in the Parkersburg area and is a registered swim official.   His greatest joy is that of watching his son Nathan compete in USA, YMCA, and high school sanctioned swimming completions as a member of the Parkersburg High School Swim Team.         

Charlie and wife Leone live in Vienna, WV with their fifteen-year old son Nathan.  Their older son Charlie, age 37, consults for the restaurant industry and lives in upstate New York.   

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Ron Cantley
Fayette County Schools

Mr. Cantley is an educator with 31 years of experience. He has been a Science Teacher, Physical Education Teacher, Football, Basketball and Track Coach, Assistance Principal, Principal and Curriculum Specialist. He currently works as Director of Operations in Fayette County where he is in charge of facilities, maintenance, Title IX, insurance, service personnel staff development, and safety.

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Brett ChandlerBrett Chandler
Managing Director
Propane Fuel Technologies

Bret Chandler has over two decades of senior operations and financial management experience specializing in growing businesses and assisting in start-ups. Mr. Chandler is a partner in the Triana Energy investment group where he is responsible for reviewing investment opportunities and providing executive management to the companies within the Triana group portfolio. He has expertise in Export Licensing for ITAR regulated vehicles and equipment and has exported products to over 28 countries.  He was previously a partner in Charles Ryan Associates, the second largest advertising/public relations firm in the southeast, where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. While at CRA he helped found RevInteractive, rated as one of the top 100 interactive agencies in the U.S. Prior to his work with Charles Ryan Associates Mr. Chandler was the Director of the Bell Atlantic Research Center, a facility responsible for conducting product and customer satisfaction research for the seven Bell Atlantic companies.

Mr. Chandler holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Marshall University.

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Nicholas "Corky" DemarcoNicholas “Corky” Demarco
Executive Director
West Virginia Oil and Gas Association

A lifelong resident of West Virginia, Nicholas “Corky” DeMarco, is currently the Executive Director of West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association.  He’s been in this position since November 2002.  Prior to his current position, he was Director of Operations for the State of WV under Governor Cecil H. Underwood.  He retired from the State of WV in 2002.  Over the past 30 years he’s had experience in both the public and private sector. 

Corky has a B.S. in Business Administration from WV State College, a post graduate from Marshall University and WV College of Graduate Studies.    

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Randy HarrisRandy Harris
Technical Director

Randy Harris has more than 20 years of energy-related technical management experience. Currently, he is the director of project development for the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, where he is leading the coal-togasoline project and several other energy projects. He also serves as the applied engineering advisor to the director of the West Virginia Office of Miners Health Safety and Training.

A member of the International Association for Energy Economics, Mr. Harris previously served as the senior engineer and advisor to the director of the U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory. There he was involved in the development and implementation of the U.S. DOE’s advanced fossil fuel development programs and participated in the development of three National Energy Plans and the first W.Va. Energy Blueprint. He has also served as a member of the U.S. government’s interagency technology transfer steering committee, as special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Energy and as special assistant to the Secretary of Energy.

Harris did his undergraduate work in nuclear engineering and applied physics at the University of Florida, with graduate work in health physics at the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee and in engineering management through the US DoD sponsored National Technical University consortium. He also earned an MBA from West Virginia University, and completed postgraduate work at the Wharton School of Business in business administration, finance, and management. He received federal executive management training at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and the Federal Executive Institute at the University of Virginia.

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Jennifer HedrickJennifer Hedrick
Executive Director
Pellet Fuels Institute

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 focusing 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.

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David R. HeppnerDavid R. Heppner
Director - Wholesale Marketing
Marathon Petroleum Company LP

Mr. Heppner was born in Cleveland, OH in 1966. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Illinois. In 2013, he attended the Advanced Management Program at Wharton.

Mr. Heppner joined Marathon Oil Company in 1988. During his years with Marathon, he held various positions which included design Engineer, Construction Engineer and Project Manager in Findlay, OH and Chicago, IL.

In 1995, he transferred to Emro Marketing Company where he served as Project Manager in Enon, OH. From 1996 through 2000, he held the position of Environmental & Maintenance Manager, Southern Division in Atlanta, GA. In 2000, he returned to Enon, OH where he served as Purchasing & Commercial Services Manager, and subsequently Business Development Manager. In 2003, he was appointed Director of Construction, Environmental, Maintenance, and Purchasing & Commercial Services. In 2005, he was appointed Director of Engineering Services. In 2006, he was appointed Vice President of Operations for Speedway SuperAmerica LLC. In 2010, he was appointed Director Wholesale Marketing for Marathon Petroleum Company in Findlay.  Mr. Heppner assumed his current position as Interim Director of Business Development for MPC on August 24, 2013.

In 2011, Mr. Heppner became a member on the Marathon Political Action Committee  (MPAC) Board and also serves as the District Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America, Black Swamp Council, American Elm District.   Mr. Heppner is a past member of Wright State University College of Engineering and Computer Science External Advisory Board. In 2006, he served as SSA’s United Way Campaign Chairman. Dave was a member of the Children’s Miracle Network Board of Governors and Dayton Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees (2005-2011).

Mr. Heppner and his wife, Melissa, are the parents of a son, Reid and a daughter, Emma. He enjoys hunting and golf.

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Jeff HerholdtJeff Herholdt
West Virginia Division of Energy

Jeff Herholdt serves as director of the Division of Energy, a stand-alone agency under the Department of Commerce, overseeing the Energy Efficiency Program and the Office of Coalfield Community Development. The agency advances West Virginia policy related to resource diversification and building energy codes.  He serves as chairman of the West Virginia Public Energy Authority and the Governor’s alternate to the Southern States Energy Board. He is a member of the board of directors for the West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Appalachian Regional Commission Energy Advisory Committee.  Jeff serves as co-director of Industries of the Future-West Virginia.

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Chris IlardiChris Ilardi
Allegheny Development

Chris A. Ilardi came to West Virginia in 1975 when his father retired from the Air Force. He graduated from WVU with a degree in business administration, with an emphasis in accounting. While attending WVU, he worked for Allegheny Development Corporation and Pineview Supply Corporation.  These companies built and managed rental properties, built single-family homes and light commercial projects, and owned and operated an Ace Hardware store. After graduating in 1985, he became the manager of these companies. Mr. Ilardi joined the North Central West Virginia Home Builders Association in 1985, and became active in his local and state associations. He served as president of his local association from 1996-1997 and as president of the Home Builders Association of West Virginia from 1999-2000. He was appointed to the West Virginia Contractor’s Licensing Board by Governor Underwood in 1998 and served until 2002. He served as the Government Affairs Committee Chairman for the HBA of WV from 2003-2012. He has also served as a member and chairman of the Monongalia County Planning Commission. He has been married to his wife Robin for 31 years. They have two children, Michelle and Tony.

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Gene KittsGene Kitts
Senior Vice President
Environmental and Regulatory Affairs
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.

Gene Kitts joined Alpha Natural Resources in September 2011 as its Senior Vice President Environmental and Regulatory Affairs.  His group at Alpha is responsible for the development of corporate programs to secure and promote environmental compliance.  Another key area of emphasis is the evaluation, selection and design of advanced water treatment systems for selenium removal and osmotic pressure reduction. 

Prior to joining Alpha, Kitts served as International Coal Group’s Senior Vice President – Mining Services from 2005 to 2011.  He and his team were responsible for design, permitting and construction of the ICG Beckley complex and the ICG Tygart longwall complex.  He also had management responsibilities for environmental compliance, regulatory permitting, geology and exploration, and operations support. 

From 2003 to 2005, Kitts was vice president of environmental and technical affairs for Arch Coal’s Eastern Operations where among other duties he managed the design and development of the Mountain Laurel Complex in Logan County, WV.  He also supervised the redesign and subsequent permitting activity for Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine in an effort to resolve U.S. Environmental Protection Agency objections. 

Before his tenure at Arch Coal, Kitts was a principal of Summit Engineering, a regional mining engineering firm serving Central Appalachia.  Earlier in his career, Kitts held engineering and then executive management positions with various Massey Energy subsidiary companies. 

He has been active in issues related to coal mining and regulatory compliance for much of his career and served as the chairman of the West Virginia Coal Association’s Environmental-Technical Committee from 2005 to 2011.  He is now the chairman of the National Mining Association’s Surface Coal Mining Regulation Subcommittee.

Kitts received the William N. Poundstone Lecturer and Distinguished Engineers of Mines Award from the West Virginia University College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in November 2009.

A 1977 graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he is a registered professional engineer in West Virginia and Kentucky.  He also attended the Stanford Executive Program in 1993.

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TJ MeadowsT J Meadows
State Manager
IGS Energy

TJ Meadows is West Virginia State Manager for IGS Energy CNG Services, responsible for the company’s efforts to construct, own and operate Compressed Natural Gas infrastructure and provide Natural Gas Vehicle fueling options inside the Mountain State.

Prior to joining IGS, Meadows held the position of Senior Communications Consultant for Appalachian Power Company, a unit of American Electric Power, managing the company’s internal communications and facilitating external affairs activities throughout southern West Virginia. Further, he spent nearly five years at Verizon in various management-level positions within the company’s resource management, employee communications and receivables management organizations. Meadows also spent nearly 10 years as a freelance on-air talent for West Virginia Radio Corporation working at stations in Morgantown and Charleston.

TJ is an active community servant throughout the Kanawha Valley and the state. He is a former co-chair of Generation Charleston and former co-chair of the group’s public policy and advocacy organization – the Committee for Change in Charleston. He is a member of Generation West Virginia and most recently served on the Kanawha County Commission’s Task Force on Recycling. He is a member of the Kanawha Converts Consortium.

Meadows is a graduate of West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics holding a B.S. in Marketing and received his M.B.A. from the University of Charleston. In 2012, the State Journal named TJ a “Generation Next: 40 under 40” recipient.

He and his wife, Amanda, a certified public accountant and professor at the University of Charleston, reside in Scott Depot. Both are members of Bible Center Church in Charleston.

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Cullen NaumoffCullen Naumoff
Vision 2030 Project Director
Charleston Area Alliance

Cullen Naumoff, Vision 2030 Project Director at the Charleston Area Alliance, aims to lay the foundation for a triple bottom line based economy in West Virginia. The Charleston Area Alliance is a multifaceted economic development, community development and Chamber of Commerce aiming to re-chart the course of West Virginia. Primed for opportunity, Vision 2030 is a long-term economic development roadmap to capitalize on the strengths of West Virginia and match them with emerging megatrends to position the state to become a development model among many emerging industries and policies.

Prior to joining the Charleston Area Alliance, Cullen was a Teach for America Corp member in New York City where she taught middle school math and science. Post completion of graduate school in 2010 in NYC, she joined forces with Bayer Corporation to assist in designing their North American sustainability strategy out of the Pittsburgh headquarters.

Cullen received her BS in Industrial and Systems from The Ohio State University and her MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. She resides in Charleston, WV where outside of the office you’ll find her marathoning, teaching spin (indoor cycling) and exploring all things wild and wonderful.

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Charles PattonCharles Patton
President & Chief Operating Officer
Appalachian Power
American Electric Power

Charles Patton is president and chief operating officer for Appalachian Power, serving approximately 1 million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. He has authority for distribution operations and a wide range of customer and regulatory relationships.

Previously, Patton was executive vice president – AEP Utilities West, responsible for the distribution, customer service, and financial performance of AEP’s utility operating companies in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

In 2008, Patton was named senior vice president – Regulatory and Public Policy, responsible for regional transmission organizations and public policy, case management and regulated tariffs; and for the development and/or coordination of policies on RTO, regulatory and public policy related issues; the strategic coordination of state governmental affairs efforts; and the development and coordination of NERC reliability standards compliance programs.

From 2004 to 2008, Patton was president and chief operating officer for AEP Texas, serving approximately 901,000 customers.

Prior to this, he was state president – Texas. His strategic focus was on community relations and public policy matters in the state, particularly as they related to AEP’s business in the increasingly competitive electricity industry. He was responsible for building and maintaining external relationships with regulators, legislators, consumers and other stakeholders who have an impact on AEP for public policy matters in the state.

Patton joined Central and South West Inc. in 1995 as director of state government affairs for the CSW System.

Prior to joining CSW, Patton spent nearly 11 years in the energy and telecommunications business with Houston Industries/Houston Lighting & Power. While there, he worked in regulatory affairs and assisted in the litigation and management of regulatory proceedings. He was a policy specialist in government affairs and a lobbyist in Texas and Washington, D.C.

During this time, Patton also served as a company liaison with the United States Energy Association and traveled internationally to discuss government affairs and public relations with Eastern European utilities.

Patton has been active in state energy policy matters. He was appointed by former Texas Gov. George Bush to serve on the Texas Energy Coordination Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Gov. Rick Perry appointed Patton to the Texas Energy Planning Council, which was established to advise the governor on a balanced plan for providing the energy needed to fuel the state’s future economic growth.

Patton received a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and a master’s degree from the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas in Austin. He completed, with honors, special undergraduate programs relating to urban planning and government at Boston University, Harvard and American University.

He has served as chairman of the board for the Association of Electric Companies of Texas (AECT) and Texas Taxpayers and Research Association (TTARA), a board member for the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation, Del Mar College Foundation, Christus Spohn Health System and the Coastal Bend United Way. He has also served on the boards of Easter Seals of Central and Southeast Ohio and the Sam Keeton Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

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Joseph P. Price, Jr.Joseph P. Price, Jr.
Account Executive – West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania
Johnson Controls, Inc.

Joe Price is the Account Executive for Johnson Controls, Inc. ESCO division responsible for West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.  His work focuses on working with customers to develop and implement Guaranteed Energy Savings projects.  These projects enable customers to reduce their overall energy consumption through much needed infrastructure improvements while utilizing the savings to fund the improvements.  This project funding method is enabled by West Virginia Code 18-5-9a and has allowed many West Virginia customers to implement much needed infrastructure improvements and upgrades when traditional funding methods were not feasible.  Mr. Price is currently serving as the Private Co-Chair for the West Virginia Energy Services Coalition in addition to being an active sponsor and participant of the West Virginia School Board Association and West Virginia Association of School Facility Administrators.

Mr. Price graduated Cum Laude from Slippery Rock University with a major in Business Administration and a minor in computer science.

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Bill RaneyBill Raney
West Virginia Coal Association

Bill was born December 30, 1947 in Bluefield, West Virginia, raised in Princeton and educated in public schools of Mercer County, graduating from Princeton High School. He has an AB—Biology from West Virginia University in 1970, followed by a Masters in Public Administration in 1973.

Bill was employed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources from 1970 through 1977, serving in various positions including surface mine inspector, supervisor, administrative assistant and assistant chief.

Bill joined the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association in 1977 and served as its vice-president until April 1992. At that time, was named president of the West Virginia Coal Association, where he continues.

He also serves as: Chairman of the West Virginia National Guard Foundation, former Chairman and current board member of the West Virginia Business & Industry Council (BIC), Youth Leadership Association’s Youth in Government, the West Virginia Kids Count Fund; WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Advisory Committee; WV Special Reclamation Advisory Council; Coal Resource Road Transportation Committee; WVU School of Engineering Mining Program Visiting Committee; and, a Retired Officer in the West Virginia Army National Guard.

Bill resides in South Charleston, with his wife Pam. They have a daughter, Michelle, a student at WVU and a married son, Chris, who is married to Laura Shelton and they reside in Columbus, Ohio, with Bill and Pam’s grandson, Will.

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Jeremy RichardsonJeremy Richardson
Senior Energy Analyst
Union of Concerned Scientists

Jeremy Richardson is a Senior Energy Analyst in the Climate and Energy Program, conducting analytical work on the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon regulations and other areas of energy research. He is continuing his research on economic diversification in his native West Virginia that he began while in his previous position as the program’s Kendall Science Fellow.

Specifically, Dr. Richardson’s Kendall work examined the economic impacts of projected future coal production on the state’s economy and looked at the potential of other sectors for creating jobs. His research found strong support for economic diversification, culminating in a two-day forum held in Charleston, West Virginia, called A Bright Economic Future for the Mountain State, which brought together leaders to discuss visions for the state in 30 years.

Before joining UCS, he was a senior analyst at New West Technologies and, previous to that, a senior fellow for science policy at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. He was also a science and technology policy fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he analyzed the potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy in the United States. He served as a postdoctoral fellow at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, studying the atmospheres of planets around other stars. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and has a B.S. in physics from West Virginia University.

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John SircJohn Sirc
Operations Manager - West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania
Johnson Controls, Inc.

John Sirc is the operations manager for Johnson Controls, Inc. ESCO division for West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.  His work focuses on reducing the energy consumption for customer’s facilities.  In reducing the energy consumption, facilities are able to reduce their yearly expenses and utilize those monies for capital improvements that may not have been feasible when capital funding is not available.  During the last two (2) years Mr. Sirc efforts have reduced the energy consumption at four (4) West Virginia Division of Corrections facilities and at approximately 58 schools for the Kanawha County School system with Johnson Controls guaranteeing over $18.6 million and $10.4 million in energy savings, respectively.  These efforts have allowed capital improvements that may not have been possible under traditional funding methods.  In addition long standing HVAC issues have been addressed for both customers.

Mr. Sirc obtained his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh EMBA program and is a licensed professional engineer in Pennsylvania.  He has almost 40 years of construction experience primarily resolving client design and construction issues.

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Deck SloanDeck S. Slone
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Public Policy
Arch Coal, Inc.

DECK S. SLONE is Arch’s Coal’s senior vice president, strategy and public policy.  In this capacity, Slone has senior responsibility for strategy formation, planning and energy market analysis; government and public affairs; and coal technology investments.  In addition, he serves as a director of Millennium Bulk Terminals – Longview, a bulk materials port in Washington State.

Slone has served as a member of Arch’s senior officer team since 2008, and as an officer of the corporation since 2001.  Prior to assuming his current duties, he held the position of vice president, government, investor and public affairs.  He started his career at Ashland Inc., and joined Arch Coal at the time of its formation in 1997.

In addition to his duties at Arch, Slone serves on the steering committee of the Consortium for Clean Coal Utilization and the advisory committee of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy – both at Washington University in St. Louis.  He is a member and past chair of the associates group of the Coal Industry Advisory Board to the International Energy Agency, and a member and past co-chair of the communications and policy committees of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).  He also serves on the boards of the World Coal Association, American Coal Foundation, Missouri Energy Initiative and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. 

Slone earned a bachelor of arts degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a master’s of business administration from Washington University in St. Louis. 

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Dr. Briggs WhiteDr. Briggs White
National Energy Technology Laboratory

Dr. Briggs White is a project manager at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).  He is responsible for managing research and development projects funded by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and managed by NETL’s Strategic Center for Coal.  He also leads key programmatic initiatives in the areas of chemical looping, coal gasification, coal/biomass-to-liquids, solid oxide fuel cells, natural gas conversion, and advanced gas turbines.  He has a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida and is employed at NETL’s Morgantown, West Virginia location.

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2013 Energy Summit
2013 Energy Summit

West Virginia:
Meeting America's Energy Challenges
Agenda (PDF)

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