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June 26, 2024

Biomass Supply Symposium Event


Joshua Alpine

PCWA Board Director, District 5

Elected in November 2012 to the PCWA Board of Directors, Mr. Alpine represents District 5. This extends eastward from Auburn to Lake Tahoe and the Nevada state line. Mr. Alpine is a community leader. He served ten years on the Colfax City Council, including two terms as mayor. He works as an Electric Transmission System Operator.

Lori Parlin

El Dorado County Supervisor of District 4

Lori Parlin is the El Dorado County Supervisor of District IV, which is the northern portion of the county and includes communities such as Georgetown, Cool, Coloma, Shingle Springs, and more. Prior to taking office in 2019, Lori was a community advocate in the county and that has served her well as a Board member when facing tough decisions.

Tom Ivy

Grass Valley Planning Commission and Grass Valley Council Member

Tom runs a small, efficiency-minded, general and plumbing contracting business out of Grass Valley, originally started by his father. Born and raised in Nevada County, with some years spent at UC Santa Cruz and working in Seattle, he’s still taken with his home in western Nevada County. He was appointed to the Grass Valley Planning Commission in 2018 and then elected to the Grass Valley City Council in 2020. As a Council member, his most recent efforts are bringing Pioneer Community Energy to Grass Valley and expanding and preserving the Loma Rica Trail Network. His wife and young child, their garden, walking or biking through their local natural areas and parks and more are the things that light up his life lately...

Steve Monaghan

Director, Information and General Services Agency, Nevada County

As Director of the Information and General Services Agency for Nevada County, Steve oversees nine county business lines, including Information Systems, Public Library System, Airport, and Emergency Services, managing an annual budget of over $25M and a staff of 120. Recognized for his leadership in technology, he has received numerous awards, including California CIO of the Year and the Visionary Award for IT Leadership. Under his tenure, Nevada County has consistently ranked high in technology excellence. Steve's passion lies in building high-performing, effective organizations. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, a minor in Business Administration, and several industry certifications. Prior to public service, he was a managing partner in a private IT consulting firm.

Steve Monaghan

Mark Egbert

District Manager, El Dorado & Georgetown Divide RCD

Mark Egbert is an experienced Resource Management Specialist and has over 25 years of experience working with all levels of government and community. As a native of El Dorado County, he provides guidance on planning, policy, administration, program development, and technical assistance for programs ranging from k-12 education to landscape scale watershed management programs. His experience in a multitude of areas including Dam Remediation, Soil and Water Resource Management, Forest Landscape Restoration Programs, Environmental Education, Coordinated Resource Planning, Ecological Monitoring and Assessment, Community Based Resource Management, and Biomass Utilization

Mark Egbert

Josh Huntsinger

Director of Agriculture, Parks, and Natural Resources, Placer County

Josh, inspired by his farming grandparents and relatives, pursued agriculture through high school and college, working on various farms. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a B.S. in Fruit Science in 2000 and started his career at the Placer County Agriculture Department, rising to Director of Agriculture, Parks, and Natural Resources in 2023. His department oversees pesticide regulation, consumer protection, invasive species prevention, and park management, among other responsibilities. As an active member of the California Agricultural Commissioners and Sealers Association Josh has served as chair of the Sacramento Valley Area Group, chair of the Specifications & Tolerances Committee, chair of Personnel Standards and the Exam Review Subcommittee, chair of the Cannabis Work Group, VP of Agriculture and currently serves as chair of CACASA’s Legislative Committee.

Matt Dias

President/CEO at Calforests

Matt Dias, President/CEO of the California Forestry Association (Calforests) graduated from Humboldt State University in 1999, after which time he worked within the forest products sector for nearly 13 years. In 2012 Matt was appointed to staff the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection and served as the Executive Officer for 6 years. He has served as the President/CEO of Calforests since July of 2021. Matt is Registered Professional Forester #2773.

Matt Dias

Jamie Jones

Executive Director, Fire Safe Council of Nevada County

Jamie Jones, Executive Director of the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County, is a native of Nevada City, California. Jamie holds degrees in Computer Information Systems, Business Management, and Accounting. After fifteen years’ experience in creating financial plans, training and operational programs, and managing corporate expansion for national brands in diverse markets, she returned to Nevada County with her family. In addition to professional accomplishments, Jamie also gave back to the community by managing the local little league program for 5 years and remains active in other youth programs. Her experience as an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, with a specialty in adaptive exercise for injury and disability, prepared her well for a remarkable recovery from injuries resulting from a devastating head-on collision with a wrong-way drunk driver. This passion for recovery and safety drives her commitment to community outreach when discussing wildfire prevention and preparedness. Jamie’s diverse background has provided a rich field of experience and perspectives to draw from, and are foundational to her unique vantage point, leadership style, and adaptability to differing organizational structures.

John McCarthy

Cal Fire, Wood products and Bioenergy

John is a Registered Professional Forester and the Program Manager for Wood Products and Bioenergy at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. In this role he supports new and expanding businesses that generate and utilize forest biomass and the continuing development of the forestry workforce. John earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration from the California State University at Chico.

John Mccarthy

Chris Quijano

Director of Operations, IHI Power Services Corp.

With over 17 years of experience in the biomass power generation industry, Chris has served in various roles such as Control Room Operator, Instrumentation, Controls and Electrical Technician, Maintenance Manager, Plant Manager and Operations Project Manager. In his current role as Director of Operations, he oversees the overall profitable management of plant operations, safety, compliance, and maintenance of assigned power generations facilities. Working with Plant Management teams, Chris contributes to the development and implementation of operational and organizational strategies, policies, and practices as it relates to the plant operations. Chris is also a part of the IPSC Government Affairs team. He recently transitioned his responsibilities as a board member on the California Biomass Energy Alliance. Chris is a council member and plays an active role in the IPSC Diversity, Inclusion and Respect council.

Chris Quijano

Mark Shaffer

Fuel Manager, Honey Lake Power Company

Mark is a California Registered Professional Forester # 2485, with over 34 years of experience in the field of Forest Management. His experience includes writing and administering California Timber Harvest Plans, Logging Administration for private and Forest Service contracts, and Biomass Fuel Procurement for HL Power Company from 2011 to 2019. He was recently re-hired in March and is enjoying being back in the position. Mark and his wife, Dorinda have 3 children, all successfully raised and out of the house. Spending time outdoors hiking, fishing and exploring in their side-by-side is a big priority, although many years of deferred maintenance on the family homestead often requires that they forego these hobbies and fix things that are broken.

Mark Shaffer

Jim Turner

Director of Operations-Tahoe Forest Products

Jim started his career at Sierra Pacific Industries and during the 35 year stint worked on both the lumber production side and all bioenergy sites. As a site lumber operations manager at the Loyalton, CA facility, he was responsible for all phases of production from raw material procurement to finished lumber products. From 2001 to 2019 his career with Sierra Pacific was focused on biomass boilers and power generation at all company operations. He worked on several greenfield projects and brownfield sawmill operations production upgrades in California, Oregon, and Washington as Sierra Pacific expanded operations. He also consulted on sawmill/boiler operations improvements for Georgia Pacific, Boise Cascade, Greenleaf, Trinity River, Roseburg, and Weyerhauser. Jim has extensive experience and education in mechanical process design, electrical engineering, boiler thermodynamics/emissions, and lumber manufacturing. The current project at Tahoe Forest Products-Carson City is a greenfield sawmill startup utilizing a combination of rebuilt-used machinery and modern process controls technology. The operation started continuous production March 11, 2024.

Les Day

New Business, Mountain F. Enterprises

Hollis W. Day, commonly known as Les, is the Corporate Safety Director at Mountain F. Enterprises, a leading utility tree company specializing in line clearance and logging services. With over 30 years of experience in the forestry industry, Les holds an A.S. Degree in Forestry from Sierra College and has studied Forest Production at Humboldt State University. Les is a certified arborist and safety professional deeply committed to advancing safety and sustainability in forestry operations. He is the Task Chair of the Electrical Hazard section for the ANSI Z133 Committee and a Utility Arborist Association Safety Committee member. His comprehensive expertise spans safety management, auditing, training, and policy development, particularly in environments where regulatory compliance is paramount. Les is also involved in managing the redevelopment of Mount Lassen Power and Butte Renewable Energy, playing an instrumental role in business development. At MFE, he has been pivotal in navigating the challenges of biomass market fluctuations and promoting sustainable forest management practices. His dedication to enhancing the utilization of forest biomass residuals has positioned MFE as a pioneer in environmental stewardship within the forestry sector.

Les Day

Madison Thompson

Lands Manager, The CHY Company

Madison Thomson is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF#2947) with over 16 years of experience managing timberlands throughout Northern California. Madison is responsible for managing the CHY Company’s real estate assets including ~13,000 acres of timberland spread throughout Northern California. Madison also provides consulting forestry services to select clients in the region through an affiliated forestry consulting business called Applied Forest Management. Madison has extensive experience designing and managing implementation of fuels reduction and forest health treatments with an emphasis on projects in the central Sierra Nevada region. Madison is acting as the project coordinator for the Yuba Foothills Healthy Forest Project and New Bullards Bar 2023 Forest Health Project, multi-landowner collaborative forest health and fuels reduction projects spanning approximately 8,000 acres in the Yuba County foothills. Nearly 5000 acres have been treated through these projects since 2020 with approximately 30,000 bone dry tons of chips delivered to biomass power plants in the region. Madison has a BS in Forestry from UC Berkeley and prior to joining CHY/Applied Forest Management in 2019 spent 11 years managing timberlands in coastal Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

Madison Thompson

Joe Griggs

Robinson Enterprises

Joe's work experience began with a summer job at Robinson Enterprises (REI) in 1974. After being officially hired and starting his first logging job in March 1978, he took a break to attend college and work summer jobs at Southern Pacific Land Company. Joe earned a Business Administration degree from Chico State University and returned to REI, where he served as a logging foreman from 1985 to 1994. In 1995, he began management training, eventually becoming the logging manager. Currently, Joe focuses on the logging and forest road division, working with the younger generation of leaders to promote active management on national forest lands.

Carl Rudeen

Geospatial Analysist, Spatial Informatics Group

Carl joined the SIG team after 13 years working for the U.S. Air Force. He brings significant experience as a biologist, project manager, and program manager. He has worked extensively in the high-deserts of the Pacific Northwest and subtropical forests of Okinawa, Japan. Notable among his strengths and experiences are his analysis of spatial natural resources datasets to make management decisions and knowledge of post-fire rehabilitation of rangelands. Carl worked for the Upper Salmon Basin Watershed Project prior to working for the Air Force. There he worked with local ranchers to implement salmon and steelhead conservation projects on private lands. In addition to working with SIG, Carl is currently helping to operate his family’s ranch in southeastern Idaho. Carl’s education includes B.S. degrees in Wildlife Resources and Rangeland Ecology and Management from the University of Idaho, Post-baccalaureate Certificate in GIS from Pennsylvania State University, and M.S. degree in Geographic Information Science from Idaho State University.

Rob Lawson

Planscape Go-to-market and Partnership Lead, SIG

Rob leads partnerships and go-to-market strategy for Planscape, the decision support tool for wildfire resilience. He was part of the founding Planscape team while working at, the non-profit arm of Google, where he spent 5 years building business messaging products. Rob trained as an engineer and has extensive experience growing disruptive companies through products, partnerships, sales, and marketing. A citizen of both the US and the UK, Rob lives in Sonoma County and enjoys the natural world, beekeeping, aspiring to be a farmer and riding bicycles in the sunshine.

Camille Swezy

Mule Ears Consulting

Camille has been working at the intersection of biomass utilization and forest restoration for a decade. Some examples of the breadth of her experience include biomass and wood product facility development, supporting forest landowners with Dixie Fire recovery, and not-so tirelessly coaching skidder operators on how to properly install water bars. She has a Master of Forestry degree from Oregon State, works as a forester for a logging company in Plumas County, and supports biomass and forest-health related initiatives locally and regionally through her company Mule Ears Consulting.

Camille Swezy

Martin Twer

Biomass Program Director, The Watershed Center

Martin Twer is the Biomass Program Director for the Watershed Research and Training Center, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable forest management and rural economic development embedded in the natural and working lands of California. Trained as an economist and landscape ecologist, he is among the state's leading experts on wood products and forest biomass utilization. He supports state-wide efforts to increase utilization of forest biomass removed from forest restoration and hazardous fuels reduction projects by increasing awareness, establishing or expanding markets, and accelerating adoption of new or modified technologies and systems for forest health work in fire-prone landscapes. His expertise includes renewable energy, advanced wood building materials, scalable wood processing technologies, integrated wood product campus development, and diverse value-added products and production systems. Martin was born and raised in Germany where he graduated with an advanced degree in Landscape Ecology before moving to Montana in 2002. He holds an MS degree in Resource Conservation and Forestry from the University of Montana and following a decade as Bioenergy Associate Specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service in Montana, he now lives, works, and plays in the Sierra Nevada.

Christiana Darlington

Lawyer and Owner, CLERE INC

A native of South Lake Tahoe, Christiana has a longstanding dedication to innovations that respect our forests and other natural resources. Her career in law began when she clerked for the Alaska Court System, and then served as a Deputy County Counsel in both Mono and Placer Counties, where she worked with the California Environmental Quality Act and sat as counsel for both Planning Commissions. She also served for City of Sacramento as Code Enforcement Deputy City Attorney, and has worked with US Park Service, the State of California and several special districts. Comfortable in urban, suburban and rural communities, she understands the local government perspective, and is dedicated to supporting government action that improves air quality and tackles climate change issues with an emphasis on how bioenergy can achieve carbon neutrality.

Sam Uden

Director of Climate and Energy Policy, Conservation Strategy Group

Sam Uden is the Director of Climate and Energy Policy at Conservation Strategy Group, an environmental policy firm based in Sacramento. CSG is supported by climate philanthropy to develop policies to help achieve the state's emissions reduction goals. Biomass policy is one area that CSG has focused on for the past 5 years.

Josiah Hunt

CEO, Pacific Biochar

Josiah Hunt has, since 2008, helped to innovate methods for biochar production, processing, and application in carbon sequestering pathways. He is founder and CEO of Pacific Biochar Benefit Corporation.

Josiah Hunt

David Lach

Director of Natural Climate Solutions, Avoided wildfire Emissions

David Lach serves as Director of Natural Climate Solutions at Anew. Working primarily on ecologically restorative carbon projects, he leads Anew’s forest resilience efforts via the Reduced Emissions from Megafires methodology and has spearheaded the group’s reforestation strategy. David works closely with implementers, agencies, and relevant stakeholders to enable quantification of climate benefits and ultimately generate newfound funding for forest health projects.

David Lach

Michael Maguire

Associate Planner, Wood product Innovation, OPR

Michael is an Associate Planner for Wood Product Innovation and has been with OPR since 2015. Michael manages the Woody Feedstock Aggregation Pilot Program. In this role, he is responsible for implementing the state’s Forest Sector Market Development initiative as directed under Key Action 3.10 of the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan. Previously, Michael managed the Wildfire Resilience and Recovery Grant Program, as well as the Biochar Research Advisory Committee as part of the office’s larger wildfire prevention, biomass utilization and forest management portfolio. Michael currently serves as an Advisory Council member for the Joint Institute for Wood Products Innovation at the California Board of Forestry, as well as OPR’s representative on the Wildfire Mitigation Advisory Committee at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Michael also serves on several working groups under the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force, such as the Risk Modeling Working Group, The Fire Adapted Communities Working Group, and the Wood Utilization Working Group. Michael has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of California at Davis.

Kerri Timmer

County of Placer

Joined Placer County as Regional Forest Health Coordinator in May 202 after spending 14 years in senior management positions with the Sierra Business Council, a non-profit organization headquartered in Truckee, and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a state agency headquartered in Auburn. In both organizations Kerri managed strategic and operational planning and implementation activities around climate, energy, and government affairs programs. She was also responsible for inter-agency and stakeholder relationship-building and other liaison work with local, regional, state, and federal officials. Before that she ran her own consulting practice for 11 years, providing organizational development and analytical expertise to community-based organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada, as well as spending six years as an account executive for a community and government affairs firm in San Francisco.

Kerri Timmer

Tony Firenzi

Director of Strategic Affairs, Placer County Water Agency

Tony Firenzi is a Professional Engineer and Director of Strategic Affairs at Placer County Water Agency (PCWA), where he is responsible for long-range planning and strategic initiatives. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Colorado State University, where he specialized in River Engineering. After a five year consulting career where he worked on river restoration projects throughout the country, he had a fortunate opportunity to shift into water supply at PCWA. At PCWA, Tony specializes in master planning and partnerships for water supply and infrastructure. He has been central to ensuring the agency’s water supplies through integrated water planning in surface water and groundwater with engagement of non-governmental and environmental organizations. He has been with PCWA since 2003.

Catherine Silvester

Landmark Consultant and Owner of Point View Environmental

Catherine Silvester is the owner of Point View Environmental. She has over 17 years of experience in environmental consulting and prepares environmental documentation for fuels thinning and post-fire recovery projects in Northern California.

Amy Lapin

Economic and Planning Systems, INC. (EPS)

Since joining EPS in 2003, Amy has helped clients answer key questions to advance sustainable development and public policy. Amy enjoys managing multidisciplinary projects and providing clear solutions based on analytics, policy objectives, and stakeholder input. Amy has completed projects across all of EPS’s lines of business and specializes in unique and challenging assignments. These assignments have included projects such as examining the comprehensive economic impacts of wildfires and critical habitat designations, ensuring the fiscal sustainability of real estate development, and developing creative financing strategies to fund physical infrastructure, public services, and economic revitalization in downtown and infill neighborhood locales. Recently, Amy assisted jurisdictions in understanding the dynamics of their local housing markets, including evaluating socioeconomic trends and regulatory, financial feasibility, and other barriers to achieving desired housing objectives. Drawing on these analyses, Amy has developed targeted strategies to incentivize residential development, support neighborhood stabilization, and minimize gentrification-related displacement. Amy holds a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University. Amy is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the American Planning Association (APA) and currently serves on the Sacramento Tree Foundation (STF) board. Amy is in her element spending time outside with her family, long-distance running, biking around Sacramento, hiking the plentiful trails of Northern California, and exploring new urban environments.

Amy Lapin

Elizabeth Betancourt

Natural and Working Lands Policy Advisor

Elizabeth Betancourt has been finding unconventional ways to achieve successes in natural and working lands management, planning, and policy for more than two decades. Her primary focus, currently, is woody biomass utilization to achieve forest health, climate resilience, carbon sequestration, rural sustainability, economic growth, habitat, environment, renewable energy, insurance stability, and public health, goals. Among others. She considers you all colleagues, collaborators, and co-conspirators!

Emily Blackmer

Policy Analyst, Sierra Nevada Conservancy

Emily Blackmer works on natural resource and climate policy in California’s Sierra Nevada and Cascade region. She is currently the Policy Analyst for Sierra Nevada Conservancy, acting as a bridge between regional conservation and restoration practitioners and state policymakers. In previous roles, she led a regional climate vulnerability assessment to aid local climate adaptation planning and conducted research on opportunities to build natural stewardship-based economies in the rural West.

Emily Blackmer

Katie Harrell

Joint Institute for Wood Products Innovation
California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection

Katie Harrell has been working on California forest health issues for over 20 years. She is the program administrator for the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Joint Institute for Wood Products Innovation, where she works to provide a forum for information sharing and manages research projects focused on wood and innovative wood products as well as associated issues, with the goal of supporting carbon-beneficial, sustainable forest management in the state. She is quite disappointed she missed out on networking today as she wasn’t able to join us until this afternoon. She welcomes the opportunity to connect with anyone following this session that is interested engaging with the Joint Institute or simply wants to know more about it.

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