2016: Forum Speakers, Moderators, Panelists and Special Guests

Akira Kagami


Akira Kagami is Senior Director of Hitachi America, Ltd.


For the past three years, Mr. Kagami has been leading a liaison team based in NY to help promote Hitachi (Japan)'s infrastructure-related projects in the US, focusing on the water and energy fields, from the viewpoints of marketing and engineering.


Mr. Kagami joined the Tokyo-based parent company, Hitachi, Ltd., in 1985, right after graduation, as an information systems researcher, and applied for as many as more than 40 IT-based application systems patents, including several issued in the US.


Since then, he has held various managerial positions in R&D, strategic planning, and new business development activities at Hitachi’s corporate divisions, including General Manager of North America Office of Hitachi Corporate Ventures based in Silicon Valley.


Mr. Kagami graduated from the University of Tokyo with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Master of Business Administration.

Alan Heymann

District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority

Alan Heymann is Chief Marketing Officer for DC Water. He leads the Authority’s efforts in developing new markets for its products and services, to provide value to ratepayers locally and advance the water sector nationally. He also serves as a member of the executive team and as a senior adviser to the General Manager. Mr. Heymann brings nearly two decades of communications, marketing and policy experience to this role, which is his second tour of duty at DC Water.

Most recently, Mr. Heymann was Vice President of Communications for the Humane Society of the United States. He led a team of more than 100 people in seven departments in producing and disseminating hundreds of pieces of content across multiple platforms every month for the global advocacy organization.


From 2010-2013, Mr. Heymann served as Chief of External Affairs for DC Water. Under the direction of the General Manager, he led a nationally-recognized rebranding campaign that reconnected the utility with its customers and reminded them of the value of water in their lives. He launched an aggressive tap-water marketing effort that continues to this day, established DC Water’s social media presence and expanded the Authority’s government relations efforts.


Mr. Heymann held various senior communications roles within the District Government prior to joining DC Water. He served within the District Department of the Environment, the Office of the Attorney General, the Executive Office of the Mayor and the DC Council.


Earlier in his career, Mr. Heymann was a television reporter, producer and anchor in his native Illinois. He has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School and a Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School. Mr. Heymann is a member of the bar in Illinois and the District of Columbia. He and his family live in Maryland.

Alexander Robart

Unconventional Capital

Alex Robart is an energy- and technology-focused entrepreneur and investor, with deep expertise in upstream oil and gas and the oilfield services and equipment value chain.  Together with his twin brother, he has launched, built, and sold two software, data, and research companies focused on upstream oil and gas.  He is an active angel investor in energy and general technology companies. He is the Managing Director of Unconventional Capital, an investment vehicle focused on digital oilfield opportunities.


Mr. Robart has nearly 15 years of consulting experience in oil and gas, energy, and a range of other industries.  He and his partners built PacWest Consulting Partners into one of the premier consulting and market research/data firms focused on the oilfield services sector; PacWest was acquired by IHS in 2014.  Alex is also a co-founder of Digital H2O, a data and analytics software company that helps companies optimize oilfield water management.  Unconventional Capital is partnered with a leading oilfield services focused private equity firm and is building an integrated digital oilfield products and services provider through acquisitions and organic re-investment.

Alexander Rozenfeld

Climate Impact Capital (CIC)

Alex Rozenfeld is the Founder and General Partner of Climate Impact Capital (CIC), one of the few early stage funds addressing climate mitigation and adaption. CIC is currently focusing on the Energy-Food-Water Nexus, working with and searching for technology companies with the potential for international market leadership. With 20 years of energy and innovation experience, Mr. Rozenfeld has worked extensively internationally as an entrepreneur, angel investor, and venture capitalist for Fortune 500 companies. His main focus has been on bringing corporations and entrepreneurs together to impact one of the world’s largest challenges – sustainable and plentiful energy access. Notable roles have included being part of the development of the earliest H2 vehicle station in California, an international GameChanger, and most recently the founding member and President at Shell Technology Ventures, LLC. Alex is an active supporter of the Texas energy entrepreneurship community. He is the energy co-chair of the Houston Angels Network, Advisory Board member of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, and an active advisor to the Houston Technology Center. Alex holds a BSE from Princeton University and MBA from MIT’s Sloan School

Bart Bohn

Austin Water Technology Incubator

Bart Bohn is a Director at the Austin Technology Incubator where he leads ATI Water.  He is the Founding Mentor and Board Member of 3 Day Startup; Founder of The University of Texas at Austin's Accelerator called ATI SEAL; hosts the Entrepreneur Lounge at SXSW; an advisor to the SXSW Accelerator, SXSW V2V, and SXSW ECO; was a director of MobileMondayAustin, and supported Semantic Web Austin.  Additionally, he founded Embrace, a predictive customer service company and co-founded Ravel, a big data analytics firm acquired by W2O Group.  Prior to the startup community, Bart was an Engagement Manager at Arthur Andersen and BearingPoint, where he helped co-found the Energy Strategy Practice as well as several service offerings.  Bart received a MBA from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin and degrees in chemical engineering and finance from Trinity University.

Brent Halldorson

Fountain Quail Water Management

Brent Halldorson is Chief Operating Officer for Fountain Quail Water Management.  Fountain Quail pioneered commercial recycling in shale gas development, starting in the Barnett Shale in 2004.


Mr. Halldorson is a professional engineer that has been with the company since 1999.  In that time, Fountain Quail has recycled over a billion gallons of shale gas wastewater back into freshwater for re-use in Texas utilizing its patented NOMAD evaporators and has expanded operations into multiple shale plays.  Fountain Quail also offers its high capacity ROVER mobile treatment system which is capable of generating clean brine for re-use at a very economic rate for customers which do not require freshwater.

Mr. Halldorson is the acting chairman of the Texas Water Recycling Association (www.txwra.org).  The TWRA is focused on helping find solutions to Texas’ most challenging water issues across all industries.


Brent currently lives in Ft Worth Texas with his wife and three children.  He believes firmly that America can achieve energy independence while simultaneously managing water responsibly.  One of his chief ambitions is to help bridge the divide between pro-energy and anti-energy interest groups by highlighting cases of responsible and sustainable energy development.

Bruce Karas


Mr. Karas is the VP of Environment & Sustainability for Coca-Cola North America.   He has over 25 years of experience as an EHS professional and has practiced in a wide range of Industrial operations in the US, Canada and China.  He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist in Comprehensive Practice, a Certified Safety Professional and is a Registered Occupational Hygienist in Canada.  He has served in various positions in national and local professional organizations and has presented various papers on topics ranging from ergonomics, health effects of flavorings, water stewardship and sustainability.

Carole Baker

Texas Water Foundation

Carole Baker was the Director of Intergovernmental Relations at the Harris Galveston Subsidence District (HGSD) for 21 years, serving as their Legislative Liaison to the Texas Legislature’s Senate and House Natural Resources Committees and her accomplishments have yielded water conservation legislation that is now included in the state water planning efforts.


During this time, her activities have included numerous statewide and national roles. She is the

Chair Emeritus of the Board for the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), a national non-profit

organization working to enhance the more efficient use of water. AWE has offices in Chicago and

Washington, DC.


In her statewide role, she is currently the President/CEO of the Texas Water Foundation, whose mission is to maintain and enhance the quality of life for all Texans by mobilizing Texans to

recognize the vital role water plays in protecting human health, supporting economic growth and

safeguarding natural resources.


She is a very active public speaker on water issues around the country, including a presentation at

the International Water Conference in Paris in 2009 and she presented at the 2011 United Nations

Global Water Initiative Conference in New York.


She also holds Board positions and is active in the following organizations and associations:

• Member of Water Conservation Advisory Council – HB4 & SB3 (Created by 80th Legislature)

• Past Director - Board of Texas Water Conservation Association

• Chair Emeritus, Board, Alliance for Water Efficiency

• Member of Water Conservation Implementation Task Force – SB 1094 – TWDB

• Director - Board of Pecan Street Project

• Director - Pioneers Youth Leadership

She is the recipient of the following awards:

2011 Greg Cooke Memorial Award for Exceptional Environmental Excellence – TCEQ

2007 Water Savers Award – San Antonio Water Systems

2004 Public Policy Award for Excellence in Environmental Awareness –Texas League of Women Voters

2002 Rainmaker Award – Texas Water Foundation

1999 George Fuller Award – American Water Works Association

1998 National Public Service Award – Universities Council on Water Resources/Texas Water Resource

Institute – Texas A&M

1997 Environmental Excellence in Education – Governor Bush/Clean Texas 2000

Chris Holmes

US Agency for International Development Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3)

Christian Holmes is Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3), and the Agency's first Global Water Coordinator. Holmes is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s global water portfolio. This includes implementing the Water for the World Act of 2014, which aims to provide first-time or improved access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene in the world's poorest communities. He also shapes and leads the implementation of USAID’s Water and Development Strategy, and serves as the senior most advisor to the Administrator on water matters.


Since rejoining USAID in January 2010, Holmes served initially as the Senior Advisor for Energy and Environment. In 2011, USAID designated him as the Global Water Coordinator. In addition to serving as the Global Water Coordinator, he was designated in 2013 as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator in the E3 Bureau, managing the offices responsible for global climate change; water; land tenure and resource management; and forestry and biodiversity. In 2015, USAID designated him Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. In his recent assignments, Holmes worked in the field with USAID missions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Yemen, Ghana, Haiti, Liberia, Kenya, and Ethiopia on water and food security matters.

Holmes brings to USAID extensive experience in the international economic development, humanitarian assistance and environmental protection sectors.

In the international economic development and humanitarian assistance field, he served as the Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs (State/RP), and Acting Director of the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). At TDA, he directed a global economic and trade development agency, concentrating on China. At OFDA and State/RP, he led relief efforts to help the victims of war and natural disasters, including East Timor, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Guatemala, the Sahel region in West Africa and Lebanon. Also at USAID, he served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise and the Executive Director of the President’s Task Force on International Private Enterprise.


In the environmental field, his career spans both the public and private sectors. This includes, at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he served as the Agency's third ranking executive and held simultaneously two Senate-confirmed positions, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Administrator for Administration and Resource Management. He also served as EPA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Federal Facilities Enforcement and Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Solid Waste and Emergency Response. He received the EPA Gold Medal. At Tenneco, Inc. a global manufacturing company, he served as Executive Director, Environmental Safety and Health.

As a USAID Senior Foreign Service Officer with rank of Minister Counselor, he twice received the Presidential Meritorious Service Award. He received the Arthur S. Flemming Award, given annually to five leaders across the U.S. Government, for his international disaster assistance achievements which included the development of an early warning drought detection system in Africa’s Sahel region.


Holmes served in the U.S. Army, Second Lieutenant, Civil Affairs, receiving the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal for Heroism.

He graduated from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, receiving a B.A. in Government. In recognition of his international economic development accomplishments, he was one of the first five graduates in Wesleyan's history to receive an Honorary Master of Arts degree. 

Christine Martini

Ultra Capital

Christine is a senior investment management professional with over 10-years of experience in institutional and private client investing. As an analyst and portfolio manager she has extensive experience in the alternative energy sector including sustainable technologies, water infrastructure and assets. Christine began her career as an equity analyst in the traditional E&P sectors and eventually moved on to manage portfolios across fixed income and equity always with an emphasis on energy and eventually sustainable technologies and water. She moved on to work at a water hedge fund and eventually as a Portfolio Manager and Analyst at a long only Water Fund with Brennan investments. At Ultra Capital we are bridging the gap between end-user’s clients and developers that require institutional grade project finance. By bundling together, a number of project the investor is exposed to a sustainable portfolio of diversified projects with an attractive return. In this platform, scale can be achieved that attracts capital to the water sector to help accelerate and enable projects to be implemented.


Recent Experience includes:

- Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman Ltd): International Investment Advisor, Institutional and Private Client Advisor

- EFG Bank (Cayman): Portfolio Manager, Institutional Fixed Income and Equity Portfolio Manager

- Brennan Investments: Portfolio Manager/Analyst; Water / Infrastructure and Sustainable Technologies.

- RNK Capital: Analyst Long/Short market neutral Fund- Water; Private Equity deal sourcing, sustainable technologies, Water

- New York State Insurance Fund: Portfolio Manager Small and Mid-cap portfolio construction

- Fiduciary Trust Company: Energy Analyst, Small-Mid Cap


Eduation: MA, New School for Social Research; BA, Political Science, State University of New York at Albany MA, New School for Social Research; BA, Political Science, State University of New York at Albany

Craig Pederson

Enviro Water Minerals

Mr. Pedersen serves as Senior Vice President for Enviro Water Minerals Company, a positon he has held since 2013.  He had a career in the Texas state government from 1981-2002, which included both administrative and policy positions, culminating in 11 years as the Executive Administrator of the Texas Water Development Board, the state water infrastructure financing and planning agency.  In 2002, he was recruited by the URS Corporation (now AECOM/URS) to develop and lead their regional water practice where he served as a corporate Vice President. He was the Regional Water Resources Leader for Texas and Oklahoma from 2002-2013. During that time, he led the growth a URS’ regional water practice – achieving over a ten-fold expansion in revenues and sales.  From 2004-2008 he also led the Austin General Engineering Office, one of URS’ largest and most successful operations. Mr. Pedersen has over 35 years of professional experience in water policy, planning and financing. He has extensive knowledge of state, national, and international issues related to water and infrastructure development.

Dan Hunter

Texas Department of Agriculture

Dan Hunter serves as Assistant Commissioner for the Texas Department of Agriculture. He is the top advisor on the critical issues of water and the important role it plays in agriculture and the Texas economy.  He also oversees programs involving rural affairs, including rural health care, economic development, grants, and marketing.

Hunter has an extensive background in agriculture, research, water, and policy development. Most recently he served as Executive Director of the Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) at Tarleton State University.   When TIAER was established by the Texas Legislature in 1991 one of its charges was to “provide national leadership on emerging environmental policy”.  Hunter’s background in working with national constituencies, including state and federal agencies, Congress, and producer and consumer organizations is vital in providing the national leadership the Legislature envisioned. TIAER is a leader in the field of environmental research around the world.

When Hunter joined TIAER in 2006, he was already a part of the Tarleton State University family, serving as an adjunct professor for the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences for several years.  Prior to joining the Institute he was the Executive Officer/Manager of the Southwestern Peanut Growers’ Association, where he managed a multi-million dollar producer cooperative.  As the chief executive, Hunter provided the primary guidance on all legislative, research, marketing, regulatory and media related issues.  


Earlier in his professional career he served as the Government Relations Representative for the National Cotton Council, a multifaceted trade association in Washington, DC.   He also worked as a primary legislative staff member for former Congressmen Larry Combest and Fred Grandy.  Hunter received degrees from Texas Tech University and Tarleton State University. He has written numerous articles for several publications, and provided testimony for legislative and regulatory committees. Additionally, he has given presentations around the world including the United Nations Foreign Agriculture Organization in Rome.

Daniel Agranov

Israel to the Southwest United States

Daniel Agranov is the Deputy Consul General of Israel to the Southwest United States.

Agranov has served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over five years. Prior to his current mission, he helped establish the Consulate of Israel to St. Petersburg, Russia, as Deputy Consul General. His previous posts include the Economic Office at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affair’s main consular division and missions to Angola and Kazakhstan.

Before joining the Ministry, Agranov worked several years as a manger in the loan division at Israel’s Postal Bank after his service in the army.


Agranov holds a bachelor’s degree in economy and biology and a master’s in business administration in finance and marketing, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Agranov is married to Nurit, and together they have three daughters.

​David Galindo

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

David Galindo is the Director of the Water Quality Division. He has been in this position since June 2012. Mr. Galindo has been employed on several teams within TCEQ, Water Quality Division, since 1999.  Most recently, David held the position of Team Leader of the Standards Implementation Team. The Team is responsible for implementation of the Texas Surface Water Quality Standards within wastewater discharge permits and conducting Section 401 State Water Quality Certifications of Federal Section 404 permits for dredge and fill projects.  Prior to his team leader position, Mr. Galindo wrote Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) permits for various types of industrial process and manufacturing facilities. David received a B.A. in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. 

David Maidment

University of Texas Center for Research in Water Resources

David R. Maidment is the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he has been on the faculty since 1981.  He received his Bachelor's degree in Agricultural Engineering with First Class Honors from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, and his MS and PhD degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas, he was a research scientist at the Ministry of Works and Development in New Zealand, and at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria, and he was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University.


Dr. Maidment is a specialist in surface water hydrology, and in particular in the application of geographic information systems to hydrology. In 2016, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering "For development of geographic information systems applied to hydrologic processes".


In 2015, he received the J. Mike Howard Lectureship of the Texas Floodplain Management Association. In 2014, he was recognized as Geospatial Scientist of the Year, by Geospatial Media "For contribution to geospatial science as a specialist in surface water hydrology, and in particular in the application of geographic information systems to hydrology". In 2012, he received the Ray K. Linsley Award from the American Institute of Hydrology "In recognition of his contributions in the field of Surface Water Hydrology". In 2011 he received the Ven Te Chow Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers "For notable contributions in water resources engineering, hydrology and hydraulic engineering, outstanding service to the profession through application of GIS in surface water and groundwater hydrology, authoring books and research papers in water resources engineering, and mentoring of young engineers." In 2011 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Civil and Environmental Engineering Alumni Association, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "For significant and lasting impact on teaching, research and practice in the fields of hydrology and water resource engineering, including the pioneering of geographical information systems applications in hydrology and technologies that have been adopted by national and international institutions". In 2010 he received the AWRA Award for Water Resources Data and Information Systems, "In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the application of Geographic Information Systems to water resources engineering and sciences." This award was also permanently renamed the David R. Maidment Award for Water Resources Data and Information Systems, "In honor of his many contributions to the field and his furtherance of the mission of the American Water Resources Association."

Ed Archuleta

AccelerateH2O & EL Paso Water Systems

Ed Archuleta has over 45 years experience in the water and waste water field, including his service as CEO and President of the El Paso Water System. In his public sector role, Ed managed all aspects of the municipal utility from plant operations to engineering. He is widely recognized for initiating one of the first successful conservation programs in the country, expanded reclaimed water systems and oversaw the planning and eventual construction of the world’s largest inland desalination system as well as the largest arsenic treatment of groundwater in the U.S. The planning of the desalination plant with cooperation from the Defense Department brought a 5 billion dollar investment to Ft. Bliss in El Paso.


Throughout his career, Ed has worked with Mexican, Texas and New Mexico officials and federal and international agencies in agreements effecting El Paso along the U.S./Mexico border. He has been instrumental in supporting and embracing innovation and technology at water utility systems. He currently advises the University of Texas El Paso water and engineering programs, consults with public and private water management, and is the chairman of the Pecos River Commission.


Ed has served on several national water boards including Chairman of the Water Research Foundation, Chairman of the Multi-State Salinity Coalition and on the President's National Infrastructure Advisory Council.  He holds a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University and a Masters Degree in Management from the University of New Mexico.  He is a registered professional

Ed Rightor

Dow Water

Ed is currently the Director of Strategic Projects in Dow Chemical’s Environmental Technology Center.  In this role he works with Dow businesses and Corporate programs, to reduce emissions, waste, freshwater intake, and energy use.  He serves as the facilitator of Dow’s Corporate Water Strategy Team (CWST). 


He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Michigan State University and a B.S. in Chemistry from Marietta College. 

Eddie Lucio III

Texas House of Representatives

Representative Eddie Lucio III was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, where he practices law and lives with wife, Jaime Barrera Lucio.  They welcomed their first child, Olivia Rose, in August of 2009 and their second, Eduardo Andres "Luc" Lucio III, in June 2013. Rep. Lucio is the son of State Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. & Mrs. Herminia Lucio.


He attended Texas Tech University on an athletic scholarship and later received a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2005, he received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law. Rep. Lucio is an attorney with The Lucio III Group, PLLC (www.TheLucioIIIGroup.com) practicing in the areas of Water law, General Business law, and Contract law. Additionally, he is Of Counsel to Beatty, Bangle, Strama P.C. In 2006, Lucio was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, District 38, and was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014. District 38 is composed of the southwest region of Cameron County.

During his five sessions in the Legislature, Rep. Lucio has worked diligently to attain passage of significant legislation that not only benefits his district and the Rio Grande Valley, but the entire State of Texas, while serving on prestigious committees. His accomplishments pertain to areas that are extremely essential to the development and long-term interests of South Texas. He was instrumental in establishing a medical school in South Texas. He authored legislation to empower foster children by giving them a voice in their placement. He fought to secure passage and funding of the State Water Plan. Rep. Lucio authored and passed legislation creating cost-neutral pre-kindergarten for Cameron County school districts. He worked to keep families and victims of domestic violence safe. Most recently, Rep. Lucio passed legislation creating a regulatory system for the desalination of seawater to aide in securing Texas’ water future.

Rep. Lucio currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Calendars committee and is a senior member of the Natural Resources Committee and the Land and Resource Management Committee.  Through his work and support of his constituents, Rep. Lucio is extremely humbled by the faith and support of the people of District 38 and is committed to continue bringing about progress for the Rio Grande Valley.

Eric Bielke

GE Ventures

Eric Bielke is a Director at GE Ventures based in Houston, TX and concentrates on investments in the energy and water industries. Before joining GE, Eric worked with Siemens Venture Capital where he co-led a variety of investments across the energy, infrastructure and cybersecurity sectors. Prior to Siemens, Eric co-founded SoCore Energy, a venture-backed commercial-rooftop photovoltaic developer, acquired by Edison International and the largest solar developer in Chicago. His current investments include Ciris Energy and Skyonic Corporation. Previously, Eric was a consultant with McKinsey & Co and with CRA International, where he advised clients in the energy, high-tech, and financial services sectors on issues of technology, finance, and strategy. He has an MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Eric Hoek

Water Planet, Inc.

For over two decades, I have dedicated my life’s work to education, research, engineering, innovation, entrepreneurial and philanthropic activities related to my passion – clean water.


Experience: I currently serve as the CEO of Water Planet, Inc. where we are commercializing next-generation membrane filtration technology to enable sustainable water reuse. Previously, I was an engineering professor at UCLA and UC Riverside from 2002 to 2014; I’ve been on leave from UCLA since January 2014 to run Water Planet. At UCLA, I am a faculty member in Civil & Environmental Engineering, the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability and the California NanoSystems Institute. I also helped create the UCLA Water Technology Research Center, the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology and the KAUST-Cornell Center for Energy & Sustainability.


Academic Experience: Since the late 1990’s my research has focused on understanding and improving membrane materials, modules, processes and systems applied to desalination, water reuse and environmental remediation. Since 2002, I have generated over $4.5M in externally funded research projects, including >$870k in active grants, and I was part of 3 teams that raised over $50M in funding for 3 research centers. I have published over 150 scientific publications and 16 patents. Currently, I am the Editor-in-Chief of the new Nature Publishing Group journal npj Clean Water, and I am under contract by J. Wiley & Sons to author a textbook on Membrane Science & Technology. Previously, I was associate editor of the international journal Desalination and I co-edited the Encyclopedia of Membrane Science & Technology. I have received numerous awards including the 2012 ASCE Walter L. Huber Award, 2007 Public Works Magazine Trendsetter Award, the 2008/2013/2016 Global Water Awards Tech Idol, and the Global Cleantech List of 100 Ones to Watch.


Industrial Experience: I have served as a consultant or advisor on numerous municipal water reuse and desalination projects, private technology companies, US federal, state and local agencies, law firms, private research foundations, non-profit foundations and foreign national research agencies. In 2012, I embarked on a 5-year collaboration with Global Classrooms for Peace to improve sanitation and drinking water for villages and settlements on remote islands of Fiji. I also consulted on the cleanup of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010. I have been a part of the creation of 4 UCLA-based startup companies including NanoH2O (nanotechnology based RO membranes; acquired by LG Chem in 2014), Water Planet (artificial intelligence filtration system controls, 2011-present), PolyCera Technologies (polymer nanofiber UF membranes; acquired by Water Planet in 2013), and Hydrophilix (novel RO membrane material; formed in 2016 with UCLA Chemistry Professor Ric Kaner).

Fidan Karimova

Water Environment Research Foundation

Fidan is the Water Technology Collaboration Manager at WERF, in charge of bridging the gap between the WERF utility subscriber needs and available technologies in the market. She has an extensive knowledge of the innovation industry, having previously worked on helping entrepreneurs from around the world transition from an idea to product stage. Fidan created a mobile app, called The Water Tracker, which records the amount of water used in people’s daily lives. Fidan graduated from University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a Master’s degree in Environmental Management. 

Harvey Hildebran

Texas Facilities Commission (TFC)

Harvey Hilderbran is executive director of the Texas Facilities Commission (TFC), a post he assumed in January 2015.  Mr. Hilderbran manages the daily activities of TFC, working with the appointed commissioners to effectively administer the agency’s statutory functions.  TFC supports state government through strategic planning; the design, construction, maintenance, and leasing of state facilities; and the reallocation and/or disposal of state and federal surplus property.  TFC’s real property portfolio encompasses nearly 18 million square feet of state-owned office, warehouse, and parking facilities plus approximately 10 million square feet of leased facilities.  The agency is also charged with establishing the Center for Alternative Finance and Procurement which provides an array of services to assist local and state governmental entities in Texas with public private facilities and infrastructure partnerships. 


Mr. Hilderbran is a real estate broker and former lawmaker who served in the Texas House of Representatives for District 53 (Kerrville) from 1988 to January 2015.  During his thirteen terms in state office, Mr. Hilderbran served as Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means; the House Committee on Culture, Recreation, and Tourism; and the House Committee on Human Services. Mr. Hilderbran also served on the Legislative Audit Committee and the Legislative Budget Board and was co-chair of the legislative oversight committee for the Edwards Aquifer Underground Conservation Authority.

Hank Habicht

AccelerateH2O Advisory Committee

Hank joined SAIL Capital Partners in January 2006 having served as a pioneer in many areas of environmental business and policy and a leading contributor to environmental innovation. Hank and Managing Partner Walter Schindler are responsible for co-managing SAIL’s operations and investments.


His career in the environmental policy world has included leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, and at the U.S. EPA as COO (Deputy Administrator). During his time with the EPA he oversaw the development of new air and water programs to prevent pollution, including the development of the Energy Star program and implementation of market based trading programs under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.


In business, Hank served as Senior VP in charge of acquisitions and other divisions of Safety-Kleen, a billion-dollar environmental service company. He has also held positions and started ventures in the for-profit environmental arena, including as VP of William D. Ruckelshaus Associates, which co-managed the successful Environmental Venture Fund, one of the first successful green funds in the 1980s. As Co-Founder of Capital E, LLC, a strategic consultancy for emerging renewable energy products and technologies, he advised Fortune 100 and early stage ventures on sustainable growth strategies.


He previously served as CEO and is now Vice Chairman of a prestigious non-for-profit corporation that fosters innovation in environmental management and promotes applications of clean technology in emerging markets, called Global Environment & Technology Foundation (www.GETF.org ) There he worked with some of the world’s largest companies on global water strategy and helped found the Global Water Challenge, where he currently serves on the Board.


Hank has held numerous Board seats over the years, currently he sits on the Boards of SAIL companies such as WaterHealth International, and is a Co-Founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy. He served as Commissioner of the National Commission on Energy Policy, has advised several Cabinet Secretaries and serves on the Advisory Board to the National Renewable Energy Lab and the Pacific Northwest National Lab. In 1991 the EPA awarded him with the Total Quality Leadership Award and in 2009 he received the national Richard Mellon Award for Environmental Stewardship. Hank holds a Bachelors degree with High Honors from the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia.

Jeff Hughes

Environmental Finance Center

Jeff Hughes is a faculty member at the University of North Carolina School Of Government and the Director of the UNC’s Environmental Finance Center (EFC). The UNC EFC provides applied research, educational programs, and advising services to local governments, private companies, utilities, and state and federal agencies. Jeff has twenty-five years of environmental finance experience as a researcher, policy analyst, consultant, and practitioner. His current research focus areas include alternative service/project delivery models; capital finance; and rate setting. Prior to joining UNC, Jeff worked as a utility director and an international finance advisor. Jeff is an active member of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Council of Infrastructure Authorities (CIFA). Jeff serves on the Finance Advisory Committee for the Water Research Foundation and the EPA Environmental Financial Advisory Board. He received a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Duke University.  

Jeff Moseley

Texas Department of Transportation

Jeff Moseley is a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees statewide activities of the Texas Department of Transportation. Gov. Rick Perry appointed him in June 2012. Prior to his appointment, Moseley was chief executive officer of the Greater Houston Partnership. During seven years in this role, he worked on numerous regional transportation policy efforts and partnered with transportation stakeholders such as the Gulf Coast Regional Mobility Partners and the I-69 Corridor Coalition. He previously served as director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Tourism. Between 1991 and 1999, Moseley served as Denton County Judge. During that time, he was a member of the metropolitan planning organization for the North Central Texas Council of Governments, supported the passage of two mobility bond campaigns, organized the I-35 Corridor Coalition and was involved in the creation of the North Texas Tollway Authority.


Moseley is a partner in Griffith Moseley Johnson and Associates, which provides economic development and site selection consulting. A sixth-generation Texan, he and his wife, Jackie, have two daughters, Joi and Jenni. Moseley received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma.

John Freisinger

Tech Ventures Corporation

John Freisinger is the President and CEO of Technology Ventures Corporation, a non-profit 501C(3) organization founded to help the federally funded laboratories commercialize their research.  Formed in 1993, Technology Ventures utilizes an entrepreneur-centric, venture capital model to accelerate the adoption of laboratory research for the benefit of U.S. economic competitiveness.  In the 21 years of operation, TVC has assisted entrepreneurs in raising over $1.3 billion in equity financing, form 125 new companies and create more than 13,500 jobs. 

Before joining TVC, Mr. Freisinger worked in a range of leadership roles with several venture-backed entrepreneurial companies including COO of Smart Systems Technologies and VP of Sales and Marketing for Essential Communications.  His successful exits include sales to two publicly-traded companies, SBS Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:SBSE) and ODS/Intrusion.com (Nasdaq:INTZ).


Mr. Freisinger’s early work was conducted in the former Soviet republics with Access Russia, a data retrieval company focused on Russian open-source information and as a sales trainer for Coca-Cola Refreshments Moscow. 

John is a graduate of the University of New Mexico where he currently teaches classes in Entrepreneurism.  He is a founding member of the Laudate Men’s Choir and resides in Albuquerque, NM with his wife and twin children.    

John Miri

Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for a billion-dollar public energy and water utility serving more than a million people in the US State of Texas. Lead a diverse portfolio of functions including information technology (IT), engineering, cyberphysical security, public safety, enterprise risk, human resources, fleet, project management, employee safety, facilities, supply chain, real estate, parks, and records. Currently leveraging technology and startup experience to transform LCRA's business functions for dramatically improved efficiency; integrating cyber and physical security to improve resiliency of 5,100 miles of the Texas electric grid; driving cost savings on more than $661 million in annual purchasing of goods and services; and building a culture of excellence, innovation, learning, and enlightened risk taking. Directly manage CIO, four Vice Presidents, other department leads, and approximately 500 staff members. Responsible for annual capital and operating budget. Prior to joining LCRA, Miri was CEO of Bluewater Technology Services, a company providing strategic consulting to a distinguished roster of clients ranging from large government agencies to venture-funded startups. Miri is an internationally-recognized expert on using technology to transform organizations for better administrative performance. His many articles and research reports have been published in GOVERNING, Government Technology, Public CIO, FutureStructure, and Emergency Management magazines. In his early career, Miri was the chief architect of a number of innovative software products in energy risk management, human resources, social media, data analytics, and business process automation. He was awarded US Patent 7,571,138 for an energy risk software system that was successfully deployed to ERCOT, Williams Energy, Dynegy, ConocoPhillips, and others. Miri graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Physics.

Joshua Adler


Joshua Adler is the Founding CEO of Sourcewater (www.sourcewater.com), the water exchange for the energy ecosystem, which he envisioned as a Sloan Fellow in Energy Ventures at MIT. Sourcewater’s online marketplace enables energy companies to save time and money on their primary operating cost, water management, ensure a reliable mission-critical water supply chain, and reduce the environmental and community impacts of energy production through market-based incentives. Over one billion barrels of water and 400 energy and service companies are now active on Sourcewater.com.


Mr. Adler is a successful entrepreneur who has founded energy, real estate, medical technology, and Internet companies, and served as the Chief Speechwriter to the United States Treasury Department. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Economist.

In December 2015 Adler argued for the successful repeal of the U.S. energy export ban in the New York Times, concluding: “For as long as the world uses hydrocarbons, it is plainly in the United States’ economic, geopolitical and environmental interest to produce that energy here, with American workers and oversight.”

Ken Burris

AguaRaider, LLC.

Ken Burris is Chief Technology Officer for AguaRaider, LLC.  He is responsible for technology development and environmental compliance for AguaRaider’s Direct Evaporation Process for disposal of oil & gas and other industrial wastewaters.  Ken has over 40 years of professional experience in water purification and wastewater treatment for Power, Oil & Gas, Chemical Manufacturing and other industrial projects.  Ken has experience in the project planning and management of large, complex projects.  He has been involved with all phases of projects; including proposal development, project planning, technical execution, preliminary concept design, detailed engineering design, client interface, management of diverse groups, project completion, budget management, and environmental compliance.  Ken has extensive experience working on domestic and international projects.  His experience includes the broad global issues related to industrial water purification, industrial wastewater treatment, water resource management, recycle/reuse and sustainability.

Kenneth Cook

WaterCentric, LLC

Kenneth W. Cook founded Acequia in 2001 with the simple intent of saving the enormous quantities of water wasted in commercial landscapes. A visionary who spent a decade developing a comprehensive irrigation management software and performance based water management service he has brought the company to the forefront of water management where it earned numerous awards and recognition including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Water Efficiency Leader in 2008 and two-time Aggie 100 List. In October 2011 Acequia was acquired by San Francisco based Banyan Water. Now leading WaterCentric continuing to expanded water conservation strategies and methodologies, documenting water savings in commercial property landscapes now surpassing 5 billion gallons. As one of eleven American Delegates to the recent Australian Water Issues and Capability Study Tour, Kenneth returned from the tour with a newfound perspective on the long term impacts of drought and climate shift, and a renewed commitment for filling the missing link between landscape water management and preserving our living landscapes.

Today, through the implementation of comprehensive water management and alternative compliance programs, he is actively working with local, state and federal authorities to create Public Private Partnerships focused on creating sustainable impacts on water and energy reduction in urban water conservation efforts. Kenneth continues to foster his pledge to water conservation as a cluster member with other delegates from the Australian study tour centered on intellectual property in water management between Australia and the United States.


Today, Kenneth serves as Board Member North Texas Commission, Board Chair of Trinity Waters, Director of Friends of Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, Irrigation Association Legislative Committee, Advisory Board to Texas AgriLife Urban Solutions Center (Texas A&M University System) and is active in Rotary International.


Kenneth Cook holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a minor in Agriculture Economics (Finance) from Texas A&M University and resides with his wife Cynthia in Athens, Texas where they raise pecans, hay and blueberries.

Kyle Ballarta

Falcon Ventures

Kyle is the Founder and CEO of Falkon Ventures, an innovative venture capital fund designed to catalyze innovation in the new entrepreneurial landscape for companies that have the mission to positively change industry and the world.

Prior to Falkon Ventures, Kyle was a member of the initial team at LifeProof, a San Diego based consumer electronics company that grew its force from three people to over 250 employees on three continents in three years. LifeProof’s meteoric growth led to its successful acquisition by Otterbox in 2013.


He is also the Co-Founder of Syndicap, a venture capital network that is changing the attitude of the industry by incentivizing venture funds to collaborate across different stages and verticals to match the convergence of industry. 

Kyle’s creative curiosity and passion for collaboration that innovates drives him to work with initiatives in the impact space, including The Hispanic Alliance, A Reason to Survive, The Andy Roddick Foundation, and The Munday School of Business at St. Edwards University. His work with non-profits, foundations, and social enterprises focuses on creating sustainable and scalable impact by implementing social enterprise models and pioneering new venture funding models.

Prior to his business career, Kyle had a very colorful and eventful music career as a trumpet player and graduate from some of the most prestigious and recognized performing arts institutes such as The Interlochen Arts Academy, The California Institute of the Arts, and Chosen Vale Center for Advanced Music Studies.


Kyle holds an MBA in Digital Media Management from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, two executive certificates from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. Kyle currently lives in Austin, TX where he enjoys swimming Barton Springs and breakfast tacos. 

Laura Capper

CAP Resources

CAP Resources is a Houston-based oil and gas and technology consultancy which specializes in market assessment, strategy development for emerging market opportunities, technology commercialization, operations planning, due diligence / transaction support services, and aggressive growth strategies for technology and service companies and their investors.


The firm’s president, Laura Capper, brings 25 years of experience in managing technology commercialization and aggressive growth strategies for public and private companies including integrated oil and gas companies, oilfield service companies, technology transfer offices, and private equity and venture capital firms.  Over the last 20 years, CAP Resources has serviced over 600 clients and contributed to the development of over $3.0 Billion in value associated with new venture launches as well as support for mergers, acquisitions and investment activity. 

Beginning in 2007, a primary focus of the firm has been matters related to domestic and international unconventional exploration and production trends and practices, water management and treatment technologies, and environmental and waste handling practices in the oilfield, among other areas of the firm’s specialties.  Over this period, CAP Resources has authored a series of in-depth reports tracking the state of Water Management and investment opportunities in U.S. and World unconventional shale plays.  CAP Resources has helped assess some 400 providers of water treatment services, numerous fixed facilities, and a breadth of proprietary technology providers. In 2016 the firm will be releasing a report on best practices and risk management related to liquid waste handling and disposal wells.   

Leslie Savage

Railroad Commission

Leslie Savage is the Assistant Director for Technical Permitting for the Oil and Gas Division of the Railroad Commission of Texas.  Over her 32 years of employment with the Commission, Ms. Savage helped develop and/or supervised the Commission’s programs for underground injection control, surface waste management, hazardous oil and gas wastes, naturally occurring radioactive material, waste minimization, and geologic storage of carbon dioxide.  Ms. Savage currently is responsible for managing the Groundwater Advisory, Engineering, UIC, and Environmental Permitting Units, as well as coordinating rulemaking for the division, coordinating with federal and other state agencies, and water quality certification of federal permits.  Ms. Savage has represented the Commission in several state and national organizations, including the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee, the Executive Committee of the Coastal Coordination Council, the Governor’s Environmental Task Force, the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations, Inc. (STRONGER, Inc.), and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. She is the current president of the national Ground Water Protection Council. Ms. Savage graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1982 with a B.S. in Geology.

Mary Scott Nabers

Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Mary Scott Nabers is President/CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc (SPI), a full-service business development firm specializing in procurement consulting, government affairs, research and public-private partnerships (P3s). A former statewide Texas office holder, Mary founded the company in 1995 and she is the co-founder of the Gemini Global Group.

Mary is also the author of Collaboration Nation - How Public-Private Ventures Are Revolutionizing the Business of Government.   She is active with the Association for Improvement of the American Infrastructure, the National Council on Public Private Partnerships and CG/LA Infrastructure.  For the past four years, Mary has participated in a national task force to help cities and states find alternative sources of funding for large projects. Mary speaks regularly at business conferences and has been published by Forbes, CNBC.com, CEO-Read, Change This and other media outlets.

Michael Dunkel


Michael Dunkel joined CH2M as Vice President of Industrial Water in 2015 and works with oil and gas clients with water management.  Previously, Mr. Dunkel was Director of Sustainable Development for Pioneer Natural Resources.  Mr. Dunkel championed efforts to reduce fresh water use, increase water recycling and plan water management.  Mr. Dunkel was co-chair of the Energy Water Initiative, a group of 18 energy companies organized to raise water management standards. 


Mr. Dunkel has spoken at many water related events, most recently at the Oklahoma Governor’s Water Conference and US Shale Plays Water Management Congress, both in late 2015.

Mr. Dunkel held positions in engineering management, project management and business development over 18 years at Pioneer.  His experience includes projects and developments in four countries.


Prior to Pioneer, Mr. Dunkel was employed at Marathon Oil in a variety of engineering and business development roles for 15 years.


Michael Dunkel joined CH2M as Vice President of Industrial Water in 2015 and works with oil and gas clients with water management.  Previously, Mr. Dunkel was Director of Sustainable Development for Pioneer Natural Resources.  Mr. Dunkel championed efforts to reduce fresh water use, increase water recycling and plan water management.  Mr. Dunkel was co-chair of the Energy Water Initiative, a group of 18 energy companies organized to raise water management standards. 


Mr. Dunkel has spoken at many water related events, most recently at the Oklahoma Governor’s Water Conference and US Shale Plays Water Management Congress, both in late 2015.


Mr. Dunkel held positions in engineering management, project management and business development over 18 years at Pioneer.  His experience includes projects and developments in four countries.


Prior to Pioneer, Mr. Dunkel was employed at Marathon Oil in a variety of engineering and business development roles for 15 years.

Michael Turillo


Mr. Turillo is an angle investor focusing his attention and efforts in collaborating with global thought leaders and organizations on the emerging capabilities and impact of Cogitative and Predictive Intelligence on business and social opportunities and problems.


Mr. Turillo is a frequent speaker and consultant in the strategic and tactical areas of innovation management, its critical intersection and dependency on behavioral and technological change.


Mr. Turillo is Co-Founder, of the innovationExchange which is designed to enable an open connected innovation revolution within leading local, regional, national and global private and public organizations through the formation of dynamic and results orientated innovation based public-private partnerships.


Mr. Turillo is also Co-Founder and Chairman of inno360 Inc. inno360 has become the industry leading Enterprise Research & Innovation Management SaaS platform provider, dedicated to delivering enhanced innovation processes and the building of global knowledge networks.


Mr. Turillo also serves as Chairman of the Board of Cybersettle Holdings Inc.


From September 2001 through December 2003 Mr. Turillo was a Business Unit Executive at the IBM Corporation where he had successive leadership responsibility for – the Northeast Financial Services Consulting, Global Collaborative Commerce within Dynamic Workplaces and senior advisor to IBM Software Group in defining approaches to confirming IBM’s software value creation results to its clients.


Mr. Turillo retired from KPMG LLP in 2001 after a 28-year career.  When he retired Mr. Turillo was one of the Firm’s senior international partners, a Member of the Firm’s International Management Executive Committee serving as the Firm’s Global Chief Knowledge Officer. During his career Mr. Turillo served as KPMG’s Global Partner-in-Charge Financial Services Consulting Practice; and was the founder and National Partner-in-Charge of the U.S. Firm’s Capital Strategies Group.               

Mr. Turillo was honorably discharged as a Captain in the United States Army having served in the Republic of Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his tour of duty from 1970-71.   Mr. Turillo earned his BS from Providence College in 1969, MBA from Syracuse University in 1972 and MS Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts 1973. 

Mr. Turillo lives in Casey Key, Florida with his wife Deborah of 44 years and has two grown children, Stephanie and Christopher, and two grandchildren.

Morris Hoagland

Produced Water Society

Morris Hoagland has been working in petroleum and chemical manufacturing industries for over 40 years specializing in environmental sciences.  Most of his work has been involved with oilfield water and wastewater treatment, hazardous waste treatment, waste recovery, site remediation, and landfill liner technologies. Mr. Hoagland has experience with a broad range of wastewater and waste sludge treatment technologies.  He is experienced in systems design and project management. 


Mr. Hoagland graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1976, then a Masters of Chemical Engineering in 1978, both degrees from the University of Louisville.  He has recently returned to the USA after 14 years working abroad in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.  Morris Hoagland currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Produced Water Society and provides training on water treatment technologies for the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  He is a Director for Jade Dragon LLC.

Paul Choules

Texas Desalination Association & Caribbean Desalination Association

Paul Choules career started in 1980 when he joined a Texas based water treatment company. From then he has lived and worked all over the world and now resides back in Texas. Even though much of his career Paul has been focused on desalination, he has touched almost every aspect of the water industry in the industrial, military, oil and gas and municipal sectors. His capabilities in thermal and membrane treatment solutions range from startup and commissioning to developing projects.


Paul formed Water Cycle, combining all of his years of experience with his extensive contacts to provide the best technical and commercial solutions to the market.


In 2011 Paul was honored to be selected by Global Water Intelligence as one of the top global desalination experts (“Desalter”) in the history of the industry. He is currently serving as the President of the Texas Desalination Association and as Treasurer of the Caribbean Desalination Association.

Paul Hasler

Global Water Intelligence

Paul Hasler is a North America Editor for Global Water Intelligence, a company based in the UK which provides market analysis and news on the international water industry. His current role involves a focus on the US and Canadian markets, including interests in private finance and unconventional water supply options. After completing a Master’s Degree at the University of Oxford, Paul began working for GWI’s research team in 2014, and has since been involved with a number of market reports including Private Sector Participation in Water, Industrial Water Services & Chemicals, and the recent Global Water Markets 2017. Paul will be relocating to Texas this fall.

Piers Wells


Piers serves as the CEO of Digital H2O, a software and data analytics company focused on digital oifield water management. Piers has twenty years of experience in data analytics, software startups, and IT enabled corporate strategy. Prior to co‐founding Digital H2O, Piers led corporate strategy at Tendril, a leading smart‐grid data analytics and energy management software company. Prior to Tendril, Piers was a Principal in Booz & Company’s IT strategy practice where he helped Fortune 500 clients create IT and data enabled capabilities that provide sustainable competitive advantage. While at Booz, Piers also built the company’s IT performance measurement business, which provided clients robust data analytics and benchmarking services. Piers has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MA in Telecommunications from GW, and a BA in Government from Cornell University.

Ravi George

Ravi has six years of experience in the water quality sector, beginning his career in environmental compliance consulting. He followed this with stepping into a series of roles with Water Environment Research Foundation, assisting with their business development efforts and having several roles in developing and managing the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) Program. Ravi has spent the last 4 years engaging utilities and technology providers to identify partnerships and collaborative opportunities to accelerate the development and adoption of water quality technologies.

Reese Tisdale

Bluefield Research

Reese Tisdale has an extensive background in industry research, strategic advisory, and environmental consulting in the power and energy industries. Prior to co-founding Bluefield, Mr. Tisdale was Research Director for IHS, a leading research and advisory firm. He also has experience in groundwater remediation and project management for global oil & gas companies and worked as an international market analyst for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Mr. Tisdale was a member of the United States Peace Corp in El Salvador, holds a BS in Natural Resources from The University of the South, Sewanee, and a Masters in Business Administration from Thunderbird: The American Graduate School of International Management. He is based in Bluefield’s Boston, Massachusetts office.

Richard Seline


Over a twenty-five year period, Richard has conducted 135 engagements on regional innovation and public-private partnerships in Australia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, and the United States.  He has formed over 30 federal, state and regional innovation-technology initiatives across sectors such as advanced manufacturing, defense and national security, and digital infrastructure.


His work in and for the State of Texas includes as a member of the design team for the Texas Product Development Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund, Senior Advisor to the Governor’s Council on Science and Technology (2005-2006) and its Cluster Roadmap, and the technical advisor to regional strategies –from North Texas to the Gulf Coast-Houston, from the South Texas Border to the North Red River Region. He established the initial public-private partnership program across industry and state government.


He has assessed and advised the State and seven regional cluster initiatives, and conducted benchmarking on best practices in economic, workforce, and innovation development for 35 countries. Richard has authored five Statewide Roadmaps on Texas’ Biotechnology and Health Care Cluster for the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, resulting in gubernatorial and legislative support of life science investments, policy-making, and broad advocacy.


Richard served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Commerce, Chief of Staff of the President’s Commission on Executive Exchange, Congressional Liaison to the Persian Gulf Task Force at the Environmental Protection Agency, and White House Liaison to the Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations in the George H.W. Bush Administration.


Prior to moving to Washington, he was Special Assistant to the President of the University of Texas M.D. Andersen Cancer Center. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on urban planning and governance.

Robert Mace

Texas Water Development Board

Dr. Robert E. Mace is a Deputy Executive Administrator at the Texas Water Development Board and leads the agency’s Water Science & Conservation office, a department of 70 scientists, engineers, and specialists dedicated to better understanding groundwater and surface water resources; advancing water conservation and innovative water technologies such as desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, reuse, and rainwater harvesting; and better preparing Texas for floods.


Prior to joining the Texas Water Development Board in 1999, Robert worked for almost nine years at the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin as a hydrologist and research scientist. Robert has a B.S. in Geophysics and an M.S. in Hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology from The University of Texas at Austin. His residential consumption of water is less than 30 gallons per person per day (and would be lower if his wife was more cooperative).

Robert Renner

Water Research Foundation

Robert Renner is Chief Executive Officer of the Water Research Foundation.  The Water Research Foundation (www.WaterRF.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that sponsors research that supports the water community in cooperatively managing water from all sources to meet social, environmental, and economic needs.  With close to 1,000 subscriber members in the U.S. and abroad, the Foundation has funded and managed more than 1,400 research projects valued at more than $500 million.


Prior to joining the Foundation in 2005, Renner was the executive director of the International Society of Automation and served as deputy executive director of the American Water Works Association.  He has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant optimizing water treatment plant performance.  Mr. Renner holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in sanitary engineering from South Dakota State University and is a licensed professional engineer in both Colorado and Minnesota.

Rodney Moss

Longbow Partners


Rodney is Sr. Vice Presdient and the Regional Managing Director of the Construction Services Group for Aon Risk Services, Southwest Region.  He also is a member of Aon’s National Infrasctructure Services Team, providing risk consultaiton to owners and contractors on debt and performance security solutions for P3 transactions.


Experience: Rodney has 25 years experience in construction risk management and industry- leading expertise for P3 transactions.  Prior to joining Aon in April 2013, Rodney was Balfour Beatty Construction's national Sr. VP for Public Private Partnerships.  Prior to his national P3 role at Balfour Beatty Construction, Rodney was Regional Sr. VP and Chief Legal Officer for Balfour Beatty's Central Region for 10 years responsible for all contract and risk management matters.

Rodney was instrumental in passing Texas' P3 law in 2011 and the amendment to the statute in 2015 that established the Center for Alternative Procurement and Finance. He is active in the AIAI Law & Legislative Committee and the Texas Infrastructure Council and has been involved in the evolution of P3 statutes and P3 policy in Florida, Georgia, California, and Colorado and is currently working on behalf of the AIAI in several other states.  His current focus is establishing a repeatable model for P3 centers of excellence as the next phase of P3 in the US.  

Rodney was a partner with the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult & Cummings before joining Balfour Beatty and was a mechanical design and field engineer in the design/build power plant sector before going to law school.

Education: Rodney earned an B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M, and his law degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.

Ryan Beltán


Ryan Beltrán is founder of elequa and an award winning filmmaker who is actively engaging students and communities to solve water issues with DIY and open-source solutions and sharing their stories via a documentary series. with help from Accelerate H20 elequa has been featured at the White House Water Summit, SXSW, and in classrooms around Texas

Stephen McNair

Pioneer Water Management LLC

With over 30 years of experience in the midstream sector of oil and gas, Stephen McNair has been with Pioneer Natural Resources since 2010, where he is currently Vice President responsible for water, power and gas infrastructure. Notably, he is also President of Pioneer’s recently-formed wholly-owned Pioneer Water Management LLC, which is focused on optimizing every aspect of water use.


Previously, McNair led the development of Pioneer’s EFS Midstream LLC, which was recently acquired by EPP. Before joining Pioneer, McNair held positions with Crosstex Energy, Eagle Rock Energy, Duke Energy Field Services, with Conoco and Phillips Petroleum.


McNair holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from Oklahoma City University. He is a member of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Advisory Board, and he continues to be active in a number of oil and gas associations.

Tekla Taylor

Water Global Solutions

Tekla Taylor has over 21 years of experience in municipal and industrial water resources, water regulations and permitting as well as environmental management, permitting and planning.  She has served on various regulatory stakeholder committees and public outreach committees related to water, and has provided expert testimony on water protection, permitting and planning issues. Ms. Taylor is also a certified environmental systems manager and provides a broad range of environmental planning, permitting, compliance, due diligence and sustainable development services to mining, manufacturing, municipal, and oil and gas clients.

Ms. Taylor is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Water Handling and Management Technical Section, which was developed to educate members on the multidisciplinary aspects of water management within the oil and gas industry. Ms. Taylor has worked with clients to address water management needs at various stages of their Exploration and Production lifecycle, from resource planning to treatment system evaluation to disposition.  She has worked with clients to integrate asset planning and water management and to conduct comparative analyses and optimization of water management plans to address environmental and social impacts and offsets, technical feasibility, regulatory aspects, risk and project economics.

Todd Cranford

Xylem Water Solutions

With Xylem since November 2014, Todd manages three direct-to-market locations in Texas (Carrollton, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi) for Xylem’s Flygt brand. He also works closely with Xylem’s Godwin team throughout Texas. Prior to his time at Xylem, Todd was employed by a prominent progressive cavity pump manufacturer in the capacity of Municipal Market Manager - North America for 13 years. Todd graduated from Texas A&M University in 1991 with a B.S. in Industrial Distribution. He has a wife and two daughters.

Travis Hemphill


Travis has been part of the Infrastructure Advisory Group in the United States since September 2007. Travis provides advice on PPP and Project Finance transactions on both the public and private side. In particular, he has experience in the water, energy savings / lighting, port, rail, intermodal, social (courthouse) and highway sectors. Travis focuses on commercial structuring of projects and has assisted on all aspects of transactions, including project feasibility, commercial structuring, financial modeling, value for money analysis, and financial closes.

Select Water PPP Experience

■    Aqua America (N/A, Water, Texas, Puerto Rico) – Travis was part of the team advising Aqua America on the potential acquisition of the rights to a water pipeline in Texas. Travis reviewed the financial model of another adviser, suggested changes to the assumptions used in the model, and discussed acquisition structuring options with the client.

■    Consolidated Water (N/A, Water, Arizona/Mexico) – Travis led the financial analysis for the team advising Consolidated Water on a project finance capital raise to fund a desalination plant in Rosarito, Mexico and assisted with the eventual sale of equity in the development company to a private firm.

Additional PPP Experience

■    Michigan Pump Stations – Travis is leading the financial analysis for the Michigan Pump Stations project. The project structure is currently being analyzed by MDOT and a decision on next steps is anticipated for Spring 2016.

■    Michigan Freeway Lighting – Travis led the financial and commercial analysis of the project and was KPMG’s day to day contact for the client. The project reached financial close in August 2015.

■    36 Project (N/A, Highway, Colorado) – Travis was part of the team advising CHPTE on the U.S. 36 Project in Colorado. Travis was the main financial modeler for the initial feasibility analysis and also assisted with commercial structuring.

■    Long Beach Courthouse ($500m, Courthouse, California) – Travis was part of the team that advised Meridiam on the $500m Long Beach Courthouse Project that reached financial close in December 2010. Travis assisted with model runs and the financial close process.

■    Caltrans Presidio Parkway ($475m, Highway, California) – Travis was part of the bid evaluation team on the Presidio Parkway Project. In this regard, he evaluated one of two submitted bids and helped recommend to the client if the financial model was compliant, and if not, what inaccuracies there were. Travis also assisted with the financial capacity analysis.

■    Florida High-Speed Rail ($2.7bn, Rail, Florida) – Travis was part of the team advising FDOT on the proposed high speed rail project. In this regard, he assisted with financial modeling and project structuring.

■    TxDOT 635 ($2.7bn, Highway, Texas) – Travis was part of the bid evaluation team on the 635 project. He helped evaluate two competing financial models and was mainly responsible for the financial capacity analysis. Travis also assisted the project team leading up to the transaction with financial modeling support and commercial structuring advice.

■    TxDOT I-35E ($2bn, Highway, Texas) – Travis was one of the modelers on the 35E project and worked on the project from 2008 to 2011. Travis participated in numerous meetings, calls, and working groups on how to structure the project and evaluated a number of potential alternatives for project design.

Trevor Hill


Trevor Hill, is Chairman & CEO of FATHOM:

Mr. Hill has over 25 years’ experience in building and leading water companies, including four successful startups, and has significant experience in both public and private markets having raised $75M through an IPO and over $500M for private ventures.  Mr. Hill co-founded Global Water Resources, an investor-owned utility in the water scarce southwest that through his leadership, and direction built FATHOM, a suite of software products that provides state of the art back office services to municipal water utilities.  With his continued vision, FATHOM is now an independent software company that just recently secured Round B funding with Silver Lake Kraftwerk to further enhance and expand the platform.

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