The Global Environmental Legacy Team
Brett DansonBoard Chairman
Brett brings 33 years of experience, as a business owner, in the finance and development industries, to the environmental improvement industry. Realizing the need for new zero impact environmental products, Brett sought out brilliant minds to assemble an array of advanced technologies to tackle contamination. The idea is to create environmental systems that address complex pollution issues. Through research and hard work, Brett has been able to assemble an impressive array of brilliant minds that develop innovative environmental products that solve pollution problems previously thought impossible to solve. Some of the approaches have pieced together material science, bio-electrochemical systems, nanoscience, physics, quantum physics, electrochemistry, and electrostatic adhesion technologies.
Kevin brings 26 years of project development experience and a passion for water advocacy to the environmental improvement industry. Kevin actively pursues means and methods of water conservation and purification in arid regions of the world to avert public health threats. Making his home in Yuma, Arizona--one of the most agriculturally rich areas in the world—he has an appreciation and understanding of the true value of water. Kevin has an extensive background in professional public and private project management, infrastructure finance, and government contracting. Additionally, his water policy advocacy expands through his volunteer appointments with agriculture and water councils. As President of Global Environmental Legacy Foundation, his focused collaboration with multiple public agencies and private stakeholders seeks to develop cost effective solutions for the greater good while maintaining a balance between the needs of agricultural and urban areas.
Dr. Timothy Bradley is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Irvine. He has over 30 years’ experience studying the physiological ecology of animals in saline waters. His work has involved studies carried out in Canada, the U.S., Germany and Costa Rica. He has published over 100 scientific, peer-reviewed papers on the on the physiology and ecology of aquatic organisms. His book “Animal Osmoregulation” was published by the Cambridge University Press. He is the founder and past Director of the UC Irvine Salton Sea Initiative. Dr. Bradley was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1992.
Thierry R. MontoyaExecutive Director Legal
Thierry as achieved successful results for both public and private sector clients in a variety of complex environmental, land use, construction, and eminent domain matters. Thierry’s practice includes environmental litigation under CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, Proposition 65, and state and federal and common law. Thierry also represents clients in natural resources issues involving water, oil and gas interests, air and water permitting and violations including NPDES and Title V. On the land use side, Thierry provides permitting, zoning, CEQA/NEPA, and eminent domain expertise. Thierry also represents public and private sector clients in construction biddings, contracting, and litigation.
Craig AhrensExecutive Director
Craig’s background for years was in mortgage banking. He enjoyed a tremendously successful career as the EVP for the Nation's largest independently owned bank. His desire for a toxin free planet dates back years ago. Now, an award winning Filmmaker & Actor. Craig has made it a big part of his career to educate the public on the importance of clean water and consuming foods that are organic and pesticide free. He has done a tremendous job of introducing the Foundation to the outside World. He's always on the lookout for alliances that will help to grow & strengthen the Foundation.
Leslie WilliamsDirector Legal IP
Ms. Williams is a partner of Wilson Keadjian Browndorf, LLP. She counsels clients on their domestic and international business transactions, with special emphasis on the needs of technology companies. She advises on a broad range of corporate transactions, including the purchase and sale of stock and corporate assets, the acquisition, strategic use of and enforcement of intellectual property rights in the U.S. and abroad, and the commercialization of technology, products and services. Her industry knowledge includes semiconductors, software and web-based applications, medical devices, advanced ceramics, stem cell storage, and energy efficiency and renewables. Most recently, she has co-founded the Senate of the Economy, a trade and investment nonprofit corporation affiliated with its German counterpart of the same name, which promotes the internationalization of mid-size firms through direct B2B at the CEO level.
Nobel Chang, MBADirector
Nobel is the VP of New Markets at Pine Gate Renewables, a utility-scale solar development firm. He is also the Co-Founder & CEO of Easy Streak. Nobel is an 10-year veteran in the solar space with his tenure as Managing Director at Radiant Sky Energy. His strengths lie in his ability to identify new opportunities and forming long-term relationships where all parties win. He has fully developed and transacted on over $100 million and utility scale solar farms. Nobel received his Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.
Steve GruberDirector Engineering
With more than 20 years of experience in the environmental field, I currently serve as a project manager at Burns & McDonnell, working with clients to create high quality, safe and reliable water solutions.I’ve managed numerous stormwater projects throughout California related to the state’s Construction General Permit (CGP), Industrial General Permit (IGP), and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits (Phase I and Phase II). I have a thorough understanding of watershed science and have conducted numerous studies related to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permits throughout the country. Before my current role at Burns & McDonnell, I led a Water Resources project team, always focused on integrating services to benefit clients. We provided watershed, marine, and sediment management consulting, field and laboratory services.My extensive experience includes managing complex projects involving engagement with diverse regulatory entities and resource agencies throughout California, such as the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board), numerous Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).I have a Master’s degree in Biology from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston.
Tom SephtonDirector - Salton Sea Initiative
Tom Sephton is President of Sephton Water Technology. He is currently conducting the VTE Geothermal Desalination Pilot/Demonstration Project. Tom Sephton assisted his father and company founder, Hugo Sephton, with earlier demonstrations, including the most recent at Modesto Energy. Tom took charge of Sephton Water Technology and the current geothermal VTE initiative in 2002. Tom Sephton received a B.A. degree in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley (1981) and an M.A. degree in Multimedia from California State University, Hayward (1999). Mr. Sephton′s work experience includes two years in biomedical research with HyTech Scientific, four years in biochemical research at U.C. Berkeley, four years as a software engineer for Extempo Systems, and 15 years operating his former business specializing in audio/video/animation production before making a full-time commitment to Sephton Water Technology.
Ron ImusDirector, Marketing
Ron is a seasoned Marketing leader with 25-years of experience building some of the most iconic brands in the world. He has worked for several Fortune 500 companies including Toyota, Kellogg’s and Johnson & Johnson. Ron’s expertise is in developing insightful brand strategies and marketing executions that drive results. He is also committed to giving back to his community and helping to care for our environment. He was on the Board of Directors of Jr. Achievement of Southern California and he is a University Adjunct Professor and Brand Consultant. Ron has an MBA in Marketing and Corporate Strategy from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Arizona. On the weekends you can mostly find him cheering on his daughters at a volleyball tournament or dance competition, neither of which he is personally adept at.
Senami CraftDirector Legal Mediation
I am an attorney with a passion for environmental law and startups. I represent toxic tort plaintiffs, environmental activists, environmental defense organizations, green tech entrepreneurs, as well as creative professionals with a concern for the environment. I promote rights of nature laws with the Earth Law Center and I am a member of Silicon Beach LA and the Environmental and IP sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I am admitted to practice in all California state courts and in federal courts (United States District Court for the Central District of California and United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.)
Devang ShethDirector Growth Marketer
Digital marketing leader with 10+ years experience growing marketing departments in startup environments and advising multiple small and nonprofit organizations on audience development, branding, and earned income strategies. A self-starter with significant experience hiring and managing teams, building multi-channel user acquisition and retention strategies, and driving product adoption.
Viktor RaykinChief Technology Innovation Officer
Extensive hands-on experience in the technical, administrative, and financial management of large-scale multi-discipline environmental and social programs in the USA and in over 30 countries in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Africa, and Australia. Clients included many Fortune 500 and Fortune Global 500 companies. Very strong track record in business development and project execution. Exceptional leadership and communication skills. Excellent judgment, problem solving, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills. Proven ability to work with diverse stakeholders including corporate executives, industrial owners, facility managers, contractors, vendors, government regulators, bankers, attorneys, insurance brokers, and NGOs. Extensive technical expertise in earth sciences, environmental investigations, water resources, hydrogeology, and computer modeling.
Bruce RittmanScience Director
Dr. Bruce Rittmann, Ph.D., is the director of the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University and is also a Regents' Professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and Built Environment. He joined ASU in January 2005. An international leader in managing microbial communities, Dr. Rittmann's work is leading to new ways to clean up pollution, treat water and wastewater, capture renewable energy, and improve human health. The membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR), a technology that Dr. Rittmann invented, uses naturally occurring microorganisms to remove contaminants such as perchlorate and tricloroethene from water. He holds five patents on the technology, which is being commercialized by APTwater, Inc. Dr. Rittmann is at the lead of ASU teams using two innovative approaches to renewable bioenergy: using anaerobic microbes to convert biomass to useful energy forms, such as methane, hydrogen, or electricity; and using photosynthetic bacteria that can capture sunlight to produce new biomass that can be turned into liquid fuels, like diesel or jet fuel.
Science DirectorZhiyong (Jason) Ren
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment Princeton University. His research focuses on water-energy nexus and energy and resource recovery during waste treatment processes, with the goal of expanding environmental engineering from pollution clean-up to sustainable development of energy and environmental systems. The Ren lab uses microbial and electrochemical systems to directly convert biodegradable materials, such as wastewater, biomass, and municipal solid waste into energy, fuels, materials, chemicals and other value-added products. They use molecular microbiology, electrochemistry, and system engineering tools to understand the fundamental determinant factors of those systems so as to enhance design, operation, and monitoring in concert with traditional approaches.
Science DirectorSunny Jiang
Applied Environmental Microbiology Laboratory University of California, Irvine. Research within our laboratory is focused on integrating environmental microbiological and engineering principles to solve a variety of issues in the fields of water and wastewater treatment, coastal and estuarine water quality, as well as ecology and environmental biotechnology.
Associate Professor at Arizona State University •Electrochemical and electroanalytical methods for characterization of materials, with expertise in battery and supercapacitor measurements•Synthesis of nanocrystals and nanowires using solution-phase and vapor-phase methods•Characterization of nanomaterials (SEM, TEM, XPS, AES, XRD, AFM)•Solution processing and functionalization of carbon nanotubes and inorganic nanowires•Lithography (e-beam and photo) experience for fabricating single nanowires devices and soft lithography for microfluidics devices
Pei XuScience Director
New Mexico State University Environmental Lab for Innovative Technologies. Water quality and quantity, energy demand, and their impacts on people and the environment are some of the greatest challenges that humanity is facing in the 21stcentury. Given the energy intensity of existing water infrastructures and the prospect that water demands will soon exceed supplies in many areas, it is critical to develop sustainable technologies for water and wastewater treatment. Our research focuses on developing innovative technologies to augment water supplies from alternative water resources (e.g., municipal wastewater, brackish water, produced water, desalination concentrate, and other impaired waters) while balancing energy consumption, economic benefits, ecological impacts, and social acceptance. Our research areas include water and wastewater engineering; membrane processes; desalination; potable and non-potable water reuse; produced water treatment; oxidation and photocatalysis; biological and bioelectrochemical processes; removal of emerging contaminants; and membrane fouling.
Thomas BradleyEngineering Director
Dr. Thomas H. Bradley is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Colorado State University. He earned BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California – Davis, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology with an emphasis in systems engineering and decision support. Primary research interests include the design of automotive, aerospace and energy systems; integrated controls and design optimization; and the validation of engineering design methods. Prior to his academic career, Bradley was sole proprietor of an independent consulting company, performing hybrid electric vehicle design and control modeling for the Electric Power Research Institute in support of vehicle development programs at Ford, Daimler Chrysler and BAE Systems. Dr. Bradley’s research is focused on using advanced system design tools with experimental validation to advance the state of the art in practical, demonstrable systems
John SaboScience Director
John Sabo is an ecologist who studies the importance of water in determining the viability and resilience of animal and plant populations in river and riparian ecosystems. He and his research team use large-scale field experiments and the application of stable isotopes to understand how drought and floods influence freshwater and terrestrial biodiversity. They also study how these extreme events affect food web structure. He also develops statistical techniques to measure the resilience of river food webs and the fisheries that these food webs support. Sabo collaborates broadly across disciplines, synthesizing large datasets to answer questions about the impacts of floods and water scarcity on the interactions between humans and biodiversity. Professor Sabo’s work is being applied to problems in watershed management and freshwater sustainability to understand how water scarcity and extreme weather influence food security and biodiversity.
Amirah AzizBusiness Plan Development Director
With a deep background in Government Affairs, I am committed to expanding Federal investments in technology and transforming our digital footprint by driving data driven decision making and design thinking to our work processes and operations. My current role allows me to manage, lead, create and build data solutions for other Governmental customer agencies through governance, technology products & services, and capacity building within our workforce. I am a driver for modernization & innovation within our public policies and bureaucracy.
Wilson SilvaBusiness Plan Development
Every person should have access to a sustainable energy source to live a better life. With my refined skill set and a broad range of experiences, I bring innovative solutions to make business more efficient and successful. My passion for energy, finance, and solving problems makes me eager to find creative solutions to improve the energy industry.
Andrew BjorkBusiness Plan Development
Experienced Associate with a demonstrated history of working in the civil engineering industry. Skilled in AutoCAD Civil 3D, ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, Spanish, and Portuguese. Strong engineering professional pursuing a Master's degree focused in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals.