Bill Ritter Jr. is currently the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University.  The Center started February 1, 2011 with Ritter as the founding Director.  In addition to the Director, as of 2011 the Center now employs an Assistant Director, two Senior Policy Advisors, and an Executive Assistant.
Ritter was elected as Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006 — the first Colorado-born governor in more than 35 years.  Ritter lead Colorado forward by bringing people together to tackle some of our state’s biggest challenges. During his 4 year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in renewable energy by building a New Energy Economy that is creating thousands of new jobs and establishing hundreds of new companies; enacted an aggressive business-development and job-creation agenda that is focused on knowledge-based industries of the future, such as energy, aerospace, biosciences, information technology and tourism; initiated sweeping K-12 education reforms to give Colorado children the skills and knowledge they need to compete and succeed in a 21st century global economy; and, improved access to quality and affordable health care for many of the 800,000 Coloradoans who lack health coverage.


A soil ecologist and environmental scientist, Diana Wall is University Distinguished Professor and Director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. Diana is actively engaged in research exploring how microbial and invertebrate diversity contributes to healthy, productive soils and thus to society, and the consequences of human activities on soil globally. Her 20+ years research in the Antarctic Dry Valleys follows the response of soil organisms and ecosystem processes to environmental change: in Africa she examines biodiversity in fertile and degraded soils. For her research contributions, in 2005, Wall Valley, Antarctica was designated and in 2009, a new soil mite species was named.  She served as a member of the PCAST Working Group on Biodiversity Preservation and Ecosystem Sustainability: a Report to President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and member of the NRC Committee on the Future of Antarctic Science. She was recently honored by being named as the Tansley Lecturer by the British Ecological Society. Diana holds an Honorary Doctorate from Utrecht University, and is a Fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society of Nematologists. Diana served as President of the Ecological Society of America, American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Intersociety Consortium for Plant Protection, Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, the Society of Nematologists and Chair, Council of Scientific Society Presidents. Diana received a B.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and was a Professor, University of California, Riverside.


Dr. Bryan Willson is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU) and has worked for over 25 years to develop large-scale solutions for global energy needs.  He serves as Director of CSU’s Clean Energy Supercluster (, an academic unit of over 150 diverse faculty members working to develop and disseminate clean energy solutions.   He is co-founder of Solix Biofuels (, a developer of large-scale production systems for algae-based biofuel, and Envirofit International (, a global company distributing clean energy solutions in the developing world. He is Founder and Director of CSU’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory (, a large and diverse energy solutions laboratory.  In June 2009, Scientific American named him to its inaugural list of the “Scientific American 10” – ten individuals who have made significant contributions to “guiding science to serve humanity” on a global basis; in August 2009, he was awarded the Maurice Albertson Medal for Sustainable Development (Albertson was the architect of the Peace Corps); in 2008 he received the Royal Award for Sustainability from the governments of Denmark and Spain.  He is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers.  Dr. Willson received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988, the same year he joined the CSU faculty.  He teaches in the areas of design, energy, and sustainable development.  He is the Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on over $30 million in funded energy research and has helped to raise over $50M for his companies; he has funded over 350 graduate and undergraduate students; is author or co-author of over 200 journal papers, conference proceedings, technical reports, and patents; and has worked in over 40 countries.


Tim Reeser is the Vice President of CSU Ventures and the Executive Director of Cenergy, Colorado State Universities’ Clean Energy Commercialization arm.  Mr. Reeser has a long history of Clean Energy and Entrepreneurship leadership in Colorado that started with the Natural Gas Vehicle Challenge and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Project in CSU’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory as a student in 1990.  Following this work, Mr. Reeser co-founded Engineering Computer Consultants, an engineering IT services organization that he grew to $7 million in revenue prior to selling to 3t Systems. Under Tim’s leadership as a Partner at 3t Systems, a technology consulting and software firm, 3t grew from $15 million to $35 Million in 3 years. Following his tenure at 3t, Tim co-founded Lightning Hybrids, a Loveland Colorado-based clean transportation development company specializing in hybrid vehicle technology.  Tim is currently leading several CSU clean energy spin outs and building the framework to support accelerated growth of spinouts out of CSU. Tim serves on the State of Colorado Governor’s Venture Capital Board and the Colorado Clean Energy Cluster Board, as well as other corporate and philanthropic boards. Tim is a frequent and popular industry speaker and panelist, with over 35 public speaking appearances each year. In addition, Tim has co-authored 4 technical books published by McGraw Hill.


Dr. William H. Farland is currently the Vice President for Research at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.  He is also a Professor in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at that institution.  He serves as the chief institutional advocate and facilitator for faculty research activities and is responsible for programmatic excellence in research. Specific responsibilities of the position include oversight and promotion of external research funding and associated regulations, needs and capabilities; serving as liaison with federal research officials and agencies; identification of research opportunities; and development and oversight of interdisciplinary programs and research centers, including CSU’s Superclusters in biomedicine and clean energy.
Dr. Farland holds a Ph.D. (1976) from UCLA in Cell Biology and Biochemistry.  He is routinely sought after to serve on executive-level committees and advisory boards within Colorado, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Farland has received numerous awards and honors for his work.
Background Session #1


Dr. Sally Sutton is Department Head and an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Colorado State University (CSU).  She earned a B.S. in Geology and Mineralogy from the University of Michigan followed by a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Cincinnati in 1987 where she completed a dissertation on the development of directional fabric in shales.  Dr. Sutton spent five years at the University of Texas at Austin as a research scientist, where she managed electron microbeam labs and conducted research on the mineralogy and geochemistry of shales and sandstones, including on characterizing evidence of ancient fluid pathways.  In 1992 she joined CSU as an Assistant Professor, where she has engaged in teaching at all levels and has continued to work on shales, especially on using geochemical and textural aspects to understand and predict fluid permeability.  She received a Fulbright Fellowship to study mineralized shales of the Central African Copperbelt and a visiting professorship with Chevron to study controls on shale permeability to hydrocarbons.  She has served in a variety of administrative roles at CSU and is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Sedimentary Research.
Background Session #2


Dr. Tom Sale is an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. Dr. Sale has bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Geology from Miami of Ohio (1980), a M.S. degree in Watershed Hydrology from the University of Arizona (1984), and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering from Colorado State University (1998). Research and consulting over the past 28 years have focused on innovative solutions for groundwater contamination and development of groundwater resources.
For the past ten years Dr. Sale has been the primary force behind the development of the Center for Contaminant Hydrology in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University.  Currently, the Center conducts approximately $1,200,000/year in research.  To date, the center has provided research funds for 5 Ph.D. students, 14 M.S. students, and 14 undergraduate research assistants.  In the last 6 years the Center has acquired six complete patents and one pending patent.
Prior to coming to Colorado State University Dr. Sale worked in engineering consulting for 14 years. This included 11 years with CH2M HILL where his responsibilities evolved through the positions of project hydrologist, project manager, department manager, and senior technical resource for remediation projects.
At a national level, Dr. Sale’s abilities are reflected in his selection for the Environment Protection Agency DNAPL Source Expert Panel (2003-2005), the National Research Council’s Army funded Committee on Source Removal of Contaminants in the Subsurface (2004-2006), and the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council’s Committee on Integrated DNAPL Source Strategies (2007-Present).
Background Session #3


Scott Neil, Senior Director of Engineering, DCP Midstream, is a proud Colorado State University graduate of the Class of 1980 in Mechanical Engineering with concentrations in Energy and Mechanics.  He began his career with Phillips Petroleum in Oklahoma City and trained as a Petroleum Engineer gaining professional registration in Oklahoma as a Petroleum Engineer.  During his career he shifted to the natural gas gathering, processing and marketing arm of Phillips (GPM) holding the positions of Asset Engineer with increasing levels of authority at 13 different plants and gathering systems, gas transmission pipelines and NGL pipelines across Oklahoma and Texas.  Following the merger between GPM and Duke Energy in 2000 forming DCP, he remained with the new organization leading the Houston regional Project Management group, and developing incoming Engineers.

Moving back to Denver in 2009, Scott became the company’s Project Development Director preparing initial designs, cost estimates and integration plans for the company’s large scale growth projects from Texas to Colorado to Maine and the Offshore Gulf of Mexico.  This past summer Scott was promoted to Sr. Director of Engineering leading 30 Engineers and 15 Automation Control Specialists executing the $10 Million to $1.2 Billion projects, totaling $4 Billion over the next 3 years.
Background Session #4


Ken Carlson is an Associate Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University with over 20 years of experience in water treatment, wastewater handling and environmental engineering. Dr. Carlson is the co-director of the Colorado Energy-Water Consortium, a public-private partnership that is addressing water issues associated with oil and gas exploration and production in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. Current work with the consortium includes studies related to fuel source water intensity, fracturing fluid treatment and optimization of water management. Dr. Carlson has a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, MS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Colorado – Boulder. Before coming to Colorado State University, Dr. Carlson worked for over 10 years in private industry including multiple positions in the environmental consulting field.
Recent research interests have included drinking water treatment, fate of emerging contaminants in the environment and agricultural pollutants including nutrients, pharmaceutical compounds and pesticides.
Background Session #5


Suzanne Minter is an Account Executive at BENTEK Energy. In this role, she works within the analytics and consulting groups to help expand Bentek’s client base, contributes to product development and frequently speaks about the natural gas market at energy conferences.

A veteran of Koch Industries, Western Gas Resources (Anadarko) and Noram (Reliant Energy), Suzanne has worked in the energy business for over 25 years. Suzanne attended the University of Texas Austin with a major in Geology.
Keynote Address #1


Ms. Tisha Conoly Schuller serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association.  As President, Ms. Schuller is responsible for leading the industry in Colorado legislative, regulatory, and public relations matters.  Previously, Ms. Schuller served as a Principal and Vice President with Tetra Tech, a national environmental consulting and engineering firm.  In addition to running business operations, Ms. Schuller spent 15 years conducting environmental permitting for oil and natural gas projects across the country. She has a B.S. in Earth Systems with an emphasis in Geology from Stanford University. Tisha is married to Brian and they have two young boys. They live in rural Boulder County in a log cabin built in 1873. Tisha is a proud Advisory Board Member of the American Red Cross in Denver.
Keynote Address #2


Ed Warner, who graduated from CSU in 1968 with a degree in Geosciences, developed a great love for the university and the faculty in the College of Natural Resources. He earned a master’s in Geology from UCLA in 1971 before working for Shell Oil Company, Amoco and Energetics Inc. He became president and owner of Denver-based Expedition Oil Company Inc. in 1982 and partnered with Casper, Wyo.-based McMurry Oil Co. to acquire a small natural gas field in west-central Wyoming now known as Jonah Field. Warner discovered innovative methods to tap Jonah Field, which has been estimated to contain more than 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas – 1.5 percent of the nation’s reserves. The Jonah Field is responsible for creating 600 jobs in Wyoming and, over its expected 75-year lifetime, will create more than $30 billion in economic activity – including more than $3 billion in tax revenue for Wyoming. In 2005, Warner donated $30 million to his beloved alma mater, which responded by naming the college the Warner College of Natural Resources. His gift established endowed chairs in Economic Geology and Geophysics, funded teaching assistantships and created the Center of Collaborative Conservation. His donation remains the largest gift in CSU’s history. Warner received an honorary doctorate from CSU in May 2011.
Panel Session #1

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Mark Williams loves snow and all things associated with snow. He is a professor of geography and fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), and he received his PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1991. Williams is the lead scientist for the Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research program, a Co-I on the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory, the director of a new Colorado Water and Energy Research Center at CU-Boulder, and he is active in a research program on glacial melt and water security in the Himalayas.


Barbara Kirkmeyer is currently a Weld County Commissioner.  She is serving as Chairwoman of the Board and is in her third term as a County Commissioner.  Among her many activities as a County Commissioner, she has oversight responsibilities for the Weld County Smart Energy Project and the Weld County Niobrara Work Group.
Barbara previously worked in the Owens Administration, serving on the Governor’s Cabinet as the acting Executive Director for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.  In her role as Director, she was responsible for building partnerships with community leaders, state and federal agencies, nonprofit and private businesses, coordinating the department’s response to legislative issues, and budget policy and development for the $450 million dollar budget.

Barbara Kirkmeyer is a fourth-generation Coloradan who was raised on a dairy farm and who raised her children on a farm in Weld County where she continues to live. Barbara is a graduate from the University of Colorado, receiving a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate. She co-owned and operated a small business with her sister for 15 years.


Dr. Sharvelle has served as a faculty member at Colorado State University (CSU) since 2007 with research on anaerobic digestion for methane capture and use.  Her expertise is in the area of biological process engineering.  While pursuing a M.S. degree at the University of Colorado Boulder, she worked on a project funded by NASA to develop a biological processor for treatment of urine-soap wastewater expected to be generated at the International Space Station.  The end use of the water would be drinking water.  This research led Dr. Sharvelle to the Ph.D. program at Purdue University where she was part of the NASA Specialized Center for Research and Training (NSCORT) focused on advanced life support (ALS) research.  This was a multidisciplinary center comprised of 21 primary investigators from different departments.  The goal of center was to recycle valuable resources such as water and air, while recovering important nutrients.  Her specific project was a biological processing unit for simultaneous treatment of graywater (laundry and hygiene wastewater) and waste gas contaminated with high levels of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.  The multi-component ALS system proposed a completely closed loop system.  Dr. Sharvelle’s previous research experience in closed loop life support led her to research in the area of sustainable water and waste management.  Dr. Sharvelle was hired by CSU to provide expertise and serve as an extension specialist in the area of livestock waste management.  Soon after her arrival to CSU, she began to evaluate the feasibility of waste conversion to energy at Colorado cattle operations.  While Colorado has a large dairy and feedlot industry, there are no successfully operating facilities to convert animal waste into methane biogas for future use.  Dr. Sharvelle has developed an online decision tool for feasibility of on-farm anaerobic digestion.  She is also developing a new technology for anaerobic digestion of dry manure which would improve the feasibility of waste conversion to methane biogas in Colorado.  Another barrier to anaerobic digestion feasibility in Colorado is the lack of infrastructure for use of the methane biogas.  Dr. Sharvelle now has projects working on anaerobic digestion of municipal organic waste (food and yard waste) and municipal wastewater for generation of methane biogas in addition to animal manure.

Panel Session #2

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Kate Fay is a nationally known expert in environmental and energy policy development and implementation. In January 2011, EPA Region 8 (Denver, Colorado) Administrator Jim Martin appointed Kate to serve as his Senior Advisor for Energy and Climate. Her current portfolio includes helping develop and advance constructive strategies for managing the effects of extensive energy development occurring in the Rocky Mountain West.

Prior to her EPA appointment, Kate served as Energy Manager of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and led the Department’s participation in an overhaul of Colorado’s oil and gas regulations. Kate has been President of Terra Firma Strategies, a consulting company focused on environmental and energy policy analysis, permitting and strategic planning and served in the Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Conservation, under former Governor Roy Romer. From 1988 to 1991 Kate held several positions within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation in Washington, D.C. where she worked exclusively for the Assistant Administrator on reauthorization of the Clean Air Act and its subsequent implementation. Kate began her career in California working in the Los Angeles headquarters of Tosco Corporation, where she worked on environmental aspects of oil shale and enhanced oil recovery development, as well as oil refining.  Kate holds degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in natural resources economics and public policy. Kate was a 1996 German Marshall Fund Environment Program Fellow, as well as a participant in the 1998 and 1999 Aspen Institute Series on Natural Resources and the Environment.


David is the Director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates oil and gas development in the State. During his tenure, the Commission has undertaken the first comprehensive updating of its rules in more than a decade, issued a record number of drilling permits, overseen the implementation of various new environmental protections, and significantly reduced processing times.
From 2007 until early 2009, he was also the Assistant Director for Energy and Minerals for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. In that capacity, he worked with the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, the Geological Survey, and other state agencies regarding energy and mineral development in Colorado.

Prior to joining the Department in 2007, David spent 24 years as an associate and partner in the international law firm of Arnold & Porter, LLP. At Arnold & Porter, he represented clients in a wide range of complex litigation matters, including environmental permitting disputes, government contracts claims, government enforcement actions, real estate disputes, and products liability litigation. He also assisted clients in obtaining numerous environmental, land use, and other regulatory approvals. In recent years, his clients included ski resorts, real estate developers, public utilities, local governments, Indian tribes, and mining, oil and gas, and pharmaceutical companies.

He has also written and lectured on wetlands regulation, threatened and endangered species, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, and other environmental issues. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and the University of Washington Law School.


Stephen A. Flaherty is the Director of Government Relations for Noble Energy, Inc.  Noble Energy, Inc. is a Houston based independent oil and gas exploration and production company that operates throughout the world.  Noble Energy, Inc. four core areas include West Africa, Israel, US Gulf of Mexico and the Rocky Mountains.  He was a lead negotiator for the natural gas industry for the landmark Colorado Clean Air Clean Jobs Act.  In 2011 he received the Wirth Chair Awards for Creative Collaborations for Sustainability for his leadership role in the Clean Air Clean Jobs Act.  Prior to Noble Energy Stephen spent 12 years in Washington, DC consulting for federal and state political and issue campaigns.  He resides in Boulder with his wife Brenda and two daughters Grace and Caleigh.

Panel Session #3

See above


Michael J. Orlando is Principal and Owner of Economic Advisors, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in game-theoretic, vote-theoretic, and social psychological applications in multi-stakeholder negotiations and investor relations. He is also Adjunct Professor of Finance at Tulane University, and a course developer for Penn State’s online energy business programs. Michael began his career with Shell Oil Company.  He provided reservoir engineering and economic evaluation expertise for oil and gas exploration and development projects in the Gulf of Mexico.  He also worked as an environmental engineer, ensuring environmental compliance and managing the Company’s relationship to a listed Superfund site.  Michael later served as a Research Economist in the Federal Reserve System, and then as Vice President and Branch Executive of the Fed’s Denver Branch.  He was responsible for regional economic research, energy markets analysis, policy advising, and public communication.

Michael holds a Ph.D and an M.A. in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.B.A. from Tulane University, and a B.S. in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Pennsylvania State University.