Conference Organizers

Charles Berkstresser

Charles was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado. He received his undergraduate degree in International Business from University of Colorado, Boulder and Masters degree in Spirituality from Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley CA. Prior to launching Tragaluz, Charles was the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at WesPay, a financial services trade association. He also has served as Executive Director of the Hawaii Epilepsy Foundation, a non-profit organization.

David Morell Ph.D

David is a former EPA and California regulatory agency official with over 40 years of experience in government, industry, consulting, and academia. He is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in permitting, compliance management, and environmental policy development. Dr. Morell is a lead ISO 14000 auditor and has helped implement compliance and management programs in a wide variety of industries. Dr. Morell has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Princeton; Stanford; the University of California, Berkeley, Davis, and Santa Cruz; and at Mae Fah Luang University in northern Thailand.

Raymond Baltar

Raymond is currently pursuing a second career in sustainability, with biochar as the focus. For his Capstone project in the Green MBA he was the lead writer for a proposed gasification facility in Sonoma County called Sonoma Green Energy. He recently completed an assignment as consultant and lead writer for a biochar/renewable energy business plan for an Eco Commercial Park in Moss Landing California.

Ray Gallian

Ray is the founder of the Sonoma Biochar Initiative, formalizing an interest in climate change mitigation efforts. As a Planning Commissioner for the City of Sonoma, he served as a City appointed representative to review the developing Sonoma County Climate Action Plan (2007-2009). Researching possible mitigation responses, he found biochar was the most promising, both global in scope and locally deployable, and sought a focused entity to develop a tangible demonstration project.

Peter Hirst

After retiring from a career in energy and natural resources, Peter founded New England Biochar with Bob Wells in 2009, and has been manufacturing, consulting, training and presenting on biochar use and production ever since.

Susan Haydon

Geographer, foodie, and advocate of developing a true ”sense of place”, Ms. Haydon’s career is founded on planning for a sustainable future built on grass roots self-reliance, strong work ethic, and ingenuity. As Conservation & Education Program Director for the Southern Sonoma County Resource Conservation District, she manages district programs providing landowners technical advice, assistance, and access to resources promoting conservation and land stewardship. Ms. Haydon also serves on the Rohnert Park Planning Commission and is a Steering Committee Member of the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative.

Richard Dale

Richard Dale has nearly 30 years of experience in environmental policy and nonprofit management. He co-founded the Sonoma Ecology Center in 1990 and has been its director since 1992. In his tenure, the Sonoma Ecology Center has developed into a locally driven, regionally respected agency working through extensive partnerships to conduct technical research, education, and restoration to sustain and enhance ecological health at the watershed scale.

Oren Wool

Oren Wool
Oren Wool advises organizations looking to improve their economic, environmental, and social sustainability metrics. As the Principal of 108 Technologies, Oren implements technology solutions to improve organizational communication and support brand messaging. As a project manager, he builds team to promote ideas, policies, companies and products that prosper from sustainable development and foster social equity. Recent clients include organizations focused on food safety, organic agriculture, herbal supplements, fair trade, biodiversity and healthy lifestyles.

2012 US Biochar Conference Sponsors

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