Janet Lauer is the Director of 3 Rivers Clean Energy, an economic and workforce development initiative founded in 2006 with a mission to grow the energy industry in the southwestern Pennsylvania region. Prior to this role, Ms. Lauer served for nearly eight years as Senior Vice President of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, a private nonprofit leadership organization dedicated to improving the economy and quality of life of the Pittsburgh region.
Ms. Lauer also spent 20 years in corporate research. She held the position of Operations Manager for the Northrop Grumman Science and Technology Center and had the opportunity to build the 150-person Pittsburgh-based research lab. Prior to that she served as Operations Manager for the Westinghouse Science and Technology Center and spent many years as a scientist in the labs, working primarily on energy related projects, including battery development for electric vehicles in cooperation with Chrysler Corporation and the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory.
She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Mack Godfrey is employed by NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas. He is an engineer who has worked in the energy field for more than 35 years and is a Certified Energy Manager. Mr. Godfrey has been involved in a number of alternative fuel projects and clean initiatives, including fueling equipment as well as vehicle fleets.
Though Mr. Godfrey’s primary work has been with CNG, he has also had exposure to other fuels, such as hydrogen and propane.
Colin Huwyler is a founding member and CEO of Optimus Technologies. Optimus Technologies designs, engineers and manufactures next-generation biofuel systems. Their Vector system is a bolt-on, modular diesel-to-biofuel conversion system that enables utilization of liquid fuels from biomass in large commercial diesel engine applications.
Mr. Huwyler has been working in the renewable energy industry with a focus on diesel technology for more than six years. He is currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and has a certificate in entrepreneurial leadership from CMU’s Tepper School of Business – Executive Education Leadership Program.
In various capacities, he has consulted and has given lectures on biofuels for nonprofits, municipalities, corporations and universities throughout the country. Mr. Huwyler currently sits on the executive board of Fossil Free Fuel.
David Dernar, C.P.A, is the operating manager of Dernar & Associates, LLC, a public accounting firm located in Murrysville, Pa. Licensed in both Pennsylvania and Georgia, Mr. Dernar has been practicing public accounting, with a concentration in auditing, since 1968. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ state education committee and is also a past chairperson.
Mr. Dernar sits on the executive board of the Regional Development Funding Corporation and the Murrysville Economic Community Development Corporation. He is also the president of EMS Southwest, Inc., an ambulance service located in Waynesburg, Pa., as well as the operating manager of Dependable Ambulance Billing, LLC, located in Murrysville, Pa.
Jason Pacewicz was the former Fleet Administrator for the Duquesne Light Company, representing a diverse utility fleet of 850 units located in five service territories across the Pittsburgh region.
Mr. Pacewicz experience began in 1995 and has been exclusive to the automotive industry spanning from retail dealership level to corporate office level experience at a major automotive manufacture. He currently holds an A.A.S in automotive technology, a B.S. in automotive business management and has received an M.B.A. He is in the process of completing his Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) Certification and is a member of NAFA, NTEA, and SAE.
Charles Cross is the former President of United Oil Company, a specialty industrial lubricants manufacturer founded in 1906 with products specially designed to assist customers with increasing productivity, reducing costs, improving safety and being environmentally friendly. In 2005, Mr. Cross led United Oil to become the first commercial biodiesel manufacturer in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Cross also founded Shepherd Computer Services, a computer hardware design and manufacturing company in 1986. Additionally, he is a prior president of PRCC’s board of directors.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration and finance from Denver University and a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Widener University.
Jack Halpern is presently Fuel Procurement Manager for Gulf Trading & Transport LLC of Blairsville, Pa., with offices located in Braddock, Pa. He currently buys, sells and trades in coal, limestone and other natural resources and has 25 years experience in the coal and limestone marketing industries. He believes it is necessary to have a good balance between industry and environmental concerns and works toward that end.
Mr. Halpern has been a member of PRCC’s Board of Directors for three years. He is a lifelong resident of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Penn State.
Lee Herbermann is presently the Bio-Fuels Division Manager for Export Fuel Co. Inc., located in Export, Pa. He is also an EPA-certified instructor, teaching the Tank Owner Training Program for the Petroleum Retailers & Garage Repair Association.
Mr. Herbermann has more than forty years of experience working for major oil companies in petroleum marketing and terminal operations, handling the sale of petroleum products in a multi-state area. Various positions were held during that time including: manager of terminal operations, distribution manager, manager of company owned assets, auditor, special projects coordinator and sales manager.
Over the years he has started and operated several small businesses along with a real-estate business he still operates.
Mike Lickert is Giant Eagle’s Corporate Fleet Manager, as well as the project leader for its Compressed Natural Gas Project. The company has more than 200 vehicles in its fleet, more than 300 stores and 160 GetGo gas stations. In 2010, Giant Eagle used more than 113,000 gallons of B100.
In addition to serving on PRCC’s board, he is also a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Foodbank’s Board of Directors and the National Private Truck Council’s Board of Governors. Mr. Lickert has 31 years of experience in supply chain with Giant Eagle and earned a Certified Transportation Professional (CTP) Designation in 2006.
Laura Mundell is a Development Specialist at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, which is the official Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Pittsburgh region. SPC directs the use of all state and federal transportation and economic development funds allocated to the region—approximately $33 billion through 2030.
Ms. Mundell’s experience with regional economic development includes serving as Director of Community and Economic Development, Centralina Council of Governments, in Charlotte, NC and Director of Economic Programs at the Institute for Local Government Administration and Regional Development at Ohio University, among other positions.
Ms. Mundell attended the University of Salzburg, Austria, received a bachelor of arts degree from The Ohio State University and graduated with a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University. She has served on numerous advisory boards for nonprofit organizations.
Eileen Schmura has more than 20 years of experience in power plant engineering, process design and control, component and systems engineering, environmental engineering, project engineering and integration, contract negotiations, performance testing, environmental testing and quality assurance. Activities have included hydrogen infrastructure analysis, environmental systems design and permitting, plant design engineering, equipment specification and procurement, plant construction, plant start-up and testing, plant operations, plant modifications, technical training and technology development.
Ms. Schmura has been employed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Deloitte and Touche and Robert Morris University. She is currently employed by Concurrent Technologies Corporation.
Chuck Wichrowski is the owner of Baum Boulevard Automotive. His shop is an independent auto repair shop and Bosch Authorized Repair Center, servicing and repairing all types of vehicles with additional emphasis on European, Asian, diesel and alternative fuel cars. His technicians have advanced training in CNG, biofuels and hybrid propulsion systems. His business has been a retailer of B100 biodiesel for more than 12 years and have a continuing program of educating his customer base about sustainable practices and alternative energy through the company’s website, newsletter and Facebook page.
Baum Boulevard Automotive also partners with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Robotics Institute in its ChargeCar project. The plan is to convert sixth generation Honda Civics to 100 percent electric drive using a kit developed by CMU that could be installed by most auto repair shops.