Working hand-in-hand with our team of advisors, THG is well equipped and uniquely positioned to serve our clients and partners.
Principal and Founder, THG Advisors
Brendan P. McGinnis serves as Principal of THG Advisors. In 2008, he founded the organization with former U.S. EPA Acting Administrator, Marianne L. Horinko. He conceptualized and launched the firm’s Water Resources Policy, Development & Sustainable Communities Group, advancing actionable strategies for addressing domestic water quality-quantity and infrastructure issues. He also directs the planning, design, content development, outreach and facilitation of the firm’s executive-level stakeholder forums, convening public-private leadership to better inform problem-solving, exchange ideas and information, and build key partnerships towards sustainable outcomes.
Mr. McGinnis is a founding member and Board Advisor of the Water Resources Action Project (WRAP), a 501(c)(3) formed in 2009 to mitigate conflict in the Middle East through environmental peace-building programs for youth with a focus on water conservation. As former Executive Director, he led the organization’s efforts to finance and construct rainwater harvesting systems at schools throughout Israel, Palestine, and Jordan to increase their water security. He would routinely visit the region to build and maintain partnerships with the Ministries of Education and Environment, schools, NGOs and local businesses. He was nominated and served on the Executive Committee of the Rotary Hands Across Waters Program, the largest Rotary International global grant awarded to Israel.
Previously, Mr. McGinnis served as Project Manager for the Global Environment & Technology Foundation providing research, analysis, and management support for a suite of domestic and international sustainability projects, including The Global Water Challenge, U.S. Agency for International Development’s Powering Health Guidebook; Green Highways Partnership, and on-site management of the Fourth Biennial International Waters Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa.
Mr. McGinnis received his BA in Business Administration and MBA from Southern Illinois University.
Regulatory & Legislative Support
G. Tracy Mehan, III
Senior Advisor, Water Resources Regulation & Policy
G. Tracy Mehan, III, an environmental consultant, was Assistant Administrator for Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2001-2003. He has been a Senior Advisor for THG since 2008. Mr. Mehan was a Principal with The Cadmus Group, Inc., from 2004 to 2014.
He is an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at George Mason University School of Law since 2006.
Mr. Mehan served as Environmental Stewardship Counselor to the 2004 G-8 Summit Planning Organization. He was Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes (1993-2001), Associate Deputy Administrator at EPA (1992) and Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (1989-1992).
He has served on the Water Science and Technology Board and the Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean Water Act for the National Research Council of the National Academies. He also served as an expert judge for the Municipal Water Conservation Achievement Award Program (2006) sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and its Urban Water Council. He is a former member of the Board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
Mr. Mehan currently serves on EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board as well as the Boards of the U.S. Water Alliance, the Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS), and the Potomac Conservancy.
He is a graduate of Saint Louis University and its School of Law.
Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School
Senior Advisor, Energy/Electricity, Water Quality/Use, & Regulatory Decisionmaking
Emily Hammond is Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School. She is a nationally recognized expert in energy law, environmental law, and administrative law. A former environmental engineer, Professor Hammond brings technical fluency to cutting-edge issues at the intersection of law, science, and policy. Her articles have appeared in numerous top-ranked journals, including the Columbia Law Review, the Duke Law Journal, the Michigan Law Review, and the Vanderbilt Law Review. She is a co-author of one of the nation’s leading energy law texts, Energy, Economics and the Environment, and the environmental law text Environmental Protection: Law and Policy, in addition to numerous book chapters and shorter works.
Professor Hammond’s consulting expertise concerns the energy sector and electricity markets; water quality and use; and regulatory decisionmaking and procedural processes. She earned her J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Georgia and her B.S. cum laude from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Paul Yaroschak, P.E.
President of Sustainable Methods, LLC
Senior Advisor, Sustainability, Contaminated Site Cleanup, & Chemical Risk Management
Paul Yaroschak has over 35 years of experience managing Department of Defense environmental programs. From 1991 to 2006, Mr. Yaroschak served as the Director of Environmental Compliance and Restoration Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment). He also acted as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Environment) between political administrations. His responsibilities included policy formulation, oversight of a $1 billion annual environmental program, and negotiations on issues related to environmental compliance, restoration and pollution prevention. He has a wide variety of experience at both field and headquarters levels in environmental engineering and environmental policy. From 2006 to 2016, Mr. Yaroschak served as the Deputy for Chemical & Material Risk Management in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this position, he was instrumental in developing a program to identify, assess, and develop risk management actions for emerging contaminants. This program won an award in Harvard University’s “Innovations in American Government” program. Mr. Yaroschak is currently the President of Sustainable Methods, LLC, which provides consulting services for environmental and sustainability matters. Mr. Yaroschak also serves as Innovation Manager for the Water & Environmental Technology Center, Temple University, which is an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center under the purview of the National Science Foundation.
Mr. Yaroschak graduated from Villanova University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and was commissioned as an Ensign in the Civil Engineer Corps of the U.S. Navy. While on active duty, he developed an environmental program for a Naval Air Station and obtained a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University. He then began a civilian career with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Alexandria, Virginia. After completing the Navy’s 36-month Executive Management Development Program, Mr. Yaroschak became the first Deputy Assistant Commander for Environment, Safety, and Health at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. During the 1980s, Mr. Yaroschak was instrumental in developing the Navy’s environmental program structure and managed a $300 million per year budget for pollution abatement projects.
In 1989, Mr. Yaroschak became Head of Shore Facilities Environmental Protection in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations where he led an effort that resulted in a doubling of the Navy’s environmental budget. In 1992, he accepted a position with the newly formed Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment). In this position, he developed the Department of the Navy’s first environmental program strategic plan and had extensive interactions with the regulator community.
In 1995, Mr. Yaroschak received the Secretary of the Navy Special Act/Service Award for his accomplishments in forging consensus with stakeholders on national environmental issues. In February 1997, Mr. Yaroschak was awarded the Department of the Navy Superior Civilian Service Medal for his leadership in the Department’s Environmental Restoration Program. In April of 2000, Mr. Yaroschak completed the Senior Executive Fellows program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. In 2003 and 2004, he received achievement medals from the Environmental Protection Agency for his leadership in developing innovative solutions to national issues related to the cleanup process and land use controls.
Mr. Yaroschak is a registered Professional Engineer in Virginia.
Principal, Sherman Collaborative LLC
Senior Advisor, Superfund and Brownfields Revitalization
Scott Sherman served as the U.S. EPA’s Associate Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), now the Office of Land and Emergency Management. He first joined EPA as a member of the Senior Executive Service, serving as the Associate General Counsel for Solid Waste and Emergency Response, the Agency’s top lawyer for the Superfund, RCRA, brownfields and emergency response programs.
As a former U.S. EPA Superfund official and chief counsel, Mr. Sherman focuses his environmental policy and government agency experience on the cleanup of legacy properties, the resolution of environmental liabilities, the management of Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action matters, and the acquisition and redevelopment of brownfield sites. With over twenty years of experience serving in and appearing before federal and state government, he blends regulatory acumen with legal expertise to advise clients on the enforcement approaches of environmental agencies, non-regulatory strategies for addressing historical liabilities at legacy properties, and collaborative structures for successful brownfield redevelopment projects. As an expert and consultant, he offers deep and unique expertise in CERCLA and RCRA jurisprudence, the long-standing interpretations and positions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the technical and policy considerations facing stakeholders in complex remediation and redevelopment projects.
Mr. Sherman’s service has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Award of Excellence, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Response (2006)) and Harvard Law School (Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series (2009)). Additionally, the U.S. EPA, RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, incubated and led in part by Mr. Sherman, received the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Ash Center, Innovations in American Government Award, Top 25 Program (2013). He has taught for many years as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and at the University of Houston Law School.
Mr. Sherman received his B.A. with Highest Honors from the University of Texas and his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. He also holds an M.S. in Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University, where his research focused on the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfield properties.
Senior Advisor, Permitting & Compliance
Beth Pitrolo served nearly two decades as Assistant District Counsel for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With a focus on attaining results while navigating a complex environmental regulatory landscape, she has been involved in a variety of environmental programs, including Hurricane Katrina remedial response at the Louisiana Recovery Field Office, defense of Clean Water Act permits, ensuring NEPA compliance for multi-million dollar civil works construction projects and development and implementation of CERCLA cleanup activities associated with radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project.
Ms. Pitrolo’s experience is also multi-national, providing support to interests abroad while advising on billions of dollars of projects managed through the Corps’ Europe District office. She served many years on the faculty of the Corps’ national training center in Huntsville, Alabama where she has been recognized for her ability to convey complicated legal concepts to diverse audiences.
Ms. Pitrolo served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, where she litigated environmental enforcement and compliance actions brought at the request of various state agencies, including the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Health and the Emergency Management Agency. She managed her own environmental consulting firm in Australia, working primarily for large mineral extraction companies including Exxon Coal and Minerals and BHP Billiton. She received her B.S. in forestry and wildlife management from West Virginia University, her M.S. in biological sciences from Marshall University, and her J.D. from the University of Houston.
Senior Advisor, Policy Analyst
Justin Oberst spent nine years as a Managing Partner of THG Advisors. As Managing Partner, Mr. Oberst provided strategic leadership for client needs. He navigated complex stakeholder interests and forged consensus in order to produce positive policy results. Overseeing dozens of high-level environmental programs, Mr. Oberst specialized in finding synergies between public and private interests. He worked with every level of government as well as the largest international corporations.
Previously, Mr. Oberst served as a Project Manager for the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), focusing primarily on research and analysis in support of a wide range of environmental projects. He supported a variety of programs, including the Mid-Michigan Regional Management System, Green Highways Partnership, and the Water and Development Alliance (a $10 million partnership between Coca-Cola and the U.S. Agency for International Development). He has substantial experience working with the highest levels of government (federal, state, and local) and corporate America. In this role, Mr. Oberst has utilized his law degree and legal experience to provide an analytical approach to support a wide range of projects across environmental media. He excelled during his time at University of Nebraska College of Law, receiving multiple awards and graduating with distinction in 2005.
Mr. Oberst’s legal and environmental careers began after he had achieved tremendous success in the entertainment field. He co-founded Saddle Creek Records in the mid-1990’s, a company that grew under his watch into a multi-million dollar international success story. Mr. Oberst continues in his capacity as strategic advisor to current label executives, including traveling internationally to take part in negotiations. Mr. Oberst’s diverse career path informs every aspect of his strategic vision and work ethic. He continues to draw upon those myriad experiences to advise clients and create solutions to the most difficult challenges facing them.
Senior Advisor, Hazardous and Industrial Waste Risk Management
Amy Schaffer is a consultant with in-depth experience developing and implementing federal environmental laws and regulations. She is a recognized leader in hazardous and industrial waste issues in the paper sector. She also has experience in addressing food-contact packaging issues, climate change, sustainability and “green” programs, and innovative approaches to resolving environmental concerns.
Ms. Schaffer was most recently Executive Director of the Recycled Paperboard Technical Association and has an on-going relationship, since 1991, with the American Forest & Paper Association supporting them on their waste program issues as well as product stewardship efforts. She worked with Weyerhaeuser Company on regulatory and legislative issues in their Washington, DC office. Ms. Schaffer also has management consulting experience with A.T. Kearney and began her career at EPA in the then nascent RCRA program.
Ms. Schaffer has a Bachelors Degree from Towson University and a Masters in Public Administration from the American University.
Water Resources Policy, Development, & Sustainable Communities
Senior Advisor, Water Resources Development, Policy & Practice
Patrick S. McGinnis has served as a passionate advocate and practitioner for sustainable solutions to water resource management challenges over his 35-year career as a water resources professional. Mr. McGinnis’ experience and interest focuses on a broad range of economic and quality of life opportunities for livable community design, strategic planning and facilitation, public/private sector interaction and consensus building. He currently serves THG Advisors, as Senior Advisor for Water Resources Policy and Practice.
In a tenure marked by innovation and collaborative spirit, Mr. McGinnis worked as a field biologist, wetland specialist, outdoor recreation planner, supervisory wildlife biologist, and operational project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He has extensive experience specializing in natural resource management, riparian corridor master planning, and environmental compliance, restoration science, and stewardship of public open space. From 1989 – 2009, he led an effort to build a sustainable systems presence on an open space footprint of 110,000 acres of public lands and water critically situated at the confluence of the Upper Mississippi and Lower Illinois Rivers. This area has become an important living laboratory and classroom reconnecting Americans and international visitors to the Mississippi River.
With his emphasis on visible, reproducible results, he provided oversight for a broad range of programs earning wide grassroots support. Recognizing collaboration, collective impact, and networked governance create a force for change, he successfully leveraged a wide variety of programs involving open space protection, environmental project case development, livable community redevelopment strategies, community planning assistance, and nature-based tourism business sector incubation and growth.
Mr. McGinnis routinely works with national, regional, and local leaders to test existing assumptions on how to most efficiently and fully utilize local and regional natural capital while fully accounting for cost externalities that carry long-term social costs. He has long been an advocate for making the business case for stewarding resilient communities and resilient natural systems, creating solutions from the ground up by first building capacity and leveraging private, public and civic participation.
Today, Mr. McGinnis is heavily engaged in supporting the recycling of communities for a new economy. He has a particular interest in motivating reinvestment in rural landscapes and communities and is a vocal supporter of a well-informed, planned for approach that utilizes spatial planning concepts. He is active in efforts to utilize brownfields and contaminated or abandoned properties as opportunities for projects that not only repurpose troubled sites, but anchor or launch community revitalization efforts. He maintains ongoing relationships with Federal program managers at the highest levels and brings the power of those relationships to bear on pressing challenges at the nexus of water-energy-food security.
Most recently, he has been working closely with a number of water and food security sector organizations to bring greater clarity to pressing issues by designing and facilitating environmental executive roundtable policy discussions, researching and contributing to analyses and reporting on topics including: the business case for green infrastructure, private capitalization strategies for modernizing our U.S. Inland Waterway System, and economic redevelopment strategies for waterside communities.
Mr. McGinnis is active in the American Water Resources Association and the American Planning Association, serves as an advisor to No Water No Life, is a certified Wildlife Biologist in good standing, and a former member of the Society of Wetland Scientists.
Seth Brown, P.E.
Principal and Founder, Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC
Senior Advisor, Stormwater/Green Infrastructure, Public-Private Partnerships, & Economics
Seth Brown is the Principal and Founder of Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm providing a range of services from policy and infrastructure finance analysis in the stormwater sector to the development and delivery of technical and policy-related training focused on stormwater topics. Through his consulting group, Seth was a major contributor for the recently released EPA Region III document, Community Based Public-Private Partnerships (CBP3s) and Alternative Market-Based Tools for Integrated Green Stormwater Infrastructure.
He is a regular speaker at conferences and events related to stormwater-focused issues. In addition to his work in the private sector, Seth is the Senior Stormwater Advisor for the Water Environment Federation (WEF). Prior to this role, he was the WEF Stormwater Program and Policy Director, and in this capacity, Seth led WEF’s stormwater program by working with WEF members and others in the stormwater community to identify technical needs in the field and worked to develop programming and products to meet these needs. In this role, he also tracked Federal legislative and potential regulation changes relevant to the stormwater and wet weather community as well as provide general policy support on water sector issues.
Seth has a B.S. and an M.S. in civil engineering, is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Maryland. He has over 17 years of experience in the private consulting sector, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. His research focuses on economic modeling of incentive-based investments of green stormwater infrastructure on private properties.
President, Ellen Gilinsky, LLC
Senior Advisor, Water Policy, Planning, & State Programs
Ellen Gilinsky, Ph.D. is President of Ellen Gilinsky, LLC., which she started in January 2017 to work with government, industry and the private sector on environmental solutions. As part of the Obama Administration from 2011 through 2016, she was the Associate Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water at the Environmental Protection Agency. In this position, Dr. Gilinsky addressed policy and technical issues related to water programs at the federal, state and local levels, working closely with diverse stakeholders in the water quality, quantity, and agriculture sectors.
Prior to this appointment, she served as Director of the Water Division at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, where she supervised a diverse array of water quality and quantity programs, and before that as Manager of the Office of Wetlands and Water Protection, helping to craft Virginia’s non-tidal wetlands regulations and permitting program. In addition, she has twelve years of experience as an environmental consultant at several regional and national environmental engineering firms.
Dr. Gilinsky received her B.A. in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Zoology, with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been a Past President of the Association of Clean Water Administrators, held a gubernatorial appointment to the State Advisory Board of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center and served as an Adjunct Faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Departments of Biology and Environmental Studies.
John Paul Woodley, Jr.
Principal, Advantus Strategies
Senior Advisor, Water Resources Development Infrastructure
John Paul Woodley, Jr., served as Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) from 2003 to 2009, supervising the civil works functions of the Army Corps of Engineers. He is a Principal with Advantus Strategies.
Mr. Woodley also served as Deputy Assistant Under Secretary of Defense (Environment), principal environmental advisor to the Secretary of Defense, from 2001 to 2003.
Prior to his federal service, Mr. Woodley was Secretary of Natural Resources in the Cabinet of Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore (1998-2001), and Deputy Attorney General of Virginia for Government Operations (1994-1998).
Mr. Woodley received his undergraduate and law degrees from Washington & Lee University.
Principal and Senior Consultant, Thrive Consulting
Senior Advisor, Social Ecology & Human Dimensions
Dr. Shawn Dalton is a social ecologist with over 20 years of experience working at the interfaces among landscapes, communities, and governance regimes. Dr. Dalton has organized, managed, and carried out projects in community-based natural resource management in inner city neighborhoods and rural communities; facilitated interjurisdictional watershed planning and management partnerships including federal, provincial, regional, and local government agencies, non-profit organizations, business and industry, and community members; designed and delivered a variety of training programs to federal and local resource managers; and designed and carried out applied research in watershed management, social network analysis, climate change mitigation, adaptation, and community vulnerability analyses, and warfare ecology. She also has experience in the development and delivery of outdoor experiential environmental education programs for both youth and adults.
Most recently, Dr. Dalton served as Science Officer for the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs in NB, for whom she conducted research in indigenous knowledge, aboriginal workforce development in the forestry sector, and the cascading effects of industrial development in First Nations communities. She also works with two community-based watershed associations to develop and implement climate change adaptation strategies, and to develop long-term strategies to maximize social and economic benefits and minimize social, economic, and environmental costs of large-scale industrial development in urban and rural New Brunswick, Canada.
Dr. Dalton is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (Biology, 1988), the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Masters of Environmental Studies, 1992), and The Johns Hopkins University (Doctorate, Dept. of Geography and Environmental Engineering, 2002). She is fluent in English, functional in French, speaks conversational Spanish, and has minimal Arabic.
Dr. Dalton has brought her education, experience and skills to bear on a variety of social ecological projects and programs in the past 20 years, several of which are highlighted here:
- Urban Resources Initiative, Baltimore MD (1992-1999). Dr. Dalton spent the better part of a decade working on community-based open space management projects in underserved neighborhoods in inner-city Baltimore. The use of ecological restoration as a means of community revitalization resulted in stronger social bonds, vacant lot reclamation, and the creation of urban vegetable gardens, tree nurseries and street tree plantings, memorial gardens, and improved ecological literacy among both youth and adults. She also designed and delivered a watershed-based natural resource training program for the field staff of the Bureau of Parks; and built capacity within the department for subsequent program delivery by training 4 department employees to deliver the training upon completion of her contract.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Estuarine Research Reserve Network Social Assessment Training Program for Natural Resource Managers (2007). Dr. Dalton completed case studies of socioeconomic conditions adjacent to Research Reserves, and used these as training materials to deliver a workshop on the use of social sciences in reserve research and management. She has since worked on a number of projects with the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, including a visitor use survey of two recreational marshes, a series of interviews of professional planners and engineers regarding the incorporation of sea level rise and climate change projections in shoreline design and management, and most recently a survey of users’ perceptions of values of the Hudson River shoreline.
- Environment and Sustainable Development Research Centre (ESDRC), University of New Brunswick (2001-2010). As Director of ESDRC, Dr. Dalton conducted applied social ecological research in urban and rural watersheds in New Brunswick, conducted research on climate change adaptation and community vulnerability to climate change, and supervised or co-supervised numerous masters and doctoral research projects. In addition, she was responsible for raising 100% of the annual operating budget of the Centre, organizational development, strategic planning, and fiscal management. Her work on community-based natural resource management brought integrated social and biophysical sciences to bear on local decision-making, often employing GIS mapping tools to demonstrate the relationships between people and landscapes; and championing the use of FGDC-compliant data documentation, management, and dissemination protocols in all undertakings generating data.
- NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Warfare Ecology: Synthesis, Priorities, and Policy Implications for Peace and Security, Vieques, Puerto Rico (December, 2009). Dr. Dalton participated in this workshop, which yielded the world’s first textbook on the subject –Warfare Ecology: A New Synthesis for Peace and Security, in which her contribution is entitled, “Application of the Human Ecosystem Model in Warfare Ecology”. She has also worked on developing a coupled human-natural systems research agenda with this warfare ecology group, and is currently leading a proposal to hold a second workshop to advance the research agenda and the uptake of this important subdiscipline of ecology into the academe.
- Strategic Sciences Working Group, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico (2010). Dr. Dalton was one of a small team of scientists selected by the Obama Administration to develop spill scenarios and predict cascading effects of different scenarios on the region’s marine, aquatic, terrestrial, and human ecosystems (2010). This work served as a pilot project, and has since led to the creation of a standing Strategic Sciences Group of the federal government in the United States.
- Nova Scotia Expert Review Panel on Hydraulic Fracturing, (2014). The Nova Scotia Department of Energy commissioned the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University to conduct an independent review and public engagement process to explore the social, economic, environmental, and health implications of hydraulic fracturing practices and their associated wastewater streams. Dr. Dalton served as a member of this panel, producing a report entitled, “Socioeconomic and Social Ecological Impacts on Communities.”
Principal, JM Hill Consulting
Senior Advisor, Water Resources Planning & Development
James M. Hill offers a diverse portfolio of skills and accomplishments through his 32 plus years of Federal public service as a professional land and water resources planner, project manager, program manager and operations manager with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Since retiring from the Corps in 2013, he founded JM Hill Consulting to provide professional services such as strategic master planning, collaborative partnership formulation, and development and management of outdoor recreation, environmental stewardship, and natural and cultural interpretive/ education projects. He also serves as THG’s Senior Advisor on Water Resources Planning and Development Projects.
Mr. Hill is recognized as a national expert on master planning within the Corps. From 2009-2013, he served on a select national team to improve master planning policies, processes, costs, schedules and products. This effort is improving the relevance and value of Master plans as the living strategic guide for the orderly and sustainable life cycle development of USACE water resource projects nationwide. He has a lifelong commitment to conservation of the nations lands and waters with a view to societies demands and uses of natural resources to find balance through innovation, and defining and/or redefining expectations leading to sustainable win/win solutions. His philosophy and practice of network governance through collaborative public-private partnerships (P3) is a primary focus in achieving successful results. A hallmark of his strategic design is a system approach that builds resilient natural qualities and human communities in large, diverse aquatic ecosystems.
Throughout his professional career, Mr. Hill has accomplished numerous initiatives for Federal public parks, fish and wildlife management areas, lakes, rivers and waterside communities. He helped develop opportunities for compatible and sustainable public uses, untapped economic growth, cultural and nature based tourism and outdoor recreation in harmony with river and reservoir dynamics, ecological integrity and overall rural and urban landscape health. All of his work required leading and working with Corps professional multi-disciplinary teams and partners outside of the Corps. He routinely worked master planning challenges across Corps districts and regions requiring complex inter-jurisdictional and interagency coordination and consensus for unique social and natural resource challenges.
For many years, Mr. Hill served as the Corps St. Louis District Operations Division Program Manager for all Master Plans, Operation Plans, shoreline management plans, trails, greenways, partnerships, watershed initiatives, Interpretive centers, exhibits, recreation facility developments, universal accessibility and out grant (leases etc.) development plans on Corps managed public lands and waters. In this role, he led, coordinated and provided technical expertise and quality assurance for all projects district wide. He also led and accomplished numerous interpretive services and educational outreach programs and projects throughout the Mid- Mississippi watershed.
Mr. Hill is a common sense practitioner who has successfully completed many projects “on the ground.” Some of his notable accomplishments and recognitions include:
- Operations Manager from 2009 – 2013 for the Corps multi-purpose Kaskaskia River Project in Southwestern Illinois. Responsible for accomplishing a historic workload of over $25 M in major repair, maintenance and improvement projects for navigation, environmental stewardship, Interpretive and recreation facilities and services. Mr. Hill also led the planning, partnerships and development of the new Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers Confluence Trail and Heritage Area during this period.
- Technical Expert on the USACE national master planning policy and process improvement team (2009-2013);
- Master Planner for the initiation and approval to develop a new Regional Corps Visitor Center at Table Rock Lake, Branson MO, and building/site concept design, storyline and exhibits development (2009-2012). Received Commanders Award from the Corps Little Rock District for exceptional technical support.
- Planning and design team for the Corps Regional National Great Rivers Museum, Alton IL – building, site, storyline and exhibits (Completed 2003).
- Master Planner for the Lake Shelbyville IL Regional Trail Plan(2002 – 2004).
- Project Manager for the Rend Lake IL TEA-21 cost shared bike-hike trail development (2003-2006).
- Project Manager for the development and approval of the first Rivers Project Master Plan (approved 2001) for 300 miles of the Mississippi River and key tributaries in IL and MO (1997 – 2001), and for the Lake Shelbyville IL Master Plan update (2002 – 2004).
- Project Manager for the planning/design, approval and funding for the Stump Lake Wildlife Management Area, Illinois River, Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project, authorized by the Upper Mississippi River System Environmental Management Program (1990-1993).
- Numerous collateral duty assignments for river flood emergency response as a sector engineer, area engineer or liaison including the record Mississippi River Floods of 1993, 1995, 2008, 2011 and 2013. He also served as the Corps Mississippi Valley Division Liaison to the State of Louisiana Emergency Management Office for immediate response efforts for 5 Hurricanes (2000 – 2005). This includes Hurricanes Katrina and Rita from Aug.26 to Oct 5 2005 supporting immediate response efforts. Received Commanders Award from the Corps New Orleans District for exceptional support during the immediate response to Katrina and Rita.
- Upon Retirement from the Corps in July 2013, Mr. Hill received the prestigious de Fleury Bronze Medal from USACE Chief of Engineers, LG Thomas P. Bostick and the Army Engineering Association in recognition of Mr. Hill’s many significant Federal public service accomplishments that benefit the nation.
Mr. Hill also volunteers to support sustainable tourism, conservation and quality of life initiatives where he lives in Randolph and Monroe County, IL. He serves on the Board of Directors for CLIFFTOP, a grassroots, all volunteer conservation NFP whose mission is to preserve, protect and sustain the Mississippi River bluff lands and Ozark habitat areas of Southwestern Illinois. He is also a Board of Directors member for the Illinois South Tourism Bureau representing Monroe County, IL, and the Monroe County IL Economic Development Council.
Mr. Hill received his Bachelor’s of Science in Forestry from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1982.
Senior Advisor, Destination Development & Marketing
Brett Stawar is a tourism professional with more than 25 years of strategic marketing and communications experience. As the President and CEO for the Port Aransas Tourism Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, he manages the official destination marketing efforts for Mustang Island and Port Aransas, Texas.
Mr. Stawar also served 16 years with the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau, serving Madison, Macoupin, Jersey, Montgomery, Greene and Calhoun counties in Illinois. In his tenure at the Tourism Bureau, the bureau has earned 23 Tourism Marketing Excellence Awards from the Illinois Governor’s Conference on Travel and Tourism. He led the efforts for the National Scenic Byway program for the Meeting of the Great Rivers, a national designation for the Federal Highway Administration. Mr. Stawar also serves as THG’s Senior Advisor on Destination Development & Marketing.
Mr. Stawar received his BS in Public Relations from Illinois State University and MS in Communications from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Senior Advisor, Community Empowerment & Management
Frank Miles, M.P.A. has over 25 years of service in government administration, planning and economic and community development programing. He has served as a City Planning Director for two municipalities, City Manager/Administrator, County Planning and Development Manager, City and County Economic and Community Development Director, County Treasurer, College Administrator, Business Developer and as a Congressional Chief of Staff. He is a convener and facilitator assisting communities and their leaders to create an economic and community development vision.
As an Administrator of the Madison County, Illinois Community and Economic Development Department, Mr. Miles managed a multi-million dollar grant portfolio in state, federal and local programs. Madison County, is located in the Greater St. Louis Area metroplex and adjacent to the Mississippi River. His department directed and managed the County’s economic and community development programs, focusing on growing multiple economic clusters throughout the County; including transportation and logistics, food access and agricultural development, energy, trade and international development, tourism promotion and enhancement, broadband planning and development, health care, Micro-Loan and infrastructure loan programs, rail transportation site planning, rural economic development, recreation and park programs, managing development data and efforts at promoting jobs in the construction trades and coordinating aging in place programs.
Prior to this, Mr. Miles served as the Campus Executive Director of Southwestern Illinois College and as the Business and Economic Development Manager of America’s Central Port. In each of these positions, he led efforts of developing new initiatives to grow new business and economic development opportunities. As Southwestern Illinois College’s Granite City campus administrator, he served as the community point of contact providing a link between business and education and served as the College’ point person on sustainability measures.
As the Business and Economic Developer of America’s Central Port, Mr. Miles managed the Port’s tenant portfolio and was responsible for business attraction, focusing on logistics and transportation opportunities. Through his efforts, the Port received a Sister Port designation with Wuhan New Port in China and he assisted in the creation of a marketing agreement with the Port of New Orleans. He also assisted with the development of the Port’s new South Harbor and served as a liaison with the community and various state and federal agencies. He also organized specialized economic and community development forums and roundtables focusing on trade, manufacturing, agriculture and international development.
Mr. Miles also served as the Treasurer of Madison County, Illinois an office responsible for the collection and distribution of over 400 million dollars in property taxes. In this office, he established the County’s first “Citizen Help Desk” to aid citizens in understanding taxes. He also established the Madison County Business and Micro Loan Program and engaged City Councils, Mayors, Chambers and other organizations on the operations and management of his department.
Prior to his service as Treasurer, he was Director of Planning and Development for Madison County. This department, responsible for the county’s land development and management programs, includes such functions code enforcement, zoning, corridor planning, environmental management and inspection, municipal and educational sustainability and storm water management. Under his tenure, he was able to secure grant funds supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Interior Flooding Control project and established the County’s Storm Water Commission and office. Post Katrina, he led the County’s response at addressing FEMA’s regional levee decertification issue, working with local officials, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to develop a plan to address the problem.
Prior to his service with Madison County, he spent seven years as District Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Jerry F. Costello (12th Dist. – Illinois), where served as the point-of-contact for Congressman Costello on federal and state grant programs and served as the chief liaison with federal, state and local government representatives and agencies and district business leadership.
Mr. Miles has also served as City Administrator & Economic Development Coordinator for the City of O’Fallon, IL. As City Administrator, he established the City’s Planning and Development Department and was responsible for the City’s grant management program, in addition to managing all City departments. As O’Fallon’s Economic Development Coordinator, he coordinated the City’s incentive programs and managed special development districts and areas in the community.
He has also served as Comptroller and Deputy Circuit Clerk for the Madison County Circuit Clerk’s Office, and as the Director of Development and City Planner for the City of Edwardsville he was responsible for overall City planning and managed multiple TIF and Special Business Development districts.
He is a member of numerous associations and organizations, including the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute and the American Society of Public Administration. He was also appointed to serve on the Illinois Lt. Governor’s Illinois Military Base Supporting Economic Development Commission and has a US Secretary of Commerce appointment on the Missouri District Export Council. He also serves as an Associate Director on the Madison County Soil and Water District.
He is a 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Government and Public Affairs. In 1988, he received a Masters of Public Administration degree from SIUE, where he also served as an Adjunct Professor in the SIUE Department of Public Administration and Policy Analysis.
Public-Private Partnerships & Resource Solutions
Vice President, COEFFICIENT
Senior Advisor, Public-Private Partnerships & Redevelopment
Sean M. McGinnis draws on his expertise in finance, global investment fund services, and environmental consulting to advance the business case for sustainability. With a focus on public-private partnership (P3) solutions to environmental and infrastructure needs, he works closely alongside federal and state governments, NGOs, and the private sector to examine complex environmental challenges and provoke collaboration in a shared-solutions manner.
Mr. McGinnis serves as Vice President of COEFFICIENT, a strategic consulting practice that combines legal, government relations, and corporate advisory services specialized in managing energy and environmental risks and investments. His policy expertise spans the water-energy-land use nexus and includes infrastructure and sustainable finance, water-energy resources development and stewardship, land revitalization and redevelopment, and market-based solutions.
Prior to joining COEFFICIENT, Mr. McGinnis served as Director for The Horinko Group, leading several of the firm’s P3 initiatives. An advocate for innovative, alternative strategies to infrastructure development, he co-authored, Public-Private Partnership Opportunities for Water and Water Resource Recovery Utility Energy Projects, published by the Water Resource Foundation to help communities better achieve their energy and sustainability objectives through performance-based P3s.
Earlier in his career, Mr. McGinnis was an International Credit Portfolio Manager for The Northern Trust Company, a global leader in investment management, asset and fund administration, fiduciary and banking solutions. He was initially recruited into Northern’s prestigious, enterprise-wide GOLD (Global Opportunities and Leadership Development) Program. Drawing on his international financial services experience and leveraging his passion for environmental initiatives, Mr. McGInnis also previously served as Treasurer for the Water Resources Action Project, Inc., a non-profit seeking to improve public health in the Middle East through greater water stewardship and education.
Mr. McGinnis received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from the College of Business at University of Illinois and his Masters in Natural Resources from the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability at Virginia Tech University.
Of Counsel, Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC
Senior Advisor, P3 Project Development & Stakeholder Engagement
Bruce Tobey is Of Counsel with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC. His practice focuses on representing both local and regional governments and private sector entities in the areas of public contracts, water law, sustainability, and governance. Mr. Tobey was elected Mayor/CEO of Gloucester, MA in 1993 and held that position until 2002, and he returned to local government in 2006 as a City Councilor, a position he held through 2014.
Mr. Tobey has been professionally active in in the water and wastewater fields in both the public and private sectors and as an attorney, a businessperson, an elected leader and an appointed official throughout his entire career. A graduate of Wesleyan University, majoring in Russian, Mr. Tobey earned his J.D. cum laude from Suffolk University Law School, where he was a member of Law Review, and his MBA from Suffolk University. He is admitted to practice law in New York and Massachusetts.
Rinehart Professor Emeritus of Business Law, The George Washington University Law School
Senior Advisor, P3 Infrastructure Finance & Development
Lewis D. Solomon is the Rinehart Professor Emeritus of Business Law at The George Washington University Law School, where he taught tax and corporate law for twenty-nine years.
Professor Solomon brings to consulting his knowledge of the public-private partnership (P3) process in the infrastructure arena, including the opportunities P3s provide as well as the barriers to the successful creation and operation of P3s. He offers expertise in the ways to finance and structure P3s. He draws on his research regarding privatization in other areas, such as K-12 public schools and publicly-funded retirement plans.
A prolific author, his recent books, Privatization of Space Exploration: Business, Technology, Law and Policy; The Promise and Perils of Infrastructure Privatization: The Macquarie Model; and America’s Water and Waste Water Crisis: The Role of Private Enterprise, analyze privatization, particularly public-private partnerships, with the latter two books focusing on infrastructure. His earlier book, Financial Security & Personal Wealth, examined the privatization of Social Security. He is also knowledgeable about state and local fiscal realities as the result of research for his latest book, Cycles of Poverty and Crime in America’s Inner Cities.
President, Green Strategies
Senior Advisor, Energy/Climate Policy & Clean Technology Investment
Roger Ballentine is the Founder and President of Green Strategies Inc., a strategic environmental and energy consulting firm and a Venture Partner with Arborview Capital LLC, a private equity firm making growth capital investments in the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors.
Previously, Roger was a senior member of the White House staff, serving President Bill Clinton as Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force and Deputy Assistant to the President for Environmental Initiatives. Roger is also a co-founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and a Member of the International Advisory Council of the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
A frequent speaker and media commentator, Roger is a well-known clean energy expert and has been a Lecturer in the area of energy and climate policy at the Harvard Law School and a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington D.C.
Senior Advisor, Technology, Partnerships & Redevelopment
Gordon M. Davidson is an internationally recognized thought leader and entrepreneur in the environmental, water, and energy arenas. He has founded or co-founded several successful companies including Capital Environmental which provided litigation support, technology commercialization, and brownfields services; IES Corporation which provided Fortune 100 clients a unique insurance coverage settlement model for contaminated sites resulting in over $3 billion in recoveries; DotRisk.com which was an internet platform for the buying and selling of insurance world-wide and was sold to a European insurer; and a new venture utilizing ground-breaking sensor technology to detect environmental pollutants and reduce energy usage.
As CEO of Micronic Technologies he led the commercialization of a new water separation and desalinization technology, as President of Davidson Energy Group LLC he was retained by the Department of Energy to provide strategy advice on its Energy Parks Initiative (EPI) designed to convert portions of its sites undergoing cleanup into clean energy parks, and as part of the Unified Energy team he brings energy efficiency and energy reduction solutions to the private sector.
Under the first Bush Administration, Gordon was appointed the first Director of EPA’s Federal Facilities Enforcement program overseeing the cleanup of military bases and DOE’s nuclear weapons production sites where he led EPA’s policy role on the cleanup and redevelopment of closing military bases (BRAC). A seasoned negotiator, public speaker, and facilitator, Gordon brings clients a powerful set of skills for forging solutions to the most intractable environmental, water, and energy challenges.