Advisors

 

     

Mary Valenta, DBA, CPA
CEO, On The Green, LLC
Member, Resource Fiber Board of Directors

With a Doctorate in Global Business Sustainability, Dr. Valenta has extensive experience in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, risk management, turnaround consulting, and business process re-engineering.  She has served on corporate boards in steel and printing processing and distribution industries.  Her executive leadership experience includes steel, food, and telecommunications industries in the manufacturing, retail, distribution, and franchising sectors.  She has worked with privately held and publicly traded companies.

As Chief Executive Officer of On The Green, LLC, Dr. Valenta leads alternative energy start-up projects, strategic advising, mergers and acquisitions, and marketing consulting.  As Chief Financial Officer of a $3 billion steel company, she raised nearly $500 million in capital to acquire 11 entities, established a holding company, and created cross-entity functional councils to promote synergetic growth in increasing sales, productivity, and financial returns.  Leading strategic planning, Valenta facilitated and managed corporate goals and on-going action plans, and oversaw implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley fundamentals.  As Treasurer with a multi-national telecommunications manufacturer, Valenta completed Securities and Exchange Commission informational reporting.  With a Big 4 international accounting firm, she managed turnaround projects, business valuations, fraud examinations, insurance claim assessments, and audit clients.

Dr. Valenta’s dissertation, a Business Case of Electric Vehicles for Truck Fleets, explores the economic, environmental, and social risks, costs, and benefits of operating diesel, natural gas, and electric trucks.  Her findings concluded that use of electric fuel improves national security, reduces economic risks, and improves use of alternative energy and social responsibility.  As co-author of CFO Leadership Strategies, Valenta proposes balancing short-term actions with long-term goals in the manufacturing sector.

At the lecture podium, Dr. Valenta presents a tribute to America’s entrepreneurial spirit, full of anecdotes and radical business philosophy focusing on the roles of change management and strategic planning in bringing issues of sustainability to the business world.

Dr. Valenta received a Doctorate of Business Administration in Global Business Sustainability from Argosy University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Pfeiffer University.  She is a Certified Public Accountant since 1988 and is currently a fellow at On the Board, a women’s leadership program through George Washington University’s School of Business and the International Women’s Forum that promotes women for corporate board roles.

Dr. Valenta is a Commissioner on the Economic Development Authority for the City of Fairfax, VA; chairs the Transportation Committee of a Smart Growth initiative; assists the Mason Enterprise Center in strategic projects; chairs a fundraiser for Historic Fairfax City, Inc.; and manages a non-profit program she founded that supports sustainability projects internationally in impoverished communities.  She helped create a mentor-protégé program with a Native American tribe for the metals industry.

 

Craig Thomason
Resource Fiber Co-Founder
Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo

Craig currently serves as a strategic advisor to the company.  In that capacity, he draws upon his strategy development experience across a diverse set of industries to advise Resource Fiber on matters of strategic direction and growth.

Currently, Craig is a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo focused on strategy development and executing on large scale strategic initiatives.  Throughout his career, he has helped companies achieve their strategic goals, either as an internal change agent or as a member of a third-party consultancy.

In addition, Craig was at Pricewaterhouse-Coopers focusing on providing strategy execution services for companies in a broad range of industries including consumer products, forest products, financial services, transportation and logistics, mining, financial and professional services. 

Craig also founded Renewable Earth Resources LLC; worked in ebusiness strategy at Scient, including an international assignment in Paris; and at Georgia Pacific where he gained experience with cellulose-based consumer products and agroforestry. 

Craig holds a BS in industrial Management from Clemson University and an MBA with a focus in Marketing and Finance from the University of South Carolina.

 

Jonathan M. Scherch, Ph.D., MSW
Resource Fiber Co-Founder

Dr. Scherch, recently a Professor at Antioch University Seattle, holds MSW (Pittsburgh) and Ph.D. (Tennessee) degrees in Social Work, and is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Jamaica).  His interdisciplinary teaching, research and writing have led him across the US and around the world, reflecting local-global themes of sustainable community and economic development. His doctoral work and subsequent book publications focused on regional sustainability issues across southern Appalachia.

In 2009, Dr. Scherch was among 33 finalists for the prestigious international Buckminster Fuller Challenge award – an award for distinctive and timely design proposals for social, economic and environmental change and sustainability.

Since 2005, Dr. Scherch has worked at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile to assess and support organic farming transitions within Tibetan refugee settlements of south India. In 2006-07, he completed a sabbatical within the Institute of Bamboo, at Zhejiang Agricultural & Forestry University in China, with teaching and research focused on bamboo resource systems for sustainable development. His work examined social, economic and technical systems across various bamboo industry supply chains — from forest, to factory, to market fulfillment. He later returned as a Keynote Presenter for the 3rd China National Symposium & International Conference on Bamboo.

In 2004, Dr. Scherch founded Pacific Bamboo Resources, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt institute focusing on innovations for emerging bamboo industries and economies, including project pursuits in the US, China, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Active among for-profit, non-profit and community organizations over the years, Dr. Scherch is a founding Board Member of Climate Solutions, a Rainforest Alliance ANF Technical Committee Member and served as Program Vice President for the Northwest Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration International, whose membership of environmental professionals spans seven NW states and provinces.

In addition, Dr. Scherch presented at the International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Hiroshima, Japan, January 23-25, 2013. The presentation entitled “New Roots for Sustainable Development: Bamboo Resources and Triple Bottom Line Performance in Alabama’s Black Belt Region” introduced a new initiative among public, private and academic leaders to create a multisector bamboo industry for sustainable community and economic development within Alabama’s black belt region. 

 

Joan Gregor

Joan Gregor
Co-Founder/President, Intersection-Inc.

Intersection-Inc. is a multi-disciplinary consulting group, dedicated to applying product design and creative knowledge and business strategy to corporations through the “Power of Collective Thought” methodology, which Joan and her partner, Chuck Pelly, co-developed. As a strategist and creative thinker with a broad-based business background, she deciphers the organic creative and product development processes and is able to make them manifest in tangible and feasible business and design strategies.

As an advisor to Resource Fiber, Joan strategizes in the co-development of new products and improvements to existing products utilizing bamboo fiber with the Resource Fiber team and looks for appropriate opportunities to advance innovation.

Joan has consulted for numerous corporations, helping them successfully leverage the value of design and implementation of design strategies. Some of her clients include: Bose, Magna International, BMW/Designworks, Nokia, Lifetime Brands, GE Healthcare, and GE Energy. Her ability to stimulate intellectual and creative development through applied research in design has led to the development of business critical research and tools for design management challenges, design integration and co-creation workshops and corporate assessment programs. Topics include Design and Innovation Metrics, Managing Design & Creativity, and Creation and Implementation of Brand Design Language.

Joan’s expertise spans consumer/empathic research, user centric ethnography, trend studies, design assessment, discipline management & integration and business planning. As an entrepreneur, she has developed her own line of retail products which resulted in 5 patents, and afforded her the opportunity to take the business from a start-up through to the market launch of those products and subsequent product licensing.

 

Chuck Pelly

Chuck Pelly
Co-Founder/Chief Creative Officer, Intersection-Inc.

Intersection-Inc. is a multi-disciplinary consulting group, dedicated to applying product design and creative knowledge and business strategy to corporations. Chuck is responsible for Creative Direction and remains committed to improving businesses and the world through design.

As an advisor to Resource Fiber, Chuck will co-develop new products and improve existing products utilizing bamboo fiber with the Resource Fiber team.

Chuck is a 45-year veteran of the design industry and is a world-renowned product, seating, auto and transportation designer. He is the founder/former President of Designworks/USA, which grew to be one of the world’s top 10 design consultancies and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW Group.

Designworks/USA provided transportation, product, color, materials, graphics and design services for its global clients and was instrumental in the design of the BMW X5, Z4 and award-winning BMW 3 Series. Chuck is the designer of the original Scarab sports car for Lance Reventlow and original Chaparral racecar and has been awarded by Eyes on Design for race car design.

He has led design efforts of noted branded products for almost all major industries. Nominated four times for the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement award, Chuck has pioneered the development of comfort ergonomics in office seating, industrial equipment, medical equipment and automobiles.

Chuck has been awarded more than 40 U.S. and foreign patents, has received numerous awards for his design work, has taught and lectured broadly, served on many boards, has been President of the Industrial Design Society of America, and an IDSA Fellow since 1994. As a distinguished alumnus, he has been involved with the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA since 1968 and is Alumni Chair for San Diego. In addition, he received their George Jorgensen Design Achievement award for his significant contributions.

 

Jason McLennan
Principal, McLennan Design
Former CEO, International Living Future Institute

Jason is serving as an Advisor to Resource Fiber to incorporate the Living Building Challenge green building program into the company’s manufacturing facility in the Black Belt region of Alabama.   The  International Living Future Institute is a leading NGO that focuses on the transformation to a world that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.  Considered one of the most influential individuals in the green building movement today, he is the recipient of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize for 2012.  Jason’s work has made a pivotal impact on the shape and direction of green building in the United States and Canada.

 

 

Ed Briscoe
Managing Director, Weave Finance

Ed is serving as an Advisor to Resource Fiber to provide independent advice on the New Market Tax Credit program as a capital investment source, as well as other traditional and non-traditional financing options.

Ed has over eight years of experience in the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) industry, participating in some of the earliest deals funded by the program in early 2004. He is involved in the sourcing, evaluation, structuring, and closing of NMTC transactions for Weave Finance and brokering and consulting with various Community Development Entities, real estate projects, and businesses. Ed has negotiated and funded over $200 million in NMTC investments ranging from small retail developments to large manufacturing facilities.

Ed received a B.S. in business administration from Samford University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University with concentrations in finance, strategy, and human and organizational performance. Ed maintains a variety of volunteer efforts including tutoring, mentoring, and business consulting with non-profits and social enterprises. He currently serves as treasurer on the Board of Rocky Mountain Micro-Finance Institute in Denver.