Prior to joining GreenFire Energy, Joe spent 33 years as an attorney at Cooley LLP and headed the Credit Finance practice, including project financing, there for the last 27 years. His financing experience includes representation of a wide range of established to emerging companies and their financing sources ranging from venture capitalists to money center banks. Joe took a leave of absence from Cooley in 1986-1987 to work as a project developer and acted as Project Counsel for cogeneration projects with International Power Technology. He has substantial project finance experience both international and domestic, including projects in wireless telecom, conventional cogeneration energy projects and renewable energy projects employing various biogas, biowaste, wind, hydro, agricultural waste, geothermal and solar technologies.
Joe received a J.D. in 1982 from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, where he was associate editor of the UCLA Law Review and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class. Joe concurrently earned an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management, where he concentrated in finance and earned membership to the Beta Gamma Sigma scholastic honor society. At UCLA, Joe was selected each year as the recipient of the John M. Olin Fellowship for law and economics. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of California, Davis, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Brian Higgins graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and then received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, both in Mechanical Engineering. He then studied fundamental flame chemistry at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) at École Centrale Paris. Following this, he researched diesel spray phenomena at the Combustion Research Facility at the Sandia National Laboratory. As an assistant professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, he directed the Engines Laboratory and worked on hybrid vehicle design and emerging engine technologies.
Eventually leaving academia, Brian took a VP of Technology position at Mobotec, leading the design of more than $200M of NOx and SO2 reduction equipment for coal-fired boilers throughout the US, China, and Poland. Subsequently, as CTO for EnviroCare he has designed scrubbers, spray towers, mercury adsorbers, and wet electrostatic precipitators. At GreenFire Energy, he is involved with producing the process and mechanical design of our novel technology. Brian has published numerous technical papers and delivered too many conference presentations to count.
John R. Muir has more than 25 years of senior management experience in both public and private cyber security companies. A strategic thinker, he helped create two security technologies – large scale user authentication via dynamic passwords and enterprise software for full hard drive encryption – that have become foundational in security architectures worldwide. He was also co-inventor of an advanced user authentication device, which was awarded a U.S. patent.
John has served as the Managing Director of SINET Group, a private entity that foments innovation in cyber security, where he manages the company’s strategic research operations and oversees the SINET Member program. John was the Managing Partner of Trusted Strategies (2002-2013) spearheading advisory services and consulting to companies seeking investment and product development expertise in the IT security sector. Trusted Strategies is an alliance partner with SINET and cooperates closely in many SINET event and research activities.
John was President of Pointsec USA (1998-2001) where he directed Pointsec’s ascent as the world’s most widely deployed enterprise hard drive encryption product, leading to a high-valuation acquisition by Check Point Technologies. In 1982, John was co-founder and President of Enigma Logic, one of the pioneering firms in enterprise scale user authentication, which was later acquired in a $73 million transaction by Secure Computing Corporation. John has a degree in International Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Hollis Chin is a strategic, results-driven leader and has built marketing strategies for B2B technology companies for 20+ years. Hollis knows how to jumpstart marketing activities in technology companies to drive growth and revenue. Hollis is skilled in articulating the value proposition of technology solutions to business customers. She has expertise in go-to-market strategies, digital marketing, content writing, and public relations.
As the VP Corporate Marketing for 7.ai, Hollis rebranded the company from a contact center services provider to a customer experience solutions company and implemented a new website that grew visitors to 25k/month. She led digital marketing programs and ran executive events, which resulted in the sales of 20% of the accounts. At Art.com, Hollis ran email marketing automation, paid media (LinkedIn, Google Display Network), and direct mail catalogs, which drove $1.2M in revenue annually.
Hollis was a marketing lecturer at the Haas School, University of California, Berkeley. She has a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Alvaro Amaya is an expert in geothermal modeling. He has been the Geothermal Professor at the University of El Salvador for the last 7 years with research in geothermal modeling, chemical thermodynamics, and the transport of fluids and dispersion modeling. Alvaro studied geochemistry, geothermal exploration, and reservoir modeling at Tohoku University where he completed his Ph.D. thesis applying novel geothermal modeling methodology to the Kakkonda geothermal field in Japan. Alvaro has held prior roles as a researcher in water quality at the Environmental Resources Ministry of El Salvador and a Geothermal Consultant Specialist at LaGeo.
Alvaro holds a Ph.D. from Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan, in geochemistry and geothermal exploration. He holds a master’s degree in hydrogeology and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the University of El Salvador.
Dr. Andy Van Horn is an expert in energy technologies, environmental markets, regulations and policies, as the Founder and Managing Director of energy advisory firm, Van Horn Consulting, for 33 years. In that role he provided research and advisory services to major utilities, research institutes, government agencies, and developers of energy technologies. This work involved comprehensive analysis of energy market economics, regulatory rules, technology costs and performance, and contracts. Andy pioneered the development and application of complex integrated assessment models for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and delivered expert testimony regarding electricity and natural gas assets, markets, contracts, regulations and rates in state and federal proceedings. He helped develop and implement the U.S. cap-and-trade market for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and set the price for the first SO2 allowance trade in 1992. Andy held roles as Director at TERA Corporation and Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett, Inc.
Andy earned a B.S. from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in Physics, followed by positions as Research Physicist at the Rutherford Laboratory, U.K., and Research Fellow at Harvard University.
Mark P. Muir has an undergraduate degree in geology from University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in geology from the University of Washington and an MBA from UCLA. He is also a licensed geologist in the State of California and a Certified Environmental Manager in the State of Nevada.
Mark was National Coordinator of the Mergers and Acquisitions Consulting Practice for an international environmental consulting company and managed the Southwestern U.S. operations of that practice. He has extensive experience in international consulting and has completed multiple projects in both Mexico and Germany. Mark has particular expertise in performing environmental assessments and water resource management. He will provide overall business coordination, as well as geologic input to GreenFire Energy’s efforts. GreenFire Energy’s sCO2 geothermal direction is the result of initial business and technical research performed by Mark.
Dr. Alan D. Eastman received his B.A., cum laude, and his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Utah. He has maintained an interest in alternative energy technologies that began when he worked for the Fuels Engineering Department of the University as an undergraduate in the area of coal liquefaction. Following graduate school, he took a position as a research chemist with Phillips 66 and spent the next 28 years in various research positions for Phillips and ConocoPhillips. He also spent several years gaining in-depth knowledge of the petrochemical and fuels industries as a senior marketing research specialist.
Alan then changed research directions, running the company’s vibrational spectroscopy analytical laboratory. This in turn led to a role as lead chemometrician developing Phillips and ConocoPhillips statistical data correlations for on-line analytical chemistry. In this role, Alan developed complex mathematical models for refinery process optimization. Over the years, Alan earned 35 U.S. patents and numerous foreign equivalents, mostly in the areas of refinery catalysis and process control. Technologies he helped develop are used in numerous refineries worldwide.
Alan took early retirement from ConocoPhillips to devote his time to GreenFire Energy. His experience with all aspects of technology commercialization, as well as his understanding of complex processes and their mathematical modeling, will be valuable to GreenFire Energy as it develops its technology.
Randy Balik has a B.A. in Environmental Science, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, with an emphasis on geology and geomorphology. Prior to co-founding GreenFire Energy, Randy owned and operated two different environmental remediation and land redevelopment contracting companies, serving the Western United States. Randy’s primary skill-set relates to entrepreneurial business management and large-scale business development in the environmental and technology sectors.
Randy’s skills in developing strategic partnerships and general start-up business strategy will continue to be necessary as the company grows and seeks collaborative partners for its R&D efforts, which will eventually lead the company to its long-term operational and licensing opportunities. His skills in construction management will also be useful during GreenFire Energy’s pilot and commercial scale facilities development.
Randy maintains general engineering contractor’s licenses with the States of CA, AZ, NV, and UT and can seek similar licenses in neighboring states as needed. Randy also serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Environmental Management Association (PEMA) as well as Chairman Emeritus on the Board of Directors for the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) Associates, allowing him access to energy industry executives and lobbying groups that focus on all aspects of the environmental and energy industries.
Corporate Mailing Address
584 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA USA 94114-2512