USIPA Board of Directors

Thomas Meth

image22

USIPA Board Chairman


Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Enviva


Thomas is a co-founder and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing of the Enviva family of companies.  Enviva is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, with sales of more than 2.3 million metric tons in 2016. Thomas has led Enviva’s global sales and marketing team since the company’s inception, developing strategies and contracts for utility, industrial and commercial customers in the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.  He also is responsible for Enviva’s sustainability and public affairs initiatives.


Enviva has seven wood pellet manufacturing facilities in Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, and two deep-water marine terminals with transatlantic export capabilities in Chesapeake, Virginia and Wilmington, North Carolina. Enviva Partners, LP (NYSE: EVA) completed its initial public in April, 2015, becoming the first publicly traded, master limited partnership that focuses on renewable energy production. The publication Environmental Finance named Enviva’s IPO its “Bioenergy Deal of the Year.”


Thomas holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration in Austria, and a Masters in Business Administration from The Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at The University of Virginia.  He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Michael Williams

image23

USIPA Board Vice-Chairman


Director, Business Development, The Westervelt Company


Mike has over 30 years of experience in the forest products sector focusing on pulp, paper, packaging, and renewable energy. He is in the Business Development group for the Westervelt Company, the parent of Westervelt Renewable Energy, and was responsible for development of the company's Aliceville pellet plant as well as the company's biomass cogeneration (CHP) project. 


He also led the SBP Framework certification effort for Westervelt. Mike serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association, the executive board of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Association, and is on the Board of Visitors for the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama. 


Mike holds a BS degree from Morehead State University, completed Duke University's Advanced Management Program, is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, and holds a Certificate in Process Mastery.

Barry Parrish

image24

USIPA Board Treasurer


Director of Procurement and Sustainability, Georgia Biomass


Barry is responsible for fiber supply and sustainability standards for the US biomass business of Georgia Biomass. In his role, Barry is responsible for managing and planning fiber supply, developing and maintaining supplier relationships, negotiating long term supply agreements, and developing and implementing fiber supply strategies that deliver lowest total costs for the long-term. 


Barry is also responsible for maintaining sustainability certifications and ensuring the highest sustainability standards are met as required by our stakeholders in the United States and Europe.


Barry has over 30 years experience in the forest products industry, and prior to his role with Georgia Biomass held various management positions with Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation where his last position was in fiber procurement responsible for fiber supply for their Fernandina Beach, FL. Linerboard mill. Prior to that he worked in fiber security with responsibilities for asset security, corporate compliance, and sustainability auditing for 15 paper mills located in the US and Canada. He was also the Georgia Land Manager where he was responsible for the forest management of over 400,000 acres of forestland.


Barry represents Georgia Biomass, LLC on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA) and is on the Executive Committee of the Forest Resources Association and the Board of Directors of Georgia Forestry Association. He is also a member of the Stakeholder Committee of the Sustainable Biomass Program and has been Chairman of the National Forest Products Security Group, the Southeast Forest Products Security Group, and the Southeast Region of the FRA.


Barry holds a BS degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia and is a Registered Forester and Certified Fraud Examiner.

Harold Arnold

image25

USIPA Board Member


President, Fram Renewable Fuels


Harold has been involved in the forest industry his entire working life. He spent more than 25 years in the Forest Resources Division of Hercules Inc. and held the position of Western Region Superintendent prior to his leaving Hercules in 1995. Since then, he has exported chips and other forest products through port facilities at Savannah, handled a variety of consulting projects for forest products industries in the South, and completed several international forestry related assignments as a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development. 


Harold joined Fram Renewable Fuels, LLC in October 2005. His industry knowledge led to the development of Fram's first wood pellet facility in Baxley, Georgia. Appling County Pellets was constructed and began producing in late 2007. Since then he has played a pivotal role in the development of the business and customer relationships that are so vitally necessary in this business. As the industry continues to grow Harold enhances the profile of Fram to further develop the wood pellet industry in the Southeast United States.

Richard Peberdy

image26

USIPA Board Member


Vice President of Sustainability, Drax Biomass


Richard Peberdy is Vice President of Sustainability for Drax Biomass. In this role, he develops and implements policies to ensure Drax Biomass and its suppliers adhere to the principles of sustainable forestry management. Specifically, Richard guides company operations to secure and maintain certification under various industry sustainability standards, such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Standard, Forest Stewardship Council® Chain of Custody and Controlled Wood Standards and Program for the Endorsement of Forest CertificationTM Standard. Richard is also responsible for ensuring compliance with all relevant sustainability regulations.


Richard joined Drax Biomass in 2013 having spent 30 years in the forest industry in the United Kingdom, including 10 years as a contractor and 20 years with the largest forest management company in the country. 


He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a postgraduate diploma in Agricultural Sciences.

Tom Reilley

image27

USIPA Board Member


Chairman, Highland Pellets


Tom has more than 20 years of experience as an investor and entrepreneur. He started his career with Bear, Stearns and as a Senior Managing Director was transferred to London in 2002 to establish the wealth management division and serve as its executive director and as a member of the International Executive Committee. He left in 2007 to found Kalan Capital, an investment vehicle and private equity fund that developed the geothermal company Orka Energy into a key holding. He exited his stake in 2012 and returned to the U.S. where he continues to be an active investor. 


Mr. Reilley holds a B.A. in International Relations and Economics (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA).

USIPA Staff

Seth Ginther

image28

Executive Director


Seth serves as the Executive Director of USIPA.  Seth is an attorney and co-managing partner of Hirschler Law's Energy and Infrastructure Group. He founded and leads the firm's government affairs, regulatory and economic development consultancy, HF Consulting LLC.


In the energy and infrastructure area, Seth routinely represents energy and infrastructure businesses in project finance, negotiating and drafting power purchase agreements, recapitalizations, mergers and acquisitions, energy and infrastructure asset development projects and multi-state and federal legislative and regulatory matters.


His experiences give him a unique understanding of legislative, administrative and regulatory policy-making and puts this experience to work for his clients in ways that ensure the economic security of their businesses.


Seth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Tech and a J.D. from the University of Richmond TC Williams School of Law, where he also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Richmond Journal of Law and Public Interest.

Taylor Fitts

image29

Vice President, Communications


Taylor serves as the Vice President of Communications for USIPA. In this role, Taylor manages strategic communications and media relations to ensure internal and external stakeholders are informed and engaged with the association’s work.   
 

Taylor has extensive experience developing and executing award-winning public relations campaigns and stakeholder communications for leading consumer and business brands. Prior to joining USIPA, he managed global communications initiatives as both an agency partner and corporate leader across a number of different industries including technology, manufacturing, agribusiness and pharmaceuticals. 


Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Jessica Marcus

image30

Vice President, Policy and Operations


Jessica serves as the Vice President of Policy and Operations for USIPA.  In this role, Jessica engages with regulators in Europe, Asia, and the US on renewable energy policies and also manages many of the day-to-day operations for the association.  Jessica is also responsible for logistics and planning for USIPA's annual industry conference, an event which attracts over 300 experts and leaders in the bioenergy industry each year.


Jessica has over 10 years of experience in policy development and government affairs, having started her career in state government in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Prior to joining USIPA, she held appointments in the Virginia Office of the Lieutenant Governor and the Virginia Office of the Governor.


Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University and a Master of Public Administration and Public Policy from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She also holds a post-graduate certificate in Graphic and Digital Design from the Parsons School of Design in New York.