World Renowned Soil Scientist
Ray Archuleta is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist with the Soil Science Society of America and has over 30 years experience as a Soil Conservationist, Water Quality Specialist, and Conservation Agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). During his tenure with the NRCS Ray served in New Mexico, Missouri, Oregon, and North Carolina.
Ray received his AS degree in Livestock Science from Northern New Mexico College and a BS degree in Agricultural Biology plus 30 hours of graduate work in soil related courses from New Mexico State University. He served in the Peace Corps for two years in Guatemala as a Livestock Specialist.
After his retirement from the NRCS in 2017, Ray founded Understanding Ag, LLC, and Soil Health Academy, to teach Biomimicry strategies and Agroecology principles for improving soil function on a national scale. Ray also owns and operates a 150-acre farm near Seymour, Missouri that he operates along with his wife and family.
Brad McIntyre is a 4th generation farmer from Caldwell, ID. He grew up on the family farm down in the Riverside community. He is married to Jill and they have 6 children. He is involved with the family farm where he works alongside his father Loren, and brother Ben. They have been practicing No-till for the past 11 years and using cover crops to aid soil health and nutrient-dense crops for the past 9 years.
For 5 years the family has been working hard to establish their new business (McIntyre Pastures) selling pastured beef, pork, and eggs. Brad serves on the School Board for the Marsing School District, involved heavily in his local church, and serves as a supervisor for the Owyhee Soil Conservation District. Brad is a proud Farmer!
Co-Founder Kiss The Ground
Finian Makepeace is the co-founder of Kiss the Ground and a renowned presenter, media creator, and thought leader in the field of regenerative agriculture and soil health.
His dedication to Kiss the Ground’s mission of “inspiring participation in global regeneration, starting with soil”, has motivated him to develop training programs, workshops, and talks designed to empower people around the world to become confident advocates for this growing movement.
Founder of Western Sustainability Exchange
Lill Erickson founded Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) in 1994 to protect the incomparable landscape and way of life of the Northern Rockies and to do so in ways that strengthen rural economies. Erickson has been WSE executive director since its inception.
Erickson’s expertise is in regenerative agriculture and market-based conservation strategies to achieve environmental protection and economic development goals. She specializes in strategies that incentivize agricultural businesses to convert to regenerative practices. In addition to fundraising and overall management of the organization, Erickson supervises the development and implementation of all WSE program initiatives.
In the late 1990s, Erickson served as an advisor to the Western Regional Team of the Natural Resource Committee of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, which crafted a strategy to promote sustainable development in the U.S.
Prior to forming WSE, Erickson was caretaker of a cattle ranch bordering Yellowstone National Park. She also worked as an organizer for conservation nonprofits in the West. For over 35 years, Erickson has organized citizen participation in conservation issues.
Erickson graduated cum laude from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and minors in environmental studies and biology.
Mark C. Trexler
Director of Climate Change
Dr. Mark C. Trexler has more than 30 years of energy, environmental, and climate change experience. He joined the World Resources Institute in 1988 to work on the first carbon offset project, and worked and published extensively on climate and land use change issues including as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Mark founded Trexler Climate + Energy Services, the first specialized climate consultancy in the United States, in 1991. He later served as Director of Climate Risk for the global risk management firm of Det Norske Veritas until 2012. He has advised clients around the world on climate science and climate risk topics, and currently teaches Climate Change Mitigation at George Washington University. His areas of expertise include energy technologies, research and demonstration policy, climate change economics, emissions trading, corporate climate strategy, and climate change scenario planning. He has extensive experience as an expert witness on climate change and energy topics, and speaks 5 languages.
Mark’s long-standing interest in personal knowledge management systems transitioned to a professional mission to build the Climate Web, a knowledge management solution for tackling climate change, in 2010. After seeing a presentation by the authors of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, he realized that despite the virtual infinity of information relating to climate change and climate risk, almost none of that information gets to decision-makers as actionable knowledge. The Climate Web seeks to change this, making it possible to “get the right information to the right person at the right time.” You can learn more about the Climate Web at www.theclimateweb.com.
George is an Idaho native who has devoted his life to the outdoors. He is a founding member and has served as an officer with the Idaho Deer Alliance for over nine years. Even as a youth, he engaged in environmental service as a member of the FFA and an avid outdoorsman.
During the past ten years, George has helped with replanting efforts following rampant wildfire burns, worked to raise funds for wildlife overpasses, and assisted with wildlife supplemental feeding programs.
George succeeded at combining his personal passion for environmental and wildlife sustainability with his career goals when he joined the Digester Doc team last year. At Digester Doc he has been a part of developing new waste to clean energy solutions in support of a sustainable energy future. George is instrumental in understanding industry needs and coordinating expert solutions.
Encore Green Environmental
Marvin is co-founder of Encore Green Environmental and founding board member of the
nonprofit Synergy For Ecological Solutions. He developed the patent-pending methodology,
Conservation By-Design™, which transforms industrial water for conservation, agriculture, and
the meeting of ESG goals.
With experiences in rodeo, agriculture, and the oilfield, Marvin brings a unique set of skills to
the problem of by-product water “disposal.” Marvin is a sought-after speaker for trade
conferences and is a frequent blogger.
Raised in Texas, Marvin was a professional rodeo clown and later took the clowning to schools
to serve kids with anti-drug and anti-bullying programs. He then worked in the oil industry,
where he encountered the challenges of produced/by-product water. Working with the
nonprofit Synergy for Ecological Solutions, Encore Green Environmental’s ag solution is the
linchpin to sustainability
Marvin lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. You can follow him on LinkedIn:
Aaron T. Ratner
Principal of Cross River Infrastructure Partners
Aaron is the President of Cross River Infrastructure Partners, a platform of development companies deploying climate technologies into sustainable infrastructure projects across carbon, hydrogen, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy, with a focus on first/early commercial projects.
Aaron is also the ClimateTech Venture Partner with Vectr Ventures, a Hong Kong-based venture capital investment firm, where he focuses on advanced carbon utilization and transformation.
Aaron has over 20 years of domestic and international investment and advisory experience, including 10 years in Asia, focusing on project finance, climate technology, energy, agriculture and waste.
President of 8 Rivers Capital
Damian is the Chief Development Officer at 8 Rivers and manages all MENA relationships for the firm. Through his career he has developed an expertise in CCUS related project and technology development, for which he has granted patents. In 2020 he was a co-author of the US National Petroleum Council’s comprehensive report Meeting the Dual Challenge A Roadmap to At-Scale Deployment of CCUS, which was commissioned by Former US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
Damian has worked on UAE and KSA’s energy sector since 2016. Currently, he is directing the creation of a zero carbon fuels export strategy from MENA to the EU, and his previous work has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Nature Chemistry, and Chemical & Engineering News. Damian holds a master’s degree in chemistry from the Ohio State University during which time he was awarded the Future Leader in Chemistry award from a division of the American Chemical Society and the Clean Energy Business Plan Prize from the US DOE.
KitzWorks – CEO
Kevin Kitz, P.E. provides innovative solutions in geothermal energy and process efficiency through KitzWorks LLC. Kevin has been a specialist in geothermal development for over 35 years creating new value and strategic opportunities. His work has encompassed the gamut of the geothermal power industry from the subsurface to the power plant, from design to construction to O&M, as well as PPA and EPC contract negotiation.
Recently KitzWorks has had a lead technical role on teams to commercialize (a) geothermal hybrid plants using solar thermal heat, (b) injecting solar thermal heat underground to create synthetic geothermal resources for seasonal storage of solar energy, (c) District Energy Systems comprising geothermal heat pumps, grid energy storage, and shifting time-of-use to decarbonize and lower the cost of power on the grid, (d) a new dry-cooled steam condenser for conventional power plants to reduce power generation water use. KitzWorks helps clients create commercial investment opportunities by re-purposing existing technology in new ways.
President of EGT Solar
Vice-Chairwoman of the Executive Committee of the Nez Perce Tribe, (NPTEC)
Recently served a three (3) year term, as the elected Vice-Chairwoman of the Executive Committee of the Nez Perce Tribe, (NPTEC). Was selected to serve on the Idaho Governor Little’s COVID-19 Financial Cares Committee, ensures transparency and accountability in use of federal funds to fight the Coronavirus. Was selected to give written and oral testimony in Washington, DC, to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. Advocacy and testimony provided to the Idaho State Senate, Human Resource Subcommittee, and Natural Resource Subcommittee for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People leading to passage of Resolution HCR033. Previously the Human Resource Chairman, and Climate Change and Energy Subcommittee Chairman, (Nez Perce Tribe).
Previous delegations appointed to Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, Community Health Aide Program (CHAP), State and Tribal Governments Working Group (STGWG), Inter-tribal Agriculture Council, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians (ATNI). Previous work in healthcare, human resources, and stem mentoring programs. Education she holds a Masters of Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from University of Oklahoma, Bachelor of Arts, Indigenous American Indian Studies with emphasis in Environmental Justice from Haskell Indian Nations University, and Associate of Science, Health, Sport, and Exercise Science degree also from Haskell Indian Nations University. She is now the Nez Perce Tribes Department of Natural Resources Planner.
CEO of Amager Bakke Foundation
Innovation and project development executive with +20 years of experience from the start-up world, commercial organizations and the governmental arena. As a trusted advisor and professional practitioner, I help companies and organizations to transform strategies and bold ambitions into lasting impressions.
As CEO of the Amager Bakke Foundation I have been responsible for driving the development and realization of the recreational facility at Copenhill – one of the most complicated parts on one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects of the decade. Copenhill is the world’s first combination of a waste to energy plant and a green roof-park, that includes a ski-slope, a stunning green mountain park and the world’s tallest climbing wall. An integral part of the project was to find creative ways of solving complicated problems that have involved a vast number of stakeholders – from politicians, sports-clubs, financiers and the EU-commission.
I have founded or co-founded several startups, the latest being an innovation agency, specialized in digitally driven business anthropology. My entrepreneurial endeavors have taught me, that success is equally about dedicated hard work as having the good idea to begin with.
I earned my MBA at the AVT Business School in Copenhagen and graduated with distinction as top-ten in my class. I moved to Denmark in 1997 to enroll as student at the Kaospilot University, were I earned my BSc in 2000. The program management education based upon the concept of agile leadership and the theories about learning by doing, as introduced by the American philosopher John Dewey.
My managerial experience have taught me to believe in the power of trust and the mandate to lead, and that great things happen when you unleash the desire to create results and make lasting impressions together.
Founder/President of African American Chamber of Commerce
Kathryn R. Jones is the founder and current president of the African American Chamber of Commerce. She has always had a passion for business entrepreneurship and saw the Chamber as an opportunity to encourage, uplift, and expand Black owned/lead businesses in Idaho.
Kathryn continues to study Economics and Urban Development so that she can be an asset to her community and allies. Her hope is to bring resources to the Treasure Valley that will help grow cultural diversity.
Kathryn also loves volunteering when possible. She participated as a planning board member of the 2018 & 2019 Soul Food Festival. She assisted with donations for the 2019 Latino Festival and the 2019 Grand Fiesta Gala. Kathryn is a mentor with Brown Like Me, an organization that supports Black children in culturally diverse families.
Executive Director at Interfaith Sanctuary
Jodi has been working with the homeless community of Boise for more than 14 years. In her role as Executive Director of Interfaith Sanctuary, she has fashioned events to fundraise for the cause, created visual pieces to help educate the Boise Community on the challenges faced by the homeless, and stood in the trenches of the tent-city Cooper Court. From lessons learned, Interfaith Sanctuary does not just provide shelter for the
homeless, they also provide second chances with new programs designed to move people up and out! You won’t believe the hoops that Jodi had to jump through to help a homeless man secure his birth certificate and photo ID after 14 years of living on the streets with no identity. Jodi was selected as a TedXBoise speaker at their 2017 event to share the crazy steps that had to be taken to give a man his identity back. You can view her talk at
Peterson was featured as one of the “Two Hundred Women who will change the way you see the world”. 200 Women is a book and exhibition founded on original interviews and accompanying photographic portraits. This landmark project is the realization of an epic global journey to find two hundred women with diverse backgrounds and to ask
them what really matters to them. www.twohundredwomen.com.
Each year the Idaho Business Review recognizes women who are making a difference in Idaho. Peterson was selected as one of the 50 nominees for this year’s award event. Jodi was also selected as the Keynote speaker for The Andrus Centers Young Leadership Conference held at BSU in February 2019.
Behavioral Health Director, Advocate and Educator at Cottonwood Creek Behavioral Hospital
Brenda Willson is the Director of Business Development and Educational Outreach for Cottonwood Creek Behavioral Hospital, Idaho’s newest inpatient and outpatient psychiatric facility for ages 12 and up. As a native Idahoan and Boise State University graduate, Brenda brings decades of knowledge and experience in what makes her state unique, including the needs and challenges Idaho faces.
Willson has years of experience collaborating with individuals who share a common goal in affecting change and making a difference at both local and global levels. Brenda’s ability to empower, inspire and ignite the spark in others has been instrumental in the advocacy of positive behavioral health perception and education. Her innovative ideas and partnerships have brought forth many exciting opportunities to lead the way in the sustainability of behavioral healthcare management, services and messaging.
Brenda has worked with Idaho’s at-risk youth and adults in substance and mental health education programs, Project Kids Quest for the state’s foster children and connected families with educational and workplace opportunities at local community housing facilities.
Among her many accomplishments, Brenda is the founder of the multi-state networking group PINE- Partners In Networking Excellence, serves as Co-Chair on the Region 4 Behavioral Health Board, and holds the Healthcare Sector Representative spot for the Meridian Anti-Drug Coalition. Brenda is an active contributor to first responder behavioral health outreach as well as with our active military, veterans and LGBQAI+ community. She has participated in numerous programs including the Ride for 22, Mental Wellness Indigo Art Festival and the Mandela Washington Fellows Program for African Leaders in the medical and public policy arena.
Brenda continues to create authentic relationships within the behavioral healthcare field to serve our communities with the highest level of care and outcomes.