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Introducing Our Panelists

The Race to Making the Clean Hydrogen Economy a Reality in Appalachia: ARCH2 – The who, what, when & how! 


Moderator: Arria Hines, CEO, Allegheny Science & Technology

 Arria Hines is an accomplished and energetic business   leader and entrepreneur. She was born and raised in rural   West Virginia.

 Arria founded her first company, a home interior boutique,   in her basement in VA in the 1980s. Later, she moved   back to her home state to work in project and leadership   roles with Ranger Golf, PRC, and SAIC.

 From this humble beginning, Arria leveraged career     opportunities to sharpen her business acumen and her   energy knowledge. This led to the founding in 2009 of   Allegheny Science & Technology (AST), a Woman-Owned   West Virginia-based energy services company.

 Under Arria’s leadership, AST has thrived. It has been   recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing privately   held companies. Beginning with two employees and one   government contract, AST now has nearly 240 employees   and more than two dozen contracts across multiple   federal agencies. Today, AST is a leader in alternative   energy technologies, and renewable energies, and it is a   key team member on a DOE hydrogen hub effort,   Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2).

 Arria currently serves on WVU’s Visiting Committee,   TechConnect Board of Directors, West Virginia Governor’s   STEM Council, and is an advocate for the WV Public   Speaker’s Bureau. She serves on the Upshur County   (WV) Development Authority Board and is an executive   member of the ARCH2 Board.

 Brian Redmond - Mr. Redmond has over 30 years   of experience in energy, chemicals, and natural   resources. He has held senior management positions in   both renewable and fossil fuel energy production,   industrial chemicals, and commercial aggregate quarrying.

 Mr. Redmond is a co-founder and managing director of   Paragon Energy Holdings LLC (“PEH”) and   Paragon Asset Group LLC ("PAG"). PEH is an   independent merchant banking firm specializing in the   energy sector. PAG is an energy investment firm that has   owned and operated over $350MM of renewable and   traditional energy assets, natural resource projects, and   non-traditional equity investments.

 During his career, Mr. Redmond has held operating   positions as President of Hog Lick Aggregates LLC,   President of ALTIVIA Petrochemicals, President of   Houston Pipe Line Company, President of Louisiana   Resource Company, and Managing Director of Enron. In   these roles Mr. Redmond had direct P/L responsibility for   a $2 billion energy asset portfolio and six years of   responsibility managing asset development in Indochina,   the Middle East and Turkey.

 Mr. Redmond earned his Master of Business   Administration from Harvard Business School, a Masters   in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of   Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical   Engineering from Virginia Tech.

 Kathy G. Beckett
 - Kathy Beckett has over thirty years of   experience practicing environmental, energy and natural   resource law. She has experience working with all major   federal environmental programs, to include the National   Environmental Policy Act. Kathy works with clients,   community and business leaders to expand economic   development for energy, chemicals and   manufacturing. She chairs the Environmental Committees   of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the WV Chamber   of Commerce. Kathy is ranked by Chambers USA for   Environment, Lawdragon Green 500, and is a Fellow of   the American College of Environmental Lawyers among   other professional organizations.

 Melanie White - 
 Melanie White is a program and project   manager with over 25 years of experience in federal   projects -- most of which has been working for   Appalachia-  based small businesses focused on   technology growth within the region. Ms. White is a   problem-solver and relationship builder with strong   attention to detail. She approaches each client as her top   priority and easily balances multiple engagements.   In addition to managing corporate/community stakeholder   relationships, Ms. White serves as AST’s Ombudswoman   and employee stakeholder to our Diversity/EEO IPT   (along with our HR Director and CEO), where she works   to ensure an equitable environment for AST's workforce.

Build Back Better: Creating Pathways Toward Mine Land Reuse

Moderator: Eriks Brolis, Director of Economic Development and Strategic Initiatives, The Nature Conservancy

  Mr. Brolis has spent his career working at the nexus of    business and government for the mutual benefit of   people and nature. For over 5 years at TNC, he has   promoted climate & conservation-friendly economic   diversification strategies including market-based   natural climate solutions and the deployment of   renewable energy on former mine lands, brownfields   & other previously disturbed sites. Prior to joining TNC,   he founded a consultancy and business incubator   that supported enterprises around the globe focused on   the regenerative agriculture and renewable energy   sectors. From 2006-2011 Mr. Brolis was a Co-Owner of   Namaste Solar in Colorado; helping to grow the startup   into a leading solar integrator generating more than $20   million in annual revenue with over 75 employees.   Concurrently, he was elected to serve as the President of   the Board for the Colorado Solar Energy Industries   Association where he successfully helped enact   bipartisan policies to grow the then nascent solar   industry.
Brandon Dennison

  Brandon Dennison - Brandon is Ashley Dennison's   husband and father to their boys: Owen and Will. In 2023,   President Brad Smith named Dennison as Vice President   for Workforce and Economic Development at Marshall   University. As a lifelong West Virginian, Dennison is   Founder and CEO of Coalfield Development, which works   to build the Appalachian economy from the ground up.   Coalfield has invested in over 70 new social enterprises   and trained over 2,000 unemployed or underemployed   workers.

  Dennison graduated from Shepherd University with a B.A.   in History. He holds a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana   University. In 2017, Brandon was named West Virginian of   the Year by WV Living Magazine. He is winner of the JMK   Social Innovation Prize, is a DRK Entrepreneur, and is an   Ashoka Fellow. In 2019, Brandon was awarded the Heinz   Award for Economy and Employment. For 10 years, he   has tried to learn guitar but still only knows 8 or 9 songs   (importantly, Country Roads is one of those songs).   

Brady Gutta


  Brady Gutta - Brady Gutta is the Director of the newly   created Center for Sustainable Mine Lands on the   campus of West Virginia University. One of the goals of   the Center is to develop innovative approaches to reclaim   West Virginia’s 400,000 acres of previously mined lands.   Brady has a Bachelor of Science in Geology from West   Virginia University and over 20 years of professional   experience managing environmental reclamation projects   in coal mining as well as oil and gas. He lives in   Morgantown with his Fiancée and three kids and enjoys   hiking, fishing, golfing, and woodworking.  


  Brianna Hickman - Brianna Hickman has been the   Community + Business Resilience Initiative (CBRI)   Project Director at The WV Community Development Hub   since January 2023. Prior to her work with The Hub,   Brianna’s background lies in the nonprofit and higher   education sectors, serving as the Program Manager for   the Opioid-Impacted Family Support Program at West   Virginia Northern Community College, where she also   taught Intro to American National Government classes,   and as Development Director for the Community   Foundation for the Ohio Valley.

  Brianna graduated from West Virginia University in 2017   with a Juris Doctorate and Master of Public   Administration. She also obtained a BA in Political   Science from WVU in 2014. Currently, she serves on city   council for the City of Moundsville and on the governance   committee for the Association of Junior Leagues   International. When not volunteering, she can be found   with her golden retriever, Atlas, in the woods somewhere   or with her nose in a book.


  Marilyn Wrenn - A Charleston, WV native, Marilyn Wrenn   joined Coalfield Development in 2016 and serves as the   Chief Program Officer. With 30 years’ experience as a   community and economic development professional in   Appalachia, prior to joining Coalfield, Wrenn worked in the   public sector for the USDA Natural Resources   Conservation Service and the West Virginia Department   of Commerce. In the nonprofit sector, Wrenn has focused   on economic justice, social enterprise and rural   entrepreneurship,  local capacity building, economic   diversification, and sustainability. Wrenn holds a Masters   Degree in Communications and Environmental Systems,   and a B.S. in Communications/minor in sociology from the   University of Kentucky, and is accredited by the Economic   Development Institute. 

Ensuring Energy Security Through Meeting Workforce Demands

Dr. Vitullo

 Moderator: Dr. Liz Vitullo 

 Dr. Vitullo holds a dual role at West Virginia University   serving as the Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives at   the John Chamber’s College of Business and Economics   and the Assistant Vice President of Economic Innovation.   Vitullo brings experience in economic development, grant   writing, higher education, and community outreach. She   supports special projects and initiatives for the University   and is well positioned to connect WVU resources into this   effort. She is passionate about education and serves as   the Coordinator of the Healthcare MBA program. 

 Prior to her current role, Vitullo managed the portfolio of   graduate programs in the John Chambers College of   Business and Economics, launching its nationally ranked   online MBA, which led to the creation of subsequent   nationally ranked online master's programs and other   specialized programs for national guardsmen and     corporate offerings. She was part of the inaugural cohort   of IDEA fellows at WVU and served as the Dean of the   Governor's School for Entrepreneurship.

 Vitullo received her PhD and MBA from WVU and her   undergraduate and MS degree from the University of   Toronto. She has served as an adjunct faculty in     entrepreneurship, marketing and management and has   published in several areas. She lives in Morgantown with   her husband, two daughters and son.


 Anthony Armaly

 Partnerships Manager & Regional Workforce Initiative   Federal Coordinator, US Department of Energy,   National Energy Technology Laboratory

 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

 As Global Partnerships Manager, Mr. Armaly pursues new   international and domestic research and development   collaborations on behalf of the laboratory. Areas of   emphasis include CCS, advanced alloys and next   generation materials, artificial intelligence/machine   learning, and sensors and controls. As Regional   Workforce Initiative Federal Coordinator, Mr. Armaly works   with regional stakeholders to develop and promote   workforce programs and link them to opportunities in the   energy and advanced manufacturing sectors. Prior to   joining NETL in 2015, he spent 5½ years with the U.S.   Department of Defense at Wright-Patterson AFB. Mr.   Armaly has an M.S. in Administration from Central   Michigan University, and a B.S. in Business from Bowling   Green State University. 



 Executive Director, Tristate Energy and Advanced   Manufacturing (TEAM) Consortium

 As Director of the TEAM Consortium Elizabeth “Betsy”   McIntyre is responsible for coordinating the activities of a   diverse set of public and private entities including   institutions of higher education, workforce boards,   industry partners and state officials. The goal of   Consortium is to ensure an adequate supply of properly   skilled workers for a targeted 45-county region in   southeast Ohio, northern West Virginia and southwestern   Pennsylvania. Before returning to this area a few years   ago, Ms. McIntyre served as Vice President of   Commonwealth Corporation, a $43M quasi-public state   agency in Massachusetts where she was responsible for   diversifying the funding base for state-wide workforce   development programs, as well as for policy development,   communications and program implementation for sector-   based industry initiatives.

Building an Effective Energy Ecosystem for the Global Energy Transition


 Moderator: Michael Docherty

 Michael Docherty is Executive Director of Appalachian   Energy Future (AEF), an industry-led alliance focused on   engaging and educating stakeholders to help advance a   low-carbon energy future for the Northern Appalachian   Region of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.   Docherty is also Executive Director of IN-2-Market,the   non-profit corporation that manages AEF as part of its   mission to accelerate industrial innovation in the region.   Docherty brings valuable experience from his roles as an   entrepreneur, senior corporate executive, and venture   capital investor. He is managing partner of NextBig, a   venture-creation firm that co-creates startups with leading   corporations and entrepreneurs. Docherty’s previous   experience includes senior management roles with GE,   Ford, and Sunbeam. He is the author of the book,   Collective Disruption: How Corporations and Startups Can   Co-create Transformative New Businesses. He earned an   MBA from Northwestern University (Kellogg) and BS   Engineering degree from Drexel University.

David Miller
 David C. Miller, Ph.D. - David Miller serves as Deputy   Director and Chief Research Officer of the National   Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) where he leads the   Science and Technology Center, developing strategic   plans and programs to address current and emerging   energy challenges. Previously, Miller served as an NETL   senior fellow and provided technical and strategic   leadership across the Strategic Systems Analysis and   Engineering directorate. Miller initiated and led the highly   collaborative, multi-institutional Institute for the Design of   Advanced Energy Systems (IDAES), which is focused on   computational approaches to enable the design and   optimization of complex integrated energy and industrial   systems, accelerating their development and deployment   to support rapid decarbonization of the energy and   industrial sectors. Miller also served as the technical   director of the Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative, which   pioneered new ways to maximize learning during pilot-     scale testing to reduce technical risk during scale-up.   Miller is a recipient of the Arthur S. Flemming Award for   Exceptional Federal Service, Applied Science and   Engineering. He earned his doctorate in chemical   engineering from The Ohio State University.


 Sam Taylor, Director, WVU Institute for Sustainability   and Energy Research (WISER)

 Sam Taylor has worked in the development, management   and oversight of renewable and non-renewable energy   research activities since 2001. He has directly managed   research, development, and deployment programs   totaling more than $1 billion for both WVU and the U.S.   Department of Energy. As Director of WISER, Sam is   focused on the development of major research   investments and initiatives that can leverage the expertise   and partnerships of WVU faculty and students to high-     impact outcomes for West Virginia and the Appalachian   Region. He has a technical focus in sustainable energy   systems and decarbonization for Appalachia, including   hydrogen production and utilization systems, carbon   management, energy technology deployment, and energy   geosciences. Taylor has strong interests in economic and   workforce development issues, especially as they relate   to energy development and technological change in the   region. He enjoys playing outside in the woods of West   Virginia, and is an avid mountain biker, rock climber, and   photographer. 

 Currie Crookston - Currie Crookston is the Global Head   of Ecosystems at Covestro. In this role he leads efforts   worldwide to bring new technologies and capabilities to   Covestro to help accelerate R&D and its transition to a   truly circular and sustainable company. Currie is a serial   entrepreneur having started a half dozen different   businesses with multiple successful exits. Prior to joining   Covestro he and his wife engineered the purchase of 1.5   miles of riverfront in Pittsburgh to become a $1.5billion   dollar riverfront development. He has broad innovation     experience, from molecular imaging and MRI   technologies to machine learning in material   science. Prior to civilian life Currie did 5 tours as a Navy   SEAL. He has a degree in Naval Architecture from the   U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA from the University of   Virginia.