Board of Directors & Staff

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Board of Directors

Perkins Fendley


Hargrove Engineers + Constructors

Monica S. Garsed

Vice President

Mobile Gas

Spencer Wiggins


Hancock Bank

Board Members

Allan Gustin

Dunn Building Company

Avalisha Fisher

Driven Engineering, Inc

Beth Thomas

Alabama Power

Bill Watts

Ex Officio Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse, P.C.

Chris Blankenfield

Austal USA

Clay Turner

Ranger Environmental Services, LLC

Clyde Collins

Industrial Valve Sales & Service, Inc.

David P. Scheid

Outokumpu Stainless USA

Dr. John Steadman

University of South Alabama

Gary Criscione

Evonik Corporation

Hayden Olds

Olds Filtration Engineering, Inc

Henry Seawell

Thompson Engineering, Inc

Javier Hernandez

E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.

John Naron

Akzo Nobel Functional Chemical

Judith Adams

Alabama State Port Authority

Lee Patrick

Mitsubishi Polysilicon

Lewis Copeland

Southern Earth Sciences, Inc.

Michael Tew

S. J. & L Civil Contractors, Inc.

Mike Wilson


Neil Johnston

Hand Arendall, LLC

Scott Rothermel

Performance Contractors

Steve Russell

Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce

Tom Bramlett


Tom Damson

Long’s Human Resource Services


Jennifer Denson

Executive Director

Kathy Hudson

Program Assistant

<h2><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-25015″ src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Beth Thomas</h2>
Elizabeth Weatherford Thomas is External Affairs Manager with Alabama Power. She joined the Southern Company in 1990 and has worked primarily with Southern Nuclear. Most recently, she served as the Nuclear Development Communications Coordinator at Southern Nuclear Public Affairs in Birmingham. Beth holds a double major from Troy University in Print Journalism and Public Relations. She has been active in her community and professional life, including serving as APSO state president in 2005.

<h2><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-25031″ src=”” alt=”” width=”148″ height=”148″ />Monica S. Garsed</h2>
Monica Garsed is Manager, Industrial & Business Development, for Mobile Gas. Starting at Mobile Gas as a Commercial Marketing Representative in 1995, Monica has worked with and managed the ares of commercial, residential and industrial development as well as advertising and community relations. Prior to that, she worked as a test engineer for Ingalls Shipbuilding. Monica serves on the University of South Alabama National Alumni Board, The Downtown Alliance Board as VP of Marketing, the Saraland Industrial Development Board, and The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee. Monica graduated from the University of South Alabama with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1991. She and her husband, Chris Garsed, P.E., have two daughters.

<h2><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-25033″ src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Perkins Fendley</h2>
Robert “Perkins” Fendley, P.E., is the Leader of Project Services for Hargrove Engineers + Constructors. He is a graduate in Mathematics from Auburn University and holds his Professional Engineering license in the Control Systems discipline. Perkins has served as Hargrove’s Operations Leader for the Mobile Division, as Resource Leader in both the Electrical and Instrumentation Department and the Project Controls Department. His expertise includes project management, instrumentation design, control systems implementation, estimating, scheduling, cost control and construction management.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25013 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Allan Gustin</h2>
Allan Gustin holds a B.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi in Building Construction Technology (1989). With over twenty-eight years of experience in various types of general contracting including design-build, manufacturing, industrial, health care, institutional, retail, multi-family, and high rise residential. Allan is a past president and current board member of the Partners for Environmental Progress, and currently serves as an officer and board of directors member for the Associated General Contractors of Alabama Mobile Section.  Allan also served as Past President of the Associated Builders and Contractors Mid-Gulf Chapter.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25017 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Bill Pfister</h2>
Bill Pfister is the Vice President, Facilities Development at Austal USA. He was instrumental in establishing the new aluminum shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. With over 35 years of marine construction experience, he was formerly with Halter Marine and the US Navy. At Halter he was involved with the design and construction of their high-speed, low-wake ferry and the development of large fast aluminum vessel capability. With the US Navy, he was responsible for the design and construction of Auxiliary and Special Mission Ships. In an extended tour as a Major Program Manager for the Navy, he managed acquisition projects that resulted in one-third of all the ships bought by the Navy. He left the Navy with the rank of Captain. At Austal USA, he was in the initial management cadre that set up the company, put the facilities in place, and started building fast aluminum vessels. He is now responsible for the acquisition and development of new facilities.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25019 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Clyde Collins</h2>
Clyde Collins serves as the Manager of Operations at the Mobile corporate office of Industrial Valve Sales and Services and is over the Service, Surplus and Sales of the Bastrop, Louisiana and Cleveland, Tennessee divisions. Prior to this position, Clyde worked as an Outside Sales Consultant at the Mobile office 1987 to 1989. From 1989 to 1990, Mr. Collins served as the Plant Superintendent at the Cleveland location. At the Bastrop office Mr. Collins served as the Director of Operations from 1990 to 2010.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25021 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Dr. John Steadman</h2>
John W. Steadman, Dean of Engineering at the University of South Alabama, is a native of Cody, Wyoming and graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in 1964 and an M.S. in 1966 in Electrical Engineering. After obtaining his M.S. degree, Dr. Steadman was employed by General Dynamics in San Diego, working on astronaut life support systems as a life sciences research engineer. He received a Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1971 and joined the faculty at UW. Dr. Steadman was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy in 1997-98. He served as Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Associate Dean of Engineering at UW. A licensed professional engineer, Dr. Steadman served sixteen years on Wyoming’s State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors at the request of three different governors. At the national level, Dr. Steadman has risen to positions of leadership of the National Council for Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (President – 1993), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – USA (President – 2004), the Order of the Engineer (Chairman – 2002-2003), and the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (Team Chair – 1996-2002). Technology (Team Chair – 1996-2002). Locally, John serves on the boards for The Exploreum and Alabama School of Math and Science. He recently served the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce as Vice Chairman for Economic Development.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25024 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Henry Seawell</h2>
Henry R. Seawell III serves as Chairman of the Board and Principal Engineer of Thompson Engineering. He joined the organization in 1976, becoming President/CEO in 1982 and serving as the Chief Executive Officer until 2009. Mr. Seawell guided the growth of Thompson Engineering and led the organization through the purchase of the company by the employees from the founding family in 1996 and the establishment of its current Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). He serves as Principal Engineer for major capital project development, engineering design, construction management, and EPC (Engineer – Procure – Construct) construction services. Mr. Seawell maintains active professional registrations in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Auburn University. Mr. Seawell has been recognized with numerous professional honors, including the Design Excellence Award from the U.S. Naval Facilities Command Southern Division; the Engineer of the Year and Engineering Manager of the Year from he Mobile Area Council of Engineers; and the Community Leader of the Year from the Associated General Contractors Mobile Branch. He has served on the boards of the Associated General Contractors, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Partners for Environmental Progress, Junior Achievement, and the Auburn University School of Engineering. Mr. Seawell has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineering, National Society of Professional Engineers, and Society of American Military Engineers.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25027 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”148″ height=”147″ />Judith Adams</h2>
Judith Adams is Vice President of Marketing for the Alabama State Port Authority. Her areas of responsibility include media, community and government affairs, real estate/asset management, and Theodore terminal operations. She is also responsible for economic development initiatives at the Port Authority, participating on project teams that successfully recruited Aker Solutions ASA, Standard Concrete Products, Berg Spiral Pipe Corp., and ThyssenKrupp. Ms. Adams is a member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama, the Southern Economic Development Council, Leadership Alabama, and the Public Relations Council of Alabama. She is also active on committees for the American Association of Port Authority and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Adams is a graduate of Louisiana State University.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25030 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Michael Tew</h2>
Michael B. Tew founded S J & L Civil Contractors, Inc. in 1978 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and President. A native of Mobile, AL, Michael began his career working in the family plumbing business; starting his own company, S J & L Civil Contractors, Inc. at the age of 25. Over the past 33 years, he has experienced and performed every facet of the business as it has grown from a small start-up company to it’s current present day capacity. Michael remains very active in the daily operations of the firm.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25034 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Scott Rothermel</h2>
Scott Rothermel, a native of Baton Rouge, graduated from Louisiana State University with a B.S. degree in Construction Management. He joined Performance Contractors upon graduation as an estimator and has worked for them ever since. In 1998, he created the Southeastern Division of Performance Contractors, and as Division Operations Manager, took the company from its traditional petrochemical cliental into a more diversified role, serving the steel, auto, power, and petrochemical needs throughout the Southeast. Scott serves on the Board of Advisors for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of Associated Builders and Contractors.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25036 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Steve Russell</h2>
Steve Russell joined the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce in 2004 and is Director of Business Retention and Expansion in the economic development department. He is a native Mobilian and received a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and an MBA from the University of Alabama. He serves as Vice President of the Lions Club of Mobile and past president of Mobile Opera, Inc.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25038 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Tom Damson</h2>
Tom Damson is President of Long’s Human Resource Services and was born and raised in Mobile. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he is also a Certified Personnel Consultant. A former Army aviator, he has served on various community boards including the Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts, BBB, Mitchell School of Business advisory board, Mobile Chamber of Commerce, is a past president of PEP, and currently serves on the executive committees of Temporary Services Insurance Limited and the Captive Investors Fund which are Cayman domiciled companies.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25023 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Hayden Olds</h2>
Hayden Olds is President of Olds Filtration Engineering, Inc., a distributor of industrial filtration products and air pollution control systems. Hayden is a graduate of Fairhope High School and earned his B.A. in Business Management from Huntington College in 1990. He joined the family business soon after graduation. A lifelong resident of Baldwin County, Hayden and his wife, Felicia, reside in Fairhope with their two children. An avid outdoorsman, Hayden serves as a volunteer and supporter of various coastal and wildlife conservation organizations.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25025 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”105″ height=”147″ />Javier Hernandez</h2>
Javier Hernandez , orginally from Arecibo, Puerto Rico, has more than 27 years of experience in operations, technology and continuous improvement in manufacturing. He began his career with Abbott Laboratories . In 1991 he started to work for DuPont Agricultural Business at their Manati site in Puerto Rico. After several different roles in Puerto Rico, Javier was transfered to the Axis, AL plant in 2006, where he lead Technical, Operations and Distribution for five years. In 2011, he was transfered to Newark as Plant Manager for a polymer plant. In 2014, Javier became the corporate global leader for DuPont Production Systems (DuPont Continuous Improvement Engin). In April 2016, he was assigned Plant Manager for DuPont Company, Axis, AL. Javier earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico. He is certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt, Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Supply Chain Professional (CSCP). He is married to Betsy and they have four children. Javier also serves as a coach and mentor for the DuPont Hispanic Network.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25014 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Avalisha Fisher</h2>
Avalisha is the sole owner and President of Driven Engineering, Inc., a six-year-old civil engineering, environmental consulting and land planning firm. She has worked in the civil engineering field for more than twenty years in the Mobile and Baldwin County area. Avalisha was raised in Fairhope, Alabama and graduated from Fairhope High School. Avalisha graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Cum Laude B.S. in Civil Engineering. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, ASCE and AREMA. She serves on two AREMA committees that are constantly updating the AREMA manuals that govern the construction and operation of rail facilities across the US.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25016 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Bill Watts</h2>
Bill Watts is a member in the law firm of Helmsing, Leach, Herlong, Newman & Rouse, P.C. He is a graduate of Amherst College (B.A magnum cum laude 1974) and the University of Southern California Law School (J.D. 1980). He is a member of the State Bars of California and Alabama and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in the State of Alabama, and the U.S Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. His practice includes the field of environmental law and litigation and he has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the The Best Lawyers of America in the field of appeallate law.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25020 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />David P. Scheid</h2>
David Scheid is an experienced Human Resource professional with over 25 years of experience primarily in the manufacturing industry. Prior to joining Outokumpu Stainless USA, f/k/a ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA, in 2007 as the Vice President of Human Resources, David worked for North American Stainless in Ghent, KY on their Greenfield startup. David has also worked in the automotive industry with UBE Industries as well as Avon Products in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. He has worked with multinational corporations from Japan, Spain and Germany assisting in building new manufacturing operations in the US and Canada. David earned his undergraduate degree in Business with a double major in Marketing and Management and his Master’s degree in Labor and Employment Relations from the University of Cincinnati. He has served on boards including various Chambers’ of Commerce and workforce development. He has worked with the Big Brothers program as well as Junior Achievement. Currently, he sits on the Executive Committee of SAWDC. He has been married to Susan Scheid for the past 21 years and has 3 daughters.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25022 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Gary Criscione</h2>
Gary S. Criscione is the Director of Technical Procurement for Evonik’s North American Region. He is a 1974 graduate from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He joined the former Kay-Fries Company, currently Evonik Industries in 1981. Over the span of his career with Evonik, he has worked in the Engineering, Production, and Procurement Departments. In 1992 Gary, his wife and two children moved to Marl, Germany for a three year assignment. He not only gained international business experience, but the ability to function in a second language .

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25026 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />John Naron</h2>
John is the Plant Manager at the LeMoyne site of Akzo Noble. A native Mobilian, John graduated from Faith Academy, earned a degree in Chemistry at the University of South Alabama and immediately went to work at Akzo Nobel’s LeMoyne site as plant chemist. John has held just about every position at the site and has had the unique opportunity to learn the details of the LeMoyne site from the inside out. Some say, he is “married” to his work as his wife Beth is the Production Superintendent of the Flexsys JV Crystex unit at the LeMoyne site. He spends his free time on the boat with his wife and two daughters exploring the rivers and bays surrounding Mobile.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25028 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Lee Patrick</h2>
Lee graduated from Auburn with a degree in Biological Sciences in 1972. He began his career in the chemical industry in the mid 70’s with then Ciba-Geigy. For the next 26 years, Lee worked with Evonik-Degussa and predecessor companies. He is currently the Safety and Environmental Manager for Mitsubishi Polysilicon in Theodore, Alabama. Lee is married with two children and 1 granddaughter.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25032 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Neil Johnston</h2>
Neil Johnston serves as the Leader of the Real Estate, Land Use and Timber Practice Group for Hand Arendall, LLC. He is a graduate of University Military School, Rhodes College, and the University of Alabama School of Law. His practice includes environmental permitting and enforcement, storm water matters, real estate development, linear projects, forestry, natural resources, conservation, business and foundation law. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Environmental Law, Real Estate, Water and Natural Resources Law, and Timber Law. Neil is a board member of numerous national, state and local forestry, wetlands, trade, conservation and environmental organizations, including the Alabama Coastal Foundation and The Project CATE Foundation, Inc. He frequently lectures and writes on various environmental topics. Prior to his serving on the PEP board, Neil received PEP’s 2009 Community Partner Award.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25035 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Spencer Wiggins</h2>
Spencer Wiggins is a Vice President of Commercial Banking at Hancock Bank. He has been with the bank for over 11 years and has held positions as a branch manager and in business banking. Spencer holds a B.S.B.A. (graduated cum laude) in Finance / Banking and Depository Institutions from the University of South Alabama where he was also a member of the Jaguar baseball team. Spencer is the team captain for Hancock Bank’s Chamber Chase team, member of the Mobile Section of Associated General Contractors, member of the Young Constructors Forum Steering Committee, previous board member of the Alabama Leadership Bankers, previous United Way loan executive. Spencer has also been an assistant varsity baseball coach at Bayside Academy and the head middle school baseball coach at St. Paul’s.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25037 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ />Tom Bramlett</h2>
Tom Bramlett, a native Mobilian, has served as President of Office Equipment Company (OEC) since 1978. OEC is an office furniture and office products sales and distribution company. Headquartered in Mobile since 1973, OEC has branch locations in Pensacola, FL and Gulfport, MS. Tom is a founding member of PEP, and the first President of it’s Board of Director. Tom Graduated with a B.S degree in Industrial Management and a MBA degree from the University of Alabama. Tom has served on the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as Chairman of the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Alabama and as Chairman of Independent Solutions, Inc. — a national office products cooperative based in Indianapolis, and the PEP Board of Directors. He also teaches a junior level marketing course at University of Mobile

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25018 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Clay Turner</h2>
Clay Turner serves as the Senior Environmental Engineer for Ranger Environmental Services, LLC, headquatered in Mobile, AL. Contributing to the growth of Ranger Environmental , Clay successfully diversified the company’s market into the industrial, maritime and construction sectors. He is a graduate of UMS-Wright Preparatory School and the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering. During his time at the University of Alabama, he was an accomplished athlete on the men’s Collegite Rowing Team. Prior to Ranger Environmental, Clay worked for Mercedes-Benz US International Assembly Plant in Vance, AL where he was tasked with the implementation of several environmental initiatives. He currently serves on the YCF Steering Committee for the Associated General Contractors. A Mobile native, Clay is married to Ms. Madeline Chesnard of Atlanta, Ga. The Turners reside in Fairhope, AL.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25029 size-full” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Lewis Copeland</h2>
Lewis Copeland is the Executive Vice President and Mobile Branch Manager of Southern Earth Sciences, Inc. where he serves on the Board of Directors. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Lewis is a native of Mobile and began his career with SESI in 1991 after obtaining his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of South Alabama where he was President of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity. He has previously held positions as Staff Geotechnical Engineer, Drilling Department Manager and Material Testing Department Manager. He is a member of ASCE, ASPE, ACEC and AGC.

<h2><img class=”size-full wp-image-25748 alignleft” src=”” alt=”” width=”145″ height=”145″ />Chris Blankenfeld</h2>
Christopher J. Blankenfeld is the Senior Health Safety and Environmental Manager for Austal USA where he is responsible for overseeing the health and safety of 4400+ employees. Mr. Blankenfeld has over 23 years of experience in Industrial Hygiene/Health and Safety and extensive experience working with federal agencies including OSHA and the EPA, state agencies and local business communities.

Mr. Blankenfeld has served as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Force, Health and Safety Office for the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Gorton, Ct and Health and Safety Corporate Mobilization Manager for Envirocon, Inc.

He holds a B.A. in Business Management from USCG Deferred Studies Program – USCG Institute Dante. He has completed Oil Pollution Control School and Inland Oil Spill Training through Texas A&M University.

<h2><img class=”alignleft wp-image-25569 size-medium” src=”×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”240″ height=”300″ /></h2>
<h2>Mike Wilson</h2>
Mike Wilson is the Engineering Manager at BASF in McIntosh, AL where he has worked for the past 35 years in both Engineering and Maintenance along with other special assignments.  This includes a 3-year role as Engineering Manager at the BASF site in Lampertheim, Germany.  He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama.  Mike is a native of Mobile and is married with 2 daughters and likes to fish and play golf.  He is on the Board of Directors of Jubilee BEST Robotics and helps organize the annual competition that introduces students through High School to the Engineering, Science and Technical fields as part of workforce development.


<h2>Jennifer Denson</h2>
PEP’s Executive Director, Jennifer Denson, a native of Mobile, has a long career in the formulation of public policy on complex and controversial issues. Since 2007, Jennifer has served as Executive Director of Partners for Environmental Progress. At PEP, she works to promote sustainable economic development
and stewardship of the unique environment along the Alabama Gulf Coast.

Jennifer received a B.A. in International Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and a M.A. in International Relations from The American University in Washington, D.C. Jennifer spent more than 15 years in D.C. working on various public policy issues. Jennifer served as the Associate Director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a national non-profit public interest organization with more than 250,000 members. Over the course of her career, Jennifer has managed government relations, grassroots, research/publications and major donor programs. She has appeared on CNN, FOXNews, MSNBC, and various national and local radio talk shows.

Jennifer represents PEP on numerous community groups and projects. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, is Co-Chair of the Natural Resources Committee of Mobile United and was appointed by Governor Bentley to the Coastal Resources Advisory Committee. Jennifer is active in the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, including Envision Coastal Alabama, and the Transportation and Government Affairs Committees.

Jennifer volunteers in her church, her children’s school and is an active member of the Junior League of Mobile. She is an alumni of Leadership Mobile, Class of 2012.

<h2>Andy Town</h2>