Management and Key Staff Profiles

Richard Kent has been instrumental in the creation of Kent BioEnergy through his direct commitment of time and capital. His extensive experience as a successful serial entrepreneur and investor across diverse business segments is coupled with a passion for technology- driven commercial opportunities. As founder and chairman of Orval Kent Food Company, Inc. he built a fledgling food company into an industry leader through sound management and the acquisition of six competing food manufacturers. By the time he sold Orval Kent in 1988, annual revenues exceeded $180 million. Mr. Kent holds a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

President and Co-Founder
Jack Van Olst is a pioneer in marine biology and developed his expertise in commercial aquatic species culture over the course of four decades. For the greater part of the last 15 years, his attention has been focused on developing and providing industrial solutions using algae-based technologies - bioenergy production, water pollution remediation, greenhouse gas control, landfill liquid waste management, and production of fertilizer and livestock feed additives. Most recently, he has developed proprietary methods of producing liquid biofuels using an overall systems approach centered on an algae production platform. The total system perspective is absolutely essential for commercial viability of algae-based biofuels production.

Prior to founding Kent BioEnergy, Mr. Van Olst directed projects for world-class academic and industrial organizations across the U.S. (Kent SeaTech Corporation, San Diego State University, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric) and abroad (Africa, Canada, China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, and others). He is also an experienced industrial bioengineer and has designed, built, and operated 14 state-of-the art aquaculture research facilities. He received his M.S. in Zoology at San Diego State University and went on to direct the Aquaculture Program there until founding the predecessor company to Kent BioEnergy with partner James Carlberg.

Executive Vice President and Co-Founder
Jim Carlberg is an expert in aquaculture research and production, and the related fields of water quality management and aquatic animal health. He has directed major marine biology research programs at San Diego State University, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Southern California Edison Company, Sea World, and the Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute. His work has focused on the use of algal production systems to develop low-cost wastewater treatment methods to conserve and recycle water to aquaculture operations and to restore wildlife habitat. He has overseen numerous government grants (USDA, DOE, EPA, and NSF) on the use of the microalgae technologies to treat agricultural waste, dairy waste, and to capture CO2 to reduce water pollution, produce valuable products (including biofuels), and to recycle atmospheric carbon dioxide to mitigate global climate change. He has co-authored more than 100 publications and technical reports on aquaculture and wastewater remediation. He has worked on nearly 200 projects in over 40 countries.

Jim Carlberg received his MS in Marine Ecology and Minor in Biochemistry from SDSU in 1972. He was President of Kent SeaTech and is currently Executive VP of Kent BioEnergy, with headquarters in San Diego and field operations in the Coachella Valley.

Chief Business Officer
Barry Toyonaga, Ph.D., is keenly interested in global strategic partnering of the company's bio-fuel and renewable technology assets. He has over 20 years of experience in the diverse activities related to capital formation for technology-rich companies – identification of disruptive technologies, implementation of management practices, execution of operational strategies, fund raising, corporate/business development, and sourcing exit opportunities.

He was a partner at Ventana Capital (San Juan Capistrano, CA) and held executive/management positions in early-stage and established biotechnology companies, as well as within various divisions of Johnson & Johnson.

Additionally, he was the founder of Ontogen Corporation, a pioneer in the field of automated synthetic chemistry and one of the only combinatorial chemistry companies to move an in-house discovery successfully through early human clinical trials. As president and CEO for over 10 years, he closed equity financings ($30MM), realized strategic alliance revenues ($50MM), and grew the company to over 100 employees.

Dr. Toyonaga was a Visiting Research Scientist at The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA), the California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA), and Yale University (New Haven, CT). He was also a MRC postdoctoral fellow at the Ontario Cancer Institute (Toronto, ON) and involved in the discovery of the human T Cell Receptor. He received a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from the University of Toronto (St. George Campus, Toronto, ON).

VP, Systems Development/Co-Founder
Michael Massingill has over 30 years of aquaculture engineering experience with extensive expertise in water treatment technologies including large-scale algal-based systems such as Partitioned Aquaculture Systems (PAS), and the Controlled Eutrophication Process (CEP) as well as mechanical engineering, integrated circuit design, and culture system design. He oversees algal process R&D including advanced techniques for the production of lipids in microalgae, outdoor mass production of algae, optimization of algal productivity, and improvement in algal harvest technology, including the development of advanced Artemia Harvest and Conversion technology. Among other innovations, he has co-designed and patented many aspects of the company's innovative wastewater treatment systems including the "SMART" nitrification reactors and constructed wetlands.

Prior to Kent BioEnergy, Mr. Massingill conducted research on the culture, feeding and spawning of several warm water fish species at UC Davis. In addition, he was a lecturer and teaching assistant giving courses in fish nutrition, physiology of fishes, and fisheries biology. He also has served more than nine years on the Board of Directors of the California Aquaculture Association.

Director, Molecular Research
James C. Levin, Ph.D., has current research interests in molecular approaches to the improvement of biomass and lipid yields in aquatic algae cultured for the production of bioenergy. He is also involved in the development of technologies to track the fate of selenium in tributaries of the Salton Sea.

Prior to joining Kent BioEnergy, Dr. Levin has also focused on the study of how microorganisms interact with their environment and mechanisms of eradicating harmful species. He is an expert in bacterial microbiology, the development of anti-infective agents for hard-to-treat pathogens, and molecular biology techniques to elucidate relevant questions of bacterial pathogenesis. He was Infectious Disease research Group Leader at Gemini Science Inc., and Group Leader, Pre-clinical Microbiology, at Quorex Pharmaceuticals. His earliest research work focused on mechanisms by which bacteria survive in cadmium laden soils as part of a larger bioremediation program. Before that he was an Instructor and Research Fellow in Medicine at the Channing Laboratory of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Levin received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Director, Systems Engineering
Gregory Schwartz, Ph.D., has considerable experience in aquaculture and wastewater engineering. Dr. Schwartz was instrumental in the development of the Controlled Eutrophication Process (CEP) and has conducted extensive research and development related to the Partitioned Aquaculture System (PAS). He is an expert in fish production management, mechanical design, water quality analyses, and data acquisition and analysis, including the calculation of mass balances for oxygen, inorganic carbon, and nitrogen.

Dr. Schwartz received his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University. He also obtained experience in the design of earthen ponds through his work for the Soil Conservation Service at the Alabama Fish Farming Center. Dr. Gregory Schwartz received his Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Clemson University, under Professor Dr. David Brune, one of the company's key scientific advisors.

Construction Engineer
Wayne SQ60
Wayne Sterud is the company's full time licensed contractor who has specialized in the design and construction of aquatic and gas pipeline systems for more than 25 years. He has constructed methane power plants, large-scale intensive fish and algae culture facilities, laboratory and office workspace, steel feed silo systems, ozone generation and distribution systems, liquid and gaseous oxygen systems, cooling tower systems, and many other advanced equipment necessary for the production of aquatic species. He also is a skilled operator of earthmoving equipment, plasma cutters, and electrical troubleshooting gear.

Research Engineer
Christian-D. Henrich, Ph.D., is an expert in process design and modeling of biological and chemical processes used in wastewater treatment operations. His focus is the development and optimization of sustainable waste treatment processes utilizing novel methods for recycling energy and nutrients. Dr. Henrich obtained his German Engineering Diploma in Process Engineering with a concentration in Biotechnology from the University of Applied Sciences of Bingen, Germany. For his thesis, Dr. Henrich researched and modeled new extraction methods for bioprocessing applications at the institute of Chemical Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany. Dr. Henrich received his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Clemson University under Professor David Brune, conducting research leading to significant improvements in the Partitioned Aquaculture System (PAS) and KBE’s leachate treatment systems.