Anaerobic Digestion • Biogas • Composting • Food Waste • Manure • Renewable Natural Gas
19th Annual Conference
BioCycle REFOR17


October 28, 29, 30, 31, 2019
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison Marriott West

Agenda/Events Pages: Monday Workshops | Tuesday & Wednesday Conference Sessions | Thursday Site Tours
Meet The Speakers | Think Tank Session: Biogas In 2020 – The State Of Play | Panel Discussions & Table Talk Sessions
Networking Events | Event Schedule
PDF files: Event Schedule | Conference Agenda | Speaker Bios

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BioCycle REFOR19 Opening Plenary Think Tank Biogas In 2020: The State Of Play

Updated 9.5

Nora GoldsteinNora Goldstein

On Tuesday, October 29, BioCycle REFOR19 Conference sessions kick off with the Opening Plenary Think Tank — Biogas In 2020: The State Of Play.

Moderated by BioCycle Editor Nora Goldstein, this Think Tank features Joe Parisi (County Executive, Dane County, Wisconsin), Tanja Vujic (Director Of Biogas Strategy, Duke University), Patrick Serfass (Executive Director, American Biogas Council ) and Max Vernier (VP – Head of Bioenergy Finance, Live Oak Bank) who will examine where the Biogas industry stands in 2019 and what the future holds for 2020 … and beyond.



Bio to come

Joe Parisi

County Executive
Dane County, Wisconsin

Joe Parisi was first elected as County Executive, the chief elected leader of Dane County, in 2011 after 6 years in the State Assembly and 8 years as Dane County Clerk. He has called Dane County home his entire life, and sought out public service as a way to give back to a community that has given so much to him. Mr. Parisi's priority is to ensure that everyone in the community has access to the opportunity to succeed. He believes investing in people pays big dividends, having learned this first-hand as a teenager when he dropped out of high school. Mr. Parisi was encouraged to return to education through a community program by people who believed in him, earning his GED, going on to MATC (now Madison College) and graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in sociology. As Dane County Executive, Mr. Parisi has led the effort to clean up the county's lakes and protect its environment, increased funding for affordable housing and balanced Dane County's budget and created a $30 million rainy day fund.

Tanja Vujic

Tanja Vujic

Director Of Biogas Strategy
Duke University

Tatjana (Tanja) Vujic is Director of Biogas Strategy for Duke University. In that role, Tanja reports to Duke's Executive Vice President to create a supply of biogas to fuel Duke's campus steam plants and help the University meet its 2024 Climate Neutrality Goal. Tanja has been involved for nearly two decades in various aspects of biogas development, particularly as it relates to animal waste management, carbon reductions and renewable energy production. In 2010, as the founding director of the Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative, she leveraged state and federal funding to develop the Loyd Ray Farms swine waste-to-energy system with Duke Energy and Google. Using lessons from the Loyd Ray Farms project — the first project in the state to generate renewable energy certificates from swine waste and registered carbon offsets from the destruction of livestock-sourced methane — Tanja then led a comprehensive analysis of a Directed Biogas approach to electricity generation from swine waste to accelerate compliance with North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard's swine set aside. Tanja has been active on other energy and environmental fronts, including work with former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers to help establish an Energy Access Project at Duke, an endeavor now running out of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.  The Project aims to accelerate clean energy access to rural populations around the globe.  This summer, Tanja received an adjunct faculty appointment at the Nicholas School of the Environment and joined the Board of Advisors of SustainRNG.   Tanja is currently collaborating on a research effort with Research Triangle international, Duke University and East Carolina University to determine the extent of North Carolina's biogas potential and the best ways to deploy those biogas resources.  Tanja also teaches on topics related to climate change mitigation, clean energy access and energy equity, and mechanisms for funding climate and natural resiliency projects as part of storm recovery efforts.  She holds dual degrees in Geology and Geophysics and Studies in the Environment from Yale University and earned her law degree from The George Washington University.


Max Vernier

VP – Head of Bioenergy Finance, Live Oak Bank

Max Vernier is the Vice President-Head of Bioenergy Finance in the Energy & Infrastructure division at Live Oak Bank, based in Wilmington, North Carolina. His team provides project level debt for biogas developers across the country, ranging from small-scale on-farm anaerobic digestion, to large-scale community digesters and landfill gas. Over the last three years, the Energy & Infrastructure team has funded over $800 million in project finance. Max joined Live Oak in 2013 after graduating from Washington and Lee University with a B.A., double majoring in Economics and Spanish.

Patrick Serfass

Patrick Serfass

Executive Director
American Biogas Council

Patrick Serfass has led the American Biogas Council (ABC) since early 2010 when he helped 22 companies come together to form the only trade association representing the entire biogas industry in the U.S. Today, the ABC represents over 200 organizations and has a network of more than 14,000 stakeholders in the biogas industry. Patrick is also a Director on the Board of the World Biogas Association. Beyond biogas, he has over 17 years' experience growing other clean energy industries, like solar, hydrogen and fuel cells, through the company that manages the ABC, Technology Transition Corporation. In Patrick's early career he was a physical oceanographer, architectural engineer and designed unmanned, deep-ocean vehicles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering Sciences from Dartmouth College.