Our Board of Directors
Joseph Vaillancourt, Chairman
FOUNDER & MANAGER PARTNER, VENTURE ENTERPRISES
Mr. Vaillancourt brings more than 25 years of operational, financial, and strategic experience in industrial and environmental infrastructure development to the Agilyx Board. Mr. Vaillancourt is the founder and Managing Director of Venture Enterprises, an affiliate firm focused on helping advance value creation and strategic partnership development for corporations, private equity, and technology-based startups. He has worked with private equity in the energy and industrial sectors and has participated in the financing and commercialization of more than 15 environmental technology companies.
In 2014, Mr. Vaillancourt retired from a 15-year tenure with Waste Management Inc. where he held several senior roles across the company and ultimately was involved in creating and managing the company’s corporate venturing activities. Mr. Vaillancourt has also been a part of various founding groups in more than 10 companies in a diverse set of industries.
Ross M. Patten
Mr. Patten is the Chief Executive Officer of Agilyx. He brings more than thirty-five years of executive experience in the solid waste, wastewater, and waste-to-energy sectors. Most recently, Mr. Patten served as President and Chief Executive Officer of MaxWest Environmental Systems, a leading renewable energy company specializing in wastewater to energy systems.
Mr. Patten is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Synagro Technologies. During his tenure with Synagro Technologies, he grew the company to become the largest publicly-traded processor of sewage sludge in the United States. Synagro was later sold to the private equity firm, The Carlyle Group, and taken private in 2007. Since 1994, Mr. Patten has also been a Partner of Bedford Capital, a merchant banking and advisory firm with expertise in the waste management and forest product industries. He has also held executive leadership positions with CDR Industries, Resource NE, Browning-Ferris Industries and Wheelabrator Technologies (a division of Waste Management).
SAFFRON HILL VENTURES
Prior to co-founding Saffron Hill Ventures, Mr. Bhatia worked as Advisor to the Chairman of Loot Ltd. where he advised on e-commerce strategy and investment and in a venture capital capacity for Lord Rothschild, evaluating technology venture opportunities. While at Loot he worked closely with business partners and financiers to structure Loot's strategic and financial requirements in preparation for sale. Mr. Bhatia has had a long term interest in environmental technology and policy, and worked in the environment and energy consulting groups at Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and Dyncorp-Meridian, and as an intern in Vice President Al Gore's White House Office on Environmental Policy.
Mr. Bhatia earned an MBA from UCLA's Anderson School of Business, an MA in International Relations and Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a BA in Environmental Science from Occidental College.
Born and educated in England, Mr. Burnett joined Foster Wheeler upon graduating with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. He then joined Lindsey Oil Refinery UK in 1980, part of the Total Group. Subsequently he has enjoyed a broad and successful experience in worldwide operations with Total in refining and petrochemicals, ultimately achieving the position of President and CEO of Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc. before taking retirement in July 2013. Unready for retirement, Mr. Burnett accepted a new challenge with Delta Air Lines in August 2013, taking on the responsibility for their jet fuel supply, as well as assuming the role of Chairman of the Board of Monroe Energy, the refining affiliate owned by Delta Airlines.
In November 2013, Mr. Burnett was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Teesside University.
Kevin Surace has been innovating in technology and materials for 30 years and holds 28 patents. For 10 years he led Serious Materials driving energy efficiency in buildings, the worlds largest contributor of CO2, impacting some 70,000 projects including iconic structures such as the Empire State Building and the New York Stock Exchange. He has been active as a board member and advisor to dozens of sustainability companies from water re-use to dynamic windows to materials recycling and upcycling and is one of the best-known speakers in the country on topics including sustainability, energy efficiency, jobs, disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship.
VIRGIN GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED
Mr. Norris is Chairman of Virgin Group Holdings Limited, a multinational venture capital firm with holdings in a wide range of industries. He has over 37 years of experience in investment banking and business management. Mr. Norris began his career at Barings in 1976. In 1984, he joined Goldman Sachs, before returning to Barings in 1987 to head the South East Asian advisory operations. Upon returning to London in 1994, he became CEO of Barings Investment Banking Group. Three months after his appointment, the notorious derivatives trading scandal in Singapore was revealed, which brought down the bank. In 1995, Mr. Norris established a corporate finance business, constructed around the needs of a client base of owner-entrepreneurs. In 2007, he merged this business with Quayle Munro Holdings Plc, an AIM listed company and became the CEO of the combined entity. He served in this capacity until the end of 2009, when he resigned his executive position to take the role of Chairman of the Virgin Group. He remains a senior adviser to Quayle Munro. Prior to becoming Chairman of Virgin, Mr. Norris acted as an adviser to the Group from 1996 and had chaired Virgin Active from 2002 to 2007. He graduated from Oxford University in 1976 with a first class degree in Modern History and Modern Languages.
Kevin R. Brine
Kevin R. Brine serves as Managing Director of Artemis IV, LLC, a private investment partnership and as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Coyuchi, Inc., an organic home textile company. Mr. Brine is a former partner and board member of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc., Investment Management and Research. Over his twenty-two-year career at Bernstein, Mr. Brine had senior responsibility for its Private Client Business and the Global Institutional Asset Management Business. He retired when Bernstein was acquired by Alliance Capital, an AXA subsidiary, in 2000. Subsequently he served as a director of Delphi Financial Group Inc. (DFG-NYSE) from July 2004 to May 2012 when Delphi was acquired by Tokio Marine Group. Committed to the non-profit world, Mr. Brine has served as a Trustee for New York University, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Spence School, and as an Overseer for the Weill Cornell Medical College and other charitable foundations. Currently he is the Chairman for NYU’s Dean’s Library Committee and The Epidavros Project, an award-winning documentary film company, and he serves on the Arms and Armor Visiting Committee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Mr. Brine has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he studied soil science and South Asian studies. Early in his career he managed a 320-acre organic farm in upstate NY, worked as a soil scientist, and supported himself as welder and blacksmith. Mr. Brine has an M.B.A. from the NYU Stern School of Business and an M.A. in English and American Literature from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, where he has taught in recent years as an adjunct professor. Co-editor and author of several published books, Mr. Brine’s current book, co-authored with NYU Professor Mary Poovey, Models of Finance, is forthcoming from University of Chicago Press.
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