Laura Sands, Managing Partner
Managing Partner of Vela Environmental based in the Wyoming office. Develops messaging strategies and builds coalitions to further public policies on agricultural and bioeconomy initiatives, climate change and renewable energy. Prior to joining Vela, worked in a variety of agricultural and trade focused media and consulting positions. Areas of expertise: agriculture, coalition-building, climate change, and energy.
Brian Kuehl, Partner
Partner with Vela Environmental in the Wyoming office. Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Senator Max Baucus and Staff Attorney, Greater Yellowstone Coalition. 2007 Loeb Fellow, Harvard University. Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Areas of expertise: environmental and natural resources law, tax policy, federal legislation and politics, and corporate sustainability.
Sara Hessenflow Harper, Partner
Partner with Vela Environmental working in both the Petersburg, VA and Washington, DC offices. Focused on agricultural and corporate sustainability issues, environmental services markets and ag-environment strategic coalition-building. Prior to joining Vela, worked as climate policy analyst for Environmental Defense Fund and former U.S. Senate legislative assistant for two Senators on issues of agriculture, energy and environment. Areas of expertise: agricultural sustainability, sustainable supply chain development, market and policy alignment.
Chris Conrad, Senior Partner
One of the founding partners of The Clark Group (now Vela Environmental) in Washington, D.C. Currently advises clients on NEPA policy and organization, integrating environmental strategic planning within business processes and performance management. Operates out of the Capitol Hill office and is a managing partner, emeritus. Areas of expertise: environmental management, NEPA, and organizational effectiveness.
Lisa Mahoney, Partner
Partner with Vela Environmental in the Montpelier, VT office focused on environmental regulations, policies, and analyses. Former Chief of Environmental Programs for the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT Program. Juris Doctor and Master’s Degree in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School. Areas of expertise: environmental and natural resources law, environmental impact analysis, strategic planning.
Emily Johannes, Senior Associate
Senior Associate in the Washington, D.C. office specializing in environmental policy, NEPA implementation, environmental compliance documentation, program and project management, and environmental training. Former Senior Environmental Technical Advisor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Ms. Johannes has extensive experience working in and advising Federal agencies.
Holly Reuter, Associate
Associate in the Washington, DC office. Former legal intern at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center. Areas of expertise: environmental and natural resources law, environmental impact analysis, and organizational effectiveness.
Brad Mohrmann, Associate
Associate in the Sheridan, WY office. Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Social Science Education, University of Sioux Falls. Areas of expertise: sustainability and public land stewardship.
Lori Vanbuggenum, Associate
Associate in the Sheridan, WY office. Master of Public Health from the University of Arizona. Areas of expertise: agricultural sustainability, program and project management.
Zeke Spears, Associate
Associate in the Washington, DC office. Master of Public Policy from American University. Areas of expertise: climate change and agricultural and supply chain sustainability.
Kelly Miller-Smart, Operations Manager
Operations Manager in the Sheridan, WY office. Experience in Public Accounting, which included Logistics Administration for a national Beverage Company. Former Administrative Assistant for a Software Development Firm in New York City. Studied Accounting at The New School in New York City.
Joshua Deutschmann, Research Analyst
Master of Arts student in Economics at Boston University. Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Honors Scholar, and Bachelor of Science, in Honors, in Mathematics from Virginia Tech. Areas of expertise: renewable energy, environmental economics
Former Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army and Associate Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Former Chief, Environmental and Natural Resources Office at the U.S. Army Chemical and Military Police Schools, Fort McClellan, Alabama. One of the nation’s foremost authorities on the National Environmental Policy Act. Areas of expertise: environmental analysis, military and environment, executive and legislative branch politics.
Terry Kellogg is currently Executive Director of 1% for the Planet. Terry previously served as the Director of Sustainability for the Timberland Company. His focus areas have included forestry issues at the Vermont Natural Resources Council, mining at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and renewable energy at Green Mountain Energy.
Eddie Bateson has over 30 years of experience interpreting and applying federal regulations in the fields of range administration, wildlife management, cultural resources, mineral exploration and development, renewable energy and Resource Management Plan development and implementation. Eddie recently retired from the Bureau of Land Management where he served as District Manager. He is currently the founder and owner of Elite Land Solutions, LLC.
Debra Rogers has over ten years experience in National Environmental Policy Act document review, preparation and project management. Debra has worked with several clients including the Tulalip Tribes, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Visit program to provide expert NEPA advice.
Steve Noah is widely recognized for his work in economic development, entrepreneurship and international trade. He currently serves as the Vice President for Advancement-William Penn University, as well as a partner in Iowa International Minerals LLC, and as an affiliate of Vela Environmental in Washington, D.C.
Gary Williams is a senior social scientist and NEPA expert at Vela based in the Washington, DC office. Gary’s work with Vela has included reviewing and providing advice on NEPA issues, team teaching continuing education courses at Duke University’s Environmental Leadership Program in the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences (Social and Economic Impact Assessment, Public Involvement and Environmental Management Under NEPA).
Ben Taube is an experienced leader in developing cleantech companies with extensive expertise in shaping environmental partnerships, policy and education. Ben served as the founding executive director of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), an Atlanta nonprofit aimed at implementing energy efficiency across 11 Southeast states. He has held several key posts, including as the Environmental Manager for the City of Atlanta with the responsibilities of developing and enhancing environmental initiatives and policy for one of the largest cities in the U.S. He has worked as the Director of Government Affairs for EcoSMART Technologies and as Public Affairs Manager for the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, where he was responsible for planning, coordinating and communicating GREENGUARD’s activities, goals and priorities to a variety of audiences.