2023 SYMPOSIUM SPEAKERS
BILL RITTER, Jr
Bill Ritter, Jr. is the founder and director of the Center for the
New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University,
which launched on February 1, 2011.
Governor Bill Ritter was elected Colorado’s 41st Governor in
2006 and was the District Attorney of Denver from 1993-
2005. During his four-year term as Governor, Ritter
established Colorado as a national and international leader in
clean energy by building a New Energy Economy. After
leaving the Governor’s Office, Ritter founded the Center for
the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, which
works with state and federal policymakers to create clean energy policy nationwide. Governor Ritter authored a book published in 2016 entitled, Powering Forward – What Everyone Should Know About America’s Energy Revolution. Governor Ritter is the current Board of Directors chair for The Climate Group North America and former chair of the Board of Directors of the Energy Foundation and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The Nature Conservancy. Ritter is a Blackhorn Venture Capital member and advisor to Green Alpha and Project Canary, among others. Ritter earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Colorado State
University (1978) and his law degree from the University of Colorado (1981).
With his wife Jeannie, he operated a food distribution and nutrition center in Zambia.
Mark Hinaman is passionate about producing energy for America and the world. As a Colorado native, he’s spent his career developing and managing projects in the upstream oil and gas industry and currently works as Director of Engineering & Innovation at Franklin Mountain Energy. In 2018, he restarted and currently serves as the Director for the Denver chapter of Young Professionals in Energy, a non-profit focused on advancing the careers of young professionals in the energy industry. In 2023, Mark launched the energy think-tank and podcast, Fire2Fission, to explore and advocate for the advancement of nuclear energy in Colorado, the United States, and throughout the world. Mark is a licensed professional engineer and earned a concurrent B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Energy and the Environment at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
James Gaspard is the Founder and CEO of Biochar Now LLC. Biochar Now LLC is a leader and innovator in the biochar industry and the carbon removal space. His career in start-ups, mid-size and Fortune 1000 companies gives him a unique perspective on all aspects of a company's life-cycle from birth, through growth and harvest. His career has been highlighted by his ability to close larger dollar volumes of transactions in several diverse industries. He graduated from the University of Texas with a JD/MBA with honors.
Liz Chapman began her journey into waste and recycling systems when waste behaviors became the focus of her dissertation in 2008. She went from being a volunteer with the Colorado Division of Wildlife to currently serving as the Executive Director of Recycle Colorado. Her journey with compost can be traced back to her childhood when she and her grandparents turned scraps into soil for gardening in Arkansas. While she was working for the City of Aspen, she partnered with Pitkin County to double the amount of organic material diverted to compost over 2 years. After many years of working with disparate stakeholders, Dr. Chapman has honed her listening skills which allows her to help find the commonalities between perspectives to reach solutions for the challenges facing the Colorado compost industry. Recycle Colorado is a non-profit made up of members throughout the state, all of whom are approaching waste diversion, reduction, and recovery from different angles (regulatory, profit, environmental protection, social equity, etc.). She is honored that the Colorado Compost Council provides Recycle Colorado members with both the experience of our statewide network and the expertise of the nation by being a state chapter of the US Composting Council. Both organizations share the mission to capture the value contained in the organic material discarded by Coloradans.
Zach is a 7th generation Colorado rancher from Sterling, Colorado. He began his career at Wunder Capital, one of the largest underwriters and financiers of Commercial Solar in the United States. Zach worked on the Project Finance and Product Development teams where he built and maintained the economic models used to value solar projects across the nation, completed comprehensive due diligence on projects before funding, and helped design software that allowed Wunder’s team to reduce transaction costs. He received his BS in Business Administration with a Minor in Space from the University of Colorado at Boulder.