EBC is excited to announce the 2021 EBC Ascending Leader Award Recipients!

Congratulations to the recipients:

Jennifer Flood, Offshore Permitting Manager
Mayflower Wind

Jennifer Flood is the Offshore Permitting Manager for Mayflower Wind in Boston, Massachusetts. Mayflower Wind, a 50:50 joint venture of Shell and Ocean Winds, is developing an offshore wind project over 30 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard and 20 miles south of Nantucket with the potential to generate over 2,000 megawatts of low-cost clean energy, enough to power over half a million homes. Jennifer has the formidable role of managing and leading the federal permitting process for the project, including the development of the Construction and Operations Plan, which is the central federal permit for the project. She is Mayflower’s lead contact with key federal regulatory agencies, manages the work of several environmental consultants conducting numerous surveys, studies, and assessments, while also supporting Mayflower’s state permitting and commercial offtake efforts, including work associated with the Massachusetts 83C offshore wind procurements.

Jennifer received her Master of Science degree in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2017. She graduated summa cum laude in 2015 with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Environmental & Resource Economics and Spanish from the University of New Hampshire. She recently earned a Women in Leadership Certificate from Cornell University. Prior to joining Mayflower Wind in 2019, she worked at Tetra Tech, a global environmental and engineering firm, assisting in the permitting of multiple large scale energy projects. Such projects included offshore and onshore wind, solar, and natural gas pipeline developments. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys running marathons and spending time with family and friends in Maine. Jennifer has a strong passion for offshore wind and renewable energy and is proud to play a part in the drive to provide cleaner energy solutions for all in a sustainable future.

Max Forsythe, Regional Sales Manager
US Ecology, Inc.

Max Forsythe leads the US Ecology’s New England and New York sales teams where his primary focus is on expanding relationships with clientele through US Ecology’s variety of service lines ranging from industrial cleaning, decontamination, transportation and disposal of waste to large-scale remediation projects. He assists the team in expanding the business offerings by sponsoring the needs of clients to ensure success.

Mr. Forsythe has been with US Ecology for over seven years and previously worked for an international refractory metal manufacturer as part of their inside sales team. Mr. Forsythe graduated from the University of Tampa in 2010 holding a degree in Finance.

Kayla Hadley, Project Engineer
Woodard & Curran, Inc.

Kayla is a newly Licensed Professional Engineer with 6 years of experience in the field of Environmental Engineering. She earned earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of New Hampshire Durham (UNH) in 2015 where she graduated magna cum laude with honors. She joined Woodard & Curran in 2016 where she specializes in hazardous waste remediation design and implementation. Her project experience includes construction oversight, hydraulic modeling, AS/SVE system OMM, sampling in a variety of media, data management, and groundwater and soil remedial design.

Kayla presented both poster and platform presentations at the 2020 UMass Soils Conference about the utilization of remote telemetry for monitoring LNAPL potential migration. In response to this work, Kayla was identified for an elite team at Woodard & Curran to expand our resources pertaining to remote monitoring and predictive analytics. She worked with cross-disciplinary teams and a variety of vendors to research, develop, and execute comprehensive remote monitoring plans from transducer selection to data presentation in interactive, dynamic dashboards.

In addition, she continues to be a go-to person within Woodard & Curran for PFAS-related work. She has demonstrated her leadership qualities by assisting with the management of a large thermal remediation Superfund site and characterizing light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) in a subsurface adjacent to sensitive receptors. Most recently, she has taken on an integral role in the design of a nearly 20-acre soil and sediment excavation by leveraging her experience in data management, evaluation, and visualization to turn thousands of data points into an excavation model.

Kayla has also been crucial in starting a grass-roots movement internally at Woodard & Curran to improve and streamline the way we manage and present data. Her passion for data management has prompted her to learn Python, be an active member of the company’s data management initiative and attend the International Conference on Environmental Data Management (ICEDM). She had an abstract about Woodard & Curran’s data management initiative accepted to the 2020 ICEDM Conference.

Kayla is active in the Licensed Site Professionals Association, serving as an engaged member the Emerging Professionals Committee. Kayla is also an active member and scholar of the Society of American Military Professional Engineers (SAME) – both the Boston and Piscataqua posts. She was the first president of the UNH Environment and Water Resources Institute (EWRI), a sub-division of ASCE.

Kayla continues to be involved with engineering students, volunteering her time to speak to students about her experiences as a young environmental professional. She is invited to speak each semester at her alma mater on topics from what to expect as an Entry-Level Engineer to advanced thermal soil treatment though steam enhanced extraction. She has also been invited to talk to students at Northeastern University through their ASCE Spring Lecture Series program. In addition, she presented at Tufts University through New England Water Works Association’s University Outreach

Kara Johnston, Project Manager
CDM Smith

Ms. Kara Johnston is a Project Manager and Project Technical Leader at CDM Smith in Boston, Massachusetts.  She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2013 and her Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from Northeastern University in 2015. In 2013, she began her professional career at CDM Smith as a project engineer in the Water Services Group to pursue her interest in the water sector, working on projects in municipalities in and around Boston. In 2016, she earned her Professional Engineer (PE) License in Civil Engineering and in 2020 she earned her Project Management Professional certificate.

Kara’s experience includes planning, design, bidding, and construction coordination of utility design for wastewater and drinking water projects. She has been involved in town-wide wastewater planning projects to determine the need for sewer and wastewater treatment implementation for communities to reduce groundwater and surface water impacts in Massachusetts, including Cape Cod. Locally, Kara has worked with the City of Revere to reduce I/I, including the creation of an urban private inflow inspection and redirection program. She has helped communities obtain project grants to enhance their environmental programs, including coordination with regulatory agencies and ensuring compliance.

Recognizing her early leadership skills, she was nominated by CDM Smith to attend both the Genesis Program and the Emerging Leaders Forum offered by American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and is a proud graduate of both. In her community spirit, Kara is actively involved in the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA), and currently the Vice-Chair of the NEWEA Collection System Committee. Kara also served as a Conservation Agent for 10 years (2010-2020) on the Conservation Commission in East Brookfield, MA. She has been an active member of the Capital Improvement Advisory Committee in her town where she reviews and votes on the town’s capital spending projects.

Vivian Kimball, Project Manager

Vivian Kimball is a Project Manager in VHB’s Watertown, Massachusetts, office. She specializes in environmental review, siting, and permitting of natural gas and electric transmission/distribution utility projects. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Electronic Media, Arts, and Communication, and starting on a graphic design career, she realized that her true passion was environmental science and took a leap of faith to pursue that passion and obtain a master’s degree in Environmental Science, with a concentration in Conservation Biology, from Antioch University New England. Upon graduation, Vivian was hired at VHB in 2012, and quickly gained regulatory experience and mastered the responsibilities of her role, managing several tasks for multiple large-scale projects at once, and was promoted to Project Manager in 2018. Over the course of her career so far, she has conducted wetlands and rare species surveys for dozens of projects, and completed routing analyses, developed siting petitions, and supported discovery and testimony for six electric transmission and substation projects. Seeing a need for parental support within the VHB community, she created the VHB Parents Group in 2017, which has proven to be an invaluable resource during the pandemic.

Vivian is an enthusiastic leader and volunteer, serving on the New England Women in Energy and the Environment’s Board of Directors and as Co-Chair of the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association’s (NECA) Inclusion & Diversity Committee. She is also an active member of NECA’s Renewable Energy and Environmental Committees, and conducts rare plant surveys with the Native Plant Trust as a Plant Conservation Volunteer, coastal waterbird nest surveys for the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, and Common and Roseate Tern nest counts for the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Mykel Mendes, Environmental Engineer
BETA Group, Inc.

Mykel Mendes is an Environmental Engineer for BETA Group Inc. based in both Lincoln, Rhode Island and Worcester, Massachusetts with ten years of experience in the environmental field. She earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Her master’s thesis  focused on heavy metal cycling as a result of combined sewer overflows through an urbanizing watershed.  Upon receiving her graduate degree, she began her professional career starting in the environmental consulting industry working in the federal sector and has expanded her project base to include both the private and municipal sectors throughout New England.

Mykel joined BETA Environmental Science group in 2018.  Mykel acts as a lead project engineer on multiple projects. Her diverse project experience includes environmental assessment and remediation of brownfields and contaminated disposal sites, management and coordination of construction and remedial response actions on a contaminated disposal site,  proficiency on regulatory compliance under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP), SWPPP, SPCC, and MS4 permitting preparation and implementation, quality control management of construction during jetty repairs, design and operation of groundwater pump and treatment systems, and has become a go-to engineer at BETA for her expertise of PFAS contaminated disposal sites.  Mykel also provides environmental remediation and assessment support on projects within other departments at BETA .

Mykel is active with many professional organizations including the EBC, the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the LSPA.  Mykel has served as the SAME Young Member Committee Chair, Post Communications Administrator and is most recently acting as the Spring Meeting Committee Chair. Mykel was recently awarded the 2020 SAME Boston Post S. Peter Volpe Award. Mykel is an enthusiastic volunteer and remains active with her alma mater, UCONN, to share her experience in the industry through presentations and career panels. She has shared her PFAS experience and research before the UCONN School of Engineering Graduate program as well as assisted with the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers UCONN Chapter. Mykel is also always ready to lend a hand in Harry Potter trivia.

Jonathan Schaefer, Partner
Robinson & Cole LLP

Jon Schaefer, a partner in the firm’s Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications Group, focuses his practice on environmental compliance counseling, permitting, site remediation, occupational health and safety, energy regulatory compliance and siting, and litigation related to federal and state regulatory programs. His experiences enable him to work effectively with experts and legal counsel to help clients minimize risk and solve compliance, enforcement, transactional, and regulatory matters.

Environmental Counseling

Jon counsels clients in connection with their compliance efforts under a multitude of environmental programs. He advises clients and insurers on site cleanup efforts and the costs and obligations related to such efforts. He has served on a Superfund site steering committee, and provided counsel on brownfield clean-up efforts. He works closely with his clients, experts, and other lawyers to creatively solve his clients’ risk management challenges. Jon helps clients comply with all state and federal environmental laws, such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Clean Air Act (CAA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPRCA); the Connecticut Transfer Act; and most other federal and state environmental statutes.

Health and Safety (OSHA)

Jon counsels business clients on a multitude of health and safety issues that arise from their operations. He helps with the review of health and safety procedures, assists with EH&S audits, and works with clients to develop health and safety plans. He represents clients before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including evaluating alleged violations and defending clients against citations.

Environmental – Dispute Resolution and Litigation

When environmental disputes arise, Jon helps clients resolve problems through alternative dispute resolution. He also represents clients involved in environmental litigation related to contaminated sites throughout the United States. Jon has experience representing clients in disputes involving federal and state environmental laws. This experience enables him to assist his clients with an appropriate strategy, whether that involves taking a case to trial or positioning the client to pursue a favorable settlement. He has assisted his clients in reaching favorable settlements with private parties and governmental agencies in several environmental and energy matters.

Energy Regulatory

Jon appears before state utility regulatory authorities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire on utility and energy matters. He counsels utility and energy clients on regulatory compliance and appears regularly before the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on energy compliance matters.

Pro Bono

Jon regularly does pro bono work, including through the firm’s Domestic Violence Restraining Order program, which provides free legal services to family violence victims. He also assists the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, by providing legal assistance to veterans who are facing eviction and representing veterans as they navigate through their benefit appeals.

The award recipients will be presenting at the EBC Spotlight on Success: A Panel Discussion with the 2021 EBC Ascending Leader Award Recipients on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

Each year, the EBC recognizes young professionals in the energy and environmental sectors demonstrating exceptional leadership and industry involvement early in their careers. Recipients are leaders within their own organizations, often acting as mentors to junior staff, providing thought leadership on critical issues, and leading teams on difficult or large projects. They also represent their organizations through participation in industry associations and committees, supporting the growth of the environmental and energy sectors. Early career success and rapid advancement in the industry are hallmarks of award recipients, who are often involved civically as well.