The CWP Team
Part of Synergex Ventures, an industry leader at the forefront of technology for more than 30 years, CWP has an experienced and proven senior level team with a unique combination of both business and technology expertise. The inventor of our technology, Dr. Ruihong Zhang, is a world-renowned scientist in the area of anaerobic digestion.
CWP management is a proven, senior-level team with a unique combination of business and technology expertise.
Michele Wong, Chief Executive Officer
Michele has been with Synergex International Corporation since 1982, and has served as its CEO since December 1996. Under her leadership, the company has grown from a 20-employee, one-product firm into an internationally recognized technology innovator with a wide range of products installed in all 50 US states and more than 80 nations. In addition, Michele currently serves as interim executive director of the Powerhouse Science Center – future home of the Discovery Museum, overseeing current operations while spearheading the Museum’s capital campaign. She has been named one of the “Best and Brightest in Sacramento” by Sacramento Magazine, and her executive experience includes positions on the boards of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, KVIE Public Television, the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA), and the University of California, Davis External Research Advisory Board.
Warren Smith, Co-Founder, Senior Vice President of Business Development
As Co-founder and Senior Vice President of Business Development at CWP, Warren is responsible for all business development activities. Prior to forming CWP, Warren served as President of a small biotechnology company, where he developed an appreciation for the value and impact of waste conversion technology. As founder of River City Sports & Entertainment and executive vice president of the Sacramento River Cats, Warren negotiated land purchase and sale agreements, naming rights contracts, and public financing mechanisms that led to the development of Raley Field in 2000. He currently serves as Board Chairman of the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau, and on the board of directors for the Sacramento River Cats Foundation, Colling’s West Sacramento Teen Center, and the West Sacramento Chamber of Commerce.
Terry Carlone, Chief Administrative Officer
Terry brings to CWP broad experience as both an attorney and senior executive. He has served both in private practice and as in-house counsel with a concentration on capital formation and offerings, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances and licensing. He headed the expansion of McDonough Holland & Allen’s Sacramento high tech and biotechnology business; chaired Weintraub Genshlea & Sproul’s Technology and Intellectual Property Group; practiced with Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in San Francisco and established the firm’s Washington D.C. office; and founded Capital Law Group, specializing in representation of early stage technology-based growth companies. He also has served as General Counsel to Synergex International Corporation, and was senior legal counsel for Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., a publicly-traded multinational corporation involved in ocean shipping (Matson Navigation), agriculture (C&H Sugar, Kauai Coffee), and real estate development and management. Terry is Chairman and Chief Administrative Officer of Altergy Systems, a manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells. He also was co-founder and President of a technology licensing firm; co-founder and President of an international manufacturer and marketer of biomedically-based skin therapy products; and co-founder and EVP of a water treatment products company. He serves on the board of SARTA and the CleanStart Advisory Committee.
Dr. Ruihong Zhang, Chief Technology Advisor
Dr. Zhang is a professor in the department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of California, Davis, and the inventor of CWP’s proprietary technologies focused on lowering the economic barriers associated with deployment of high-solid anaerobic digestion systems. Her research focuses on improving technologies and efficiencies surrounding integrated wastewater treatment systems to achieve effective treatment as well as air and water quality control. Dr. Zhang’s additional, related research areas include: 1) developing efficient biological conversion systems to recover energy, and producing value-added products from organic wastes; 2) investigating effective, integrated wastewater treatment systems for pollution control; and 3) developing computer models for predicting air emissions from waste sources.
Steve Tourigny, Senior Vice President of Operations
Steve has extensive operational experience and has played a key role in the establishment of several businesses and manufacturing entities including start-up as well as established domestic and foreign companies. Most recently, he directed and managed the world’s first automated factory for the design and production of low cost, high reliability, premium power hydrogen fuel cell systems. Prior to that position, he held similar roles in several industries including semiconductor process equipment, advanced ceramic materials and composites. Steve has a BSME (Material Science & Processing) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a wide array of operational and organizational development skills.
Josh Rapport, Director of Research and Development
With a PhD in Bio-environmental Engineering and Microbiology from the University of California, Davis, an MS in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis, and a BS in Biology from Stanford University, Josh consulted with industry and government stakeholders on organics recycling and anaerobic digestion projects prior to joining CWP. His research interests include bioenergy and biofuel production from organic wastes, engineering systems modelling, and sustainability in renewable energy. During his tenure at UC Davis he managed the Bioenvironmental Engineering Lab and the UC Davis Biogas Energy Project, received the Herbet Kraft fellowship and attended the Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy. He has presented the results of his research at the International Meeting of the ASABE, the US Composting Council, BioCycle, and the National Association of Waste Managers. Prior to pursuing his academic career he worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in the South Pacific.
Kathryn Oliver, Environmental Engineer
Kathryn Oliver graduated from Sacramento State University with a bachelors of science degree in Civil Engineering. She comes to CWP with three years experience as a student assistant at the California Energy Commission where she worked directly with engineering staff and other experienced environmental engineering experts in the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program. As an environmental engineer for CWP, Kathryn focuses on digester system optimization and byproduct engineering.