Meet Our Executive Team
CleanWorld has an experienced and innovation-minded management team with a unique combination of business and technology expertise.
Michele Wong, Chief Executive Officer
Under Michele Wong’s leadership, CleanWorld has emerged as the North American leader in the rapidly growing field of anaerobic digestion. Ms. Wong has also served as the CEO of Synergex International Corporation since 1996. She has grown that company from a 20-employee, one-product firm into an internationally recognized technology innovator with a wide range of products installed in all 50 states and more than 80 nations.
In the three years since Ms. Wong became CEO of CleanWorld, the company has proven that thermophilic, high solid anaerobic digesters can be deployed cost-effectively in the U.S. and has built the first facility in the country delivering negative carbon CNG from food waste streams using high solids anaerobic digestion. Under her management, CleanWorld has demonstrated that HSAD technology is a critical component in national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, divert waste from landfills, and promote climate-resiliency initiatives.
Ms. Wong’s executive experience includes spearheading the capital campaign for the Sacramento region’s multi-million dollar science museum project, and she has served on the boards of numerous national and regional technology, research, business leadership, and nonprofit organizations. In 2013, she was named Woman Innovator of the Year by Innovate North State. Ms. Wong is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Mathematics and Computer Science.
Terry Carlone, Chief Administrative Officer
Terry Carlone brings to CleanWorld broad experience as both an attorney and senior executive, having served in both private practice and as an in-house counsel with a focus on capital formation and offerings, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, and licensing and energy regulation. Mr. Carlone has significant experience in high tech and biotechnology business law; technology and intellectual property; oil, gas, and energy regulation; and early stage technology-based growth companies. He also serves as Chief Administrative Officer for Synergex International Corporation and Synergex Ventures and serves on the board of directors of Synergex Ventures, CleanWorld, NeuroPro Technologies, Inc., and NutraGenomics.
Mr. Carlone has been involved in the community through work with non-profit organizations including the Sacramento Area Regional Technology Association (SARTA), the CleanStart Advisory Committee, the Golden Capital Network, the Sacramento Region Chapter of the International Association for Corporate Growth, the Sacramento Valley Forum for Growth Companies, and the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy. He holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from Georgetown University.
Dr. Joshua Rapport, Vice President, Research and Development
Joshua Rapport, head of research and development at CleanWorld, is a leading engineer and researcher in the field of anaerobic digestion, biofuel, and bioprocessing. He has directed CleanWorld’s ambitious research efforts and co-led its development efforts, successfully demonstrating commercial viability of the company’s high solid anaerobic digestion technology. He has used his expertise to help integrate novel pre-processing, digestion, and gas conditioning and delivery systems; to model and design key digester components; and to develop an efficient control and data monitoring system. Dr. Rapport has also led research and development efforts for CleanWorld Organics, a division of CleanWorld, which has developed and registered fertilizer and soil amendment products from digestate material. He is currently overseeing development of an automated commercial-scale fertilizer production system for processing digestate at volume.
Dr. Rapport has built and manages CleanWorld’s laboratory in Sacramento, which is staffed and equipped to analyze the inputs and outputs of anaerobic digestion, create novel bioprocessing pathways, and test new concepts. He has also directed research at CleanWorld’s ARP BioDigester, which serves as a demonstration facility for innovations in feedstock processing, gas conditioning, and fertilizer production. He manages a number of partnerships with the nation’s leading renewable energy organizations including Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the California Energy Commission, and Whole Energy.
Dr. Rapport served in the Peace Corps in the South Pacific, where he discovered his passion for alternative and renewable energy. His work has earned him the Herbert Kraft Fellowship, Jastro-Shields Research Award, and the Horsfield Travel Award. Dr. Rapport holds an M.S. in International Agricultural Development and a Ph.D. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from the University of California, Davis, as well as a B.S. in Biology from Stanford University.
Steve Tourigny, Senior Vice President of Operations
Steve Tourigny manages the engineering, design, and operations of CleanWorld’s biodigester facilities. As a founding member of the team, he secured core intellectual property rights from the University of California and served as the system architect for the development of CleanWorld’s proprietary product design and the pre-engineered systems demonstrated in CleanWorld’s first three commercial installations.
Mr. Tourigny is also currently an Advisor of Technical Operations for Micromidas, assisting the CEO and CTO in scaling and commercialization of the company’s technologies, which produce marketable chemical and material commodities from waste biomass. His career is notable for his repeated success in transforming lab and pilot scale technologies into full-scale commercial facilities.
Previously, Mr. Tourigny served as the founder of SPT Services, providing analysis, review, and optimization of manufacturing business plans and operations, as well as design for manufacturing, waste reduction, and outsourcing options. He was Vice President for Altergy Systems, where 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. He also served as Vice President for EBARA Technologies, working to design, develop, and manufacture vacuum systems, and gas handling, polishing, and plating equipment for the semiconductor industry. Mr. Tourigny is a graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute with a BSME focusing in Material Science and Processing.
Dr. Ruihong Zhang, Chief Technology Advisor
Dr. Ruihong Zhang, professor of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of California, Davis, is the inventor of CleanWorld’s proprietary technologies and an acknowledged global leader in the science of anaerobic digestion. Her research expertise includes developing biological conversion systems to produce valuable energy from organic wastes; investigating effective, integrated wastewater treatment systems for pollution control; and developing computer models for predicting air emissions from waste sources. Dr. Zhang’s research in bioenvironmental engineering focuses on preventing environmental pollution that may be caused by the disposal of organic wastes such as food scraps, agricultural byproducts, and animal manure, and then converting these materials into valuable products, such as biofuels and biochemicals.
As a technical advisor, Dr. Zhang contributes her expertise to the design and evaluation of CleanWorld’s new technologies and AD projects. She helps evaluate and develop new processes and equipment, keeps the CleanWorld research team abreast of the latest research advancements, and helps study and advance CleanWorld’s active technology designs.
Dr. Zhang’s research has drawn the attention and support of the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, California Energy Commission, and the California Air Resources Board, among others. Dr. Zhang is a graduate of Inner Mongolia Engineering College in China, and received an M.S. from Northeast Agricultural University in Harbin, China. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and the Association of Overseas Chinese Agricultural, Biological, and Food Engineers.
Ken Crittendon, Vice President of Finance
Ken Crittendon brings to CleanWorld 20 years of comprehensive Silicon Valley company building experience in start-up, mid-market, and Fortune 500 enterprises, specializing in product innovation and technology commercialization.
Early in his career, he held several finance and operations leadership roles at Pacific Bell (now AT&T), where he deployed the company’s first commercial TCP/IP network and rolled out flat rate pricing, launching Mac Internet Access across California. He has also worked in software marketing and systems integration. While at Scient, an Internet consulting company, Mr. Crittendon helped grow the company to a $6 billion market cap and is recognized for leading the development of eBay’s global network strategy. More recently, he has pursued his passions for company building, technology, and the environment through financial consulting and CEO advisory roles with smart grid energy efficiency companies and LED and wireless lighting companies.
Mr. Crittendon holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from California Polytechnic State University and a B.S. in Finance from California State University, Sacramento, where he now serves on the University’s Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.
Tracy Saville, Vice President of Marketing
Tracy Saville is a marketing veteran with over thirty years of leadership and management experience in the non-profit, government, and private sectors. As Assistant Deputy Director of Conservation and Distributed Generation in California, working for the California Power Authority, and as State Capitol Director for the Flex Your Power Energy Conservation Campaign during the energy crisis in California, she helped develop the state’s Renewable Distributed Generation policy and led the effort to design renewable technology procurement programs.
She worked directly in strategic planning development and implementation with cabinet-level, legislative, and regulatory officials during the administrations of California Governors Pete Wilson and Gray Davis, designing and advocating enabling policies and incentives for solar, fuel cell, biodigestion, and other energy efficiency and technology programs. In her role as an entrepreneur, Ms. Saville has founded and promoted numerous companies in Northern California, including PMG, a business and brand development company, and Consumer Energy Management Consulting, specializing in energy efficiency retrofitting.
Ms. Saville has 25 years of experience working with public and private utility executives and CEOs of top employers in the agriculture, energy, air quality, and renewable and sustainable technology sectors. She has led and participated in policy and industry coalitions on projects including the hydrogen highway fueling infrastructure project. Tracy holds a B.A. in Management from Saint Mary’s College, an M.F.A. in Writing from National University, and a Negotiations Certificate for Senior Executives from the joint certificate program administered by Harvard Law School, MIT, and Tufts University.