FEATURED INDUSTRY EXPERTS
ALLIANCE SAFETY COUNCIL
As VP of Operational Excellence for Alliance Safety Council, Sheri is responsible for the assessment of current service offerings, as well as the development of future offerings. This includes the identification, implementation, content development, training and consulting services for
these offerings, the ongoing monitoring of the execution of all courses, and the ongoing assessment of critical processes and metrics to identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
Sheri received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1993. She became a Certified Public Accountant later that year and worked in the accounting field until 2006, when she began working for Alliance.
VP of Operational Excellence
Dynamic leader with close to 20 years of broad international experience with increasing responsibility in the energy and software technology industries. Drives business results and
organizational transformation processes through a unique mix of thought leadership, strategy, consulting, sales, analytical & organizational skills. Successfully defines and originates cost effective solutions to complex problems with well-managed implementation by cross-functional teams. Proficient in English, Dutch, French and Portuguese.
Areas of expertise include Technical Sales (Pre-Sales), Enterprise & Plant Design Software, Plant Operations Management, Project Management, Energy Efficiency, Cross-Functional Team Management, System Integration and Refining.
Solid in product and corporate strategy; business development; relationship building, creation of repeatable and sustainable business models; set-up and optimization of organizational structures. Expertise analyzing data, handling KPI’s, delivering revenue, coaching teams and completion of
Technical & Solutions Director-Energy & Materials
Clint has more than 15 years of experience in technical, operations and leadership roles in the chemicals, midstream and refining industries. Most recently Clint held leadership positions in commercial and corporate M&A for a large independent refining and midstream company.
Athicha joined ExxonMobil working in the Research & Engineering Information Technology section. There he held a position as a lead developer in web & desktop applications. He then joined Architecture & Technology where he conducted proof of concepts with XR for the business units. This lead to the creation of Immersive Technology Studios, an internal IT organization that provides XR services to the business units. In his current role as the Immersive Technology Architect, Athicha leads the R&D efforts in the immersive space and designs simulations with subject matter experts.
Immersive Technology Architect
Clark Dressen has 30+ years of experience across a diverse range of IT related expertise which includes enterprise computing, manufacturing, R&D, security, and business-facing roles. He started with The Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, TX in 1988 and has developed and led major strategic transformational initiatives for technology and organizational change. He has provided thought leadership and execution to deliver business value through Information Technology in a global environment utilizing excellent
interpersonal, relationship, and team building skills, as well as technical and business acumen.
In 1997, he moved to Sydney, Australia to assume responsibility for Dow’s Pacific Information Systems organization. He moved to Houston, TX in 2001 as Director of Information Technology for the Univation Joint Venture. In 2004, he relocated to Midland, MI as the Enterprise Security architect before transitioning into a role as the Senior Director of the Information Research organization for R&D.
Clark moved to the Dow Kokam Joint Venture as Senior Director of Enterprise IT in April, 2010 and was responsible for developing the overall IT architecture with a key focus on the manufacturing operations environment.
In 2012, Clark took the Program Director role for the delivery of IT systems for the Sadara Joint Venture in Jubail, Saudi Arabia for manufacturing integration and operations. After successful startup, he moved to the Dow/DuPont program as Director for the IT systems related to the merger. Currently he is the Director for the new Digital Operations Center focused on innovation and transformation of manufacturing operations capabilities in Dow.
Clark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Northwood University.
Director, Digital Operations Center
PREMIER RESOURCES GROUP/PRAIRIE DOG VENTURE PARTNERS
As an accomplished construction industry executive with over 25 years of experience executing capital projects globally and running operations for EPC service organizations, I have expertise in all phases of projects from front-end planning through detailed engineering, procurement, construction, and start-up, having worked on all sizes of capital projects ranging up to $30B USD.
Active in various industry organizations such as the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), where I served as President and as a member of the Board of Trustees, I am a recognized thought leader and change agent in the industry and am driven to improve capital efficiency. While entrepreneurial in spirit and a creative thinker that motivates and enables my teams, I excel at balancing tactical plans and long-term strategic vision to deliver stakeholder expectations. I have successfully advanced both smaller private companies as well as large, multi-national, publicly-traded organizations, offering extensive international experience and a proven track record in P&L management, having grown a Canadian EPC
business by 20% organically for multiple years.
Travis Fuller holds an engineering degree from the University of Alabama and an MBA from Auburn University. He began his career with ExxonMobil in the 1990s in Baton Rouge and has held a number of positions throughout the company. His current role involves expansion of polypropylene projects across North America.
North America Polypropylene Growth Venture Executive
Stefanie Funk is the Process Automation Team Lead at BBP. A graduate of the Chemical Engineering program at the University of Alabama, Stefanie specializes in DCS programming. As a Senior Controls Engineer, she has completed numerous projects to help customers
simplify processes and drive efficiency. In addition to DCS, BBP's Process Automation Team delivers PLC engineering, data acquisition, and wireless solutions to keep our customers on the cutting edge of technology.
Process Automation Team Lead
EXXONMOBIL GLOBAL SERVICES COMPANY
Coila is an IT Architect focused on ExxonMobil’s 70+ downstream and chemicals operations facilities. She is a graduate of LSU, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Information Systems in 1999. She has been an employee of ExxonMobil since 2000, serving in a variety of technical, project management, and supervisory roles. In her current position, she focuses on high-level IT strategy and provides architecture leadership and guidance on implementing Industry 4.0 technologies.
Coila is married to Dean Esposito and has four children: Maddie (a fellow employee of ExxonMobil), Caroline, Andrew, and Ella. She is a member of the River Road Chapter of National Charity League and volunteers in various organizations throughout the greater Baton Rouge area.
Enterprise Capability Architect
A proven business executive with over thirty years’ experience growing software companies via value creation within the process industry by applying innovative solutions containing process, persona, and technologies. These operational excellence solutions span the asset lifecycle across work processes of Supply Chain, Manufacturing Operations Management, Engineering, Construction and Optimization, and are increasingly being deployed as cloud programs. A trusted advisor to process industry executives in enabling enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation across these asset centric enterprise work processes.
VP Digital Acceleration
Paul Plauche’ has served in multiple leadership roles at Turner Industries Group for the past 13 years. His latest work is on digitization at the work face to enable safer work and increased productivity. He also leads an Innovation group which creates solutions for Turner Industries and their clients that provide a fresh look on achieving increased safety and profits.
Plauche’ currently serves on the Cybersecurity Committee for the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM); with the FBI in a partnership of
businesses, academia, and state officials dedicated to sharing information against hostile cyber-intrusions. He also serves on various committees with local business groups and LSU on initiatives to move industrial contracting towards the digital age.
Alex Reed is the CEO and co-founder of Fluence Analytics, a manufacturer of systems that produces continuous data streams enabling realtime optimization of manufacturing and R&D processes. Prior to founding Fluence Analytics, Alex worked as the Associate Director for Operations and Strategy at Tulane-PolyRMC.
Alex serves on the boards for the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition and the Applied Polymer Technology Extension Consortium. In 2016 Forbes recognized Alex as a 30 under 30 recipient, and he has been recognized with several local and regional entrepreneur and innovation awards.
Alex is active in the New Orleans community, regularly mentoring local entrepreneurs, students and faculty on the commercialization of technology as well as entrepreneurship.
ALLIANCE SAFETY COUNCIL
Certified Association Executive (CAE) focused on promoting a culture of safety through training and technology. Professional futurist committed to leading through change. For over 10 years, Kathy has been an active member of digitalNOW's Advisory Group, comprised of the some of the most
accomplished and respected names in association leadership.
Kathy currently serves as President/CEO of Alliance Safety Council, an innovative nonprofit organization providing online and instructor-led safety training as well as technology and records management solutions. Since joining Alliance in 2004, Kathy has actively implemented policies that shifted the focus
of the organization more toward its members – streamlining processes and empowering companies to make more effective use of their time and resources.
She’s a recipient of the Alden Andre PTEC Service Award for her contributions to workforce development projects having direct involvement with National Science Foundation grants in excess of $11 million. Kathy has also received the Champion of Craft Education Award by the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance.
Expertise: Training and technology solutions, business development, strategic planning, process improvement.
Joined Shell in 2002 as a process design engineer for EO/EG (Shell International Chemicals). Following a broadening assignment in Chemicals business finance (Shell Chemicals Europe) returned to Shell Projects and Technology as a technical services manager for Moerdijk and the Scandinavian refineries. In 2010, moved to Pear1GTL in Qatar during the project phase supporting the initial startup. This was followed by two front-line operational leadership roles as production specialist and production unit manager with a leading position in the two major turnarounds. As production unit manager, held operational safety district ownership accountability and responsible for the development 50 staff. In 2017, returned to NL to join the Production Excellence department in the Integrated Gas division, driving excellence across Shell's portfolio in GTL and LNG assets. This included several portfolio wide themes such as Digitalization, Offshoring, and Net Carbon Footprint. In February of 2019, transferred to Downstream Manufacturing as GM Digitalization, accountable for accelerated value delivery from Digitalization across the portfolio on Refining and Chemicals assets.
GM Digitalization, Downstream Manufacturing
Risk-focused executive with 20+ years of experience managing complex security, intelligence and emergency management portfolios for corporate and government organizations. Recognized leader with demonstrated ability to lead during crisis, develop and execute innovative and transformational
strategies, and focus on value protection. Passionate about building best-in-class programs based on data driven strategies and technology. Operates as "Collaborator-in-Chief."
Chief Security Officer
Tom is Chief Operating Officer of Cornerstone with 29 years of experience in chemical manufacturing. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Tom serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Louisiana Chemical Association (Chair of the Safety and Health committee), the Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance (Chair) and the Boy Scouts of America Istrouma Area Council. He also serves as a LaSTEM Advisory Council Member, and he serves on the Energy Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Prior to joining Cornerstone, Tom was the Senior Vice President and General Manager for BASF’s Geismar, La. site, the largest of the corporation’s North American manufacturing locations. He has led both U.S. and European-based manufacturing organizations through growth and transformation. He was
responsible for overseeing the daily operation of 28 plants manufacturing many different products,
including urethanes, chemical intermediates and surfactants.
Tom received his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
Chief Operating Officer