About Us

The Highland Approach

Since Highland’s inception, we have taken a best-in-class approach to everything we do. From the team we formed to those proven, exceptional companies with which we have aligned our services, Highland has positioned itself to become an immediate high-level provider of sustainable wood pellets to Europe. We are a diverse group of professionals who share a commitment to excellence and success. At the core of our business is also an unwavering commitment to the places in which we are privileged to conduct business. We also know our success is only defined by how well we treat the people we employ and the environments we touch. Wood pellets offer an exciting opportunity to deliver sustainable, environmentally friendly power to the people and places who need and care about where their energy comes from. The opportunities in this space are exciting, and we look forward to developing our place in this growing market.

Management Team

Thomas Reilley

Founder
Tom has more than 20 years of experience as an investor and entrepreneur. He started his career with Bear, Stearns and as a Senior Managing Director was transferred to London in 2002 to establish the wealth management division and serve as its executive director and as a member of the International Executive Committee. He left in 2007 to found Kalan Capital, an investment vehicle and private equity fund that developed the geothermal company Orka Energy into a key holding. He exited his stake in 2012 and returned to the U.S. where he continues to be an active investor. Mr. Reilley holds a B.A. in International Relations and Economics (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA)

Rob McKenzie

Managing Director
Having worked in the UK Wholesale Power Market for 16 years, Rob has considerable experience in both Renewable Energy and Energy Trading, with a proven track record in setting up new trading desks and developing new business opportunities. Rob has 10 years trading experience (Power, Gas and Carbon) including 6 years as a UK Power and Gas Trading Manager. Rob has a detailed understanding of all areas of the Biomass market, including origination, transportation, Power generation and a full understanding of market regulations. Rob started his career as an assistant Economist in the Energy Policy Analysis team of the Department of Trade & Industry before moving to Midlands Electricity as a commercial analyst and later Innogy to work on the emerging wholesale power market. He then joined Cinergy Global Trading in 1999 to set up their Power supply business, Power Trading desk and assist with development of their Renewable Trading desk. In 2004 Rob set up the UK Power and Gas Trading desk in London for Cargill PLC and continued to provide detailed commercial advice and analysis on the UK Renewable Market. During 2011 Rob worked on building a European Renewable Energy Business for Cargill PLC before leaving to join Highland in 2012.

Alex Adome

Director of Finance
Alex joined Highland in 2012 with responsibilities for financial modeling and business development support. From 2007 to 2011, Alex worked at Cargill Inc., holding various roles at its Energy Enterprise and wholly owned hedge fund Black River Asset Management. As a Financial Analyst at Cargill’s Energy Enterprise, Alex supported the origination, structuring, and monitoring of asset-based investments in the global renewable energy, coal, and metals markets. At Black River Asset Management, Alex was an equity research analyst covering the power and gas utility sectors. Prior to joining Cargill Inc., Alex worked in Corporate Finance at JPMorgan. Alex holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and BA in Economics from Grinnell College.

Marty Goulet

Board Member
Mr. Goulet is the Chief Financial Officer of Wagner Construction. Based in International Falls, Minnesota, Wagner Construction is an underground utility and site development contractor with operations in Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan, Arizona, Montana and Canada. Prior to joining Wagner Construction, Mr. Goulet spent 8 years in the Twin Cities managing banking relationships and providing financial services to companies with annual revenues of $20 million to $1 billion, including construction, manufacturing, wholesaling, and service-related industries. Mr. Goulet serves on the Board of Granite Falls Energy a publically reported company, Heron Lake BioEnergy a publically reported company, and KBB, LLC, a general contractor with operations in Minnesota and North Dakota. Mr. Goulet received his B.A. in Finance from Bemidji State University and his M.B.A. in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

Kristina Drinkwine

Corporate Administrator
As the corporate administrator for Highland Pellets, Kristina coordinates the company’s operational activities. Kristina began her career in the classroom serving for six years as a high school social studies teacher. Kristina then transitioned into the nonprofit sector working as the director of business development at The Aspen Center for Autism and five years at Facing History and Ourselves’ Denver regional office. While at Facing History, Kristina served as the director of development and acting director, expanding the program’s fundraising efforts and reach. Kristina graduated from the University of New Hampshire with honors designation in history and matriculated into the graduate degree program in education where she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching.

Jody Doak

Plant Manager
Working in Operations, Jody will assist in commissioning and operating Highland’s facility in Pine Bluff, AR. With over 25 years experience in the fiber and energy sector Jody’s expertise ranges from product development, process optimization, and project management. Jody’s background in the OSB and Biomass industry working in operations, maintenance, and engineering bring a tremendous value to the Pine Bluff facility and the Highland Team. Jody’s commitment to safety, the environment, and efficiently processing wood will support Highland’s mission of manufacturing a preferred pellet in today’s market.

Board of Advisors

Pat Bracken

President & CEO – Ceres Global Ag Corp.
Patrick Bracken is the President and CEO of Ceres Global Ag Corp. and was appointed as of September 1, 2014. He was previously the President, CEO and board member of America for Bulgaria Foundation, a US$450 million philanthropic organization, and has worked in Bulgaria since September 2012. He also served as a board member of the Bulgarian American Enterprise Fund. Mr. Bracken is a former Cargill executive with extensive international experience. Joining Cargill in 1980, Mr. Bracken held several merchandising and management positions in the grain and energy sectors. From 2005 to 2012, based in Geneva, Switzerland, he was Vice President of Cargill International and Business Unit Leader of Cargill’s global coal business, expanding its activities to Asia, Africa and North America. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Bracken was the Vice President and regional manager for the former Soviet Union with particular responsibility for Russia where Cargill was investing in several new initiatives. From 1995 to 2003, he was President, country manager and head of representation for Cargill’s activities in the Ukraine, with the responsibilities of general management, business development and expansion of Cargill’s grain and oilseed businesses. Prior to 1995, Mr. Bracken held several grain and energy trading positions in the United States and Switzerland. He is also a past member of the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Product Development Advisory Committee for Energy. Mr. Bracken holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri.

Brett W. Duffy

Executive – Select Milk Producers, Inc.
Brett has over 20 years of experience in agribusiness and energy business building and principal investing. Presently, Brett serves as corporate development & analytics officer for Select Milk Producers, Incorporated, a leading US dairy cooperative. From 2007 to 2011, Brett worked as an investment manager in Cargill, Incorporated’s Energy Enterprise with responsibilities for originating, structuring, and monitoring asset-based investments in the global renewable energy, coal, petroleum, natural gas, and power markets. From 2004 to 2007, Brett served as a founding director of Cargill’s Emerging Business Accelerator, a corporate investment fund focused on building new businesses across the agri-food supply chain. From 2002 to 2004, he served as a vice president with Adams, Harkness & Hill, an investment bank, with responsibilities for mergers & acquisitions and equity offerings in the renewable energy and consumer industries. In 2001, Brett worked in US Bancorp Piper Jaffray’s investment banking division. From 1993 to 2000, Brett helped establish Cargill’s agribusiness operations in Eastern Europe and served as general manager of Cargill’s seed business in Russia. He also worked in Cargill’s grain business in Canada and assisted in the corporate divestiture of Cargill’s international and North American seed businesses. Brett received a B.A. from Carleton College in 1993 and an M.B.A. with distinction from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2002. He is fluent in Russian.

Dennis Wagner

Chairman – Wagner Construction, Inc.
Mr. Wagner is the Chairman of Wagner Construction, Inc. based in International Falls, Minnesota, with operations in Canada, the Midwest, Southwest, and Southeast United States. Wagner Construction, along with its subsidiaries, provides services consisting of underground utility and heavy civil construction, demolition and land development, aggregate and rock quarries, ready-mix, and logging. Four decades in the industry have allowed Mr. Wagner to develop a diverse skillset of general management, project estimating, mergers and acquisitions, strategy, and operational excellence. Mr. Wagner served on the Board of Granite Falls Energy, a publicly reported company, and is currently the Mayor of Ranier, Minnesota.

Nexus PMG assists Highland with program management services to ensure our projects stay on time, on budget and with effective communication on project updates with all stakeholders. The team is comprised of a talented group of executives with years of global EPC experience on sophisticated international and domestic projects.

Contact Us

Headquarters
60 State Street, Suite 700
Boston, Massachusetts 02109
617.564.4003
info@highland-pellets.com

Pine Bluff Plant
5601 Industrial Dr. North
Pine Bluff, AR 71602
870.209.2717

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