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Executive Leadership

Rob Hanson

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Rob Hanson is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Monolith, where he leads the development of next-generation technology for producing low cost, low emission hydrogen and carbon black, an important raw material used in the manufacture of rubber and plastic. Prior to Monolith, Hanson served as the global director of product management for AREVA Solar, the solar division of the world’s largest nuclear company. 

He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford, and has been a guest lecturer at Stanford, UNL, Foothill College and the University of Saskatchewan on topics ranging from thermodynamics to entrepreneurship. Hanson also co-founded uforia studios, a 65-employee health and fitness company with locations in San Francisco and Palo Alto. 

Chris Cornille

Chief Commercial & Supply Chain Officer

Chris Cornille is the chief commercial and supply chain officer at Monolith, where he leads commercial development, expansion of the customer-centric supply chain and all company go-to-market strategies. Cornille also helps guide Monolith’s innovation development, representing the voice of the customer. 

Cornille brings more than 33 years of experience from the specialty chemicals industry, most recently serving as the senior vice president, supply chain services for SI Group. He joined SI Group as the director of sales for North America, where he quickly took on an additional commercial excellence role. He then moved into the role of executive director of new business development where he acted as director for the Integration Management Office and had the responsibility of identifying, evaluating, and leading opportunities for acquisitions or other forms of corporate partnerships. 

Before joining SI Group, Cornille garnered over 20 years of experience at Cabot Corporation where he held several executive positions – notably, global commercial director for rubber products, managing director for Indonesia, and North America sales director of specialty products. Chris also was a board member of the Cabot Corporation Foundation. 

In 2013, Cornille was appointed as an advisory board member for Monolith Materials. He continued to serve in that role until being named the chief commercial and supply chain officer in 2019. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Benedictine University in Illinois. 

Tom Maier

Chief Technology Officer

As Monolith’s chief technology officer, Tom Maier is responsible for leading the core technology team, applications development center, materials science laboratories and intellectual property strategy. Maier has dedicated his entire 35-year career to developing new rubber and plastics products and then bringing them to market. 

Maier’s previous experience includes over two decades at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, serving in a variety of R&D leadership roles in both the Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg facilities. He has also led R&D for several organizations, including Americhem and Tarkett North America. Most recently, Maier served as vice president of R&D and in-house counsel for Novagard Solutions. 

In addition to being published on a variety of industry topics, Maier has numerous patents and trade secrets pertaining to rubber and plastic products. He received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in macromolecular science and engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland; an M.B.A. in finance and strategic management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and he is an Ohio licensed attorney, receiving a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. 

Tim Rens

Chief Financial Officer

Tim Rens is the chief financial officer for Monolith Materials, Inc. He has spent nearly 30 years in various accounting, financial and leadership positions associated with the downstream processing of raw materials including mined minerals, natural gas and crude oil. He has extensive experience in the areas of leadership within private equity owned business, organizational startup, partnership structures, debt and equity capital transactions, and mergers and acquisitions. He has focused primarily on startup opportunities for the last two decades having been in a leadership role with five startup companies since 1995. 

Prior to joining Monolith Materials, Inc., Rens held CFO positions at Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC, Executive AirShare Corporation, and CVR Energy, Inc., respectively. Before joining CVR Energy, Inc., he was a consultant to Pegasus Capital Investors. From November 1995 to January 2002, Rens was the controller and chief financial officer of Farmland MissChem Limited and Farmland Hydro L.P., respectively. He received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Central Missouri State. 

Ned Hardman

VP of Product Development

Ned Hardman is vice president of product development for Monolith where he is responsible for all analytical analysis, development of new products, and product portfolio management. Hardman began his career at Cabot Corporation in the performance and new business segments where he held a variety of technology development positions working on the manufacture of new and unique carbon black grades as well as alternative carbon nanoparticles, such as graphene. After leaving Cabot, he continued to work on carbon nanoparticles in leadership roles at XG Sciences where he was a senior project manager. 

Hardman received his B.S. from Texas Lutheran University and then graduated from UC Davis with a Ph.D. in chemistry. After UC Davis, Hardman was a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos and at Ruhr Universitat Bochum as a von Humboldt Fellow. He is a member of the American Chemical Society. 

Alex Hoermann

VP of Technology

Alex Hoermann is the vice president of technology at Monolith where he leads the development of our core technology which enables the clean and reliable production of low-cost carbon black with a natural gas feedstock. Prior to Monolith, Hoermann served as the director of product engineering at AREVA Solar, a division of recently renamed Orano, a French multi-national group specializing in nuclear power. During his tenure there, Hoermann was instrumental in the commercialization of a fledgling solar thermal technology, culminating in the construction of a 250MW plant in Rajasthan, India. He started his career at Applied Materials, where he worked on a disruptive product introduction in electro-copper plating. 

He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT and an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford. He has published several patents in the fields of copper plating, solar energy, and carbon black production.

Phil Joyner

VP of Manufacturing

Phil Joyner is the vice president of manufacturing for Monolith’s Olive Creek production facility where he is responsible for developing the operating capability and strategies to reliably deliver carbon black and value-added products to the market. Joyner brings 28 years of experience in industrial manufacturing and operational leadership. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated strong leadership in technical and operational excellence across several industries including pulp, paper and fertilizer manufacturing. 

Prior to joining Monolith, Joyner served as plant manager for Koch Fertilizer in Nebraska while also serving on the board of directors for several other Koch assets. He joined Koch Fertilizer as plant manager of the agricultural fertilizer manufacturing facility in 2012, after 12 years with Georgia Pacific (formerly Alabama River Pulp) manufacturing facility in Alabama. At Georgia Pacific, he held multiple manufacturing leadership roles including responsibility for environmental systems, finished product and power generation. Additionally, he worked for several paper companies where he lead cellulose operations in manufacturing of box, tissue, towel, filter and diaper products. Joyner has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of South Carolina. 

Amy Ostermeyer

VP of Human Resources

Amy Ostermeyer is the vice president of human resources for Monolith. She is responsible for ensuring a successful company transition to Nebraska and building a world-class workforce ahead of the opening of our manufacturing plant. Ostermeyer began her career at Talent Plus, an employee selection and development firm. She spent nine years in the healthcare industry. Most recently she served as the director of human resources at Bryan Health and the chief operating officer at Tabitha Healthcare. She is passionate about recruitment, selection and building workplace cultures where team members can grow, develop and thrive professionally. 

A native Nebraskan, Ostermeyer holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a juris doctorate from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Board of Directors

Bob Kerrey

Chairman

Bob Kerrey is managing director at Allen & Company and serves as chairman of the board of Monolith Materials. From 2001 to 2011, Senator Kerrey was president of The New School, a university founded on democratic ideals and daring educational practices. 

From 1989 to 2001, he represented Nebraska in the United States Senate, where he promoted equity for rural communities, led in farm and environmental legislation, strengthened taxpayers’ rights, led in restructuring U.S. intelligence agencies, and partnered with local leaders to build projects of lasting value to Nebraskans. Prior to his Senate service, Senator Kerrey served one term as Nebraska’s governor. He served as a U.S. Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War, and is the recipient of the Medal of Honor for his service. Senator Kerrey earned a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Nebraska. 

Bill Brady

Co-Founder & Director

Bill Brady is a member of the board of directors and is a co-founder of Monolith. He was executive vice president of Cabot Corporation, the world’s largest carbon black company. Throughout his 23-year experience at Cabot, Brady held numerous positions in the United States and Asia, including president of the $2B carbon black business, which operated 23 manufacturing plants in 17 countries. In addition, he led the commercialization of two start-up businesses at Cabot in ink jet colorants and elastomer composites. 

Brady is currently CEO of Kula Bio. He also serves on the board of directors of Hollingworth & Vose and Teknor Apex, both next generation materials companies. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton with a B.S. in chemistry and received his M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. 

Rob Hanson

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Rob Hanson is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Monolith, where he leads the development of next-generation technology for producing low cost, low emission hydrogen and carbon black, an important raw material used in the manufacture of rubber and plastic. Prior to Monolith, Hanson served as the global director of product management for AREVA Solar, the solar division of the world’s largest nuclear company. 

He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford, and has been a guest lecturer at Stanford, UNL, Foothill College and the University of Saskatchewan on topics ranging from thermodynamics to entrepreneurship. Hanson also co-founded uforia studios, a 65-employee health and fitness company with locations in San Francisco and Palo Alto. 

Pete Johnson

Co-Founder & Director

Pete Johnson is a partner of Azimuth Capital Management. He runs the firm’s San Francisco Bay Area office and focuses on investments in energy transition and sustainable assets. His responsibilities include driving investment hypotheses in the changing energy landscape, origination and selection of new investment opportunities, and guiding existing portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Azimuth, Johnson co-founded Monolith Materials and served as its president and chief technology officer. Prior to forming Monolith, he was a director for AREVA Solar and spearheaded the manufacturing and construction of a 125 MW solar plant in Rajasthan, India after successfully merging the company Ausra with AREVA.

Johnson received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Prior to that he graduated Summa cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Utah. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of California and is an inventor on 12 patents. He serves on the board of directors for Monolith Materials, Inc. and as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Richard Drucker

Director

Richard Drucker is a partner and the general counsel of Cornell Capital. Prior to joining the firm in 2018, he was a partner of Davis Polk & Wardwell with primary responsibility for the firm’s relationship with Cornell Capital. Drucker spent 40 years at Davis Polk, where he had extensive experience advising private equity clients, including the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, and corporations and their boards of directors in connection with mergers and acquisitions and with respect to corporate governance matters. He also actively represented issuers, underwriters and sponsors in securities offerings, including acquisition financings. Richard spent 10 years in Asia with Davis Polk, including as resident partner in the Tokyo office before opening the Hong Kong office and serving as head of the Asia practice. 

Drucker is a director of Citizens Rx. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Japan Society, the Provident Loan Society (Chairman), the World Rehabilitation Fund (Chairman), The American University in Cairo and Sankaty Head Foundation, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and clerked for the Honorable William H. Webster, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. 

Tom Erickson

Director

Tom Erickson is co-president and director of First Green Partners. He has spent over 20 years working with venture-backed start-ups as a venture capitalist and research analyst. He has held positions at BlueStream Ventures, Dain Rauscher Wessels, and its predecessor, Wessels, Arnold & Henderson. Erickson currently serves as a director of Trelys, Anellotech, and blackriver, and is on the board of trustees of the Courage Kenny Foundation. Institutional Investor Magazine recognized Erickson as a leading networking research analyst in its “Best of the Boutiques” survey from 1994 to 1998. 

Erickson holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics with a concentration in computer science from St. Olaf College and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a chartered financial analyst. 

James Micali

Director

James Micali was the chairman and president of Michelin North America from 1996 until his retirement in 2008. Micali received his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1973. After practicing law with Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney in Providence, RI, he joined Michelin in 1977 and held several legal department positions, including two assignments in France. He was named general counsel and secretary for Michelin North America in 1985 and became executive vice president of the North American Legal and Finance Functions in 1990. From 2001 until his retirement in 2008, Micali was a member of the Michelin Group Executive Council. He also served the rubber industry as chairman of the board of the Rubber Manufacturers Association for a one-year term concluding in 2002.

In addition to serving on the Monolith board, he currently serves on the board of directors of SCANA Corporation (NYSE), American Tire Distributors, Inc., Humphrey Enterprises, GVD Corporation. Prior public board assignments include Lafarge North America (2004-2006) and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (2008-2012). Micali has been a member and limited partner of Azalea Fund III and IV, which are funds of Azalea Capital, a South Carolina-based middle-market private equity firm. 

Steven Packebush

Director

Steven L. Packebush is a founder and partner in Elevar Partners, LLC, providing advisory and consulting services and capital solutions for companies in the agriculture and energy markets. Prior to Elevar Partners, Packebush was with Koch Industries, Inc. for over 30 years, retiring in March 2018 from his role as the commercial leader and president of Koch Ag & Energy Solutions (“Koch Ag”). Under Packebush’s leadership, Koch Ag grew to one of the larger business units at Koch Industries and one of world’s largest fertilizer companies. He also oversaw the expansion of Koch Ag to include three additional start-up businesses - Koch Energy Services, Koch Methanol and Koch Agronomic Services. Prior to his time in Koch Ag, Packebush held various business development and commercial roles in Koch International, Koch Agriculture, and Koch Minerals. 

Packebush currently serves on the LSB Industries, Inc. and EuroChem Group AG Board of Directors, Wichita State University Board of Trustees, Kansas State University Dean’s Agriculture Advisory Board, and The Fundamental Learning Center Board of Directors. He is a 1987 graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics.

Doug Patterson

Director

Doug Patterson retired from the Kiewit Corporation as executive vice president, where he continues to serve as a consultant today. He brings nearly four decades’ worth of experience in successfully developing large capital projects. Over his career with Kiewit, Patterson developed and led significant projects for the company’s Infrastructure and Mining business units, as well as launching its Energy unit. His experience includes construction oversight of major urban DOT roadway projects, gas and coal-fired power plants, and liquified natural gas and offshore oil facilities. In addition to domestic projects, Patterson brings a global perspective having led the development of significant projects in Canada and Australia. 

He currently serves on the board of directors of PGA REACH, which is the foundation for PGA of Nebraska. Patterson graduated from Colorado State University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in industrial construction management.

John Rowan

Director

John K. Rowan is based in New York, joined Warburg Pincus in 2011 and focuses on energy investments. Previously, Rowan worked at Goldman Sachs in the principal investment area, focused on energy investments. Prior to that, he worked in the Financial Institutions Group at Goldman Sachs. 

Rowan serves as a director for Monolith Materials, Navitas Midstream Partners, Rimrock, Venari Resources, and Zenith Energy. He received a B.A. in economics from Columbia College. 

Stephen Trevor

Director

Stephen Trevor is a partner of Cornell Capital. He has over 25 years of private investing experience across a broad array of sectors. Prior to joining Cornell Capital, Trevor worked as a portfolio manager at Avenue Capital, focused on public and private equity investing. Previously, he served as a member of the management committee and global co-head of Morgan Stanley’s Merchant Banking Division and private equity group. He began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he worked in the Investment Banking Division’s energy and power group in New York and corporate finance group in Hong Kong before moving to the Merchant Banking Division in Hong Kong and London where he co-headed the industrials investing effort and was a member of the investment and operating committees. 

Trevor formerly served on the board of various Goldman Sachs portfolio companies, including Berry Plastics, Capmark Financial, Cobalt, Cognis, Deutsche Kabel, Messer Griesheim and Wincor Nixdorf, among others. He is a director of Knowlton Development Corporation. He is also a director of AgroFresh Solutions, Inc., Estre Ambiental, Inc. and Shellpoint Mortgage. Trevor was a member of the United States Olympic Fencing Teams in 1984 and 1988. He is also a member of the board of trustees of Storm King Art Center. Trevor received bachelor’s degrees in political science and psychology from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Jeff van Steenbergen

Director

Jeff van Steenbergen is a co-founder and the managing partner of Azimuth Capital Management, a Calgary-based energy sector private equity firm. Prior to jointly establishing the firm, he was co-head of North American Oil & Gas with JP Morgan & Co. Van Steenbergen has been active in the North American and international energy sector for 38 years and has a wide range of experience in oil and gas and energy infrastructure as a private equity investor, investment banker, and in operations and development planning roles with Mobil Oil and in field operations with Schlumberger. 

Van Steenbergen has been a finance professional for 27 years and has broad experience in private equity, capital markets, mergers and corporate finance. He also has 11 years of energy sector operating experience in North America, Asia and Western Europe, including eight years in offshore drilling operations. His education includes a Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in civil engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston and an M.B.A. in international business and finance from Dalhousie University in Halifax. He also attended a series of executive programs at Harvard, INSEAD and Stanford. He holds a US Coast Guard Master’s License (Captain) for ExxonMobil Offshore Drilling Units and is a professional engineer registered in the province of Nova Scotia. Van Steenbergen represents Azimuth Capital Management on the boards of Altex Energy, Magma Global, Steelhead LNG and Monolith Materials, Inc.

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