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2024 Spring Speakers


Mike Abraczinskas


North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

Division of Air Quality

Mike Abraczinskas is currently the Director of the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (DAQ) and has worked for DAQ for 24 years & 9 months as of April 1, 2024. Mike worked in 7 different positions in DAQ prior to being named Director in February of 2017.

In 2024, Mike will celebrate his 25th anniversary with DAQ… and will also celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, Jenn.


Mike graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Meteorology and a Minor in Environmental Science.; is certified as an Engineer-In-Training (EIT); and is a graduate of the North Carolina Public Managers Program.


Mike is a leader in the air quality management field and is active in national and regional organizations comprised of State and Local Air Quality Agencies.

· Mike serves as immediate Past President of the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) – a national, non-profit organization representing 51 state and local air pollution control agencies.

· In 2024, Mike is serving as Past President of the Carolinas Air Pollution Control Association (CAPCA).

· And, in 2024, Mike is serving as Vice-Chair of the Southeastern States Air Resource Managers Association (SESARM).

When he can find free time… Mike likes to golf, garden, and be outdoors.

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IIya Alimov

Ilya is a Technical Director and the Acting QA Manager for the Air Measurements Testing Practice at TRC Environmental. Ilya supports projects for a variety of clients in both of the Carolinas, as well as across the nation. He works with chemical, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and power generation industry clients on their environmental compliance issues. While his primary focus has been on Source Testing over the past 16 years, he also assists with projects requiring expertise in air quality, CEMS data, air emissions data management, and advanced air pollution monitoring techniques, including FTIR and GC. He was recently re-elected to the board of directors for the Source Evaluation Society (SES). Ilya immigrated from Russia in 1999 and has lived in the Raleigh, NC area since. Ilya lives with his wife Julia, their dog Teddy Bear, and their cat Laney. His hobbies include scuba diving (earning the PADI master scuba diver rating last year), home automation, tinkering in the garage with cars or electronics, woodworking, and traveling the world.


John Bird

John Bird is the corporate environmental permitting and environmental affairs manager for Roseburg Forest Products.  He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of North Carolina.  John is the Chair of the American Wood Council's Environmental Issues Committee and the Chair of the NC Manufacturer's Alliance Science and Technology Committee.  John lives in Southern Pines, NC with his wife and two kids.


Kirt Boston

Mr. Boston is a degreed Chemical Engineer from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, with over 40-yrs of experience in industrial filtration. Kirt has extensive knowledge in dust collection and the many challenges associated with controlling dust, fume, and mist in industrial settings. He served as Global Manager of Product Technology at Donaldson Company Inc up until retiring at the beginning of 2023.


He now spends his time traveling with his wife, working on his home and his kid's homes, and is enjoying his many hobbies.


He remains very engaged in Industrial Ventilation serving on the ACGIH Industrial Ventilation Manual committee, instructing at various ACGIH Industrial Ventilation courses, and he continues to serve as Co-chair for the North Carolina Industrial Ventilation Conference.

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Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter worked much of his career in North Carolina's lead environmental agency - what is now the Department of Environmental Quality. He was a permit writer, Hazardous Waste Section Chief, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, Assistant Secretary for Operations and Development, and Assistant Secretary for Information Systems. He spent his last year of government service in the Office of Economic Recovery & Investment (OERI) overseeing data systems and use of federal funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), before retiring from state government in 2010.

After a month of retirement, Jimmy joined Solutions-IES, a Division of Draper Aden Associates as Senior Consultant. He held a concurrent role as Director of Marketing and Business Strategies for EOS Remediation (a subsidiary of Solutions-IES) where he managed print and on-line marketing for EOS in-situ remediation technologies; coordinated promotions for Asian markets; maintained social media; produced webinars and "how-to" videos; and designed, installed, and maintained the company websites.

Jimmy joined the North Carolina Manufacturers Alliance in 2018 as Director of Communications and Regulatory Affairs. He maintains the organization’s website, publishes a weekly update of current news and events of interest to members, plans and coordinates workshops in air, water, and hazardous waste compliance as well as a two-day conference that covers energy, environment, and health & safety topics.


Chad Eaton

Director of Government Affairs 


Chad Eaton is Director of Government Affairs at Nucor Corporation. Chad joined Nucor in February 2017 as the company’s State Government Affairs Manager, advocating the corporation’s policies and legislation impacting Nucor’s more than 31,000 teammates and 300 locations at the state and local level. In November 2020, Chad was promoted to his current role of Director of Government Affairs. In his position, Chad oversees implementation of Nucor’s public affairs policies and leads the company’s energy and environmental public policy efforts as the largest recycler in North America. Chad also manages Nucor Corporation’s relationship with multiple State Legislative Associations, as well as its third party business and industry associations at the state level. Prior to joining Nucor, Chad was Manager of Federal Government Affairs at Duke Energy Corporation. He also previously served as Director of Public Affairs in the Office of U.S. Representative Heath Shuler, and has held associate pastor positions in Baptist churches in North and South Carolina, and Alabama. Chad graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Samford University. He is married to Kim and they have a son, Cole.


Ryan Gesser

Senior Manager


Ryan Gesser is a Senior Manager for Air Quality at Georgia-Pacific in Atlanta, where he practices meteorological and air quality modeling and monitoring, permitting, and compliance management.  GP’s air permitting team works in 34 states and all 10 EPA regions to support more than 120 manufacturing operations that make pulp & paper, towel & tissue consumer products, corrugated packaging, industrial chemicals, gypsum, and engineered wood products such as plywood, lumber, and OSB. Ryan is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist with more than 25 years of professional experience and holds a bachelors degree in Applied Math from the University of Virginia, one masters degree in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences and a second masters degree in Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech.

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Chris Giusto

Regional Manager for the South Atlantic and Director of Combustible Dust Safety at Hallam-ICS 

Chris Giusto is Regional Manager for the South Atlantic and Director of Combustible Dust Safety at Hallam-ICS. He has over 20 years of mechanical and process engineering experience in a variety of industries. Chris has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Youngstown State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in 24 states. He’s spent nearly his entire career working with combustible dust hazards and designing NFPA-compliant equipment and systems. Chris created and launched Hallam-ICS’s Combustible Dust Safety service line in 2018 and has been an instructor at the North Carolina Industrial Ventilation Course since 2021. With additional expertise in material handling and dust collection systems, he and his team bring a comprehensive approach to practical solutions for improving safety and meeting NFPA requirements.


Mark Hawes

Managing Consultant

Trinity Consultants, Inc.

Mark Hawes is a Managing Consultant with Trinity Consultants, Inc. Mark's experience includes over 25 years in the Pressure Sensitive Tape Industry with Corporate responsibilities for Environmental, Safety and Product Compliance.  Mark previously worked for the Divisions of Air Quality and Water resources prior to moving to industry.  Mark is recognized as a forward-thinking leader developing sustainable compliance and conformance processes to support clients. Mark's manufacturing & regulatory experience provide a unique perspective on regulatory impacts and compliance strategies.  Mark is a graduate of North Carolina State University and is a past president of CAPCA.

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Sara Hazzard

Sara Hazzard is the President & CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA), the state’s preeminent industrial trade association which serves as the voice of South Carolina manufacturing.


With over 20 years of experience in the South Carolina legislative arena, Sara is a leading advocate for more than 6,000 manufacturing operations and the 300,000 South Carolinians they employ.


Prior to being named SCMA President & CEO in January 2018, Sara served for 13 years as the organization’s Vice President of Government Relations. In that role, Sara championed legislative strategies and policies that have enhanced economic opportunity for South Carolina manufacturers.


Sara served on South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster’s AccelerateSC Task Force and is a Board member of the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association, a Port Ambassador for the South Carolina Ports Authority, a Board member of Sustain SC, and a graduate of Leadership South Carolina.


Sara earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Presbyterian College, where she also minored in Business Administration and History. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband, John, and their two children.


Jay Hofmann


Trinity Consultants


Jay Hofmann is President of Trinity Consultants, Environmental Consulting Division. Trinity Consultants is a 2,000-person environmental consulting, process engineering, building commissioning, data automation, software, and professional training firm with over 90 offices worldwide. The firm has been employee and private equity held since 2007.


A 38-year veteran with the firm, Jay has served in several key management roles at Trinity, including Vice President of Consulting Operations and Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In 1997, he was elected by the shareholders to serve on Trinity Consultants’ Board of Directors. In 2001, he was promoted to President and CEO.


In addition to managing a variety of environmental projects over the years, Jay has trained over 3000 environmental professionals on all aspects of Clean Air Act permitting during the past 35 years.


In addition to serving on Trinity’s Board, Mr. Hofmann has served on the boards of the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners, Advent Engineering Services, Ecological Survey and Assessment, LTD., and Minnow Environmental Services. He has served on the SMU Lyle School of Engineering Advisory Board since 2017. In 2009, Mr. Hofmann was a Dallas EY Entrepreneur of the year semi-finalist.


Mr. Hofmann earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a M.S. degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Arizona.

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Tim Hunt 

Senior Director of Air Quality Programs at the American Forest & Paper Association and the Vice President for Environment at the American Wood Council


Tim is responsible for working with member companies to develop positions and implementing advocacy strategies on behalf of the forest products industry on EPA clean air regulations and policies. Tim’s work is focused on the cumulative impact of air regulations as well as individual regulations, such as, MACT, NAAQS, Air Transport, NSR/PSD, and climate policies.


Prior to joining AF&PA in 2000, Tim worked for the American Petroleum Institute (API) on clean air issues. Tim also worked for nine years at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reviewing water, drinking water, pesticides, and toxic substances regulations. Tim started his career at EPA in the Policy Office.


Tim received his Master’s in City and Regional Planning with a specialization in environmental policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Tim holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from Colby College in Maine.


Rochelle King

Rochelle King has been with EPA for over 14 years and currently manages the New Source Review Group (NSRG) in the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards in the Air Quality Policy Division. In her current position, she is national program manager for the implementation of the New Source Review and Outer Continental Shelf permitting programs and the General Conformity program. Prior to being a Supervisor in NSRG, she worked on the regulatory development for various industrial sectors, such as Primary Aluminum, Secondary Aluminum, Asphalt Roofing, etc. Before joining EPA, Rochelle was the Corporate Environmental Manager for Thomasville Furniture Industries Inc., for 14 years where she managed regulatory compliance programs for air, water, hazardous and solid waste, and emergency response for 34 facilities. Rochelle earned her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University.


Bailey McAuley:

Associate Engineer - Air Quality and Meteorological Monitoring

TRC Environmental Corporation

Bailey supports many projects throughout the United States and internationally in the chemical, power, pulp and paper, and refinery sectors. Most of his work has been focused on ambient air monitoring both on the fence line and in the community. Bailey’s experience includes fenceline benzene monitoring under the refinery sector rule, setup and operation of auto-GC’s, operating and maintaining ambient air monitoring programs, site installation of sensors, and reporting ambient air data to government agencies. Under the refinery sector rule, Bailey has used near real-time benzene data to help clients locate emissions sources and meet compliance goals.


Bailey completed his B.S in Chemical Engineering at Kansas State University and earned his Masters in Environmental Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida.

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 Mark McIntire

Mark is Director of Energy and Environmental Policy and Affairs for Duke Energy in North Carolina. Prior to this role he served as Director of Government Affairs and held several engineering roles focused on power generation and environmental controls. Before joining Duke Energy, he spent nearly a decade as an environmental regulator and seven years as a consulting engineer with major projects in the Middle East and the Pacific rim. He is a graduate of NC State’s College of Engineering, a licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, a certified Carbon Reduction Manager, and a member of class XXVI of Leadership North Carolina.


Lu-Ann Perryman

Lu-Ann started her career representing agribusiness before the North Carolina General Assembly. In 1999, she was named Executive Director of the North Carolina Agribusiness Council.After leading the NC Agribusiness Council, Lu-Ann started an independent government relations firm and has added clients in the fields of manufacturing, healthcare, education & sports wagering. As a former association executive director, she brings a unique skill set to her relationship with association clients including grassroots coordination, internal/external issue communications & PAC development. 

Lu-Ann has served on the North Carolina Professional Lobbyist Association Board of Directors and is a Charter member of the NCPLA.

Lu-Ann is President of Carolina State Policy Group LLC and has represented the North Carolina Manufacturing Alliance since 2008. 

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Michael Shroup 

Director, Air Compliance Management Division


Bachelor of Science - Economics and Business Administration from the University of South Carolina (Class of 1987)

Certified Public Manager

After several years in the private sector, began DHEC career in the Bureau of Air Quality in 2000.

Enforcement Section Staff 4 years

Asbestos Section Manager 1 year

Source Evaluation Section Manager 14 years

Compliance Management Division Director 5 years


I love all sorts of outdoors activities and keeping my classic SAAB Viggen on the road.

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Dustin Snare

Technical Manage


Dustin joined ALL4 in 2015 after graduating from the University of Wyoming, with a Master of Science in Atmospheric Sciences.  Dustin currently serves as a Technical Manager in the Air Quality Monitoring and Modeling group at ALL4.  Dustin’s ambient air quality monitoring and modeling consulting experience includes installing and conducting quality assurance audits of meteorological monitoring systems; air sampling and real-time continuous monitoring; conducting air quality modeling studies; and establishing and conducting fenceline sampling programs.

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Rhonda Banks Thompson, P.E. 

Chief, Bureau of Air Quality

South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC)

Columbia, SC

Rhonda Thompson has been with SC DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality for over 33 years. She has been the Chief of the Bureau of Air Quality since April 2016. Prior to becoming Bureau Chief, she served as Assistant Bureau Chief for 9 years.


At the regional and national level, Rhonda is immediate past Secretary/Treasurer of the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA), Board Member and past Chair of the Southeastern States Air Resource Managers (SESARM), and President of the Carolinas Air Pollution Control Association (CAPCA) Board of Directors. Rhonda was appointed by Governor Henry McMaster to represent DHEC on the Interagency Electric Vehicle (EV) Working Group.


Rhonda has a B.S. Degree in Engineering from the University of South Carolina, and she is a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) in South Carolina.


Kris Waikins

Regional Environmental Manager

West Fraser

Kris Waikins is a Regional Environmental Manager with West Fraser and resides in the Ocala, Fl area.   She has 20 years experience in the environmental field from starting in WET testing laboratories, to Environmental Consulting, to different roles in Compliance Management.   She has experience in multiple industries and over 30 states across the country.  Kris is currently working in the wood products field with facilities located in the southeast.    


Steve Weber

Partner, Parker Poe

Steve Weber has helped clients navigate the nuances of environmental law for 30 years. Steve's environmental practice is broad, encompassing related practice areas such as regulatory, administrative, zoning, and municipal. His practice is three-fold: litigation, compliance, and transactions. In the litigation arena, Steve defends clients in state, federal, administrative, and local zoning matters, as well as multidistrict litigation and class actions. Steve's compliance practice involves permitting, environmental audits, regulatory counseling, and agency relations. Steve's transactional work includes environmental aspects of mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, financing, and Brownfields agreements.

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