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About vehra

VEHRA develops carbon neutral or carbon negative solutions to help our customers achieve their sustainability goals. Our team has more than 170 years of combined experience developing projects around the world. We are highly skilled in all phases of engineering, development, construction, finance, O&M, and logistics.

Management Team

David A. Schwedel, Executive Director

David Schwedel is the Founder of VEHRA. Mr. Schwedel has a demonstrable career in building businesses and creating shareholder value for more than 25 years. He has a depth of experience in complex cross-border financing, project financing, and global capital markets. Mr. Schwedel has been responsible for completing more than $2.1 Billion in financing for various businesses over his career. He previously served as the Senior Vice President of OLMC Group, a Venture Capital firm. He was the founder of Florida Marine Management (MAREX), which he grew from a $2 million investment into a $550 million NASDAQ listed company. He served as the lead investor for notable energy technology companies within the gasification, FCR, and petrochemical sectors. He is the Founder, and Executive Director of Encina, a company which deploys technology solutions to produce circular products from waste plastic. Mr. Schwedel is the Founder of Corallum, a single famly office with interests in energy, energy technology, and corporate finance. Mr. Schwedel is a member or advocate of several Florida charitable organizations. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Miami Waterkeeper.

Charles Costenbader, SVP Operations

Mr. Costenbader has served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer in both public and private entities. Mr. Costenbader has 25 years of physical asset operations and commodity risk management experience in the power generation, refining, natural gas storage, biofuels, demand response, and renewable energy sectors, including 10 years in the Structured Finance Group of GE Capital and 6 years in the energy commodities division at Macquarie Bank. He has served as a Board Director for several energy companies in the United States and China as well as Board Chairperson for a 501(c)3 charity managing public funding to support local and state law enforcement. He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, an M.B.A. in finance and operations management from Columbia University, and a B.A. degree in German Language & Literature studies, Oregon State University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and has published a continuing education course for Professional Engineering License candidates titled “Design and Commissioning of Power Plants” .

Mark Casillas, General Counsel

Mr. Casillas has more than 35 years of experience in corporate law. Prior to founding his own law firm Mr. Casillas practiced law at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley, where he helped run one of the largest corporate practices in Silicon Valley, and at LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae in San Francisco, where he led transactions throughout the United States as well as China, Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Russia. Mr. Casillas graduated from Harvard Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the nation’s leading public interest law review. He then clerked for the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, and began his career in New York at Breed Abbott & Morgan before moving to San Francisco. Mark is a member of the Bar in New York and California.

Board of Directors

David A. Schwedel, Executive Director

David Schwedel is the Founder of VEHRA. Mr. Schwedel has a demonstrable career in building businesses and creating shareholder value for more than 25 years. He has a depth of experience in complex cross-border financing, project financing, and global capital markets. Mr. Schwedel has been responsible for completing more than $2.1 Billion in financing for various businesses over his career. He previously served as the Senior Vice President of OLMC Group, a Venture Capital firm. He was the founder of Florida Marine Management (MAREX), which he grew from a $2 million investment into a $550 million NASDAQ listed company. He served as the lead investor for notable energy technology companies within the gasification, FCR, and petrochemical sectors. He is the Founder, and Executive Director of Encina, a company which deploys technology solutions to produce circular products from waste plastic. Mr. Schwedel is the Founder of Corallum, a single famly office with interests in energy, energy technology, and corporate finance. Mr. Schwedel is a member or advocate of several Florida charitable organizations. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Miami Waterkeeper.

Michael Tzougraks, Director

Mr. Tzougrakis has more than 35 years experience in the Energy and Industrial Project Finance business with a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the business from Development, Design, Proposal, Bid, Manufacturing, Scheduling, Procurement, Turn Key Construction and facility start up. Mr. Tzougrakis worked for GE and GE Capital Corporation from 1968 – 2002 where he later served as Managing Director responsible for one of the largest Energy and Industrial project portfolios in the structured finance sector. He was directly responsible for GE Financial Service’s Portfolio for the U.S. and overseas energy and industrial portfolio. In addition, he oversaw 30 to 50 new energy and industrial projects per annum in renewable energy, wood, wind, hydro, geothermal, solar and municipal waste, as well as industrial power and process facilities in the paper, steel, beverage and mining industries. He was a member of the Investment Committee responsible for the technical underwriting of all deals.

Elaine Wong, Director

Ms. Wong has over 20 years of private equity experience. In addition to founding H+ Partners, Ms. Wong also co-founded HAO Capital, a China-focused growth equity fund. As a private equity investor, she has helped build, fund, and take companies public in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Frankfurt, London, and New York.

She is on the Board of Trustees of MIT, is the Lead Independent Director for Hyzon Motors, is a Board member of Protium Green Solutions, she also serves on the Advisory Board for Enapter AG, and World Hydrogen Advisory Board for the Sustainable Energy Council.

Ms. Wong graduated from MIT with a B.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Carlo Badiola, Director

Mr. Badiola is the Senior Vice President of Technology and Engineering for Encina Development Group. He previously served as a technical expert for the ExxonMobil Corporation with a focus on pyrolysis steam cracking, field operations, and product optimization. His experience includes detailed reactor design, operations and maintenance, technology implementation, and continuous asset value improvement. His achievements include successful design of a commissioned pyrolysis asset, economic improvements in asset optimization, yields, safety, and reliability in various United States and Singapore facilities. He provided leadership to commercialize novel technology concepts into ExxonMobil’s pyrolysis steam cracking fleet. His work optimized bottom line results in chemical processing facilities through improved fleet availability and enhanced performance. He holds B.S. degrees in both Mechanical and Chemical Engineering as well as an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Mr. Badiola has also completed extensive prior research in the areas of high temperature combustion/metallurgy and material characterization. He has authored several publications related to combustion science and material synthesis.