The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of the
Association is comprised of the
President, Vice-President, immediate Past President, and Secretary-Treasurer. A Vice-President is elected annually from a slate of candidates by
a majority vote of the State Voting Representatives. The Vice-President serves a one-year term
before advancing to the role of President. At the conclusion of the
President’s one-year term he/she advances to the position of immediate
Past President for a one-year term. The Secretary-Treasurer position is
elected to a two-year term by a majority vote of the Association's State representatives.
Jeffery Steers (VA), President
Jeff Steers has nearly 30 years of environmental policy and operational experience in public service and is currently the Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Land Protection and Revitalization Division. In this leadership role, Mr. Steers is responsible for administering the solid, hazardous and underground storage tank regulatory programs under RCRA, cleanup programs under CERCLA/Superfund including federal facilities, the state’s voluntary remediation programs and DEQ’s risk assessment programs. Jeff has extensive experience in strategic planning and team consensus building both in the public and private sectors and is a trained professional facilitator. His prior experience includes serving as the Director of DEQ’s Northern Regional Office, where he provided management oversight for operational aspects of permitting, compliance and ambient monitoring programs in all environmental media and has participated in numerous waste and air/water multi-media civil and criminal enforcement cases.
Prior to joining DEQ, Mr. Steers spent 20 years with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency working in the Agency’s water and waste programs as well as serving as the Assistant Chief of a District Office with management responsibility for 140 staff in the agency’s air, water, waste and drinking water programs. His experience includes conducting RCRA solid/hazardous waste inspections and permitting as well as cleanup oversight under CERCLA. In these roles, he represented the agency on several technical and citizen advisory boards, including a restoration advisory board at a Formerly Used Defense Site. Jeff has conducted numerous technical training sessions across the country on a variety of RCRA and multi-media topics. He previously served as a faculty member for US EPA’s RCRA Training Institute.
Mr. Steers holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of Toledo. He is an active member in ASTSWMO and served on the Municipal D Waste Task Force. He serves as a Board Member of the Virginia Chapter of the Solid Waste Management Association of North America (SWANA).
J. Ryan Benefield, Vice-President
Ryan Benefield is the Deputy Director of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), a position he has held since February of 2009. As Deputy Director, Ryan has responsibility over the Water Division, Mining Division, Hazardous Waste Division (which includes the State and Federal Superfund Programs, Brownfields Program, Meth Lab Cleanup Program, and the Elective Sites Cleanup Program), Public Outreach and Assistance Division, Environmental Preservation and Technical Services Division and the Records Management Section of ADEQ. He has worked at ADEQ since 2004 and has served as the Chief of the Hazardous Waste Division and as Technical Branch Manager in the Solid Waste Division.
Prior to coming to ADEQ, Mr. Benefield spent two years as the City Engineer for the City of Cabot, Arkansas, and worked six years in environmental consulting primarily focused on the permitting, design and construction oversight of municipal and industrial solid waste management facilities.
Mr. Benefield served on the ASTSWMO Board of Directors as the Region 6 Board Representative from 2008 to 2012. During his time on the Board, he has been very active in the creation of the current ASTSWMO strategic plan, the update to the ASTSWMO bylaws, and the Coal Ash Legislation. Mr. Benefield served as the Board Liaison to the Hazardous Waste Subcommittee throughout his time on the board. He has participated in several ASTSWMO work groups including the Coal Ash Ad-Hoc Work Group.
Mr. Benefield has been married for 16 years and is the father of two (Parker, age 10, and Olivia, age 8). He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Arkansas and has a Bachelor of Science in geological engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla (Now Missouri S&T).
Ed Thamke (MT), Past President
Ed Thamke has been engaged in public service for twenty years and currently administers seven environmental programs within the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) as the chief of the Waste & Underground Tank Management Bureau. Those programs are: Asbestos Control; Methamphetamine Cleanup; Hazardous Waste Permitting, Compliance, Corrective Action; Solid Waste Permitting, Compliance, Corrective Action; Motor Vehicle Wrecking and Recycling; Septic Pumper and Land Application; and, the Underground Storage Tank Leak Prevention Program.
Prior to being hired as the Waste and Underground Tank Management Bureau Chief in 2004, Mr. Thamke managed the MDEQ’s environmental complaint and spill investigation section and 24-hour duty officer program for seven years. From 1991 to 1997, he served the State as a landfill inspector, then gained responsibility for supervision of licensing and technical review under MEPA/NEPA and implementation of RCRA-D.
Mr. Thamke joined the ASTSWMO Board of Directors in 2005 and has actively participated in guiding the association through changes of the organization’s Executive Director, strategic planning, and other decisions to facilitate our mission and enhance our effectiveness. He has served as Board liaison to the Hazardous Waste Subcommittee and currently serves as liaison to the Sustainability and Tanks Subcommittees. Ed has participated in several ASTSWMO work groups and is currently a member of the Coal Ash Ad-Hoc Work Group.
Mr. Thamke is an avid outdoor recreationist with emphasis in family, skiing, and friends. Ed has an Associates of Arts degree from Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, Iowa, and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.
Nancy Marker (DE), Secretary-Treasurer
Nancy Marker possesses over 28 years of experience in protecting human health and the environment.
Currently Ms. Marker administers multiple environmental programs within the Delaware Department of
Environmental Control (DNREC) as Environmental Program Administrator for the Waste Section. Those
programs include hazardous waste permitting, compliance, and corrective action; hazardous waste
generator compliance; solid and hazardous waste transporter permitting; solid waste facility permitting
and compliance; scrap tire management and cleanup; and voluntary programs for solid waste recycling,
pollution prevention, and sustainable materials management. While at DNREC, Ms. Marker has also
worked in the state’s Site Investigation and Remediation programs and Emergency Response programs.
Prior to Ms. Marker's employment in the public service she worked in the private sector doing
environmental consulting. Her work involved management of multi-million dollar cleanups, serving as
project lead for the air, water, and waste aspects of the site investigation and cleanup.
Ms. Marker has participated in various aspects of ASTSWMO since 1988. She has served on various
Hazardous Waste task forces including the Definition of Solid Waste, HW Enforcement, and HW
Corrective Action. From 2009 to 2011 Ms. Marker served as the Region III States' ASTSWMO Board
Representative and Board Liaison to the Solid Waste Subcommittee and the Sustainability
Subcommittee. In October of 2011, Ms. Marker was appointed by the Board to fill the Treasurer position
until October of 2012.
Ms. Marker holds a Bachelor’s of Science in environmental science and focused on engineering geology at the master’s level at Drexel University.
Members of the Board other than officers are elected by a State
regional caucus and consist of one representative from each of the 10 EPA Regions.
Each Board member serves an initial 3-year term and may serve a maximum
of two full consecutive 3-year terms with the consent of their regional caucus. Board members are vested with the
authority to carry out the affairs of the association and to exercise leadership
in raising and exploring policy issues of potential concern to the membership.
In the photo, the Regional Representatives are in order from left to right, front then back rows.
George Desch (VT), firstname.lastname@example.org
George Desch is the Director of the Waste Management and Prevention Division for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. He has over thirty years of professional engineering experience working for the State of Vermont in various capacities in wastewater treatment facility design and operations, residuals management, Brownfields redevelopment, hazardous sites management, and solid and hazardous waste facility management.
Mr. Desch has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Newark College of Engineering, in Newark, NJ. He and his wife live in the capital city of Montpelier, where they are managing life as empty nesters with relative ease while barely keeping pace as grandparents.
Ken Kloo (NJ), Ken.Kloo@dep.state.nj.us
As the Director for the Division of Remediation Management at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Ken Kloo is responsible for all site remediation activities in New Jersey, including those performed by Licensed Site Remediation Professionals on behalf of responsible parties and brownfield developers, CERCLA, RCRA corrective action, federal facilities, and DEP-funded response actions. He has been with DEP for 28 years.
Mr. Kloo earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Seton Hall University and completed requirements for certification as a Professional Wildlife Biologist at Rutgers University.
Mr. Kloo has been actively involved with ASTSWMO since 1989. He previously served as a member and then Chair of the Site Evaluation Focus Group. Immediately prior to his current role as Region 2 Board Representative, he served as Chair of the CERCLA and Brownfields Subcommittee.
Paul Connor (DC), email@example.com
Paul Connor works for the District Department of the Environment and has been on the ASTSWMO Board of Directors since October 2011. Prior to his work at DDOE, Mr. Connor managed the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals, a national non-profit organization that served and promoted local government environmental programs. Before his work in the non-profit world, he worked for nearly 20 years in the enforcement office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he specialized in cleaning up contaminated property.
Mr. Connor earned his Juris Doctor from Lewis and Clark School of Law in Portland, Oregon, and a Bachelor of Science in environmental science at Western Washington University.
Chris Sanders (MS), firstname.lastname@example.org
After working a year with a private environmental consulting firm, Chris Sanders began his career at the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in November 1996. In September 2000, he was selected as Chief of the Solid Waste and Mining Branch in MDEQ’s Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Division. In March of 2008, he was chosen to serve as MDEQ’s Compliance and Enforcement Division Chief and continues to serve in that position.
Mr. Sanders attended Mississippi State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in biological engineering in August 1995. In May 2003, he successfully obtained his Professional Engineer license in environmental engineering.
Bruce Oertel (IN), email@example.com
As Chief of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Remediation Services Branch, Bruce Oertel is responsible for State and federal cleanup programs including Voluntary Remediation, State Cleanup, Superfund, Site Investigations, Defense Environmental Restoration, and remediation technical issues at Brownfield sites.
Prior to his initial service at IDEM, Mr. Oertel served for eight years as a Water Resource Planner for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), preparing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permits for the Flood Plain Management Program, planning and managing flood mitigation projects, and performing water resource studies.
At IDEM, he first served as a project manager in the Superfund Pre-Remedial Site Investigation Program in the late 1980’s. In 1990, Mr. Oertel left IDEM to own and operate an environmental consulting firm. In this capacity, he worked extensively with property owners, real estate agents, bank officers, and attorneys to address environmental issues at properties throughout the State. He returned to IDEM in 1996 as a project manager overseeing the remediation of leaking underground storage tank sites under the Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELTF). He then worked as a project manager in the State Cleanup Program before accepting his current Branch Chief position.
Mr. Oertel has served on the National Advisory Board of the National Brownfield Association, on the University of Cincinnati Superfund Basic Research Outreach Advisory Board, and the Governor’s Meth-Free Indiana Coalition. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of State & Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO), and the IU Advisory Committee for the Bachelor of Science Degree in public and environmental health.
Jon Roberts (OK), firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Roberts has been with the Land Protection Division of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) since 1991, and he currently directly supervise the managers
of the Hazardous Waste Compliance, Hazardous Waste Permitting, and Radiation
Management Sections. His tenure with ODEQ has given him extensive experience in all
aspects of ODEQ's RCRA Subtitle C and D permitting, compliance, and enforcement
programs, as well as authorization, rulemaking, strategic planning, and budgeting. Prior
to ODEQ, Mr. Roberts was a weather officer with the USAF, where he lead both U.S. and foreign enlisted
and civilian weather personnel in providing weather support for highly-classified DOD
customers, strategic and tactical Air Force combat wings, and long-range surveillance
Mr. Roberts has a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from the University of Oklahoma
and a Master of Science from Utah State University, where he studied the physics of the
low-Earth orbit environment.
In his spare time, he enjoys walking or riding his bike and can
always be found watching or going to Oklahoma Sooners football games between
September and January of each year.
William Bider (KS), email@example.com
Bill Bider has been the director of the Kansas Bureau of Waste
Management since 1993. He is responsible for all State regulatory,
technical assistance, public education, and waste reduction programs
related to the management of solid and hazardous wastes. Related
areas of experience include the management of debris generated by natural disasters (such as tornados and floods), planning for the disposal
of large numbers of animal mortalities resulting from disease or natural
disasters, enhanced degradation of MSW in Subtitle D landfills through
liquid addition, and waste management challenges in rural areas.
Prior to his current position, Mr. Bider was the Corporate Manager
of Environmental Protection at Trans World Airlines for 8 years. In
this position, he was responsible for all areas of environmental
compliance at all TWA airport locations and maintenance facilities.
Mr. Bider received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Bethany College in
Lindsborg, Kansas, and a Master of Environmental Health Science from
the University of Kansas.
Mr. Bider enjoys running, golf, mountain climbing, and coaching boys
basketball. He is also an active elder in his church.
Joe Schieffelin (CO), firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Schieffelin manages the Solid and Hazardous Waste Program within the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He has been with the Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division for over 22 years working in various roles: remediation of contaminated hazardous waste sites, managing the hazardous waste compliance and enforcement program, and managing the Solid and Hazardous Waste Program. Mr. Schieffelin enjoys the variety, the fast pace, and the great staff he works beside.
Prior to working at the department, Mr. Schieffelin spent 10 years as an oil and gas exploration geologist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
In his spare time, Mr. Schieffelin enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, building furniture, playing guitar, reading, and bicycling like crazy. He is a Colorado native, occasionally drives the speed limit, needs to eat better and floss more, and wishes the Rockies had better pitching.
Conchita Taitano (GU), email@example.com
Conchita San Nicolas Taitano has over 20 years of experience in Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and is currently employed with the Guam Environmental Protection Agency as the Air and Land Programs Administrator. She oversees four environmental programs, which include land-based pollution sources related to solid waste, hazardous waste (includes underground storage tanks, emergency response to spills and used oil management), pesticides, and air quality (includes asbestos and lead abatement, radon, Freon).
Ms. Taitano is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and has a Master of Science in environmental management (MSEM), and a Bachelors of Science in biology. She also attended the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in the Delft, Netherlands, and the United Nations University (UNU/International Courses Program) in Tokyo, Japan, studying Environmental Policy Making and Sustainability, respectively.
Ms. Taitano is currently the Special Representative on Research and Knowledge Management with the Micronesian Center for a Sustainable Future (MCSF) originally appointed by H.E. Tommy Remengesau, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau, and later reappointed by H.E. Emanuel Mori, President for the Federated States of Micronesia. The Center provides coordinated sustainable development strategies and programs based on regional multilateral action, mutual cooperation, and shared knowledge, and to serve as an administrative, research, and development center within and for the Micronesian Chief Executives. She also has participated in numerous organizations and in a variety of leadership roles in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Wendy Wiles (OR), Wiles.Wendy@deq.state.or.us
Wendy Wiles has more than 30 years of private business and public service experience in the
environment, health, and safety management field. In 2007, she became the Land Quality
Administrator for Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality. In this capacity, she is
responsible for overseeing land-related programs, including environmental cleanup,
emergency response, solid and hazardous waste, and underground storage tanks. She
also serves on the Department’s Executive Team.
Ms. Wiles has a Bachelor of Science in environmental health from Oregon State
University. She earned a Master of Science in industrial relations in 1987 from the University of