Meet Our Speakers

Crypto/Blockchain

Kit Mueller

Kit Mueller

Vice President of Corporate Development of Stronghold Digital Mining

Stronghold Digital Mining is a vertically integrated bitcoin mining company. We wholly own and operate low-cost, environmentally beneficial coal refuse power generation facilities that power our colocated industrial computing operations that mine bitcoin.

Dominic Folino

Dominic Folino

Founder of Pa Blockchain Coalition

Mr. Folino is the President of Spectrum Strategies, a public affairs firm specializing in Government Affairs and Business Development. Spectrum also offers issue education in various fields including blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Prior to starting Spectrum, Dominic worked in-house at a financial services firm in Philadelphia for nearly a decade. He began his career in politics working for various campaigns in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Dominic also served as chief of staff to a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are a passion of Dominic’s, and he is involved in various groups, including representing Pennsylvania on the State Blockchain Association. He has spoken and moderated numerous panels on the subject.

Preston Pysh

Preston Pysh

Innvestor’s Podcast Network

Mr. Pysh is an entrepreneur, investor, author, and cryptocurrency proponent. He’s the founder of BuffettsBooks.com, and his videos on financial investing have been viewed by millions of people around the world. He takes great pleasure in taking complex ideas and making them accessible.

Preston graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. In 2018, Preston graduated from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School in Baltimore, Maryland with a Master of Business Administration, Banking and Finance.

He has authored and co-authored a number of investment and autobiographical works. Preston also wrote multiple finance and investing-related articles for Forbes from 2016 and 2018.

Aaron Tainter

Aaron Tainter

Senior Program Manager, Software and AlphaLab at Innovation Works

Aaron is the Senior Program Manager of Innovation Works’ AlphaLab accelerator program. Aaron oversees the day-to-day operations and works closely with companies to help guide them through accelerated stages of development. Aaron spent over 5 years as an Associate at Meakem Becker Venture Capital, a Pittsburgh-based early stage VC firm. In this role Aaron served on the due diligence team where he analyzed startup companies across a variety of industry verticals and was a leader on the deal sourcing team where he built a national deal flow pipeline which led to a number of successful exits including Kiva Systems (acquired by Amazon), Shipwire (acquired by Ingram Micro), and HotPads (acquired by Zillow). He also recently served as Senior Manager for Bristol-Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company, where he led the strategy and implementation of a number of continuous improvement and internal consulting initiatives within the Research and Development organization.

Aaron holds a BS/BA in Business Mgmt/Mkt from Eastern University and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

Lara Coviello

Lara Coviello

Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager at Brinker Capital

Lara Coviello is Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager at Brinker Capital. In this role, she is responsible for the portfolio management, strategy planning, and communication of multi-asset class portfolios for high-net-worth clients and institutions.

Prior to joining Brinker Capital, Lara worked at FS Investments as Executive Director, Senior Portfolio Specialist where she served as a subject matter expert to educate advisors and investors on all investment offerings, and was the lead specialist on a multisector bond fund, including investments in corporate credit, emerging markets, structured products, and distressed credit. Before joining FS Investments, she was Managing Partner at Auctus Wealth Management Inc.

Lara is a member of the CFA Institute, CFAP Inve$t in Her Future, Women in Investing Network of Philadelphia, and the American Statistical Association.

Lara earned her undergraduate degree from Penn State University and her Master of Arts in statistics from Columbia University. She also completed the Private Equity and Venture Capital Executive Education course at Harvard Business School. Lara is a CFA® charter holder. She also holds FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses.

Kathleen Kuznicki

Kathleen Kuznicki

Attorney-Legal Asset Protector Patents, Trademarks and copyrights

I work with individuals or businesses, including start-up businesses, to protect some of their most valuable assets, their intellectual property.

Innovative persons and businesses who are working diligently to solve problems through their inventions should seek protection of their ideas by obtaining a patent. I translate their inventions into patents. I work with inventors to initially file their patent applications as well as working with inventors during the prosecution of their application. After their patent issues, I will purse infringers.

Businesses work very hard to build their brand through marketing and providing superior goods and services. I help businesses protect their branding and their good will they have worked hard to establish in their brand with trademark registration and aggressive defense of that registration.

I also advise clients that are being sued or being threatened with an infringement suit about the legal strategies that can be used for their defense.

Dr. Elizabeth Lewis

Dr. Elizabeth Lewis

Crypto & Blockchain Venture Capital ~ National Crypto Speaker ~ Physician

Dr. Lewis is a physician entrepreneur and co-owner of Crypto VCF, a venture capital fund supporting blockchain development. Crypto VCF is in the fundraising and deployment mode of their Fund of Funds project, Quantum. Quantum is focused on Metaverse development, specialized NFT projects, Decentralized Finance expansion, Gamification, Web 3.0, and MedTech. Dr. Lewis has extensive experience supporting big ideas in volatile industries. Spanning as far back as 2003, she has been facilitating the launch and growth of a variety of digital asset classes, including digital Real Estate, MedTech, Online Education, Medical Security, and information/safety projects. She currently serves as an advisor for an Australian-based NFT project, building out a pet metaverse and safety protocol for missing and abandoned pets. Dr. Lewis speaks nationally on Crypto-related topics, including the adoption and growth of cryptocurrency, cryptocurrency regulation, and the future of blockchain development. Dr. Lewis completed her Anesthesiology Residency and Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship at The University Of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Conor Platt

Conor Platt

President at Confluence Analytics

Confluence is a fintech firm specializing develops solutions that combine ESG Equities, Digital Assets, and new Carbon emission markets to create optimal sustainable investment solutions. We view DeFi as the best environment to create these new solutions.

Confluence has developed ESG Signals tied to risk to make ESG data more actionable and customizable. We combine these signals systematically with other factors to identify ESG strategies that are working, then optimize for performance and sustainability goals.

Fossil Fuels

Ben Sullivan

Ben Sullivan

Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary at Diversified Energy Company PLC

Mr. Sullivan joined Diversified in 2019 with oversight of the company’s legal, land/real estate, and governmental affairs functions and works with the CEO and board on governance matters.  Prior to joining Diversified, Ben worked with Greylock Energy (an ArcLight Capital Partners portfolio company with extensive national holdings) and its predecessor (Energy Corporation of America) as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary with supervision of many business units.  Prior to Ben’s tenure at Greylock Energy, he worked as counsel for EQT Corporation as well as with a private law firm.  He is a member of the leadership and Board of Directors of several commerce, legal, and industry groups, and has considerable experience in corporate governance and reporting / ESG, complex commercial transactions, land/real estate, acquisitions & divestitures, financing, government investigations, and corporate workouts and restructurings.  

Walter Hufford

Walter Hufford

Director of North America Government & Regulatory Affairs

Mr. Hufford is an industry leader with 37 years experience in the energy industry. His current position reports directly to executive leadership supporting both US and global operations. He works with various agencies (State, Treasury, Interior, EPA) on strategic policy issues and tactical implementation. He has consultations with the Administration and with elected representatives in Washington DC on issues around climate change, national security, infrastructure and sanctions and is considered a trusted, pragmatic advisor.

From prior positions Mr. Hufford has extensive experience managing complex environmental contamination issues including nuclear, chemical, petrochemical, manufacturing and downstream R&M projects. He directly managed over $160 Million in expenditures with demonstrated costs savings/cost avoidance opportunities exceeding $300 Million. He delivered regulatory closure on hundreds of sites across the United States, successfully negotiating with diverse stakeholders including government (federal, state and local), non-government organizations (NGOs).

Mr. Hufford was appointed under the Obama Administration to serve on USEPA’s Science Advisory Board Ad Hoc Panel providing counsel to the agency’s efforts in evaluating the potential impact to drinking water resources associated with hydraulic fracturing. He was the only industry representative to serve on this panel. In 2014, he was recognized as a “top geoscientist” in Texas and in 2015 was appointed by Governor Wolf’s Administration to serve on Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Infrastructure task force. He volunteers at Texas A&M University as a Professor of Practice teaching graduate seminar courses in the Department of Geosciences.

Mr. Hufford supported efforts in the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 BP Macondo incident. He worked with the White House on daily updates, managing communications with policy leaders at the Federal and State level and conducting “town hall” meetings along the Gulf Coast.

He has served on various boards including; Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), Pennsylvania Resource Council (PRC), NAEM, State Review of Oil Natural Gas and Environmental Regulations (STRONGER) and on trade organizations (MSC and AXPC)

Specialties: Policy, Regulations, Environment, Natural Resource Damages, Sediments, Conflict Management & Resolution, Oil and Gas Exploration.

Mark Acree

Mark Acree

Member/Partner at Fusilier Resources

Mr. Acree is a Certified Professional Landman (CPL) with over 40 years of successful energy industry experience and leadership, including 30 years executive and managerial experience.  Mr. Acree is currently a partner in Fusilier Resources, LLC, which focuses on oil and gas, mineral, renewable and brownfield investments.  Mr. Acree has worked on joint ventures and exploration programs with numerous industry partners in many of the major exploration and development plays across the US, coordinated all land-related activities in large scale leasing, joint venture, drilling programs and acquisitions and divestitures with capital budgets in the billions.  Mr. Acree has successfully led the initial start up and staffing of two new oil and gas entities, as well as establishing regional offices for two large E&P companies, focusing on establishing policies and procedures, along with evaluating and re-engineering corporate and regional systems for reporting and regulatory requirements.

 

During the past 20 years, Mr. Acree held executive and/or senior managerial positions with Range Resources – Appalachia LLC, (a subsidiary of Range Resources Corporation), Noble Energy, Inc’s Marcellus Business Unit and American Petroleum Partners, LLC.  Mr. Acree is an alumnus of The University of Tulsa, with a B.S. in Business Administration, emphasis in Accounting and MIS.

 

Mr. Acree is a member, former Regional Director and Chairman of various committees within the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), including Education, Certification, Accreditation Committee and Annual Meeting Committee.  He is also member and past President of the Michael Late Benedum Chapter (MLBC) of AAPL, and member of the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) and Chapter 88 in Pittsburgh.  He is or has been a member of various regional oil and gas associations in OH, PA, WV and NY for many years.

 

Mr. Acree is a founding member of the Energy Land Management Advisory Boards of West Virginia University, Penn State University and Marietta College.  He is also an alumni and former Board of Director member of Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania and Washington County Junior Achievement; and a member of various oil and gas industry, social and fraternal associations including the Masonic Lodge of Ohio and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity (University of Tulsa chapter).

 

Mr. Acree and his wife (Lori) reside in the Cleveland Ohio area and have six (6) children and five (5) grandchildren.

 

 

Rodney Pratt

Rodney Pratt

Director of Land Resources at CNX Resources

  • Oversee a team of 70 employees and contractors responsible for the administration of land records, division order, and Geographic Information System (GIS) functions for the exploration and production division of $1B+ energy company
    • Responsible for 500,000+ acres of Marcellus and 600,000+ Utica acreage across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia
    • Manage the capital operating and selling, general, and administrative expense (SG&A) budgets for all departmental items through economic downturns and upturns
    • Ensure the architecture of GIS operates efficiently
Stacy Garrity

Stacy Garrity

Treasurer of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

As the 78th Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, businesswoman and retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel Stacy Garrity is focused on transparency, cutting waste and fees, returning more than $4 billion in unclaimed property to its rightful owners, and making education affordable for Pennsylvanians.

 Stacy understands the challenges that Pennsylvania families face, and she brings the same common sense that people use to manage their own finances to the Treasurer’s office.

 After graduating from Sayre High School in Bradford County, Stacy earned a degree in finance and economics from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and later received a certificate from the Cornell University Business Management Institute.

 While serving as a colonel in the Army Reserve, Stacy received national attention for her decorated service on the battlefields of Iraq. While news raged about scandals involving prisoner abuse at other facilities, Stacy was highlighted for her stellar performance as one of the officers in charge of an internment camp for enemy combatants in Iraq.

 Iraqis dubbed her “the Angel of the Desert” when her service at Camp Bucca in Southern Iraq resulted in a perfect record. She kept the camp secure and American troops safe without a single complaint of abuse from Iraqi soldiers interned there.

 Stacy served a remarkable three deployments in defense of the United States: in 1991 in Operation Desert Storm, in 2003 in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and in 2008 in Operation Enduring Freedom. She was awarded the Bronze Star twice for exceptional service and received the Legion of Merit before retiring from the Army Reserve with the rank of colonel.

 While serving in the Army Reserve, Stacy started work as a cost accountant at Global Tungsten & Powders Corp., a global supplier of refractory powders, and worked her way up to become the first of two female vice presidents at the company.

 As Pennsylvania Treasurer, Stacy oversees an office of more than 300 employees and is tasked with protecting more than $150 billion in state assets. Among her many duties, she serves as a fiscal watchdog for the state, manages Pennsylvania’s 529 College and Career Savings Program and the PA ABLE Savings Program for disability-related expenses, and administers the state’s unclaimed property program.

 Stacy was elected on November 3, 2020, and was sworn into office on January 19, 2021.

 As someone committed to her local community, Stacy also serves on the board of Bradford County United Way and is a trustee of Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.

 Stacy is married to Daniel Gizzi, a project analyst at Corning Incorporated. She worships at Christian Life Church.

Justin Edmiston

Justin Edmiston

Director of Gas Trading and Midstream Arsenal Resources

Mr. Edmiston is the Director of Gas Trades and Midstream at Arsenal Resources. Previously he was the managing director of Vulture Energy Partners. He holds an MBA From Harvard University. 
Kyle Textor

Kyle Textor

CEO Mine-X.io

Kyle Textor is the CEO of Mine-X.io, a platform that helps oil and gas producers sell gas at the well-head or gathering level directly to bitcoin miners. Mine-X also offers advisory services, handling all aspects of deal sourcing including equipment procurement, project management, and full scale build out of mining facilities.

Brad Little

Brad Little

President at Penn View Exploration, Inc.

Brad Little has over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas sector. From 1987 to 2000 he ran the day to day natural gas field operations, and was charged with several acid mine drainage treatment facilities while employed by North Cambria Fuel Co. In 2000, Brad founded Penn View Exploration, Inc. (PVE), an exploration, acquisition and production company with assets in the Appalachian Basin

Since 2000, PVE Inc. has developed and acquired over 450 oil and gas wells in Western and Central Pennsylvania, with over 12,000 acres of leaseholds in 8 counties. PVE, Inc. has consulted for other companies with their development and acquisition projects resulting in over 150 oil and gas wells completed. PVE, Inc. contract operates passive acid mine treatment facilities in Westmoreland, Cambria and Indiana Counties.  In 2007, PVE, Inc. divested 1,100 acre leasehold in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania to a major integrated oil company.  In 2008, PVE, Inc. divested of their shale gas leaseholds to a large independent gas company. The divesture was over 9,000 acres. 

Today PVE, Inc. concentrates on maintaining its oil and gas assets. We own and maintain 250 shallow gas wells and 200 oil wells. The gas wells are located on 6500 acres of leaseholds in 7 central and western Pennsylvania Counties, with the core acreage in Indiana County.   The 5,500 acre oil field is primary production located in McKean County. It is known as the Burning Well Oil Field.  In March 2019 PVE, Inc. acquired three horizontal Marcellus shale wells located in Westmoreland County, PA from a major integrated oil and gas company.

 The Burning Well Oil Field’s mineral and oil rights are owned by Quint Energy LLC. In turn, Quint Energy is owned and capitalized by Brad and Yvonne (wife) Little. The 200 oil wells are owned by PVE Oil Corporation, solely owned by Brad Little.

Penn View Exploration, Inc. and PVE Oil Corporation were capitalized and are wholly owned by Brad Little. Combined the companies have 6 full-time employees, 3 part-time employees, 2 geological consultants and a drilling consultant. Brad is the president and runs the day to day operations. Brad is always seeking quality gas and oil assets to meld into the PVE family companies. We also continue to infill drill at Burning Well, employing the latest technologies to maximize oil production

Renewable Energy

Jaret Gibbons

Jaret Gibbons

Executive Director of the Appalachian Region Independent Power Producers Association (ARIPPA)

Mr. Gibbons has served as Executive Director of the Appalachian Region Independent Power Producers Association (ARIPPA) since 2018 where he represents the mine land reclamation to alternative energy industry. He is a graduate of Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Pittsburgh Tax Review. First elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2006, Gibbons served five terms representing the 10th Legislative District (Beaver, Butler & Lawrence Counties). He held various legislative leadership roles, including Minority Chairman of the House Tourism & Recreational Development Committee and Co-Chair of the House Gas & Oil Caucus, and served on multiple committees including Environmental Resources & Energy, Commerce, and Finance. He is a native of Ellwood City, PA where he resides with his wife and four children.

Jack Dienna

Jack Dienna

Owner, Geothermal National & International Initiative (GEO-NII)

As the Executive Director & Founder of the Geothermal National & International Initiative (GEO-NII) and the Principal of Indian Rock Associates LLC. I am a business development and marketing professional with over forty years combined experience in the electric utility industry and the geothermal heat pump industry. I am a nationally recognized authority on geothermal heat pumps (ghp), including marketing, creative financing, and the resulting positive economic and environmental impact that can be derived from the use of this renewable technology. My expertise is internationally acknowledged as a valued resource by government officials, both national and international, trade allies, and all major market segment associations in the promotion of geothermal heat pumps and other renewable technologies.

Justin Mason

Justin Mason

Field Director: The Land and Liberty Coalition

Political advocacy and education about the economic, political and sustainable development of renewable energy in the state of Pennsylvania throughout the 67 counties. Grass roots to grass tops organization and action around the developing renewable energy landscape of Pennsylvania.

Todd Stewart

Todd Stewart

Partner at Hawke McKeon & Sniscak LLP,

I have spent most of my professional career representing people and companies that are affected by government. Most of the time that means that the organizations that I represent are regulated in some way by some level of government, either local, state or federal. For the majority of my clients, the regulator is the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. I represent competitive energy suppliers on a regular basis, and I also have represented businesses in dealings with utilities. In other words, I have a fairly diverse group of clients.

Specialties: Gas and Oil Pipelines, Competitive Energy Suppliers, and Telecommunications.
Also, HMS has been involved since the inception of the Marcellus Shale development in Pennsylvania, providing legal advice and representation to various industry stakeholders, including midstream/gatherer pipeline companies, water suppliers and wastewater treatment providers, as they take part in the development of this significant energy supply.

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