Team

Tradewater has assembled a team of experts in environmental science, engineering, public policy, data analysis, and project development and implementation. Over their careers, the Tradewater staff have collectively developed carbon credit projects that prevented the emission of more than one million tons of greenhouse gasses.

Tim Brown Chief Executive Officer
Gabriel Bankier Plotkin Chief Operating Officer
Joseph Benhoff Environmental Program Associate
Teagan Bowie Sales Support Associate
Kevin Brown Process Technician
Taylor Bradshaw Senior Environmental Program Associate
Don Carter Manager of Tradewater Refrigerant Solutions
Maria Czerwonka Senior Environmental Program Associate
Jessica Dixon Head of HR
Chad Dorger Senior Environmental Program Associate
Linda Doncsecz Operations Manager
Beau Garrett Research & Development Associate
Clarissa Gregg Customer Service Representative
Rachel Kanan Director of Business Operations and Verification
Kirsten Love Director of Market Development
Victor Molina Process Technician
Lisa Nicholson Director of Program Implementation
Kameron Perry Process Technician
Gina Sabatini Business Operations and Verification Associate
Kurt Swan Customer Service Representative
Sean Schwartz Data Developer
Kevin Schwartzenberg Director of Engineering and Innovation
Thom Van Ermen Senior Environmental Program Associate
Marci Baranski Research & Development Associate
Nicholas Cade Director of Tradewater Refrigerant Solutions
Raquel Carter Human Resources Associate
Valeria Rios-Maldonado Environmental Program Associate
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Tim Brown Chief Executive Officer

Tim is a founder and the CEO of Tradewater.  He provides strategic direction for the firm in all business areas.  He is developing new programs to further Tradewater’s mission and expand its impact.  He is working to open new markets and facilitate the firm’s  international expansion.  Tim brings to Tradewater 36 years of experience in carbon programs, environmental policy, hazardous waste cleanup, and pollution prevention.  He founded Wabashco in 2008 to develop carbon offset and renewable energy projects in the Midwest, and in 1998 he co-founded the Delta Institute, a nonprofit organization to improve environmental quality and promote community and economic development in the Great Lakes Basin. He ran the Delta Institute’s environmental program, which included a wide range of water quality, pollution prevention, toxic reduction, and carbon sequestration work. Tim has worked for a range of environmental organizations in both the private and non-profit sectors including Clean Sites, ICF, and the Center for the Great Lakes.  He was a Dana Meadows Sustainability Leadership Fellow with the Sustainability Institute.   Tim holds a B.S. from Northwestern University.  He has held leadership positions on many boards over the years including the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Rebuilding Exchange, Delta Institute, and the Alliance for the Great Lakes, among others.  He currently serves on the board of the Lochland School.

 

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Gabriel Bankier Plotkin Chief Operating Officer

Gabe is a founder of Tradewater and currently serves as the COO. He oversees implementation of Tradewater’s domestic carbon offset projects and collaborates with the CEO to expand existing greenhouse gas mitigation programs and establish new ventures related to innovative technology and international carbon markets. Gabe began working in environmental project development at Wabashco, LLC, after a 12-year career as an attorney. He served first as a staff attorney with the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois. He then joined the law firm of Miller Shakman & Beem, a commercial litigation boutique, where he became a partner and served as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Throughout his career, Gabe has served in various leadership roles in the non-profit world. While in law school, he founded Youth Rights Media, a non-profit in New Haven, Connecticut, dedicated to empowering youth to protect and advance their legal rights, and served on their Board of Directors for close to ten years. He also served for six years on the board of the Rebuilding Exchange, a Chicago non-profit committed to developing a market for the reuse of building materials, including spending four years as Board Chair. Gabe holds a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

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Joseph Benhoff Environmental Program Associate

Joseph joined Tradewater in 2019 as an Environmental Program Associate and supports the work of the U.S. Ozone Depleting Substances program. He studied at Loyola’s Institute for Environmental Science where he spent two years running one of LUC’s student run businesses, Ireland’s. After graduating in 2017 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies, Joseph worked with local Chicagoland breweries to help find solutions for waste byproducts of the brewing process, including the foundation for a pipeline connecting rural dairy farmers with urban brewers and advocating for brewers at the Master Brewers Association to research more sustainable brewing techniques and technology. Joseph joined the Tradewater team in order to further understand how environmental thought can interact with the world of business—and to hopefully leave a positive mark while he is at it.

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Teagan Bowie Sales Support Associate

Teagan joined Tradewater in 2019 as a Sales Support Associate. She has a sales background in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Teagan has been in business development since 2015 and customer success management since 2017. Having attended DePaul University, she graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

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Kevin Brown Process Technician

Kevin joined Tradewater in 2019 as a Process Technician. Prior to joining Tradewater, he worked in manufacturing as a service technician and production associate. He also has several years of catering experience. Kevin also holds an A.A.S. from Oakton Community College.

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Taylor Bradshaw Senior Environmental Program Associate

Taylor works on carbon offset development as a Senior Associate at Tradewater. She earned her B.B.A. in Economics from Loyola University Chicago. At Loyola, she became passionate about environmental issues while researching the correlation between sustainable business practices and female executives. Before joining the team, Taylor worked in the economic development field at World Business Chicago. She proudly hails from the wonderful city of Kalamazoo, MI and outside of work she fights the climate crisis in the Midwest by working on the Young Professionals Council at the Alliance for the Great Lakes and by riding her bike to work everyday.

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Don Carter Manager of Tradewater Refrigerant Solutions

Don joined Tradewater in 2019 as the Manager of Tradewater Refrigerant Solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience in the refrigerant reclamation industry prior to joining Tradewater. This experience encompasses all aspects of the industry, from on-site recovery to the reclamation process. He is focused on keeping his customers happy by providing value and delivering projects on time and done right. He is a proud father of twin boys who keep him young at heart.

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Maria Czerwonka Senior Environmental Program Associate

Maria joined Tradewater in 2018, and is Senior Associate focused on carbon offset development. She earned her B.C.E. in Chemical & Materials Engineering from the University of Dayton. During her engineering studies she became passionate about finding creative ways to apply her technical skills with interpersonal relationships in solving complex problems related to sustainability and the environment. Prior to joining Tradewater Maria worked as an inspector for the Ohio EPA and researched solar thermal adsorption refrigeration techniques.

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Jessica Dixon Head of HR

Jessica joined Tradewater in 2019 as the Head of Human Resources. Prior to joining Tradewater, Jessica served in operational leadership positions in the healthcare industry. She was most recently a Regional Vice President at Oak Street Health, a rapidly scaling healthcare startup focused on providing primary care to older adults in vulnerable communities. She has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.H.S.A. from the University of Michigan. She also has a certification as a meditation and mindfulness teacher from the University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

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Chad Dorger Senior Environmental Program Associate

Chad is a Senior Associate at Tradewater working on carbon offset development. He holds a B.S. from Loyola University Chicago’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability. Previously, Chad worked in Loyola’s Biodiesel Program using waste vegetable oil to create biofuel, biosoap, and a whole lot of messes along the way.

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Linda Doncsecz Operations Manager

Linda joined Tradewater in 2016 as Operations Manager. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations of refrigerant aggregation and processing. Prior to joining Tradewater, Linda worked in the field of consumer electronics as a Quality and Process Technician and holds an A.A.S. degree as an Electronics Technician. She is also a CORE Registered Paralegal through the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.

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Beau Garrett Research & Development Associate

Beau joined Tradewater in 2019 as a Research & Development Associate. He drives innovation by developing, testing and implementing new initiatives such as carbon accounting and the expansion of the Ozone Depleting Substances program in the U.S. and abroad. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University. Previously, Beau managed sustainability projects for large, complex buildings with Delta Institute, and helped hundreds of commercial buildings achieve LEED certification, ENERGY STAR awards and benchmarking ordinance compliance while at Goby. Beau previously served as co-chair of the Delta Emerging Leaders, offers pro-bono consulting through Illinois Green Alliance, and is the owner of REVIVEcollective, which produces immersive artistic experiences to creatively empower people of all backgrounds and benefits causes related to education, homelessness, mental wellness, and climate action.

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Clarissa Gregg Customer Service Representative

Clarissa joined Tradewater in 2018 as a Customer Service Representative and supports the work of the U.S. Ozone Depleting Substances program. She earned a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Millikin University. She also holds an Associate’s Degree in World Languages from City Colleges of Chicago, where she focused on French and Spanish. Prior to Tradewater, she worked in theatre, as a vocalist, in retail, and as an administrative assistant. 

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Rachel Kanan Director of Business Operations and Verification

Rachel joined Tradewater in 2016 and serves as the Director of Business Operations and Verification. She leads a team that is responsible for managing the verification of all of our carbon projects, overseeing of logistics, operationalizing new business ventures, and providing further support to the firm’s carbon offset projects. Additionally, she is responsible for maintaining the company’s books and records, as well as, managing the office. Prior to joining Tradewater, Rachel spent 9 years as a middle school math teacher, and also served as a bookkeeper for numerous other businesses. Rachel has a B.A. from Saint Xavier University in Chicago.

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Kirsten Love Director of Market Development

Kirsten joined the Tradewater team in 2019 as the Director of Market Development. In her role, she leads the effort around making carbon offset credits available to new markets. This includes not only making carbon credits available to corporations, but also to individual consumers who want to make an impact on climate change. Prior to joining Tradewater, she worked in the Foodservice Industry for a Supply Chain solutions company. Here she worked in a number of different functional roles which included account management, promotions and project management, marketing analytics, resource management, and business development strategy. Kirsten holds a B.S. degree in Psychology and a B.S. degree in Business and Applied Math from The Illinois Institute of Technology. Outside of work, Kirsten is a devoted mother to two and coach to many in her passion to mentor and develop youth through sports such as football, soccer, and basketball.

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Victor Molina Process Technician

Victor joined Tradewater in 2017 as a Process Technician and works in the aggregation and processing of a variety of refrigerants. He also served in the United States Air Force as a Fuels Specialist, working with petroleum and associated equipment. Prior to joining Tradewater, Victor operated hydroprocessing units at a Research & Development plant.

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Lisa Nicholson Director of Program Implementation

Lisa joined Tradewater in 2019 as the Director of Program Implementation. She oversees the team that runs the U.S. Ozone Depleting Substances program. She earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her M.P.H. from Portland State University. Prior to joining Tradewater, Lisa worked in the healthcare field for over 15 years, most recently overseeing several clinical research trials testing new interventions in the areas of mental health, substance use, and HIV. Lisa spends her spare time coaching youth basketball teams.

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Kameron Perry Process Technician

Kameron joined the Tradewater team in 2017 as a Process Technician. He is a graduate of Joliet Junior College with a Process Operator Certificate in the field of Petrochemicals. Kameron has over ten years of experience in shipping and receiving. He has worked in logistics fulfilling many roles, from Customer Service Representative to Production Lead. Kameron also holds a Pharmacy Technician Certificate and is using his training and knowledge to reduce his carbon footprint.

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Gina Sabatini Business Operations and Verification Associate

Gina joined Tradewater in 2018 as an Administrative Associate, striving to keep the office running smoothly and supporting many facets of the carbon offset program. In 2020, she began a new role as a Business Operations and Verification Associate where she supports verification review, business operations, logistics, and getting new projects off the ground. She earned a B.A. in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, where she focused on the performing arts and environmental studies. Prior to Tradewater, Gina was a Social Media Moderator for Groupon. 

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Kurt Swan Customer Service Representative

Kurt joined Tradewater in February 2019 as a Customer Service Representative, supporting the work of the U.S. Ozone Depleting Substances program. Outside of work, Kurt is an accomplished pianist of over 20 years and has performed at venues across the United States including the White House. He is a proud husband and father of two precious little angels. He is excited to join the environmental field and help contribute to making this world a better place for his children.

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Sean Schwartz Data Developer

Sean joined Tradewater in 2019 as a Data Developer. He joins Tradewater from his prior role working as a Data Engineer within the retail/convenience space. He completed his B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, focusing on Renewable Energy Systems at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2013 and obtained his M.S. in Computer Science, with a focus on data analytics, from University of Chicago in 2017.

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Kevin Schwartzenberg Director of Engineering and Innovation

Kevin joined Tradewater as Director of Engineering in 2016. He leads a team to conduct research, examine market potential,  pilot test projects, and scale new business lines and approaches to further the company’s business development goals. Additionally, he leads a team that manages all of Tradewater’s data and analytics. Prior to joining Tradewater, he worked in academic research on the development of catalysts for energy and environmental applications. He also has experience in the olefins processing industry. Kevin holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University.

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Thom Van Ermen Senior Environmental Program Associate

Thom joined Tradewater in August 2016 and serves as an associate in the company’s CFC collection program. Prior to joining Tradewater, he spent 30 years as an actor, director, stage manager, technical director, and production manager for various non-profit theater organizations.

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Marci Baranski Research & Development Associate

Marci joined Tradewater in January 2020 as a Research & Development Associate where she develops, tests, and brings innovation concepts to life. Marci previously managed research, tools, and reporting of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Office of the Chief Economist. She is certified as a UNFCCC expert reviewer for national greenhouse gas inventories for agriculture. Marci has a PhD in Biology and Society from Arizona State University and a BS in Biochemistry from Michigan State University. You can find her on Twitter @eco_marci.

 

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Nicholas Cade Director of Tradewater Refrigerant Solutions

As Director of Tradewater Refrigerant Solutions, Nick primarily oversees operations at Tradewater’s aggregation and reclamation facilities. Prior to joining Tradewater, Nick was an attorney for several years in both private practice and as an active duty service-member in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps.  Before law school, Nick taught middle school social studies in Brooklyn, NY as a Teach For America corps member. He holds a B.A. in both History and Government from Colby College, an M.S. for Teachers from Pace University, and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.  Nick continues to serve as a reserve officer in the JAG Corps, sits on the board of directors of Volunteers of America of Illinois, and is active in a number of civic organizations.

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Raquel Carter Human Resources Associate

Raquel joined Tradewater in 2020 as a Human Resources Associate. Prior to joining Tradewater, Raquel was a Police Dispatcher for the City of Chicago assisting first responders with serving and protecting communities. She has her Bachelors degree in Business Management & Administration from Bradley University in Peoria, IL. She is  currently working on her MBA with a concentration in Human Resources from Saint Xavier University. In her free time, she enjoys Zumba and cycling classes.

 

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Valeria Rios-Maldonado Environmental Program Associate

Valeria joined Tradewater in 2020 as an Environmental Program Associate working on carbon offset development. She earned her Master of Public Health in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. Previously, Valeria worked at UIC’s Environmental Health and Safety Office as well as did research looking to see if “green” rehabbing of low-income housing in the Chicago area is associated with environmental and personal health indicators.