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Board of Directors


John Ackerly

John Ackerly is the Founder and President of Alliance for Green Heat, a non-profit that promotes cleaner and more efficient residential wood and pellet heating, with a strong focus on low and middle-income families. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, the Board of Advisors of the Maryland Clean Energy Center and the Steering Committee of the Northeast Biomass Thermal Working Group. He has testified before Congress numerous times and has been a frequent commentator for the BBC, CNN and VOA. He attended Dartmouth College and American University Law School. He is an avid rock climber, outdoorsman and wood stove aficionado. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife Nina Smith and son Sammy.


Jonathan Kays, Secretary

Jonathan is a State Forestry Specialist with the University of Maryland Extension, which is part of the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in College Park, MD. He has been located at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center near Hagerstown, Maryland since 1988 where he develops and implements research and education programs on wood energy, forest stewardship, woodland owner volunteer training, wildlife damage management for deer and voles, alternative income opportunities utilizing natural resources, and the use of biosolids to grow forest trees on gravel spoils.

Jonathan has an M.S. Degree in Forestry from Virginia Tech, and a B.S. Degree in Natural Resource Management from Rutgers University. His interest in wood energy was sparked by a weeklong trip to Austria in June 2008 to study Austria’s progressive wood energy program and a follow-up visit in 2019. In April 2010 he organized the Maryland Wood Energy Coalition with the Maryland DNR Forest Service to bring together representative from state agencies, industry, nonprofits and others, to advance wood energy technology in Maryland. The Coalition activities have resulting in many advancements in Maryland, including regulatory changes to establish emission for commercial biomass technology, a residential wood grant program, numerous educational events, fact sheets and other initiatives. Jonathan has authored numerous extension publications and books, produces a quarterly newsletter for woodland owners, online courses, a YouTube Channel, and wood energy resources. Presentations from past wood energy educational events and other wood energy resources are available at:

Elliot Levine, Treasurer

Elliott Levine recently “graduated” from the US Department of Energy after a 25-year career leading programs and managing projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency with an emphasis on technology R&D, innovation and biomass utilization for power, energy and clean and efficient cookstoves for 3rd world applications. His efforts led to the commercialization and deployment of ETHOS technologies with significant energy and environmental-saving impacts.

Elliott is currently involved in a variety of sustainable activities as:

* Vice President of the DC Chapter of the Technology Transfer Society (T2SDC) which for the past 25 years conducted forums on regional technology development programs and TT organizations.

* Member of the of ETHOS Board helping to organize the ETHOS 2018 and 2019 technical meeting on the latest advances in developing and deploying improved cookstoves for lesser developed countries.

* Member of the Organizing Committee for the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge which provided grants for leading edge, clean, automated and thermoelectric heating stoves and which were featured at an expo on the National Mall.

* Member of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club Transportation Committee.

Elliott began his career as an Air Quality Analyst for Carolina Power & Light Co. (now Duke Energy) performing air quality modeling, monitoring and analysis. He later directed Argonne National Laboratory's state-funded Technology Commercialization Center where he assisted startup and early-stage companies.

Mr. Levine holds a B.S. in Chemistry, a MSPH in Environmental Science and Engineering and an M.B.A. in Finance

Elliott actively participates in technology transfer events and is a volunteer trail steward at the C&O National Park. Elliott lives in Rockville, MD with his wife Pamela.


Nick Salafsky

Nick Salafsky is Co-Director of Foundations of Success, a non-profit organization that seeks to improve the practice of conservation. FOS works with conservation practitioners around the world to define clear and practical measures of conservation success, determine sound guiding principles for using conservation strategies, and develop the knowledge and skills of individuals and organizations to do good adaptive management. Nick is also product manager for the Miradi Adaptive Management Software program

Prior to starting FOS, Nick worked for the MacArthur Foundation where he was responsible for environmental grantmaking in Asia and the Pacific. Before that, Nick worked for the Biodiversity Support Program, testing enterprise-based approaches to biodiversity conservation across the Asia/Pacific Region. Nick also spent several years in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, conducting interdisciplinary research on the forest gardens, a locally developed agroforestry system, and the behavorial ecology of the red-leaf monkey. Nick has a Ph.D in Environmental Studies and an MA in Resource Economics from Duke and an AB in Biological Anthropology from Harvard.

Norbert Senf, Board Chair

Norbert Senf is a mason by trade, and has studied Mechanical Engineering. He lives with his wife on a rural property in Quebec with a maple/beech/oak forest. He has been building masonry heaters since 1979, and joined early efforts to write codes and standards. He was a founding member of the Masonry Heater Association of North America (MHA) where he currently chairs the technical committee. As the need to measure masonry heater performance and emissions became evident, he worked through MHA to develop in-house testing expertise and build a database on PM emissions performance. He hopes that the recent development of simpler testing technology will accelerate the search for the cleanest ways to burn wood on a domestic scale. He likes the fact that masonry heaters can be built with local skilled labor, are a proven low emissions technology with a long history, and yet recent research in Austria has resulted in a very substantial further drop in emissions. Norbert was also one of the Judges of the Wood Stove Decathlon on the National Mall in November, 2013.


Adam Sherman

Adam Sherman is a Senior Consultant with VEIC. Adam has 20 years of experience in renewable thermal energy sector with a focus on decarbonization via electrification and the use of advanced wood heating systems. His work focuses on thermal energy program design and delivery for various state and federal government agencies as well as technical consulting services for assessing energy project feasibility for private clients. Adam also consults frequently for institutions and rural communities exploring the feasibility of district heating throughout North America. He serves on the boards of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) and the Alliance for Green Heat and also serves on the Editorial Board of Biomass Magazine.

Prior to his career in the energy sector, Sherman was the General Manager of a commercial composting operation in Burlington, Vermont for ten years. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont.

Adam lives in Duxbury, Vermont where he heats his home with wood.

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