Management Team
  • Chris Thrall

    President & CEO

    Mr. Thrall joined the Biosphere Technologies group to lead the commercial operations of the business as head of BioRefinex Canada, a subsidiary of Biosphere Technologies. Chris brings over 15 years of international energy, environment, and agriculture commodity operations experience to the company. Prior to joining BioRefinex, he held a number of senior management positions with Direct Energy Marketing Limited, Centrica plc, and Enron Europe Limited. Most recently Chris headed up Direct Energy's renewable energy and carbon markets business in North America. Prior to that he managed their Canadian gas and power trading operation. He also led M&A teams that successfully acquired five gas-fired power stations in North America and the United Kingdom representing over 1700 MW of generation capacity. Chris currently is a Board Member of McIntyre Ranching Co. Ltd. He also served on the Boards of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, based out of Washington, DC. He received his MBA from INSEAD and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University.

  • Dr. Erick Schmidt

    Executive Chairman & Chief Science Officer

    Dr. Schmidt founded the parent company, Biosphere Technologies Inc., where he directed the research and development of environmental technologies for Europe and North America, focusing on the transformation of disease-risk residues and waste organic materials into safe, valuable products, such as organic fertilizers. He pursued university studies at McMaster, Hartford Seminary Foundation and Yale University and later returned to Alberta where he obtained his PhD. He served as Special Consultant to Alberta Premiers Manning and Strom from 1965 to 1971, during which time he was engaged in the development of a wide range of innovative social and economic initiatives, including the establishment of the first Ministry of the Environment in the British Commonwealth. Following his government activities, he focused on knowledge based industrial ventures in the field of high-powered lasers for industrial and research applications, and the development of plastic/steel composite products. Dr. Schmidt continues to head up Biosphere Technologies Inc. but is responsible for directing ongoing research and development activities at BioRefinex.

  • John Pinsent

    Chief Financial Officer

    Mr. Pinsent became a founding partner with the accounting firm St. Arnaud, Pinsent, Steman following a distinguished ten-year career with Ernst and Young LLP. After completing his Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Commerce degrees at the University of Alberta, John began articling with Ernst & Young. He left public practice in 1986 to pursue experience in industry and became the Controller and Vice President Finance of an Alberta based retail organization with annual sales in excess of $10 million. During this time, John also acted as Managing Director of the company's consumer finance division. Returning to public practice with Ernst & Young in 1994, John received his Chartered Accountants designation in 1996. He has previously or currently serves as a director on a number of boards including InfoTech Alberta (Treasurer and Chairman) and the audit committees of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta and the ICAA Education Foundation. John sits on the board of directors of a number of emerging private and public technology companies including Synodon Inc. and Innovotech Inc. He has also played an active role in the creation of various financing forum initiatives across Alberta including the Banff Venture Forum, Alberta's Innovation and Investment Week, various BioFinance and Agrifinance events and currently serves as a Director of the Alberta Venture Channel and is a member of AVAC Ltd.

  • Ken Kendall

    Vice President, Project Management

    Ken is responsible to ensure that BioRefinex construction projects are completed on time and within budget. Ken has an unparalleled breadth of project management knowledge with over 25 years' experience in a wide range of projects including roads, underground infrastructures and buildings. He served as the former Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Lacombe and has provided consulting advice to over 30 municipalities in the areas of capital projects, daily operations and emergency management. As a result, Ken is uniquely tied into Alberta rural communities and his experiences and insights provide BioRefinex the ability to move confidently into the construction phase of the Lacombe Biorefinery. A certified engineering technician ("C.E.T."), Ken is a committed life-long learner. He holds four technical institute diplomas (in engineering, civil and building construction, accounting and finance), a certificate in local government administration, two undergraduate degrees (in public administration and business administration) and a master's degree in business administration.

  • Randy Andrews

    Chief Development Officer - Biosphere Technologies Inc.

    Mr. Andrews has been providing business and technical development for the Biosphere Technologies group, primarily developing its technical, business and value proposition models. He was responsible for operating protocol during the BSE trials at the University of Edinburgh. He has held previous positions as Director of Product Development and Director of Research and Development for an Edmonton-based technology company. Mr. Andrews was instrumental in transforming this small start-up company into a recognized leader in a global market (Canadian Exporter of The Year 2002). He holds several patents and has been involved with technology companies for over 20 years.