New Energy Development Company
Partners and Advisors
New Energy Project Managers and Advisors
LNG | Hydrogen | Storage
Biographies of Partners
New Energy Development Company
Alexander "Hap" Ellis, Managing Partner
Alexander “Hap” Ellis III is Managing Partner at New Energy Development Company providing project development, strategic and advisory services in LNG, natural gas, and sustainable investments relating to his extensive experience in project development, corporate and industry strategy, commercial structuring and negotiations, risk management and corporate finance. He has served for 18 years as General Partner at RockPort Capital Partners, a multi-stage venture capital firm that invests in alternative and traditional energy, mobility, and sustainability. He brings to New Energy Development over 40 years of executive experience project developing, originating, funding and serving as executive and/or board member in leading energy companies, sustainable energy firms, and investment firms.
Mr. Ellis serves as Chairman of Old Westbury Funds ($34 billion) which is part of the Bessemer Trust with 18 offices in the United States. He is a graduate of Colorado College and earned a BA in Political Science and graduated with a Masters Degree from the Yale School of Management in MPPM.
Mr. Ellis has a long and distinguished history of development and funding throughout North America and the Caribbean. For example, as head of marketing for Kenetech Corp, the nation’s pioneering wind and gas-fired independent company in the early 1990’s, he led the development and successful permitting of a 250MW wind project in western Maine. Mr. Ellis was part of the marketing and development team that ultimately won the right to build EcoElectrica, the 500MW combined-cycle plant plus LNG facility in Puerto Rico, partnering with Enron International.
In 2001, Mr. Ellis and six partners founded RockPort Capital Partners, a venture fund focused on energy technologies. RockPort Capital raised roughly $835MM over three funds and invested broadly across alternative energy technologies, oil & gas-focused technologies, and the interplay between energy providers and mobile technologies. He and two partners then led the development and permitting, with partner Duke Energy, of a 540MW combined-cycle power plant in Veazie, ME (operating as “Maine Independence”). He and two partners later teamed up with EDPR-US (the Houston-based, US-renewables arm of the Portuguese national utility, EDP) to develop a 400MW wind project in Aroostook County. Mr. Ellis served on the board of BayCorp Energy which ultimately purchased 17% of New England’s largest nuclear plant, Seabrook Nuclear Generating Station. NextEra eventually purchased the station for a significant premium.
For many years, Mr. Ellis has continued to analyze, evaluate, plan, develop and fund innovative energy opportunities throughout North America. Mr. Ellis is Chairman of the George and Barbara Bush Foundation, which supports the Bush School of Government and Public Service and President Bush’s Library at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
Thomas G. Quine, Partner
Mr. Quine is a Partner in New Energy Development Company and provides technical direction, project development, and strategic advisory services in Green Hydrogen, LNG, natural gas, and energy relating to his more than forty years of experience in LNG and natural gas project development, company leadership, complex LNG plant operations, systems design and mechanical engineering, and project planning and control.
Mr. Quine began his career working full time in civil structural and utility construction, in the late 1970’s, while attending college classes evenings and weekends. During that time, he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering as a Tau Alpha PI Honor Student and graduated with highest honors from Wentworth Institute of Technology. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the University of Massachusetts because of his passionate interest in US history and law.
Mr. Quine began his professional career at Essex County Gas Company based on a recommendation for an engineering position by the Dean of Engineering at Wentworth Institute of Technology to the vice president at Essex County Gas Company. Mr. Quine progressed through the ranks and eventually led areas of gas engineering, network analysis, gas supply projection, SCADA, gas dispatch, M&R facilities, district regulators, and all customer metering along with the annual O&M and CAPEX budgets of approximately $30 million year.
As power and gas utilities began to form in the United States, Stone and Webster Management Consulting (SWMC) was an integral player in the initial creation of electric and gas utilities. SWMC placed numerous board members on many natural gas and electric companies in North America, including Essex. Mr. Quine was recruited by an Essex County Gas SWMC Board Member to join Stone and Webster Engineering/Stone and Webster Management Consulting where he spent four years on LNG and natural gas EPC projects and international Consulting assignments in natural gas, LNG and CNG projects.
In 1996, Mr. Quine founded and served as CEO of Northstar Industries, LLC to provide project development formulation, engineering, procurement, prefabrication, and field construction for LNG, natural gas, gas storage, and CNG projects. Over the next 20 years, Mr. Quine and Northstar earned a reputation for providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective systems. Mr. Quine created patentable technology which focused on module design for all sizes of LNG and natural gas projects. Northstar’s customer base was historically gas transmission, gas local distribution companies, electric power producers, gas storage customers, and LNG customers.
During this time, Mr. Quine created a great deal of client value by developing project ideas for customers as a paid service. After building this successful EPC business, Mr. Quine left Northstar in order to devote the balance of his career specifically toward complete LNG project development, from concept and capitalization to commercial operations.
Scott M. Shields, Partner
Mr. Shields is a Partner at New Energy Development Company providing strategic & project development and capital driving sustainable Greener™ Hydrogen and LNG. He brings to New Energy™ experience in corporate & project development, corporate and industry strategy, commercial structuring and negotiations, trading, risk management and corporate finance. He most recently provided strategic consultancy services through Morgan Shields Energy LLC, a company he founded in 2009.
After serving in the U.S. Army for three years, Mr. Shields earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction and honors in finance from the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
He launched his career as a senior financial analyst and internal auditor at Exxon Corporation over 30 years ago, where during a span of almost four years, he streamlined global oil and gas contracts, international crude trading, and supported the company’s multi-billion-dollar operations. Following his time at Exxon, Mr. Shields traded physical and financial structured natural gas transactions with Sonat Energy Marketing, based in Birmingham, Alabama and Houston, Texas.
From those successes, he was identified in 1996 by Enron Capital & Trade as a valuable resource to develop a new, long-term structured transactions group. During his four-year tenure, his successes included re-powering project development and other structured propositions, the largest of which entailed an international structure contributing $10 million to the company’s gross margin. In 2005, Mr. Shields was recruited by Atlanta’s AGL Resources, Pivotal LNG, where he valued and negotiated critical energy storage and balancing agreements at Jefferson Island Storage and Hub, project developed AGL’s liquefied natural gas operations and natural gas infrastructure, and successfully negotiated key multi-commodity joint ventures for the AGL and its seven LDCs.
Given Mr. Shields experiences in the LNG industry, he seamlessly transitioned to Vice President of Repsol Energy North America. Over his four years at Repsol LNG, he was integral in its successful entry into North America. Along with his team, Mr. Shields structured, valued, and negotiated the $547mm international binding agreement to supply 100% of the required upstream LNG to the $1.2 billion Canaport LNG import facility. Downstream, he created the strategic plan, marketing plan, and negotiated long-term structured regasification contracts with natural gas utilities, consortiums, and power plants. In 2010, Mr. Shields advanced to Managing Director for a subsidiary of Black Hills Corporation, where he formed and grew the East Gas Origination & Trading Group serving the same customers. While developing its North American strategy and successfully originating and negotiating a company acquisition, Mr. Shields executed two $307 million structured transactions contributing $7.5 million to gross margin within a year of joining the company.
Mr. Shields served on the Board of Directors of Oasis Bank SSB, a business he co-founded in 2005. The board raised the private equity capital, and Mr. Shields served as the Chairman of the Mergers & Acquisitions and Asset & Liability Committees. His team successfully merged the bank with Spirit of Texas Bank, which completed an initial public offering in 2018 with $1 billion in assets.
Mr. Shields was FINRA-licensed with the series 79, 82, and 63 while heading an investment banking. In addition to his professional pursuits, He was nominated to the Katy Independent School District Bond Committee, approving and recommending over $600 million in new bond issuances. Mr. Shields was active-duty U.S. Army, flight engineer on Chinook helicopters; and after, trained officer candidates as Captain for years in reserve component.
LNG, Natural Gas, Storage, Hydrogen
and Sustainable Investments
New Energy Development Company
brings more value to clients
Biographies of Managers and Advisors
New Energy Development Company
F. Chico DaFonte, Executive Vice President, brings thirty-seven years of business development, operations, planning, resource portfolio management and regulatory strategy experience in senior and executive management roles across the natural gas and electric industries.
Most recently, Mr. DaFonte as Vice President, Regulated Infrastructure Development with Liberty Utilities, subsidiary of Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp. (NYSE: AQN) developed LNG, hydrogen and other infrastructure projects for the company’s regulated and unregulated utilities. Prior to this role, Mr. DaFonte was an integral member of Liberty’s executive team and helped lead the acquisition of seven utilities in eight states while forming and leading Liberty’s Energy Procurement team.
In 2011 before joining Liberty Utilities, Mr. DaFonte held senior management positions with several utility companies including NiSource, Inc. (NYSE: NI) and Eversource Energy (NYSE: ES) where he was responsible for resource portfolio planning, procurement, trading, risk management, regulatory strategy, and gas control operations.
Throughout his decades of experience in the energy industry, Mr. DaFonte has been a recognized leader in the natural gas utility space. He has provided expert testimony in eight states and at the FERC while helping to shape regulatory policy.
Mr. DaFonte is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he majored in Mathematics and Computer Science.
Ken Ziober, Vice President, Business Development, provides project development, strategic, commercial and advisory services from over 30 years of diverse project development, commodity supply, marketing, trading, risk management, regulatory, logistics and asset optimization experience.
Throughout Mr. Ziober’s career he has held positions in trading, marketing, and optimization, leading teams to profitable growth across multiple commodity platforms, including natural gas and power, spanning the upstream, midstream and downstream energy sectors.
Mr. Ziober launched his career beginning in 1988 working as an economic analyst for Panhandle Eastern Pipeline and from 1994 to 2003 Ken traded and marketed natural gas for Duke Energy and predecessors Pan Energy and Panhandle Trading. In late 2003, Ken joined Spark Energy, a gas and electric provider with less than 10 employees. In part with Mr. Ziober's expertise and hard work of the management team, Spark Energy eventually became a public company in 2014.
In 2004 Mr. Ziober played an integral role in the startup of a Spark Energy Company, Marlin Midstream, a gas processing business, which ultimately became a public company in 2013. In 2011, with the advent of natural gas shale expansion, he led the creation of a separate wholesale division to focus on the monetization of Spark and Marlin’s gas assets. In 2012, Mr. Ziober led the creation of a crude oil and refined products logistics and marketing business.
Subsequent to Spark Energy, Mr. Ziober was President and COO of a crude oil gathering and refined products marketing company and later consulted commodity supply, marketing and risk management, chemical product development for the energy sector, natural disaster and environmental organic business startups, and M&A representation in the upstream, midstream, and downstream retail gas & power space.
Mr. Ziober graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance from Stephen F. Austin State University.
Mr. Courtney brings over 30 years of project development, commercial, and investment banking experience in midstream and commodities, including 13 years at CIMA Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, where he was Vice President of Business Development reporting to the CEO. Mr. Courtney contributes a wealth of knowledge of all aspects of the US energy industry.
Prior to CIMA, he served as Vice President of Commercial Operations for Falcon Gas Storage Inc., an independent storage development company. He also spent eight years at Enron Capital & Trade, where he worked in a number of senior positions, including retail gas and power, producer services, industrial services, compression services, and power plant development.
Mr. Courtney's energy career began at the renowned investment bank Howard Weil Labouisse Friedrichs, where he worked as an equity analyst covering the midstream, upstream, oil service, and pipeline sectors. He graduated from Rice University with an MBA in Finance and a BBA in Economics and Management
Tom High, Senior Technical Project Manager, brings over 30 years of engineering, technical sales, and project management experience in LNG, cryogenic systems and energy sector at companies, such as Praxair, NorthStar, and Chart Industries.
Most recently with Northstar Industries for 10 years as a Sr. Engineer/Project Engineer, Mr. High was involved in technical LNG and CNG development, applications, and project management along with other natural gas EPC projects for important utility and interstate pipeline company clients.
Prior to joining Northstar, Mr. High served as a Business Development Manager for LNG systems and Liquid Oxygen Systems (for ozone water treatment at) at Chart Industries. During his time with Chart, Mr. High was also a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Liquefied Natural Gas from 2001 – 2009.
Mr. High’s technical and project management experience also includes cryogenic equipment design and air separation plant design for Praxair, Inc. (now Linde PLC). While at Praxair, Tom and his team developed U.S. Patent No. 5,390,500: Cryogenic Fluid Vaporizer System and Process (assigned to Praxair Technology, Inc.).
Mr. High has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Donny T. McCallum, Senior Advisor for New Energy Development Company, brings more than 15 years of experience in business development, market assessment, rate analysis, and economic valuation within the natural gas and hydrogen industries. Mr. McCallum's experience with LNG economics began during his time with Duff & Phelps, where he was responsible for the valuation of multiple anchor regassification contracts during the first wave of large-scale LNG infrastructure investment in the United States.
Mr. McCallum’s seasoned professional experience spans the corporate financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps Transaction Advisory and Fairness Opinion practices, the independent E&P Southwestern Energy, the large-cap multinational energy infrastructure company Enbridge Energy, and the start-up Blue Mountain Midstream. Most recently Mr. McCallum has served as a strategic and development senior advisor to Smartpipe Technologies and the lead the commercialization of a pipeline solutions to the emerging hydrogen market.
Mr. McCallum has a Masters in Business Administration in Finance and a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from Louisiana State University.
In loving memory of our dear friend and consummate professional, Jim Trifon, we appreciate your wonderful humor and deep prospective, and you are missed by all of us and everyone you touched in this world. Miss you, Jim.
James Trifon, Senior Advisor for New Energy Development Company is a senior global professional with 35 plus years of experience in large scale project development, upstream, trading and marketing operations in LNG, natural gas, LPG and electricity. Mr. Trifon brings to New Energy extensive executive experience for major industry players both from the U.S. and abroad, including twelve years in LNG at Repsol NA.
As Vice President and Country Manager, Mr. Trifon was responsible for the origination, structuring, negotiation and close of the long-term LNG supply deal for the $1.2 billion Canaport LNG, 75% owned by Repsol N.A. Repsol supplied up to 1.2 billion cubic feet of regasification to supply New England with peaking and baseload and peaking natural gas via the Emera-Brunswick Pipeline and Maritimes Northeastern Pipeline terminating into Dracut at Tennessee Gas Pipeline and Beverly at Hubline Pipeline, which directly leads to Algonquin Gas Pipeline.
Prior to his time at Repsol, Mr. Trifon spent time at Chevron, Warren Petroleum, Dynegy, Southern Company, Mirant, and Wood Mackenzie Consulting, specializing in LNG and natural gas marketing, strategy, and supply /demand fundamentals. Mr. Trifon holds an undergraduate in Geology from Rutgers University and Master of Business Administration in International Business from Mercer University.
Stephen B. Traicoff, Senior Advisor for New Energy Development Company, brings over 35 years of energy-related experience bringing in depth knowledge of physical commodity management, trading and risk management with a strong background in physical storage management and optimization.
Mr. Traicoff most recently headed the due diligence efforts for a start-up midstream project development company, where he led the market analysis and financing efforts that resulted in raising over $360 MM in equity funding, including about $39 mm in initial venture funding. Mr. Traicoff was directly engaged in preparing Information Memoranda and Offering Memoranda targeting initial venture fund investors, as well as preparing the in-depth macroeconomic and business overviews in the Offering Memoranda, successfully raising new equity of $321 mm from over 50 institutional and private investors.
A truly seasoned executive, Mr. Traicoff has worked with countless world-renowned energy-focused companies, including Chevron Texaco, Mitsui USA, Nomura Securities, Trans-Global Solutions, Tokyo Electric, Tokyo Gas, Korean Electric Power, Itochu, Safety-Kleen Koppers, Morgan Stanley, and Fairway Energy Partners.
Mr. Traicoff served as Director, Energy Finance Group of Enron Capital and Trade Resources Corp. in Houston, TX. between 1994 to 1999. Prior to joining Enron, he spent 14 years with Atlantic Richfield in ARCO Chemical Co. and Lyondell Petrochemical. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University. Certifications include SEC/NASD Series 7 and Series 63.
William (Bill) Rochelle, Senior Advisor for New Energy Development Company, brings more than 30 years of experience in engineering, and project management in the chemical, petrochemical, industrial gas and bio-pharmaceutical industries. Bill’s cryogenic gas processing experience includes over 20 years with Chart Industries in engineering and project management on the design, procurement and manufacturing of cold boxes, vessels, CIK’s, rotating equipment and packaged equipment systems.
Mr. Rochelle served as the Manager of Projects for Chart E&C Systems business for more than 15 years and has been involved in contract review, proposal development and estimating, scheduling and new product development. He carries extensive experience managing large design-build cold box projects for LNG base-load plants as well as Nitrogen Rejection Units (NRU) and Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) process plants and Chart’s standard modular LNG plants. Mr. Rochelle has a Masters of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University, Medford, MA.
Robert W (Bob) Kamb, Senior Advisor for New Energy Development Company brings nearly 4 decades of practical LNG marine operations experience to New Energy in LNG technical project development and operations. Drawing upon his experience as Manager, LNG Services for ABS Group Consulting for 5 years, he applied his broad technical knowledge and operational experience to work on a wide variety of global LNG projects. Prior to joining ABS, Mr. Kamb spent 3 decades in the US Merchant Marine, attaining the rank of Master and serving on a wide variety of ship types, including 15 years on US flag LNG Carriers, with responsibility for the care and handling of over 22 million m3 of LNG.
During breaks from seagoing service, Mr. Kamb founded Kamelot Marine Services, applying his LNG technical know-how as owner’s rep and marine operations advisor to LNG FSRU projects around the world. He also served as Managing Partner of Mystic River Partners LLC, providing solutions for LNG and other marine projects, including shipping, safety, risk management, navigation advice, cargo transfer support and development and delivery of LNG operations and technical training with a focus on LNG as a marine fuel. When not traveling to meet the needs of LNG consulting clients, Mr. Kamb divides his time between his family home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and The Woodlands, TX.
Jonathan W. Cook, Sr. is a Senior Advisor for New Energy Development Company bringing over thirty years of valuable experience in the LNG, marine transportation, and energy sectors with a wide range of skills in strategic planning, contract negotiations, market analysis, resource management, and operations. Mr. Cook has served in executive management positions at Excelerate Energy, TMS, Cardiff Gas LTD, and Flex LNG, where he was responsible for the development and execution of Corporate, Marketing, and Business Development strategies. In addition, he has directed the implementation of sophisticated operational and technical innovations across a broad range of LNG shipping initiatives.
While CEO of FLEX LNG, Mr. Cook raised over $590 million in private equity to support the purchase of four state of the art LNG carriers along with developing and implementing the commercial strategies of the company. As Co-founder of Excelerate Energy LLC, he served as COO where he was directly involved in the pioneering of LNG Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU), providing construction oversight and directing fleet operations. He also managed the commercial negotiations for the long-term charter contracts for eight FSRUs. Prior to his LNG activities Jon managed the Chartering and Voyage Operations teams at The Coastal Corporation, coordinating all petroleum shipping requirements for both crude supply
and product marketing.
Mr. Cook graduated from Texas A&M University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation, has over eight (8) years sea going experience, and earned a USCG Unlimited
Master Mariner’s license.
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