Mr. Ferro has more than 30 years of experience in international business as a consultant, executive, and manager in the commodities, finance, technology, marketing, and renewable energy sectors. In addition, his extensive background in geo-politics and policy has enabled him to excel at building relationships and networks that maximize the benefits of the confluence of business, politics, foreign policy, and international finance.
At Chobe & ESG, Mr. Ferro works with client companies from a broad range of sectors: energy an commodities (agriculture, solar PV, renewables, petroleum, and metals); consumer products; financial services; information technology; government and security; life sciences and medical devices; luxury goods and brands; real estate; professional sports franchises; and the beverage industry.
Prior to his current roles, Mr. Ferro was the founder and CEO of Galileo Projects, a provider of customized Internet solutions in content management. At Deloitte Consulting, he was responsible for analyzing business processes, developing e-business and e-commerce solutions, managing media strategy, overseeing application development, and managing vendor and partner relationships. Before joining Deloitte, he developed an extensive global network and expertise in foreign policy and international relations at the Council on Foreign Relations where he served as principal liaison to foreign governments, dignitaries and business leaders. He has also held positions at both at the Harriman Society for Public Policy and the United Nations Department for Disarmament Affairs. Mr. Ferro is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Graduate Business School of Mercy College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Iona College and a Master of Arts in International Relations and Political Philosophy from St. John’s University.
Shelley Goldberg is an investment advisor, consultant and strategist in environmentally sustainable initiatives. She is a proven leader of high-caliber teams operating in fast-paced environments to solve difficult problems and deliver results. She has served as a macroeconomic strategist, trader, and investment advisor for multi-asset, top-down portfolio managers.
Ms. Goldberg has managed her own energy fund, G3 Capital Partners, LLC, and ran the largest fund-of-funds devoted to natural resources with the Swiss private bank, Union Bancaire Priveé. She has also served as a trading and investments strategist for or Roubini Global Economics and the multi-billion- dollar hedge fund manager, Brevan Howard Asset Management, LLP.
Since 2013, Ms. Goldberg has been channeling sector specific knowledge toward leadership roles in impact investing with the goal of monetizing developments in environmental sustainability. Currently a writer for Bloomberg Prophets, Ms. Goldberg publishes frequently on sustainability topics and is often invited to speak and serve on panels at industry conferences. She is featured on television and online forums as an expert in commodities and impact investing.
Ms. Fearon has spent 30 years raising capital and growing businesses to support innovative technologies, transactions, and worthwhile charitable causes. At Chobe & ESG, Ms. Fearon specializes in marketing, raising capital, and maintaining ties to family offices, institutions, and capital markets.
Ms. Fearon has overseen relationships between numerous blue-chip companies and prominent clients from around the world, culminating in successful transactions totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. She was a Co-Founder and EVP of Drury Design Dynamics, a New York based consulting firm, which she helped grow to revenues of $40 Million per annum, including advising three successive CEOs of the American Express Company, and clients including Merck & Co, Novartis AG, Pfizer, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Deloitte and Touche, and KPMG LLP.
Ms. Fearon has a long history of supporting worthwhile charitable causes focused on children, women, and education around the globe. She serves on the Global Advisory Council of the Aproquen Burn Hospital in Managua, Nicaragua, which offers free, comprehensive and preventative care to children suffering from burn injuries and long-term afflictions such as congenital and acquired malformations. She also supports the Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda, a college founded in 2010 which offers programs in entrepreneurship, hospitality management, and information technology to meet the needs of rural and marginalized women. Additionally she has served as a Trustee of The Grace Children’s Foundation for 10 years, which improves the lives of orphaned and disadvantaged children in China through medical, education and humanitarian aid programs.
Ms. Fearon is a member of the President’s Advisory Council of Instituto Centroamericano de Administracion de Empresas (INCAE), one of the premier business schools in Central America, with campuses in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. She has a served as a trustee of the Checkerboard Film Foundation for 15 years, which educates the public about living artists and their contributions.
Ms. Fearon is an alumna of the Mary Wheeler School in Providence, Rhode Island and earned a Bachelor of Arts with an Honors Degree in Semiotics from Brown University.
Boris Taylor is a successful technical, financial, and operational project manager across a variety of industries ranging from agriculture and real estate to pharmaceuticals, IT and telecommunications. He has a deep knowledge of systems integration and the development of complex business systems that improve financial and operational results. Mr. Taylor has a proven ability to champion and execute transformations of multi-million-dollar business operations while ensuring constant focus on regulatory compliance.
Mr. Taylor brings extensive experience as a grower at organic farms and in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) businesses. From 2011 through 2014, Mr. Taylor developed and operated the 600-acre organic Gold Banana Company plantation in the Dominican Republic, as principal, architect, and lead operator. He was responsible for creating the concept, designing the intra- and infrastructure, building and operating the plantation, and creating a productive organic operation certified by both the USDA and the EU in under three years. The plantation was designed and built to utilize advanced agricultural technology, including total mulch coverage; Netafim drip irrigation; complete rain/runoff retention; water treatment facilities; organic fertilizers; energy efficient processing facilities; and high-density planting patterns. These innovations resulted in yields 100% greater per acre than those of a typical similar plantation. Mr. Taylor developed a local, national and multinational sales and distribution network, including major buyers such as Costco.
After leaving Gold Banana, Mr. Taylor oversaw a New York City real estate re-development project for Century BA. In that capacity, he led the team creating the value proposition and development solutions for 156 units of market-rate and HPD (80/20) residential units. Mr. Taylor was responsible for all phases of the project, including architectural; mechanical; contractual; relationships with municipal agencies; banking requisitions; and on-site supervision. He also implemented a tenant billing system to integrate and manage a seasonally-dependent HVAC system with data collection and expense distribution.
Prior, Mr. Taylor spent more than 25 years in a variety of technical, consulting, and management roles at companies across a wide range of industries: pharmaceutical: IT, energy, technology, and finance.
In 2016, Mr. Taylor returned to Pfizer and then moved to Allergan in April of 2017. In those roles he has overseen the integration of disparate business platforms utilized by multiple business units into the state-of-art technical and reporting solutions.
Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Farleigh Dickinson University.
Dr. Richard D. George has developed, financed, advised, and/or evaluated over 600 solar photovoltaic energy projects ranging in scale from small commercial systems to megawatt scale utility projects in California, Hawaii, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, Tennessee, New York, and Connecticut.
Dr. George has worked with a broad spectrum of renewable energy technologies: solar thermal; solar concentrators; solar air conditioners; energy storage; energy efficiency; LED grow lights; building control systems; Nano window coatings; geothermal; fuel cells; biomass; wind; and waste-to-energy technologies. He has been a consultant to multiple solar integration and project development companies, helping them evaluate renewable energy technologies, manage vendors for PV panels & inverters, analyze potential acquisition targets, and evaluate competitors. He also assists clients with data mining installation data, navigating incentive programs, developing investment strategies, and structuring PPA transactions in excess of $40 million.
Dr. George has also worked on multiple regenerative agriculture and food processing projects designing, planning, and implementing commercial scale projects using the Regrarians Platform. Recent projects include developing the technical plans for Empire State Greenhouses; evaluating farm sites for Chobe Advisers; working on a 43,000-acre grazing and meat processing project for Castagno Capital; advising a dairy aggregation and meat processing project for Rumiano Cheese; and designing and implementing the design for a research farm in Tennessee.
Dr. George has also worked as a Consulting Manager at KPMG where he provided strategy and technology consulting to a variety of clients, with an additional focus on business development. Prior to joining KPMG, he was COO of Galileo Projects, consultant at DRA Research on best practices and systems to manage the risks of derivatives. At Enron Capital & Trade Resources, he provided valuation, risk, and structuring analysis multi-billion-dollar deals for refinery projects, Canadian oil, and an electric utility acquisition.
Dr. George holds a doctorate in philosophy from Capella University School of Business and Technology, an MBA from the Haas Graduate School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, and a BS from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. He is also a Certified Permaculture Designer by the Permaculture Research Institute.
As Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Jonathan Gross is responsible for all of the company’s financial functions including accounting, audit, treasury, corporate finance and investor relations. His career spans 30 years of varied experience in financial management, business leadership and corporate strategy.
Before joining Chobe Advisors in January 2019, Mr. Gross served as CFO and Chief Compliance Officer for a healthcare communications company for which he was tasked with updating and creating standard operating procedures in conjunction with all operating departments with an emphasis on fail safe internal controls; in addition to implementing automated procedures for all financial functions. Mr. Gross also served as Director of Finance for Remedy Health Media, LLC, a privateequity backed consumer health media company where he spearheaded the conversion of a traditional print media business model into a full digital publishing platform. In his position with Remedy, Mr. Gross focused on efficiencies and cost savings via automation, systems integration and open collaboration amongst all operating teams. Mr. Gross has extensive expertise in various ERP systems and related implementations.
Mr. Gross’ career began in public accounting where he was a Senior Manager for Ernst & Young’s New Jersey practice. In this role he obtained expertise in start-up enterprises, M&A analysis and small business roll-ups in the service, technology and manufacturing industries. Mr. Gross later served as a Senior Internal Audit Manager for Panasonic North America where he performed process mapping and risk identification in Panasonic’s sales and manufacturing divisions and guided the implementation of financial processes in Panasonic’s shared services division.
Mr. Gross earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northeastern University, Boston, MA.
Governor George E. Pataki is the founder and Chairman of the Pataki-Cahill Group. The Governor joined the law firm of Chadbourne and Parke, LLP, in 2007 as Counsel, focusing on their energy, environmental and infrastructure practice areas. He also served as United States Delegate to the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. In addition, he co-chaired the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on Climate Change.
Prior to starting the Pataki-Cahill Group, he served three terms as the 53rd governor of New York State, from 1995 through 2006. At the end of his twelve years as Governor, New York State had its lowest rate of welfare dependency in over 40 years, its lowest rate of violent crime in over 40 years, had cut state taxes by over $140 billion, had almost 700,000 more private sector jobs, its highest credit rating in over 40 years, and billions of dollars in surplus. Governor Pataki also led New York State through the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.
Widely known for his protection of over one million acres of open space, the most in New York State’s history, Governor Pataki balanced his pro-business philosophy with award-winning, cutting-edge policies in the renewable energy and environmental fields. The Governor implemented the first integrated strategy for creating clean, renewable transportation networks utilizing alternative fuels, including tax and other incentives for both consumers and manufacturers, grants for alternative retail fuel distribution systems and the exemption of renewable fuels from all State and local taxes. Governor Pataki also established New York’s leading brownfield program spurring development in cities across the state by creating a $200 million fund to support the redevelopment of contaminated sites and instituting a $135 million tax credit program to encourage public private investment in brownfields. He instituted the nation’s green buildings tax credit incentive program which led to the first building of the first high-rise green office building in the world, the first high-rise green residential building in the United States and a host of other green projects currently under development. Most notably, through his determined leadership Governor Pataki ensured that the redeveloped World Trade Center site will be a global example of green building design.
In addition, Governor Pataki worked to create public private partnerships for clean energy generation in New York State resulting in one of the largest industrial solar power arrays in the U.S. and one of the largest wind-power arrays in the Eastern United States. He introduced net metering to encourage alternative energy production in homes and established the nation’s first business park devoted to the development of clean energy technologies. Governor Pataki also established the Albany Nanotech Center for Excellence and the nation’s most innovative renewable portfolio standard to ensure that New York rate payers were supplied with the most cost-effective renewable energy.
Among numerous other awards, BusinessWeek named Governor Pataki one of the top 20 “individuals who stand out for their efforts to cut gases that cause global warming” in the world. Also, in 2006, Vanity Fair called him a governor who “gets it” in its inaugural “Green Issue” for his efforts concerning the environment. Governor Pataki serves on the Advisory Council of global investment bank Greentech Capital Advisors. He serves on numerous boards, including: Ecological, a sustainable real estate development firm; Cosan, one of Brazil’s largest private companies with a focus on ethanol and sugar production, and Clearlake Capital and MidOcean Partners, both private equity firms.
Governor Pataki was a partner in the New York law firm Plunkett & Jaffe until 1987. He was elected mayor of Peekskill, New York in 1981, and served in the New York State Legislature as an assemblyman and then as state senator from 1985 to 1994, before becoming governor.
From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Cahill served as the Commissioner of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation where he led the State agency with 3,000 employees and a $500 million annual budget. His responsibilities included enhancing and protecting the State’s vast natural resources and the successful implementation of the 1996 $1.75 billion Clean Water Air Bond Act. Mr. Cahill also led the State’s efforts to preserve over one million acres of open space. Prior to this, Mr. Cahill was the General Counsel to the Department of Environmental Conservation and previously was a partner at the law firm of Plunkett & Jaffe, P.C., a firm focused on environmental and government law.
Mr. Cahill completed his undergraduate degree at Fordham University, and attended Pace University School of Law where he received both a J.D. and Master’s degree in Environmental Law. Mr. Cahill formerly served as Chairman of the Environmental Facilities Corporation and Vice-Chairman of the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), as well as serving on the Olympic Regional Development Authority, Great Lakes Commission and the Adirondacks Park Agency.
Peter R. Smith serves as a Managing Director at the Pataki-Cahill Group. Mr. Smith joined Pataki-Cahill after serving for nearly four years as the President and CEO of the New York State Energy and Development Authority (NYSERDA). While leading NYSERDA, he oversaw a $400 million dollar budget dedicated to research, economic development and deployment of progressive energy programs and technologies throughout the state of New York. Mr. Smith established almost 3,000 energy efficiency, conservation, renewable resource, economic development, and research projects throughout New York. Among his many accomplishments, h led the effort to establish the nation’s first clean energy
technology park. Mr. Smith also represented New York State’s energy policy interests as part of Governor Pataki’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) leadership team.
Mr. Smith spearheaded NYSERDA’s implementation of the nation’s first state-administered Renewable Portfolio Standard, requiring 25% of New York’s electricity to come from renewable resources by 2013. Mr. Smith oversaw the first two rounds of implementation of the program, including the construction of the largest wind farm array east of the Mississippi and an additional 21 projects totaling more than $295 million in investment from NYSERDA. The 21 projects represent 880 megawatts of renewable resource capacity and created private sector investment of over $2 billion in New York.
Prior to serving as President and CEO of NYSERDA, Mr. Smith served as the Vice President of NYSERDA and was Director of NYSERDA’s Energy Analysis Program. Prior he was the Director of Planning for the New York State Energy Office. Currently he is the President of the Board of Directors of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and a member of the board for the Alliance to Save Energy. He is the former chairman of the National Association of State Energy Officials and the former chairman of the Gas Technology Institute Public Interest Advisory Committee.
Mr. Smith holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller School of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany and completed his undergraduate degree at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York.
Dr. Jason R. Evans, Ph.D: Director, The Institute for Rural Vitality, Associate Professor, Agricultural Business Management, SUNY Cobleskill
A prodigious scholar and author, Professor Evans has authored in excess of 38 peer reviewed books, articles or presentations since 2005. As a grant writing author and co-author, Dr. Evans has helped secure total grant funding in excess of $9,612,000 between 2010 – 2020.
Prior to Tiger Hill Capital, Dr. Ghosh was the Head of Strategy and Macroeconomics at Mubadala, a $60 billion direct investment company of the Abu Dhabi government. He was responsible for portfolio strategy, incubation of new investment areas, and corporate business development. Earlier in his investment career, Dr. Ghosh was a Senior Investment Advisor at Bridgewater Associates, the largest Global Macro hedge fund in the world with over $100 billion assets under management. Dr. Ghosh began his career at McKinsey and Company where he was an Associate Partner in the New York Office and advised numerous healthcare, financial services and private equity clients.
Dr. Ghosh holds a PhD and MSCEP in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a M.Eng. and MA in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge University.
Since 2002, Mr. Happy has served as the President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of Mooney Aerospace Group Ltd. and also served as its Principal Accounting Officer, while prior to that, serving as EVP and General Counsel. He served as Chief Executive Officer of Cenco Refining Company from September 1999 to December 2001. From September 1993 to August 1999, he served as the Dean of Regent University’s School of Law. Prior to his position with Regent, Mr. Happy practiced business and civil litigation law. He has lectured at the University of Kansas and is a faculty member at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University in Chicago. He served as a Director of Natural Solutions Corp., from 1998 to 2002.
He is a national faculty member of the West Bar Review. He has been an Attorney since 1967. Mr. Happy received his Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University in 1964 and his Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law in 1967.
Before joining Avenida, from 2007 to 2011, Mr. Chalmers was a Principal in the Strategic Capital Opportunities group and Jeffries & Company. Mr. Chalmers was Vice President at Silicon Valley Bank from 2004 through 2007. Previously, he held senior operational positions at First Data Corporation, Novell and Oracle, managing sales, business development and consulting teams in the electronic payments, ERP and Internet infrastructure sectors. Prior to this, Mr. Chalmers was a Senior Consultant with Accenture.
Mr. Chalmers holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California.
Manuel D. Ron, JD, MBA: Principal at Invescore Group; Associate Dean, Mercy College Graduate School of Business
Since 2014, Mr. Ron has been a Principal at the Invescore Group of Companies, with offices in New York, London, and Riyadh. He is also currently an Assistant Professor atMercy College Graduate School of Business. Mr. Ron is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and in federal courts of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; he is also admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Much of Mr. Ron’s recent investment and advisory related work has been in the Gulf Cooperation Council states, with a focus on cross-border technology, expertise, and capital transfer. Mr. Ron is author and speaker on private investments and markets and entrepreneurship in the US and Saudi Arabia, where he guest-lectured at King Saudi University (Riyadh) and presented at the first annual conference of the Arabian Knowledge Economy Association (Jeddah). From 2006 to 2014, Mr. Ron was the Head of Co-Development & Investment Banking at the Integration Capital & Trade Group, with offices in New York, London, Riyadh, and Muscat.
Mr. Ron has held various operating and finance positions throughout his career, including CEO and COO of financial services companies and co-manager of a private investment fund. He has also been on the founding team of companies in the US, UK, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. He has engaged in finance and business as entrepreneur, principal, advisor, or capital arranger. Mr. Ron is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean at the graduate School of Business at Mercy College (New York), teaching MBA courses in finance and quantitative methods.
Mr. Ron graduated from St. John’s University (JD & BA in Economics) and from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business (MBA in Finance). After college, Mr. Ron served as an active duty First Lieutenant from 1983 to 1986 in the United States Army Corps of Engineers and United States paratroopers, and he was deployed in Korea, Central America, and the US.