CEO at Asomeo Environmental Restoration Industry LLCFormer telecommunications entrepreneur and executive Akan Ismaili was named CEO and Chairman of AERI in September 2018. Prior to his position with AERI, Mr. Ismaili served as Chairman and CEO of another startup entity, MER Group, a company dedicated to the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. Before that time, Mr. Ismaili served as Republic of Kosovo’s Ambassador to the United States from May 2012 to August 2015. During his tenure, he oversaw and fostered relationships between institutions and people of Kosovo and federal, various state and local institutions, and people of United States. He simultaneously served as the non-resident Ambassador to Canada, fostering business and institutional relationships between Kosovo and Canada. He currently also serves as Founder and co-CEO of Fundway, an investment fund dedicated to the founding, development and promotion of start-up entities in Europe and the United States. In this role, Mr. Ismaili has been active in the successful development of numerous startup entities. Immediately after the NATO bombing ended in 1999, Mr. Ismaili co-founded Internet Project Kosovo (IPKO), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of information and communications technology as a tool to foster rebuilding and development in Kosovo. IPKO has been credited with bringing the internet to Kosovo. In 2001, IPKO split into two entities: IPKOnet (rebranded as IPKO Telecommunications in 2007) and IPKO Institute (renamed to IPKO Foundation). Mr. Ismaili served as the CEO of IPKO Telecommunications, a company that expanded access to broadband, mobile, fixed telephone and television in Kosovo. Over his 10 year tenure, IPKO Telecommunications became a modern enterprise and is now recognized as one of the fastest growing telecommunications companies in Europe and a fundamental pillar of the new economy in Kosovo. During the same time, Mr. Ismaili co-founded the American University Foundation in Kosovo, which draws support from Kosovar citizens and its diaspora to establish an American-style higher education institution in Kosovo. To date, the foundation has raised more than $8 million dollars which it has used for numerous programs in conjunction with New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to the war, Mr. Ismaili managed IT infrastructure for the American diplomatic office in Pristina. When the war started in Kosovo and the U.S. became involved in diplomatic negotiations, Mr. Ismaili served as a translator for U.S. diplomats. Just before the NATO bombing campaign began, Mr. Ismaili was evacuated to Vienna, where he led a team tasked with translating and distributing U.S. government news articles to the Albanian-language media in the region and at refugee camps. Mr. Ismaili began University studies in Pristina in 1992. At the time, the University had only semilegal operations after the entire Albanian language was banned in Kosovo from 1989. Mr. Ismaili studied computer science before withdrawing in 1994 to set up the first e-mail server in Pristina, which played a central role in helping the opposition organize against the old regime. Mr. Ismaili’s work has been featured by The Advocacy Project, WIRED and the New York Times. In December 2007, the Economic Chamber of Kosova (ECK) named him “Manager of the Year.
Tulane University Law Student
Cherí Hasz is a student at Tulane Law School, where she will earn her Juris Doctor degree in May 2021. Cherí is the winner of an academic tuition scholarship and is currently serving as the Editor in Chief of the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, one of the nation’s leading peer reviewed law journals dedicated to the study of international law. She is also a Moot Court competitor. In addition to these activities at the law school, Cherí has held several leadership positions of increasing responsibility with the Tulane Latinx Law Student Association, and participated in the Transactional Law Bootcamp. She has served as Reviewer of Chinese Maritime Cases and participated in the Business Law Literacy Intercession program.
In 2019, Cherí studied intercultural mediation and negotiation in Berlin, Germany and is now a certified mediator. She has performed maritime law coursework at Tulane’s Summer Abroad Program in Rhodes, Greece. Cherí is also fluent in Mandarin, having studied the language at the National Taiwan Normal University while living abroad in Taipei, Taiwan, where she also earned the Taipei Sister Cities Scholarship and taught English to students at the Joy English School, where she developed a game- and activity-oriented approach to developing professional English language proficiency.
Cherí is also an ivy league college graduate, having received her Bachelor of Arts degree in government and international relations from Cornell University in New York.
Between college and law school, Cherí earned experience in the energy industry, working for Anadarko Petroleum as a project manager for deepwater offshore projects group, for Crowley Solutions as a project manager for offshore energy transportation projects, and for Direct Scaffold Supply as a project manager where in addition to developing a marketing program for a newly patented product, generating millions of dollars in sales, she also assisted the CEO in preparing the company for sale to a private equity firm.
Last summer, Cherí interned for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Honorable Judge Meredith S. Grabill, and she currently also serves as research assistant to Professor Talus of Tulane Law School and its Energy Law Institute.
She was one of only five students selected from Tulane Law School to participate in the AERI-Tulane Law School UVM Law Research Project, and in connection with that work, Cherí has become a member of the Utility Arborist Association, researched the UVM laws relating to the major US energy-producing states. Her upcoming paper will make a business case for the benefits of better UVM regulation in Texas to make the state truly “open for business”.
Additionally, Cherí has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and is also fluent in Spanish.
Instructor - Plant Science at Olds College
My interests lie with plants and their interactions with the natural world! I have been teaching at Olds College since 2001, time flies when you’re having fun!
Prior to entering I worked in research, at the Alberta Research Council, Forestry Canada, Canola Council of Canada, West Central Forage Association and Prairie Turfgrass Research Centre.
JD Candidate at Tulane University Law School
Corinne Geekie is a student at Tulane Law School, where she will earn her Juris Doctor degree in May 2022. She is a Moot Court competitor and holds a leadership role with the Tulane Women in Law Society. Corinne is an active member of the Tulane Environmental and Energy Law Society and was selected to serve as a research assistant to the famed head of the Tulane Environmental Law Department, Professor Oliver Houck.
Corinne earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri, where she focused on fisheries and wildlife services science and minored in captive wild animal management. While at University of Missouri, Corinne was an active member of the Wildlife Society and served in numerous leadership positions with Sigma Kappa Epsilon Mu.
Corinne has been very involved with the nationally renowned St. Louis Zoo, having worked for the zoo in numerous capacities and serving as Field Director for the Proposition Z Campaign, a tax campaign to support the zoo that won approval in every single municipality. Corinne has always had an attachment to birds and interned with the World Bird Sanctuary, performing medical examinations and rehabilitation services for birds at the wildlife hospital, performing animal encounter shows, and providing other medical and training services to assist injured animals.
Corinne was one of only five students selected from Tulane Law School to participate in the AERI-Tulane Law School UVM Law Research Project, and in connection with that work, Corinne has become a member of the Utility Arborist Association, and researched the UVM laws relating to the US midwestern and northeastern states as well as the laws of Canada. Her upcoming paper will make a proposal for right tree, right place as a holistic approach to solving UVM-related challenges.
Corinne also volunteers her time for numerous worthy causes, particularly for the elderly.
Operations Manager at Strongfield Environmental Solutions Inc.Cory is originally from , Saskatchewan and has a Bachelor of Science in Earth Sciences from Simon Fraser University. Graduating in 2014, he found his way into the reclamation industry with Environmental Solutions, where he has been for 5 years and is now the Operations Manager. Always looking for innovative ways to improve operations, Cory has been busy over the past 2 helping to build drone program and sits as the moderator in their newly formed Remotely Piloted Aerial Application Systems (RPAAS) Working Group. This group is made up of over 50 individuals from Health Canada, Transport Canada, the United States Department of Agriculture, 6 major chemical companies and several industry representatives. Working with Health Canada and Transport Canada, Cory’s main goal for the group is to find the proper set of regulations to satisfy Health Canada’s concerns around including RPAAS platforms as a recognized aerial application method for Canada's vegetation management industry.
Chief Compliance Officer at AERI (Asoneo Environmental Restoration Industry LLC)
Attorney and entrepreneur, Lawrence Kahn was named Chief Compliance Officer of AERI in September 2018 and has served as Secretary and Director of the company since its inception.
Mr. Kahn graduated from Columbia University in 1992 with a B.A. in ancient studies, was a varsity member of the school’s NCAA championship fencing team, president of the Nightline peer counseling hotline, and a member of the Columbia Orchestra. He received his J.D. from Tulane Law School in 1995, where he also received a Certificate of Specialization in Maritime Law, served as the President of the Maritime Law Society, as a Managing Editor of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, as a student attorney with the Environmental Law Clinic, earned The Maritime Law Center’s Distinguished Service Award, developed the Tulane-Center for Seafarers’ Rights Student Internship Program, and coached the Tulane Fencing Club.
Mr. Kahn previously worked for the U.S. Army, where he was certified as a Contracting Officer’s Representative and negotiated and enforced government contracts and had oversight of land management environmental remediation projects for the Division of Land Management.
Following law school, Mr. Kahn served as Staff Attorney for the Seamen’s Church Institute, and continues his involvement as a Founding and Executive Committee Member of the Young Friends of SCI. He entered the private practice of law in 1998 and joined the leading New York maritime law firm Freehill Hogan & Mahar in 1999, achieving partner status in 2007. Mr. Kahn left Freehill’s in 2013 to pursue the foundation of MER Group, a company dedicated to the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships.
Mr. Kahn was named General Counsel of MER Group in 2014 and served as the Company’s Secretary since its inception. He was named a Director in March 2016 and successfully guided the Company through its application to the European Union to become qualified under the EU’s Ship Recycling Regulations , the first non-European company to become so qualified.
In 2018, Mr. Kahn became the Chief Compliance Officer of AERI, and also serves as Secretary and Director, where he was charged with creating a safety program for the removal of hazard trees from powerlines in California for a major investor owned utility. Mr. Kahn drafted the company’s safety manual, developed the company’s training modules, and trained the tree industry professionals in AERI’s safety culture and principles. AERI became the first company to pass PG&E’s safety assessment on the first attempt and has become the model for safe and professional tree work for utilities in California. He helped transition AERI to new areas as well, including pre-inspection, QA/QC and work verification, herbicide application and wood management activities. He now heads up AERI’s program in conjunction with Tulane Law School, the UVM Law Research Project, which is developing a compendium of laws, regulations and rules in the UVM industry and is developing a cadre of legal talent to handle the legal expertise demands of the vegetation management industry.
Mr. Kahn is admitted to practice before the courts of the States of New York and New Jersey and has been admitted before the federal district courts in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California, South Carolina, and the courts of appeal for the Second, Third and Fourth Circuits. He has practiced law internationally and has testified on U.S. environmental and maritime law in legal proceedings in England, Ireland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Australia, Kuwait, India, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Kahn has advised and represented clients in a variety of contract, transactional and litigation matters involving maritime and environmental law, and has published numerous articles on these and other subjects. He is widely recognized as an international expert on maritime arrest and attachment, riparian law, and the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards. He is a Proctor Member of The Maritime Law Association of the United States, in which he has held a variety of leadership positions and has presented scholarly articles to the MLA on many occasions. He also serves as a Director of The Maritime Association Foundation, Inc., a charitable organization dedicated to the preservation of the Merchant Marine Memorial in New York City.
Mr. Kahn has appeared as an expert on CNN World News, NBC’s Dateline, and other television news programs, as well as in maritime trade publications, including Tradewinds, Lloyd’s List, and The Journal of Commerce. He was a featured speaker on Ship Recycling in the Americas at the Tradewinds Conference held at Singapore in January 2017, and was a featured speaker on safe and green recycling at Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Summit in 2018. He participated as a member of the faculty of the Admiralty Law Institute at its biennial meeting in March 2020, where he was a keynote speaker on safe and green ship recycling, and his paper from the conference has now been published in the Tulane Maritime Law Journal.
Mr. Kahn lives in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey with his wife and three sons, is active in supporting the local Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and Youth Soccer Programs, fundraises for The March of Dimes, oversees a scholarship that encourages reading in a nearby underprivileged public school system, serves as a member of the town’s Woodlands Committee, and attempts to keep up with the seemingly never-ending repair needs of his historic home.
Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist at Government of AlbertaNicole Kimmel received a B.Sc. of Environmental Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta in 2000 with a Specialization in Wildlife and Rangeland Sciences. She began working with Alberta Agriculture upon graduation, as a research assistant. Her work involved addressing weed management issues in forages and non-traditional crops. After 10 years in agricultural research, her role evolved to Weed Specialist, for an additional 8 years of employment. In 2018, she moved to Environment & Parks as the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Specialist. There she supports the five elements of the AIS program, Policy & Legislation, Education & Outreach, Monitoring, Watercraft Inspections/Decontamination and Response. Nicole now has 20 years of service with the Government of Alberta.
President and Founder of P & A Urban Forestry Consulting LtdFounder and President of P & A Urban Forestry Consulting Ltd., specializing in Arborist Reports and tree assessments on residential, commercial and municipal property. Able to assist in disaster preparation and planning related to trees. Can facilitate in ladscape compliance of site plans and subdivisions that are registeed on title. Helping Real Estate Professionals with tree assessments and recommendations to improve landscape curb appeal of properties.
Over 35 years experience in various capacities related to hands on tree work and how trees are involved in planning, development and internal/external municipal processes.
Director, Vegetation Management
Randall H. Miller is CNUC director of research and development, having joined the company in May 2017. He performs formal utility vegetation management industry surveys studies among other responsibilities for CNUC. Prior to joining CNUC, he worked in PacifiCorp’s vegetation management department for more than 23 years, including 18 running the program, retiring as the director of vegetation management.
Miller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s in urban forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and an ISA Certified Utility Specialist (IL-0225 BU). He is a widely published author, with roughly 80 publications, most notably the Integrated Vegetation Management Best Management Practices and as coauthor of Utility Arboriculture: The Utility Specialist Certification Study Guide. He is a past Chair of the TREE Fund Board of Trustees, past President of the Utility Arborist Association and served twice as the Chair of the Edison Electric Institute Vegetation Management Task Force.
Legal Intern with AERI and J.D. Candidate at Tulane Law School
Ryan Anderson is a student at Tulane Law School, where she will earn her Juris Doctor degree in May 2022. She is a winner of the prestigious Tulane Law Scholarship, and she serves as President of the Tulane Environmental and Energy Law Society. In that role, Ryan was responsible for organizing and running the 26th Annual Tulane Environmental Law & Policy Summit, a student-run law conference that awards continuing legal education credit for practicing attorneys. The 2021 conference, held on February 26 and 27, was the first virtual conference and drew upon expert practitioners from across the country. Also at the law school, Ryan serves as a member of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, one of the leading peer-reviewed environmental law journals in the country, and has been selected to be a member of the renowned Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, where, despite the fact that she is still a student, she will represent actual clients in real court cases concerning environmental justice matters.
Prior to law school, Ryan attended the University of Alabama, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in philosophy. While at University of Alabama, Ryan was the winner of several merit-based scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarship and the Justice Pelham-Merrill Scholarship. She served as the Opinions Columnist for the student paper, the Crimson White, and organized and served as the Director of the RecycleBama Initiative.
Ryan’s work experience includes work for Southern Company, an investor-owned utility, where she was actively involved in hydroelectric relicensing. Ryan has also worked for the Birmingham, Alabama law firm Balch & Bingham LLP, where her work centered primarily on environmental compliance issues and analyzing matters for utility companies that arose under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). She has also served as a research assistant to the Tulane Institute on Water and Law Policy, where she has thus far been involved in filing public comments in response to EPA rulings and rulemaking.
Ryan was one of only five students selected from Tulane Law School to participate in the AERI-Tulane Law School UVM Law Research Project, and in connection with that work, Ryan has become a member of the Utility Arborist Association, researched the UVM laws relating to all the states in the Southeastern United States, and has become a member of the American National Standards Institute Task Force dedicated to improving safety for utility arborists through revisions to the 2017 version of ANSI Z133 for a new, improved and revised version to be published in 2022.
Sarah is a vegetation ecologist with a degree in botany and a master’s degree in environmental science. She has over fifteen years of experience in the environmental sector in Ireland and Canada. Through her education and professional she has gained expertise in the areas of restoration ecology, ecological assessment, protected areas management, environmental impact assessment, project management, pubic consultation, and environmental policy and legislation.
She is a Professional Biologist with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists and a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner with the Society for Ecological Restoration. She currently works as a Parks Ecologist for the City of Calgary, Parks Department managing natural environment parks within the city. She has a strong interest in trailing new techniques for ecological restoration and in her free time can be found studying and using plants for medicinal purposes.
Agrologist at Mayland ConsultingScott Meers has been an active part of the agriculture industry in Alberta since 1982. He served the industry as a District Agriculturist, Conservation Coordinator and Crop Specialist based out of Claresholm, Three Hills, Vulcan, Strathmore and Airdrie. In 2004, Scott completed his Master of Entomology degree at Montana State University with research concentrating on biological control of wheat stem sawfly. From 2004 to 2020 he was responsible for creating and managing the province wide Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network which became a cornerstone of risk management for Alberta producers. Since retiring from the provincial government in the spring of 2020 he has been setting up and running a crop consulting business (Mayland Consulting) focussing on one-on-one client relationships. When Scott is not out in the field, he can be found sailing, cycling or cross-country skiing. In addition, he is currently working with family to create a microbrewery and taproom in Calgary which plans to open in the summer of 2021.
Tim Garner is the owner of Professional Development Solutions. Tim was an instructor for 25 years at Fairview College in northwest Alberta. Tim taught in the area of pesticides, weeds, soils and surveying in both a turfgrass management and agriculture technology diploma program.
Tim is a Professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Alberta.
Tim holds a BSc. Ag from the University of Alberta, a Turfgrass diploma from Fairview College, an Alberta Journeyman Landscape Gardener Certificate and an Adult Instructor Diploma from Vancouver Community College. Tim is a certified pesticide applicator trainer in Alberta. Tim also maintains pesticide applicators’ licenses for agriculture, industrial and landscape in Alberta and an industrial pesticide applicator license of BC.
Tim owns 13 quarters of land and grows hay, pasture and annual crops
Tim has also worked for 5 years for an agricultural chemical company in the early 80’s and recently started an industrial weed spraying company in the oilfield called Garner Vegetation Control.
Over the last 10 years Tim has developed and delivered webinars live via the internet in the area of pesticide application and runs this venture under Professional Development Solutions.
Vivianne ServantVivianne holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Teaching Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education (both from the University of Alberta). She also holds both an Alberta Pesticide Applicator Certificate and an Alberta Applicator Trainer Certificate. She worked for Alberta Environment and Parks for 37 years and retired in 2019. While working with AEP, she worked as an inspector and then an investigator for 12 years and then was the AB Pesticide Certification Specialist for 18 years. She was also Co-chair of the national Federal, Provincial, Territories Standing Subcommittee that establishes pesticide education, training and certification standards in Canada for 30 years.
PVMA Conference Committee
PVMA Conference Committee
PVMA Conference Committee
PVMA President and Safety Manager for Wright Tree Service
PVMA Director in Charge of UTT/UTW BOG
PVMA Director in charge of Safety Committee
PVMA Awards Committee Chair
PVMA Vice President