The Team

Thomas J. Vessels

Chief Executive Officer

Tom on Podium ImageTom has over 40 years of experience in the natural gas industry, primarily in upstream natural gas related operations. In 2011 he became Manager of North Fork Energy, LLC, a company formed by Oxbow Mining LLC, Gunnison Energy Corporation, and Vessels Coal Gas, Inc. (“VCG”). In 2003 he became CEO and president of VCG. Prior to that, in 1998 he was an executive director of Energy CG. In 1995, Mr. Vessels was a seed investor in Energy CG, an institutional investor in Energy Coal Gas, PLC, now Alkane Plc (FTSE). Mr. Vessels was the CEO of Vessels Oil and Gas Company from 1985 to 1995. He was Chairman of Colorado State Minerals Energy Policy Advisory Board from 1997 to 2012. He has been active in the industry trade organizations and has served in the past as President of both the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States and the Colorado Petroleum Association. He has served on the board of directors of other industry trade associations.

Mr. Vessels has approximately 17 years experience in developing both coal bed and coal mine methane projects. North Fork Energy, LLC has developed a green house gas destruction project with a potential of around 16 MegaWatts and 3,500 tonnes of carbon offsets per day. While President of VCG, Mr. Vessels drilled numerous test wells into abandoned coal mines in Appalachia, the Midwest and the West. In 2011 VCG was given the Pennsylvania Governor's Environmental Excellence Award. The award was for conversion of coal mine methane into utility quality natural gas and electricity which runs a conversion facility independent from the grid. VCG developed the first methodology rigorous enough to verify destruction of green house gas emissions from coal mines in the USA. Mr. Vessels gained initial experience in the field of coal mine methane while associated with Alkane, a commercial producer of coal mine methane in the UK and Germany. While President of Vessels Oil and Gas Company, he managed the production, processing and sale of as much as 50,000,000 standard cubic feet per day of natural gas to the Denver, Colorado market including Public Service Company of Colorado.

He has recently formed the Coal Mine Methane Coalition to promote legislation to grant special status, similar to that for renewable energy, for electricity generated from coal mine emissions of the green house gas, methane. The Coalition includes members of the Coal Mining Industry and environmental advocates concerned with global warming.

Julian W. Huzyk

Chief Operations Officer

Julian has 35 years of experience in the natural resource sector. A mining and mineral process engineer by training, he worked at several underground and surface mines and associated processing facilities before transitioning to the oil and gas sector. As a natural gas facilities and project engineer he designed and managed the implementation of gathering, treating and processing facilities as well as electric power systems. He has also had extensive experience with Rocky Mountain area natural gas basins and natural gas transport infrastructure having worked for Amoco Production Company and K N Energy, Inc.

Mr. Huzyk led the business development efforts for the start-up of the 300 mile long TransColorado pipeline project and successfully brought TransColorado into service, promoting and managing the pipeline through its first two system expansions. Since joining Vessels Coal Gas, he has developed and implemented major plant modifications to the Cambria 33 facilities in Pennsylvania and coordinated design and implementation of the 3MW LLC and North Fork Energy facilities at the Elk Creek Mine in Somerset, CO.

Karl Martin

Field Operations Manager, Illinois

Karl began his career with Texaco, Inc. as a roustabout and pumper. He later worked as head roustabout. Karl later worked for Citation Oil and Gas as assistant production foreman overseeing manpower, oil production and gas until 2005 when he went to work for BPI Energy as production foreman in the natural gas industry.

Board of Directors

Stephen Rector

Mr. Rector has 39 years experience in the oil and gas industry. He worked for a major integrated oil company, an independent oil and gas producer, and as an owner and founder of several independent oil and gas companies. He has served as President of RIM Operating, Inc. since 1991 and as Chairman of Charro Operating LLC since 1995. RIM is a successful Colorado oil and gas company focused on the acquisition and development of oil and gas properties in the Paradox Basin, the Powder River Basin, West Texas and Texas Gulf Coast. Charro is a successful exploration company located in Texas with its business activities focused on the mid-Texas Gulf Coast area.  Mr. Rector has significant experience developing, producing and marketing CBM gas in the Powder River Basin and in working in conflict areas where CBM development and coal mining operations are occurring simultaneously.

Mark Soane 

Mr. Soane is a founder and managing director of Appian Ventures where he has served on multiple boards of directors. He also served as board observer and advisor at Transform Software (acquired by Drilling Info), which developed visualization and interpretation software for unconventional oil and gas plays. Prior to Appian, Mark established Quest Capital Partnership, a diversified investment fund focusing on investments in technology, medical devices and oil and gas.

Earlier in his career, Mark held senior operating positions with Multum Information Services, TRADE, and Personics Corporation and while at Bessemer Venture Partners was responsible for its investment in Veritas Software. His first job was as a roustabout for Mobil Oil Company.

Mark is former Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association. He has been twice appointed by both the Governor and the Senate Majority leader to serve on the Colorado Venture Capital Authority, where he is Chairman. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Colorado National Association of Corporate Directors where he is a board fellow.

Mark has a BS from Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Stanford Business School.

Robert D. Gershen

Mr. Gershen is the Chairman and CEO of Longview Energy Company, a successful exploration and production company with drilling production and operations in California’s San Joaquin basin and Oklahoma’s Arkoma basin. Prior to taking over and turning around Longview, Mr. Gershen was CEO of Associated Energy Managers (“AEM”), an institutional money manager focused on startup and small cap energy companies. Through AEM’s three successful funds, Mr. Gershen provided startup capital to more than two dozen companies including Abraxas Petroleum (Nasdaq: AXAS) and Energy Partners, Ltd. (NYSE: EPL). AEM managed three separate funds between 1989 and 2006. Mr. Gershen currently serves as a director of Longview Energy, Vessels Coal Gas, and Energy (CG) Limited, one of Vessels Coal Gas’ largest investors.

Russell John Bruemmer

During a career over three decades long, Russ Bruemmer has served as a counselor and trusted adviser to senior executives and boards of directors in the government, corporate, education, and not-for-profit sectors. Russ’ career began as a law clerk to then federal appellate Judge William H. Webster. He then served as Director Webster’s Special Assistant and Chief Counsel – Congressional Affairs at the FBI, and later as General Counsel at the CIA. In both positions, he provided legal and policy advice to the Director and other senior executives and managed the attorneys and support personnel in the respective offices.

Russ joined the Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering law firm in 1981 and became a partner in 1985. His practice began with a focus on negotiating and documenting corporate transactions and secured loans, providing regulatory advice to banks and other financial institutions, and litigation assistance on cases involving a federal regulatory issue or bankruptcy proceedings. More recently his practice has involved complex internal investigations, compliance and risk management reviews, corporate structuring, and corporate governance counseling. Russ retired from WilmerHale in 2015.

In addition to his legal practice, Russ served on the board of the Chauncey Group International, the for-profit subsidiary of the Educational Testing Service, from 1998 until CGI’s sale to Thompson in 2004. He serves on the board of Vessels Coal Gas, a company that converts methane emissions from coal mines into electricity and carbon credits. He serves as an adviser to Valued Veterans, a service disabled veteran-run appraisal management company; Wickr, a cybersecurity emerging company; and Encore Renewables, a bio-friendly packaging company.

Among Russ’ not-for-profit interests are serving as Chairman of the Board of Blue Legacy International (stressing the importance of improving water quality and enhancing watershed protection), and as a Board and Audit Committee member of the Low Income Investment Fund, a community development financial institution that lends money for projects that improve housing, education, medical care, and transportation in low-income neighborhoods. He served on the Board of Regents of Luther College (Iowa) from 2007-2016, and chaired that Board’s Audit Committee and its Student Learning Committee.

Russ is interested in positions that will utilize his corporate governance, structuring, transitioning expertise, and his audit and compliance committee experience, and his familiarity in emerging or troubled corporate situations. Sectors of interest include financial services, mortgage origination and servicing, renewable and sustainable energy, and educational issues.