- Alex VillagraChief Scientist
- Francisco del ToroWorm Wrangler
- Ignacio VeraDirector of Engineering
- Joel JacobsBusiness Development Manager
- Kurt WagnerHead Decomposer
- Lisa WolbertOperations Analyst
- Mai Ann HealyHead of Business Development
- Matt TolbirtCEO
- John GarnBusiness Development Manager
- Mark DoddBusiness Development Manager
- Michaelangelo, PhDCFO/Head of Growth
- Ricardo AburtoHead Worm Wrangler
- Sina PramEnvironmental & Operations Manager
- Trisha KvienOffice Manager
Alex Villagra is the original inventor of what is now known as BioFiltro's BIDA® system. Alex dedicates himself primarily to researching and developing processes and equipment that improve the efficiency, performance, and effectiveness of the BIDA system. While based in Chile, Alex travels the globe in order to stay abreast of the water quality challenges that our local offices face in order to push his research further. Alex is a Civil Engineer from the University of Chile and has over 25 years of experience in the installation and operation of the BIDA® system.
Francisco joined the BioFiltro team in 2016 after working for 15 years in the area of operations in different companies related to agriculture. He is currently in charge of operations for California's Central Valley where he ensures that all plants in the southern and central areas of California are running properly and water samples are collected and sent for samples following proper chain of custody procedures.
Ignacio Vera directs our engineering department and develops proposals and solutions for projects in US, New Zealand and Chile. Ignacio is also in charge of environmental permiting in Chile, and takes part in R&D projects. He trained as Civil Engineer in hydrology from the Universidad de Alicante in Spain, and later specialized in water resources management and water treatment technologies.
After creating and producing the largest family consumer expo in CA for 13 years, Joel turned his entrepreneurial spirit and environmental consciousness to focus on the global transformation to renewable energy. For the past 14 years he has represented many of the leading manufacturers in solar, directly contributing to the establishment and exponential growth of the industry. Joel is now dedicated to preserving our precious and limited fresh water resources by helping revitalize wastewater through the power of one of nature’s most beneficial creatures - worms. Joel’s new ambition is to be the Johnny Appleseed of worm poop, or as he likes to say; “wastewater, worms, worm poop and bacteria – what’s not to love!”
Kurt is a 600 millionth generation decomposer who has been with BioFiltro since his birth. Native to California, he lends his aptitude in eating, burrowing, and regenerating waste into beneficial byproducts. He and his colleagues eat twice their weight daily in our systems, and love hanging out with their microbial friends. His hobbies do not include fishing or birdwatching but he loves to kick back with a fine wine or fruit juice. Kurt has had 460 children this year alone and they all love helping out in the family business! Sometimes he'll get sassy and tell you to call him by his scientific name, Eisenia fetida, or that not all heroes wear capes!
As Operations Analyst, Lisa supports the development and operations within the US Market. Lisa graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering. As a student, she researched a method of reducing agricultural waste by growing black soldier fly larvae as feed for chickens to reduce operational cost for farmers. Prior to joining BioFiltro, Lisa worked for three years in business and administrative services for the UC Davis Development and Alumni Relations.
Mai Ann focuses on driving new business development, marketing, and sales for BioFiltro. Mai Ann joined BioFiltro after having worked in Argentina and Chile for Endeavor, an international organization that works to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs from emerging markets. She also worked in new product development, sales, and logistics in Patagonia, Chile for Multiexport Foods, one of the world’s largest salmon processors. Mai Ann graduated from Middlebury College and holds certificates from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Matt joins BioFiltro after leading Product Development for Pacific Gas & Electric where he focused on commercialization of clean technologies for Agricultural customers. Prior to PG&E, he worked for global real estate development firm Federal Development, LLC where he implemented a $3.3 B public-private partnership with the State of California for the re-development of a 550 acre business park in Merced, CA. He holds an undergrad degree from UC Merced in Economics and Political Science and two Master of Science degrees, one in Management from Babson College and the other in Global Entrepreneurship from Emlyon Business School in France.
John Garn has over 25-years working with wineries to enhance their resource use efficiencies, in particular focusing on the water/energy nexus. This whole system approach has provided large, medium and smaller wine operations with new ways of thinking about their entire production process, saving energy, water and money. In the past 5+ years John has focused on the challenge of wastewater treatment and water reuse in the face of a severe California drought. The worms are very happy that John has joined their team!
Mark is the Business Development Manager for the Central Valley of California, where he focuses on dairies and food processors. Since retiring from the U.S. Army, Mark has spent the last twelve years in project development, consulting and research in the government, petroleum and agriculture sectors. A graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Business Administration, Information Management and a native of the Central Valley, Mark spends his spare time rooting for the Bulldogs, coaching and playing softball.
Michaelangelo has over 17 years in banking and project finance experience working as a consultant and shareholder for several companies by raising equity project funding as well as financial trading instruments and incentives for infrastructure projects in the US and Mexico. A major challenge for BioFiltro is fitting his whole name on a business card.
Ricardo is an industrial civil engineer with a focus in energy and environment from the Adolfo Ibañez University in Chile. Before joining our team, Ricardo worked at Procter & Gamble in Chile and Panama as well as for CCU Chile Beverages. He currently serves as Head Worm Wrangler for the US where is he responsible for the wellness of worms and ensuring that they do their job efficiently, effectively, and happily 24/7. Ricardo leads a team of 5 operators to maintain the maximum performance of our plants while also developing new projects and technologies out in the field.
Sina Pram has a B.S. in Chemistry from the California State University, Fresno and a CWEA Lab Analyst I certification. As the Environmental and Operations Manager of BioFiltro, Pram conducts research in the analyzing how factors such as TSS, pH, electrical conductivity, biological loading demands, and hydraulic loading rates impact the vitality of the BIDA® System. He also manages the logistical operations of plant maintenance. Previously, Sina worked as an Environmental Technician for Tomatek processing plant. Sina served as E4 Corporal NCO for the United States Marine Corps where he also served as Class 9 Hazmat NCO in Iraq and Kuwait. Pram is a member of the American Chemical Society.
Trisha Kvien is the Office Manager for BioFiltro USA. Her responsibilities encompass many aspects of our business, including AP/AR, billing, bookkeeping, human resources and customer service. Trisha graduated with a BS in Business Administration, emphasis in Human Resource Management, from California State University, Fresno. While as CSU Fresno she served as President of the student SHRM chapter and competed in the HR Games competition, winning at both State and Regional levels. Trisha loves the relationships she makes with vendors and customers and she takes great pleasure in making sure they are each taken care of properly.