Advisory Board & Internal Workgroup

Advisory Board

The ESI advisory board oversees program development and implementation. The DEQ Secretary approves all invitations to the Board. Whenever possible, Environmental Stewards, who have been in good standing in the program for a minimum of one year, will be given priority for membership.

Role of Advisory Board:

  • Reviews program materials and makes suggestions for improvements;
  • Reviews applications that meet minimum requirements and recommends Rising Stewards and Stewards;
  • Reviews program effectiveness and makes any recommended changes to the Secretary; and
  • Any other duties assigned to them by the Secretary.

For further information on the requirements of an Advisory Board member, as well as details on level criteria please review the Advisory Board Guidance Manual.

ESI Advisory Board Members

Name Organization Representing
William Paige



Kerry Strong

Smithfield Packing - Wilson


Dan Budreau

John Deere Turf Care 

At Large 

Rosie Huffman

Firestone Fibers & Textiles 

At Large 

Michelle Kareis TE Connectivity

At Large 

- Open

Environmental and Citizen NGOs 

Jimmy Carter

NC Manufacturers Alliance 

Industrial Trade Group 

David Auge

Grifols Therapeutic

Large Business 

Jon Jensen

Leggett & Platt ON64 

Large Business 

Garrett Christy

Daimler Trucks North America – Cleveland 

Large Business 

Darren Steinhilber

Mecklenburg County Solid Waste

Local Government 

Tim Watkins


DEQ - Chair of ESI 

 Myles Ott 

Eaton - Youngsville 

Small Business (temp)

Teddy Chrisman Uchiyama MFG America LLC

Small Business (temp)

Kaitlin Hartman

United States Environmental Protection Agency at RTP

State or Federal Facilities 


DEQ Internal Workgroup


  • Reviews on all applicants for compliance;
  • Provides internal comments on applicant performance;
  • Reviews and recommends Environmental Partners;
  • Reviews program materials and provides guidance to the Advisory Board;
  • Increases visibility of ESI within DEQ;
  • Recommends incentives to the Secretary as identified; and
  • Undertakes any other duties as assigned by the Secretary.

DEQ Internal Workgroup Members

Name Division
DEQ Representative, Chair Secretary's Office
Shawn McKee Division of Waste Management
Julia Byrd Division of Water Resources
David Lee Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service
Bernard McKee Division of Air Quality
Toby Vinson Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources