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 NCSU  Academia 
Brandon Farley Smithfield Packing - Wilson Agribusiness 
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 
Bill Covert 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  DEQ - Chair of ESI 
Jarrad Botts 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
Michael Montebello 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