Our Team

It takes more than the best tools and technologies to achieve positive, sustainable outcomes on environmentally challenged sites. It takes the knowledge, skills, and experience of highly qualified, trained and dedicated professionals. We believe our customer-focused team at COLUMBIA Technologies is the best in the industry. Our technical staff consists entirely of degreed and experienced geologists, chemists and engineers who together have performed over 1,500 high-resolution site evaluations worldwide.


John H. Sohl, III – President and CEO

Co-founder of COLUMBIA Technologies, John brings to his roles of President and CEO 35 years of experience directing the development of innovative business solutions fusing science and technology to advance the state of environmental services. At COLUMBIA, John is responsible for the overall direction of corporate activities, the quality of the company’s field services and business development. John is also co-founder of the award-winning SmartData Solutions® real-time data services platform and has played an integral role in providing clients with real-time decision making information. A former officer in the U.S. Navy nuclear submarine force, John holds a B.S. in engineering from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from Chaminade University of Honolulu. John is a member of the Small Environmental Business Action Coalition, the Sustainable Remediation Forum, the Society of American Military Engineers, and the National Ground Water Association.


Gayle Goff – Quality Assurance Manager

As COLUMBIA Technologies’ Quality Assurance Manager, Gayle Goff is responsible for conducting self-assessments, analyzing quality performance metrics, and the execution of improvements of quality programs. Gayle has 30-years of experience in strategic planning, technical management, and laboratory supervision with the U.S. Navy. During her time overseeing Safety and Occupational Health programs for hospitals, clinics, research laboratories and educational facilities worldwide, Gayle led key initiatives to streamline self-assessments, set performance metrics, and improve the quality of programs in a well-focused, consistent, systematic and quantifiable manner. Gayle holds an M.S. Degree in Environmental Health Sciences for the University of California at Berkeley, an M.A. Degree in Chemistry (with Distinction) from the University of Hawaii, and is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.


Brian McCann – Sales Manager

With over 20 years of experience, Brian has successfully directed multi-million dollars in sales of professional services, as well as communications and leadership development products for individual and organizational development. Before joining COLUMBIA Technologies, Brian served as the Regional Sales Consultant for Education and Government at CPP, Inc. where he directed the sale of the highly renowned Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument to the Federal Government and other institutions throughout the US. Brian offers extensive knowledge of Federal Government procurement and government markets. This experience is instrumental in his role as Federal Programs Manager, where he is focused on deepening COLUMBIA Technologies’ relationships and opportunities in the Federal sector.   He earned an M.S. in Technology and Human Affairs from Washington University.


Scott Pieper - Operations Manager

Pieper brings 35 years of environmental project management, spill response, site remediation, and hazardous materials management experience to our team.  He has operated throughout North and South America across all of the platforms that COLUMBIA Technologies operates.  His experience includes the operation and maintenance of certified mobile environmental laboratories, high-resolution characterization tools including the Membrane Interface Probe, the Hydraulic Profiling Tool, and Laser Induced Fluorescence systems. Pieper holds a B.S. in Geological Sciences with an emphasis in Engineering from San Diego State University. 


Robert George – Laboratory Technical Director

Robert amassed a nearly 45-year career in environmental sciences before joining COLUMBIA Technologies in 2015. As a quality assurance officer and senior field chemist for KB Labs, Robert served as technical lead and main analyst for GC/MS volatiles analysis in support of North Carolina’s DSCA program as well as other federal contractors and private sector clients, developed field protocols and SOPs for inclusion in DoD ELAP QAQC procedures, assured compliance with NCDENR, SCDHEC programs and regulations and maintained the company’s Carolina-based instrumentation and mobile laboratory facility. Robert is HAZWOPER certified and earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville.


Melanie Penny – Laboratory Manager

Melanie brings to COLUMBIA Technologies fifteen years of professional environmental laboratory and construction experience including quality control, indoor air quality,  industrial hygiene, data validation, data management, and geographical information systems.  Melanie holds a B.S. in Ocean Studies, Maine Maritime Academy and an M.S. in Environmental Management.  She is a Certified Safety Professional and is HAZWOPER certified.


John H. Montgomery – Hydrogeochemist

John is a highly experienced hydrogeochemist with extensive knowledge and skills in the interpretation of data collected through MIP, LIF, HPT and MiHPT high-resolution direct sensing technologies. With a career spanning more than 30 years in the environmental industry, John has directed complex hydrogeologic and geochemical investigations, managed Brownfield projects with total budgets of $800,000 or more, and developed cost-effective, in-situ remedial solutions to meet client goals and objectives. John has served many years in environmental consulting and in various forms of government including a position as an Acting Section Chief within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water Resources. To his credit, John has implemented various innovative remedial strategies, including reductive technology (nano iron) and oxidative (Fenton’s reagent) to treat contaminants in situ resulting in reduced life cycle costs to the clients. John has authored several papers and other publications including the best-selling Groundwater Chemicals Desk Reference and the Agrochemicals Desk Reference. He earned a B.S. degree in geology at Stockton University.


Doug McInnes – Field Geochemist

With 30 years of analytical laboratory and related industry experience, Doug is responsible for the technical development and quality assurance of COLUMBIA Technologies’ direct sensing instrumentation. His hands-on and management experience includes all phases of sample collection, sample preparation, and analysis, data validation, report writing, customer service, project management, lab waste management, and computer network supervision. Before joining COLUMBIA Technologies, Doug served in various project management and quality assurance roles for American Environmental Network, Geraghty & Miller (now known as Arcadis) and Versar. He received a BS in chemistry from Towson State University.


Aaron Sutton – Field Geochemist

Aaron will provide in-field technical services for COLUMBIA Technologies’ customers throughout the U.S. using advanced high-resolution MIP, HPT and LIF technologies. Prior to joining our team, Aaron put his education to work as a wellsite geologist in Texas.  Since joining COLUMBIA Technologies has gained considerable experience performing over fifty high-resolution site characterizations.  He is a recent graduate of the University of Florida, Gainesville, with a B.S. degree in Geological Sciences.


Wendi Jacklitch – Data Analyst and Customer Support

As Information Manager, Wendy manages the flow of information and deliverables from the company’s cloud-based information system, SmartData Solutions®. She assists customers with project setups, data interpretation, and delivery of final reports and data visualizations. She has six years of experience, including one year with COLUMBIA Technologies as a field geochemist. Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with Professional Option and an emphasis on soil and environmental chemistry from the University of Idaho. Her graduate work includes laser spectroscopy at Montana State University, and Chemistry Department, completing five years of research. She has been published several times in MRS Proceedings.


Raphael Costa – Mobile Laboratory Chemist

Raphael joined COLUMBIA Technologies as a mobile laboratory chemist after two years of field environmental chemistry with a global consulting firm.  Raphael hails from Brazil and is fluent in Portuguese and English.  He is a recent graduate of the University of Florida, Gainesville, with a B.S. degree in Chemistry.