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 have performed thousands of high-resolution site evaluations worldwide.


Project Scientists





John H. Sohl, III – President and CEO

Co-founder of COLUMBIA Technologies, John brings to his roles of President and CEO three decades of experience directing the development of innovative and business solutions fusing science and technology. At COLUMBIA and through its partners in North and South America and Africa, John leads the company's global growth of sustainable environmental services.  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 the 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.

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West Johnson - Client Services U.S. Operations

West brings almost three decades of experience as a senior technical lead and state regulator.  Most recently,  he served as a senior technical lead, strategist, and subject matter expert for the State of Kentucky’s USTB at over 400 leaking UST sites with a combined value of over $400MM.    West also serves on the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) in developing technical guidance and as a teaching facilitator.  Before joining the staff at Kentucky, West had a successful career as a consulting geologist with CH2M Hill and Parsons Engineering.  West holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology and a minor in Chemistry for Georgia State University.


Wendi Jacklitch – U.S. Program Manager and Data Analyst

As Program Manager for U.S. operations, Wendi 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 as a field geochemist with COLUMBIA Technologies. Wendi holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a 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.

James Chamness – Business Manager Brazil

Jim is a versatile environmental professional and engineering geologist with a unique focus on building collaboration between U.S. and Brazilian companies. He provides program and project management services to COLUMBIA in Brazil.  Jim’s professional journey to Brazil began in 1998, with the goal of "bridging the cultural gap" - bringing experience and technology transfer to develop local solutions for compliance with emerging environmental requirements. His environmental sector experience in Brazil includes managing contaminated areas, environmental permitting for offshore oil & gas resources, and emergency response to environmental disasters. In addition, Jim leveraged his market and business knowledge in mergers and acquisitions, Brazil's business strategy, alliance development, and marine surveys.  Jim holds a B.S. in Geology from the Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.

Júlio Cesar Criscimani Fabricio - Project Manager

Júlio brings to COLUMBIA  extensive experience in the management of environmental liabilities, with developing Environmental Investigations, human health risk assessment (HHRA), coordination of research projects on environmental liabilities, and monitoring, mainly in the industrial sector.   He has been directly involved in remediation projects, from field activities to developing alternative engineering solutions and technologies for site cleanup.  These have included groundwater pumping and multiphase extraction (MPE), vapor extraction (SVE), and bioremediation.  Júlio is conversant with all aspects of financial monitoring of projects, preparation of proposals, and maintaining relationships with customers (both national and international), environmental agencies,  and subcontractors.  Júlio is a Graduate in Geology from the Instituto de Geociências, Universidade de São Paulo - IGc / USP.

Francisco De Freitas - Program Manager Latin America

Francisco leads our project development and delivery in Latin America.  He is an environmental geochemist with 12+ years of experience in the consulting services industry, a strong technical focus, and commercial awareness.  His project experience includes contaminated land assessments and hydrogeological evaluations in Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru.  While consulting with CH2M Hill, Francisco assumed the technical coordination of field activities and data management at an extensive remediation project involving petroleum-contaminated soils in 100+ sites in the Peruvian Amazon jungle.  Francisco holds a Bachelor's Degree in Geochemistry from the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV).



Project Scientists


Omar Barbot – Geologist

Omar is an enthusiastic geologist with previous experience as a logging geologist in the oil and gas industry. Omar brings his skills in collecting, analyzing, and logging geological samples and his understanding of drilling operations. His eagerness to contribute to our team's success is demonstrated through hard work and attention to detail. Omar has volunteered his off time as an Americorps Youth Mentor and Tutor and now as a docent at the [museum]. Omar holds a B.S. in Geology from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez, PR.


Briana McDowell, Ph.D. - Microbiologist

Briana joins the COLUMBIA team as a recent graduate with a Ph.D. in Microbiology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  During her study in the lab of Dr. Frank Löffler, she worked with interdisciplinary teams in the laboratory and at field sites in the United States and Argentina.  Her work involved site investigations and treatability studies in assessing remediation strategies for contaminated sites and studied the defluorination of CFCs and fluorinated alkanes.  Briana brings a background in microbiology, fieldwork, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and bioinformatics.

Jesús Moya - Geologist

Experienced and engaged Geologist, Jesús has more than ten years of experience in Environmental Studies, Hydrogeology, Well drilling and construction of civil works. His recent project experience includes the characterization of contaminated sites, soil and groundwater remediation, and planning and developing national and international projects.  His responsibilities have involved project coordination, budgeting, supervision of well drilling, soil and groundwater sampling, well design, preparation of work risk analysis, report preparation, construction of plans, monitoring of operations, and maintenance of remediation systems.


Megon Stephaniuk, M.S. - Environmental Scientist

Recently graduated with a Master of Science in Environmental Science, Megon specializes in botany, plant taxonomy, environmental chemistry, and herbarium curation.  Megon’s strong attention to detail highlights her work habits as an environmental scientist. We look to Megon to help diversify our corporate skill sets in bioremediation, habitat restoration, and sustainable remediation. In her off-time Megon volunteers at the Animal Care Facility of the Tennessee Aquarium and is a Chattanooga women's rugby club member. Megon holds a B.S. in Biology, graduating Cum Laude, and an M.S. in Environmental Science from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, TN.

Marcos Vinicius Correa Garcia - Environmental Engineer

Marcos is a multi-disciplined environmental engineering professional.   He is trained in engineering, geology, and work safety and holds a Master's in Integrated Environmental Analysis.  Marcos brings broad experience in project management and remediation of contaminated areas, including refineries, fuel distribution bases, fuel stations, the Automotive Industry, and the processing industry.  Marcos is knowledgeable in project work planning, developing proposals, and operating high-resolution technologies.  

He has also provided technical assistance in environmental and labor lawsuits, training, audits, preparation of Prevention and Combat Projects Against Fire and Panic, adequacy of equipment to Regulatory Standards, development of Environmental and Labor Safety Indicators, Licenses, and compliance with the demands of environmental agencies.  Marcos holds an M.S. in Integrated and Environmental Analysis from the Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP.




Scott Chesson - Chief Financial Officer

Scott Chesson is an experienced senior finance professional with 21 years as the CFO of five small to medium-sized businesses. Scott helped a private equity-owned business exit by being acquired by a firm trading on the London Stock Exchange. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Scott Chesson founded CFO4VETS, a fractional CFO consulting firm specializing in veteran-owned and military spouse businesses. CFO4VETS offers a wealth of on-demand business finance wisdom and experience at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CFO. He empowers businesses from $2M to $20M in revenues to expand revenue, profits, and value. Scott is also a Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA). At the beginning of his career, Scott earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Math from the Naval Academy in 1984. After serving in the Navy for six years as a Surface Warfare Officer, Scott graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a master’s degree.

Peter Buchanan - Business Advisor
Managing Partner, NewPlan, LLC

Peter has served as an executive-level consultant focusing on strategy, business development, and marketing and in active roles as a CEO, strategic planner, product manager, and sales manager. For the last 25+ years, he has advised the CEOs and Boards of tech companies on the best strategies for fundraising, managing growth, and achieving a high-value exit. He co-founded three successful professional services companies, where he developed strategies, business models, fundable business plans, and successful market messages for over 300 start-up, growth, and mid-market companies.  He has also served as an interim head of strategy and corporate development for multiple high-growth companies.  As CEO at VIAcode Consulting, he managed a team of elite developers that built software for leading Fortune 1000 and growth companies.  VIAcode's customers included Microsoft, Amazon, Wolters Kluwer, NetApp, and Datacore.  Peter spent his formative years at British Telecom and then at GE Information Services (GEIS), where he invented a market and competitive analysis approach that helped to win major deals and gain significant market share.  This approach was adopted in other GE businesses with excellent results. Peter holds a BA in History from the University of Virginia.

Stephen S. Koenigsberg, Ph.D. – Science Advisor

Dr. Koenigsberg is a recognized leader in developing and applying innovative in-situ and on-site treatment protocols. He is the author or co-author of over 175 technical articles and presentation abstracts, four books, and four international patents focusing on remediation and environmental biotechnology. In 1994, Dr. Koenigsberg co-founded Regenesis and was involved in formulating and developing products that had been applied to more than 17,000 times worldwide through departure in 2006. After Regenesis, he held several executive-level positions in major engineering and consulting firms before establishing Koenigsberg Consultant in 2021. In addition to remediation-based solutions, he has helped define the emerging field of expedited site closure over the last decade. In 2004 Dr. Koenigsberg was a co-recipient of a Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award. In 2010, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences Foundation (AEHS). In addition to his advisory capacity for COLUMBIA Technologies, Dr. Koenigsberg is on the Board of AEHS and The Remediation Journal. He holds a B.A. in Biology and an M.S./Ph.D. in Agricultural Biotechnology from Cornell University.

Susan Barrett – Leadership Development Specialist

Susan brings to COLUMBIA decades of leadership development experience.  Through her strong acumen for coaching, change management, and performance monitoring, Susan provides our team with critical tools to tackle today's evolving challenges.  She plays an important role in helping our team to generate results through goal setting,  performance monitoring, career development, and process improvement.