Laurence B. Tree II
President and CEO
Laurence B. Tree II (“Larry”) is a proven entrepreneur and strategic leader who has built international businesses and brands from initial funding through to successful business- to-business process and technologies development. Larry’s passion is building great teams of people working together with the skill and persistence to drill into initial business plans, collaborate to execute strategies and tactics focused on excellence.
Mr. Tree is President and CEO of Proteum Energy. He was previously President and board member of Laron, Incorporated, a 40 year leader in heavy industry service solutions focused on the power generation, mining, oil and gas, and heavy manufacturing, transportation and construction industries. In January 2020, Laron was successfully transitioned as a wholly owned subsidiary of Ohio Transmission Corporation, (Genstar $17B private equity owned).
Mr. Tree’s prior industry experience includes founding EMS, Inc., after five years as the western regional service director for Reliance / Exxon. EMS Inc. became one of the fastest growing companies in the US (#24 on the INC 500 ) and one of the largest independent equipment service companies for power generation, mining services and heavy industry in the southwest US. Mr. Tree was nominated Arizona Entrepreneur of the Year and successfully transitioned the company to become the primary US subsidiary of the largest independent electrical and mechanical service company in the world. Mr. Tree served on the international board of directors of this public UK company, which is now EMS Sulzer, a division of world leading Sulzer Turbo Services, based in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Mr. Tree also has a varied entrepreneurial and philanthropic background. At the request of Dr. Andrew Weil, the renowned integrative medicine physician and author, he co-founded and co-created the world’s leading integrative medicine web portal (www.DrWeil.com) and product licensing company. Mr. Tree developed the initial business plan and secured funding, co-creating an international web and licensing business that is now exceeding $100 million in top line sales. The philanthropic goal of this business was fulfilled and millions of dollars of donations from the business have been raised, all focused on funding Dr. Weil’s non-profit, Weil Foundation. The Weil Foundation initially and significantly, contributed to the Program of Integrative Medicine at the University, which is now the very successful Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine (www.AZCIM.com), a Center of Excellence within the University of Arizona.
Outside interests include YPO Gold Arizona – (Young President’s Organization), where he has held various leadership positions in both the Arizona Chapter of YPO and World Presidents Organization (WPO) International. He is a prior member of the Board of Trustees of Phoenix Country Day School, a leading K-12 private school in Arizona, and a lifetime member of the Brophy Dad’s Club, a leading Arizona Jesuit boys high school booster organization. Mr. Tree’s personal interests include hiking, fly fishing, travel and spending time with his wife Patti and their 5 grand children and two Labrador mix rescue dogs.
Thomas C. Niccoli
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Niccoli, is a senior executive with over thirty years of leadership experience as a CEO and COO for both public and private companies. He was a founder/co-founder of six high tech startups and has facilitated taking two of those companies’ public. Mr. Niccoli left IBM’s General Systems Division after 6 years as a systems analyst and beginning in the early 80’s, built the largest Computerland franchise in the country taking it public in 1987. In the early 90’s Mr. Niccoli secured a USWeb franchise and worked with the franchisor to rollup Internet Service Providers (ISPs) around the country creating a $500M public enterprise by 1998. Beginning in 2001 thru 2012, Mr. Niccoli co-founded and helped raise money for 3 additional high-tech companies two of which were in the Location Based Services (LBS) market space.
Currently, and over the last eight years, Mr. Niccoli has been focused on the AGI/ZHRO technology opportunity which is now Proteum Energy. As it relates to that, Mr. Niccoli continues to be the manager of Pure Power Financial, LLC, Pure Power Financial II, LLC and Pure Power Financial II, LLC, Series A, each a creditor who provided multiple loans to the Debtor. Each of these loans were in default and as such, these lenders ended up with both secured and unsecured claims in the Bankruptcy. Mr. Niccoli is also the manager and a member of Michigan Sustainable Power, LLC and a member of Sustainable Power Solutions, LLC, each signed distributor agreements to distribute the ZHRO Solutions’ injector technology. Mr. Niccoli is the manager and a member of Oklahoma Pure Power, LLC and Michigan Pure Power, LLC, each of whom entered into distributor agreements with ZHRO Power, LLC to distribute their on-site power generation technology.
Mr. Niccoli has been a member of the local chapter of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) since 1984 and had been a member of the World President’s Organization (WPO). He continues to be an active member of the charitable arm of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, the Phoenix Thunderbirds, since 1987. Mr. Niccoli has served on several Boards and Advisory Committees for local organizations over the last several years. Mr. Niccoli has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics Engineering from Regis University in Denver, CO and had completed all coursework towards a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering and Computer Science from Arizona State University before accepting a position with IBM in 1974.
Chief Legal Officer
John D. Rosenfeld is a business and transactional attorney with twenty-seven years’ experience representing early stage and small cap companies and their investors, both as outside and inhouse counsel. Mr. Rosenfeld brings a unique background of legal, finance, investor relations and transition management expertise.
Mr. Rosenfeld began practicing law 1992 in Los Angeles as an associate with Cox, Castle & Nicholson representing national real estate developers and with Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker. In 1998 he became general counsel to B3 Architects/Berkus Design Studio, a leading residential architectural and planning firm with a heavy emphasis on sustainable development, where he collaborated with companies such as Visteon Corporation and Hydrogen Burner Technology to illustrate sustainable residential energy concepts and distributive power. From 2010 to 2016 Mr. Rosenfeld participated in the formation and capitalization of new businesses startups and real estate ventures. Since 2016, he has advised private companies regarding a broad range of corporate, finance and real estate matters in affiliation with Freeman Law and Venditti Law Group. Mr. Rosenfeld is a member of the board of directors of Titan Health Management Solutions, Inc., a revenue-cycle management company serving healthcare providers across the United States.
He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management/Finance from the University of Southern California in 1988 and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 1992. Mr. Rosenfeld has served on a variety of community boards and associations including: California State Senator Calderon’s Construction Defect Task Force; Mayor’s Zoning Task Force (Santa Barbara, CA); Elder, Pinnacle Presbyterian Church; Phoenix Children’s Chorus volunteer; Chair of the Board, Quire of Voyces.
Mr. Rosenfeld is counsel to Pure Power Financial, II, LLC, a secured lender to ZHRO Power, LLC and Advanced Green Innovations, LLC. He is also a consultant to the Ad Hoc Committee of AGI/ZHRO stakeholders.
Executive Vice President & CTO
Mr. Kennon serves as Proteum Energy’s President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) where he leads all new technology development and commercialization activities as well as directs legal staff in the development and execution of the company’s intellectual property strategy. Terry assumed the President role in March of 2019, prior to which he served as CTO for approximately 4 years.
Terry brings over 30 years of technical, financial and strategic experience as a chemical engineer, investment banker, and alternative energy entrepreneur. His varied professional background has allowed him to gain extensive cross-functional experience across several industry sectors including alternative and renewable energy.
Before joining Proteum Energy, Terry was a co-founding partner of Merica International LLC, a renewable energy company. Merica Group companies combined proprietary biomass to liquid (BTL) gasification technology and sustainable plantation forestry for the production of Fischer-Tropsch renewable diesel.
Terry gained further leadership experience in the alternative energy industry at J.P. Morgan where he was Sector Head for Biofuels in the Alternative Energy Investment Banking Group. Terry developed and executed J.P. Morgan’s biofuels sector plan, advised clients regarding strategic and capital alternatives, and led the execution of debt and equity transactions.
Terry received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech and his MBA from Cornell University where he was selected by faculty for an Albert Fried Fellowship.
Director of Engineering
Scott Johnson is Director of Engineering. He has over thirty years’ experience in the electronics, aerospace, energy and semiconductor industry, including twenty-two with Motorola, Inc. He was previously Controls and Electronics Engineering Manager where he was active in the development of associated gas processing, CNG engine combustion controls, as well as carbon allotrope growth and application. He was Electrical Engineering manager at CEL, an aerospace instrumentation supplier where he developed and patented several fiber optic sensors using both fiber Bragg grating and interferometric techniques. He was a Principal Scientist the field emission display team at Motorola, both in the corporate research labs and in the Flat Panel Display Division, developing equipment and processes for carbon nanotube growth and characterization. Later in the program he was responsible for developing drive electronics for the nano-emissive display (NED) display prototypes.
Scott has twenty-two issued patents, with several pending. He has published numerous technical papers and has given several invited technical talks. Scott retired from the USAF reserve after 25 years of service, having worked his last four years as a researcher with the Air Force Research Lab’s Night Vision Center of Excellence, developing multi-mode night vision lighting for aircraft interiors and exteriors, as well as enhancements to night vision imagers.
Scott has bachelor’s degrees in both education and electrical engineering from Arizona State and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology respectively. He is a senior member of the IEEE, and a member of the SAE and AVS. He also routinely writes articles for several electronics publications.
Dean Hoaglan is Technical Director and has responsibility for field operations, applications engineering and customer support at Proteum Energy. He is an electrical, testing and systems engineer with over 30 years of experience.
Dean has been with the company since 2011 leading the Test Engineering group and has been focused on Flare-to-Fuel technology since its inception in 2014. He led the development of the first control systems and the in-house and field-testing efforts for all our proof-of-concept prototypes and initial commercial units.
Prior to Proteum Energy, Dean worked 20 years at Honeywell on various technologies including test facilities and accelerometer prototypes for strategic and tactical guidance systems, weather and predictive wind shear radar systems for commercial aviation, and airborne and ground radio equipment for general aviation. He also troubleshot and repaired commercial flight control systems and in-flight entertainment systems at GEC Marconi Avionics, and ran the calibration laboratory at InControl, a biomedical startup.
Dean graduated Summa Cum Laude from Seattle University with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Honor Society and IEEE, and has won several IEEE awards.
Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Robert Rapier serves as Director of Process Engineering and Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) for Proteum Energy. Robert brings more than 25 years of engineering experience in the areas of oil production and refining, synthetic fuels, biomass to energy, and alcohol production. Among other assignments, Robert previously worked for ConocoPhillips, where he helped direct the company’s efforts in commercializing its gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology. He has lived and worked internationally in Germany, Scotland, and the Netherlands.
Robert is a prolific writer and public speaker. He writes regular columns for Forbes and is the author of Investing Daily’s Utility Forecaster. His columns at Forbes are highly respected and are read millions of times each year. Robert’s articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and The Economist. He has also appeared on 60 Minutes, The History Channel, CNBC, Business News Network, CBC, and PBS. Robert is the author of the book Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil, and he has given more than 30 public talks on the energy sector.
Robert has bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and math, and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University. His graduate school thesis involved the biological conversion of lignocellulosic biomass into chemicals. For this he and his team were awarded the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award at the National Academy of Sciences. He has received multiple patents and other awards for his work, including a Texas A&M Regents’ Fellowship, and the American Institute of Chemists Award for Outstanding Graduating