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Meet the 2021-2022 Houston Chapter Board of Directors


President

Stephen Naehr 


Stephen is a senior risk manager, quantitative analyst, and hedge fund manager with broad experience in energy trading and finance. He is a founding partner of Vine Advisors – a financial advisory firm that specializes in commodity finance, risk management, and analytics – and is concurrently Director of Risk and Analytics at commodity fund Velite-Benchmark Capital Management. Stephen previously co-founded Timoneer Energy, a natural gas-focused commodity fund in Houston, Texas. Prior roles include Director of Risk and Analytics at Velite Capital Management and VP of Quantitative Research at Citigroup Global Commodities. A very, very long time ago, Stephen began his career as a research scientist at Rice University, where he developed data assimilation models to understand plasma dynamics under the influence of the Earth’s magnetic field. Stephen holds a PhD and MS in Physics from Rice University, and a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Duke University.

Chief Economist

Jordan Frisby 


Jordan Frisby is a Business Process Manager at Port Houston. He is part of the Technical and Business Analytics department in the Port Infrastructure division of Port Houston. He joined Port Houston in 2010. Drawing from a decade of experience in port economics, he supports Port Houston’s capital planning, project execution and business process improvement. Mr. Frisby graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with bachelor’s degrees in math and economics in 2009. He received his master’s degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. He has earned the Certified Business Economist™ (CBE) designation from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). The CBE™ is a comprehensive certification covering core topics in applied economics and data analytics. He was among the inaugural nationwide class of over seventy CBE recipients in 2015.

VP of Finance

Richard Keeler 


Richard is currently a Technical Sales Manager for Kisuma Americas, Inc., a subsidiary of Kyowa Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. based in Kagawa, Japan.  He oversees industrial additive sales to the Polyolefins Industry in The Americas region.  Richard is new to the Thermoplastic Industry, but he has over 20 years of technical and sales experience in the CASE market (Coatings, caulks, Adhesives, composites, thermoset resins, inks, Sealants and Elastomers).  He began working with manufacturing companies in Research & Development, then progressing to Technical Service positions.  While working in the lab environment he managed group projects via a sound statistical approach using various Six Sigma tools, including Design of Experiments (DOE).  Then he transitioned to sales and business management roles working for manufacturers as well as chemical distribution companies.  He has worked for companies like Alpha Owens Corning Resins, Hexion Specialty Chemicals and Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

Richard is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps with two military specialties, Artillery and Amphibious Landing Support.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master of Business Administration degree from Union University.  He also holds certificates in Patent Law and Six Sigma.  He holds professional licenses from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) and the Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC).


VP of Operations

Ben Gonzalez 

Ben is an energy industry professional with over 12 years of experience in industry analytics and economics. Most of his career has been centered on the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries, specifically the global distillate, fuel oil, petroleum coke, olefins, and polyolefins markets. Ben currently works at Phillips 66 as a market analysis specialist in the Procurement group. In his current role, Ben produces quarterly forecasts for executives and managers focused on all categories from chemicals and catalysts, to materials and equipment to labor and maintenance services. He is also in charge of the annual 5-year outlook for capital budgeting. Previously, Ben was an energy economist under the chief economist office focused on the refining and petrochemicals markets. Prior to joining Phillips 66, Ben worked as a petrochemicals analyst for S&P Global Platts, and as a senior analyst for Jacobs Consultancy. At Jacobs Consultancy, Ben covered the global petroleum coke and calcined petcoke markets. He has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, a Master’s in Education Management, and a Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on International Business.

VP of Marketing

Adam Burkin 


Adam is an experienced commercial strategy and analytics professional spanning multiple verticals including public finance, commodity and energy trading, data products, aviation, and retail electric power. He predominately focuses on market pricing strategy, data and software product development, analytics reporting, and commercial data visualizations. He has previously served educational non-profit organizations both as a director and a consultant. He holds a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in Economics, Government, and Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Marketing Director

Jessie Waldheim 


Jessie Waldheim is an ICIS senior markets editor who has covered several US chemical markets, including phenol/acetone, olefins, benzene and styrene. Jessie has more than 15 years of experience in journalism and has been covering chemical markets and chemical news for ICIS since February 2014.

Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences

Jeanne Manalo LinkedIn


Jeanne Manalo is a young professional interested in the intersection between life sciences, healthcare, and business. She has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School. Upon successfully defending  her dissertation to earn her Doctor of Philosophy degree in neuroscience from MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School. She founded the Association of Science Communication during her 4 years in graduate school. Prior to her Ph.D. journey, she studied at the University of St. Thomas – Houston, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and worked full-time as a lab manager at Baylor College of Medicine. She is also the current Education and Events Vice President of the Consulting Club at the Texas Medical Center, as well as an actively helping educate graduate fellows in Enventure. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling, illustrating, trying restaurants, and training for Muay Thai.  Currently, she is at Houston Methodist investigating brain cancer treatment via medical devices and therapeutics. She is interested in entrepreneurship and learning about economic trends in the healthcare industry! 


Director of Information Technology (IT)

Demarcus "Marc" Prophet 


Demarcus - IT Business Analysis Trainer for the TSCER. His role consists of: development of the training curriculum, training with real-world projects and cases, concluding with interview assistance, particularly,  with answering tough technical questions. He has had the honor to help over 10+ professionals land roles within IT or a similar profession. 

In addition, he is an entrepreneur in the technology space. He has experience developing software for educational, financial services, and health care.   He has the following agile software development designations: Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO).  Beforehand, he has worked in the capacity of an analyst for the past 8 years, at various organizations such as City of Sugar Land, Lakewood Church, and NRG Energy, Inc. a Fortune 500 company. 

He received his undergraduate degree as an honor student in Economics from Lamar University and is currently set to graduate with his Masters in Strategic Management/Entrepreneurship in the Fall of 2021.




Zachary Moore 

Zachary joined ICIS in 2016 and currently works as deputy managing editor for the Americas region. He covers North American markets for major commodity polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene as well as intermediate chemicals used in the production of polyurethane foams.

Prior to joining ICIS, Zachary covered commodity polymer markets in Asia and Turkey for ChemOrbis. He has a total of 12 years’ experience in the petrochemical and plastic markets as a markets reporter, researcher and analyst.

Zachary holds a BBA in economics from Georgia State University and an MA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.


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