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 (updated!).

ESI Advisory Board Members


Name Organization Representing
William Paige



Kelly Fie

Santa Fe Natural Tobacco 


Matt Williams

John Deere Turf Care 

At Large 

Rosie Huffman

Firestone Fibers & Textiles 

At Large 

 Kelli Swain  TE Connectivity

At Large 

 Jon Jensen Leggett & Platt ON64

Environmental and Citizen NGOs 

Jimmy Carter

NC Manufacturers Alliance 

Industrial Trade Group 

Janet Garner


Large Business 

Tausha Fanslau

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations 

Large Business 

Lindsey Nichols

Daimler Trucks North America – Cleveland 

Large Business 

David Shellenbarger

City of Gastonia

Local Government 

John Nicholson, Chair


DEQ - Chair of ESI 



Small Business 

David Auge Grifols Therapeutic

Small Business 

Kelly Murphy

NC Zoological Park 

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
John Nicholson, Chair Secretary's Office
Shawn McKee Division of Waste Management
Jay Zimmerman 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