Management Team

Sylvatex has assembled an outstanding board with the technical and business expertise to develop and market its technology. Scientific expertise is strong in the fields of process chemistry, engineering, and fuels testing.
Left to right: Chris Weaver, David Cooper, Rene  Schena, Virginia Klausmeier, Richard Polanco
The underlying microemulsion technology was developed by the late William H. Klausmeier, Ph.D who had an extensive career in biomass research and biofuel technology. Current directors include leading experts in California legislative affairs and petroleum industry management & consulting.

Management Team
Virginia M. Klausmeier, M.S.
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer – Virginia has been involved with the development of Sylvatex’s microemulsion technology since 2000. She assisted the founding chemist, late Dr. William Klausmeier, in laboratory testing and development of the company’s intellectual property portfolio. Since 2010 Virginia has engaged with petroleum industry thought leaders while solidifying a strong network of experts who support the company’s technology and market focus. Under her direction, Sylvatex has won numerous awards at industry conferences and venture funding competitions — including Silicon Valley LAUNCH and PortTechLA — and earned funding and support through the Greenstart accelerator program. Prior to this venture, Virginia managed new development ideas for a Fortune 500 medical device company and led their US clinical and biomechanical research. Virginia earned a B.S in Chemistry & Physiology and a M.S. in Biomechanics at the University of Oregon. She is also active in the San Francisco Biofuel Task force, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Astia. Virginia was recently featured as one of the “Top 10 women in biofuels” and has recently been selected with a small number of other female CEO’s to be mentored by Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Kristen Aramthanapon, M.S.
Kristen Aramthanapon is currently the Chief Technology Officer for Sylvatex Inc. where she has been leading the development required for obtaining EPA registration, CARB approval, formulation optimization, and partnerships required for pilot projects.  Prior to this she was the lead chemistry developer for Wolfram Research where she led and managed all of the chemistry content and functions for what eventually became Wolfram Alpha.  Kristen also worked for the Illinois State Geological Survey where she outlined plans and carried out experiments for various energy endeavors.  Kristen completed her masters in chemistry under the supervision of Dr. Steven Zimmerman where she designed and synthesized dendrimers with tailored solubility.  Her thesis focused on the synthesis and surface-functionalization of dendrimer encapsulated quantum dots for biomedical imaging.

Chuck Vacin, MBA
Chuck is a consultant for Sylvatex and has been working directly with CEO, Virginia Klausmeier, providing valuable support for Sylvatex’s on-going business, finance, and strategy needs. Chuck has over 14 years of experience working in the biotechnology sector, and brings a sincere passion for renewable fuel and energy solutions to Sylvatex. Mr. Vacin holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from California State University, Humboldt, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business where he worked with diverse companies such as Intuit, Panasonic, National Semiconductor, and Children’s Hospital (CHORI).

Board Members

Bruce Rubin, MBA
Director – Bruce Rubin has over 30 yrs experience in the refining & petrochemical sector. He was formerly the SVP of Sunoco Inc. and served as CEO of Sunoco Chemicals, generating over $4 billion annually. As CEO of Braskem America , Bruce oversaw the successful transition of Sunoco Chemicals to Braskem. Currently, Bruce is a Director & officer of Braskem America. Bruce has served on a number of boards including the American Chemistry Council, Franklin Institute, and the AFPM (NPRA) Petrochemical Board. Bruce has been instrumental in providing Sylvatex with industry contacts and guidance on the overall business plan.

Rene Schena
Director & Chemical Procurement – Ms. Schena served as CEO and Chairman for Telechem International and its subsidiary, Arrayit, which grew from their founding in 1993 to become a leading company in chemical sourcing and specialty biotech products. Under her leadership, Telechem was recognized as one of Fortune 500’s fastest-growing companies (2003) and was ranked 11th among Silicon Valley companies (2005). Ms. Schena orchestrated sale of Telechem in 2008 for approximately $23 million.

Senator Richard Polanco
Advisor – Mr. Polanco, a former California State Senator and State Assembly Member, served from 1986 until his retirement in 2002. Polanco was Senate Majority Leader from 1998-2002, and chaired the California Latino Legislative Caucus from 1990-2002. In 2002 Polanco established the California Latino Caucus Institute for Public Policy, a non-profit development organization focused on public policy, education and leadership. Prior to elected office, Polanco served on the staff of Los Angeles County Supervisor Ed Edelman, Assemblyman Richard Alatorre and former Governor Jerry Brown. Mr. Polanco attended East Los Angeles College, the University of Redlands and the Universidad de Mexico. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Meruelo Maddux Properties, Inc. and California Delta Dental, Inc.

Christopher S. Weaver, P.E.
Advisor & Contractor – Mr. Weaver is President of Engine, Fuel and Emissions Engineering, Inc., an air quality consulting and R&D firm located in Sacramento, California. Mr. Weaver has more than 20 years experience in the areas of motor vehicle emissions and alternative fuels, with a heavy focus on diesel emissions. He has contributed to the phasing-out of leaded gasoline in five countries (including the U.S.) and the development of diesel control programs from Bangkok to Buenos Aires. He led the team that developed and commercialized EF&EE’s RAVEM on-board vehicle-emission measurement system, and has used that system to measure in-use emissions from trucks, buses, ferryboats, locomotives, and other mobile equipment using diesel and alternative fuels. Mr. Weaver holds an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Berkeley.

David P. Cooper, J.D.
Advisor & IP Attorney – Mr. Cooper has substantial experience in IP prosecution, licensing and litigation. His technical background is in chemistry and materials science, and his legal experience has involved IP work concerning a wide variety of technologies, art and brands. His firm, Kolisch, Hartwell, PC–a nearly 60-year-old firm specializing in IP–is based in Portland, with a Palo Alto office and a long list of both foreign and domestic clients.