Speaker Series Bios
Ryan Van Portfliet
Ryan Van Portfliet works with Invenergy LLC as the Senior Business Development Analyst. He is the project developer for the Eastern Region Renewable department. He oversees the development of wind and solar energy projects. Invenergy LLC is an innovator in renewable energy power generation and storage solutions. Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own, and operate over 16+ GW of large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation and storage facilities throughout the world. Ryan is a Loyola alumni, with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (2014) and a Master of Business Administration (2015).
Caitlin Donato is the Manager of Lung Health at the American Lung Association. Most recently, Caitlin is overseeing the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Educator Institute in Chicago. She helps to raise awareness and educate the public on the prevalence of COPD in the US and how healthcare professionals can help patients suffering from COPD. Caitlin has also worked at Loyola on the LUREC farm, assisting in the production and harvesting of our fruits and vegetables. Caitlin is a Loyola alumni with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science (2011). She also holds a Master of Public Health from Emory University (2016).
Paul Durbin is the senior public finance attorney and head of Miller Canfield’s Renewable Energy Finance Practice. With over 20 years of experience, Paul is finance counsel to local governments, nonprofits, and higher education institutions. Paul has worked on noteworthy financings, including the first pooled sustainable energy project financing completed in the US. Paul has worked on important infrastructure financings for the Miller Canfield New York and Chicago offices, as well as US and overseas energy projects. An experienced renewable energy lawyer, Paul is involved in solar, wind, hydroelectric and biofuel projects. He represents developers, investors, and property owners in development, financings, and construction of energy facilities, as well as the purchase of power generation. He recently served as lead counsel in the successful development of the first solar farm for a major university.
Daniel Edelstein is the Boston College Public Service Legal Fellow for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. Through this fellowship, he is working towards justice, equity, and sustainability in the food system through legal and policy solutions, in addition to the use of community-based strategies. Labor regulations related to the agricultural industry is a critical issue in the US and has a negative impact on migrant farmworkers. Daniel works to combat abuse in the agricultural industry by providing his legal assistance and advocacy to this migrant farmworkers. He is also looking at new and creative ways to use the law to strengthen local and regional food systems, and reduce harms to public health and the environment. Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and the Classics (Ancient Greek) from DePaul University (2010) and a Law Degree from the Boston College Law School (2017).
Gabrielle is an IES alumni with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (2016). She began at Third Coast as an intern in January of 2017 and has since joined the team as the Merchandising Assistant. Gabrielle focuses on the research and development aspect of Third Coast Commodities, LLC. The mission of Third Coast Commodities, LLC is to create a physical merchant with the combined goals of bringing transparency to the world of physical derivative commodities and reducing risk. The overall focus is for Third Coast Commodities, LLC to promote the reuse and repurposing of their clients’ byproducts.
Rob entered the biodiesel world back in 2006 where he cut his teeth running a private UCO lab outside of Chicago. Upon closing his lab, he moved into the city to form a small outreach and UCO collection company, Chicago Biofuels. Here, he closely worked with Loyola University's Biodiesel program to aid in the logistics side of production. Rob is a Junior Trader at Third Coast Commodities, LLC. The mission of Third Coast Commodities, LLC is to create a physical merchant with the combined goals of bringing transparency to the world of physical derivative commodities and reducing risk. Rob is one of four full-time traders. He helps to service over 200 companies nationally and internationally relating to the fats, oils, and grease industry (includes commercial crush, biofuels, restaurant recycling, oleo chemical, animal feed, and heating oil markets). The overall focus is for Third Coast Commodities, LLC to promote the reuse and repurposing of their clients’ byproducts.