UF TREEO Instructors



Toy Akien_
Toi Akien, CSP

Mr. Toi Akien is an Environmental Scientist with a background in project engineering. His experience includes managing and conducting asbestos inspections, conducting phase I and phase II environmental site assessments, soil and groundwater sampling and site contamination research assessment. Mr. Akien is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Certified Inspector and Risk Assessor, an ACAC Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC), and a Licensed Asbestos Consultant (LAC). He has extensive training experience garnered as an educator with the Palm Beach County School District and teacher in private local classes. He has been an instructor with UF TREEO since 2017. 

Brian DuChene
Brian DuChene, PE

Mr. DuChene is an Engineering and IEQ Consultant for Terracon Consulting, Inc. and has provided instruction for asbestos and other courses offered by UF TREEO since 1989.  He has co-developed the curriculum materials for UF TREEO’s AHERA Asbestos Inspector/Management Planner Refresher courses.  Mr. DuChene has conducted specialized asbestos training seminars including AHERA compliant worker, supervisor, inspector/management planner refreshers, two-hour awareness, and 16-hour Operations and Maintenance courses.

Mark Fricke, CIH, CSP
Mr. Fricke has worked in the environmental consulting field for nearly 20 years. He has extensive experience serving both public and private sector clients and the insurance industry. He has performed numerous property assessments for mold and bacterial contamination, mold cause and origin investigations, building envelope failures, water intrusion, lead-based paint inspections / risk assessments, asbestos surveys, and abatement design, as well as industrial/occupational hygiene sampling and exposure assessment.
Tim Grobe, CSP
Mr. Grobe is a Senior Safety Engineer that has been a UF TREEO instructor since 1989. He holds a MS in Occupational Safety and Health from Marshall University, is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), a Certified Instructional Trainer (CIT), and a Licensed Asbestos Consultant (LAC).
Russ Stauffer
Russell Stauffer, PE, LEED AP
Mr Stauffer has over 40 years of experience as a civil, structural and environmental engineer/industrial hygiene consultant. His project experience ranges from pre-renovation to property transfer assessments and demolitions of major industrial facilities in Florida and around the country. He has been an instructor with UF TREEO since 1988.
Karen M. Meyer
Partner ESI, Inc.
Neil Patterson
Florida Power and Light
Bob Sweeney
Florida Power and Light
David Wiggins
David M. Wiggins

David Wiggins is the CEO and President of Hazardous Operations, Inc.  He has been the in the Environmental Health & Safety field since the 1980’s. 

In 1994, he joined the State of Florida where he was the Supervisor of Environmental Health & Safety for the State Buildings overseeing all aspects of training for Asbestos, Lead, Indoor Air Quality, Underground Fuel Storage tanks, Hazardous Waste Operations, PCB’s and Water Quality projects.

He has been an instructor with UF TREEO since 1996.

Zak Headshot
Paul Zak
Mr. Zak has been involved in the environmental consulting field since 1999. He has a working knowledge of regulations and projects involving industrial hygiene, safety, asbestos, lead, PCB’s, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), mold, and OSHA compliance. Mr. Zak has extensive experience with a wide variety of public, private and industrial clients, including an extensive list of architectural, construction and engineering firms throughout the country.
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Terry L. Zinn
Attorney at Law
Debbie Vilar, CSP
Ms. Vilar is a Health and Safety Professional with over 15 years of experience in industrial hygiene, project management, and site assessments. Her project experience has been for private, commercial, and public clients which include professional service firms, manufacturing facilities, various county educational facilities, and municipal government agencies. Ms. Vilar is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and has been an instructor with UF TREEO since 2022.

Waste Management

Robert Bachus
Robert Bachus, PHD, P.E.

Robert, principal of GeoSyntec Consultants, holds a doctorate degree in geotechnical engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Bachus has been project manager for many projects requiring specialty geotechnical analysis and geotechnical testing. He has over 22 years experience in geotechnical engineering and is a nationally recognized expert in areas of landfill design, in situ testing, laboratory testing, and soil stabilization.

Carmen Bruno

Carmen has over 18 years working in Solid Waste Management, including customer service, scalehouse operations, recycling, site utilization and training. Currently he is working as the Recycling Coordinator for Hernando County. He is currently working to increase Hernando County’s curbside recycling program and implementing a composting program. Before finding his way into the solid waste industry Carmen worked as an Industrial Engineer in the contract manufacturing sector. Carmen is certified through SWANA as a Recycling Systems and Composting Manager and holds numerous FDEP certifications in solid waste.

Carmen has been teaching for TREEO since 2004.

Jane Gregory, CHMM, CET

Jane Gregory has almost thirty years of experience in the environmental compliance field, working in both the public and private sectors.  She is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, a Certified Environmental Trainer and a LEED Green Associate.  Jane currently serves Orange County citizens as the Public Information Officer for the Environmental Protection Division and Supervises the Compliance Support and Strategic Engagement Program.  She also represents Orange County on the Central Florida food policy council and the Central Florida Energy Efficiency Alliance, serves on the Board of the Metropolitan Environmental TRaining Alliance (METRA), and teaches hazardous waste management as an instructor for the UF TREEO Center. 

Dr. S. Adrian Gale
Adrian Gale has a masters degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a PhD degree from the University of Florida (UF). With over 10 years of experience in environmental consulting and Research & Development, Dr. Gale’s work focuses on the intersectionality between solid and hazardous waste regulatory compliance and RCRA corrective action of drinking water and groundwater sources. In addition, Dr. Gale has taught undergraduate Water/Wastewater Technology and Design courses in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at UF and numerous Solid & Hazardous Waste courses within the UF TREEO Center curriculum. By employing a multi-media teaching method that combines historical and contemporary waste management issues, Dr. Gale’s lectures have consistently received positive reviews.
Norman Thomas
Retired in 2013 as Solid Waste Director of Leon County, Florida. He has over 30 years of executive management experience in Solid Waste Management, including landfill operations, transfer station operations, waste hauling, waste collection, rural waste convenience center operations, solid waste management facility siting, contract management, recycling and public relations.
Timothy Townsend is a professor of Environmental Engineering Sciences in the Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment at the University of Florida. His area of expertise is solid and hazardous waste management. Research interests include sustainable landfill design, construction and operation; managing construction and demolition debris; beneficial use and recycling of wastes; and handling of special wastes such as electronic scrap, recyclers, and sustainable materials management. Dr. Townsend teaches courses on waste and materials management fundamentals, landfill design, and waste management in developing countries.

Water Quality

Phil Brown
Philip Brown

Phil has been employed with the City of Jacksonville Beach for 26 years. He started with the city as a Lift Station Mechanic, was promoted to Plant Mechanic and is now the Water/Wastewater Deputy Superintendent. When Phil obtained his Wastewater C license he fell in love with the industry and continued his education until he received his Wastewater A license. Phillip also has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Leadership with a minor in Business. Phillip is happily married with five kids and five grandchildren. “When you love your job it’s no longer work anymore.”

Joe Cheatham

Joe  recently retired from  the City of Tallahassee  as their Assistant General Manager Wastewater Operations where he served for the past 14 years. Previously he was the Wastewater Director for Collier County Public Utilities and the Water Reclamation Facilities Manager for Gainesville Regional Utilities. He has a total of 49 years experience in wastewater operations with 38 years in a senior leadership role. He served as a peer reviewer for the AWWA  Qualserve Program, former Florida Governors Sterling Award Examiner, and the Water/Wastewater Service Area Lead for the Florida Benchmarking Consortium (FBC). He has served in leadership roles for the Florida Water Environment Association  (FWEA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), and the Florida Water and Pollution Control Operators Association (FWPCOA) . Joe is a Life Member of WEF and FWEA.   He has made numerous presentations at the state and national level in wastewater technology and leadership/management topics. Joe currently holds a Florida Class A Wastewater Operator Certification.  

Charlie Martin, PhD

Charlie has Florida Class A Water and Wastewater Operator Licenses. He has a Doctorate degree in Civil Engineering, a Masters of Engineering in Civil Engineering, a BS in Biology/Expanded Physical Science and an AA degree in Chemistry.

Presently, Charlie is the Water/Wastewater Director for the City of Graceville. There he has an Advanced Wastewater Treatment facility and directs a NELAC certified Drinking Water/Environmental Water Laboratory.

Updated Pic 7.2019Jeff Odoms, M.A, FAEM

Jeff Odoms, M.A, FAEM has a Florida Class A Wastewater Operator License with 25 years of experience in the field wastewater treatment operations, environmental and  industrial pre-treatment program compliance and emergency preparedness as it relates to these industries. He holds a M.A degree in Emergency/Disaster Management, a B.S in Project Management and an A.S in Forensic Investigation. He is also credentialed as a Florida Associate Emergency Manager and a FEMA Incident Command Course/National Incident Management System Instructor.

Daniel Pfleiderer

Daniel Pfleiderer (Rick) recently retired as a Director of Water Resources. He graduated with a BS in Environmental Science and obtained his MBA in Technology Management.

He started his career as an intern for Six Flags NJ and worked at a municipal owned WTP. He left that position and accepted a job at a privately owned WWTP with tertiary treatment, collection system and a distribution system supplied by wells. He then became a Project Manager for one of the largest contracts in NJ and was responsible for customer service, water treatment, distribution, wastewater treatment and collection systems. He was promoted several times and became a Division Director responsible for several systems. These positions included managing union and non-union work forces and working with municipal and private companies. As Director of Water Resources he was responsible for a DAF and conventional WTP, lab, reservoirs, water shed and distribution system.

He maintains the highest licenses for Water and Distribution with NJ, SC, Texas and Association of Board of Certifications. He is also certified in the second highest in Wastewater Treatment in NJ, SC and the Association of Board of Certifications.  In addition, he holds the highest license in NJ for wastewater collections and the second highest in Industrial Treatment. He is certified in ICS 100, 200 and 700.

Steve Roberts

Steve is an instructor for the Water Programs at the University of Florida TREEO Center. In addition to his knowledge and experience in water plant operations, Steve brings to students a diverse and well-rounded perspective of local water resources conditions, issues and needs.  He has performed instruction throughout the state of Florida.  These added values are supported by having 40 years of related experiences in the public sector.  This includes engineering consulting, municipal water, reclaimed water and storm water system operations, maintenance, planning, and executive management.  He is a licensed Florida Class A Water Operator. His academic background includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management, and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Safety and Health Environmental Management with a concentration in Environment Management.

Glynn Stoffel
Glynn Stoffel, CET
Glynn is a certified environmental trainer and owner of GLS Environmental Associates. He has over 30 years experience in maintaining and managing underground utility systems. As a training consultant, he has delivered thousands of hours of training throughout the country on the safe operation, maintenance and construction of water, sewer and storm drain systems, including the development of a series of courses to assist construction inspectors in obtaining NICET certification. He also provides training in water system security, emergency response planning and asset management and is a regular guest instructor at the Florida Water Utility Management Institute. In addition to his work with UF/TREEO, he conducts training for the Maryland Center for Environmental Training at the College of Southern Maryland, the Technology Transfer (T2) Center at the University of Maryland and the Environmental Training Center at Delaware Technical & Community College. He has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore and is recognized as a Certified Environmental Trainer and Certified Instructional Technologist by the National Environmental, Safety and Health Training Association.
Ron Trygar
Ron Trygar, CET/CIT

Staff Expertise/Qualifications - Ron Trygar, CET/CIT is the Senior Training Specialist for Water and Wastewater programs at the University of Florida TREEO Center.

Ron entered the water and wastewater treatment field soon after graduating high school in 1983, and during the past 38+ years he has worked his way up the career ladder from Plant Mechanic/Operator Assistant to become a Treatment Plant Chief Operator, a Project Manager Intern for a worldwide operations firm, as an Education Specialist in the US Virgin Islands and as a Process Control Specialist at Hillsborough County Public Utilities Division. Ron has been employed at UF TREEO Center for more than 14 years, teaching most all the drinking water and wastewater treatment courses. Ron has also developed many online courses that are approved by the Florida DEP and many other states as plant operator exam prerequisites. Ron is an accomplished author of many laboratory and troubleshooting related articles for Treatment Plant Operator (TPO) magazine.

Ron has been a Certified Environmental Trainer (CET) and Certified Instructional Technologist (CIT) through the National Environmental, Safety and Health Training Association (NESHTA) since 1998, as well as obtaining Master Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer status in 2021.

Ron currently holds Florida Class A Wastewater Operator and Class B Drinking Water Operator licenses, and voluntary certification through the Southeast Desalting Association (SEDA) as a Membrane Treatment Plant Operator. Ron has also been a member of the Florida DEP Operator Certification Program’s Water and Wastewater Exam Review Committee since 1997.

Chuck Saunders

Chuck Saunders has been an Electrician/ Electronic and Instrument Tech for over 38 years, working first in the steel industry for 18 years and later in the Water / Wastewater field. Chuck studied Industrial Electricity at Florida Junior College and continued his education in the fields of electronics and instrumentation. He has been an ISA Certified Control Systems Technician for 19 years and has published two white papers for ISA on automation in the wastewater industry. In 2001, Chuck began working for the City of Jacksonville Beach to begin automating the Waste Water Treatment Plant there. From 2009 through 2011 he was instrumental in the design and construction oversight of a new 4.5MGD Sequential Batch Reactor Treatment Plant at Jacksonville Beach. In addition to his work bringing the SBR Plant to life, he redesigned the electrical systems for Jacksonville Beach’s 38 lift stations in order to standardize all the stations control systems into one design.

Chuck has two daughters and two grandsons. He is an avid motorcyclist having ridden extensively throughout the mountains of the southeast and he plays lead guitar in a working blues/classic rock band. Besides playing at many Jacksonville area bars and nightclubs he has performed at Buddy Guys Legends in Chicago and numerous Blues Festivals.