Seasoned industry professionals with a passion for helping leaders send everyone home, alive and well at the end of the day





Paul Balmert is a fire-tested leader with real-world experience in industry and author of the best-selling “Alive and Well at the End of the Day: A Supervisor’s Guide to Managing Safety in Operations” published by John Wiley and Sons. He is well known for his thought-provoking, practical and useful ideas that have made a significant difference sending people home alive and well at the end of the day in the functions he managed and in his client’s organizations under his tutelage.


Paul is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and his career in chemical manufacturing spans 30 years.


Paul’s diverse experience includes management responsibility for Environmental, Safety, Health, emergency response, and public relations major manufacturing site. Paul spent 13 years as a member of the line organization where he was responsible for plant maintenance, shift production and distribution operations. He has worked at the division and corporate level, where his responsibilities included worldwide oversight of the manufacturing training function.


In 2000, Paul formed Balmert Consulting, a consulting practice that is principally focused on improving operations execution, including improving the management effectiveness in leading and managing safety performance. His clients include manufacturing and operations functions around the globe. In the last fourteen years, he’s taught safety leadership practices to an audience of operations supervisors, managers and senior leaders totaling more than 50,000.



V. Scott Pignolet has an extensive history of successfully developing, selling, managing, and delivering technology based services and products to the petroleum, petrochemical, chemical, pulp and paper, mining, and utilities industries.

He retired from DuPont after a twenty-six year career. He joined Paul Balmert in 2000 and now is active as a consultant, coach, and speaker. He has studied the skills that improve sales force efficiency, those that make a leader effective and the safety execution skills of line managers. He also focuses on articulation and the thought process that result in clear, crisp, results-oriented talks and presentations: what makes a message concise, compelling, and convincing. Scott and Paul are co-authors and instructors of Balmert Consulting’s “Influencing Skills for EHS Professionals” .

Scott co-authored a series of articles on safety leadership and management with Paul for Outlook magazine, the publication of the National Insulation Association. He is also publisher and a regular contributor to Balmert Consulting’s monthly newsletter Managing Safety Performance News, which is read by over 10,000 safety professionals and line managers a month.  He did all the artwork and graphics for Paul's book Alive and Well At The End Of The Day, our websites, our sales collateral and our popular annual Christmas card.

Scott leads the business development initiative for Balmert Consulting. He develops client relationships and identifies client needs to improve operational execution. On occasion he steps into the classroom as an instructor.

He is a graduate of Cleveland State University and holds a BS in Civil Engineering. He is Chairman Emeritus and a long time Board member of Village Learning and Achievement Center a non-profit organization that provides services to adults with disabilities.  He serves as Chairman of the Governance Committee.




Meet "Skeets". We often get asked, where did the neat little guy in our logo come from? How'd he get his name? What does he do around the office? Does he represent that in your youth you were track stars? Let me start there - Nope!

The fact of the matter is, when we started to visualize "Execution and getting things done!" the image of a hurdler came to mind. We couldn't put him down. He was a man in motion. Our attraction to the image grew. High hurdles are by far the most challenging track and field event and we are all about taking on the toughest challenges. Being a hurdler requires speed, strength and agility. To be a winner in business today requires speed, strength and agility and that's what we focus on to get things done. The image wouldn't leave us, so we adopted him and made him Vice President of Execution responsible for getting things done! Meet "Skeets"!

Oh, and where did his name come from? Reynaldo "Skeets" Nehemiah was the all time king of the high hurdles. What Nehemiah did better than anyone else in the late 1970s and early '80s was run the 110-meter high hurdles. Though he missed the '80 Moscow Olympics because of the U.S. boycott, he thrice set the world record in his event, the last time in the summer of '81, when he ran a 12.93 in Zurich to become the first hurdler to break the 13-second barrier. So, over coffee and a few e-mails a logo was born and named.

Around the office he's constantly in motion challenging us to tackle the tough stuff, to make a difference, to develop and use our speed, strength and agility. "Execution is the difference that makes a difference" and "Skeets" has got job security!



Rafael Mendez is a 1962 BS Chemical Engineering graduate from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC He recently retired from Union Carbide Corporation after working for almost 40 years in manufacturing and distribution management in the chemical industry both in the USA and overseas.

During the span of his career at Union Carbide he has been responsible for managing large manufacturing facilities like Olefin, Oxo Alcohols, Ethylene Oxide, Low Density Polyethylene, Vinyl Acetate among others. He also managed Union Carbide USA Gulf Coast Pipeline system and various owned and contracted distribution terminals. In addition, he has also been responsible for managing functions like Purchasing, Health/Safety and Environmental, Engineering, etc.

Rafael returned to the USA after a five years assignment in Sao Paulo, Brazil where as Director of Operations he was responsible for managing Union Carbide Manufacturing, Distribution, Purchasing, Engineering, Environmental, Safety and Health operations in Latin America and South Africa. He was awarded the prestigious Union Carbide Chairman award for his work during this assignment.

He was born in Cuba and he is totally fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineering.



Gary Wigginton retired from the DuPont Company after a 33-year career in manufacturing, sales, and marketing. His assignments took him to a variety of locations including Wilmington, Delaware; Coral Gables, Florida; Paris, France and Houston, Texas.

His most recent responsibility in DuPont was to lead the successful implementation of Six Sigma process improvement technology in his business. Prior to that he served as Plant Manager at DuPont’s LaPorte, TX plant where he had responsibility for more than 1000 people and the operations of four Strategic Business Units. While at LaPorte the plant established several safety records and was recognized by the Texas Chemical Council as “Best in Class”. The site also received the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

Gary has worked with various Houston area industry and community organizations. In 1999 he served as Chairman of the Board of the East Harris County Manufacturers Association and led the chemical industry rollout of the EPA-required Risk Management Program. He was also active in the LaPorte-Bayshore Chamber of Commerce where he served as Chairman of the Board.

Gary has a keen interest in safety and process improvement. He takes a practical, no nonsense approach to business and is a strong believer in teams and the power of collaboration in achieving breakthrough performance. Gary grew up in Missouri- the “Show Me” state, which probably accounts for his mantra “show me the data” when tackling problem solutions. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla.



Jim Morris, is a 1964 BS Chemical Engineering graduate of Louisiana State University Baton Rouge. He received a MS and Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science (with major emphasis in Chemical Engineering) from Yale University. Jim went to work in Baton Rouge with Exxon Mobil Chemical Company in a new high pressure polyethylene venture.

Jim held several technical and supervisory positions in both the technical and operations areas, at two Exxon Mobil plants in the Baton Rouge area, before transferring to Baytown, Texas. There he managed the operations of a large Butyl Rubber facility and a Polypropylene plant with five lines and two separate technologies. Throughout his operations career, Jim was involved in teaching in-house courses to technical and operations employees, including communications and management skills courses.

The last several years of his career with Exxon Mobil were spent as the Safety & Environmental Manager for the Baytown Chemical Plant. This position included the Safety programs for the site, emergency response for fire, medical, and HAZMAT, compliance with government requirements, as well as the Safety in Design oversight for the site operating units. He was heavily involved in the development and documentation of a system of Operations Safety Practices, which included adherence assessments to this system, both in and outside of the Chemical Plant. He also taught other safety process and management courses. Environmental responsibilities included the monitoring and permitting areas for the site.

Jim retired from Exxon Mobil after almost 34 years in Operations, and began teaching chemistry at the Kingwood College campus of the North Harris Montgomery County College District. His interest in teaching has spanned his entire career with Exxon Mobil, and has continued to the present.  He feels strongly that his interest in teaching and his operations experience can bring reality and reason to college students, as well as to those in industry seeking to improve their knowledge and skills capabilities in the arena of safety and leadership.



Pete Robison joined Balmert Consulting after a 29-year petroleum company career with Texaco and Shell serving in a number of technical, managerial and staff positions in biofuels, analytical and environmental chemistry and fuel quality. At each organization he was keenly involved in business improvement, technology and environment, health and safety. He brings a broad range of skills including technical knowledge, customer responsiveness, and coaching and mentoring of technical staff.

Pete received an AB in Chemistry from Cornell University, his MBA in Executive management from Rennselaer Polytechnic University, and a PhD in Biochemistry from Syracuse University.

In his last position at Shell Pete implemented a database system for tracking fuel quality incidents in the businesses that is currently saving the company about $1-2 MM per year in reduced incidents. He also championed efforts to bring in Root Cause Analysis investigation procedures to Shell businesses for fuels quality incidents. He was known throughout the company as an RCA expert for fuel quality incident investigations.

While in Environmental Technology for Shell he provided technical and regulatory advice for applications at refineries, distribution terminals and retail service stations. He was also involved in developing HSE processes and received an award for leading an audit team for laboratory HSE inspections.

During Pete's time working in Fuel Quality at Shell he also provided teaching and mentoring to business unit staff, including being the Shell answer man for individual customer questions to the Shell wide web for fuel quality. He also developed a new business model for fuel quality support to the trucking support group within the Distribution business unit and received several awards from that organization for 24-7 fuel quality support.




Luis Batiz is a Magna Cum Laude Chemical Engineering graduate from the University of Puerto Rico and earned a degree in Nuclear Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology.  Luis has thirty-five years experience in operations, marketing and corporate management, domestically and internationally.

Most recently, Luis was Senior Vice President of Operations for the TPC Group, where he was accountable for all plants and distribution facilities, R&D, Supply Chain, Capital Program and Quality Systems.  He also served as Vice President Production for Shell Oil Products with responsibility for their Deer Park refinery.  Before that, Luis was President of Best Business Solutions, a business brokerage company. He started his career working for Union Carbide and Dow Chemical in a number of manufacturing leadership assignments.  These included Assistant Plant Manager at Union Carbide’s Texas City Plant, Managing Director for the Union Carbide Limited subsidiary in the United Kingdom, Plant Manager for the chemical manufacturing facilities at Wilton in the United Kingdom. He also served as Global Manufacturing Director for the Dow Chemical Surfactants business, where he led the transition of the Union Carbide Surfactants business into Dow’s work processes including implementation of Six Sigma.  While at Dow he was responsible for operating plants in the USA, France, Belgium and Malaysia.

Luis served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Texas Chemical Council and chaired their Air Conservation Committee.  He was also the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Houston Regional Monitoring Corporation and was a board member of the East Harris County Manufacturers Association.

Luis’ longstanding commitment to safety is best demonstrated by his sustained record of superior personnel safety performance, and his achievement of world class recognition awards from industry groups such as the TCC, NPRA, and the Texas Chemical Council.  Luis played a key role in the development of Union Carbide’s 100% Compliance Program and a founding member of the process safety program for the ethylene business.

He was born in Puerto Rico and is fluent in English and Spanish.



Bill Wilson joined Balmert Consulting following a forty-year career with International Paper Company.   Bill grew up in Anaconda, Montana, a small mining and copper-smelting town.   He received a BA in Mathematics from Carroll College in Helena, Montana and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University in New York City in 1974.

At International Paper his career assignments included facility engineering, plant management, project management, plant general management, technical service,, marketing, division supply chain management, business sector management and corporate supply chain project management.

Bill finished his career as Director of Operations in the corporate Supply Chain Center of Excellence.  This role included development and leadership of the Lean & Six Sigma organization for corporate Supply Chain.  This role enabled Bill to use his experience and expertise in process management as a trainer and mentor to Green Belt and Black Belt candidates.  His strong work ethic and accountability for business and safety results in five manufacturing facilities and various staff assignments provides a unique appreciation for leadership skills, especially in the area of safety.

In addition to his role as a Balmert Consulting teacher, Bill serves on the Board of Directors for a charitable foundation dedicated to providing financial support to eligible International Paper employees.   He has also served in a leadership role for youth hockey and the United Way.



Wayne Pignolet joins Balmert Consulting following a thirty-year career with Lintern Corporation, an industrial air conditioning and crane cab manufacturing firm, Moen Incorporated, the faucet company, and Surfaces in Stone, a regional granite and stone fabrication and installation company.

Wayne grew up in Cleveland Ohio and received his BA in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1982 and a Masters of Business from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management in 1988.

At Lintern Corporation Wayne worked with steel mills to spec and install equipment to protect workers and equipment in harsh environments like coke ovens and rolling mills. At Moen Incorporated Wayne was a two time winner of the President’s Achievement Award for his work establishing and managing a manufacturing joint venture in China. As owner/President of Surfaces in Stone Wayne purchased a struggling granite and stone fabrication company and quickly returned it to profitability. He did this with a focus on creating a safe work environment in an inherently dangerous environment.

Wayne has also worked as a business and leadership coach, helping leaders create a clear vision for success and putting in place the tools, people and processes necessary to achieve the vision.

In addition to his role as a Balmert Consulting teacher, Wayne serves as the Executive Director of Team Autism 24/7, a 501© 3 non-profit that raises money and awareness for families living on the autism spectrum.



Van Long joined Balmert Consulting following more than forty years in the Chemicals, Petrochemicals and Mining industries. Van grew up in North Florida and received an AS from Lake City Community College (currently Florida Gateway College) in 1970 and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1973. He is a registered Professional Engineer and completed Executive Education programs at the University of Michigan School of Business in manufacturing and business.

During his career he has worked for Union Carbide Corporation, Rhone Poulenc and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company. Assignments with these companies have included Project Engineering, Maintenance, Operations, General Plant Management, Senior Consultant for Process Safety and Vice President of Health, Safety and Environment. He has also served on the Advisory Board for the Center for Process Safety.

Van’s career has included Leadership assignments involving Operational Excellence, Strategic planning, Business Performance Reengineering, Change Management, Workforce Development, Corporate Policy Development and Auditing, Productivity and Process improvements, Labor relations, Community Relations and Risk Communications. His strong focus on operational excellence has included accountability for business performance, and personnel and process safety at five complex manufacturing facilities. As a site leader, Van drove the change effort to produce a dramatic change in safety culture and achieve world class safety performance at two large manufacturing facilities.

In addition to his consulting role, Van currently serves on the Foundation Board for Florida Gateway College.



Nancy Sauer joined Balmert Consulting following a twenty-year career with AECOM, an international architectural and consulting firm. She earned her MBA from the University of Cincinnati, and an MSEC in Environmental Engineering from University of Akron.

As a Program Manager in the AECOM Environmental Business Line, Nancy's environmental responsibilities involved major industrial clients engaged in the oil and gas and chemical industry. She managed field operations, where she was responsible for project teams engaged in monitoring, testing, remediation, wastewater treatment, as well as the execution of environmental projects at a variety of client sites across the Northeastern US.

Nancy is a licensed Professional Engineer, a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, and a Certified Waste Treatment Plant Operator for Constructed Treatment Wetland Systems. She is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certified Professional.




Bill McEwen joined Balmert Consulting after a forty-four career in the fertilizer manufacturing business that started with Imperial Oil and finished with twenty-seven years at Agrium. Bill grew up in Edmonton Canada, and graduated from Alberta College.

A few months into his career, Bill was transferred to operations, where over the course of his manufacturing and management career, worked in both operations and distribution facilities. Bill served as the Phosphoric Business Unit Coordinator and the Canadian Terminals Manager. As Director, Distribution Network, he was responsible for the safe and reliable operation of the company’s owned, leased and contract operated North American distribution pipelines and distribution facilities. He also managed the Solutions Manufacturing Facilities and for Marketing and Distribution capital planning and execution.  Bill also spent a year leading the organizational redesign at one of Agrium’s major facilities.

Bill consistently improved safety performance his record includes no serious recordable injuries or fatalities during tenure. He championed lean and Six Sigma continuous improvement resulting in cost management while improving reliability. Bill is known as a dynamic leader committed to high performing teams and people. Over his career he delivered continuous performance improvements in EHS&S, PSM, Reliability, Costs, Organizational Capability and People Development.




Todd Crossett joined Balmert Consulting after 25-plus years in international and domestic leadership positions, spanning multiple industries, in both private and public sectors.

Working in the commercial fishing business while in college gave Todd an early appreciation for the value of safety. He spent fifteen years working in Russia and the Former Soviet States in the oil and gas industry, with a clientele that included ExxonMobil, BP, the US Government, numerous oilfield and construction contractors and suppliers. Todd is a Russian speaker and holds an appreciation of Russian and other world cultures.

Later in his career, went to work in the public sector, serving as a city manager for local governments in mountain counties and towns in Idaho, Montana and Colorado, where he was responsible for managing a full range of municipal services. Todd held memberships in the International City County Management Association and the Colorado Association of Ski Towns.

Todd holds a Master’s Degree in International Management and Development from Whitworth University.




Edward Aronson holds a PhD in Organizational Behavior from McGill University in Montréal Canada, with a specialty in leadership. In addition to his work with Balmert Consulting he teaches MBA and BCom courses in leadership at McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management. He has also designed and delivers seminars on Effective Leadership at the McGill International Executive Institute.

Edward is a sought after specialist in his area of leadership and brings a wealth of experience to his role as consultant with Balmert Consulting. He spent more than 30 years in direct leadership positions in industry that include Gillette Canada Inc., Gillette International Division, the furniture industry, and as owner and operator of a furniture manufacturing company for 15 years.

His international business experience includes living abroad and extensive travel to Eastern and Western Europe, Middle East, and the Far East. This allowed him to gain an understanding of the cultural and market differences between North America and other areas of the globe, particularly with respect to leadership, marketing, and business practices. Edward's ability with six languages has greatly facilitated his foreign work activities. He is a resident of Montréal and fluency includes French, German, Italian, Spanish, Croatian and English.

Edward is well recognized for his articles that have been published in various academic journals and he has presented at academic conferences in North America and abroad.



Andy Rodriguez is a versatile, well-rounded, QHSE professional with over forty years’ experience in Management Systems Design and Implementation in manufacturing and service environments. His extensive background in Quality, Health and Safety, Environmental compliance management, and Continual Improvement includes a strong working knowledge of Safety, Environmental, and Quality management systems.

Andy has worked and served in leadership and executive positions at the local, regional, and global level in the oil and gas, petrochemical, aerospace communications, electronics and automotive industries. He has designed and implemented effective Integrated Management Systems, successfully directed IMS Certification efforts to achieve ISO certification for Quality, Environment and Occupational Health and Safety.

He has served on the Board of Examiners for the Texas Award for Performance Excellence, a Senior Member of the American Society for Quality, a ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor. He has served as an Accreditation Auditor with the Registrar Accreditation Board.

Andy received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from LeTourneau University and is a Graduate of the Crosby Quality College.



Louis Mangione is nationally recognized as one of the most dynamic and effective teacher’s coach in education today. Louis has worked with thousands of school teachers across North America; now he’s also our coach for Balmert Consulting instructors, helping us raise the bar on our industry-leading classroom delivery.

Louis’ brilliance is his ability to identify what works, and what could work better, and effectively coach teachers in classroom delivery.  He provides practical and innovative strategies for increasing student engagement and uptake of the lessons taught.

2014 marks seventeen years of Louis' work presenting innovative educational seminars for teachers. Following nearly 20 years of classroom teaching, he began to share his highly effective strategies for engaging students with content through a series of workshops designed for language teachers in 1997. Since that time, he has worked to develop additional cross-curricular seminars for educators K-12. These inspiring sessions – focusing on instructional strategies and based on developments in brain research and an up-to-date understanding of best practices – have received high praise from teachers and administrators in schools and school districts across the US, and at university, state and national conferences. Louis continues to share his expertise and enthusiasm for teaching and learning with talented professionals in the field of education.

In addition to coaching Balmert Consulting Teachers, Louis teaches our Managing Safety Performance: Skills for Supervisors and Managers and is the instructor for our Teaching The Teacher class. Louis can deliver our classes in English or Italian.



David graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Economics and Accounting. He spent the first decade of his career in the banking industry, where he worked in Corporate Trust for JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York Mellon. David specialized in structured finance transactions. As Relationship Manager, David was responsible for client relations with some of the bank’s largest Investment Management clients.

As Business Manager at Balmert Consulting, David oversees day-to-day operations.