Executive Committee

2017-2018

Biographies

John E. MilnerChair:
John E. Milner
Brunini Grantham
Jackson, MS

John Milner concentrates his practice primarily in environmental law. He represents business and industrial clients in environmental litigation in state and federal courts in the southeastern region, as well as environmental permitting and enforcement actions, natural resource damage assessments, and regulation promulgation proceedings before the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and other federal and state agencies. His environmental practice also concerns real estate due diligence and contractual matters in the southeastern region states. John represents clients in lobbying and monitoring activities concerning environmental and other business and industry issues before the Mississippi Legislature.

He is a Fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He has also been recognized by Woodward/White as one of the Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Environmental Law and Litigation- Environmental in Mississippi and is ranked by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers as a Band 1 practitioner of environmental law in Mississippi.

John is the Chair-Elect of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. In 2013, at the ABA Annual Meeting, John Milner received from the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources the first annual “Chair’s Award for Outstanding Contribution” to the Section for 2012-2013.

John currently serves as Environmental Counsel for the Mississippi Manufacturers Association, the primary trade association representing the interests of Mississippi industry, and is General Counsel for the Mississippi Poultry Association and for the Mississippi Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores Association. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and is a past Chairman of the Board.


Amy EdwardsChair-Elect:
Amy L. Edwards
Holland & Knight LLP
Washington, DC

Amy Edwards is a Partner at Holland & Knight LLP in Washington, DC, where she co-chairs the firm's national Environment Team. She routinely counsels developers, lenders and corporations about effective strategies for structuring real estate and corporate transactions to minimize environmental and financial risk. She also counsels clients on climate change and sustainability issues, environmental disclosures, and product stewardship issues, and represents companies in enforcement proceedings. She regularly writes and speaks on these topics. Amy has been practicing environmental and energy law for more than thirty-five years.

She chaired the ASTM committee that developed E 2091, Standard Guide for Use of Activity and Use Limitation, Including Institutional and Engineering Controls, and is the author/editor of the ABA book, Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites (2nd ed., 2012). She was an observer/advisor to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws during its development of the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA).

Amy has held several leadership positions in the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, including as Vice Chair, Education Officer, on its Executive Committee, as Planning Chair for its 21st Fall Conference in Baltimore, MD, as Chair of the Environmental Transactions and Brownfields Committee (ETAB), and as a Vice Chair of the ETAB Committee. Amy also actively served as a member of the Environmental Law Institute's (ELI's) Board of Directors for seven years and serves on the Advisory Board to the Bloomberg BNA Environmental Due Diligence Guide (EDDG). She has been recognized in Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Environment Law; in the Best Lawyers in America guide, Environmental Law; in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, Environmental Law; and in The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers.

Amy received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, and her A.B. from Smith College. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and American Bar Associations.


Karen MignoneVice Chair:
Karen A. Mignone
Xeros Technology Group
Manchester, CT

Karen serves as Global Director of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at Xeros Technology Group plc, a polymer technology company based in Sheffield England.  Xeros develops technology that transforms many water intensive processes by adding polymers to reduce significantly the use of water, chemistry and energy, while improving performance.  Karen’s role at Xeros is to develop its internal sustainability program, as well as helping stakeholders understand the improvements in sustainability and environmental quality provided by using Xeros technology.  Karen is also responsible for internal environmental compliance, and works with customers to insure the adoption of Xeros polymer technology  improves their compliance and sustainability.  Karen is part of the Xeros Executive Management Team, which provides leadership for all company verticals.

Karen left private practice after more than 25 years representing manufacturers, contractors and municipalities in matters involving the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and equivalent state agencies addressing matters of compliance and enforcement. She was a partner in several law firms, the last of which was New England firm of Verrill Dana LLP.  As an advisor to corporations and individuals she gained extensive experience in addressing the remediation of historic hazardous waste sites under CERCLA, managing hazardous waste process issues pursuant to RCRA, and permit and enforcement actions under the CWA and CAA.  While she loved working with clients in developing, maintaining and defending compliance and environmental management programs, Xeros offered her the opportunity to work with a truly game-changing technology that focuses on preserving clean water and working with non-governmental organizations to provide clean water and sanitation in places where it is most needed.  This opportunity to make a difference on a global scale proved irresistible and Karen is happily immersed in learning the technology and assisting the company in implementing it around the world.

Prior to attending law school, Karen served as a fulltime municipal firefighter and medic, and was recognized by the State of Rhode Island as one of its "First Ten Women" honoring women for achievement in non-traditional jobs. She and her husband Jeff live in Mid-Coast Maine, where they enjoy hiking, gardening, birdwatching and boating.


Jeffery S. DennisSecretary:
Jeffery S. Dennis
Jenner & Block
Washington, DC

Jeff Dennis is Senior Counsel at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in the Washington, DC office. Prior to that he was Director, Division of Policy Development, in the Office of Energy Policy and Innovation at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C. In that role, he leads efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of existing Commission policies and to identify new and emerging policy issues impacting the Commission’s statutory responsibilities.

Previously, Jeff served as a Legal Advisor to Commissioner John R. Norris at FERC, where he provided legal and policy advice to the Commissioner on all aspects of FERC’s regulation of the electricity and natural gas industries. Before joining Commissioner Norris’ staff, Jeff was Director, Federal Regulatory Affairs, at Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the trade association representing investor-owned electric utilities. Earlier in his career, Jeff was an Attorney-Advisor and Appellate Attorney at FERC, where he advised the Commissioners on electricity regulatory matters, and defended the Commission on appeal before the United States Circuit Courts of Appeals. Jeff has also been an attorney in private practice, representing electricity generators and large power users in federal and state regulatory proceedings.

Jeff has held several leadership positions in the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, including Young Lawyers Division liaison, committee chair, and member of Council. He is also an active leader in the Energy Bar Association. In addition, he has published several articles in trade and scholarly publications, and is a frequent speaker on topics in energy and environmental law and policy. Jeff has a J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law, Order of the Coif, where he earned a certificate in natural resources and environmental law, and a B.A. from Marymount University (Arlington, VA), summa cum laude.


Michelle DiffenderferBudget Officer:
Michelle Diffenderfer
Lewis Longman & Walker PA
West Palm Beach, FL

Mrs. Diffenderfer is a Shareholder and the President of Lewis, Longman & Walker, P.A. a Florida environmental and land use law firm, where she began practicing law in 1995. Michelle assists landowners, businesses and governments with the local, state and federal requirements for permitting land development and infrastructure projects. Michelle has written and presented on a variety of wetland, endangered species, water resource, water quality and NEPA topics, including the Everglades Restoration throughout her career.

Mrs. Diffenderfer received her BA, with honors, from Brown University in 1990 and her Juris Doctor, cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Miami, School of Law in 1994. Michelle has served the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy & Resources in various roles since she first became active in the Section in 2002, including, Education Officer, Executive Council Member, Chair of the Public Service Task Force, Chair of the State and Regional Environmental Cooperation Committee, Chair of Communications and Marketing, Chair of Outreach, and as Liaison to the Florida Bar’s Environmental and Land Use Law Section. Michelle also has worked on, sometimes as Chair, the planning committees for various Section Conferences including, Region IV, Eastern Water Law, Water Law, Fall and Spring. Michelle is a Past Chair of the Environmental and Land Use Law Section of the Florida Bar and is a proud supporter and Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

The Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches recognized Mrs. Diffenderfer with the ATHENA® Award in 2008 which honors individuals that have achieved professional excellence, actively served the community, and helped women to reach their leadership potential. Mrs. Diffenderfer has also been recognized in her field by several publications including Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite, and The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers. Mrs. Diffenderfer is actively involved in the community in a number or organizations dear to her including Girls II Women, the Caribbean Bar Association, Rosarian Academy, the Episcopal Church of Bethesda by the Sea, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, Leadership Florida and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.

Michelle and her family enjoy traveling especially when in the company of their beloved ABA friends.


Wendy CrowtherEducation Officer:
Wendy Bowden Crowther
Parsons Behle & Latimer
Salt Lake City, UT

Wendy Bowden Crowther is a shareholder and member of Parsons Behle & Latimer’s Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources practice group. Her practice focuses on natural resources and environmental law with an emphasis on water law and related litigation.

Ms. Crowther represents municipalities, water conservancy districts, special service districts, irrigation companies, and private water right holders. Ms. Crowther regularly appears before the Utah State Engineer, the District Court, and the Federal Court. She has completed numerous water right and property transfers and is experienced in in both reclamation law and condemnation litigation. Ms. Crowther has also represented clients in matters dealing with the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.


Sean T. DixonMembership and Diversity Officer:
Sean T. Dixon
Riverkeeper
New York, NY

Sean Dixon is a Staff Attorney at Riverkeeper, focusing on New York City's waterways and on regional energy issues within the Hudson River Program. Sean’s caseload ranges from stormwater control and habitat protection to fossil fuel resources, climate change resiliency, superfund, and citizen suit Clean Water Act enforcement. A native of Buffalo, NY, Sean received his J.D. and LL.M. from Pace Law School, where he studied environmental and climate change law. He also earned a Masters of Environmental Management in coastal ecology and climate science from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a B.A. in marine biology and geology at Boston University’s Marine Program.

Before joining Riverkeeper, Sean worked as a coastal and ocean policy attorney with Clean Ocean Action, as an Alaskan fisheries observer, as a Lecturer on coastal zone resource management at Yale University, and, from 2011 - 2017 was seafood sustainability entrepreneur - co-founding Village Fishmonger NYC and the company's seafood celebration series "Sustainable Seafood Week". Sean held legal internships at NRDC, Oceana, and Trustees for Alaska. In addition to work with ABA SEER, Sean is a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pace Law School and Clarkson University.


Jonathan W. KahnPublications Officer:
Jonathan W. Kahn
Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP
Toronto, ON

Jonathan Kahn is a partner in the Toronto office of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, one of Canada’s leading business law firms. He has for almost 30 years provided representation and advice on a broad range of environmental and natural resources law issues. He routinely represents clients on the purchase, sale, and remediation of contaminated land, mining regulation and permitting; management of natural resources; the transportation, handling and disposal of hazardous substances; environmental permitting; air, water and waste regulation; lender liability; and other environmental matters. Jonathan’s wide-ranging expertise also includes representing accused corporations in significant environmental prosecutions; acting for proponents in major mining, renewable energy and infrastructure projects and providing environmental law advice on a range of significant transactions. Jonathan’s clients span a wide spectrum of industries, including chemical, mining, construction, oil and gas, transportation, general manufacturing, automotive, food and beverage, and agribusiness.

Jonathan is the Publications Officer of the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Law, the first non-American to serve on that organization’s Executive Committee. He became a member of that section's Governing Council in 2012 after serving as chair of several substantive committees. He Chaired the SEER Fall Conference in 2008 and the SEER Spring Conference in 2011. In addition, Jonathan served as Chair of the National Environment, Energy and Resources Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association in 2012-13, and is a former chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association.


Pamela E. BarkerSection Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
Pamela E. Barker
Lewis Rice LLC
Saint Louis, MO

Before joining Lewis Rice, Pam was outside counsel for Appvion, Inc. Prior to that she was the Chief Regulatory and Environmental Cousel and and Assistant General Counsel at Appvion Inc., joining the company in February of 2007. Prior to that, she was a shareholder at Godfrey & Kahn S.C., a Milwaukee law firm where she practiced for 27 years. At Godfrey & Kahn she was the co-chair of the Environmental Energy Practice Group. Her primary area of practice was in federal and state environmental law focusing primarily on complex issues arising out of real estate transactions, corporate mergers and acquisitions and lender liability.

Pam has long held leadership positions with the State Bar of Wisconsin and the American Bar Association. In 1993 she was the first woman and youngest President of the State Bar of Wisconsin. Prior to that she served as the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Wisconsin and was the President of the Milwaukee Young Lawyers Association. Pam served eight years in the House of Delegates of the ABA and served on the Executive Council of the Young Lawyers Division of the ABA. Within the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Pam has served on the Council, as Chair of the Governance Committee, and as Chair of the Environmental Transaction and Brownfields committee. She has also served on many committees within the American Bar Association including the Commission on Women in the Profession.

In 1979 Pam received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, magna cum laude, and received a B.A., cum laude from Beloit College.


Sheila S. HollisSection Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates
Sheila S. Hollis
Duane Morris LLP
Washington, DC

Sheila Slocum Hollis is chair of the Duane Morris, llp Washington, D.C. office, and was the office's founding managing partner, as well as the founding leader of the firm's Energy, Environment and Resources Practice Group. She served on the firm's Executive Committee and Partners Board for more than a decade.

Ms. Hollis practices in the areas of energy policy, transactional and regulatory law worldwide. She was the founding Director of the Office of Enforcement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. For 20 years, she was adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School, teaching over 600 students energy law and co-authored texts on energy law.

Sheila served as the first woman President of the Energy Bar Association, Chaired the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources and serves as its representative in the ABA House of Delegates, chaired the Federal Bar Association’s Energy and Environment Section and multiple other Bar related entities. She Chairs the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. She is the recipient of multiple honors and awards and was recognized in 2017 as one of Washington, D.C.’s Top 100 Lawyers in Washington Super Lawyers. Widely published, she is a frequent commentator on environment and energy issues in CNN and other media.

Ms. Hollis is ranked by Chambers and is AV Preeminent for 30 years by Martindale-Hubble. She was named one of the 50 Key Women in Energy Worldwide and received the 2011 Lifetime Achievement in Energy in Platt's Global Energy Awards. She is a Trustee of the Center for American and International Law, a Life Fellow of the American Law Institute and Honorary International member of the Commercial Bar of England and Wales, Ms. Hollis was elected to membership in the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Sheila was recognized for achievement in International Law and Policy by the University of Denver Law School and delivered a major address on international energy law at the award event.

Ms. Hollis serves as a Board Member of the American Friends of the Royal Society, Treasurer of the United States Energy Association, a Trustee of Plimoth Plantation and the Sustainability Advisory board of KB Homes.


Seth DavisImmediate Past Chair:
Seth A. Davis
Elias Group LLP
Rye, NY

Seth A. Davis is a partner in Elias Group LLP, in Rye, New York, co-chairing the firm’s environmental and energy practice since 2004. He handles a wide variety of environmental issues arising out of a wide range of corporate and real estate transactions, regularly represents responsible parties in site remediation and cleanup negotiations, and counsels corporate and individual clients on compliance with all the environmental statutes. Previously, Seth was a partner in Huber Lawrence & Abell in New York City for 12 years. Prior to his return to private practice, Seth practiced environmental law in the law departments of Revlon, Inc. and the Celanese Corporation. During the more than 30 years he has specialized in the area, Seth has worked in just about every area of environmental, health and safety law.

Seth is an Adjunct Professor at Pace University Law School, teaching courses in Environmental Law in Commercial Transactions and Hazardous Waste. Within SEER he has chaired the Section’s Committees on Site Remediation, and Environmental Transactions and Brownfields and the Website Task Force, served a term on Section Council, and served as Publications Officer. Seth received his J.D. from Harvard University in 1975, and his B.A., Summa cum laude, in 1972 from Wesleyan University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

For ten years Seth directed Destination Imagination, the world’s largest problem-solving competition, in the Eastern region of New York state. He can often be found following his diverse passions at Yankee Stadium, Lincoln Center, and Saratoga Race Course.

Seth is painfully aware that, no matter else he accomplishes, he will be remembered for being a 4-time winner on “Jeopardy!” in 1991.

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