Blog Author Biographies


Blog Market Focus: Building Envelope and Opportunities in Building Science


Paul R Bertram, Jr. FCSI, CDT, LEED AP, GGP

PRB Connect 

Paul is a Distinguished Member and a Fellow of the Construction Specifications Institute as well as a Past Institute President with a focus on building product environmental impacts, envelope first energy efficiency strategies, and deep energy retrofit with Pathways to Zero Energy Ready.He has extensive background in material evaluation and architectural specification as well as building science fundamentals.

His recent work includes advocacy for resilient and high performance energy efficiency buildings and related reductions on demand side energy and related GHGs. In 2016 he was named to the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences and the US General Services GSA Green Advisory Committee. The Specifications Consultants Independent practice (SCIP) and ASTM. He is a Lifetime member of CSI and CSC.

Formerly with Kingspan Insulated Metal Panels, Paul’s responsibility was Director of Environment & Sustainability and included: Envelope First Energy Efficiency strategies, LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) of 5 manufacturing operations in North America.

He is currently the National Institute of Building Sciences Board liaison for the Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council and the “Off- Site” Manufacturing Council.

Previously he was Director of Environment & Sustainability for the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association where he was Director: Environment & Sustainability.

He was also president of his architectural graphic design firm for 28 years.

He was a delegate, observe and presenter at the Paris COP 21 conference.

His career began in Design & Development at Walt Disney World in Orlando as a Production Artist.

Background also includes 6 years in the Navy as an Electrician/Electronics technician and is a Vietnam Veteran.


Blog Market Focus: Fiduciary Duty & Retail Markets and Opportunities in Chemicals Management


Ujjval Vyas, Ph.D., J.D.
Alberti Group

Ujjval K. Vyas, Ph.D., J.D. is an independent business consultant and scholar, and principal of Alberti Group. Alberti Group provides strategic business consulting services to the AEC industry. With a unique approach grounded in a multi-disciplinary knowledge base, the company has conducted a wide variety of engagements including market analysis, new business development, product development, and risk management.

Clients range from Fortune 50 companies to small businesses, including manufacturers, design firms, independent specifiers, legal and insurance entities, government agencies, and trade associations.He has lectured and published extensively in the AEC arena, focusing on legal and public policy issues associated with green building rating systems, high-performance buildings, and building specifications. He is a licensed attorney and practiced construction law for a decade. Dr. Vyas also taught architectural history, theory, and design at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

He received his J.D. with honors from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago’s interdisciplinary Committee on the History of Culture, and is the founder of the Fiduciary Duty Initiative.


Blog Market Focus: Packaging & Assembly Operations


David Speth, Ph.D.
Evans Adhesives

Dr. David Speth has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Texas Christian University he joined Dow Chemical’s Central Research organization where he was one of the founding members of Dow’s Adhesion Science group. While he was in that group, Dave helped develop materials for adhesive applications including Vector™ styrene block copolymers and Engage™ elastomers for metallocene hot melt adhesives as well as Bluewave™ dispersion technology for making non-traditional aqueous dispersions. Since leaving Dow after 25 years in 2004, Dave has worked for the Edison Welding Institute as a consulting engineer helping companies use adhesives for product assembly and for ADCO Products (now part of H.B. Fuller) where he helped develop rubber based products for building and construction applications. Dave has been at Evans adhesives since 2014 where he is responsible for development of new hot melt and pressure sensitive adhesive products.

Blog Market Focus: Transportation


Daniel S. Murad

President & CEO, The ChemQuest Group, Inc.

Dan Murad has over 35 years of experience in the specialty chemicals industry and verticals such as coatings, adhesives, sealants and plastics. For the past twenty years, Dan has served as President & CEO of The ChemQuest Group, a leading international business strategy firm in specialty chemicals, that is widely recognized among raw material suppliers, formulators and financial investors for its experience and expertise in Business Strategy; Mergers, Acquisitions or Divestitures; Commercial & Operational Efficiencies; as well as Technology Planning & Development.

Prior to joining ChemQuest, Dan was the North American and European Business Director, Industrial Coatings for Rohm and Haas, where he directed activities for business units with over $120 million in revenues across broad geographic territories. Dan’s expertise in polymer emulsions extends across Industrial, Architectural and Automotive OEM coatings, Pressure Sensitive Liquid and Hot Melt, and Construction and Laminating Adhesives.  Dan’s technology background includes Acrylic and Vinyl Acetate Copolymers, SBR and Styrene Copolymers, Urethanes and Epoxies.

Dan is a frequent speaker at worldwide conferences including ASC Conventions and the 2017 Worldwide Coatings Summit in Shanghai. Dan has published a number of papers on topics ranging from business strategy to specific insight on the global coatings and adhesives markets. He is a contributing columnist to a number of leading trade journals including Adhesives and Sealants Industry, Modern Paint and Coatings, Adhesives Age, Chemical Week, Chemical Marketing Reporter, Industrial Paint and Powder, and Fortune magazines, with expert quotes requested by leading business news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal on a range of specialty chemicals topics.

Dan holds a BS in Chemistry from Wabash College and an MBA from the College of William & Mary.

Blog Market Focus: Transportation


Daniel R. Daley

Senior Consultant, The ChemQuest Group, Inc.

Dan provides clients with insight into vehicle materials that are in use and under development, as well as performance standards, buying factors, process optimization targets, unmet market needs, and the rationale for those decisions from an OEM perspective. Dan held various senior polymeric materials engineering and lab management positions during his 30-year career at Navistar International, a truck and engine OEM. His technical leadership included problem-solving in material compatibility and chemical interactions with an eye toward process optimization, improvements in material performance/cost ratios, and strategic sourcing. The range of materials Dan Daley has managed includes soft trim such as textiles, foams, composites, seating, upholstery and acoustic materials and energy management solutions; fluid connectors; lubricants and fluid systems; elastomers; automotive paint and coatings; and adhesives, sealants and joining systems.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University and an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Blog Market Focus: Transportation


Jim Swope

Senior Vice President, The ChemQuest Group, Inc.

The ChemQuest Group, a leading international business strategy firm in specialty chemicals, widely recognized among raw material suppliers, formulators and financial investors for its experience and expertise in Business Strategy; Mergers, Acquisitions or Divestitures; Commercial & Operational Efficiencies; as well as Technology Planning & Development, has three ASC Transportation Blog contributors. 

As ChemQuest’s Senior Vice President, Jim Swope brings a unique business finance point of view to clients, through undergraduate training in accounting, honed in his nineteen years of ownership/management in Crosslink Technologies, Inc., a niche supplier of reactive adhesive systems for assembly.

With an extensive body of work in automotive component manufacturing and assembly, Jim is comfortable in high speed/high reliability processing environments.  Prior to joining ChemQuest, Jim served as Sr. Vice President of Business Development at Dymax Corporation following the sale of Crosslink Technologies to Dymax in 2006.   Over his more than 35-year career, Jim has doubled the sales of an established adhesives business and increased profit ten-fold in less than six years;  created new, multi-million dollar markets for adhesives replacing welding and fasteners, and developed value-added sales models to replace existing cost-plus models.

Jim holds a B.A. in Accounting and Management from Augustana College.


Blog Market Focus: Packaging & Transportation


George Ritter

Director, The ChemQuest Group, Inc. and the ChemQuest Technology Institute

The ChemQuest Group, a leading international business strategy firm in specialty chemicals, widely recognized among raw material suppliers, formulators and financial investors for its experience and expertise in Business Strategy; Mergers, Acquisitions or Divestitures; Commercial & Operational Efficiencies; as well as Technology Planning & Development, has three ASC Transportation Blog contributors. 

Dr. George W. Ritter has 40 years of experience in materials-based development chemistries and applications: he has developed materials related to glasses, ceramics, plastics, adhesives, and composites for use in aerospace, automotive, medical, electronics, and marine markets.

For nearly 25 years, Dr. Ritter was a Principal Engineer and Technology Leader at EWI, Inc., where he interacted with dozens of industrial clients. Prior to that, he served in research positions and technical management at Owens-Corning and Franklin International. Hisexperience spans the development of formulated adhesive systems related to structural epoxies, UV-curable systems, flexible packaging adhesives, hot-melt adhesives, and wood bonding products.

A frequent contributor to industry and professional society conferences, Dr. Ritter has presented and published fundamental studies in adhesive applications, surface chemistry, and adhesion science relating to surface preparations and joint design. Of special interest was the development of “green” surface preparation methods for structural bonding of metals.


Blog Market Focus: Fire Protection/Firestop - Building & Construction Industry


Sharron Halpert

Halpert Life Safety Consulting

Sharron started in the firestop industry in 1999 in product development.  She has worked for or with all the key players in the firestop industry. While she has lots of friends in the industry, she has no favorite manufacturer (though she admits to having a few favorite products).  

Since 2005, she has been responsible for quality control on projects valued over $16.5 billion, which means she has covered roughly 24 million square feet of project space.  Since she started in 1999 she has been trouble shooting firestop issues on everything from a nuclear power plant to sports stadiums, hospitals, telecommunications, mega-resorts and more.

This arsenal of past projects provides a unique opportunity to discuss firestop, resolve problems with a vast troubleshooting arsenal and constructively collaborate on creative solutions for value engineering your next project. For good measure, she is also a voting member of ASTM and a member of the International Firestop Council. She was selected by Rutgers to teach NJ building inspectors and sub code officials.  

Halpert Life Safety Consulting provides services as consultant, trainer, blogger and educator as well as Third-Party Special Inspection of Firestop.


Blog Market Focus: Paperboard & Packaging Science


Deb Bhattacharjee
Synergy Services
(979) 549-2909

Deb is a retired consultant in the broad areas of adhesives, sealants and coatings, with special expertise on new business development, Research & Development and business strategy development, merger and acquisition with strategic partnership, and innovation with novel product development.

Deb retired from The Dow Chemical Company in July, 2015 as a Fellow in Performance Packaging Business. During over 30 years of his Dow career, he led new business development and innovation in a variety of applications including coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Recently, his focus has been to develop unique solutions in packaging applications with emphasis on laminating adhesives. He has over 75 patents and patent applications, numerous publications in renowned journals and has presented extensively in conferences.

Trends with Chemicals and Redlists, New ASC Programs & Services, Building & Construction


Steve Duren

Senior Director, Member Services at The Adhesive & Sealant Council

Steve Duren joined ASC in 2009. Duren left Morrison Hershfield where he was the Technical Team Manager in the Building Envelope Group to join ASC. Prior to MH, Duren worked overseas with Hilti Corporation based out of Scahaan Liechtenstein as the Global Market/Product Development Manager of Polyurethane Foam Systems within Business Unit Chemicals. There he led the business unit Chemicals business strategy , evaluated competitive patents, provided market intelligence and commercialized new products. Duren has also worked in various capacities at illbruck Sealant Systems, Architectural Testing and The Center for Energy and Environment. At ASC, Duren is responsible for identifying new programs and services that provide value to members.

Steve, his Wife Wendy and his son Maxwell reside in Deephaven Minnesota and enjoy broomball, hockey and time on the lake. Duren still has disbelief with the Minnesota North Stars moving to Dallas Texas back in 1993 and cringes whenever driving by the old Met Center where the Stars used to play (now the Mall of America & IKEA).

marc benevento

Blog Market Focus: Transportation, Building & Construction


Marc Benevento

Marc Benevento is the founder and managing director of Industrial Market Insight, a consultancy focused on identifying organic growth opportunities for manufacturers of industrial products and materials.

His experience includes over 20 years with global multi-national manufacturers in product development, business management, and marketing leadership roles.  He most recently served as the automotive market development director for Momentive, a global chemical manufacturer with annual sales in excess of $7 billion.  His earlier experiences include a series of product management, marketing, and business development roles in the chemical industry and nearly a decade in materials engineering at a major automotive OEM.

Mr. Benevento has a track record of making positive and lasting change by bringing a collaborative, data-driven approach to management and new product development. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science & Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA.

He can be reached by email HERE


Blog Market Focus: Paper Board & Packaging


Hallie Forcinio

Forcinio Communications

Phone: (216) 351-5824

Hallie Forcinio writes about packaging and converting technologies and related issues. 

Prior to establishing Forcinio Communications in 1993, she was a member of the editorial staff of Food and Drug Packaging magazine (now Food and Beverage Packaging). During her tenure with the publication, she served in a variety of roles including editor, managing editor and associate editor. 

As principal at Forcinio Communications, she prepares news and feature articles, show reports, newsletters and other content for organizations associated with the packaging and converting industries. She has been published in both domestic and international publications, co-authored the third edition of the Handbook of Package Engineering and edited the first and second editions of Eric Greenberg’s Guide to Packaging Law. 

She is a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals, the International Packaging Press Organisation, the American Society of Business Press Editors and the International Association of Business Communicators.

mark collatz

Blog Market Focus: Regulatory Issues and Adhesive & Sealant Industry Trends


Mark Collatz

Prior Director, Regulatory Affairs at The Adhesive & Sealant Council

Mark Collatz has been the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Adhesive and Sealant Council since 1990.  Before joining the Council, he served in a similar capacity with an association representing the general aviation industry and was previously a member of the staff of U.S. Congressman Robert Carr.  He received a B.A. and M.A. from Michigan State University.