On the Move – New experts at Lee Enterprises Consulting, new President at Total-Western, Inc.

September 20, 2020 |


2020 has taught us that things are always changing including people and what they are working on and where they are working. This week we have Payman Farrokhyar who was named President of Total-Western, Inc. effective Oct. 1st and Lee Enterprises Consulting formed two new sections – “Land & Natural Resources Management” and “Food & Livestock Production” and added several new experts to those areas.

If you have an “On the Move” for us to cover, please contact Helena Kennedy at [email protected]

In Arkansas, Lee Enterprises Consulting Inc. formed two new sections – “Land & Natural Resources Management” and “Food & Livestock Production”. The group is divided into several sections and has completed thousands of projects worldwide in all phases of the bioeconomy –  including biodiesel, ethanol, biomass power, renewable chemicals, renewable jet fuels, pyrolysis, hydrolysis, gasification, waste-to-energy, anaerobic digestion, torrefaction, wastewater treatment, butanol, steam reformation, biochar, carbonization, and biogas.

Dr. Susan R. Rupp is a Certified Wildlife Biologist ® with 25+ years of professional experience researching and evaluating wildlife-habitat relationships at local and landscape scales, and has been promoted to Vice President to lead the Land & Natural Resources Section. She specializes in Environmental Due Diligence, Risk Mitigation and Optimization Modeling, Sustainability of Ecosystem Services (including air, water, soil, and biodiversity), and Landscape Design and works across federal, state, private, and local boundaries to promote sustainable development within the bioeconomy.  Dr. Rupp holds a PhD in Wildlife Science from Texas Tech University and was nominated by the U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture and Energy, to the Biomass Research Development Technical Advisory Committee.

Dr. Matt Gibson, a 30+ year veteran in biofuels, human and animal food, and pharmaceuticals, has been promoted to Vice President and will lead the Food & Livestock Production team.  Dr. Gibson has worked for POET, Pfizer, LifeLine Foods, Farmland Feeds, Rhöne-Poulenc Animal Nutrition, and Lucta.  He is trained at the Lead Auditor level for SQF (Safe Quality Food), certified by the Global Food Defense Institute, and is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) for FDA compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  He has a Ph.D. in Animal Science and Nutrition from Washington State University and is the author of over 100 scientific publications.

Mike Fatigati is a bioeconomy industry veteran with over 30 years of experience.  He has an MBA and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and Biology and vast experience in sustainable and traditional oil & gas and chemical processes, including economics and environmental impact.  Fatigati specializes in Engineering Oversight, Process Scale-up, Techno-Economic Assessments (TEA), Market Analyses, CO2 Utilization, and Alternative Feedstocks and will oversee projects involving Advanced Ethanol Production, Solid Fuel Combustion, Gasification, Thermochemical Conversion, Cosmeceuticals, and Nutraceuticals.

“We have several existing experts with specialties in land and natural resources and food and livestock production, and we have been getting many requests in these areas over the past couple of years, so we decided to formalize these areas as separate sections within our group,” says Wayne Lee, CEO of Lee Enterprises.  “The promotion of these three experts rounds out our executive leadership team of twelve and gives us the ability to deploy our chemical, engineering, and economic experts to all facets of the bioeconomy in a timely manner.”

Lee Enterprises Consulting’s COO, Dr. Terry Mazanec agrees. “While we will likely add a few additional experts within these two new groups, our current depth and breadth certainly allow us to handle virtually any type of project within the bioeconomy and these new areas, so this really was a natural progression for us” says Mazanec.


In California, Total-Western, subsidiary to Total-American, Inc., announced Payman Farrokhyar, currently Senior Vice President & General Manager of Total-Western, as its new President effective Oct. 1, 2020. Paul Conrad, previously President of Total-Western, will remain President of Total-American. Payman Farrokhyar will be the new President of Total-Western, effective Oct. 1, 2020.

“I am humbled and excited to step into the role of President for a company that has been under the successful leadership of Paul for the past 22 years.” said Mr. Farrokhyar. “Total-Western is an incredible company with very talented people who have been focused on doing what is right for our customers and our people. We remain focused on those key principles as we expand our market reach into more industrial segments while strengthening our capabilities as a self-performing design, build, operate and maintain partner to our customers.”

With more than 15 years’ experience in the Maintenance and Construction industries, Mr. Farrokhyar has built a reputation for delivering excellent customer service by collaborating with clients and remaining well-versed in emerging technologies and industry trends. He is known for stressing the importance of quality throughout all processes and procedures and challenging his team members to think and operate creatively to deliver the best solutions possible.

Total-Western provides comprehensive design-assist, construction, maintenance, operations, fabrication, and specialty services to customer assets throughout the Western and Mid-Western United States. The company was founded in 1972 and has six regional locations throughout CaliforniaNevada, and Washington.

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