Founder, CEO, CTO
Gordon West has 42 years of experience in building design and construction, logging, saw milling, product development, equipment fabrication and modification, business management, and all aspects of entrepreneurism. He has owned and operated multiple small businesses including:
1977 - Gordon opened Santa Clara Woodworks, a construction contracting, wood processing, and woodworking business since (NM GB-98 Residential and Commercial Contractors license);
1998 - he co-founded Gila WoodNet, a nonprofit research and development corporation dedicated to creating products and processes related to forest ecosystem restoration efforts;
2004 - Gordon co-founded Restoration Technologies LLC, a research, development and commercialization company dedicated to creating high-value products using low-value biomass while adhering to triple-bottom-line business principles - RT is currently commercializing Zerosion and developing Chipcrete;
2012 - he founded The Trollworks LLC, an equipment R&D company dedicated to development of community scaled biomass process technologies. The company is West’s current focus with Biochar+Energy Systems development and manufacture as the primary endeavor.
CO-FOUNDER, SENIOR INNOVATOR
Bill Knauss is a retired machinist and building contractor, and fully engaged inventor, who is dedicated to developing low cost but high value opportunities for rural and often poor communities to create sustainable living economies. Knauss approached Gila WoodNet in 2013 with a proposal to collaborate on woody biomass based technologies, especially biochar manufacturing. He is a co-founder of Trollworks and is the senior innovator on the team, designing pyrolyzers ranging from micro-cooking and heating units for home use to the continuous process Biochar+Energy commercial units.
COO, business development director
Eric’s entrepreneurial career started as the neighborhood kid that mowed lawns. This evolved into a painting company which successfully operated in Rhode Island, Crested Butte and Boulder, getting him through college. Eric co-founded and developed a company which sold alternative energy products online, primarily fuel cells and hydrogen storage products. After this experience, Eric joined the team at a small resort where he quickly became a member of the management team that turned the financial performance around and restored the culture of the business.
From 2006 to 2017, Eric worked with the Innovation Center of the Rockies (formerly the Boulder Innovation Center). The ICR supports the local entrepreneurial community and works with the University of Colorado, the Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, University of Wyoming and the University of Denver to commercialize their intellectual property. At the Innovation Center of the Rockies, Eric oversaw the admissions process for early stage companies, manages the ICR’s operations, works with faculty research teams, recruits and interviews Advisors, prepares companies for their financing efforts and manages the placement service for local early stage companies looking to hire C-Level talent. Currently Eric consults with early stage natural products companies, clean tech start-ups and runs a pre-revenue CPG brand, Amari. Eric has an Environmental Studies Degree and an MBA from the University of Colorado.