An innovative approach

to sustainability.

Simultaneously achieving economic,

social and environmental goals.


Columbia Biogas will provide the Portland metropolitan region with sustainable solutions which produce renewable energy and fertilizer products through the ecological reuse of the community’s food waste. Our mission is to enable the community to thrive through self-reliance and resourcefulness.



John McKinney, President and Founder

John has over 15 years of experience financing and managing energy related investments. Prior to founding Columbia Biogas, John founded and operated Verde Power, a green-field development firm focused on utility scale wind power projects. John also co-founded Greenrock Capital, which originated, structured, and negotiated numerous partnership and project finance transactions involving renewable power developers and projects.

Dale Richwine P.E., Environmental Engineering

Dale Richwine is an environmental engineer with over 38 years’ experience in the planning, design, start-up, operation and management of water and wastewater treatment facilities. Dale has a broad background in the operation and management of treatment plants, including biosolids and recycled wastewater utilization programs. Dale brings this management experience to his projects by applying an appropriate decision process utilizing members of the public, key decision makers and operations and maintenance staff. Dale has an MBA, a M.S. Engineering Management, and a B.S. Civil-Structural Engineering, from Portland State University, and an A.A.S. Wastewater Technology from Linn-Benton Community College and Rocky Mountain Program.

Holly Stirnkorb, Organics Diversion and Public Policy

Holly Stirnkorb has 20 years of experience in the field for environmental planning with an emphasis in the areas of waste reduction, recycling, and solid waste management planning. Her experience includes working with both the public and private sectors in all phases of project management, program planning, implementation and evaluation. As a consultant and former senior staff for Washington County, Holly has worked extensively with government agencies, the commercial sector, and industry groups. She is an active member and has served on the board for the Association of Oregon Recyclers. Holly holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Oregon State University.

Marv Shelby, Industrial Feedstock Procurement

For 44 years, Marv Shelby has been involved in all aspects of the food processing industry. His experiences range from engineering, operations and sales and include positions such as Northwest Contract Manager and Vice-President of Operations for General Mills; V.P., Business Development, V.P., Engineering and Technical Services, Operations Manager and Engineering Manager for Agripac, Inc.; and Plant Engineering Manager for General Foods Corporation. Currently he consults to companies working in and with the food processing industry to provide project management, contract/outsourcing arrangements, and strategic planning for continuous improvement and profitability. Marv holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Oregon State University.

Jeff Murray, Waste Supply

Jeff has been involved in the solid waste industry in Oregon and Washington for 35 years. He has worked for waste hauling companies and recycling processing facilities throughout the region. Jeff was a part of the management team of Far West Fibers for over 19 years and a partner in the company for the past 15 years. Far West Fibers is one of the largest processors of source-separated recyclables in the Pacific Northwest. Jeff’s most recent position with Far West was Vice President of Business Development. As part of the senior management team, he was responsible for securing and maintaining long-term supply agreements for the three major material recovery facilities owned and operated by Far West in the Portland metropolitan area. Jeff has a deep understanding of the solid waste and recycling industry and long-standing relationship with all of the haulers serving the region.

Larry Persinger, Construction Management

Mr. Persinger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and he has over 40 years of experience in industrial construction. He has worked in capacities ranging from project engineering to management to corporate officer. Larry has been President of one of the 50 largest general contractors in the country and Sr. Vice President of one of the ten largest electrical contractors in the U.S.

Did you know?


Digestate is one of the valuable by-products from the process of anaerobically digesting food waste. Digestate is the nutrient-rich material remaining after the anaerobic digestion process. This material is rich in high quality nutrients and can be processed into organic-based fertilizer products.