Our Team

The Team at Blue Ridge Services

Our team of engineers, consultants, and administrative staff have decades of experience in the solid waste industry. Our focus for our clients is to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase safety. Browse our bios below and contact us today if we can help you reach your goals!

Neal Bolton P.E. |
President

Neal Bolton, president of Blue Ridge Services, has more than 38 years of experience in heavy construction and landfill and recycling operations. His background in heavy construction includes work in excavating, grading, paving, land-clearing, and underground projects where he worked as a laborer, equipment operator, foreman, superintendent, and estimator.

Email Neal

Read more about Neal Bolton

Neal Bolton, P.E. | President

Neal Bolton is a Civil Engineer (California C48062) and a Licensed Contractor (California 482821). He attended Sacramento State University and Montana State University, majoring in construction engineering.

Mr. Bolton has more than 38 years of experience in heavy construction and landfill and recycling operations. In 1988, Mr. Bolton formed his own consulting company – Blue Ridge Services. As principal of Blue Ridge, he has continued to provide operational consulting services for a wide range of private and municipal solid waste/recycling facilities, landfills, transfer stations, surface mine reclamation and construction projects. He has also worked on numerous mine development/reclamation projects.

Mr. Bolton has worked on landfill siting, expansion and closure projects and has broad experience on projects where protection of sensitive habitat/environment was a key issue. He has performed consulting, speaking and training projects in virtually every state in the U.S., in Canada, and abroad.

Mr. Bolton has authored numerous books and articles/papers, produced 130 training/safety videos, and pioneered the use of various industrial productivity improvement tools, such as Six Sigma and Lean to the area of heavy (construction) equipment operation in the waste/recycling industry.

Based on his broad level of experience, knowledge and reputation, Mr. Bolton is often retained as an expert witness on cases involving solid waste operations. He has consulted on more than 30 expert witness cases in the United States.

Email Neal

Work Experience

1988 – Present - Principal - Blue Ridge Services (Atascadero, CA ... formerly Bozeman, MT) 

1987 – 1988 - Field Engineer - Waste Management, Inc. (San Jose, CA) 

1983 – 1987 - Field Engineer - Oakland Scavenger Company (Oakland, CA)

1978-1983 - Laborer, Operator, Foreman - Bolton Construction and various other construction/development companies (Woodland, CA)

Publication History

Author: The Handbook of Landfill Operations – used as textbook for SWANA’s 1-day certification course entitled, “Operational Issues for Landfill Managers.” Also used for many years as the textbook for certification in the State of Virginia.

Author: The Handbook of Landfill Safety

Produced: 130 safety videos for the waste industry. Many translated to Spanish and Greek. Translations to Portuguese and Arabic in process.

Author: 200+ landfill articles and technical papers, presented on three continents.

Instructor: 200+ training classes (including ~50 for SWANA) across the U.S. Prepared training materials and training for the State of California, the State of Indiana, and State of Kansas.

Produced: More than 1,300 PowerPoint® presentations

Produced: Approximately 20,000 landfill photos

Produced: 25+ webinars for landfills, transfer stations, green waste processing facilities, and recycling facilities

Jason Todaro |
Operations Consultant

Mr. Todaro has over 20 years of varied experience in the heavy construction, utility, and solid waste industries. Since joining Blue Ridge Services, Inc. (BRS), as a solid waste operations consultant, he has performed on-site consulting and training services at solid waste facilities throughout North America and abroad. Additionally, he has been a key team member on numerous projects that did not require his expertise on-site.

Email Jason

Read more about Jason Todaro

Jason C. Todaro | Solid Waste Operations Consultant

Mr. Todaro has over 20 years of varied experience in the heavy construction, utility, and solid waste industries. Since joining Blue Ridge Services, Inc. (BRS), as a solid waste operations consultant, he has performed on-site consulting and training services at solid waste facilities throughout North America and abroad. Additionally, he has been a key team member on numerous projects that did not require his expertise on-site. In every case, his clients have benefited from his extensive background.  A sample of his current duties include: operational training, facility management and oversight, time motion studies, transportation modeling, waste cell optimization, process analysis and improvement, heavy equipment utilization and operation, safety training, operational benchmarking, management consulting, landfill aerial thermal imaging and solid waste facility assessment work.

Mr. Todaro has worked on a wide variety projects in the solid waste industry, ranging from a landfill litter control assessment for several regional Canadian Landfills, heavy equipment training for a large urban transfer station, hands-on operational training for landfills (5-8000 tons per day), assessment of  15 facilities during a high level review of a waste transfer and disposal system, conducted operational/financial reviews and analysis for landfill operations and performed a waste characterization study for a C&D landfill. 

Mr. Todaro has conducted numerous Comprehensive Operational Reviews (CORE’s) and High Level Reviews for clients located throughout the North America. His ability to capture relevant data, quickly grasp operational issues and identify practical solutions has enabled him to save clients millions of dollars by analyzing and improving operational techniques.  

Using his broad experience, Mr. Todaro has played a key role in expanding the on-site training capabilities of BRS.  He has conducted numerous training programs in North America and abroad.  At landfills and transfer stations in the North America, he has conducted training events ranging from 1 day to several months in duration.  He has addressed topics that include: equipment maintenance, landfill operations, landfill/equipment fire prevention, grade-checking/survey, heavy equipment training, waste compaction optimization, cell construction optimization, ADC optimization and supervisor/manager mentoring.

Mr. Todaro’s noteworthy professional achievements include working in Papua New Guinea (twice) to provide critical oversight and operational training for a new engineered landfill.  Developed by Exxon-Mobil, this landfill – outside the capital city of Port Moresby – was the first environmentally compliant landfill in all of PNG. He has served as a keynote speaker for a solid waste conference in Melbourne Australia.  During this conference he gave numerous presentations on optimizing landfill operations. While in Australia he also provided comprehensive training to 30 landfill managers and addressed the State of Victoria Environmental Protection Agency regarding the proper use and benefits of landfill alternative daily cover (ADC). Mr. Todaro has also presented a variety of topics at solid waste conferences in Montana, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Email Jason

Education

Attended California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly)
Attended Cuesta Community College
Attended Allan Hancock Community College

Registrations and Certificates

  • Certified technical associate, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO).
  • Completed U.S. Composting Council (40) hour Compost Operations training course
  • Completed Haz-mat FRO (16 hour) and Haz-mat FRO/decon (8 hour) training.
  • Completed OSHA Confined space training.
  • Class A commercial driver’s license with double/triples, air brakes and tanker endorsements.
  • C.P.R., AED and first responder training.
  • Equipment manufacturer/dealer training: Caterpillar, Bobcat, John Deere and Ditch Witch.
  • HDPE pipe welding/fusion training.
  • Attended and completed, Leadership Management Institute (LMI) courses titled “The Achieving Manager Experience” and “Effective Personal Productivity."
  • Completed Vital Smarts training program titled “Crucial Conversations – Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High”
  • California State Fire Marshall (480) hour Firefighter 1 Certificate.
  • Member, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  • Member, US Composting Council (USCC)
  • Member, California Dozer Operators Group (CALDOG)

Sarah Bolton |
New Business Development Manager

Sarah Christine Bolton is the new business development manager at Blue Ridge Services, and assists with technical writing and editing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Belhaven College and Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Memphis. Sarah has edited articles, books and training materials related to the waste industry for more than 10 years, and has experience in marketing, technical writing, public relations, and graphic design.

Email Sarah

Read more about Sarah Bolton

Sarah Bolton | New Business Development Manager

Sarah Christine Bolton is the new business development manager at Blue Ridge Services, and assists with technical writing and editing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Belhaven University and Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Memphis. She has worked as a freelance writer and photographer for several years, and has experience in marketing, social media planning and execution, public relations, technical writing, copy editing, graphic design, and education.


Sarah has edited articles, books and training materials related to the waste industry for more than 10 years, and has published work in regional and national publications. She has extensive experience using PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Adobe creative suite programs and various online platforms, and can provide technical support when needed.


Project Experience

2003-2006
Script Developer/Editor
Assisted with the planning and development of Blue Ridge Services’ comprehensive safety training program, including script development/editing, layout of manuals/posters, writing/editing content, and conducting research.

January 2012-July 2013
Project Manager
Managed the complete update of the SWANA Georgia Chapter’s Operator Training Program, including RFP/proposal submission, acquiring/incorporating comments and edits from 25+ instructors, creating new design template for Word manuals, PowerPoint presentations, and test question bank, edited and added photos and video, and provided final documents and all corresponding media files to client.

Ongoing
Technical Editor
Assists with editing and transcription of articles and books related to all aspects of waste facility operations (safety, efficiency, new technologies, etc.)

Email Sarah

Registrations, Memberships & Certifications

  • Member, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  • Training Chair, Communication, Education & Marketing Technical Division, SWANA

Troy Kechely |
Engineering Consultant III/CAD & GIS Manager

Troy has over 25 years of experience using and instructing on the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software with extensive expertise in Autodesk civil design software including: Civil 3D, Map 3D, 3DSMax, Navisworks, Infraworks, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.  He is also skilled in a variety of GIS related software, including ArcGIS.

Email Troy

Read More About Troy Kechely

Troy Kechely | Engineering Consultant III/CAD & GIS Manager

Troy has over 25 years of experience using and instructing on the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) software with extensive expertise in Autodesk civil design software including: Civil 3D, Map 3D, 3DSMax, Navisworks, Infraworks, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.  He is also skilled in a variety of GIS related software, including ArcGIS.

His experience includes the integration of CAD and GIS related data to produce figures and design components for multiple projects as well as animation and video creation using CAD created entities and various video editing software. He has over 23 years of experience in site investigations, feasibility studies, design, construction oversight and implementation for civil and environmental landfills, mine reclamation and site development projects throughout the United States. Troy has conducted design oversight of multi-million dollar engineering and environmental design and construction projects ranging from $25,000 to $40,000,000.

Primary expertise is intricate plan creations for complex civil site design projects with emphasis on large earthworks, landfills, and large industrial/retail developments.  His landfill experience includes dozens of fill sequence and soil management plans for landfills all over North America along with transfer station studies, site expansion design, and construction oversight. 

Email Troy

Sam Marchant, E.I.T. | Engineering Consultant I

Sam Marchant is an Engineering Consultant with Blue Ridge Services. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Transportation Engineering. Mr. Marchant has several years of varied experience in the civil engineering industry, including the transportation, geotechnical and solid waste fields. 

Email Sam

Read More About Sam Marchant

Sam Marchant, E.I.T. | Engineering Consultant I

Background:

Mr. Marchant has several years of varied experience in the civil engineering industry, including the transportation, geotechnical and solid waste fields. Since joining the Blue Ridge Services (BRS) team as an engineering consultant, he has conducted several analyses and designs for solid waste facilities within North America. A sample of his current duties at BRS include: data collection and analysis, time motion studies, programming statistical models, topographic volume estimates, facility design, equipment and facility optimization, cost-benefit analyses, hydrologic evaluations of landfill performance and technical document analysis.

As can be seen from his duties, Mr. Marchant has worked on a diverse range of projects in the solid waste industry. He has developed a programmable cost benefit model to determine the economic feasibility of salvaging settlement areas on landfill slopes. He has also conducted a beneficial reuse material analysis to determine if the amount of material the site was receiving would satisfy the demands of the operation; this included an analysis of site topography and tonnage data and trends.

Mr. Marchant has also completed design work in the solid waste industry. He has analyzed and designed a guardrail system for a transfer station to improve facility safety and efficiency. This project required the consideration of numerous factors, including regulations, customer ease of access and design standardization. This project also required the development of standard operating procedures and training for transfer station staff. Throughout his work, Mr. Marchant has provided clients with safe, economical and efficient solutions to complex problems. He has also developed and conducted many presentations of findings for clients.

Using his technical statistical experience, Mr. Marchant has played a key role in expanding and streamlining the data analysis capabilities of BRS. He has developed complex Excel and MATLAB models to analyze numerous solid waste facility benchmarks and performance measures.

Email Sam

Education:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, B.S. in Civil Engineering

Registrations, Memberships & Certifications:

  • Certified Engineer in Training – EIT Certificate #157568
  • Member, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • FAA, Certified Remote Pilot Airman – Certificate #3972638

Kasem Cornelius | Operations Consultant I

Kasem Cornelius holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He also has an OSHA 500 Outreach Training certification through the OSHA Training Institute Education Center, UC San Diego Extension Program.

Email Kasem

Read More About Kasem Cornelius

Kasem Cornelius | Operations Consultant I

Background:

Prior to joining the Blue Ridge Services team, Kasem spent several years working in the solid waste recycling industry. During this time, he developed safety plans, conducted safety training, led tailgate meetings, and performed job hazard analysis. He was also the on-site safety manager for waste handling crews on large utility power projects. Kasem has completed the OSHA 500 Outreach Training Program through the UC San Diego Extension Program. As an Authorized Construction Trainer, Kasem is authorized by OSHA to perform 10 and 30 hour construction hazard awareness courses.

Since joining Blue Ridge Services, Inc. (BRS), as a solid waste operations consultant, he has performed on-site operations evaluations, safety audits, and provided administrative consulting at sites in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Washington, and Wisconsin. Kasem works with municipal and private waste facilities to find practical, comprehensive safety solutions for clients.

Kasem has conducted comprehensive safety audits and developed training programs for landfills, transfer stations, and waste collection services. These projects included on-site observation and interaction with facility staff and management to identify needed improvements in general safety, OSHA requirements, maintenance, shop safety, facility traffic flow, collection routes, waste crowding, etc. Many of the training programs he developed included not only initial training, but documented on-going and refresher training for all facility workers including spotters, equipment operators, and maintenance staff.

He has conducted a survey of the entire solid waste industry, reaching out to hundreds of industry contacts and waste association members to research waste facility employee classifications and compensation. This information was then used to aid a client in developing employee classifications and a competitive compensation schedule that met industry standards.

Kasem has been active on the topic of succession planning as well. One of his noteworthy projects includes working with a facility to smooth the transition when a manager with decades of experience was leaving the facility. Kasem spent over a month on-site and delivered a comprehensive Supervisor Operations Manual documenting all procedures and aspects of the manager’s responsibilities. He has also delivered presentations via webinar and for the SWANA Western Regional Symposium regarding succession planning and creating operations procedure documents.

Kasem has also been a part of creating BRS’s new “SHERPA” Critical Waste Facility Plans Service. This service is focused on developing updated and comprehensive Safety, Health, Equipment, Response, Productivity, and Administrative plans tailored to the solid waste industry. BRS’s research on the topic revealed that 90% of waste facilities do not have necessary plans and documentation currently in place. Through SHERPA, Kasem has been involved in developing Standard Operating Procedures, succession planning, and other safety and training documents tailored for solid waste facilities.

Email Kasem

Education:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo -  B.S. in Business Adminsitration

Registrations and Certificates:

  • Attended, UC San Diego extension program OSHA 500 outreach training program 
  • OSHA Authorized Construction Trainer Certificate #UO7074782
  • 40-Hour, hands on, Hazwoper training through Safety Unlimited, Inc.
  • Member, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)

Brad Altman, E.I.T. | Engineering Consultant I

Mr. Altman is a recent grad from California State University, Fresno and has a background in Water and Environmental Engineering.  Since joining Blue Ridge Services, Brad has utilized his expertise in AutoCAD to create numerous fill sequence and soil management plans, as well as perform all drone mapping operations for clients of BRS.

Email Brad

Read More About Brad Altman

Brad Altman, E.I.T. | Engineering Consultant I

Background: 

Since joining the BRS team, Mr. Altman has utilized his skills in AutoCAD and knowledge of soil analysis, water management, and operational tracking to improve the efficiency of solid waste facilities operations through the development of long-term and short-term landfill sequencing plans.  Mr. Altman has worked closely with clients to help them identify their site’s goals to improve any existing issues and/or operational inefficiencies. Typical tasks for completing fill sequence plans include site investigation, analysis to determine optimum equipment and material usage, analysis to determine optimum placement of haul truck roads and access roads, and analysis for proper water management. Weather, on-site soils/materials, waste types, and other factors are also taken into account during design.

Mr. Altman has taken the lead on organizing and conducting all drone surveying operations for BRS. Brad is a certified FAA Remote Pilot Airman and has completed numerous drone mapping projects at landfills and other solid waste facilities throughout the U.S. For each drone mapping project, Mr. Altman optimizes flight plans, assists in setting ground control points (if needed), conducts all on-site drone operations, and compiles each project’s requested deliverables. Brad has also performed testing of BRS’s drone mapping software/hardware to ensure that we are able to provide our clients with the highest level of surveying accuracy. Mr. Altman has also been involved with a number of educational webinars, as well as guest speaking at various organizational meetings throughout California on the topic of drone mapping for solid waste facilities.

In addition to sequencing plans and drone mapping, Mr. Altman also uses his operational analysis skills to develop Manager’s Benchmark Reports. These reports are used to evaluate a landfill's real-time operational metrics such as cover ratio, effective density (AUF), equipment usage, and the costs relating to each of these markers. Brad works directly with our clients to determine the specific metrics that each site needs to track, as well as other site-specific operational data. This information is then used to create custom Excel spreadsheet reports to easily view the progression of each site.

Email Brad

Education:

California State University, Fresno – B.S. in Civil Engineering

Registrations, Memberships & Certifications:

  • Certified Engineer in Training – EIT certificate #158842
  • Young Professional Liaison for SWANA Central California Sierra Chapter
  • Member, Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
  • Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
  • FAA, Certified Remote Pilot Airman – Certificate #3930377

Brenda Lewis |
Financial Manager

Brenda has spent many years working in a variety of capacities, with a focus on administration, communication, accounting and human resources. She has experience overseeing the human resource needs of over 40 employees. Brenda has worked closely with Boards of Directors and organized numerous job related functions for municipalities, non-profits and for profit businesses.

Email Brenda

Read More About Brenda Lewis

Brenda Lewis | Financial Manager

Education:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo -

B.S. in Political Science

Registrations and Certificates:

Masters Writing Classes

Background:

Prior to joining the Blue Ridge Services team. Brenda spent many years working in various capacities, with a focus on administration, victim services, communication, accounting and human resources. She has worked for municipalities, non-profits and for profit businesses. She has worked closely with Boards of Directors, organized numerous job related functions, helped in the process of opening new programs and creating program documents, both for program functionality and for statistical data. She has also conducted trainings, written small scale grants and also assisted with State and Federal level grant applications. She oversaw the human resource needs of over 40 employees.

Since joining Blue Ridge Services, Inc. (BRS), as the Financial Manager, Brenda has continued her work in a finance, human resources and administrative support role. She is responsible for all aspects of the BRS finances, while lending support to the staff for project needs, such as research or assistance with proposals and contracts.

Email Brenda

Samuel Bolton |
Tree Mortality Project Coordinator

Samuel Bolton worked previously as the Blue Ridge Services Safety Video Editor. His responsibilities include oversight of Terra-Track projects as the Terra-Track Field Manager and maintenance of the on and off road equipment for Blue Ridge Services/Terra-Track. Mr. Bolton is also part of the Blue Ridge Services Drone Mapping Team.
Email Samuel

Read more about Samuel Bolton

Samuel Bolton | Tree Mortality Project Coordinator

Project Responsibilities: Main point of contact, logistics, County staff communications management, drone mapping and public outreach.

Background: Mr. Bolton worked previously as the Blue Ridge Services Safety Video Editor. His responsibilities include oversight of Terra-Track projects as the Terra-Track Field Manager and maintenance of the on and off road equipment for Blue Ridge Services/Terra-Track. Mr. Bolton is also part of the Blue Ridge Services Drone Mapping Team.

Email Samuel

Patricia Gilger |
Tree Mortality Project Development Manager

With more than 20 years of experience, Patricia Gilger has been active in the grant process, from the initiation of ideas, through to submission and completion of projects. She has served as a grant writer, administrator, evaluator for community based organizations, corporations and academics.

Email Patricia

Read More About Patricia Gilger

Patricia Gilger | Tree Mortality Project Development Manager

Project Responsibilities: Grant writing

With more than 20 years of experience, Patricia Gilger has been active in the grant process, from the initiation of ideas, through to submission and completion of projects. She has served as a grant writer, administrator, evaluator for community based organizations, corporations and academics. Patricia’s skills include business planning, marketing, and the establishment of nonprofits, research; she is also versed in academic research proposals, and international and national policies. 

Patricia earned her Bachelor of Science/Genetics degree at the University of Kansas. She is the founder of Mariposa Youth Impact Project (MyIP) and Assistant Director for Community Engagement for the UC Merced Alliance for Family and Child Health and Development, a center dedicated to the healthy development of children and their families in and around the San Joaquin Valley and nearby rural mountain regions.

Email Patricia

Ed Price |
Video Project Manager

Ed Price is a multimedia specialist with a background in Visual Communications, with over 10 years experience in various multimedia productions including TV Production, Commercials, Music Videos, Digital Web Content, & Motion Graphics/Animation. 

Email Ed

Read More About Ed Price

Ed Price | Video Project Manager

Ed Price is a multimedia specialist with a background in Visual Communications, with over 10 years experience in various multimedia productions including TV Production, Commercials, Music Videos, Digital Web Content, & Motion Graphics/Animation. Ed has also worked as a Master Control Operator for Nexstar Broadcasting (Fresno HUB) which oversees NBC, CBS, CW, & Telemundo affiliate TV Stations.

Email Ed

Matt Bailey |
Engineering Intern

Matt Bailey is an engineering at Blue Ridge Services. He recently graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering, and is now pursuing his M.S. in Engineering with specialization in Integrated Technology Management. 

Email Matt

Read More About Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey | Engineering Intern

Matt Bailey is an engineering intern at Blue Ridge Services. He recently graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering, and is now pursuing his M.S. in Engineering with specialization in Integrated Technology Management. His background includes process improvement, lean, and systems engineering as well as some IT experience.

He assists our project managers with project research, data entry/analyzation, administrative tasks, and IT support.

Email Matt