The Keynote Plenary Session kicks off this spectacular event and features high level industry, government and organizational leaders who share their successes and outlook for the future of the environmental industry. This year's speakers include several high level executives with international experience in the forefront of environmental concerns and compliance. Confirmed speakers include:  


Wayne S. Balta 
Vice President, Corporate Environmental
Affairs and Product Safety, IBM

Eugene M. Trisko
Counsel to United Mine Workers of America 

Wayne S. Balta is the Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety at IBM Corporation.  He has global responsibility for environmental affairs, energy efficiency, and toxicology and chemical management as well as product safety and related hardware compliance functions.  He joined IBM in 1984. In addition to his role as IBM’s chief environmental executive he is a member of IBM’s Growth & Transformation Team, a group of IBM executives that drives growth pursuant to innovation and shifts in business and technology.  He has also served on IBM’s Global Enablement Team for Kenya and East Africa.  He is IBM’s Partnership Executive for Yale University. 
Mr. Balta also plays a leadership role with a variety of additional organizations including the Environmental Law Institute (member of the Board and prior Vice Chairman) and the World Environment Center (member of the Board and prior Chairman).  He is a member and past Chairman of The Conference Board's Chief Environment, Health & Safety Officers Council.  He was named a White House Champion of Change in 2012 for his efforts to advance corporate environmental sustainability.    
Mr. Balta is a member of the President's Advisory Board for Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at CMU.  He was the recipient of Carnegie Mellon’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2009.  Mr. Balta is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board for the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University.  He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. 
Mr. Balta received a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering with University Honors from Carnegie Mellon University in 1982.  He earned a Master of Science Degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Tau Beta Pi Fellow, in 1984.


Eugene Trisko is an energy economist and attorney who represents labor and industry clients in energy and environmental matters. He has a dual B.A. in economics and politics from New York University and a J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
His extensive government experience includes involvement in the legislative development of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and serving nine years as an appointed member of U.S. EPA's Clean Air Act Advisory Committee. From 2007-2009, he helped to negotiate the clean coal technology and emission allowance allocation provisions of the Bingaman-Specter climate bill and the carbon capture and storage provisions of the Boucher-Rahall and Waxman-Markey climate bills. He was an associate member of U.S. EPA's 37-state Ozone Transport Assessment Group and was named by the U.S. Department of State as a non-government representative of U.S. industry and labor in U.S.-Canada air quality negotiations.
In his private practice, Mr, Trisko has repress  ented many labor and industry clients in Clean Air Act implementation and global climate change issues. He has participated as an NGO on behalf of the United Mine Workers of America in all United Nations climate change negotiating sessions subsequent to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. He develops climate policy position papers for the UMWA and other labor organizations, and serves as counsel to Unions for Jobs & Environmental Progress. 
He is the author of more than 30 articles on energy and environmental policy issues published in economic, energy, environmental, and law journals, and has testified before Congress and state legislatures on numerous occasions. Before entering private practice in 1991, he was an energy economist with Robert Nathan Associates in Washington, DC, an attorney with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and Executive Vice President of Stern Bros., Inc., an energy holding company. He is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers.