Principals


Dan Hurst
President, Founder


Dan has more than thirty years of management and leadership experience in the nuclear and environmental fields. Under Dan’s leadership, Strata-G has grown from a startup that he founded into a professional services firm of almost 200 people. Strata-G has been recognized with 21 performance excellence and community service awards, including the 2017 TNCPE Commitment Award for Quality, 2007 Innovation Valley Navigator Award for Service, and being honored as a 2016 Pinnacle Award Finalist for Business Excellence by the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.

Dan has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Tennessee, where he serves on the Board of Advisors for Civil and Environmental Engineering, and an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Business. He is the recipient of the 2015 ETEC Muddy Boot Award for Service and Leadership, the 2012 Tennessee Veterans Business Association Bravo Zulu Award, and the 2007 Biosystems Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. Dan is a veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he received commendations as a Division Officer and Instructor in the Naval Nuclear Power Program.

Dan’s approach to leadership and management was recognized by Business Week Magazine for his values-based leadership style. Dan has served on numerous non-profit boards and is currently Chairman of the Board of the West Knox Utility District and Knox Area Rescue Ministries.


Darrell Daugherty, PE
Executive Vice President


Darrell has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Tennessee Technological University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Tennessee.

Darrell has more than thirty years experience of safely and compliantly administering waste characterization, certification, generator services, and acceptance programs. Darrell began his career at the Y-12 National Security Complex and he has supported the development and implementation of the waste management program at ORNL for the last 20 years.

In keeping with Strata-G’s commitment to Community Outreach, Darrell is heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity as well as other Strata-G interests through Knox Area Rescue Ministries, the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair, and the Adopt-a-Highway program. He previously served on the Board of Directors for Aid to Distressed Families in Appalachian Counties.


John Patterson
Vice President


John leads Strata-G business development and technical work across the DOE Complex including support to DOE Headquarters in Washington DC. John has a BS degree from the University of Delaware and a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University where he graduated with Commendations.

With more than thirty years of experience in the nuclear, petroleum, and environmental fields, John’s expertise is in providing strategic regulatory, clean up, and waste management consulting. His career started with Chicago Bridge & Iron working refinery turnarounds before becoming a DOE Federal employee in the new DOE Environmental Management Program. John provided programmatic and technical support to the Fernald, Weldon Spring, and FUSRAP Programs. John developed CERCLA and NEPA decision documents at Jacobs Engineering Group then became the Waste Management Strategy and Integration lead with Bechtel Jacobs Company. He has served as the Waste Acceptance Criteria Manager for the Oak Ridge CERCLA disposal facility, and supported projects in Oak Ridge, Paducah, Portsmouth, Hanford, and various commercial and academic institution sites.


Elliott Barnett
Vice President and Infrastructure Division Manager


Elliott is a graduate of the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department at the University of Tennessee. He has worked as a Project Manager in high value environmental and energy projects for the past 25 years. His experience includes working as an Environmental and Process Engineer at the Y-12 National Security Plant in Oak Ridge, TN, where he performed Clean Water Act permitting, wastewater treatment, and solid waste management. Elliott also served in key roles performing the defense missions at Y-12 to maintain our nations’ nuclear stockpile safely.

Recent projects include management of the University of Tennessee’s 5 Megawatt Solar Farm, serving as owners’ representative of gas utilities with the design and construction of compressed natural gas fueling stations, and the management of the Strata-G Infrastructure Division overseeing teams performing construction oversight and project management of complex energy grade projects.

Management Team


Leah Berry
Division Manager, Business and Information Services


Leah is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a former Senior Manager for the Domestic Ground Operations Division of FedEx Express.

With more than twenty years of transportation and logistics experience, Leah has provided technical consulting to the Department of Energy and commercial clients in the area of logistics. She also provides clients with GSA and STARS contract consulting and manages Strata-G’s administrative and human resources group.

In addition to participation in Strata-G’s community outreach programs, Leah is Past President and Foundation Chair of the Farragut Rotary Club, a graduate of the Rotary District Leadership Academy, a former UT Chancellor’s Associate, a supporter and guardian for World War II veterans on Knoxville’s Honor Air Flights to Washington, D.C., a member of the Board of Directors for the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair, a member of the Board of Directors for Bridge Refugee Services, and a Mentor and Editor for the Hand Up For Women program.


Kevin Mitchell, P.G.
Division Manager, Compliance Services


Kevin received a Master’s Degree in Geochemistry from the Colorado School of Mines and a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from Millsaps College.

Kevin is a registered Professional Geologist with over twenty years of diverse technical and management experience in public and private sector industries providing expertise in environmental compliance, hazardous and radiological waste management, characterization, profiling, certification, remedial actions, quality control, and geological services. Kevin has also supported alternative energy and energy efficiency projects including carbon footprint assessments.

Kevin joined Strata-G in 2003 and now lives in Oxford, MS, where he manages the Strata-G Oxford office. Kevin has served as the President of the Rotary Club of Oxford-Ole Miss, advisory committee member for the Upper Tallahatchie River Watershed Education Initiative, and he currently serves as the Secretary of the Mississippi Biomass and Renewable Energy Council.


Jenny Freeman
Communications Manager


Jenny leads the Strata-G communications team to develop and maintain communication tools, including social media sites, an internal employee newsletter, and an active blog site. The network is designed to connect our employees to each other and to pull external traffic towards our brand. Jenny believes that a strong communications strategy helps our employees take pride in their company, helps retain staff, and creates an awareness and understanding of how special Strata-G is to potential partners and customers.

Jenny also networks and builds community bridges for Strata-G. She co-founded the Oak Ridge Business Safety Partnership in 2004, Safety Fest TN in 2012, and the Oak Ridge Partnership in 2012. She is active in numerous community organizations, including the Energy, Technology, and Environmental Business Association (ETEBA), of which she was the first Executive Director for 6 years; United Way of Anderson County; East Tennessee Quality Growth; Knoxville Opera; Foothills Lands Conservancy; and the East Tennessee Economic Council.


Jill Kovalchik, PE
Outreach Coordinator

Jill earned a Bachelor of Science in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and maintains an active Tennessee P.E. license. Following early roles in customer service and education, she provided environmental engineering consulting services for the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies for almost a decade as part of a Fortune 500 company. Jill is also certified as a Project Management Professional, and currently provides innovation program management services for a large global client.

One of the many reasons Jill is thrilled to be a part of Strata-G is its unique culture of outreach. Strata-G’s Outreach Program focuses on providing food, shelter, and education for the less fortunate in our community, and supporting environmental stewardship throughout East Tennessee. As Strata-G’s Outreach Coordinator, Jill encourages all employees to get involved and give back through the variety of area partnerships Strata-G has created and fosters for this purpose.

Board of Advisors


Willis W. Bixby, Jr., Ph.D.


Dr. Bixby has more than 40 years of experience in the private and public sectors.

Dr. Bixby retired from the federal government in 1996 having spent 20 years with the Department of Energy and 4 years with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dr. Bixby served in DOE Headquarters as a Deputy Assistant Secretary under the Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management. Prior to his Headquarters assignment, he served as a Deputy Manager of the Department’s Richland Operations Office. He also served as the Federal Project Manager for the cleanup of the only commercial US reprocessing plant in West Valley, New York including the design, development, and testing of systems resulting in the SP of 600,000 gallons of high level waste. Prior to that assignment, he established and managed DOE’s Office at Three Mile Island Unit 2 immediately following the March 1979 accident and was responsible for the implementation of the DOE’s activities in support of the cleanup.

Dr. Bixby has a Ph.D in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland.


Reinhold Mann, Ph.D.


Dr. Mann recently served as Associate Laboratory Director for Environmental, Biological and Computational Sciences at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), where he was responsible for R&D programs in biology, biotechnology, climate science, and computational science. Before joining BNL, Dr. Mann was the Senior Vice President for Research and Development at Battelle Science and Technology Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after leading the Biological and Environmental Sciences Directorate and Program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Dr. Mann’s research has been at the intersection of the physical and computational sciences with the life and environmental sciences, leading several R&D efforts in intelligent robotics, human-machine interactions, advanced information processing, computational biology, bioinformatics, systems biology and bioenergy. Dr. Mann served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the DOE Bioenergy Science Center in 2007 and 2008, and was a Senior Consultant to the Director of the ORNL from November 2008 through June 2010. Dr. Mann was a member of the Board of Directors for the NASA National Space Biomedical Research Institute.

Dr. Mann has a doctorate from the Physics Department at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.


John LaBine


Mr. LaBine earned a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the Ohio State University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

John has over 30 years of experience serving industries as diverse as construction, software development, building products, and agribusiness as a CFO and operations leader, and raised over $25 million in venture capital.

In 2000, LaBine joined the founding team at PerfectServe, a Knoxville-based, venture-backed technology start-up. As COO/CFO, he helped PerfectServe create a market for intelligent, unified healthcare communication services, develop software-as-a-service solutions, and built an organization to deliver those solutions to hospitals and physician practices throughout the US.

Prior to PerfectServe, John managed production and distribution planning, led enterprise software implementations, and managed quality and performance improvement initiatives for companies including Deloitte LLP and Formica Corporation.

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