MEET NEFCO Leadership
NEFCO has assembled a team of dedicated professionals with extensive knowledge and experience to sustain a world-class environmental company. Our core leadership values set elite standards for ethical behaviour, teamwork, responsiveness, and dependability.
James (Jim) N. Sullivan
Jim Sullivan has been with NEFCO since its inception in 1986. In his current role, he is responsible for the overall performance, strategic direction, and the mission of NEFCO. Under Jim’s leadership, NEFCO has earned a well deserved reputation in the industry as a fair and ethical firm, a reliable and highly competent service provider, an environmental and technological leader, and a company which fosters a safe working environment for its employees and surrounding communities.
Jim takes great pride in the fact that NEFCO has never turned away a pound of sludge under any of its contracts and has met all of its contractual obligations to process the sludge into a beneficial use product. Jim also serves as NEFCO’s managing general partner with respect to O’Connell Development Group’s equity interest in NEFCO. Jim is the President of O’Connell Development Group and serves on its Board of Directors. Prior to being NEFCO’s Managing Partner, Jim’s involvement with NEFCO was related to financial, legal, and contractual matters as well as most recently serving as General Manager. Jim has been with O’Connell since 1982. Jim possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master’s degree in Finance from Western New England College. Jim is a member of the Water Environment Federation. Jim resides in western Massachusetts and enjoys spending time with his five children. Jim is an avid golfer, and enjoys travelling, reading, coaching youth and high school basketball, and spending time with his family.
Larry W. Bishop, PE
Larry Bishop has executive level operations and business development experience with over 20 years of progressively responsible leadership in the wastewater and biosolids engineering and construction field. In his current role, he is responsible for the engineering and technology aspects along with the business development strategy and overall growth of NEFCO.
Larry’s prior professional experience includes managing large infrastructure projects and overall leadership of business development and client services programs in the United States and abroad. His diverse industry and technology experience encompasses the planning and implementation of treatment and conveyance systems. He is an active member of the Water Environment Federation. Larry received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of South Florida. Larry lives in Florida with his wife and son. They enjoy traveling, sports and community activities.
Vice President of Operations
Manuel Irujo has been working for NEFCO since 2007. As Vice President of Operations, Manuel is responsible for the overall management and plant operations at NEFCO’s six facilities including production, maintenance, plant purchasing, laboratory, safety, environmental compliance, and customer relations. Manuel is also responsible for all new plant start-ups and sales of finished product.
Under Manuel’s leadership, all NEFCO plants’ top priorities are safety, team work, preventive/predictive maintenance of plant equipment, reliable operations, 100% environmental compliance, good housekeeping and excellent relations with our customers. Prior to working for NEFCO, Manuel worked in manufacturing in the photographic industry for approximately 25 years and also has waste management experience. Throughout his career, Manuel has demonstrated leadership in team building and continuous improvement that result in safe, clean, reliable and efficient plant operations. Manuel possesses Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is an active member of the North East Biosolids and Residuals Association, and is an active member of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). Manuel enjoys skiing, cycling, personal fitness, music, reading, and most of all, spending time with his family.
Hari Santha, PE
Senior Process Engineer
Hari Santha plays a key role in the design and development of NEFCO facilities. Hari was the lead process engineer for NEFCO’s Biosolids Drying Facility in Detroit, Michigan. In his role as a process engineer, Hari develops process models and calculations for system evaluation and sizing and performs economic and non-economic feasibility analysis for projects. Hari works with engineering consultants, clients, and equipment vendors for developing technical specifications for equipment and material procurement. He also provides startup, commissioning and operational assistance for NEFCO facilities.
Hari’s past professional experience includes process design for biosolids and residuals treatment facilities, development of strategic solids and resource recovery master plans for multi-plant utilities, with emphasis on sustainable practices through resource recovery from solids processing. He is an active member of the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association. Hari earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s in Environmental Engineering from Iowa State University. Hari is one of the lead authors for WEF’s Solids Process and Design Manual (2012) and a contributing author for Wiley-Blackwell’s bestselling book, Anaerobic Biotechnology for Bioenergy Production (2009). In his spare time, Hari enjoys interior design and loves travelling and exploring new lands and cultures. Hari lives in Massachusetts with his wife and daughter.
Michael (Mike) Thayer (Retired)
Manager, Technology and Engineering
Michael Thayer has a long history of biosolids and environmental work including serving as the MWRA Interim Sludge Processing and Disposal Project Manager. Since 1997, Mike has worked with NEFCO in multiple roles and been actively involved in all company projects from the beginning including Tidewater, a pilot fertilizer facility.
Mike was part of the team instrumental in ending the 115-year practice of dumping sludge into Boston Harbor as both an MWRA employee and with NEFCO. In his current role, he designs all the NEFCO plants including the technology systems; instrumentation and emissions controls; equipment and chemicals selection; preparation of plant operations manuals; and providing technical assistance to ensure effective and efficient operations. Mike earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and holds a Massachusetts Grade 7 Wastewater Operator License. He was an active participant in the Water Environment Federation (WEF) for more than 15 years. An avid outdoorsman, Mike especially enjoys hunting and canoeing on the waters NEFCO helps protect.