Management

David R. Rubenstein

President/Chief Executive Officer, Founder/Management Committee Member

Dave Rubenstein has been an active and successful business owner in Los Angeles for over 30 years. He was previously the President and majority owner of Pacific Diazo Products, Inc., which produced and distributed industrial chemicals, primarily ammonia, to more than 400 customers in southern California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Mr. Rubenstein, who sold Pacific Diazo to a Fortune 600 company, is a former Board member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors and President of the Western Region. He currently serves as a Trustee for Winona State University's Foundation, where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree. In 2009, he was recognized as a Distinguished Young Alumnus.

Ronald G. Blake, Jr.

Chief Financial Officer

Ron Blake has over thirty years of experience in the finance and real estate industries. Mr. Blake served as manager of municipal trading and underwriting for the Western U.S. at Citigroup from 2008-2018 and has also worked at Franklin Templeton Investments, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan in municipal portfolio management, trading, and equity research sales. Mr. Blake also has experience investing in real estate and early-stage growth companies. Mr. Blake graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. 

Steve Benson

Chief Agricultural Officer

Mr. Benson is the third-generation family member to run Benson Farms, LLC, the family’s 85-year-old farming business, and lives locally with his wife Ann and four children. He is a skilled senior manager with diversified experience in agriculture, real estate, and engineering. He is active in the community and was publicly elected to serve a four-year term on the Board of Directors for the local public utility known as the Imperial Irrigation District (IID), served as President of the Board, and represented the IID and its customers in state and federal water and power negotiations. California Governor Brown also appointed him to the Colorado River Board of CA. Currently, he is on the Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Board and the IID Water Conservation Advisory Board. He also serves as Chairman of the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corporation Board, focused on bringing new industry and jobs to the Imperial Valley. Mr. Benson worked for ten years in the Los Angeles region for real estate developers and homebuilders on master-planned communities and urban infill projects. He earned his Master of Business Administration in Real Estate Finance from the University of Southern California and dual degrees from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.

Karen Wong

Chief Legal Officer

Karen Wong is a retired Milbank LLP senior partner where she practiced for over 30 years in the Global Energy, Project and Infrastructure Finance Group in Milbank’s Los Angeles office. Ms. Wong spearheaded numerous first of its kind energy transactions in the U.S., as well as in Asia and South America. Ms. Wong has been active in the development and financing of renewable and clean energy projects since 1987 and helped establish Milbank’s preeminent renewable energy practice. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Councilors for USC Gould School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1986.

Steven Passantino

Vice President Finance

Steve Passantino has over twenty years of accounting, finance, and information technology experience with publicly-traded and private equity-based companies. Recently, Mr. Passantino was the Corporate Controller for a material handling systems development company fully owned and operated by Danaher Corp., a publicly-traded fortune 200 company. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from The City University of New York.

Camille E. Soriano

Vice President Marketing

Camille Soriano is a senior marketing professional with over twenty-five years of marketing communications and strategic partnership experience. Ms. Soriano previously oversaw all revenue-generating programs for the National Association of Chemical Distributors. Before that, she served as the Director of Communications of the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C. Ms. Soriano received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Marymount University and her Master of Business Administration from The George Washington University. She actively volunteers for a local philanthropic organization serving those most in need in her community. She recently concluded nine years of service on their Board of Directors and currently serves on the Steering Committee for the endowment fund

Nathan M. deBoom

Permitting Manager

Nathan deBoom (deBoom & Associates) has successfully led in the permitting efforts for a variety of projects in California for over ten years. Recent projects include a major cheese and whey derived processing plant, a biomass waste treatment plant, digester facilities, waste recycling/compost sites, and a renewable gas pipeline infrastructure. Mr. deBoom holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Dordt College and a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic University.