We are focused on the development of innovative and environmentally-compliant oil refining facilities.

William C. Prentice

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Prentice is the Chairman and CEO of Meridian Energy Group, Inc., and is directing its design, construction and operation of a high-conversion crude oil refinery in North Dakota. Mr. Prentice began his career as an engineer for Flour Corporation, where he participated in major refinery, petrochemicals and other energy projects world-wide. Mr. Prentice has served in management positions at a range of firms including Askew, Kabala & Co., Competisys, Mesquite Lake, Western Power Group, Inc. and Ultrasystems, Inc., where he either headed up major divisions of firms designing, building, owning and/or operating major energy facilities, or where he was the founder and CEO of such firms. He holds a Master’s Degree from UC Irvine, Graduate School of Management, and two B.S. Degrees in engineering from Arizona State University….

Paul Coppola

Board Member, President and Chief Investment Officer

Mr. Coppola is currently the Energy Equity Portfolio Manager for RCH Energy/RR Advisors, LLC. He graduated from Fordham University in 1992 as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Economics. From 1992-1995 he served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army, and later began a 12-year career with Morgan Stanley starting as an analyst in investment banking covering energy and transportation. In 1997, he transitioned to Energy equity research covering the Integrated Oils, Independent Refiners and Exploration and Production companies along with responsibility for the crude oil, natural gas and refined products markets. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. Coppola was the Energy Specialist for Morgan Stanley managing operations of the energy sales, trading and institutional client platform globally. In 2008, Paul joined Satellite Asset Management to run its energy fund, and in 2010 went to run the energy fund at Arrowhawk Capital Partners. In 2012 he ran the energy equity business at Global Hunter Securities, a boutique energy and infrastructure investment bank, where he was the energy specialist along with managing many of the key asset management and client relationships for the Firm.

Greg Kessel

Member, Meridian Board of Directors

Mr. Kessel is owner and operator of Arrow K Farms, a family run business, in Belfield, ND. He started his working career on a drilling rig, and also as a heavy equipment operator. Mr. Kessel has also worked as a barley and wheat seed producer and cleaner. He has worked with many companies through the seed and chemical business, including Monsanto, Syngenta, and WestBred. Mr. Kessel is involved in a number of agricultural associations in North Dakota and has helped develop state and federal agricultural and pesticide policies. Mr. Kessel attended college at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, ND.

Norris E. Mitchell

Member, Meridian Board of Directors

Mr. Mitchell is a long-term investor and owner of commercial real estate. Mr. Mitchell was a founding director of Virginia Commerce Bank, and a director of United Bank. Previously, Mr. Mitchell worked for Douglas Aircraft Company and Research Analysis Corporation. Mr. Mitchell is a graduate of Virginia Technical Institute and was inducted into its Academy of Engineering Excellence.

Richard Palaniuk

Member, Meridian Board of Directors

Mr. Palaniuk is a founding member of and the General Partner for the Davis Family Partners, which is the original founding entity behind Meridian Energy Group. Mr. Palaniuk has been involved in Meridian and the Davis Refinery project from its inception. For 38 years, Mr. Palaniuk has been a successful small business owner who resides in Beaverton, Oregon with his family. Mr. Palaniuk is a graduate of the University of Oregon.

Thomas E. Skwarek

Board Member, Senior Financial Advisor

Mr. Skwarek brings over 30 years of project finance and risk management experience to the Meridian team, having worked in managing director positions at JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, UBS and Swiss Re. At these firms, Mr. Skwarek has led project and structured finance teams arranging over $50 billion in debt and equity for corporate clients world-wide. Tom holds an advanced degree in Economic Development from the University of Oxford’s St. Catherine’s College and BA in Political Science and Economics from California State University at Los Angeles.

Michael W. Smith

Member, Meridian Board of Directors

Mr. Smith is a member of the Board of Directors of Meridian Energy Group, Inc., and has over thirty years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry and related fields, having worked for such companies as Northrop-Grumman Air Combat Systems, Boeing Space Systems, McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft, and Hughes Helicopters. Mr. Smith attended Orange Coast College and obtained his Certificate in Residential Building, followed by a Certificate in Financial Planning from University of California, Irvine. Mr. Smith also has a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of California in Los Angeles.