Our Team

Leadership Team

Alex Koukoulas

Alexander A. Koukoulas, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Dr. Alexander A. Koukoulas joined Herty in November 2012 following a successful career as both an industrial scientist and an entrepreneur. In his current role, Dr. Koukoulas is responsible for Herty’s day-to-day business operations, its contract manufacturing operations and for positioning Herty for future growth. Dr. Koukoulas is a research and technology professional with a proven track record in technology development, new product development and research and technology management. His expertise is in chemical sciences, engineering, pulp & paper and bio-energy. He has written extensively on scientific and research management topics, and holds over 20 U.S. and international patents. He has over 25 years experience in R&D and technology management, business development and new product development. He is a successful entrepreneur having started several technology companies including his own consulting firm, which focused on delivering alternative energy and energy efficiency solutions to industrial clients. He has worked at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, and has held adjunct professorships at McGill University and at North Carolina State University. He is a long-time member of TAPPI and is the current Vice Chairman of the TAPPI Research Management Committee. Previously, Dr. Koukoulas was Executive Vice-President of R&D at Albany International and Chief Scientist at International Paper Company. He is an expert consultant to the Departments of Energy and Agriculture, the European Commission’s Energy Directorate, and the National Engineering & Science Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.  He is a board member of NSERC’s Innovative Green Wood Fibre Products Network.

Contact: akoukoulas@herty.com

Casey ErdmierCasey Erdmier
Manager of Information Systems
Mr. Erdmier joined Herty in 2008. He oversees all equipment and operations involving computers, networks and voice communications. He has previously held IT positions with Coca-Cola Savannah and Kern-Coleman & Company.


Martha_bioMartha Simmons
Director, Laboratory Services
Ms. Simmons holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Savannah State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southern University. Ms. Simmons joined Herty in 1981 as a pulp and paper chemist. During her 30 years at Herty, she has held positions as Chemist, Project Manager, Analytical & Chemical Testing Manager and Assistant Laboratory Manager. Prior to joining Herty, Ms. Simmons held research and method development positions with Hercules at the Wilmington, NC facility and the Research Center in Wilmington, DE.  She also worked in Quality Control and Method Development at Hercules’ Brunswick, GA and Savannah, GA plants.  She has been a member of TAPPI since 1981.

Contact: msimmons@herty.com

Omar AliOmar Ali, Ph.D.
Director, Bioproducts Division
Dr. Ali joined Herty in November 2007 following a successful career as a researcher and technology developer in the forest products industry.  Dr. Ali is a research and technology professional with a proven track record in technology development, new product and process development and research and technology management. He has over 25 years experience in R&D and technology development. His expertise is in chemical engineering, pulp and paper and bioenergy. Dr. Ali received his B.Eng., M.Eng., and Ph.D degrees in Chemical Engineering from McGill University, Montreal, Canada.  He has worked at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, Union Camp Corporation, International Paper and Rayonier prior to joining Herty in 2007.   Dr. Ali is a long-time member of TAPPI.

Contact: oali@herty.com

Richard Robbins
Richard Robbins
Plant Manager
Mr. Robbins joined Herty in 1978 in wet and dry laboratory testing. During his 35-year tenure, Mr. Robbins held positions as Team Leader, Program Director and Pilot Plant Manager.  Throughout this time, he gained experience in all areas of bleaching, pulping, refining and papermaking.  Currently, Mr. Robbins oversees plant operations and serves as the management representative for Herty’s ISO 9001:2008 program.

Contact: rrobbins@herty.com

Tom CoxThomas Cox
Mr. Cox joined Herty in 2006 and brings 35 years of financial management experience to his position as Controller. In the senior accounting role at Herty, Tom is responsible for all accounting, forecasting, financial reporting and the overall financial management. Prior to joining Herty, Mr. Cox held senior financial positions with AT&T Wireless, CVS Drugs and Tribune Broadcasting. He holds a degree in Accounting and Business Management from the Purdue University, Krannert School of Business.

Contact: tcox@herty.com

Dr. Walter ChappasWalter Chappas, Ph.D.
Director, Advanced Materials
Dr. Chappas has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland. He was on the faculty of the University of Maryland’s Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering and was Director of the University’s Laboratory for Radiation and Polymer Science and Radiation Engineering Facilities. A noted serial entrepreneur, Dr. Chappas has formed several companies focusing on materials processing and the production of novel polymer-based products. He has been the guest editor for three technical journals, has published chapters in three books, holds six patents, and has published 39 technical papers in the fields of radiation processing, chemistry, and quality control.

Contact: wchappas@herty.com