MLPA 2018 Annual Convention Speakers

Emily Coyner - Senior Director of Environmental Policy & Regulatory Affairs, National Stone Sand & Gravel Association

Federal Regulatory Update - Emily Coyner is Senior Director of Environmental Policy & Regulatory Affairs at the National Stone Sand & Gravel Association, working primarily on air and water advocacy.   Emily and NSSGA have been leaders in opposition to the 2015 WOTUS rule and on other issues of regulatory reform. Prior to joining NSSGA in 2010, she was Director of Regulatory Issues at the National Lime Association, working primarily on air and greenhouse gas issues.  She worked as an environmental consultant in California, Texas and Florida with a focus on water, waste and permitting issues.  She was a regulator for the state of Texas administering the state Waste Reduction Policy Act.  She is a Professional Geologist and holds a B.S. in Geoscience from Purdue University and a M.S. from the University of Florida in Geology.  

Tony Gianni
Trimble Loadrite

Connected Quarries - Tony Gianni is the Eastern North America Sales Manager for Trimble Aggregates Division. Since 2010, Tony has worked extensively with aggregates operations to deploy onboard mobile weighing equipment and conveyor belt scales, online reporting software, and the 'Trimble Connected Quarry' for plant optimization. His involvement includes worldwide scale installations and plant automation system integrations, end-user training, key client relationship building and sales in over 200 quarries. Tony holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University and although originally from Pittsburgh, PA happily resides in Raleigh, NC. He is a regular presenter at Agg1, CONEXPO, and other events.

In quarry operations, efficiency is a huge responsibility and task for many companies as it helps determine profitability of their plants. However, in today’s world, this important task is accompanied by many other responsibilities, thus not allowing enough time to be devoted to process improvements which ensure their sites are running at its optimum performance. In this presentation, we will define a "Connected Quarry," discuss the available technology that a "Connected Quarry" is comprised of, and through the means of technology, quarry operations are as efficient and productive as possible.


David (Dave) D. Ahlvers
Missouri Department of Transportation


Dave Ahlvers is the State Construction & Materials Engineer at the Missouri Department of Transportation.  He is responsible for the quality of materials for construction and maintenance projects, pavement selection, research, geotechnical engineering, as well as overseeing all new highway construction.

Dave Ahlvers was previously the Northwest District Engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

He graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla in l984 with a bachelor of science in civil engineering and a bachelor of science in engineering management.

Ahlvers is a registered Professional Engineer.


Richard Brownlee
MLPA Chief Counsel

Richard S. Brownlee III has a specialized corporate and business practice in the Missouri state capital for over 40 years and serves as the MLPA's Chief Counsel and Lobbyist.

Legislative Branch Services - Four decades of clients include State Farm Insurance Companies, American Insurance Association (AIA), National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), Assurant Solutions, Google Inc., and various industry groups.

Executive Branch Services - He has represent major corporate clients on matters dealing with state purchasing and contractual matters including relationships with Office of Administration, Public Safety, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Labor and Conservation.


Karen Johnston
Jackson Kelly, PLLC

Managing Two Key Minefields of Operator Liability: MSHA Accident Investigations and Contractors on the Mine Site - Karen Johnston is a member of Jackson Kelly PLLC, resident in the Denver office.  She handles all aspects of the defense of safety and health cases involving both MSHA-regulated and OSHA-regulated facilities as part of the firm’s nationwide occupational safety and health practice group.  She counsels mine operators and general industry employers with respect to prevention and avoidance of liability under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, as well as the Safe Explosives Act.  She also handles all aspects of the defense of enforcement actions arising under those statutes, including both administrative and civil litigation.  She conducts seminars and training sessions on enforcement and discrimination topics under various state and federal safety and health statutes. 

This session will provide an overview of the two most common areas of legal liability for mine operators – accidents and contractor behavior – and provide some tips on how to manage each to minimize liability.  With regard to accidents, we will discuss how to handle, and hopefully limit, liability by knowing what to expect and what to do in an accident investigation conducted by MSHA. Using examples pulled from Ms. Johnston’s experience representing mine operators in serious and fatal accident investigations, the discussion will give operators insight on how to limit liability while managing the investigation process.  Another area of significant potential liability for mine operators is contractors, given MSHA’s authority to issue a dual citation to the mine operator for violations committed by a contractor.  Ms. Johnston will discuss how to manage contractor compliance and safety on the mine site, including discussion of the mine operator’s legal obligations when it comes to contractors and MSHA’s recently amended workplace exam rule.


Jef McGee
  Polydeck Screen Corp.

Screen Performance Evaluations - A screen performance evaluation is a proactive way to evaluate the operating parameters of your screen box to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency. Utilizing sophisticated metering technology, all aspects of the operation of your screen box are measured and evaluated, in order to identify and correct any factors that may be negatively affecting screen performance. Learn how this valuable service can help ensure that the screen box is not a bottleneck in your operation.

Eric Gerst

Downstream Benefits of Optimized Drilling - Eric Gerst is employed by FLANDERS in Evansville, IN as a Global Business Development Specialist – Drills.  He spent most of his career in the explosives industry, 16 years as a Senior Technical Representative for The Ensign-Bickford Company working in Arizona, New Mexico, and the Illinois Basin and 7 years with Dyno Nobel prior to joining Flanders in 2015.  He works on developing markets and sales for FREEDOM for DRILLS automation and other drill optimization products in the eastern US and Canada.

Expanding blast patterns to near the limit of an explosives’ ability to do the necessary amount of work is a common practice to reduce drilling and blasting costs.  Choosing less expensive explosives such as ANFO vs. emulsion, bulk product versus packaged product, etc. are also common cost savers.  Both practices are only effective if the pattern geometries are accurately drilled.  However, will pushing the limits on pattern sizes and explosive products produce consistent results at the face, minimize oversize, produce superior fragmentation, and improve crusher throughput?  Sometimes, but no amount of explosives can overcome a poorly drilled pattern.  Knowing the probable outcome of any changes in drilling and blasting is valuable in achieving success.


Matt Landwehr
Thompson Coburn

Missouri Property Tax Law:  Know Your Rights - Matt represents taxpayers before Missouri and Illinois state and local taxing authorities in property, income, franchise, sales/use, and other tax controversies.  He is an aggressive litigator, and has successfully resolved State and Local Tax (“SALT”) controversies from audits and assessments through trials and appeals.

Matt has experience in all facets of SALT litigation, and has tried cases before the Missouri State Tax Commission, the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, and state and federal trial courts in Missouri and Illinois.  He has also handled appeals before the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal, the Supreme Court of Missouri, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Missouri and Illinois Courts of Appeal, and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits. 

Matt will discuss property tax rights in the state of Missouri with a specific empahsis on how they apply to the aggregate industry.


Ed Elliott
MSHA - Senior Adviser

MSHA Update - Ed is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Education.

He presently is Senior Advisor in the office of the Assistant Secretary of Labor for MSHA.  His background includes over 35 years of mining experience both in Coal and Metal/Nonmetal, 31 years with Rogers Group, Inc.  He held industry positions of line supervision, as well as safety, human resources, and environmental management. 

He is a past Chair of the National Stone Sand & Gravel Association Safety and Health Committee, a recipient of National Stone Sand & Gravel Association Safety and Health Professional of the year, Aggregate Manager Magazine’s Agg Man of the year, and was twice selected as Kentucky Crushed Stone Association Miner of the Year.



Mac Burriss
MSHA Staff Assistant with the South Central District

Mac Burriss has been around the mining industry all his life. Mac followed in his father’s footsteps who was heavily involved with the cement industry throughout a good part of his career. His degree is in mining engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Mac has worked in the industry going on 35 years and has been with MSHA since 2007. His career has included working in surface, underground and plant facilities in the gypsum, limestone, lime, aggregates, and salt industries. He worked as an engineer, supervisor, and manager in the production, maintenance, safety, environmental, and human resource departments for several companies throughout the states. He is looking forward to working with the mining Industry and MSHA into the future to help improve safety & health for the nation’s miners