EnerGaia is lead by a highly experienced management team whose collective experiences and knowledge allow the company to continually innovate, delivering the best solutions and products possible. The EnerGaia team is made effective through the hard work and passion of every employee. From our microbiology team, to our installation and processing staff, every EnerGaia employee is integral to the company’s success and shares a common vision of sustainably producing and delivering the world’s finest algae products.

Saumil Shah ~ Managing Director & Founder

Saumil is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA USA.  He holds both a Bachelors and Masters in Aerospace Engineering. After completing his schooling, he worked for 3 years as an aircraft engine design engineer for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engines before moving to the Energy division of GE.  Over a period of more than 9 years at GE Energy, Saumil held various positions including roles as a field engineer, Six Sigma Black Belt, commercial director (technical sales), lead contract negotiator and senior manager.  In his final position, Saumil led a team of more than 60 commercial specialists handling business risk management and contract negotiations for over $1.8 billion of sales annually in the largest of GE’s 8 global regions.

Derek Blitz ~ Technology Director

Derek is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA and holds both a Bachelors in Industrial Design and a Masters in Integrated Product Development. After completing his education he worked in the US as a design researcher developing innovative technologies for the footwear industry and has been living in Thailand since 2006. Prior to working with EnerGaia he worked as a university professor of product design and user research, and as a design and marketing consultant. In addition to his training and background in consumer product design, user research and marketing, Derek has a very diverse skill set with experience in information technology, materials science, packaging, graphic design, mechanical design, and construction. As an innovator, he thrives when challenged to solve difficult problems, and takes great pride in his ability to design efficient solutions to complex problems.

Patsakorn Thaveeuchukorn ~ Production and Sourcing Director

After completing his undergraduate studies at Chulalongkorn University, and receiving a Bachelors in Microbiology, Patsakorn worked in Thailand’s food export industry, as a stock broker on the Thai stock market and in technology sales before choosing to further his education.  Enrolling in Thammasat University’s prestigious International MBA program Patsakorn earned his Masters with a focus on Global Entrepreneurship. Focusing much of his coursework on sustainability and social entrepreneurship, Patsakorn crossed paths with EnerGaia and founder Saumil Shah on multiple occasions before coming to work full time for EnerGaia in 2010.

Ingo Puhl ~ Business Development Manager

Ingo is EnerGaia’s Strategy Advisor with a focus on production and distribution partnerships, fundraising and business expansion. He brings to EnerGaia 15 years of experience as entrepreneur, investor and manager of new ventures within agroindustrial and renewable energy sectors in South East Asia, Europe and the US. He was attracted to EnerGaia by its strong management team, contribution to the low carbon economy, triple bottom line and the total scalability of its product. Ingo holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from the University Darmstadt (Germany). He is a Board Member & Co-Founder of South Pole Carbon Asset Management (Switzerland) and a mentor to a small number of promising social enterprises in South East Asia. Ingo lives in Bangkok with his two children.

Advisory Committee

Steve Kupetz

Dr. Steve Kupetz is an American who has been living in Thailand for the past 8 years.  He is a serial entrepreneur, professor, and philanthropist. Steve has taken a step away from his businesses to pursue a life long passion of philanthropy through social entrepreneurship.  Today, Steve dedicates his time to working with small NGO’s, a number of social projects in India and Thailand, and his own charity trust.  He is also an advisor to the Ashoka Foundation, the second largest global association of social entrepreneurs; the Earth Net and Green Net Foundation, emphasizing on the education and promotion of branding and marketing for organic products; and to Frontier Investment and Development Partners, with a focus on sustainable development in Cambodia and Laos.  Previously, Steve owned businesses in the retail, commodity and real estate sectors.  He was also a professor at the University of Illinois and has served with the Peace Corps.  Steve studied at the University of Chicago and received his PhD from the University of Minnesota.

Aaron Grieser

Mr. Aaron Grieser is a Bangkok-based international transactional attorney and founder of Inspirati Ventures Pte., Ltd., a company focused on international trade and distribution of premium consumer products.  In his role as an attorney with Hunton & Williams (Thailand) Limited, Aaron focused his practice on the development and financing of major renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia.  In addition to his entrepreneurial background, Aaron brings 13 years of activity in the environmental field with rich exposure to international business transactions, public interest environmental law and policy, and corporate sustainability services in both the citizen and private sectors.

Before attending university, and over a period of four years, Aaron launched, grew and sold a thriving landscape design and construction firm in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio USA.  Aaron graduated Tufts University with honors. After graduating, he enjoyed a year in Berlin studying German renewable energy policy as a Fulbright Fellow. Prior to attending law school, Aaron assisted a consortium of Thai public interest groups advising the Thai government on establishing a publicly accessible national database on pollution emissions.  He then matriculated at the University of Oregon School of Law where he received several fellowships and honors over the course of his legal studies.

During law school, Aaron supported the well-known Indian environmental attorney M.C. Mehta in the Indian Supreme Court and also co-authored the book “In the Public Interest” with him, which is a narrative of Mr. Mehta’s most famous legal victories.