Jim Blazek, Jr.
Jim Blazek is one of the founding members and current co-owner of the company with over 30 years of environmental experience.
Jim is a New Orleans native and Jesuit High School grad who earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (USL, now UL Lafayette), Jim began his environmental career as an asbestos air monitoring technician. In the 1990’s, Jim was part of the ASTM E-50 committee that developed the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standards still being used today. Jim’s diverse environmental experience has included the management of the cleanup of a plant explosion in Northern Louisiana; assisting in the training of Taiwan’s EPA personnel in hazardous chemical testing, the recovery and packaging related to hazardous waste operations and emergency response (HAZWOPER); the development of specifications for the demolition and/or environmental abatement of multiple public housing development sites; and the removal and replacements of the City of New Orleans fuel systems. Jim’s extensive years of experience have contributed to his ability to serve as a legal expert in various legal cases involving environmental issues. Jim is an outdoorsman, who loves to fish, hunt, backpack, ski (water and snow) and white-water kayak. Due to his diverse experiences and work in the environmental industry, Jim has been nicknamed Mr. Spock and MacGyver.
Jim Blazek, Jr.
Chief Operations Officer
Jesse Hoppes, PG (Member)
Jesse Hoppes, PG is a seasoned geologist and business professional with 20 years of experience in the environmental industry. With a degree in Geology from Louisiana Tech University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Loyola University of New Orleans, Jesse brings a unique blend of technical and business acumen to his role as co-owner of Leaaf.
Jesse has extensive experience in environmental investigation and underground storage tank management, including site assessments, remediation, and regulatory compliance. He is known for his ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with clients, regulators, and the community during projects, especially during the preparation of work plans.
Jesse is also actively involved in the community, serving on the Louisiana Response Action Advisory Board for the LDEQ Motor Fuel Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund and as a past president and advisor of the Westbank Business Industry Association. In his free time, he enjoys the great outdoors and spending quality time with his family.
Jesse Hoppes, PG
Chief Financial Officer /
Chief Marketing Officer
Holly O. Johnston
Holly O. Johnston has been with Leaaf since 2012 in support of accounting, administration, and marketing. Integral to the setup and maintenance of Leaaf’s accounting systems, Holly has achieved the role of Controller. Not only does Holly maintain accounts payable, account receivable, and payroll for Leaaf, she ensures Leaaf’s employees are celebrated on their birthdays and other important events, and plays a large role in ensuring Leaaf is a fun place to work and is always willing to lend a helping hand to the marketing department.
Holly is a Girl Scout Alumni and Lifetime Member, as well as a “Cookie Dealer” for her two daughters’ troops. Holly enjoys time outdoors with her family, serving at church, and crafts of all kinds, especially crochet.
Holly O. Johnston
Jennifer Lindquist, PG
Jennifer Lindquist is a Professional Geologist who has worked in the environmental industry since 1990 and is Leaaf’s Soil and Groundwater Division Manager.
Jennifer previously worked for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as Water Quality Standards Coordinator and has been consulting since 2003. She has over 25 years of experience in the environmental field conducting research, regulatory compliance and enforcement, planning, coordination, and consulting services on federal and state regulatory compliance issues for numerous governmental and private clients in several states. While she has experience in numerous aspects of environmental consulting, Jennifer’s personal interests are in Brownfields redevelopment and sediment quality. Jennifer has extensive experience working with private entities, as well as state and federal government, on both types of projects. Jennifer holds Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Science and Geology and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science.
Jennifer Lindquist, PG
Director of Environmental Assessment
Karen Irion, P.E
Karen Irion, P.E. joined Leaaf in 2021 as a recognized national expert on storm water regulations and compliance.
Ms. Irion has over thirty-seven years of consulting experience in environmental and civil engineering. She specializes in full-facility compliance activities, including, water/wastewater design and permitting, air emission permitting and abatement design, storm water permitting with green building design and compliance, pollution prevention, waste minimization, solid/hazardous waste, drinking water and plumbing. She is a specialist in all areas of environmental regulation and agency negotiation. She has managed compliance and/or remediation projects in more than 20 states. She has also managed a variety of wastewater treatment plant design projects, both municipal and industrial, and has performed troubleshooting on several poorly operating wastewater plants at industrial facilities. She has performed significant work in all areas of environmental regulation, including green building design, RCRA, Superfund, SARA, EPCRA, TSCA, NPDES, and Air programs in all environmental media.
Karen S. Irion, PE
Engineering & Compliance Division Manager
Madeline joined Leaaf as an environmental science intern while earning her Bachelor’s degree and in 2018 was promoted to Indoor Air Quality Division Manager.
When Madeline joined Leaaf in 2013 she supported a variety of Leaaf projects including Environmental Site Assessments before eventually working extensively on Indoor Air Quality projects. Madeline received asbestos and lead training certifications from LDEQ and performs a variety of air monitoring and waste characterization activities in the field. As the Indoor Air Quality Division Manager, Madeline oversees and often leads projects with her extensive field expertise and decisive approach to solving her clients’ environmental predicaments. Madeline holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Tulane University. In her free time Madeline enjoys spending time at City Park and tie-dying everything she owns.
Indoor Air Quality Division
Emily Reeves, MSPH
As a Risk Assessor with over 15 years of experience in environmental consulting, Emily Reeves, MSPH joined Leaaf in 2015 and is an integral member of Leaaf’s Soil and Groundwater Division.
Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, a Master of Science in Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences with concentrations in water quality, toxicology and risk assessment, and various environmental certifications. She has a variety of environmental certifications that qualify her to work on Leaaf’s soil and groundwater investigation projects, including, following the tiered framework of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) Risk Evaluation / Corrective Action Program (RECAP). With a particular strength in evaluating human health risks, Emily serves as a vital role at Leaaf to reduce risks to both human health and the environment for our clients.
When not working, Emily enjoys attending live music events and traveling with her family.
Emily Reeves, MSPH
Environmental Risk Assessment Division Manager
Kerry has worked in the environmental industry for over 19 years and has a broad background in environmental assessments, risk management, environmental planning, regulatory compliance, and industrial hygiene.
Kerry has managed multiple environmental projects which include Brownfields Site Investigations; Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs); Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Program (RECAP) and Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) investigations; asbestos and lead-based paint assessments, cleanup planning, and alternative cost analyses; and studies associated with developments of regional impact. Kerry holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Louisiana State University and currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of the Louisiana Brownfields Association. In his free time, Kerry coaches his son’s baseball team, his daughter’s soccer team, and enjoys watching LSU and Saints football.
Senior Project Manager / Business Development
Stephen joined Leaaf in 2022 as the Environmental Health and Safety Division Manager. His career began during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response after his team was the subject of an occupational exposure assessment. Stephen considered this human-health centered detective work extremely fascinating and he was inspired to embark on a career in industrial hygiene. Over the next several years, he gobbled up experience performing industrial hygiene field surveys, exposure assessments, risk assessments, and technical reporting until his expertise and aptitude for interpersonal communication yielded roles in leadership. Stephen holds several industry-specific credentials including the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) in addition to an MPH in Environmental Occupational Health and Safety with focus in industrial hygiene from the LSU Health Sciences Center.
Stephen’s free time is spent escaping the indoors. He also considers himself an amateur sommelier, casual lepidopterologist, and bargain-travel connoisseur.
Stephen Paternostro, MPH, CIH, CSP
EH&S Division Manager / Sr. Certified Industrial Hygienist
Jessica Rury, AICP
Jessica Rury, AICP is an experienced environmental services professional having obtained Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Alabama and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies Planning and Management and Wetland Science from Louisiana State University. Jessica received her Certified Planner designation from the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2016. As an environmental scientist providing environmental consulting services for over 15 years, she has performed various environmental permitting, risk-based assessments, groundwater remediation and consulting services. Jessica’s project management experience includes Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), GIS map production, wetland delineations, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) studies, environmental permitting, and Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Program investigations and evaluations. Her specialties include due diligence, risk assessments, NEPA studies, and the Brownfields Program. Jessica is a graduate of Dale Carnegie Leadership Course, Barton Leadership Course, and APA-Leadership Course. She regularly participates in both internal and external leadership and professional development courses. Jessica has been involved with multiple organizations including the Louisiana Water Environment Association, Greater Baton Rouge Panhellenic Alumni Association, Forum 35, Of Moving Colors Production Company, Capitol Section of the Louisiana Chapter of Americana Planning Association, and the Louisiana Brownfields Association. When Jessica isn’t serving her community through these organizations, she spends her free time crafting, reading, baking, writing short stories, and brunching.
Jessica Rury, AICP
Phase I ESA/NEPA Division Manager
Kelly Caris joined Leaaf in 2014 as an environmental scientist and has gained extensive experience conducting Environmental Site Assessments in the Greater New Orleans area and surrounding Gulf States.
In 2018, Kelly returned to Ohio where her family resides. From there, Kelly supports the Soil and Groundwater Division conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Assessments, and by conducting extensive historic and regulatory research. Kelly has undergone a variety of training programs and has additional experience identifying environmental concerns relating to Indoor Air Quality, Water Quality, Underground Storage Tank (UST) regulatory compliance, Vapor Encroachment, and Hazardous Materials.
Kelly holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Wildlife and Conservation Biology and served as an AmeriCorps member with the Ohio Stream Restore Corps. Kelly’s passion for the environment is complemented by her hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, which sparked a national movement following the famous 1969 Cuyahoga River fire and lead to the enactment of the 1972 Clean Water Act.
Suzanne Sicotte, MPH
Suzanne Sicotte, MPH, joined Leaaf 2016 as an environmental scientist and industrial hygienist for Leaaf’s Indoor Air Quality Division, where she conducts inspections for environmental concerns such as asbestos, lead, mold, and legionella.
Suzanne has also supervised abatement projects on commercial and industrial sites, and regularly develops reports and work plans for clients. Suzanne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, an Associate’s degree in Nursing, and a Master’s of Public Health deree in environmental and occupational health sciences, Suzanne brings a well-rounded approach to various Leaaf projects with her reliable work ethic always assisting the Indoor Air Quality team through many busy periods. Outside of the office, Suzanne enjoys adventures with her son Luca, spending time outdoors, taking pictures, and a good Netflix binge.
Suzanne Sicotte, MPH
Environmental Scientist / Industrial Hygienist
Chase Cromwell joined Leaaf in 2016 as a geologist in support of Leaaf’s LDEQ site investigation contract. Since then, Chase has grown to support Leaaf’s UST / Remediation team and plans to apply for the Professional Geologist certification in the coming years. Originally from Tennessee, Chase has received Bachelor’s degrees in both Business Administration and Geology and worked in a variety of positions, from pest control specialist to cementing engineer. Chase is particularly adept in the preparation of work plans and utilizing mapping software such as ArcGIS and AutoCAD.
In his free time, Chase enjoys golf and watching Ole Miss winning National Championships!
Chase Cromwell, PG
UST & Remediation Division Manager
Thaddeus (TJ) Hebert is a Professional Geologist (PG) who has worked in the environmental industry since 2007.
Over the years, TJ has gained experience as a consultant responsible for preparing and completing multiple Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) Risk Assessment / Corrective Action Program (RECAP) Reports and planning and implementing numerous Corrective Action Plans for soil and groundwater remediation activities, including Duel Phase Vacuum-Extraction (DPVE) systems, chemical injections, and dig and haul methods.
TJ holds a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Louisiana State University. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife and four children and sneaking in a round of golf when he can.
Thaddeus (TJ) Hebert, PG
Angie joined Leaaf as a Senior Environmental Project Manager in 2022. She has over 15 years of experience as an environmental consultant, beginning in 2005, the same week Hurricane Katrina hit. Due to Katrina, instead of starting her environmental consulting career in New Orleans as planned, she relocated to the Houston office, where she ended up staying for five years.
Angie was initially attracted to the environmental world due to her love of the outdoors and the desire to assist others with protecting them. She obtained a B.S. in Biology and furthered her education by attending Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine to complete a MSPH degree with a concentration in Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment. Her early-on environmental consulting experience includes hazardous and solid waste permitting for large refineries, marine-vapor control recertifications for refineries, groundwater monitoring, and risk assessment work under LDEQ’s RECAP and TCEQ’s TRRP programs. More recent experience includes indoor air quality work, including mold surveys, Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, and asbestos inspections. Angie also holds a Certified Microbial Consultant (CMC) credential which has allowed her to be contracted as an expert witness in litigious cases related to indoor air quality.
In her free time, Angie enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters that are 11 and 5, soaking up the sun outdoors, having a glass or two of good wine, and reading science/health related articles and book club books.
Angie Hendrix, MSPH, CMC
Senior Environmental Project Manager
Jill “Sadie” Hunt joined Leaaf in 2017 as an administrative assistant where her work ethic, educational background, and subject matter interest lead her to her promotion as an environmental scientist with Leaaf’s Indoor Air Quality Division in 2019.
Jill is an environmental scientist and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and in Nursing. Jill has received a number of certifications during her time at Leaaf and has proven to be an invaluable member of the Indoor Air Quality Team, where she provides asbestos and lead sampling/monitoring and prepares reports for clients.
Mallory is a 2021 graduate of Louisiana State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Coastal Environmental Science. Mallory joined the Leaaf family in January of 2022 with the title of Administrative Assistant, knowing full well that her education and training will be put to good use in many of Leaaf’s different departments. While Mallory learns the ropes of the Environmental Consulting industry, she will be here to ensure the staff has anything and everything they need, including making sure field members, remote staff, and the in-office crew is well taken care of. In October of 2022, Mallory advanced within Leaaf to become an Environmental Scientist.
When Mallory is not in the office, she is most likely organizing her new house or scuba diving.
Gary Brooks has 33 years of comprehensive project experience inspecting environmental concerns such as asbestos, lead, and other hazardous materials / concerns which require special handling.
Since 2011, Gary has worked to support Leaaf’s Indoor Air Quality Division, where he excels in field sampling including monitoring through various media. With a great number of environmental certifications, Gary is qualified to address most lead / asbestos concerns for our clients, and often assists with Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) projects involving soil sampling, monitor well installation, groundwater sampling, and other real-time monitoring.
Diana Muñoz is an environmental engineer who joined Leaaf at the beginning of 2022, right after graduating with her Master of Science in Engineering from the University of New Orleans. She is currently working in Leaaf’s recently created Engineering and Compliance Division.
Originally from Colombia, Diana moved to the United States back in 2013 to start her undergraduate studies at Gannon University in Erie PA, where she was also a part of the University’s golf team all 4 years. She then lived in Richmond VA for about 3 years and at the time she worked for Henrico County in the Public Works Department, mostly reviewing stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) certifications and construction record drawings to comply with Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulations.
Diana was also able to obtain a Master in Sustainable Design Certificate and Bioclimatic Architecture from the University of Barcelona in 2019.
In her free time, Diana enjoys being outdoors, attending sporting events, watching TV or reading a good book, and golfing.
Diana Muñoz, EIT
Joseph (Joey) Dupepe initially joined Leaaf as an intern under the Assessments Team in 2021 while he completed his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. After graduating from Louisiana State University in 2022, Joey stepped on full time to work in the Engineering and Compliance Division. He is currently studying and preparing to take the fundamentals in engineering exam this year to obtain the credentials needed to take the Professional Engineering (PE) exam when the time comes.
In his free time, Joey enjoys golfing, live music, and traveling whenever he can.
Joey Dupepe, EIT
Jaren Bradford received his Bachelor’s in Geology from Louisiana State University in 2018. While working towards completing his Master’s at LSU, Jaren joined the Leaaf family in 2022 as a member of the Soil and Groundwater Division Team where he will be trained in Environmental Site Assessments. He is currently studying for the Fundamentals of Geology exam in preparation for obtaining his Professional Geology (PG) license when the time comes.
In his free time, Jaren enjoys reading, traveling, playing video games, or binge-watching a good show on Netflix.
Emma Hoeiris-Andersen is a highly accomplished and driven Marketer who joined Leaaf in 2022, bringing her expertise to the Marketing and Business Development department. Originally from Denmark, Emma made a life-changing decision in 2018 when she relocated to Los Angeles as part of her Master of Science in Organizational Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Copenhagen Business School. After close to 5 years in Los Angeles working in marketing and as a talent agent, she moved cross-country to settle in Slidell. Driven by her passion for sustainability and environmentally conscious business practices, Emma embarked on a new chapter by entering the Environmental Consulting field.
Armed with her specialized focused on sustainability and innovation, she seamlessly aligns with Leaaf’s mission and vision. Emma’s unwavering dedication to her craft, combined with her global perspective and commitment to driving positive change, make her an invaluable asset to Leaaf’s marketing team.
In her free time, Emma enjoys exploring the world and immersing herself in diverse cultures. Her adventurous spirit fuels her love for travel and discovering new places, constantly expanding her horizons. In her rare moments of downtime, she relishes the opportunity to unwind by indulging in captivating TV shows, allowing her to recharge and find inspiration in storytelling.
Client Relationship and Marketing Manager
Michelle joined the Leaaf family in October of 2022 as the Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper. She will be putting her years of Accounting and Office Administrative experience within a variety of industries to good use in our organization. She will assist the Controller with Accounts Payables and Receivables functions, and as the Admin., she will see to it that the in-office crew, field members, and remote staff are well taken care of.
When she’s not in the office, she can usually be found hanging out with her fiancé, watching a foreign film or documentary, reading, listening to music or getting more experience as a semi-pro foodie.
Administrative Assistant / Bookkeeper
Willie Ross has been with Leaaf since 2006 and has been an integral part of the company’s growth from its early development to a multi-million-dollar company.
With over 300 hours of specialized environmental training, Willie’s currently serves dual roles within Leaaf as the Health and Safety Officer and as the LDEQ-Certified Training Manager. In his roles, Willie is responsible for ensuring that all site personnel are properly trained for fieldwork in accordance with LDEQ, EPA, and OSHA health and safety requirements. Having joined the Leaaf Team as a novice in the environmental industry, Willie advanced to managing environmental projects for Leaaf’s Indoor Air Quality Team. Willie was born in Los Angeles, CA but has made the New Orleans Area his home for the last 62 years. He enjoys the role of Leaaf Training Manager and passing on his knowledge of environmental consulting to young people which – in his own words – “is what Leaaf is all about.”