Board Members

Michael Foster

Michael Foster

CEO and Principal Consultant for Environmental Business Specialists, LLC

Mike has thirty-five years experience in the areas of research, sales, marketing, and consulting with numerous industrial and manufacturing companies through North America. After time in research, sales, and marketing, Mike started EBS in 1997. EBS strives to inspire their employees to approach wastewater treatment differently, as they help their clients protect North America’s streams, lakes, rivers, and estuaries. EBS scientists and consultants are constantly challenging the status quo by evaluating and developing unique technologies and approaches to improve our clients’ wastewater compliance and profitability.

Mike received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1980. He is a Certified Environmental Trainer (CET) in wastewater and holds Class IV Wastewater Operator Licenses in MS, LA, and AR. In 2004, he completed a Masters in Instructional Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Mike is highly sought as a technical speaker and trainer. Several thousand engineers, operators, and other wastewater professionals have attended his technical presentations, papers, and wastewater courses over the past twenty years. Mike has authored or co-authored numerous articles and papers on topics including nutrient optimization, activated sludge process control, bioaugmentation and micronutrient technology. He is the co-author of the manual entitled “Aerated Stabilization Basins in the Pulp and Paper Industry.”

Mike was recognized by the Mississippi Water Environment Association as the Outstanding Laboratory Analyst in 2008 and inducted into the nationally recognized 5-S Society in 2003. In 2005, Mike received the Roy F. Weston Prize for Outstanding Technical Contributions to the TAPPI Environmental Division.

Harvey L. Foster

Harvey L. Foster


Harvey Love Foster passed away in June 2015. He was extremely proud to be a part of the Foundation and have it named after him. Kids were a very important part of his life with most of his career and volunteer activities revolving around the growth of youths. He was a retired Teacher, Coach, Principal, and Assistant Superintendent from the area north of Nashville TN. Harvey lived in Abita Springs LA with his wife of almost 60 years, Mary Lou, moving to the area in 2008 from Tennessee.

Harvey started his career as a chemistry, physics, math, and biology high school teacher in Mississippi and Tennessee. He became an Elementary and Senior High School Principal in Sumner County, Tennessee. Harvey was an Assistant Superintendent of Maintenance, Transportation and Construction of the Sumner County School System and became the Director of Maintenance and Operations and Construction handing all environmental matters for Sumner County, located north of Nashville. Upon retirement from the Sumner County School System, Mr. Foster spent many years dealing with asbestos issues within that area’s schools.

In addition to his professional career in education, Mr. Foster attained the rank of Colonial in the Army National Guard. He has considerable experience as a military instructor with much of this as instruction to OCS candidates.

Harvey received his B.S. in Math and Science Education from Delta State of Cleveland MS in 1955. He received his M.Ed. in Chemistry and Physics from Mississippi State of Starkville MS in 1965. And in 1980 Harvey received his Masters +30 from Tennessee State of Nashville TN. In addition, Harvey received a variety of asbestos and OSHA training and was certified to inspect asbestos sites.

For many years, Mr. Foster has been a member of his local Baptist church attaining the rank of Deacon. He spent many of these years working with the youth in his church and continued this work upon his move to Louisiana and joining his present church in Covington.

Christine Foster

Christine Foster

President for Environmental Business Specialists, LLC.

Christine Foster is President of EBS, joining the company in 2002. Christine manages all the business, marketing, and personnel aspects of EBS. Christine began her professional career in 1985 as a Sales Representative in the Formulator Group for Buckman Laboratories of Memphis, TN. In 1987, she joined Nalco Chemical Company as a field sales representative for the Metal Industries Chemicals Group. From there, Christine held various technical support and marketing positions for the North American and European Paper Industry Chemicals Group and the Absorbent Chemicals Group before leaving Nalco in 1998. She has written several papers industry related articles.

Christine earned her B.S. in Biology and a Minor in Management from Purdue University in 1985. In December 2003, she completed an MBA program through the University of New Orleans (UNO). She has also graduated from the St. Tammany Parish Leadership Program.

Christine was a Board Member for the New Orleans Chapter of the American Marketing Association for thirteen years, serving in five different positions including President. She is a member of the West St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce and is one of the founding board members for the Harvey L. Foster Foundation for Science Education started by EBS in 2007.

Hans Ruoss

Hans Ruoss

General Manager, Laitram Machine Shop, LLC.

Hans Ruoss began his career in 1994 as Engineering Designer in the Manufacturing Engineering Group for Intralox L.L.C. where he had worked as an Engineering Intern since 1993. In 2000, he became Supervisor for the Manufacturing Engineering Group at Intralox until 2007 whereupon he accepted the position of Plastics Production Manager. In 2010, Hans became the Assembly & Shipping Manger for the Americas and Europe. In 2012, Hans accepted the position of General Manager for Laitram Machine Shop, L.L.C. Laitram Machine Shop, L.L.C. provides high value machining and related services to the Laitram L.L.C. divisions and select outside customers.

Hans received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from U.N.O. in 1994 and successfully passed the Engineer In Training examination. He also passed the Lean Bronze Certification examination and is a member of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Hans is active in Scouting and currently serves as Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 111, Mandeville LA.

Dr. Roldán A. Valverde, Ph.D.

Dr. Roldán A. Valverde, Ph.D.

Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University, Dept. of Biological Sciences

Dr. Roldán A. Valverde is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University. Dr. Valverde earned his undergraduate degree in Marine Biology at the Universidad National of Costa Rica in 1985 and his Doctorate at Texas A&M University in 1996. Dr. Valverde’s teaching assignments include courses such as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Animal Physiology and Study Abroad courses such as Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation in Costa Rica. His research interests focus on the biology and conservation of marine turtles and on the endocrinology and molecular endocrinology of freshwater turtles.

Dr. Valverde was born and raised in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. He initiated his professional career in 1987 working on the nesting ecology of the Olive Ridley sea turtle in Costa Rica. His work on the “arribada” phenomenon led him to continue his studies in graduate school at Texas A&M University, where he received his Doctorate for his work on the endocrine stress response of the Olive Ridley sea turtle. Shortly after graduation he worked for the Caribbean Conservation Corporation (now the Sea Turtle Conservancy) as field leader of the green sea turtle tagging project in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. From 1997 through 2001 he conducted post-doctoral training in the Department of Biology at the University of Michigan on the endocrine control of amphibian metamorphosis. In 2001 he came to Xavier University where taught until he joined the faculty at Southeastern in 2004.

Dr. Valverde serves in Southeastern’s Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee and in the Department of Biology’s Advising and Library Committees. He is also a member of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a member of the International Sea Turtle Society and a member of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge Scientific Advisory Board in Costa Rica. Understanding nature and preserving the environment for future generations are some of Dr. Valverde’s greatest passions.

Marguerite Dietrich

Marguerite Dietrich

Site Coordinator for the St. Tammany Parish School to Work Program, Mandeville High School

Marguerite Dietrich is an educator in the Saint Tammany School System at Mandeville High School. She has taught French I, II, II, and IV for 14 years and has also been involved in the senior Internship program. She is presently Mandeville High’s School to Work Coordinator, responsible for all students becoming aware of and choosing a career academy. She works closely with students to counsel them on career choices, as well as the business community to establish new mentors. She also works closely with the faculty at Mandeville High to establish new courses to enhance all career academies. Additionally, Marguerite has also taught the ACT Mathematics class during her Mandeville High career.

Marguerite began her career as an educator in Irving, Texas at MacArthur High School, teaching Math and French to 9th and 10th graders. She remained in Texas for 2 years but returned to Louisiana to work for South Central Bell and AT&T for 14 years. She was a Systems Technical Consultant, responsible for the sales, design, and implementation of large integrated telecommunications and computer systems to businesses in the Louisiana area. Marguerite became an educator at Mandeville High in 1994 and has been actively teaching there since this date.

Marguerite earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and French at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and graduated in 1974.

Marguerite has volunteered for several community projects, such as highway cleanup with the Kiwanis, helped raise money for the St. Tammany Humane Society, and will help sponsor the Mandeville High Student Council. In previous years, she has sponsored the MHS Flag Team and MHS Key Club. She is most passionate about preserving the surrounding environment through education and preservation of the native plants and trees. She has been an active member of the Covington Bird Club and the Northshore Bird Club. She spends many hours maintaining a wildflower garden and a friendly bird habitat at her residence. Marguerite is a member of the Nature Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation.