Meet the Experts

Dr. Kevin Archer, Viance, LLC

Dr. Kevin Archer, Director of Research and Development, has worked for CSI/Viance, LLC. since 1988 and was appointed Director of Research and Development in February 2013, responsible for Research Technology and Quality Control. Dr. Archer worked as the Director of Development with Viance from 2007 to 2013. Prior to joining Viance, he was an R&D Scientist at Chemical Specialties Inc. from 1988 to 1998 and worked as a Wood Preservation Mycologist for the New Zealand Forest Research Institute from 1986 to 1988.

Kevin has authored and co-authored numerous studies and most recently presented research on “DCOI - An Oil-borne Preservative System for Pressure Treatment of Poles, Posts and Sawn Cross Arms” at the International Conference on Overhead Lines in March 2019. Dr. Archer earned a Bachelor of Science in Botany, a Master of Science in Microbiology, and a PhD in Forestry.

Dr. Andy Zahora, Viance, LLC

Dr. Andy Zahora is a Senior Research Scientist and has worked at Viance for over 31 years. Dr. Zahora earned BS from State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY and his MS and PhD from Oregon State University. He also did a Post Doctorate study at Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine in London, England before joining what is now Viance.

Dr. Zahora researched fumigant treatment of wood for his University projects, as well as decay development during pre-treatment storage of utility poles at Imperial College. Since joining Viance, his research has concentrated on laboratory and field testing of new wood preservatives, as well as treatment properties and requirements for new systems. He has authored or co-authored numerous research papers relating to wood preservation, primarily presented at American Wood Protection Association as well as International Research Group on Wood Preservation meetings. Recent papers have included the "Performance of Select Modified Wood Systems in Marine Exposures" (2019 AWPA Meeting), “DCOI – An Oil-borne preservative System for Pressure Treatment of Poles, Posts and Sawn Cross Arms” (2018 AWPA Meeting), “Evaluating Above Ground Depletion in Decking-Type Samples” (2017 AWPA Meeting), and “Decay Hazards and Wood Protection Requirements Associated with Tropical and Other High Moisture Environments” (2016 AWPA meeting).  

Dr. Rafai Ibrahim

Dr. Rufai Ibraham, is a Senior Formulation Chemist with a history of working in biotechnology and the coatings industry. Dr. Ibrahim earned his doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) in Polymer Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Ibrahim’s chemistry formulation experience includes development work with Syngenta and Sherwin Williams, with clinical pharmacology experience with Nuventra. 

Dr. Ibrahim’s knowledge of formulation chemistry will expand our efforts in developing new chemistries for wood preservatives and fire retardant product formulations. Our continuing goal is to provide the wood preservation industry with environmentally advanced solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural applications.

Ryan Sturdivant, Viance, LLC

Ryan Sturdivant, Quality Control Laboratory Manager, joined Viance in 2010 as a Chemist/Research Associate. In his current role, Ryan is also Viance’s radiation safety and compliance officer. Previous to Viance, Ryan worked for Carillion Labs as a medical technologist and Appalachian State University as a research assistant.

Ryan earned his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from NC State University and his BS degree in Chemistry at Appalachian State University.

Steve Furr, Viance, LLC

Steve Furr has been employed with CSI/Viance, LLC since 1988 and was appointed  Director of Engineering and Technical Services in 2012. Steve began his career with Chemical Specialties in 1988 as an engineering assistant while still in college and became a full-time engineer after graduation in 1990. He worked in various positions including Plant Engineer, Plant Maintenance, Wood Treatment Engineer (working as a CSI engineer for WoodTec), and was promoted in 2012 to Engineering Manager in order to focus on customer treating facilities.

Steve attained a Bachelor of Science degree (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics from University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Robert (Bob) Baeppler
, Industrial Development Manager, has been with Viance since 2017.

Bob Baeppler, Business Development Manager, Viance, LLC

Bob has extensive experience in the wood industry. Bob previously worked as sales manager for Forest Products Research Laboratory, representing the company at the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) and the American National Standards Institute. Bob was elected and served as president of the AWPA, 2017-2018. 

Prior experience includes regional sales manager for McFarland Cascade (now Stella-Jones) and business manager for Chemonite products with Arch Wood Protection (now Arxada) and sales positions with T. R. Miller

Mill Company and Applied Research Group Inc. Previous to these positions, Bob served in management roles with International Paper Company as manager of technical services over the Treated Wood Products Division, TSO coordinator, pole yard supervisor, production specialist, acting plant manager, and treating supervisor.

Bob earned his BS degree in Forest Industries at The Ohio State University in four years while also working full time. 

Todd Schoffstoll, Viance, LLC

Todd Schoffstoll, Western Regional Manager, has been with Viance since 2012, starting out in Technical Services and now responsible for business development in the Western US and Canada. Todd earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix and his BS in Forest Resources Management from the University of Washington.

Todd’s understanding of the technical aspects of wood, treated wood preservatives, treating plant operations and the customers’ needs makes him a valuable asset to both his customers and Viance.

Jonathan Whitehead, Viance, LLC

Jonathan Whitehead, Eastern Region Sales and Business Development Manager for Viance, brings over 17 years of experience in the building materials industry. Jonathan served as domestic and international sales account manager for Cox Industries for the past 11 years with responsibility for all treated fire-retardant lumber sales. Prior to his role with Cox, Jonathan held the post of general manager for Builder’s First Source in Cashier’s, NC for six years.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Jonathan earned his Business and Political Science degrees after serving eight years as an infantry combat specialist with the US Marine Corps, where he earned two combat action medals and was promoted meritoriously during combat in Desert Storm.

Edie Kello, Director of Marketing, Viance, LLC

Edie Kello is the Director of Marketing for Viance, since 2018. Previously she served as President of Kello Creative from 2016 until 2018. From 2008 until 2016, Edie held three roles for Fiber Composites (Fiberon) as director of marketing communications and director of marketing after starting as senior product marketing manager in 2008. Prior to Fiberon, she served as marketing manager for US GreenFiber from 1999 until 2008. In 2014, Edie was awarded Extraordinary Achievement in Public Relations from NAPS for an article she wrote that was picked up by over 3,200 newspaper editors across the country.

Edie earned her MBA from Pfeiffer University, her Bachelor of Creative Arts degree (Hons) from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a certificate from the Harvard Business School Alumni Management Development Program.