Rincon Expands Leadership Team with Promotions of Six New Directors, One New Principal, and New Hire

Rincon Consultants Inc. is excited to announce the expansion of our leadership team with six promotions to Director and a Principal. We want to recognize their hard work and thank them for their dedication to excellence and for continuously taking our team to the next level. Additionally, we have made a key Director-level hire. Please join us in congratulating each of them on their achievements!

Congratulations to Rincon’s Newly Promoted Leaders!

Craig Huff Portrait

Amber Bruno

Director, Natural Resources

“I have had the pleasure of working with Amber for nearly a decade and watching her grow professionally over that time. She provides exceptional service to Rincon’s clients and has been a key leader in developing our Natural Resources program. We look forward to her contributions in further building our practice within the Utilities market, among others.”

— Steven J. Hongola, Executive Vice President

Amber has been with Rincon for 10 years and has 16 years of experience as a biologist and regulatory specialist in the environmental field. Over her career, she has focused on permitting and regulatory compliance for complex utility projects. She joined Rincon after supporting a major southern California utility company for several years in a contingent role; experience she leveraged into developing multiple companywide environmental compliance programs for electricity and natural gas providers. Amber has also played a significant role within Rincon’s Natural Resources management team, focusing on operations. She has led planning and execution of annual operational goals, management meetings, and program staffing, among other responsibilities. Amber is a highly organized and efficient project manager, dedicated to providing excellent client service with an eye on the bigger picture. These attributes will serve her well in her new position as Rincon continues to grow our leading Utilities and Sustainability practices.

“I can’t think of a better company to work for! I am grateful every day for the team I get to work with, the support I receive from leadership, the projects I get to work on, and our alignment to making our world a better place.”

— Amber Bruno

Darcy Kremin Portrait

Brenda Eells

Director, Environmental Planning – Renewable Energy Infrastructure

“I am delighted that Brenda is being promoted to Director, Environmental Planning – Renewable Energy Infrastructure. Since joining Rincon at the start of year, Brenda quickly established herself as not only a technical expert but also as an adept client and project manager, providing a model of how to develop and maintain trusted relationships with clients and subconsultant partners. Her team-first attitude and willingness to roll up her sleeves and jump in to lend a hand when it is needed demonstrates her commitment to Rincon’s core values and makes her an ideal person to fill this new role.”

— Jennifer Haddow, PhD, Executive Vice President 

Brenda has over 22 years of experience in managing and conducting NEPA and CEQA analyses primarily for and water projects, private and public utilities, electric transmission projects, and renewable power generation projects. Brenda has a natural ability to develop and cultivate trust amongst her clients and teaming partners, making her an accomplished project manager. Brenda has been a steady and accessible resource for staff and an always patient mentor to the team embodying Rincon’s “open door” culture. She has been instrumental in assisting with the development of Rincon’s utilities program, providing calm leadership during efforts with challenging deadlines and high expectations. We look forward to what she will accomplish next!

Even though I’ve been with Rincon for a relatively short period of time, I’m continually impressed and humbled by the energy and commitment of Rincon staff I’ve had the pleasure of working with. It is a daily delight to work with enthusiastic and positive people for a company that clearly values the contributions of its employees, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to Rincon’s success in dynamic and growing areas of the company.

Brenda Eells

Darcy Kremin Portrait

Danielle Griffith, JD

Director, Environmental Science and Planning

“I have had the pleasure of working with Danielle for over a decade, She is fearless, whether pursuing a new client/market, or facing down an unexpected project challenge. I am regularly amazed by her energy and can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Deanna Hansen, Principal

Danielle has over 20 years of progressively responsible experience in environmental planning, environmental policy and analysis. She has created successful teams within the Rincon family, utilizing those teams to engage with new and existing clients for CEQA endeavors and helping the Los Angeles office grow over the last two years, adding new cool and innovative projects to Rincon’s ever-growing impressive portfolio. Danielle’s expertise includes working as a project manager leading large, interdisciplinary consultant teams in environmental planning efforts for a variety of residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use land development projects throughout Southern California. She is a team player and is always willing to jump in and support when the team needs help. She never hesitates to roll up her sleeves in order to produce a quality product informed by her strategic thinking and expertise, thereby providing added value for our clients.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Rincon for two years. I am looking forward to continued growth and development with a company that fosters a team mentality and simultaneously supports a persons individual career advancement.”

Danielle Griffith


Ryan Thacher Portrait

Jennifer Turner, MS

Director, Natural Resources

“It has been a privilege collaborating with Jennifer over the last 13 years as we have both grown our careers at Rincon. She is one of the most dedicated people I know. Her keen attention to the quality of our technical products and services is unparalleled, and will continue to benefit our clients and our company as we move into the future.”

Steven J. Hongola,  Executive Vice President

Jennifer has over 24 years of experience in the environmental field and 14 years as a biologist with Rincon. Her foundation is in ornithology and she holds federal authorizations to survey for several threatened and endangered avian species. Over her professional career, Jennifer has developed into one of Rincon’s strongest technical practitioners, with expertise in endangered species and wetlands regulatory issues, CEQA/NEPA, and other disciplines. She has led biological resources and regulatory analyses for complex projects throughout California, including major transportation and utility work programs. These accomplishments have been integral to the development of several of Rincon’s long-term client programs, including a recent on-call contract win with a large California utility. Jennifer has also provided leadership within Rincon’s Natural Resources group, focusing on QA/QC procedures, technical writing best practices, and safety. We are excited to have a colleague of Jennifer’s caliber helping lead Rincon in the years ahead.  

“It has been a pleasure to grow, learn, and flourish at Rincon. I am proud and excited to work alongside this great team as we continue to grow and advance together.”

Jennifer Turner

Brenna Weatherby Portrait

Kiernan Brtalik

Director, Watershed Sciences

“Kiernan’s passion for watershed sciences is infectious and he has proven to be a clear leader. Kiernan has worked diligently to build Rincon’s watershed sciences program over the years with great success. He brings a positive and upbeat attitude which makes work that much more fun. I look forward to continued success under Kiernan’s leadership.”

— Torin Snyder, PG, CHG, QSD/P ToR, Principal

Kiernan has over 11 years of experience in waste discharge and water recycling compliance programs, regulatory-driven monitoring and assessment programs, and data evaluation, management, and technical reporting. During his time at Rincon, he’s worked with team members, peers, and senior leaders to build collaborative approaches to solve problems and to implement exciting and important projects. His contributions have supported the development of new services with both existing and new clients, positioning Rincon as a watershed sciences firm that connects all of Rincon’s services to better serve our environment and client needs. Kiernan is an active listener, a great communicator, and has a keen ability to inspire others to challenge themselves and strive for excellence within and outside the organization. He is also willing to take on new challenges and lead teams to the successful completion of projects even if the services we are providing are outside of his technical strengths. With these effective leadership skills and a flexible and positive attitude, he has risen as a clear leader at Rincon and we look forward to many more years of success.

“Creative and disciplined coordination across Rincon’s practice areas has provided my team the opportunity to grow into, and provide exciting services to existing and new clients. I’m hopeful that connecting Rincon’s services together through a watershed perspective will allow us to provide meaningful support for sustainable and long-term watershed management.”

— Kiernan Brtalik

Greg Ainsworth Portrait

Nichole Jordan, MA, RPA

Principal, Cultural Resources

“Nichole has shown exceptional leadership within the Cultural Resources group as well as within Northern California. She leads business development efforts for key clients such as PG&E, excels at cross selling technical services, and contributes to regional training efforts for all levels of staff. We are fortunate to have her in a leadership position within Rincon.”

— Sherri Miller, Principal

Nichole has over 18 years of experience in cultural resources management, is a registered professional archaeologist  and meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for prehistoric and historical archeology and the Society for California’s Archaeology’s professional qualification standards for Principal Investigator. During this past year at Rincon, Nichole has demonstrated her leadership within the Cultural Resources group as well as contributing substantially by raising our visibility in Northern California. Nichole has helped the Cultural Resources group create an internal organizational structure and develop internal processes and training. She has brought in multiple new northern California clients and she has successfully maintained existing client relationships through her interpersonal and client management skills. Nichole is working with other leaders in northern California to provide business development training and mentoring to staff across service lines. As a leader in the Cultural Resources group, Nichole is working with the Natural Resources leadership to create a partnership to advance the two technical groups. We value Nichole and appreciate her leadership contributions across the company. 

“What an exciting time to be a part of our progressive team!”

— Nichole Jordan

And finally, please join us in welcoming Kimiko Lizardi to the Rincon team! 

Greg Ainsworth Portrait

Kimiko Lizardi

Director, Environmental and Long-Range Planning

“Kimiko’s passion and commitment for the work we do is extraordinary. In the 16+ years I have had the pleasure of working with her, she never fails to impress with her strategic problem solving, thoughtfulness, and her sense humor (even when things are crazy!). We are truly fortunate to have her as part of the leadership team at Rincon.”

— Deanna Hansen, Principal

Kimiko is joining Rincon with over 19 years of hands-on experience in land use and environmental planning supported with a deep understanding of local and state planning and environmental laws. Her expertise includes the management and execution of planning programs and studies including general plan updates, specific plans, master plans, sea-level rise adaptation plans and local coastal program updates, corridor plans and housing strategies. Kimiko brings additional strong leadership to Rincon’s growing Long-range Planning team with the relationships she has created and cultivated with her clients. She is a trusted partner who is always ready to bring innovative and creative ways to approach any challenge.

“I am so excited to be a part of such a fast-growing company with an employee-focused culture. In the few months I’ve been a part of the Rincon team, it’s clear that the company values and encourages creativity, growth and autonomy. When new ideas and innovation are embraced, the level of collaboration, energy, and excitement within your team increases exponentially. I feel welcomed and valued, and I am looking forward to being part of the great work we’re producing here and building on that success!”

— Kimiko Lizardi