Our amazing team
Claire Renault, PG (Member)
Chief Executive Officer
Claire Renault, co-member and co-founder of Leaaf, is a Professional Geologist with over 30 years of environmental consulting experience and a true passion for rocks.
Claire began her career in 1989 when she came to the New Orleans area after graduating from the University of New Mexico with a master’s degree in Geology. In addition to her extensive experience in the field conducting site assessments and sampling, managing projects, and developing reports, Claire has dedicated much of her time and effort to supporting Brownfield redevelopment initiatives and is currently a board member (and former president) of the Louisiana Brownfields Association.
Jim Blazek (Member)
Chief Operations Officer
Jim Blazek is one of the founding members and current co-member 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 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.
Jesse Hoppes, PG (Member)
Chief Financial Officer / Chief Marketing Officer
Jesse Hoppes is a co-owner of Leaaf and a Professional Geologist with over 17 years of experience in the environmental industry.
Jesse earned a Geology degree from Louisiana Tech University in 2000 and a master’s in business administration from Loyola University of New Orleans in 2011. He has over 17 years of environmental investigation and underground storage tank (UST) experience which includes performing site assessments, remediation, coordinating meetings, and application of federal / state / local regulations as they pertain to remedial actions under the framework of CERCLA, RCRA, and LDEQ (RECAP). Jesse excels at interfacing with clients, the community, and regulators throughout projects, particularly during work plan preparation. Jesse has recently begun his service on the Louisiana Response Action Advisory Board for the LDEQ Motor Fuel Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund. Additionally, Jesse is a past president of the Westbank Business Industry Association (WBIA) and currently serves on the board as the past president advisor and Government and Environmental Committee Co-Chair. Jesse lives in New Orleans and enjoys spending his spare time outdoors and taking his family on hiking and camping adventures.
Health & Safety / Training Manager
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 is 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.”
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.
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.
Senior Project Manager / Business Development
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...
Jennifer Lindquist, PG
Soil & Groundwater Division Manager
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.
Emily Reeves, MSPH
Sr. Environmental Scientist / Risk Assessor
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, Emily has a variety of environmental certifications qualifying her to work on Leaaf’s soil and groundwater investigation projects, including following the tiered framework of the LDEQ Risk Assessment / 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.
Michael Stevens, PG
Michael Stevens is a Professional Geologist who joined Leaaf in 2018 as a member of Leaaf's Soil and Groundwater Division,
Prior to moving back to the New Orleans Area to be closer to his family, Michael worked in Houston, TX in the environmental services division of a national company. He has experience conducting and managing both Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and has proven to be a valuable leader in the field. When he’s not in the field, Michael assists with mapping, report preparation, and determining the application of federal, state, and local regulations as they pertain to actions under the framework of CERCLA, RCRA, and LDEQ. Michael holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Geology and brings a great deal of expertise to Leaaf’s soil and groundwater investigations.
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, 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.
Indoor Air Quality 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 in 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.
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 projects involving soil sampling, monitor well installation, groundwater sampling, and other real-time monitoring.
Suzanne Sicotte, MPH
Environmental Scientist / Industrial Hygienist
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, mold, legionella, and other materials requi
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.
Jill 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.
Chase Cromwell joined Leaaf in 2016 as a geologist and is an integral part of the Remediation and UST Division.
Chase joined Leaaf in support of Leaaf’s LDEQ Site Investigation Contract with plans to apply for the Professional Geologist certification in the coming years. Prior to joining Leaaf, Chase worked for several companies providing services ranging 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. Originally from Tennessee, Chase attended the University of Mississippi earning Bachelor’s degrees in both Business Administration and Geology. In his free time, Chase enjoys playing golf.
Environmental Technician / Asst. Project Manager
Daniel joined Leaaf in 2018 and supports the Remediation and UST Division.
Adept in both fieldwork and accounting positions, Daniel joined Leaaf in support of the LDEQ Site Investigations Contract and has been instrumental in Leaaf’s timely and organized approach to client needs. Although Leaaf is his first position in the environmental industry, Daniel has quickly gained a variety of environmental certifications and now provides full-time support to Leaaf’s Remediation and UST Division. Daniel has proven to be particularly invaluable during Emergency Response scenarios, carrying out tasks related to cleanup, control, recovery, and disposal. In his free time, Daniel enjoys playing golf and watching the LSU Tigers and Saints play football on Saturdays and Sunday in the Fall.
Environmental Technician / Heavy Equipment Operator
Andy has worked for Leaaf since 2017 as an environmental technician and heavy equipment operator in support of Leaaf’s Remediation and UST Division.
Andy also assists in the field with various projects and supports the office as an equipment mechanic for Leaaf’s generator pumps, cars, and other machinery. Andy has had extensive experience throughout his career in automotive vehicle servicing and in heavy equipment operating. He has additionally had experience with hydraulics, leak repairs, unit overhauls, and gearboxes. In his free time, Andy is the drummer for the local Slidell, LA band The Outsiders.