Press Room

Distinguished panel announced for 20th annual Wheelabrator Symposium

Fabien Cousteau, Bryan Kent Wallace, Paul Timpanelli & Merilyn Johnson named to panel

HAMPTON, N.H. — April 25, 2014 — Renewable energy provider Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. has announced its panel of environmentalists, educators and business leaders for next month’s 20th annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education.

Luminaries named to the panel include Fabien Cousteau, Bryan Kent Wallace, Paul S. Timpanelli, and Merilyn Johnson.

First grandson of legendary explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Fabien Cousteau is an oceanographic explorer, conservationist and documentary filmmaker. He continues his family’s legacy of protecting and preserving the planet’s extensive and endangered marine inhabitants and habitats. Cousteau launched the nonprofit Plant A Fish™, which empowers children and communities to help restore local water ecosystems.

Cousteau’s most recent initiative is Mission 31, a 31-day endeavor in which Cousteau and his crew of aquanauts will live, work and share their experience as they live 20 meters under the sea.

In 2013, Fabien announced his global Mission 31 expedition that breaks new ground in ocean exploration and also coincides with the 50th anniversary of a monumental legacy left by his grandfather, who is also credited with creating the first underwater habitats for humans and leading a team of ocean explorers on the first attempt to live and work underwater. Mission 31 will commence June 1 for 31 days to honor Cousteau’s original experiment by going deeper, longer and further while broadcasting each moment on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, risk and mystique of what lies beneath.

Cousteau has participated in the Symposium the past three years as a guest speaker. He will again serve as this year’s keynote Symposium speaker.

Director of Physics Laboratories and a physics faculty member at Fisk University, Bryan Kent Wallace is the primary investigator for the University’s Rocket Science Program. Wallace is extensively engaged in guiding university students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, as well as mentoring programs aimed at building self-efficacy in k-12 under-represented populations. Wallace has served on the Symposium VIP panel since 2010.

President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bridgeport (Conn.) Regional Business Council, Paul Timpanelli oversees strategic planning, leadership development and economic initiatives throughout the region. Timpanelli draws upon a distinguished career in public service in addition to previously serving as a teacher in the Trumbull Catholic Schools and as vice president of a real estate appraisal company. This is Timpanelli’s second year serving on the VIP panel.

Dr. Merilyn Johnson serves as the STEM supervisor and curriculum science specialist for Broward County Public Schools. Publisher of several peer-reviewed articles on crystallization and characterization of enzyme complexes, Dr. Johnson has worked as a science department head and science teacher, where she has taught life, physical and comprehensive science for the past 13 years. This is Johnson’s first year as a VIP panelist.

The 20th annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education will be held May 5-8 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Sunrise – Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Fla. In all, approximately 150 students from 15 schools in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Florida regions will participate in the event.

The Symposium is an innovative educational program that has inspired thousands of middle school students to become environmental leaders in their communities. This year’s theme is “Connecting to the Oceans,” designed to engage students in research, scientific study and community projects linking the quality of the local environment to the health of the seas around us.

The Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Sunrise – Sawgrass Mills is a partner sponsor of the Symposium event, providing the accommodations for the anniversary celebration.


A wholly owned subsidiary of Waste Management, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc. is a leader in the safe and environmentally sound conversion of municipal solid waste and other renewable waste fuels into clean energy. Wheelabrator owns or operates 17 waste-to-energy facilities that provide safe waste disposal for towns and cities across the U.S. Wheelabrator also operates four independent power plants designed to generate electricity using an assortment of fuels, including waste wood, waste coal, and natural gas. In addition to producing electricity, some of these facilities also produce steam sold to nearby government and commercial establishments. Wheelabrator’s 21 facilities have a combined electric generating capacity of 853 megawatts, enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter.


Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management visit or