CEO, Infrastructure Services Group; Chairman & CEO, Climate Optimize


Talk Summary — 

Optimizing Business for a Changing Climate

Talk time — 

Learn more about — 

Tom Barr

Tom Barr is CEO of Infrastructure Services Group LLC and Chairman & CEO of Climate Optimize Inc., both of which have corporate headquarters in The Collider in Asheville, NC. ISG inspects and repairs part of the 1.6 million miles of water and wastewater pipelines and manholes in the US. The business thesis for ISG strongly embraces the relationship between climate, weather, and water. Climate Optimize combines socioeconomic climate, and business data in an analytical tool that assesses the effects of climate change and the beneficial opportunities for business and enterprises. 

Tom is a veteran in growing successful companies. In 1986, as CEO with investors, he acquired a water and wastewater treatment contract operations and laboratory company. After growing sales by 400% in 10 years and receiving the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company award two years in a row, the water treatment division was sold to Culligan. The environmental laboratory’s name was changed to TestAmerica with revenues of $6 million. As a result of a focused roll-up play led by Tom as CEO, TestAmerica grew to more than $350 million in sales with over 15 acquisitions as well as strategic divestments. Equity investors and financial institutions supported the company’s growth.  

Tom left TestAmerica to focus on merger and acquisition opportunities for his own account and others through a new company he founded, LionsWing Capital Partners LLC. He developed the MV4 methodology for maximizing the value of enterprises. 

Tom’s forte is management leadership and enterprise building, having looked at more than 1,000 opportunities and completed over 50 transactions, to include acquisitions, divestments, consolidations, strategic partnerships, and, often, hands-on leadership. His knowledge and access to capital markets for both equity and debt, and the bridge between scientists, technologists and the business community, are key to his success. 

Having spent his formative years in Europe, Tom earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University and a Masters of International Management from Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management.

Connect online —

More Speakers

Roian Atwood

Director of Sustainability, VF Jeanswear

Michael Brewer

Chief, Customer Service, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Stan Cross

Chief Executive Officer / Co-Founder, Brightfield Transporation Solutions

Lara Dickinson

Co-Founder, Climate Collaborative

Josh Dorfman

Director of Entrepreneurship, Venture Asheville

Holly Emerson

Senior Analyst, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand

Greg Fisk

Business Development Director, BMT

James Fox

Director, UNCA National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center

Sarah Fraser

Sustainability Specialist, New Belgium Brewery

Tobin Freid

Sustainability Manager, Durham City & County

John Frey

Senior Technologist & Sustainability Strategist, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Beth Gibbons

Executive Director, American Society for Adaptation Professionals

Lou Grabowsky

Co-founder & Managing Director, Juniper Capital Management

Bridget Herring

Energy Program Coordinator, City of Asheville

Jeff Hicks

CEO, FernLeaf Interactive

Katharine Jacobs

Director, Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions, UA

Andrew Jones

Co-Founder, Co-Director, Climate Interactive

Ed Kearns

Chief Data Officer, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration

Jay Koh

Co-Founder & Managing Director, The Lightsmith Group

Greg Lowe

Global Head of Resilience & Sustainability, Aon

Aaron Mackey


Melissa Malkin-Weber

Sustainability Director, Self-Help Credit Union & Ventures Fund

James McMahon

CEO, The Climate Service

Erin Meezan

Chief Sustainability Officer, Interface Inc.

Ged Moody

Strategic Sustainability Initiatives, Appalachian State University

Emily Morris

Founder, Emrgy

Ria Persad

Founder & CEO, Statweather

Isaac Pino

Partner & Investment Advisor, Huckleberry Capital Management

Jeffrey Privette

Deputy Director, Center for Weather & Climate, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Penni Redford

Sustainability Director, West Palm Beach

Amanda Rycerz

Management Consultant, Acclimatise

Auden Schendler

VP of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company

Kif Scheuer

Climate Change Program Director, Local Government Commission

Liza Schillo

Manager, Product Sustainability, Levi Strauss & Co.

Carl Schreck

Researcher, North Carolina Institute for Climate & Satellites

Peter Schultz

Vice President, ICF

Michael Shore

Principal, Tipping Point Renewable Strategies

Robert Sipes

VP, Western Carolinas Modernization, Duke Energy

Stacy Swann

Founding Partner, Climate Finance Advisors

Jeremy Tarr

Policy Advisor, North Carolina Governor's Office

Kevin Taylor

Senior Program Officer, World Wildlife Fund

Russell Vose

Chief, Climate Science Branch, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Paul Walsh

Director, Weather Strategy, IBM Global Business Services / The Weather Channel

Anne Waple

CEO & Founder, Studio30k; VP, Climate Optimize

Katelyn Widness

Project Planner, Kimley Horn

Katharine Wilkinson

Senior Writer, Project Drawdown

Steve Wilson

Senior Advisor, The Climate Service

Mary Wohlgemuth

Director, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information

Event Sponsors

Climate Catalysts
Solution Sustainers
Sustainability Supporters
Community Supporters