Chief Executive Officer
Von Carlson is the Co-Founder and CEO of AIS, serving as the team leader and the driving force behind the company’s goals and operations. His energy and experience add significant value throughout the organization’s day-to-day business and the strategic direction for the company.
Von, a serial entrepreneur, has been the founder of several businesses while holding various professional positions within operations. Von’s passion and work ethic allowed him to continue to be successful in his career while growing his companies at the same time. Within operations, his peers have long recognized Von as a trendsetter with a passion and unique knack for operational excellence and attracting, retaining, and investing in a talented team. Von has enjoyed leading functional teams in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, health & nutrition, and medical industries.
Von was a senior leader at Genencor International, one of the world’s leading industrial biotechnology companies, when it received the prestigious award of the Best Small and Medium Workplaces to work for in America. With over 25 years of transformational leadership experience, Von has also had the opportunity to lead start-ups, acquisitions and develop global strategies for DuPont. In addition to leading initiatives across the USA, Von was also heavily involved in leading global initiatives in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, India, China, South Africa.
Von most recently joined a Minnesota-based, multi-state company as the Vice President of Manufacturing Operations. Von is helping the company bring the best technology, science, and engineering into the industry. The company is focused on operational excellence while driving scientific innovation. Von is thrilled to be part of a senior leadership team to apply his skills and passion for helping deliver best-in-class products and customer experiences.
During his career, Von also has had the privilege of obtaining his six sigma black belt certification as well as serving three years as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, which recognizes organizations in the business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence.
When Von is not working, he enjoys thinking about inventions and new business ideas. Von is thrilled to be a part of AIS, where he will lead, inspire, and ultimately pave the way to zero waste!
Chief Technology Officer
Paul Schmitt is the Co-Founder and CTO of AIS and is known as the leading recycled composite plastic engineer and mineral composite process engineer with accolades and innovations spanning over three decades. Paul heads the company’s research and development department and is the inventor of our proprietary comtrusion process.
In the mid 90’s, Paul found the first natural catalyst and linked as many as five different recycled plastics together to produce a 100% recycled board with the first controllable physical properties. He tied these recycled plastics without the aid of chemicals or radiation. Paul has achieved the ability to increase or decrease the properties of polyethylene-based composites to desired qualities. This discovery also leads to the ability to control many properties such as the coefficient of thermal expansion, compressive strengths, brittleness, flexure, and dramatic increases in Izod impact properties, to name a few.
Through the next few decades and even today, Paul continues to expand on multiple technologies, including mineral composites. His theories and discoveries have provided the ability to add abrasive minerals as fillers to recycled plastics. He allows what was thought of as only land-filled material to be recycled with the new mechanical technology improvements combined with a new third-generation catalyst that links recycled plastics for desirable physical properties. Paul opens a new door for synthetic concrete products, allowing almost anything to be used as a filler. He is recognized for pushing the boundaries of recycling with new novel technology.
Paul has been recognized for many achievements by multiple organizations. Including numerous Universities, ACAA, NGA, EPA, MPCA, WPEC, NPE, RAVE, Minnesota Cup, Clean Tech Open, Plastic News, and many others. With over three decades of advancement in formulations and mechanical process equipment design, Paul is known as one of the world’s most recognized leaders in sustainability. Paul was green and looking for sustainable options before they were coined words.
Paul also has had the privilege of obtaining multiple certifications in aviation during his career, all aspects of residential /commercial construction with code compliance. Paul has been a registered General Contractor for two decades in three states with five separate trade inspection certificates.
In his spare time, Paul is an active member of the EAA, PDGA, and a registered PADI diver. He also enjoys trout fishing, building experimental aircraft, and playing disc golf with his three children.
Chief Information Officer
Ryan Sommerfeld is the Co-Founder of AIS and serves as the company’s Chief Information Officer. His twenty-five-plus years in construction, technology, and marketing contribute to a wide range of responsibilities within the business. Ryan oversees the company’s branding, product design, marketing, communication, and information technology.
Ryan grew up in Southwest Wisconsin in the small college town of Platteville. At an early age, he had a strong influence of skilled tradesmen and highly educated family members, leading him into a robust design and development path. Throughout the 90’s Ryan attended many art, design, and technology classes at multiple Universities and schools throughout Wisconsin, receiving numerous awards and recognition for his work as an artist and designer.
For over two decades, Ryan has successfully grown and managed multiple construction companies in two states focusing on residential remodeling projects, starting as a carpenter and progressively advancing his career in general management. Ryan is known in the trades for his abilities in drafting, development, and problem-solving. In 2006 Ryan founded a design company focused on graphic design and web development – the business has grown into a successful marketing firm focused on business development and branding.
Ryan is an avid technology enthusiast with a passion for computers, renewable energy, carpentry, art, and photography. Ryan has built and programmed hundreds of computer systems and networks for personal and business applications – developing software and web applications focusing on databases and automation. Ryan has designed and built multiple off-grid structures relying on 100% solar-powered workshops with high-powered tools and equipment. Ryan is an active carpenter with an ongoing list of personal and business projects. Ryan is known to many as an artist for his realistic pencil artwork and various photography skills in portraits, products, and landscapes.
Ryan enjoys biking, camping, hiking, and boating with his wife Samantha and their two dogs in his spare time. Ryan is an active member of his community, volunteering his time and skills to many non-profits and organizations throughout the region.