staff profile


Thom A. Fischer, P.E. / President

Thom Fischer has over 30 years’ experience as a project manager and professional engineer, licensed in both California and Washington. Mr. Fischer specializes in hydroelectric engineering and design, with a special interest in the concept of providing clean, efficient, and affordable energy to arctic regions. Mr. Fischer earned his Bachelor of Science in Transportation Engineering/Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and studied Arctic Engineering at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. Currently, Mr. Fischer is managing the refurbishment of the Electron Hydroelectric project in Orting, the Black Creek Hydro Facility in North Bend, both in Washington State, as well as the Smith Creek Hydroelectric Facility in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.   


Steven C. Marmon / Vice President

Mr. Marmon joined Whitewater Engineering in 1992, and he continues to provide construction and project management for design-build hydroelectric projects and civil projects. Project management responsibilities include: estimating, scheduling, quality control, sub-contract buyout, equipment and material procurement, state and federal agency permit and license coordination, and environmental compliance. Steve brings tremendous logistical and planning experience in constructing difficult projects in remote areas of Alaska including the Black Bear Lake, Goat Lake and Power Creek hydroelectric projects, and the Tyee transmission line improvement project. He most recently managed a four year effort to license the GIbson Dam Hydroelectric Project resulting in FERC issuing a 50 year license to construct and operate the project. 


Christian Spens / Director, Regulatory & Environmental Affairs

Mr. Spens has over 30 years of land use, regulatory and environmental science experience. He has worked in the hydropower industry since 2007. He provides regulatory feasibility analysis and strategic compliance planning. He previously worked for the City of Bellingham for 16 years serving as Senior Planner, SEPA Official and Environmental Planner. He was the project manager for development of clearing, grading, wetland and stream, watershed protection and power generating facilities ordinances. Prior to the city, he worked three years for the Tulalip Tribes. Chris also ran his own marine manufacturing and repair business for ten years. He has been involved in many aspects of natural resource management ranging from forestry and watershed protection to restoration of contaminated waste sites. Chris graduated from Western Washington University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Freshwater Sciences.  


Adam Cleveland, EIT / Engineer

Adam has worked for Tollhouse Energy Company since 2014.  He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo.  Prior to finding his way to the exciting world of hydro power, he worked in the medical device industry performing Quality and Manufacturing Engineering.  Adam’s responsibilities include project development, project planning, design, field engineering and support, and contract management.


Jenny Burkhart / Staff Accountant

With an emphasis on complex accounting practices, Jenny Burkhart fits the niche at Tollhouse Energy Company. Ms. Burkhart joined our team 18 years ago with an extensive background in accounting over a variety of industries. Her previous years include corporate accounting in high demand and high growth environments paired with certification from CA Technologies serving small business clientele with implementation, customization, and training on modular based accounting systems. She has developed several notable database applications to refine and automate client specific needs and maintained a bookkeeping service for a select group of companies over a span of 20 years. Among her many interests are gardening, world travel, and marine piloting.


Kelly Harrison / Executive Assistant

Kelly has worked for Tollhouse Energy Company since 2014. Originally from Southern California, Kelly received a B.A. in Theatre and Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She lived in New York City several years before relocating to Washington state. She enjoys the administrative challenges presented by the hydropower industry and is grateful to work alongside such a distinct and knowlegeable team. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and thrifting. 


Nick Bruyn / Office Administrator

Nick has been working for Tollhouse Energy Company since May of 2018.  He recently completed his Project Management studies and is continuing towards his degree in Civil Engineering.  In his spare time, Nick enjoys backpacking, hunting, fishing, and weightlifting.  Before joining Tollhouse, Nick was a Firefighter/Paramedic and a part of both mountain and swift water search and rescue operations throughout Western Washington. He loves the great outdoors and is excited to be a part of a company that provides clean and renewable hydroelectric power to the Pacific Northwest. 


Chris Fairbanks / Senior Scientist

Mr. Fairbanks has twenty years of experience as a consultant in fisheries and aquatic sciences assisting industry, public and private clients with project planning and the regulatory permitting process. He has prepared permit documents for local, state and federal agencies and has a clear understanding of permitting process. Mr. Fairbanks has assisted with the preparation of FERC relicensing documents for hydropower projects, Environmental Impact Statements for marine terminals and submarine cables, and has written several Biological Assessments to determine project impacts on fish, wildlife and plants listed under the Endangered Species Act. Mr. Fairbanks graduated from University of Alaska in 1978, where he received his BS in Biological Science. He later obtained his MS in Marine and Estuarine Science from Western Washington University in 1992.