Our Team

Clients return to us time and again because they trust us to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Meet the leaders that drive this passionate company.

Gregory DiFrank, PE


Mr. DiFrank serves as the President of River Consulting, with emphasis on leading River Consulting’s client relationship efforts and international business development. Mr. DiFrank is   a licensed professional engineer with more than 20 years experience in the consulting and engineering fields and is skilled at developing and deepening client and alliance partner relationships.

As a practice and industry leader, he regularly consults on major projects and facilities across numerous industries and processes, and he has worked with clients on projects around the globe.   Mr. DiFrank holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from The Ohio State University and is a registered professional engineer.  He is a recognized expert, published author, and speaker on both technical and business aspects of the engineering industry and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Instrument Society of America.


John Strayer

Senior Vice President

Mr. Strayer is a member of the executive office of River Consulting and brings more than 20 years of experience helping guide work processes, business planning, and information systems. He is influential in garnering strategic relationships and sponsoring key project relationships, and he oversees the business development and marketing of the firm. His experience spans multiple industries concerning engineering, manufacturing, automation, information systems, project management, organizational development, and executive business management. 

In addition to his technical strength, his depth of understanding business, organizational constraints and manufacturing operations permits him to provide a consultative approach when balancing the conflicting requirements and constraints presented in the most challenging of projects.  Mr. Strayer is a graduate of The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  

Mike Patena, PE

Vice President of Operations

Mr. Patena oversees the project and business process operations of River Consulting and is a member of the executive office.  In addition to managing operations and engineering, Mr. Patena also serves as a project sponsor for large capital projects. With extensive experience in all phases of project development, execution and start-up, he has developed and implemented River Consulting’s scalable project management standards, techniques and processes utilizing industry proven best practices.

Mr. Patena utilizes more than 10 years of experience to lead client interactions, project profitability, project reports, and company project and revenue projections. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Mr. Patena is a registered professional engineer and is a U.S. and European Patent Holder.  



River Consulting is a subsidiary of Houston Interests. Houston Interests is an integrated family of companies that provide complete project solutions from engineering and project management to equipment supply and turn-key delivery. Visit houstoninterests.com for more information regarding the combined capabilities and experience.   

Doug Houston


Mr. Houston is the owner of Houston Interests, LLC. Prior to owning Houston Interests, he was the president and CEO of ProQuip / Linde, a company who provided process plants, both domestically and internationally. Mr. Houston graduated from Louisana Tech University in 1976 with a degree in chemical engineering.

Professional Staff

River Consulting boasts some of the leading engineering experts in the world. We bring together over 160 multidiscipline and multilingual planners, consultants, engineers, managers, system integrators, designers, schedulers and construction services managers to act in partnership with you to achieve your goals.

Engineering Disciplines:


  • Civil
  • Structural
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Controls Systems
  • Chemical and Process
  • Marine Structures
  • Silos

Mike Patena, PE

Vice President of Operations

Mr. Patena oversees the project and business