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Speakers 2018

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Tom Rosser

Mr. Tom Rosser joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy in January 2017. Previously, he was the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Policy at Fisheries and Oceans Canada where he was responsible for leading Strategic Policy; prior to that, he was the Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Forest Service (CFS), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). A British Chevening Scholar, Tom holds a Master of Science in Environmental and Resource Economics from the University of London as well as Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in Public Administration from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Assistant Deputy Minister Strategic Policy Branch, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Andrew Noseworthy

Andrew joined the federal public service in July 2003, as Senior Advisor to the President of Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency responsible for energy sector development. Prior to joining the federal public service, Mr. Noseworthy had an 18 year career with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador  and held a number of senior appointments, including Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Deputy Clerk and Associate Secretary to Cabinet, and Assistant Secretary to Cabinet (Economic Policy). In 2001 he was seconded by the Province to the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, where he held the position of Executive Director.

Assistant Deputy Minister Clean Technologies at Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Christopher Ragan

Christopher Ragan is the inaugural Director of McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy and is an Associate Professor in McGill’s Department of Economics. He is the Chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, which launched in November 2014 with a 5-year horizon to identify policy options to improve environmental and economic performance in Canada. He is also a member of the federal finance minister’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth, which began in early 2016.

Chair, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission

Elizabeth May

Elizabeth May is an Officer of the Order of Canada, lawyer, writer, activist and leader of the Green Party of Canada. She was the first Green to be elected at either federal or provincial levels in Canada in 2011. There are now six elected Greens in BC, NB and PEI.

Leader, Green Party of Canada, and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands

Jordan Solomon

Jordan has been President and CEO of Ecostrat for over 20 years where he oversees the Biomass Advisory Group and the Biomass Supply Group. He has overseen the supply of more than 5MM tons of biomass feedstock to projects around North America. As head of Ecostrat Advisory, Jordan has led supply chain de-risking teams for JP Morgan, Shell, Enviva, NREL, DTE Energy, Macquarie Bank, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Southern Company, Rentech, Noresco, EDF, Sweetwater, Solvay, McKinstry, LaFarge, PGE, Eastman, Coca-Cola, Johnson Controls, Siemens, and the Canadian government. He is presently the leading partner with US National Laboratory INL in a 5 year project to develop the new US National Standards for Biomass Supply Chain Risk for the US Department of Energy.

President and CEO, ECOSTRAT Inc.

Karine Péloffy

Karine has been a lawyer and climate advocate for over a decade. She currently sits on the Multi-Interest Advisory Committee to the federal Environment and Climate Change Minister on environmental assessments reform, and is part of a multidisciplinary research project on translating the Paris Agreement commitments on climate change mitigation into guidance for project assessments. She is the immediate Past Director of the Quebec Center for Environmental Law (2014-2018), and formerly practiced commercial litigation in Montreal. Karine holds an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, and a BCL/LLB from McGill’s faculty of law. In 2015, she was awarded the Lawyer of the Year / Tomorrow’s Leader in the alternative career category by the Montreal Young Bar Association. She has lived, travelled, and volunteered in Central and North America, Africa, Europe, Australia and the Pacific.

Environmental Lawyer, legal Counsel on federal law reform for the Quebec Center for Environmental Law

David Golden

In addition to his leadership role at Eastman, David serves as President of the Eastman Foundation which supported the 2018 G7 Summit in advocating for action in addressing challenges and identifying innovative solutions to better understand our oceans. David is a passionate believer that small actions can have large effects, and that collaboration leads to catalytic and transformative innovation. Under Golden’s leadership, Eastman is committed to strategically focusing innovation efforts on the right projects, with the right resources, at the right times to maximize the collective impact.  He is a frequent writer and speaker on the subject of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) goals.

Senior Vice President, Chief Legal & Sustainability Officer, and Corporate Secretary for Eastman

Paul Richards

Paul Richards is the  agri-tech and bioresource sector lead for Innovacorp an early stage venture capital firm located in Nova Scotia. He played a major role in the redevelopment of the bioresource economy in Nova Scotia by supporting the commercialization of both early stage technology start-ups and sourcing project financing for later stage bioresource projects. A member of the Nova Scotia’s Innovation Hub, he has played a leadership role is establishing the “winning conditions” to support innovation and transformative change throughout the economy. Paul is a Director of Bioenterprise , a national  agri-tech accelerated design to support the growth of Canada’s agri-tech industries.

Regional Manager, Innovacorp

Greg Robles

Mr. Robles has been employed by Walker Industries since 2006, most recently as WEG Project Manager, Business Development, overseeing the commissioning and start-up of new facilities and feasibility assessments for new technologies and sites. Additionally, Mr. Robles prepares operations plans, detailed cost estimates and proposals to successfully secure tenders and new projects.

Manager, Business Development, Walker Environmental Industries

Henk Snoeken

Henk Snoeken began his position as Consul-General of the Netherlands in Vancouver in September, 2018. Prior to joining the Embassy, he was Deputy Director for National Spatial Planning (2010-2014) and Deputy Director for International Relations (2014-2018) at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Dutch government. In the field of international relations his focus is on climate policy, circular economy, water management and public-private cooperation.

Consul-General of the Netherlands, Vancouver, British Columbia

Roger Samson

Roger is a leading global specialist in agricultural biomass utilization in both developing and industrialized nations. He has completed numerous resource assessments and GHG mitigation research studies on the potential of biomass crop and residue utilization. Since 1990 he has worked intensively in the breeding and utilization of native warm season grasses in temperate climates. In North America, he presently is scaling up acreage of REAP-Canada’s elite selections of switchgrass and big bluestem with commercial partners for a diversity of agri-food, fibre and biomass energy applications. 

Executive Director, Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP) Canada

Aleksandra Pogoda

Aleksandra Pogoda has been Director of the Environment for the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) since February, 2016. From an organizational perspective, Aleksandra is responsible for both the Ontario and Environment Committee’s within the Association. Additionally, Aleksandra is also on the Federal Government’s Chemical Management Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the Canadian Carbonization Research Association, the Canadian Industrial Program for Energy Conservation, the Canadian Steel Construction Council, active in both the sustainability and environment committees at Worldsteel, as well as a member of the Standards Council of Canada.  Aleksandra completed a specialized degree in Environmental Toxicology at Queen’s University and prior to joining the CSPA, held technical environmental positions both in the private and government sectors. Aleksandra lives in Hamilton and enjoys volunteering and supporting youth organizations within her local community.

Director Environment, Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA)

Mike Wilson

Raised in New Brunswick, Mike began his career as a lawyer in Toronto, left to become senior policy adviser to the federal Environment Minister, and then went on to hold a series of increasingly senior roles in the Government of Canada working at the intersection of the environment, economy and innovation. He spearheaded a successful public-private initiative to strengthen the role of sustainability in investment decisions; led a partnership with the Globe and Mail's Report on Business to annually rank the sustainability of Canada's largest companies; and was one of the principle architects of the Government's initiative to create Sector Sustainability Tables for mining, energy, chemicals and forestry. Mike's skills as a manager and innovator earned him rapid promotion in government - most recently, leading a staff of 80 with a $10 million budget. Mike has long held a firm belief that 'green' and 'growth' can go hand in hand.

Executive Director, Smart Prosperity Institute

Chris Johnstone

Chris became a Director General at the National Research Council in September 2018 where he will lead a new NRC Sector involving four areas including energy. Prior to this recent move, Chris was Director General, Clean Technology and Clean Growth Branch at Innovation Science and Economic Development where he was responsible for clean technology policy and program coordination across the ISED portfolio including coordinating over $2 billion in federal support for clean technology development and commercialization. In 2016, he was Secretariat lead for the federal-provincial-territorial Working Group on Clean Technology, Innovation and Jobs. Chris holds an MBA from INSEAD and an engineering degree from Queen’s University.

Director General, National Programs & Business Services, National Research Council

Duncan Macleod

Duncan is a founding partner of C-Associates, a group of experienced professionals that help bridge the ingenuity gap by addressing innovation failure in the area of resource efficiency. Previously Duncan held positions as President & CEO of Iogen Energy, and Vice President of Shell Hydrogen. Duncan’s Shell career spans three decades working in Venezuela, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Japan and the Netherlands. He held key positions in Supply/trading, M&A, Upstream, Strategy, Government Relations and Alternative Energy. Duncan was instrumental in setting-up Shell's biofuels technology ventures. He currently sits on the International Advisory Board of Conduit Ventures.

Partner, C Associates; former VP Shell Hydrogen

Martin Pudlas

Martin began his employment with Northwood Pulp and Timber Ltd. at the Northwood Pulp Mill in 1988 as a Process Engineer. Over the years, Mr. Pudlas held various positions of increasing responsibility within all of Canfor's Pulp and Paper operations, and has been the General Manager at the three Canfor Pulp mills in Prince George, BC. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the College of New Caledonia and Premium One Papers. Martin, who is located in Prince George, has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of British Columbia and is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Vice President, Pulp and Paper Operations and Innovation

Mike De Souza

Mike has covered politics for more than a decade, focusing in recent years on energy and environment. In 2017, he won a Canadian Association of Journalists award for his investigation that exposed a conflict of interest in the federal review of the Energy East pipeline project, which was subsequently terminated. A Montreal native, Mike has worked as a broadcast and print journalist in his home town, as well as the National Assembly in Quebec City, Parliament Hill in Ottawa and Calgary. He has worked for Reuters, Postmedia, and The Montreal Gazette. He now leads National Observer's news coverage from its Ottawa office on Parliament Hill. A specialist in filing targeted access to information requests, Mike is constantly pursuing multiple lines of questioning, and always has an eye open for his next scoop.

Managing Editor, National Observer

Catherine Clark

Named one of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Catherine Clark is a nationally respected broadcaster, public speaker, emcee, writer, blogger and the President of Catherine Clark Communications Inc.

President, Catherine Clark Communications

Mark Senn

Mark’s mandate is to ensure the delivery of relevant knowledge and financial services to all of Canada’s Cleantech companies. He works to align EDC’s efforts with those of other federal crown corporations and departments. EDC’s role is to ensure that exporter’s aspirations to participate sustainably in a globalized economy are effectively fulfilled. He has also worked in the risk adjudication and treasury functions of the corporation. Prior to joining EDC he worked as a corporate banker. Mark has a MBA and a BA in Economics both from Queen’s, as well as an International Baccalaureate from the United World College of the Pacific.

Director Cleantech, Export Development Canada

Blair Hogan

Blair is a Teslin Tlingit First Nation member with a history of effective community leadership in business development, economic development, and intergovernmental relations. He has assisted his self-governing first nation in developing political and financial strategies to access a wide-range of funds necessary to facilitate local community development. One big success from Blair’s tenure as Executive Councillor is the successful launch and long-term financing of Teslin’s local economic development agency the Dèslin Development Corporation. This included a major community-wide bio-Energy harvesting initiative for heating several community facilities. The Teslin Nation approach is being considered by dozens of First Nation communities across Canada.

Head, Gunta Business, Teslin First Nation

Kyla Morrisseau

As the first point of entry for all industry undertakings, Kyla’s main priority is protecting the rights and interests of Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, along with teaching her community how to adapt in a changing climate. She has been exploring clean energy initiatives to help her community move forward to achieve their vision of a Green Community, and has a profound passion for environmental preservation and protection. Kyla believes if humanity works together to understand and carry out these clean energy initiatives our world will still be here seven generations from now. Kyla is the mother of six Ojibway children, and co-author of The Palgrave Handbook of Global Arts Education.

Consultation Coordinator/Climate Change Specialist & 20/20 Catalyst, Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek

Stephen Galowitz

Stephen began his current position in 2014. Prior to joining the firm at the end of 2005, he was the Founder and President of Delta Pressure Generation Systems. Prior to that, he was the President of UtiliSave LLC, where he represented many of the nation's largest industrial, commercial, and institutional utility end users. He is involved in government regulations and lobbying at both the state and federal level. He began his career as an Attorney with WolfBlock, where he maintained a diverse practice specializing in tax, business, and personal planning. He is an honours graduate of Harvard Law School.

Chief Commercial Officer, Origin Materials

Maurice Hladik

Maurice was raised on a farm in central Alberta and was an active farmer into his early twenties before completing his Masters in Agricultural Economics. After several postings abroad with what is now Global Affairs, he joined Iogen Corporation and, among other responsibilities, was the chief scout for farm sourced biomass in both Europe and North America.  He now consults and writes, including his book “Demystifying Food from Farm to Fork.”

Author - Demystifying Food From Farm to Fork

Susan Rohac

Susan Rohac has twenty‑five years’ experience in the financial services, banking and venture capital sectors. She provides support and guidance to teams dedicated to client success in the Ontario and Atlantic regions, in addition to leading projects with a national scope. An involved leader, she strives to ensure that BDC provides not only financing but genuine value in terms of insight, counsel and ongoing business guidance. In 2014, Susan was appointed Acting Senior Vice President, Financing and Consulting for Ontario overseeing BDC’s lending and consulting activities in the province. Susan sits on the Board of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa. Most recently, Susan is also a member of an interdepartmental Federal committee looking at how various departments and Crown Corps can best meet and coordinate the needs of Clean Tech companies and is spearheading BDC’s Clean Tech Scale Up Initiative.

Vice President, Growth & Transition Capital, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

Stéphane Renou

FPInnovations specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector’s global competitiveness. Mr. Renou has degrees in Electrical and Chemical Engineering, as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado. His previous experience in R&D and senior management at General Electric includes leading teams in GE Aviation and Oil and Gas, where he gained expertise in optimizing business outcomes.

President and CEO, FPInnovations

Andrew Richard

Andrew is the Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Comet Biorefining.  He is a recognized industry expert in the field of cellulosic sugars and ingredients from sustainable agricultural and forest-based residues.  Comet Biorefining is a leading provider of sustainable, high-quality, cellulosic dextrose for applications in food, animal nutrition and biomaterials.


CTO and Founder, Comet Biorefining

Dave Watters

David Watters worked for 30 years in the Canadian Public Service, including a dozen years as an Assistant Deputy Minister in Industry Canada, Treasury Board Canada and Finance Canada. In 2002 he established the Global Advantage Consulting Group, a strategic management consulting firm that provides advice to corporate, association, academic and government clients, specializing in: analyzing and visually “mapping” complex public policy economic systems; creating collaborative business models for service delivery; aligning operational processes among networked organizations for enhanced decision-making; and designing growth strategies for organizations, particularly in the areas of research and technology development, innovation, commercialization, energy/climate change and trade.   

CEO Global Advantage, former ADM Economic Development, Finance Canada

Steven Fabijanski

Steve brings more than 20 years of experience as a senior executive and serial entrepreneur within the agriculture and biotechnology industry. He built and sold a seed company in the hybrid canola seeds business, and has extensive hands-on agricultural industry experience. Steve assumed leadership of Agrisoma in 2007 and grew the company from a small startup to a seasoned business. Steve holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Miami. He holds 20 issued US Patents with 13 applied for US Patents in the area of agriculture and crops and in his scientific career published over 30 papers.

President and CEO, Agrisoma Biosciences Inc.

Niloofar Abdehagh

CH Four Biogas Inc. is an engineering and design firm specializing in biogas systems in North and South America. Niloofar has a PhD in Chemical engineering, and joined CH Four in 2016 leading the R&D department. She has also conducted project management and business development at CH Four. Currently, as the VP Research and Development, she is responsible for leading both R&D department activities and the projects in Canada in the field of biogas including waste management and Renewable Natural Gas projects. She lectures on the subject at University of Ottawa.

Vice President Research and Development, CHFour Biogas; Lecturer, University of Ottawa

Chris Henderson

Chris is Canada’s pre-eminent Clean Energy Advisor to Aboriginal communities. where he advises how to effectively secure and leverage partnership positions in clean energy projects across Canada.  Chris also guides utilities, financial firms, corporations and governments on engaging and partnering with Aboriginal communities. His book, Aboriginal Power, was published in 2013. Chris is also Program Designer of the Indigenous Clean Energy 20/20 Catalysts Program, and Chair of the GLOBE Series of Conferences and Exhibitions. He is an honorary member of several Aboriginal communities. 

President, Lumos Energy; Author, Aboriginal Power

Mike Tilson

Mike has worked for Tsay Keh Dene Nation for 11 years to build, expand and evolve a Nation-owned group of business enterprises to build economies for Tsay Keh Dene that didn't otherwise exist. As General Manager of Chu Cho Environmental LLP, his role is driven by the need to create and maintain opportunities for growth and development for the business, but most importantly for Tsay Keh Dene Nation and its citizens. Mike is thrilled to have such an important role with Tsay Keh Dene Nation and is proud of the consistent and truly collaborative approach that Tsay Keh Dene Nation fosters with industry and government towards building a sustainable Nation.

General Manager, Chu Cho Environmental, BC

Guy Ouimet

Seasoned executive and certified corporate director, Guy is a corporate development and investment banking expert with broad international industry experience including: renewable energy, advanced biofuels, cleantech, metals and minerals, chemicals, petrochemicals, bio-industries, and light manufacturing.  He supports financial institutions and business entrepreneurs developing or participating in complex industrial projects.

Managing Partner, Celtis Capital

Valérie Courtois

Valérie is a registered professional forester specializing in Indigenous issues, forest ecology and ecosystem-based management and planning.  She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean. Courtois holds a degree in forestry sciences from the Université de Moncton.  She has served as a forestry advisor for the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, forestry planner for the Innu Nation, and as a consultant in Aboriginal forestry, including certification and spatial planning, and caribou planning. In 2007, she was awarded the James M. Kitz award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry for her early-career contributions to the forestry profession. She has been the Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative since 2013. She lives in Happy Valley—Goose Bay, Labrador.

Indigenous Leadership Initiative

Laurel Harmon

Dr. Harmon provides policy direction and leadership on international legislative and regulatory matters, and develops collaborative research and demonstration projects for LanzaTech, the global leader in gas fermentation technology. By recycling carbon, LanzaTech’s solutions mitigate carbon emissions from industry. LanzaTech’s unique process, certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, produces sustainable fuels and platform chemicals that serve as building blocks for products such as rubber and plastics. Dr. Harmon received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Michigan.

VP Government Relations, LanzaTech

Doug Hooper

Since 2005, Doug has helped lead the development of Canada’s advanced biofuels sector. He has worked directly on all key federal/provincial energy and climate action policies, including program support to build biofuel production capacity and expand clean fuel use in Canada. He is the Past Chair of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.

Director, Policy and Regulation, Advanced Biofuels Canada

Karen Haugen-Kozyra

Viresco Solutions, a network of subject expert advisors, enables clients to meet their environmental, social and economic sustainability objectives by leveraging Viresco’s knowledge and experience in environmental policy, markets and economics. Karen has over 20 years experience in agricultural greenhouse gas measurement and modelling and climate change/environmental policy development – spanning her tenure at the provincial Department of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD), Climate Change Central and now in the private sector.  During her tenure at ARD, Karen was part of the cross-governmental team that developed Alberta’s Bioenergy Policy Framework approved by cabinet in 2008.  This framework set the stage for Alberta’s Bioenergy Program administered by the Department of Energy.

President, Viresco Solutions Inc.

Dr. Govinda Timilsina

Dr. Timilsina is a Senior Economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, Washington, DC.  He has more than 22 years’ experience across a broad range of energy and climate change economics and policies at the international level. Prior to joining the Bank, Dr. Timilsina was a Senior Research Director at the Canadian Energy Research Institute, Calgary, Canada, where he was engaged mainly on climate change policy analysis, economic impacts assessment and electricity issues. At present, he is leading a number of studies including low carbon economic growth, biofuels and renewable energy and sustainable urban planning.

Senior Research Economist, The World Bank, Washington, DC

Muriel Dewilde

Muriel has been Business Development Manager at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant since the start of their operations in 2010. With 70 employees, the company has grown at 30% per year to become the leading open access pilot plant, and has brought innovative bio-based products from the lab to the market for companies around the world. Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant is active as a development, scale-up and demonstration partner in 20 EU consortia, funded by Horizon2020, Interreg and ERA-IB. Muriel holds a MSc degree in bio-engineering from the University of Leuven (Belgium), and previously worked for 10 years as a process engineer in the wheat plants of Tate & Lyle and Tereos Syral.

Business Development Manager, Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

Joel Stone

Joel Stone is the President of ConVergInce Advisers, and has been a long term visionary and respected leader in the commercialization of industrial biotechnology. Joel also serves as Executive Vice President for Lee Enterprises Consulting.

President, ConVergInce Advisers; Exec. Vice President, Lee Enterprises Consulting

Charity Callahan

Charity brings 20 years’ experience in leading global organizations and projects that commercialize and promote new products and new markets, and  helps customers incorporate bio-based cleaners and lubricants into their workplace. Zen Earth’s BioBlend products provide a sustainable replacement to toxic chemicals and lubricants used in industry. Charity grows the business in international markets, developing the relationships to ensure quality of the products and service needed to manage risks and increase adoption of these new materials.

President, Zen Earth Corp; Director, Green Life Can Corp

Andrew Murfin

Andrew joined Shell Alternative Energies in 2009, and was appointed GM Advanced Biofuels in early 2013. With over 25 years' commercial, project and technology implementation experience, Andrew now has global accountability for the delivery of an advanced biofuels manufacturing business. He has worked in the renewable energy field since 2001, and joined Shell in 2003. Prior to joining Shell, he held a number of senior positions in UK electricity and gas utilities. He has a degree in Electro Mechanical Engineering, is a Fellow of the Energy Institute, and a Chartered Engineer.

General Manager, Advanced Biofuels Division, Shell

Eleni Zika

Eleni has more than 15 years’ experience in research and programme management. She previously served as Head of Sector for Fundamental Life Sciences and Health at the European Research Council (ERC), and before that as programme manager for Public Partnerships and International Policy at the UK Medical Research Council. She is a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow of the US National Academies, and holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.

Head of Programme, Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBIJU)

Bliss Baker

Bliss has worked as a public affairs practitioner for over 20 years, and has been an advisor to Prime Ministers, Members of Parliament, and Provincial Premiers. As a former Board Member of the Sierra Club with a lifelong passion for promoting policies that protect the environment, Bliss founded, in 2008, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance, bringing together renewable fuels industry associations from 44 countries representing over 65% of the world’s biofuels production. Bliss is currently a founding partner at Maple Leaf Strategies where his clients include a variety of energy related companies, financial services, agriculture, manufacturing, clean technology, healthcare, and infrastructure related firms, as well as the Ontario Provincial government. He completed his post-graduate degree at the London School of Economics.

Founder, Global Renewable Fuels Alliance, Founding Partner, Maple Leaf Strategies

Julie Gelfand

On behalf of the Auditor General of Canada, Julie Gelfand provides parliamentarians with objective, independent analysis and recommendations on the federal government’s efforts to protect the environment and foster sustainable development. She conducts performance audits, and is responsible for assessing whether federal government departments are meeting their sustainable development objectives, and overseeing the environmental petitions process. Appointed by the Auditor General, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development is an Assistant Auditor General who leads a group of auditors specialized in environment and sustainable development. Ms. Gelfand has also been a senior Executive (Board of Directors, CEO and VP) with corporate, trade association, federal government and NGO experience in the areas of environment, corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, performance audit, mining, nature conservation, communications, change management, strategic planning, and diversity. She is an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Office of the Auditor General of Canada

Brian Foody

Brian joined Iogen in 1982 and became the company’s CEO in 1986. He has been responsible for the formation and operation of the company’s strategic alliances and overseen Iogen’s technology development and positioning. Under his leadership, Iogen became a world leader in cellulosic ethanol, and built a successful business manufacturing industrial enzymes. Brian holds Bachelors degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering and a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all received in 1980.

President and CEO, Iogen Corporation

Perry Toms

Perry co-founded Steeper Energy in January 2011. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s School of Business, he has held various executive management positions related to corporate and business development within the conventional and renewable energy industries. He has over 25 years senior executive experience with such companies as Noranda Gas, Murphy Oil, TransAlta, Novera Energy, Enmax, ABG Biodiesel, and Ignite Energy Resources.

CEO, Steeper Energy

Derek Nighbor

Derek joined FPAC as CEO in March 2016.  He is proud to represent Canada’s vibrant and innovative forest products sector and the critical role it plays in over 200 Canadian forest communities.

Prior to joining FPAC, Derek served for over 7 years as Senior Vice President with Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC). Derek represents Canada’s forest products sector on two global boards, the International Council of Forest & Paper Associations, and Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Advisory Committee on Sustainable Forest-based Industries.

CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)

Catherine Abreu

With over 15 years’ experience campaigning on environmental issues, including seven years in the heart of the Canadian climate movement, Catherine is one of Canada’s foremost climate campaigners. As Executive Director of CAN-Rac, a coalition of 113 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast, she leads Canada’s primary network of organizations working on climate change and energy issues. For 30 years, CAN-Rac has been the only national organization with a mandate to promote the interests of the Canadian climate movement as a whole, rather than any one individual organization.

Executive Director, Climate Action Network - Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada

Rod Badcock

Rod began his career in operational roles with Alberta Pacific Forest Industries and Bowater Mersey Paper Company where he specialized in forest management. Rod holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s University, and a Bachelor of Science in Forest Engineering from the University of New Brunswick. He has been involved in the launch of several firms, and is a co-founder of BioApplied, a specialized consultancy that provides hands-on business development services to companies innovating in renewable materials.  He has successfully engaged clients and provided key business development services with leading global firms for over 5 years.

Principal Partner, BioApplied Innovation Pathways

Charlie Lalonde

Charles is a consultant in Guelph, Ontario focusing on biomass and agri-environmental initiatives. For the past eight years he has coordinated both purpose grown and crop residue studies for bioprocessing, working closely with farm organisations and equipment suppliers.

Biomass Project Coordinator, Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Don McCabe

Don is a no-till corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Lambton County, Ontario. He served as President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) from 2014 – 2016 after having served as Vice President from 2008 - 2014. With a doctorate-level education in soil genesis and classification from the University of Guelph, and a chemistry degree from the University of Western Ontario, McCabe has become a leading advocate for environmental farm stewardship in the areas of air, water, biodiversity and climate change. He sits on the Thames Sydenham and Area Water Protection Committee, is a Vice Chair of the Bio-Industrial Innovation Centre, and serves as Fire Chief to the Inwood Fire Department.

Director, Biological Carbon Canada

Ted Todoschuk

Ted Todoschuk has been with ArcelorMittal Dofasco since 1980.  As well as working with cokemaking and ironmaking raw materials, Ted works on the inclusion of biocarbon in the steel sector. He has authored over 40 papers on coal, coke, cokemaking and biocarbon and is a key lecturer at the McMaster University Cokemaking Course. Ted also taught several courses on coal and cokemaking internally, and at the ArcelorMittal University in Luxembourg. Ted has been ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s representative on the Canadian Carbonization Research Association (CCRA) since 1987, is the past Technical Chairman, and is the current Board Chairman of CCRA.

Principal Researcher, Coal, Coke, Iron Ore, Cokemaking and Ironmaking Raw Materials, ArcelorMittal Dofasco

Michael Faba

After spending his early career in Research and Operations roles at a multi-national polymer manufacturing company, in 2016 Michael transitioned to work to develop the Canadian bioeconomy with BIC. He manages the Bioproducts AgSci Cluster, a pre-commercial research program focused on industrial bioproducts with a benefit to the agricultural sector, funded by Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada. Michael holds both a B.Sc.E in Engineering Chemistry, and M.Sc in Chemical Engineering from Queen's University.

Project Manager – Bioproducts AgSci Cluster Initiative, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC)

Catherine Cobden

As Founder and President of Cobden Strategies, Catherine provides strategic support to clients in the forestry, mining, steel, construction, bioenergy and research sectors. Previously, Catherine spent 13 years at the Forest Products Association of Canada where, as Executive Vice President, she played a key role in developing the forest sector’s Transformation Strategy, and shepherded the landmark Bio-pathways study on bio-technologies. Before FPAC, Catherine worked for Fleishman Hillard representing natural resources sectors on Parliament Hill. She has also held several corporate sustainability positions within North American forest product companies. Catherine is an Independent Director on the Board of FPInnovations, a former Director of the Canadian Climate Forum, and a founding member of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature initiative. She is a chemical engineer, and is a vocal advocate for leadership on key files such as climate change and the bioeconomy.

Founder and President, Cobden Strategies Inc.

Andrew White

Andrew is the co-founder of CHAR Technologies. He completed his graduate work in chemical engineering at the University of Toronto, where he co-invented SulfaCHAR, a precursor to CleanFyre, both of which are biocarbons made from wood, wood wastes and other low-value organic feedstocks.  As CEO of CHAR, he helped lead the reverse takeover that brought the company public onto TSX-V (ticker 'YES'), and helped lead the acquisition of the Altech Group.

CEO, CHAR Technologies Ltd.

Oskar Meijerink

Oskar is Business Development Manager at SkyNRG. He works on the realization of regional biojet fuel supply chains in various projects around the world. In Canada, he was responsible for SkyNRG efforts in three GARDN funded supply chain projects (ATM, CAAFCER and CBSCI). Oskar is also involved in policy development efforts to scale up the use of biojet.

Business Development Manager at SkyNRG, Amsterdam

Don Roberts

Don Roberts is President & CEO of Nawitka Capital Advisors Ltd, an investment banking and advisory boutique focusing on the global clean energy and forest products industries.  (  Prior to starting Nawitka in 2013, Mr. Roberts was a Vice-Chair of Wholesale Banking, and Managing Director in Investment Banking with CIBC World Markets Inc. In this position, he founded and led the Bank's cross-functional Renewable Energy & Clean Technology Team. He also provided senior coverage for companies in the global forest products industry.

President & CEO, Nawitka Capital Advisors Ltd.

Velma McColl blends her deep understanding of government, business and the public sphere to broker, collaborate and implement public policy advances for her clients, primarily on ecological, economic and social issues. Prior to joining Earnscliffe in 2004, Velma advised federal cabinet ministers on political strategy, policy and communications and worked provincially in Alberta and BC. A mother and thought leader, she is an active voice for change including with organizations such as Smart Prosperity, Women in GR and Ecotrust Canada. 

Managing Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group

James Stephens

Only by falling in love with the problem will we find the correct solution. The future belongs to those of us still willing to get our hands dirty. As a leader at a world-leading innovation house specializing in biomimetic techniques, microbial polyculture, and natural product development, I've lead over a decade driving conceptual continuity in natural and nature inspired ingredients, manufacturing pathways, and product development. My focus is to create value for the communities we work with, our partners, and myself by solving global problems.

Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Blue Marble Biomaterials

Alix Mackay

Specialising in Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Alix Mackay MRSC helps ambitious small and medium sized enterprises increase their online presence and thought leadership profile to engage their target audience.  Alix brings big pharma marketing discipline and the latest best practices in digital marketing to empower entrepreneurs and marketers to grasp the digital opportunities that are right for their business and customers.  Based in Glasgow, Alix is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) and Inbound Certified by HubSpot. 

Founder and Director, Alix Mackay Marketing

John Kozij

John Kozij joined Natural Resources Canada on January 2015 as Director General of the Trade, Economics and Industry Branch of the Canadian Forest Service. Prior to NRCan, John was Director General of Land and Environmental Management and the Director General of the Northern Policy and Science Integration Branch at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. John has a degree in economics from Simon Fraser University and a Masters in economics from Dalhousie University in Halifax. John has worked and volunteered overseas, working for over a year in northwest Pakistan, and as a volunteer in a refugee camp in south-eastern Thailand.  He is a father of two boys, a curler, and a basketball and soccer coach.

Director General, Trade, Economics and Industry, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada

Stewart Elgie

Stewart Elgie is a professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa, and director of the University’s interdisciplinary Environment Institute. He received his Masters of Law from Harvard, and his doctorate (J.S.D.) from Yale. He is the founder and chair of Smart Prosperity Institute (formerly Sustainable Prosperity), Canada’s major green economy think tank and policy-research network. He is also a member and co-founder of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission. His research involves environmental and economic sustainability, with a particular focus on market-based approaches.

Chair, Smart Prosperity Institute; Professor, University of Ottawa; Co-Author “Accelerating Clean Innovation in Canada

Marie-Hélène Labrie

As Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications, Marie-Hélène Labrie oversees all government relations and communications activities globally. Prior to joining Enerkem in 2008, she worked in communications, business strategy and market analysis as Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning at CAE, as well as a consultant for numerous organizations, such as Oliver Wyman Delta Organization & Leadership and Desjardins Financial Security. Mrs. Labrie began her career at the Government of Canada, in the Department of National Defense, and pursued it at Industry Canada and the Privy Council Office.

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications, Enerkem

Ziyad Rahme

Ziyad joined SDTC in 2016.  As Vice President, Investments, Ziyad ensures that the organization is sourcing and nurturing innovative clean technology companies that have the potential to deliver strong environmental and economic benefits to Canada.  He oversees the day-to-day operation of the SDTech Fund investment process, from intake through to assessment, selection and recommendation of investments to SDTC’s Project Review Committee and Board (approximately $90-100M/year of allocated investment).

Prior to joining SDTC, Ziyad spent 18 years at Iogen Corporation. As EVP Operations and Engineering, and General Manager of Iogen Energy, he successfully led the commercialization of Iogen’s cellulosic ethanol technology, and completed construction and start-up of a US$105M industrial scale facility with its partner Raízen. Ziyad holds an M.B.A., an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.

Vice President Investments, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

Marc LePage

Before assuming his current role in January 2016, Marc served as President and CEO of Génome Québec. He previously served as Special Advisor, Climate Change and Energy for the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C., and as Consul General at the Canadian Consulate in San Francisco/Silicon Valley. In 2000, Marc was one of the founding pioneers of Genome Canada. Prior, he worked as Director of Business Development for the Medical Research Council, in charge of international partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry, venture capital and foundations.

President and CEO, Genome Canada

Chris Hessler

Christopher Hessler founded the government relations firm AJW and is recognized as one of the country’s foremost experts in environmental market mechanisms and renewable fuels policy. With three decades of experience, he specializes in leveraging public policy to help clean technologies enter and thriv.e in energy and environmental markets

Managing Partner, AJW Inc.

Anton Holland

NIVA is a knowledge mobilization firm specializing in science and risk communication.  As CEO, Anton assists clients in the science, engineering, health, and environment sectors in finding ways to communicate about complex and sensitive topics to a wide variety of audiences, compellingly and in plain language.  His work helps to connect stakeholders and transform technical information into messages that have impact with decision makers and the general public.

President and CEO, NIVA Inc.

Sandy Ferguson

Sandy is VP of one of Canada’s leading forest products companies.  Her responsibilities include evaluating and developing new bio-products opportunities, leading corporate marketing activities, human resource development, and special projects.

Vice President Corporate Development, Conifex Timber Inc.

Jon Cozens

Jon Cozens is the Chief Commercial Officer at New Energy Risk, where he oversees execution of the company’s business strategy.  Previously, Jon led the finance group at BrightLeaf Technologies and also consulted in several markets, including crude oil derivatives with Cornerstone Global Commodities in London, as well as private equity and investment banking.  He began his career with Pacific Gas and Electric Company in energy trading and procurement.

Chief Commercial Officer, New Energy Risk, California

Jeff Passmore

Jeff has worked in the renewable energy, renewable chemicals, and bio-economy sectors for 40 years. His expertise includes strategic investor relations, project capital attraction, site location assessment, and corporate communications. In 2010, he launched the management consultancy Passmore Group Inc. In November, 2016 he created Canada’s inaugural Bioeconomy Conference “Scaling Up” focussing on the commercialization challenges faced by biochemical, bioenergy, biofuels, and bioproducts technology providers. He has served on the CleanTech Advisory Board of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and on Canada’s National Advisory Board on Energy Science & Technology. He is the Past Chair of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, Past Chair of the Canadian Wind Energy Association, Past Chair of the Solar Energy Society of Canada, Past Vice-Chair of the Independent Power Producers’ Society of Ontario, and Past President of the Ottawa Chapter of the International Association for Energy Economics.

CEO, Passmore Group Inc., Chair, Scaling Up 2018

David Dodds

David has 30 years’ experience building and leading multi-disciplinary scientific teams in biotechnology and chemical process development organizations. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, and has completed post-doctoral work in molecular biology within both start-up and big pharma organizations. David has served on due-diligence teams for acquisitions, worked with regulatory groups on commercial processes, and supported legal groups defending patents.

Principal, Dodds & Associates LLC

David Mackett

David Mackett has led community development initiatives for Whitesand First Nation since 2009. This includes design and implementation of the Community Sustainability Initiative. After a 15 year career with Abitibi-Price he returned to school and graduated from Confederation College’s Geographic Information Systems Program in 1992. He then worked for 17 years as GIS manager for a First Nation owned not-for-profit organization which supported community economic development and land use planning initiatives. David’s work with Whitesand aims to create a stronger and happier community through better communication and relationships with governments and industry.

Community Sustainability Initiative, Whitesand First Nation

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