top of page

Speakers 2022

Jordan Solomon

President and CEO, ECOSTRAT Inc.


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.

Patricia Bentolila

Director, Energy, Structured & Project Finance, Export Development Canada

Patricia Bentolila.jpeg

Patricia joined EDC’s Structured & Project Finance team in 2013 and is currently Director for the Energy cell. She started her financial career at BNP Paribas in 1998 as Credit Analyst, and held several positions in Corporate Banking and Project Finance in Montreal and Paris, where she worked on a large spectrum of corporate finance transactions. Patricia holds an MBA from HEC Montréal and is a CFA Charterholder.

David R. Dodds

Dodds & Associates LLC

David  Dodds.png

David has over 30 years’ experience leading interdisciplinary process development groups combining biological and chemical technologies to create new industrial processes. He established Dodds & Associates in 2002 to provide technical expertise and management to start-up companies in bio/pharma, industrial biotech and renewable chemicals.  He provides technical diligence to the investment community and expert witness service for patent infringement cases.  His current work in biobased chemicals includes the electrochemical regeneration of enzyme cofactors, to allow metabolic pathways to reach 100% carbon efficiency and avoid CO2 production. David pursued post-doctoral work in molecular biology with Marvin Caruthers at the University of Colorado (1984-1986), Boulder. He obtained his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry under Bryan Jones at the University of Toronto in 1984.

Simon Paradis

Energy Transition Program Manager, Shell

Simon Paradis.jpg

With more than 20 years experience in the energy industry, Simon’s focus is in developing economic decarbonization strategies for Shell and its strategic partners. He specializes in techno-commercial de-risking of emissions reductions opportunities with strong focus in Low-Carbon Fuels, Hydrogen manufacturing and logistics, Renewable Power including EV solutions, along with Nature-Based Solutions and Voluntary Credits / Offsets trading.

Pauli Baumann

Director, Energy Technologies at Hatch

Pauli Baumann.jpg

Pauli has more than 24 years of experience and has held various positions across the lifecycle of technology-based ventures from operations & maintenance, business development through to technology development and licensing. Since joining Hatch, Pauli has been instrumental in the growth of Hatch’s specialized XTL or anything-to-liquids practice, that is in active the vanguard of many of the pioneering projects for the production of liquid and gaseous fuels from feedstocks such as natural gas, biomass and waste. Of late Pauli has been tasked with exploring opportunities for the commercialization of new technology in the Energy sector, including emerging options such as methane pyrolysis and pressurized chemical looping. Pauli holds a masters degree in engineering (summa cum laude), with specialization in Technology Management, is proud father to Luke and Aiden and an avid mountain biker and fisherman.  

Duncan Ramage

Managing Partner at Forum Asset Management

Duncan Ramage.jpg

As a Managing Partner at Forum Asset Management, Duncan leads the Private Equity business and is focused on delivering innovative capital solutions and strategic support to entrepreneurs and infrastructure developers. He leverages his broad range of principal investing, project development and investment banking experience to create value for Forum, its partners, and the broader community while also ensuring that each of the firm’s PE investments has a positive environmental, social and/or governance impact. He holds a Master of Finance from INSEAD and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and is a CFA charterholder.

Marc Bacon

President and Chief Operating Officer, OMNI Conversion Technologies

Marc Bacon.jpg

Marc has over 40 years of operations, engineering, and executive experience. He led the team that advanced OMNI’s technology to commercial readiness and is now deploying it worldwide in a modular commercial design through a low-cost, high-quality international supply chain. Marc is also Vice-Chair of Global Syngas Technology Council Executive Committee.

Steve Jurgutis

Director General, Policy, Planning and Integration Directorate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


Born in Montréal, Steve attended the University of Ottawa, receiving an undergraduate degree in Communications with a concentration in Political Science. He spent a few years working for marketing communication companies and on various contracts with the federal government before becoming a public servant at National Defence where he worked for nearly seven years in various communications positions, including as the Press Secretary to the Minister.  For the past fifteen years, he has worked at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Twelve of those years were in communications positions, including seven at the executive level. For the past three years, he has been the Director General, Policy Planning and Integration in the Policy Branch where he is responsible for the forward planning and integration of departmental policy, developing the next agricultural policy framework, federal-provincial-territorial relations, Cabinet Affairs and numerous policy files including Indigenous and Diversity, innovation, labour and regulations. He spends his free time playing drums and percussion in a band. 

Florent Thévenin

Founder & CEO,Digital Networking for Thought-Leaders (DN4TL)

Florent Thevenin.jpg

As a natural communicator, leader and entrepreneur, Flo has produced multimedia projects globally since 2008. In 2017, he co-created, an impressive Canadian-focused site of leader interviews on the future economy, and built an influential national network and social media following in the process. Previously, Flo produced high-profile investment profiles in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and eventually in Canada, where he also organized 3 high-level conferences in Alberta. He speaks 4 languages, has lived and worked in 12 countries and 3 Canadian provinces (AB, BC, QC), has conducted over 1,500 top-level leader interviews globally, 1,000 of which were in Canada. In autumn 2021, Flo launched DN4TL to leverage his passion for business development, his extensive real-life networking experience and connections, and his affinity with technology, to help Canadian leaders connect and grow their social media influence in support of Canadian competitiveness.

Anton Holland

President and CEO, NIVA Inc.


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.

Kaisa Heikkilä 

Deputy Head of Mission, Minister-Counsellor, Embassy of Finland to Canada


Kaisa is a career diplomat at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Her assignments include both bilateral and multilateral work as well as extensive experience with various departments at the Ministry. In August 2020, she arrived in Ottawa to take up her duties as Deputy Head of Mission. Her previous postings include the Embassy of Finland in Cairo, Egypt, the Permanent Representation of Finland to the European Union in Brussels and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in New York. In headquarters, she has held positions at the Department of Africa and Middle East and the Unit of Humanitarian Affairs. She has also worked with the Ministry for Education and Science and the Defence Staff of Finland. Ms. Heikkilä is a graduate of Helsinki University. Her education includes studies in Tübingen, Germany.

Ian MacGregor

Executive Chair, Hydrogen Naturally

Ian MacGregor.jpg

From a young age, Ian has followed his mother’s sage advice: “When someone tells you that you can’t do something, that just means they can’t do it. It has nothing to do with you.” MacGregor is an entrepreneur who likes to build projects from the ground up. He embraces technical complexity, demonstrated in the $10 billion Sturgeon Refinery project he spearheaded. He also conceived and built the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, the largest system in the world for the capture and storage of manmade CO2. This system is now fully operational and resulted in the storage of about 2 million tons of CO2 in 2021. After earning his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Calgary in 1971, MacGregor decided he’d earn a better living as a welder. Because he likes commercial opportunity that permits growth to world scale, he often embarks on endeavors others conclude are not economically or technically viable, specializing in building and/or fixing big pieces of missing infrastructure. He is now working on building a world scale carbon removal and green hydrogen hub. Using forest waste (treetops and branches) left behind from existing forest operations, and marginalized trees not processed by sawmills, the hub’s natural air capture facility makes and sequesters CO2, as well as making renewable fuels. The goal is to remove 1 GT of CO2 from the atmosphere and make large quantities of clean hydrogen. The first Carbon Removal and Bright Green Hydrogen hub will be in Western Canada close to existing carbon sequestration infrastructure and forest feedstocks.

Sheila Harrison

Vice-President Policy, Alberta Forest Products Association

Sheila Harrison.jpg

In her role as AFPA’s VP Policy, Sheila works with the Alberta forest industry and policy makers to grow this vitally important renewable and sustainable sector, which currently creates over 30,000 jobs for Albertans and generates $13.6 billion in economic output annually. Sheila has 10 years in the not for profit sector and the last 15 years working in a variety of departments within the Government of Alberta. Her recent roles have included Acting Assistant Deputy Minister and Executive Director in Alberta Infrastructure and Executive Director in Alberta Indigenous Relations. Sheila led the development and implementation of the seven Indigenous climate leadership programs, led the engagement on the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation and led the finalization of the $3.66 billion Alberta/Canada Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. In 2019, Sheila was awarded the Premier’s Award for Leadership. Sheila has a Masters of Public Administration, a Diploma in Career Development, and a Bachelor of Arts degree. In her role at AFPA, she leads staff responsible for forest management policy, environment policy, sustainability and Indigenous Relations.

Aaron Barr

CEO, Canadian Rockies Hemp Corporation

Aaron Barr.jpg

Born and raised in rural Alberta, Aaron has been rooted in agriculture from an early age, includiing managing the family tree farm to becoming a master cannabis grower in 2012. He studied Business Economics and Law at the University of Alberta, and has established multiple companies across a range of industries from importing/exporting equipment, real estate development, and cannabis cultivation and processing.  He is the founder and CEO of Canadian Rockies Hemp Corp. (CRHC). He and his team have built a full chain seed-to-sale program, driving the Alberta hemp industry to be a leader in green bio materials. Since 2018, CRHC has contracted over 30,000 acres of hemp fiber, and 2022 will be the largest yet with 6,000 acres of single purpose hemp fiber, and 5,000-10,000 acres of dual purpose hemp. Working with farmers, manufactureres, government, and consumers, Aaron has a wide reach throughout the hemp value-chain and strives to push the Canadian hemp industry to be a world leader in hemp fiber production and manufacturing.

Lisa Hanke

Regulatory Engagement Director, EcoEngineers

Lisa Hanke.jpg

Lisa has nearly 20 years’ experience leading government relations and regulatory outreach in North America and Europe. She serves as EcoEngineers policy and regulatory engagement expert. She is responsible for staying current on key local, state, national, and international legislative, regulatory, and policy developments. She analyzes policy developments and how they fit within government decarbonization goals and efforts. In previous positions, Ms. Hanke provided technical and business leadership, advocacy, and support to members of the Canadian Fuels Association. She also spent 16 years leading global government affairs for clean technology companies Enerkem and Iogen. Ms. Hanke advocated for biofuels and renewable energy under the low-carbon fuel standards in Canada, British Columbia, the United States, the European Union, California, and other emerging markets.

Glenn Hargrove

Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada

Glenn Hargrove.png

Glenn leads federal policy, science and program work across the forest sector. Prior to his current role, Glenn served as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Fuels Sector; the Strategic Petroleum Policy and Investment Office; and the Major Projects Management Office within NRCan. He also served as Director of Operations, Economic and Regional Development Policy at the Privy Council Office and held senior positions at NRCan in the Canadian Forest Service and Strategic Policy & Results Sector, as well as FPInnovations, a not-for-profit forest sector R&D organization.

Brentan Alexander

Chief Investment Officer, Synonym


As chief investment officer at Synonym, Dr. Alexander utilizes his unique background in first-commercial project finance to enable the scaling of the bioeconomy. Brentan’s entrepreneurial background and deep expertise in the fields of electrochemistry and thermochemistry allow him to engage with project development and project finance at a foundational level, wrapping underlying technical breakthroughs in the required commercial structures to enable financing. He has seen over 1,000 different projects over his career, giving him unparalleled perspective into the structures, risks, and opportunities that are attractive to project finance investors and the minimum requirements to attract capital. Brentan has served as president at New Energy Risk and holds advanced degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford and MIT.

John Wilkinson

Board Director, Greenfield Global

John Wilkinson.jpg

Most recently, John served as the Senior Vice President, Sustainability for Greenfield Global. From 2003 – 2011 he was the Member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament for Perth-Middlesex, and then Perth-Wellington. He was called to Executive Council and served as Minister Research & Innovation, then as Minister of Revenue, and finally as Minister of the Environment. John currently sits on numerous corporate, not for profit and advisory Boards, including Greenfield Global, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, Life Sciences Ontario and the Council of the Great Lakes Region.

Graham Guest

General Manager, Energy & Technical Services, Walker Environmental

Graham Guest.jpg

Graham has been employed by the Walker Environmental Group for 19 years, serving as the GM of Energy & Technical Services for nearly a decade. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of 10 landfill gas utilization and carbon reduction projects which have a combined output of 32 Megawatts of renewable energy generation. With a background in engineering and project management he has been the lead PM on numerous design/build projects dealing with landfill gas capture and utilization, solid waste, biosolids, composting and municipal infrastructure. Guest has been active in the RNG space for the last 7 years, and is currently completing the development of the first landfill gas to RNG facility in the Province of Ontario. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Biogas Association.   

Andrea Moffat

Vice President, Ivey Foundation

Moffat Andrea.jpg

The Ivey Foundation’s mission is to help create a shared vision for Canada’s future that integrates the economy and the environment, achieves resource efficiency, and fosters innovation and investment for a smarter, sustainable economy. Prior to her current role as VP, Andrea was the Vice President of the Corporate Program at Ceres, where she led business and sustainability issues such as climate, energy, water, and supply chains.  With more than 20 years’ experience, Andrea has worked with more than 80 companies to help meet sustainability commitments and achieve greater performance results. She was the lead author of The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability. She is a skilled facilitator of action-oriented initiatives and collaborations between the private sector, government and not-for-profit organizations. Andrea is a member of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Sustainable Finance, Smith School of Business, Queen’s University and a board member of the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area, and Environment Funders Canada. 

Sue Coueslan

VP Strategy and Partnerships, Natural Products Canada (NPC)

Sue Coueslan.jpg

NPC is the driving force behind Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster–a strategic and diverse community focused on the development and commercialization of naturally-derived products and technologies including biochemicals, bioplastics and other sustainable bioproducts. NPC offers in-depth advice and a suite of commercialization programs to Canadian early-stage companies and research institutes, provides connections and innovation scouting services to corporations and investors, and leverages an investment fund (NPC Ventures) to help develop and de-risk promising Canadian opportunities. As part of the executive management team, Sue leads NPC’s key relationships and initiatives to help promote and strengthen the Cluster.

Jack Saddler

Endowed Professor of Forest Products Biotechnology / Bioenergy, and Dean Emeritus, Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia

Jack Saddler.png

Jack is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has received numerous awards including the 2016 Linneborn award from the European Bioenergy Organization, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO’s) Scientific Achievement Award, the Charles D. Scott award for contributions to the field of “Biotechnology for fuels and Chemicals,” the British Columbia Life Sciences Leadership award, and the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association’s (CRFA’s) Green Fuels Industry Award. He has 63,717 citations, has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, several books, holds several patents, and is a regular reviewer/advisor for agencies such as the US Dept. of Energy, USDA, NSERC, and the World Bank. He has aided organizations such as Vinnova in Sweden with their Vinnvaxt “cluster” program, and is on the advisory board of the Finnish Luke Stakeholder Advisory Board (StAB) for the Boreal Green Bioeconomy ( He has supervised more than 100 graduate students/Post Docs and Research Associates, and currently leads a world class research group of Research Associates, Post Docs and graduate students. Jack has advised policy-makers at national and international levels. He was Co-Task Leader of the Liquid Biofuels network of IEA Bioenergy and served in the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris prior to COP21. He is a member of the Markus Wallenberg Prize selection committee, the forest sectors Nobel Prize.

Mehr Nikoo

Senior Manager, Clean Technology, Alberta Innovates


Mehr manages Alberta Innovates clean technology portfolio focusing on Bioenergy and the Circular Economy. Her work concentrates mainly on the utilization of agricultural and forestry residues and waste, plastics and emerging waste, while reducing products entering landfills. Mehr is a professional engineer with two master’s degrees in chemical engineering and environmental systems engineering. She leverages her engineering and project management skills from the past 20+ years to advance renewable fuels and waste diversion technologies. In the past, she used her process engineering skills while working for Stantec and Rally Engineering. She also worked as a research engineer and project management professional in clean energy for InnoTech Alberta and in start-up companies.

Florent Thévenin

Founder & CEO, Digital Networking for Thought-Leaders (DN4TL)

Florent Thevenin.jpg

As a natural communicator, leader and entrepreneur, Flo has produced multimedia projects globally since 2008. In 2017, he co-created, an impressive Canadian-focused site of leader interviews on the future economy, and built an influential national network and social media following in the process. Previously, Flo produced high-profile investment profiles in Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and eventually in Canada, where he also organized 3 high-level conferences in Alberta. He speaks 4 languages, has lived and worked in 12 countries and 3 Canadian provinces (AB, BC, QC), has conducted over 1,500 top-level leader interviews globally, 1,000 of which were in Canada. In autumn 2021, Flo launched DN4TL to leverage his passion for business development, his extensive real-life networking experience and connections, and his affinity with technology, to help Canadian leaders connect and grow their social media influence in support of Canadian competitiveness.

Tom Dower

VP Public Policy, LanzaTech

Tom Dower.jpeg

Tom has over 25 years’ experience in Washington, DC in government and industry, specializing in energy and climate policy. Prior to joining LanzaTech, he was senior director, government relations for ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company. He was also VP for Lighthouse Consulting Group representing the US Climate Action Partnership and energy clients. He previously served 15+ years in the US Senate in various roles including deputy chief of staff/legislative director for Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and senior climate advisor to the US Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, chaired by John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV). Tom holds degrees from Keystone Jr. College and The American University. LanzaTech captures and transforms carbon, combining synthetic biology and engineering to transform waste carbon into sustainable fuels, chemicals and products.

Bliss Baker

Chairman, Cumberland Strategies

Bliss Baker.jpg

Bliss is the founder of Cumberland Strategies. Over the past 27 years, he has been an innovator, practitioner and commentator in the Public Affairs arena both domestically and internationally. He has been an advisor to two Prime Ministers, Ministers, Members of Parliament and Cabinet. He was a senior advisor to several elected officials including the Chief of Staff to the Minister of Northern Development and Mines. His private sector experience includes Senior Executive roles in the banking and renewables industry and the pipeline industry.  As a former Board Member of the Sierra Club, Bliss has had a lifelong passion for promoting public policies that protect the environment. His clients include a variety of renewable fuels companies, tech and energy-related firms, financial services, agriculture, manufacturing, first nations, clean technology providers, healthcare stakeholders and infrastructure-related firms. Bliss completed his post-graduate degree at the London School of Economics.

Jamie Stephen, PhD

Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources

Jamie Stephen.jpg

Dr. Jamie Stephen is the Managing Director of TorchLight Bioresources, a decarbonization strategy and policy advisor for national, provincial, and municipal governments, First Nations, utilities, airlines, large industrial emitters, property developers, and investment funds. Projects range from the development of energy facilities to national strategies on meeting Net Zero targets. He has two decades of experience in the bioenergy industry, working at the interface of the energy, forestry, agriculture, and waste sectors. Dr. Stephen holds a PhD in Forest and Energy Economics and a Masters in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of British Columbia. After growing up in the prairies and spending over a decade in Ontario, he now resides with his wife and three daughters in Nova Scotia. 

Ryan Dermody

President, Norcan Petroleum Group

Ryan Dermody.jpg

Ryan became President of Norcan, a major supplier of refined and renewable fuels to independent distributors in Quebec and Ontario, in September 2020. Prior to his arrival at Norcan, Ryan was with The Port of Montreal where he led the construction of the new terminal container project on the Port of Montreal premises in Contrecœur, Québec. He was also the Infrastructure Senior Director for energy and logistics at “Investissement Québec” as well as vice-president at the “Compagnie Financière Tradition”. He served in the Royal Navy for more than a decade as an Officer, he was a board member of Chimie ParaChem, and curator for The Maple Leaf Trust. He is a graduate of the Diplomatic Academy in London, the University of Westminster, and the Britannia Royal Naval College. Today, he is a board member of the Palliative Home-Care Society Foundation and a member of the Veteran Mental Health Advisory Committee

Jennifer Green

Executive Director, Canadian Biogas Association


As head of the Canadian Biogas Association, Jennifer works directly on behalf of the membership to create awareness and expand opportunities for biogas and renewable natural gas (RNG) in Canada. She connects people in the public and private sector, commercial, municipal and agricultural communities and NGO’s to build relationships and discover strategic and sustainable partnerships for deploying anaerobic digestion technology. Jennifer fosters an open dialogue with industry and government on matters relating to policy, research, technology, and economic barriers and solutions to advance development of biogas and RNG projects. Jennifer is an experienced educator and influencer and intimately familiar with the biogas/RNG sector, and advocates for best practices, policies, and programs that fit industry needs.

Derek Griffin

Green Tech Solutions, Munich Re

Derek Griffin_edited.jpg

Derek is a Chemical Engineer working in the GreenTech solutions group of Munich RE, which offers innovative technology risk-transfer solutions for industrial clients in the bio-circular economy space. A key benefit of the insurance is the transfer of technology performance risk from project investors & lenders to the insurer to enable and improve project financing. The GreenTech focus on the circular economy is aligned with Munich RE’s global decarbonization strategy by providing unique insurance solutions for companies with bioenergy, waste to energy, carbon recycling, and other green technologies. Derek previously worked for LanzaTech as a Technology Manager focused on scale-up and commercialization of a novel gas fermentation technology.

Jordan Hatton

Director, Economic Development, Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation)

Jordan Hatton.png

Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek is a formerly displaced First Nation that is in the process of rapidly developing its reserve lands on the south-east shores of Lake Nipigon, Ontario. Jordan is responsible for all on-reserve infrastructure developments, housing and land management, on and off-reserve business developments including the Papasay Value-Added Sawmill operation, forestry and mining agreements, employment and training matters, and regional, multi-First Nation initiatives, all off-reserve consultation matters, and sits on multiple Boards for the community. Jordan is responsible for six staff in his department, budgeting for dozens of projects and initiatives, and all funding applications and reporting requirements associated with these Projects. He has been working with First Nations for the last 13 years in various resource development, lands and economic development-related positions. He received his Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Guelph in 2008, and enjoys spending time with his partner, family and friends, travelling the world, fishing, golfing, and heavy metal festivals.    

Wal van Lierop

Executive Chairman & Founding Partner, Chrysalix Venture Capital


Wal is an award-winning business leader and visionary in innovation, sustainability and cleantech, with unique industry insights gained through deep operational experience as a venture capitalist, corporate executive, international consultant and university professor. Wal founded Chrysalix Venture Capital, one of the earliest and most recognised private equity firms focused on industrial innovation, where he has helped raise more than $250M and participated in more than $1B in venture capital funding. He has sourced, invested in and advised numerous startups, assisting them in building breakthrough solutions for the new world economy while working hand-in-hand with large multinational companies on their innovation strategies.

Bob Larocque

President & CEO, Canadian Fuels Association


Bob, a native of Hawkesbury Ontario, joined the Canadian Fuels Association as President and CEO in September 2020. He is proud to represent Canada’s innovative fuels sector, and the critical role the sector plays to provide reliable, safe and environmentally responsible transportation energy to all Canadians. Bob leads the Association in driving policies that improve environmental performance, protect industry competitiveness and strengthen Canada’s critical energy infrastructure. Focusing on maintaining an open dialogue between industry and government, its stakeholders and the public are priorities. Bob also strongly believes that the Association can offer access to information and analysis in order to help drive informed policy decisions. Prior to joining the CFA, Bob was Senior Vice-President at the Forestry Products Association of Canada where he supported the sector on policy and technical issues relating to climate change, innovation, Indigenous engagement and environmental regulations.  Mr. Larocque was also responsible for supporting the sector in achieving its “30 by 30 Climate Change Challenge”. Bob attended the University of Ottawa graduating with an Honours Degree in Chemical Engineering. He resides in Ottawa with his wife Tara and their three children.

Meaghan Seagrave

Executive Director, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC)

Meaghan Seagrave.jfif

Meaghan is a nationally recognized thought-leader in the bioeconomy and has been spearheading research and innovation opportunities across the country for almost a decade. Prior to joining BIC, she was Executive Director of BioNB, a high-impact NGO focused on providing support to companies and stakeholders in New Brunswick’s bioscience sector. She also served as Chief Executive Officer of New Brunswick’s Health Research Foundation. She has a graduate degree in agricultural sciences and several certificates and diplomas in communications and management development. Her influence is national in scope and brings industry and association collaborators together building strong partnerships across a multitude of science, and technology sectors. She serves in leadership roles on several regional and national boards in support of entrepreneurs, research, innovation and investment entities.

Ralph Torrie

Director of Research, Corporate Knights, lead author “Earth Index: Tracking the G20 Response to the Climate Emergency”


Ralph Torrie played a central role in putting global warming on the international environmental agenda.  He conducted the first low carbon scenario analysis for Canada, pioneered the methods now used internationally for local climate change response strategies, and continues to help public and private sector clients identify and pursue the opportunities being generated by the current global energy transition.

Rob Skilnick

Chief Financial Officer, Canary Biofuels

Rob Skilnick.png

Rob is one of the founders and current CFO of Canary Biofuels. He has more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience in the energy sector, most recently as a former executive and CFO at Trican Well Service. His transparent approach to business management, combined with capital discipline, has enabled him to successfully lead financial transformation and handle the complexities of market and economic volatility. Rob has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and finance from the University of Saskatchewan.

Camilla Stanley

Legislative Assistant, Office of Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance; former GreenPAC Parliamentary Intern for the Environment

Camilla Stanley.jpg

Camilla is passionate about creating effective solutions to improve resource efficiency within the food industry to maintain the health of the environment and human populations. She has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Toronto and a graduate certificate in Sustainable Business Management from Seneca College. She recently completed a parliamentary internship in MP Terry Beech's office, courtesy of GreenPAC, Canada's only non-partisan, non-profit that endorses environmentally conscious Members of Parliament. Camilla now works as Legislative Assistant in the office of Terry Beech. 

Kyla Morrisseau

Consultation Coordinator/Climate Change Specialist & 20/20 Catalyst 2018 Cohort of Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek First Nation


As the first point of entry for all industrial undertakings, Kyla’s main priority is protecting the rights and interests of Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek, along with teaching her community how to adapt to a changing climate. She sees the absolute value in using green/clean energy to fight Climate Change and lower carbon emissions for the next generations. Kyla also works closely with their Community Planner and Development Manager to research best practices as they push forward with the construction of the new community. She has been exploring clean energy initiatives to help her community move forward to achieve its Green Community vision. She has a profound passion for environmental preservation and protection. She believes if humanity works together to understand and carry out these clean energy initiatives, our world will still be here seven generations from now. She has strong feelings towards youth engagement, talking and listening to them, including them in the dialogue, and teaching them new ways of seeing. Kyla is the proud mother of six Ojibway children and co-author of The Palgrave Handbook of Global Arts Education.

Marcus Hardy

Chief, Red Rock Indian Band, Lake Helen Reserve

Marcus Hardy.png

Marcus was elected Chief of Red Rock Indian Band in September 2019. He lives with his wife and is a proud father of 7 beautiful children. At age 36, Marcus is the youngest elected Chief in the history of his community. As Chief, his priorities are the sustainability of his First Nation, Youth, and Elders and the restoration and preservation of the Anishinaabek culture and language. He volunteers as a firefighter, minor hockey coach and President of the Red Rock Minor Hockey Association. A focus area for RRIB is improving existing community infrastructure in addition to exploring and implementing energy-efficient options to suit the needs of the growing community. RRIB manages its forest, which widens the possibilities in the Bio-economy space for his community to explore further initiatives to become self-sustainable and exercise their sovereignty. Before being elected Chief, he had a 16-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces, during which he contributed to the Hurricane Katrina Humanitarian Aid efforts on the Gulf Coast, and led a section of troops on various patrols and successful missions in Afghanistan. Marcus has been awarded several Commendations and Medals. He also earned one bronze and two gold medals at the 2003 NATO Shooting Competition, where he represented Canada against 32 teams from 17 different countries. 

Bevan May

President, Steeper Energy

BevanMay square.jpg

Bevan leads Steeper Energy, a Danish, Canadian biofuel conversion technology company. Steeper has developed a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) technology suite that has now been proven through a pilot phase and is in the process of being proven in a demonstration-scale facility. Steeper’s technology confirms an economic pathway for the production of biofuels such as marine bunker fuel, heating oil, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from a wide range of biowaste feedstocks.  Our focus has been on lignocellulosic (woody biomass) materials, but other streams include biogenic portions of urban waste, animal and agricultural wastes among others. Steeper holds over 180 patents either obtained or pending in 25 patent families related to its technology and is advancing towards the commercialization of its technology in prospective plant projects around the world.

Rachel Samson

Vice President Research, Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)


Prior to her current role at IRPP, Rachel was Clean Growth Research Director at the Canadian Climate Institute where she led the development of the report Sink or Swim: Transforming Canada’s Economy for a Global Low-carbon Future. Rachel also spent 15 years as an economist and executive with the federal government, and five years as a consultant working with clients such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on green growth, climate change and biodiversity policy research.

Ziyad Rahme

Vice President Investments, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)


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.

Mahima Sharma

Director, Environment, Innovation, and Mill Regulations, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)

Mahima Sharma.jpg

Mahima develops industry positions on specific environmental regulatory topics at the mill-level including climate change and carbon pricing, water and air quality, as well as chemicals management. She also oversees the innovation file at FPAC, working closely with government officials and key industry partners in the transition towards a bio-economy. She holds a Master of Chemical Engineering, as well as two undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa.

Ian Thomson

President, Advanced Biofuels Canada


Ian has been President of Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC), the national trade association for advanced biofuel producers and developers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors in Canada, since its inauguration in 2016. Its members have 14 billion litres of installed global capacity, and include both Canadian and global biofuel producers, and the leading next generation technology developers. ABFC, and its predecessor organization Western Canada Biodiesel, has provided over 15 years of guidance in Canadian federal and provincial fuels, carbon pricing, and climate policy. Ian currently chairs an advocacy coalition of non-fossil clean fuel trade associations and NGOs focused on an effective federal Clean Fuel Standard.

Brian Foody

President and CEO, Iogen Corporation


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.

Chris Hessler

Managing Partner, AJW Inc.


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

Sandy Ferguson

Principal, SF Consulting


Sandy heads up SF Consulting, an independent forest and bioeconomy advisory company.  Throughout her career she has worked in senior business development and strategic roles with private, not-for-profit, and government organizations. She most recently served as VP Corporate Affairs at Conifex Timber Inc. a Canadian forest products and biomass power producer, and the Director of Marketing at the BC Bioenergy Network. She is a board member of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada and the Canadian Bioeconomy Conference. 

Christopher Angelo

Advisor, Structured and Corporate Finance, New Energy Risk, California

Christopher Angelo.jfif

Christopher Angelo joined New Energy Risk in 2018. He brings with him a wealth of expertise with over 15 years experience in banking, investing, and executive-level corporate finance. Prior to joining New Energy Risk, Christopher was chief financial officer at Silicor Materials Inc (formerly Calisolar Inc.), a solar manufacturing and R&D company. There he led the company’s project financing and financial operations as the company scaled and ramped its solar cell and solar silicon technologies from R&D to two high volume manufacturing plants.Christopher holds a master’s degree in Law and Accounting from the London School of Economics and Political Science, as well dual undergraduate degrees in Finance and Economics from Lehigh University.

Maia Knight

Student, Faculty of Political Science and Law, Carleton University

Maia Knight.jfif

Former Parliamentary Intern, Office of Dan Albas, Member of Parliament, Central Okanagan–Similkameen–Nicola

Allan Eddy

Chair, Nova Scotia Innovation Hub


Allan Eddy joined Port Hawkesbury Paper in August 2018. Previous to this position, he has served in a senior executive role in four Nova Scotia government departments. As a graduate of the University of New Brunswick, Allan has worked for both Federal and Provincial levels of government aswell as the private sector over the past 37 years. Throughout his career, Allan has been involved with various aspects of policy development, sector issue management, and stakeholder liaison activities. In the last several years hehas been deeply involved in change management and sector transition, with a significant focus on innovation and training At Port Hawkesbury paper he is responsible for business development, community and government relations and strategic forestry issues.

Greg Maloney

Principal Partner, BioApplied Innovation Pathways

Greg Maloney.jfif

Greg’s 30 years of business experience across several manufacturing industries and functional areas, including consumer durable goods, consumables,andindustrial materials. His roots are in new product development and new capital project management, along with supply-chain, marketing and sales management experience. Greg has driven several complex projects, including the optimization of large-scale industrial operations withleading integrated forestproducts companies, and, manufacture of durable goods from design through production.

Guy Penard

Vice President of North America Yilkins

Guy Penard.jfif

Guy Penard is an advisor, hands-on operator, and partner in start-up companies that are focused on building a sustainable future in chemistry, food/feed, and energy. Based on his deep experience gained in corporate executive positions with innovative and conventional sustainable technologies and businesses, he brings extensive experience in strategy development and execution, as well as international business development and growth. His background includes executive and operational management in industrial bio-tech, oleochemicals, plastics, fine particles (pigments, minerals), advanced composite materials, specialty plastic compounds and, color/additive concentrate businesses. As Vice President of North America for Yilkins, he is developing new business in the North American market for their innovative equipment for the conversion of biomass to energy products. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering (BSc) and an MBA from the University of Twente, The Netherlands.

Jeff Passmore

CEO, Passmore Group Inc.; Chair, Scaling Up


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. He currently serves on the Board of the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome.

Interested in speaking at our conference? Let's Talk.​
bottom of page