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.

Andrea Decore

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Vice President, Low Carbon Fuels & GHG Offsets, Suncor Energy Inc.

Andrea’s team is responsible for growing a renewable fuels, low carbon hydrogen and GHG offsets business that materially contributes to Suncor's earnings and cash flow. Previously Andrea was Suncor’s Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development, responsible for corporate strategy, capital allocation, project economics, mergers & acquisitions, new business development and strategic commercial opportunities. Though trained as a commercial lawyer with particular expertise in commodities marketing and trading, Andrea has spent the last fifteen years in business roles. She has led large and small teams in various commercial areas, including supply chain, oil sands business development, and refined products marketing and trading. In November 2017, Andrea brought five years of Indigenous consultation agreement negotiations to a conclusion with two landmark deals, one with Mikisew Cree First Nation, the other with Fort McKay First Nation. The deals included long-term, broad-ranging consultation agreements and the sale of a 49% stake in Suncor's East Tank Farm hot bitumen terminal to the two First Nations - funded entirely by the largest public bond offering by Indigenous communities in Canadian history.

Jamie Stephen, PhD

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Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources

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. 

Derek Griffin

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Risk Management Consultant, Corporate Insurance Partner, Munich RE

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.

Alex Grodetsky

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Director Business Development, Steeper Energy Canada Ltd

Alex has over 23 years of renewable energy and industrial technology commercialization experience. He formerly held roles of Vice President Sales Engineering and Director of Global Technology in the field of plasma gasification where he led the scale-up of the world’s largest municipal waste plasma gasifier. He worked in high-tech manufacturing, where he commercialized several high-temperature coatings processes for the petrochemical industry. He is a chemical engineer and MBA graduate of the University of Alberta, Canada.

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.

Matt Lucas

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Managing Director, New Energy Risk, California

Matt leads New Energy Risk's business development activities where he brings past experience from early-stage startups, corporate venture, and climate policy. Matt received his PhD in engineering from UC Berkeley.

Mahima Sharma

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

Mahima manages industry positions on specific environmental regulatory topics at the mill-level including climate change, water, air, and chemicals, and also oversees the innovation file to help position the sector in leveraging the power of biomass to support a low-carbon economy. In addition, Mahima oversees the analysis and reporting of key sustainability performance indicators including energy, environment, and health and safety parameters for the pulp and paper and wood products sectors. Her work is instrumental in ensuring FPAC maintains its reputation for housing the latest and most relevant scientifically verified data on environmental performance. She has completed a Master of Chemical Engineering, as well as two undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa. She also completed a Master of Health Administration, where she held an internship position with the senior leadership team at The Ottawa Hospital. Mahima is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Volunteer Ottawa in the National Capital Region.

Sarah Van Exan

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Executive Director, GreenPAC

Sarah has worked with or for all levels of government, managing environment, governance, and justice files. As Managing Director of Green Economy Canada, she led the expansion of a non-profit network dedicated to supporting business sustainability. Sarah first joined GreenPAC as part of the 100 Debates on the Environment team to make sure the environment was a top issue in the 2019 federal election. She sits on the board of a youth-focused charity in Kenya, and co-chairs a climate action group in her community.

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

Chad Joshi


CEO, Advonex International Corporation

Chad is a seasoned executive who specializes in building technology companies through collaboration and strategic partnerships. He has led privately-held and venture-backed companies from pre-revenue through market and product development to significant revenues.  Dr. Joshi is responsible for overall corporate strategy.  He negotiated and leveraged strategic investments from lubricant and feedstock suppliers to launch Advonex and build the company into an award-winning innovator in bio-based chemicals with ingredients that exceed the performance characteristics of their petroleum-based counterparts. Previously, he served in operating positions with Owl Power Co. and Resolute Marine Energy, and founded Energen, a motion control solutions company which sold its image stabilization technology to Panavision Federal Systems. Chad holds a Sc.D. from MIT, and has over 60 patents and peer-reviewed publications.

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. 

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