Speakers 2020

Confirmed speakers for 2020 conference:

Dan Wicklum

Dan became the first President and CEO of The Transition Accelerator (TA) upon its founding in September 2019. The TA collaborates with targeted groups across the country to solve major business or social challenges where significant greenhouse gas reductions can be built into the solution. Prior to accepting this position, he was CEO of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance for seven years, was Executive Director of the Canadian Forest Innovation Council, and has been a senior manager at Environment and Climate Change Canada and Natural Resources Canada. Dan has 25 years’ experience managing research, driving innovation, and fostering collaboration in and among industry, government, academia and civil society. He has a PhD from the University of Montana, an MSc. from the University of Calgary, and a BSc. from the University of Guelph. His initial career was football, as a linebacker for the Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

President and CEO, The Transition Accelerator

Mallory Rowan

With more than 9 years in digital marketing strategy, Mallory brings a unique perspective on how brands can breakthrough the noise in 2020. From working in oil & gas, transportation, and defence industries to building her own globally-recognized e-commerce business on a student budget, Mallory believes every organization has an opportunity to thrive online. She is an advisor to the Queen’s University Women in Tech accelerator, a mentor in the not-for-profit Founders’ Fund, and has been featured in the Ottawa Business Journal, on the Shopify Masters podcast, and named one of United Way’s “People to Know”. She is a graduate of Carleton University’s School of Journalism. Talk to Mallory and ‘Give your Brand a Voice.’

Founder, MalMadeMeDoit

Ian Thomson

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.

President, Advanced Biofuels Canada

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

Sam Wade

Prior to his current position as Director of California State Regulatory Affairs at the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas, Sam worked as Chief of the Transportation Fuels Branch at the California Air Resources Board (CARB), where, for four years, he oversaw the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program. Also while at CARB, Mr. Wade served as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, developed the Cap-and-Trade rule, and authored portions of California’s first Greenhouse Gas Scoping Plan. He has also worked in energy policy at Pacific Gas and Electric, and with a bioenergy/biochar start-up. Sam holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Davis, a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii, and an M.P.A in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. 

Director, California State Regulatory Affairs, Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas

Mary Solecki

Mary has spent over a decade working with clean energy companies on transportation and climate issues across the Pacific Coast. She has successfully led major campaign efforts to establish carbon programs and refine regulatory measures through strategic business engagement. Her work bridges the gap between the public and private sectors, with a focus on energy, transportation, and water. Solecki’s work has resulted in successful legislative campaigns, business-friendly amendments to public policies, and more robust climate programs.  She has served on California’s Low Carbon Advisory Panel, working closely with members of the California Air Resources Board and staff. Prior to joining AJW, Solecki spent eight years with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), a partner of Natural Resources Defense Council. She has worked in-depth on the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and carbon programs in both California and Oregon.

Partner, AJW

Jordan Hatton

As Director of Economic Development for Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (BNA), Jordan is responsible for working with both government and industry to ensure that the land and water is cared for in an environmentally sound manner, while at the same time ensuring that the First Nation is carefully moving ahead on the development of its natural resources, including initiatives in forestry, biomass, mining, and regional energy developments. Jordan assists with employment and training initiatives, and helps secure funding for various community projects including employment opportunities. He provides advice to Chief and Council so they can make informed decisions about the best way forward for the community and its development. Jordan sits on various Boards and Committees, writes newsletters and reports, and maps the aboriginal values of the BNA membership. Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jordan obtained his B.A. and Master’s Degrees in Political Science from the University of Guelph, completed a year-long internship on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and worked across the country as a University research assistant, and as an assistant for a Member of Parliament.

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

Joe Ladouceur

Joe was elected Chief of BNA in January 2017 for a 4-year term. Prior to becoming Chief, he served as Councillor. Joe’s main priority is the development of BNA, and ensuring that the proper infrastructure is in place at the land-base for the return of the membership. He has worked closely with neighbouring First Nation Chiefs, moving regional developments and initiatives forward, which has improved the lives of all First Nation members. This has meant a focus on renewable energy and other forms of smart development. Joe has also worked closely with the BNA membership to ensure they have employment opportunities both within BNA and throughout the region. Prior to entering First Nation politics, Joe worked for the City of Thunder Bay for over 20 years. Joe played professional junior hockey both in Canada and abroad.

Chief, Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation)

Marcus Hardy

Marcus was elected Chief of the Red Rock Indian Band (RRIB) on September 7th, 2019. At the age of 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 also volunteers in his community as a firefighter, minor hockey coach and is the President of 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 own forest, which widens the possibilities in the Bio-economy space for his community to explore further options to become self-sustainable and exercise their sovereignty. Prior to being elected Chief, Marcus had a 16-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring in 2016. 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 was awarded several Commendations and Medals. He lives on Lake Helen Reserve with his wife and seven children.

Chief, Red Rock Indian Band (Lake Helen Reserve)

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 sees true value in the use of green/clean energy in order to fight Climate Change and lower carbon emissions for upcoming generations. Kyla also works closely alongside the Community Planner and Development Manager researching best practices as they push forward into construction. She has been exploring clean energy initiatives to help her community achieve its 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. She is strongly involved in youth engagement, including them in the dialogue, and teaching them new ways of seeing in order to equip them with all the tools of today. Kyla is the proud mother of six Ojibway children, and co-author of The Palgrave Handbook of Global Arts Education.

Advisory Council Member – ICE (Indigenous Clean Energy), Consultation Coordinator/Climate Change Specialist & 20/20 Catalyst 2018 Cohort

Theodora Retsina

Theodora received a BSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College, University of London and is a licensed professional engineer in the United States. In 1995, she founded API – a company that focuses on value enhancement of the biomass industries through process integration, biorefinery technology applications and value engineering. She has more than 25 years experience on value enhancement of the biomass industries, and is the author of over 200 scientific publications, patents, and patents pending. API EUROPE is a company of research and experimental studies in biotechnology, and uses the experience, knowledge and expertise of American Process International LLC, a US company with 25years experience in the biomass sector. API personnel are involved in projects including more than 500 international process integration studies in pulp and paper mills, as well as biorefinery feasibility studies. API personnel were also involved in the study and construction of two bio-refinery facilities in the US.

CEO, API EUROPE, and American Process LLC

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.

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 leads 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 in Canada and the UK. 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.

Principal, SF Consulting

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

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.

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

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