Speakers 2022

Jordan Solomon

President and CEO, ECOSTRAT Inc.

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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

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

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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.

Mollie Johnson

Assistant Deputy Minister, Energy Systems Sector (ESS), Natural Resource Canada

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Created in March 2022, the ESS mission is to help catalyze the economic opportunities of the energy transition and drive governance across all energy teams to provide the Deputy Minister and the Minister with integrated decision-making on energy issues. As such, Mollie plays a key role in the Government of Canada’s commitment to a zero-emissions future. Previously Mollie oversaw the Low Carbon Energy Sector (LCES), created to advance Canada’s national energy priorities as part of its commitment to realizing the global energy transition. Mollie and her team have delivered key federal strategies towards a net-zero future including the 2020 Hydrogen Strategy, the National Action Plan for Small Modular Reactors, renewables, home retrofits, and the clean fuels programming. Her team has been a driving force behind policies and programs to help mitigate climate change, advance the competitiveness of Canada’s energy sector, and promote access to reliable, clean and affordable energy while supporting broad and meaningful Indigenous participation. Mollie was previously Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications and Portfolio Sector; and, Director General, Policy, Major Projects Management Office, both at NRCan. She has also held executive positions at Environment and Climate Change Canada; the Competition Bureau; and was a senior officer in Legislation and House Planning at the Privy Council Office. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School.

Jason Krips

President & CEO, Alberta Forest Products Association

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In his role as CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA), Jason works with the Alberta forest industry and policy makers to grow this vitally important renewable and sustainable sector, which currently creates over 30,000 Albertan jobs, and generates $13.6 billion in economic outputs annually. Jason provides leadership and vision to all aspects of the AFPA, including achieving strategic, financial, policy, and operating objectives. He has been tasked with making AFPA a first-in-class industry organization, and to bring together professionals to resolve tough industry challenges and seek out industry opportunities. Prior to joining AFPA, Jason spent nearly 20 years with the Government of Alberta including Deputy Minister (DM) of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, and DM Agriculture and Forestry. A lawyer by profession, Jason has a strong and diverse background in the areas of industry policy, issues management, and stakeholder engagement.

Mehr Nikoo

Senior Manager, Clean Technology, Alberta Innovates

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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.

Jamie Stephen, PhD

Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources

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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

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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

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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

Risk Management Consultant, Corporate Insurance Partner, Munich RE

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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.

Wal van Lierop

Executive Chairman & Founding Partner, Chrysalix Venture Capital

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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

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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.

Ralph Torrie

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

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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.

Anton Holland

CEO, NIVA Inc.

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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.

Mallory Rowan

Serial Entrepreneur, CEO Mallory Marketing Inc.

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With more than 9 years in digital marketing strategy, Mallory Rowan 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”.

Bevan May

President, Steeper Energy Canada Ltd.

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Bevan is a Computer Engineer with an MBA from Queen’s School of Business. He has served in advancing technical and senior business leadership roles across a number of industries over 30 years including tenures at Hewlett Packard, ATCO, and Honeywell. For 8 years he owned and grew a regional plastics manufacturing and recycling business based in Calgary before divesting it in 2009. For the past decade, Bevan has served in a senior advisory and leadership role with Calgary-based private equity firm TOM Capital, providing direct leadership and supervision of many of the portfolio of businesses under the TOM umbrella. His focus is on helping companies navigate strategic planning and execution work, organizational effectiveness, cost-containment, and the development of financial and operational controls.

Ziyad Rahme

Vice President Investments, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

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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

Managing Director, New Energy Risk, California

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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

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

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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

Executive Director, GreenPAC

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.​