2019 Speakers

Gregory Baird

The Water Finance Research Foundation

Gregory Baird is President of The Water Finance Research Foundation and a financial management and infrastructure asset management specialist for municipalities and water and sewer districts. He is focused on helping governments and utilities improve the cost effectiveness of their operations and the affordability of water services through the use of technology and asset management practices. Greg is influencing the industry to require infrastructure asset management plans as a prerequisite to local, state and federal funding, as well as an analysis component for credit risk and public/private partnership evaluations.

Janice Beecher

Director, Institute of Public Utilities
Michigan State University

Janice Beecher was appointed Director of Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utilities in 2002, bringing more than 30 years of applied research experience to the position. Her areas of interest include regulatory principles, institutions, and governance and pricing, specializing in the water sector. Janice is a frequent author, lecturer and participant in professional forums and Editor of the journal Utilities Policy (Elsevier). She also co-authored the book, Risk Principles for Public Utility Regulators.

Rodney Bouchard

General Manager
Union Water Supply System

Rodney is currently the General Manager of Union Water Supply System (UWSS), which is a municipal water utility in southwestern Ontario that is jointly owned by the four municipalities of Essex, Kingsville, Lakeshore and Leamington. In this role, Rodney is responsible for directing UWSS’ day-to-day operations to ensure customers are provided with a safe and reliable drinking water supply. He is also responsible for developing UWSS’ annual and long-term operations and capital budgets and managing UWSS expenditures.

Andrew Burnham

Vice President and Global Practice Leader of Financial Services

Andrew Burnham is the Vice President and Global Practice Leader of Financial Services at Stantec. He has more than 18 years of experience in conducting and overseeing cost of service allocations, long-term financial planning analyses, affordability studies and the development of alternative rate structures for a variety of utility systems, including water, wastewater, reclaimed water and stormwater. Andy is recognized as an industry expert, and has provided testimony in utility rate-related regulatory proceedings in multiple states and territories. He has personally conducted and/or managed over 600 water resources utility rate and financial planning studies, and has supported utilities in the issuance of over $1 billion of financing for capital improvement funding in the past 5 years.

Vanessa Chau

Head of Asset Management Canada

Vanessa Chau is currently the head of Asset Management Canada for AMCL Ltd. She is responsible for business and client development, and program management project delivery for AMCL’s Canadian clients, as well as providing asset management expertise for various AMCL programs and projects worldwide.

Albert Cho

Vice President and General Manager
Advanced Infrastructure Analytics, Xylem

Albert Cho is Vice President and General Manager for Advanced Infrastructure Analytics at Xylem, a global water technology company with $4.7B in annual revenue. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s newest business, which focuses on intelligent infrastructure diagnostics and decision support services across water, wastewater and energy infrastructure. Previously, Albert led Xylem’s corporate and business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, market intelligence, and business development activities.

Bernadette Conant

Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Water Network

Bernadette is the Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Water Network and is a trusted broker of water knowledge. Together with her team, she works to improve the application of water research to decisions for water management. In 2009, she founded the Canadian Municipal Water Consortium, whose members collaborate on critical drinking water, wastewater and stormwater challenges. The Consortium includes leaders from progressive municipalities, as well as industry and academic partners.

Michael D’Andrea

Chief Engineer and Executive Director
Engineering and Construction Services, City of Toronto

Michael D’Andrea is Chief Engineer and Executive Director of Engineering and Construction Services for the City of Toronto, where he leads almost 600 professional and technical staff and is responsible for the design and construction of the City of Toronto’s municipal infrastructure, which is valued at almost $600 million annually.

Lou Di Gironimo

General Manager
Toronto Water                                 

Lou Di Gironimo is General Manager of Toronto Water, a division of the City of Toronto. Under his leadership, the 1,700 staff in Toronto Water focus on providing quality water services – supplying drinking water, treating wastewater and managing stormwater – essential for protecting public health, property and the environment.

Daryush Esmaili

Manager of Corporate Asset and Project Management
City of Guelph

Daryush Esmaili leads organization-wide asset management implementations to enable the best possible decisions which balance lifecycle costs, levels of service and risk management. His expertise includes maximizing value in utilities, transportation, facilities, parks and fleet services. Daryush holds a master’s degree, specializing in asset management, and actively contributes to the industry through the ISO Technical Committee 251 for Asset Management and AM Ontario.

Jay Famiglietti

Executive Director, Global Institute for Water Security
University of Saskatchewan

Jay Famiglietti is a professor of hydrology and the Executive Director of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, where he holds the Canada 150 Research Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing.  Before moving to USask, Famiglietti served as the Senior Water Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His research group uses satellites and develops advanced computer models to track how freshwater availability is changing around the globe.  A fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America, Famiglietti is a regular advisor to state, provincial and federal government officials on water security issues.

Steve Kaye

UK Water Industry Research

Steve Kaye is the CEO of UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR), an organization that delivers research to meet the short-, medium- and long-term challenges of the UK water industry. He is a chartered mechanical engineer and has worked in the water industry for over twenty-eight years. Steve also holds an MBA from City University and is a visiting professor at Imperial College in London (UK).

Adam Lovell

Executive Director
Water Services Association of Australia

Adam Lovell is the Executive Director at the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA). WSAA is the peak body for the urban water industry and its members provide urban water services to over 90% of Australia and New Zealand’s population. Adam provides national leadership in policy positions for the Australian urban water sector and facilitates collaboration within the water utility sector.

Indra Maharjan

Program Manager, Energy Conservation, Resource Recovery and Climate Change
Ontario Clean Water Agency

Indra Maharjan, P.Eng, CEM, CMVP, is a senior engineer with an extensive history in energy conservation, energy, and greenhouse gas efficiency projects. He currently leads Ontario Clean Water Agency’s energy conservation, climate change and resource recovery program. Indra has extensive knowledge of the electricity and gas market, as well as water and wastewater sectors, and is working with more than 220 municipalities across the province.

Erin Mahoney

Commissioner of Environmental Services
York Region

Erin Mahoney is Commissioner of Environmental Services for York Region, overseeing water and wastewater services, waste management, forestry, corporate asset management and corporate energy for 1.2 million residents and 28,000 businesses. Erin leads a team of over 400 staff in the Environmental Services department, which was inducted into the Leading Utilities of the World network in 2017. Erin is past Chair of the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario, and has over 25 years of public and private sector experience on projects involving water and wastewater treatment, waste management, environmental legislation, and public engagement. As an active member of the public works community she holds memberships with: American Water Works Association, Toronto Board of Trade, Canadian Water Network and American Public Works Association.

Matthew McCandless

Executive Director
International Institute for Sustainable Development – Experimental Lakes Area

IISD-ELA is a unique whole ecosystem research facility in Northwestern Ontario, and Matthew McCandless has been its executive director since the facility was transferred by the Government of Canada in 2014. Matt’s responsibility is to ensure that 50 years of monitoring and research continues without interruption at the world’s freshwater laboratory. This includes involves oversight of ecosystem research, administration, human resources and fundraising.

Sudhir Murthy

CEO, Newhub, Inc.

Sudhir Murthy is Chief Executive Officer of NEWhub, Inc., a cleantech company that specializes in managing technology and know-how for licensed distributors. He is a Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University, helping utilities and industries navigate their internal innovation and planning process. Sudhir is also Senior Vice-President of the International Water Association.

Sandra Odendahl

President and CEO
CMC Research Institutes

Sandra Odendahl is President and CEO of CMC Research Institutes (CMCRI), an environmental company that leads clients to develop innovative carbon management technologies and strategies for competitive advantage.  CMCRI facilitates the testing and scale-up of technologies that reduce carbon emissions from industrial sources, and is at the forefront of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), and greenhouse gas monitoring technology development in Canada.

Rob Renner

Former CEO (Retired)
The Water Research Foundation

Rob Renner is CEO of The Water Research Foundation, a non-profit organization officially formed in January 2018 through the merger of the Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) and Water Research Foundation (WRF). The Foundation is the leading water research organization with funding research, pilot projects, and technology demonstrations that maximize the value of all water, including wastewater, stormwater, drinking water, and recycled water.  With close to 1,200 subscriber members in the U.S. and abroad, the Foundation has funded and managed more than 1,400 projects valued at more than $700 million.

Dean Shiskowski

Vice President, Water Resource Recovery
Associated Engineering

Dr. Dean Shiskowski is the Vice President of Water Resource Recovery at Associated Engineering group of companies, providing technical expertise and project, staff development and business development support across all subsidiaries. He is a member of Associated Engineering’s corporate climate change task force and climate change advisory group, and for five years chaired its carbon neutral committee.

Nancy Stalker

Manager of Water Quality Services
The City of Calgary

As Manager of Water Quality Services at the City of Calgary, Nancy Stalker’s work focuses on regulatory affairs, laboratory services, environmental monitoring, community compliance and applied research partnerships. During her tenure at The City of Calgary, Nancy has served in several leadership roles, most recently as Acting Director of Water Services where she was responsible for the delivery of water, wastewater and drainage services.  This included the day-to-day operations and maintenance of two water treatment plants, drinking water distribution system, collection systems and three wastewater treatment plants that serve over 1.2 million people.

Sarah Thompson

Vice President, Sustainable Finance
RBC Capital Markets

Sarah Thompson is a business and sustainability professional with over 15 years of experience. She joined RBC in 2011 as the bank’s first full time Green IT Manager. In 2013, she moved to RBC’s Environmental Affairs team to oversee enterprise-wide operational footprint reduction initiatives. More recently, she worked with RBC’s business units to support the growth and development of environmentally sustainable and socially responsible financial products and services, with a focus on green bonds.

Kala Vairavamoorthy

Executive Director
International Water Association

Kala Vairavamoorthy is an internationally recognised water resource management expert with expertise in urban water issues. He combines a strong engineering background with international experience, and has published extensively. Kala has worked closely with the World Bank, UN-Habitat, UNESCO, Global Water Partnership, Stockholm International Water Institute and the European Union. This includes leading urban water management projects for the World Bank, African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank and Department for International Development (UK).

Mariëlle van der Zouwen

Manager, Knowledge Management Group
KWR (Netherlands)

Mariëlle is a member of the management team for the water research institute KWR and leads the knowledge management group. With the experts in the group, she gives shape to KWR’s motto ‘bridging science to practice,’ both nationally and internationally, and ranging from short-term to medium- and long-term perspectives on water sector and research challenges. This is done in applied research programs, learning alliances and initiatives, such as the joint water research program for Dutch and Flemish water utilities, the Dutch Water Sector Intelligence and the international, operationally-oriented platform Watershare. Co-production of programs and projects by both water managers and water researchers is key in these initiatives.

Suzanne van Drunick

National Program Director
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Suzanne van Drunick is the National Program Director for the United States Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources (SSWR) research program. The SSWR program uses an integrated systems approach to develop scientific and technological solutions to protect human health, and to protect and restore watershed and aquatic ecosystems. Research focuses on three areas: watersheds, nutrients and harmful algal blooms, and water treatment and water infrastructure (drinking water, wastewater, stormwater and water reuse).

Viviane Yargeau

Professor and Chair of Chemical Engineering
McGill University

Viviane Yargeau is a Professor and Chair of the department of chemical engineering at McGill University, as well as an Associate Member of the McGill School of Environment. She established the Controlling Contaminants of Concern (3Cs) laboratory, which is now internationally recognized for research on the fate and effects of contaminants in the environment, and in engineered systems and the monitoring of water quality. She has contributed to creating awareness about the presence and impact of trace contaminants in water and to the development of improved wastewater treatment technologies, such as ozonation, for the protection of our water resources.

Carl Yates

General Manager
Halifax Water

Carl Yates has extensive experience in the water utility profession, having served as Project Engineer, Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Halifax Water Commission from 1988 to 1996. In 1996, he was appointed General Manager of the Halifax Regional Water Commission, which assumed a regional mandate after the municipal amalgamation of the greater Halifax area in 1996. In 2007, Carl oversaw the formation of the first regulated water, wastewater and stormwater utility in Canada with the transfer of wastewater and stormwater assets from the Halifax Regional Municipality. Halifax Water is a body corporate municipal utility, generating approximately 140 million dollars in annual revenue with assets of over $2 Billion.

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