Speakers

Shannon Abbott

Water Utility Manager
City of Calgary

Shannon Abbott has been with the City of Calgary for the last 15 years, where she has held various roles in environmental and safety policy development and strategic planning. She is currently Manager of Customer and Strategic Services with the city’s water utility, where she oversees strategic business planning, customer experience improvement, business continuity and emergency management, and learning and employee development support for the utility. In her role, she is also a key contributor to advancing innovation, strategic workforce planning and improving the employee experience across the water utility.

Susan Ancel

Susan Ancel

Director, One Water Planning
EPCOR Water Services Inc.

Susan Ancel is the Director of One Water Planning for EPCOR Water Services Inc., a new role that focuses on the development of strategic plans for the entire water cycle. Previously, she was Director of Stormwater Strategies and was responsible for the development of an Integrated Resource Plan for Stormwater Management that considered capital and operational risk mitigation planning, and built awareness of the interrelationships between utilities, insurance, disaster response agencies and the public in preparing and responding to changing stormwater risks in the community. Prior to taking on this role, Susan was the Director of Water Distribution and Transmission and was responsible for the planning, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of the water distribution and water metering systems for EPCOR in Edmonton. She’s also served on numerous industry committees, including the Board of Directors for the Geospatial Information Technology Association from 2001 to 2007. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Canadian Water Network.

Cathy Bernardino Bailey

Director
Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Cathy Bernardino Bailey is Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works, a utility that serves drinking water to over 1.1 million residents in the Greater Cincinnati region and employs 600 professionals. The utility has an annual operating budget of $80 million and has invested $487 million in capital improvements in the last 10 years, with a key focus each year on replacing 1% of water mains in the system. The utility is known for innovation and creativity in the water utility industry, and received a platinum award for utility excellence in 2011 from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies.

Christine Boyle

Director of Metering Insights
Xylem

Christine Boyle is the founder and CEO of Valor Water Analytics, now a Xylem company. Her work focuses on developing decision support software that achieves both resource and financial sustainability goals for water utilities. Christine received a doctorate in water resource planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011 and created Valor Water Analytics out of her thesis work at UNC. She is a trustee of the Cal-Nevada American Water Works Association and a water policy advisor for the World Bank.

Albert H. Cho

Albert Cho

Vice President and General Manager, Xylem Inc.

Albert Cho is Vice President and General Manager 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 Conant 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. Bernadette is Vice-Chair of the board of directors for the Global Water Research Coalition. She was appointed to a national expert panel on climate change adaptation by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. Bernadette also serves on the boards of Hydrogeologists without Borders and the Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network. Bernadette holds a Master of Science in hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo.

John Cuddihy

John Cuddihy

Director, Infrastructure and Environment
Infrastructure Canada

John Cuddihy leads Infrastructure Canada’s environmental policy team, bringing to bear deep expertise and experience across a broad spectrum of environmental issues, gained through a mix of private and public sector experience. He has spent the majority of his career wrestling with policy challenges at the interface of the environment and the economy and is a strong advocate for pragmatic, evidence-based solutions.

Michael Fenn

Senior Advisor
Strategy Corp

Michael Fenn has built an extensive career in public service. He was Deputy Minister under three Ontario premiers, Municipal Chief Administrator for the cities of Hamilton and Burlington, founding CEO of the Greater Toronto transportation authority Metrolinx, and CEO of the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network. He’s published reports and journal articles for think tanks, trade journals and industry organizations on the future of rural infrastructure in Ontario, water, wastewater and stormwater policy in Ontario, megatrends and the future of Canada’s infrastructure.

Andrew Grice

Andrew Grice

Director, Hamilton Water
Public Works Department, City of Hamilton

Andrew Grice is the Director of Hamilton Water and oversees the planning, capital and operational programs for the City’s water, wastewater and stormwater assets. Hamilton Water is responsible for an operating budget of $90 million, and has a team of 300 employees who support large capital programs with $10 billion worth of infrastructure providing essential services to the 535,000 residents in the City of Hamilton.

George Hawkins

George S. Hawkins

Founder and CEO, Moonshot LLC and Moonshot Missions

George Hawkins, Esq., launched his innovation-focused enterprise Moonshot Missions after stepping down as CEO of DC Water. He helps agencies adopt strategies to deliver better service at lower cost.

George transformed DC Water into an enterprise that embraced innovations from green infrastructure to a $500-million investment in clean energy and the sector’s first century and environmental impact bonds.

He currently serves on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, is an advisor to Xylem, Inc. and serves on the Board of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation and the U.S. Water Alliance.  George served as a Senior Lecturer at Princeton University for 18 years.

Tom Kuczynski

Thomas Kuczynski

Vice President of Information Technology, DC Water
Interim President, Blue Drop

Thomas Kuczynski is the Vice President of Information Technology for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) and the Interim President of Blue Drop. Tom joined DC Water in August 2013 and heads up an IT team of 60 individuals and a $20 million budget to develop applications that support all aspects of DC Water’s business. As Interim President of Blue Drop, Tom leads the team responsible for generating non-ratepayer revenue from various products and services, including Bloom, intellectual property and other non-traditional sources at DC Water.

Hervé Logé

Hervé Logé

Manager, Sustainable Water Management 
Water Services, City of Montreal

Hervé Logé is Manager of the Sustainable Water Management Division in Water Services at the City of Montréal, where he oversees the regulation of stormwater management and drinking water conservation within the city’s distribution network. The drinking water conservation program includes pressure regulation and metering, projects totalling $100 million and $50 million, respectively. Previously, Hervé developed and implemented the Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation program for Environmental Services at the City of Montréal. He also worked as an environmental consultant in the industrial sector for a number of years.

Indra Maharjan

Director, Innovation, Technology and Alternate Delivery
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.

Jim Miller

Chief Operating Officer
Utilities Kingston

Jim Miller is the Chief Operating Officer for Utilities Kingston, a unique multi-utility company combining water, wastewater, natural gas, electrical and fibre optic services in one organization with a mandate to manage, operate and maintain community infrastructure to deliver safe, reliable services and a personal customer experience. Jim joined Utilities Kingston in 2001 after eleven years in various roles within the municipal sector.

Cheryl Nelms

General Manager, Project Delivery
Metro Vancouver

Cheryl Nelms is the General Manager of Project Delivery for Metro Vancouver. She oversees a portfolio of major infrastructure projects worth over $6 billion for British Columbia’s most populated regional district, serving 21 municipalities, one electoral area and one Treaty First Nation. Previously, Cheryl was the Deputy General Manager of Engineering Services at the City of Vancouver, with 2,200 employees and $800 million in annual budgets.

Cathie O’Toole

General Manager
Halifax Water

Cathie O’Toole is the General Manager of Halifax Water. Previously, she was the utility’s Director of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer. Her career has spanned 20 years and included a number of senior leadership positions, including CFO and Director of Infrastructure and Asset Management for the City of Halifax. Cathie currently serves on the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation Board, the AWWA Finance Committee and chairs an investigative panel for the Chartered Accountants Association of Nova Scotia. She holds an undergraduate degree from Dalhousie University, MBA from Laurentian University, FCPA and FCGA designations, and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Geni Peters

Labour Market Information Manager
ECO Canada

Geni Peters is an economist with a PhD in economics from Texas A&M University. She is the Labour Market Information (LMI) Manager at ECO Canada and is responsible for the management, execution and delivery of environmental LMI projects. She works with a team of professionals comprised of staff, consultants, strategic advisors and subject matter experts.

Michèle Prévost

Professor, Civil, Geological & Mining Engineering
Polytechnique Montréal

Michèle Prevost has more than 25 years of experience in research and technology in the areas of drinking water treatment and distribution. She is an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Drinking Water at Polytechnique Montréal and founded the CREDEAU laboratory to advance water treatment technologies and processes. Recently, Michèle directed a major initiative to reduce lead in Canadians’ drinking water through a suite of laboratory, field and epidemiological studies. She is also leading a Canadian-based collaborative research project with water utilities on cyanobacteria and toxin treatment. In 2016, Michèle received the American Water Works Association’s A.P. Black Award for outstanding research contributions to water science and water supply over an appreciable period of time. She is the author of more than 300 publications and is widely recognized for her skill in producing high-quality research results and transferring them to research users.

Usha Rao-Monari

Senior Advisor
Blackstone Infrastructure Group

Usha Rao-Monari is a seasoned investment professional with almost 30 years of experience. She is currently a Senior Advisor to Blackstone’s Infrastructure Group and previously served as CEO of Global Water Development Partners, a Blackstone portfolio company. During her career, Usha held several senior positions at the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank. Her roles included Director – Sustainable Business Advisory Group, Global Head – Water and Environmental Group and Head – Utilities and Public Partnerships. Usha was instrumental in founding and establishing the 2030 Water Resources Group, a public-private partnership platform which is now part of the World Bank group.

Monica Silva

Acting Manager
Engineering & Transportation Services, Corporate Asset & Project Management
City of Guelph

Monica Silva is the Acting Manager for Corporate Asset and Project Management at the City of Guelph. After spending nearly a decade working in the asset management industry within various municipalities, Monica knows what truly drives asset management practices with regards to corporate asset management plans and policies, developing levels of service and capital budget prioritization. Some of her key strengths include stakeholder engagement, collaboration and using innovative approaches to accomplish various initiatives.

Craig Stewart

Vice President, Federal Affairs
Insurance Bureau of Canada

Craig Stewart leads national work on disaster resilience and climate change at the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) – the industry association representing the property and casualty insurance industry in Canada. IBC’s members employ over 122,000 Canadians and paid out $9.8 billion in property claims in 2016, primarily due to severe weather and wildfire.

David Szeptycki

David Szeptycki

Director, Strategy and Innovation
Environmental Services Department, York Region

David Szeptycki is the Director of Strategy and Innovation, and provides strategic policy advice on a broad range of issues within York Region’s environmental services department. He leads cross-functional teams that focus on regulatory compliance, continuous improvement, policy, energy conservation and leadership development. David oversees a number of innovation projects that include data analytics and water reuse. He regularly engages with the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks, neighbouring regional governments and local municipalities to advance municipal government priorities.

Carl Yates

President, Yates Water Management Inc.
Chair, Canadian Water Network

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 [Halifax Water] which assumed a regional mandate after the municipal amalgamation of the greater Halifax area in 1996. In 2007, Mr. Yates 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. After retirement from Halifax Water in July 2019, he formed his own consulting company to promote and support sustainable water management.

Bev Yee

Deputy Minister
Alberta Environment and Parks

Bev Yee was appointed Deputy Minister of Alberta Environment and Parks on September 18, 2018. She has spent more than 20 years with the Government of Alberta, most recently as Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Relations. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Much of Bev’s time with government has been dedicated to the Environment portfolio, where she was previously Assistant Deputy Minister of Integrated Resource Management Planning, as well as Alberta’s Stewardship Commissioner.

First Last

Job Title
Company

BIO TEXT 1

First Last

Job Title
Company

BIO TEXT 1

Jean-François Barsoum

Senior Managing Consultant, Smarter Cities
Water & Transportation, Innovation, Research & Development
IBM

Jean-François Barsoum has over 20 years of experience at IBM, and has been working on developing smart city concepts and understanding environmental impacts since 2000. His role is to communicate and popularize innovation, smart city and climate change concepts. He gives dozen of presentations on these topics every year.

Elena Bennett

CRC Chair in Sustainability Science
McGill University

Elena Bennett is a Professor and CRC (Tier 1) Chair in Sustainability Science at McGill University. Her work focuses on the interactions among ecosystem services and how we can manage these interactions for multifunctional working landscapes. She was the leader of the award-winning Montérégie Connection project that worked with stakeholders to understand the role of landscape connectivity in the provision of about a dozen ecosystem services and how those might change across a range of future scenarios. She is now the director of ResNet, a pan-Canadian network of researchers aiming to improve the way we monitor, model and govern ecosystem services for sustainable landscapes.

Kevin Cash

Director General, Water Science & Technology Directorate
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Kevin holds a PhD in biology, with a specialization in ecology, from the University of Calgary. He joined the federal government as a research scientist in 1998 and has spent most of his career within Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) regions. He is currently Director General of the Water Science and Technology Directorate within the science and technology branch of ECCC, which focuses on research and monitoring pertaining to water quality and aquatic health.

Sandra Cooke

Director, Municipal Consortium
Canadian Water Network

Sandra is the Director of the Municipal Consortium at Canadian Water Network, and is responsible for supporting and advancing the Consortium to ensure value and strategic advancement of municipal water management in Canada. Sandra came to CWN after 17 years as a watershed water manager with the Grand River Conservation Authority, where she implemented the watershed water management plan, chaired the Water Managers Working Group, led the Authority’s water quality program and championed the development of the watershed-wide wastewater optimization program. 

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. 

Kelly Gillis

Deputy Minister
Infrastructure and Communities (Canada)

Kelly Gillis was appointed Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Communities in September 2017. Prior to this appointment, Kelly served as Associate Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. In this role, Kelly worked with the Deputy Minister in supporting three Ministers for a large department with 5,000 staff. The department played a key role in developing Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda, which helped develop an economy that promotes clean growth, high-quality jobs and increased prosperity.

Sashen Guneratna

Managing Director of Investments
Canadian Infrastructure Bank

Sashen Guneratna is a Managing Director within the investments group at the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, where he assists the executive team with the organization’s investment strategy. Sashen has more than 20 years of banking and advisory experience encompassing several sectors and jurisdictions. Previously, he was a Partner in the Capital Projects and Infrastructure group at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, with a focus on water and wastewater, First Nations led projects, power and utilities. In 2013, Sashen worked for National Bank Financial as a financial advisor and underwriter of project finance transactions. He holds an MBA and BBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Christine Hill

Director, Water Facilities
COLE Engineering

Christine Hill is the Director of Water Facilities at COLE Engineering Group, where she is responsible for all aspects of COLE’s water and wastewater facility business. Over her career, she was worked exclusively in the water and wastewater consulting industry, leading projects for a wide range of Canadian and international governments. Much of her experience has focused on infrastructure and asset planning for consulting firms on a broad range of projects, from strategic planning through to detailed design and implementation. Over the past several years, she has focused on water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure and asset planning and has considered the combined impacts of population growth, aging and deteriorating infrastructure, climate change and urbanization.

Theresa McClenaghan

Executive Director and Counsel
Canadian Environmental Law Association

Theresa McClenaghan was appointed as the Executive Director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) in 2007. She holds an LLB from Western University and an LLM in constitutional law from Osgoode Hall Law School, as well as a diploma in environmental health from McMaster University. She was called to the Bars of Manitoba and Ontario. Focusing on environmental health and environmental safety in the areas of energy and water, Theresa has practised public interest environmental law for over twenty-five years in private practice and at CELA since 1998. From 2006 – 2007, Theresa was a Senior Water Policy Advisor to the Ontario Minister of the Environment, where she was responsible for overseeing the passage of the Clean Water Act and implementation of the remaining Walkerton Inquiry recommendations.

Robert Newell

Professor, School of Environment & Sustainability
Royal Roads University

Robert Newell is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment & Sustainability at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. He teaches courses on critical sustainability issues (particularly climate change and biodiversity loss) and approaches to sustainable community development. Robert’s research focuses on integrated planning, and he explores the use of systems models and visualizations as tools for supporting local planning and decision-making. Much of his work has looked at community climate action in an integrated planning context, and he has explored a number of different analyses and techniques for supporting local climate action efforts, such as decomposition analysis and mapping climate action co-benefits. Robert aims to create tools for facilitating more inclusive, collaborative approaches to planning, and his previous research involved using video game development software to build a realistic visualization to be used as a tool for participatory coastal planning and management.

Mark Servos

Mark R. Servos

Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Protection
University of Waterloo

Mark Servos is the Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Protection at the University of Waterloo, where his research and teaching program is related to the science underlying risk assessment and the management of emerging threats to water quality in watersheds. Mark previously worked as a research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 1988-1996) and as a Project Chief with Environment Canada (National Water Research Institute, 1996-2003) before joining the University of Waterloo as a Professor of Biology in 2003. He also served as Scientific Director of Canadian Water Network until 2011. He plays an active role in international scientific societies, serving as President of the International Association of Great Lakes Research and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). He is a SETAC Fellow and was recently recognized with the Stephen J. Klaine Environmental Education Award for his commitment to innovative interdisciplinary teaching.

Colleen Sklar

Executive Director
Winnipeg Metropolitan Region

Colleen Sklar is the Executive Director of the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region. She works with local leaders from across Manitoba in building opportunities for collaboration, creating new organizing principles and developing integrated regional responses in land use planning, infrastructure investment, economic development and water management and protection. Colleen also leads the Lake Friendly Initiative – a local government led engagement strategy aimed at protecting and preserving Manitoba’s freshwater resources.

Jimmy Zammar

Director, Integrated Strategy and Utility Planning
City of Vancouver

Jimmy Zammar is the Director of Integrated Strategy and Utility Planning in the engineering department at the City of Vancouver. He leads the integrated water resource planning group, One Water, which aims to integrate the city’s planning for water, sewer and drainage while incorporating climate adaptation, green infrastructure and data driven, multi-criteria decision-making to inform policy, programs, capital investments and land-use planning. Jimmy also leads the city’s innovative, low-carbon district heating utility, Neighbourhood Energy Utility, as well as the Engineering Project Management Office.