2018 Speakers

Susan Ancel

Director of Stormwater Strategies, EPCOR Water Services Inc.
Board Member, Canadian Water Network

Susan Ancel is the Director of Stormwater Strategies for EPCOR Water Services Inc.  This is a new role within EPCOR with a primary focus on the development of an integrated resource plan for stormwater management that considers capital and operational risk mitigation planning and builds 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 responsible for the planning, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of the water distribution and water metering systems for EPCOR in Edmonton.

Susheel Arora

Director of Wastewater and Stormwater Services
Halifax Water

Susheel Arora, MASc, PEng, is the Director of Wastewater and Stormwater services for Halifax Water, where he is responsible for the overall operations of wastewater collection, treatment and biosolids management. Susheel leads several strategic programs for Halifax Water, such as wet weather management, biosolids management, treatment plant optimization, operations maintenance management and national benchmarking. As a senior utility executive, Susheel also participates in several other utility initiatives such as integrated resource planning, IT master planning, rate making, asset management and capital planning.

Jean-François Barsoum

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

Jean-François Barsoum has 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, and gives dozen of presentations on those topics every year.

Cathy Bernardino Bailey

Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Cathy B. Bailey is Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works, a utility that serves high quality drinking water to over 1.1 million residents in the Greater Cincinnati region and employs 600 professionals. Greater Cincinnati Water Works 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.

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.

Julia Baird

Assistant Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University
Canada Research Chair, Human Dimension of Water Resources and Water Resilience

Julia Baird is an Assistant Professor at Brock University and a Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience. Her research is conducted in Canada, Europe and Australia, focused on resilience and the human side of water management and governance. Her specific research interests and expertise include the structure and function of water governance networks, perceptions and understanding of water resource systems, and understanding the social factors that enhance water stewardship and engagement. Julia also works with non-governmental organizations on projects dedicated to enhancing water-related information sharing and collaboration networks.

Craig Bonneville

Director, Edmonton Water Treatment Plants
EPCOR Water Services Inc.

As Director of the Edmonton water treatment plants for EPCOR, Craig Bonneville oversees the operations, maintenance, project management and engineering groups for Edmonton’s water treatment plants, reservoirs and pump stations. He is responsible for ensuring that the plants are effectively treating water to a potable water standard and that storage and pressures are maintained in the distribution. Craig’s group not only operates and maintains these facilities, but is also responsible for short- and long-term planning, engineering and the execution of capital projects to ensure that the system assets are reliable and up to standard.

Louise Bradette

Chief Resilience Officer
City of Montre

Louise Bradette is the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Montreal. She is also Head of the Civil Security Center and Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management. After more than 20 years of experience working at the City of Montreal, she understands the organizational culture inside and out. Her accomplishments and primary challenges include developing and maintaining a state of preparedness for Montreal, as well as risk communication, land-use planning and business continuity.

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. 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, including the deployment of 2 billion dollars in capital in the area of smart infrastructure.

Bernadette Conant

Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Water Network

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

Mike Darbyshire

General Manager
Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission

Mike Darbyshire has been the general manager of the Alberta Capital Regional Wastewater Commission (ACRWC) since 2007. He holds a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Alberta. Mike’s career has been focused on water and wastewater utility management in local government in British Columbia and Alberta.

Lou Di Gironimo

Interim Deputy City Manager
City of Toronto                                       

Lou Di Gironimo was recently appointed Interim Deputy City Manager, Cluster B, for the City of Toronto with 11 divisions under his leadership. He is responsible for corporate oversight and administrative governance of the cluster and coordination of the City’s collaborative efforts on major city-wide initiatives and projects.  His portfolio includes Water, Transportation, Solid Waste Management, Engineering and Construction Services, City Planning, Fire, Building, Emergency Management, Municipal Licensing & Standards, Capital Infrastructure Coordination as well as the Waterfront Secretariat.

Christopher Emery

Vice President, Digital Business Transformation
Rogers Communications Inc.                                 

As Vice President of Digital Channels at Rogers Communications Inc., Christopher Emery leads the efforts to transform, evolve and maintain the overarching digital strategy and portfolio for the enterprise business (B2B). He oversees commerce capability, digital sales operations, sales performance and production support. Christopher is the leader of a cross-functional team of direct and dotted line reports, including product management, UXD, analytics, self-serve engagement, sales and optimization.

Paul Evans

Deputy Minister
Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change                                

Paul Evans has served as Deputy Minister of the Environment and Climate Change since 2013, and has extensive experience within the Ontario Public Service in many senior leadership roles, including Assistant Deputy Minister of the Integrated Environmental Policy Division, and Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Programs Division.

Guy Félio

Senior Advisor, Asset Management Solutions & Infrastructure Resilience

Guy Félio, PhD, is a civil engineer with more than 35 years of experience as a university professor, researcher, consultant and policy advisor. At Stantec, he provides expertise and support in the areas of asset management and adaptation of the built environment to climate change. Recently Guy worked with Engineers Canada on climate change impacts to infrastructure, including application of the PIEVC Engineering Vulnerability Assessment Protocol, and was key in designing the Infrastructure Resilience Professional certification program.

Alicia Fraser

Vice President, Engineering, Capital and Support Services
Ontario Clean Water Agency

Alicia Fraser joined OCWA as the Vice President of Engineering, Capital and Support Services (VP, ECSS) in February of 2016, bringing with her more than 10 years of experience in consulting engineering, designing and project managing water and wastewater plants throughout Ontario. Prior to joining OCWA, Alicia worked for the City of Toronto, where she held progressively senior roles in the Engineering and Construction Services department, including leading a team responsible for capital delivery of sanitary and storm water management solutions associated with the Basement Flooding Protection Program. As VP, ECSS, Alicia is responsible for overseeing a wide variety of Agency programs, including project planning and delivery, capital solutions, innovation and technology, asset management, environmental compliance and health and safety. Alicia and her team work closely with Agency operations staff, providing technical expertise and support to OCWA’s operations and identifying opportunities to optimize the operation of client facilities, improve performance and reduce costs.

Andrew Grice

Andrew Grice

Director of Hamilton Water
Public Works Department, City of Hamilton

As the Director of Hamilton Water, Andrew Grice 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.

Sashen Guneretna

Managing Director

As managing director, Sashen Guneratna is responsible for leading PwC LLP’s Capital Projects and Infrastructure practice in Toronto. He is also responsible for the practice for the Ontario public sector and the Canadian private sector. Sashen has over 15 years of experience in structured and project finance.  Having led bid side and public side advisory mandates across a variety of sectors, Sashen has developed broad expertise on capital projects, with a particular focus on optimal and innovative financing. Using his extensive experience, Sashen has established a strong track record of working successfully with clients to guide projects through procurement and financial close.

Robert Haller

Executive Director
Canadian Water and Wastewater Association

Robert Haller is the Executive Director of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA), a role he took on after almost 20 years as a senior municipal administrator, with most of those years serving as a CAO for small and medium-sized communities.  He is a geographer first, with a BA from Carleton University, followed by a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario.

Ken Hutchison

Managing Director
Scottish Water International

As Managing Director at Scottish Water International, Ken’s prime focus is to export Scottish Water’s skills, experience and knowledge around the globe. Scottish Water International has secured contracts in Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, India and Oman. Ken’s previous role at Scottish Water was Director of Capital Investment, where he provided overall direction and leadership for the development and delivery of a customer‐focused, safe and efficient capital investment portfolio.

Jim Keech

President and Chief Executive Officer
Utilities Kingston and Kingston Hydro Corporation

Jim Keech is President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Utilities Kingston and Kingston Hydro Corporation since 2000. He has over 30 years of experience in a multi-utility environment that includes electric distribution, natural gas distribution, water/wastewater and fibre-optics. Jim is responsible for the management of Utilities Kingston and Kingston Hydro Corporation and also manages the City of Kingston’s Transportation and Infrastructure Group and participates as a member of the City of Kingston’s Corporate Management Team.

Wendy Kemp

Acting Director of Strategy and Innovation
Environmental Services Department, York Region

Wendy Kemp is currently the Acting Director of Strategy and Innovation, a relatively new branch created in Environmental Services department at York Region. Her mandate is to advance innovation and solution focused on business planning, policy, compliance and strategic initiatives to achieve department and corporate priorities. Wendy is an advocate of leading innovation through people, finding the talent within and creating opportunities to connect. Through these efforts, York Region has been recently been inducted as the first municipality in Canada to become part of the Leading Utilities of the World (LUOW), a growing network of the world’s most forward-thinking water and wastewater utilities.

Sakis Kotsantonis

Managing Partner
KKS Advisors

Sakis is the Managing Partner and co-founder of KKS Advisors, a consulting firm advising leading organizations on bold and effective strategies that pave the way to a sustainable society. As well as overseeing the implementation of the company’s global strategic plans, Sakis leads a team of advisors in London (UK) through consultancy projects for clients including large corporations, investors, foundations and non-profit organizations.

Bu Lam

Manager of Municipal Programs
Canadian Water Network

Bu joined Canadian Water Network in May 2015. He is responsible for the ongoing development, management and implementation of Canadian Water Network’s municipal water programs, including the Canadian Municipal Water Consortium. Bu oversees the development and management of research programs and activities that collectively support and advance solutions for managing, regulating and supporting municipal drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

Larina Lopez

Division Manager, Corporate Communications
Metro Vancouver Regional District

Larina Lopez is the Division Manager of Corporate Communications for Metro
Vancouver. As a member of the senior management team, she leads the organization’s award-winning behaviour change campaigns, including zero waste initiatives, regional food waste, general waste, water conservation, air quality, regional planning outreach and education, and source control issues such as grease and wipes. Prior to joining Metro Vancouver, Larina was the Senior Manager of Community Investment, Engagement and Education for BC Hydro.

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.

Theresa McClenaghan

Executive Director
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.

Stewart McDonough

Advisor, Strategy and Innovation
City of Guelph

Stewart has 15 years of experience in communications, marketing, strategy and innovation. At the City of Guelph, he has played a leading role in establishing the City’s improvement network, including Guelph’s civic accelerator. He is also working with the community to develop Guelph’s Community Plan. Stewart is a committed community builder, and has been involved in TEDx events, the City of Calgary’s civic engagement committee, running soccer nights for local children and Ontario’s first Crokicurl Tournaspiel.

Mohsen Mortada

President and CEO
Cole Engineering Group Ltd.

Mohsen Mortada is President and CEO of Cole Engineering Group Ltd. (COLE). He is responsible for strategy development and implementation, defining and reinforcing COLE’s culture, and engaging relationships with clients, partners, and industry leaders. Mohsen is internationally experienced, multilingual and has extensive global experience in planning, development, and implementation of large infrastructure programs.

Natalia Moudrak

Director, Infrastructure Adaptation Program
Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation

Natalia advances the development of guidelines and standards for building flood-resilient communities in Canada and advocates for the preservation of natural infrastructure as a key climate change adaptation solution. Prior to joining the Intact Centre, Natalia worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada in Risk Assurance Services. She holds a BA in Economics and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo.

Dhesigen Naidoo

Water Research Commission, South Africa

Dhesigen Naidoo is a leader, a scientist and an activist for social change. As CEO, he has led the Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa’s dedicated national water and sanitation Innovation, Research and Development Agency since 2011. Previously, he served in senior positions in the South African national government and South African universities having begun his career as a medical scientist in a specialized paediatric hospital.

Robb Ogilvie

Managing Partner
Ogilvie, Ogilvie & Company

Robb Ogilvie has 40 years of experience in designing, repairing and improving stakeholder engagement for public sector organizations. He has led engagement initiatives on the colour of margarine, increasing conservation reserves on Crown lands to 12%, amalgamation of the City of Toronto, and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan. He was the architect and provider of York Region’s constructive engagement program for the planning and construction of the York Durham Sanitary Sewer System (aka the “Big Pipe”).

Don Pearson

Canadian Water Network 

Don Pearson recently retired after five years as General Manager/Secretary-Treasurer of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, following more than seven years as General Manager of Conservation Ontario. During his tenure at Conservation Ontario, the Clean Water Act was proclaimed and the substantial work of preparing Source Protection Plans for nineteen regions was undertaken.  Before joining Conservation Ontario, Don spent two years as the first Chief Administrative Officer of the County of Perth, where he initiated the transformation and modernization of the County’s governance and administration.

John Presta

Director of Environmental Services
Regional Municipality of Durham – Works Department

John Presta is the Director of Environmental Services for the Regional Municipality of Durham. He is currently responsible for water supply and sanitary sewerage services for the Region of Durham, which includes 25 systems and a service population of over 610,000. The value of the water and sanitary sewerage assets is currently $8.4 billion. He is responsible for a current operating budget of $165 million and capital budget of $190 million. As the Director of the Environmental Services Branch, John has been on the senior management team for over 14 years and leads a branch staff of 330.

Mary Proc

Chief Marketing Officer

Mary Proc is the acting Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Metrolinx. Mary’s marketing team oversees the acquisition of new customers for GO, PRESTO and UP by developing innovative products, services and partnerships.  Her customer experience, research and analytics teams ensure that the “voice of the customer” and international best practices are at the centre of all that Metrolinx plans and delivers. Her business development group is focused on new ways to raise non-fare revenue to help reduce the public subsidy of transit in the future.

Nidal Qwasmi

IoT Solution Manager

Nidal Qwasmi joined IBM in 2014 and is currently working as an Internet of Things (IoT) solution manager. As IoT solution manager he works very closely with IBM clients to solve their business problems utilizing IoT and other related technologies. Recently, he has been involved in two main strategic partnerships inside IBM/GBS for smart city and natural resources industry. Nidal has more than 25 years of experience in the IT field. Before joining IBM he held a lecturing position at University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

Rob Renner

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.

Mark Servos

Mark Servos

Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Protection
University of Waterloo

Mark Servos is a world leading researcher in the area of environmental assessment and risk of trace contaminants, including pharmaceuticals and personal care products. He has participated in many national and international projects and panels, including the European Union’s sixth framework project on pharmaceuticals and the environment (ERAPharm) and the SETAC expert panel that examined the wastewater issue in Victoria, British Columbia.

Afreen Siddiqi

Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Associate Director, MIT Strategic Engineering Research Group 

Afreen Siddiqi is a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an Associate Director of the MIT Strategic Engineering Research Group. She is also a visiting scholar with the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

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.

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.

Jason Thistlethwaite

Assistant Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development
University of Waterloo

Jason Thistlethwaite is an Assistant Professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on climate change and flood risk governance with specific regards to the strategies and tools that property owners and local governments use to reduce economic vulnerability at the local level.  His current research is building data-driven 3D visualizations of flood risk in future climates to inform governments about effective risk management strategies. This research has been published in numerous academic and industry journals and is supported by government and private sector funding.

Arjan van Timmeren

Professor of Environmental Technology & Design, Department of Urbanism
Delft University of Technology

Arjan van Timmeren is a Professor at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, where he is the Chair of Environmental Technology & Design in the Department of Urbanism. He is also Scientific Director of the joint initiative by TU Delft, MIT (Boston) and the Wageningen Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions in Amsterdam.

Edgar Westerhof

National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency
Arcadis North America

Edgar Westerhof is the National Director for Flood Risk and Resiliency for Arcadis North America. He has 18 years of experience in integrated urban water management. Edgar has a deep understanding of urban and industrial flood proofing concepts, infrastructure planning and design, sustainable urban water management and waterfront development and international water management concepts. He led Arcadis’ participation in the international HUD Rebuild by Design competition, including the winning BIG U – Waterfront Resiliency Plan of Manhattan.

Jonathan Wilkinson

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Jonathan Wilkinson was elected Member of Parliament for North Vancouver on October 19th, 2015. Shortly thereafter he was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Prior to entering politics, Jonathan spent the previous 20 years in the clean technology sector, holding leadership positions with a number of companies dedicated to the development of green technologies. He was CEO of QuestAir Technologies and BioteQ Environmental Technologies and was Senior Vice President of Business Development with Nexterra. Previously,  Jonathan was employed at Bain & Company, a leading global management consultancy.

Patricia Wilson

Director of Water Works
City of Regina

Patricia Wilson is the director of the Water Works Department for the City of Regina. Pat leads 200 staff in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of sustainable water, wastewater and drainage services to the 220,000 residents and businesses in Regina, protecting public health and property. She is responsible for approximately $2 billion in infrastructure assets and $132 million of annual revenue.

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, 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. Halifax Water is a body corporate municipal utility, generating approximately 140 million dollars in annual revenue with assets of over $2 Billion.

Bev Yee

Deputy Minister, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
Board Member, Canadian Water Network

Bev Yee was appointed Deputy Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry on October 23, 2015. In this role, Bev is responsible for leading the department in support of the Minister. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s mission is to provide the framework and services necessary for Alberta’s agriculture, food and forestry sectors to maintain, build and expand domestic and international markets for our agriculture, agrifood and forestry products and services through a partnership approach with industry, strategic partners and key stakeholders. Among other things, this includes: promoting appropriate safe food production and processing practices throughout the supply chain; enabling the industry to innovate, create and capture value, and build competitive capacity by meeting consumer and public expectations around the environment; facilitating collaboration to enable resilient rural communities; and managing and protecting Alberta’s forest resources through effective and efficient wildfire management, sustainable forest management, and maintenance of the health of our forests.

Christine Zimmer

Senior Manager of Water and Climate Change Science
Credit Valley Conservation

Christine Zimmer is the Senior Manager of Water and Climate Change Science for Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), in Mississauga, Ontario. She is recognized as an industry expert in watershed management, green infrastructure and stormwater vulnerability analysis. For more than a decade, Christine has worked with private and public sector partners raising over $3.6 million to implement and monitor green infrastructure demonstration sites in southern Ontario.

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