Speaker Bios

Celine Bak

Céline Bak is a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation where she co-chairs the Climate Policy and Finance Task Force which brings together 84 scholars from 42 global think tanks, seven universities and four ENGOs to propose policies to the G20. She sits as an independent director at Emissions Reduction Alberta and Green Centre Canada. Céline chairs the Core Evaluation Team for Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program. She has worked in 25 countries and she has worked internationally for more than 30 years. Céline is also President of Analytica Advisors where she has authored and published seven national reports which have revealed that innovative clean technology firms in Canada provide a meaningful and measurable environmental and economic impact. In doing so, she has initiated an industrial transformation in Canada through $1.8 billion in investments in the 2017 federal budget.

John Boesel

John Boesel is the President and CEO of CALSTART, a national organization with more than 210 member companies that is dedicated to the growth of the clean transportation technology industry. Prior to joining CALSTART, John worked as a legislative aide, focusing on environmental and energy policy, in the California State Assembly. He staffed a bill that was signed into law making the oil companies strictly liable for all damages resulting from oil spills. John attended the Haas School at the University of California at Berkeley and received his Master’s degree of Business Administration. John received his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of California, Davis. John is a member of the Advisory Board of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University and a member of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies Advisory Board.

David Bressler

Dr. David Bressler is the Associate Dean of Research and Full Professor appointed within the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences where he studies the conversion of biomass to valuable materials, chemicals, and fuels. His general area of research is the industrial application of biological (fermentation and enzymatic processing), chemical, and thermal systems for the conversion of biomass into higher value materials, chemicals, and value-added commodities. His research program is unique in that it utilizes a multidisciplinary approach combining industrial microbiology, biotechnology, and analytical chemistry. Dr. Bressler is also the inventor and technology founder behind Forge Hydrocarbons, a novel thermochemical lipid-to-hydrocarbon based technology company, with internationally awarded patents, that has commenced building commercial facilities in Sombra Ontario.

Dave Collyer

Dave Collyer is an experienced strategic and operational leader in the Canadian energy sector, with a strong focus on integration of technical, economic and public policy considerations in business decision-making. Mr. Collyer was President and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) from September 2008 until December 2014.

Prior to joining CAPP, Dave Collyer was President and Country Chair for Shell in Canada. He also participated in a two-year Executive Exchange assignment with the federal government in Ottawa (1989 to 1991) as Director, Supply Branch at the National Energy Board.

Dave Collyer holds a BSc in Mineral Engineering specializing in Petroleum Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of Alberta.

Adam Crutchfield

Adam specializes in operations excellence, field operations transformation, operations due diligence and operational transformation in his current role at PwC Canada. Adam began his career at PwC in 2008 as a director in Consulting, where he helped lead the operations & supply chain practice, focusing on sustainable operations improvement. He then left PwC to become a partner at a global consulting firm, before returning to his current role at PwC in 2015.

Adam holds a BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and is a registered professional engineer (P.Eng) in Alberta.

Adam has operational experience managing deal integrations and providing performance improvement, business integration and cost optimization solutions tailored to the unique needs of his clients. He’s managed projects in industrial, utility and heavy municipal construction environments across Canada, the United States and Northern Europe, and has extensive experience working in the energy and transmission construction industries.

Darren Dunfield

Darren is a research technologist operating the microgrid test lab in the Centre for Grid Integration department at NAIT. Darren is a certified master electrician with over 15 years’ experience with electrical systems, contracting and management. Darren has layered onto his electrical expertise with a diploma from NAIT in Renewable Energy Technology. Familiar with a wide array of distributed energy generation, energy storage systems, electrical controls and safety, energy management, and energy modeling services, Darren brings expertise and experience to the lab to help bring product validation and microgrid use cases to a reality for industry and business.

John Elkington

John is a writer, thought-leader and business strategist, a serial entrepreneur and, at heart, an environmentalist. He is the Founder and Chief Pollinator at Volans, a certified B Corporation driving market-based solutions to the future’s greatest challenges.

John is also Honorary Chairman of SustainAbility, and sits on an A-Z of some 20 boards and advisory boards. He has written 19 books, and his latest is co-authored with Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of PUMA and now co-chair, with Sir Richard Branson, of The B Team. The book, entitled “The Breakthrough Challenge: 10 Ways to Connect Today’s Profits with Tomorrow’s Bottom Line” comes full circle from John’s 1997 “Cannibals with Forks”, where he first introduced the Triple Bottom Line concept.

Jeremy Gizen

Jeremy is currently responsible for the engineering, strategic planning and the implementation of new technology within MEG’s subsurface operations as well as leading MEG’s regulatory, environment and community relations groups.

Jeremy is a professional engineer, he holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological and Mathematic Sciences from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Science in Chemical engineering from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Calgary

Michelle Gurney

Michelle is a certified facilitator and faculty member at the Banff Centre’s Leadership Institute. She also runs a successful marketing and consulting firm, Shift Consulting Inc., also based in Banff, Alberta. Michelle brings more than 20 years of senior level communications and marketing expertise to every project. Her ability to identify audience insights through research, understand communication gaps, and apply proven strategic planning skills, has helped her develop innovative and integrated solutions that deliver solid results for clients.

Michelle has a degree in Communications, a diploma in Advertising and Public Relations, and accreditation as a professional communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators.

Karen Hamberg

Ms. Hamberg is a clean technology executive with nearly 20 years of global experience in the deployment of clean transportation technologies and the policy and regulatory frameworks required to advance market share. She is currently Vice-President, Sustainability and External Affairs at Westport Fuel Systems in Vancouver, British Columbia and has expertise in corporate strategy, competitive and market intelligence, environmental performance, regulatory affairs, sustainability, government relations, and external communications. Karen was the first non-U.S. resident, the first woman, and the youngest person to be named Chair of the Board of Directors of CALSTART in Pasadena, California, the nation’s largest non-profit, member-driven coalition accelerating the growth of a clean transportation technologies industry.

Daniel Hebert

In his current role, Daniel is excited to lead overall sales growth for BASF Canada, focused on but not limited to Western Canada.
Daniel stated his career for BASF Canada Inc in 2004. Since the start of his career, he has assumed various positions for BASF around the Globe. These roles have included Key Account Management, Senior Regional Manager for Biopolymers, Asia Pacific, National Sales Manager- Styrenic Co-Polymers. He has successfully driven public policy favourable to the use of BASF solutions and continually strives to promote BASF products which support sustainability and economic success for customers. Through genuine engagement, Daniel is committed to achieving long term, successful relationships with customers and with key industry stake holders.

Bryan Helfenbaum

Bryan Helfenbaum is the Executive Director of Advanced Hydrocarbons at Alberta Innovates, responsible for programs such as Recovery Technologies, Partial Upgrading, Digital Oilfield, and Bitumen Beyond Combustion.  Prior to joining AI, he spent 20 years in a wide variety of technical, business, and innovation roles in industry, most recently as Technology Manager at Devon Energy.  Bryan’s passion for innovation extends outside the office, where he teaches a course at the University of Calgary and has worked on innovative community residential development projects.  Bryan has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Waterloo and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a specialization in Global Energy Management & Sustainability, from the University of Calgary.

Mike Holmes

Celebrating 15 years on television, professional contractor,Mike Holmes has been Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor and was recently Toronto Sun Readers Choice Award for Best TV Personality in 2017. Throughout his career, his no nonsense approach and make it right attitude has struck a cord with television audiences and industry leaders world-wide.He has changed the way people think about their homes and the building industry for good. Now,with over 10 record-breaking, award wining series and specials under his belt he joins forces with his contractor son, Mike Jr. as they buy, renovate and sell properties, doing it the right way in the latest season of Holmes and Holmes.

David Kahane

David Kahane is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta in Canada. From 2010-2016 he led Alberta Climate Dialogue, an international project that convened citizens to deliberate on climate change and influence climate policy. He teaches and researches democratic theory and practice, especially as these relate to the design of collaborative citizen and stakeholder processes, and to questions of sustainability and systems change.

Harold Krenkel

Harold Krenkel is the manager of the Processing Technologies area at InnoTech Alberta and has been with the organization since 2003.  InnoTech Alberta is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alberta Innovates and is one of Canada’s premier applied research organizations working with clients from around the world to develop innovative solutions to complex challenges.  The organization’s multidisciplinary, cross-sector teams offer a diversified range of scientific, engineering and technological research and testing capabilities, and the facilities to support technology scale-up.

David Layzell

David Layzell works with innovative industry, governments and other academics to identify and deploy credible, compelling transition pathways that are capable of transforming Canada to a vibrant, low-carbon economy.

Before launching CESAR in 2013, Layzell was Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), at the University of Calgary (2008-12), and the Executive Director of BIOCAP Canada, a research foundation focused on biological solutions to climate change (1998-2008).

His research program uses analytical and modeling tools to explore how existing or new technology, business model, policy or social innovations could transform or disrupt the systems that Canadians use for societal provisioning. He identifies strategies to direct the disruptive forces to achieve societal goals, including, but not limited to, climate change mitigation. This approach has led to the launch of a pan-Canadian initiative focused on a hydrogen economy anchored by heavy duty freight transportation.  He is also part of the ERA-funded Alberta Zero Emissions Truck Electrification Collaboration (AZETEC) project.

Timo Makinen

Timo is a professional chemical engineer with over 30 years experience with many firms in the energy/environment/sustainable development space, including BC Hydro, BC Gas, BC Research, Shell Canada Oil Sands, and Royal Dutch Shell. Timo holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Toronto, an MBA and MRM degrees from Simon Fraser University. He is currently the Director of Operations with NISP Canada, a circular economy-based initiative aimed at repurposing waste as valuable resources in new applications.

Audrey Mascarenhas

Audrey Mascarenhas has worked in energy for over 35 years with Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. and Questor Technology Inc. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Calgary. She is a member of the Schulich Industry Engineering Advisory Council and currently chairs the Canadian federal government clean technology strategy table.  Audrey is a fellow of the Energy Futures Lab, co-chairs the Governor General’s Innovation Awards assessment committee and Questor was recently recognized by the Cleantech Innovation exchange (CIX) as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Cleantech Canadian Companies.

Clive Mather

Clive Mather is the Chairman of Iogen Corporation, the Canadian company that is a leading developer of cellulosic biofuel technology and biogas projects. He is also the Chairman of Shell’s Pension Funds in the UK and Chairman of Tearfund, the international Christian relief agency combating global poverty and injustice. He also works with NGO’s and governments on both sides of the Atlantic on energy and environmental issues. Clive was President & CEO of Shell Canada Limited from 2004 to 2007, presenting the business case for sustainable development through communications and example. He was a member of the Premier’s Council for Economic Strategy in Alberta from 2009 until 2012. An advocate of leadership for good and corporate social responsibility, he has held many public appointments in the UK and lectures on ethical and environmental issues around the world.

Marcia Nelson

Marcia Nelson is an Executive Fellow at the University of Calgary in the Canadian Centre for Leadership at the Haskayne School of Business, and the School of Public Policy. Previously, Marcia held several Alberta government deputy minister roles in Executive Council, Innovation and Advanced Education, Health, Infrastructure and Housing. She is a Member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), holds the ICD.D designation, and has served on a number of national, provincial and non-profit boards.  She received her Bachelor and Masters of Arts from McMaster University.

Tom Ogaranko

Tom Ogaranko leads transformational change with high performing teams focused on complex challenges. Over his 25-year career, he has founded, built and exited multiple technology companies in advanced technology industries. He has advised several provincial Governments, Canada, and France on innovation policy and has been involved in structuring the three crown agencies involved in research, innovation and technology development. Tom has a key role in the financial management and governance of the All West Bio-Industrial Park

Chris Olson

Chris Olson has a passion for bio-industrial technologies and, through the effective structuring of collaborative projects, has aligned these technologies with innovative, novel waste management solutions. Chris has a blended background in the social sciences and the alternative energy technology sector, which has allowed him to identify high quality solutions and organize these solutions into an integrated framework, exemplified by the All West Bio-Industrial Park. Chris has a pivotal role in the administration and operation of the All West Bio-Industrial Park.

Candice Paton

Candice is the Executive Director – Clean Technology at Alberta Innovates. She and her team partner with industry, academia and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development, demonstration and adoption of innovative cleantech solutions that will benefit Alberta; particularly with respect to our energy transition to a low carbon emissions future. Candice is passionate about energy technologies and the efforts required to move the needle on environmental performance. She holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering. She is registered as a Professional Engineer with APEGA and is a Fellow with the Energy Futures Lab.  She has recently been recognized as an honorary leading female innovator as part of the Alberta Chapter of SHEInnovates.

Erin Polka

Erin brings 15+ years of marketing, communications and website management experience to the CNA. Since joining the association in January 2014 as Communications Officer, she has spearheaded multiple initiatives to strengthen public relations and brand reputation. Prior to joining the CNA, Erin led a comprehensive marketing, communications and public relations program at iPerceptions as the firm’s Marketing Director. Erin holds a B.A. in Communications from Concordia University and received the DAA Award of Achievement in Digital Analytics from the University of British Columbia. She is the chair of the Eastern Ontario branch of Women in Nuclear (WiN) Canada and is on the WiN Canada board of directors. Erin is an innovative leader, a web enthusiast, and an award-winning author, with many print and digital publications to her name.

Erin Powell

Erin Powell is the Manager, Process Development, Mining and Energy Division, at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC). Erin holds multiple degrees including a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.  She leads a team of engineers and scientists providing RD&D and validation process related services across all sectors with foci on Energy and Mining. This includes SRC’s CeDER (Centre for the Demonstration of Emissions Reductions) program, and specialized areas in energy and mining such as partial oil upgrading, renewable fuels, energy and water optimization, ore commodities, and diamonds.

Geoffrey Tauvette

Geoff Tauvette is Director, Environment and Fuel at WestJet. Geoff is responsible for WestJet’s aviation fuel and biojet value chains, environmental sustainability and innovation strategies and climate-related risk management. Geoff is leading WestJet’s transition to low-carbon and sustainable air travel by advancing the use of biojet and integrating sustainable development and climate risk into business and risk management strategies. Geoff holds a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Civil Engineering from the University of Ottawa and a Masters in Civil Engineering from McGill University both specialized in environmental engineering. He is also a fellow of the Alberta Energy Futures Lab, a sustainability-driven, innovation-focused initiative with a vision to accelerating the transition to the energy system of Alberta’s future.

Ellen Tian

Ellen Tian, M.Sc., P.Eng., PMP, joined the City of Edmonton in 2007 and currently serves as the Director of Technical Services, Waste Services Branch. Prior to joining the City, she worked in the consulting and building industries in Edmonton and overseas. Her experience and expertise include effective leadership by building trust, customer service, operation and workforce management, strategic planning and budgeting, engineering, construction and project management. Ellen’s passion in maximizing efficiency and resource optimization with a caring heart has gained her a reputation of leadership with results. She has successfully led various business areas to establish new ways of doing business by forward thinking, collaboration and innovation.

Kevin Uebelein

Kevin Uebelein joined the Alberta Investment Management Corporation as Chief Executive Officer in January 2015. AIMCo is responsible for managing over $115 billion of pension and endowment assets.

Prior to joining AIMCo, Kevin was President and Chief Executive Officer of Pyramis Global Advisors, the institutionally-focused asset management unit of Fidelity Investments, holding assets in excess of USD 200 billion, and was also the Global Head of Investment Solutions at Fidelity Investments.  Previously, Kevin held a variety of positions with Prudential Financial Inc., including Head of Alternative Investments, and culminating as Chief Investment Officer for International operations.

Mr. Uebelein holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree from Harding University, and an MBA from Rice University.  He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), and holds the ICD Director designation. Kevin is on the board of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (“CCGG”) and is the Chairman of The AIMCo Foundation, which supports financial education.

Brian Vaasjo

Brian Vaasjo is the President and CEO of Capital Power and has been since the company’s initial public offering in July 2009. Under his leadership, Capital Power has become Alberta’s leading developer of new power generation and has successfully acquired and developed new renewable power projects in B.C., Ontario, and the United States.

Brian possesses over 35 years of industry experience, which includes time as Executive Vice President of EPCOR and as President of EPCOR’s Energy Division. He also was with the Enbridge Group of Companies for 19 years, during which time he played a substantial role in acquisitions, developments, and public offerings. Brian holds an MBA from the University of Alberta, where he also received his undergraduate degree. He attended the University of Western Ontario Executive Program and is a Fellow of the Society of the Chartered Professional Accountants.


John Zhou

John Zhou is the Vice President of Clean Energy at Alberta Innovates. In this role, John is responsible for Alberta’s strategic investment in oil and gas, clean technology, and environmental innovation. John earned his PhD from the University of Western Ontario, and served as an associate editor for Applied Geochemistry and Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology. He is a board member of the Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) and the Alberta Chamber of Resources (ACR).