2023 Water Canada Summit Speakers

Presenting Our 2023 Speakers!

We’re thrilled to introduce this year’s Water Canada Summit speakers! We’ve got an exciting lineup of engaging water talks on tap, featuring some of the most innovative and influential voices in the industry. To get a sneak peek of the water sector experts facilitating this year’s invite-only Downstream student and early career professionals event running concurrently to the Summit, click on the link below. 

Hon. Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services

The Honourable Patty Hajdu was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North in 2015. Appointed to cabinet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau immediately after the 2015 election, she has served as Minister of Status of Women, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Minister of Health, and is currently the Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario.

Highlights of her work in her cabinet roles include launching the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; the establishment of a National Strategy to End Gender Based Violence; the creation of legislation to protect federal workers from harassment and violence in the workplace, modernization of the Federal Labour Code, the establishment of pay equity legislation for federal workers; leading Canada’s efforts through the Covid-19 pandemic; and most recently, reaching an historic agreement-in principle for the compensation of Indigenous children harmed by the inequities in the child welfare system.

Before entering politics, Minister Hajdu was the Executive Director of Shelter House Thunder Bay, launching the SOS Street Outreach Service during her tenure and was the author of the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy. She also worked in public health and focused on drug policy, youth development, and homelessness.

Her core values centre around compassion, equity, and the conviction that Canada is stronger when everyone has a fair chance to succeed. She is known for her honest and direct advocacy on behalf of her constituents and stakeholders. Focused on improving opportunities,
strengthening relationships, and healing systemic issues at a grassroots level, Patty will tell you that each and every one of us has the power to make our communities stronger, fairer and kinder.

Hon. Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Terry Duguid was born and raised in Winnipeg. His early years were often spent at the curling rink with his four brothers, his mother Georgina, and his father, world champion curler Don Duguid. He grew up embracing Winnipeg’s diversity, meeting people from many cultures through his grandmother, a supervisor in a garment factory. His passion for the environment was ignited by his uncle John, a Manitoba Conservation Officer. Today, Terry is widely recognized for his life-long commitment to community building and environmental protection, having served in leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. He holds an Honours B.Sc. in Biology from Carleton University and a Master of Environmental Design (Environmental Science) from the University of Calgary.

Terry was elected as the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019. He is proud to serve this diverse riding, comprising people from over 100 countries of origin, and including significant Franco-Manitoban, Métis and First Nations communities. It is the most rapidly-growing electoral district in Manitoba and is home to the University of Manitoba.

In the 2015-2019 Parliament Terry served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality. He was also special advisor to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, for the Lake Winnipeg Basin Program. Currently he holds two Parliamentary Secretary positions – to the Minister for Economic Development and to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change. In the latter role, he is leading the government’s efforts to advance freshwater protection and management in Canada. Prior to his election as a Member of Parliament, Terry gained extensive experience in government, business and community service. 

Shawn Menard, City Councillor for Ward 17 Capital in Ottawa

Shawn Menard has a Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration with an undergrad in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Carleton University. He is the past president of the Alumni Association for the National Capital Region, the Carleton University Students Association and the Rideau River Residence Association. He sat on the institution’s Board of Governors and Senate.

His past experience includes being a senior staff person for Canada’s Big City Mayor’s Caucus and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Vice Chair of the City of Ottawa Pedestrian and Transit Advisory Committee, President of the Centretown Citizens’ Community Association, and previously working at the Department of Justice Canada as a federal public servant. Councillor Menard is the current chair of Ottawa Environment and Climate Change Committee. He also started a business working for cities and communities from across Canada to help facilitate their goals with the federal government. 

As a Councillor, serving constituents and ensuring the City is a compassionate, just, sustainable, and equity focussed government will be top of mind for Shawn.

Robert McGlashan, Swim for Change

As an elite open water swimmer who has crossed Lake Titicaca (Bolivia), the Straits of Magellan (Chile), Bonifacio Channel (Italy), the Alcatraz Island (USA), the Bay of Naples from Capri to Naples (Italy), and swam over 25 hours across Lake Geneva from Switzerland to France, Robert McGlashan knows a thing or two about the importance of water. 

Robert is the founder of Cold Crusade, board member of an environmental organization dedicated to cleaning up and protecting the Great Lakes, and an administrator of GLOW, an organization that supports the growing open water swimming community of Lake Ontario, who still finds time to be a lawyer focusing on civil litigation.

Robert Haller, CWWA

Robert Haller is the executive director of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, a role he took on after almost 20 years as a senior municipal administrator – most of those years serving as a CAO for small and medium-sized communities. Robert leads the CWWA as the national voice for water and wastewater in Ottawa and promotes collaboration between all the water organizations across Canada. Robert has served on a number of national roundtables representing the utility sector to the federal government.

Kalpna Solanki, Environmental Operators Certification Program

Kalpna Solanki is a leader with a passion for building high performance teams. Focusing on strategy, culture, and purpose, she believes that all organizations have the potential of going from ‘good’ to ‘great’.

Currently, she is President and CEO of the Environmental Operators Certification Program, Canada’s first water and wastewater facility classification, and Environmental Operator certification program.

Kalpna also has significant board experience and currently sits on two boards.

With a focus on her own well-being, in her spare time, you will find Kalpna diving somewhere warm, kayaking, cycling, or hiking with her three dogs, and on the slopes in the winter.

William Fernandes, City of Toronto

William is the Director of Water Treatment and Supply with the City of Toronto. He is responsible for the 4 water treatment plants, many reservoirs, pumping stations, elevated tanks, and all the water supply mains between them.

He has over 40 years of experience in Operations and Capital in both water and wastewater treatment.

Anna Scheili, WaterShed Monitoring

With a chemical engineering diploma and a Ph.D. in water management, Anna Scheili has a profile integrating the know-how from the fields of research, public and private sectors.

During her professional activities, she gained more than fifteen years of experience in the water sector with increased expertise in data acquisition, management, and exploitation.

She is currently a project manager at WaterShed Monitoring, a lecturer at Université de Montréal, and an adjunct professor at Laval University, and her interest is focused on developing decision-making tools.

Brad Griko, Clearflow

Brad Griko is the Vice President, of Sales and Marketing, for Clearflow.

Experience with all stages of Water Treatment Processes including, design, construction, and commissioning. Brad’s 30 years of experience is supported by a technical degree in Water and Wastewater treatment. His career has encompassed operations, field service, and business development for both municipalities and SMEs to large multinational corporations. 

Extensive knowledge of municipal water treatment processes, plant operations, collection, and distribution systems. Brad is an empathy-based listener with a keen interest in providing collaborative solutions.

Marianne Armstrong, National Research Council Canada 

As Initiative Lead for the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Climate Resilient Built Environment Initiative, Marianne Armstrong is the key driving force behind establishing and executing the national research program to increase the resilience of Canada’s infrastructure and buildings to climate change and extreme events. Since 2016, she has led the R&D vision in this area, directing and inspiring multi-disciplinary resources at the NRC and collaborators from over 170 different organizations to achieve critical progress and impacts in support of national policy on adaptation.

Marianne is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario, holds a MSc in Industrial Design from University of New South Wales, Sydney, and a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University.

Amirreza Sohrabi, Roshan Water™️ Solutions

Amir received his BSc degree from the University of Tehran, Iran. During his BSc program, Amir was involved in organizing three national and international symposiums, giving him the experience of team management, detailed planning and budgeting of events. Amir moved to Canada and joined the department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at University of Alberta to undertake an MSc in 2010.  He followed this with a PhD program during which he was determined to learn more in the area of water treatment, gain hands on experience, and led the development of a new water and wastewater treatment method based on the application of electrical plasma. This technology is capable of dealing with hazardous contaminants of a persistent nature including pharmaceutical contaminants.

After receiving his PhD in 2017 and before joining the Advanced Water Research Lab at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amirreza co-founded Roshan Water™️ Solutions, a startup company with the vision of assuring safe and clean water while protecting the environment. Today, as Roshan’s CEO, Amir is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the company, ensuring the fulfillment of the company’s mission, vision, and values, day to day operations as well as leading product development and field testing activities.

Aaron Atcheson, Miller Thomson LLP

Aaron Atcheson is a Partner with Miller Thomson LLP and is the Leader of the firm’s National Projects Group.

Aaron has been repeatedly recognized as a leading lawyer and expert in infrastructure, energy, environmental law and property development. He concentrates his practice on the development, acquisition, disposition and financing of energy and infrastructure facilities, across Canada and, with the assistance of local counsel, in the United States and internationally. Aaron represents parties on a broad range of transactions and projects in the alternative energy and advanced infrastructure sectors. Aaron has provided development, construction and financing advice on water and wastewater treatment projects, as well as associated wastewater resource recovery, energy-from-waste and waste heat recovery projects.

Melanie Debassige, Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation

Melanie Debassige, MBA, ICD.D is an Anishinabek Kwe from the M’Chigeeng First Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation.

Melanie was appointed to the Ontario Clean Water Agency Board of Directors in October 2013 where she serves as a Board Director and Chair of the First Nations Committee. In March 2018, she was appointed to the Board of Reconciliation Canada where she holds the position of Director/Treasurer. Melanie completed the Director’s Education Program at the Rotman School of Management and is a certified corporate director which complements her Master’s in Business Administration.  Melanie was recognized in 2015 by the Canadian Board Diversity Council in the Diversity 50 which is a list of highly-qualified board candidates.  In 2018, Melanie undertook the role as strategic advisor to the National Energy Board of Canada on Indigenous issues.  In August 2019, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canada Energy Regulator on August 22, 2023 she will take over the role of Vice Chair of the Board.  In 2019, she was recognized in Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100.  She also serves on the Ontario Provincial Sectoral Audit Committee, Community Services.  Most recently she was appointed in January 2023 to the Legal Aid Ontario Board of Directors.

Jason Clark, Insurance Bureau of Canada

Jason Clark is an Ottawa-based government relations and campaign strategist. He is national director, climate change advocacy at Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Prior to joining Insurance Bureau of Canada he was director of policy and government relations at Clean Prosperity and a senior consultant at Crestview Strategy, a leading Canadian public affairs firm. Previously, Clark managed one of the largest public engagement campaigns on climate change, energy, and sustainability in Great Britain.

Clark holds a master of arts degree in international studies and diplomacy with a specialization in global energy & climate change policy from SOAS University of London, and a bachelors degree in history from Western University. Clark serves on the board of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility.

Jessica Gordon, Indigenous Services Canada

Jessica is the Senior Director for the Housing and Infrastructure Service Reform Directorate at Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Her current work supports the transfer of care, control and management of housing and infrastructure to First Nations in the spirit of self-determination.

Jessica holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Ottawa, and has served most of her public service career in various sectors within Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Jessica has supported corporate roles within the departments as well as external facing roles engaging with communities.

Jessica has had the privilege to travel across the country in these various roles, to the Yukon, up the Mackenzie Valley, to the Prairies and the East Coast.  She feels strongly that it is a privilege to work in this space, having been included in dynamic spaces that would not have availed themselves in other roles. 

Jessica is a wife, daughter and mother to three kids.  Though she grew up in Toronto, she quite likes the convenience of the Ottawa area – nothing is more than 20 minutes away!

Curtis Bergeron

Curtis Bergeron, Indigenous Services Canada

Curtis started his career over 20 years ago, with Health Canada, where he grew his passion for supporting First Nation health. His experience has provided him with the ability to pursue the transfer of services and to continue assisting with capacity building within First Nation communities.

Currently, Curtis is the Director for the Strategic Water Management Directorate at Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Since 2021, he has been supporting First Nations in achieving reliable and sustainable public water and wastewater systems and strives to ensure First Nations have the resources needed to operate and maintain water systems that will provide access to safe drinking water on First Nations lands.

Prior to joining the Strategic Water Management team, Curtis was the Director for the Capacity, Infrastructure and Accountability Directorate, where he was an integral part in the successful creation of Indigenous Services Canada in 2017, as well as furthering the modernization of funding arrangements for Indigenous partners.

Curtis is also the father of two young boys who constantly remind him that nothing is impossible if you have the right attitude.

Carl Bodimeade, Hatch Infrastructure

Carl is a Senior Vice President with Hatch Infrastructure, based in Ontario, Canada. He has over 35 years of experience in project management, engineering, and planning for a wide range of projects in the water & wastewater, urban infrastructure, and brownfield development, and power sectors. From 2005 to 2016, Carl was Hatch’s Water & Wastewater Practice Leader for Canada.

From 2010 to 2017, Carl was the Chair of the Ontario Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, an umbrella grouping of five professional organizations (MEA, OGRA, OPWA, OWWA, and WEAO) working together to promote safe and sustainable infrastructure in Ontario. He is currently the Chair of the Canadian Water & Wastewater Association’s Utility Leadership Committee.

Carl is regularly invited to moderate and participate in expert panels on subjects such as infrastructure funding, the value of water, sustainability, and urban resiliency.

Donna Chiarelli

Donna Chiarelli, Natural Assets Initiative

Donna Chiarelli is a core team member of the Natural Assets Initiative, working on multiple projects to support communities across Canada to integrate natural asset management and nature-based solutions into their infrastructure management and service delivery. As the owner and principal of Planet A Consulting, Donna brings 25 years experience helping to build healthy, prosperous and resilient communities. Her primary focus is on strengthening decision making of local governments and the people they work with, related to asset management, environmental sustainability and climate action.  She is also an associate of the Climate Risk Institute, where she co-delivers a course on asset management and climate resiliency.

Previously, Donna worked for 15 years for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, where she managed and contributed to dynamic teams, including as a senior advisor for FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF) and manager of its capacity building programming. 

Early in her career, Donna coordinated the Canadian component of an international, multi-stakeholder training program for mid-career professionals called Leadership for Environment and Development, delivered through the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Donna is a lifelong advocate of women’s empowerment, global equality and environmental sustainability. She has been privileged to study or work with people from many countries and lived briefly in Kenya, India and the UK.

Hiran Sandanayake, City of Ottawa

Hiran Sandanayake, P.Eng., is the Manager of the Water Resources Planning and Engineering Branch, City of Ottawa. Hiran has degrees in Civil Engineering (Environmental Option) and Economics. Hiran’s role as a Manager in the Asset Management Service in the City of Ottawa includes leading technical experts that deal with risks of flood, fire, landslide, erosion, source water contamination, pollution, and drinking water system integrity while supporting growth, financial sustainability, and levels of service in the City of Ottawa. Hiran has recently overseen the very first Citywide Flood Risk Profile, an invention by City of Ottawa Water Resources Engineers and Ottawa’s first Stormwater Asset Management Plan. Hiran is also the Chair of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association’s (CWWA) National Committee on Climate Change.

Kala Pendakur, Standards Council of Canada

Kala Pendakur joined the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) in February 2018, and is currently the Acting Manager of the Infrastructure and Climate Change team, which focuses on how standards and related technical guidance can help communities in Canada address the impacts of climate change. In this role, she oversees work on how standards can help support climate adaptation and mitigation, including streams of work on net zero, plastics and circularity, and clean technology. Prior to this role, Kala worked as a Sector Specialist, leading the Northern Infrastructure Standardization Initiative within SCC, which focused on the development of northern infrastructure standards.

Before coming to SCC, Kala was a researcher with the Conference Board of Canada, within their Northern and Indigenous Policy team. In this role, she worked with several remote and northern communities to identify how climate change was impacting them, and what could be done at a local level to improve resilience. Kala holds a Masters in Economics with a focus on international development from McGill University.

Michael Keleman

Michael Keleman, InSinkErator

Michael Keleman serves as Manager of Environmental Engineering, Marketing & Business Development, for InSinkErator, the world’s leading manufacturer of food waste disposers. He is a 30-year wastewater treatment professional with certifications in water and wastewater treatment operations, with a BS in Environmental Health Science from Purdue University, and a MSEV from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He is also a Registered Environmental Health Specialist. Mr. Keleman currently oversees research projects and communications for InSinkErator.


Corinne Lynds, Actual Media

With more than two decades of experience leading B2B editorial teams and content strategy on the agency side, Corinne is passionate about humanizing highly technical stories across Actual Media’s print, digital, and experiential platforms. She is responsible for managing editorial and content operations across the infrastructure, water, and environment sectors. Corinne is a compulsive storyteller who knows how to engage business audiences.

Charles Goss

Charles Goss, WSP Canada Inc.

After completing his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, Charles Goss joined WSP Canada Inc. where he is now the Water Treatment Team Lead for the Prairies and Nunavut regions. During his academic and professional career, Charles has focused much of his work on improving drinking water conditions in northern communities across Canada.

Charles has been directly involved in a number of drinking water emergencies in north related to the impacts of climate change including the 2019 Iqaluit Water Shortage Emergency and the Cross Lake Water and Wastewater Emergency Plan in 2021.

Jen Smith

Jen Smith, Water Canada

Jen Smith is an experienced editor and writer, currently serving as the Editor of Water Canada. With a passion for environmental issues and an understanding of the water industry, Jen has played a vital role in shaping the publication’s evolving content and ensuring its continued relevance to readers. Jen is also one of the organizers of the Water Canada Summit, an annual event that brings together leaders and experts in the water industry to discuss and recognize innovation and excellence.

Before joining Water Canada, Jen worked as a magazine editor for an international environmental publication and as a freelance writer, covering a wide range of topics related to the environment, sustainability, and social justice. Jen also spent several years working in the public school system, focusing on empowering marginalized and at-risk youth through education and mentorship. Her commitment to social justice and equity continues to inform her work.

Carl Yates

Carl Yates, Atlantic First Nations Water Authority

Carl Yates has over 35 years of experience in the water utility profession having served as Project Engineer, Chief Engineer and General Manager of Halifax Water.  After retirement from Halifax Water in July 2019, he formed a consulting company, Yates Water Management, to promote and support sustainable water management.  

In June 2020, Mr. Yates was appointed interim Chief Executive Officer for the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority [AFNWA] which was formed to provide water and wastewater services to First Nations communities in the Atlantic region. The AFNWA represents an innovative approach for First Nations in their pursuit of self-determination and capacity development for sustainable water and wastewater service delivery.

Mr. Yates obtained a Bachelor of Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1984 and a Master of Applied Science from the Technical University of Nova Scotia [now Dalhousie University] in 1992. He previously served as Director of the Water Research Foundation [WRF] with roles as Chair of the Research Advisory Council and Focus Area Council, and Chair of Canada’s National Research Council InfraGuide Potable Water Committee.  He currently serves as the Chair of the Canadian Water Network and Director of Operators without Borders. 

Under his leadership, Halifax Water received the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Community Award in the water category in 2005 for innovation in water loss control, the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering, Excellence in Engineering Innovation Award in 2014 for advances in pressure management, WRF Outstanding Subscriber Award in 2018 for research contributions to the water industry, and the Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor Award for Engineering Excellence in 2019.

Mr. Yates received the AWWA George Warren Fuller Award in 2010 for exemplary leadership and contributions to the waterworks industry.  In 2019, he was awarded the Engineers Nova Scotia Sexton Gold Medal for exceptional achievements in engineering practice and contributions to society.  In 2021, Mr. Yates was awarded the AWWA Abel Wolman Award of Excellence in recognition of his career in the water profession that exemplifies vision, creativity, and professional performance. In January 2023, Mr. Yates received the 2022 federal Deputy Ministers’ Recognition Award in the category Collaboration and Partnerships as a member of the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority Team. 

Laniel Bateman

Laniel Bateman, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Laniel Bateman is the Director for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Policy at Environment and Climate Change Canada. She joined Environment Canada in 2003 and has worked on a broad range of files, primarily related to climate change and nature.
Prior to joining the Government of Canada, she worked for an environmental non-government organization and in the private sector in wetland remediation. Laniel holds an Environmental Science degree from the University of Guelph.

Chad Nelson 2

Chad Nelson, Infrastructure Canada

Since 2017 at Infrastructure Canada, Chad has led research, policy and program advances to address climate resilience and natural infrastructure; including its Climate Lens requirement, and creation of the Natural Infrastructure and the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Funds.  He oversees funding for the National Research Council and Standards Council of Canada related to preparing future climate resilient design values, tools, best practices, national guidelines and standards. He has also held posts at Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, and Health Canada.

He completed a M.A. in Planning from the School of Community and Regional Planning, and a B.A. in Environmental and Resource Studies from Trent University. He has worked in five provinces for municipal and provincial governments, and research institutes including the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Clean Air Strategic Alliance, and the former National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.

Patrick Costigan

Patrick Costigan, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

With 20 years of experience working with elected municipal, provincial, and federal government representatives across Canada, Patrick is contributing to the success of the FCM’s Programs Outreach team. He holds a Bachelor of Political Science from l’Université du Québec à Montréal and has an excellent understanding of the political and environmental landscape in Canada. As a Green Municipal Fund outreach Manager, Patrick and his team not only supports Canadian municipalities in the evaluation and implementation of innovative and sustainable development initiatives, but also connects municipalities and partners who are undertaking similar projects and facing shared challenges. Wanting to make an environmental difference for future generations, Patrick has decided to work with the level of government closest to citizens: municipalities.

James Manicom

James Manicom, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

James Manicom is the Director of Engagement, Partnering and Integrated Planning in the Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In this capacity he works with partners and stakeholders to advance the implementation of the modernized Fisheries Act and supports the delivery of the Aquatic Ecosystems Restoration Fund. In previous roles, he developed strategic and program policy advice on several files including the Ring of Fire, the Oceans Protection Plan, and cumulative effects. Prior to joining the public service, James pursued an academic career during which he published widely and had the opportunity to brief government officials from around the world on matters related to Chinese foreign policy and international maritime law.

Juno Garrah (2)

Juno Garrah, Natural Resources Canada

Juno Garrah is a policy analyst at the Canada Center for Mapping and Earth Observation. Trained in landscape ecology, she is interested in the application of large datasets to cartographic products that can inform policy and governance solutions that move communities towards their own visions of climate change adaptation. Juno holds a B.Sc. in Environment and an M.Sc. in Natural Resources Sciences from McGill University, where she focused on community stewardship projects in Ontario, Quebec, and New York. She is based on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe in the Lanark Highlands of Ontario.

Photo by: Stephen MacGillivray Photography & Video

Mark Gloutney, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Mark Gloutney is the National Director of Science, Education and Business Planning. Mark spent his formative years in and around wetlands along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, where he developed the passion for wetlands and wildlife. Mark received a B.Sc. from McGill and completed a Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996. After two years in environmental consulting Mark joined the DUC team in Atlantic Canada as senior biologist in 1998. Since joining DUC Mark has been involved with the delivery of conservation program and was the Director of Regional Operations for Eastern Canada and British Columbia until 2022. This included a strong focus on implementing and managing wetland restoration projects that impact water quality and quantity. Mark started his new executive position in April 2022 with a focus on leading and growing DUC’s science and education programs across Canada. One of the core areas of focus of DUC’s research team in on evaluating impacts of conservation actions on water quality and quantity.

Marie Hogan, Mitacs

Marie Hogan is Senior Business Development Advisor, Eastern Ontario with Mitacs. Mitacs is national not-for-profit funded by the Federal and Provincial governments that helps organizations identify opportunities to innovate; connects them to academic expertise from our universities & colleges; and co-funds collaborative research to drive Canada’s innovation talent development. Over the last 5 years with Mitacs in roles in both Atlantic Canada and Ontario, she has advised hundreds of start-ups, SMEs, municipalities, and community organizations in the development of their R&D, innovation, and talent pipelines through partnerships with Canada’s post-secondary institutions. Her expertise is in building multi-stakeholder collaborations to meet real-world challenges via Mitacs’ funding programs.

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Jonathan Grant, SENTRY Water Tech

Jon wants to make the world better by providing access to safe drinking water and wastewater. He leads commercial efforts at SENTRY. Jon has helped companies generate growth in in the water sector. He has an undergrad from Cincinnati and graduate degrees from LSE and Dundee.  

Angela Coleman, Conservation Ontario

Angela Coleman is the General Manager of Conservation Ontario. Conservation Ontario represents the interests of Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities. Angela brings enthusiasm, creativity, and a wide range of experience to the position of General Manager.

Before beginning her role at Conservation Ontario, Ms. Coleman was the Chief Administrative Officer of South Nation Conservation Authority. Ms. Coleman is also a director and volunteer with many community groups and associations.

Ms. Coleman graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa in 2009 and was admitted to the Bar of the Province of Ontario in 2010. She articled and practised law at a firm in Ottawa. Over the years, Ms. Coleman has served many roles related to communications and community engagement, real property, planning and land development. Angela teaches the Municipal Law Program for the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers in Ontario and speaks on a variety of municipal, property, and governance topics to a wide range of audiences.

Primaël-Marie Sodonon, IVÉO

Holder of a bachelor’s degree specializing in geography and urban planning from the University of Montreal and a master’s degree in innovation management from ÉTS, Primaël-Marie Sodonon worked at the Association des transports du Québec as a coordinator on several expert committees, notably on intelligent transport systems. During his tenure at Keolis Canada, Mr. Sodonon led several automated vehicle operational initiatives, including the autonomous shuttle pilot project in the city of Candiac in 2018. He also served as an advisor to the Urban Innovation Laboratory of the City of Montreal, where he notably built the Montreal strategy for adapting to automated mobility. Mr. Sodonon recently joined the IVÉO team as Director of Urban Labs in charge of innovation strategy and experimental projects carried out in the laboratory cities of the IVÉO network.

Emily Hines, Forum for Leadership on Water

Emily Lorra Hines is the Director for the Forum for Leadership on Water. She holds a Master of Water Science, Policy and Management from Oxford University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Public Policy with a focus in Aquatic Resources from St Francis Xavier University. Emily aims to incorporate communications and digital marketing strategy to emphasize/promote climate research and policy in unique and engaging ways. She has worked with numerous non-profits and youth groups in the water sector and have presented, spoken and/or moderated at COP, UNECE and high-level engagement sessions with the Federal government on water and climate.

Martin Carrier, SmartrekTechnologies

Martin is an entrepreneur at heart, but most of all, the father of four beautiful children, his greatest pride. He grew up in the region in a family of farmers who had innovation at heart. The values instilled in him in this environment (perseverance, effort, surpassing oneself, creativity, and patience) have paved the way for the entrepreneur he is today. His atypical path led him to start several agricultural and maple syrup businesses in Canada and the United States, as well as to start Smartrek Technologies with his partners. They are technology enthusiasts who he met during his studies in mechanical engineering.

Gemma Boag, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Gemma is Director, Water Policy in the Strategic Policy Branch at Environment and Climate Change Canada. She leads policy work on several Government of Canada freshwater mandate commitments.

Previously, Gemma worked at Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) as liaison between the Deputy Minister’s Office and the Minister’s Office, as well as in TBS-Economic Sector, where she led on environment files, particularly climate change. Gemma has also worked at the Federal Court and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Gemma holds an MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford, a JD from the University of Ottawa, and a BAH from Queen’s University. Alongside her academic studies, she learned a lot from interning and volunteering with water-related organizations.

Patricia Gomez, Clean Nature

Patricia Gomez holds a master’s degree in water science from the INRS (Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique) as well as a bachelor’s degree in microbiology. Over the course of her career, she has accumulated a diverse background including watershed management, hydrological and hydraulic modelling, regulatory compliance, and development and deployment of new technologies in water management. Throughout her professional career, she has had the opportunity to interact with both the public and private sectors. She has worked as a technical director at NEXT Stormwater Solutions for the past five years. At present, she is working as a Senior Project Manager for the CTEAU (Center of Water Technologies). She is also one of the co-founders of Clean Nature, an AI-based decision tool that optimizes road salt spreading operations while reducing at-source salt-road pollution and winter operation costs. Passionate about the environment and sustainable development, she is eager to develop new ways to deal with water and environmental concerns.

Vincent Loiselle, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Vincent Loiselle is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Climate Change Adaptation Directorate at Environment and Climate Change Canada. Vincent has worked on a broad range of files related to the development of Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy. He previously worked with various countries on the Global Commission on Adaptation. Vincent also served as a senior environmental policy analyst on key federal initiatives, such as the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the Defence Energy and Environment Strategy. Vincent holds a Masters of Environment from University of Sherbrooke and a Masters in Environmental Ethics (philosophy) from Université Laval.

Jennifer Court, GHD

Jennifer is GHD’s Green Infrastructure Lead for North America. Through her work she aims to promote and support greater green infrastructure implementation, and to support clients in realizing the full benefits and recognizing the value of green infrastructure assets. Her work is rooted in seeing green infrastructure assets as critical infrastructure assets that should be recognized and managed as such, which drives her focus on green infrastructure asset management.

Caleb Behn, Assembly of First Nations

Caleb Behn is Eh-Cho Dene and Dunne-Za from the Treaty No. 8 territory of northeastern British Columbia.  He is a graduate of the University of Victoria Law Program (Specialization in Environmental Law and Sustainability) and was called to the BC Bar in 2015.  Caleb’s work has focused on the intersection of water, energy and indigenous law.  A former ‘lands manager’ for the West Moberly First Nations and Saulteau First Nations and a Senior Researcher at the Centre for International Governance Innovation Caleb was also a founding member of the Decolonizing Water Research Collective and the subject of the documentary film ‘Fractured Land’.  

Caleb now resides in his mother’s home community, the West Moberly First Nations.  Formerly he was based in Ottawa where he was the Special Advisor on Water to the Assembly of First Nation and then Legal Policy Advisor to National Chief Perry Bellegarde.  He is now the Director of Rights in the Rights and Justice Branch at the Assembly of First Nations.  

In his spare time Caleb cares for Elders in his home community where he continues to hunt, fish and garden in his home territory and undertake projects related to indigenous law and technology, most recently with the Berkman-Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. 

Dominique Monchamp

Dominique Monchamp, De Gaspé Beaubien Foundation

With over 30 years of solid experience in management and organization, Dominique Monchamp has been part of the de Gaspé Beaubien family for almost 24 years. Wholeheartedly dedicated to the growth of the Foundation, she plays a key role in implementing the family’s projects.

Recruited by Nan-B and Philippe de Gaspé Beaubien II in 1999, Dominique has been the Director of Operations for the family’s personal projects.In 2009, she became the Executive Director of the de Gaspé de Beaubien Foundation.

Before joining the ranks of the de Gaspé Beaubien family, Dominique served as Program Director at several non-profit organizations, including the Montreal YWCA and l’Université du Québec in Montreal.

Dominique guided and supervised the Gaspé Beaubien family’s work on water conservation. She was actively involved in the founding of AquaAction and has been the Senior Advisor of AquaAction since 2019.


George Nakhla, University of Western Ontario

Dr. Nakhla is the Endowed Salamander Chair of Environmental Engineering at Western University. Through his pioneering work both in academia and consulting in the past 30 years, he has established himself as an internationally recognized expert in wastewater treatment and resource recovery. His original work has helped transform the wastewater industry in Ontario. His leadership in developing the first full-scale wastewater research facility in Canada significantly strengthened Canada’s position as a key player in the development of wastewater treatment technologies. Dr. Nakhla has also made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession through implementation of innovative wastewater and biosolids technologies and creative engineering process design, his infectious passion for applied research tackling practical challenges, and tireless dedication to developing the next generation of great young engineers. With 9 patents and over 500 research papers and reports that have been highly influential and widely cited as evidenced by Dr. Nakhla’s appearance in the top 1% most cited engineering professors in the world published by Stanford U. and Elsevier, the impact of Dr. Nakhla’s work reaches far beyond publications. Through strategic partnerships with technology providers, municipalities, and consultants, he plays an active role in the transformation of Ontario wastewater industry. Dr. Nakhla is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the membership of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, Fellowship of Engineers Canada, the 2008 Exemplary Biosolids Award, and the WEFTEC 2019 best paper award.

Geoffrey Milburn

Geoffrey Milburn, Axine Technologies

Geoff Milburn is Lead Engineer at Axine Water Technologies, responsible for process and mechanical design of commercial systems.

Axine utilizes its proprietary electrochemical oxidation technologies to remove the toughest organic contaminants, providing wastewater-as-a-service to pharmaceutical and semiconductor manufacturers.

Geoff has a B.A.Sc. from the University of Waterloo and a M.A.Sc. from the Royal Military College of Canada.

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