2024 Speakers

Presenting Our 2024 Speakers!

We’re thrilled to introduce this year’s Circular Economy Showcase! We’ve got an exciting lineup of engaging talks, featuring some of the most innovative and influential voices in the industry.

Freek van Eijk

CEO, Holland Circular Hotspot

Freek van Eijk is CEO of Holland Circular Hotspot, a private-public platform that facilitates the transition to a circular economy at the international level by bringing together government authorities, knowledge institutes and especially businesses. HCH supports knowledge exchange with the aim to stimulate entrepreneurship in the field of circular economy.  

He is a member of the Coordination Group of the EU Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, and vice-chair of the Circular Biobased Delta. 

He is one of the more senior EU experts in the field of Waste Management and Circular Economy and has been described as a “mover and a shaker’.

Previously, he served for over a decade as Director of strategy and PA at multinational SUEZ and as a board member at the Dutch Waste Management Association, the Society and Enterprise Foundation and acted as a Sherpa of the EU Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials.

He is and MSc. Eng. (Delft University of Technology).

Steven Liss

Vice-President Research and Innovation, Toronto Metropolitan University

Steven N. Liss began his second term as Vice-President Research and Innovation at Toronto Metropolitan University in April, 2022. Liss is an accomplished academic leader advancing university education and research in key administrative and senior executive positions at TMU, University of Guelph and at Queen’s University. Trained as a microbiologist, with interests in environmental sciences and engineering, and water/wastewater management, he has made significant contributions in his research on microbial processes and structures in natural and engineered environmental systems.


Mary Mallin

Manager, EVents & Logistics, Plug’n Drive

Mary Mallin is the Manager of EVents and Logistics at Plug’n Drive, a non-profit organization that is accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles through education and outreach, to maximize the environmental and economic benefits that EVs can provide. 

Mary joined Plug’n Drive’s EV Ambassador team in 2018 after purchasing her electric car, where she provided EV education, test drives and delivered the Electric Vehicle (EV) Awareness Student Learning Program. Currently, Mary is the lead on organizing Plug’n Drive’s numerous EV test drive events across Ontario and beyond. 

Mary spent seven weeks, in 2021, taking the Mobile EV Education Trailer (MEET) to seven cities in Durham Ontario where it was overwhelmingly received. In 2022, Mary activated the MEET in New Brunswick for a tour of five cities to a great success. The 2023 season found Mary activating the MEET in two cities and participating in half of the 55 events delivered across Ontario.

Mary has 30 years of work experience in the education and IT fields. She holds a Bachelor of Administrative Studies from York University and Masters in Planning from the University of Toronto, where a course on Climate Change inspired her to make the switch to an electric car and to get involved with Plug’n Drive. 


Jamie Kneen

National Program Co-Lead, MiningWatch Canada


Andy Delisi

Vice President , Envirotech

Andy Delisi is the Vice President at Envirotech and has been at the forefront of pioneering sustainable workplaces aligned with WELL principles.

As one of the first WELL AP’s in Canada in 2016, Delisi has showcased his expertise in promoting wellness in the built environment. He was an esteemed member of the WELL Faculty from 2018 to 2021. As a FitWel Ambassador, he played a pivotal role in Canada’s inaugural FitWel project in 2017. Under his leadership, Envirotech became the preferred furniture provider for Canada’s debut FitWel-certified office, maintaining its reputation as a frontrunner in workplace sustainability and wellness. Delisi has penned four registered courses through IDCEC, focusing on topics like the WELL Building Standard, Smart Building Technology, and his latest on Workplace Circularity & Embodied Carbon in Interiors. He’s been a sought-after speaker at events like Seattle’s Healthy Worksite Summit, IIDEX Toronto, IFMA, Circular Economy Summit (2023), and the Unwired Worktech conference among many others.


Reinhold Rünker

Permanent Deputy Head of Economic Policy, Ministry of Economy, Industry, Climate Action and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia

Reinhold Rünker (*1964) Banker and historian, before he became a permanent deputy in the department of Economic Policy he served as Chief of Staff to several Ministers in North-Rhine Westphalia and Thuringia. Today one of his main tasks is to develop Circular Economy as a concept of industrial innovation and transformation, called “Zirkuläre Wertschöpfung” (circular added value). He was recently a speaker at the Handelsblatt conference on February 7, 2024 in Düsseldorf and the Bertelsmann Foundation, WWF and BDI conference on February 20, 2024 in Berlin.

Robert Raynor

Net-Zero Coordinator at TAS

Robert has a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto, focusing on life-cycle carbon analysis and housing. As Net-Zero Coordinator, he guides decarbonization efforts of TAS’s ground-up developments and long-term assets, including implementation of deconstruction measures, LCA calculations, and company-wide targets and approaches. He also heads TAS’s Circular Living Lab, an interdisciplinary classroom focused on furthering circular economy research and practice in Toronto. Robert is a member of the Toronto Circularity Network, and has presented on circularity and circular projects at the ACO’s Heritage & Housing symposium, moderated a panel for ULI’s Fall 2023 Meeting in Los Angeles, and lectured at the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo as well as Fanshaw College.


Mats van Kleef, CEM

Project Engineer, Enviro-Stewards

Mats has been with Enviro-Stewards for three years, which is a Best for the World classified B Corporation, recipient of Global Compact Canada’s SDG Goal award, and the only Canadian company to win a Global SDG award. Enviro-Stewards’ sustainability engineering work for Bimbo Canada, Maple Leaf Foods, Campbell Soup, Southbrook Winery, Andrew Peller, Maple Lodge, Dextran, North York General Hospital, 50 Food Processors, and Tim Hortons have each won national awards.

Mats is a Certified Energy Manager with a degree in Energy Engineering. He manages projects that reduce energy and water consumption, and minimize product loss. He also performs conceptual engineering design for process improvements. Through this work, he helps companies on their journey towards becoming carbon neutral while saving money. Mats is a course instructor for EMC’s Green Skills in Manufacturing.


Nora Schäfer

Deputy Head of Unit, Ministry of the Environment, Nature and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Since 2021, Nora Schäfer has acted as Deputy Head of Unit for Circular Economy and Efficiency Agency; Ministry of the Environment, Nature and Transport of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, where she has been responsible for the development of the circular economy strategy in NRW, development of funding programmes, establishment of networks (e.g. in the area of circular construction), circular electronics, and the development of the waste management industry. Nora was previously a Referent in the Unit for Sustainability in the Construction and Property Management at the NRW, where she assisted in circular construction, including the use of recycled building materials, reuse of building elements. Nora has a Master of Science for her studies in Energy and Building Systems from HBC Biberach (Biberach University of Applied Sciences).


Philip Lawlor

Manager, Treatment Plant Maintenance, Regional Municipality of Halton

Philip Anthony Lawlor is an experienced professional in maintenance and asset management with over 23 years of experience dedicated to private and public sector industries. He holds a Master’s Degree in Quality Management, a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Innovation Management, and a Specialist Diploma in Lean Systems. Additionally, he is a Certified Asset Management Professional (CAMP) and Assessor (CAMA).

Philip works fulltime as the Manager of Treatment Plant Maintenance at Halton Region, where he is part of a high-performing team responsible for the smooth operation and effective maintenance of water and wastewater treatment plant assets. With his leadership experience as Director of Maintenance and Reliability, Maintenance Management and other leadership positions, Philip brings a wealth of knowledge from a diverse array of industrial sectors across Europe and Canada, providing him with a comprehensive while practical understanding of maintenance, reliability, and asset management principles.

Philip‘s contributions in the field have earned him recognition from organizations like Engineers Ireland, MEETA, PEMAC Asset Management Association Canada, and others. His work has been acknowledged through awards and publications, which reflect his commitment to sharing best practices and acknowledging the collective efforts of teams.

In addition to his career achievements, Philip actively engages in volunteer work and initiatives aimed at enhancing maintenance, reliability, and asset management practices. Philip is a Board of Director member at PEMAC Asset Management Association of Canada and a part-time research Associate, Maintenance Management and reliability at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU). Philip understands that the effective implementation of Asset management practices is essential for the long-term sustainability of infrastructure and the well-being of communities relying on them. 


Dr. Esra Alp Coşkun (Ph.D.)

Visiting Scholar – Co-Founder of Circularity Matrix, Concordia University – Circularity Matrix

 Dr. Esra Alp Coşkun was conferred her Ph.D. in Economics/Behavioral Finance from Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey, in 2021. Throughout her doctoral studies, she was a research assistant within the Department of Banking and Finance at Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Turkey, from 2016 to 2017. Further enriching her academic experience, Dr. Coskun was a visiting scholar at the University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom, specifically in the Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics for the 2018-2019 academic cycle, focusing on her Ph.D. dissertation.

After obtaining her PhD, she engaged in postdoctoral research at Middle East Technical University, concentrating on projects that intersect Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning in finance. Dr. Coskun also imparted her knowledge as a guest lecturer at Baskent University and Ankara University for the 2022-2023 academic year, delivering lectures on Risk Management and Corporate Finance.

In the 2023-2024 academic year, she has taken up the role of Visiting Professor at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montréal, Canada. She is spearheading a Circular Economy Project, distinguished by a research grant from The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK). Her academic contributions have earned her a promotion to Associate Professor in Finance by Turkey’s Inter-University Council.

Dr Coskun‘s scholarly output encompasses a broad spectrum of economics and finance, including macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic development, circular economy and behavioural finance, with her works published in esteemed peer-reviewed journals such as Financial Innovation, International Journal of Finance and Economics, Research in International Business and Finance, Empirical Economics, and the Review of Behavioral Finance.

Beyond academia, Dr. Coskun has also accrued experience as an independent auditor and advisor in forex trading. She contributes as an independent author to the Science and Technic Popular Science Magazine, published monthly by TÜBITAK, where she has been demystifying the latest topics in science with accessible language since 2017. 


Peter Halsall

Chairperson, Purpose Building Inc.

Peter applies a variety of experiences in leading teams to deliver solutions for the performance of buildings to a broad range of clients. Peter has worked on a wide variety of building performance challenges, involving structural design, cladding engineering, building restoration, forensic analysis and sustainability strategy.
As President of the Halsall group of companies from 1995 to 2013, he led its growth to a 350-person, mission-driven team in three companies. This included establishing Halsall as a leading national sustainability resource for building owners and occupants. From 2013 to 2018 led the development of Solutions for a Low Carbon Future as a core area of work at the Canadian Urban Institute. In 2018, he co-founded Purpose Building with former leaders of the Halsall Green Building team.
Peter has been recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Canada Green Building Council (2016) and Sustainable Buildings Canada (2012) and the Anthony A. Woods Award of Excellence by the Ontario Building Envelope Council and has been inducted into the Engineering Alumni Hall of Distinction at the University of Toronto (2009).


Kushal Panchal

President and Co-Founder, Oligomaster Inc.

Kushal Panchal is a passionate and innovative start-up leader, and an informed mind in the areas  of the circular economy industry and sustainability. He is the president and co-founder of Oligomaster, an innovative-as-a-service start-up bridging the way to sustainable solutions in the industry.

Kushal studied at McMaster University, where he graduated with a

With his experience, Kushal can bring insights into Oligomaster’s initiatives for new recycling technology and bringing biodegradables to the market.

Andy Lennox

Warden of the County of Wellington, and Mayor of the Township of Wellington North

As the Warden of the County of Wellington, and the Mayor of the Township of Wellington North, Andy Lennox is a dedicated advocate for the community, working tirelessly to promote growth, prosperity, and quality of life for residents he proudly serves. Warden Lennox completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture (B.Sc. AGR) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Guelph and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his public service positions. Warden Lennox ensures that County and Township policies and initiatives include agricultural insights and strategic business acumen. Through collaborative leadership and innovative thinking, Warden Lennox is committed to addressing diverse needs County-wide, while fostering a thriving environment for residents, businesses, and stakeholders.

Cam Guthrie

Mayor of Guelph (2014 to Present)

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) Board of Mayors

Cam Guthrie was re-elected Mayor of Guelph in 2022, after serving two terms as Mayor from 2014 to 2022, and as a Councillor for Ward 4 from 2010 to 2014. 

He completed a 3-year term, serving as the Chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM), a group of 29 Mayors of cities with 100,000 people or more, who collectively represent 70 per cent of Ontario’s population, in December 2022. 

In March 2022, he was appointed to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) Board of Mayors, representing North America. 

Cam was a licensed insurance broker and local entrepreneur for 16 years before becoming Mayor. An avid community volunteer, Cam has served on the Boards of several local not-for-profit organizations and mentored startups and small business owners through the Business Centre of Guelph-Wellington. He holds a business diploma from Sir Sandford Fleming College.

An accomplished drummer, Cam has been a member of local bands, played on several studio recordings, and produced or co-produced several albums.

Cam’s roots in Guelph stretch back to 1919, when his great-grandfather founded Guthrie’s Bakery on Quebec Street in downtown Guelph.

Cameron Walsh

Division Manager of Solid Waste Resources, City of Guelph

Mr. Walsh is a Certified Engineering Technologist and Certified Facility Manager with over 29 years of experience in the environmental industry focusing on the optimization of water, wastewater, and solid waste utilities.

Mr. Wash has been with the City of Guelph for over 16 years and in that time has held positions including General Manager of Wastewater Services, Project Director with the CAO’s Office and for the past eight years has been supporting the City’s Solid Waste Resources Division as Division Manager.

As Division Manager, Mr. Walsh has championed circular economy principles and was a key proposal writer for the successful INFC Smart Cities award and was Chair of the Waste as a Resource Workstream as part of the Our Food Future Smart Cities initiative.

Jo-Anne St. Godard

Executive Director of Circular Innovation Council

Jo-Anne St. Godard has served as Executive Director of Circular Innovation Council (formerly Recycling Council of Ontario) since 2001. Her expertise focuses on the development of policies, programs, and practices that advance the circular economy, and drive positive environmental, economic, and social outcomes with market-based instruments. In doing so, Ms. St. Godard harnesses unique opportunities to facilitate relationships throughout supply and value chains that transition environmental obligations and interests into opportunities.

Andrew Telfer

Circular Innovation Council

Andrew is a veteran Canadian sustainability and circularity professional. He was the executive director of Smart Cities Office at City of Guelph. The office’s two circular economy initiatives were Our Food Future and Circular Opportunity Innovation Launchpad (COIL).

Prior to Guelph, Andrew was vice-president leading responsibility files, such as health and wellness, responsible sourcing, animal welfare and sustainability, for the Retail Council of Canada.

He was the inaugural sustainability manager for Walmart’s market in Canada for over a decade, where he planned and implemented environmental initiatives for both direct operations and supply chain. As a country lead, Andrew was a member of the company’s Global Sustainability Leaders Team – working on issue identification and strategy.

Before Walmart, he held various positions for both Nielsen Company of Canada and General Mills Canada.

Andrew is a sought-after public speaker on the topics of sustainability, circular economy and climate action – especially in the business context. He is a proud honouree of Canada’s Clean50, and holds a degree in geography from University of British Columbia (UBC).

Andrew interviewed about COIL | Our Food Future: https://sparxpg.com/make-the-world-better/mag/issue4/#page=40

Subject Matter Expertise
Circular economy; sustainability; corporate social responsibility; systems change; embedding circularity and sustainability across organizations and supply chains

Julia Grady

10C Shared Space

Working with long-term community benefit as her core purpose, Julia has led 10C through nearly 15 years of innovation, expanding into new project areas and providing a voice for valuable community content – and action.

Julia is passionate about connection, community building, placemaking and demonstrating the linked potential of social finance and social enterprise, as 10C continues to explore locally relevant changemaking projects.

Using design thinking practices, she likes to make connections between multiple problems that might align to possible solutions, and enjoys seeing systems in complex multi-layered ways.

On the personal side, Julia strives for authenticity and prefers deep open-hearted conversations. A confidante of many, she has an ability to help others find their strengths by embracing their unknowns. With decades of experience as an entrepreneur, Julia can assist with the fortitude and self-awareness necessary on an entrepreneurial journey. #tenacity

Julia loves anything to do with craft beer, coffee and maple syrup.

Justine Dainard

County of Wellington

Justine is the lead for the County of Wellington’s Regenerative Agriculture pilot. She is also an advocate for improved rural broadband connectivity. An Archaeologist and Librarian by training, Justine continues to be excited by the stories soil has to tell.

Katie Motta

Circular Innovation Council, Project Lead

Katie Motta, Project Lead at Circular Innovation Council, specializes in co-designing and implementing innovative, award-winning circular and inclusive solutions. With a focus on simplifying surplus food rescue and diverting food waste from businesses and institutions, Katie has led projects recognized as finalists in the Agrifood and Agriculture Canada Food Waste Reduction Challenge and as global winners in the Milan Urban Food Pact Awards.


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