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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.

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Susan has also served on numerous industry committees, including the Board of Directors for the Geospatial Information Technology Association (GITA) from 2001 to 2007 and as President of GITA in 2006.  She currently is a member of the Board of Directors for Canadian Water Network.


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.

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Susheel is an active member of Engineers Nova Scotia and holds two master’s degrees; one in environmental engineering and the other in applied science. Susheel is also a graduate of the general management program from Harvard Business School.

Susheel has worked in water and wastewater for over 20 years, and is a member of the Water Environment Federation, American Water Works Association and International Water Association. He has participated in various committees and expert panels at a national level, including InfraGuide Best Practices for Wastewater Treatment Plant optimization.


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.

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In 2008, he was selected by Al Gore’s Climate Project to be trained by the Nobel peace laureate and become a climate leader. In 2011, he joined the board of directors of Mr. Gore’s “Climate Reality Project Canada”.  He regularly advises smart city startups for accelerators, during hackathons or pitch competitions, and is collaborating on large research collaborations with several Canadian universities.

He is also a director at Canadian Water Network, a member of the AQTr’s Smart Transportation experts’ committee, has advised the Canadian government on cleantech programs, and belongs to the transportation committee of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce.


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.

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In 1992, Ms. Bailey transitioned from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Greater Cincinnati Water Works as a chemist in the water quality and treatment division, working in the granular activated carbon facility. Ms. Bailey’s early days also involved working on special projects such as the lead and copper rule implementation team and executing new IT solutions within the laboratories and the division. Significant roles in the organization over the years have allowed Ms. Bailey to establish key IT service desk solutions, develop and implement multiple strategic business plans, establish performance metrics for work units, lead the water district research and development efforts, and streamline operations within the utilities during the joint utility era.

Ms. Bailey was named Director in September, 2015 and is the first female director of the water utility. In her short span as Director, she quickly led the utility out of the joint utility structure back into an independent water utility. She has implemented a robust lead testing and outreach program that helps residents, city facilities, schools, daycares and other key groups fully understand their water quality within their facilities.

She successfully led the way to City Council approval of a 15-year enhanced lead program to remove the remaining lead service lines in the water system. She also worked with City leaders to re-establish the appropriate capital program to properly maintain the water utility infrastructure, resulting in a newly established, $500 million 6-year capital plan. In addition to this, in an unprecedented vote for the City of Cincinnati, Ms. Bailey worked to restructure the debt, amend the budget and presented and received approval for multi-year rate increases (5 years) by City Council.

Ms. Bailey remains passionate about strategic planning, performance metrics and data analytics. She continues to serve as a national and local speaker on water issues, particularly strategic planning, employee engagement, optimizing operations and recently on lead issues and solutions in Cincinnati.

Ms. Bailey has a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. She lives in the City of Cincinnati with her husband, has two adult children, and is active in the public school system, her church and other organizations in the community.


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.

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Greg actively serves as Chair of the sustainable infrastructure committee with the American Water Works Association and is a member of the rates and charges and asset management committees. He is appointed to the American Public Works Association’s engineering & technology committee and is Chair of the underground infrastructure technology subcommittee. Greg participates as a member of the ISO 251 technical committee working on the integration of finance and infrastructure asset management. Greg is also Virginia Tech’s Sustainable Water Infrastructure Management education chair for their new online water asset management certificate training series and is also supporting the development of a U.S. GIS database of pipe inventory data, called PipeID. He is promoting the 2018 release of Utah State University’s “Water Main Break Rates In the USA and Canada: A Comprehensive Study” to increase awareness of the aging water infrastructure crisis and the need for lifecycle cost analysis and a national pipe inventory database.

Greg has served as a municipal finance officer in California and as the CFO of Colorado’s third largest municipal utility. He has worked for some top water engineering firms, including MWH (now Stantec) and GHD, in financial, asset management and affordability engagements. Greg is widely published on municipal utility infrastructure asset management and integrated finance issues for the U.S. and Canadian water and wastewater industry.


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.

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Julia received her doctoral degree from the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan. She also holds an MSc from the University of Saskatchewan and a BSc from the University of Alberta.


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.

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Craig has held numerous roles with EPCOR Water Services since joining the company in 2000, including six years as a Senior Manager of Operations in southern Alberta from 2008-2014 and three years dedicated to the $140M E.L. Smith WTP upgrade project from 2005-2008.

Craig obtained his MSc in Environmental Engineering in 2000 and BSc in Civil Engineering in 1998, both from the University of Alberta. He is registered as a professional engineer in Alberta.



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.

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Louise was educated at Université du Québec à Montréal in Administration and completed a Master in Public Administration at École nationale d’administration publique.


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.

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Before joining Xylem, Albert worked as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the State Department, where he was a White House Fellow and served on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff.  He has also been an executive at Cisco Systems, worked at McKinsey & Company, and served at the United Nations on a global plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Albert serves on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Water Alliance, the editorial advisory board of World Water, and on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Environment Technologies Trade Advisory Committee. He is also an Honorary Research Associate at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.


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.

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Bernadette serves as a director on the boards of the Global Water Research Coalition, Hydrogeologists without Borders and the Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network. She also sits on the Honorary Advisory Board for the Global Water Institute at Carleton University and is a member of the Water Partner Advisory Committee to the Water Stewardship Council of the Council of the Federation. Bernadette holds an MSc in Hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo.


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.

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At ACRWC, Mike leads a diverse team to deliver wastewater servicing to thirteen communities in the Edmonton metropolitan region. He helped develop the Edmonton Region Biosolids Strategy and sits on the advisory committee tasked to help implement the Province of Alberta’s Water Management Framework for the Industrial Heartland and Capital Region.

Mike is currently a member of the Canadian Municipal Water Consortium’s leadership group. Previously, he served as a board member of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association representing utility members from Alberta and is a past-president of the association.


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.

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From 2005 to 2018, Lou was the General Manager of Toronto Water a City of Toronto division with 1,700 staff providing quality water services – supplying drinking water, treating wastewater and managing stormwater – essential for protecting public health, property and the environment. The division serves 3.6 million residents and businesses in Toronto and portions of York and Peel, and has more than $28.2 billion in infrastructure.

Lou has a diverse background in both the private and public sectors at the municipal and provincial levels of government. Some of the organizations he has been associated with include the City of Hamilton, the Ontario Clean Water Agency and the Ontario Development Corporation. He has also worked for private engineering and land development companies. During his career, Lou has had extensive experience managing municipal infrastructure and urban development issues.


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.

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With over twenty-five years of progressive management experience in Canadian telecommunications, Christopher has a diverse professional background, with experience in sales and sales management, product marketing, product line management, market analysis, and strategic planning and analysis. He joined Rogers in March of 2015, following a 10-year tenure at Cisco Systems Canada Inc., where he served in a variety of senior sales management and strategic planning roles. His experience also includes eight years with Nortel Networks in product management and sales on both enterprise and service provider infrastructure, and prior to that, seven years with Bell Canada, in access network and customer systems engineering.

Christopher holds an executive MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University and a diploma in applied science from Loyalist College.


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.

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Paul has held numerous positions within the Ontario Public Service, including Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic Investment Relations in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Assistant Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Policy and Planning in the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal. He has also served in the Ministry of Transportation, Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Finance, Management Board Secretariat and the former Ministry of Skills Development.

Paul holds an honours bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto and a master of public administration from Dalhousie University. He has also completed the Ivey Executive program and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School program in Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies.



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.

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Previously, Guy led the urban infrastructure research group at the National Research Council, focusing on technological and management improvements for municipal infrastructure. He launched InfraGuide, a program that produced 55 best practices to support municipalities in managing their assets, and provided expert advice to federal infrastructure programs.

In addition to serving as an advisor to public agencies on infrastructure strategies and policies, Guy is very active on boards and committees of professional associations, and in knowledge transfer through university education and professional training.

Guy was the project coordinator and principal author for the first Canadian Infrastructure Report Card published in September 2012, and City Councillor in Clarence-Rockland, Ontario from 2010 to 2014. He holds a PhD from Texas A&M University.


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.

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At PwC, Sashen is responsible for the identification and initiation of transactions, including transactions in the water and wastewater sectors. He advises clients on the appropriate structuring of transactions, manages transactions from their early-stage teaming to financial close, and leads commercial discussions with clients and financiers.  Over the past 10 years, Sashen was part of a team that closed 25 transactions and raised more than $20+ billion in debt commitments.


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.

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Robert leads the CWWA as the national voice for water and wastewater in Ottawa and promotes collaboration between all the water organizations across Canada. He serves as a municipal adviser to the RBC Blue Water campaign and represents the utility sector to the federal government. Robert co-authored Public Attitudes 2015 as a starting point for public education plans around infrastructure.


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.

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Ken’s career spans 25 years in the water industry in Scotland in various senior management roles and has included design, construction, operations, and customer service. He’s led significant change projects which have transformed Scottish Water’s operational and capital efficiency and delivered significant customer value.

Ken is also Chairman of WaterAid (Scotland), an organisation dedicated to the provision of clean water and sanitation in the developing world.


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.

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Jim serves on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Municipal Water Association nd Plug’n Drive. He is a past Board Chair for the Electricity Distributors Association of Ontario and a past Board Member for the Municipal Electric Association Reciprocal Insurance Exchange. In 2014, Jim received an ICD.D designation from The Institute of Corporate Directors.

Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Queens University and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario.


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.

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Sakis is also a strategic advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation’s Revalue Ecosystems Initiative and a research partner to the Investor Water Hub of CERES, an investor network representing more than 80 institutional investors with over $19 trillion in assets under management. Prior to co-founding KKS, Sakis spent several years working for major consulting firms including Deloitte and IBM Global Business Services.

Sakis holds a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Imperial College London and an MSc in Mining Engineering and Metallurgy from the National Technical University of Athens.


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.

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Previously, Bu was the director of community infrastructure for the Department of Community and Government Services with the Government of Nunavut. He has an extensive and broad municipal background, including the initiation and delivery of municipal capital programs and community sustainability planning. He led the planning and implementation of water treatment and distribution systems and wastewater systems in Nunavut, and established research initiatives that have supported the ongoing refinement of northern wastewater standards.

Bu holds a PhD in environmental chemistry from the University of Toronto and an Honours Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from Bishop’s University.


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.

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Larina is a communications co-op graduate from Simon Fraser University, who started her career in public relations with Sport BC before accepting her first leadership role as the Director of Communications and Development for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Larina also worked in a number of public affairs positions (Vancity and Vancouver Hospital) before managing Western Canada Labatt Breweries Corporate Affairs Department.


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.

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Previous to joining WSAA in 2008, Adam was at Sydney Water for 11 years in leadership roles in the Science, Technology and Research area. Adam currently holds a number of non-executive Board member roles including: the Australian WaterSecure Innovation, the Global Water Research Coalition and the Water Environment and Research Foundation (USA).

Adam holds a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and a Masters of Environmental Engineering Science from the University of Sydney.


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.

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Focusing on environmental health and environmental safety in the areas of energy and water, Theresa has practised public interest environmental law for over twenty-five years in private practice and at CELA since 1998. From 2006 – 2007, Theresa was a senior water policy advisor to the Ontario Minister of the Environment, where she was responsible for overseeing the passage of the Clean Water Act and implementation of the remaining Walkerton Inquiry recommendations.

Theresa has represented clients at the Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court of Appeal and Trial Division, and the Ontario Court of Appeal. She was co-counsel representing Walkerton citizens in both phases of the Walkerton Inquiry, and has appeared on behalf of her clients at a variety of environmental, land use and energy tribunals. Theresa is also a co-author of the recently published 3-volume annotated Ontario Water Law.


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.

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Natalia is a recipient of the 2018 Canada’s Clean50 Emerging Leader award. She is also a member of the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association’s climate change committee, the National Research Council’s committee on flood resilience and represents Canada as a subject matter expert on stormwater management at the ISO international standards development committee.


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.

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He works with the fundamental belief that the removal of water as a development constraint and the restoration of human dignity through improved sanitation will positively change the future for billions in the developing world. He also has dedicated his and the efforts of the WRC, in local and global partnerships to achieve universal access to water and sanitation through knowledge solutions and innovation. The WRC itself operates under the banner of “Amandla Olwazi Kubantu” or “Power of knowledge to the People” as the means to empower a journey to global sustainable development and a better life for all.


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”).

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Robb is a staunch advocate for using every opportunity to connect with and involve stakeholders – especially opponents – in meaningful dialogue that gradually builds trust and long-term relationships. As a former Director of Standards and Programs in the Ontario Public Service, he uses his experience as a policy wonk, facilitator and trainer to get people with divergent viewpoints to sit down and reason together. Robb is a sociologist and facilitator by training and a “navigator on the galley of engagement” by experience.


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.

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From 1981 until 2003, Don served as the General Manager of the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, where under his leadership the Authority earned a reputation for excellence and innovation in environmental management, with particular emphasis on water quality, soil conservation and community programs.  With the support of both Conservation Authorities and the unanimous support of their member municipalities, the Thames was designated as a Canadian Heritage River in the year 2000.  Don also served as project manager for the proposed Glengowan Dam Environmental Assessment from 1978 to 1981.

Following graduation in 1975, Don joined the Ministry of Natural Resources as a Resources Manager in Training at the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority, and the Central Regional Office in Richmond Hill.  He then spent six months administering regulations for the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority.  In June of 1976, Don was appointed Resources Manager for the Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority, administering numerous erosion and flood control projects while implementing the first “Fill and Construction Regulations,” a challenging period for the Conservation Authority in municipal relations.

Don earned a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario in 1998, and holds an Honours science degree from the University of Waterloo (1975). He currently chairs the Boards of Canadian Water Network and Carolinian Canada. He served nine years on the Board of Ontario Heritage Trust; is a past member of the Ontario Biodiversity Council; and was a trustee with Trees Ontario, now Forests Ontario.


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.

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John has been a practicing professional engineer in consulting and municipal government for over 25 years in the field of municipal and water engineering. He is the President of the Water Environment Association of Ontario for 2017-2018. John is a fellow of Engineers Canada and has served as chair of the Professional Engineers of Ontario-Lake Ontario Chapter.


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.

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In her former role as Vice President of Customer Service Delivery, Mary developed the multi-year customer service strategy at GO Transit and oversaw 900 staff who supported GO Transit, Union-Pearson Express, and the PRESTO fare card system. She was responsible for all 66 rail stations, including Union Station.

Mary was previously Senior Director at CIBC for eight years. Prior to that, Mary worked with Canadian Airlines running the operations of their Toronto reservations office, and as an Assistant Deputy Minister in Cabinet Office and with the Ministry of Transportation.

Mary was the 2015 President of the Toronto Railway Club, a founding Director of Women in Transportation Seminar, and the founding Chair of the Customer Orientation Task Force for the Canadian Urban Transit Association. She also served on the advisory board of the Conference Board Council for Customer Experience. In 2015-16, Mary was named “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by Progressive Railroading Magazine and the North American-based League of Railway Industry Women. She has been published and is a frequent conference speaker.

Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in political science from McMaster University.


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).

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Nidal holds a PhD from UOIT in Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on IoT and Wireless Sensor Network.


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.

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Prior to joining WRF in 2005, Rob served as Executive Director of the International Society of Automation (ISA) and Deputy Executive Director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). He has more than 20 years of experience as a consultant optimizing water treatment plant performance. Rob holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in sanitary engineering from South Dakota State University and is a licensed professional engineer in both Colorado and Minnesota.


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.

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Dr. Servos and his group have been leaders in conducting detailed studies looking at the fate and effects of contaminants in wastewater effluents on responses in fish, from genes to communities. Their recent work has documented the recovery of fish in receiving environments in response to major infrastructure upgrades in wastewater plants discharging to Canadian rivers.


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.

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Afreen’s research expertise is at the intersection of technology, policy, and international development. She uses quantitative tools for complex socio-technical systems analysis that include investigating emerging critical linkages between water, energy and food security and infrastructure planning under uncertainty. She has developed approaches for formulating expectations of future water availability and strategic development and deployment of long-lived, capital-intensive systems. Alfreen’s research has appeared in leading engineering and policy journals. She has an SB in Mechanical Engineering, an SM in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a PhD in Aerospace Systems from MIT.


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.

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Nancy’s passion for public services and her commitment to employees and sound science supports excellence in serving customers and the overall success of the water utility.

Nancy holds a BSc in Ecology from the University of Calgary and an MA in Communications from the University of Alberta.  She has also been active with the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association and the Alberta Water Council.


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.

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Previous to his work with IBC, Craig directed the Ottawa Bureau and Arctic program for WWF Canada, handled pandemic liaison, trade liaison and humanitarian donations for GlaxoSmithKline (Canada) Ltd., directed a $60 million federal/provincial/territorial program at Natural Resources Canada to elevate the Canadian geospatial industry and founded the Miistakis Institute at the University of Calgary.

Craig holds a master of science from the University of Calgary, and a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Toronto. He is the author of two atlases on the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, British Columbia and Montana.


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.

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Over the years Arjen’s work has focused on the integration of sustainable development in architecture, urbanism and building technology in both practice and academia, with emphasis on green-blue systems, resilience, urban metabolism, the circular economy, smart cities and citizens. He recently authored, Under Pressure: Water and the City.


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.

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Edgar functions as the climate change adaptation specialist regarding integrated and multi-layered coastal waterfront and urban water management strategies. He bridges the understanding on water management between the Netherlands and the U.S. and plays a key role in the identification and implementation of local and international flood proofing expertise. As the Flood Risk and Resiliency Lead, Edgar is the Rockefeller Foundation 100RC participation lead for North America and involved in strategic initiatives regarding climate change adaptation and water resiliency concepts. Edgar functions as a press spokesperson in the U.S. and the Netherlands and is a frequent speaker at professional events regarding city resilience and sustainability.


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.

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Prior to joining Bain, Jonathan worked in public service as a constitutional negotiator, an advisor to a provincial Premier and as a federal-provincial relations specialist.

Jonathan holds an MA in International Relations from McGill University, an MA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University – where he attended as a Rhodes scholar – and a BA from the University of Saskatchewan.

Jonathan has been an active volunteer in his community, participating as a board member for several charitable and industry organisations including the United Way of the Lower Mainland, the B.C. Technology Industries Association, Fuel Cells Canada, the BC Power Technology Alliance, the BC Chapter of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association and the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation.

Many weekends Jonathan can be found on the field as a coach for the North Shore Girls Soccer Association. He lives in North Vancouver with his wife Tara and their two teenaged daughters.


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.

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Pat came to the utility from the finance department, where she was responsible for rates and billing as well as managing the city’s long-term utility financial model. She has successfully led numerous rate reviews, helping to place the city’s utility on a strong financial footing for the challenges of the future. Since coming to the Water Works Department, she has focused on leading the culture shift to data-driven prioritization and asset management.


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.

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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 is past Chair of the Focus Area Council of the Water Research Foundation, Vice Chair of the Canadian Water Network, and a member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Nova Scotia.


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.

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Prior to her appointment as Deputy Minister of agriculture and forestry, Bev has been with the Government of Alberta for over twenty years and joined Municipal Affairs in January of 2015. Previously, Bev spent the remainder of those twenty years in the Environment portfolio, where she was most recently assistant Deputy Minister of Integrated Resource Management Planning, as well as Alberta’s Stewardship Commissioner.

Before joining the Government of Alberta, Bev was a high school physics and biology teacher.


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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Christine is committed to sharing CVC’s leading-edge research and technologies, presenting at 37 international conferences, appearing in over 40 magazine, journal articles and scientific publications, and conducting 15 radio and television interviews. She authored a chapter in the 2012 Great Lakes Great Responsibilities textbook entitled “Lessons Learned from Implementing Low Impact Development in the Credit River Watershed”. She holds seven awards for achievements in watershed and stormwater management, including Ontario’s Minister of Environment Award for Environmental Excellence.

Prior to joining CVC, Christine was an Academic Advisor for the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph and Regional Sales Manager for Trojan Technologies Inc., a leading ultraviolet disinfection manufacturer.

Christine holds a Masters of Science in Engineering from the University of Guelph and is a licenced professional engineer in Ontario, Canada.


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