Smart Energy Speakers

We’re thrilled to share the following list of Smart Energy Speakers that will be presenting at the Smart Energy Event in 2017.

Each speaker is carefully selected from the industry’s most exciting and relevant professionals. Every Smart Energy Speaker will bring their wealth of experience and knowledge to the conference so that guests can learn in a fun and relaxed environment.

Amir Akbari

CEO- WEntech

 Session: Solar Bioenergy Renewables


Amir co-founded WEnTech in 2015 with a vision to help Waste-to-Energy industry to start more viable projects to support energy demand and solve waste management challenges around the world. WEnTech Solutions is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company specializing in the waste-to-energy sector. The company is built on the expertise of its co-founders in waste-to-energy projects and developing software products. WEnTech is computerizing the task of waste-to-energy project assessment with an innovative product called WEnTech Smart Analysis System, W-SAS™.

Scott Balfour

COO – Emera

Session: Keynote


Driver of growth and significant shareholder value creation in both operating (President) and financial (CFO) public company leadership roles. Key contributor in the strategy and growth of a $26 b energy company (Emera). Lead role in the strategy and execution of the US$10.4b pending acquisition of Teco Energy – one of Canada’s largest cross border M&A transactions, and including a $2.1b contingent equity financing – the 7th largest bought deal equity financing in Canadian history.

Drove robust growth and profit improvement within a mature, cyclical, highly competitive and capital intensive industry; leading an insolvent $63 million Ontario based road building company (Armbro) into a dominant $2.8 billion multi-divisional national contractor (Aecon). Led and participated in both organic and acquisition based growth programs, including 15 successful acquisitions and related integration efforts, of both large and small size, including three public company acquisitions (including one ‘hostile’ transaction). .

Built credibility centered relationships with capital markets and institutional investors. Built balance sheet strength and capital market interest from the ground up (Armbro/Aecon), and stepped into and materially enhanced the well established capital market following of a large cap issuer (Emera). Successfully executed on dozens of capital market financings, including numerous successful raises of each of; common equity, rate reset and fixed rate preferred equity, convertible debentures, private and public bond financings.

Patrick Brannon

Director of Major Projects for the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC)

Session: Municipalities Seeking Funding and Partners


Patrick is the Director of Major Projects for the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council and has been active in economic and business analysis for over 20 years.  Patrick overseas APEC’s annual capital investment forecast for Atlantic Canada and the associated events held in Atlantic Canada.

His areas of specialization include investment, labour markets, trade and industry analysis.  Patrick also plays a lead role in many of APEC’s other research projects and is a writer for APEC’s publications which gives him a strong understanding of the issues currently affecting the economy of Atlantic Canada.

Patrick is a frequent speaker on the issues important to Atlantic Canada and is passionate about the continued success of the region.  He attended Acadia University where he received degrees specializing in economics and finance and recently completed his Executive MBA at Saint Mary’s University.

Laney Brown

VP Grid Modernization Strategy- Modern Grid Partners

Session:  Microgrids, The Energy System of the Future


Modern Grid Partners is a utility consulting firm that provides business and technology expertise to our customer’s operations, projects, and future goals. Our team of professionals is comprised of engineers, business consultants and project managers, all with smart grid expertise. We are focused on increased operational performance and enhanced reliability by embracing smart grid solutions, and have supported customers around the world in bringing their vision to reality. Founded in 2015, Modern Grid Partners is headquartered in Portland, ME.

Greg Callman

Global Business Development- Tesla

Session: Keynote


Greg Callman leads Global Business Development and Market Entry for Tesla Energy Products. Greg developed Tesla’s first energy storage projects in North America and established Tesla’s energy storage business in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. He also developed Tesla’s Supercharger program in North America and Europe. Immediately before joining Tesla, Greg served at the U.S. Department of Energy, in the Office of the Secretary, and at ARPA-E, where he focused on commercializing advanced battery technology. Greg’s background includes entrepreneurial ventures, corporate development, and advisory work in emerging markets. Greg studied chemistry at the University of Virginia, and energy policy at Johns Hopkins, SAIS. He is based in California.’

Guillaume Couillard

Advisor- Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Session: Municipalities Seeking Funding and Partner
Website: FCM

Guillaume M.Sc., P.Geo., is an advisor for multiple programs at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). He is responsible for leading business development and marketing efforts for FCM programs across Canada. He leads the FCM effort to identify, attract and develop the best environmental municipal projects to help Canadian municipalities and their partners address their environmental concerns. Guillaume has worked for eight years within the field of contaminated site management within the private and public sector prior to joining the FCM. He holds a Master of Science in Marine Resource Management from the Université du Québec à Rimouski and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Waterloo. Guillaume sits on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Brownfield Network.

Chris Diduch

 Dean of Engineering- UNB

Session- Academic Research Creating Smart Energy


Chris  Diduch received his Ph.D. in the area of advanced controls and joined the University of New Brunswick as an Assistant Professor in 1986. Currently, he is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New Brunswick. He has also served as Associate Dean and as Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has taught a wide range of courses that include: electricity & magnetism, digital systems, embedded systems, real time systems, dynamic systems and control, and advanced controls.

His research has included investigations into islanding detection for distributed generators, control of power electronic converters, diagnostic modeling and monitoring, temperature control for injection molding, and computer control systems. The present research focus is the application of advanced estimation, detection and control theory in electric power systems particularly as it relates to renewable energy systems and aggregated load control.

Stephen Duff

CEO- Innovacorp

Session- Keynote- Moderator


Stephen (Steve) Duff is president and CEO of Innovacorp, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In this role, Steve oversees Innovacorp’s work to find, fund and foster innovative Nova Scotia start-ups that strive to change the world. Joining Innovacorp in April 2013, Steve arrived with 30 years of experience as a business and product development professional in the private sector. For the previous 25 years, Steve held senior roles at Precision BioLogic Inc., which develops, manufactures and markets innovative blood diagnostic products. The Dartmouth-based company grew significantly in recent years, and now markets its products throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

With Steve’s assistance since 1987, Precision BioLogic transformed from a struggling start-up with a modest market in Atlantic Canada, into a profitable, 60-plus employee company with internationally recognized products. Through his roles leading the company’s business development and product innovation, Steve was instrumental in establishing Precision BioLogic as a trusted partner with leading health care organizations and developing over 30 new products through the company’s research and development process. In his position as co-CEO in 2011 and 2012, he helped achieve double-digit sales growth and an award for being one of the best places to work in Canada.

Before joining Precision BioLogic, Steve worked for five years in sales and promotion with Organon Teknika Canada, a division of the Dutch diagnostics multinational Akzo.

Steve was an Innovacorp board member from 2005 to 2013 and an investment committee member from 2011 to 2013. He is a board member at Precision BioLogic and past-president of BioNova, the Nova Scotia life sciences industry association.

The New Brunswick native has a bachelor of science and an MBA from Dalhousie University, and in 2015 earned the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) at the Rotman School of Business.

Lauren Dunn

Marketing Manager- DSA

Session- Partnering on Tidal Technologies


Lauren is a lover of German Short Haired Pointers, wine and travel, in that order.  
From her very first job to today she has had a passion for marketing.  From footwear to IT start-ups, diamonds to ocean engineering she has developed her skills and knowledge working for industry leaders Sony Canada, Charm Diamonds, Radian6, SalesForce and now Dynamic Systems Analysis. 
While her leap into the field of ocean engineering was a big one, the challenges that came with it have been very rewarding. As DSA’s Marketing Manager Lauren is responsible for DSA’s brand management, marketing, corporate sponsorship, customer licensing and renewal programs. 
Lauren is a home grown success story who did not have to leave the province to find work. She is a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and she is also Certified Associate in Project Management.

Duncan Elliot

Canadian Manager- IFE Canada

Session: Wind’s Next Frontier


Originally from Sackville, New Brunswick, Duncan grew up in the centre of the Maritime provinces, where it always seemed that the energy of the wind could be put to better use than destroying a freshly raked pile of leaves. With over 5 years of experience working with community partners as the Commercial Manager for Atlantic Canada with Enercon, Duncan is now the Managing Director of IFE Canada: a Halifax based subsidiary of longstanding German renewable energy developer, IFE Eriksen.  In this role, Duncan hopes to build new partnerships to share the wealth that solar and wind energy can bring to developers, communities, and rate-payers alike.

Chuck Faulkner

Director of Efficiency Services- Efficiency NS

Session: Future of Efficiency


About 25 years ago, I decided to specialize in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. I felt that my focus on this field would maximize my contribution to the global climate change mitigation effort.Since making that decision, I’ve been involved in many facets of energy efficiency in all sectors. Retrofitting large facilities, optimizing retrofit savings, developing/managing utility programs and playing a part in catalyzing the rapid growth of the energy efficiency industry in Nova Scotia. Our province has evolved from having no energy efficiency mandate in 2007, to being among the North American leaders in energy savings since 2012.

Nova Scotia’s energy efficiency success story can happen everywhere. I encourage every policymaker, business owner and citizen to take the bold steps needed to create your own vibrant energy efficiency industry. It’s the best investment you can make; for energy security, the economy and the environment.

Andy Fillmore

Member of Parliament

Session: Showcasing Smart Municipal Projects
Website: MP- Halifax 


While serving in Parliament, Andy has been devoted to making Canada’s communities healthy and sustainable spaces in which to live, work, and play; supporting innovation; improving relations with Indigenous peoples​; and protecting the environment.In January 2016, Andy was elected Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. In May 2016, he introduced his first private member’s motion to the House of Commons, calling for greenhouse gas analyses of government infrastructure. In September 2016, the motion passed with strong multi-party support.

Prior to his election in 2015, Andy spent twenty years as urban planner and community builder in the private, public, and academic sectors. He is a founding member and former Vice President of the Canadian Council for Urbanism. As Halifax’s first Manager of Urban Design, Andy’s career has included initiatives like the new Halifax Central Library and “HRM by Design,” the downtown Halifax plan. His leadership on HRM by Design has seen development activity in downtown Halifax increase by over forty times. Andy also served as Director and Associate Professor at the Dalhousie University’s School of Planning.

Most recently, Andy was VP of Planning & Development at the Waterfront Development Corporation where he oversaw the ongoing development of Halifax’s mixed­-use waterfront, with a focus on increasing economic opportunity, enhancing tourism, and creating new public spaces in the city.He attended Acadia University and holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and Dalhousie University. Andy grew up in Halifax and lives in the city with his wife Sarah and their daughter, Daisy.

Wayne Groszko

Solar Nova Scotia

Session:Municipalities Seeking Funding and Partnerships
Website: Solar NS


Wayne Groszko is a consultant, researcher, and teacher in Energy Sustainability with 13 years of experience, currently working as a consultant on a study of the Atlantic Canada solar energy industry with Solar Nova Scotia. Wayne also works on community-based solar energy project development with the Ecology Action Centre and the Community Energy Co-op, and has taught at Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Community College, in the Faculties of Engineering, Environmental Science, and Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology. He holds a B.Sc. (Hon.) from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University.

Ian Hill

Professor of Physics and Associate Vice-President (Research) at Dalhousie University



Ian Hill is a Professor of Physics and Associate Vice-President (Research) at Dalhousie University.  Prior to being appointed Associate Vice President (Research) in 2016, Dr. Hill served as Acting Dean of Science (2015-2016) and Acting Chair of the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science (2013-2014). Dr. Hill received his BSc in Engineering Physics and PhD in Physics from Queen’s University.  Before joining the faculty at Dalhousie in 2003, Dr. Hill was a Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University, a Staff Physicist at the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, and a Member of the Technical Staff at the Sarnoff Corporation (SRI International) in Princeton, NJ.  Dr. Hill’s research interests include emerging solar cell technologies, renewable energy storage, and organic electronic materials and devices.

Karen Hutt

President and CEO- Nova Scotia Power

Session: The Future of Clean Energy in Atlantic Canada
Website: NS Power


Karen Hutt was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Nova Scotia Power Inc., effective August 2016. Karen first joined Nova Scotia Power in 2001 to help implement the company’s customer focused strategy. Since then, through progressively senior roles, she has led a range of customer, business growth and regulatory initiatives in markets as diverse as Canada, New England, New Mexico and Florida.

Previously, as Emera’s Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions, Karen played an important role in the TECO Energy transaction, helping to secure, advance and close this transformational deal. Prior to that, she served as Emera Energy’s Executive Vice President, Commercial, and, President, Northeast Wind. In all of her roles, Karen has demonstrated a strong focus on building and leveraging strategic relationships, advancing business goals, creating growth, and applying innovative thinking to meet customer needs.

An active supporter of the local community, Karen currently serves as Vice Chair of the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. She is a past Trustee on the IWK Foundation Board, Past-Chair of the Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia Board of Directors and a past Board Member of the Nova Scotia Arthritis Society. Karen has degrees from Acadia University and Mount Saint Vincent University and recently completed the Directors Education Program through the Institute of Corporate Directors and the Rotman School of Management.

Mark Jewell

President- Selling Energy

Session- The Future of Efficiency


Mark Jewell is a subject matter expert, coach, speaker and best-selling author focused on overcoming barriers to implementing projects. As co-founder and President of Selling Energy, he teaches other professionals and organizations how to turbocharge their sales success.
Through his in-person and online trainings, daily blog, app for iOS, app for Android, YouTube, and Twitter accounts he provides ideas and inspiration for turbocharging your sales success.

In 2015 he was presented the prestigious Gold Stevie Award for “Sales Training or Education Leader of the Year.” His first book, “Selling Energy: Inspiring Ideas That Get More Projects Approved!” has become a Wall Street bestseller and earned accolades from the Axiom Business Book Awards and the Reader Views Annual Literary Awards. His experience includes over 30 years in commercial real estate, 20 years in energy efficiency, and 40 years as an entrepreneur. Over the last two decades, he has influenced efficiency decisions in more than three billion square feet of North American real estate. He is the co-founder and President of Selling Energy.

Earlier in his career, Mark helped the US EPA deploy both the ENERGY STAR® Buildings Program for Commercial Real Estate and the Portfolio Manager® benchmarking tool. Prior to founding Selling Energy, Mark served as founder and President of RealWinWin, Inc., an energy consulting firm that specializes in identifying energy-saving improvements, providing financial analyses to justify said improvements, and supporting utilities and customers in the creation and implementation of efficiency programs. Prior to his career in energy efficiency, Mark served as Senior V.P. for a major commercial real estate investment firm on the West Coast. Mark received his B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania. Mark lives in Hillsborough, CA with his wife Rachel and two young children, Jane Lumen and Jack Mason Jewell.

Dr. Alain Joseph

Research Scientist- NSCC

Session: Testing the Vehicle to Grid Concept


A graduate of Dalhousie University, Alain completed an interdisciplinary PhD focused on systems analysis techniques for evaluating sustainable energy supply. Alain started working at NSCC in 2009, hired as the College’s first post-doctoral fellow. He took on the role of Research Scientist in 2011 and helped initiate the NSCC Applied Energy Research Lab (AERLab). Alain is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Dalhousie. He advises on a number of energy-related student projects at both institutions.

Alain maintains a diverse portfolio of energy and sustainability research projects and is interested in methods of improving energy technology and its use in Atlantic Canada. He is currently leading research funded through a 5-year NSERC College and Community Innovation grant aimed at integrating energy hardware, sensors, software, and data analytics to generate new energy products and services, in collaboration with industry and community partners.

Alain’s future focus is to build on existing knowledge of sustainable energy technologies by creating a research microgrid, and then studying how the interaction between people and technology can improve energy management. He is also testing better methods of collecting, managing, analyzing, and communicating findings from ‘big-data’ related to energy use. Trends in electric vehicles, solar, energy storage, and ‘Internet-of-Things (IOT)’ are creating new opportunities for a clean, secure, and affordable energy future. Alain’s research aims to help individuals and communities achieve this goal.

Brennan Kilfoil

Energy Efficiency Specialist- Killam Properties

Session: Smart Buildings
Website: Killam Properties


Brennan was born and raised in NS. He holds a business degree from SMU in management (2008),  and is a current part-time MBA candidate. Brennan has a background in business improvement and statistics and holds a lean/six sigma black belt designation. Brennan has been leading the efficiency program at Killam since Jan 2015 where they deliver hundreds of efficiency projects across the country each year. Strong interest in mechanical systems and innovation. He previously worked as a business analyst and operational manager in various positions throughout the Maritimes in industries including: IT, transportation, manufacturing & news print media.

Jeff Knapp

Manager, Energy Efficiency- Halifax Water

Session: Showcasing Smart Municipal Projects
Website: Halifax Water 


Jeff is the Manager, Energy Efficiency with the Halifax Regional Water Commission in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and has overall responsibility for the utility’s energy management program, including energy efficiency and renewable energy generation.  With over 35 years of industrial manufacturing, management and engineering experience, Jeff is keenly aware of the social, technical and economic challenges faced by water and wastewater utilities when trying to implement energy management and renewable energy programs.

Jeff holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick, a certificate in Operations Management from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, and a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the New Brunswick Community College. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Nova Scotia, is a Past President of Engineers Nova Scotia, and is a Certified Energy Manager.  Jeff and his family live in the beautiful Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada.

John Lindsay

Chairman- East Port Properties

Session: Smart Buildings

Website- East Port Properties

John Lindsay is the Chairman of East Port Properties and its licensed Broker with the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission. He is also a long time YMCA volunteer.  Throughout his career John has been involved in multiple green building initiatives.  In 1983, he joined Purdy’s Wharf Development as Leasing Manager during the construction of the first phase of Purdy’s Wharf, Atlantic Canada’s largest and most innovative office project. This project included the first seawater cooling system in a North American office building.

At East Port he has focused on office and warehouse development and management in HRM and Greater St. John’s.  Over the past five years 8 buildings developed by East Port have earned LEED® Certification including Gold Certification at 351 Water Street in St. John’s, NL.

East Port is currently working on a new development in Burnside – a campus of 5 multi-tenant warehouse buildings on Wilkinson Avenue.

Andrew Lowery

Technical Director- Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy

Session: Partnering on Tidal Technologies
Website: FORCE


Session: Partnering Tidal Technologies

Andrew Lowery is the Technical Director at the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) – Canada’s leading research centre for in-stream tidal energy. In this role, Andrew is leads FORCE’s research and development Fundy Advanced Sensor Technology (FAST) program, electrical substation upgrades and operations, and manages oversight of all marine operations at the FORCE test site.

Andrew is a mechanical engineer and has previously served as designer and program manager with MetOcean Data Systems Ltd. (now MetOcean Telematics).  Andrew primarily worked with surface velocity profilers and data buoys with various coast guards around the world during the emergence of Iridium Satellite telemetry into the oceanographic sensor market. This work led to significant design updates to the product line that required complex field testing and marine operations.

Andrew lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife, two sons, and Irish wolfhound.

Will Marshall

 P.Eng LEED BD+C- Equilibrium Engineering

 Session: Smart Buildings
Website: Equilibrium


Will Marshall is a registered Professional Engineer with a multidisciplinary background. Previous work experiences in the industrial and educational sectors have provided him with a unique perspective on energy conservation and management. Will stays well connected to both the operational and technical aspects of energy management, and splits his time between the office and the field.

During his career Will has worked as the Environmental Manager for Michelin North America (Canada), and previous to Equilibrium as the lead Faculty in the Nova Scotia Community College’s Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology Program (ESET).

Since the inception of Equilibrium, Will has been involved in several international LEED projects. Closer to home, Will works closely with the commercial development community on new design and retro-commissioning.

Will was born and raised in Nova Scotia.stems Ltd. (now MetOcean Telematics).

Chris Mathis

 CEO- Springboard

 Session: Pre-event Workshops and Moderator
Website: Springboard


Coordinates and support the technology transfer and commercialization of knowledge from the 19 Atlantic region institutions doing research (colleges and universities). Springboard provides support and programming to drive regional innovation developments from academic to commercial environments. Springboard is funded by ACOA and the Member institutions.

Springboard also provides business and technical expertise to companies through the NRC-IRAP Contributions to Organizations program.

Gordon McIntosh

 Deputy Minister, Natural Resources- Newfoundland and Labrador

 Session: Keynote


Brought up in Speyside, the son of a Scotch whisky Distillery Manager, who worked for the Company that makes Johnny Walker. He gained a BSc Honours Degree in Geography from the University of Glasgow followed by a Post Graduate Degree in Accountancy Studies at the University of Aberdeen. He first worked as an Accountant with KPMG, becoming an Insolvency Manager.  He ran Oil and Gas Service Companies in receivership whilst also auditing major Oil Companies including The British National Oil Corporation. In 1984 he moved to the North East of Scotland Development Authority (NESDA) which had responsibility for the start-up and development of businesses in Aberdeen and the surrounding area, including Skills Development, Inward Investment and Trade Development in particular for the developing Oil and Gas Industry. In 1996 he became Director of Economic Development for Aberdeen and has been a Director ever since.

Gordon’s responsibilities have included the development of both physical structure and development plans for the City and the North-East of Scotland as well as Economic Development strategies both currently and over the past 25 years including the infrastructure required for the Oil and Gas industry.

Rob McMonagle

Manager- Sector Development Office- City of Toronto 

 Session: Smart Municipal Projects


Rob McMonagle has worked in the Green sector since his university days when he founded one of Canada’s first solar companies.  Rob was the Executive Director of the Canadian Solar Industries Association before being hired by the City to develop the Toronto’s Sustainable Energy Plan and was responsible for many of Toronto’s renewable energy initiatives such as the Toronto Solar Neighbourhoods Initiative and the Renewable Energy Bylaw.   He currently is the Manager of the Sector Development Office,  the team lead on international trade, and the senior advisor for the green economy at the City’s Economic Development Division.  Rob has received the Solar Leader Award for his pioneering work in founding and growing the solar industry in Canada, the Urban Power Leader award for creating the City’s sustainable energy plan and the Forests Ontario Builder’s Award for developing the urban wood industry in Toronto.

Sue Molloy

VP Strategy and Policy- BlackRock Tidal/ President- Glas Ocean Electric

Session: Partnering Tidal Technologies


PhD, PEng, MEng, BEng, BSc, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, is a consulting engineer, researcher and adjunct professor in Ocean Engineering, specializing in Electric Boats & Ships, Marine Renewable Energy, Eco-Ships and sustainable engineering. Sue is currently working on a range of projects for groups such as the Canadian Space Agency, Black Rock Tidal Power and Transport Canada. Sue’s doctoral work focused on ship propulsion and diesel electric propulsion. She is the international chair for the International Electrotechnical Committee River Turbines Project Team, a Canadian delegate on the Design PT of IEC TC114 Marine Energy and is a board member of Marine Renewables Canada. Sue has taught sustainable engineering and turbomachines for Dalhousie University, Faculty of Engineering and has taught sustainable industrial design and renewable energy at OCAD University in Toronto. As an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Engineering at Dalhousie Sue is working on a range of tidal turbine research projects. Sue’s consulting clients include ocean related SMEs, tidal power project developers, non profits, academia and government.

Matt Nejati

Microgrid Technical Sales- ABB

Session: Microgrids- The Energy System of the Future


Matt Nejati is a technical sales specialist with ABB’s Microgrid and Renewable Automation group. Having previously worked with ABB Microgrids as an application engineer in Raleigh, North Carolina, Matt has since moved back to his hometown of Toronto to focus on microgrid sales opportunities across Canada. Matt graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelors of Applied Science with a focus on Energy Systems in 2014.

Cindy O’Driscoll

Supply Specialist- Office of SME- Public Services and Procurement Canada

Session: Procurement and Testing Pre-Commercialization


Cindy O’Driscoll is a Supply Specialist with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).  As a key member of the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) in Halifax, Cindy advises and educates Atlantic Canadian companies and industry associations about the federal procurement process.  She also creates awareness of the department’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), which assists entrepreneurs and innovators in commercializing their unique products by buying and testing their innovations in one of the many federal departments and agencies.

Cindy possesses an Executive MBA from Saint Mary’s University, a Master of Science in Coastal Zone Management from Bournemouth University, U.K. and a Master of Arts in Archaeology from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

George Palikaras

CEO and Founder- Metamaterials (MTI)

Session: Solar, Bioenergy and Renewables


George is the founder and CEO of Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI), a smart materials and photonics company, solving some of the world’s most difficult problems to change the way we use, interact and benefit from light. Over the past years, he has forged partnerships with global brands, enabling MTI to develop and lead new technologies. In 2012, he received the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program for CEO’s with the highest growth potential and Frost & Sullivan’s 2014 Global Aerospace Product Leadership Award for Lamda Guard metaAIR, the new revolutionary thin-film that provides protection from laser strikes in the commercial aviation industry.

Prior to MTI, George founded of Medical Wireless Sensing Ltd. (MediWise) a research and development medtech company based in London, UK, with the vision to improve healthcare by enabling high precision to non-invasive diagnostics. Mediwise has received several awards including the Winner of the 4th Edition “Building Global Innovator” competition held in Portugal, for both the Health stream as well as the overall winner for 2014.

Dr. Palikaras has a BEng. in Computer Engineering, an MSc. in Digital Communication Systems and did his PhD studies in metamaterial science. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Queen Mary University in London in wearable and implantable sensors projects. He also worked in industry at Wireless Technology Laboratories (former Nortel Networks) working with a team of engineers and managers through contract bidding and technology development for large telecommunication OEMs in excess of $30m.

The startups he has lead have developed strong IP portfolios with over 65 patent applications and 15 patents granted, he has authored over 40 journals and conference publications and has successfully raised in excess of $20m in Venture, angel and non-dilutive capital.

Sanjeev Pushkarna

Manager, Customer Solutions- Nova Scotia Power

Session: Electric Vehicles


Sanjeev leads the Residential Customer Solutions team at Nova Scotia Power. Current programs offered by his team focus on HVAC solutions, including heat pumps and electric thermal storage. Sanjeev is also focused on examining new solutions for Nova Scotians, including home battery storage and electric vehicles.

Over the past 3 years Sanjeev has led a number of initiatives aimed at helping customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint. Recent projects include a pilot with the Tesla Powerwall and the installation of HRM’s first DC fast charging station for electric vehicles. He is also very active in the local EV community and leads the NS Chapter of Electric Mobility Canada.

Sanjeev completed a Bachelor of Science degree from Acadia University and a Masters of Business Administration from Dalhousie University. After spending the first 8 years of his career in Ontario, Sanjeev joined Nova Scotia Power in 2014.

Chris Rafuse

Senior Financial Advisor, Assante Hydrostone 

Moderator: Wind’s Next Frontier


Chris is a Senior Financial Advisor and one of the founding Partners with the Assante -Hydrostone office in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He holds the CPCA designation and earned a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Saint Mary’s University (1991).

Throughout his career, Chris has been a dedicated investment professional involved in the financial markets including institutional bond trading and sales, syndication, structured products, serving as CFO of an investment firm and holding financial advisory positions both for institutional and retail clients. He has founded, operated, and consulted with a number of businesses throughout his career. He is currently involved as an Owner or Partner in multiple businesses including M&A, financial advisory services and technology. He draws on this 25 years of experience on a daily basis to provide clarity and to chart a course for his professional and business owner clients in both personal and business matters. The roll of financial quarterback or personal CFO providing financial solutions for wealth, income, succession, tax, wealth transfer, retirement income, estate planning and financial planning challenges has been a natural fit and focus. He also finds time to write an investment column for Progress Magazine, an Atlantic Canadian business magazine.

He has co-lead an initiative in Nova Scotia focused in the renewable energy space which has raised a total of $16.85 million to fund the generation of clean sustainable energy.

Philanthropic interests include serving as Co-Chairman of the Motionball Marathon of Sport and Gala Fundraisers for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation in Halifax, NS.

Ray Ritcey

CEO- Maritimes Energy Association

Moderator: Keynote- The Future of Clean Energy in Atlantic Canada


Ray Ritcey is the CEO of The Maritimes Energy Association. He has over 35 years’ experience in the energy industry in Canada. He has held executive positions in both the natural gas and electric industries working with such industry leaders as TransCanada Pipelines, Ontario Hydro, Enbridge and AltaGas.

For 10 years he led the development and build-out of natural gas distribution in Nova Scotia and was the founding president of Heritage Gas Ltd. He is also currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for Halifax Water.

Born and raised in Halifax, Ray holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Masters of Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant. He lives in Halifax with his wife Debbie and they have two grown children.

Diane Robichaud

e-Mobility Lead- NB Power

Session: Electric Vehicles


Diane Robichaud, e-Mobility Lead, NB Power:  An NB Power employee for 25 years, Diane’s most recent role is as e-Mobility Lead. In this role she is project lead on the delivery of a level 2 electric vehicle (EV) charging program and responsible for the development of a DC Fast Charging program in New Brunswick. Diane’s work has also focused on raising  awareness and knowledge about EVs and charging infrastructure through education. Diane is a member of the Reduce and Shift Demand program team.

Ed Rodriguez

Managing Director- Energia Research

Session: Academic Research Creating Clean Energy


Martin Rovers

Director, Utility Growth Strategy- Emera

Session: Battery Storage- The Leading Frontier
Website: Emera


Martin Rovers is the Director of Utility Growth Strategy at Emera. Martin is responsible for developing and implementing new programs and projects in response to the shifting energy industry. Activities are focused on three areas:  renewable energy, electrification of heating and transportation, and grid intelligence.

Martin brings over 15 years of experience in business development and operations at leading companies in energy, start-ups and management consulting. Martin earned his M.Sc. in Physics at McMaster University and his MBA at the University of Toronto.

Mike Schnarr

Director, Business Development- MPOWER Energy Solutions

Session: Battery Storage- The Leading Frontier


Mike is currently focused on building MPOWER Energy Solutions, the Toronto-based company responsible for launching and supporting Tesla Powerwall in Canada. MPOWER works closely with Tesla to deploy solar self-consumption, load shifting and backup power solutions for homewoners, businesses and utilities.

Prior to joining MPOWER, Mike held various sales management and business development roles within the renewable energy industry. He has spent the past twelve years working with manufacturers, project developers and retailers to deliver clean technologies throughout North America and Australia.

Mark Senn

Director- Cleantech- EDC

Session: Keynote- Funding for Cleantech/ Smart Energy


Mark Senn is the Director of EDC’s Cleantech team.  His mandate is to ensure that this re-configured and expanded team delivers relevant knowledge and financial services to all of Canada’s Cleantech companies. He will ensure that EDC’s efforts are aligned and coordinated with those of other federal crown corporations and departments.  EDC’s role is to ensure that exporter’s aspirations, to participate sustainably in a globalized economy, are effectively fulfilled.  The team is based in Ottawa, with regional representation in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Mark has worked at EDC since 1997, with prior responsibilities as the Regional Vice President for business development in Western Canada; as a Senior Account Executive covering strategic accounts in the Life Sciences, Oil and Gas, Mining and Transportation sectors.  In addition to his experience on the business development side, Mark has also worked in the risk adjudication and treasury functions of the corporation. Prior to joining EDC he worked as a corporate banker for ABN AMRO, Bank of New York, RoyNat and Bank of Montreal.  Mark has a MBA and a BA in Economics both from Queen’s; as well as an International Baccalaureate from the United World College of the Pacific.

Francis Slingsby

Head of Strategic Partnerships- Dong Energy

Session: Wind’s Next Frontier


Francis Slingsby is the Head of Strategic Partnerships, responsible for managing DONG Energy’s existing partnerships and developing future opportunities in North America. He has held a variety of roles in DONG Energy Wind Power in both Denmark and the UK since joining in 2010. Most recently, prior to coming to the United States, Francis was Asset Manager for a portfolio of four operational offshore wind farms in the UK.

Dean Steinke

Director of Operations- Dynamic Systems Analysis Limited

Session: Partnering on Tidal Technologies
Website: DSA


Dean Steinke is the co-founder and Director of Operations at Dynamic Systems Analysis Ltd, an ocean engineering consultancy and software company. Numerical modelling is a constant challenge: it requires finding the balance between accuracy and timely and indicative results. Dean is passionate about finding that balance and producing high-quality dynamic analysis software.

Before co-founding DSA in 2006, Dean graduated from the University of Victoria with a Masters and Bachelor degree in mechanical engineering. At university, Dean developed an interest in subsea robotics and ocean engineering by working offshore with the ROPOS ROV team.

Today, Dean has more than a decade of experience leading complex ocean engineering projects in ocean technology, marine renewables, offshore, defence and fisheries and aquaculture. Dean now resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, leading a team of engineers who work with companies from across the globe to solve dynamic ocean engineering problems.

Gaëtan Thomas

President & CEO- NB Power

Session: Keynote- The Future of Clean Energy in Atlantic Canada


Gaëtan was appointed President and CEO of NB Power in February 2010. Before this, he served as the Vice President of NB Power’s Nuclear Division, a position he held since 2005 as well as the position of Vice President of NB Power’s Distribution and Customer Service division.

Gaëtan has a proven track record of over 30 years with operations experience in many areas of our business including Generation, Transmission, Distribution and Customer Service. A proud native of Tilley Road, New Brunswick, he holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick.

Tony Van Bommel

Senior Managing Partner- BDC ICE Fund

Session: Funding Smart Energy Projects and Companies
Website: BDC Cleantech


Tony Van Bommel is the Senior Managing Partner of the Industrial, Clean and Energy (ICE) Technology Venture Fund for BDC Capital investing exclusively in Canadian companies and is located in the Toronto, Ontario office.  A champion of the Cleantech sector for more than15 years, Tony shapes BDC Capital’s investment direction. He oversees the $287M ICE Fund. Tony has been with BDC Capital since 2001 and held positions in the BDC Halifax, Nova Scotia and Vancouver, British Colombia offices. He holds or has held numerous Board of Directors seats and currently is working with Axine, Bit Stew, CarbonCure, Invixium and Vizimax, all emerging Canadian Venture backed companies. Tony was also recognized in 2015 as one of Canada’s CLEAN50 and as one of the World’s most influential environmental investors by the Journal of Environmental Investing.

Prior to joining BDC, he spent four years at InNOVAcorp, a General Partner for the Nova Scotia First Fund, an early stage knowledge-based venture fund, where he helped implement a venture capital program and provided assistance to emerging technology companies.  While at InNOVAcorp he completed two secondments to Ocean Nutrition – completing a market map and market strategy – and to Dalhousie University – teaching courses in business strategy, building innovative companies and market strategy. For 10 years prior to this, he worked as a lawyer and partner in the business law firm, Little & Wright in London, Ontario. Tony has held multiple directorships in both public and private emerging growth companies across Canada and holds the CVCA “VC Deal of the Year award” for the funds exit in the sale Q1 Labs to IBM in 2012. In 2016, Tony was involved in the exit of Bit Stew to GE for $207M, the largest Venture backed exit in Canada that year. Finally, he was instrumental in bringing Radian6 to BDC Capital, the CVCA “VC Deal of the Year Award” winner in 2011 for the sale to

Tony earned the Dalhousie Governor General’s Gold Medal for the top graduate student chosen from all faculties at Dalhousie University and the gold medal from the Dalhousie University MBA program. He received his Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Western Ontario where he won the Pitney Bowes Award for the top graduating law student in Ontario who combined academics, athletics and service to the community. He is a past Chairman of Junior Achievement of Nova Scotia and Volunteer of the year for that organization.

Catherine Vardy

Business Development Officer- CIPO

Session: Developing IP


Catherine Vardy joined the Canadian Intellectual Property Office in 2015. As a Business Development Officer for the of IP.

As the Network Liaison and Program Manager at Springboard Atlantic, Catherine worked closely with innovative SMEs, universities and colleges. Catherine also worked in Atlantic Canada as a Research and Innovation Development Officer with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

With degrees in science and journalism, Catherine also worked on science communications with several organizations including the Discovery Channel, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, CBC and several magazines and newspapers.

When she’s not travelling, Catherine usually hangs out at her office at Innovacorp, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Catherine Vardy s’est joint à  l’Office de la propriété intellectuelle du Canada en 2015. En tant qu’agent de développement des affaires pour la région de l’Atlantique, Catherine aime travailler avec les gens pour identifier et mettre en évidence la valeur de la propriété intellectuelle.

En tant que chargée de liaison avec le réseau, et gestionnaire de programmes à Springboard Atlantic, Catherine a travaillé en étroite collaboration avec des PME, des universités et des collèges innovateurs. Catherine a également travaillé au sein du Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie (CRSNG) au sein de la région de l’Atlantique.

Titulaire d’un diplôme en sciences et en journalisme, Catherine a également travaillé sur les communications scientifiques avec plusieurs organismes, dont le Discovery Channel, Pêches et Océans Canada, CBC et plusieurs revues et journaux.

Lorsqu’elle ne voyage pas, Catherine se trouve à son bureau à Innovacorp, à Halifax, en Nouvelle-Écosse.

Mark Wood

Founder- Ocean Sonics Ltd.

Session: Partnering Tidal Technologies


Mark Wood has worked in the field of marine acoustics since the early 1990’s, starting in the offshore energy industry. He is an innovator who likes to break the rules, and has been involved over his career with acoustic monitoring, positioning & tracking, hydrophone array design and acoustic pipeline leak detection systems. Mark has logged many months at sea, testing systems and gathering data. This operational experience helps drive the designs that he undertakes.

Ocean Sonics was founded by Mark in Great Village, NS. The company designs and manufactures passive acoustic instruments, sold mainly to the scientific, industrial and marine observation marketplace. The icListen Smart Hydrophone, the company’s flagship product, is used around the world by scientists, engineers, biologists, and others who listen in the ocean to better understand marine life.