Sustainable Built Environment Conference of the Americas
September 19 & 20, Toronto, Canada
Who’s Presenting at SBE16Toronto
SBE16Toronto: Speaker, Workshop & Paper Presenter Bios
Vice President, Times Group Corporation
Shadi Aghaei is the Vice President of Times Group Corporation, an award-winning land development company in the Greater Toronto Area. She joined Times Group in 2012. From 2000 to 2012, Shadi developed strategies and programs for the federal government in Ottawa. During this time, she gained significant experience in government affairs, managing large organizations, and process reengineering to yield savings and other efficiencies. Prior to leaving government, she was co-director of a $3.5B Public-Private Partnership project, the largest energy services acquisition project in North America.
Her background provides Times Group with broad expertise in public policy in support of the development process. Her main responsibilities include design development of high rise, low rise, and commercial projects. Since taking on her current role, she has introduced an Integrated Design Process for every project. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from York University, and studied Common Law at the University of Ottawa. In her quest for livable communities and affordable housing, Shadi was appointed director on the Board of the Markham Board of Trade, to the Government Affairs Committee, and to the City of Markham’s Public Realm Committee.
Lloyd Alter B.Arch, OAA
Design Editor, www.treehugger.com , Contributor, MNN.com, the Guardian, Corporate Knights Magazine, Azure
Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University School of Interior Design
Lloyd Alter is editor of architecture and design at TreeHugger.com, the “world’s largest green lifestyle website.” He has worked as an architect, a real estate developer and an entrepreneur in prefabricated housing. He teaches sustainable design at the Ryerson University School of Interior Design and is Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. He is a contributor to the Guardian, Azure and Corporate Knights Magazine, and received the 2014 USGBC Leadership Award for his writing promoting green building.
Architect, PPOAA, AIBC, FRAIC, LEED®AP, Founding Principal of DIALOG Toronto
Craig Applegath is a passionate architect and urban designer who believes in the power of built form to meaningfully improve the wellbeing of communities and the environment we all share. Craig designs with a systems-based approach, leveraging degrees in biology, architecture, and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University to advance sustainable, resilient, and regenerative design for a rapidly urbanizing world.
As founding Principal of DIALOG Toronto, Craig is well respected within the architecture and urban design professions. He has lectured or taught at Harvard, the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, is a past President of the Ontario Association of Architects, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for his service to the profession.
Paula Baker-Laporte, FAIA, BBEC
Econest Architecture Inc.
Paula Baker-Laporte graduated from the University of Toronto, School of Architecture in 1978 and from The International Institute of Building Biology and Ecology in 1995. In 2007, she was honored with investiture into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. Her award-winning architectural practice, Econest Architecture Inc. is based in Ashland Oregon.
Since 1992, Paula has dedicated her practice to the precepts of environmentally sound and health enhancing architecture. She has developed a unique specialty in alternative construction for health and in addition to her architectural design practice she serves as a consultant on the health aspects of building throughout North America and beyond.
Paula has lectured, taught, and published extensively on the topic of healthy and ecological design. She is a longtime member of the teaching faculty for the International Institute of Building Biology and Ecology where she is active in writing new coursework.
She is a contributing author to several books and periodicals and is the primary author of “Prescriptions for a Healthy House”, 1st,-3rd edition, New Society Publishers 1998-2008 and co-author with husband Robert Laporte, of “EcoNest: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries of Clay, Straw and Timber”, Gibbs Smith, 2005 and their new book “The EcoNest Home: Designing and Building a Light Straw Clay House”, New Society 2015
Dr. Umberto Berardi
Dr. Umberto Berardi
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science
Ryerson University, Toronto.
Dr. Berardi is presently a faculty member at Ryerson University and he teaches mainly in the field of building science. His research concerns the application of physics principles to the built environment. His expertise include energy saving technologies, such as phase change materials for thermal storage and aerogel. He has been also active in the field of monitoring and simulating urban micro-climates, and he has a good understanding of the sustainable principles at different scales. His research has been funded with over 500k CADS$ and has been developed through international collaborations and industry partnerships.
He is the author of 3 books, over 50 scientific peer-reviewed journal papers, and over 50 conference papers, presented in 20 countries.
Pamela Blais, Ph.D., R.P.P, M.C.I.P
Principal, Metropole Consultants
Pamela Blais is an urban planner and Principal of Metropole Consultants Ltd. Her focus is on creating better cities by integrating planning, economic and environmental thinking in the analysis of urban issues and the development of innovative policy.
In her twenty-plus year career as an urban planning consultant, her work has included reurbanisation strategies; long term regional growth planning; municipal economic development strategies; innovative land use policies; and urban regeneration strategies.
She is the author of Perverse Cities: Hidden Subsidies, Wonky Policy and Urban Sprawl, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Donner Book Prize, awarded for the best Canadian public policy book of the year. She recently authored Planning for Prosperity, a report for the Neptis Foundation that examines the implications of the Toronto region’s changing economy for the Growth Plan.
Pamela has a Masters in Planning from the University of Toronto and a PhD in urban economic geography from the London School of Economics.
Dr. Ray Cole
As director of the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability, Ray Cole is a forceful proponent of regenerative design.
“The built environment should be modelled on natural systems and processes. We need to design buildings as part of a larger system – as nodes within a web – and seek out opportunities for synergies and exchange in these relationships. We have to consider buildings as opportunities to make positive environmental contributions and help restore the things we’ve lost. Regenerative design does this by seeking how buildings and communities can work together to create a positive impact. Rather than viewing a building as an isolated “thing,” regenerative design views it as offering the potential to support the co-evolution of human and natural systems. Over time, it can contribute to building natural capital rather than diminishing it.” UBC News November 4, 2013
As he has done at conferences around the world, Ray will energize the proceedings and inspire delegates at SBE16 in Toronto with his thought leadership on regenerative design.
Dr. Blair Feltmate
Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo
Dr. Feltmate is Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo. The primary purpose of the ICCA is to mobilize practical and cost-effective means to help de-risk Canada from climate change and extreme weather events.
Previous positions Dr. Feltmate has held include Vice President, Sustainable Development, Bank of Montreal; Director, Sustainable Development, OPG; and Partner, Sustainable Investment Group/YMG Capital Management.
Antonio Gómez-Palacio, Arq MES RPP MCIP MRAIC
A founding partner of DIALOG, Antonio is committed to creating healthy places, where people thrive – through dialogue. His work with cities, communities, and campuses, has been recognized with numerous awards. Antonio is regularly called upon by municipalities, developers, and professional associations to front a strategic conversation on how to deliver community resilience alongside city-building objectives.
Dr. Mark Gorgolewski
Dr. Mark Gorgolewski
Professor, Department of Architectural Science
Mark Gorgolewski is a Professor in the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University in Toronto. He has worked for many years as an architect, researcher and sustainable building consultant in Canada and the UK. He has been a director of the Canada Green Building Council and chair of the Association for Environment Conscious Building and is a LEED Accredited Professional.
Mark has written many papers and books on the subject of sustainable built environments. Currently areas of research include building performance, reuse of components and materials in buildings, and design for urban agriculture. He was co-curator of the exhibition “Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture,” which has travelled around the world, and is co-author of a Carrot City book and web site.
Mark has participated in various sustainable building projects, including a winning design for the CMHC Equilibrium (net zero energy) Housing Competition and is also co-recipient of the 2007-2008 ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award, and recipient of the 2012 H.A. Krentz Research Award from the CISC and the CMHC 2013 Excellence in Education Award.
Conference organizers would like to thank Professor Gorgolewski for leading the SBE16Toronto Technical Paper Review team.
Canadian Urban Institute
Peter Halsall was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute in July 2013.
He is an award-winning engineer and entrepreneurial businessman who has led the growth of 3 innovative companies, beginning with expansion of employee-owned Halsall Associates to a firm of more than 350 people located in eight offices across Canada. Halsall was rated as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces for the last 7 years by the Great Places to Work Institute.
As part of the Halsall group, Peter also launched Pivotal Projects Ltd., a national project management firm, and Loop Initiatives Ltd, a management consulting firm for sustainability. The group was purchased by Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2010, for which he served as the Global Sustainability Lead.
Peter is committed to motivating change in urban development to incorporate evidence based decision-making towards more balanced outcomes. He is often called upon to present his opinions about urban sustainability. He sat on the Design Review Panels for the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto for 5 years each as the sustainability representative.
Jen Hancock BA, BEd, LEED AP BD + C
Director of Innovative Construction
Jen is a creative individual who is excellent at leading collaborative project management groups. In her seven years at CHANDOS she has been crucial in implementing collaborative and lean construction principles in projects, thus differentiating CHANDOS in its field.
She is acting board chair of the Integrated Project Delivery Alliance (IPDA), a non-profit organization working to advance integrated project delivery (IPD) as a delivery method in Canada. Jen is an advocate of sustainability and has her LEED AP BD+C accreditation, providing leadership in various green-focused projects of all types, including Alberta’s first net-zero commercial building, the Mosaic Centre.
You can often find her speaking at an event and providing thought leadership on IPD, sustainability, and lean projects.
Gordon Harris, MCIP
President and CEO, SFU Community Trust
Gordon Harris is an urban planner, development strategist and real estate market analyst. As president and chief executive officer of SFU Community Trust, he leads the development of UniverCity, Simon Fraser University’s award-winning sustainable community near Vancouver, BC.
With a lifelong passion for sustainable practice, Harris has provided land-use planning and development advice to clients from the Balkans to Central America and from the Middle East to China. He is currently consulting on several large- scale, master-planned community development projects in western Canada and in Australia.
Harris is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, as well as a member of the National Capital Commission’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design, and Realty.
In 2009 Harris was elected to the College of Fellows of the Canadian Institute of Planners. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his lifetime contribution to community building in Canada.
Alec Hay C.Eng., P.Eng, FICE, FInstRE, CRM
Principal, Risk, Resilience & Security Planning
Member, Register of Security Engineers & Specialists
Adjunct Professor, Centre for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure, University of Toronto
Alec is a principal in Risk, Resilience & Security Planning at Southern Harbour, based in Toronto. Previously the Resilience & Security leader at DIALOG, before which he served 25 years in the British Royal Engineers. He specialised over the last 20 years in fortifications and infrastructure development, which he practised around the World, from the High Arctic to South Atlantic, Europe to Central Asia and much in between.
Alec is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Centre for Resilience of Critical Infrastructure, where he focuses on operational resilience of communities and infrastructure systems. He is a director of Rethink Sustainability Initiative and the International Secretary of the Register of Security Engineers and Specialists.
Vice President, Sales & Operations
Neelands Refrigeration Ltd.
Steve Horwood has been active in all aspects of the Site & Facility Maintenance and Operations and Construction industry for over 30 years. Since 2008, much of Steve’s activity has been working with facility owners, developers and municipalities in assessing the opportunities and challenges associated with deploying renewable and sustainable options such as solar photo voltaic and Carbon Dioxide refrigeration.
Clients have benefited from Steve’s strengths in Strategic Planning. All of his solution designs and projects are presented in a manner that aligns with the Clients’ financial long term goals and objectives while balancing their objectives in sustainability and resilient design.
Steve also takes a very active role in the internal and external development of other professionals in the construction and service industry. Viewed by his peers across North America as a mentor and leader in client design solutions, since 1997 he has been involved with one of the industry’s leading associations – The Mechanical Service Contractors Association (MSCA). Steve is the first and only Canadian to be active at the committee level and currently sits on the Training & Education Committee and is the visionary and contributor for the Sales Institute. In addition to his role with MSCA Steve has also sat on the Board of Governors for the Mechanical Service Contractors of Canada.
Nils Larsson, FRAIC
International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE)
Nils Larsson graduated in architecture from McGill University and is Executive Director of the International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE), an international non-profit organization. During the 1990’s he developed and managed the C-2000 demonstration program for high-performance buildings sponsored by the Government of Canada in partnership with private firms. The program resulted in ten projects across Canada that reached very high levels of performance, and the program also led to the first public adoption of the integrated design process (IDP).
Mr. Larsson is principal developer of the SBTool, a system for assessing the sustainability performance of buildings and is active in several private-sector contracts related to sustainable technologies. He represents four international partners (CIB, iiSBE, UNEP and FIDIC) in managing an international series of regional and global conferences on sustainable built environment, serves on the scientific committees of five of them and has made keynote presentations at 5 of the first 7 events. He is currently leading the development of an international survey of researchers and professionals for the SBE partnership that will identify GHG mitigation measures that are considered most effective in a large variety of global regions.
Currently, Mr. Larsson represents iiSBE in a contract with UNEP-SBCI to support their COP activities and Habitat III preparations and he also represents iiSBE in the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC). He is a frequently invited keynote speaker at conferences related to sustainable building, and has also been frequently invited to participate in workshops with graduate students at such events. He is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Mr Man-kit Leung
Sub-Committee Chairman, WSBE17 Hong Kong Scientific Committee
Director, Hong Kong Green Building Council
Chairman of Policy and Research Committee, Hong Kong Green Building Council
Mr Man-kit Leung is the laureate of the inaugural Singapore Institute of Architects – Uniseal G-Architect Award 2014 and is well recognized locally and internationally for his specialized knowledge and integrated design skills in sustainable building design. His diverse portfolio comprise high-performance new buildings adopting a humane, ecologically-centric approach, green retrofit of existing buildings, sustainability master planning and research.
His award-winning projects include the first zero carbon building in Hong Kong, a community-centric vertical green campus for the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, the pioneering sustainability master planning for Hong Kong Science Park Phase 3, the Transformation of the existing Jockey Club Environmental Building into a Centre of Excellence in Sustainability, and a number of research studies related to sustainable design such as the formulation of the new BEAM Plus Neighbourhood certification tool and the Study for Design and Construction Requirements for Residential Buildings for Energy Efficiency. He has been active in academic and professional circles related to the issue of building performance, energy efficient building design and green architecture.
For nearly 10 years as a Strategic Sustainability consultant, Jenny has led design teams and building owners in the creation of high performance green buildings. With her experience in sustainable architecture, performance management and commercial interiors. She has led teams on a wide variety of cutting edge green projects including those targeting the Living Building Challenge, The WELL and LEED Platinum.
Jenny’s leadership in Sustainable Design was recognized in 2014 through her nomination to sit on the City of Toronto’s Design Review Panel. Prior to joining the BuildGreen team, Jenny led Halsall’s Green Planning and Design practice in Toronto, for over 8 years and also worked with internationally renowned London, England-based architectural firm - Foster + Partners on sustainability projects ranging in scale from interior design to community planning.
OutsideIn Design & Build
David has accrued over 20 years of project and client relationship management in the building envelope and fenestration sector, coupled with a formal background in Management Studies through the University of Toronto.
David’s hands-on style of project management in Canada, the U.S and Caribbean is balanced with a technical background in building science consulting (OIDB sister company: Earthshine Bionomics® – facilitates companies in developing and building low energy, resilient, homes and light commercial structures) allows David to understand client wants and needs and translate these into a comprehensive package focused on meeting design goals while keeping budgets and timelines in check.
David maintains an active relationship with academia, teaching course content for the Canada Green Building Council’s™ Sustainable Building Advisor program and is a guest lecturer at George Brown Colleges School for Architectural Studies.
David has been working with the Sustainable Buildings Canada team since 2010 as part of their group of expert designers, modelers and facilitators, enabling SBC to deliver quality results with better-than- code performance (25% or greater) and up to Net Zero Energy (NZE) performance in residential and commercial buildings.
Toronto 2030 District
Since 2002, Jeff has been actively involved in leading market transformation for the built environment. Jeff applies a combination of design research, stakeholder engagement, and technical expertise to initiatives ranging from building industry training, to conservation program design, to policy development. In addition to co-founding the Toronto 2030 District, his major projects include authoring national and state roadmaps for low-carbon housing in Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico, and aiding in the development of international zero-energy and near zero-energy pilot projects through the Asia Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate.
Jeff currently serves as the Executive Director of the Toronto 2030 District, the first Canadian entry in a network of North American conservation districts. Additionally, Jeff is a lead facilitator for the Enbridge Savings By Design builder conservation program and was the lead instructor for the Canada Green Building Council’s Certified Sustainable Building Advisor program. Jeff holds an HBA from the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business and a Masters of Design in Strategic Foresight and innovation from OCADU.
Rick Roos, MASc
North American Codes, Standards and Fire Safety Manager
Rick Roos brings together expertise in fire, acoustics and building science. As the North American Codes, Standards and Fire Safety Manager, he is an active promoter of fire protection, energy efficiency, and high performance buildings within the Building Code and Standards development process in Canada and the United States.
Scott Rouse, P. Eng., MBA, CEM, CSDP
Managing Partner, Energy@Work Inc.
As Managing Partner for Energy@Work, Scott’s focus is helping customers achieve sustainable results by improving their ‘triple bottom line’: Economic Prosperity / Environmental Performance and Social Responsibility.
Scott is a Professional Engineer, Certified Energy Manager / Sustainable Development Professional (CEM / CSDP) with the Association of Energy Engineers. He is also an advisor for the Industrial Energy Technology Conference as well as a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). As an IEEE “Distinguished Lecturer”, Scott has presented in South America, Singapore, Australia and South Africa. As a member of BOMA Toronto Energy and Environment Committee and founding chair of the Canadian Energy Manager Network, Scott continues to be an active energy efficiency advocate for sustainable “customer” benefits.
Scott’s international recognition was achieved by developing practical solutions as well as the experience gained by implementing the energy efficiency program that won the Canadian and the US EPA`s Climate Protection Awards. Working directly with customers and his commitment for sustainable solutions ensures Scott’s clients receive ‘best in class’ results.
Scott’s ‘secret to success’: Respect for partnerships that deliver win-win-win results!
Dr Dianne Saxe
Dr. Dianne Saxe
Dianne Saxe is the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), a tough but fair watchdog over Ontario’s environmental, energy and climate performance, and guardian of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR). The ECO is a bridge between the public and the government on environmental issues.
Prior to her appointment, Dianne was one of Canada’s most respected environmental lawyers. She has 40 years’ unparalleled experience writing, interpreting, and litigating Ontario's energy and environmental laws. Dianne’s career began with the Ontario Public Service and two major Bay Street law firms. She then established one of Canada’s top environmental law boutiques.
A Certified Environmental Law Specialist, Dianne is recognized in every Canadian and international legal rating service, including acknowledgement as one of the world’s top 25 environmental lawyers by Best of the Best, 2008 and as Best Lawyers’ first Environmental Lawyer of the Year for Toronto. Some of her numerous tributes and honours include the Award for Distinguished Service, the highest honour granted by the Ontario Bar Association; and the Gold Key Award for exceptional lifetime professional achievement, granted by Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni.
Dianne has travelled extensively in Ontario and Canada, both in her professional practice and as a keen canoeist, kayaker and cross-country skier.
Her five-year appointment will be focused on serving the Ontario Legislature, improving the effectiveness of the Environmental Bill of Rights and catalyzing better environmental, energy and climate outcomes, for and with the people of Ontario.
Community Forests International
Jeff Schnurr is a social entrepreneur who helps rural communities achieve economic prosperity through sustainable innovation. As the founder and Executive Director of Community Forests International, Jeff has empowered rural communities in Tanzania to plant over a million trees, grow food, harvest rainwater and power households through
solar energy. In New Brunswick, Canada, Jeff is currently developing a rural hacker space for farming, forestry and alternative energy. Jeff also founded Community Forests Canada Inc. a for-profit sustainable forestry company.
In addition to his work at CFI, Jeff is the founder of Jaza Energy, a solar energy provider and Envaya, a tech start-up that supports grassroots organizations in the developing world. Jeff was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year™ 2015 Special Citation for Social Entrepreneurship, one of Canada’s top ten volunteers by the CBC and Manulife, and was named one of Explore Magazine’s Top 30 under 30.
Anna J. Siefken, LEED AP BD+C
Pittsburgh 2030 District Director
Green Building Alliance
Anna J. Siefken has 25 years of experience fostering internationally-recognized brands in partnership with corporations, non-profits and the government sector.
Ms. Siefken currently serves as Vice President of Strategic Engagement and the Pittsburgh 2030 District Director at Green Building Alliance (GBA), where she leads the largest 2030 District in North America via its two boundaries in Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland, PA. In this capacity, Ms. Siefken was awarded the Pittsburgh Business Time’s 2015 Energy Leadership Award for Corporate Social Engagement, and the Pittsburgh 2030 District received the International Downtown Association’s (IDA) Achievement Award for Economic and Business Development. In 2016, the initiative received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
Prior to joining GBA, Ms. Siefken was Principal Consultant at ICF International in Washington, DC, where she designed programs and recruited strategic partners to participate in the Energy Star products and home improvement programs on behalf of EPA and DOE.
Ms. Siefken is a graduate of Duke University.
Toronto Hydro Corporation
Jack has over 25 years’ experience in the energy field including planning, engineering, construction and operations. He has worked for Ontario Hydro, Ameresco, SNC Lavalin and held various management positions with Toronto Hydro, currently responsible for Generation & Capacity Planning.
Jack has degrees in Nuclear Physics from Waterloo, Mechanical Engineering from Ryerson and earned his Masters in Engineering from University of Toronto.
Chantal Sylvestre, SEBT, LEED Green Associate
Energy Analyst, Energy@Work Inc.
Chantal is a graduate of the Sustainable Energy and Building Technology program at Humber College. She also has her LEED Green Associate certification from the US Green Building Council. In addition, Chantal is a member of the ASHRAE Toronto Chapter, WiRE, OACETT Associate member, as well as an Emerging Green Builder with the Canadian Green Building Council.
In 2014, Chantal was one of 175 students selected from across Canada to participate in the IMPACT! Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership.
Chantal’s focus is on conveying information to clients in a meaningful way. She seeks to put together the right information at the right time and think critically about it. Using this approach, Chantal is committed to energy conservation and management for optimizing building performance.
Alex is a registered architect with over 35 years of experience in design and development. He has recently joined Windmill Developments, opening the new Toronto office with a diverse range of sustainable infill projects currently underway in urban Toronto as well as community-based projects in Hamilton, Dundas and Prince Edward County.
As Director of Development with Context Development from 1996 to 2006, he directed a number of innovative residential and mixed-use projects in Toronto including District Lofts, Ideal, Mozo, Radio City, Home and Spire, as well as three adaptive re-use projects: Kensington Market Lofts, Tip Top Lofts and The Loretto.
As an author , professor, materials expert and award winning practitioner (2014 Architect Magazine R+D Award and 2014 Core77 Design Award), Marc Swackhamer is on the leading edge of design that emulates nature for resilient and regenerative solutions.
In his 2015 book, “Hypernatural” (Princeton Architectural Press), Marc and co-author Blaine Brownell illustrate how pioneers in the emerging biomimicry movement are developing design methods and materials to create intelligent buildings that emulate life itself.
Marc will deliver a presentation on Hypernatural design projects illustrating astonishing new applications possible in this rapidly growing field. Together, these projects show that by looking to nature, design can be a tool that makes our built environment more efficient, sustainable, and, most of all, livable. According to Prof. Brownell. “All of (the ideas) have enough of a bleeding edge to really capture people’s attention and let them know the future is a pretty amazing place.”
2 x Olympian, LEED AP BD+C
PhD Candidate,University of Toronto
Donna Vakalis represented Canada at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the sport of Modern Pentathlon. She has a Masters of Architecture from the University of Toronto, which is where she is currently a PhD candidate in Civil Engineering.
Donna’s academic research looks at buildings and their health impacts. In particular, her areas of interest are how green school design may influence students’ ability to perform cognitive tasks, and how athlete training venues may influence athletic performance.
Jeff is an active investor and entrepreneur in both the environmental/cleantech and real estate sectors with investments in solar energy and technologies that promote the beneficial re-use of waste.
Jeff Westeinde is a founding partner of the Windmill Development Group, Canada’s leading sustainable real estate developer. As a partner, Mr. Westeinde takes an active role in all of Windmill’s projects, specifically providing expertise with the selection, remediation and development of brownfield sites in urban areas, a major part of Windmill’s development model.
Executive Director, Climate Change Directorate
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Alex Wood is the Executive Director of Ontario’s Climate Change Directorate at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Alex has over 20 years of experience working at the intersection of economic and environmental policy.
He started his career with the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, DC, before moving back to Canada to work at the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE), where he eventually acted as President and CEO. He then helped TD Bank Group establish its environmental policy, before moving to work at Sustainable Prosperity as Senior Director, Policy and Markets.
In addition to his extensive work experience, Alex is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds a Masters degree from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies with a double major in International Economics and Energy and Environmental Studies.