Emma Cain Louden
Emma Cain Louden is an astrophysicist and space entrepreneur on a mission to help people find their place in space. She works at the intersection of academia and the space industry and is a strategic thinker and leader who is passionate about being a steward of the story of the relationship between space exploration and humanity. As an astrophysics Ph.D. student at Yale University, Emma studies the geometry of exoplanetary systems. Emma uses the kind of thinking spurred by this inquiry to help humanity develop a consciousness that puts the Solar System in context – Earth’s precarious position in the universe becomes clearer.
Emma graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 2020 with a degree in Astrophysical Sciences and minors in Planets and Life and Latin American Studies and is a Class of 2018 Brooke Owens Fellow. Emma is deeply committed to sharing her passion for astronomy to spark curiosity and excitement in future scientists, especially gender minorities in STEM. She serves as a Young Professional Mentor for the Zed Factor Fellowship, a founder and manager for Ask-A-Brookie, and a lead for the SSP Connect mentorship program for alumni of the Summer Science Program.
National Stewardship Action Council
Heidi has been a leader in the industry for over 32 years working as a consultant, regulator at CalRecycle serving as Policy Advisor to the Chair 200-2002, and advocate for producer responsibility and a circular economy as the founding director of the California Product Stewardship Council a 501c3 and the National Stewardship Action Council a 501c4 which advocates for a Circular Economy through Extended Producer Responsibility policies. In May 2020, Heidi was appointed by the California Environmental Protection Agency to the Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling and was elected Chair by the 17 Commissioners at the first meeting June 24, 2020 and resigned July 1, 2022 at the end of her two year term. She has led coalitions to pass major EPR legislation in California including SB 212 (Jackson) in 2018, the first EPR bill for both medications and sharps in the US, and SB 343 (Allen) in 2021 to define what is recyclable and how the recycling chasing arrow symbol can be used, and SB 54 (Allen) 2022 the EPR for packaging bill. All these bills are first of their kind in the US.
As CEO, Allen is responsible for leading Circular Materials through the development of Ontario’s new blue box recycling system while expanding the organization’s operations into other provinces, starting with New Brunswick. His mission is to support producers with a robust not-for-profit service offering that advances the circular economy, delivers national harmonization of extended producer responsibility (EPR) services and harnesses competitive procurement to provide the best value for producers.
Prior to joining Circular Materials, Allen served as the President and CEO of Return-It, British Columbia’s very successful used beverage container management program in Canada. In this role, Allen oversaw the modernization of Return-It’s collection network, which consists of more than 170 collection sites, including Return-It depots, Express Plus and Express & GO stations. Return-It has routinely exceeded a 75% recovery rate for used beverage containers in British Columbia, and its network has supported the collection of new materials, including waste electrical and electronic equipment.
Allen also served as the Managing Director for Recycle BC, the first 100% EPR program for paper and packaging in North America where industry assumed full financial and managerial responsibility for the residential recycling system.
Allen currently serves as an Advisory Council Member for the Canada Plastics Pact, and Advisory Board Member for the Washington State Recycling Development Centre.
Soapstand / Drinkfill
Andy believes that to achieve our waste reduction goals we must change the narrative around circular economy. Instead of being environment-focused, we need to be basics-focused; primarily, accessibility, affordability, and desirability. It is from this belief that the automated refillery concepts of Soapstand (for cleaning products) and Drinkfill (for beverages) were born. As the Founder and CEO, Andy has set the mission to create a worldwide network of refillery stations in order to transform the refill lifestyle to one that is undeniably better than any conventional alternatives.
Prior to founding Soapstand and Drinkfill, Andy has led a waste-to-resource joint venture as well as been a management consultant.
Barry Friesen is Executive Director of Cleanfarms Inc. and has been at the helm since its launch in 2010. A professional engineer who has worked for years in the waste-resource management business, he continues his mission to eliminate waste in our society. Cleanfarms is an industry stewardship company responsible for managing the collection, recycling and safe disposal of agricultural waste across Canada. Think of Cleanfarms as the ‘blue box’ for agriculture, but with six distinct core programs plus an array of pilots that span the entire country.
Barry is uniquely qualified to lead this undertaking. He’s been deeply involved in solid waste issues since 1995. As Solid Waste Resource-Manager in Nova Scotia, he launched the province’s waste management strategy and led it to become the first & only Canadian province to achieve 50% waste diversion by 2000. As Director of Waste Management Services with Niagara Region in Ontario, he managed provision of comprehensive waste services to 100,000+ households in a recognized world-leading program. His range of expertise is on demand at international meetings such as the OECD Conference on Rural Development where he presented an update in 2022.
Barry currently serves on the Board of the Conference on Canadian Stewardship and as a member of the AGRI plastics working group of the European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organisations. He is the past chair of the Board of the Compost Council of Canada, past Board member of the Recycling Council of Ontario and APRG, past Chair of the National Task Force on Packaging and past Board member and very active contributor to his local Rotary Club.
The Zero Waste Kitchen
Christine believes that good food values can make a real difference. She cares about the environment, our farmers, where our food comes from, and how it gets to our tables. Through her platform, The Zero Waste Kitchen, she aims to teach easy and accessible cooking strategies, along with intuitive and responsible eating with culinary content primarily surrounding decreasing food waste. She reinforces how little things can make a big difference such as simple, actionable steps focused on what you’ll eat next—and what you won’t throw away.
Born and raised in Newfoundland Christine was scouted in a mall fashion show at the age of 15, when she began modeling for beauty campaigns around the world. Building on her modeling career, she then honed her talents as an actor and has appeared on-screen in high-profile productions for networks like HBO and ABC Family. No matter where her adventures in front of the camera would take her though, her obsession for food was always there. She never forgot her love of cooking at an early age and she longed to return to those culinary roots. She rekindled her love for cooking by enrolling in the Chef Training program at George Brown College, Toronto.
Since then, Christine’s culinary accomplishments bloomed to include: 2 cookbooks and regular guest chef appearances on daytime TV like Rogers’ Cityline, CTV’s Marilyn Dennis and The Social. She was thrilled to join CBC Television and Canada’s most popular daily food show, BEST RECIPES EVER, for two seasons as its host where she cooked her favorite dishes from Canadian Living’s Tested-Till-Perfect recipe library for Canadians coast-to-coast. Also don’t for get to check out Christine cooking from home on her YouTube cooking channel.
Christine makes cooking look easy. The culmination of her insatiable culinary appetite along with over 15 years of on-camera work makes her an asset to any food team. Her spark and attention to detail is shown in her work as a food stylist, cookbook author, recipe developer and culinary content producer. Since she loves to talk about all things food, being a spokesperson and brand ambassador for such brands as Philips, Conestoga Farms, The Wild Blueberry Association of North America and Bonne Maman, has been a natural fit.
Her cookbook, Honest To Goodness (Whitecap Books), is packed with mouth-watering, family friendly homemade recipes. Her second cookbook Cook More, Waste Less (Appetite, Penguin Random House), encompassing her passion for raising awareness about food waste, is being published in fall 2021.
Cody is a 2x founder, sits on the Technical Advisory Committee for Metro Vancouver’s Solid Waste Management Plan as well as the Green Industrial Innovation Districts’ steering committee, and is a big-time circular economy nerd. He enjoys problem-solving, hands-on building, and big-picture thinking.
Cody was born on a remote farm in Manitoba, raised in Toronto, and studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. For the last decade he has called Vancouver home and it’s here where he started his first venture, Natural Source, offering corporate food services for technology companies. Over 10 years he grew this business into a local industry leader until the pandemic closed offices and Natural Source’s client base almost completely evaporated overnight. As devastating as this was, it proved to be an amazing opportunity. By repurposing his company’s resources, he was able to build ShareWares and set out on a mission to end the world’s waste crisis.
Colby is proud to reside on the home quarter he was born and raised in which is situated close to the Tawatinaw valley. After graduating high school he entered the oilfield sector in northern Alberta while on days off helping on his mom and dad’s 3rd generation farm. After enough time away from the farm he returned in his mid 20s to start growing and transitioning the families operation.
Today he and his family run a cattle/grain operation which includes 380 cow/calf pair, 1200 ac grain land and 1500 ac of hay/pasture. He is very greatful for his wife Laurie who has substantially grown their direct-to-consumer beef and pork business serving the Edmonton area. He and his partners have also recently opened a 20,000 ton/year organic composting facility at the Westlock Regional Landfill to provide a service for the local and provincial residents. Colby’s goal is to transition his farm to regenerative agriculture while working with industry and researchers to show other farmers/industry that it is a profitable better way to operate while growing and supporting our local circular bio economy.
Canadian Battery Association
Colin J. P. McKean, M.Sc., R.P.Bio., is a freshwater biologist by trade and has been working in the field of environmental management for 40+ years. Colin specializes in the development and implementation of Environmental, Health and Safety Programs for businesses and industrial sectors.
During his career, Colin worked with the BC Ministry of Environment for 19 years as a scientist and manager. At the end of his government career, Colin managed the development of BC’s EPR regulations that included household products including: pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fuels and solvents.
Currently, Colin is the Executive Director of the Canadian Battery Association and is responsible for developing a national product stewardship program for lead batteries that meets Federal and Provincial regulatory requirements.
Etienne Angers has a Master of Environmental Science and has certificates in education and management. He started his career as a science journalist and developed thematic activities at the Biosphere Museum in Montréal before joining RECYC-QUÉBEC in 2013.
At RECYC-QUÉBEC, Etienne has helped develop many projects and worked on several grant programs encouraging greener practices for organizations and industries across Québec. In the last 5 years, he has helped the province of Québec shine in the field of circular economy by launching various initiatives, funds and partnerships, participating in stakeholders committees and taking part in the organization of main events on circular economy in Québec in 2018 and 2021.
His most recent active projects are the participation in the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative, the support of circular economy startups and the Circularity Gap Report Québec, the first CGR outside of Europe aiming to reach a sub national level.
When Etienne is not working to make Québec more green, resilient and circular, he’s probably playing with something that has a sail on it.
Evelyn M. Butler
Solar Energy Industries Association
As Vice President of Technical Services, Evelyn leads SEIA’s initiatives and programs that support both the development, advocacy, and implementation of legislative and regulatory policy. These initiatives include the technically-based solutions that facilitate the solar industry’s continued rapid growth and additionally mitigate business risks for its members.
Her team covers building and energy codes, solar and storage equipment product standards, standards development, operations and maintenance, permitting, and quality assurance initiatives that increase consistency and quality. These efforts collectively promote safety and quality in product selection and installation. She is active in the development and commercialization of the Solar Automated Permit Processing Plus (SolarAPP+), a software program that enables instant permitting of residential solar and in the technical committee creating requirements for the SERI R2 PV recycler standard. She leads the association’s Environmental and Social Governance and Sustainability efforts to develop responsible supply chains and sustainable end-of-life strategies for solar and storage equipment.
Prior to joining SEIA, Evelyn worked at UL Solutions (previously UL LLC/Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) for over two decades, establishing and leading its global solar business, international market development, and service portfolio development and management.
Geoff McCarney is a Professor of Environment and Development in the School of International Development and Global Studies, Associate Director (Research) for the Institute of the Environment, and Senior Director of Research for the Smart Prosperity Institute, at the University of Ottawa. Geoff’s research expertise includes areas of environmental, natural resource and development economics, with specific focus on a range of issues at the interface climate change, the circular economy and natural resource development. He also has extensive experience working with academics, funders and partner agencies across Canada and internationally to develop and communicate policy-oriented research on the environment and economy. Geoff holds a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development (with a focus on economics and climate science) from Columbia University.
My name is Gord Lenz, President / Operations Manager for Envirolight Recycling Solutions (A member of the Gasonic Group). Working with all light bulb users, my goal is to educate and promote light bulb recycling and bring the awareness to the mercury contamination being done to our air, soil and water.
Back in 2001, watching fellow employees hazardously smash fluorescent lightbulbs in the dumpster and then proceed to run away from the flying glass and the powder which is a toxic combination of mercury and phosphor. I thought there had to be a better safer way not only for individual safety but also for our Environment. After doing my research, I designed a machine that has since evolved to become the newest technology used today as far as we know and the only ones who can claim ZERO Mercury Emissions! We are excited to be building the first lightbulb recycling plant for the City of Calgary and the Province of Alberta in early 2023.
Relocating to Calgary provides the opportunity to introduce our Zero-Waste lightbulb recycling in Alberta, and later become the hub for Western Canada lightbulb recycling needs. Endorsed by several municipalities like Canmore, Cochrane and Rockyview County, We hope with your support by using our recycling service now this will become a reality.
Finally, the unwavering commitment and knowledge provided by the Gasonic Group Ltd. towards clean air and our environment is undeniable. Gasonic Group Ltd will always look at ways to better our Environment and I am proud to work within the Gasonic Group of Companies.
Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA)
With more than 25 years of experience in developing effective public-private partnerships, Jay Illingworth’s background crosses a wide range of technology-based initiatives for both government and industry.
He played a key role in developing the federal government’s e- business strategy, including an assignment as the secretariat team leader at Industry Canada for the Canadian E-Business Opportunities Roundtable. Through an Interchange Canada program, he also served as government programs manager for IBM Canada in Ottawa.
Jay served as Vice President of Electronics Product Stewardship Canada (EPSC) where he worked closely with Canada’s leading manufacturers of information technology and consumer electronics on a variety of environmental issues. In 2009 Jay was named the Director of Harmonization for Canada’s industry-led environmental stewardship programs for electronics. In that role he led the development of the industry’s performance measurement framework, and revitalized their work on setting and tracking environmental handling fees.
Since January of 2012 Jay has continued this harmonization work with the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA), including industry outreach and coordination for a wide range of newly regulated devices, liaison with EPR programs in the US and Europe, and is a member of the R2 Technical Advisory Committee.
Perk Eco Inc.
Jennifer works in waste innovations and waste reduction, creating circular economy solutions for materials with no good end-of-life solutions. She’s proud to have created and supported solutions that diverted over 8 million lbs of waste from landfills in the Beauty, Cannabis, and Coffee industries. A graduate of the University of Cambridge’s Business Sustainability Management program, Jennifer also became a Master Recycler through SPEC in 2020 before founding Perk Eco, Canada’s Nation-Wide Cup Recycling Program. She is Executive Director at the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation, Canada’s oldest environmental non-profit, and a Board Director of Zero Waste BC. She believes that we need to systematically and rapidly implement the existing solutions that humanity has created to keep our shared planet below 1.5 degrees of warming. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys our local trails and rivers with family, teaching her 2 young sons about biodiversity and the natural world.
Earthware Reusables Inc.
John is the Founder and CEO of Earthware Reusables Inc., a return-for-reuse takeout container service headquartered in Calgary Alberta. Earthware’s mission is to stop billions of single use takeout containers from being garbage on our streets or entering our landfills. Earthware is just over one year old but in that time has already replaced thousands of single-use takeout containers. With 285% month over month growth Earthware is keen to expand to other jurisdictions in Canada and globally.
John was previously CEO of Print Audit, a software company that reduced the use of office print paper and copy paper use. Print Audit was a global company with offices in 9 cities that was acquired in 2018. In the 20 years leading up to being acquired, it is estimated that Print Audit’s software products saved billions of trees having significant enduring impacts on reducing office print globally.
John Markiw is the General Manager for RNG Operations for Catapult Environmental. He is one of the founding partners of Highwood Organics and is charge of design and construction of the Highwood Facility for the newly minted Catapult Organics. A mechanical engineer, John comes from a long list of operational and design roles in the oil & gas sector with specific experience in gas treating.
Outside work, John is a jack of all trades. Part farmer, mechanic and welder he also finds time to run a HEMA (Sword Fighting) club in Calgary in his spare time.
Government of Alberta
Karen Wickerson is the Rat and Pest Program Specialist with the Government of Alberta. She is a registered veterinary technologist; working in a mixed animal practice for seven years before joining the government where she has worked for 12 years. In her veterinary career she has worked with everything from cattle, chickens, dogs, cats, and now rats and wild boar!
Karen previously worked as a journalist and as a labour and community organizer. She‘s an active transportation enthusiast and has participated in her downtown Toronto housing co-operative for more than 20 years. She’s passionate about getting plastics out of the environment.
Hyon Software Inc.
Kristy Ehman is three-time business owner, two-time mom and one-time wife. Based in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, Kristy launched tech company Hyon Software Inc in 2018 to help advance the circular economy in Canada. Hyon has ten full-time employees and works with large organizations in the public and private sectors.
Kristy currently chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee within Saskatchewan Trade and Export’s Board of Directors and is on the board with the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. Kristy is an active member in technology hubs such as CoLabs, Cultivator, Communitech, C100, NextFounders and Foresight. Hyon was recently awarded funding through Sustainable Development Technology Canada – a national fund supporting innovative and environmentally sound projects.
When she’s not working, you’ll find Kristy playing board games with the kids, getting dirty in the garden or napping.
Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association
Laura Selanders has been working in environmental compliance for her entire career, and specifically within EPR since 2007. She has held various positions within the financial services, transportation and retail sectors with a focus on environmental risk management. Her introduction to EPR was upon joining Home Depot Canada as the Senior Manager Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, and during that role, she sat on boards and working committees including ARMA, EPRA, CESA and Stewardship Ontario. Laura joined CESA as President in 2013 and has been focused on bringing costs down and recycled tonnage up over the past decade. Laura believes EPR is a highly effective way for municipalities to better manage waste and recycling, and puts the onus on industry to manage products at end of life in a cost-effective manner. “Effective extended producer responsibility starts with a regulatory framework that allows industry the freedom to meet its obligations.”
Leah is a passionate and professional environmental leader with extensive experience in managing community waste reduction programs. With over 20 years of service in the public sector, she helped kick start Strathcona County’s Green Routine waste collection program and more recently led the community through the development of a new Waste Management Roadmap, which outlines a collective, community-wide commitment to rethinking waste and diverting more from landfill. It prioritizes an expanded waste hierarchy: rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and residual, which moves the community towards a circular economy and leading practices in waste management.
Leah is particularly enthusiastic about understanding and shifting behaviours associated with waste practices. She’s always looking for creative opportunities to educate and create positive change, innovation and environmental improvement.
Lindsay has extensive experience working with municipalities through waste reduction / prevention strategies, policy development, and circular economy road mapping and implementation. Lindsay is currently the Project Advisor for the Canadian Circular Cities & Regions Initiative (CCRI), working with four national partner organisations and 25 local governments across the country. She is also the team lead for the Recycling Council of Alberta’s Circular Communities project, serving as the liaison with five Alberta municipalities.
Product Care Association
Mark is the president of Product Care Association with its head office in Vancouver, BC, a paint recycling plant in Delta BC, and offices in Toronto and Montreal. Product Care is a non-profit industry association that operates extended producer responsibility programs across Canada.
Product Care manages programs on behalf of its members and also provides program management services to other stewardship organizations. Products and programs managed by Product Care include paint, lighting products, flammable liquids, pesticides, smoke alarms, as well as small appliances and outdoor power equipment.
Product Care also participates in recycling programs in the USA. PCA operates the Washington State Mercury Containing Lamps “LightRecycle” program. PCA also works with the Mattress Recycling Council which operates programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island and is now also working with the California Thermostat program.
Mark became the president of Product Care Association in 2002 and is a qualified lawyer.
Mehr Nikoo manages a clean technology portfolio at Alberta Innovates focusing on Bioenergy and the Circular Economy. Her work is focused mainly on the utilization of agricultural and forestry residues and waste, plus plastics and emerging waste, while reducing products entering landfills.
Mehr is a professional engineer with two master’s degrees in chemical engineering and environmental systems engineering.
Mehr’s diversified work experience involves leveraging her engineering and project management skills over the past 20+ years to advance renewable fuels and waste diversion technologies.
She’s commercialized sustainable products and is an experienced process engineer working for Stantec and Rally Engineering. Mehr has also worked as a research engineer and project management professional in clean energy for InnoTech Alberta and in start-up companies.
Alberta Innovates is where Mehr’s experiences in the development, management, and commercialization of clean technologies come to fruition for the benefit of the province.
Mike is the Co-Founder of Change.Toothpaste Inc. with his business partner, Damien Vince. They created the company in 2019 after Mike’s daughter, Sydney, made them aware of the recycling issues with toothpaste tubes. After much research regarding the tube and how over 1 billion (yes, with a B) tubes enter landfills yearly and take over 500 years to break down, we could either ignore that information or do something about it. Change was needed. Now we have spent the last 3 years making a great toothpaste tablet and creating awareness of a small issue that has a great environmental impact.
Mike’s is surrounded by supportive family members. His wife Gillian of 27 years and 3 great children: Joshua, Jacob and Sydney, along with Scout the dog. They all do their part on keeping Mike on the straight and narrow when it comes to sustainability and are quick to correct him when he is wrong… which is often.
After completing his MA in Media and International Development, Pascal spent four years with the Alberta NDP Caucus. Pascal has been directly involved in Alberta politics for almost two decades, including as a candidate in 2008, and has a deep and current knowledge of Alberta politics. Pascal has been with Alberta Counsel since 2015.
Bow Valley Waste Management Commission
Peter holds a Master Degree in Environmental Studies with a background that ranges from hydrometeorology to wildlife ecology and environmental impact assessment. He began his career working for the Canadian Parks Agency’s interpretive program in Banff and Jasper National Parks planning and producing a variety heritage interpretation exhibits. Mr. Duck has also worked independently as an interpretive naturalist and instructor for many years.
Past activities have included serving as a wildlife technician for ecological land classifications including caribou and grizzly bear habitat evaluations. Peter is active as an advocate for environmental sustainability and has served on a number of local and national environmental advisory committees.
He is currently president of a local naturalist society and works for the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission serving as Regional Coordinator. From his office at the Francis Cooke Resource Recovery Centre, his work looks up the waste stream to municipalities, NGO’s and businesses to help ensure the circular economy becomes a reality. Peter believes that responsible waste management lies at the crossroads of economic and environmental sustainability and will stimulate the economic efficiencies and environmental stewardship essential to supporting healthy communities and ecosystems.
City of Lethbridge
Raene Barber is the Sustainability Engineer within the Waste and Recycling Department at the City of Lethbridge. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Civil Engineering and a focus on structural and geotechnical engineering. After a few years in consulting, Raene transitioned into her role at the City of Lethbridge.
Raene’s work at the City primarily consists of corporate sustainability projects including energy, electrification, and circular economy initiatives. She is particularly interested in waste reduction, climate change mitigation, and community climate adaptation. She has a deep love for music, the environment, and relaxing with friends and family!
Rafiq Ahmad, Ph.D.
University of Alberta
Dr. Rafiq Ahmad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta. He is the founder and director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing, Design and Automation (LIMDA), focusing on hybrid & Smart systems. Dr. Ahmad is also the founder and director of “Aquaponics 4.0 Learning Factory (AllFactory),” focusing on researching system design and development for plants and fish production in a symbiotic ecosystem indoor soil-less environment. His research interest includes smart engineering systems design and development, digitization, lean manufacturing, hybrid-manufacturing combining additive and subtractive technologies, green technologies (3Rs: recycling, remanufacturing, and repair), and robotics.
Dr. Ahmad is a Ph.D. in advanced manufacturing from Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France and Master’s in design and manufacturing from Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Arts et Metiers (ENSAM- Paris) France. He holds a BSc-degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Pakistan. Dr. Ahmad also obtained a Post-doctoral fellow for a two-year at the University of Luxembourg.
Dr. Ahmad runs numerous research programs and industrial collaborations targeting the implementation of Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, robotization, and green technologies in manufacturing, agriculture, and construction areas. Dr. Ahmad is a board member of the International Society of Automation (ISA-Edmonton section, Co-UofA Student Section Advisor) and APEGA and ASME. He is also an active editor, reviewer, and organizer of numerous international conferences and journals.
Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Government
Richard Adjei has worked in the field of environmental engineering and waste management for over 15 years. As a Senior Waste Policy Advisor with Alberta Environment and Parks, Richard is responsible for developing a variety provincial waste management policies and works collaboratively with certifying partners and other stakeholders in managing Alberta’s Landfill and Composting Facility Operator Certification program. To strengthen and modernize Alberta’s composting regulatory framework, Richard led the review and development an updated Code of Practice for Compost Facilities which was published on January 14, 2022.
Prior to joining the Government of Alberta, Richard worked in the waste management industry in Europe, and as a Technology Development Specialist with the Edmonton Waste Management Center of Excellence where he worked on several projects related to wastewater treatment, solid waste management, waste-to-energy, and composting.
Richard holds a Master’s in Environmental Engineering from the University of Alberta, and a Bachelor’s in Biochemical Engineering from Jacobs University, Germany.
Sam Dietrich is the Co-founder and CEO of Prairie Robotics – a Canadian Clean-Tech startup focused on making recycling simple. He first started working in the Waste Industry at 16 as a driver for “To-D-Dump Disposal”. He continued employment until he began studying Engineering at the University of Regina where he majored in Industrial Systems Engineering and received a double minor in Software and Electronics Engineering.
Upon graduating Sam immediately started working for technology startups within Clean-Tech and Gov-Tech industries.
Since Co-founding Prairie Robotics, he’s led the business development team, which works with municipal and hauling partners to provide recycling education. These solutions rely on artificial intelligence and “Internet-of-Things” (IoT) devices to drive consumer and business strategies. His role is focused on helping municipalities reach their diversion goals and move the world towards a Circular Economy.
University of Calgary - Haskayne School of Business
Serasu Duran is an assistant professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at Haskayne School of Business. Her research centers on investigating the impacts and operational aspects of new and disruptive technologies on existing supply chains, focusing on the energy industry and electricity markets. She is particularly interested in working on research questions motivated by real-life challenges that can guide policy. Before joining Haskayne, she completed her Ph.D. studies at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Steve Fletcher is currently the Executive Director of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association, a 180 member industry association, and Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada national association, an umbrella group of seven provincial recycling associations representing 350 professional auto recyclers across the country. He has managed auto recycling associations at the national and provincial level since 1992.
ARC had the pleasure of winning the Automotive Recyclers Association’s (ARA) Star Award as Affiliate Chapter of the Year in 2008 and 2010, and Steve was named Trendsetter of the Year at the 2010 ARA Convention.
Steve has hosted the three International Roundtable on Auto Recycling (IRT) in Quebec City, Liverpool and Niagara Falls, and has attended 9 of the 11 international events.
He writes articles for a variety of industry publications including the Canadian Auto Recycling Magazine, Collision Repair Magazine, Autosphere, Auto & Trucking Atlantic Magazine, Auto Recycling World, Recycling Product News, and the Automotive Recycling Magazine.
He has a B.Sc in Biology from the University of Waterloo, and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, and resides in London, Ontario.
As CEO for the largest tire Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) in Ontario, Steve has played a unique role in the successful implementation of the Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) model. eTracks provides regulatory compliance services by managing the flow, recycling, and re-purposing of end-of-life tires for producers. Steve launched eTracks as a start up in mid-2018, growing it to manage over 130,000,000 kg of materials annually, while becoming the benchmark for PRO services across all material types regulated under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA). Under his leadership, eTracks developed the first compliance credit marketplace in Canada which has now been incorporated into the Performance Auditing framework by the Regulator. He also led the development of eSRP, an IPR compliance technology platform focused on resource recovery through verified compliant transactions.
Prior to leading eTracks, Steve spent thirteen years as President and CEO of an environmental technology company, growing it from a start-up to a leader in waste treatment technology within the “Cleantech” space. He has more than a decade of experience in management consulting roles, working closely with start-ups and global Fortune 500 companies. He has been a board member for many private companies in the Toronto area including for profit and not for profit organizations. Steve lives with his family in Mississauga and enjoys sports and music in his free time.
Tessa is an Associate and Circular Economy Lead at Dillon Consulting with over a decade of experience catalyzing circular economy growth. She has worked with public and private organizations in Canada, the United States and The Netherlands across industries, including consumer goods, utilities, oil & gas, chemicals, automotive and the built environment. Her expertise includes circular growth strategy and roadmapping, change leadership, value chain opportunity and impact assessments, and catalyzing systemic innovation leveraging policy, technology and stakeholder alignment.
Prior to joining Dillon, Tessa oversaw the Ontario extended producer responsibility programs for Blue Box and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment at the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority. Before coming to Canada, Tessa developed and supported early initiatives in the US (NYC) and the Netherlands aiming at fostering innovative approaches to growing successful circular economy business cases. Tessa started her career working at Shell, tasked with increasing resource efficiency through operational excellence, R&D and capital projects. She holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Process and Energy Technology from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Dr. Tracey Spack has worked in the field of environment and health for the last 18 years, currently as the Director for the Plastics Regulatory Affairs Division where she is responsible for developing and implementing regulations to control and manage plastic waste and pollution, including the Single Use Plastic Prohibition Regulations that were published on July 22, 2022. She holds a doctorate in Medical Anthropology from the University of Alberta and has a Master’s Certificate in Public Management from the Sprott School of Business, Ottawa and in the Strategic Management of Regulatory and Enforcement Agencies from the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge.
Yong Sik Ok
Associations of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Sustainable Waste Management Program
Dr. Ok is a full professor and global research director of Korea University, Seoul, Korea. He has published over 900 research papers and books, 102 of which have been ranked as Web of Science ESI top papers (100 have been selected as “Highly Cited Papers” (HCPs), and two as “Hot Papers”). He has been a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher (HCR) since 2018 in Cross Field, Environment and Ecology, and Engineering. In 2019, he became the first Korean to be selected as an HCR in the field of Environment and Ecology. Again in 2021, he became the first Korean HCR in two fields: Environment and Ecology, and Engineering. He is working at the vanguard of global efforts to develop sustainable waste management strategies and technologies to address the rising crisis in electronic and plastic waste, and pollution of soil and air with particulate matter. Dr. Ok has also served in a number of positions worldwide including, as an honorary professor at the University of Queensland (Australia), a visiting professor at Tsinghua University (China), an adjunct professor at the University of Wuppertal (Germany), and a guest professor at Ghent University (Belgium). He maintains a worldwide professional network by serving as a Co-Editor-in-Chief of Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, an Editor of Environmental Pollution, a member of the editorial advisory board of Environmental Science & Technology, and an editorial board member of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Chemical Engineering Journal, and Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, and several other top journals. He currently serves as the Director of the Sustainable Waste Management Program for the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and the Co-President of the International ESG Association. Moreover, he has served on the Scientific Organizing Committee of P4G Nature Forum: Climate Change and Biodiversity, and Nature Forum: Plastics and Sustainability. Dr. Ok has also served as the chairman of numerous major conferences such as Engineering Sustainable Development series (ESD series), organized by the APRU and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). In 2021, Dr. Ok hosted the first Nature conference among South Korean universities in Seoul on waste management and valorization for a sustainable future together with Chief Editors of Nature Sustainability (Dr. Monica Contestabile), Nature Electronics (Dr. Owain Vaughan), and Nature Nanotechnology (Dr. Fabio Pulizzi). Prof. Ok will host the first Nature Forum on Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) for Global Sustainability: the “E” Pillar for Sustainable Business.