Steering Committee

A steering committee guides the initiative. Its members include representatives from various sectors—geothermal, solar, wind and hydropower—as well as from utilities, education, environmental recruitment, labour and engineering.

Michelle Branigan

Michelle Branigan is the Chief Executive Officer, for Electricity Human Resources Canada. She has been with the Council since 2007, starting as Senior Project Manager for several key initiatives including labour market research, succession planning, knowledge management and ESC’s Aboriginal project. Michelle was appointed Executive Director in July 2010, and oversees all Council operations and strategic planning.

With over 15 years of experience in project management and human resources development, Michelle brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. Hailing from the Irish State Development Agency (Enterprise Ireland) in Dublin, Ms. Branigan holds a Masters degree in Training and Performance Management from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom and is a certified Project Management Professional.

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Diane Obam Dallaire

Diane Obam Dallaire is the Senior Project Manager for  Electricity Human Resources Canada and currently leads the  Renewing Futures initiative.

Before joining her current organization, she was responsible for the overall management of a project aimed at identifying best practices and models for the integration of Essential Skills into the training and HR activities of organizations in the plastics sector. Diane also held various positions in Washington, DC as a public relations consultant for the Corporate Council on Africa, Program Manager for the Information Technology Association of America and Employment Manager for Verizon.

Diane is passionate about arts, culture and community engagement. She is the Co-Chair of Business for the Arts-artsScene Ottawa Gatineau. She currently sits on the Social Events Committee of the Rideau Club. Ms. Dallaire is an active member of the National Arts Center -Southam Club and the Canadian International Council-Africa Study Group. She holds a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa.

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Doug Hooper

Doug Hooper is a partner of Waterfall Group, which offers energy and bio-refining policy, strategic planning, regulatory and project development assistance to select companies and industry associations in the clean energy and bio-refining sectors.  Doug was a co-founder and CEO of Canadian Bioenergy Corporation from 2005 to 2011. Canadian Bioenergy joint ventured with Archer Daniels Midland Company to develop Canada’s largest biodiesel production project in Lloydminster, Alberta. Doug has 23 years’ experience in corporate and industry development, developing core expertise in strategic planning, finance, legal and government policy/regulation.

He has worked in three sectors – wireless communications, education and energy – to bring about transformative change to capitalize on emerging market opportunities.

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Jacob Irving

Jacob Irving has over 10 years of experience as an association manager and stakeholder relations specialist. He holds a B.S.Sc. in Political Science from the University of Ottawa.  Serving a nation-wide membership and reporting to its Board of Directors, Mr. Irving currently leads the Canadian Hydropower Association (CHA) whose mission is to promote the technical, economic, social, and environmental advantages of hydropower.

Mr. Irving joined the Alberta oil and gas industry in 2000 where he spent the decade working in all facets of stakeholder relations for some of the world’s largest energy companies.  Most recently, Mr. Irving was Executive Director of the Oil Sands Developers Group in Fort McMurray, where he served as an industry spokesperson and acted as a liaison between his member companies and a wide range of stakeholders.  Mr. Irving’s career has focused on the interaction between economic, social and environmental interests and he is motivated by achieving the broadest possible benefits from Canadian energy development.  

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Don Jardine

Don Jardine has over 20 years of experience as an educator with Nova Scotia Community College. Currently the Academic Chair, Environmental Sustainability and Development, Don led academic learning advancements in the design and construction of NSCC’s Centre for the Built Environment.  Don is responsible for leading professional development in interdisciplinary, Project-Based Learning; cross-curricular environmental literacy, Energy Futures program development and related initiatives within the School of Trades and Technology.

Don’s program management portfolio includes construction, transportation, manufacturing and horticulture trades and electronics engineering technology. NSCC responsibilities have included teaching, curriculum and program development, program accreditation, industry liaison, transitioning of staff and programs to new facilities, budget management and personnel relations.

Mr. Jardine is a Registered Professional Engineer with Engineers Nova Scotia, Certified Engineering Technologist (Honourary) with TechNova and holds a diploma from NSCC’s Community College Teacher Education Program, a Diploma in Audio Recording Engineering, and a Certificate in Business Management.

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Wesley Johnston

Wesley Johnston was born and raised in Prince Edward Island. He has a Business degree and Minor in Economics from the University of PEI and a Masters Degree in Applied Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. Currently Wesley is enrolled in the Queens University Executive MBA program. He joined CanSIA in 2007 where he is now the Director of Policy and Research and continues to work with many stakeholders to grow and strengthen the solar industry in Canada and abroad.

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Ted Kantrowitz (Renewing Futures Steering Committee Chair)

Ted Kantrowitz is Vice President for the Canadian Geoexchange Coalition (CGC). Prior to re-joining the CGC in 2005, Mr. Kantrowitz served as a small business consultant in Chicago, and also as an organizational development consultant to the City of Chicago’s Center for Green Technology.

Mr. Kantrowitz is keenly interested in issues of technology integration and exergy involving the business case for heat pumps, and has worked on a variety of initiatives involving energy and sustainability. Currently Chair of the national Renewing Futures Steering Committee for the Electricity Sector Council, he has served on the National Occupational Standards committee and is a past board member of Canada’s Net Zero Energy Homes industry initiative.

Mr. Kantrowitz earned a BA in Italian Literature from Rutgers University, an MBA from McGill University, holds a LEED a.p. designation, and speaks five languages.

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Dr. Willy Kotiuga

Dr. Willy Kotiuga is the Senior Director – Power Systems, with SNC-Lavalin, and has worked in over 25 countries as advisor to governments, electricity utilities, and international funding institutions on power sector issues over the past thirty years. He has acquired experience in power system planning and modelling, demand and supply-side management, energy efficiency, program evaluation, private sector participation, company/project management, institutional restructuring, and strategic planning. He has advised numerous governments in the development of power sector policy and sustainable growth strategies. He has also led the successful restructuring of power utilities in a number of jurisdictions which included extensive training programs. In addition to his consulting work with SNC-Lavalin, he was Head of Load Forecasting in Hydro-Quebec’s Strategic Planning Department and also managed the Canadian operations of Xenergy Canada (a firm specializing in Energy Efficiency). He is a founding member of the Leadership Council of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development.

Mr. Kotiuga received his B.Eng and M.Eng. degrees from Concordia University in Montreal and his PhD (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Waterloo

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Tom Levy

Tom Levy is a Professional Engineer, licensed in the Province of Ontario.
Tom spent seven years in a Waterloo-based consulting firm, and has over ten years progressive experience in the consulting field as an environmental engineer.  Tom has worked as a consultant to the wind industry for over eight years, primarily involved in planning, environmental assessments and development.

Mr. Levy is currently the Manager of Technical and Utility Affairs for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), and provides technical support to the CanWEA Policy Managers, and liaises with CanWEA members, government officials and the public on technical matters

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Owen Mahaffy

Owen Mahaffy has more than twenty-five years of experience in significant and senior functions within the regulated utility industry. He began his utility career with Ontario Hydro building his knowledge in the various aspects of power system planning, maintenance and asset management and has led many engineering projects related to distribution automation and asset renewal. At Hydro Ottawa he led their smart metering and time-of-use billing implementation project which was recognized by industry peers and associations for three consecutive years as one of North America’s best advanced metering infrastructure projects.

Currently Owen is adding to his breadth of experience in renewable energy as Director of Generation with Hydro Ottawa’s green power affiliate, Energy Ottawa. Owen has also contributed to expanding his own and his industry’s knowledge by participating in numerous working groups, panels and technical committees sponsored by agencies and advocacy groups including the Canadian Electricity Association, the Electricity Distributors Association, the Ontario Energy Board, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Waterpower Association.

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Melvin Mathison

Melvin Mathison first came to Lakeland College in 1989.  Melvin has an agricultural background with eight years actively farming and four years in the agriculture finance industry.  He instructed agricultural and environmental courses, mostly in the soils and land reclamation areas until the spring of 2005.  He is currently developing applied research opportunities for staff and students.

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Elisa Obermann

Elisa Obermann joined Marine Renewables Canada in 2012 to support and strengthen collaboration in the Atlantic region. She works to provide information and education for communities, businesses and individuals and engages government and other sectors to advance the development of a marine renewable energy industry in Canada that can be globally competitive.

Prior to joining OREG, Elisa worked at Nova Scotia Department of Energy where she focused on renewable energy policy and regulatory development including the province’s Renewable Electricity Plan and marine renewable energy policy. She also spent several years in the private sector, specialized in corporate communications and marketing. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters in Public Administration from Dalhousie University.

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Peter Olders

Peter Olders is currently the Provincial Training Director at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction Council of Ontario. IBEW represents thirteen local Unions across the Province of Ontario serving over 14,000 Electricians, Communication Workers and Linemen.
In 2009, IBEW along with The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario, charged Mr. Olders with the task of developing a photovoltaic training curriculum. In December 2011, CSA and NETCO announced the recognition of an ECAO/IBEW-CCO Solar PV Training Curriculum as first in Ontario to meet the requirements of solar personnel certification.

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Michael Paunescu

Michael Paunescu is a Senior Economist with the Electricity Resources Branch of Natural Resources Canada.  Michael has extensive experience in conducting economic and policy analyses for the renewable energy and electricity sectors in Canada. Amongst other assignments, since 2006 Michael has led the Canadian representation in the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency’s Implementing Agreement on Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (IEA-RETD).  In this quality, he has led international projects on costs of renewable energy, on renewable energy for residential heating and cooling, on deployment of offshore renewable energy technology, project risk management and renewable energy supply chain issues, amongst others.

Mr. Paunescu has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from HEC Montréal (HEC 2001) and Honours Bachelor’s degrees in economics from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and civil law from the University of Bucharest. 

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Daniel St-Onge

Daniel St-Onge was appointed in November 2006 as Managing Director, Business Development for Brookfield Energy Marketing-a subsidiary of Brookfield Renewable Power.  He is responsible for enhancing Brookfield’s related assets in the Northeast through structured transactions and optimization of long term contracts.  Since March 2003, he was acting as Managing Director,
Marketing.   Prior to joining Brookfield, Mr. St-Onge worked for PG&E
National Energy Group (“NEG”) in Bethesda, MD developing business strategies related to wholesale electricity and natural gas markets in northeastern Canada and the United States.  Before joining NEG, he worked for 8 years at Hydro-Québec where he held various positions in business development and long term contract management with external markets customers.

Mr. St-Onge is a law graduate (LL.B) from the University of Montreal and a member of the Quebec Bar since 1990.

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Gary Thompson (Renewing Futures Steering Committee Vice-Chair)

Gary Thompson is the Supervisor, Generation Planning & Transmission Capacity with Toronto Hydro Electric System Limited, where he currently works in the Capacity Planning Department – Asset Management Division.  Mr. Thompson is a Professional Engineer, registered in Ontario and the United Kingdom. He brings over 20 years of experience in the electrical transmission and distribution industry, with a special focus on the manufacture, design, and operation of equipment and systems.  Presently Vice Chair of the national Renewing Futures Steering Committee for the Electricity Sector Council, when Mr. Thompson is not busy as a part-time professor at Sheridan College teaching Power Systems and Industrial Control, he spends his spare time working in his community.

Mr. Thompson holds an MBA degree.

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Grant Trump

Grant Trump is the founding President and CEO of ECO Canada, the Environmental Careers Organization of Canada, Canada’s national Environmental Sector Council.  ECO Canada is an industry initiated and led Canadian corporation with a mission “to ensure an adequate supply of people with demonstrated skills and knowledge to meet the environmental human resource needs of the public and private sectors.”

Grant Trump is also the past-Chair of the Board of Directors and current Board member of TASC, The Alliance of Sector Councils-a coordinating group for over 30 Canadian Sector Councils that allows members to share common experiences and expertise in finding Canadian labour market solutions. He is also an Advisory Board member of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy, a Board member of the Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Network and a member of the HQP Development Committee of Carbon Management Canada.  Further, Grant Trump is a member of numerous other local, provincial, national and international committees and forums.

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Shelley Moorhead

Practical and logistical in nature, Shelley is a skilled project manager and planner with Waterwood Communications. Whether she’s developing a community consultation campaign for a wind power project or planning a large corporate event, she provides unparalleled expertise and attention to detail. Her strong customer focus, combined with her ability to deliver work on time and on budget, makes her a sought-after project leader. Shelley excels at working in high pressure environments where divergent interests are at stake. She’s a natural conciliator and a gifted communicator.

Ms. Moorhead holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa, specializing in Communications. She also possesses a certificate in International Communications and Public Relations from Salzburg College in Austria.

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 Anita Kolodziejski

Anita is the Project Coordinator & Stakeholder Relations for the organizations Renewable Energy initiative: Renewing Futures. This nationwide research will provide a foundation for the development of a pro-active human resource strategy for the electricity and renewable energy industry.

Immediately prior to joining EHRC, Anita completed her Masters abroad in International Relations and Political Diaspora from the Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland.  Anita also holds an Honours Degree with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in French from Carleton University, in Ottawa, On, Canada.  With a keen eye for both detail and the global context, Anita hopes to bring forth additional experience and perspective to the EHRC team.