Joel Austin is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Oncor, the sixth largest electric Transmission and Distribution Company in the United States. As head of Oncor’s Information Technology organization, Austin is responsible for strategy, information security, new systems development, production operations, inclusive of all networks and field telecommunications, and management of Oncor’s extensive sourcing relationships.
Beginning five years ago, Oncor initiated one of the most comprehensive advanced grid investment programs. As a result of this $1-billion-per-year investment program, Oncor is quickly proving itself a technology company as much as an electric utility. Austin oversees the implementation and operation of information technology platforms and communication networks, as well as management of the massive influx of data that enables the company to improve grid operation and customer interaction. He also is responsible for safeguarding Oncor’s data, ensuring that Oncor’s and its customers’ data is managed and secured in the safest way possible and meets the highest industry standards.
Under his leadership, Oncor’s grid, one of the nation’s most advanced smart grids, safely communicates billions of bits of data through a secure network while its power lines move electricity to 3.2 million homes and businesses in Texas. The data is used by Oncor to measure the amount of electricity its customers are using and is available for Oncor’s customers to monitor their electric usage through web-enabled solutions that can help them lower their electric bills. In 2012, Austin was part of the team that linked Oncor’s advanced metering system with its outage management system, allowing for wireless and automatic communication and repair of potential power issues on the grid.
He has more than 27 years of experience in the energy, finance and software industries at Informix, ENSERCH, Deloitte & Touché and the Texas Utility companies, where he has held a number of business operations, IT and leadership roles.
Austin serves on several educational and civic boards, including the Information Technology Operations Management Advisory Board at Southern Methodist University and Treasurer, and Board Member for the North Texas Business Council for the Arts.
Austin holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in business from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.
Lawrence Slade is the CEO of Energy UK. Lawrence was Energy UK's first Chief Operating Officer when it was formed in 2012 and had specific responsibility for all energy supply activities including retail markets, smart metering & grids, energy efficiency and consumer engagement.
Lawrence has been involved in the energy industry since the 1990’s working in many countries building an understanding of the geopolitics of energy and how the sector is central to everyday life and thriving economies. He believes innovation can harness new sources of energy, helping generate and use energy more efficiently while ensuring our power sector is resilient as it moves to a low-carbon economy.
Lawrence ran the Energy Retail Association before Energy UK and previously ran the Society of Petroleum Engineers, expanding the society's operations in Russia, the Caspian and Africa. He was also Deputy CEO and Technical Director of the Energy Institute in London.
Peter Fraser is Vice President, Industry Operations and Performance at the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), the energy regulator in the province of Ontario, Canada. This Division focuses on the OEB’s interface with industry, including the OEB’s regulations, licensing, and the reporting, assessment and audit of utility performance.
Prior to joining the OEB in 2004, Peter worked for six years at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, France, as senior electricity policy advisor and spent nearly nine years as energy policy advisor at the Ontario Ministry of Energy. Peter holds master’s degrees in physics from Queen’s University and in environmental studies from York University and a BSc in physics from the University of Toronto.
Jim is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Entegrus Inc. and has been with Entegrus since 2001. Prior to joining Entegrus, Jim worked in leadership positions in finance and regulatory in utility companies in the gas, water, electrical and cable television sectors.
Under Jim’s leadership Entegrus has purchased and merged with 3 other Utilities in South-western Ontario which brings the total communities served to 16 and has been active in promoting large renewable projects in South Western Ontario.
Jim is active in the Ontario Energy sector as the past Chair of the Electricity Distributors Association and a participant in the Ontario Energy Board Chair’s Leadership Roundtable and Industry Advisory Steering Committee.
He has a Certified General Accountants Designation and an MBA from the University of Windsor. Jim also recently obtained the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from The Directors College (a joint venture of McMaster University and The Conference Board of Canada).
Carmine Marcello is the Special Advisor to the Chairman and President & CEO. Carmine previously served as the President & CEO of Hydro One Inc. (January 2013 – September 2015) and Executive Vice-President, Strategy (2010). His work to transform the business upon the de-merger of Hydro One included the development, construction and implementation of the Ontario Grid Control Centre. The Centre opened in 2004 and was a North American first, drawing together complete transmission control in a single geographic point, operating the grid for a service territory that stretches 640,000 square kilometres and reducing costs for rate payers. Carmine provided technical and business leadership that allowed for Ontario’s successful effort to shut down coal generation, introduce renewables into the grid and foster the smart grid. Carmine is the current Chair of Hydro One Brampton, guiding the organization through the merger process underway with adjacent utilities. He also serves on the board of directors for Plug’n Drive. Carmine has served as a North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Member Representatives Committee (MRC) and in 2011, was elected to the North American Transmission Forum Board of Directors for a two-year term. He is a past Chair of the Canadian Electricity Association Transmission Council. He has played prominent roles on issues such as cyber security, technology and grid security with U.S.-based North American Electricity Reliability Corporation, the Edison Electric Institute and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Carmine holds a Master of Business Administration from York University, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers.
Ray is responsible for the development and integration of Essex Power Corporation and its three subsidiaries into successful businesses: Essex Powerlines, Essex Power Services and Essex Energy He is past Chair and current board member of the Utilismart Corporation Board of Directors,. He is the previous co-chair of the Retail Settlement Code Committee, and sat on the Market Ready Task Force representing Essex Power along with a select group of other utilities that participated in Electricity Market Retail Testing for the Province of Ontario. Ray was appointed and served two terms as the Distributor Representative to the Technical Panel of the Independent Electricity System Operator (I.E.S.O.) which is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Ontario's electrical system. Ray is also a member of the Ontario Energy Board’s Forum Planning Steering Committee
Ray serves as the Chair on the board of directors of the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) for the 2015-2016 terms.. Ray represents the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) on the I.E.S.O Smart Grid Forum. Ray has been appointed to the EDA Industry Environment Council to provide feedback for Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) on emerging policy issues and draft submissions. Ray currently also serves in the role of Chair for the EDA Western District.
Ray holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Windsor, and registered with the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario in 1988. Ray has 30 years of proven experience in engineering, planning, market settlement, business integration and innovation.
Usman Syed is the Director of Conservation and Energy Efficiency at the Ontario Ministry of Energy. Usman is responsible for the implementation of the province's electricity and natural gas conservation programs and frameworks, as well as energy efficiency codes and standards. Prior to this role, he held a number of positions at the Ministry of Energy where he led a variety of key initiatives, including the province-wide implementation of smart meters and time-of-use pricing as well as the design and launch of Ontario's $50 million Smart Grid Fund.
Usman represents Ontario on various working groups and committees including the Canadian Energy Strategy Energy Efficiency working group and the federal governments Steering Committee on Energy Efficiency working group.
Prior to joining the Ministry of Energy, Usman worked as an IT consultant in the Banking and Telecom industries where he specialized in Project Management of large scale software development and IT infrastructure deployment initiatives.
Usman holds an Honours B.A. in Economics from the University of Toronto and a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from the Project Management Institute.
Nicholas has over 23 years of experience in the electricity sector in a number of fields, from the construction and upgrade of hydroelectric and combined cycle gas generating stations, working in a number of IT and project management roles, government and regulatory affairs, internal audit as well as market and system operations. Nicholas has been with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) for 16 year and in his current role as Director, Market Operations at the, Nicholas is responsible for real-time system operations, operational effectiveness and market forecasts and integration.
Nicholas has participated in a number of industry committees including being a member and past Chair of the Canadian Electricity Association’s Regulatory Development Task Group, a member of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) Severe Impact Resilience Task Group and NERC’s Reliability Metrics Working Group.
Heather Kleb is the President of Women in Nuclear-Canada. She is also a Senior Program Manager in the regulatory affairs program at Bruce Power. She has a Master of Science in Ecology and is finishing up the Executive MBA program at Queen’s University. She has over 20 years of experience working on multi-million dollar projects in the logging, mining, oil and gas and nuclear industries. Heather has held a number of positions at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, including Manager, Regulatory Affairs, for the cleanup and long-term management of historic low-level radioactive waste in Port Hope and Clarington, Ontario. Prior to joining AECL, she worked as an environmental consultant, monitoring Luscar Limited’s coal mines and conducting environmental assessments of Weyerhaeuser’s Forest Management Plans. Heather has also worked overseas. As an employee of Anglo American she provided environmental assessment, environmental monitoring and management services to AMCOAL, De Beers, and AngloGold while in South Africa, Botswana and Mali. More recently she has assumed the positions of Interim President & CEO and Vice President of the Canadian Nuclear Association.
Following almost 20 years with the World Bank in Washington, DC, Dan returned to Ontario in 2012 to take up the post of Associate Professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science.
Dan's academic background includes degrees in Earth Sciences (University of Waterloo), a Masters in Environmental Engineering (Guelph) and a PhD in Civil (Sustainability) Engineering (University of Toronto) obtained in 2015.
Daniel Hoornweg joined the World Bank in 1993 as a ‘Young Professional’ and managed approximately $5 billion in infrastructure investments, working in regions worldwide. Dan worked with more than 300 national and sub-national governments, as well as their agencies and utilities. Dan was Lead Advisor in the Bank’s Urban Development Anchor overseeing the Sustainable Cities and Climate Change programs.
Dan is a Board Director with Waste Diversion Ontario and the Sustainable Community Award, Sweden. He is a member of the Engie (GDF Suez) Urban Strategy and Innovation Council; Advisory Board ‘CityWorks’ Evergreen Brickworks; Durham Region Roundtable on Climate Change (UOIT appointee); Amsterdam Smart City Capital (Advisor); and previously Philips Livable Cities think-tank. Dan is a Senior Fellow, with the Global Cities Institute, University of Toronto, a contributor with Corporate Knights Magazine and regularly blogs with UOIT and the World Bank. Dan is also the Chief Safety and Risk Officer for the Province of Ontario (Technical Standards and Safety Authority, TSSA).
In addition to reviews of solid waste management and sustainable cities, Dan’s most recent books are ‘Cities and Sustainability: A New Approach’ (Routledge 2016) and editor of ‘Letters to a Young Engineer’ (Canadian engineering convocations 2014 - 2016).
Atul Mahajan is the President and CEO at Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation (OPUC). In his 30 year career across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia, Atul has used his entrepreneurial spirit and extensive operational experience to bring innovations to companies in diverse industries.
As the CEO of Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation, Atul plays a pivotal role in the overall strategic and tactical operations of OPUC and its subsidiaries involved in energy distribution, energy generation and telecom ventures. Atul is leading the team at OPUC through a major “cultural change” and strategic initiative to achieve operational excellence in all its business lines.
In his career, Atul has worked extensively in negotiating and establishing joint ventures, recruiting and managing teams for such joint ventures and in developing and implementing plans for growth in diverse international markets such as Europe, Africa and Asia
Atul is also very involved in the community. He serves on the Board of Toronto East General Hospital and is active in fundraising efforts for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
John is Manager, Geographic Information Systems with FortisBC Energy Inc. FortisBC serves over 1.1 million gas and electric customers in 135 communities located throughout the province of British Columbia. John has over 35 years of experience in the utility industry and has held a variety of positions including Construction Planning Manager, Engineering Administration Manager, Accounting Manager, Labour Relations Officer, and Facilities Manager. John’s primary focus throughout his career has been in change management, process improvement and automation. He is currently leading a group of dedicated Engineers, Technologists and Technicians delivering geospatial services, records management, and project services for FortisBC.
Graham is responsible for implementing the Greenprint, Markham’s Community Sustainability Plan. He leads a small team that champions the City’s corporate and community energy, community food and sustainability reporting and outreach programs. Graham has more than fourteen years of engineering and management experience in a variety of industries including; automotive, transit, green buildings, energy management and local government. He is Vice President of the Board of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association.
Gord recently joined ERTH Corporation (the parent company of Erie Thames Powerlines, an LDC in South Western Ontario) as the Vice President of Corporate Development, where he is responsible for the planning and execution of a wide range of strategies to meet specific organizational objectives.
Gord was most recently the Managing Director of Capgemini’s Canadian Utilities Practice and the Global innovation leader for the Power & Utility sector. He was also a member of Capgemini’s Global Sector Council. Prior to his most recent role, Gord spent 8 years as the Global lead for Capgemini’s Smart Energy Services and Digital Utilities Transformation initiatives for the Energy, Utility and Chemicals sector.
In these roles, Gord assists many Power and Utility companies by being deeply involved in many critical business initiatives. He has spent most of his 20‐year career servicing the Power and Utility industry in a variety of capacities ranging from field and back‐office operations, strategy development, and transformational consulting, to post‐merger integration and operational restructuring, and performance audits. Specifically, he has led engagements with Hydro One, BC Hydro, Toronto Hydro, Sempra/SDG&E, Enbridge, EDF Energy (UK), SP AusNet (AUS) among others. Through this experience, Gord has an appreciation of the issues facing the industry and has gained insights into leading performance and can assist his clients by bringing practical advice in the areas of operations, strategy, business models, and processes and technology.
Mark Henderson is Executive Vice President, Asset Management and Chief Operating Officer of PowerStream Inc., the second largest municipally- owned electricity distribution company in Ontario. PowerStream serves more than 360,000 customers in eleven communities across York Region and Simcoe County and is jointly owned by the City of Vaughan, the City of Markham and the City of Barrie. Formerly, Mark was President and CEO of Barrie Hydro Distribution Inc. Prior to joining Barrie Hydro, Mark spent more than a dozen years in the business strategy and management consulting industry.
Ron Clark is a partner and a member of Aird & Berlis LLP’s Corporate/Commercial Group and Energy Team. Ron’s practice includes a strong focus on energy which involves counselling stakeholder groups, retailers, distributors and generators on legislative and policy matters relating to electricity markets. He has also been retained in connection with power procurement arrangements, development of generation and cogeneration facilities and the Ontario government's clean energy supply and renewable energy supply RFPs and contracts. Ron regularly speaks and writes about various energy topics and is a contributor to www.energyinsider.ca, A&B’s blog on issues related to energy regulation.
Ron is widely recognized for his energy law expertise by publications such as Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers, Guide to the World’s Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers, The Legal 500 Canada and The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Rish Ghatikar is a seasoned smart grid, demand response, and clean energy technology innovator. Over the years, Ghatikar has successfully led technology development for electric grid transactions and automated demand response, enabling California to adopt dynamic pricing programs and mandatory automation in building codes.
Before joining Greenlots, Rish led research on enabling technologies and open standards for grid integration at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where he was able to establish the Demand to Grid (D2G) Lab. Additionally, Ghatikar served on the Board of Directors and as the Vice Chairman for the OpenADR Alliance and a number of initiatives to investigate and accelerate global adoption of smart grid interoperability and clean energy technologies. He was also the U.S. Project Director for the U.S.-India Joint Center for Building Energy Research and Development (CBERD).
Rish Ghatikar’s work has appeared in over 70 publications and he is regularly asked to speak at events. Ghatikar holds Masters degrees in Telecommunication Systems, Computer Technologies, and Infrastructure Planning & Management.
As Executive Director of QUEST — Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow — Brent Gilmour leads the research, engagement, and advocacy activities to advance Smart Energy Communities in Canada. Brent is a registered professional planner with 12+ years of experience in community energy, transportation, land use planning, downtown revitalization and public infrastructure investment. A passionate champion for sustainable development, he has also worked with the Canadian Urban Institute, the University of Toronto’s Sustainability Office, and as an independent research consultant; and remains active at the community level serving as an occasional instructor with York University, Osgoode Hall Law School.
Brad Wasson is the Director of Product Development at NB Power. In this role he is responsible for creating NB Power’s portfolio of energy-related products and services for its 360,000 customers. The Product Development group at NB Power is leveraging new business capabilities and technologies that NB Power is deploying as part of its grid modernization strategy. Brad is also the past Director of NB Power’s Reduce and Shift Demand smart grid program.
Brad has an engineering degree from the University of New Brunswick and a Master’s degree in Computational Science from the University of Saskatchewan. Brad joined NB Power in 2013 following a 25-year career in information technology and management consulting. Brad worked for DMR Consulting and Hewlett-Packard before co-founding Business Bridge Inc, an Atlantic Canada-based management consultancy, in 2004. Brad has specialized in strategic planning, program and project portfolio management, delivery of IT Service Management engagements, and corporate knowledge management. He has delivered engagements in the private, crown corporation and public sectors.
Adam Sax is President and CEO of The Sky Guys, an integrated drone firm largely committed to understanding and satisfying the sales and marketing needs of the real estate industry with drone technology.
A serial entrepreneur with deep roots in real estate and technology, Adam started his first company at the age of 13 and has since founded and grown dozens of successful companies ranging from Internet businesses to real estate brokerages to global development firms.
He has been featured in the Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, REM | Real Estate Magazine, BlogTO and BuzzBuzzHome, is an ongoing contributor to UrbanToronto and Metro News, and his current company, The Sky Guys, has been featured on television programs such as Dragon's Den and Picture Perfect.
A technological visionary, Adam has a raw ability to create and market, which has been refined over years of experience in sales, strategy, and business innovation across a wide range of markets. He now endeavors to make the revolutionary benefits of drone technology accessible and applicable to Canadian real estate professionals.
The Sky Guys are leaders in the aerial drone space, providing photography, video, mapping, inspection, and surveying solutions to clients across all sectors, with a dominant presence in real estate.
In addition to their primary core service business, they have a manufacturing division focused on design and development of cutting edge drone technology, a UAV University that trains hundreds of UAV pilots every month, and a consulting division that helps facilitate larger firms as they transition into the UAV market by providing direction with SFOC applications and approvals, risk analyses and onsite training.
The Sky Guys are widely regarded as the most advanced small unmanned aircraft consultancy in Canada. They have a national presence with offices across the country in addition to strategic partnerships around the globe that allow them to serve their clients overseas.
One of a handful of companies to be granted an SFOC Standing Order with Transport Canada, they are available on call 24/7 almost anywhere in the country, day or night. They have established
Devin McCarthy is the Director of Transmission & Distribution policy issues at the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA). In this capacity Devin leads the Association’s work in areas such as overcoming barriers to electricity system investment, championing grid modernization development and deployment, ensuring continuous occupational health & safety improvement, and coordinating industry funding for standards development. Devin helps to shape and communicate industry approaches to these issues with a focus on high-level business impacts and opportunities to collaborate with key stakeholders including federal government departments. Devin holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics from Queen’s University.