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Chris Benedetti, Principal, Sussex Strategy Group
Chris Benedetti is a Principal with Sussex Strategy Group, and Head of its Energy andEnvironment Practice. With experience in both federal and provincial governments. Mr. Benedetti provides an in-depth insight and expertise into various policy development and political processes, and brings to Sussex an extensive background in strategic communications and public affairs.

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Mike Berlinski, Director, Emerging Technologies, Customized Energy Solutions
Mike Berlinski is Director, Emerging Technologies at Customized Energy Solutions (CES). Mike joined CES in 2014 in the Emerging Technologies group and is a recognized leader in the energy storage industry. Mike assists his clients by providing market intelligence, guidance for project development, and market analysis. Mike is an expert in FERC-related energy storage issues, and has specialized expertise in the PJM and New England markets. Mike’s work supports clients engaged in the advancement of nondiscriminatory and efficient wholesale market rules for electric storage resources.

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Shawn Bremner, Senior Business Development Engineer, OPG
Shawn Bremner is a Senior Business Development Engineer with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). Shawn has 18 years of experience working in the power generation field with experience working on; gas turbines, nuclear generation, hydro electric, solar PV and battery energy storage systems. 

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Hassan Fayaz, Electrical Team Lead, Power Ontario, Stantec
Hassan Fayaz is the Electrical Team Lead for Power Ontario with Stantec. He has more than 27 years of engineering experience in utility and industry and he has performed as a technical lead on projects. The services that he has provided are spread along the entire range of the projects’ life cycle. His most recent projects are energy storage, solar, wind, microgrid, transmission, distribution, power generation, mining, industrial and recently transportation. Hassan has been the technical lead on many transformational smart technology projects such as the Nova Scotia Power Microgrid where he was instrumental in evolving protection and control strategies required to safely operate an islanded microgrid.

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Jim Fonger, VP, Business Development & Distributed Resources, Ameresco Canada
As VP of Business Development & Distributed Resources at Ameresco Canada, Jim Fonger is responsible for all top line Sales at Ameresco along with developing the strategy that is establishing Ameresco as a leading Distributed Energy Resource provider. With over 30 years of business leadership in both the telecommunications and energy sectors, Jim brings unique experience to this post at Ameresco having lead the development of many energy service and smart city projects in the municipal sector.

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Ryan Franks, Business Manager, Global Energy Storage, CSA Group
Ryan Franks is Business Manager, Global Energy Storage at CSA Group charged with developing and executing strategy for energy storage. Prior to CSA Group, Ryan led international and domestic standardization projects for energy storage, microgrids, smart cities and other strategic and emerging electrotechnical concepts at NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Green Building Council. Ryan serves as a member of the Technical Management and Conformity Assessment and Policy Coordinating Committees of the US National Committee to the IEC. Ryan graduated with a BS in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Illinois, is pursuing an MBA at John Carroll University, and is the inventor on two patents.

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Tyler Hamilton, Director, Cleantech Ecosystem, MaRS Discovery District
Tyler Hamilton is Director of Cleantech Ecosystem at MaRS Discovery District, responsible for building a network of investors, innovation organizations and government agencies that can help Canadian cleantech ventures raise capital and scale globally. Previous to MaRS, Tyler spent two decades as a business journalist (Globe and Mail, Toronto Star) and wrote extensively about Canada’s clean technology sector and global cleantech trends. A recipient of the Cleantech Group’s “Pioneer” award for his early writings on the sector, Tyler was also recognized in 2016 on Canada’s “Clean50” list for his thought leadership on clean energy and climate issues.

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Patrick Judge, VP, Business Development, New Solutions, Hydro-Québec
Patrick Judge is Hydro-Québec’s Vice President, Business Development, New Solutions. He is in charge of evaluating and coordinating the commercialisation strategy of Hydro-Québec’s Innovations. Over that past 13 years within Hydro-Québec, Patrick has worked in IT’s strategic planning group and has deployed the IT portfolio planning methodology throughout Hydro-Québec’s divisions. For 6 years he managed the Generation group’s IT software development team, responsible for integrating or developing the custom applications. For more than three years now, Patrick has led the Business Development practice in Innovations.

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Leonard Kula, COO & VP, Planning, Acquisition and Operations, IESO
Leonard Kula is Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Planning, Acquisition and Operations at the IESO. In this role, Mr. Kula is responsible for the reliable and efficient province-wide power system both today and in the future. This includes planning, market design, resource and transmission procurement, real-time operations and engineering, and the Market Renewal Program. Prior to this position, Mr. Kula held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at the IESO.

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Thomas Leyden, Senior Director, Distributed Solutions, EDF Renewables
Thomas Leyden is Senior Director, Distributed Solutions with EDF Renewables. In his 30 years in solar he has held a number of executive management positions. He was VP of Sales and Marketing at WorldWater, a remote-power and water pumping company installing solar projects in Africa and Asia. He served as VP of East Coast Operations for SunPower, and later was VP of US Commercial Development at SolarCity. In 2012 he became CEO of the start-up Solar Grid Storage that was acquired by Sunedison in 2015. He joined EDF Renewables in 2016 to help develop and deliver innovative solar and storage business models.

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Bob Oliver, Principal, Tech-K.O
Bob Oliver is considered an independent source of knowledge and expertise on advanced vehicle technology deployment. He is actively consulted by governments, business and civil society groups throughout Canada. Currently, Bob leads Tech-K.O. – a boutique services agency focused on early-stage market development of clients’ technologies and solutions within the transportation sector in North America. Bob’s clients include Jacobs-CH2M, Fasken Martineau and Hydrogenics, collaborating on their behalf with several global automakers, regional public transit operators and infrastructure developers. Notably, Bob played an instrumental role in Metrolinx’s assessment of hydrogen technology and its decision to consider fuel cell-powered locomotives as a valid means of electrifying GO rail service in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

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Matthew Sachs, COO, Peak Power
Matthew Sachs is the COO of Peak Power, a North American based Energy Storage services provider focused on delivering innovative solutions to offset the most expensive hours of electric demand for utilities and building owners. Matthew has fifteen years of technical experience in the energy and real estate development sectors. He has held numerous senior roles from an energy consultant, where he evaluated renewable energy technologies for utilities and government programs to a property developer, where he oversaw the construction of over 1,500 energy efficient homes for over $550M in revenue. Matthew is a nationally recognized expert in energy efficiency in buildings and was recognized by the Ottawa Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” award in 2013.

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Francois Vitez, VP, Business Development, SNC-Lavalin Hydro and Power Delivery
Francois Vitez is Vice-President of Business Development for SNC-Lavalin Hydro and Power Delivery globally. As a renowned hydropower expert, he has over 20 years of experience in the development, engineering and construction management of renewable energy projects in Canada, USA and Internationally. Francois started specializing in the field of hydropower, beginning in 1992 on the James Bay hydroelectric complex of Hydro Quebec. Early on in Francois’s career, he worked at developing numerous small hydropower projects in Nepal including his own Khudi Hydropower Project. This project is still considered as a model for integrated renewable energy development in Nepal, and well recognised in Canada, winning both the Quebec and Canadian Engineering Association awards in 2008, under the International Projects Category.

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Mike Voll, Global Sector Leader, Smart Technologies, Stantec
Mike Voll is the Global Sector Leader for Stantec’s Smart Technology services. He has over 33 years of experience with both industrial and power clients serving positions with equipment suppliers, manufacturers, system integrators and the last 15 years with Stantec. In the last 8 years. Mike has supported the rehabilitation of Ontario’s electricity system through Stantec’s involvement in over 1GW of solar PV in addition to nearly 50MW of energy storage projects. Mike is also leading a research project to deploy a commercial microgrid for a research park near the University of Waterloo which should pave pathways for mass deployments of community microgrids globally.