Speakers




Mike Harcourt - Keynote Speaker
Former Premier of British Columbia and Mayor of Vancouver

As former premier of British Columbia, Mayor of Vancouver and City Councilor, Mike Harcourt helped British Columbia earn its reputation as one of the most liveable, accessible and inclusive places in the world. His focus on conservation and sustainable development, and his resolve to contribute to the transformation of cities and communities around the world, has played a significant role in promoting quality of life for those in Canada and abroad.

After stepping down from politics, Harcourt was appointed by the Prime Minister to serve as a member of the National Round Table on the Environment and Economy, where he served on the Executive Committee and Chaired the Urban Sustainability Program. He was also a federally appointed B.C. Treaty Commissioner; Chair of the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee for Cities and Communities; and co-chaired the National Advisory Committee on the UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum in Vancouver in 2006.

Harcourt is currently Chair of the University of British Columbia's Regional Sustainability Council for sustainability initiatives, as well as the Associate Director of the Centre for Sustainability Continuing Studies at U.B.C. In addition to acting as Chairman of Quality Urban Energy Systems for Tomorrow (QUEST), he also chairs the Canadian Electricity Association's Sustainable Electricity Program Advisory Panel. Harcourt is a member of City of Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team, and was part of an advisory group that helped Whistler put together it's Natural Step based on sustainable cities strategy. Presently, he is the lead faculty in United Way's Public Policy Institute and is on the Advisory Committee to the Canada West Foundation.

Harcourt's exemplary career as lawyer, community activist, and politician has been honoured with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the Canadian Urban Institute's Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award. He was awarded the U.B.C. Alumni Achievement Award of Distinction for contributions to British Columbia and the global community in November, 2008; joined the U.B.C. Law Deans Advisory Council and made an Honorary Fellowship of The College of Fellows, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2010. In 2011, Harcourt received the Peter Lougheed Award in Public Policy. Al Gore also applauded Premier Harcourt for permanently preserving the jointly shared ecosystem of the Tatshenshini River and Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park in Northwest British Columbia in 1993.

Harcourt is the author of A Measure of Defiance and co-author of Plan B: One Man's Journey from Tragedy to Triumph and City Making in Paradise.



Paul Shorthouse
Director of Research & Strategic Planning, GLOBE Advisors

Paul Shorthouse has been working with the GLOBE Group since March 2009, most recently as Director of Research and Strategic Planning for GLOBE Advisors, a subsidiary of the Vancouver-based organization.

Formed in 1993, the GLOBE Group is dedicated to finding practical business-oriented solutions to the world's environmental problems by helping companies and individuals realize the value of economically-viable environmental business opportunities through its conferences and events, market research and consulting, project management, communications, and awards.

As Director of Research and Strategic Planning for GLOBE Advisors, Paul has been involved in managing a number of comprehensive projects on the green economy in Canada and the United States, identifying low-carbon strengths, opportunities, and challenges and forging sustainable economic development strategies in order to promote the energy and resource efficiency, increase investment, and stimulate job creation.

Paul also serves as Director of Conference Programming for GLOBE Events where he is responsible for overseeing program development for this international summit on the “business and sustainability”, considered one of the largest events of its type in the world. In 2012, the GLOBE Conference and Trade Fair attracted 1,800 delegates and participants from more than 55 countries – of which approximately 650 were company CEOs and / or Presidents of their organizations. In 2011, Paul helped launch the inaugural GLOBE Latin America Conference in Costa Rica.

Paul is a member of three project-based Advisory Groups on the “green economy” in Canada and was also an active member of two City of Vancouver External Advisory Committees, working closely with the City and the Vancouver Economic Commission in their efforts to make Vancouver the "Greenest City in the World” by 2020.

Paul has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Victoria and a Diploma of Technology in Marketing Management and Entrepreneurship from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Prior to his time with the GLOBE Group, Paul worked as an eco-tour guide and as a SCUBA dive biologist and instructor in Canada, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia. Paul lives in Vancouver with his wife Aly and one year old son Logan.



Bob McDonald - Youth Event Speaker
Host of CBC's "Quirks and Quarks"

Bob McDonald has been communicating science internationally through television, radio, print and live presentations for more than 30 years. He is the host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks,the award-winning science program with a national audience of nearly 500,000 people. He is also a regular reporter for CBC Television’s The National as well as Gemini winning host and writer of the children’s series Head’s Up. McDonald has also hosted Greatest Canadian Invention and the seven-part series Water Under Fire.

As a print journalist, McDonald has authored three science books and contributed to numerous science textbooks, newspapers and magazines including The Globe and Mail, Owl Magazine and many others. His latest book is Measuring the Earth With a Stick, and he has written the introductions to The Quirks & Quarks Question Book, The Guide to Space: 42 Questions (and Answers) About Life, the Universe, and Everything as well as Nasty, Brutish and Short, the Quirks Guide to Animal Sex.

Beyond his work in media, McDonald is Chairman of Geospace, an exciting new environmental centre and planetarium for the Toronto Waterfront.

McDonald has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of science in Canada as the recipient of the Michael Smith Award from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Sir Sanford Fleming Medal from the Royal Canadian Institute and the McNeil Medal from The Royal Society of Canada. McDonald was also the recipient of a 2008 Gemini Award for Best Host in a Pre-School, Children's or Youth Program or Series.

He has received six honourary Doctorates, from the University of Guelph, Carleton University, Laurentian, McMaster, University of Winnipeg and University of Calgary. In 2011, he was appointed to the Order of Canada.

McDonald is constantly in demand to speak for a variety of audiences across Canada.



Hon. Tom Hedderson
Minister of Environment and Conservation

First elected to the House of Assembly on February 9, 1999 to represent the District of Harbour Main - Whitbourne. Tom has served as Opposition Critic for Education (K-12), Parliamentary Assistant to the Leader of the Opposition and as Critic for Youth Services and Post-Secondary Education. Re-elected for a second term on October 21, 2003, Tom was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education and Youth Services & Post-Secondary Education. Mr. Hedderson was appointed Minister of Education October 1, 2004. Mr. Hedderson was appointed Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation on November 8, 2005.

On October 9, 2007, Tom was reelected to the House of Assembly for a third term, and on October 30, he was appointed Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister Responsible for the Volunteer and Non-Profit Sector.

Tom was appointed Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture on October 31, 2008, and served as Acting Minister of Municipal Affairs, and Acting Minister Responsible for Emergency Preparedness, and Registrar General from October 26, 2009 to March 18, 2010.

Tom was re-elected once again on October 11, 2011, and on October 28, 2011, he was appointed Minister of Transportation and Works and Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.

On October 19, 2012, Tom was appointed Minister of Environment and Conservation, being responsible also for the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Traging, and the Multi Materials Stewardship Board.

Tom is the youngest in a family of 9 brothers and 10 sisters. He and his wife Rosemary have 2 children and reside in the community of Georgetown.



Leigh Puddester
Chair and CEO, MMSB (Multi-Material Stewardship Board)

Leigh Puddester is the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the MMSB (Multi-Material Stewardship Board). Prior to his appointment with the MMSB, Mr. Puddester held a number of senior management positions with some of Newfoundland's most recognizable companies. Most recently, he was Vice President of Corporate Development with Charles R. Bell Group, and President of its subsidiary K&D Pratt Group, the largest industrial distribution company in Atlantic Canada. His previous positions included roles as Chief Marketing Officer of Stratos Global Corporation, Director of Corporate Development with Aliant Inc., and Director of Marketing with Newtel Communications. He has also worked in the marketing research and advertising industry.

Leigh is also active in the community. He is a member and past-president of the Rotary Club of St. John's East, and currently serves on the Community Investment Committee of the United Way. He is also a part-time lecturer with Memorial University's Faculty of Business Administration.

Leigh has a master of business administration degree from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and a bachelor of commerce honours degree from Memorial University.

Leigh resides in St. John's with his wife Tammy and their three daughters.



Don Drew
Sales and Marketing Manager, NEWCO Metals

Don, along with his wife Rosalynn, and children Jessica, Heather, and Kevin, are proud to call the historic Town of Bay Bulls home. Don has recently joined Newco Metals Ltd. after working three years as a senior manager in the metal recycling industry. For 13 years he has held positions as mayor, deputy-mayor, and councillor with the Town of Bay Bulls. During that time Bay Bulls received more municipal awards than any other town in the province. Don has also served 22 years as president of the Harbour Authority of Bay Bulls (longest serving port representative in Eastern Canada), 25 years as owner/operator of a commercial fishing enterprise, 8 years as a Marine Emergency Duties instructor, and 9 years as a Red Cross First Aid Instructor.

He is the 2006 recipient of the Irish Loop Economic Development Board Volunteer of the Year Award. He holds diplomas/certificates in Marine Diesel Engineering, Fishery Science Technical, and Marine Safety Instructor from the Marine Institute. Don has also completed a certificate in Economic Development Tourism with the University of Moncton, along with training in Environmental Awareness, Health and Safety, and Community Leadership. He also serves as a volunteer on numerous committees and boards throughout the province.



Ed Sexton
Director, Design and Construction Division, Department of Education

Ed graduated from TUNS in 1983 with a Bachelor of Engineering (mechanical). From 1983 to 1995 he Worked with the Provincial Department of Mines and Energy as an energy management engineer, conducting hundreds of energy management studies and audits in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sector.

From 1995 until 2008, Ed worked with the Department of Health and Health Authorities to implement a $35M energy performance contracting program for the province's major hospitals and long term care facilities. Other initiatives included managing a sprinkler installation program for 82 personal care homes in the province

Ed was also active in the biomedical waste area for a number of years, during a time when hospital incinerators were being phased out due to emissions concerns; he was a member of the CSA Technical sub committee on HVAC for health facilities.

In 2008, Ed became the Manager and subsequently the Director of Design and Construction for the Department of Education. In partnership with the Department of Transportation and Works and school districts, he has been responsible for the annual capital program over last 4 years worth approximately $75-$100M, and $28-$34M in annual repair and maintenance programs.

Currently Ed is overseeing an aggressive infrastructure strategy, in place to deal with aging schools with a renewed focus on energy efficiency and LEED.



Greg Hussey
Owner, Karwood Contracting Ltd.

Greg has 15 years experience in the construction industry since graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree. He has worked as designer on various civil engineering projects and project manager on various building construction projects in Newfoundland & Labrador. He opened Karwood Contracting Ltd. in 1999 specializing in all types of residential construction with a particular focus on energy efficiency and air quality. Projects include standard subdivision homes, large custom residences, renovations, multi-unit rows, apartment buildings and small commercial buildings.

Greg is also a licensed R-2000 inspector, plans evaluator and builder. He has extensive experience building R-2000 homes which economically produce high standards for energy efficiency and air quality while incorporating environmentally friendly building materials. Not only do his interests lie in the standard of R-2000, for his own home he developed many simple construction details to greatly surpass the performance of R-2000.

Not only is Greg involved in such advanced ideas and methods for his own company, he has spent many years volunteering for the Canadian Homebuilders Association both locally and nationally, in the areas of energy efficient construction, training of residential trades and technical requirements.



Jim Lester
Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture

Bio coming soon.



Stephanie Curran, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Environment and Regulatory Manager, WorleyParsons Canada, Atlantic Canada Business Unit

Stephanie Curran has over 15 years of experience with WorleyParsons in environmental engineering. WorleyParsons, with greater than 40,000 employees, is a global leading provider of professional services to the resources & energy sectors and complex process industries. Stephanie has conducted the environmental and sustainability aspects of WorleyParsons projects throughout Canada in the hydrocarbons, mining, manufacturing, transportation and infrastructure sectors. Stephanie is now the Environment and Regulatory Manager in WorleyParsons St. John’s operations, working on offshore oil projects.



Sheilagh O'Leary
Councillor, City of St. John's

Sheilagh O'Leary is an award-winning art photographer born and raised in St. John's and has run a successful cultural production business for over two decades. As a mother of three school age children, she is passionate about helping to create and sustain a safe, beautiful City for the citizens of St. John’s to grow and thrive in.

Sheilagh was elected as a St. John's City Councillor at Large with the highest number of votes in 2009. Her advocacy includes the promotion of issues including responsible city planning and economic growth, environmental protection, cultural and heritage promotion/preservation and neighborhood wellbeing. With 25 years experience in the non-for profit sector, she has worked with such organizations as the St. John’s YM-YWCA, NAACAP, The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, and the Coalition Against Violence NL. This voluntary work has lent guidance and support to youth, women, artists, aboriginal peoples, and our ever-growing multicultural community.

She presently chairs the City’s Animal Care and Control Committee, and represents council on The Arts Advisory Committee, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, the Heritage Advisory Committee, Neighbourhood Watch and St. John’s Citizens for Crime Prevention.

Councillor O’Leary’s fundamental belief in environmental advocacy is evident in her commitment as Board Member of St. John’s Clean & Beautiful, the Urban Forest Committee, the Stewardship Association of Municipalities, and as Chair of the newly re-instated Environmental Advisory Committee. She believes in a healthy creative economy that considers a balance between environmental stewardship and economic growth. Sheilagh is an avid hiker and outdoorswoman and is heavily engaged with a wide variety of community activities.



Jackie Janes
Assistant Deputy Minister, Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Trading

Since 2008, Jackie has been an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador where she heads up the Office of Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Emissions Trading, a central agency in Executive Council.

Previously, Jackie led the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policy Division of the UK Government, where she managed a team of 50 staff responsible for policies and programs to improve energy efficiency and reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Jackie also led the team preparing for the UK’s Presidency of the G8 in 2005 during which climate change was a key priority, and was an international climate change negotiator for the UK for four years, during which time she participated in the United Nations negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol. For six years, Jackie worked for the UK’s Department for International Development; her posts included time living and working in Africa. She has been an economist in Her Majesty’s Treasury and worked for the European Commission in Brussels.

Jackie is Board Member of the Atlantic Chapter of the Canadian Green Building Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and a Master of Science in Rural Resources and Environmental Policy from Imperial College, University of London.



Mark Ploughman, B.Eng., MBA
Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation and Strategic Industries

Mark Ploughman is Assistant Deputy Minister (Innovation and Strategic Industries) with the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. He has spent more than 25 years in the manufacturing sector and has experience in quality assurance, operations management, human resource management and new product development. Mr. Ploughman is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, and is a current member of the advisory committee for the Marine Institute’s Master of Technology Management program, and the steering committee for Memorial University’s Mechatronics facility.



Dan Brake - Speaker at the October 23rd Youth Event
Chief Technology Officer, EMSAT Corporation

EMSAT is an environmental surveillance services company which operates from the 'Genesis Centre' technology incubator at Memorial University. EMSAT's mission is to provide resource-based industries with innovative software and services to help monitor environmental performance, aid in regulatory compliance, manage environmental risk, optimize resource consumption, streamline operations, produce environmental reports and enhance competitiveness in the global marketplace. EMSAT helps organizations build and shape their culture of sustainability starting from the principle that one can only change what one can measure.

EMSAT's solution is an integrated environmental monitoring system delivering real time environmental surveillance of operations to help industry improve environmental management efficiency, reduce the risk of environmental incidents, and ensure regulatory compliance. EMSAT is taking advantage of the most innovative technology to design environmental surveillance solutions and enhance current practices.



enactus Memorial - Speaking at the October 23rd Youth Event

enactus Memorial (formerly SIFE) is a student-run volunteer organization operating out of Memorial University. The organization is comprised of volunteers representing all undergraduate faculties at Memorial University.

enactus strives to follow its mission statement, “To create local solutions to global economic challenges” in developing outreach projects within both the university and community.

Its 14 projects reach individuals of all ages, and address needs of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

With projects running on local, provincial, national and international levels, enactus Memorial is recognized as creating a sustainable impact around the world.



ASHELIN - Performing at the October 23rd Youth Event



ASHELIN is a band of five sisters - Cassy, Joesie, Kaliyan, Shaelin, and Thea. The sisters began singing and dancing to Newfoundland and Irish music as far back as they can remember while learning to play a stunning variety of instruments. Although they never expected this childhood passion for all things musical to be anything but family focused, they were soon embarking on a musical journey that is winning them attention and fans around the world.

Known for their sparkling vocals and intricate harmonies, ASHELIN’s brand of folk roots and pop shines through their original songwriting and novel interpretations of traditional tunes. Since their first public performance in 1997, they have entertained thousands at such high profile events as the World Podium Influential Leaders series with guest speaker Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, and a visit to Qatar for an audience with Queen Sheikah Mozah. ASHELIN have showcased for Contact East, the JUNOs, and the ECMAs, and received numerous standing ovations at folk festivals across the Maritimes including the Stan Rogers Folk Festival.

ASHELIN was chosen to showcase Newfoundland culture through the eyes of an artist in a recent documentary film of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. The film, by Compass Films of Germany, centers around the expedition of world famous explorer Arved Fuchs’ North Atlantic Tour 2010, on the path of the Vikings. It will be broadcast in Germany and France to an audience of over 12 million people.

The band’s original song “Song for Mariana” was a winner from over 600 contenders for David Suzuki’s “Playlist for the Planet,” a soon-to-be-released CD which brings them together with some of Canada’s finest songwriters and performers.

ASHELIN’s 2010 release “The Road Not Taken” was produced by Grammy Award winning producer/engineer George Massenburg and ECMA award winning producer/engineer Al Strickland.



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