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A multi-faceted cross-Canada team serving entrepreneurs

Sustainable Development Technology Canada is the single-biggest investor in Canadian sustainability entrepreneurs. SDTC  is a foundation created by the Government of Canada in 2001 to invest in technologies that will create economic and environmental prosperity for all Canadians.

Our Board of Directors brings experience and expertise from multiple sectors and represents diversity in gender, language, ethnicity and region. 

We continue to build a pan-Canadian team that will challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what is possible for Canadian entrepreneurs.

 

Meet our Executive Team

The executive team is a diverse group with both public and private sector backgrounds. What links them all together, however, is their distinct passion for sustainable technology and innovation in Canada, and let’s be honest, they really like to take action!

Leah Lawrence, President and CEO

Leah Lawrence

President and CEO

Leah Lawrence, president and CEO of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), is a long-time advocate of entrepreneurship, innovation and the environment. Since taking the helm of SDTC in 2015, she has transformed the organization to be the largest funder of sustainability technology entrepreneurs in Canada and the most crucial actor in helping start-ups in every region of the country grow into globally competitive businesses that will deliver economic and environmental prosperity to Canadians.

Drawing from her years of experience as an entrepreneur herself, Leah’s relentless focus on outcomes has made her a tireless champion for Canadian companies. Recognizing the importance of intellectual property as integral to the success of young companies, Leah was instrumental in the formation of the Innovation Asset Collective, Canada’s first patent collective, where she currently serves as vice chair of its board of directors. She also recently co-authored the report Climate Change Impacts on Canadian National Security, published by the Centre for International Governance and Innovation as part of a larger project to reimagine Canada’s national security strategy.

While Leah currently lives in Ottawa, her roots are in western Canada, where she played an active role in the Alberta business community. Leah is a former Chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, a former Member of Council and president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), who honored her with the Centennial Leadership Award, APEGA’s highest distinction for a member who has achieved exemplary achievements in their career. She is an active member of the International Women’s Forum, serving as the chair of the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Forum from 2017 to 2021, and was named one of WXN’s Top 100 most powerful women in business in 2019.

Leah holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Regina and a Master of Economics from the University of Calgary. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of Engineers Canada. She is also a graduate of the Rotman Institute of Corporate Directors Education Program and holds the ICD.D designation.

Christine Charbonneau, Vice President Corporate Services

Christine Charbonneau

Vice President Corporate Services

Christine joined SDTC in 2018 as the Vice President of Corporate Services. Building on 20 years of experience in corporate financial management, risk and performance management, and information systems, Christine provides leadership and defines SDTC’s strategic approach to ensure seamless implementation and continuous improvement of corporate performance. 

At SDTC, Christine brings leadership to the Finance, People and Culture, and Business Transformation functions. She also has accountability for compliance, oversight and risk management activities.  

Prior to joining SDTC, Christine was the Corporate Controller at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Earlier in her career, she held senior finance positions at the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Christine has served on the Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services’ Board of Directors as well as on the Board and Investment Committee of Canadian Science Publishing. 

Christine has her Baccalaureate of Commerce from the University of Ottawa, and also holds a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant designation. 

Zoë Kolbuc, Vice President Partnerships & Ecosystem

Zoë Kolbuc

Vice President Ecosystems

Driven by her love of innovation and collaboration, Zoë leads SDTC’s efforts to seek out ambitious entrepreneurs developing sustainable solutions in every region of Canada. She also leads the development of communications and business growth strategies to tell the stories of these innovators throughout their journey to commercialization.  

As Vice-President Ecosystems, Zoë focuses on SDTC’s early-stage investments including our Seed Funding and conveying SDTC’s internal and external messaging. Zoë recognizes that companies, especially early-stage companies, need a network of support and funding to grow their emerging businesses. Since joining SDTC she has developed new approaches to build partnerships and entrepreneurial capacity across Canada, was pivotal in establishing SDTC’s first equity, diversity and inclusion strategy and maintains a diverse network of relationships with key stakeholders in Canada’s leading economic sectors.  

Zoë is an expert problem-solver and a curious leader and with a diverse background in government, energy and sustainability. Prior to joining SDTC, Zoë held leadership roles in global energy companies. Based in Calgary, Alberta, Zoë and her partner are the proud parents to three future SheEOs. 

Ziyad Rahme, Vice President Investments

Ziyad Rahme

Vice President Investments

As the Vice President of Investments, Ziyad provides leadership for SDTC’s strategy and approach to the investment process, ensuring that SDTC is sourcing and nurturing innovative companies that have the potential to deliver strong environmental and economic benefits to Canada. Ziyad oversees the day-to-day operation of SDTC’s start-up and scale-up investment streams, including intake, due diligence, recommendation of investments to SDTC’s Project Review Committee and Board, and post-approval monitoring and support.  He is also responsible for overall portfolio management, monitoring and outcomes assessment.

Previously the Vice President of Partnerships, Ziyad provided leadership for engaging SDTC’s key stakeholders, with a focus on finding ways to effectively support SDTC’s portfolio companies, ensuring they grew and contributed to Canada’s competitive advantage in the global sustainability technology market.

Prior to joining SDTC, Ziyad spent 18 years at Iogen Corporation, a leading developer of advanced low-carbon biofuels, where he contributed in various roles involving progressive and expanding leadership responsibility.

Ziyad holds an M.B.A., an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.

Steven Engel

Vice-President Information Technology & Data Strategy

As Vice President of Information Technology & Data Strategy, Steven brings his leadership of integrated business, technology and data teams and projects to SDTC. A seasoned executive with extensive experience from a variety of innovative business and government sectors, Steven has directed transformation and growth initiatives, leveraging people, processes, data and information technology for the purposes of value aggregation.

Prior to joining SDTC, Steven was the Senior Vice President, Information Technology at Greystone Managed Investments Inc. When Greystone was acquired by the TD Bank’s Asset Management division in 2018, Steven served as a leader in the transformational integration of the two entities. Holding leadership positions with international consulting and technology firms progressing from western Canadian to Canadian to global responsibilities over a 20-year period, Steven has gained hands-on experience in education, healthcare, energy, utility, transportation, finance, asset management and government sectors.

Steven is the incoming Chair of the Board of Directors for Group Medical Services——a Canadian purpose driven provider of health and wellness insurance–related services. An active community member, Steven is a Coach and Board Member on the Regina Alpine Race Team and now is the Past President of Alpine Saskatchewan.

Steven holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Administration degree from the University of Regina.

Want to help us make a difference?

As an SDTC team member you’ll be part of fast-paced and agile organization that supports a world-class portfolio of funded companies. You’ll have the opportunity to work with dynamic companies, other provincial and federal government entities, academics and thought leaders.

SDTC offers:

  • – A competitive total compensation package
  • – Attractive health, dental, life insurance benefits and a Group RRSP
  • – Employee development and growth opportunities
  • – Flexible work practices
Explore career opportunities with SDTC.

Board of Directors and Committees

Governance and oversight of SDTC’s activities are provided by an independent Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors is responsible for the strategic vision of the foundation and provides fiduciary oversight through four sub-committees: Audit, Governance and Nominating, People & Culture, and Project Review.

Collectively, the Board of Directors brings experience and expertise from multiple sectors and represents diversity in gender, language, ethnicity and region.

The board is supported by the following key committees: Audit Committee, People & Culture, Governance and Nominating and Project Review. Both the Chair and the President and CEO serve on the Board Committees as ex-officio, non-voting members.

SDTC is accountable to Parliament through the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

Annette Verschuren

Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NRStor Inc

Board Committee(s): The Chair of the Board of Directors sits on Board committees as an ex officio non-voting member.

Location: Toronto, ON

Board Member Since: June 2019

Annette Verschuren is chair and chief executive officer of NRStor Inc. The company develops and manages energy storage projects.

Prior to this, she was president of The Home Depot Canada. She oversaw the growth of the company’s Canadian operations from 19 to 179 stores from 1996-2011, increased revenue from $600 million to $6 billion.

Annette sits on the corporate boards of Liberty Mutual, CNRL, Air Canada and Saputo and also serves on the board of the CAMH Foundation, and Chairs the MaRS Discovery District Board and SDTC Board. She is also is the Chancellor of Cape Breton University.

Annette Verschuren wrote the book Bet On Me, about succeeding in business and in life. She champions volunteerism and was named to the Order of Canada for her contributions to the retail industry and corporate social responsibility. She was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame on June 19 this year.

Judith Athaide

President and CEO of The Cogent Group

Board Committee(s): Audit; People & Culture

Location: Calgary, AB

Board Member Since: 2018

Judith Athaide is an accomplished corporate director, entrepreneur, Professional Engineer (P.Eng.), and certified Corporate Director (ICD.D). She brings 30 years of executive and corporate governance experience to board discussions.

A proponent of lifelong learning and continuous improvement, she has a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Honours), a Master of Business Administration in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. She has also been awarded the designation of ICD.D by the Institute of Corporate Directors. She has earned the Nuclear Governance Certificate from the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University and a Certificate in Artificial Intelligence from the MIT Sloan School of Business. She has been an adjunct professor at a number of Canadian universities and is an instructor for the ICD DEP program and an examiner for the ICD’s mock boardroom examinations.

Judith is currently serving on the boards of Computer Modelling Group, HSBC Bank Canada, New Brunswick Power (where she is the Board Lead on Enterprise Risk Management), PHX Energy Services (where she chairs the Governance and Nomination Committee), TriSummit Utilities (where she chairs the Healthy, Safety & Environment Committee), and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

Judith was born in Pakistan and has lived in Bangladesh, India, the U.S. and Canada. This international experience has helped her better understand and value diversity of thought and experience. She is a sought-after speaker on topics of diversity and inclusion, and governance.

Leo de Bever

Chairman, Nauticol Energy

Board Committee(s): Project Review; People & Culture

Location: Calgary, AB

Board Member Since: November 2019

Leo de Bever served as the inaugural CEO of Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest institutional investment managers from 2008 until his retirement in 2014. He started his career at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa in 1975, and has served financial institutions in Canada, the U.S, Japan and Australia, including nearly ten years as senior vice-president at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. He has acted as advisor to the Norwegian Pension Plan, and Dutch pension fund APG. He is a Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute. Leo grew up in the Netherlands. He received a B.A. in economics from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin. He is currently working on commercialization of more sustainable technology with a number of small companies, notably as Chairman of Nauticol Energy.

Michael Denham

Vice Chair, Commercial Bank and Financial Markets at National Bank of Canada

Board Committee(s): TBD 

Location: Montreal, Quebec

Board Member Since: October 2022 

A seasoned business leader with more than 35 years of management experience, Michael Denham has dedicated his career to advising Canadian companies with regards to their challenges and opportunities, working with both entrepreneurs and large-scale organizations on growth, strategy and performance. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and looks to bring financial and business solutions to entrepreneurs to help them achieve their goals. He is currently a Vice-Chair of the Commercial Bank and Financial Markets at National Bank of Canada. Before joining National Bank, he served two terms as the CEO of BDC. Prior, he had senior roles at a number of leading Canadian businesses. He is active in the community, serving on the Boards of SDTC, the MUHC Foundation and the Ontario Global (OG) 100. He also serves as a mentor to entrepreneurs.  

Jill Earthy

CEO of InBC Investment Corp.

Board Committee(s): Audit; Project Review; People & Culture

Location: Vancouver, BC

Board Member Since: June 2019

Jill Earthy is CEO of InBC Investment Corp., an independent $500M strategic investment fund created by the Government of British Columbia to support job creation, advanced reconciliation with Indigenous people, diversity. equity and inclusion, and the establishment of BC as a globally competitive low-carbon jurisdiction.

Prior to joining InBC, Jill was the CEO of WeBC (formerly Women’s Enterprise Centre BC), a non-profit organization supporting women entrepreneurs with loans, education, mentorship and advisory services across BC. She has served in senior leadership roles at Female Funders, FrontFundr, Futurpreneur and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), all with a focus on supporting entrepreneurs and empowering more diverse investors.

Jill currently serves on the national Boards of Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and The Forum (formerly Forum for Women Entrepreneurs). She is Co-Chair of the annual We for She Conference and is an active mentor, advisor and community contributor.

Jill has been well recognized for her accomplishments including by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019.

Sarah Kavanagh

Vice Chair, SDTC Board of Directors; Corporate Director

Board Committee(s): Audit (Chair)

Location: Toronto, ON

Board Member Since: 2013

Sarah Kavanagh is currently a Director of Bausch Health Companies and Hudbay Minerals, and a Trustee of WPT Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust, all publicly listed companies. She is also a Director of American Stock Transfer (AST), a privately held North American leader in providing shareholder services. She is formerly a Commissioner on the Ontario Securities Commission.

Until 2010, she was a Vice Chair in the Investment Banking Department at Scotia Capital. Prior to assuming this position, Sarah was Head of Equity Capital Markets and Head of Investment Banking at Scotia Capital. As well as her experience in investment banking, Sarah has held senior finance positions at several Canadian corporations including two national retailers and a large integrated communications company.

Sarah was named one of WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women Canada in 2015.  She was named to the Diversity 50 in 2012 – a selection by the Canadian Board Diversity Council of the 50 most board-ready diverse candidates across Canada. Sarah is active with the organization Women in Capital Markets and in 2008 she received the Women in Capital Markets Award for Leadership.

She is former Chair of the Board of Governors at The Bishop Strachan School. Sarah holds her MBA from Harvard Business School and BA in Economics from Williams College. She has both US and Canadian citizenship.

Brenda Kenny

Chair, Alberta Innovates

Board Committee(s): People & Culture (Chair)

Location: Calgary, AB

Board Member Since: 2019

Brenda Kenny has extensive experience in energy and environment regulation, innovation, policy, and sustainability.  She currently serves as Board Chair of Alberta Innovates, and is a board member with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), the Canada West Foundation, and Nature Canada.

Brenda has served on federal and provincial Ministerial Expert Panels addressing major challenges in regulation, indigenous rights and energy.  She has previously served on the Board of Governors for the University of Calgary, and the boards of Emissions Reduction Alberta, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and Alberta WaterSMART.

Brenda is the past President and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) where she worked with industry partners and key stakeholders to advance pipeline safety, operating excellence and sound policy.  Outcomes included significant improvement in performance and best practice, stakeholder engagement and cross-industry collaboration.  Prior to joining CEPA, she spent a number of years with the National Energy Board where she provided executive leadership in policy, regulatory reviews, safety systems and finance.

Brenda is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, and an Institute for Corporate Directors designate.  She serves on the Advisory Committee for the University of Ottawa Institute for Science, Society and Policy (ISSP).  She holds a Bachelor’s in Applied Science (Metallurgy) from Queens University, a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and a PhD in Resources and the Environment from the University of Calgary.

Stephen Kukucha

Partner at PacBridge Partners

Board Committee(s): Project Review 

Location: Vancouver, B.C.

Board Member Since: 2021

Stephen is a Partner at PacBridge Partners with over 20 years of experience in clean technology, renewable power, investing and their intersection with public policy. At PacBridge Capital Partners, he specializes in providing early stage and growth capital to companies seeking to take disruptive technologies and build scalable businesses. PacBridge is based in Hong Kong and Vancouver and invests in opportunities globally, with a particular focus in Asia and North America. As well, Stephen also serves as a Senior Advisor to Fort Capital Partners, focusing on origination of M&A, capital raising and advisory transactions, and sits on the Board of DevvStream Carbon Credit Investing.

Prior to his current roles, Stephen practiced law and worked in energy/clean technology – leading the global External Affairs group at Ballard Power Systems (including emerging market business development in Asia). Following Ballard, Stephen founded both a renewable power company and a strategic advisory firm.

In addition to serving on portfolio companies’ boards of directors, Stephen has served as Vice-Chair, Fuel Cells Canada (FCC); Chair, Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance (CTFCA); Steering Team & Planning Committee, California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP); Member, US Dept. of Energy’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Advisory Panel; Director, National Hydrogen Association (US); & Director, US Fuel Cells Council.

In addition, further volunteer Boards have included the United Way (Lower Mainland), Vancouver Community College and the Organizing Committee/Steering Team for the Friends of Victoria Basketball (2021 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament).

Stephen has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New Brunswick, and has attended the Ivey Academy. Additionally, he has graduated from the ICD-Rotman, Directors Education Program, (September 2022) and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, ICD.D, (September 2022).

 

Carl Landry

Managing Director, Investments, Canada Infrastructure Bank

Board Committee(s): Audit; Project Review

Location: Calgary, Alberta

Board Member Since: 2021

Carl Landry joined the Canada Infrastructure Bank in September 2021 as Managing Director. He is part of the leadership team in Calgary where he focuses on low carbon infrastructure investments in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and low carbon fuels across Canada. Carl previously spent over 15 years at one of Canada’s largest energy-focused private equity firms where he focused on scale-up investments targeting energy transition and upstream oil and gas opportunities.

Carl has extensive board experience both with for-profit and not-for profit organizations, with an emphasis on strategy formation, capital markets insights, audit, and talent development. He remains active philanthropically with the Calgary Public Library Foundation and continues to support the Calgary CFA Society having previously served as Board Chair for both organizations. He also previously served as a member of the Investment Committee of the Calgary Foundation, a $1 billion-dollar philanthropic fund focused on supporting local Calgary charities. Carl started his career at a major Canadian investment bank and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance from the University of Alberta, is a CFA Charterholder and is an Institute of Corporate Directors Certified Director.

Erin Mahoney

Commissioner of Environmental Services for York Region

Board Committee(s): Audit; Project Review 

Location: Vaughan, ON

Board Member Since: 2019

Erin Mahoney is currently Commissioner of Environmental Services for York Region, overseeing water and wastewater services, waste management, forestry, corporate asset management and corporate energy for 1.2 million residents and 28,000 businesses. Erin has been named the University of Waterloo’s Douglas 2021 Wright Engineer-in-Residence.

Erin is past Chair of the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario and has over 25 years of public and private sector experience on projects involving water and wastewater treatment, waste management, environmental legislation, and public engagement. She is a member of the American Water Works Association, Canadian Water Network and American Public Works Association.

Jessica McDonald

Corporate Director

Board Committee(s): People & Culture

Location:Vancouver, BC

Board Member Since: 2021

Jessica McDonald is a past President and Chief Executive Officer of the BC Hydro and Power Authority, a clean energy utility with over $5.5 billion in annual revenues and more than 5,000 employees.  She is currently a Board director of GFL Environmental (a TSX listed public company), Coeur Mining (a NYSE listed public company) and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.  She is a past Board Chair as well as interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post Corporation, with a group of companies that includes a majority shareholding in Purolator, SCI Logistics and Innovapost,  She is also a past director of Hydro One (a TSX listed public company), past director and Chair of Trevali Mining Corporation (a TSX listed public company), past Chair of Powertech Labs, one of the largest testing and research laboratories in North America, and director of Powerex, an energy trading company.  Ms. McDonald has extensive government experience, including Deputy Minister to the Premier and Head of the BC Public Service. She is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors and holds certification in cybersecurity oversight from the National Association of Corporate Directors and Carnegie Mellon University.

 

 

Ellen McGregor

President & CEO, Fielding Environmental

Board Committee(s): Project Review (Chair)

Location: Mississauga, ON

Board Member Since: 2015

Ellen McGregor is principal owner and CEO of Fielding Environmental. Fielding is an award winning clean-tech company specializing in chemical and refrigerant recovery to produce high quality recycled chemicals. Committed to serving the peak of the waste management hierarchy, Ellen trade marked the phrase Cradle to Cradle® long before the words had market meaning. She is a champion for innovation believing that Canada can and should be the world’s leader in resource recovery. Ellen is a vocal advocate for changes in legislation that will enable the growth of the Canadian cleantech industry. She has been featured on TV and radio to discuss how to turn triple bottom line management philosophy into action to generate shareholder returns.

Recognized for her accomplishments in business and for business, Ellen was named Business Person of the Year by the Mississauga Board of Trade and by Heritage Mississauga. She is profiled in the book “Extraordinary Lives: Inspiring Women of Peel” written to pay tribute to women who have made outstanding community contributions over the past 200 years. She is also a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award and has won several awards for leadership in environmental excellence including the Clean16 Award, an award bestowed on people who have made significant contributions to sustainability in Canada. Over the years Ellen has held many board positions to help guide business associations, academia, start-ups and charities.

Ellen lives with her husband and youngest daughter on a hobby farm north of Waterdown. She writes music and lyrics, loves to be outdoors and to travel.

Gary Merasty

Executive Vice-President, Chief Development Officer, Northwest Company

Board Committee(s): Governance & Nominating

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba 

Board Member Since: 2021

Gary Merasty is a business executive leader, board director with extensive political experience who is committed to advancing awareness and understanding of Indigenous Canada within Canada’s largest, multinational business enterprises. He has negotiated several collaboration agreements between multi-billion-dollar companies and Indigenous communities.

Since early in his career, Gary has been actively involved in Indigenous politics, getting his start as Chief of Staff and Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nation (FSIN). He went on to serve two elected terms as Grand Chief of Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC). As Grand Chief, Gary was deeply dedicated to not only growing PAGC’s business portfolio, but also expanding community services. He secured millions in funding to support social services and education programs.

Continuing his work in politics, Gary became the first status First Nations Member of Parliament to be elected in Saskatchewan, representing Desnethe Missinippi Churchill River. During his term, Gary lobbied for and successfully passed a unanimous motion in the House of Commons securing Parliament’s formal apology to Indigenous survivors of the residential school systems. He was a proactive and diligent member of various Parliamentary Standing Committees.

Combining his expertise in Indigenous and Canadian politics, business, and negotiations, Gary joined Cameco Corporation as their Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Government Relations and Communications. Through his work, he positioned Cameco as a recognized leader in Indigenous engagement globally.

Recruited by Des Nedhe Development Group of Companies, Gary stepped into the role of President and CEO of the 100% First Nation-owned enterprise. At Des Nedhe Group, he restructured and transformed the company by diversifying its business portfolio and transitioning from a political board to independent professional board.

Gary is now leading the Construction, Store Development, Real Estate, Community Relations, Sustainability Reporting and New Venture Development as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for The North West Company, a $2B publicly-traded multinational enterprise where he is driving Indigenous community engagement strategy, Indigenous procurement strategy, and drafting a truth and reconciliation response and promise to Indigenous people. He also created the company’s first ESG strategy.

With more than 20 years’ experience serving on both corporate and non-profit boards as well as think tanks and post-secondary institutions Gary has been a proactive member of established boards, a visionary and builder of new and emerging boards and has been involved in restructuring and strengthening board structures.

Gary is an alumnus of the University of Saskatchewan, holding his Bachelor of Education as well as his Master of Educational Administration degrees, and was named in the Top 100 Alumni of Influence. He also holds an Honourary Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Business from Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Frequently invited as a keynote speaker on topics including Indigenous engagement as well as corporate social and environmental sustainability, Gary has addressed audiences in Canada, Russia, United States and Australia.

Gary is a First Nation member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and raised in the community of Pelican Narrows in northern Saskatchewan.

Guy Ouimet

Managing Partner of Celtis Capital Inc.

Board Committee(s): Project Review; Governance & Nominating

Location: Montreal, Québec

Board Member Since: 2018

Guy Ouimet is a seasoned corporate director who met multiple governance challenges on numerous boards and board committees, either as chairman or director. He is currently a director and member of board committees at: Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Belt-Tech Products, Vast-Auto Distribution, Les Moulins de Soulanges, Lithion Recycling and eSolutions Furniture.

Guy is a seasoned professional in the fields of industrial projectdevelopment, corporate finance, M&A, turnaround, private equity and venture capital management. Throughout his career he acted as a corporate director, investment banker and investor dedicated to private equity firms and industrial concerns. He alternately worked in both traditional and emerging technology sectors. Prior to co founding Celtis Capital in 2003, he launched Ouimet Corporate Development in 1995. He has since completed many assignments for prestigious clients, including technology and industrial project financing, complex M&A transactions, and the launching and management of an investment fund in the field of renewable energies.

Prior to launching his professional practice, Guy Ouimet held senior executive positions at Société générale de financement du Québec and ran an international business unit for Price Waterhouse (now PwC). He previously managed operations for Coca-Cola Ltd and held industrial engineering positions with both QIT (now Rio Tinto Fer et Titane) and Alcan (now Rio Tinto Alcan).

Guy Ouimet holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal and a Master of Business Administration from McGill University. He is an Institute-certified director from the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and a member of the Quebec Order of Engineers.

Jo Mark Zurel

Corporate Director

Board Committee(s): Governance & Nominating 

Location: St. John’s, Newfoundland

Board Member Since: 2021

Jo Mark Zurel is President of Stonebridge Capital, a private (family) investment company, and a Corporate Director. From 1998 to 2006, Jo Mark was Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of CHC Helicopter Corporation, helping to build it into the world’s largest helicopter operating company. He is on several corporate boards, including Fortis Inc. (Board Chair), Major Drilling and Highland Copper Company Inc. (Past Board Chair). He recently completed his term on the CPP Investment Board (Risk Committee Chair and past Audit Committee Chair)

Jo Mark is active in his community. His current and recent not-for-profit activities include Chair of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, Chair of the St. John’s Board of Trade, Chair of JA of Newfoundland and Labrador, Chair of a Canadian Red Cross capital campaign, the boards of the Institute of Corporate Directors and Propel ICT.

Jo Mark was named to Canada’s Top 40 under 40, has been granted the ICD.D from the ICD, is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador and was named Newfoundland’s 2015 Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Chih-Ting Lo

Founder & President at EELO Solutions

Board Committee(s): TBD 

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia

Board Member since: October 2022 

Chih-Ting is the founder and president at EELO Solutions.  

She is a strategist, entrepreneur, and Independent Director committed to making global net-zero carbon future a reality focusing on high-impact industries. A professional engineer with 20 years of experience, her deep sectoral knowledge, expertise in environment, social, and governance (ESG) performance, and leadership in innovation has gained international recognition. Chih-Ting’s data driven approach uniquely compliments exercising governance best practices and overseeing risks. She is collaborative, deliberate, and authentic.  

Chih-Ting founded EELO Solutions in 2011 and her team of experts and partners have delivered extensive energy and carbon reductions while increasing capacity in organizations they work with. Her global experience in mining, marine, energy, and international financial institutions has enabled $100M+ private sector investment and raised $45M+ for innovation and decarbonization projects in recent years.  

Chih-Ting believes that ESG innovation and investment are necessary to reach climate action targets, and that the mining industry is a critical piece of the puzzle. Chih-Ting is a non-executive Director at Sherritt International, Board Vice Chair at the Metro Vancouver Zero Emissions Innovation Centre, Director at the Centre of Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), and non-executive Director at Minviro. She is an Industry Advisor at UBC Bradshaw Research Initiative for Minerals and Mining and serves on the Advisory Board of clean tech companies such as Summit Nanotech and Invert Inc. 

Emma Mohns

Senior Legal Counsel at Kinaxis

Board Committee(s): TBD 

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

Board Member since: October 2022 

Emma Mohns is Senior Legal Counsel at Kinaxis (TSX:KXS), a leading supply chain management software company based in Ottawa. At Kinaxis, she leads the corporate legal group responsible for corporate governance, securities and M&A. Before joining Kinaxis, Emma was in private practice at LaBarge Weinstein LLP, advising primarily startup technology companies after graduating cum laude from the University of Ottawa law school.  

Emma is of mixed Ojibwe-settler heritage and is a proud member of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island. Prior to her career in law, she worked with the Waubetek Business Development Corporation in establishing a program to connect Indigenous youth employees with local businesses, and with Global Affairs Canada developing diversity programs.  

Since 2017, Emma has served on the Board of Directors of Trans Canada Trail, currently chairing its trail investment and Indigenous advisory committees. From 2010 to 2016, she was a member of the Odawa Aboriginal Community Justice Programme, and is also involved with other local charities and organizations that are important to her and her family. She is a member of the Indigenous Professionals Association of Canada and the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES), and a founding member of AISES’ Ontario Chapter, aiming to help Indigenous youth explore careers in technology. 

Kathleen Sendall

Corporate Director

Location: Calgary, AB

Council Member Since: 2015

Kathleen Sendall is a Corporate Director, serving on the Board of CGG (based in Paris), Enmax Energy Corporation, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions and the Hatch Advisory Board. In January 2015 she was appointed the Chair of Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation for the Province of Alberta. She also participates on two federal advisory councils –Sustainable Development Technology Member Council and Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards.

Kathleen has advised federal and provincial governments on climate change, carbon capture and storage, environmental legislation and Arctic foreign policy. She also chaired the Canadian Council of Academies Assessment Panel on the State of Industrial R&D in Canada. Previously, she led Petro-Canada’s North American Natural Gas Business Unit and was responsible for the company’s North American conventional oil and gas production and exploration.

Kathleen contributes her time to a number of not-for-profit Boards, currently as Vice Chair of the executive of the Calgary Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors and as a Director of the Manning Foundation for Innovation. She is past President and former Director of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a former Governor and Board Chair of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. 

Kathleen has received many awards including the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, an honorary Bachelor of Applied Industrial Ecology degree, and twice named as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture.

She was named four times as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the Corporate Executive category and inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame. Kathleen was awarded the 50 Key Women in Energy Global Award and Women Who Make a Difference Award from the International Women’s Forum, named as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011 and awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012.

In 2013 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the University of Calgary and was named the Jarislowsky Fellow at the Haskayne School of Business for 2014/15. Kathleen graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Mechanical Engineering, and attended the Ivey Executive Program at the Ivey School of Business.

Ed Vandenberg

Partner, Corporate, Osler

Location: Ottawa, ON

Council Member Since: 2021

Ed practices corporate and securities law with an emphasis on private equity fund formation as well as venture capital financing and mergers and acquisitions. His practice focuses primarily on private equity funds and emerging technology companies. Ed advises a wide range of Canadian and international clients in the private equity sector. He advises clients in structuring private equity funds and has acted for fund managers as well as investors. Prior to entering the legal profession, Ed worked for fifteen years in the food industry, seven years of which he served as president of a meat processing company.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the stewardship of the business and affairs of the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology (SDTC), including fund management and the approval of applications for funding.

Observers

Observers are non-voting members of the Board of Directors, until such time as a Director position becomes available.

Members

Operating independently from the board, Members are in place to represent the SDTC shareholders — the Canadian public at large. The Members annually review the Foundation’s performance, approve the Foundation’s auditors and approve independent directors to the board.

Our Partnerships

SDTC’s goal is to support the entire entrepreneurial journey: seed, start-up and scale up. Our approach is to think bigger, bolder and better by working with a network of partners, including accelerators and incubators, provincial and federal governments and the private sector to seek out talent across Canada.

With our partners, we streamline funding opportunities and actively work to identify companies that may be eligible for funding.

Provincial – Federal – Seed


Provincial Partnerships

BC Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund

www2.gov.bc.ca

The ICE Fund is a Special Account, funded through a levy on certain energy sales, designed to support the Province’s energy, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas reduction priorities, and to advance B.C.’s clean energy sector.

Alberta Innovates

www.ai-ees.ca

Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) is the lead agency for advancing energy and environmental technology innovation in Alberta.

Emissions Reductions Alberta

www.eralberta.ca

Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) evolved from Alberta’s Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation. ERA works collaboratively with Government, industry and the innovation community to secure a lower-carbon future for Alberta.

Ontario’s Target GHG Collaborative Technology Development Program

www.oce-ontario.org

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the development of Ontario’s economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.

Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) – Technoclimat

www.transitionenergetique.gouv.qc.ca

Transition energetique Quebec (TEQ), through the Technoclimat program, and SDTC have partnered to support and strengthen companies developing innovative clean-energy projects and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).


Federal Partnerships

Clean Growth Hub

https://ic.gc.ca/eic/site/099.nsf/eng/home

Through Budget 2017 the Government of Canada created the Clean Growth Hub, an interdepartmental team co-chaired by Natural Resources Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development with a mandate to help clean technology producers and users navigate the Government of Canada’s clean technology programs. SDTC is providing in-kind staff support to the Hub.

Export Development Canada

www.edc.ca

Export Development Canada provides Canadian exporters with the trade financing, export credit insurance and bonding services, as well as foreign market expertise.

Business Development Canada

www.bdc.ca

BDC is Canada’s business development bank and the only financial institution dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. Its mission is to help create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and indirect financing, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Seed Funding

SDTC is providing the right funding at the right time.

Our investments in Canadian start-ups and scale-ups are creating jobs while having real impact on Canada’s environment. Our seed funding matches promising early-stage sustainability entrepreneurs with one-time grants of $50,000 to $100,000.

SDTC works with Canadian accelerators to identify entrepreneurs who will become tomorrow’s sustainability leaders. Interested? Contact our current accelerator partners

Curious about the companies we’ve funded? Visit Our Companies page and click SEED on the categories tab.

Think your company might be eligible for one of our funding streams? Take a few minutes and tell us your company story and the innovation you’d like to commercialize.