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Social Entrepreneur | Partnership Builder | Team Leader

LEADERship Experience

20132018

Founder & Executive Director

Green Economy Canada

Green Economy Canada (video) works with community organizations to launch, grow, and promote Green Economy Hubs across Canada. Green Economy Hubs support local networks of businesses to set and achieve sustainability targets (we call them "Green Economy Leaders") — bringing together, empowering, and celebrating businesses as they achieve their goals. Through seven Hubs, over 270 organizations of all sizes & sectors across Ontario are supported in setting & achieving sustainability goals. Recognized by OSEA for Non-Profit of the Year in 2016 & recipient of the Government of Ontario's Minister's Award for Environmental Excellence in 2015. My role includes the following aspects: 

  • Team leadership & management: I oversee our team of 14 staff across Ontario, as well as coach & support 25 program staff across our seven existing Hubs.
  • Fundraising / social enterprise: I'm responsible for stabilizing, growing & diversifying CoLab's revenue sources. In the current fiscal year this is $2M, $600k of which comes from grants, $1M from government, and $400k from corporate sponsorships & fee for service. I also raise money on behalf of all Hubs. For example this year, I raised $2.56M from the Government of Ontario to incentivize non-profits in our network to achieve more GHG reductions from their Green Economy Leaders. 
  • Government relations: I am Green Economy Canada's lead on all government relations, primarily engaging with the Government of Ontario & the Government of Canada, influencing a mix of public servants, political staff and politicians on low-carbon policy relevant to Green Economy Hubs.
  • Teaching & training: I deliver several online training modules to Hub staff across the province, ranging from business development to volunteer engagement.
  • Public speaking: I am Green Economy Canada's primary spokesperson for all public engagement. As an example, in March 2018: I gave a keynote address to 400 students at Enactus Canada's Regional Exposition, spoke alongside MPPs & dignitaries at a funding announcement for our Hamilton Hub, and presented on behalf of a national partnership to public servants at NRCan.
20082014

Founder & Executive Director

Sustainable Waterloo Region

Started the organization - a non-profit social enterprise - while completing undergraduate studies and led it from vision to a 70-person team delivering on four programs and engaging on local policy. As of 2014, SWR’s flagship program, the first Green Economy Hub, engaged 14% of the workforce, generated $250,000 in annual revenue and catalyzed commitments to reduce 40,000 tonnes from 65 organizations, representing every sector in Waterloo Region (video).

  • Team leadership & management: By focusing on a values-driven team culture, despite low salaries and leveraging the leadership of volunteers, we built a movement in Waterloo Region beginning with an incredible team. More on our volunteer philosophy here and culture here.  
  • Community leadership: One powerful example is the award-winning ClimateActionWR, Waterloo Region's first climate change plan - a partnership between SWR, REEP Green Solutions, the Region of Waterloo, three municipalities & three utilities. I led this partnership from initial vision to $500k in project funding to unanimous approval for the plan from all 41 local politicians in Waterloo Region, including commitment to a 6% GHG reduction target.
  • Fundraising / social enterprise: With a strong focus on social enterprise - our first Green Economy Hub was financially self-sufficient within five years - grew the organization from founding to $1M annual budget from diverse sources. This included grants, government funding, fee for service, membership fees and sponsorship.
  • Policy advocacy: Oversaw the development of a framework and the execution of  three campaigns, on issues from public transit to land use planning. Details here
  • Facilitation: From input sessions with local politicians to Board subcommittees to getting feedback from program members, convening conversations was a critical aspect of my role.
  • Public speaking: From talk radio to public panels, service clubs to our 400 person gala and everything in-between. I was the face of a movement in Waterloo Region for 6 years (video - TEDx talk from 2012).
  • Operations management: In growing SWR from concept to reality, I developed, led or oversaw the formalization of all aspects of the organization's operations - be it financial controls, Board policy or standard messaging. At the end of my tenure, 8 staff and 10 volunteers were directly reporting to me.
  • Strategic planning: Oversaw the development of the organization's first strategic plan before transitioning to the leadership of Green Economy Canada. Five years later, items mentioned in that plan - for example a 100,000+ sq ft net-energy positive multi-tenant building - have now been brought to life.

Education

20032008

Honours Bachelor of Business Administration - High Distinction | Honours Bachelor of Science (Computing/Computer Electronics) - High Distinction

Wilfrid Laurier University

Community Leadership: Co-founded the Campus Environmental Coalition (CEC) along with leaders from four disparate environmental clubs on campus; in its first year the CEC successfully won student support to fund a Sustainability Coordinator via referendum.