Meet the Green Economy Canada team
Our team is a dedicated and passionate group of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. One thing we all have in common: we are committed to working towards a future where environmental, economic, and human well-being are synonymous. Here’s a bit more about the people who make our work possible.
Over the past three years Richard launched and directed Green Economy North, the Green Economy Hub in Northeastern Ontario, adding sustainability management to a broad experience base including government relations, community organizing, campaign management and strategic communications. Capturing the attention and support of the private sector for sustainability action has been his primary focus, along with developing a program offering which can be marketed to business of any scope across almost all industrial sectors. Richard believes that consistent action together with business (with the support of Green Economy Hubs) is a vital part of Canada’s response to climate change. The growth of the Green Economy must be a central narrative as business makes its transition to a low-carbon future. Based in Sudbury, Ontario, Richard loves experiencing the Northern Ontario wilderness with his young family.
Melissa manages all aspects of how Green Economy Canada supports the development and launch of new Green Economy Hubs. She is experienced in advancing action on climate at local, national, and international levels, having supported stakeholder engagement for Waterloo Region’s climate change action plan development while at Sustainable Waterloo Region, and most recently having worked on the Partners for Climate Protection Program at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Melissa is passionate about enabling Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy. She was named a Top 25 Environmentalist Under 25 by the Starfish Canada in 2012 and 2014, and holds a B.E.S. in Environment and Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo. When offline you can find Melissa hiking in the mountains or biking along the Ottawa canal.
Ki-Youn is working as the Network Resource Coordinator with Green Economy Canada this summer. She is currently completing her Master’s in Science Communication (Laurentian) and has two BSc’s in Biology (Queen’s) and Neuroscience (Carleton). Prior to joining the mission to promote and create a sustainable economy, Ki-Youn has spent her time crushing fruit flies to study their genes, frolicking in the tundra to research the effects of warming temperatures on vegetation, and using her thesis partner as a guinea pig in the name of science (with her professor’s encouragement). More recently, she’s spent much of her time in science outreach and engagement through various events and social media.
Priyanka was Green Economy Canada’s founding Managing Director prior to becoming the Executive Director in December 2018. She holds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, an M.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. Priyanka has held marketing and supply chain roles at Novartis Consumer Health and Frito-Lay respectively, and was the Business Development Manager for REEP Green Solutions. She received the Wilfrid Laurier 2015 Young Alumnus of the year and was named to the 2017 Clean 16. In her spare time, Priyanka can be found building forts, making food art, and having kitchen dance parties with her two young kids in Waterloo Region.
This summer, Cassidy is working as the Hub Development Coordinator with Green Economy Canada while continuing her role as the Communications Specialist at Green Economy North, the Green Economy Hub in Northeastern Ontario. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Laurentian University, a post-graduate certificate in Environmental Visual Communications from Fleming College and a Master’s in Science Communication. Cassidy is passionate about environmental storytelling through photography and film and connecting people with nature. As an avid outdoors-woman, she loves to canoe and explore trails always with coffee and camera in hand.
As Network Engagement Manager, Laura is responsible for all facets of the support Green Economy Hubs receive from Green Economy Canada. She has spent a decade working in social change organizations (including The Otesha Project and Engineers Without Borders Canada) and has built her own coaching business, offering one-on-one support for social changemakers. Laura holds an Honours B.A. from the University of Toronto, where she studied psychology and anthropology, and her professional development includes a diploma in experiential psychotherapy and a certification in Co-Active coaching. Originally from the mountains of Southeastern B.C., she relies on Toronto’s beautiful ravine network for rejuvenation and inspiration.
As Communications Manager, Jennie helps shape and tell the stories from across the Green Economy Canada network. She has spent over 9 years leading non-profit communications and fundraising, most recently at Tides Canada. Jennie brings a diversity of experience from her past roles as Staff Accountant at KPMG and Teaching Assistant in Financial Accounting and Organizational Behaviour at the Rotman School of Management. She holds a B.Com from the University of Toronto. Jennie is passionate about learning, beautiful and practical design, and the Toronto Blue Jays.
As Operations Manager, Alia works directly with the Managing Director to ensure the organization runs smoothly. Alia recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Queen’s University. Her background includes roles in administration, community engagement and project management. With the support of Green Economy Canada, Alia helped launch Sustainable Kingston’s Green Economy program. Alia is passionate about community-driven, collaborative approaches to sustainability, and strives to be a social connector of people, ideas and intent.
With over 15 years of experience working in the environmental and sustainability sector, Elanor has actively worked to increase action on pressing environmental issues, including climate change. Over the course of nearly a decade, Elanor, as Executive Director of EcoSchools Canada supported tripling its impact while growing a network of over 50,000 student leaders. Elanor has fostered partnerships with all levels of government, the private sector, and environmental not-for-profit organizations to enhance environmental action across all stakeholder communities she works with. With degrees in Environmental Science and Outdoor Ecological and Experiential Education, and a Master’s in Environmental Studies, Elanor’s work seeks to build capacity through collaborative projects, multi-stakeholder engagement, and cross-sectoral partnerships. An avid bird watcher, hiker, biker, and canoeist, she is dedicated to exploring creative ways to connect people to nature and reduce their impact on the environment.
As Fund Animator, Alysha is responsible for creating engagement strategies to communicate Green Economy Canada’s Incentive Fund to Green Economy Hubs. Her background includes numerous roles in financial and statistical analysis as well as stakeholder engagement. She holds a B.A. in Financial Mathematics and a B.BA. in Finance from Wilfrid Laurier University. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, fire spinning and playing board games.
Victor takes on various special projects at Green Economy Canada. He is currently helping us examine how we need to scale to achieve our intended impact in Ontario, and beyond. Victor has worked on a wide range of environmental projects, including an attempt to prove the presence of emissions-income relationship in Europe. He has long had an interest in sustainability and the increasingly crucial role it plays in the modern economy. Victor graduated with distinction from the University of Alberta which a focus on economics and political science. He also has a master’s degree in economics from Queen’s University and helped support the launch of Green Economy Kingston as a volunteer. Victor is an avid soccer enthusiast and enjoys reading and travelling as much as he can.
Rebecca is helping to strengthen the communication and knowledge infrastructure across Green Economy Hubs by supporting the ongoing improvement and maintenance of our online portal. Rebecca is a recent graduate of the Master’s of Climate Change program from the University of Waterloo, where she focused her studies on the importance of public and private sector climate actions. She also has a background in sustainability and business through the completion of a post-graduate certificate from Conestoga College. Through this program she consulted with various organizations on how to improve their sustainability initiatives. Rebecca enjoys getting outdoors and connecting with nature through backcountry camping and canoeing trips.
Katrina assists with various projects and initiatives undertaken across Green Economy Canada. She brings a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience as the previous Executive Director at Niagara Sustainability. She’s passionate about the work of Green Economy Canada and is excited about the progress towards the low carbon economy.
Mandy supports Green Economy Canada by developing their online training modules. She holds a Master of Education from University of Toronto and brings five years of experience serving a variety of impact organizations in communications and adult education roles. In her downtime, she enjoys wandering about in nature and learning about the many species we live with.
Matt assists with various projects and initiatives undertaken across Green Economy Canada. Matt is a soon-to-be honours graduate in the Environment and Business Co-op program at the University of Waterloo, with a minor in Geography and Environmental Management. His past work terms included joining the Sustainable Waterloo Region team and other organizations across Ontario. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and being outdoors. Matt is excited to support Green Economy Canada to help encourage local organizations to improve their sustainability performance.
As Network Communications Coordinator, Kaitlin facilitates engagement across the Green Economy Hubs to ensure the network remains focused and effective. Kaitlin is an honours graduate in Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo, with a diploma in Environmental Assessment. She enjoys exploring Toronto by bike, reading, and being outdoors.
Board of Directors
Paul Bubelis is the Executive Director of the Sustainability Network, which he co-founded in 1997. He is a founding Director of Green Economy Canada and sits on advisory committees for Ontario Nonprofit Network, the Masters in Conservation Leadership program at the University of Guelph and the Green Economy Bridging Program Advisory Council at Ryerson University. Prior to his work at Sustainability Network, he served as Executive Director of the Ontario Environment Network and spent 5 years at Environment Canada managing a province-wide funding program. He has also consulted to grantmakers, government and NGOs. Paul obtained a biology degree from the University of Guelph, attended the University of Victoria and has a MSc from the University of Toronto.
Tim Draimin is a Senior Advisor at the The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. Previously he was the Executive Director of Social Innovation Generation (SiG), where he guided SiG’s support for Canada’s growing network of academics, practitioners, social entrepreneurs, allied institutions and partnerships expanding Canada’s social innovation ecosystem. Tim was the founding CEO of Tides Canada Foundation, leading the Foundation’s expansion, established Canada’s first national support system for social entrepreneurs – Tides Canada Initiatives – and supported a globally replicated model of integrated conservation: BC’s Great Bear Rainforest initiative. He is a frequent advisor to government, non-profit associations and business. He has worked for or consulted in Canada and abroad was involved in many UN activities representing civil society. In addition to Green Economy Canada, Tim is on the board of Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), Trico Foundation, Centre for Social Innovation, and advises Grand Challenges Canada, Partnership Brokers Association and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.
Matthew J. Hoffmann is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. He is also Co-Director of the Environmental Governance Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs. Professor Hoffmann has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the George Washington University. His research and teaching interests are centered on climate change politics and global environmental governance. He is the author of Ozone Depletion and Climate Change: Constructing a Global Response (SUNY Press 2005) and coeditor with Alice Ba of Contending Perspectives on Global Governance (Routledge 2005). His most recent book is Climate Governance at the Crossroads: Experimenting with a Global Response after Kyoto (Oxford University Press 2011).
Ken Whyte is President of Quarry, a marketing and advertising agency in Waterloo Region. Ken is proud to represent Quarry as a bronze-level GHG emissions reductions member of Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Regional Sustainability Initiative. As Quarry’s President, Ken focuses on leading the business and ensuring Quarry has the resources and skills needed to transform brands for complex businesses. Ken lives and breathes Quarry’s core beliefs—take accountability, act with urgency, be a builder, seek collective wins and grow with purpose—and over the past 25 years at Quarry, has consistently challenged the team to ‘imagine something better’ for Quarry clients, the organization and themselves. Ken is a past Board of Director for the Waterloo-Wellington Local Health Integrated Network, one of 14 LHINs set up across the province of Ontario to bring health care leadership, integration, and funding to a local level, as well as past Director of the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce. Ken holds a BBA (Honours) from Wilfrid Laurier University, is a father to seven, and feels he is “truly blessed by having met and married his soul mate, Colette.”
The Green Economy Canada Culture
We are a lean organization that works at a quick pace to achieve meaningful impact. Our team brings good judgment, a sense of humour and passion for grassroots sustainability and systems change.
- We are bold, ambitious and optimistic. Our vision is for an economy that makes environmental sustainability, human well-being, and business success synonymous.
- We care about what we each accomplish, not where we work from or how many hours we put in. We want working together to feel effortless and the ways we work together to be intuitive.
- We embrace innovation: we’re willing to take risks, we know we’ll make mistakes along the way, and we push ourselves to apply what we learn each time. It’s okay to fail.
- We have fun, enjoy working together, and laugh often.
- We’re not satisfied with the status quo: we don’t think “because that’s how it’s always been done” justifies a course of action. We challenge each other, think critically, and strive for objective decision-making.