Board of Directors
The board of Our Energy Guelph provides governance and oversight, and ensures that the organization remains true to its mission. The members are listed below.
Jonathan Knowles, President
Jonathan Knowles is an entrepreneur who is passionate about solving problems that prevent social, environmental, and economic sustainability in our world. He is Co-Founder of TradeForce Tech which is a turn-key energy retrofit company implementing projects for large commercial/industrial clients across Ontario. He is also on the Guelph Chamber of Commerce Energy Transition Committee and sits on several Not-For-Profit boards in Guelph as well as the University's Advisory Board for Social Enterprise. As a Guelph citizen who is raising a young family in town he is excited to be part of this community-led initiative that secures a vibrant socio-economic and environmental future.
Kirby Calvert, Chair
Kirby Calvert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph. His teaching and research program centers on energy policy issues, with emphasis on the land-use implications of renewable energy and the evolving role of communities and municipalities in energy planning. He is co-Director of the Community Energy Knowledge-Action Partnership.
Mark Colvin, Treasurer
Mark Colvin is the Business Operations Manager for Student Housing at the University of Guelph. With 18 years of experience in the roles of finance and business management, he provides expertise in budgeting, financial statement review and business administration. Mark has been very active in the community in the conservation and renewable energy sector. He sits as Treasurer on the board of eMERGE Guelph Sustainability, a local not-for-profit working on reducing and conserving household energy and water use. Further, he sits as treasurer on the board of Guelph Renewable Energy Co-operative Inc., a local not-for-profit investing in green infrastructure. Currently they have two large solar arrays with 37 individual investors. Mark holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Accounting from Wilfrid Laurier University, and holds the designation of Chartered Professional Accountant.
Kristen Tilley, Secretary
Kristen Tilley is an entrepreneur who brings her passion and experience from working in both profit and not-for-profit environments towards communal change. With over 10 years’ experience working in social and business sectors, she has worked closely with organizations and key community leaders working to develop and implement innovative solutions to building stronger communities. These initiatives aim to combine social, environmental, and economic efforts as each plays a key role in the strengthening of our community. She is the founder of Simplify Co., an organization that develops and implements efficient business processes. She sits as a director for the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, volunteers at Action Read Community Literacy Centre, and is thrilled to be part of this community-led initiative that is working together to move Guelph towards a more sustainable future.
Alex Ciccone is a lawyer practicing environmental, municipal, and planning law in Guelph. He also co-teaches a graduate course at the University of Guelph, offers legal information to students at the University’s Student Help and Advocacy Centre on campus and sits on the Board of Vegfest Guelph.
Alex leverages his environmental science degree as a lawyer in regular appearances before tribunals and courts representing municipalities, citizens and businesses in all matters of environmental and municipal issues—from quarries and contamination to development approvals and appeals.
Outside of the office, he can be found paddling his homemade canoe or cycling and running through Guelph’s trails.
Mike Darmon is a board member of the Guelph Coalition for Active Transportation (GCAT). He is passionate about increasing modal share for Active Transportation to support the implementation of our Community Energy Initiative (CEI).
He has also served on the city of Guelph Water Conservation and Efficiency Public Advisory Committee for 8 years including time as Chair and Vice Chair.
Ceana Fan is a high spirited individual with experience in leadership and youth ambassadorship. She is a Grade 12 student at Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School and hopes to attend university after high school. She has been a member of the Guelph Youth Council for 4 years and has been involved in planning youth oriented events and is actively engaged in her school and the Guelph community. With her developed ability to create, run and lead various activities, projects, programs, and events, she recently traveled to Peru on a school mission trip to the NPH orphanage and is passionate for big projects and open to learning new things.
Vicki Gagnon is the Business Advisor, for the Public Sector at the Independent Electricity System Operator. She has been with the IESO for 14 years. She works with sector-based organizations and Energy Managers across the province to help customers actively manage their energy, enhance the energy efficiency of their facilities and facilitate participation in Save on Energy programs.
Vicki is a Director on the Board of the Clean Air Partners, Fostering Sustainable Cities in Ontario.
Before joining the IESO/OPA, Vicki worked at the Ontario Trillium Foundation (6 years), establishing the environmental granting portfolio of the newly expanded granting foundation. And before that she worked in the industrial/commercial sector helping commercialize newly developed environmental technologies with the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement (OCETA, now Blooms).
Vicki holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg Virginia, USA.
About the Independent Electricity System Operator
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) works at the heart of Ontario’s power system – ensuring there is enough power to meet the province’s energy needs in real time while also planning for and securing energy for the future. It does this by:
- Balancing the supply of and demand for electricity in Ontario and then directing its flow across the province’s transmission lines
- Overseeing the electricity wholesale market where the market price of electricity is set
- Planning for the province’s medium- and long-term energy needs and securing clean sources of supply to meet those needs
- Fostering the development of a conservation culture in the province through programs such as saveONenergy
More information is available at www.ieso.ca.
Sara Ganowski is the Project Lead, Smart Cities at Alectra’s Green Energy & Technology Centre (GRE&T) in Guelph. Her background is in project management, sustainability research, and communications within the utility and non-profit energy sector. In her former role as a Research & Project Associate for the NSERC Energy Storage Technology Network, Sara published research on media and public acceptance of clean energy innovation in Canada and the United Kingdom. She holds a Master’s degree in Social and Ecological Sustainability and a Joint-Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Communications from the University of Waterloo. Sara has been active in the community energy and youth-led climate action space for years, volunteering with non-profits such as REEP Green Solutions, Student Energy, and Youth Climate Lab. Passionate about driving clean and collaborative energy solutions, Sara is delighted to contribute to Our Energy Guelph’s vision for building a more sustainable community!
Mike Kazmaier is Professional Engineer, a local entrepreneur, and a University of Guelph School of Engineering graduate. He is passionate about the environment, data and energy innovation and their intersection as relates to solving complex environmental problems. He is a founding member of Clean Cut Energy Corp. a local utility submetering company with a focus on IOT utility measurement that empowers consumers with data. Mike has over 13 years of experience helping customers collect utility data to inform systemic and technological changes that lead to significant reductions in energy and carbon footprints. Mike, his wife and two kids call Guelph home. In his spare time he can often be found on the soccer pitch as a Guelph Soccer coach for the last 7 years and an engaged advocate for many local charities.
Indigo is a passionate high school student currently attending GCVI. She has been a climate activist for as long as she can remember, and has more recently become a strong advocate for the youth voice in her community. She sits on the Guelph Youth Council, and has helped organize many community events in Guelph. Alongside her passion for change-making, Indigo also has a far-reaching network of empowered youth that she connects with through a group that she organizes called Artsy Activists.
She is very excited to help make this city that she calls home greener, and looks forward to elevating the youth voice within this vital organization.
Helen Loftin is the General Manager for the Business Development & Enterprise (BDE) department at the City of Guelph. She and her team are responsible for the activities of the City that center on supporting the retention and expansion of businesses in Guelph as well as promoting and attracting new business constituents to our city. The BDE team also serves the city in providing economic analysis and statistics that serve to inform Guelph programs and services, marketing of the city’s economic successes and potential, the Downtown Renewal program, as well as steering development projects such as the Hanlon Creek Business Park, Guelph Innovation District and the Baker District Redevelopment Project. AND…they are the proud stewards of the Guelph Junction Railway – Ontario’s only thriving local railway.
Prior to joining the City of Guelph, Helen worked in the International economic development industry for over 12yrs, with programs in Pakistan, Myanmar, Ghana, Libya, Afghanistan and other developing countries. And preceding her non-profit work, Helen worked in the private sector in various sectors such as construction, healthcare, and marketing, and real estate.
She’s a new resident to Guelph but already a proud citizen. She has 2 children and 5 grandkids.
Anne Toner Fung
Anne Toner Fung is the Executive Director of Innovation Guelph, and a lifelong champion of entrepreneurship with more than 20 years of business and organizational development in the private and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining Innovation Guelph, she co-owned and operated several businesses, including a mechanical contracting firm in Toronto and a web-development company in Waterloo. She subsequently brought that experience to bear as an independent consultant helping small to medium-sized enterprises accelerate growth and overcome operational challenges. Anne is a certified financial planner (CFP), certified human resources leader (CHRL), and holds an Executive MBA from Queen’s University. She currently serves on the Smart Cities Steering Committee for Guelph/Wellington, the Board of Directors for Hospice Waterloo Region and is a past member of the Alectra/Guelph Hydro GRE&T Centre Transitional Advisory Board, and the Manufacturing Committee of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.
Brandon Raco is Manager, Sustainability with the University of Guelph.
Being passionate about sustainability, strategic planning, and creative thinking, Brandon began contributing to campus sustainability in 2012 as a co-founder of the Green Gryphon Initiative; a $26.2 million investment in campus sustainability. Excited by the opportunity to help positively impact the campus and community, Brandon joined Physical Resources in 2016 as Sustainability Manager. In this role, he works to integrate sustainability into long-term strategic planning, develops policies, procedures, and programs that advance campus sustainability, reports on key environmental performance metrics, fosters partnerships with the City of Guelph, leveraging those partnerships to expand experiential learning opportunities and represents the campus on matters pertaining to environmental sustainability.
Brandon believes everyone has a role to play in building a better city. As Chair of the Planning Advisory Committee for the City of Guelph, he works to elevate the voices of people who typically don’t participate in city building and strives to ensure land use planning is considered a powerful tool for climate change mitigation and adaptation. He is also a member of the board for Our Energy Guelph, a not-for-profit responsible for implementing the city’s Community Energy Plan. Brandon is a proud board member of Victor Davis Memorial Court Non-Profit Homes.
Outside of the office, Brandon is working towards a Masters of Science in Planning & Development.
Dave Sabola is a Professional Engineer with considerable experience in innovation, Industrial Project Management and Energy Conservation Technologies. He is retired from PepsiCo Foods Canada as Division Engineer after 34 years in various technical management roles, most recently as Sustainability Engineer and Energy Manager. He has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from McMaster University and holds the designations of Certified Energy Manager and Accredited LEED Professional. His ambition is to serve others through support of their sustainability journey.