2013 Descriptive Program*

Updated with speaker presentation download links

Links are next to presenter names where available


  • Speaker bios: Click here (PDF)


    Be sure to check back regularly as we announce the exciting details about our great lineup of guest speakers and the important topics they will be presenting. It promises to be the electricity workforce event of the year! Stay tuned for announcements via Facebook and Twitter hashtag: #ElectricityHR13 !


    Click here to see the ‘at a glance version’ of the program


    Wednesday November 6, 2013*

    7:30am – 8:30am
    Continental Breakfast Buffet

    8:15am – 10:15am

    Opening Ceremonies and Plenary

      Keynote Speaker

      The Elusive Career Choice – A Community Leadership Perspective

      Sean Conway, Distinguished Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Energy at Ryerson University

      DescriptionThe old adage that it takes a community to raise a young person has never been more timely or relevant to
      the changing landscape of our workforce.

      When it comes to making career choices, it has become an education in itself and often a daunting proposition to even the well advised. But the question remains, is the message about fulfilling career options and the electricity sector’s skills shortage even getting through the walls of the classrooms? Are the students of today making the informed decisions they should for a bright and meaningful tomorrow?

      Sean Conway will share his experiences as he paints a colourful perspective through the eyes of a student. Parents, teachers, guidance councillors, Government, peers, community leaders and role models all play a vital role in shaping career choices. They ultimately shape the makeup of our society.


    • Plenary 1 – CEO Panel: Future Labour Force Needs for Business Success
      Norm Fraser, Chair EHRC Board and COO Hydro Ottawa
    • Panelists:
      Carmine Marcello (President & CEO, Hydro One)
      Tom Mitchell (President & CEO, Ontario Power Generation). Presentation (PowerPoint Presentation File)
      Emanuel DaRosa (President & CEO, Northwest Territories Power Corporation)
      Earl Ludlow (President & CEO, Newfoundland Power Inc.)
      Colin Andersen (CEO, Ontario Power Authority)


    Description:  The aging workforce and skills transition remains one of the biggest challenges facing the electricity industry. This plenary will provide a range of perspectives on how to build the link between people, workplace culture and organizational effectiveness. Hear from Industry leaders on how they are building and empowering a world-class workforce for the industry.


    10:15am – 10:30am
    Network Coffee Break

    10:30am – 12:15pm

    Concurrent Session #1

    101: Developing your Organisation’s Knowledge Strategy

        •  Speakers:
          Vivian Yoanidis, Manager, People and Culture Projects, Hydro One.
          Blake Melnick, President and Chief Knowledge Officer, the Knowledge Management Institute of Canada (KMIC)
          Presentation (PowerPoint Presentation File)


    Description:  Knowledge is the only critical asset in an organization that walks out your door every day. What are you doing to make sure it is retained and leveraged within your organization?

    Need help with developing a knowledge management structure in your organisation ? Capturing critical knowledge from employees due to retire? Wasting time looking for the same information again and again?

    An organization’s most important resource is its people and the knowledge they have accumulated through years of employment. With the industry facing both increasing retirement levels as well as an infrastructure boom, retaining the knowledge of these employees and passing it on to new workers is becoming a growing concern industry-wide. Yet many organizations have little to no strategy in place for managing this knowledge and sharing it with the organization as a whole, or, they have a system in place to capture the knowledge but require a more strategic approach for disseminating that information when it is needed. This disparity of knowledge sharing processes is not limited to one particular section of the company but exists from the top down. The importance of creating a solid knowledge management and transfer strategy has never been clearer.

    EHRC strongly believes in the power of a solid knowledge management and transfer strategy. By knowing where your knowledge capture gaps exist, it will be easier to fill them in with effective processes so that, as employees retire, your organization will be better equipped to move forward. This session will help you develop and implement effective KM/KT strategies whether it is preparing the business case for knowledge management and transfer, assessing the needs of your organization, or putting pragmatic knowledge capture processes in place. Hear from peers in the industry, and what they are doing to meet the challenge!

    10:30am – 12:15pm

    Concurrent Session #2

    102: The Aboriginal Advantage – Employing Aboriginal People in the Electricity Workforce and Supply Chain

    Moderator:  Jeannie Cranmer, Aboriginal Education and Employment Strategy Manager, BC Hydro

        • Panelists: 
          Maria Moran, Benefits and Training Lead, Nalcor Energy
          PowerPoint Presentation File
          Lisa Farano, President, Elephant Thoughts Educational Outreach
          Brian Pelletier, Aboriginal Coordinator, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793
          Joe Heil, Director, First Nations and Metis Relations, Ontario Power Generation PowerPoint Presentation File

    Description:  Aboriginal people are essential to Canada’s cultural fabric and an increasingly valuable resource to the Canadian electricity and renewables industry. There are over 37,000 Aboriginal business owners in Canada who are willing and ready to participate in the electricity supply chain. Couple that with a population of working age that exceeds 400,000, often residing in the areas in which most major projects occur, and you have industry partners and workers capable of helping to mitigate Canada’s electricity skilled labour shortage.   EHRC continues to communicate the many benefits of working with Aboriginal people through several Aboriginal-focused projects it has developed over the years.

    This interactive session is designed to introduce stakeholders to industry organizations that are already engaging Canada’s Aboriginal population. The Aboriginal Advantage will explore the issues of recruitment, retention, procurement, and education.  Engage in this open discussion about the benefits and learnings when building working relationships with the Aboriginal communities around us.

    The Aboriginal people of Canada number 1.4 million according to the latest Stats Canada data and with a growth rate of 20.1% compared to the rest of Canada at 5.2%, this demographic is quickly becoming vital to Canada’s development.

    12:15pm – 1:45pm

    Lunch with Keynote Speaker

    Guest Speaker:
    Sonya Gulati, Senior Economist, Government Finance and Public Policy, TD Bank PowerPoint Presentation File

    Economic Outlook

    Description: Who says economics is boring? Sonya will provide an informative and entertaining overview of what’s happening in Canada and internationally!

    Keynote Speaker:
    Julian Chapman, VP Consulting & Business Solutions, Forrest & Company Limited.and Brigadier-General, Deputy Commander, 4th Canadian Division / Joint Task Force Central, Army Reserves

    Power Managers

    Accountability and the Not-so-Secret Weapon in the Electricity Talent Challenge
    PowerPoint Presentation File

    Description: In Canada’s growing electricity talent challenge, strategic-level efforts are being made to address retention, attraction and skills transfer. But, at the tactical level – at the frontline where your talent meets the road – what can you do with what you’ve got? Don’t overlook the role of your managers as a means to enhance the employee value proposition, energize your talent management processes and engage your shareholder. Employee experience is defined by managers. By growing managers who build efficiency, effectiveness and environments of trust, you are tapping into the tactical, not-so-secret weapon in the talent challenge. Join Julian Chapman, electricity industry organizational transformation consultant, as he outlines how a system of accountability can unleash the potential of your people and create great places to work. Learn the functional details on how a system of accountability can help you grow teams of “Power Managers”.


    1:45 – 2:00pm
    Visit our exhibits


    2pm – 4pm

    Concurrent Session #1

          • 201: Bridging the Gap – Attracting and Retaining Women in the Electricity Industry

    Suzanne Desrosiers, Executive Director, Human Resources Development, New Brunswick Community College

    Cheryl Cottrill, Executive Director, Women in Nuclear

    Judy McKellar, Vice-President People & Culture, Hydro One Networks

    Kim MacLaren, Owner, KD MacLaren Consulting Inc. PowerPoint Presentation File

    Amy Darnell, Authorized Nuclear Operator in Training, Bruce Power

    Description:  The low representation of women in our sector presents an immediate need to attract, engage, and recruit from this target group. In addition, labour shortages are being experienced by all industries across Canada, leading to increased competition for supply.

    Increasing women’s participation in our industry workforce is part of an overall strategy that will effectively bring about meaningful gains both in terms of profit and productivity for your organization. Above all, it is an important step toward addressing the industry’s skills shortages

    This interactive session will speak to what is being done to increase the recruitment and retention of women in the sector. Hear about current best practices, successful partnerships, and what has emerged from EHRC’s recent discussions with both women in the industry and those who are considering electricity careers as part of the “Bridging the Gap” research.

    2pm – 4pm

    Concurrent Session #2

          • 202: Renewing Futures – Building Powerful HR Strategies for Canada’s Renewable Energy Workforce

    Moderator:  Jacob Irving, President, Canadian Hydropower Association

    Bill Empey, Managing Director and Partner at Prism Economics & Analysis
    PowerPoint Presentation File
    Ted Kantrowitz, Vice President, Canadian GeoExchange Coalition
    Tom Levy, Manager of Technical and Utility Affairs, Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA)
    Gary Thompson, Supervisor, Generation Planning & Transmission Capacity, Toronto Hydro
    Wes Johnston, Director of Policy and Research at Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)
    Doug Hooper, Partner, Waterfall Group

    Description:  Environmental and economic trends mean renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in the world’s energy future. Canada is poised to take advantage of these trends, but only if it’s renewable energy industry can grow and prosper. To do so, the renewable energy industry will more than ever depend upon a skilled workforce.

    But what should that workforce look like? What skills are in need now and will be in the future? How to effectively recruit, retain and deploy workers? Where are they needed? This session will present the preliminary findings from EHRC’s Renewing Future project, which consulted businesses and employees in a variety of renewable sectors, as well as institutions and governments. Learn about the labour market and skills issues challenge the industry and the vision, recommendations and human resource strategy developed as part of this research.

    The results of the research will inform ongoing analysis, which will in turn provide market intelligence for firms, educators and policy-makers


    4pm – 4:15pm
    Network Coffee Break


    6pm – 7pm

    Gala Reception


    7pm – 9:30pm

    Award Gala & Dinner

    Come celebrate a very special evening with your peers as we provide national recognition for the achievements of individuals and companies working in the electricity and renewable sector in Canada.

    Keynote Speaker: The Honourable Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Labour
    Emcee: Norm Fraser, Chair EHRC Board and COO Hydro Ottawa

    Thursday November 7, 2013*

    7:30am – 8am
    Continental Breakfast Buffet


    8am – 9:30am

  • Keynote Speaker

    The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development

  • Plenary 2 – Training Canada’s Workforce – The Role of All Levels of Government

    Al Clark, Senior Advisor, Natural Resources Canada


    Anthony Muttu, Director, Policy & Planning, Employment & Social Development. PowerPoint Presentation File
    John Somers, Senior Executive Director, Skills and Learning Branch, Department of Labour and Advanced Education
    PowerPoint Presentation File
    Bryan Young, Manager, Channel Strategy and Training, Ontario Power Authority. PowerPoint Presentation File
    Carolyn Windsor, Human Resources Manager, Powerstream. PowerPoint Presentation File


    This panel will explore what policy and program initiatives the Federal Government and some provinces have been undertaking to manage the skilled trades shortage. They will also discuss forward-thinking strategies being put in place to meet demand while contributing to emerging skills requirements, specifically within the electricity industry, which will need almost 45,000 workers over the next few years.

    9:30 – 10:00am

    Plenery 3: Employee Engagement – The Powerful Impact of an Engaged Workforce

    Speaker: John Wright, President & Managing Director, Canadian Management Centre

    Description:  This session will share recent national research that has identified the key drivers of employee engagement, and the powerful impact that engaged employees have on creating strong corporate performance. Unfortunately, highly engaged employees only represent 27% of the Canadian workforce. The rest are moderately engaged at best, or disengaged completely. Employee disengagement costs organizations billions of dollars annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, turnover, lost customers and revenue. This session will help leaders understand the actions they can take to create a culture of engagement that will lead to organizational success.

    The presentation will identify:
    1) WHAT – the facts that represent our Canadian workforce reality
    2) SO WHAT? – the negative impact that disengaged employees can have on organizational productivity and performance
    3) NOW WHAT? – key tactics that leaders can implement to improve employee engagement in their organizations


    10am – 10:15am
    Network Coffee Break


    10:15am -10:45am

    Plenary 4 – Training & Development. A Structured Approach.

    Speaker: Greg Comis, HR Manager of Training, ATCO Electric

    Description:  Training is an essential part of the electricity industry’s mandate. A Training and Development strategy for employees that is aligned to the business needs of the organisation and can demonstrate a return on investment is critical. In this session Greg Comis will speak to ATCO Electric’s Training Management System and the systems, processes and tools that make it work.


    10:45am -11:30am

    Plenary 5 – Managing Succession as a Strategic Lever

    Speaker:  Audra August, Principal, Succession & Talent Planning Solutions, Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions. PowerPoint Presentation File

    Description:  Succession management has been an increasingly important topic for organizations over the past several years. While some organizations have been successful, many others have struggled to get processes in place and create the traction that is needed. This session will highlight the evolution of succession and focus on the strategic value that this important work brings to an organization. A case study will illustrate the opportunities for an effective succession process to not only build leadership bench strength, but also create business continuity, help mitigate risk, and create competitive differentiation.


    11:30am – 12:15pm

    Plenary 6 – Creating the Workforce of Tomorrow – Industry/Education Partnerships in Action

    Moderator:  Nimal Rajapakse, Professor and Dean of Foculty of Applied Sciences, Simon Fraser University

    Lyne Parent-Garvey, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hydro Ottawa Group of Companies PowerPoint Presentation File
    Dan Brooks, Associate Dean, Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology. PowerPoint Presentation File
    Dr. Hassan Farhangi, Smart Micro Grid Network, Director of the Group for Advanced Information Technology (GAIT), British Columbia Institute of Technology.
    PowerPoint Presentation File
    Sean Conway, Distinguished Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Energy

    Description:  This session will showcase successful partnerships developed between education and industry to address industry needs and ensure graduates have the right skills sets when entering the electricity workforce. Effective training curricula and employer alignment are needed to ensure employees have the competencies and skills sets required in today’s world. Hear from those who have implemented innovative programs (or “are working together”) to build the supply pipeline, promote careers in the utility sector and train more students to become the company’s future workforce.


    12:20pm – 1:20pm

    Lunch with Keynote

    Employee engagement at all levels of the organization

    Keynote Speaker: Angela Ferrante, Board of Directors, Via Rail and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)


    1:20pm – 1:30pm
    Closing Remarks


    *Program is subject to change without notice.