[email protected]

About Us

QUEST Canada is a registered Canadian charity that supports communities in Canada on their pathway to net-zero. Since 2007, we’ve been facilitating connections, empowering community champions and advising decision-makers to implement energy use and emissions reduction solutions that best meet community needs and maximize local opportunities. We develop tools and resources, convene stakeholders and rights holders, and advise decision-makers — all with the goal of encouraging, assisting and enabling communities to contribute to Canada’s net-zero goals. 

Vision

A sustainable net-zero future where communities across Canada are prosperous.

Mission

To help communities in Canada establish coordinated local action on energy and emissions. 

Values

Objective: Independent, non-partisan and committed to the public interest
Informative: Trusted, credible and balanced information on energy and emissions
Collaborative: Considerate, inclusive with a problem-solving approach
Innovative: Curious, questioning and driving change
Equitable: Equal opportunity with a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness

2023-2025 Strategic Plan

Creating a sustainable net-zero future!

We’re excited to announce our new strategic plan for the next three years, detailing our updated vision, mission and values as well as our strategic priority and key activities. 

2023 Impact Report

Look at what we achieved together in 2023!

As a non-profit, we could not do this important work without the support of you — our network! If you are not already a part of the network click here to join.

Theory of Change

We are proud to present our first theory of change.

We undertook this rigorous planning and evaluation process to hold ourselves accountable to the change our organization can make in Canada.

EQUAL BY 30

OUR COMMITMENT 

Equal by 30 is a public commitment by both public and private sector organizations to work towards equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030. QUEST Canada’s commitments to being Equal by 30 are outlined in the following three goals:

Our Challenge to the Sector

GOAL – Equal Pay

Establish and internally identify, pay scales for all staff positions and levels.

QUEST Canada has established pay scales for all staff positions and levels and publishes salary ranges on all job postings.

GOAL – Equal Leadership

50% of leadership roles held by women.

QUEST Canada is not only led by a woman, but the Senior Management team is made up of 80% women as of April 2020.

GOAL – Equal Opportunities

Creation of policies to support flexible work hours, telecommuting, and working part-time.

QUEST Canada has adopted a cloud-based coordination and management approach that operates across Canada. We also encourage and support a flexible work environment.

Meet the Team

Kareema Batal
Kareema Batal
Malsi Angekumbura headshot
Malsi

Malsi Angekumbura

Lead, Projects

Based in Toronto, Ontario

(647) 535-5815
Omar F with dog
Omar F headshot

Omar Farag

Senior Lead, Projects

Based in Calgary, Alberta

(866) 494-2770, 717
Olumide Fatoki
Olumide Fatoki

Olumide Fatoki

Director, Operations

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba

(866) 494-2770, 701

Bio

Malsi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Conservation and Management from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. With a passion for sustainability, she’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental studies at York University, Toronto, Canada. The primary focus in her graduate studies revolves around sustainable development, climate solutions, and community resilience in the face of climate change. Additionally, Malsi has a special interest in environmental education.

Prior to her arrival in Canada, Malsi worked in an executive position in sustainability where she gained valuable experience addressing environmental and social sustainability challenges at both the industrial and community levels. Malsi actively contributes to York University’s Climate Solutions Park team, participating in practical training programs related to renewable energies and regenerative agriculture with various communities. She is also dedicated to developing her skills in environmental education.

Bio

Omar has a B.Sc. in Petroleum and Energy Engineering and continued on to a Master’s degree in Sustainable Environmental Management (MSEM) at the University of Saskatchewan. Omar had the chance to work with Indigenous communities across Saskatchewan to help them with implementing renewable and energy efficiency projects. He believes that the way to a sustainable future is found by optimizing energy usage and utilizing energy resources to their best use. Omar hopes to make a positive impact by supporting communities across Canada on their quest to an energy secure future.

Bio

Olumide is an energy transition leader and program director with over 15 years of progressive experience in advisory services and large-scale project delivery within private, government and non-profit sectors. An expert in energy access, decarbonization, net-zero solutions, and climate change with various skills in policy development, project management activities, coordination, high-level stakeholder engagement and reporting.

He brings a wealth of international experience and supports many countries in designing their energy transition goals and improving energy access, especially for communities. He led multiple renewable energy projects and managed global programs, including the Nigerian Energy Support Program (NESP), implemented by GIZ and funded by the EU and German Governments. He also supported multiple international program designs powered by WorldBank and AfDB on improving energy access for developing countries and leading expansion drives. 

He is an astute business leader and low-carbon energy expert, working with profit and non-profit organizations. He supported the successful implementation of significant energy programs like WB-NEP, AFDB, UNDP, GEAPP, etc. 

He is passionate about helping communities develop and build capacity to achieve net-zero targets and implement sustainable projects. In his new role as the Director of Operations (and business expansion), he will be supporting QUEST Canada in achieving its mission of helping communities in Canada establish coordinated local action on energy and emissions by ensuring the organization can deliver high-quality and impactful initiatives.

Malsi Angekumbura headshot
Malsi

Malsi Angekumbura

Lead, Projects

Based in Toronto, Ontario

(647) 535-5815

Bio

Malsi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Conservation and Management from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. With a passion for sustainability, she’s currently pursuing a master’s degree in environmental studies at York University, Toronto, Canada. The primary focus in her graduate studies revolves around sustainable development, climate solutions, and community resilience in the face of climate change. Additionally, Malsi has a special interest in environmental education.

Prior to her arrival in Canada, Malsi worked in an executive position in sustainability where she gained valuable experience addressing environmental and social sustainability challenges at both the industrial and community levels. Malsi actively contributes to York University’s Climate Solutions Park team, participating in practical training programs related to renewable energies and regenerative agriculture with various communities. She is also dedicated to developing her skills in environmental education.

Omar F with dog
Omar F headshot

Omar Farag

Senior Lead, Projects

Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

 

 

(866) 494-2770, 717

Bio

Omar has a B.Sc. in Petroleum and Energy Engineering and continued on to a Master’s degree in Sustainable Environmental Management (MSEM) at the University of Saskatchewan. Omar had the chance to work with Indigenous communities across Saskatchewan to help them with implementing renewable and energy efficiency projects. He believes that the way to a sustainable future is found by optimizing energy usage and utilizing energy resources to their best use. Omar hopes to make a positive impact by supporting communities across Canada on their quest to an energy secure future.

Olumide Fatoki
Olumide Fatoki

Olumide Fatoki

Director, Operations

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba

(866) 494-2770, 701

Bio

Olumide is an energy transition leader and program director with over 15 years of progressive experience in advisory services and large-scale project delivery within private, government and non-profit sectors. An expert in energy access, decarbonization, net-zero solutions, and climate change with various skills in policy development, project management activities, coordination, high-level stakeholder engagement and reporting.

He brings a wealth of international experience and supports many countries in designing their energy transition goals and improving energy access, especially for communities. He led multiple renewable energy projects and managed global programs, including the Nigerian Energy Support Program (NESP), implemented by GIZ and funded by the EU and German Governments. He also supported multiple international program designs powered by WorldBank and AfDB on improving energy access for developing countries and leading expansion drives. 

He is an astute business leader and low-carbon energy expert, working with profit and non-profit organizations. He supported the successful implementation of significant energy programs like WB-NEP, AFDB, UNDP, GEAPP, etc. 

He is passionate about helping communities develop and build capacity to achieve net-zero targets and implement sustainable projects. In his new role as the Director of Operations (and business expansion), he will be supporting QUEST Canada in achieving its mission of helping communities in Canada establish coordinated local action on energy and emissions by ensuring the organization can deliver high-quality and impactful initiatives.

Cris climbing
Cristian Hurtado

Cristian Hurtado

Manager, Business Development

Based in Mississauga, Ontario

The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light.” ~ Lion Turtle

(866) 494-2770, 708
Tonja with her children
Tonja

Tonja Leach

Executive Director

Based in Ottawa, Ontario

“Don’t miss out on something that could be great because it also could be difficult”
~ unknown

(866) 494-2770, 706
Seth Leon
Seth Leon

Seth Leon

Manager, Programs and Projects

Based in Calgary, Alberta

(866) 494-2770, 705

Bio

More than anything, Cristian wants to personally contribute to a global economic shift away from mass consumption towards a more equitable, environmentally benign, and harmonious future. Having worked in the climate action space since 2016, his experience spans for- and non-profit organizations focused on green buildings and infrastructure, green energy, and climate action.

Cristian’s foray into the world of sustainability began with installing solar systems across Ontario. After a year of this, he entered the Master of Environmental Studies program at York University, where he studied sustainable energy systems and policies, sustainability accounting and business approaches, and environmental/climate policies and frameworks. His education at York was rounded out by a Diploma in Business & Environment from Schulich School of Business and a semester at Aalborg University in Denmark studying Sustainable Energy Planning and Management.

During his graduate studies, Cristian worked at several climate-focused organizations, including Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Green Infrastructure Foundation, Rethink Sustainability Initiatives, and Canada’s Clean50 Organization. Upon graduating, Cristian interned at QUEST Canada before joining Mantle Developments where he developed and implemented climate resilience strategies, managed net-zero construction initiatives, and led sustainability reporting for some of the largest developers, REITs, and charities in Canada. After Mantle, Cristian worked at Alectra Utilities, where he led stakeholder engagement initiatives and designed programs tackling the challenge of low-carbon mobility.

Now back at QUEST Canada, Cristian is leading business development efforts to enable the organization to deliver greater positive impact to Canadian communities.

Bio

Tonja Leach became Executive Director of QUEST on July 20, 2018, having been with QUEST since its inception in 2007 in a number of roles of increasing responsibility. She has been instrumental in establishing QUEST’s extensive national network and ensuring that QUEST is known as the Canadian organization that accelerates the adoption of efficient and integrated community-scale energy systems in Canada by informing, inspiring, and connecting decision-makers.

Having spent the past 15 years in the downstream energy industry, Tonja is highly regarded as a strategic thinker and a doer with a passion for finding solutions to complex energy issues at the local level. Most recently, having been the Interim Executive Director and prior to that the Managing Director, Operations and Services, Tonja has taken a leading role in the operations of the organization, developing and implementing the infrastructure, systems and human resources required for QUEST to grow and support the Smart Energy Communities marketplace.

Prior to QUEST, Tonja worked for the Canadian Gas Association in communications since 2003. During that time Tonja acted as the secretariat for a coalition of 19 energy industry associations known as the Energy Dialogue Group, who came together to encourage the establishment of a national energy framework for Canada.

Bio

Seth Leon is the Manager of Programs and Projects at QUEST Canada, focusing on the Net-Zero Communities Accelerator. He brings over a decade of experience planning and initiating local economic development projects across Alberta, with expertise in renewable energy, local financing, and business succession. Since 2017 he has worked to advance community energy development by leading workshops and project incubators that have connected municipalities, industry, Indigenous communities, and co-operatives to advance local energy goals. Seth has been active in the not-for-profit and grassroots sector in Calgary, as the former Board Chair of the CommunityWise Resource Centre. He holds a Masters of Development Economics from Dalhousie University (2008). 

Cris climbing
Cristian Hurtado

Bio

More than anything, Cristian wants to personally contribute to a global economic shift away from mass consumption towards a more equitable, environmentally benign, and harmonious future. Having worked in the climate action space since 2016, his experience spans for- and non-profit organizations focused on green buildings and infrastructure, green energy, and climate action.

Cristian’s foray into the world of sustainability began with installing solar systems across Ontario. After a year of this, he entered the Master of Environmental Studies program at York University, where he studied sustainable energy systems and policies, sustainability accounting and business approaches, and environmental/climate policies and frameworks. His education at York was rounded out by a Diploma in Business & Environment from Schulich School of Business and a semester at Aalborg University in Denmark studying Sustainable Energy Planning and Management.

During his graduate studies, Cristian worked at several climate-focused organizations, including Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Green Infrastructure Foundation, Rethink Sustainability Initiatives, and Canada’s Clean50 Organization. Upon graduating, Cristian interned at QUEST Canada before joining Mantle Developments where he developed and implemented climate resilience strategies, managed net-zero construction initiatives, and led sustainability reporting for some of the largest developers, REITs, and charities in Canada. After Mantle, Cristian worked at Alectra Utilities, where he led stakeholder engagement initiatives and designed programs tackling the challenge of low-carbon mobility.

Now back at QUEST Canada, Cristian is leading business development efforts to enable the organization to deliver greater positive impact to Canadian communities.

Cristian Hurtado

Manager, Business Development

Based in Mississauga, Ontario

The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed. Since beginningless time, darkness thrives in the void, but always yields to purifying light.” ~ Lion Turtle

(866) 494-2770, 708
Tonja with her children
Tonja

Tonja Leach

Executive Director

Based in Ottawa, Ontario

“Don’t miss out on something that could be great because it also could be difficult”
~ unknown

(866) 494-2770, 706

Bio

Tonja Leach became Executive Director of QUEST on October 18, 2019, having been with QUEST since its inception in 2007 in a number of roles of increasing responsibility. She has been instrumental in establishing QUEST’s extensive national network and ensuring that QUEST is known as the Canadian organization that accelerates the adoption of efficient and integrated community-scale energy systems in Canada by informing, inspiring, and connecting decision-makers.

Having spent the past 15 years in the downstream energy industry, Tonja is highly regarded as a strategic thinker and a doer with a passion for finding solutions to complex energy issues at the local level. Most recently, having been the Interim Executive Director and prior to that the Managing Director, Operations and Services, Tonja has taken a leading role in the operations of the organization, developing and implementing the infrastructure, systems and human resources required for QUEST to grow and support the Smart Energy Communities marketplace.

Prior to QUEST, Tonja worked for the Canadian Gas Association in communications since 2003. During that time Tonja acted as the secretariat for a coalition of 19 energy industry associations known as the Energy Dialogue Group, who came together to encourage the establishment of a national energy framework for Canada.

Seth Leon
Seth Leon

Seth Leon

Manager, Programs & Projects

Based in Calgary, Alberta

(866) 494-2770, 705

Bio

Seth Leon is the Manager of Programs and Projects at QUEST Canada, focusing on the Net-Zero Communities Accelerator. He brings over a decade of experience planning and initiating local economic development projects across Alberta, with expertise in renewable energy, local financing, and business succession. Since 2017 he has worked to advance community energy development by leading workshops and project incubators that have connected municipalities, industry, Indigenous communities, and co-operatives to advance local energy goals. Seth has been active in the not-for-profit and grassroots sector in Calgary, as the former Board Chair of the CommunityWise Resource Centre. He holds a Masters of Development Economics from Dalhousie University (2008). 

Norma's painting
Norma

Andrei Nikiforuk

Senior Lead, Policy

Based in Edmonton, Alberta

“Without learning, life is but a pale imitation of death.” ~ paraphrased from Dionysus

(780) 717-9517
Eddie playing the keyboard
Eddie Headshot

Eddie Oldfield

Senior Lead, Projects

Based in Fredericton, New Brunswick

(866) 494-2770, 710
Naureen Othi headshot
Naureen

Naureen Othi

Lead, Projects

Based in Calgary, Alberta

Bio

Andrei is an environment and energy policy expert, and brings to QUEST a Master’s in Economics, Master’s Certificate in Project Management and over 23 years of experience including, perhaps most notably, the responsibility for the customer choice/retail electricity competition aspect of policy reformation for the electricity industry in Alberta in the late 1990’s.

This work included extensive community, industry and utility engagement and managing multiple perspectives and opinions.

Readily admitting that policy reformation rarely is able to accomplish immediately all it sets out to, the experience of that process is incredibly valuable to QUESTS’s Energy Transition Policy Program (ETPP).

Formerly the Director of Energy Efficiency and Conservation at the Government of Alberta and trained in arbitration and mediation, Andy is incredibly well-respected and known across the Canadian energy industry.

Bio

Since 1998, Eddie Oldfield coordinated initiatives focused on local sustainability, GHG emissions reduction, clean energy and efficiency, transportation/fleets, climate adaptation and resilience planning. Eddie Chairs the QUEST NB-PEI Caucus, working to advance Smart Energy Communities, and is Senior Lead, Projects and Advisory Services, QUEST. In this role, he helps deliver regional and national projects and supports FCM Partners for Climate Protection members in Atlantic Canada. Eddie also co-chairs the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)’s Energy and Utilities working group and is a Charter member of the OGC Smart Cities working group. He led development of innovative web-based map services & distributed spatial data infrastructure, to support decision making including for a cross-border pandemic exercise in 2007. He is a board member of the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network, and participated in the Resilient Communities Working Group of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. Eddie holds a BA (2008), with Interdisciplinary Honours (Sociology, Political Science, Environment, Science & Technology) from St. Thomas University, and owns and operates Spatial Quest based in Fredericton NB.

Bio

Naureen Othi is currently pursuing a degree in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology at the University of Calgary. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Naureen has developed a passion for sustainability and innovation through projects, extracurriculars, and research on sustainable plastics, methane capture, and renewable energy, all targeting the climate crisis. This led Naureen to QUEST Canada, where she provides support to the Net-Zero Communities Accelerator program and the Motivating Net Zero Action in Rural and Remote Communities research project.

Norma's painting
Norma

Andrei Nikiforuk

Senior Lead, Policy

Based in Edmonton, Alberta

“Without learning, life is but a pale imitation of death.” ~ paraphrased from Dionysus

(780) 717-9517

Bio

Andrei is an environment and energy policy expert, and brings to QUEST a Master’s in Economics, Master’s Certificate in Project Management and over 23 years of experience including, perhaps most notably, the responsibility for the customer choice/retail electricity competition aspect of policy reformation for the electricity industry in Alberta in the late 1990’s.

This work included extensive community, industry and utility engagement and managing multiple perspectives and opinions.

Readily admitting that policy reformation rarely is able to accomplish immediately all it sets out to, the experience of that process is incredibly valuable to QUESTS’s Energy Transition Policy Program (ETPP).

Formerly the Director of Energy Efficiency and Conservation at the Government of Alberta and trained in arbitration and mediation, Andy is incredibly well-respected and known across the Canadian energy industry.

Eddie playing the keyboard
Eddie Headshot

Eddie Oldfield

Senior Lead, Projects

Based in Fredericton, New Brunswick

(866) 494-2770, 710

Bio

Since 1998, Eddie Oldfield coordinated initiatives focused on local sustainability, GHG emissions reduction, clean energy and efficiency, transportation/fleets, climate adaptation and resilience planning. Eddie Chairs the QUEST NB-PEI Caucus, working to advance Smart Energy Communities, and is Senior Lead, Projects and Advisory Services, QUEST. In this role, he helps deliver regional and national projects and supports FCM Partners for Climate Protection members in Atlantic Canada. Eddie also co-chairs the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)’s Energy and Utilities working group and is a Charter member of the OGC Smart Cities working group. He led development of innovative web-based map services & distributed spatial data infrastructure, to support decision making including for a cross-border pandemic exercise in 2007. He is a board member of the Canadian Risk and Hazards Network, and participated in the Resilient Communities Working Group of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. Eddie holds a BA (2008), with Interdisciplinary Honours (Sociology, Political Science, Environment, Science & Technology) from St. Thomas University, and owns and operates Spatial Quest based in Fredericton NB.

Naureen Othi headshot
Naureen

Naureen Othi

Lead, Projects

Based in Calgary, Alberta

Bio

Naureen Othi is currently pursuing a degree in Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology at the University of Calgary. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Naureen has developed a passion for sustainability and innovation through projects, extracurriculars, and research on sustainable plastics, methane capture, and renewable energy, all targeting the climate crisis. This led Naureen to QUEST Canada, where she provides support to the Net-Zero Communities Accelerator program and the Motivating Net Zero Action in Rural and Remote Communities research project.

Norma's painting
Norma

Norma Panetta

Lead, Projects

Based in Gatineau, Québec

(866) 494-2770, 715
Gemma Pinchin
Gemma Pinchin

Gemma Pinchin

Senior Lead, Research and Projects

Based in Bowmanville, Ontario

(866) 494-2770, 709
Helda holding baby at the beach
Helda

HELDAGARDIS (HELDA) RENYAAN, M.ENV.SC., B.ENG.

Lead, Projects

(currently on parental leave)
Based in Bowmanville, Ontario

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” ~ Edmund Burke

(866) 494-2770, 711

Bio

All her life, Norma knew she was destined for great things and in 2015 her dream came into fruition. Since then she has been a strong advocate for sustainable, efficient and affordable renewable energy that will transform Canada and its communities into global leaders in the energy transition movement. 

Prior to joining QUEST Canada, Norma worked at the Canadian Renewable Energy Association as the Membership and Business Development Specialist as well as being the Member Program Specialist at the Canadian Wind Energy Association. Her previous experience also includes marketing, graphic design and communications for various companies in Toronto. Norma holds a diploma in graphic design from St. Lawrence College as well as certificates in web design, JavaScript and CSS.

Bio

Since she was a child, Gemma has cared about helping people and the planet, which translated into a professional passion for community mobilization and addressing the climate crisis. These passions drove Gemma to join QUEST Canada in May 2023 as the Senior Lead of Research and Projects. She’s responsible for leading the Motivating Net Zero Action in Rural and Remote Communities research project. 

Gemma has enjoyed a career in a variety of fields focusing on research and policy analysis. She completed a Master’s degree in Globalization and International Development from the University of Ottawa and an undergraduate degree in History from Glendon College, York University. Most recently she had the pleasure of working with Indigenous communities across Ontario building energy capacity and resilience. 

Bio

Helda is an environmental enthusiast, holding a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering from Indonesia, Master of Science from Taiwan and Master of Environmental Science at the University of Toronto. Helda has extensive experience in diverse fields including environmental assessments in the mining industry and compliance audits in the geothermal industry in Indonesia. In addition, Helda is also an expert in sustainability and conducted research where she was successfully able to accomplish Phosphorus to evaporate into a vapour through the development of an enhanced energy-efficient method of extracting Phosphorus from Steel Slags during her Masters in Taiwan.

Norma's painting
Norma

Norma Panetta

Lead, Projects

Based in Ottawa, Ontario

(866) 494-2770, 715

Bio

All her life, Norma knew she was destined for great things and in 2015 her dream came into fruition. Since then she has been a strong advocate for sustainable, efficient and affordable renewable energy that will transform Canada and its communities into global leaders in the energy transition movement. As the Lead, Engagement and Business Development at QUEST Canada, her role includes building and forming relationships with Supporters, Sponsors, Partners and Funders; providing them with the necessary tools to reach their energy goals within their community, as well as opportunities to engage and connect with the QUEST Canada network.

Prior to joining QUEST Canada, Norma worked at the Canadian Renewable Energy Association as the Membership and Business Development Specialist as well as being the Member Program Specialist at the Canadian Wind Energy Association. Her previous experience also includes marketing, graphic design and communications for various companies in Toronto. Norma holds a diploma in graphic design from St. Lawrence College as well as certificates in web design, JavaScript and CSS.

Gemma Pinchin
Gemma Pinchin

Gemma Pinchin

Senior Lead, Research and Projects

Based in Bowmanville, Ontario

(866) 494-2770, 709

Bio

Since she was a child, Gemma has cared about helping people and the planet, which translated into a professional passion for community mobilization and addressing the climate crisis. These passions drove Gemma to join QUEST Canada in May 2023 as the Senior Lead of Research and Projects. She’s responsible for leading the Motivating Net Zero Action in Rural and Remote Communities research project. 

Gemma has enjoyed a career in a variety of fields focusing on research and policy analysis. She completed a Master’s degree in Globalization and International Development from the University of Ottawa and an undergraduate degree in History from Glendon College, York University. Most recently she had the pleasure of working with Indigenous communities across Ontario building energy capacity and resilience. 

Helda holding baby at the beach
Helda

HELDAGARDIS (HELDA) RENYAAN, M.ENV.SC., B.ENG.

Lead, Projects

(currently on parental leave)
Based in Bowmanville, Ontario

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” ~ Edmund Burke

(866) 494-2770, 711

Bio

Helda is an environmental enthusiast, holding a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering from Indonesia, Master of Science from Taiwan and Master of Environmental Science at the University of Toronto. Helda has extensive experience in diverse fields including environmental assessments in the mining industry and compliance audits in the geothermal industry in Indonesia. In addition, Helda is also an expert in sustainability and conducted research where she was successfully able to accomplish Phosphorus to evaporate into a vapour through the development of an enhanced energy-efficient method of extracting Phosphorus from Steel Slags during her Masters in Taiwan.

Melissa smiling
Melissa

MELISSA SCHWEYER - MA

Senior Lead, Communications

(currently on parental leave)
Based in Hamilton, Ontario

(866) 494-2770, 704
Donald Wiedman
Donald

DONALD WIEDMAN

Senior Lead, Communications

Based in Toronto, Ontario

“There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen

(866) 494-2770, 702

Bio

Melissa is a writer, communicator, and change-maker with eleven years of progressive work experience in the not-for-profit sector. Coupled with years of related volunteer experience, she’s had the fortunate privilege of funding, planning and advancing several projects and programs relating to international development, emergency response, migration, youth empowerment, local health care, affordable housing, and most recently, sustainability. 

As the Senior Lead of Communications, Melissa oversees the development, management, and delivery of QUEST Canada’s communications and marketing strategy. Her expertise includes communications, marketing, stakeholder relations, community engagement, and sustainability. 

Melissa holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and Women’s Studies from McMaster University and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto. 

Bio

Donald brings over two decades of experience leading sustainability communications programs that focused on federal funding of transit, the first producer-pay system for the Ontario blue box, smart commuting, the Ontario greenbelt, and promoting local tourism around the Golden Horseshoe by bicycle, subway, bus and train. He is the former VP Communications of the Ottawa chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and contributor to the membership committee of the regional Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE).

He has given time and expertise to the Jackman Public School green team, Ward 29 Bikes of Cycle Toronto, the Recycling Council of Ontario, Regent Park Centre for Social Innovation, and the City of Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee. In 2011, Donald’s Wiedman Communications/PR company won the City of Toronto ‘Best Overall’ Bicycle Friendly Business Award for his work in local multi-modal transportation, with Bikes for Cuba, and in support of the Toronto bicycle courier community.

Donald holds a bachelor of arts degree in English: Film & Communications from McGill University, and a diploma in social sciences from Collège Vanier College.

Melissa smiling
Melissa

MELISSA SCHWEYER - MA

Senior Lead, Communications

(currently on parental leave)
Based in Hamilton, Ontario

(866) 494-2770, 704

Bio

Melissa is a writer, communicator, and change-maker with eleven years of progressive work experience in the not-for-profit sector. Coupled with years of related volunteer experience, she’s had the fortunate privilege of funding, planning and advancing several projects and programs relating to international development, emergency response, migration, youth empowerment, local health care, affordable housing, and most recently, sustainability. 

As the Senior Lead of Communications, Melissa oversees the development, management, and delivery of QUEST Canada’s communications and marketing strategy. Her expertise includes communications, marketing, stakeholder relations, community engagement, and sustainability. 

Melissa holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and Women’s Studies from McMaster University and a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto. 

Donald Wiedman
Donald

DONALD WIEDMAN

Senior Lead, Communications

Based in Toronto, Ontario

“There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
~ Leonard Cohen

(866) 494-2770, 702

Bio

Donald brings over two decades of experience leading sustainability communications programs that focused on federal funding of transit, the first producer-pay system for the Ontario blue box, smart commuting, the Ontario greenbelt, and promoting local tourism around the Golden Horseshoe by bicycle, subway, bus and train. He is the former VP Communications of the Ottawa chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and contributor to the membership committee of the regional Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE).

He has given time and expertise to the Jackman Public School green team, Ward 29 Bikes of Cycle Toronto, the Recycling Council of Ontario, Regent Park Centre for Social Innovation, and the City of Toronto Cycling Advisory Committee. In 2011, Donald’s Wiedman Communications/PR company won the City of Toronto ‘Best Overall’ Bicycle Friendly Business Award for his work in local multi-modal transportation, with Bikes for Cuba, and in support of the Toronto bicycle courier community.

Donald holds a bachelor of arts degree in English: Film & Communications from McGill University, and a diploma in social sciences from Collège Vanier College.

Board of Directors

Mike Cleland Profile Photo

Dale Beugin

Member

Bio

Dale Beugin is the Vice President of Research and Analysis at the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices. An expert in environmental economics, policy and technical communications, he now leads the Institute’s work in developing rigorous analysis and practical climate policy advice for governments across the country. Dale was former Executive Director and Research Director of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, and has previously worked as an independent consultant. Notably, he worked with the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy as policy advisor and has provided analysis and advice to governments and organizations across Canada and internationally. He holds a Masters Degree in resource and environmental management with a specialization in energy-economy modelling, and an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.

Dr. Karen Farbridge Profile Photo

Ron Clark

Member

Bio

Ron Clark is a partner at Aird & Berlis LLP law firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Specializing in intersections amongst corporate, commercial, energy and municipal law, he has guided numerous clients through the historical and institutional development of the energy market in Ontario. His corporate and commercial practice includes advising corporations, financial institutions, municipalities and individuals on commercial agreements, asset and share purchase transactions, mergers and acquisitions, private placements and secured lending transactions. The energy side of his practice involves guiding clients through transactions, as well as counselling stakeholder groups, retailers, distributors and generators on legislative and policy matters relating to electricity markets. Ron is deeply interested in the intersection of law and public policy, and enjoys meeting the unique challenges of the evolving energy market.

Ron has a background in public international law and previously served as a diplomat with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa and Brussels. He is listed as a “Leading Lawyer” in Energy: Power by The Legal 500 Canada and in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in the area of Energy (Electricity). He was also recommended by Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a top practitioner in Energy, Power (Transactional) (Canada), and is recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Government Contracts. He has served as an Instructor of the Professional Master of Laws program in Energy and Infrastructure Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Ron holds a BA in Political Science from Carleton University, a LL.B. from Osgood Hall Law School and a LL.M. from New York University.

Karen Farbridge

Dr. Karen Farbridge

Board Chair

Bio

Karen Farbridge is President & Urban Connector of Karen Farbridge & Associates where she works with business, governments and organizations to build healthy and prosperous communities.

She is well-connected in the community energy sector in Canada, and has over 25 years of experience leading community innovation. Karen has a diverse background managing complex multi-stakeholder environments to enable change. Her experience includes 17 years in municipal politics, 11 of which were as the mayor of Guelph, Ontario where she gained a reputation for sustainability leadership. She advises federal, provincial and municipal policy makers and industry leaders on building sustainable and resilient communities, with an emphasis on community energy.

Karen is a thoughtful change agent who effectively challenges status quo thinking to encourage new conversations and inspire innovation. In addition to QUEST, she currently serves as the Chair of the Board for Meridian Credit Union and motusbank as well as on the Board of Silence. She is also a member of the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) at York University where she is adjunct faculty, and a partner with the Community Energy Knowledge and Action Partnership (CEKAP).

Karen is a respected speaker who has delivered hundreds of talks both locally and internationally on matters of current urban interest, including sustainability, engagement and community energy. She has a doctorate from the University of Guelph and a Chartered Directors designation from McMaster University.

Marty Klyne

Marty Klyne

Member

Bio

Hon. Marty Klyne was sworn into the Senate of Canada on September 27, 2018. Prior to the Senate he served several organizations in the following capacities:  Publisher / CEO of Saskatchewan’s two major daily newspapers, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix and Regina Leader-Post; President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation; EVP, MAACO Systems Canada; COO, Regina’s Economic Development Authority; CEO, Sasknative Economic Development Corporation; Managing Partner, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada (Regina); and, Account Manager, Mercantile Bank of Canada (Regina).

Marty currently serves on the FHQ Development Ltd. Board of Directors and has served on numerous other boards and councils including:  Vice-Chair of the SaskPower Board; Chairperson of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board; Economic Development Regina Board; Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce Labour Market Council; Globe Theatre Regina Board; Regina Palliative Care Board; the Mackenzie Art Gallery Board; and, Ignite Adult Learning Corporation Foundation Board. He was also President of Grey Cup 2003, “Flat-Out in Saskatchewan.”

Over the years Marty has been the recipient of multiple awards and recognition including the University of Regina Alumni Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Business Hall of Fame Inductee – Junior Achievement, Southern Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Men of Influence – Saskatchewan Business Magazine, and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.

Hon. Marty Klyne graduated With Distinction from the University of Regina, B.Admin., Finance Major and has achieved a Pro.Dir™ designation from the Johnson-Shoyoma Graduate School of Public Policy and Brown Governance Inc.

Dr. Vicky Sharpe Profile Photo

Karen Lockridge

Chair of the Governance Committee

Bio

Karen Lockridge is Director of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Investing at Canada Post Corporation (CPC) Pension Plan. Named one of Canada’s Clean 50 leaders in the field of sustainable capitalism in 2019, she is responsible for developing and implementing the CPC Pension Plan’s ESG investment strategy and risk management framework.

Prior to joining Canada Post, Karen was a member of Mercer’s global Responsible Investment team. There she developed “Investing in a Time of Climate Change – The Sequel” (2019) a research report, and co-authored “Building a Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure” (2016) and “Crossing the Bridge to Sustainable Infrastructure Investing” (2017) during a 25-year long career with Mercer.

Karen has held a variety of leadership roles in defined benefit risk management, strategy execution, knowledge management, and operations. In addition to her time at Mercer, she spent 18 months as Director, Pension and Benefits at BMO Financial Group. Karen was also a member of the Government of Canada’s Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Results (2017/18).

Karen graduated from the University of Alberta with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics in 1990. She is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries.

Doug Leighton Profile Photo

Morgan McDonald

Member

Bio

Morgan McDonald works on high performance buildings and process innovation with Ledcor Construction. He leads Ledcor Renew, which supports commercial and institutional building owners in understanding the financial and technical feasibility of high performance projects for both new construction and retrofit. He also heads up Ledcor Construction’s Innovation Lab. Morgan has a background in renewable energy, carbon finance, and sustainability education. In addition to QUEST, he also volunteers with Living Future Vancouver and the Canada Green Building Council. Morgan has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University.

Dr. Shahrzad Rahbar Profile Photos

Dr.Shahrzad Rahbar

Chair, Audit & Finance Committee

Bio

Dr. Shahrzad Rahbar is President of the Industrial Gas Users Association (IGUA). Dr. Rahbar brings 20 years of progressively senior experience from the gas industry.

Prior to joining IGUA, she served as Senior Vice-President with the Canadian Gas Association for over a decade, and has been an active contributor to the development of energy, technology and regulatory policy in Canada. Dr. Rahbar served on the Executive Committee of the International Gas Union and on the Board of Natural Gas Technology Centre as Vice-Chair. She is also founding director of QUEST and a director on Eastern Breeze, a community-based art initiative.

Dr. Shahrzad Rahbar has a PhD in mechanical engineering from the UK and two patents to her name.

Karen White

Karen White

Member

Bio

Karen White is the Vice President at NATIONAL Public Relations. She brings a can-do attitude and more than 20 years of communications experience to every project. Her deep understanding of the energy sector and energy efficiency stems from more than a decade in public service, in a range of departments from Conserve Nova Scotia, Environment, to Energy. Since joining the team at NATIONAL, Karen has worked with electric utility and renewable energy companies on a wide range of stakeholder, regulatory, and customer initiatives.

Her collaborative approach to communications has encouraged responsible development of energy initiatives among government departments, industry, advocates, and communities. She led communications to support public consultation regarding demand side management programs and legislative changes to establish EfficiencyOne. Working with energy partners and stakeholders, Karen has provided advice for complex and high profile regulatory, policy, and public affairs files in the energy sector. She encourages energy sector development through effective community and public engagement and communications planning.

Her passion for the energy sector extends outside the office where she is the Past Board Chair of the Maritimes Energy Association, and a Board Director with Net Zero Atlantic. She holds a Bachelor of Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University.

Of note, Karen is both public engagement and crisis management certified, leveraging her International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) and Incident Command System (ICS) certifications to provide crisis communications counsel to many organizations.

Dr. Vicky Sharpe Profile Photo

Geoff Wright

Member

Bio

Geoff Wright is the Vice President of Market Research at Brookfield Renewable where he contributes to global market and commercial strategies for renewable and distributed generation businesses at the utility scale. In this role, Geoff has been actively involved in underwriting multi-billion dollar transactions in numerous countries. Geoff is keenly interested in understanding how local energy systems need to evolve in the face of an increasingly carbon constrained world and finding cost-effective solutions to enable this transition.

Senior Associates

QUEST Canada Senior Associates are independent practitioners committed to the success of the organization and collaborate to deliver QUEST Canada initiatives. Senior Associates have specialized knowledge and expertise, and contribute to the development of Smart Energy Communities by advancing innovative practices and projects, delivering support services, and participating in broader knowledge exchange and mentoring.

Bruce Cameron Profile Photo

Bruce Cameron

Senior Associate

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Bio

Bruce Cameron is the Principal Consultant and Founder of Envigour Policy Consulting Inc. Bruce is a long-time leader in energy policy development. From 1999 to 2016 he was with the Nova Scotia Department of Energy (including its precursor the NS Petroleum Directorate), leading the development of energy policies, strategies, plans, programs and regulatory/legislative initiatives. Prior to his retirement in 2016, he was Executive Director, Electricity, Renewables, and Efficiency. From 2014-2015, he led the development of the Province’s electricity plan, which emphasized the importance of energy data collection and management as part of an energy innovation agenda. From 2009-2016 he was a leader in regional energy collaboration (Atlantic Energy Gateway). He retired from the Province of NS in 2016 and founded Envigour Policy Consulting Inc.

Bruce works with QUEST as a Senior Advisor and Consultant on a number of projects including proposal development and policy support to the QUEST Nova Scotia Caucus.

To learn more about Envigour Policy Consulting Inc. visit http://www.envigour.ca/

Rebecca Fiissel Schaefer

Rebecca Fiissel Schaefer

Senior Associate

Based in Calgary, Alberta

Bio

Rebecca Fiissel Schaefer is a leader in the energy efficiency industry in Canada. With almost 20 years of experience, Rebecca has a depth of experience in leading teams to research, design and deliver on climate change policy and DSM plans from coast-to-coast.

For the first decade of her career, Rebecca worked within the public service to forward environmental initiatives and make a difference. She was instrumental in designing and launching some of the first ever residential energy efficiency programs in Saskatchewan and Alberta. More recently, Rebecca has been spearheading corporate strategic growth for industry leaders in the energy efficiency implementation space in Canada. During this time, Rebecca has gained perspective from outside of government and been honoured to support and advise government agencies and utilities across the country on their respective DSM plans and program portfolios.

In 2020, Rebecca founded RFS Energy Consulting to apply her experience and knowledge to push climate change policy, research and planning into action across Canada.

A mission driven, results-oriented professional passionate about energy efficiency, climate change policy and her kids. Rebecca believes that individuals can make a difference and hopeful to support in some small way through volunteer roles in her community – including Acting Chair of the Board of Directors for the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance (AEEA); Acting Chair for the Climate Change Innovation Fund Executive Advisory Committee for the City of Calgary; and Brownie Leader for Girl Guides of Canada.

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Geography and Geology, as well as a master’s degree in Public Administration, and Public Management (MPA) from the University of Regina.

Richard Laszlo Profile Photo

Rob Kerr

Senior Associate

Based in Guelph, Ontario

(866) 494-2770, 707

Bio

Rob Kerr is currently an independent consultant, based in Guelph, Ontario, providing community energy services. Rob has over 35 years of experience in many facets of the transitioning energy market with a focus on policy development and implementation of energy and climate change projects/programs in the municipal and community space.

Mr. Kerr’s work experience has been a balance between the private and public sector, having worked with the cities of Guelph and Mississauga, Honeywell, Hydro Quebec, Toronto Hydro Energy Services Inc., and Energy Advantage. Rob has held senior positions at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability providing policy and program support to cities around the world committed to climate mitigation and adaptation activities. He has developed expertise in managing inter-governmental relationships – from his advocacy work at the global level (starting with the UN Climate Conference in Kyoto, Japan in 1997) – to ongoing advisory relationships with the Canadian federal and provincial governments as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Rob works with QUEST as a Senior Associate to further the development of Smart Energy Communities and the implementation of Community Energy Planning through policy support.

Andrea Lupascu

Andreea Lupascu

Senior Associate

Based in Toronto, Ontario

Bio

Andreea Lupascu is a Partner and Co-Founder of Sapling Financial Consultants Inc. Andreea is a finance and consulting professional with a specialization in financial modelling, forecasting and data analytics. Andreea’s work experience in the electricity space is focusing on developing Energy As A Service financial models, used to secure financing and analyze customer savings for microgrids projects across North America, evaluating electricity and gas pricing tariffs, DER programs, and regulatory requirements for various electricity markets in Canada and the US, as well as auditing and enhancing financial models developed by various energy developers and distributors in the public and private sector.

Sapling Financial Consultants Inc. is a consulting firm focusing on financial modelling and data analytics. In the electricity space, the goal of our practice and our philosophy is to come up with creative finance solutions that assist our clients to price projects sustainably while fully reflecting the capabilities of the technical solution and all the potential costs and risks and regulations related to the project, while also providing a solid financial picture that makes it appealing to an investor.

Andreea Lupascu holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) from Utrecht University, and a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from University of Toronto.

Alan Rebane Profile Photo

Emma Norton

Senior Associate

Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Bio

Motivated by the climate emergency, Emma has been working in Nova Scotia’s energy sector for nearly a decade, specifically in the areas of energy efficiency and deep energy retrofits. Emma has effectively intervened in provincial utility hearings to ensure increasing ambition of demand-side management programs. She ran the Climate Jobs Roundtable, a series of events that focused on job creation and transitioning the energy economy. As the Nova Scotia lead for the international project Smarter Energy Communities in Northern and Arctic Regions of Europe, Emma facilitated knowledge transfer between communities in Canada and Europe who were seeking to reduce their carbon footprint through smarter energy use. Currently, Emma is the Director of Communications and Atlantic Organizer for the Climate Emergency Unit, a project of the David Suzuki Institute. Emma is also one of the founders and co-directors of the ReCover Initiative, a deep energy retrofit solution that responds to the climate crisis at the speed and scale necessary to meet our greenhouse gas targets.

Emma has a certificate in Building Science and Net Zero Building Design from Yestermorrow Design/Building School in Vermont. In 2012, she graduated from the University of King’s College with the University Medal in Environment, Sustainability and Society (ESS), and combined honours in ESS and International Development Studies. She holds her levels 1 and 2 in Co-Resolve, Deep Democracy Facilitation.

Daniel Savard

Daniel Savard

Senior Associate

Based in Fredericton, New Brunswick

(866) 494-2770,702

Bio

Integrated Planning has always been of interest to Daniel Savard. Energy efficiency and its integration in development projects are facilitated through integrated planning. Throughout his career, Daniel worked in research and development in planning with the Province of New Brunswick, and with his own firm Decodesign. He developed the balanced weighted IRM concept, the Sustainable Community Design (SCD) Approach, and he oversaw planning innovations and administration of the Community Planning Act, holding temporarily the positions of Senior Planner and Director of planning for the Province of New Brunswick.

Daniel holds a Master’s Degree of Urban Planning from McGill University, and an Master’s of Business Administration from UNB. He coordinated the implementation of the first SCD subdivision project in Canada at ‘Le Village en haut du Ruisseau’ (Dieppe NB), which received national and international awards and recognitions. His work with the SCD Approach was recognized in 2014 with an international Visionary Award. Daniel was one of the founding members of the Sustainable Communities Partnership in New Brunswick.

QUEST objectives and the SCD Approach fit very well together with mutual benefits for communities and sustainable developments. Daniel is proud to be a Senior Associate with QUEST.

To learn more about Decodesign: http://www.decodesignds.ca

 

Job opportunities

There are no job opportunities at this time.

Current Career Opportunities:

Bookkeeper/Financial Administrator – deadline is May 19, 2024

Please check back regularly for future career opportunities.

Employment Equity

QUEST Canada is an equal opportunity employer which has been operating since 2007. We welcome diversity and inclusion in the workplace and encourage applications from qualified individuals in equity deserving and traditionally marginalized groups such as racialized people, Indigenous people, LGBTQIA2S+ people, and persons with disabilities to apply. We encourage applicants to self-identify if they are a member of an equity-deserving group through our application link below. 

QUEST Canada is committed to and working toward developing inclusive, barrier-free selection processes and work environments. If you are contacted to be considered for a job opportunity, advise the QUEST Canada representative of accommodation measures that should be taken to enable you to be assessed in a fair and equitable manner. Information relating to these measures will be addressed confidentially. 

 

Benefits of Working at QUEST Canada

You’ll work with a team of fun and passionate people interested in making a positive impact. Here are some other benefits of working here:

  • Flexible working arrangements and telecommuting
  • Competitive salary
  • Health and dental benefits
  • Paid vacation time
  • Training and development budget to support your professional goals