What is ClimateActionWR?
ClimateActionWR is a collaboration between local organizations and community members focused on climate change mitigation, and is led by Reep Green Solutions and Sustainable Waterloo Region. It coordinates the activities of the Climate Action Plan, establishing cross-sector dialogue, facilitating collaborative opportunities, and monitoring and measuring progress towards achieving our community’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target of 6% below 2010 levels by 2020.
Management Committee Member
ClimateActionWR Program Funder
Staff and volunteers
Our team is a mix of passionate staff, interns, and volunteers with a range of interests and expertise. Our work wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for them!
- Sue Arndt, Plan Manager
- Samantha Tremmel, 80 by 50 Project Coordinator
- Sarah Fries, Project Coordinator
- Jennifer McLaughlin, Workplaces Committee Chair
- Matt Schiedel, Homes Committee Chair
- David Trueman, Transportation Committee Chair
- Megan Gereghty, Local Policy Researcher
- Valerie Chong, Social Media Coordinator
- Amanda Smith, Elections Researcher
Arcy's passion is in sustainable and active transportation solutions. He works as the ChargeWR Program Manager and TravelWise Promotion Coordinator for Sustainable Waterloo Region. Arcy has vast experience in leading technology projects and developing business opportunities in North America and Asia.
Chris is a graduate in International Business Management from Conestoga College. He is currently looking to continue his education in project management and environmental sustainability.
He works as a Supply Chain Analyst for Loblaw Companies Limited where he manages fresh produce across Canada.
Chris has been actively volunteering for ClimateActionWR as a Street Team Lead and is excited to be apart of the Transportation Committee.
He has a strong interest in promoting sustainable practices to organizations in the food and energy sectors. Chris hopes his background business and passion for the environment will help shape a sustainable future.
Darren is an Active Transportation Project Manager with the City of Kitchener, working to build a transportation network where people willingly and joyfully choose walking or biking to get around. He can often be spotted on his cargo bike, while biking around the city with his kids.
David is an avid cyclist and committed environmentalist. His community contributions have included founding the world's first world-wide-web-based community network in Halifax and current service on the Board of Directors of Waterloo Cycling Club. Professional pursuits in technology have included executive positions at AOL and BlackBerry. He currently provides volunteer mentoring to tech startups.
Dorothy is a strong proponent of utilizing the collaborative strength of community to move initiatives and ideas forward. In particular, she is interested in encouraging active transportation and reducing our carbon footprint. She lives in Waterloo with her family and has a track record of providing leadership for and building partnerships within the community organizations, the not-for-profit and government sectors.
Katie is the Manager of TravelWise, and works with members to make sustainable transportation options more accessible to employees. Her expertise in program and project management, paired with her passion for sustainability result in outstanding service and support for this program’s members. Katie has completed a Masters of Environment and Sustainability and has worked with both not for profit and public-sector agencies to create and implement sustainability action plans.
Mat is the Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Waterloo, where he supports initiatives and strategies to improve environmental indicators. He previously worked at Sustainable Waterloo Region, where he managed the TravelWise program to support sustainable commuting at workplaces in Waterloo Region. He lives with his wife and daughter in Kitchener.
Michelle is a graduate in Civil Engineering from McGill University. She is currently working towards her Master’s in Business at Laurier, part-time. She has worked in the transportation planning field in consulting, and currently works at the Region of Waterloo as a Project Manager, for the preliminary design of upcoming Regional Road projects. Michelle is passionate about active transportation planning, and managing the Region’s infrastructure assets in a sustainable manner over the long term.
Transportation Committee Members
Ashton is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and is the Manager of Accounting at the Township of Wilmot. In his day-to-day duties he is responsible for overseeing accounting operations, reporting and financial analysis. He also shares his passion for sustainability through serving as the Chair of the Township of Wilmot’s Sustainability Committee.
David graduated from the environmental engineering program at the University of Waterloo. He has a passion for sustainability, particularly through conservation efforts, and personally makes small changes to benefit the environment including a mainly plant based diet, carpooling and biking to work, taking public transport when possible, and backyard gardening. He works as a Resource Conservation Specialist at Enviro-Stewards where he helps industry retain profit by reducing water and energy consumption. David is also an active member of the Enviro-Stewards Green team, looking for ways where his company can be more sustainable.
Edward is a professional engineer and small business owner. Throughout a diverse background in automotive service, manufacturing, consulting engineering and home renovation/maintenance, a theme of sustainability, waste reduction and diversion has always been a dominant factor in the evolution of his work. Combined with an interest in community and social engagement, he is passionate about engaging in society’s transition toward economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Jen McLaughlin - Chair
Jen is an environmentalist with a focus on reducing dependency on fossil fuels, chemical management and waste reduction. She is the Global Environment Manager at BlackBerry and has over 15 years’ experience developing and managing programs that reduce emissions to air and land, minimize waste, reduce energy consumption and increase efficiencies. She is actively engaged in the Electric Vehicle community, is a sustainable living blogger, contributor to several environmental publications and is also the Co-Chair of Travelwise.
Jen Novakovich is the founder and director at The Eco Market Canada and The Eco Well. She's a cosmetic chemist with a specialization in sustainable development; she helps brands develop product lines, travels internationally to speak about sustainability in cosmetics, and offers trainings through The Eco Well on cosmetic science and formulation. In her other business, The Eco Market, she's building a platform to support and showcase Canadian green innovation and entrepreneurship.
Jeff Quint is the Manager of Energy Efficiency and Corporate Communications for Waterloo North Hydro where he leads Waterloo North Hydro's portfolio of energy efficiency programs and corporate communications. His business and engineering background and experience enable Jeff to bring a practical balance that incorporates business goals with sustainable objectives.
Matthew is the Program Manager of our community’s Community Energy Investment Strategy; a plan to improve and sustain Waterloo Region’s economic competitiveness and quality of life through the coordination of targeted energy investments. He’s currently focused on energy literacy; local energy production; and the interaction between development, energy, and municipal policies. Previously, Matthew spent 10 years working on the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Sustainable Waterloo Region.
Scott Morton Ninomiya - Vice-Chair
Scott has a strong interest in sustainability issues, particularly renewable energy and sustainable food in Waterloo Region, where he lives with his partner and three children. He has worked in a wide range of leadership positions in government and community organizations and is currently pursuing a degree in Sustainability Management at University of Waterloo.
Workplaces (ICI) Committee Members
As a librarian at the University of Waterloo, Christine provided research assistance, taught information access techniques, selected and organized resources and promoted equitable access to information. In retirement, Christine has volunteered with SWR, contributing to evolv1 planning. Christine seeks to use her skills and passions to further our efforts to address the increasingly urgent problem of climate change.
Dave Blake is the Associate Director and Manager of Energy Programs at Reep Green Solutions. Dave also serves on the board of directors of Green Communities Canada. Dave is committed to helping the people of Waterloo Region to live sustainably.
Elena brings diverse experience and knowledge through her academic and professional work in the residential and institutional sectors. As an Energy Conservation Officer for the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, Elena works on the implementation of energy and water conservation projects, as well as execution of resource conservation programs in schools such as EcoSchools, greening grounds and outdoor classrooms, and waste reduction.
Gudmundur brings experiences in environmental research and consulting to the ClimateActionWR Residential Committee initiatives; many related to carbon management through GHG emission quantification, emission reduction assessments, and life cycle analysis. He has further renovated two houses he has lived in with his family using a home energy audit approach.
Heather is currently completing a Masters of Climate Change degree from the University of Waterloo. As a long time sustainability advocate, community gardener, and educator, Heather is a community builder and lifelong learner. She brings a passion for finding solutions for how we can decarbonize our residential building sector without jeopardizing housing affordability and a dedication to finding solutions that work for her community.
A leader in the field of energy management through innovative delivery models, Jame has led the advisory, development and implementation of residential energy saving programs in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario. Jame is currently the Program Manager for a multifamily direct install program where he oversees a dozen teams and the installation of light bulbs in over 70,000 units across the city. Before this Jame managed the residential discount program where over 3 million bulbs were incented and sold, and led the engagement strategy for in-store customer education outreach (over 500 events), managed the in-home refrigerator recycling program, and launched pilots targeting the residential sector on smart home automation as well as retailers for a midstream rebate approach.
John Kokko - Past Chair
John is a Professional Engineer who has been at the forefront of energy efficiency and alternative energy in residential and commercial buildings for 35 years. He brings solid, practical experience to help the climate action initiative meet or exceed its GHG reduction goals.
Kate works as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Waterloo Global Science Initiative supporting PowerShiftWR. Through her work Kate focuses on bringing together community partners from different specialties, generations and neighborhoods to address sustainability challenges in Waterloo Region. Kate lives in Kitchener with her husband and twin toddlers.
Martina Braunstein - Vice-Chair
Martina is a landscape planner at Dillon Consulting Limited with over eight years of professional experience on projects with core climate change resiliency and ecological design parameters, including sustainable community, streetscape and open space planning and design. Her educational backgrounds in urban planning and landscape architecture provide a unique knowledge base for the implementation of sustainability within the residential sector.
Matthew Schiedel - Chair
Matthew, B.Eng, is a Technical Manager for Owens Corning Canada LP, manufacturer of building insulation solutions. Matthew’s education and work experience has focused on research, energy modeling and design consulting of cost effective low energy residential buildings. He is excited to bring this experience to ClimateActionWR and help shape a sustainable residential future.
Michele is an environmental educator with over 30 years experience in providing programs for schools, communities and professional groups, both in Canada and in the Seychelles Islands where she was living until her recent move to Waterloo Region. Michele is keen to help local communities do more to integrate sustainable living and climate action into everyday life, by being part of the committee. She is enthusiastic about getting to know more about existing and potential climate action in the region and learning from and alongside the other committee members.
Homes (Residential) Committee Members
This governing body keeps an eye on the big picture. They set the strategic direction and plan priorities, manage resources, and keep us on track.
Claire Bennett - Corporate Sustainability Officer, City of Kitchener
Tova Davidson - Executive Director, Sustainable Waterloo Region
Kate Hagerman - Environmental Planning & Stewardship Manager, Region of Waterloo
Michelle Lee - Heritage Planner, City of Waterloo
Mary Jane Patterson - Executive Director, Reep Green Solutions
Paul Willms - Sustainability Planner, City of Cambridge