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!
- Jennifer McLaughlin, Workplaces Committee Chair
- Zainab Moghal, Homes Committee Chair
- Mat Thijssen, Transportation Committee Chair
- Kate Daley, Plan Manager
- Dan Shaver, Partner Support Coordinator
- Juan Sotès, Local Policy Researcher
- Rachel Everett, Committee Coordinator
- Valerie Chong, Social Media Coordinator
Mat Thijssen (Chair)
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.
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.
Leslie is a School Travel Planner working to reduce school traffic and to increase active school transportation. She works with school-based committees to identify and solve barriers to active school travel and with municipal and school board representatives to coordinate solutions that are greater than the school committee can manage on their own. School traffic is a shared problem and it will require a shared solution.
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.
Transportation Committee Members
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.
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.
Designer, artist, systems design engineer and knowledge integrator, Joan uses her career to explore the intersection between art, technology, design and community. Her specific interests include sustainable buildings, user experience, creative writing and exhibit design.
Wendy de Gómez
Wendy de Gómez is the Chief Data Officer at Nano-Lit Technologies Inc. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Masters of Environmental Studies in Human Geography and a Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis. Her career has focused on evidence based knowledge transfer at the nexus between institutional, human, and environmental interactions in the fields of sustainability, psychology and public policy.
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.
Dr. Martha Lenio, born and raised in Waterloo, Ontario, has had a life-long interest in environmental issues. Martha earned a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 2004, and completed a doctorate in Photovoltaic Engineering from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) in 2013. She has worked in the sustainable building industry, the photovoltaics industry, and academia. She has her own company, Mars Green Consulting, focused on renewable energy consulting and smart grid design. She is also working for WWF-Canada on an Arctic Renewable Energy project focused on bringing green energy to Nunavut.
Stephanie is an Environmental Specialist at Right To Play where she is part of the international programs team and supports the development of strategies to strengthen the environmental sustainability of programs and operations. She holds a degree in Environmental Engineering and spent six years working for an engineering firm in Kitchener on remediation programs for contaminated sites. She is passionate about supporting local environmental organizations and initiatives and living a sustainable life-style.
Stephanie McCallum, CRSP, an Environmental Compliance Coordinator with Kuntz Electroplating Inc. She is responsible for environmental compliance, sustainability and the environmental management system. Her role as sustainability ‘champion’ was a change in landscape for her. She is currently completing her Master’s of Science in Environmental Protection with an embedded sustainability component to help improve KEIs sustainability program, metrics, and reporting.
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.
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.
Allan is the Program Development Manager at Sustainable Waterloo Region, responsible for new program development. Over the past four years he has played a lead role for SWR, as a collaborative partner, in the visioning and conceptual design of evolv1 - Canada's first commercially viable and replicable net-positive energy building, currently under development by the Cora Group. Now his focus is on evolvGREEN - a collaboration between Sustainable Waterloo Region, the City of Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo, University of Waterloo, Laurier, and the Accelerator Centre that provides a space to bring together entrepreneurs, industry leaders, academia and corporate partners to build a community of people that are passionate about the environment, the clean economy and the well-being of themselves and those around them.
Umar is an energy sector professional with a strong passion to address the challenges of the 21st century electricity system as they relate to integrating new technologies, enabling market reforms, and re-shaping consumer experience. Umar is currently the Director of Engineering at Energy+ Inc. where he is overseeing power system refurbishment projects that will involve integrating renewable energy, EV stations, advanced communication systems, and increased consumer interaction with utility markets.
Mike is the Interim Manager of Projects and Energy Management at the City of Kitchener, responsible for capital planning and asset management for a wide range of municipal facilities. Having served over 25 years for the City of Kitchener, he prides himself on the reputation of championing the ability to effectively engage, support and communicate with staff, internal customers and stakeholders. Leveraging his reputation and embedded affinity for the environment and sustainability to effect positive change and instilling awareness around the topic of energy management and circular economies.
Workplaces (ICI) Committee Members
Zainab Moghal - Chair
Zainab, Ph.D., MCIP, RPP, is a professional planner with over 17 years of experience in climate change action (impact and vulnerability assessment, adaptation/ resiliency and mitigation); environmental assessment; and stakeholder engagement. Zainab currently works with government, private, and community organizations to build resiliency and develop low-carbon solutions. She has worked across Canada and internationally in sectors including tourism, urban environments, and natural resources management. Zainab brings to the Residential Sector Committee a connection to her historic Mary-Allen neighbourhood association, in uptown Waterloo, and former appointment with the ‘Waterloo Citizen’s Environment Advisory Committee’ (WCEAC).
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.
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.
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.
Carole is an architect practicing locally in Waterloo Region with over 20 years experience in the profession. Always seeking to incorporate 'green' as best practice, she practices mindful design that integrates people, their communities and the environment. She looks forward to contributing to and learning from the diverse experiences and activities of the committee.
Luis is a Realtor who practices throughout Waterloo Region with his wife. He has 5 years experience in the industry and has over 10 years of prior experience in Project Management of ICI Landscaping projects. Luis currently resides in Waterloo with his family and is a proud Cambridge native. He is excited to join the ClimateActionWR committee and looks forward to learning from diverse experiences and perspectives.
Blake is an engineering graduate who has long running interests in health, sustainability, energy efficiency and conservation. His wife is a Naturopathic Doctor and they live with their daughter in Midtown KW. Blake has a strong sense of community and hopes to apply his technical knowledge to help build a sustainable future for Waterloo Region.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anna Marie Cipriani - Sustainability Coordinator, City of Waterloo
Tova Davidson - Executive Director, Sustainable Waterloo Region
Mary Jane Patterson - Executive Director, REEP Green Solutions
David Roewade - Sustainability Planner, Region of Waterloo
Justin Readman - Executive Director of Infrastructure Services, City of Kitchener
Paul Willms - Sustainability Planner, City of Cambridge