ACTia Staff

Jason Switzer
Executive Director
Sydney Kjellander
Managing Director
Amanda Lo
Clean Tech Associate

ACTia Board Executive

Russel Matichuk

Russel Matichuk

President

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Rus is the CEO of Gerard Developments Ltd. which owns and manages ten hotels in Alberta and BC and has a number of other investments including Grove RV, Solaris Equestrian, plus other properties and business interests in the Edmonton area, Jasper, Canmore, and Valemount, BC.

Rus has played key roles in launching and growing a number of financially oriented or industry focused associations or initiatives in Alberta, including ACTia, Deal Generator, VenturePrize, Banff Venture Forum, and InfoTech Alberta. Rus continues to be active as a board member or volunteer with both private and public organizations and brings 30 years of management experience in different industries.

Rus holds a B.Ed. Business with Distinction from the University of Alberta.

Jason Switzer

Jason Switzer

Executive Director

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Jason Switzer joined Pembina in April 2011, after nearly a decade in international development and corporate environmental management with positions including environmental excellence advisor at Cenovus Energy Inc. and senior greenhouse gas engineer at Shell Canada Oil Sands.  His areas of expertise are in business-ENGO partnering, environmental labels, management systems and certification/assurance, carbon management, reporting and strategy, offset design and deal-making, consensus building process design and facilitation, and conflict sensitive resource development.  In his previous role at the Pembina Institute, he co-led the national consulting team, through which he managed multi-stakeholder processes for clients including Shell, TOTAL, Suncor, the shale gas sector and its stakeholders, and the Canadian Hydropower Association.

Jason holds master’s degrees in environmental engineering and in public policy from MIT and is a Harvard-trained environmental mediator, an alumnus of Leadership Calgary, and a fellow at the World Commission on Dams.  He sits on advisory committees for the National Museums of Science and Technology and the Canadian Standards Association.  Widely-cited work includes the book Conserving the Peace: Resources Livelihoods and Security (IISD, 2002); conflict mitigation guidance tools for business and development practitioners; opportunities for renewable energy investment by the oil and gas sector; and links between environmental management systems, independent certification and performance improvement.

Nathan Ashcroft

Nathan Ashcroft

Vice-President

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Nathan is a professional engineer with approx. 20 years building projects, technology and business development centered in the energy sector: oil sands, upstream, gas plants, pipeline and terminal facilities, refinery, environmental and tailings projects. In Nathan’s roles as process engineer and engineering and project manager on small, medium and multibillion dollar projects he has traversed the globe through North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. He is a champion of new concepts and technology commercialization from idea through to successful operation.

Nathan’s sweet spot is his ability to draw high performers together into world class teams. He is a registered professional engineer member, 2008, APEGGA (Alberta, Canada) and Chartered Engineer, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, UK (IMechE). He further holds a B.Eng. (Hons) Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering, University of Wales – 1998, and is a member of PMI.

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Secretary-Treasurer

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A biologist by training, Michael Cohen has worked in research, education and government.  As a researcher, he spent 20 years in the fields of agricultural biotechnology and pest management, holding positions at the University of Arizona, the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, and the University of Alberta.

More recently, Michael worked for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Alberta Advanced Education and Technology in regulatory affairs, science policy, and industry development, and as a instructor at NAIT.  He is currently active as a consultant and angel investor.

Michael has an MSc in Biological Sciences from Simon Fraser University and a PhD in Entomology from the University of Illinois.

ACTia Board Directors

Adrian Banica

Adrian Banica

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Mr. Banica is a serial entrepreneur who founded two successful technology ventures in the last 20 years. The first was an electronics engineering company which designed a number of advanced oil and gas and space satellite systems and was acquired in 1999 by Belgium based Rhea Space Systems.

His second enterprise, publicly listed Synodon Inc., is an advanced remote sensing company which successfully commercialized a methane sensing technology originally deployed on a NASA satellite by the Canadian Space Agency. The resulting helicopter based system called realSens™, is used primarily by oil and gas pipeline operators to detect leaks and emissions from their networks as well as other potential integrity issues. Mr. Banica has helped secure over $25 million in financing for the venture and assembled a strong management team to design, develop, commercialize and sell the resulting services directly to US and Canadian pipeline operators.

Apoorv Sinha

Apoorv Sinha

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Apoorv Sinha has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in Chemical and Bio­molecular engineering. Apoorv resided in Kuwait for 8 years before moving to Atlanta in 2007.

Apoorv is Co­-Founder of the logistics start­up TOHL (Tubing Operations for Humanitarian Logistics). He is also leading the commercialization of various technologies in his capacity of Research Manager at zEroCor Tubulars, a Calgary­-based oilfield service company, and also leads Carbon Upcycling, a startup focused on the production of carbon nano­particles from sequestered CO2.

Candice Paton

Candice Paton

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Candice is the Executive Director – Clean Technology at Alberta Innovates. She and her team partner with industry, academia and entrepreneurs to accelerate the development, demonstration and adoption of innovative cleantech solutions that will benefit Alberta; particularly with respect to our energy transition to a low carbon emissions future.

Candice is passionate about energy technologies and the efforts required to move the needle on environmental performance. She holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.

She is registered as a Professional Engineer with APEGA and is a Fellow with the Energy Futures Lab.

She has recently been recognized as an honorary leading female innovator as part of the Alberta Chapter of SHEinnovates.

Connie Raddatz

Connie Raddatz

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Connie joined the ACTia Board in April 2017.    Most recently Connie has been working with Innovate Calgary leading a variety of Innovation Ecosystem project including the pilot program Green Tech Mentors.  During this project, Connie and the team built a network of early stage clean tech companies.   The team also proactively built national and international connections to global best-in-class clean tech incubators and accelerators along with investors and connections to corporates in the sector.   She continues to work on projects involving the development of the clean tech sector and innovation in general across Western Canada.

Connie has assisted organisations of all sizes over her career and has deep knowledge in the development of strategy and finance.  She was an investment banker at Deutsche Bank cumulatively working on over $100 billion of transactions.   She also mentors smaller sized organisations on their corporate finance needs.   Connie teaches Advanced Finance and Innovation at The University of British Columbia, Okanagan.

Jana Hanova

Jana Hanova

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Jana Hanova has over 12 years of CleanTech, Power and Oil & Gas experience across North America and the Middle East. Prior to joining Evok Innovations (a Canadian CleanTech Fund) as a Director, Jana worked with Creative Destruction Lab – Rockies as the CleanTech and Energy Stream Venture Lead, connecting tech start-ups with Smart Money & Mentorship.

In addition to her tech start-up ecosystem experience, she led and managed multiple large Private & Public company engagements as a management and strategy consultant with PwC –  in both the Middle East (UAE, Qatar, Oman, Saudi) and Alberta (Canada). She also worked with the International Energy Agency and the CTO Office of BC Hydro on accelerating the deployment of emerging technologies, with particular focus on electrification, decentralized energy and alternative energy systems.

Jana holds a M.Sc. in Resource Management and Environmental Science from the University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. (First Class Hons) in Geology/Geophysics from the University of Calgary.

Jeff Reading

Jeff Reading

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Jeff is President of Actions Matter, an independent, social enterprise business intent on efforts that address energy innovation, energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and adaption, sustainability, energy and environmental literacy and business commercialization of clean tech solutions.

Jeff has more than 35 years’ experience in the environmental field.  He has worked in education with the North York Board of Education, Calgary Board of Education and provincially through the Alberta Teacher’s Association; risk management around the world; provided leadership to government with the City of Calgary and the Government of Alberta; supported the build out of a number of energy and tech start-ups; and been active in the not-for profit sector with Climate Change Central (C3) and Carbon Management Canada (CMC).

In addition, Jeff teaches at the University of Calgary and is also the Chair for the Green Learning Canada Foundation (GLCF), co-founder and Board member of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE), an advisor with Carbon Talks Canada and sits of the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation Grant Review Committee.

When Jeff is not working, he enjoys international travel and wilderness adventures with his family.

John Goetz

John Goetz

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John Goetz is a principal at EnerNext Partners. John has extensive experience advising clients in the energy and cleantech sector. As a co-founder of EnerNext Partners, John brings his energy and cleantech experience and insights to these rapidly evolving and related areas of practice.

John works closely with energy and cleantech clients on their corporate commercial matters. He has significant experience with large oil sands construction and infrastructure projects, mergers and acquisitions and operational matters. John also advises energy and cleantech clients on renewable energy and cleantech projects and the integration of emissions trading and climate change strategy. John enjoys working with early stage cleantech and energy companies.

As a leading cleantech and climate change practitioner, John has advised on some of Canada’s first carbon capture and sequestration projects and is currently advising on what could be Canada’s largest CO2 sequestration and enhanced oil recovery projects, located in Alberta. John co-authored a report for Alberta Economic Development Authority on Enhanced Oil Recovery in Carbon Capture and Storage. He also co-authored “The Development of Emissions Trading In Canada”​ which was published in the Alberta Law Review.

Matt McCulloch

Matt McCulloch

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Matt oversees the Greenhouse Gas Environmental Priority Area at COSIA, leading effective collaboration efforts to advance progress on all GHG mitigation and cost reduction technologies and best practices. Working closely with senior technology leads of all COSIA members, he helps to design and deliver on a collective strategy to dramatically reduce costs and GHG emissions in the oil sands.
Stuart Lomas

Stuart Lomas

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Stuart Lomas founded his first Alberta technology company in 1983, and since has contributed to projects across Canada, the US, Europe, and the Far East. A veteran of several small Alberta startups, Stuart has also worked with global companies including General Electric and Hewlett Packard.​

Stuart is a software developer by training, and has worked in oil and gas, new computer development, telecommunications, medical devices, banking, and industrial automation.

Stuart has a BSc in Computing Science and an MBA from the University of Alberta. He is currently President of Turreco Properties Inc. as well as the President of the Alberta Council of Technologies.

Simon Knight

Simon Knight

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  Simon has been working in the field of protecting the environment since 1981.  Today he is working as an environmental entrepreneur with PURE Reserve and is involved in the creation of several cleaner energy start-ups. Simon serves on the Advisory Board of FUSE, a rebranded student club at the University of Calgary formerly called ISEEESA.  He was the first Chairman of the Alberta Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council and the first President of the Net Zero Energy Home Coalition.

His previous position was as the President and CEO of Climate Change Central (C3).  He served in this position for 8 years prior to the wind down of the organization.  Prior the CEO position he served as the Director of Energy Efficiency at C3.  During his tenure he created or oversaw work in energy efficiency and conservation covering residential homes, commercial buildings, alternative energy, alternative transportation fuels, commercial taxis and trucking and many more programs.  In addition he oversaw the operations of the Alberta portion of the offset registry.

Prior to C3 Simon spent 21 years working in various positions in the provincial government in Park and Recreation and Environment.  His career shifted from Senior Policy Advisory when he was seconded to Climate Change Central in 2000.