2022 Schedule

2023 schedule coming soon!

6:30pm to 8:30pm

WPAC Opening Reception

Bring your dancing shoes to the TAPshack to kick of WPAC!

All WPAC conference delegates are invited to join us directly at the TAPshack at 6:30pm. Located at 1199 W Cordova St. in the heart of Coal Harbour, it’s just a quick 3-minute walk towards the ocean from the Marriott hotel.

Conference name badges will be available for pick-up at the TAPshack. Enjoy a bite to eat and a refreshment while we celebrate being back together and in-person once again!

Live musical entertainment will be provided by Paul Filek, singer/guitarist. Paul is a Top 20 Canadian Idol Finalist who uses a Looper Pedal to create his own band live on stage! Paul takes requests and something tells us we’re in for a few good ones from our WPAC delegates!

8:00am to 5:00pm


Location: Mayfair Lakes Golf & Country Club

If you’re in town early, please join the WPAC crew for a friendly game of golf! Transportation will be provided from the Marriott to Mayfair Lakes Golf & Country Club. Pre-registration is required. Questions? Email Gordon Murray

Join your WPAC friends at Mayfair Lakes Golf & Country Club on Monday, September 19, 2022 for a fun-filled day of golf.

With the towering beauty of Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains serving as a backdrop, Mayfair Lakes in Richmond is a genuine golf sanctuary, offering year-round golf in a secluded country ambiance that’s just minutes from Vancouver. The intrigue lies in the abundance of lakes and waterways that come into play on 13 of the 18 holes, adding as much challenge as aesthetic appeal to the course


8:30 am to 9:15 am – Bus from Marriott Pinnacle Hotel to Mayfair Lakes G & CC

9:15 am to 10:00 am – Coffee and rules explanation

10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Golf – eight flights

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Happy hour and awards

4:00 pm to 4:45 pm – Bus from Mayfair Lakes G & CC to Marriott Pinnacle Hotel


  • Scramble Best Ball
  • Minimum 3 drives per golfer / Maximum 5
  • Pink ball – each player to rotate per hole until lost with prize for team that return with it
  • Two K-P holes (one front / one back)
  • Long drive on FIRST hole (both men and ladies)
  • Low team final net score
  • Mystery hole team net low score (one each front and back) but cannot be won by 1st place team

*Pre-Registration is required. Registration closes Sept. 16.

9:00am - 3:30pm

Workshop: ENplus® Training for Quality Managers 

ENplus® is the world-leading certification program for wood pellet quality with over 1200 certified companies and is essential for organizations who wish to market their product to the European pellet heating markets.  The Wood Pellet Association of Canada is the national licenser for ENplus®.

WPAC is organizing a training course for Quality Managers on September 19, 2022, the day before WPAC’s annual conference.  The workshop will be led by Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and Julie Griffiths with Shaw Renewables.

The training is intended for quality managers employed by ENplus® certified companies and will also be of interest to companies who are interested in becoming certified so they can export to the European heating markets.

All ENplus® Quality Managers are required to take an annual training program.  This will be the only live Canadian ENplus® training workshop in 2022 and will cover issues related to requirements for the entities participating in the entire supply chain, from the receipt of raw material, through the production of ENplus® pellets to the delivery to the end-user.

Registration Fee.
9:00am - 9:30am

Registration and coffee

9:30am - 10:45am

Basics of wood pellet quality management, competing quality certification programs.

10:45am - 10:55am

Coffee break

10:55am - 11:30am

Role of quality managers, conformity assessments

11:30am - 12:00pm

Experience as a certified producer

12:00pm - 12:30pm


7:30 am to 8:30 am

Breakfast and registration

8:30 am to 8:50 am

Unlocking the World of Pellets

  • Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
  • Vaughan Bassett, President, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
  • Monique Frison, Director General, National Capital Region Trade, Economics and Industry Branch, Canadian Forest Service
The wood pellet sector sits at the cusp of realizing its truest potential. Join us for this kick off session as we set the stage for two days of challenging and stimulating discussion about the future of pellets.

8:50 am to 10:15 am

The Gateway to New Possibilities

Moderator: Gordon Murray, Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada

  • Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources
  • Vaughan Bassett, Senior Vice President, Drax
  • Gregg Koehler, Sales Manager, Premium Pellet Ltd.
  • Julie MacDougall, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives, B.C. Ministry of Forests
The opportunities for wood pellets are endless. Policy makers, regulators and politicians are only just beginning to understand the potential of pellets in the bioeconomy, reducing energy poverty and finding new uses for bioenergy. Join us for this thought-provoking session as we explore the art of the possible and turn to industry leaders and government officials for their perspectives on what the future holds for our sector.

Topics covered include:
  • Video: Power of Pellets: Building Strong Communities Together
  • Wood Pellets as a Foundation of a Low Carbon Economy
  • Advancing British Columbia's Bioeconomy
  • Panel: Industry and Government: Responding to the Challenge.


10:15 am to 10:45 am

Coffee Break

10:45 am to 12:05 pm

Stronger Communities and Local Economic Development

Moderator: Gregg Koehler, Sales Manager, Sinclar Group/Premium Pellet Ltd.

  • Roger Keery, President, Skeena Sawmills Ltd. and Skeena BioEnergy
  • Diane Collins, General Manager, Kitsumkalum Economic Development Group
  • Jonathan Levesque, General Manager, Biomass Solutions Biomasse
  • Paula Cook, Senior Energy Engineer, Public Works, Government of Nova Scotia
Once thought to be just a solution to beehive burners; communities are now looking at pellets as a local economic driver: creating jobs, supporting community resiliency and providing new alternatives for clean energy. Join community heroes who are making their communities stronger by investing in the wood pellet sector.

Topics covered include:
  • Video - Power of Pellets: Building Strong Communities Together
  • Skeena Bioenergy and Kitsumkalum Economic Development Group: Working together in Northwest British Columbia
  • Bioheat Strategy for Atlantic Canada
  • Eliminating Furnace Oil to reduce GHG Emissions from Nova Scotia Government Buildings

12:05 pm to 1:30 pm


Networking in exhibition area
1:30 pm to 2:40 pm

Setting the Record Straight

Moderator: Maria Church, Editor, Canadian Biomass

  • Karen Brandt, Senior Consultant, Brandt Strategy Inc.
  • Steve Kozuki, Executive Director, Forest Enhancement Society of BC
  • Philippe Theriault, General Manager, Tsi Del Del Enterprises Ltd.
WPAC members believe there is no jurisdiction on earth better positioned and more committed than Canada to advancing new renewable energy alternatives and driving the bioeconomy. It's time to set the record straight on misinformation and highlight WPAC's commitment to improve forest health, ensuring the best use of the forest and forest products, all the while reducing environmental impacts.

Topics covered include:
  • Video: Power of Pellets: Responsible Sourcing
  • What Do We Stand For?
  • The Art of the Possible
  • Advancing Wildfire Resiliency and Low-Value Fibre Utilization in British Columbia


2:40 pm to 3:10 pm

Coffee Break

Networking in exhibition area
3:10 pm to 4:50 pm

Biomass and Climate Change Mitigation

Moderator: Jamie Stephen, Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources

  • Gary Bull, Professor, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia
  • William Strauss, President, FutureMetrics
  • Ann Burton, New Build BECCS Lead
  • Fahimeh Yazdan Panah, Director of Research and Technical Development, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Join us for a lively discussion as we discuss the role of biomass in climate change mitigation. These world-leading experts will highlight the opportunities for our sector while challenging us to address both the science, the communications gaps and the investment needed to take pellets to the next level.

Topics include:
  • Video: Power of Pellets: Contributing to a Low-Carbon Economy
  • Sustainable Forest Management Contributions to Climate Change Mitigation
  • Carbon Sequestration in Managed Forests and Dispelling the Myth of Carbon Debt
  • On the Path to Becoming a Negative Emissions Company: BECCS at Drax
  • Potential for Biofuels and Wind Assist to Reduce Ocean Shipping Emissions
  • Moderated Panel Discussion


5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Wood Pellet Barbecue and Sponsor Reception

John Swaan, the grandfather of wood pellets and FutureMetrics pellet expert, will be cooking his world-famous pellet-smoked ribs.

Location: Point Grey & Outdoor Patio
7:30 am to 8:30 am

Breakfast and networking

8:30 am to 10:00 am

Join us for an exploration of Making our Industry Safer

Moderator: Scott Bax, Chair, Wood Pellet Association Canada Safety Committee

  • Bill Laturnus, Senior Safety Advisor, BC Forest Safety Council
  • Jeff Mycroft, Regional Sales Manager, Fike Canada
  • Kayleigh Rayner-Brown, Principal, Obex Risk
  • Mike Tasker, Occupational Safety Officer, WorkSafeBC
In 2021, WPAC members released their sustainability commitment. Chief among the 10 goals, is the recognition that nothing is possible without the people who power our sector. That's why we place the highest priority on the employee health and safety and continue to invest in new ways to deliver on our safety commitment. Join us for a exploration of the world-leading initiatives our sector has committed to and the learnings along the way.

Topics include:
  • Video: The Power of Pellets: Wood Pellet Safety in Canada
  • WPAC’s Commitment to Safety
  • Implementing Bowtie Analysis and Critical Control Management in BC Pellet Plants
  • Safe Operation of Belt Bryers
  • Advancing Process Safety Management in Wood Pellet Production
  • Steps Toward a Safer Wood Pellet Industry

10:00 am to 10:30 am

Coffee Break

Networking in exhibition area
10:30 am to 11:30 am

Keynote Presentation: Getting Comfortable with the Spotlight

  • Vaughan Bassett, President, Wood Pellet Association of Canada
  • Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun Political Columnist
Our members find themselves at an interesting time – a small player in the forest sector that turns wood “waste” into bioenergy, providing an outlet for the sawmill sector, reducing slash burning, displacing fossil fuels and helping customers around the world meet climate targets. What’s not to love? Despite this, we find ourselves suddenly at the centre of environmental campaigns, social licence discussions, and evolving forest policy decisions.

We've invited respected journalist Vaughn Palmer for his perspectives. Vaughn’s hard-hitting columns have seen him cover the feats and follies of B.C.’s premiers for almost 40 years. An award-winning journalist, Palmer is the Vancouver Sun’s provincial political columnist, based in Victoria. Palmer is a regular commentator on radio station CKNW in Vancouver. Palmer is the recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster foundation, a co-winner of the Jack Webster award for reporting, and a recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in public policy journalism from the Canadian Public Policy Forum. Since 1984, Palmer has examined an extensive range of issues, personalities and scandals that have come to define B.C.’s political scene.


11:30 am - 11:40 am

Wrap-up and Adjournment

Vaughan Basset, WPAC: Summary and Wrap-up

Conference adjourns
Note: Agenda is subject to change


Ann Burton
New Build BECCS Lead

Ann Burton leads on International Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) projects at Drax Group. As part of the Innovation team, she’s responsible for the identification and development of new sites for BECCS plants, with a specific focus on North America, as Drax looks to export its UK experience of sustainable bioenergy generation to new geographies. Ann has a MSc Business Strategy & the Environment, and a BEng Civil Engineering; and previously experience includes international business development within the energy sector and global project management for KPMG and EY.

Bill Laturnus

Mr. Bill Laturnus is a Senior Safety Advisor, Manufacturing at the British Columbia Forest Safety Council (BCFSC). Bill has extensive experience in sawmill operations, and as a proponent of Process Safety Management (PSM), supports the incorporation of practical applications of PSM at wood pellet worksites. Bill has recently conducted key safety activities focusing on risk reduction of hazards in wood pellet operations (WPAC). Bill also has 13 years of experience auditing Safety Management Systems (SMS) in forest products manufacturing.


Diane Collins

Ms Collins, a Tsimshian matriarch from the House of Niis Hai Waas, wearing the name of K’sm Huk’dzen, meaning the bright sunlight shining through the mist; is firstly a wife, mother and grandmother with a strong belief in family.

Currently Ms Collins resides in the Tsimshian village of Kitsumkalum, which is the primary village of the People of the Robin, located immediately west of the city of Terrace, BC.

As a graduate of the University of Northern British Columbia Ms Collins has had a long career focus of supporting First Nations in their development in business, training, education, health as well as politics and treaty making.

Currently the General Manager for the Kitsumkalum group of companies, she is supporting the development of own source revenue for the community by building corporations, projects and joint ventures.

Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah
Director of Research and Technical Development, Wood Pellet Association of Canada

Dr. Fahimeh Yazdan Panah is the director of research and technical development at the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia. She has been engaged in research and discovery in the emerging area of bioenergy for over 15 years and have managed bioenergy projects for a variety of clients including governments, manufacturers and technology developers. She has led biofuel densification, pretreatment, storage and handling research studies for 10 years and has co-authored more than 80 technical reports and peer-reviewed publications in the field. Fahimeh also serves as the Project Lead within ISO Technical Committee 238 (Solid Biofuels) and served as the Chair within ISO Technical Committee 300 (Solid Recovered Biofuels) for two years. She received her PhD and MASc from Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and she holds a bachelor’s degree from Amirkabir University of Technology. She is also a registered Professional Engineer with EGBC and Professional Project Manager with PMI.

Dr. Jamie Stephen
Managing Director of TorchLight Bioresources

Dr. Jamie Stephen is the Managing Director of TorchLight Bioresources, a decarbonization strategy and policy advisor for national, provincial, and municipal governments, First Nations, utilities, airlines, large industrial emitters, property developers, and investment funds. Projects range from the development of energy facilities to national strategies on meeting Net Zero targets. He has two decades of experience in the bioenergy industry, working at the interface of the energy, forestry, agriculture, and waste sectors. Dr. Stephen holds a PhD in Forest and Energy Economics and a Masters in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of British Columbia. After growing up in the prairies and spending over a decade in eastern Ontario, he now resides with his wife and three daughters in Nova Scotia.

Dr. William Strauss
President and founder of FutureMetrics, LLC.

Dr. William Strauss is the president and founder of FutureMetrics, LLC. Bill and his FutureMetrics team are globally recognized as the leading experts in the wood pellet sector. Bill continues to be a thought leader in the sector and has published numerous papers on a variety of subjects relevant to the wood pellet sector. He is also a founder and director of Maine Energy Systems, the largest manufacturer of European style automatic pellet fuelled central heating systems in North America. Bill is the 2012 recipient of the International Excellence in Bioenergy award and was named as one of the most influential leaders in the biomass sector in 2016 and 2017 by Argus Media. Bill has more than 40 years of strategic and policy planning, project management, data analysis, operations, and modeling experience in the renewable energy sector. He has an MBA (specializing in Finance) and a Ph.D. (Economics, Earth Systems Science).

Gary Bull

Gary Bull is a Professor and Head of the Forest Resources Management Department at the University of British Columbia in Canada. He teaches courses in the emerging bio-economy and resource economics.

Gary has worked with First Nations in Canada for nearly 20 years bridging the gaps between changing technologies, natural resource management and First Nations’ culture and values. He is also a resource economics specialist working with global forest products companies, the bioenergy sector, UN FAO, several eNGOs, indigenous organizations and all levels of government.

He has worked and undertaken applied research in countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as Europe and North America.  He has prepared over 200 scientific publications and technical reports for international organizations.

Gary is familiar with the work of SBP, serving as a member of the independent Advisory Board to SBP from 2015 to 2018.

Gordon Murray
Executive Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada

Having been on the ground in sawmill and woodlands operations, as well as the corporate finance aspect of the industry – working in mergers, acquisitions, and project financing, Gordon Murray joined the Wood Pellet Association of Canada in 2009. Today, he works as an ardent advocate on behalf of Canadian producers, traders, ports, terminals, shipping companies, equipment suppliers and all those who want to participate in growing a safe and prosperous wood pellet industry. Gordon Murray has a bachelor of science in forestry. He is a registered professional forester and a chartered professional accountant.

Gregg Koehler

Gregg Koehler, Sales Manager, Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd. and Sales Director, Premium Pellet Ltd. Gregg is the Sales Manager for Sinclar and has held this position since January 2011. In January 2017 Gregg was appointed Sales Manager for Winton Homes Ltd. and in July 2017 he was appointed Sales Director of Premium Pellet Ltd. Gregg has held several progressive positions within the Sinclar Group since joining the company in 2002 as a sales assistant with an affiliated business, The Pas Lumber Company Ltd. Gregg has been a member of the Canada Wood SPF Marketing Steering Committee since 2015 and is a graduate of the University of Victoria where he achieved his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science.

Jeff Mycroft

Jeff Mycroft B.Sc, is a leading expert in explosion protection and the Ontario Regional Sales Manager for Fike Canada.  Fike are world leaders in explosion protection, as well as overpressure protection.  Jeff has been with Fike Canada for over 20 years and is a frequent speaker at industry events, governmental bodies, inspection agencies all across Canada. He has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, and has received various professional certifications and designations.  Jeff is experienced in the design and application of

Explosion Protection Systems, as well as navigating the relevant governing documents, codes, and standards.


Jonathan Levesque
Biomass Solutions Biomasse

Jonathan graduated from NBCC in Business Technology. He has been with Groupe Savoie since 1999, holding various positions and responsibilities in the fields of shipping, sales and plant management. Since 2011, he is the Vice-President of Sales and Development. Jonathan is a member of Forest Nova Scotia, Wood Pellet Association of Canada and also a director of the Atlantic Council for Bioenergy Co-operative.

Julie MacDougall

Julie MacDougall, RPF, started her career in the 90’s as a practicing field forester in Burns Lake and then as a resource manager in Vanderhoof before relocating to work as a District Manager with Alberta Parks for 10 years. Now back home in BC, the province is benefiting from her diverse background as she leads the Innovative Bioeconomy and Indigenous Opportunities, the Forest Carbon and Climate Services Branches and the Old Growth Strategic Review in her role as the Executive Director Strategic Initiatives, in the Office of the Chief Forester, Ministry of Forests.  As an avid backcountry mountain biker and backpacker, her love of spending time outdoors with friends and family only strengthens her resolve to see BC’s forests continue to thrive in a changing climate. Julie’s breadth of multi-sector natural resource planning and management experience in both British Columbia and Alberta offers insightful, first-hand knowledge of sustainable forest management and forest landscape planning.

Karen Brandt

Karen Brandt is a communications professional who has a passion for sustainability and for the past 30 years she has held a number of senior positions in the public and private sectors where she has built common positions and partnerships with First Nations, environmental groups, customers and governments. She holds an honours Bachelor of Journalism (minor Political Science) from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Kayleigh Rayner Brown, P.Eng., MASc.
Process Safety Specialist and Director, Obex Risk

Kayleigh has more than 12 years of professional experience working across a range of industries, including wood processing, aerospace, oil and gas, and nuclear. She holds a Master of Applied Science from Dalhousie University in chemical engineering, specializing in process safety and risk management. After graduating, Kayleigh has worked in risk management in a range of sectors, including wood products manufacturing and healthcare.

Kayleigh has provided technical guidance for a range of health and safety, environmental protection, and continuous improvement programs. Kayleigh leverages this diverse experience to provide holistic risk management support across organizations of all sizes. Kayleigh is specialized in process safety and hazard analysis and helps organizations protect their operations and personnel, enhance productivity, and improve health and safety metrics.

Kayleigh is a registered Professional Engineer (NS, BC) and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical), as well as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Chemistry).

Mike Tasker

Mike works as an Occupational Safety Officer and Supervisor with WorkSafeBC. Mike has been an Officer of the Board for over 23 years.

Prior to joining WorkSafeBC, Mike spent many years working in a wide range of industry positions, including supervision and safety management. In 2004, he achieved national accreditation as a “Canadian Registered Safety Professional”.

In 2016, Mike was recognized by the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering with the Outstanding Achievement Award for his role in developing the “Supervising for Safety” educational program. This program is a free instructional website assisting supervisors in understanding their roles and responsibilities and has been completed by over 18,000 supervisors.

Mike is a member of WorkSafeBC’s Process Safety team and has worked extensively with the wood pellet industry since 2012. Mike sits on several provincial project teams related to manufacturing sectors, including the safeguarding regulation development committee and the combustible dust working group.

Monique Frison
Director General, National Capital Region Trade, Economics and Industry Branch, Canadian Forest Service

Monique Frison is a Director General in the Canadian Forest Service at Natural Resources Canada, the national and international voice for Canada’s forest sector. The Canadian Forest Service collaborates closely with Canada’s provinces and territories to ensure our forests are sustainable and healthy for our country and the world to enjoy. Monique’s career spans two decades with the Canadian federal government.  She has held various high-profile positions across the Federal Public Service, including at Health Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Global Affairs Canada. Internationally, Monique has also held positions with the International Organization on Migration, as well as with Global Affairs Canada in Washington DC, where she worked on the 2006 Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement. Monique hails from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Paula Cook

Paula Cook leads the energy program for the Nova Scotia Department of Public Works, who own and manage 2400 buildings valued at over $2.5 Billion. She has over 15 years of construction industry experience, including several years as a project manager in mechanical contracting, a supervisor in utility operations, and more recently working in owner’s project management roles which led to her passion in energy program management. Her mission is to support commercial building owners in developing and executing strategies to thrive toward Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 targets. Paula is a professional engineer (P.Eng) with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from Dalhousie University. She is also a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) with the Association of Energy Engineers. Paula looks forward to sharing how wood heat can play a role in Nova Scotia’s building emissions reductions targets.

Philippe Theriault
General Manager, Tsi Del Del Enterprises

Philippe Theriault, RPF, has more than 25 years’ experience in British Columbia’s forest sector.

He is the General Manager of Tsi Del Del Enterprises Limited and of the Tsideldel Development Corporation. He is also a team member of Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation and the Eniyud Community Forest. As an entrepreneur committed to First Nations involvement and economic development, he likes to challenge the status quo and find creative ways to maintain employment and generate revenue for the Tsideldel First Nation.

Philippe and his team have been involved with the biomass industry since 2009, specializing in large scale biomass recovery from waste in traditional logging operations. To date, the team as recovered over one million cubic metres of wood in the Cariboo Region that would otherwise been burnt at roadside.

Roger Keery

Roger Keery joined Skeena Sawmills in 2014 as VP Operations and moved to the President’s role in Nov 2018.   He is also the President of Skeena Bioenergy, a standalone company incorporated to operate the wood pellet plant built by Skeena in 2019.    Born and raised in an entrepreneurial  sawmilling and logging family in British Columbia, he has over 40 years of forest industry experience.   This includes working around the province in various areas of the industry with a strong focus on Northern B.C.  Starting work as a Mechanical Designer for Ainsworth Lumber in 100 Mile House and them moving to B.C. Forest Products Mackenzie Division for 15 years.   He has also managed remanufacturing plants, engineered wood plants, a sawmill equipment design and manufacturing business, specialty sawmills as well as consulting for Forest companies in Canada and New Zealand.    A UBC graduate in Mechanical Engineering, he is a registered Professional Engineer and has held positions on several industry committees.

Away from work at Skeena he enjoys golf, building furniture, painting and taking long trekking holidays with his wife.

Scott Bax

For more than 25 years, Scott has worked across the forest products industry in diverse leadership roles in mill operations, residual based renewable energy production (wood pellets), and major capital projects execution and commissioning.

As the Chief Executive Officer for Peak Renewables, Scott is responsible for the people, culture, and operational execution of all aspects of Peak’s business. Scott is passionate about Team, believes in leading with empathy and fostering a strong performance management culture that is based on candor, respect, and accountability.

Prior to joining Peak, Scott served as the Chief Operating Officer at Pinnacle Renewable Energy. During his tenure, Scott’s leadership led Pinnacle’s growth from a 800,000 MT of annual production wood pellet producer to becoming the world’s second largest wood pellet producer with production capacity of 2.8 MM MT/yr with annual revenue exceeding $400MM.  A champion of safety driven culture and enthusiastic leader, Scott was deeply involved the planning, construction, marketing, and commissioning of 5 green field pellet facilities across North America.

Scott holds an MBA from the University of Alberta, a Master of Forestry from the University of Alberta and a B.Sc. (Env) from the University of Guelph.  Scott sits on the Board of BC Forest Safety Council and the Executive Health and Safety Council of BC. Scott is also the CEO of One Sky Forest Products and the VP Fibre for Hydrogen Naturally.

Steve Kozuki

Steve has a strong track record in forest industry operations, forest policy and management for large and small companies, and for government. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree in 1994 and has held key positions with an integrated forest products manufacturer, the Council of Forest Industries, a pulp company, BC Timber Sales and the BC Ministry of Forests. He is currently the Executive Director of the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.

Vaughan Bassett
Senior vice-president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc.

Vaughan is Senior Vice President of Biomass Sales and Logistics at Drax PLC based in London, UK from where he manages a global team stationed in the UK, Canada and Japan. Vaughan joined Drax through their acquisition of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. in 2021. Vaughan was the executive in charge of commercial activities at Pinnacle. He remains a Director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and is serving as its President. He is a past-Director of the London based Sustainable Biomass Program Ltd (SBP) and past-Chairman of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters association, BC Division.

Vaughan has an extensive career in international business, particularly in the forest products industry. Previously, he spent almost 20 years with Sappi, a global pulp and paper company. As their executive in charge of their world-wide pulp sales, he was stationed in Hong Kong for 10 years before moving to Canada in 2007 and joining Pinnacle in 2011. Vaughan earned his BSc from the University of Natal and his MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, both located in South Africa.

Vaughn Palmer

Vaughn Palmer’s hard-hitting columns have seen him cover the feats and follies of B.C.’s premiers for almost 40 years. An award-winning journalist, Palmer is the Vancouver Sun’s provincial political columnist, based in Victoria. Palmer is a regular commentator on radio station CKNW in Vancouver.

Palmer is the recipient of the Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jack Webster foundation, a co-winner of the Jack Webster award for reporting, and a recipient of the Hyman Solomon award for excellence in public policy journalism from the Canadian Public Policy Forum. Since 1984, Palmer has examined an extensive range of issues, personalities and scandals that have come to define B.C.’s political scene.


National Arts Centre

1 Elgin Street,
Ottawa, ON




2023 Sponsors

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