Andrea Johnston
Senior Vice President, North America Capital Development, Drax Group PLC

Andrea is the SVP North America Capital Development at Drax, responsible for leading the development of the company’s business development and wood pellet supply strategy in North America. Andrea joined Drax as part of the 2021 acquisition of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. where she was CFO of the TSX listed public company. Her responsibilities included finance, treasury, investor relations, internal control and strategy.

Prior to joining the Pinnacle team to drive the 2018 initial public offering, Andrea was CFO for the Natural Resources industry group for Dassault Systemes, Europe’s second largest software company. She was previously CEO of an energy technology start-up that she sold to Areva T&D.

Andrea is a Board member of Science World, a charitable non-profit and science centre based in Vancouver, BC that engages learners across the province in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & design and math).

She is also a Board member of the Bloom Group, a not-for-profit with a vision for strong and resilient communities where all persons have adequate housing and health care. Andrea previously sat on the CPA Canada Advisory Board for Sustainable Business. She was named B.C. CFO of the Year for Large Public Companies in 2020.

Andrea and her husband Mike enjoy travel and many sports including downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and tennis. Her daughter Lauren is a software engineer in San Francisco and her daughter Gabrielle is a biomedical PhD student at Imperial College in London.

Bengt- Erik Löfgren
CEO and founder, ÄFAB

Bengt- Erik Löfgren, CEO and founder for ÄFAB in Sweden. He is a well-known expert in small scale bioenergy in Sweden and has been working as an independent consultant in the borderland between academia, authorities and the bioenergy industry for more than 35 years. He has been involved in many kinds of committees in the pellet- and wood business. He has also been running an independent test lab for testing and developing combustion technology and new pelletized biofuels. Today he is partially retired, but still in business and happy to share his experience with others.

Mr. Lofgren and his company ÄFAB was one of the first listed companies upon former US ambassador Michael M Woods list “The One Big Thing”. Companies he had selected as the most interesting companies for the US to co-operate within the Cleantech branch. It was the starting point for many new assignments in primarily North America, but also in the UK. Thanks to Ambassador Wood, ÄFAB today has many valuable international contacts.

Mr. Lofgren was also responsible for the office of Sweden’s Pellets Association until March 2020.

Mr. Lofgren is still involved in several bioenergy companies and organizations. According to his long-time experience in the frontline of bioenergy, he is an important messenger between end-users and the authorities.

Bill Laturnus
Senior Safety Advisor, Manufacturing, British Columbia Forest Safety Council

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.

Christiane Egger
Deputy Manager O.Oe. Energiesparverband, Manager Oekoenergie-Cluster

Christiane Egger is the Manager Cleantech-Cluster Energy, a network of 250 companies and Deputy General Manager of the OÖ Energiesparverband, the energy agency of Upper Austria. She is the initiator and director of the European Pellet Conference, the largest annual pellet conference worldwide. She is Vice-President for Climate Neutrality of FEDARENE, the European network of regional energy and environment agencies, and part of the management board of the Austrian R&D platform for the decarbonisation of industry (NEFI).

Christiane Egger is an expert in market development of renewable energy and energy efficiency. She holds a law degree and a post-graduate degree in environmental engineering.

Dr. Bruce Lourie
Influential Environmental and Climate Policy Expert | Bestselling Author

Co-author of the international bestseller Slow Death by Rubber Duck, Dr. Bruce Lourie is one of Canada’s most influential and widely respected problem solvers working on climate, energy, and sustainability. He has been instrumental in the creation of more than a dozen organizations that play critical roles in sustainability around the world, and initiated the largest climate action in North America — phasing out coal in Ontario. Speaking on topics such as getting to net zero, energy systems transition, the role of ESG and sustainable finance, toxic pollution, non-profit leadership, and more, Lourie translates complex issues into timely and actionable information.

Lourie is currently the president of the Ivey Foundation. Under his leadership, it has grown into one of Canada’s largest and most influential climate solutions organizations with a $100-million commitment. Lourie is credited with creating the largest grouping of “solution partnerships” to solve climate change, working on net-zero buildings, electricity systems, electric vehicles, affordable energy, and more. These partnerships include leading businesses, government agencies, Indigenous leaders, and labour and NGO voices.

As an in-demand speaker, Lourie speaks regularly at business, government, academic, sustainability, and philanthropic gatherings around the world. He’s presented at events as diverse as the Canadian Energy Roundtable, Institute for Corporate Directors, Public Policy Forum, C.D. Howe Institute, City of Calgary, Canadian Fuels Association, Canadian Energy Research Institute, the Koli Forum in Finland, the Women’s Health Forum in Pittsburgh, the Paris Cosmetics Summit on Sustainable Cosmetics, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Mexico City, the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Association, and the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Lourie sits on the boards of several organizations including the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, Canadians for Clean Prosperity, and the SeedChange Foundation. He is also the chair of the Transition Accelerator, a senior fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Finance, guest lecturer at the University of Oxford’s Social Finance Program, and a contributing writer to the National Observer. Lourie is a former director of the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Ontario Power Authority, and the Trillium Foundation, and was the founder of many for- profit and non-profit organizations including Summerhill Group and Efficiency Canada.

Dr. Jean Blair, PhD
Director of Planning and Outreach, TorchLight Bioresources

Dr. Jean Blair, TorchLight’s Director of Planning and Outreach, has more than a decade of experience working and researching in the cross section of the forest and energy sectors, with a focus on community scale bioenergy and district heating applications. Jean leads the mapping and masterplanning of district heating networks in communities across Canada, working closely with stakeholders to understand needs and values. Jean holds a PhD from the Geography and Planning Department at Queen’s University, where she examined the socio-economic and environmental performance of bioproduct and energy options. Dr. Blair also led creation and updating of the Canadian Bioheat Database for Natural Resources Canada, which includes more than 600 small scale biomass heating projects across Canada and spent time working with Natural Resources Canada, looking at the role the forest sector, and bioenergy specifically, can play in Canada’s low carbon future.

Dr. Paul Amyotte, P. Eng
Professor of Chemical Engineering in the Department of Process Engineering and Applied Science at Dalhousie University

Dr. Paul Amyotte, P.Eng. is a Distinguished Research Professor and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, Master’s from Queen’s University, and Doctorate from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (all in Chemical Engineering). Paul is a past-president of Engineers Nova Scotia, Engineers Canada, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. He is the current Editor of the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. His teaching, research and practice interests are in the field of process safety, with specific expertise in dust explosions, inherently safer design, and risk management.

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).

Erisa Senerdem
Editor, Argus Media

Erisa Senerdem is editor of the Argus Biomass Report at global price-reporting agency Argus Media. She has been with Argus for over nine years, where she previously covered power, natural gas, coal and petroleum coke markets. Prior to Argus, she has worked as a researcher, university lecturer, journalist and a parliamentary consultant for EU legislation. She holds a Ph.D. in economics, with a special focus on the energy field.

Gianni Spinelli
CDR Origination Senior Manager at Drax Group PLC

With over 16 years in the UK energy industry, Gianni began his career working with some of the largest UK corporates to manage their gas and electricity portfolios. Following this he moved into the Renewables sector and spent a decade structuring PPAs and leading sales teams in the UK wholesale power market. Gianni now heads up Drax’s Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) Origination team where he is responsible for sourcing CDR offtake agreements and promoting Drax and BECCS in the wider Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM). Last year, Gianni concluded one of the largest CDR deals to date with a proposed 2 million tonne sale to Respira.

Glenn Hargrove
Assistant Deputy Minister of the Canadian Forest Service at Natural Resources Canada

Glenn Hargrove is the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Canadian Forest Service at Natural Resources Canada, leading federal policy, science and program work across the forest sector. Prior to his current role, Glenn served as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Fuels Sector, the Strategic Petroleum Policy and Investment Office, and the Major Projects Management Office. He also served as Director of Operations, Economic and Regional Development Policy at the Privy Council Office and held senior positions at NRCan in the Canadian Forest Service and Strategic Policy & Results Sector, as well as FPInnovations, a not-for-profit forest sector R&D organization.

Glenn Hargrove est le sous-ministre adjoint du Service canadien des forêts de Ressources naturelles Canada (RNCan). Il est chargé de diriger les travaux fédéraux relatifs à l’élaboration des politiques, de la science et des programmes dans l’ensemble du secteur forestier. Avant d’exercer ses fonctions actuelles, Glenn était sous-ministre adjoint du secteur des carburants, du Bureau de la politique stratégique et de l’investissement en matière d’hydrocarbures, de même que du Bureau de gestion des grands projets. Il a également été directeur des opérations, Politique du développement économique et régional au Bureau du Conseil privé. De plus, il a occupé des postes supérieurs à RNCan au sein du Service canadien des forêts, dans le Secteur de la politique stratégique et des résultats, ainsi qu’à FPInnovations, un organisme de recherche-développement à but non lucratif du secteur forestier.

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.

Jeff Knapp
Senior Program Officer, Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural and Remote Communities Program Bioheat Stream in the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada.

Jeff Knapp is a Senior Program Officer for the Clean Energy in Indigenous, Rural and Remote Communities Program Bioheat Stream in the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada. He is passionate about sustainable development, and in particular, the enthusiastic promotion of renewable energy. He is keen on promoting renewable energy technologies to the Canadian commercial, industrial and institutional sectors.

Jeff received degrees in music and education from Queens University. He has been with Natural Resources Canada since 2001 in a variety of roles.

Joanne Turnell
Sales Representative - Canada, Bruks Siwertell Americas

Joanne Turnell is the Canadian Sales Representative for Bruks Siwertell Americas, a market-leading supplier of dry bulk handling and wood processing systems, located in Hamilton, Ontario.

Joanne has been a supporter of WPAC since 2009, she enjoys travelling through Canada meeting with customers and attending industry events.

John Swaan
Operations and Project Development Expert

John, often called “the grandfather of North American wood pellets,” is widely recognized as one of the leading experts in the wood pellet sector. John’s experience, wisdom, and history in pellet manufacturing is legendary. In 1994, John founded Pacific BioEnergy Corporation located in Prince George, British Columbia, where he successfully established one of Canada’s leading wood pellet exporters. In 1996, John was instrumental in establishing the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and served as its executive director from 2005-2009. He manufactured and shipped the first ever transatlantic shipment of pellets from North America (to Sweden) in 1997. John brings a broad range of wisdom and skills key to the sector from forest management, to pellet manufacturing, to logistics optimization, to negotiating shipping contracts. John is the recipient of the 2014 Founders Award at the International Biomass Conference. John was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 2023 Argus Biomass conference in London.

Julie Griffiths, MSc, PGeo
Quality, Sustainability & Environmental Program Coordinator Shaw Renewables

Julie is the Quality, Sustainability and Environmental Program Coordinator for Shaw Renewables, a division of The Shaw Group Limited. Shaw Renewables operates two pellet plants, one that produces industrial pellets in New Brunswick, and one that produces primarily residential pellets in Nova Scotia. Julie leads Renewables’ quality and sustainability programs, dust and fire prevention initiatives, and works on a multitude of continuous improvement projects. She has a Master of Science from Dalhousie University and has gained a keen eye for constant improvement, safety, and process efficiency from continuous education in Lean and Leadership Development. Julie has worked across several industries and has settled into the wood pellet sector. She is currently the Chair for Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s (WPAC) Safety Committee.

Karen Brandt
Brandt Strategy Consulting

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, MASc, P.Eng.
Process Safety Specialist and Director, Obex Risk Ltd.

Kayleigh Rayner Brown, MASc, P.Eng., is a Process Safety Specialist and Director at Obex Risk with expertise in hazard analysis and combustible dust. Kayleigh has more than 13 years of professional experience working across a range of industries, including wood products manufacturing, aerospace, oil and gas, and nuclear.

Kayleigh helps organizations protect their operations and personnel, enhance productivity, and improve health and safety metrics. Kayleigh collaborates with the wood products manufacturing industry on progressive safety initiatives and provides technical guidance on a range of health and safety, and continuous improvement programs.

Kayleigh completed a Master of Applied Science from Dalhousie University in chemical engineering, specializing in process safety and industrial risk management. She is a registered Professional Engineer (NS, BC) and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical), as well as a Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Chemistry).

Kelly Levis
Vice-President, Industrial Products

Kelly Levis was appointed Vice-President, Industrial Products in October 2018, based in Montreal. In this role, she leads the industrial products division, which oversees forest products and metals and minerals markets. Prior to that, she had been Assistant Vice-President, Industrial Products since July 2015.

Ms. Levis joined CN in 1997 after seven years in the pharmaceutical industry. She began her career at CN as a commodity manager in CN’s Petroleum and Chemicals business unit and moved into Sales in January 2000 after being transferred to Chicago. She subsequently served as Director of Sales and Pricing for CN’s international freight forwarding subsidiary CN WorldWide Inc, Director of Supply Chain and Director Sales US.

Ms. Levis holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago at Chicago, and a Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Statistics & Decision Sciences from Concordia University in Montreal.

Mark Heyck
Executive Director, Artic Energy Alliance

Mark was born and raised in Yellowknife.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from McGill University in Montreal, and worked at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre as the Website and Multimedia Coordinator from 2000 to 2012.

Mark served three terms on Yellowknife City Council from 2003 to 2012, was Deputy Mayor from 2006 to 2012, and was elected Mayor in 2012 and re-elected in 2015.  During his time on Council, Mark chaired the City’s Heritage Committee and Community Energy Planning Committee.  From 2007 to 2017, Mark served as a member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund Council.  He was also on the Board of Directors for the NWT Association of Communities, representing Cities, Towns and Villages of the Northwest Territories. Mark joined the Arctic Energy Alliance as Executive Director in the fall of 2018.

Mark Puglas
Director of Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships, Drax Group PLC

Mark Puglas is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations located on Vancouver Island British Columbia.

As the Director of Indigenous Engagement and Partnerships at Drax, Mark is committed to creating meaningful connections with First Nations organizations and establishing long-term relationships in the local communities where we operate, work, live and play.

With over 25 years in the lumber, mining and wood pellet industries, Mark brings a strong record of safety leadership, team building and production achievements. His strong communication, leadership, and organizational talents have led to the development of an extensive network of contacts and stakeholders.

Having been with Drax for over 7 years, Mark has progressed through the company, holding Yard & WESP Supervisor, Senior Team Lead, and Plant Manager positions to his now current role as Director of Indigenous Engagements and Partnerships.

Mark’s focus is to work with Indigenous leaders and Industry to further the sustainability goals of both Drax and the Indigenous groups across the company’s footprint, looking for opportunities that support our plans to be climate, nature, and people positive.

Rene Landry
Partner in the Shaw Group Ltd and the General Manager of Shaw Renewables

Rene Landry is a Partner in the Shaw Group Ltd and the General Manager of Shaw Renewables. The Shaw Group is one of Eastern Canada’s leading manufacturers and community developers. With a strong focus on products for the construction industry, they compete in a variety of market sectors and produce close to 1,000 individual products in 12 facilities across the Maritimes. Their company operates on a decentralized basis through a number of divisions and subsidiaries: Shaw Brick, Shaw Precast Solutions, Shaw Resources, Clayton Developments Limited, MMH Prestige Homes Inc., Ven-Rez Products Limited, Shaw Lifestyle, Shaw Living and Shaw Renewables.

As GM of Shaw Renewables Rene provides oversight and strategic direction in all areas of safety, environment, human resources, financial management, capital planning, fibre procurement, production, inventory control, preventative maintenance, quality control and forest sustainability. He is also responsible for relationships with key stakeholders.

Before joining the Shaw Group Rene held several senior leadership positions in both sales and operations in the Wholesale Building Supply Industry. Rene is a graduate from St Francis Xavier University and a certified LEAN Blackbelt through LSI. He is currently the President and a Board Member of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) and a former member of the Board of the Atlantic Building Supply Dealers Association (ABSDA).

Sheena Adams
Program Coordinator, Arctic Energy Alliance

Sheena Adams is a Program Coordinator at the Arctic Energy Alliance. She holds a Masters in Environmental Education and Communication and has rounded out her education with 21st Century Leadership and Advanced Sustainable Energy Management. Sheena lives in Yellowknife, NT and is passionate about the adoption of renewable energy in the North.

Terrence Sauvé, M.Sc., P,Eng.
Farmstead Optimization and Safety Engineer, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Terrence Sauvé, M.Sc., P,Eng., Farmstead Optimization and Safety Engineer, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, has worked with a mandate for the past 12 years to increase resource efficiency and competitiveness of farming and agri-food operations and to make safer farm machinery. Terrence has been heavily involved in energy efficiency and renewable energy generation, such as solid biofuel production, on-farm biogas systems and biomass heating and power projects and works with multiple national and international standards development organizations. He is currently chairing WG2 Central Heating Systems for CSA B415.1.

Vaughan Bassett
Senior Vice President of Biomass Sales and Logistics, Drax Group PLC

Vaughan is Senior Vice President of Biomass Sales and Logistics at Drax Group 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 is past-President of WPAC and remains a Director of the Association. 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.


National Arts Centre

1 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON

Getting Here
Click here for directions: https://nac-cna.ca/en/visit/directions

Click here for parking information: https://nac-cna.ca/en/visit/parking

The National Arts Centre is committed to providing a safe, dignified, and welcoming environment for everyone. For more information click here: https://nac-cna.ca/en/visit/accessibility


The Lord Elgin Hotel
100 Elgin Street,
Ottawa, ON

The 2023 WPAC preferred hotel is the Lord Elgin. This hotel is a short walk (2 blocks) from the National Arts Centre.


WPAC delegates can phone 1-800-267-4298 or email groups@lordelgin.ca to make their reservations.
Please reference booking code and/or name below to access our special group rate of $299+ per night.

Lord Elgin Hotel
Phone: 613-235-3333 | Toll-Free: 1-800-267-4298
Email: groups@lordelgin.ca
Booking Code: 5099539
Booking Name: Wood Pellet Show

Please note that there is a 7-day cancellation policy for all reservations made under this group block. Any reservations that are changed or modified within 7 days of the arrival date will be charged the full cost of the original booking. Please be sure to make your reservations by the cut-off date of Friday, August 25, 2023.  The system will automatically release all the rooms that have not been reserved.  After that, we cannot guarantee that rooms, or rate, will be available.

2023 Sponsors

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Reception Sponsor

Pellet BBQ Sponsor

Media Sponsor