Speakers

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Beth MacNeil

Beth MacNeil

Beth has spent 25 years working in science-based economic and regulatory departments and agencies across the federal government. Beth began her career as a biologist working for Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service. She later moved to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, followed by five years with Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Forest Service, where she held the position of Senior Director, Science and Technology Governance. In 2014, Beth assumed the responsibilities of Director General, Strategic Policy, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, and in 2016, she became Director General, Policy Development and Analysis, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. As…
Brenda Hopkin

Brenda Hopkin

Brenda Hopkin is an independent natural resource consultant providing professional services to government, industry, associations, certification organizations and conservation groups. She specializes in natural resource stewardship, sustainable forest management initiatives, certification systems, monitoring programs and public consultation. She has extensive technical and operational knowledge of sustainability and legality requirements for forest management, chain of custody and risk-based systems along the supply chain (FSC, CSA, SFI, PEFC, SBP). Brenda is familiar with the Sustainable Biomass Program, having worked as a technical advisory to SBP, is the Working Body Lead for the SBP Regional Risk Assessment in British Columbia, and as a…
Carsten Huljus

Carsten Huljus

SBP Chief Executive Officer

Carsten Huljus, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Biomass ProgramOver the past 18 years Carsten Huljus has been involved in forest and chain of custody certification, consulting and related activities and projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Latin America on behalf of private clients, GIZ, World Bank, WWF, FAO and EBRD. Carsten holds a Masters degree in International Forest Management from Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany. He is a trained auditor for forest management and chain of custody as well as for ISO 9001 quality management. Carsten was Managing Director and shareholder of GFA Certification GmbH, a world-wide operating certification business for sustainable…
Fahimeh Yazdan Panah

Fahimeh Yazdan Panah

Fahimeh Yazdanpanah, Research and Technical Development Director, Wood Pellet Association of Canada. Fahimeh joined WPAC in April 2019. Prior to joining WPAC, Fahimeh Yazdan Panah was a Research Associate in Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG) at the University of British Columbia and the founder of Spark Biomass Consulting Inc. She has been engaged in research and discovery in the emerging area of bioenergy for over 12 years and have managed bio-product projects for a variety of clients including governments, manufacturers and technology developers. She led biofuel densification, pretreatment, storage and handling research studies in lab and pilot scale and…
Fiona Matthews

Fiona Matthews

Research Manager, Hawkins Wright

Fiona is a bioenergy consultant and market analyst with more than eleven years’ experience in the renewable energy industry. She holds the role of Associate Director at Hawkins Wright, where she is responsible for overseeing the company’s bioenergy activities. Fiona is the co-author of Hawkins Wright’s market-leading Outlook for Wood Pellets service and Editor of Forest Energy Monitor, a monthly information service which analyses global developments in bioenergy. She also regularly undertakes consultancy projects for clients in Asia, Europe and North America on topics including wood pellet and biomass markets, sustainability, and energy policy.
Gilles Gauthier

Gilles Gauthier

Gilles Gauthier is currently working as a Certification Director for the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM) and as General Manager of European Pellet Council (EPC).
Gordon Murray

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.
John Arsenault

John Arsenault

WPAC | Manager, Wood Pellets, Quebec Wood Export Bureau

John Arsenault, P. Eng. MBA, is the Pellet Group Director for the Quebec Wood Export Bureau and the Director of Market Access for the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. From 1997 to 2011, John served as Vice-President Operations of Energex Pellet Fuel Inc., in Lac Mégantic, Que. Energex is the largest producer of industrial and residential wood pellets in Eastern Canada and the North East U.S. John ran plant operations, participated in mergers and acquisitions and handled overseas sales and logistics. He previously served in several general management positions for a variety of manufacturing businesses, including electricity, light and heavy…
John Swaan

John Swaan

John Swaan is an operations and project development expert for FutureMetrics. Often called “the grandfather of North American wood pellets,” John 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 trans-ocean shipment of…
Scott Bax

Scott Bax

Pinnacle Renewable Energy

As Chief Operating Officer for Pinnacle Renewable Energy, Scott Bax is responsible for the safe and productive operations of Pinnacle’s nine pellet plants located throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Alabama. Pinnacle is the world’s thrid largest wood pellet producer and an industry leader in safety engagement. Prior to becoming COO, Scott spent five years as Pinnacle’s Senior Vice President Operations.Before joining Pinnacle in August 2013, Scott acquired over 20 years of forestry experience in various logging and wood manufacturing operations throughout Canada and the USA. Past experiences include Manager of Cedar Manufacturing Operations for a large North American forest products…
Spencer Beach

Spencer Beach

Spencer Beach (Keynote Speaker), Professional Speaker, Spencer Speaks Inc. Spencer Beach was a 3rd generation flooring installer and among the best in his field when he endured a horrific flash fire that left him permanently and severely scarred. After spending 14 months in the hospital and a year more of rehabilitation he has gone on to carve out a new path for his life. He has now achieved such designations as a Construction Safety Officer through the Alberta Construction Safety Association, as well completed with distinction the University of Alberta’s, Faculty of Extensions, Occupational Health & Safety Certificate program. Spencer…
Vaughan Bassett

Vaughan Bassett

Vaughan Bassett is a senior vice-president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. based in Vancouver, B.C., where he is responsible for the commercial, logistics and sustainability activities of the company.

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