Meet our 2021 Speakers

Scot Bryson

Founder and CEO, Orbital Farm

Scot Bryson is the founder and CEO of Orbital Farm, a circular project development firm utilizing industrial by-products to produce food, vaccines, and products at industrial scales. By buying waste streams of CO2, wastewater, food waste, biomass, or methane, we can reduce risks for our waste partners, and create sustainable, local supply chains for our customers.

Irene Coyle-Preto

Manager, Operational Excellence, Mercer Celgar

Irene Preto is a Professional Engineer (Chemical Engineering) and certified Project Management Professional. Irene is the Manager of Operational Excellence at Mercer Celgar in Castlegar, BC. At Mercer Celgar she has also held the positions of Manager of Asset Strategy and Operations Specialist in Digester & Brownstock Screening.  Previously,  Irene worked for Natural Resources Canada at the Canadian Forest Sector (CFS) and in the CANMETEnergy bioenergy research laboratories. At CFS Irene helped create the Investment in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Program and led the Carbon Footprinting analysis for FPAC’s BioPathways Project.

Darrel Fry

CEO, Advanced BioCarbon 3D Ltd. (ABC3D)

Darrel Fry’s mission as the CEO of Advanced BioCarbon 3D is to improve the quality of life for all of us on this planet. One of the ways he is achieving this goal is through the creation of sustainable advanced materials. 

ABC3D creates plastics from wood that are carbon negative, non-toxic, biodegradable, with engineered grade quality. This in combination with additive manufacturing is revolutionizing how the world makes products and exponentially decreases carbon emissions by providing locally sourced, high performance, sustainable materials. 

Don is a past president of the award-winning environmental remediation company Passive Remediation Systems Ltd. (PRSI). Renowned for the use of hybrid poplar trees to remediate toxins from landfill sites, PRSI then converts the wood fibre from those trees into saleable products such as biochar and natural pesticides.

Jamie Deith

CEO, Eagle Graphite

Jamie Deith is the founder and CEO of Eagle Graphite, a public company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Among its many uses, graphite is a critical raw material in lithium-ion batteries and therefore for battery-electric vehicles. Eagle Graphite’s quarry and plant in the Slocan Valley are one of only two constructed graphite mines in Canada and the USA, and the only one in Western North America. Eagle Graphite is poised to play a key role in the supply chain as global economies transition to sustainable energy systems. Mr. Deith has a degree in Systems Design Engineering, and in addition to his role at Eagle Graphite has executive experience in banking, software, and sleep therapy. He is a devoted husband and father of two adult children and two dogs who don’t take him seriously.

Sara Fitzel

Production Engineer, TECK

Sara Fitzel was trained as a metallurgist at the University of Alberta and has worked at Trail Operations for 9 years. In that time she has worked in various plants and has a passion for making her processes better and looking for opportunities to leverage new technology to do so. She was recognized for her determination in deploying the first mobile app at Trail Ops to track cell plating hours in the Zinc Electrolytic Cellhouse, and has since transitioned to a role with the RACE21 corporate team, supporting a Teck-wide data transformation for Trail Operations. She has been helping deploy advanced optimization and machine learning models, advanced process control, as well as helping the site leverage new ways of measuring the process.

Bill MacPherson

Managing Director, Mercer Celgar

Bill MacPherson currently serves as Managing Director at Mercer’s Celgar mill in Castlegar, British Columbia. Bill previously served as Mill Manager at Domtar’s integrated pulp and paper mill in Kingsport, Tennessee. Prior to becoming Mill Manager at Kingsport, Bill served as the Director of Domtar’s Central Engineering Group and prior to that he was the Engineering Manager at the Kingsport Mill. Bill started his career as a project engineer for Western Pulp in Port Alice, B.C. He also held positions for Georgia-Pacific, Fort James and James River, all at Naheola, Alabama, in engineering, maintenance and operational positions. Bill holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from University of British Columbia. He has been a member of Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia since 1990.


Frances Edmonds

Head of Sustainable Impact, HP Canada

Frances Edmonds is the head of Sustainable Impact at HP Canada Co., where she is responsible for driving business from a sustainability perspective. Her focus is on Canada’s sustainable procurement practices, working to change how Canada buys to transition to a clean and just economy. She also oversees a full suite of Corporate Social Responsibility programs, including strategic partnerships with key nonprofit organizations and an industry-leading volunteer program. Under Frances’ leadership, HP became the most sustainable technology company in Canada in 2018 and continues to be to this day. 

With more than 30 years of experience, Frances is recognized as one of Canada’s top sustainability professionals having received two Clean 50 awards. In addition to her work with HP Canada, Frances is a founder of WWF’s Living Planet @ Work and Living Planet @ Campus programs, and a TEDx speaker. Frances also sits on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council for the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada as well as the Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada assembled by The Council of Canadian Academies.

Passionate about driving change through education, Frances has developed and implemented education and volunteer programs globally for HP. She sits on the board of Learning for a Sustainable Future and serves as a consultant for many higher education institutions on strategies for sustainability and provides guest lectures. She is a sought-after speaker on a wide range of topics including the circular economy and sustainable procurement.

Frances has a degree in Environmental Science from Bradford University (UK), a post-graduate diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP).

James Woodcock

International Manager, International Synergies Limited

James is a Project Manager and trainer with extensive experience both in the UK and internationally, working with funders and delivery partners. He has extensive environmental and industrial knowledge gained from over 25 years in roles that crossed boundaries. He currently manages and delivers industrial symbiosis programmes in a number of countries including Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Turkey. Previous projects have also included Brazil, China, France, Ghana, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

His responsibilities include project management and delivery to predefined targets, training of new and complex concepts to various audiences (including non-English speaking audiences working with translators) and support of project delivery to in country teams. International Synergies’ NISP® has a tried-and-true method for creating industrial symbiosis opportunities. Through independent verification and studies, NISP® has been found to be the most cost-effective and efficient program for delivering economic, social and environmental benefits.

Garett White

Operations Manager, Tervita Corporation

Garett White is the Operations Manager for Tervita Corporation’s Metals Recycling Facility in Trail, BC, and their Highland Valley Copper site, near Kamloops, BC. These facilities upgrade, process and recycle metal collected from various clients throughout BC. Garett manages the operational activities of these sites as well as any offsite projects in the area. He was born and raised in Castlegar, BC and has recently taken on his new role with Tervita. Garett has over 15 years of experience in the environmental/regulatory and industrial construction industries, the majority of which was gained in the oil and gas sector.

Jason Taylor

Instructor, Chair of Applied Research Lead, STAC

After graduating from Vancouver Film School in 1991, Jason worked as a computer modeler and animator in TV, architectural rendering and commercial advertising. Jason started with Selkirk College in August of 1998 and was hired to develop the Multimedia Production and Design program located at the Selkirk College campus in Trail.

In 2002, the program moved to Nelson as part of the School of the Arts where Jason assumed the role of Chair. In 2014, Jason developed the Advanced Manufacturing division of Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation department. During that year, Jason was invited to support the development and implementation of the MIDAS facility in Trail, BC 

In 2020, the Advanced Manufacturing applied research division was awarded a Technology Access Centre grant from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) where he is currently working as Chair for applied research, program development, supporting industry partners and our communities in advancing technology adoption.

Dr. Jian Liu

Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. in materials science in 2013 from the University of Western Ontario (Canada), and worked as a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (USA) prior to joining UBC in January 2017. 

Dr. Liu is leading the Advanced Battery Facility at UBC, and his current research interests focus on advanced nanofabrication techniques, materials design for Li-ion batteries and beyond, and interfacial control and understanding in energy storage systems. Dr. Liu has published over 70 research papers in high-quality peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature Communication, Nature Energy, Advanced Materials, Nano Letters etc. His papers have received 4,000 citations, with an H-index of 34. Dr. Liu is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including NSERC PDF Award, PNNL Alternated-Sponsored PDF, Mitacs Elevate PDF, and UBC Emerging Professor Award. 

Jillian Lennartz

Manager, Sustainability Reporting, Tech Resources Ltd.

Jillian “Jill” Lennartz is an international sustainability leader, and a 2016 GreenBiz 30 Under 30 Sustainability Professional. Jill is a former chemist and climate scientist, with experience as a USGS and NASA-funded researcher in natural carbon feedback mechanisms. In the years since her time in the field she has become a mainstay in the realm of international sustainability.

Jill has spoken and written about the role of technology in achieving sustainable development, and the function of business in adoption of triple bottom line economics. She specializes in sustainability strategy, policy and communication campaigns, stakeholder engagement, program management, and developing cross-functional relationships.

Malcolm Shang

Global Mine Closure and Reclamation Specialist, Circular Economy Champion at ArcelorMittal Mining

Malcolm is an experienced leader and environmental engineer with a special focus on mine closure and reclamation, circular economy principles applied within mining, and mine waste management. His experience is global: he has worked in Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South America and North America. He is responsible for leading and improving the state of the mine closure and reclamation planning practice in ArcelorMittal’s global operations, and promoting the adoption of circular economy principles in the mining segment. He is passionate about sustainability, and believes that waste is just a resource in the wrong time, place or state. This belief aligns well with the principles of the circular economy, which he is excited to promote the adoption of as the world moves towards a greener and more sustainable way of living.

Paul Shorthouse

Managing Director, Circular Economy Leadership Coalition and Senior Director, Green & Circular Economy at The Delphi Group

Paul is one of Canada’s leading experts in the emerging circular economy, providing solutions and engaging leaders who are working at theintersection of business innovation, public policy, economic development, and sustainability. For over a decade, this work has placed him at the forefront of the important transition that is underway towards a greener, more prosperous, low-carbon economy.

In February 2021, Paul took on the role of Managing Director of the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition (CELC), a network of leaders from all industries and sectors who are fostering collaboration, innovation, and knowledge exchange to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in Canada. In this role he will be the driving force behind the CELC’s Circular Economy Solution Series and the network’s efforts to amplify leading-edge work already underway in this space, while fostering innovation and synergies among business leaders, policymakers, academics, and other stakeholders to drive meaningful systems change.

This work is being done in collaboration with several partners including the GLOBE Series and The Delphi Group where Paul is a senior director and leads their Green and Circular Economy practice nation-wide. Paul is also Board Chair for the Synergy Foundation and Project Zero (a circular economy accelerator program on Vancouver Island).

Prior to this, Paul served as Managing Director of Vancouver-based GLOBE Advisors and was the Conference Director for the GLOBE Series (from 2009-2016), considered one of the largest sustainability events of its type in the world. He was also a founding Executive Member of the BC Home Performance Stakeholder Council, as well as a member of the Program Advisory Committees for BCIT’s School of Business and UBC’s Masters in Energy Leadership (MEL) Program. Paul has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Victoria, a Certificate in Environmental Stewardship from Camosun College, and a Diploma of Technology in Marketing Management and Entrepreneurship from BCIT’s School of Business.

Pete Stamper

General Manager, KC Recycling

Pete Stamper traded in his business suit for coveralls and a respirator when he moved to the Lower Columbia from Seattle, WA to become KC Recycling’s General Manager (GM). 

After acquiring the business a few years ago, the owners brought Stamper onboard in March as part-owner and GM of the industrial operation. With a track record that boasts successfully deploying the Toyota Production System operating principles and lean manufacturing, Stamper is already implementing a system with components designed for achieving higher quality, lower costs, more efficiency, and happier people. 

His experience stretches across multiple industries worldwide. He’s worked in medical, automotive, aerospace, and many other spaces. And, while there’s not a precise common thread, his focus has been on small businesses that have a manufacturing component. KC Recycling has grown from humble beginnings in 1977 to become the largest lead-acid battery recycler in the Pacific Northwest. 

Stamper is finding his new line of work meaningful in many ways – from employing 70 people in the region and contributing to the economy, to aiming for the highest safety and environmental standards. He sees lead recycling in North America as a big success story, and KC Recycling as a considerable player in that field. Drawn to the company’s unique position in the Northwest and the partnership KC has with Teck, Stamper is scaling the recycling industry, making better choices for the environment, and growing the circular economy right here in Metal Tech Alley.

Rosemary Cooper

Project Director, Share Reuse Repair Initiative and Circular Economy teacher at BCIT School of Business

For over 20 years, Rosemary has been a sustainability planner, catalyst, and educator with a passion for bridging the gap between ideas and solutions. Since 2013, she has been catalyzing the transition to a circular economy with a focus on upstream innovations that design out waste and foster lasting prosperity. Rosemary is the Project Director of the Share Reuse Repair Initiative (SRRI) ( that brings community, business and government together to identify and advance cultural, policy and market shifts that foster a vibrant culture and economy of sharing, reuse and repair. She also teaches the Circular Economy at BCIT’s School of Business and provides consulting and strategic advice to advance “inner loop” circular innovations such as transitioning to reusables, amplifying repair and enhancing second hand economy models.

Rosemary began her career working on sustainability policy and business development for Metro Vancouver and previously, based out of New York, managing a program recognized by the American Planning Association for its “outstanding results” helping smaller communities shape more sustainable futures. Her Masters degree at York University explored the integration of economic development and sustainable community planning.

Scott Weatherford

CEO, ATCO Wood Products Ltd. and The Nelson & Ft. Sheppard Railway Co.

ATCO Wood Products is a leading manufacturer of softwood veneers for the plywood industry and a major forestry management company in the Lower Columbia region. Scott is responsible for oversight of all aspects of ATCO’s manufacturing and forestry business and for new business development activities.  Scott also oversees the operation of The Nelson & Ft. Sheppard Railway Co., a short line railroad and transloading operation in the Lower Columbia region.

Prior to joining ATCO in 2005, Scott held various executive assignments in purchasing and auditing with PACCAR Inc. in Bellevue, Washington. Scott’s early career was a mechanical design engineer with John Deere, Cummins Engine Co. and Kenworth Truck Co. Scott is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Washington. He is currently the Chair of the Selkirk College Board of Governors and a member of the Columbia Basin Trust Community Impact Fund Adjudication Committee.

Fernando Preto

Team Leader, Thermal Conversion of Biomass, CanmetENERGY

Fernando Preto received his B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. from Queen’s University at Kingston. Following graduation, he joined the Canadian Combustion Research Laboratory to pursue research on reducing emissions from combustion systems. He followed this up with research projects on fluidized bed processing, small scale power generation from alternate fuels and conversion of biomass at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). During 2013 he served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Bioenergy Association (CanBio). He is currently Team Leader for Thermal Conversion of Biomass at NRCan’s CanmetENERGY laboratories in Ottawa. He has been teleworking for 5 years and currently resides in Castlegar, BC.

Dwane Sorenson

General Manager, Fibre Supply, Kalesnikoff Lumber

Dwane Sorenson currently holds the role of General Manager of Fibre Supply at Kalesnikoff Lumber in Thrums BC.  Dwane has spent his career in the forest industry starting with the original Slocan Forest Products mill in the early 90s. Since then he has held every operational role in woodlands that there is. Before coming to Kalesnikoff he spent six years with the Mercer group in both Fibre Supply and Health and Safety.  He holds a technical diploma from Selkirk College, a science degree in forestry from UNBC and is a member of the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals.