A cross-Canada team of experts serving SDTC companies

The single-biggest investor in Canadian cleantech companies, Sustainable Development Technology Canada is a foundation created by the Government of Canada in 2001 to invest in clean technologies that address climate change, air quality, clean water and clean soil.

A 15-member board of private and not-for-profit sector leaders provide strategic direction to our team, bringing a broad range of experience and expertise from across Canada.

SDTC is proud of its talented team of curious, committed and passionate people. These 50 team members are located in offices across Canada, including Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. By leveraging their expertise and working closely with our partners, colleagues and experts we are well positioned to provide firms with the support they need, when they need it.

Meet our Executive Team

The executive team is a diverse group with both public and private sector backgrounds. What links them all together, however, is their distinct passion for clean technology and innovation in Canada, and let’s be honest, they really like to take action!

Leah Lawrence

President and CEO

Leah is a lifelong advocate for engineering, entrepreneurship and the environment. As the president and CEO at SDTC, Leah oversees the $150 million a year that the organization invests in entrepreneurs developing new environmental technologies.

Over the years, Leah has served on many corporate and non-profit boards, including serving as president of the Ottawa chapter of the International Women’s Forum, the chair of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and the president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). In 2018, she was honoured to receive the Centennial Leadership Award, APEGA’s highest distinction for a member who has achieved exemplary achievements in their career. In 2019, Leah was listed in WXN’s Top 100 list as one of the nation’s most powerful women in business, recognizing her drive and passion for innovation.

Leah has her Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Regina and her Master of Economics from the University of Calgary. She is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of Engineers Canada.

Christine Charbonneau

Vice President Corporate Services

Christine Charbonneau joined SDTC in 2018 as the Vice President of Corporate Services. Building on 20 years of experience in corporate financial management, risk and performance management, and information systems, Christine provides leadership and defines the SDTC strategic approach to ensure seamless implementation and continuous improvement of corporate performance.

Christine oversees SDTC’s contracts with portfolio partners once they have been selected for an investment, including related project monitoring and oversight activities. She also brings leadership to the Human Resources, Finance and Information management functions.

Prior to joining SDTC, Christine was the Corporate Controller at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Earlier in her career, Christine held senior finance positions at the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Christine served on the Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services’ Board of Directors. Currently, she sits on the Board and Investment Committee of Canadian Science Publishing.

Christine has her Baccalaureate of Commerce from the University of Ottawa. She also holds a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant designation.

Zoë Kolbuc

Vice President Partnerships & Ecosystem

Driven by a love for innovation and collaboration, Zoë Kolbuc is continually inspired by bringing people together to change the world.

As Vice President of the SDTC Partnerships & Ecosystem Team, based in Calgary, Zoë works with a talented team located across Canada to foster strategic partnerships and ensure the important stories of SDTC are top of mind within technology communities and entrepreneurs across Canada.

Zoë is recognized as a leader in her field and was profiled in Oil & Gas magazine in 2015 as one of Alberta’s “Smart, Creative and Business Savvy” female leaders in the province’s energy industry. She is proud to volunteer with her children’s school and various community causes. Prior to joining SDTC, Zoë held leadership roles in a global energy firm and within the Government of Alberta.

Through her work at SDTC, Zoë leans on her past experience, her ability to build partnerships and bring people together to create greatness.

Ziyad Rahme

Vice President Investments

As the Vice President of Investments, Ziyad provides leadership for SDTC’s strategy and approach to the investment process, ensuring that SDTC is sourcing and nurturing innovative clean technology companies that have the potential to deliver strong environmental and economic benefits to Canada. Ziyad also oversees the day-to-day operation of the SD Tech Fund investment process, from intake through to assessment, selection and recommendation of investments to SDTC’s Project Review Committee and Board.

Previously the Vice President of Partnerships, Ziyad provided leadership for engaging SDTC’s key stakeholders, with a focus on finding ways to effectively support SDTC’s portfolio companies, ensuring they grew and contributed to Canada’s competitive advantage in the global clean technology market.

Prior to joining SDTC, Ziyad spent 18 years at Iogen Corporation, a leading developer of advanced low-carbon biofuels, where he contributed in various roles involving progressive and expanding leadership responsibility.

Ziyad holds an M.B.A., an M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering and a B.A.Sc. in Chemical Engineering.

Want to help us make a difference?

As an SDTC team member you’ll be part of fast-paced and agile organization that supports a world-class portfolio of funded companies. You’ll have the opportunity to work with dynamic cleantech companies, other provincial and federal government entities, academics and thought leaders.

SDTC offers:

  • – A competitive total compensation package
  • – Attractive health, dental, life insurance benefits and a Group RRSP
  • – Employee development and growth opportunities
  • – Flexible work practices
Explore job opportunities with SDTC.

Board of Directors and Committees

Governance of the Foundation’s activities is provided by an independent Board of Directors made up of private and not-for-profit sector leaders from across Canada with a broad range of experience and expertise. The Board oversight includes accountability for the management of the Foundation’s financial matters, strategic direction and business affairs.

The board is supported by the following key committees: Audit Committee, Human Resources, Governance and Nominating and Project Review. Both the Chair and the President and CEO serve on the Board Committees as ex-officio, non-voting members.

Annette Verschuren

Chair and Chief Executive Officer of NRStor Inc

Board Committee(s): The Chair of the Board of Directors sits on Board committees as an ex officio non-voting member.

Location: Toronto, ON

Board Member Since: June 2019

Annette Verschuren is chair and chief executive officer of NRStor Inc. The company develops and manages energy storage projects.

Prior to this, she was president of The Home Depot Canada. She oversaw the growth of the company’s Canadian operations from 19 to 179 stores from 1996-2011, increased revenue from $600 million to $6 billion.

Annette sits on the corporate boards of Liberty Mutual, CNRL, Air Canada and Saputo and also serves on the board of the CAMH Foundation, and Chairs the MaRS Discovery District Board and SDTC Board. She is also is the Chancellor of Cape Breton University.

Annette Verschuren wrote the book Bet On Me, about succeeding in business and in life. She champions volunteerism and was named to the Order of Canada for her contributions to the retail industry and corporate social responsibility. She was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame on June 19 this year.

Judith Athaide

President and CEO of The Cogent Group

Board Committee(s): Audit; Governance and Nominating

Location: Calgary, AB

Board Member Since: 2018

Judith Athaide has served as President and CEO of The Cogent Group since 1999. She has developed her skills and expertise over a 25-year career in capital-intensive industries in a variety of senior technical, project and operational roles. In the role of Vice President, Bow Engineering and Project Execution for EnCana Leasehold Limited, Judith had the opportunity to collaborate with talented architects, engineers, designers and trades in the design and construction of Calgary’s Bow Building.

A memorable accomplishment was the on-track project schedule and budget without a lost time accident. Judith was Edmonton Power’s (now EPCOR and Capital Power) senior leader in Calgary. As Alberta advanced regulatory reforms toward a competitive market, she was appointed Vice Chair of the industry’s Market Technical Committee. Judith developed the vision, defined the strategy, managed the execution and implementation of Edmonton Power’s energy trading business, and was responsible for the profit and loss of the trading and marketing business.

Early in her career Judith was a reservoir/operations engineer at Imperial Oil, which included moving to the Norman Wells and Cold Lake operations. As the Senior Business Development Engineer at Alberta Energy Company Pipeline, Judith was a member of the South American oil pipelines team and the northern Alberta bitumen pipelines team and led the development of the first pipeline to bypass the Nova gas system.

Judith was born in Pakistan and educated in India and Canada. Upon immigrating to Canada, Judith and her siblings were the first immigrants and visible minorities in their small city school. She learned to adapt to new circumstances, cultures and climate.

Judith earned a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) at the University of Manitoba, majoring in Human Resources and Labour Relations, and a MBA in Finance at the University of Alberta. After a year as an adjunct professor teaching courses in finance, marketing and organizational behaviour at the University of Brandon, Judith returned to the University of Alberta to complete a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering while an adjunct professor in the School of Business. More recently, she has been an adjunct professor with the University of Calgary and the University of Mount Royal Business faculties. She was the editor of the bi-weekly industry publication Watts-Up and a frequent contributor to the Independent Power Producer’s Society of Alberta’s  newsletter. Judith has been a speaker at the Energy Storage Conference in San Diego and the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum in Miami. She has had the honour of being the keynote speaker at the graduation gala for the University of Alberta’s MBA class.

Judith continues to be a supporter of life-long learning, completing numerous professional training programs and in 2006 earned the Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD). She is an examiner for the ICD’s mock boardroom examinations and was the Chair of the Calgary ICD Chapter (2016/2017). Judith has been named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the Accenture Director Category.

Leanne M. Bellegarde

President, Akawe Technologies

Board Committee(s): Governance and Nominating

Location: Saskatoon, SK

Board Member Since: 2016

Leanne M. Bellegarde, Q.C., is from Treaty 4 territory and is a member of the Peepeekisis First Nation.  She resides in Saskatoon.

With a career spanning land claims, private/municipal/provincial/federal legal experience, in sectors like gaming, telecommunications, post-secondary institutions, mining, and agrifood, Leanne’s career has increasingly focussed on fostering mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous people for economic prosperity with an emphasis on employment and business opportunities directly and through economic development and supply chain and enhanced with strategic alignment of philanthropic investments. Her diversity and inclusion efforts increasingly expand to all diverse considerations, with a recent efforts expanding to gender and LGBTQ2 inclusion.  Volunteer and board experience had further exposed her at various depths to public safety and protective services, sustainable technologies, digital economies, culture and heritage, and education.

She completed her law degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 1991 and was admitted to the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 1993 after completing her articles in the Saskatoon offices of MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman (now MLT AIKEN LLP).  Leanne has accumulated variety of experience over her career.  She worked at the U of S Edwards School of Business leading Aboriginal Initiatives before joining Nutrien (formerly PotashCorp).  She has also been engaged with the settlement of Treaty land entitlement, worked for SaskTel, been a solicitor with the City of Saskatoon, advised the FSIN, had her own law practice, and worked with Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.  Leanne was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2017.  Leanne currently consults with a focus on strategic inclusion strategies.

Leanne is the recipient of an Athena Award, recognizing her professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.  In the same regard she has been recognized by the FSIN’s Circle of Honour award for women’s leadership.  She received a United Way W.A. Milne volunteer of the year award in 2013 and is also the recipient of a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.  Leanne was recognized by the University of Saskatchewan with an Alumni Achievement Award for Aboriginal Partnerships in 2014.  Diversity Canada recently recognized Leanne as one of the “Top 5 Influential Women & Diversity” in Canada in 2017.

Leanne has extensive board experience, both advising boards and as a director.  She has a Professional Director status from a joint program of the Johnson Shoyoma Graduate School and Governance Solutions (formerly Brown Governance) that tailored an ICD style offering with Indigenous content and values for the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council.

Geoff Cape

Founder and CEO, Evergreen

Board Committee(s): Governance and Nominating (Chair)

Location: Toronto, ON

Board Member Since: 2015

As the founder of Evergreen, Geoff Cape has been its CEO since 1990. Evergreen has grown to include over 150 staff and offices in Toronto and Vancouver with a collection of programs focused on action and sustainable cities. With a focus on strategy, campaign building and cross-sector collaboration, Geoff is a team player who enjoys new ideas and working on complex problem-solving exercises that involve sustainability and the revitalization of urban landscapes.

Across Canada, Evergreen has enabled over 7,100 action projects. The largest is Evergreen Brick Works – a unique collection of 16 buildings on a 41-acre campus with exhibit space, community programming, conference facilities, offices, demonstration facilities and a spectacular park setting. More recent projects include work in Hamilton on laneway housing projects and developing a strategy to help revitalize the ravines of Toronto.

Geoff is a founding member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, a regular participant at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Davos, and a member of the Selection Committee for the WEF Technology Pioneers Awards.

Geoff is also founding Chair of the Sustainability Network and has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40, an Ashoka Fellow, winner of the Peter F. Drucker Award, and the Governor General’s Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2007, Geoff was awarded Canadian Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Schwab Foundation and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sustainable Buildings Canada (2010).

Geoff lives in Toronto with his wife Valerie and three boys, Toma, Ben and Sebastien, and cycles to work every day – even in blinding Canadian snowstorms.

Leo de Bever

Chairman, Nauticol Energy

Board Committee(s): Project Review

Location: Calgary, AB

Board Member Since: November 2019

Leo de Bever served as the inaugural CEO of Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), one of Canada’s largest institutional investment managers from 2008 until his retirement in 2014. He started his career at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa in 1975, and has served financial institutions in Canada, the U.S, Japan and Australia, including nearly ten years as senior vice-president at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. He has acted as advisor to the Norwegian Pension Plan, and Dutch pension fund APG. He is a Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute. Leo grew up in the Netherlands. He received a B.A. in economics from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin. He is currently working on commercialization of more sustainable technology with a number of small companies, notably as Chairman of Nauticol Energy.

Jill Earthy

Head of Female Funders

Board Committee(s): Audit; Human Resources

Location: Vancouver, BC

Board Member Since: June 2019

Jill Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes diversity drives innovation. As a strategic advisor, Jill works on a number of projects including Female Funders (powered by Highine BETA) to empower female leaders to become investors in early stage companies through education and access. She was formerly the Chief Growth Officer of FrontFundr, an online investment platform, bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and investors. She has successfully built two companies nationally and sold them, and then spent 8 years in leadership roles in the non-profit sector supporting entrepreneurs including as CEO of The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Regional Director of Futurpreneur. She is a community leader and active mentor, currently serving on the national Board of Sustainable Development Technology Canada and as Past Chair of the Women’s Enterprise Centre in BC. She is Co-Founder of the WEB Alliance, a collective of over 25 Women’s Business networks in BC and Co-Chairs the annual We for She Conference in Vancouver supporting the economic advancement of women. Jill was recently recognized by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion award as a Community Champion, by Business in Vancouver as an Influential Woman in Business and by WXN as one the Top 100 most powerful women in Canada in 2019.

Sarah Kavanagh

Vice Chair, SDTC Board of Directors; Corporate Director

Board Committee(s): Audit (Chair)

Location: Toronto, ON

Board Member Since: 2013

Sarah Kavanagh is currently the Director of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, and formerly a Corporate Director and Commissioner on the Ontario Securities Commission. She is also a Director of Hudbay Minerals, a TSX listed mining company, and American Stock Transfer (AST), a North American leader in providing shareholder services (AST is owned by Pacific Equity Partners and Canadian Tire Bank, a subsidiary of Canadian Tire Corporation). Sarah is also a Trustee of WPT Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust, focused on US industrial properties. Until 2010, she was a Vice Chair in the Investment Banking Department at Scotia Capital.

Prior to assuming this position, Sarah was Head of Equity Capital Markets and Head of Investment Banking at Scotia Capital. As well as her experience in investment banking, Sarah has held senior finance positions at several Canadian corporations including two national retailers and a large integrated communications company. Prior to moving to Canada, she spent seven years in the investment banking department at Lehman Brothers in New York.

Sarah was named one of the Diversity 50 in 2012 – a selection by the Canadian Board Diversity Council of the 50 most board-ready diverse candidates across Canada. Sarah is active with the organization Women in Capital Markets and in 2008 she received the Women in Capital Markets Award for Leadership.

She is former Chair of the Board of Governors at The Bishop Strachan School. Sarah holds her MBA from Harvard Business School and BA in Economics from Williams College. She has both US and Canadian citizenship.

Brenda Kenny

Chair, Alberta Innovates

Location: Calgary, AB

Council Member Since: 2014

Brenda Kenny was President and CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) where she worked with industry partners and key stakeholders to advance pipeline safety, operating excellence and sound policy. Leadership in outreach and collaboration to solve problems and implement solutions was central to her role at CEPA. Brenda has extensive experience in energy regulation, sustainability and strategy development. Prior to joining CEPA, she spent a number of years with the National Energy Board where she provided executive leadership in policy, regulatory reviews and finance. Brenda is an adjunct professor in the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.

She serves on the Board of Governors for the University of Calgary, chairs the Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability Committee. She is also active on the Board of Emissions Reduction Alberta (formerly the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation), an Alberta independent not-for-profit organization that invests in clean technology solutions. As well, Brenda serves on the Board of the Alberta Economic Development Authority to provide strategic advice on diversifying the economy and improving Alberta’s competitiveness. She is a Canadian Academy of Engineering Fellow, a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and has been active on a variety of boards and community groups including WaterSMART, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Calgary and imagineCALGARY.

Brenda holds a Doctorate in Resources and the Environment, a Masters of Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Applied Science.

Ronald (Ron) Koudys

President, Ron Koudys Landscape Architect

Board Committee(s): Human Resources; Project Review 

Location: London, ON

Board Member Since: 2013

Ron Koudys is a retired professor and coordinator for the Landscape Design program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. He has been instrumental in the development of the Landscape Design, Horticulture and Integrated Land Planning programs at Fanshawe since 1980. In 2008, Ron was awarded the President’s Award of Distinction for his contribution to the College community.

In 2009, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (a group that represents over 150 post-secondary institutions across Canada) presented Ron with Staff Person of the Year Award. Ron holds an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph and a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto. He is also a practising landscape architect with memberships in many organizations including the American Society of Landscape Architects, Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. Ron is a Certified Landscape Designer and is certified to practice in Canada and the state of Michigan.

In Ron’s private practice, he provides consulting services for many land developers, municipal governments and corporations including: Ford of Canada, General Motors, 3M, Michigan Department of Transportation, City of Mississauga, Home Depot, Loblaw and Agriculture Canada. He also develops strong design solutions for some of North America’s most prestigious homes and residential community projects. Current work includes therapy gardens for two large psychiatric hospitals, a resort in Barbados, a university campus in China and a resort community on Lake Erie.

Ron and his design team have won many awards for their work including the Financial Post Design Award, Landscape Ontario President’s Award, Ontario Renews Award and other urban design awards from municipalities across Ontario.

Ron has served as a director for many charitable organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Reforest London and the Metropolitan United Church. He was the President of the Grand Theatre Board and is now President of the Grand Theatre Foundation Board. In addition, he is a founding member of Landscape Ontario’s Designers Commodity Group and a member of its board. Ron’s wife Deborah is a family physician and they have five children.

George E. Lafond

First Nations Business Development Advisor

Board Committee(s): Human Resources (Chair)

Location: Saskatoon, SK

Board Member Since: 2015

George E. Lafond is a member of the Muskeg Lake (Treaty 6) Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. He was raised with his brothers, sisters and extended family in the community by his mother, the late Senator Alpha Lafond – one of the first women chiefs to hold office in Canada – and his father Albert Lafond, a veteran of WWII and the Korean War.

George has been involved in community development and service in a variety of roles during his professional career. He worked in recreation at the band level, obtained a teaching degree and taught high school in Saskatoon. He has been both the elected Tribal and Vice Tribal Chief for the Saskatoon Tribal Council. He has been involved in many initiatives to bring innovative community, economic and social development to First Nations peoples in Saskatchewan and Canada. He has sought out partnerships and encouraged community initiatives to better serve and reflect the participation and involvement of First Nations peoples in all aspects of life in Saskatchewan.

A life-long supporter and participant in sports and recreation, George has coached hockey, baseball and other sports at all levels, from novice to midget. He firmly believes that the lessons from the locker room of persistence and commitment can help boost the resilience of First Nations individuals, families and communities. George believes that reconciliation is a key theme for the work of this generation of leaders and that building a common understanding of the treaty relationship, treaty history and the spirit and intent of treaties is at the core of what reconciliation means.

George hopes to bring that commitment, his grounding in community and the broader life of the province to his role and to serve the parties as Treaty Commissioner.

Guy Ouimet

Managing Partner of Celtis Capital Inc.

Board Committee(s): Project Review; Governance and Nominating

Location: Montreal, Québec

Board Member Since: 2018

Guy Ouimet is the Managing Partner of Celtis Capital Inc. He is a seasoned professional in the fields of industrial project development, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, turnaround, private equity and venture capital management, acting as an investment banker dedicated to institutional and private equity investors and industrial concerns. Prior to co-founding Celtis Capital in 2003, he launched Ouimet Corporate Development in 1995. He has since completed many assignments for prestigious clients, including technology and industrial project financing, complex management buy-out transactions and the launching and management of an investment fund in the area of renewable energies.

Prior to launching his professional practice, Guy held senior executive positions in corporate development and operations management at Société générale de financement du Québec, a diversified industrial holding company. His achievements include the development of large-scale industrial projects within the framework of international consortiums, as well as venture capital transactions.

Guy is experienced in traditional industries and new technologies. He has developed industrial projects and negotiated transactions across North America, in many European and Asian countries, as well as in Australia. He has diverse experience as a board and board committee member and as Chair.

Guy’s prior experience includes management consulting with Price Waterhouse (now PwC) in Canada and abroad where he ran a foreign office, production management with Coca-Cola Ltd, and industrial engineering positions with QIT (now Rio Tinto Fer et Titane) and Alcan (now Rio Tinto Alcan).

After obtaining an Industrial Engineering degree from École Polytechnique de Montréal, Guy graduated from McGill University with his MBA. He is also a graduate of the Directors Education program jointly offered by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is an Institute Certified Director from the ICD, a member of the Quebec Order of Engineers, the Quebec MBA Association and a former Director of Réseau Capital, the Québec venture capital and private equity association.

Gary Lunn

Former Minister of Natural Resources

Board Committee(s): Project Review; Governance and Nominating

Location: Sidney, BC

Board Member Since: 2012

Gary Lunn held the position of federal Minister of Natural Resources from 2006 to 2008. He has worked previously in the mining and forestry industries of British Columbia and northern Canada. He practised law prior to entering federal politics, and is a member of the British Columbia Law Society.

Ellen McGregor

President & CEO, Fielding Environmental

Board Committee(s): Project Review (Chair)

Location: Mississauga, ON

Board Member Since: 2015

Ellen McGregor is principal owner and CEO of Fielding Environmental. Fielding is an award winning clean-tech company specializing in chemical and refrigerant recovery to produce high quality recycled chemicals. Committed to serving the peak of the waste management hierarchy, Ellen trade marked the phrase Cradle to Cradle® long before the words had market meaning. She is a champion for innovation believing that Canada can and should be the world’s leader in resource recovery. Ellen is a vocal advocate for changes in legislation that will enable the growth of the Canadian cleantech industry. She has been featured on TV and radio to discuss how to turn triple bottom line management philosophy into action to generate shareholder returns.

Recognized for her accomplishments in business and for business, Ellen was named Business Person of the Year by the Mississauga Board of Trade and by Heritage Mississauga. She is profiled in the book “Extraordinary Lives: Inspiring Women of Peel” written to pay tribute to women who have made outstanding community contributions over the past 200 years. She is also a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award and has won several awards for leadership in environmental excellence including the Clean16 Award, an award bestowed on people who have made significant contributions to sustainability in Canada. Over the years Ellen has held many board positions to help guide business associations, academia, start-ups and charities.

Ellen lives with her husband and youngest daughter on a hobby farm north of Waterdown. She writes music and lyrics, loves to be outdoors and to travel.

Andrée-Lise Methot

Founder and Managing Partner, Cycle Capital Management

Board Committee(s): Project Review

Location: Montreal, QC

Board Member Since: 2013

Andrée-Lise Methot, founder and Managing Partner at Cycle Capital Management, has 20 years of experience in venture capital, management and engineering. She has set up an investment platform specialized in cleantech worth more than $230 million, which brings together industrial, institutional and strategic investors.

Throughout her career, Andrèe-Lise has developed a network of top-notch partnerships with business and environmental organizations. In addition to serving on portfolio companies’ Boards of Directors, she is Ecotech Québec’s co-founder and Honourary Chairperson. She sits on the Board of Directors for SWITCH, the Alliance for a Green Economy in Québec, the Société québécoise des infrastructures, the Fonds Capital Culture Québec and the Natural Gas Technologies Centre.

Andrèe-Lise is also a member of the External Advisory Committee to the Vice-Principal Research and International Relations at McGill University. She co-chaired a task force under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Program and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. She has chaired and has been a member of many panels of judges, in particular the Grand Prix du génie-conseil québécois, the Canadian Consulting Engineers Awards and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

In 2011, Andrée-Lise was recognized as one of Canada’s Clean16 and was named La Presse/Radio-Canada Personality of the Week. In 2013, she was named one of the Top 20 cleantech investors by CleanTechnica and was named one of the most influential women in sustainable development and the cleantech industry by Corporate Knights.

Andrée-Lise created the first Quebec-based venture capital fund specializing in the cleantech sector, the Fonds d’investissement en développement durable, which gave birth to Cycle Capital Management. She also launched a fund specializing in sustainable development, the Fonds d’action québécois pour le développement durable.

Andrée-Lise previously worked at Groupe Axor, the Centre for the Study of Biological Interactions in Human Health, and the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, Québec’s Workplace Health and Safety Board. She has a Master’s degree in Science from the Université de Montréal and a Bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering from Université Laval. She also studied atmospheric physics at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Erin Mahoney

Commissioner of Environmental Services for York Region

Board Committee(s): Audit

Location: Vaughan, ON

Board Member Since: 2019

Erin Mahoney is currently Commissioner of Environmental Services for York Region, overseeing water and wastewater services, waste management, forestry, corporate asset management and corporate energy for 1.2 million residents and 28,000 businesses.

Erin is past Chair of the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario and has over 25 years of public and private sector experience on projects involving water and wastewater treatment, waste management, environmental legislation, and public engagement. She is a member of the American Water Works Association, Toronto Board of Trade, Canadian Water Network and American Public Works Association.

Jessica L. McDonald

Chair of the Board of Directors and Interim President and CEO Canada Post

Location: Vancouver, BC

Council Member Since: 2018

Jessica L. McDonald has extensive experience in senior public sector management from a career spanning more than 25 years. Jessica held many positions in the British Columbia government, including as a Deputy Minister.

From 2005 to 2009 she held the most senior public service position in the provincial government as Deputy Minister to the premier, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the BC Public Service, responsible for overseeing all aspects of government operations. From 2014 to 2017 Jessica served as President and CEO of BC Hydro, one of Canada’s largest energy suppliers. She was also Chair of the Board of Directors of Powertech Labs, one of the largest testing and research laboratories in North America, and on the Board of Directors of Powerex Corp, a key participant in energy trading markets in North America. She has served as Vice Chair of the Insurance Corporation of BC, serves as a Board Member of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, and is a member of the BC Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Canada and the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada.

Jessica has been named to Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, and Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of the Institute of Public Administration for Canada/Deloitte National Gold Award for Public Sector Leadership. She is a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance.

Kathleen Sendall

Corporate Director

Location: Calgary, AB

Council Member Since: 2015

Kathleen Sendall is a Corporate Director, serving on the Board of CGG (based in Paris), Enmax Energy Corporation, Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions and the Hatch Advisory Board. In January 2015 she was appointed the Chair of Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation for the Province of Alberta. She also participates on two federal advisory councils –Sustainable Development Technology Member Council and Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards.

Kathleen has advised federal and provincial governments on climate change, carbon capture and storage, environmental legislation and Arctic foreign policy. She also chaired the Canadian Council of Academies Assessment Panel on the State of Industrial R&D in Canada. Previously, she led Petro-Canada’s North American Natural Gas Business Unit and was responsible for the company’s North American conventional oil and gas production and exploration.

Kathleen contributes her time to a number of not-for-profit Boards, currently as Vice Chair of the executive of the Calgary Chapter of the Institute of Corporate Directors and as a Director of the Manning Foundation for Innovation. She is past President and former Director of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and a former Governor and Board Chair of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. 

Kathleen has received many awards including the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, an honorary Bachelor of Applied Industrial Ecology degree, and twice named as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture.

She was named four times as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the Corporate Executive category and inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame. Kathleen was awarded the 50 Key Women in Energy Global Award and Women Who Make a Difference Award from the International Women’s Forum, named as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2011 and awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012.

In 2013 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the University of Calgary and was named the Jarislowsky Fellow at the Haskayne School of Business for 2014/15. Kathleen graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Mechanical Engineering, and attended the Ivey Executive Program at the Ivey School of Business.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the stewardship of the business and affairs of the Canada Foundation for Sustainable Development Technology (SDTC), including fund management and the approval of applications for funding.


Operating independently from the board, Members are in place to represent the SDTC shareholders — the Canadian public at large. The Members annually review the Foundation’s performance, approve the Foundation’s auditors and approve independent directors to the board.

Our Partnerships

SDTC’s goal is to support the entire entrepreneurial journey: seed, start-up and scale up. Our approach is to think bigger, bolder and better by working with a network of partners, including accelerators and incubators, provincial and federal governments and the private sector to seek out talent across Canada.

With our partners, we streamline funding opportunities and actively work to identify companies that may be eligible for funding.

Provincial – Federal – Seed

Provincial Partnerships

BC Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund


The ICE Fund is a Special Account, funded through a levy on certain energy sales, designed to support the Province’s energy, economic, environmental and greenhouse gas reduction priorities, and to advance B.C.’s clean energy sector.

Alberta Innovates


Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions (AI-EES) is the lead agency for advancing energy and environmental technology innovation in Alberta.

Emissions Reductions Alberta


Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) evolved from Alberta’s Climate Change and Emissions Management (CCEMC) Corporation. ERA works collaboratively with Government, industry and the innovation community to secure a lower-carbon future for Alberta.

Ontario’s Target GHG Collaborative Technology Development Program


Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the development of Ontario’s economy by helping create new jobs, products, services, technologies and businesses.

Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) – Technoclimat


Transition energetique Quebec (TEQ), through the Technoclimat program, and SDTC have partnered to support and strengthen companies developing innovative clean-energy projects and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

Federal Partnerships

Clean Growth Hub

Through Budget 2017 the Government of Canada created the Clean Growth Hub, an interdepartmental team co-chaired by Natural Resources Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development with a mandate to help clean technology producers and users navigate the Government of Canada’s clean technology programs. SDTC is providing in-kind staff support to the Hub.

Export Development Canada


Export Development Canada provides Canadian exporters with the trade financing, export credit insurance and bonding services, as well as foreign market expertise.

Business Development Canada


BDC is Canada’s business development bank and the only financial institution dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. Its mission is to help create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and indirect financing, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Seed Funding

SDTC is providing the right funding at the right time.

Our investments in Canadian cleantech start-ups and scale-ups are creating jobs while having real impact on Canada’s environment.

In 2019, we launched a seed fund to match promising early-stage cleantech entrepreneurs with one-time grants of $50,000 to $100,000.

Currently, SDTC is working with a select group of Canadian accelerators to identify entrepreneurs who will become tomorrow’s cleantech leaders.

Interested? Please contact our current accelerator partners:







For more information on the companies and the projects funded, please visit the companies page and click SEED on the categories tab.

Want to learn more? Contact us at info@sdtc.ca