The keynote speakers

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell
The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell


The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell was invested as Ontario’s 29th Lieutenant Governor on September 23, 2014. Her eclectic public service career has spanned provincial, federal, and international borders, and has transcended disciplinary and sectoral lines.

Her international negotiating experiences prefaced her election in 1992 as Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Upon returning to Canada in 1998, she established an international consulting practice and became the founding President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. Immediately prior to her appointment as Lieutenant Governor, Ms. Dowdeswell was the President and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies. She has also served on numerous boards of corporate and non-profit organizations.

OPENING REMARKS - 9:05 a.m

Chief Ava Hill
Chief Ava Hill


Ava Hill, Mohawk, Wolf Clan, was elected Chief of the 56th and 57th Elected Council of the Six Nations of the Grand River. She assumed office on December 3rd, 2013 after serving three terms as a Councillor. During her tenure as a Councillor, Ava participated on a variety of Council Committees. 

She was also Six Nations representative on the Aboriginal Leadership Partnership for the 2015 Pan Am Games which were held in Toronto in July 2015. Ava has been active on international files attending the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for the past few years.

PANELIST - Panel On BALANCE  - 2:30 p.m.

Juan Alsace
Juan Alsace


Consul General Juan Alsace is a career Senior Foreign Service Officer with 31 years of service. Prior to assuming his current position in August 2015, Mr. Alsace was an Assistant Professor at the National Defense University (Eisenhower College, 2014-2015) and before that Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (2012-2014). Mr. Alsace’s most recent Washington service followed several years of overseas postings, including in Iraq, Santiago, Chile, and Consul General in Barcelona, Spain.

Mr. Alsace is a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College (2003). He has also served in Istanbul, Turkey as Deputy Principal Officer, Karachi, Santo Domingo, and Quito. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Mr. Alsace is a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and obtained his law degree from the University of Minnesota.

INTRODUCTION REMARKS at 9:15 a.m.

Arthur Potts
Arthur Potts


Arthur Potts was first elected as Member of Provincial Parliament for Beaches–East York on June 12, 2014. He brings to the role a passion for public service and a history of working with others to find sustainable solutions. As an entrepreneur and small-business owner, Arthur understands the challenges and opportunities of Ontarians trying to make their way in our great province.Arthur began his career as a labour relations consultant with the Central Ontario Industrial Relations Institute and taught the subject at Seneca College. In 1989, he co-founded his first business – Wood Waste Solutions Inc. – a firm that specializes in wood waste management, recycling wood into usable end products. Wood Waste Solutions is still in operation today.

As the new Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Arthur will work with others to find solutions for the challenges of sustaining Ontario’s environment while creating opportunities for our province’s green technology industry.

PANELIST - Panel On BALANCE  - 2:30 p.m.

Susan Humphrey


Susan Humphrey was appointed Associate Regional Director General, Environment and Climate Change Canada – Ontario Region in July 2013. Her current responsibilities are Great Lakes focused.  Susan is a member of the binational Great Lakes Executive Committee which has been established to coordinate, implement, review and report on commitments in the Canada – United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.   

She is the Canadian Co-chair of both the Lake Erie Partnership Management Committee that oversees activities aimed at addressing environmental stressors affecting Lake Erie, and the Nutrients Annex sub-Committee which is currently focusing its efforts on actions to manage phosphorus loadings to Lake Erie.  Susan also directs Environment and Climate Change Canada’s involvement in the development of the multi-partnered domestic action plan to reduce phosphorus loadings from Canadian sources to Lake Erie.

PANELIST - Panel On BALANCE  - 2:30 p.m.

Feridun Hamdullahpur
Feridun Hamdullahpur


Feridun Hamdullahpur was appointed president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo on March 11, 2011. Throughout his career spanning over 35 years, Dr. Hamdullahpur has been an active researcher in thermo-fluids and energy engineering, a passionate teacher and an academic administrator. He has authored hundreds of scientific and academic publications and supervised over 50 graduate students. He was named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in June, 2014.

His current focus at the University of Waterloo is expanding its lead in innovation, building on Waterloo’s long-standing and emerging strengths in co-operative education, research, entrepreneurship, and equity. The University of Waterloo has dominated Canadian university innovation rankings for 25 consecutive years. Its goal is to be recognized as one of the top innovation universities in the world.

Peter Annin
Peter Annin


A veteran conflict and environmental journalist, Peter Annin spent more than a decade reporting on a wide variety of issues for Newsweek, including forest fires in the mountain West, recovery efforts on the Great Lakes, and the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2006, he published The Great Lakes Water Wars, which has been called the definitive work on the Great Lakes water diversion controversy and received the Great Lakes Book Award for nonfiction in 2007. 

He has been co-director of the Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin since August of 2015.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - 10:35 a.m.

Adam van Koeverden
Adam van Koeverden


World Champion kayaker Adam van Koeverden first captured the world’s attention at the 2004 Olympic Games, where he was a double medallist with gold and bronze victories. Since then, he dominated the sport, taking silver at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, earning two World Championship titles in 2007 and 2011; being named “Canada’s Athlete of the Year” in 2012; and representing Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. 

Adam shares his story of personal success— infusing it with insight that he’s gained both on the water and off—and how it integrates with strong leadership, overcoming challenges, and the importance of teamwork.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - 1:45 p.m.

Rob de Loë
Rob de Loë


Rob de Loë is a Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, and Director of the Water Policy and Group (www.wpgg.ca). He currently serves as the Canadian Co-Chair of the International Joint Commission’s bi-national Great Lakes Water Quality Board.

During the past two decades, Rob has written and consulted extensively about water governance and management in relation to topics such as source water protection, water allocation, and climate change adaptation. Factors that facilitate and constrain effective governance are an overriding concern in his research program. His current research program focuses on drivers and emerging actors that are shaping water governance in Canada. 

PANELIST - Panel On BALANCE  - 2:30 p.m.

Jill Ryan
Jill Ryan


Jill Ryan received her bachelor's degree in biology from Grand Valley State University in Michigan, her master's degree in zoology from the University of Maine, and her law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. She has a background in nonprofit management and capacity building, environmental toxicology, and human services, and has taught environmental law and legal research. Jill has held positions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is now the Executive Director of Freshwater Future, where she has been since 2000.  

In addition to building Freshwater Future, Jill’s passion focuses on increasing grassroots capacity to protect waters in the Great Lakes region, including assisting with a variety of planning processes, board development, facilitation and bi-national collaborative efforts.  She serves on the Healing Our Waters Governance Board, helped spur creation of the growing Great Lakes Network and monitors emerging issues in the region.

PANELIST - Panel A COMMON (WATER)FRONT - 11:20 a.m.

Mayor John Paterson
Mayor John Paterson


Mayor of the municipality of Leamington, Ontario

PANELIST - Panel A COMMON (WATER)FRONT - 11:20 a.m.

Bryan Gilvesy
Bryan Gilvesy


Life-long farmer, owner of the award winning Y U Ranch, producing grass fed beef in Norfolk County, Ontario. Bryan is also Chief Executive Officer of ALUS Canada, a community-led farmer, delivered ecosystem services charitable organization.

Bryan also serves as an Executive in Residence at the Ivey School of Business helping lead conversations around sustainability and building sustainable value.

PANELIST - Panel A COMMON (WATER)FRONT - 11:20 a.m.

Sébastien Sauvé
Sébastien Sauvé


Sébastien Sauvé is associate professor in Environmental Chemistry at the Université de Montréal since 2001. He directs a team of about fifteen students and researchers who focus their work partly on ‘traditional’ contaminants such as lead, copper, cadmium, and partly on emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, nanoparticles and methylsiloxanes.

He is also the principal investigator for the project ATRAPP – ALGAL BLOOMS, TREATMENT, RISK ASSESSMENT, PREDICTION AND PREVENTION THROUGH GENOMICS

PANELIST - Panel A COMMON (WATER)FRONT - 11:20 a.m.

Clark Hoskin
Clark Hoskin

Since 2002, Clark Hoskin has worked as Manager of Tourism and Economic Development for Norfolk County.  With support from businesses, colleagues and elected officials, Clark and his team have implemented award-winning marketing initiatives for Norfolk, leading to increased awareness of the County’s positive attributes across Ontario, and increased investment in the local economy. 

Prior to that, Clark has worked for the Economic Development Department of the former Haldimand-Norfolk Region, as well as Cambridge Tourism and the Southern Ontario Tourism Organization. Clark lives in Port Dover with his family and enjoys travelling, cooking, diving and writing.

PANELIST - Panel A COMMON (WATER)FRONT - 11:20 a.m.

Tony Maas
Tony Maas


Tony Maas is the Director of the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW), a collective of water policy experts from across Canada. Over the course of his 15 year career working on water issues he as been called to testify before numerous committees of Parliament, participated in national and global water dialogues, and advised policy makers, philanthropic foundations and research institutes on strategy and policy. 

Tony serves as chair of the External Advisory Board of the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo.

MODERATOR - Panel A COMMON (WATER)FRONT - 11:20 a.m.

Liza Fromer
Liza Fromer


Liza Fromer is a widely respected broadcast journalist. Currently, as host of the local and national editions of The Morning Show on Global, Liza interviews the top newsmakers, politicians, trendsetters and entertainers of the day. 

Liza also hosts and co-created the Primetime special Intimate with Liza Fromer featuring one-onone, candid conversations with the world’s most intriguing personalities.

MODERATOR - Panel ON BALANCE - 2:30 p.m.

The Water Brothers
The Water Brothers


Alex and Tyler Mifflin are the creators & hosts of the award winning television series, The Water Brothers, that takes them on adventures around the world exploring the most critical water challenges we face in the world today. Commissioned by TVO, the series now in it’s 4th season is aired in over 40 countries. 

They strongly believe in ensuring that audiences and particularly young people are aware of the challenges we face in relation to our most precious resource – and understand the true economic value of water and the available and emerging solutions that their generation will be the ones to have to implement in order to harmonize our relationship with the eco-systems all life on earth depend on

MASTERS OF CEREMONY