2021 Speakers

Keynote Speakers

  1. Dr. Kathryn Sandoe  Image

    Dr. Kathryn Sandoe

    Dr. Kathryn (Katie) Sandoe is a business executive, professor, strategist, and community leader. For over 19 years, she has been a local trailblazer in the communications, public relations, and education disciplines.

    Katie is also a writer, public speaker, and facilitates workshops on transforming the way people life and work through purpose discovery and storytelling.

    You may have heard of Katie through her professional role as Head of Communications & Public Affairs at the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority (LCSWMA), where she has served in various leadership and executive capacities, helping to guide the organization through critical business decisions and advancing various projects/initiatives that impacted its brand and reputation.

    But she is also known in the academic space through her role as Adjunct Professor at Penn State Harrisburg, facilitating knowledge and discovery with students in the Communications program and continuing her research on how to leverage media and pop culture to initiate social change.

    Katie’s personal mission is to inspire others and champion the advancement of women and girls. She lives out this calling through her professional and academic endeavors, but also through her philanthropic efforts. Currently, she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Lancaster Chamber, as well as the Board of Directors for Girls on the Run Lancaster-Lebanon and YWCA Lancaster.

    She also strives to connect the academic and business spheres through her work on the Advisory Board for the Penn State Harrisburg School of Humanities and as a member of the HACC Lancaster Campus Advisory Committee.

    Katie was honored with Penn State Harrisburg’s 2020 People to Watch Award for her impact to the betterment of society, along with Central Pennsylvania Business Journal’s 2019 Women of Influence award for her contributions to her company, industry, and community. She’s also been recognized for her academic work at Penn State Harrisburg, having received the 2017 Learned Society of Whispering Pines Graduate Student Award in Adult Education and the 2015 Kathryn Towns Award.

    She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Communications and Public Relations from Millersville University, a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communications from Penn State University, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Adult Education also from Penn State University. Katie is also a graduate of Leadership Lancaster’s Core Class 2014.

    When she’s not wearing her leader, teacher, or servant hats, you can find Katie running while listening to podcasts, chasing after the best tacos in town, or watching a good football game on the couch with her best friend (husband) and their adorable Australian Labradoodle… And often in that exact order.

  2. Drew Lent Image

    Drew Lent

    Drew Lent is the Northeast Solar Services lead for Tetra Tech based in Rochester, New York. Drew is a professional geologist with more 30 years of environmental experience in both the public and private sectors. Over the past several years Drew has focused on developing brownfields and other properties for renewable energy development. Drew has worked on more than 200 renewable energy projects across the United States including approximately 20 solar and/or battery energy storage (BESS) projects on landfills.

    Prior to joining Tetra Tech, Drew worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Materials Management Division. While at the NYSDEC Drew worked on dozens of landfill closures and he helped create the voluntary cleanup program which later became the Brownfield Cleanup Program.

  3. Mike Flannigan Image

    Mike Flannigan

    Mike Flannigan is a Professor of Wildland Fire with the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta and the Director of the Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science (a four way partnership with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, BC Wildfire Service, Natural Resources Canada and the University of Alberta). Dr. Flannigan’s primary research interests include fire and weather/climate interactions including the potential impact of climatic change, lightning-ignited forest fires and landscape fire modelling. Recent efforts have included Machine Learning to address various aspect of the fire environment. He has been studying wildland fire for over 40 years and has published over 200 papers.

  4. Dan Sandink Image

    Dan Sandink

    Dan Sandink joined the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) in 2006 and is currently Director of Research. Dan Sandink has led a significant portion of ICLR’s urban flood risk reduction work, and is involved in several local and national committees and projects focussed on reducing urban & basement flood, wildland-urban interface fire, and high wind risk for residential buildings. Dan is a graduate of the geography and planning programs at the universities of Guelph, Western Ontario, and Toronto.


  1. Erika Droessler Image

    Erika Droessler

    Erika Droessler is the Public Education Program Supervisor for Waste Services with the City of Edmonton. An educator, science nerd and nature lover at heart, she loves discussing all things waste! She’s worked in the field of environmental education for over 10 years, delivering, developing, coordinating and supervising programs that engage and inspire people to take better care of our planet.

  2. Neil Burkard Image

    Neil Burkard

    Neil Burkard is a Public Education Specialist for Waste Services with the City of Edmonton. Neil loves the natural world from deep in the ground to far out in space.  His focus on waste and the environment motivates him to chat with as many people as possible, helping them to understand their role in making a better world for everyone.  Neil has been a natural world and sky educator for over 25 years.

  3. Anne LeBlanc Image

    Anne LeBlanc

    Anne LeBlanc is the Education Coordinator for Waste Check, the Solid Waste Management Authority in South West Nova Scotia.

    While a relative newcomer to the world of Solid Waste, having joined the Waste Check team two years ago, Anne has extensive experience in the field of Training, Instructional Design and Corporate education.

  4. Angela Porteous Image

    Angela Porteous

    Angela has almost two decades of experience within the environmental conservation and waste management fields. Passion and dedication to work towards building a healthier natural environment and increasing waste diversion in the province of Ontario.  Over the years, professional opportunities have included coordinating waste diversion programs, maintaining effective public communications, managing landfill capacity and compliance, developing environmental policies and leading the development of strategic plans and program investigations.

    Angela has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University, along with a diploma in Ecosystem Management from Fleming College.  Angela has also been a member of various waste related committees including Durham Region’s EFW Waste Management Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Municipal Waste Association Ontario.

  5. Dr. Stan Lozecznik Image

    Dr. Stan Lozecznik

    Dr. Lozecznik has over 10 years of experience in the consulting engineering field, primarily in the environmental, sanitary, hydraulics, mining and construction disciplines in Canada and Chile.

    His experience includes acting as Project Manager and Lead Design Engineer for a variety of Solid Waste Management projects in Cities, Rural Municipalities, Towns, Villages and First Nations in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario. These projects involved, for example, leachate treatment, landfill design and sequencing plans, retrofitting waste disposal sites into engineered landfills, waste audits, operation manuals, landfill biowindows, recycling assessment studies, waste audits, waste diversion programs and many others.

    Mr. Lozecznik is a member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Biological Waste Treatment Working Group, Water Environment Federation (WEF) and Western Canada Water (WCW). Mr. Lozecznik is currently serving as an adjunct professor for the Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Manitoba and working with graduate students on Solid Wastes and other R&D projects. Mr. Lozecznik has also served as External committee member for MSc. students at the University of Manitoba and University of Regina on Solid Waste Management Projects.

    Mr. Lozecznik is an outdoor and indoor sport enthusiast and has been coaching soccer to kids in Winnipeg for the last six (6) years, with the last four (4) years as a coach in Winnipeg Phoenix Club for U9 and U10 boys.

  6. Steve Johnson Image

    Steve Johnson

    Steve graduated from the University of Alberta with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Engineering in Environmental Engineering. He has worked for Hydrogeological Consultants,  Alberta Environment, Waste Management of Canada Corporation, and AECOM throughout his career specializing in waste management over the past 25+ years.

    While at Alberta Environment he was an approval writer for landfills, water, and waste water treatment facilities and then the Provinces Landfill Specialist instrumental in the development of the Standards for Landfills in Alberta, the Guidelines for Landfills in Alberta, and initiating the Standards for Composting in Alberta. He also was the chair of the Alberta Landfill and Compost Operator Certification Committee, a member of the Technical Guidance for the Quantification of Specified Gas Emissions from Landfills, the Technical group for the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in Waste, and a variety of dead animal disposal committees.

    While at Waste Management of Canada Corporation Steve was the Site Engineer responsible for landfill capping, developing and operating a leachate treatment plant, waste acceptance approvals, regulatory reporting, gull control, and the upgrade to a landfill gas collection and flaring system, and the siting and regulatory application for a new landfill.

    At AECOM he is the Waste Services Manager for Canada. He is the technical lead for solid waste management studies, landfill siting studies, landfill design, transfer station feasibility and design, landfill master plans, operations plans, environmental monitoring plans, fill plans, compliance audits, the National Solid Waste Benchmarking Initiative, and related environmental studies and regulatory applications.

    Steve is a 15+ year SWANA Northern Lights Chapter instructor for the landfill operator basics course, Manager of Landfill Operations course, and the leachate management course.

    In his off time, Steve is an avid curler, runs community gardens, and tries to keep up with his two young daughter’s activities.

  7. Luke Dixon Image

    Luke Dixon

    Luke Dixon is Geomatics Engineer and Professional Land Surveyor.  He founded Civil Tracker in 2018 to empower a whole new generation of drone mappers.

  8. James Mickle Image

    James Mickle

    James Mickle, M.Sc., P.Geoph. (AB), is a senior geophysicist with Tetra Tech Canada, based in Calgary. Over the past 15 years, James has been involved in numerous projects across western and northern Canada and the western and southern US. Many of these projects involved using geophysics for buried waste mapping in brownfields, measuring landfill cap thickness, periodic monitoring of property perimeters for contaminant migration off-site, liner leak detection, and stratigraphic studies for landfill siting. In 2014, James turned his attention to developing an internal UAV-based high-resolution mapping capability at Tetra Tech Canada and currently serves as UAV Operations Manager, with landfills comprising about half of this work. In 2017, James began development of an immersive 3D visualisation and collaborative analysis environment for complex multi-disciplinary geospatial data, which he demonstrated live on-stage at SWANA 2019 in Winnipeg. This year, James will further demonstrate how these technologies allow 2 or more people to “meet” virtually in meaningful ways from physically separate locations.

  9. Bob Watts Image

    Bob Watts

    Robert A. Watts, S.C., BCEEM

    Bob has been the Executive Director of the Chester County Solid Waste Authority (CCSWA) for over 21 years.  CCSWA operates a landfill, composting operation and a residential recycling drop off center that is in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA.

    For SWANA he currently serves as the Awards Committee Chairman of the Landfill Technical Division.  He was member of SWANA’s International Board for over ten years and he is currently Region 7’s Director.  Bob is on the SWANA Faculty and has been a MOLO instructor for almost 20 years.  Bob was the Director of the Landfill Gas and Biogas Technical Division of SWANA.

    He received a BS and MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Utah State University.

    Bob enjoys skiing, bicycling, hiking and racket sports.

  10. Simon Dimuantes Image

    Simon Dimuantes

    Simon Dimuantes oversees the technology portfolio for the Solid Waste Management Services division at the City of Toronto, focusing on transforming business processes related to solid waste service delivery, customer management and billing.  In eight years in the solid waste industry (and twenty years in technology overall), Simon has led the implementation of RFID-lift tracking for front-end collection, e-commerce (with the Solid Waste Webstore), business intelligence and mobile solutions for solid waste field staff.

  11. Kentson Yan Image

    Kentson Yan

    Kentson is a Project Engineer at Tetra Tech. Kentson primarily focuses on solid waste planning for municipalities, commercial businesses, and private organizations, where he has led numerous projects related to expanding existing waste processing and recycling systems. He has an extensive experience in conducting multi-sector and multi-season waste composition studies including food waste studies.

    Kentson has specialized expertise in data collection and analysis in the waste management sector. He has designed and implemented multiple waste monitoring programs across Canada and United States in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

  12. Mario Poveda Image

    Mario Poveda

    Mr. Poveda has over 10 years of experience in the consulting engineering field, primarily in the environmental and construction disciplines in Canada, Costa Rica, and Panama; with a focus on Solid Waste Management. His experience includes Waste Disposal Grounds site assessment, operational evaluation, preparation of operation manuals, development and execution of required monitoring, closure and pos-closure plans, site life assessments, leachate management and development of local and regional integrated waste management systems. Mr. Poveda is part of the dedicated Solid Waste Management Group at KGS Group.

  13. David Lefebvre Image

    David Lefebvre

    David Lefebvre is the Director of Public Affairs West for the Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance (CSSA), overseeing media, government and stakeholder relations for Recycle BC in British Columbia and Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW) in Saskatchewan. The CSSA is the largest compliance solution provider to approved EPR programs in North America. With staff in Toronto, Vancouver, Saskatoon and Halifax, CSSA administers programs with over $300M in producer financing.

  14. Arsheel Hirji Image

    Arsheel Hirji

    Arsheel Hirji is the Leader of Sustainable Infrastructure with the City of Calgary and has been card carrying “agent of change” with The City for the last 10 years. Arsheel is a sustainability champion in many ways, helping to build a brighter future for Alberta’s green economy while wearing multiple hats. In his current role, Arsheel works as part of an interdisciplinary team of engineers, architects, planners and designers to help ensure sustainability is embedded early in the design process for buildings, transportation, and major infrastructure. Arsheel has worked across Calgary’s municipal operations in developing energy conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy investment programs helping improve the performance of Calgary’s building stock and fleet. In 2018, Arsheel represented the new “visionary energy” of Calgary at the request of Calgary Economic Development. This nation-wide campaign was launched to market the hard work of innovators like Arsheel in helping diversify and strengthen Calgary’s position as a world-class city to work and grow a business.

  15. Rob Rennie Image

    Rob Rennie

    Rob Rennie – Manager, Strategic Marketing at SUEZ Canada Waste Services Inc.

    In 1989, following a seven year stint as a Floor Trader at the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE), Rob joined Laidlaw Waste as a loader on a curbside collection vehicle in what he envisioned as a temporary career transition. Throughout the next thirteen years, Laidlaw became Waste Management of Canada and Rob advanced to direct supervision of route managers, dispatchers and collection vehicle operators throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA); responsibilities included curbside, front-end and roll-off services within the residential division and the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sectors.

    In 2002, Rob accepted a position at the Region of Peel where his primary responsibilities were related to multi-million dollar service agreements that pertain primarily to the processing and marketing of recyclable materials. Through secondment to the Ontario Recycling Program Enhancement and Best Practices project and involvement with the Municipal Waste Association, Rob was able to garner a broad-based understanding of the industry from both a public and private company perspective.

    In 2015, Rob moved back into the private sector when he joined the SUEZ team.  Initially his primary responsibilities related to the marketing of the City of Edmonton’s recyclable commodities with a focus on identifying opportunities through waste characterization studies. Rob also benefited from the opportunity to take an acting role as the operations manager at the MRF. He has increasingly taken on an ever-expanding role in Business Development related to the full service offerings available through SUEZ, including recycling and waste recovery, organics management and water/wastewater services.

    With revenue over $20 Billion, SUEZ’s 90,000 employees are active in 70 countries across five continents bringing real world solutions to local authorities, industry, consumers and agriculture for the efficient and sustainable management of their resources.

  16. Nicole Watt Image

    Nicole Watt

    Nicole has over 13 years of professional experience advancing waste diversion programs in Halton Region, Ontario. She played a lead role in the implementation of the Source Separated Organics program into residential homes, apartments, municipal facilities and schools.

    Nicole has a passion for public speaking and enjoys bringing awareness to environmental issues. She brings contagious enthusiasm to her waste education presentations leaving her audience members well informed and motivated to participate in waste diversion programs. Nicole has been able to successfully adapt her presentation methods during this past year to continue to effectively support waste diversion efforts.

  17. Rori Cowan Image

    Rori Cowan

    Rori Cowan has a diverse range of experience in the sustainability sector including corporate value chain reporting, environmental markets innovation and design, greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting validation and verification, as well as standards and methodology development. Before joining Radicle, Rori was the Protocol Development Manager for Noble Research Institute’s new Ecosystems Services Marketplace, where she worked with a team of subject matter experts to develop an integrated protocol for GHG, water quality, and water quantity credits focused on improving soil health on working lands, serving as the lead author of the GHG components. Prior positions also include Senior Program Associate at the American Carbon Registry, and Manager of the Greenhouse Gas Verification program at SCS Global Services. Ms. Cowan holds a master’s in Environmental Science & Management from UC Santa Barbara, having specialized in Corporate Environmental Management and Eco-Entrepreneurship, and a B.S. in Earth Systems Science and Policy from CSU Monterey Bay where she specialized in Coastal and Marine Ecology.

  18. Rocky Strong Image

    Rocky Strong

    Rocky studied Mechanical Engineering at Memorial University. After his studies he moved to Norway to work in the oil industry. During his 4 year career there he was involved with several multimillion dollar projects which included managing several service companies. He moved back to Newfoundland and Labrador where he has led Strong Data with a focus on growth in the waste industry. Rocky is also involved with the Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce and SWANA Atlantic Canada Chapter as a director. In his free time, he enjoys attending waste conferences to meet new people and listen to the needs of the industry. Sometimes these conferences are located near ski hills and bike parks which he also enjoys.

  19. Shannon Hildebrandt Image

    Shannon Hildebrandt

    Shannon has 4 years of experience as an engineer-in-training with GHD’s Innovative Waste Solutions, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Services, and Future Energy teams. She has experience working on a variety of innovative projects for municipal and private organizations across North America, including several waste-to-energy projects at landfills and organic waste processing facilities, zero-waste feasibility studies including gasification/pyrolysis for renewable fuel generation, low-carbon hydrogen and renewable natural gas projects, and GHG assessments for emissions reductions projects. Shannon is passionate about sustainability and innovation in our waste and energy systems.

  20. Tej Gidda Image

    Tej Gidda

    Tej is a Principal with GHD with more than 16 years of industry experience. He is currently GHD’s Global Leader for Future Energy, focusing the firm’s efforts on the transition in energy systems towards a lower-carbon future. This includes hydrogen, renewable natural gas, traditional renewables, energy from waste, energy security and planning, and system integration including energy storage systems. He has significant engagement in the alternative waste processing space, with focus on biological treatment of organics, such as composting and anaerobic digestion. He also works in biosolids processing. Tej has worked on mixed waste processing, thermal treatment such as gasification and pyrolysis, and ancillary systems such as odour control and wastewater treatment. He is heavily involved in the area of biogas utilization including renewable natural gas production and has experience with cogeneration systems.

  21. Belinda Li Image

    Belinda Li

    Belinda is a consultant and researcher based in the traditional and unceded Coast Salish territories. An engineer by training and data enthusiast, she’s conducted waste composition studies and implemented data collection and management programs for municipalities across Canada and the United States with Tetra Tech. She is also the Director of Innovation for the Food Systems Lab at Simon Fraser University and conducts research on innovation in food security, bioplastic packaging, and green business practices.

  22. Ash Raichura Image

    Ash Raichura

    Ash is an experienced project manager with a demonstrated history of working in the private and public sectors. His experiences in waste management extends from design to construction, including contract preparation & administration. With his environmental engineering background, Ash possesses a solid understanding of regulatory guidelines and design standards. His membership with SWANA NLC goes back nearly 20 years, and includes serving on the Board of Directors and currently as Treasurer, and as a Faculty member instructing the LOB and MOLO courses. Ash tends to look at situations with a unique perspective, and happily shares them with anyone willing to listen.

  23. Jesse Maxwell Image

    Jesse Maxwell

    Jesse Maxwell is the Advocacy & Safety Senior Manager for the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Jesse regularly tracks and reports on legislative and regulatory issues in the municipal solid waste industry and directs safety-related programming.

    Prior to working at SWANA, Jesse received an M.A. in liberal arts from St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, in 2010. He graduated with a B.A. in English and political science from Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2007.

  24. Richard (Rick) Anweiler Image

    Richard (Rick) Anweiler

    Rick Anweiler is the Leader of landfill Operations at Waste & Recycling Services with over 30 years of experience at the City of Calgary. Rick has been in a supervisory role for 15 years assisting the Waste Management facilities through challenging situations including the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters including hailstorms, snow events and the flood of 2013. There is no “I” in team and Rick believes to be successful we need to continue promoting a SPIRITED workplace inspiring all staff to face any challenge.