President & CEO
As the President and CEO of CanREA, Vittoria Bellissimo leads a member association focused on ensuring that wind energy, solar energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix.
Vittoria was previously the Executive Director of the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta and worked in renewable energy procurement at both the Ontario Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO). Vittoria serves on the Board of Emissions Reduction Alberta and is a founding Board member of Women+Power. She holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh and is a licensed professional engineer (B.Sc. Queen’s University). Vittoria is based in Calgary.
Vice-President, Business Development, Finance and Operations
As CanREA’s Vice President, Business Development, Finance and Operations, Wesley Johnston provides business and organizational leadership and manages the membership and business-development team.
In his previous role as President and CEO at the Canadian Solar Industries Association, he led its merger with CanWEA to form CanREA in 2020. Wes holds an MBA (Queen’s University), a MAES focusing on the economic benefits of renewable energy (University of Waterloo) and a BBA in Business and Economics (University of PEI). Wes has been passionate about renewables ever since installing a solar water-heating system on his first home in PEI, back in 2004. Wes is based in Ottawa.
Vice President of Policy—Eastern Canada and Utility Affairs
As CanREA’s Vice President of Policy—Eastern Canada and Utility Affairs, Leonard Kula leads our policy development and government relations team in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, as well as our Technical and Utility Affairs team, which includes our Operations Program and CanREA’s Electricity Transition Hub.
Leonard was previously the Chief Operating Officer at Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator and served as Board member of the Northeast Power Coordinating Council, enhancing reliability in Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, New York and New England. Leonard holds an MBA (York University), as well as a MASc (University of Waterloo) and a BSc (University of Calgary) in Mechanical Engineering. He is based near Toronto.
Vice President of Policy—Western Canada and National Affairs
As CanREA’s Vice President of Policy—Western Canada and National Affairs, Evan Wilson leads on policy files with both the Federal government and governments in Western Canada.
He previously served as CanREA’s Senior Director, Policy & Government Affairs and as Senior Director of Western Canada for CanREA, and as Regional Director, Prairies for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). Prior to joining CanWEA, he worked with the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and with Global Public Affairs on transportation and energy files. Evan has an MA in Political Science from the University of Calgary. He is based in Calgary.
Senior Director of Communications
As CanREA’s Senior Director of Communications, Bridget Wayland leads our efforts to inform and engage target audiences about the key role wind, solar and energy-storage technologies will play in achieving Canada’s climate-change targets.
Bridget has 20+ years of experience as a bilingual communicator for Canadian environmental non-profits and publications, including ALUS Canada, Trans Canada Trail and Harrowsmith. She holds a Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University and a Bachelor’s in Humanistic Studies from McGill. She likes to hike, grow native plants and write. Bridget is based in southern Quebec.
Policy and Government Affairs
Director for Saskatchewan and Director of Distributed Energy Resources
As CanREA’s Director for Saskatchewan and for Distributed Energy Resources, Erwin Heuck leads policy development and advocacy in Saskatchewan and on issues related to DERs across Canada.
He is a lifelong energy industry professional who served as the Director of Facility Planning with SaskEnergy until 2018, then created and led the Distributed Energy Association of Saskatchewan (DEAS) from 2019 to 2022. He supported the DER technology vendor dialogue with academia, municipalities, governments and utilities, focusing on clean energy projects and development. Erwin holds a B.Sc. degree from the University of Regina with an Industrial Systems Engineering designation. He is based in Regina.
As CanREA’s Federal Director, Fernando Melo leads CanREA’s federal advocacy work, supporting members on federal government engagement priorities.
Before joining CanREA, he worked as a clean energy and technology public affairs consultant at PAA Advisory and Global Public Affairs, helping organizations find opportunities in Canada’s transition to a net-zero economy, and as a federal policy advisor at Clean Energy Canada. Fernando holds a B.A. in Politics and Political Economy from Trent University. Outside of work, he can be found cycling in the Gatineau Hills. Fernando Melo is based in Ottawa.
Director for Quebec and Atlantic Canada
As CanREA’s Director for Quebec and Atlantic Canada, Jean Habel serves as CanREA’s bilingual key representative and spokesperson in these regions.
He leads the Quebec Caucus and the Nova Scotia Caucus, working closely with CanREA members. Prior to joining CanREA, he was Senior Advisor, Public & Government Affairs at the Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires for two years, and the MNA for Sainte-Rose (Laval) for four years before that. Jean holds a BBA from HEC Montréal and is a CPA. In his spare time, he enjoys sports and outdoor activities. Jean is based in the Montreal area.
Technical & Utility Affairs
Senior Director, Technical & Utility Affairs
As CanREA’s Senior Director, Technical & Utility Affairs, Phil McKay leads CanREA’s Electricity Transition Hub, providing resources and capacity-building to help Canadian electricity utilities and system operators integrate wind, solar and energy storage into their grids, and supervises CanREA’s Operations Program.
Previously, Phil led CanREA and CanWEA’s Operations Program for six years, where he formalized operation and maintenance best practices for the industry. He has also worked as an engineer at the Wind Energy Institute of Canada and in automotive thermodynamics. He holds a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Windsor, specializing in the group dynamics of commercial-scale wind turbines. Phil is based in Southern Ontario.
Director, Operations Program
As CanREA’s Operations Program Director, Mathieu Côté leads the National Operations Network with committees and working groups focused on site operations, asset management, decommissioning, workforce development and health & safety.
Matt has ten years of industry experience, having worked for a Wind/Solar/Hydrogen developer in France and a major OEM in Quebec, Nova Scotia and the UK. He holds a Physics degree from Dalhousie University. In his spare time, he attempts marathons and wrangles a young son. Matt is a proud Franco-Ontarian, currently based in Montreal.
Manager, CanREA’s Electricity Transition Hub
As the Manager of CanREA’s Electricity Transition Hub, Alana coordinates all elements of the Hub program, including relationship management, program planning, the ETHER Library, communications with Hub participants and quarterly reports.
Prior to CanREA, Alana spent 14 years in administrative roles in both the non-profit and construction industries. Alana holds a Bachelor of Music with a minor in Psychology from Mount Allison University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, and doing puzzles. Alana is based in southwestern Ontario.
Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) and Workforce Development Coordinator
As CanREA’s Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) and Workforce Development Coordinator, Mary MacLean assists with the Operations Network, focusing on initiatives within the EHS and workforce development committees.
Mary has a graduate certificate in Advanced Ergonomics Studies from Fanshawe College and a BA in Kinesiology from Western University. In her spare time, Mary enjoys music, crafting and spending time outdoors. Mary is based in southwestern Ontario.
As the Technical Writer for CanREA’s Electricity Transition Hub, Emily researches relevant resources for electricity utilities and system operators and produces the Hub’s Quarterly Reports.
Originally from Australia, she has worked as a policy adviser for the Australian Energy Market Commission and as a consulting engineer at EnergyLink Services. She holds a B.Eng. (Hon.) in Photovoltaics & Solar Energy from the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Emily enjoys skiing, biking and exploring the outdoors. She is based in British Columbia.
As CanREA’s Data Analyst, Andrew McCormack performs data collection and analysis for the Technical and Utility Affairs Team. He manages CanREA’s wind, solar, and energy storage databases, tracking growth across Canada.
Andrew has previously worked in data collection and analysis for the City of Kingston and in the private sector. He has also worked as a solar installer. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Energy Systems Engineering Technology from St. Lawrence College in Ontario. Andrew is based on Vancouver Island.
Membership & Business Development
Director, Membership and Business Development
As CanREA’s Membership and Business Development Director, Julie Mair implements the Association’s strong member-benefits program and facilitates partner relationships and sponsorships.
Prior to the launch of CanREA in 2020, Julie was the Membership and Business Development Manager at the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA). She previously managed member services at BIOTECanada, served with the Public Health Agency of Canada, and managed residential group homes for people with developmental disabilities for nearly two decades. Julie is based in Ottawa and, as an avid hockey fan, she proudly supports the Ottawa Senators.
Membership Sales Manager
As CanREA’s Membership Sales Manager, Kelly is dedicated to growing and strengthening CanREA’s membership base.
Kelly works with current and potential members of all sizes, knowing that Canada’s growth and success depends on a strong and reliable renewable energy portfolio. Prior to joining CanREA in 2022, he led business development efforts at Forward Summit, a company dedicated to improving Indigenous economic opportunities across Canada. Kelly can often be found outdoors, playing sports, or volunteering wherever his skills are needed. He is based in Calgary.
As CanREA’s Membership Coordinator, Daria Ruginis helps the MBD team provide important services to CanREA members.
Prior to CanREA, Daria worked at non-profit associations and institutions in member services and engagement. Daria holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Toxicology from Ontario Tech University. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outside, playing trivia with friends and renovating her century home. Daria is based in the Region of Waterloo, Ontario.
Finance & Operations
As CanREA’s Finance Manager, Sandi Wensink ensures CanREA’s books are balanced, its HR policies are optimized and its internal operations are on point.
She was previously CanWEA’s Finance Officer for three years, and before that was in a similar role for 23 years at another not-for-profit association. In her spare time, Sandi is an avid soccer player and crafter, and loves spending time with her grandkids. She is based in Ottawa.
As CanREA’s Operations Manager, Meagan Blandizzi helps CanREA manage the organization’s operational, administrative and human resource functions, supporting the CEO and Management Team on a day-to-day basis and interfacing regularly with the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining CanREA, Meagan worked with the eDemocracy Network, helping indigenous communities and local governments across Canada to create Climate Action Plans which residents could understand, engage with, and ultimately support. Meagan has a BA in Communications from the University of Toronto, and in her spare time, can be found swimming, canoeing, exploring nearby forests with her dog, or reading good fiction. Meagan is based in Oshawa, Ontario.
As CanREA’s Event Coordinator, Ashlee Pallotta helps the events team hold national conferences, regional networking receptions, golf tournaments, webinars and other events.
Before joining CanREA, Ashlee worked in non-profit organizations for eight years, focused on fundraising and events. She has an Event Management Certificate from Humber College and a Combined B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Carleton University. In her spare time, Ashlee enjoys mountain biking, spending time in nature and exploring new places to eat. Ashlee is based in Ottawa, Ontario.
Bilingual Communications Manager
As CanREA’s Bilingual Communications Manager, Judy Mitri manages our e-newsletters, website, production schedules and external contractors.
Judy joined us in April 2022, after nine years in marketing and communications for such organizations as Hema-Quebec Foundation, Dormez-Vous (Sleep Country), Influence Marketing and Remax. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from HEC Montreal and a law certificate from Laval University, where she studied renewable energy law. In her spare time, she is an ambassador for Type one diabetes. She is based in Montreal.
As CanREA’s Communications Specialist, Michaela Ianni delivers the association’s dynamic social media presence and coordinates media relations.
Michaela holds an Honours Bachelor’s in public relations from the University of Ottawa and a Diploma in Public Relations from Algonquin College. Prior to CanREA, she worked in the non-profit, nuclear energy and technology sectors. She spends her free time baking, listening to true crime podcasts and spending time with family. Michaela is based in Ottawa.
As CanREA’s Communications Coordinator, Melissa McDougall assists the communications team by maintaining and updating the CanREA website, creating newsletters, providing in-house graphic design support, and much more.
Melissa has an Advanced Diploma in Public Relations from Durham College and a Medical Administration Diploma from Sheridan College. Prior to CanREA, Melissa was a Membership Coordinator in an agriculturally based non-profit. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys writing, editorial design, advocating for mental health and discovering new events in her community. Melissa is based near Toronto.