Team

Executive

Vittoria Bellissimo

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.

Wesley Johnston

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.

Brandy Giannetta

Vice-President, Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs

As CanREA’s Vice-President of Policy, Regulatory & Government Affairs, Brandy Giannetta leads the Association’s stakeholder advocacy and public engagement efforts throughout Canada. She was the Ontario Regional Director at CanWEA for eight years previously. She has also worked as a political staffer at Queen’s Park and as an administrator of the NRCan Home Energy Retrofit Program. Brandy holds an MA in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of Windsor. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee at the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). Brandy is based in Toronto.

Policy and Government Affairs

Evan Wilson

Senior Director, Western Canada

As CanREA’s Senior Director, Western Canada, Evan Wilson represents members in Alberta and Saskatchewan. He previously served as Regional Director, Prairies, for the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), where he worked in the same provinces. Prior to joining CanWEA, he worked for three years with the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and for four years with Global Public Affairs, where he was a consultant on transportation and energy files. Evan has an MA in Political Science from the University of Calgary. He is based in Calgary.  

Phil McKay

Senior Director, Electricity Transition Hub

As CanREA’s Senior Director, Electricity Transition Hub, Phil McKay leads a program for Canadian electricity utilities and system operators, providing resources and capacity-building for the integration of wind, solar and energy storage into Canada’s diverse electricity grids. 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.

Nicholas Gall

Director, Ontario and Distributed Energy Resources

As CanREA’s Director, Ontario and Distributed Energy Resources, Nicholas Gall leads policy development and advocacy on behalf of Ontario focused members and on issues related to DERs across Canada. Prior to joining CanREA, he worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at Solar Energy UK, and in Ottawa in government relations and advocacy within the environmental sector. Nick holds an MSc in economics with a focus on energy and environmental policy from University College London, a BA in economics from Dalhousie University and a certificate in climate and renewable-energy finance from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. Nick is based in Ottawa.   

Jean Habel

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.

Mathieu Côté

Director, Operations Program

As CanREA’s Operations Program Director, Mathieu Côté leads the National Operations Caucus, 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.  

Meagan Blandizzi

Policy Manager

As CanREA’s Policy Manager, Meagan Blandizzi supports her colleagues on the Policy Team. 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.

Jim Zhao

Electricity Transition Hub Manager

As CanREA’s Electricity Transition Hub Manager, Zhiming (Jim) Zhao supports his colleagues in the operation of the Electricity Transition Hub. He has 20-plus years of experience in the energy, renewables, engineering and sustainable development sectors, having previously served as a strategic business development and consultancy professional at such organizations as Wood Group, KPMG, and UK DIT. Jim holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Lund University, Sweden, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical and Electric Engineering from Beijing Information Science & Technology University, China. He is based in Ontario.  

Mary MacLean

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 Caucus, 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.

Business Development, Finance and Operations

Sharon Fryer

Director of Events

As CanREA’s Events Manager, Sharon Fryer skilfully executes the Association’s events, including national conferences, regional golf tournaments and networking receptions, and webinars and other virtual events. She came to CanREA from CanWEA, where she was the Manager of Meetings and Events for 13 years. She is a Certified Meeting Professional with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph. In her spare time, Sharon was a competitive gymnast who coached rhythmic gymnastics for more than 30 years. Sharon is based in Stittsville, Ontario.

Julie Mair

Membership and Business Development Manager

As CanREA’s Membership and Business Development Manager, 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.  

Sandi Wensink

Finance & Operations Manager

As CanREA’s Finance and Operations 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.

Kelly Hall

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.  

Richa Sharma

Membership Sales Coordinator 

As CanREA’s Membership Sales Coordinator, Richa Sharma supports the MBD team with revenue-generation activities, market research and member inquiries. Richa holds a bachelor’s degree in Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo and is thrilled to put her degree to use in the renewable energy field. In her spare time, Richa enjoys reading, sketching and hiking. Richa is based in Toronto. 

Communications

Bridget Wayland

Director of Communications

As CanREA’s Director of Communications, Bridget Wayland leads a coordinated effort to inform and engage target audiences about the key role that wind, solar and energy-storage technologies will play in achieving Canada’s climate-change targets. Bridget is a veteran, bilingual communicator with 20+ years of experience in Canadian environmental non-profits and national green publications, including ALUS Canada, Trans Canada Trail and Harrowsmith. She holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University and a BA in Humanistic Studies from McGill. She likes to hike, grow native plants and write. Bridget is based in southern Quebec.

Judy Mitri

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 sportswear. She is based in Montreal.  

Lauren Scott

Communications Specialist

As CanREA’s Communications Specialist, Lauren Scott (they/she) delivers the association’s dynamic social media presence, coordinates media relations, and assists with all manner of communications and marketing projects. Lauren has a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University and a certificate in data analytics. Prior to joining CanREA, they spent five years as a multimedia journalist and copy editor at such titles as the Waterloo Chronicle, Hamilton Spectator, Canadian Press and Annex Business Media, where they handled digital communications, websites, newsletters, social media and analytics. Lauren has a passion for sustainability and spends her free time hiking and watching horror movies. Lauren is based near Toronto.

Melissa McDougall

Communications Coordinator 

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.