Speaker Biographies

Mark Holland

Mark's consulting work focuses on integrating sustainability principles into the mainstream development industry, including projects from small infill to large-scale master-planned communities, in both the rural and urban context.

Mark has extensive public sector experience, including serving as the City of Vancouver's first Manager of Sustainability. His current work with local government focuses on city-wide sustainable development strategies for small and large cities across North America, including recently the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico and many cities in British Columbia.

Mark was selected as PIBC's Planner of the Year in 2010. He is sought after as a speaker. Mark was appointed as an advisor on the City of Vancouver's Greenest City Action Team alongside such leaders as Dr. David Suzuki.

Mark was most recently a partner with HB Lanarc. He is now full time with New Monaco, as Vice President of Development.

Tom Dishlevoy

Tom Dishlevoy is an architect with a practice in the Comox Valley that designs a wide range of buildings of all types and sizes and has recently expanded the field of work to include land use planning. Tom is passionate about making each of his projects as "green" as they can be: socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Tom has spoken to the CV Chamber and at TEDx Comox Valley on his recent efforts and has worked with the BIAs in Courtenay and Comox helping them develop a sustainable vision for a vibrant, resilient and complete community.

Curt Kerns

Curt Kerns holds degrees in Fisheries Science, Aquatic Ecology with a minor in wastewater engineering. He is a Registered Professional Biologist in BC and Alberta, a Certified Fisheries Scientist, and a former Associate Professor in the aquatic sciences. He owns an onsite wastewater treatment, design and equipment distribution company and currently serves on the board of Western Canada Onsite Wastewater Management Association, BC chapter. His design for a new class of constructed wetland, the Vegetative Tertiary Filter, holds three patents, won the 2010 BCWWA Award of Excellence, and the MISTIC Award for Environmental Technology. He designed the Knockholt Landfill Free Water Surface Constructed Wetland as well as nearly 200 others. Current projects include a 960 unit RV park in Alberta. Others in funding status are redesigning a septage treatment facility to include a reed bed and a constructed wetland, and a wetland for landfill leachate for another B.C. community.

Ann and Gord Baird

Ann and Gord Baird walk the talk of sustainable living in their multi-generational home. Features include passive solar design, solar PV with grid tie, net zero electricity, energy and water conservation, solar thermal hot water, composting (no flush) toilets, rain water harvesting, grey water re-use, a living roof, earthen floors, and natural finishes into their exceptionally beautiful, modern and affordable version of earthen architecture. The couple's passion and knowledge is expressed in their work consulting, building, advancing policy, research, and in the hundreds of tours they have given through their home. The Eco-Sense home, described as North America's first code-approved, seismically engineered load-bearing insulated cob residence, is one of the first projects to achieve stringent Living Building Challenge certification. They teach that if it isn't affordable it isn't sustainable and live their motto 'less life stuff... more life style'!

Ian Gartshore

Ian Gartshore is the president of Shore Energy Solutions, a company that offers professional services to homeowners, businesses, and building owners to manage their energy needs. Ian has gained solid technological skills at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and tremendous people skills through his work with volunteer organizations and in the field of conflict resolution. He has considerable experience in building energy performance analysis and has helped many people to achieve their energy reduction targets while improving thermal comfort. He is also a founder of Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island, a non-profit organization that has a mandate to promote solutions for meeting Vancouver Island's energy needs in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

Scott Fleenor

Scott Fleenor, Principal for Terratek Energy Solutions has been in the construction industry for over 15 years as a project manager, foreman and safety supervisor. Scott manages the company's Solar Thermal Division. Scott has a Commerce degree from Royal Roads University and is a founding member of the Comox Valley BC Sustainable Energy Association.

Ken Connolly

Ken was trained as a residential "Power Smart" contractor in 1990, and currently manages Pheasant Hill Homes Ltd., a respected leader and innovator in the residential construction sector in the Nanaimo area. He has earned the designation of "Registered Housing Professional" from the Canadian Home Builders Association, and is currently working towards certification as a Master Builder. Ken has been a student of building science for many years, and brings a practical, balanced approach to sustainable building. He is committed to meeting the challenges that environmental issues pose, while building quality, liveable homes.

Jim Smith

Jim Smith holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia. He is a professional engineer and also a certified solar hot water system installer. His passion for alternative energy solutions led him to become a director at Wizards 4 Environmental Technologies, a company that offers a wide range of services and products including water treatment system solutions, wind generation, solar photovoltaic system, solar hot water installation and heat pump technology.

John McQuaid

John McQuaid is founder and Director of Wizards 4 Environmental Technologies Inc., which has operated in Nanaimo for the past 4 years and focuses on solutions for a healthier, sustainable future. He is also the Asset and Sustainability Manager for Hollyhock, the largest educational retreat in Canada. As a chemist, John started his career off in the Pharmaceutical Industry in Toronto for 3 years before joining a global company out of Chicago, where he focused on technical support for the Pulp, Paper and Independent Power Industry throughout North America for 29 years. John has lived in BC for the past 35 years and moved to Nanaimo in 1985.

Bob Burgess

Bob is an advisor and consultant to government and the development community on the feasibility of using rainwater as a water conservation and storm water management tool. This builds on his 30 years of experience as a community planning and housing consultant working with urban, rural, and marine environments in the Lower Mainland, and Vancouver Island. Specializing in affordable housing and public process, his firm, Domain Consulting Ltd. has a reputation for skilled research/interviewing, meeting facilitation and creative problem solving.

Along with work for private clients, Bob consults to the development community, and actively encourages the use of rainwater through public presentations, workshops, and demonstration projects.

Ed Hoeppner

Ed, through his company, Aquarian Systems Inc, has been involved in on-site water management for over 15 years. Working closely with both non-profit community groups and provincial government ministries, Aquarian Systems has been involved with research and development in innovative onsite wastewater treatment systems, including Constructed Wetlands for sewage treatment and Planter Box systems for greywater treatment. Ed and his associates are now using the planter box method for onsite wastewater treatment including toilet wastes. As well, Aquarian Systems, is actively involved in designing and installing rainwater collection systems both for in house potable use and landscape irrigation.

Aquarian Systems offers full design consultation for property development, integrating building design with landscaping, rainwater collection and use, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

City Green Solutions

City Green Solutions is an enterprising non-profit with a mission to excite, inspire and lead British Columbians in finding innovative home and building energy efficiency solutions. We are the only non-profit provider of the LiveSmart BC and ecoENERGY programs in BC. We offer home energy assessments and access to grants for existing home retrofits; EnerGuide Rating Service for New Homes; ENERGY STAR® for New Homes; Thermal Imaging; Sustainability Assessments for Business; Green Building Rating Consultations; Customized Energy Efficiency Outreach Programs; Research and Evaluation Services; and Energy Efficiency Education and Training.

MacDonald Gray Consultants

At MacDonald Gray our mission is to provide rational planning and design services with a specific focus on a natural systems based approach to land development. Our previous project management experience has included municipal open space / parks planning projects, US federal habitat mitigation grant proposals, municipal greenway / blueway designs, urban streetscapes and pro-bono community projects. Integrated storm water management and environmental restoration have been continuing threads in the firm’s professional development to date.