Chris Benedetti
Energy and Environment Practice Group Sussex Strategy Group
Chris Benedetti is a Principal with Sussex Strategy Group, and Head of its Energy and Environment Practice.  With experience in both federal and provincial governments, Mr. Benedetti provides an in-depth insight and expertise into various policy development and political processes, and brings to Sussex an extensive background in strategic communications and public affairs.

Mr. Benedetti has advised a diverse range of domestic and international clients.  Since 1999 he has led client efforts related to energy-related policy, regulatory and procurement matters.  His clients have included equipment suppliers to manufacturers and developers, in solar PV, wind generation, biogas, waterpower, thermal (gas-fired) and nuclear generation.  These clients have successfully developed over 4,500MW of generation in Ontario, as well as expansions of transmission and distribution infrastructure.  Mr. Benedetti has helped clients not only better understand the policy and political imperatives that are the basis for decisions surrounding system planning and procurement, but have also assisted in working with government and its agencies to amend policies where and when warranted; in complying with various rules and requirements; and in liaising with affected local stakeholders and communities.

Mr. Benedetti has also led public affairs efforts on behalf of clients in areas such as health care and biotechnology; agriculture; public-private partnerships; international trade and investment; and government procurement.  In addition to his sector expertise, Mr. Benedetti is an expert in the area of public administration and political affairs.  He has spoken at numerous conferences on government relations and has been published in several leading journals.  While managing the interests of several high-profile public and private sector clients, Mr. Benedetti also serves as a Board Director of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario; Board Director of Toronto ZooShare Biogas Cooperative; and Past Chair of the Recycling Council of Ontario.  He has also served as a Director and Vice President of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy; President of the Public Affairs Association of Canada; and Senior Advisor to the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business.

Prior to joining Sussex, Mr. Benedetti was Vice President and Government Relations Practice Leader for a global public affairs and communications company.  He has also held several positions in the federal government with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and as a political advisor within the House of Commons and the Senate of Canada. 

Mr. Benedetti holds a BA in law and a BA (High Hons.) in political science from Carleton University, and an MA in political science (International Relations) from McMaster University and the University of Bath, England.  Active in his local community, Mr. Benedetti is Past President of Horizons for Youth, a United Way agency and one of Toronto’s largest youth shelters, and a former Director for Common Ground Co-Operative, providing business training opportunities for individuals with development disabilities.
Jan Buijk
EPS AB Energy Canada Ltd.

Jan Buijk is the CEO of EPS AB Energy Canada Ltd. (EPS), a Canadian company that is specialized in providing energy solutions with best in class gas engine technology for clean energy projects such as CHP, biogas and other gaseous fuelled power generation applications.  


Over the past 25 years Jan has had engineering, project management and direct sales and marketing responsibilities for many of the reciprocating gas engine based CHP, district energy, and other distributed generation projects currently in operation in Ontario and across Canada.


Jan received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, where he also wrote a thesis on the use of landfill gas for power generation applications.

Jan is a former director of OSEA, CDEA and APPrO and holds a director position with the Decentralized Energy Association of Canada.

Barry Chuddy

Mr. Chuddy has over two and a half decades of industry experience. He was President and CEO of the Columbia Power Corporation (“CPC”) a run of the river hydro-electric generation owner, developer and operator in southern British Columbia, from 2006 to 2008. Previous to working at CPC, he was Executive Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Enersource Hydro Mississauga, headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the entity serving the needs of the City of Mississauga. Following his work with CPC, He served as CEO of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI) and related companies. Mr Chuddy has also held senior positions with TransAlta, living in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary, and Emera Inc., based in Halifax, and has served on numerous boards in the electricity industry.

Lou Colangelo, P.Eng.
General Manager
Toromont Energy
I am General Manager of Toromont Energy and have been engaged in Ontario’s electricity sector for over 30 years.  My experience in the electricity sector includes direct involvement in all aspects of business development, engineering, turnkey construction, contract negotiation and operations of renewable energy and district energy projects.  I graduated in 1985 from Ryerson University in Mechanical Engineering and a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario.

    My current contribution to the energy and electricity sector is focused on a long term association with the International District Energy Association as member and past Treasurer and Board Member of the Canadian District Energy Association as well as current long time member of the Association of Power Producers of Ontario and since 2012, serving on the APPrO Board of Directors.  I have participated in a number of stakeholder engagement sessions and working groups in support of Ontario Power Authority initiatives, including Renewable and Clean Energy Standard Offer Programs and recent FIT consultation sessions.

    My specific expertise is in high efficiency cogeneration and district energy comes from various leadership positions with Toromont CAT Power Systems since 1985 and my general management responsibilities of Toromont’s District Energy system located in downtown Sudbury, Toromont’s investment in a cogeneration plant as part of the re-development of the Sudbury Regional Hospital and Toromont’s successful operation of the Waterloo Landfill Gas Utilization Plant project which received Award of Merit from The Canadian Council for Public – Private Partnerships in 2001.
Mary Hemmingsen
Partner, National LNG, Power and Utilities Leader

Mary Hemmingsen is National Sector Leader for LNG, Power and Utilities and a Partner in our Advisory Services practice.  
Mary brings over 20 years of experience as a North American power business leader in asset management and related business development. This includes leadership in the development and delivery of policy, strategy, and initiatives for power, utilities and related infrastructure businesses in a range of capacities in both the public and private sector and for major public utilities and global asset managers.
Through lead roles in finance, planning, operations, procurement, M & A and development, Mary brings an energized, end-to-end industry perspective in delivering on strategy, business development and business transformation. With this unique blend of experience and skills in various strategic and operating roles and across all aspects of the utility and power sector, Mary is able to  successfully integrate the interests of stakeholders, counterparties, customers and regulators in a complex environment to drive change and positive outcomes, while delivering financial and operating results.
Sam Mantenuto, P.Eng, MBA
Vice Chair and Chief Operating Officer
Northland Power

Sam has more than 35 years of public and private experience in the energy industry.  Sam is responsible for Northland’s operations, including gas and electricity management, and is a member of the Executive Office. 


Previously Sam was chief Development Officer, where he helped Northland almost triple its operating portfolio from 480 MW at the time of the 2009 Northland merger to 1,329 MW in 2013.  He has helped direct Northland’s evolution from a small private enterprise into a large public company.  His career has been defined by his ability to integrate technical, financial and governmental factors to deliver successful power projects.


“Finding the right energy opportunities involves not only insight and leadership, but also balancing strategy, creativity and persuasion.”


Sam’s experience includes 18 years at the public utility, Ontario Hydro, where he held a number of senior positions in engineering, system operations, marketing and trading, financial planning, regulatory affairs and the Executive Office.


Sam has played a key role in several important, public and private committees responsible for shaping the energy industry in Ontario. As a member of Ontario Hydro’s Task Force on Change, he was part of the successful restructuring of Ontario Hydro, which was the basis for the transformation of the energy industry in Ontario. In addition, Sam was a member of the Non-Utility Generators (NUG) Advisory Committee, where he represented the private power providers in negotiations with the government, and worked on the successful integration of NUG contracts into a restructured competitive electricity market. He was also a member of the NUG Negotiating Committee, formed to resolve contractual issues between private generators and government interests.

Robert McLeese
Access Capital Corp.
Mr. McLeese is the Founder and President of Access Capital Corp. (“Access”), a Toronto based Financial Advisory firm specializing in the independent power industry for over 25 years.  Access has been involved in over $2.3 billion of independent power production (IPP) project financing.  Through Access, Mr. McLeese provides strategic and financing advice to buyers and sellers of alternative energy projects (and companies) and has provided project reviews and rating services for lenders, owners and utilities.  Access has worked on gas fired cogeneration, hydraulic, biomass, waste coal, wind, other renewables, and district heating and cooling.

Mr. McLeese is Chairman and President of ACI Energy, Inc. which has significant interests in two waste coal fueled power plants aggregating 91MW in the United States.  He is Chairman of a Canadian company developing two significant hydro projects in British Columbia. Rob is a past Board member of Fengate Infrastructure Funds, Creststreet Power and Income Fund, Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Pristine Power and Ontario Center of Excellence (Energy). He is a current Director of Export Development Canada and Rand Capital Corp.
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