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2016 Judging Panel

FCM's Sustainable Communities Awards and Green Champion Awards

The following individuals have been assigned the challenging task of choosing winners in each of the six award categories for the 2016 Sustainable Communities Awards. The FCM Board Members have the additional responsibility of choosing the Green Champion Award Winners.

Bill Karsten, Panel Chair

FCM Board Member

Bill Karsten was elected to Halifax Regional Council during the 2004 election to represent District 7, Portland — East Woodlawn. He was re-elected in 2012 to represent District 3, Dartmouth South Eastern Passage. Councillor Karsten is a member of a variety of HRM Boards and Committees.

Councillor Karsten has lived in Halifax, District 7 for 25 years with his wife Muriel and his two daughters, Kerry and Meaghan. He has a thirty-year business background in Sales, Marketing and Management. Most recently he spent twenty-two years as District Manager (Atlantic Canada) for Curtis Industries of Canada Ltd.

A dedicated volunteer, he has coached several Woodlawn Softball teams, organized local and provincial tournaments and has done extensive fundraising. He was an active member of the Canadian Cancer Society. His most recent volunteer efforts include serving as Vice President of Child Find Nova Scotia and on the Board of Directors of Child Find Canada.

Harold Usher

FCM Board Member

Harold Usher is a London, Ontario City Councillor. A 1972 Civil Engineering graduate of Sir George Williams (Concordia) University in Montreal, he worked for Bell Canada for 24 years. Harold served on several Boards including: Fanshawe College, London Library, and Toastmasters International.

He is the immediate Past Chair of the City of London's "Civic Works Committee," and "London Transit Commission." Harold has been honoured with several awards, including: Canada 125th Commemorative Medal, The Distinguished Toastmasters (DTM) Designation from Toastmasters International, the joint PEO/OSPE Citizenship Award.

He is a prostate cancer survivor, and Co-Authored the easy-to-read, informative, patient-friendly, book, "PROSTATE! PROSTATE! PROSTATE! A Problem of Men."

Chris Fonseca (alternate panel member for Harold Usher)

FCM Board Member

Chris Fonseca was elected in October 2010 as councillor for Ward 3 in Mississauga, ON. She currently sits on several FCM Standing Committees: Environmental Issues and Sustainable Development; Increasing Women's Participation in Municipal Government; and Social-Economic Development. She is also involved in regional committees such as the Intergovernmental Relations Advisory Committee and the Mississauga Summit Steering Committee.

Previously, Chris ran her own successful business in the health and wellness sector and has worked extensively with not-for-profit organizations that understand the importance of responsible fiscal planning and management. Chris volunteered with many local charities as an undergraduate student and while she pursued a Master's degree in Medicine and Physiology at the University of Toronto.

Today Chris lives in Ward 3 with her husband and twin boys. She enjoys running, walking and cycling on the many trails in Mississauga.

Dr. Allister Brown

Sector Expert

Dr. Brown is the founder of Chemis Environmental Solutions Inc. He is a recognized expert in all aspects of sustainable solid waste management, including waste composition studies, cost effective recycling and waste reduction planning, permitting of waste facilities, operating procedures and controls, leachate control at landfills and landfill closure plans. Dr. Brown is an auditor of both hazardous waste facilities and solid waste facilities. He assists clients to achieve significant reduction of landfill destined waste and improvements in resource recovery and recycling. He assists his clients to develop systematic management systems to maintain regulatory compliance and to protect the environment and human health. Dr. Brown frequently serves as an expert environmental advisor for legal matters and for insurance claims.

Yves Hennekens

Sector Expert

Yves Hennekens has nearly 30 years of experience in the fields of environment, economy and policy analysis. After graduating from studies in economics and politics at McGill University in 1988, he developed an environmental management model as part of work toward his master's degree.

Prior to creating YHC Environnement in 1998, he served for more than three years as a political adviser and spent almost two years working for Quebec's Environment Minister. He also held a senior role with a Crown corporation between 1993 and 1997. A pioneer in advancing renewable energy and sustainable urban development projects, he now provides counsel to more than 30 municipalities in Quebec. As an expert in energy efficiency and energy analysis, he has directed and collaborated on more than 50 papers and studies for the Quebec Energy Board and other governmental bodies. In addition, Yves has worked with FCM since 2008 as a GMF peer reviewer.

Sharon Lewinson

Sector Expert

Sharon is registered professional transportation engineer with over 25 years of experience in urban transportation and sustainable mobility. She is the President of ACT Canada, a national association dedicated to fostering collaboration, networking and best practice exchange on sustainable mobility. She is a member of the international Transportation Research Board TDM committee and active member of international sustainable mobility organizations in North America and Europe. Sharon has extensive experience urban transportation through her positions as the global GreenCommute manager at Nortel and work as a transportation engineer for consulting firms in Toronto and Ottawa. Sharon is also the president of her own consulting firm, Commuting Solutions, and owns the RideShark mobility management software system, which is used by cities and corporations globally to promote, track and monitor sustainable travel modes.

Dale Littlejohn

Sector Expert

Dale Littlejohn is the Executive Director for the Community Energy Association (CEA) of British Columbia. CEA is a non-profit society formed by energy providers, governments, and institutions to build capacity and accelerate climate action with local governments in BC. Dale assists local governments to build capacity and accelerate climate action by delivering education, developing guidance documents, and delivering consulting engagements in the areas of community energy planning, carbon neutral strategies, green economic development, and district energy.

Monique Punt

Sector Expert

Monique Punt is a professional engineer and environmental consultant who provides clients with support and advice related to environmental technologies, legislation and policies. She began her career with Environment Canada and, for the past 15 years, Monique has worked as a consultant focusing primarily on technical, policy and sustainability issues related to contaminated sites and brownfields. 

For FCM, Monique serves as a GMF peer reviewer and has developed a series of brownfield legislative roadmaps for each province and territory as well as other resources and training materials. Monique is a member of the Canadian Brownfields Network and SuRF Canada technical committees. She is also registered with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment as a Brownfield Environmental Site Registry "Qualified Person." 

Monique has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Queen's University and a Masters of Science Degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from McGill University.

John Purkis

Sector Expert

John Purkis is a sustainability expert, facilitator and systems change specialist. As a senior associate with The Natural Step Canada, Jon works with municipal governments, businesses and other stakeholders to generate and implement bold visions for a sustainable future. He facilitates transformational change processes with organizations both in Canada and around the world. John's clients range from the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs, to the City of Eindhoven and the British Virgin Islands, to the Town of Whitby, the Town of Leduc, the City of Halifax, and Rivière de Loups. John is currently working on a multi-stakeholder collaboration with Evergreen Cityworks to address the affordability and sustainability of the housing system in the Greater Toronto Area.

Prior to joining The Natural Step Canada, John worked with FCM, where he helped lay the foundation for GMF and capacity building programs. He oversaw a portfolio of innovative municipal infrastructure projects and developed a range of tools, resources and reports. John holds a degree in Environmental Science from Brock University and a graduate degree in business from Concordia University. 

Norbert Schmidtke

Sector Expert

Norbert Schmidtke is an internationally recognized process engineering specialist in water and wastewater management. He has more than 50 years experience in process design, application, design peer review, process trouble shooting, expert witness, technology transfer, research and teaching. Dr. Schmidtke holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Alberta and a Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in sanitary engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in the Province of Ontario and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer (American Academy of Environmental Engineers).

Dr. Schmidtke provides specialist environmental engineering services to municipalities, industry, consultants, attorneys, management firms and government organizations, nationally and internationally. Dr. Schmidtke has held numerous Adjunct Professor of Environmental Engineering appointments at many of Canada's Universities and has authored/co-authored more than 325 publications, edited 4 volumes of 'Toxic Contamination in Large Lakes' and co-edited 'Scale-Up of Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes' and 'Water Pollution Control for the 80s'. For his outstanding contributions he has been honored by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering with Canada's most prestigious environmental engineering award, the Albert E. Berry Medal.

Page Updated: 26/04/2016