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Speaker Biographies

Speaker biographies will be provided here alphabetically, as they are received.  

Michael Cameron, Director of Indigenous Initiatves - Industry Training Authority

Michael Cameron is the Director of Indigenous Initiatives. A Metis from Manitoba, Michael possesses extensive college leadership and management experience, most recently in the role of Dean, Students, Indigenous & Community Development at Assiniboine Community College (ACC). While at ACC, he led the development of an Indigenization Strategy for the college in support of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Michael’s leadership portfolio extends across three provinces, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. His previous roles range from Program Manager of Continuing Studies for Industry, Trades and Transportation at Red River College to Director of Programs and Business Development at Parkland College. Michael believes in establishing strong partnerships as a key to removing  barriers that lead to effective training models, including community based training with Indigenous communities. Michael has lead successful community based programs and has also been involved in program development to help apprentices achieve their Red Seal Endorsement.

A former Band Administrator for the Lac La Croix First Nation in Northwestern Ontario, Michael is now focused on helping build Indigenous communities through trades training and education.

Michael is currently completing a Masters in Integrated Studies from Athabasca University.

Robin Campbell, President - Coal Association of Canada

As a 4th generation coal miner who has spent over 30 years in the industry, Robin Campbell understands the issues facing coal from the inside out. Starting his mining career in 1973, and transitioning specifically into coal in 1979, he has held positions ranging from loader operator to various executive postings. As former treasurer and President of the United Mine Workers of America Local 1656, Robin has local perspective and understanding of the challenges miners and their families are facing during this economic downturn. He also served as a representative of the International Union of the UMWA and gained global perspective of the industry.

Like most Albertans, Robin has a strong passion for the outdoors and takes pride in the environmental record of Alberta’s coal mining industry. He has been a registered fishing guide in the Jasper and Hinton area for over 30 years and places tremendous value in the protection of our natural landscapes, rivers and lakes.

Robin also served as MLA for West-Yellowhead in the Alberta Legislature from 2008 to 2015. He was appointed to Cabinet as the Government Whip in 2010 and then served as Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Minister of the Environment and most recently as Minister of Finance and Treasury Board until May 2015. His experience as a public servant and insight into the workings of government translate well into his role at the Coal Association of Canada. Robin accepted the role as President of the Coal Association of Canada in November, 2015 and is leveraging his decades of experience to help preserve jobs and ensure the coal industry remains an important part of our economy.

Gordon Clarke, Director - BC Minerals Development Office ​

[Gord Clarke] Gordon Clarke is the Director of the Geological Survey of British Columbia’s Vancouver based, Mineral Development Office. Mr. Clarke holds a B.Sc. in Geology from Acadia University and a M.Sc. in Geology from the University of New Brunswick. Mr. Clarke has over thirty years of experience working in mineral exploration and mining.

He was a principal owner of Aurora Geosciences Ltd. before working as senior mine geologist and superintendent of exploration for Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. After leaving Diavik in 2007, he held public company officer positions as President and Vice President Exploration for North Arrow Minerals Inc. and Vice President Exploration for Elgin Mining Inc.

Heather Cullen, Regional Director - Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Heather Cullen is the Regional Director for the Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources out of the Prince George office that also covers the Northeast Region. 

She and her staff are dedicated to supporting a safe and environmentally responsible mining sector in the province.  She has over 35 years of experience in natural resource agency operations and management that helps give her a longer range view of resource development trends in the province. She has also led a number of significant projects which recently include the Regional Reclamation Bond Calculator, Mines Information Data Quality and the Notice of Work Guidance Document that is currently under development.

John Degrace, Regional Geologist, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources ​

John DeGrace is Regional Geologist for North Central and Northeast British Columbia with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.  In that context he is responsible for monitoring and reporting on mining and mineral exploration activities throughout this very large area, and for providing both advice and educational services on an as-needed basis. 

He brings to the position broad experience as a survey geologist, consultant, and resource administrator in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Ottawa and BC; including time leading a regional coal exploration project in Northeast BC.

Sachi de Souza, Environmental Engineer - New Gold Inc. 

Sachi De Souza is an environmental engineer with New Gold.  She has been working on the Blackwater Project for the past three years and led the development of the water and waste management strategy and caribou offset approach during the environmental assessment. 

Dave Earle, President and CEO - BC Trucking Association

Dave Earle is the President and CEO of the BC Trucking Association, a member-based, province-wide, non-partisan, non-profit motor carrier association formed solely to advance the interests of British Columbia motor carriers. He is also a member of the Canadian Trucking Alliance Executive Board, CTA Policy Development Committee, and Gateway Council.  

Prior to joining BCTA, Dave served 300 construction employers who were signatory to building trade collective agreements as the Vice President, HR Services and Government Relations for Construction Labour Relations of BC.

Dave’s Board appointments have included Employer Caucus Chair for WSBC’s Policy and Practice Consultation Committee, President of the Employer’s Forum, Vice-Chair of SkillPlan, Secretary / Treasurer of the Canadian Hoisting and Rigging Safety Council, and directorships with WSBC’s Research Secretariat, Technical High Angle Rope Rescue, and BC Safety Council.        

Sean Ennis, Regional Business Leader, Mining - Stantec Consulting Ltd. 

Sean works in both the areas of mine engineering and mine geotechnical/geoenvironmental engineering. He has over 25 years of experience in the mining industry and is currently involved in feasibility-level mine development projects for clients with coal and precious metal projects. He is also involved in geotechnical and geo-environmental work related to mining, including mine waste management, slope stability, and mine closure as part of mine permit applications. He has site experience in various disciplines of the mining industry such as short- and long-range mine planning, surveying, project management, and site investigation. He is registered as a professional engineer in Canadian and United States jurisdictions. He is also a qualified person under Canadian National Instrument 43-101 regulations.

Valerie Fast, Registered Nurse - Iridia Medical

Val Fast is a Remote Certified Registered Nurse with over 35 years of experience providing primary and emergency care in a variety of practice settings.  She is currently the nursing team lead at the Pretivm Brucejack project and has been instrumental in the implementation of a number of innovative health and wellness programs and on-site occupational health programs.  Val brings a wealth of practical knowledge to help solve the unique challenges of delivering industry leading medical care in one of BC's most remote locations.


Rob Frizzell, Vice President - Palmer Environmental Consulting Group Inc

Rob Frizzell is a Senior Hydrogeologist and Vice President at Palmer with 18 years of experience. Rob manages hydrogeological investigations for mining projects, and municipal groundwater servicing projects, and has developed large-scale and feature-based water budget models to assess potential for impacts on surface and groundwater interactions as it relates to protection and aquatic and terrestrial habitat. Rob also has significant experience in undertaking hydrogeological peer reviews and due diligence studies on behalf of mining companies, and for First Nations on mining projects throughout Canada.

Allan Holmes, Founder - Iridia Medical  

Dr. Allan Holmes is a fellowship-trained Emergency Physician and founder of Iridia Medical, a Vancouver based healthcare firm.  Since 2007 his group has provided a full scope of first aid, medical and occupational health services for several major resource sector projects across BC, including the mining sector.  Dr. Holmes is a leading expert in the design and implementation of remote medical care models which deliver industry leading care while limiting the impact on local health resources.   He currently oversees the onsite medical clinics at the Pretivm Brucejack and Coeur Silvertip Mines. 


Lindsay Kislock, Vice President - Mining Association of BC

Lindsay Kislock joined the Mining Association of BC as Vice President, Corporate Affairs in June 2017. Lindsay came to the Association with extensive public policy and senior management experience after more 30 years working for the Public Service in BC and Ontario.  Prior to joining MABC, Lindsay was Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, responsible for Partnerships, Transportation Trade Network planning and the Pacific Gateway Alliance. Prior to joining the Ministry of Transportation, Lindsay served as Assistant Deputy Minister in various portfolios, including Health, Agriculture and Small Business and Regulatory Reform.

Currently, Lindsay is the vice-chair of the Centre for Training Excellence in Mining (CTEM), and Co-Chair of the Senior Policy Advisory Group for the Mining Association of BC.  Lindsay has a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Lakehead University. 

Lukas Klemke, Vice President of Operations, Conuma Coal     

Lukas Klemke, PE, has 16 years of mining experience across the Western US and Canada. He has held a wide range of roles in engineering and operations including most recently Vice-President of US Surface Operations for Westmoreland Coal Company. Lukas also brings extensive experience managing coal mines with complex steeply dipping geology. He holds a BS in mining engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Lukas Klemke, PE, has 16 years of mining experience across the Western US and Canada. He has held a wide range of roles in engineering and operations including most recently Vice-President of US Surface Operations for Westmoreland Coal Company. Lukas also brings extensive experience managing coal mines with complex steeply dipping geology. He holds a BS in mining engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Chad Lepoudre, Vice President Geoscience and Materials - SNC Lavalin  ​

[LePoudreChad_web] Mr. D. Chad LePoudre, P.Eng., is the Vice-President of Geoscience & Materials Testing at SNC-Lavalin based in Saskatoon and Calgary (previously MDH Engineered Solutions). He has 16 years’ experience overseeing many geotechnical and geoenvironmental projects, and 10 years of non-technical roles in construction, sales, management and finance, which contributed to his experience in business and project management. 

Mr. LePoudre is also a board member and Past President of the Canadian Dam Association, actively involved in several committees working to advance guidance for dams and tailings dams.   Mr. LePoudre also teaches many workshops on dam inspection, dam and tailings safety management systems, slope stability analysis, and conducting Dam Safety Reviews in compliance with CDA guidance. 

Brandon Lewis, EP, is the Environmental Manager - HD Mining International.

Prior to joining HD Mining Intl., Brandon was an Environmental Technician with Anglo American at the Trend Mountain operations. orn and raised in Northern BC, Brandon moved to Tumbler Ridge over 5 years ago and is an active member of the community and region. Currently he serves as the President of the local Search and Rescue group and is a coach of Soccer and Volleyball teams in TR.

Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern British Columbia in Mathematics as well as his 4th Class Power Engineering certificate.


Hillary Morgan, Land and Resource Specialist - Ministry of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development

Hillary is a Registered Professional Planner with Canadian Institute of Planners and the Planning Institute of B.C. Hillary works with an inter-isciplinary team at the Ministry of Forests leading planning and engagement for caribou recovery efforts in northeastern B.C.  Hillary’s work focuses assessing impacts associated with caribou recovery plans and ensuring that all stakeholders and Indigenous peoples are involved in decisions about caribou recovery.   

Barbara Oke, Regional Manager, Health and Resource Development - Northern Health

[Barbara (Gauss) Oke] Barb Oke is a natural resource management professional with a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and Physical Geography and over 15 years’ experience working in areas where industrial activities intersect with environmental and health outcomes.  Barb Oke began her career in environmental consulting, where she largely worked for industrial clients to help manage their environmental liabilities and regulatory responsibilities. She began working at Northern Health in 2009, where she was able to combine her environmental background with the protection of health, initially managing the air quality program at Northern Health, before establishing the Office of Health and Resource Development in 2014. The Office of Health and Resource Development is a unique body within the health authority that focuses on better understanding, assessing and managing health aspects associated with resource development projects. She works collaboratively with communities, industries and other partners to find common sense and practical solutions to improve how health is considered and incorporated into industrial projects.

Rick Palmer, President - Palmer Environmental Consulting Group Inc

Rick Palmer is the President and CEO and Senior Fisheries Biologist at Palmer. Rick has over 25 years of experience undertaking and managing fisheries inventories and aquatic impact assessments for a wide range of private and public related projects across Canada. He has extensive experience with baseline/impact fish and fish habitat assessments as they relate to mining, hydroelectric and water supply developments. Rick has been involved with the design, permitting and construction of many Fish Habitat Offsetting Plans and is with us today to discuss ways of streamlining your project approvals with DFO.


Christa Pellett, Vice President, Minerals - Geoscience BC

Christa joined Geoscience BC in 2007 as a Project Geologist and Communications Coordinator. Her role evolved, and she previously held the position of Project Coordinator before being appointed Vice President, Minerals in April 2019. Her role includes project agreement administration, technical project oversight, and identifying, designing and encouraging proposals for new research projects that fulfill Geoscience BC's vision and mission.

Prior to Geoscience BC, Christa completed a Master of Science in Geology in 2008 from Simon Fraser University and she also worked as a Research Assistant in the Uranium-Lead Geochronology Laboratory at the Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, at the University of British Columbia.

Ray Proulx, Senior Coordinator, Environmental and Social Responsibility - Teck Coal Ltd.

Ray Proulx is a long time resident of Northeast BC and has spent the bulk of his professional career working to help communities immersed in the realities of resource driven-economies become more resilient.  He joined Teck Coal in 2010 to assist the Quintette mine restart project with the establishment of solid working relationships amongst its regional communities of interest.  Today, Ray continues to fulfill this role while managing environmental compliance for the Quintette mine, which still remains in care and maintenance.  Even as a busy father of 4 girls, Ray still finds time to write, record and perform with his band Downwater Union.


Rob Stevens, Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Policy - Association for Mineral Exploration 

Rob joined AME as the Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Policy in August, 2018. Rob brings a diversity of experience to AME from his time in industry, academia, associations and government. He is a professional geologist who was most recently the Director of Partnerships and Learning at the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI). At CIRDI, Rob worked with developing country governments to support policy development and technical capacity building around the sustainable management of mineral resources, including areas such as mine closure and environmental impact assessment. Prior to that he was the Associate Dean of Natural Resources at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and a faculty member and head of the Mining and Mineral Exploration department. He is the author and publisher of the best-selling book ‘Mineral Exploration and Mining Essentials’ that provides a comprehensive overview of the minerals industry.

Dr. Stevens has been actively involved with AME for the past 17 years. He was a director from 2001 to 2018, Chair of the board from 2008-2010 and a member of several committees. In 2011, Dr. Stevens was awarded the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia’s premier award for professional geoscience, the C.J. Westerman Memorial Award, for his significant contribution to professional geoscience. In 2013 he received the Gold Pan Award from the AME for exceptional meritorious service to the mineral exploration community.

Lisa Verbisky, Associate Dean, Academic and Vocational Programs - Northern Lights College

Lisa Verbisky has been with Northern Lights College for 19 years and is currently the Associate Dean of Academic and Vocational programs.  The activities related to this position are broad, with strategic planning and program development being most relevant to this event.  Recent program development projects include programs relating to environmental stewardship and an engineering certificate.

Lisa’s career started as a field biologist working on large projects across Canada.  Examples of field projects include employing salmon conservation strategies in Quebec, working on a large biodiversity project studying denning habits of northern flying squirrels in northeastern Alberta, and comparing fire disturbance to harvest disturbance in northwestern Alberta.  After enjoying many years doing field work, Lisa started instructing related courses at Northern Lights College including ecology, botany, forest science, soil science, and land reclamation.

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