Board and Staff

Board Photo

Board of Directors

Chair: Réal Bouchard

Réal is a long time solar pioneer who has had the honour of working directly with some of the brightest minds in the industry. He has been a fixture in the Alberta solar market since 2006 (which in solar years equates to a whole lot more than 10!) where he has lead in various positions with a few different companies. His longest tenure was with Conergy, which at the time was a publicly traded multinational company where he was the director of operations & finance for Canada. Réal recently completed his MBA from the University of Alberta (Dec. ’15) where he focused his degree in the areas of strategic management and corporate finance. He is also an alumnus of St. Francis Xavier University.

Vice Chair: Jesse Tufts

Jesse Tufts is a mechanical engineer who lives and works in Edmonton. Jesse has a passion for renewable energy and electric vehicles which led to his involvement with SESA. You may have seen his electric Japanese mini truck or the solar powered Sourdough river raft he helped build at All Weather Windows.

Secretary: Karlie Nelson

As a graduate of the NAIT Alternative Energy Technology program and the Inside Salesperson at National Solar Distributors, Karlie is happy to be contributing to the growing renewable energy industry both as a technologist and a SESA board member.

Treasurer: Ron Kube

Ron is a research scientist, specialising in intelligent systems, and an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta. After graduating in 1997, he did his post-doc at a small Edmonton start-up company applying software to electric load forecasting on the provincial grid. In April 2000, he was invited by NASA to come to Washington to discuss the use of robots to build space power systems that deliver massive amounts of solar energy to the Earth’s power grids. It was there, he was impressed by the sense of urgency to develop a truly low-cost renewable energy option for baseline electric power on a global scale. His revived interest in renewable energy, after spending 17 years working in Alberta’s non-renewable energy sector, is what has brought him to volunteer with SESA.

Member at Large: Natalie Hilbrecht

Natalie is an Electrical Engineer who works in electric utilities with a focus on high voltage transmission. She developed an interest in renewable energy while studying at the University of Calgary, and on a study-abroad term in China where she got to visit renewable energy technology manufacturing plants and see how China was working to integrate renewables onto their electric grid. Natalie likes to keep busy and also volunteers for Festival City Winds Music Society and the Edmonton Area Land Trust.

Member at Large: Raquel Feroe

Raquel is a physician who enjoys writing about herself in the third person. She has an interest in fostering connections between healthy community, healthy environments, and healthy people. Current board work includes: Alberta Capital Airshed, Edmonton and Area Land Trust, North Saskatchewan River Valley Conservation Society, Alberta Environmental Network. She enjoys learning about the solutions solar power and energy conservation offers as she feels it is important to human health to transition from burning fossil fuels.

Member at Large: Greg Cole

Greg is the founding member of EnSegs. He started EnSegs to create simple ways for people to own and produce their own renewable energy. His home is powered by a 5.2kW solar PV system. Greg has graduate degrees from the University of Alberta in both education and business. 

Greg is the Chair of the Public Relations committee and the Personnel committee. He also sits on the website, seminar, and the strategic planning committees.

Member at Large: Gary Saskiw

Gary is an Engineer in Training with the firm FVB Energy where he provides consult on District Energy Systems. Solar energy runs philosophical parallels to the systems he typically works with; they both gravitate towards inexpensive, local energy sources that are readily available and have the ability to meet our society's sustainability goals. Its with this passion that Gary volunteers to increase solar awareness and to promote the widespread use of solar energy.

Member at Large: Elizabeth Andrew

Beth Andrew is a Renewable Energy Technologist working for Great Canadian Solar where she works in design and sales. Beth was a part of the first class to graduate from NAIT's Alternative Energy program. Beth believes that SESA offers an important link between the Alberta solar industry and the public, and that education is the best way to promote solar technology.

Member at Large: David Kelly

David Kelly, partner at SkyFire Energy Inc has been in the solar industry since 2001. He has been an instructor at Northern Lights College and guest lecturer at the University of Calgary. His credentials include an engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, professional accreditation through APEGGA and APEGBC, CANSIA member and solar thermal installation instructor. David also served three terms on the CANSIA Board. Married and a father of two, his home is partially powered by a 2kW grid-tied solar system and it uses solar thermal water heating.

Member at Large: Susan Petrina

Susan is a writer, designer and photographer with a degree in Sociology and is Constituency Manager for Brian Mason, MLA, Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood. She believes passionately in the power of community development and bringing people together to accomplish things. This philosophy guides her involvement with the Highlands’ Community League where she is Chair of the Facilities Renewal Committee, tasked with constructing a new, sustainably built community centre. Her combined interests in architecture, renewables and advocacy led her to work with SESA.

Member at Large: Mikhail Ivanchikov

Mikhail is one of the founders of Dandelion Renewables. He holds a Masters degree as Engineer-Physicist from Russia. He was responsible for valuation and managing due-diligence processes for large wind farms in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan worth over $1.2 billion of committed capital. While working on the development of large wind farms he realized the tremendous opportunities and values renewable energy has to offer. Since 2011 he has been happy to lead the Dandelion Renewables team that completed solar projects and energy-efficiency feasibility studies across Alberta and the South Pacific. You can find Mikhail basking in the sunshine, breathing the fresh wind and spreading the renewable energy values.


Executive Director: Rob Harlan

Rob is a NABCEP-certified Solar PV Installer with eighteen years experience designing and installing solar electric and solar hot water systems in the US and Canada. His experience includes grid-tied and off-grid photovoltaic systems, solar water pumping systems, small wind systems, solar hot water systems and solar home design. He has designed and taught courses in renewable energy technologies at several educational institutions in Canada and the US, and helped found four non-profit renewable energy societies in California.

Assistant Executive Director: Leon Milner

Leon can be described as an environmentalist and minimalist. He is finishing a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at the University of Alberta. Past projects include helping start the UAlberta Farmer’s Market, and founding the Faculty of ALES Undergraduate Association (FAUnA).

Webmaster: Russ Miyagawa

Russ Miyagawa is a non-profit swiss army knife providing administrative, communications, information technology, and technical services to environmental and community non-profit groups. He is an active member and Social Chair of the Queen Alexandra Community League, having previously served as Treasurer and as Publicity Chair. He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering, and an MSc in Environmental Engineering from the University of Alberta.

Bookkeeper: Tim Rose

Tim Rose has worked as an accountant for Enbridge Pipelines, a business manager for Edmonton Public Schoolboard and is now working part-time as a bookkeeper whilst completing his four year training (Nov 2015) to become a Feldenkrais practitioner (Awareness Through Movement, specializing in developing neuroplasticity in the brain).