About This Webinar
CWWA’s Utility Leadership Committee is releasing a guidance document titled, “Towards a Sustainable Utility” that addresses several challenges facing utilities and offers some best practises. This became the theme of our National Conference webinar series with each of our 8 technical committees hosting one webinar based on this theme.

So for this closing plenary, we want to facilitate a dialogue amongst senior water managers on how they ‘bring it all together’ balancing the many aspects of utility management.

The final webinar in our series is completely free!

Generously Sponsored by
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    Moderator: Prof. Joe Lyons
    Director of Local Government Program, University of Western Ontario
    Joseph Lyons is an assistant professor and director of the Local Government Program in the Department of Political Science at Western University. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of multilevel governance, local government, and public administration and policy. His recent book, Local Government in Practice: Cases in Governance, Planning, and Policy, is co-authored with Zachary Spicer and Kate Graham and published by Emond Montgomery in 2020.
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    Sponsor: Carl Yates
    Interim CEO, Atlantic First Nations Water Authority Inc.
    Carl Yates has extensive experience in the water utility profession having served as General Manager of Halifax Water from 1994 to 2019. After retirement from Halifax Water in July 2019, he formed his own consulting company, Yates Water Management, to promote and support sustainable water management. In June 2020, Mr. Yates was appointed as the interim Chief Executive Officer for the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority [AFNWA] which was formed to provide water and wastewater services to First Nations communities in the Atlantic region. The AFNWA represents an innovative approach for First Nations in their pursuit of self determination and reconciliation with the government of Canada and find a sustainable solution to pressing water and wastewater problems.

    Mr. Yates obtained a Bachelor of Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1984 and a Master of Applied Science from the Technical University of Nova Scotia [now Dalhousie University] in 1992.

    Mr. Yates received the AWWA George Warren Fuller Award in 2010 for exemplary leadership and contributions to the waterworks industry. In 2019, he was awarded the NS Engineers Sexton Gold Medal for exceptional achievements in engineering practice and contributions to society.
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    Francois Bouchart
    Director of Water Resources, City of Calgary, AB
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    Moira Geer
    Director Water and Waste, City of Winnipeg, MB
    Moira Geer is the Director of water and Waste Department for the City of Winnipeg. She oversees Operations and Capital investments in water, wastewater, solid waste disposal and collection, waste diversion, land drainage and flood control and the Office of Sustainability.

    Moira, a CPA by trade, has worked in the Water and Wastewater industry for 20 years. Moira has led a multitude of projects and programs such as Winnipeg Sewage Treatment Program, three Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrades, Residential Food Waste Pilot, just to name a few.

    Moira served on the AWWA Management Division for many years and participated in various Water Research Foundation Projects.
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    Cheryl Nelms
    General Manager, Project Delivery, MetroVancouver, BC
    Cheryl Nelms is the General Manager of Project Delivery for Metro Vancouver. She oversees a portfolio of major infrastructure projects worth over $6 billion for British Columbia’s most populated regional district, serving 21 municipalities, one electoral area and one Treaty First Nation. Previously, Cheryl was the Deputy General Manager of Engineering Services at the City of Vancouver, with 2,200 employees and $800 million in annual budgets.
    Cheryl is a professional engineer with more than 20 years of experience, including senior executive roles in the federal government. She completed a PhD in Civil Engineering (Project Management) from the University of British Columbia and has a proven track record in project and financial management, strategic transformation initiatives and world class operations in large professional organizations. Cheryl has deep experience in the implementation of major infrastructure projects, especially public-private partnerships. She has demonstrated leadership while collaborating with industry, academia and across governments and in negotiating complex agreements. Cheryl is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and frequently serves as an expert on inter-governmental committees of national interest.
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    John Presta
    Director, Environmental; Services, Region of Durham, ON
    John Presta is the Director of Environmental Services for the Regional Municipality of Durham. John has been a practicing professional engineer for over 30 years in the field of municipal and water engineering. He has worked in both consulting and municipal government.
    John is currently responsible for water supply and sanitary sewerage services for the Region of Durham which includes 25 systems and a service population of over 600,000. The value of the water and sanitary sewerage assets is currently $ 9.8 Billion. He is responsible for a current operating budget of $148 million and capital budget of $ 178 million. As the Director of the Environmental Services Branch, John has been on the senior management team for over 16 years and leads a branch staff of 330.

    John is a Fellow of Engineers Canada and has served as Chair of the Professional Engineers of Ontario-Lake Ontario Chapter. He sits on the Board of the Water Environment Association of Ontario as the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Delegate for Ontario.
    Public education for important environmental infrastructure projects and operations is of great interest.

    Outside of work John enjoys the outdoor environment including cottage activities and golfing.