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BCSEA 2018 Board Candidates

Friday, February 23, 2018

Dear BCSEA members,

It is my pleasure to introduce you to your fellow members who have been nominated to stand for election to the BCSEA Board of Directors.

Voting for BCSEA's Board of Directors candidates will commence February 28, 2018. By hosting the board election electronically, BCSEA hopes more members will have (and take) the opportunity to get to know the candidates and cast their votes.

Enjoy learning about our candidates!


Betsy Agar | Interim Board Chair, BCSEA Board of Directors


Lana Gonoratsky

Lana Gonoratsky is an experienced project manager and business development professional with a passion for sustainable development, renewable energy and environmental conservation.

Lana has been involved in the energy industry for over 8 years, and has worked on a diverse set of projects that range from environmental risk assessments and oil and gas reclamation, to business development for residential solar and utilities software. Today, she supports the growth and adaptation of distributed energy resources on our electric grid.

Lana has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary and an MBA from the University of Victoria, with a specialization in Sustainable Business through Copenhagen Business School.


Jim Jacobsen

The past 2 years I have been working directly in the sustainable energy field - Initially as a sales and business development contractor for Mesla Energy (a wholesale distributor of LED lighting solutions) and now as a solar advisor for Empower Energy Corp. 

The bulk of my professional experience has been in the Kootenays working in community and economic development (non profit and government sectors).  These roles included sales, event management, community outreach, education, policy development, strategic planning, advocacy and action. 

I have 20 plus years board experience as a director and employee answerable to a board. While the Executive Director for the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce, I served on numerous BoD’s, including ones holding charitable status.  Notably, Community Directed Funds Committee, Creston Valley Wildlife Centre Revitalization Committee, Community Sustainability Advisory Team, CV Tourism Branding Team, and the International Selkirk Loop.

I live in Creston, BC with my wife.  My two children are students at UBC in Vancouver.  I drive a hybrid, am passionate about the rural lifestyle, the 3 R’s, and the Winnipeg Jets.


Izzah KhanIzzah Khan photo

Izzah has been involved in sustainability and the energy industry since she started her undergraduate degree in Energy Management at the University of Calgary (2012-2016). During her time at school she was involved in Fuse Collective (student sustainability organization), Student Energy and World University Services Canada (WUSC). She was also chosen to attend GLOBE (a sustainability conference in Vancouver) as an Emerging Leader. She began a youth sustainability blog with a fellow student to talk about energy issues in Alberta during the oil downturn and also wrote for the Oil and Gas Magazine and Imaginea Energy.

Izzah graduated December 2016 and is currently working as a Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator in the Climate Policy Assurance Team and Alberta Stakeholder Engagement with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). Her team is following direction from Justin Trudeau’s Climate Leadership Plan in reducing methane emissions from the upstream oil and gas industry by 45%. Aside from her work she is on the AER’s Green Team, her team’s United Way Ambassador and volunteers with Connecting Environmental Professionals (CEP).

Izzah is planning on pursuing a Masters in Public Policy program in Vancouver, BC September 2018.


Matthew Klippenstein P.Eng.Matthew Klippenstein photo

Thank you for the opportunity to be considered for the Board of Directors of BCSEA. I’ve followed the organization for many years -- I purchased Guy Dauncey’s “The Climate Challenge” shortly after its publication -- and have long felt BCSEA’s grassroots strength across British Columbia distinguishes it from other environmental NGOs. To borrow from the Rocky Mountain Institute, BCSEA is less of a think tank than a “think-and-do” tank.

So when my career plans changed last year, making it possible for me to join and attempt to contribute to an environmental organization, BCSEA was a natural choice. Decarbonizing British Columbia will be an enormous, decades-long task, and while I have the greatest respect for thinkers, I’d prefer to serve the doers.

Professionally, I worked on fuel cells for about 15 years, then spent two years as a renewable energy consultant. (During these years, I gave a presentation to Metro Vancouver Waste Management committee proposing compost pickup at apartments and condos, and toured the Lower Mainland’s first net-zero house shortly after it was built.) Five years ago, I became the first person to begin chronicling the Canadian electric vehicle market, and recently joined the Fraser Basin Council to help them with their electric vehicle infrastructure efforts.

It’s not well known, but 50 years ago, Vancouver’s scenic False Creek was a highly-polluted and highly polluting industrial area. It’s now my turn to help with an even bigger clean-up, and it’s hard to think of a better group than BCSEA to offer my skills to.


Kjell LiemKjell Liem photo

A founding member and past chair of the Salt Spring Community Energy (CEG) group Kjell Liem has been active in the community solar movement since 2013. As project developer and manager of the Solar Scholarship Project for CEG and School District 64 (Gulf Islands) he oversaw the building of one of BC’s largest PV arrays. The energy bill savings at the school funds an ongoing renewable energy and climate change scholarship. Kjell has also been a key organizer of two well loved community energy conferences, a “flick the switch” launch event and the BC Community Solar Summit held on Saltspring in 2016. He is a Certified Community Energy Manager.

A researcher, writer, and BCSEA member Kjell published “A Field Guide to Community Solar” blog on the BCSEA website in 2016. He also made several submissions to the BCUC Inquiry into the Site C Project. Kjell is passionate about community based renewable energy and clean technology and wants to use his experience to help more communities create projects that impact our collective carbon emissions. Kjell owns a second hand Nissan Leaf and is a member of the Vancouver Electric Vehicles Association.


Vida RaminVida Ramin photo

Vida Ramin has 15 years of policy, advocacy, regulatory affairs and external relations experience with provincial and federal government agencies, the private sector and various non-profit organizations.

Ms. Ramin has spent most of her career working with a broad range of public, private and non-profit sector stakeholders to advance policy, regulatory and stakeholder engagement initiatives aimed at promoting environmentally sustainable and socially responsible resource development. The BC Sustainable Energy Association's (BCSEA) shared commitment to sustainability, combined with the ability to support the advancement of a cleaner energy future in British Columbia, is what motivated her interest in serving on BCSEA’s board of directors. 

In addition to her professional work, Vida has volunteered with a number of charitable organizations, in a variety of capacities, to improve social and environmental outcomes in the areas of wildlife and habitat preservation, water quality protection, foods security, waste management, climate change mitigation and female economic empowerment. Her experience with BC-based non-profits includes having worked with the Sierra Club of BC, Greenpeace Canada, West Coast Environmental Law, the GSX Concerned Citizens Coalition and Dress for Success Vancouver.

In 2010, Ms. Ramin earned a Master in Public Administration (Public Policy major) from the University of Regina’s Johnson Shoyama School of Public Policy. She also holds a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Environmental Science and Applied Management from Capilano University as well as and BA in Physical Geography from McGill.


Grant WatsonGrant Watson photo

Grant's first career was in software development where he held a number of management positions. The majority of his work was in the Vancouver area in application development and networking software.

His second career was in organic agriculture. He initiated a number of projects and businesses to promote and distribute local organic food. During this time he had considerable success with fundraising, for such projects as field trips for elementary school children, a Community Shared Agriculture pilot, food co-op, and a farmers' market.

He also has experience with organizing non-profits and charitable organizations, including Better Environmentally Sound Transportation, a Vancouver-based alternative transport advocacy, Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-op, BCARA, an organic farm certification body, and NOWBC Food Co-op.

Grant is currently back in school, studying Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology at Camosun College with the goal to work in renewable energy.

He is committed to working towards a more sustainable society.