Advisory Board

Cathy Brothers

Executive Director in Residence, Capacity Canada

Cathy Brothers

After completing an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, Cathy received the degree of Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University. Cathy’s 40 years of social work practice have included senior management roles at Homewood and St. Mary’s hospitals, and Mosaic Counselling & Family Services. Cathy taught social policy courses for over 20 years in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Guelph.

Presently, Cathy is a member of the Barnraisers Council and the Board of Directors at St. Jerome’s University. In addition to being a founding member for several social service organizations, Cathy’s community service has included board membership with the Rotary Club of Kitchener-Westmount, Family Service Ontario, Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services, and St. Mary’s General Hospital. She is an Honorary Senior Fellow at Renison College.


Bill Demers

Senior Audit Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Bill Demers

Since starting his career the firm in 1981, Bill has had the unique opportunity to work with a number of clients in various industries and cities during his 28 years with the firm. Having returned to the K-W office in 2008, where he started, Bill currently leads the firm’s Cleantech initiative in Southwestern Ontario. Cleantech is the umbrella term for the range of technologies, goods and services that minimize or eliminate the environmental impact of economic activity and form the basis of the corporate response to climate change. As Cleantech leader, Bill is active at Ernst & Young in working with clients to promote the fact that sustainability isn’t simply good business behaviour, it’s good for businesses too. He is a firm believer that for an organization to improve its performance and achieve its potential, its activities must be sustainable in the long term. Bill has been working with companies to adapt to and identify risks associated with a carbon-restricted economy.

Bill is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University (Hons B.B.A.) and a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Institute of Ontario.


Steve Farlow

Executive Director, Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship Wilfrid Laurier University

Steve Farlow

Steve Farlow has served as the first Executive Director of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship since joining Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business & Economics in 2002. Prior to joining Laurier, Steve ran his own business, Superior Safety, for 12 years. Based in Waterloo, the company distributed occupational health and safety products from branches across Canada. Sales grew to over $25 million and he sold the company in 2002. Early in his career he worked for divisions of Rio Tinto Zinc Corporation and later, Derlan Industries.

Steve is an investor and advisor to a number of early stage companies. He currently serves on the boards of Communitech Technology Association, Canadian Youth Business Foundation, Lutherwood, and Michelin Development (Canada) Inc.


Mayor Brenda Halloran

Mayor, City of Waterloo

Mayor Brenda Halloran

From the time she moved to Waterloo in 1964, Brenda Halloran has continually worked to better her community. After earning her diploma at Conestoga College, she began her career as a Registered Nurse. From there, she graduated from Waterloo’s Conrad Grebel College with a certificate in conflict resolution. Leading up to her Mayoral campaign, she worked in conflict resolution with the Canada Revenue Agency, and in December 2006, she became Mayor of the City of Waterloo.

As Mayor, Brenda Halloran has introduced a number of innovative initiatives to the community, including the formation of the Mayor’s Student Advisory Council, as well as local forums to address challenging issues such as local health care and inclusion. Mayor Halloran has been a strong advocate for supportive housing in the Region, takes part in many environmental initiatives and most recently the Mayor has championed the Bracelet of Hope Campaign and joined their efforts to end HIV/AIDS in Africa.


Rahim Hirji

Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Canadian Division, Manulife Financial

Rahim is responsible for all the Division’s financial matters, including Actuarial, Controllership and Taxation functions. During his 13 year tenure with Manulife, Rahim has held a variety of roles, and was appointed to his current role in April 2007. Prior to that, he headed Manulife’s Asset Liability Management (ALM) team, ensuring that Manulife has effective risk management strategies for its global businesses.

Prior to his work in ALM, Rahim was involved in various financial modeling initiatives in the Business Development unit, an area that works on acquisitions, divestiture, and new strategic initiatives. He has also previously held various financial and actuarial roles in the U.S. Division and the Canadian Division.

Rahim is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and the Society of Actuaries, a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from University of Waterloo.


Dr. Jatin Nathwani

Ontario Research Chair in Public Policy and Sustainable Energy Management, Faculty of Engineering & the Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo Executive Director, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy

Jatin Nathwani

Dr. Nathwani has extensive experience in the energy sector at the corporate level focusing on strategy, business planning and policy development with contributions to the evolution of the electricity industry structure. His experience includes regulatory affairs, and environmental health and safety fostering innovation through strategic R&D.

Recently, as a member of the Ontario Smart Grid Forum, he helped shape the vision for the evolution of the Ontario grid. He has also been a contributor to the development of Ontario Power Authority’s ‘Integrated Power System Plan’ focusing on environment and sustainability. He also spearheaded the first major conservation and demand management initiative that involved the largest North American pilot test of consumer propensity to conserve energy that enables reduction in energy use through “real time-feedback” of energy consumption. Over the past two decades, Dr.Nathwani led the formulation and development of ‘The Life Quality Index’- an innovation gaining increasing acceptance in risk analysis for use as an effective policy tool for managing life safety risk under the constraint of scarce resources.

Dr. Nathwani has authored or co-authored four books, and over 70 reports and technical publications related to energy and risk management.


Derek Satnik

Managing Partner, Mindscape Innovations

Derek Satnik

Derek Satnik, the KW Chamber of Commerce’s 2008 “Entrepreneur of the Year”, manages the “green team” at Mindscape Innovations, the 2008 Gowlings “New Business of the Year”, which provides core enabling services to both the green building sector and the renewable energy sector: from feasibility studies to renewable energy system solutions to processing grants and incentives to certifying ENERGY STAR or LEED buildings.

Derek is versed in green building and renewable energy policy from his many board and committee seats at the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA), Green Energy Act Alliance, Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition (NZEHC), or the more local Community Renewable Energy Waterloo (CREW) or Local Initiative for Future Energy Co-op (LIFE), and more. Derek continues to play a key role in defining green housing programs such as ENERGY STAR, LEED, Solar Ready, and Net-Zero, and is a recognized expert in green buildings and renewable energy policy.


Ken Seiling

Chair, Regional Municipality of WaterlooKen Seiling

Ken Seiling is a life long resident of Elmira. Ken was first elected as the Regional Chair in 1985 after serving as Mayor and Councillor in Woolwich Township. He is now serving his ninth term as Regional Chair. Prior to becoming Regional Chair, Ken was a high school teacher and a museum director. Ken and his wife Kathryn have five children and seven grandchildren. He is a history buff and church musician.


Rosemary Smith

CEO, Kitchener and Waterloo Community FoundationRosemary-Smith-Headshot

Rosemary Smith grew up with a spirit of community and a commitment to it.

She first became a resident of Kitchener-Waterloo in 1970 and after a successful career at The Mutual Life of Canada (now Sun Life) she joined The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) in 2001. As their CEO, she works to encourage cross-sectoral leadership and collaboration to in an effort to take this community from good to great.

Rosemary has strong ties to community foundations, as she has served previously on the Board of Directors of The KWCF and on the Board of the Cambridge & North Dumfries Community Foundation. Most recently, Rosemary joined the Waterloo Regional Police Services Board, but has also held leadership roles on many organizations such as Chair of The Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and has served on many boards such as the K-W YWCA and K-W Big Brothers.

Rosemary has also had had the honour of being recognized as a Woman of Distinction in the area of business by the Cambridge YWCA, and was named as Kitchener-Waterloo’s Citizen of the Year for 2009.


Dr. Steven Young

Associate Professor at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, University of Waterloo Steve Young

Steven B. Young is an associate professor at the University of Waterloo. He was interim director of the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise, and Development from 2009 to 2010, and is co-director of the undergraduate Environment and Business program. His research focuses on corporate social responsibility, industry supply chains, and approaches to assess product and material system sustainability. He teaches courses on environment and business, environmental management,  sustainability auditing and enterprise carbon management.

Dr. Young holds degrees from University of Alberta and University of Toronto. He has published in popular and academic journals on research in corporate responsibility, life-cycle assessment, carbon footprinting, GHG management, and sustainable materials management.  He has travelled widely in both the north the Global South, and actively enjoys nature with his family.  Dr. Young served on Sustainable Waterloo Region’s Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012.


Carl Zehr

Mayor, City of KitchenerCarl-Zehr

Carl Zehr became Mayor of the City of Kitchener in 1997 and is Kitchener’s longest serving mayor. Carl’s earlier service as a City Councillor for nine years, and his current, seventh term as a Regional Councillor, reflect his longstanding commitment to his community.

Carl serves on many boards and committees including Toronto Region Research Alliance, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro and University of Waterloo. As an active member, and past chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayors’ Caucus, he meets with government officials and industry representatives to highlight municipalities’ opportunities and challenges, particularly those related to infrastructure.

In his professional life, Carl has a Fellow designation as a Certified General Accountant.