Board of Directors
Velma Grover (Chair), United Nations University
Velma I Grover has a Masters in Environmental Management and a PhD in Wastes Management, both, from the University of London. She has extensive experience in the field of environmental management, dealing with both technical aspects and also “good governance” with focus on community participation at municipal level of government. She is an Adjunct faculty at Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, McMaster University and works full time at the United Nations University – International Network on Water, Environment and Health.
Stephanie Holko (Vice Chair), ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Improvement Group – Project Specialist – Utilities
Stephanie earned a Bachelor’s of Applied Science (Chemical Engineering) from the University of Waterloo, and subsequently a Master’s of Business Administration (Management of Innovation and New Technology Specialization) from McMaster. Stephanie currently works at ArcelorMittal Dofasco as an engineer in the Utilities Department, and with experience in project management, energy management, and industrial air emissions and waste water treatment. She is a past Vice-Chair of the Halton Region Environmental and Ecological Advisory Committee.
Kevin G. Hunt (Treasurer/Secretary), ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Scientist
A Hamiltonian from birth, Kevin has always been proud to be a citizen of the city. Kevin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from McMaster University. He currently works at Arcelor Mittal Dofasco as one of the corporate Energy Leaders in the Hot Mill Improvement Group. Outside of work, Kevin volunteers actively. Besides being a long term member of the AMD Lifestyles Resource Group, he is the Activity Day Chair for the regional Bay Area Science and Engineering (BASEF) Fair.
Brian Charlton (Past Chair), Former MPP and Ontario Cabinet Minister
Brian has been an activist all his life. He was the President of OPSEU Local 202 for seven years while working as a Property Assessor for the Ontario Government. He was a Member of Provincial Parliament for eighteen years. While in opposition he served as Revenue Critic, Environment Critic and Energy Critic. Brian was also in the Provincial Cabinet for five years as Minister of Financial Institutions, Minister of Energy, Chair of Management Board of Cabinet and Government House Leader. During his time as Minister of Energy, he and the Minister of the Environment created and implemented the Green Communities Program. Brian served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Green Venture, Hamilton’s green communities group. He is also on the Board of Directors of Green Communities Canada and serves on the Executive Committee as their Treasurer. Brian also provides professional services to peer helper labour adjustment committees, providing services and assistance to laid off workers.
Robert Korol (Member-at-large), Professor of Civil Engineering, McMaster University
Bob Korol has been a member of the Board of Green Venture for 12-years. He is presently Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at McMaster University and continues to work as a volunteer in that department and elsewhere, utilizing his knowledge in the areas of sustainable infrastructure, energy conservation and environmental preservation/enhancement. He is a registered P. Eng. in the Province of Ontario, and is a member and former Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering (CSCE). He has received several honours during his career – “Engineer of the Year” in Halton/Hamilton-Wentworth Regions in 1998, a life-time leadership award at the Annual Environmentalist of the Year dinner in 1999, and is a Fellow of both CSCE and the Engineering Institute of Canada. He was also one of the founding members of the Task Force for Vision 2020 in the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth in the early 90s, and continues to promote the principles adopted during that period, namely to invoke decision-making, as appropriate, based upon a balance among environmental, economic and social/health considerations.
Mark Stirrup (Member-at-large), Hatch Mott McDonald, Engineer
Mark Stirrup brings over 24 years of knowledge and experience in municipal water and wastewater engineering to Green Venture. Mark is currently a Senior Project Manager and Associate with Hatch Mott MacDonald in Burlington, where he is responsible for the management of combined sewer overflow (CSO) and sanitary sewer overflow (SSO) projects. Prior to joining Hatch Mott MacDonald, Mr. Stirrup was Manager of Water Quality with the City of Hamilton and the former Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth. Prior to this, Mark worked jointly for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and the Metro Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Mark is a member of several professional associations, including the Water Environment Association of Ontario, the Canadian Association on Water Quality, the Ontario Water Works Association, and the Canadian Public Works Association.
Romeo Palombella (Member-at-large), Pal-tech Consulting, P. Eng., B. Eng. (Civil)
Romeo Palombella graduated from McMaster University in 1973 and immediately started a career as a construction engineer. He then joined the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth’s Engineering Department in 1975. Romeo founded PAL-TECH ENGINEERING INC. in 1988. As a private engineering practice, Pal-Tech focused on environmental engineering and broad waste management disciplines, forensic engineering, expert witness services, risk assessment/mitigation, industrial/manufacturing processes, air emissions, and multi-disciplinary project management. A former lecturer on environmental programs at Mohawk College and Fanshawe College, Mr. Palombella also acted as an advisor to the curriculum committee both institutions. Romeo serves various community advisory groups, environmental committees, and professional/technical councils and committees and is the founding president of McMaster’s Engineering Alumni Branch.
Kayla Jonas Galvin (Member-at-large), Heritage Resource Centre, Heritage Planning Specialist
Kayla started her experience with Green Venture in high school as a co-op student. She went on to graduate from the University of Waterloo in Environment and Resource Studies with a joint major in Anthropology. Kayla works as a Heritage Planning Specialist at the Heritage Resources Centre, a research centre that specialises in built, cultural and natural heritage. Her professional experience has focused on the documentation of historic places including individual sites, heritage conservation districts and cultural heritage landscapes.
Sheila O'Neal (Member-at-large), Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program of Hamilton and Halton Conservation Authorities, Watershed Stewardship Manager
For the past 19 years Sheila has been employed in the field of conservation. Since 2006 she has been employed as Manager the Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program. Previously Sheila worked as a Watershed Stewardship Technician meeting with watershed landowners on their properties, providing recommendations to them for land management practices to improve water quality and habitat. Prior to that she was employed as a Landowner Contact/Restoration Technician for Carolinian Canada working with landowners in Beverly Swamp, Sassafras Woods and along the Grimsby-Winona Escarpment. She is a long time member of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and Bay Area Restoration Council. She graduated from Sir Sandford Fleming College as a Fish and Wildlife Technician. She has experience working as a Real Estate Sales Representative and as a Legal Secretary. She is passionate about the natural environment and helping landowners see how they can lighten their impact on the land.
Liz Enriquez (Member-at-large), Technical Analyst/ Organic Waste Leader (City of Hamilton)
Liz Enriquez studies Geography and Environmental Studies at McMaster University in hopes of implementing positive change in communities. At present, she is a technical analyst with the City of Hamilton’s Waste Management Outreach Team, working to improve composting systems in apartment buildings. Liz has an interest in community development, youth engagement, waste management and urban agriculture. She has actively participated in non-profit and volunteer organizations including Katimavik, The Sound of Music’s Eco Committee, and the Youth Advisory Committee with the Hamilton Community Foundation.
Amani Alfarra (Member-at-large), Hydrologist (Water Resource Management)
Ms. Alfarra is an expert in water resource management modeling and planning (basin-scale), and earned dual degrees in water resources management while living in Europe. In 2010, Amani earned a Ph.D. in Applied Geosciences from the Civil Engineer Department at Karlsruhe University in Germany. In 2004, Amani obtained a M.Sc. from the University of Twente’s Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation modeling Lake Naivasha in Kenya. The model identified competition over scarce water resources in the Basin and was used to simulate various policy options, and their effect on different socio–economic groups and the quality of the environment. Ms. Alfarra’s Ph.D. research involved hydrological modeling to support the evaluation of various water allocation scenarios in the Jordan Valley, such as the impact of droughts and climate change on water bodies. Amani has also investigated farmers’ willingness to pay for treated wastewater, and the socio-economic and biophysical factors that influence these decisions.
Ryan Parkinson (Member-at-large), Commercial Banking
After graduating from McMaster University’s H.B.Comm Program, Ryan has completed a Masters in Finance from Queen’s University and is currently a CFA Level 3 Candidate. He has experience in financial planning and analysis, credit writing and business banking. Currently, Ryan works full time with CIBC’s Commercial Banking Division and is part of the GTA West team. Previously, Ryan was employed with Canadian Tire Corporation as a Financial Analyst on the FP&A Team. As a volunteer, he was actively involved in various United Way Fundraisers and the Run for the Cure in the Hamilton and Burlington Communities.
Legal Advisor: Christine M. Lewis, Foreman, Rosenblatt & Lewis, Barrister & Solicitor
Christine M. Lewis received her LLB from the University of Western Ontario in 1992. Christine articled at Ross & McBride in Hamilton and was called to the Bar in 1994. Christine was born in London, England, emigrated to Canada as a child with her family in 1965 and was raised in the Hamilton, Burlington, Dundas areas. Christine attended Sheridan College, Mohawk College and McMaster University. She was a clerk for 13 years with the firm of Foreman & Rosenblatt (1976 - 1989) prior to attending law school at the University of Western Ontario. Ms. Lewis is a member of the Hamilton Law Association and contributed to the Real Estate Committee for several years and has also served as a Trustee on the Board of Trustees. Christine served 10 years as a member of the Committee of Adjustments for the City of Hamilton which adjudicates minor variance and severance applications in the City. Christine has been practising with Foreman, Rosenblatt & Lewis since being called to the bar in 1994 and became a partner in 1996.