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New hires announced as part of Smart Energy Strategy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014   by: Staff
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) today announced four new jobs supporting the implementation of the Smart Energy Strategy for Sault Ste. Marie.

Leslie Smith is the Smart Energy Business Strategist, focusing on developing the Smart Energy Strategy brand, investigating opportunities and supporting energy projects that are strategic to the Algoma region.

Leslie brings over 20 years of experience from the energy and utility industry, having worked for Ontario Hydro, Hydro One, Hydro One Remote Communities, and Brookfield Renewable Energy.
Qing Wen, Smart Energy Technician, is responsible for providing direct technical assistance to energy projects as well as policy and regulatory guidance.

Qing holds a PhD in chemistry and has over six years of work experience in the energy sector with projects on fuels, biofuels, oil sands and water science with organizations including CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada, and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta.
Christina Coutu is the Smart Energy Strategy Special Events Project Manager.

In this role, Christina is responsible for planning, coordinating and managing the Smart Energy Conference to be held in Sault Ste. Marie. 

Christina has over 10 years of recruitment, event planning, marketing, finance, and labour development experience, from positions with Sault College and Manulife Financial.   
Michael Degilio, Smart Energy Researcher, is responsible for working with businesses in the region to identify opportunities and challenges with the intent of developing more business, advancing collaboration, and developing new technologies, with special focus on the Smart Energy Strategy and Sector Improvement Strategy.

Prior to joining SSMIC, Michael worked as an electrical engineer at SUNLab at the University of Ottawa doing research in solar cell modeling, solar tracking systems and setting up a test bed for solar thermal equipment testing.
"Sault Ste. Marie possesses unique advantages that appeal to innovative energy companies,” said Tom Vair, executive director, SSMIC. “The community has a great track record for supporting these companies and we have assembled an excellent team to help drive further growth and create new jobs.”
The Smart Energy Strategy is a project built with local, regional and international collaborators, and will position Sault Ste. Marie and region to take advantage of opportunities in the emerging smart energy sector.

Project partners include numerous local private sector energy companies, SSMIC, Sault Ste. Marie Public Utilities Commission (PUC), City of Sault Ste. Marie, Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) and Sault College.
“We are very excited to have a multidisciplinary team with extensive sector experience and exceptional creativity,” said Jason Naccarato, VP Development, SSMIC. “The efforts of these talented individuals will be instrumental in accomplishing our region's goals.”
This project enables the community and region to diversify the economy and continue its momentum in the alternative energy space.
A process began with the Destiny Energy Committee to form an Alternative Energy Task Team which created a strategic framework as a foundation for the alternative energy strategy.

The goal of the Task Team was to look at the Alternative Energy sector and begin to map out a process to think more strategically and align community activities in order to grow this promising sector.
For more information, please contact Diana Medaglia, Marketing and Communications Manager at 705.942.7927 x. 3138 or


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
pastoutla 1/14/2014 11:05:01 AM Report

I know this comes on the backs of taxpayers with absolutely no ROI.Which level of ( government ) came up with one?
Phaedrus 1/14/2014 11:22:41 AM Report

Perhaps they could start off by tasking this team of experts to advise our local PUC on the best methods for keeping the lights on?

Before we get to 'smart' energy, perhaps we should endeavor to perfect the concept of 'reliable' energy!

(spoiler alert - buried power lines)
soowat 1/14/2014 1:27:18 PM Report


Wouldn't it be prohibitively expensive to dig holes deep enough to bury those poles with the wires on them?

Yes' I am being facetious
anapeg 1/14/2014 4:57:06 PM Report

Soowat; Put the poles in upside down. Don't have to go nearly as deep and makes it easier for the to find the wires later.
wife 1/14/2014 6:27:45 PM Report

Create all the smart energy you want while you are at it get real smart and bring the PRICE down.
wife 1/14/2014 6:34:49 PM Report

Forgot to ask why did you not hire some bright YOUNG PEOPLE instead of a person who has worked for 20 years somewhere else? This person is almost ready to retire. Give the young a chance. These are tax dollars you are giving out give them to local people who are trying to build a career.
HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/14/2014 7:20:47 PM Report

I like smart things...and this says 'Smart Energy', which sounds great!

This probably involves our community taking better advantage of the natural energy offerings our sweet spot on the map has available and ensuring zero energy bills for all for many years to come! I'm sure of it now, actually!
pastoutla 1/14/2014 7:46:40 PM Report

Howaboutsomelogic.....Try some intelllijent lodic !!!
HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/14/2014 8:27:41 PM Report

Well when I do that I conclude these new hires are a total waste of taxpayer funds.
Gotta go with the odds (99.9999999% in this case).

Happy, now?

What, you think Self Government would be more productive? You need a community based on mutual respect and trust first, don't you?

When I hear how you were 'watching the news' and 'learned' Bieber's house was raided today and Chris Christie is like, the worst evar I lose any faith I had that you've got my back.
Dara 1/15/2014 8:49:10 AM Report

These 4 have got to be costing at least $150k a year each.
Plus benefits.
Can we afford that?

Will it ever pay off to taxpayers?
derek 1/15/2014 10:16:17 AM Report


Think like a Liberal.

All money goes around and they pay taxes they collect and put back in..around and around..

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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