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Appointee Biographies

Ontario Clean Water Agency

JOE PENNACHETTI

Joseph Pennachetti is a member the OMERS Sponsors Corporation Board of Directors where he is the City of Toronto representative, a Senior Fellow with the Institute of Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) at the University of Toronto, and Executive Advisor with the World Cities Institute and World Council on City Data. Mr. Pennachetti is the former City Manager for the City of Toronto and former Commissioner of Finance and Treasurer for the Region of Peel. His community involvement has included serving with Untied Way Toronto. Mr. Pennachetti is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Windsor.

MELANIE DEBASSIGE

MBA, ICD.D – Currently serves as a Director on the Mother Earth Renewable Energy Board that oversees the for-profit wind turbine corporation that is solely owned by M’Chigeeng First Nation. Melanie was appointed to the Ontario Clean Water Agency Board of Directors, in October 2013 where she was recently appointed as Chairperson of the First Nations Committee. In March 2018, she was appointed to the Board of Reconciliation Canada where she holds the position of Director/Treasure. Melanie completed the Director’s Education Program at the Rotman School of Management and is a certified corporate director which complements her Master’s in Business Administration. Melanie has been recognized by the Canadian Board Diversity Council in the Diversity 50 which is a list of highly-qualified board candidates. Melanie most recently has undertaken the role as strategic advisor to the National Energy Board of Canada.

MICHAEL THORNE

is a Municipal Consultant with over 40 years of experience in the planning, operation and construction of water, wastewater and solid waste projects. He started his career as Assistant Operations Engineer, Plant Operations with the Ontario Water Resources Commission looking after provincially funded water and wastewater facilities in Eastern and Northern Ontario. He then spent 15 years with the Ministry of the Environment managing the South Peel Water and Sewage System prior to joining the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, where he held a variety of senior positions with the Metro Works Department. Mr. Thorne graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering and completed a Masters of Applied Science in Sanitary Engineering at the University of Toronto.

RICHARD AUSTIN

Richard Austin has held a variety of positions, including Senior Legal Counsel with the Ontario Securities Commission, Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs for Money Concepts, Deputy Head of Compliance, Wealth Management Scotiabank and Counsel at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He works part-time as the General Counsel of Lending Loop. Richard was admitted to the Ontario bar in 1983 after receiving his law degree from the University of Windsor in 1981. He received a B.A (Honors) majoring in Economics in 1978 from the University of Toronto and an MBA majoring in Finance from York University in 1984. He has been a member of boards of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, Scotia Securities Inc. and the Association of Canadian Compliance Professions and the author of several courses and articles related to the securities industry. He currently is a member of Investment Industry Regulatory Organizations of Canada’s Hearing panel and the Administrative Penalty Tribunal of City of Toronto.

QUIRIEN MUYLWYK

Quirien Muylwyk is an Americas Practice Director for Water Quality for AECOM Canada Limited, and a former Canada Water Business Development and Technology Manager for CH2M Hill Canada Limited. Quirien’s community involvement includes serving as a lead task force member for British Columbia Water and Waste Association.

DEBORAH KOROLNEK

Deborah Korolnek is the General Manager of Engineering, Planning and Environment for Simcoe County. She graduated from the University of Guelph in 1983 with a Bachelors of Science in Water Resources Engineering, and has worked in municipal engineering for private industry and the municipal sector for 30 years. She is a past president of Ontario Public Works Association, a chapter of American Public Works Association and is currently a municipal representative on the South Lake Simcoe Georgian Bay Source Protection Committee. She began her career in consulting engineering, working in municipal water and wastewater. In 1991, she joined the Regional Municipality of York as a project engineer, and worked in several positions to eventually become the General Manager, Water and Wastewater, in 2005. She left York Region in 2008 to pursue a broader career in Public Works with the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury. She joined Simcoe County in April 2013. She has oversight of the Planning, Solid Waste, Roads, Forestry, Economic Development, Tourism and By-Law Departments.

AMY SYED

Amy Syed is an entrepreneur, kinesiologist and rehab professional with over 20 years of experience in both the public and private healthcare sectors. In recent years, Amy has ventured into the tech world, learning more about how innovations create equitable access in the global healthcare space. She developed the concept of FindyourHCP based on her firsthand knowledge working in these sectors both as a healthcare practitioner, employer and innovator. As Founder and CEO of FindyourHCP, Amy has been able to leverage her background in IT cybersecurity, governance, compliance and international risk frameworks to create robust technological solutions that will impact improvements in healthcare.

LAILA HULBERT

Laila Hulbert is a staff engineer for Qualcomm, and a former engineering intern for Qualcomm and Integrated Device Technology.

JOE FARAG

Joe Farag is a former Interim Chief Financial Officer for the City of Toronto, and a former Executive Director of Corporate Finance for the City of Toronto. His community involvement has included serving as a board member with the Toronto Portlands Company, and with the Toronto Investment Board.

HAO LI

Hao Li is a Chief Financial Officer for Canuc Resources Corporation, and a senior staff accountant for Ernst & Young. Hao’s community involvement includes formerly serving as a Board of Directors Member (Treasurer) for Peel Condominium Corporation 419.

NIKE DATTANI

Dr. Nike Dattani was born in Scarborough (now Toronto) Ontario to refugee parents from Uganda. He attended elementary school in Whitby and high school in Markham. While at University of Waterloo, he worked as a scientific researcher with many professors, including Bob LeRoy, and Ray Laflamme (then the Director of the Institute for Quantum Computing, and a former PhD student of Stephen Hawking). He completed his PhD at Oxford University while funded by multiple different scholarships, including the prestigious Clarendon scholarship which is the most competitive scholarship available to all Oxford applicants. While at Oxford, he won the Heatherington Prize for the best doctoral thesis presentation. He then held many research positions including (but not limited to) JSPS Fellow and Fukui Fellow at Kyoto University (Japan), Research Fellow at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (USA), and Banting Fellow at McMaster University. With a passion for protecting nature, an understanding of the challenges the natural world faces, and a spirit of ruthless optimism, Dolf DeJong has enjoyed an incredible career in the parks, conservation, wildlife protection and education field. Dolf began as Chief Executive Officer of your Toronto Zoo in September 2018, and his focus revolves around a commitment to raising the Zoo’s community connections to ensure we are working together to deliver on the new Strategic Plan to protect nature for future generations. Dolf has a Master of Environmental Studies from Wilfred Laurier University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Brock University.

MITCHELL ZAMOJC

Mitchell Zamojc has worked in the municipal field for over 40 years and as the Commissioner of Public Works for both the Region of Peel and the Region of Halton for 18 of those years. In addition, he spent time in Peel as the Director of Operations and the Director of Capital Construction. Mr. Zamojc has program knowledge in: water, wastewater, waste management, roads and transportation, engineering services, water revenue management, transportation planning, assisted transit, development planning and long range planning. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is a registered Professional Engineer.