Commission member biographies

Commission member biographies

The Alberta government, through an order in council, appoints members of the Commission

           

 

Mark Kolesar, Chair

Mark Kolesar became acting chair of the Alberta Utilities Commission on May 1, 2018, following six years as vice-chair. He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master of business administration degree in managerial economics and finance, both from the University of Ottawa. He has also been an instructor at both the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary on strategy development, financial management, management accounting and business planning and policy. Mr. Kolesar has been a Commission member since July 2008.

Mr. Kolesar’s experience in utility corporate costing and rate making spans more than three decades, and he brought extensive public utility financial technical skills and experience to the AUC. He has also had an extensive background working in the utility industry, in strategy development, project planning and execution, organizational transformation and utility regulatory change at both the provincial and national level.

Mr. Kolesar’s appointment to the AUC followed a career that included senior analytical, managerial and executive roles, focused on regulatory and public policy, with the Public Utilities Board of Alberta (the predecessor organization to the AUC), and in the telecommunication industry. Mr. Kolesar has also been an adviser to the government of Canada on regulatory matters and appeared before legislative committees of the Parliament of Canada examining the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act.

Since joining the AUC, Mr. Kolesar has been involved in a number of important AUC regulatory decisions, including several generic cost of capital decisions, the 2009 decisions on ENMAX formula-based rate making and the first generation performance-based regulation regimes, as well as substantial general tariff applications.

 

Tracee Collins, Commission member
Tracee Collins is a graduate of the University of California with a bachelor of arts degree in economics, and of the Fontainebleau, France-based INSEAD global business program with a master's degree in business administration. Ms. Collins is also accredited as a project management professional, and has been a United Kingdom-licensed securities and derivatives representative.

Ms. Collins has strong leadership, project management and community organization skills underpinned by significant experience in power, natural gas, finance, investment banking and audit management. She has built a diverse career including serving as president and chair of the board of a successful Calgary community association, a commercial director of a large independent power producer, a finance expert in a global energy company, and a manager of risk audit teams for a European investment bank.

Ms. Collins is professionally familiar with commercial contracts for gas and power, financial and economic modelling, utility market design, transfer pricing and has represented commercial interests in discussions with independent market operators. She is also an active contributor to community organizations that include the Calgary Homeless Foundation, the Calgary Stampede, and the Palliser, Bay View and Pump Hill (PBP) Community Association. Most recently Ms. Collins was appointed to the board of governors of Mount Royal University, for a three-year term.

Ms. Collins led the PBP Community Association through a financial and organizational renewal, after senior roles in finance, project management and generation portfolio management at independent power producer Calpine Energy. That followed project financing, project modelling, and risk mitigation with an international energy firm, audit-focused investment banking experience with Credit Suisse and a role as an international bank examiner with the U.S. Federal Reserve. She joined the AUC in March 2017.

 

Carolyn Hutniak, Commission member
Carolyn Hutniak is a graduate of the University of Alberta with both bachelor of arts and bachelor of laws degrees. A lawyer and member of the Law Society of Alberta since 1989, her early legal career was as a litigator, practising primarily in the areas of labour, employment and administrative law. Representing clients, she appeared before numerous Alberta boards and tribunals as well as all levels of the Alberta Courts.

Ms. Hutniak has extensive evidence-based adjudicative tribunal experience built on a professional development, adjudicative quality control and administrative law background. She has served as a public member of hearing tribunals under Alberta's Health Professions Act, which examined and determined complaints against health professionals regulated under that legislation.

Immediately prior to joining the AUC, Ms. Hutniak served as an appeals commissioner and hearing chair with the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation for more than 12 years. This role included proceeding preparation, management and oversight, legislative and regulation interpretation, and decision writing across hundreds of written decisions. Ms. Hutniak's Appeals Commission experience also includes developing and delivering skill development and professional programs for both tribunal members and for tribunal staff as well as a two-year stint as the commission's performance management project co-ordinator. In that role, she developed and implemented a comprehensive quality control program for adjudicators, developed training and orientation programs, as well as a commissioner's handbook for tribunal members, all with a goal of ensuring timely, principled and fair decisions.

Prior to her tenure with the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation, Ms. Hutniak practised exclusively as a non-partisan administrative law and tribunal management consultant to a diverse range of disciplinary, regulatory and rights based tribunals throughout Alberta. In that role, her activities included providing advice on matters of legislative interpretation, drafting reasons and decisions at the direction of tribunal panels as well as developing and delivering educational seminars for judicial, legal, industry and lay audiences on a variety of administrative law topics.

 

Neil Jamieson, Commission member
Neil Jamieson is a graduate of the civil engineering program, and the senior executive fellows program, of the University of Alberta. Mr. Jamieson is also a certified local government manager.

Mr. Jamieson has worked as a senior-level professional engineer and manager, with a focus on infrastructure, public works, the environment and public utilities, for nearly 30 years.

Mr. Jamieson joined the AUC from the City of St. Albert, Alberta, where he was the general manager of planning and engineering. Since 1986, his oversight and expertise has been applied in three provinces and territories working largely at the municipal level - both urban and rural - and included planning and development (including land-use planning) and responsibility for drainage, water, sanitary and solid waste utilities, consultation and interaction with community and other stakeholder groups, and liaison with governments at the provincial and federal levels. Mr. Jamieson has also worked in three separate Canadian jurisdictions as a consultant project engineer centred on design, contract administration, construction inspection and surveying for civil and municipal engineering projects.

In Alberta, Mr. Jamieson has significant experience dealing with regional utility commissions and a working familiarity with provincial quasi-judicial tribunals in the fields of development and municipal government. He has had first-hand working exposure to the province’s major publicly-owned and privately-owned transmission and distribution utility providers, generation companies and the electric system operator.

Mr. Jamieson is a member, or former member, of the associations of professional engineers in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Ontario. He joined the AUC in February, 2011.

 

Anne Michaud, Vice-chair
Anne Michaud has a master's degree in international trade law from Universite d'Aix-en-Provence, France, along with degrees in law and arts from the University of Ottawa. Her legal and business education is supplemented with training in securities, mediation and negotiations.

Ms. Michaud has an extensive professional background in tax and civil litigation, and transfer pricing. She has appeared before the Federal Court of Canada, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Ontario courts, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal and the bi-national panel of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Before joining the AUC Ms. Michaud was a tax partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP's Calgary office, specializing in transfer pricing. Ms. Michaud worked with Canadian and multinational energy exploration and development companies, oil and gas service firms as well as energy marketers and traders in establishing and defending their transfer pricing models.

During most of the 1990s Ms. Michaud was a Crown counsel with the Department of Justice, working in Ottawa and Vancouver, managing litigation related to the Income Tax Act, customs and trade, dumping, federal sales tax, bankruptcy, employment and regulation. She also delivered policy and legal advice as counsel to federal negotiators in discussion of treaties with First Nations and the Province of British Columbia.

Ms. Michaud joined the AUC in 2008 and has worked on many different types of applications, including facilities applications.

 

Joanne Phillips, Commission member                      
Joanne Phillips is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering, the University of Calgary with a master's degree in civil engineering, and the University of Alberta with a doctorate in mechanical engineering specialized in engineering management. Ms. Phillips was the recipient of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship and her work has been published internationally. Ms. Phillips is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, the Northwest Territories Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Ms. Phillips is a seasoned professional engineer with extensive experience in the utility industry. She has worked with, or for, such firms and organizations as TransAlta Corporation, the Alberta Research Council, the Power Pool of Alberta, Shell Canada Limited, the Alberta Electric System Operator, AltaLink Management Ltd. and Northwest Territories Power Corporation performing a range of activities. Most recently, she led the engineering design team for a government-owned utility. This team designed and commissioned capital projects related to hydroelectric, diesel, natural gas, solar and wind generation facilities as well as transmission and distribution systems.

Ms. Phillips' work and education background includes a strong environmental dimension, including a specialization in engineering for the environment in her master's degree. Her contributions to the engineering profession have included supporting the compliance department of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. Ms. Phillips' expertise includes project management, engineering management, technology futures analysis and sustainable development. She also has experience in utility industry pricing and contracts analysis.

 

Henry van Egteren, Commission member

Henry van Egteren received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in economics from the University of Alberta and a doctorate in economics from the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining the AUC in 2012, Mr. van Egteren had been conducting research into and teaching microeconomics, regulation, environmental economics, and law and economics for close to 25 years, first at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and latterly at the University of Alberta, where he was an associate professor of economics.

At the University of Alberta, Mr. van Egteren's research specialization was in mechanism design applied to environmental economics, regulation, and law and economics, and his teaching focus was in welfare economics, public finance, the economic analysis of law, natural resources, mathematics and environmental economics. His works have been published in the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization; the European Journal of Law and Economics; the European Economic Review; Environmental and Resource Economics and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, among other periodicals.

Mr. van Egteren has also been active in the business, public administration and government spheres, with consultations or contributions to the auditor general of British Columbia, the University of Alberta Faculty of Business, the Alberta Treasury Department and the Alberta Department of Energy.

Since joining the AUC in late 2012, he has contributed to decisions in facilities, rates and markets-related proceedings, including performance-based regulation, electricity price-setting plans, and enforcement. Mr. van Egteren's expertise has contributed to the exploration and development of economic principles to help guide the AUC in producing efficient regulatory outcomes.

 

Acting Commission members, listed alphabetically by last name:

Merete Heggelund, Acting Commission member

Merete Heggelund is the chief administrative officer for the City of Medicine Hat, with an extensive background and experience in the energy sector, including in organizational and policy development and project and portfolio valuation. In her Medicine Hat role, she has an oversight role in the municipality's business units such as electrical generation, electric and gas distribution and upstream oil and gas exploration, development and production.

Ms. Heggelund is a graduate of the master of economics program of the University of Calgary, earned a bachelor's degree in economics and statistics from the University of Oslo in Norway, and is enrolled in the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors. She was appointed to the AUC in 2018 with a five-year term.

In Medicine Hat, Ms. Heggelund served as the commissioner of corporate services following senior advisory, business services, and administration roles with several oil and gas firms. She is the former director of economics for the Saskatchewan Energy Conservation and Development Authority, manager of forecasting and economics for TransAlta Utilities Corp., and senior economist for the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

Ms. Heggelund is a council member of the Standards Council of Canada and chair of the council's governance committee.

 

Koren Lightning-Earle, Acting Commission member

Koren Lightning-Earle is a Maskwacis-based lawyer and a member of the Samson Cree Nation in Alberta. She is the Indigenous initiatives liaison for the Law Society of Alberta, and operates her own law firm, Thunderbird Law, at the Samson Cree Nation at Maskwacis (formerly Hobbema), Alberta, in Treaty Six territory. The practice focuses on family law, wills and estates, Aboriginal and Indigenous law, alternative dispute resolution, governance and policy work, and strategic planning.

Ms. Lightning-Earle is a graduate of the University of Alberta with a bachelor's degree in recreation and leisure studies; a special bachelor's degree in arts from Augustana University College in Camrose, Alberta; and completed the program of legal studies for native people at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. She also received a bachelor of laws from the University of Alberta; and will be completing her master of laws degree with specialization in alternative dispute resolution from York University in Toronto, Ontario, in fall 2018. She is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and was appointed to the AUC for a five-year term in 2018.

Ms. Lightning-Earle has a strong background and current involvement in Indigenous law and legal affairs. She is a former president of Canada's Indigenous Bar Association, a former elected council member of the Samson Cree Nation and co-chair of the First Nations Women's Economic Security Council. Ms. Lightning-Earle is also a member of the National Indian Child Welfare Association, board member for First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and vice-president of Kasohkowew Child Wellness Society. She is a sessional instructor in business law, introduction to western law and Indigenous people, native insight and issues, and organizational behaviour at Maskwacis Cultural College.

 

Bill Lyttle, Acting Commission member

Bill Lyttle has a bachelor of science degree in biology, and a master of business administration degree in finance, both from McMaster University. He is also a graduate of the Treasury Training Program of J.P. Morgan International and the Company Directors Course of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Mr. Lyttle has expertise in understanding technical aspects of equity, debt, commodity, foreign exchange and financial derivatives market trading, as well as the regulatory principles used in the oversight of these markets. He has served as an expert witness for the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office and with the business conduct committee of the New Zealand Futures and Options Exchange. That experience complements a working history that included senior trading supervisory positions with the Bank of New Zealand, the Bank of Nova Scotia and CS First Boston N.Z. Ltd.

Prior to joining the AUC, Mr. Lyttle had spent nine years in a regulatory role with New Zealand’s electricity market surveillance committee, which applied trading and participant behaviour rules in that country’s wholesale electricity market. Mr. Lyttle also helped develop, establish and apply consumer billing standards during the deregulation of residential and small business electric utility service in that country.

Mr. Lyttle joined the AUC in 2008. His professional background in regulatory supervision, including oversight of competitive electricity markets, helped the AUC shape its principles of jurisprudence in its compliance and markets mandate, a new area of regulation for Alberta’s provincial utilities regulator.

He has also been involved in the development of wholesale market rules and much of the AUC’s work around the conduct of the independent system operator and the Market Surveillance Administrator.

 

Rick Robinson, Acting Commission member

Rick Robinson was the chief administrative officer of Lethbridge County until January 2018, and served in county roles for 24 years, including in as cost accountant, controller and director of corporate services. Mr. Robinson is also a retired member of the Alberta Rural Administrators Association. Mr. Robinson is a chartered accountant.

Mr. Robinson is a graduate with great distinction of bachelor of management program of the University of Lethbridge and a member of Chartered Professional Accountants Alberta. He also holds a certificate in municipal management and leadership from the University of Alberta.

During his time at Lethbridge County, Mr. Robinson, a Metis, took a two-year leave of absence to work as the chief financial officer of the Hopital Albert Schweitzer, in Haiti. Mr. Robinson was appointed as an acting AUC member in 2018 with a term that expires in 2023.

As an active supporter of the Lethbridge community, Mr. Robinson has also served in board positions at the Lethbridge Curling Club including president and vice-president, and as secretary-treasurer for the Southern Alberta Individualized Planning Association and the Lethbridge Chargers Soccer Club.

              

Bohdan (Don) Romaniuk, Acting Commission member

Bohdan (Don) Romaniuk has a bachelor’s degree with honours in economics from the University of Alberta, a degree in law from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in economics from Queen’s University. He has built expertise and experience in the fields of law, economics, regulation, corporate finance and commercial enterprise during three decades of work as a lawyer, corporate executive and builder of start-up companies.

Mr. Romaniuk is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association. He joined the AUC as an acting Commission member in October 2012.

Mr. Romaniuk has had significant exposure to and involvement with quasi-judicial regulatory bodies at the provincial and federal level focused on telecommunications and which operated in deregulating or deregulated policy environments. This included senior regulatory affairs oversight roles with Canada’s top-tier telecommunications firms, and with both public and private firms. His initial legal practice was centred on telecommunications, competition and administrative law. Since then, Mr. Romaniuk has served in senior executive, officer or board roles in telecommunications, advertising, marketing and promotion, wireless location, high-performance computing, and oil and gas. He has also published scholarly articles on competition law and telecommunications regulation, and has a strong interest in the interplay of and among central banking, international finance and global debt and equity markets.

Mr. Romaniuk is active as a volunteer in the community, in professional associations and in the not-for-profit sector. He has served on the investment advisory committee of a federally-chartered charitable foundation, the board of directors of the Calgary Opera Association and on the board of directors of the International Telecommunications Society, the latter of which he continues to serve as secretariat. Mr. Romaniuk is the president of the Calgary Ukrainian Canadian Professional and Business Association and in his leisure time enjoys fly-fishing and amateur astronomy.

 

John Whaley, Acting Commission member

John Whaley has a strong agricultural background, is the former long-time mayor of Leduc County as well as a former board member of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (formerly the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Councils, or AAMDC).

Mr. Whaley served as a director of the Alberta Safety Codes Council, a board member of the Agricultural Service Board, the audit and finance committee of Alberta's Local Authorities Pension Plan (including a term as chair), and as a counsellor, sat on Leduc County's financial audit committee. He was appointed to the AUC in 2018 with a term ending in 2023.

Until 2013 Mr. Whaley was an active agricultural producer, and prior to coming to Canada in 1990 he ran a mixed farming operation in England for more than 20 years. He received a diploma in agriculture in England, at Kirkley Hall Agricultural College.

 

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