33rd Annual Emerald Awards Judges

Each year, the Emerald Awards shortlist, recipients, and finalists are chosen by a third-party panel of volunteer judges. The judges bring expertise from various sectors across Alberta, helping to ensure a fair and equitable process.

Meet the judges who have volunteered their time and expertise toward this integral part of the Emerald Awards.

Wendy Coons

​​Wendy Coons is a Sustainability Performance Specialist with Cenovus Energy. Wendy has worked within the energy industry in Canada and the financial industry in Australia. Over the past 20 years, Wendy has helped implement software systems and processes to track and report on environmental data, as well as help establish sustainability strategies and programs.  As a Chartered Professional Accountant, her focus is on preparing and presenting ESG data to inform and drive continuous improvement in environmental and social performance within her organization.

ruth desantis

Ruth DeSantis has over 15 years’ experience working in the environmental field as a Researcher, Business Development Officer and currently as a Corporate Environmental Specialist at The City of Calgary. She resides in Treaty 7 territories and is grateful for all that it provides. She’s IAP2 certified in Public Participation, holds a Master’s degree from the University of Guelph in climate change adaptation and considers herself a lifelong learner.

Kelsey Dokis-Jansen

Kelsey Dokis-Jansen is Anishinaabe and a PhD student in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. Her research is focused on Indigenous governance, community development, and land-based conservation and research practice. 

Kelsey’s initial post-secondary and professional background was focused on Environmental Technology, working primarily on environmental and cultural assessments on and near First Nations lands in southern Alberta. Kelsey has always been driven by a desire to see Indigenous peoples as fully engaged partners in the management of land in their territories, bringing together the wisdom of traditional knowledge with the tools of science to understand and care for the land.

Kelsey has held numerous positions at the University of Alberta since 2008 giving her a wide range of research, policy, and administrative experience across multiple faculties and administrative units, with a particular focus on community-engaged research and policy development.

ANGELA LI

With over a decade of project management experience in academic settings, Angela Li has made a recent transition to the sustainability field. Presently, she serves as an assistant project manager at EcoAmmo, actively contributing to various high-performance sustainable building and carbon service projects. Angela possesses an in-depth understanding of green building certifications and a broad range of sustainability-related subjects. Her unwavering commitment to environmental excellence, combined with her extensive knowledge, makes her an invaluable addition to the judging panel for the Emerald Awards.

Michael Nemeth

Mike is a Senior Advisor, Agricultural and Environmental Sustainability at Nutrien as part of their Corporate Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations team. Mike is the global lead for Nurtien’s water stewardship efforts, with other focus areas of climate, nature, and biodiversity, and the opportunities around system solutions between those portfolios. He is passionate about driving organizational and sector-wide change through collaboration and sustainability initiatives by providing expertise on environmental key issues and macro trends in helping to sustainably feed a rapidly growing population.

Mike’s background is in environmental science, sustainable development, hydrology, agriculture, climate change assessment and impacts, risk management, and government and Indigenous relations. Mike received his Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Environmental Science and his Master of Science with a concentration in Hydrology from the University of Lethbridge. 

Mike is also a Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) in the practice areas of Environmental Impact Assessment and Mitigation Planning and Water Resources Planning and Management and registered as an Environmental Professional (EP) with the ECO Canada Certification Program.

Tina Petrow

Tina Petrow is currently serving in her second term as a City Councillor for the City of Airdrie. She has served as Vice-Chair on Airdrie’s Environmental Advisory Board for the past three years and is also in her third year serving as a member of the Alberta Municipalities Sustainability and Environment Committee.

As the Chair of Airdrie’s Municipal Planning Commission and a sitting member on the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board, Tina strives to help our communities grow in sustainable, balanced, and responsible ways through innovative practices and traditional values.

Tina believes in empowering community members to live sustainable lives through tangible and easy practices. She is a champion for initiatives that promote edible landscaping and local food sustainability, water conservation and down to earth practices, that work with nature, instead of against it. She knows that our youth will always be our champions for the future, so involving them in these practices is vital to our communities. “

Jennifer Saldana

Jennifer Saldana is the Director, ESG Performance and Reporting at ENMAX. In her career, Jennifer has been an in-house expert in Canadian energy companies where she has integrated environmental, social and governance (ESG) management into corporate strategy and organizational performance tracking. Jennifer has also played key leadership roles in the development of annual ESG reports, as well as having driven a range of different climate and water strategies across organizations.

Based in Calgary, Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Calgary and a Master of Science in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University where she focused on sustainability reporting and environmental accounting.

Daniel Schiffner

Dan spent several years working in both health care and the oil and gas industry in Calgary prior to moving to Edmonton in 2018 to pursue a Master of Science degree at the University of Alberta. There, he discovered a passion for renewable energy and environmental sustainability as his research investigated the economics of repurposing disused petroleum wells for geothermal energy production. Dan currently works at a consulting firm in Edmonton performing research and data analysis for projects and municipalities throughout Alberta. Outside of work, he enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and two young children.

victoria smith

Victoria (Tori) Smith spent 10 years in Management Consulting Advisory Services where she specialized  in providing support to public sector clients specifically in areas related to the environment and social  services. This experience included advisory support for clients such as Climate Change and Emissions  Management Corporation, Alberta Climate Change Office, Alberta Environment and Protected Areas,  GoElectric B.C., and Alberta Seniors, Community and Social Services. In addition to her advisory work  Victoria is a member of the City of Edmonton’s Family and Community Support Services Committee  focused on providing funding support to community-based organization focused on prevention. 

STEPHANIE BAILEY

Stephanie has over 20 years of professional environmental experience in Canada and the United States. She has demonstrated expertise in environmental and climate policy, sustainable program development, and ESG strategy as a member of industry, a consultant, an investor, and a leader in a non-profit organization. She completed undergraduate studies in biochemistry at Auburn University and geography at Louisiana State University and is currently pursuing an MBA in Finance through the Australian Institute of Business. Leveraging her passions for sustainability and technology development, Stephanie has recently taken on the role of Program Manager for Nuclear Development at Cenovus Energy.