Executive Advisory Panel
The Advisory Panel is comprised of global thought leaders and represents a diverse community of stakeholders and influential bodies. The role of the Panel is to recommend and advise the ERA Board on Grand Challenge award decisions.
The ERA Executive Advisory Panel brings a diverse and holistic viewpoint to the selection process during each Round of the Grand Challenge. This global and multi-disciplinary evaluation is essential to identifying the new and breakthrough technology pathways to create a carbon-based economy.
M. Elyse Allan
In her role as President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Canada and Vice President GE, Elyse is a passionate champion for Canada’s competitiveness, advancing the country’s science and technology base and competitive fiscal policy.
She actively engages in developing and shaping public policy through industry groups, research and advocacy organizations. Elyse serves on the Board of Directors for the C.D. Howe Institute and the Conference Board of Canada. As well, she recently completed her Board term at the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, where she also served as Chair. Elyse has participated on a number of federal and provincial government advisory boards focused on Canada’s competitiveness, energy strategy, economic development, transportation strategy and access to credit. Elyse works to advance innovation and entrepreneurism through her role on the MaRS Discovery District Board of Directors and the leadership council for Scale Up Ventures. She has been recognized as a Top 100 Women of Influence by the Women’s Executive Network, is a YWCA 2012 Woman of Distinction (Business), and by Maclean’s and Canadian Business Magazines as one of Canada’s most influential business leaders. In 2014, Elyse was appointed Member of the Order of Canada for her community engagement and achievements as an innovative business leader.
Elyse’s GE career began in 1984 and has spanned the US, Canada and several industrial and consumer GE businesses including aviation, energy and lighting. Her career outside GE included executive positions in the health care, energy and non-profit sectors.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where she studied Biology and environmental studies and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. An active alumnus, she currently serves on the Tuck School Board of Overseers. Elyse holds honorary doctorate degrees from Ryerson University, Saint Mary’s University and Royal Roads University.
David Beckman, P.Eng, is President and CEO of Zeton Inc., a company that specializes in the design and fabrication of pilot, demonstration and modular production plants for process development applications for customers worldwide. David was one of the founders of the company and has been involved with all aspects of the company’s growth from a small start-up business to the world leader in its specialty niche. He has been involved in process development applications for over thirty years, including pilot and demonstration plants for bioenergy applications, many alternative energy processes and new chemical processes. David obtained Bachelors and Masters of Applied Science degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Clive Mather is the Chairman of Iogen Corporation, a Canadian bio tech company that is the leading producer of cellulosic ethanol - a carbon neutral, renewable transport fuel. He works with governments and NGO’s on both sides of the Atlantic on energy and environmental issues. Clive also chairs Tearfund, the international Christian relief agency combating global poverty and injustice and Shell’s UK Pension Funds managing assets of some $25bn. He was a member of the Premier’s Council for Economic Strategy in Alberta from 2009 until 2012.
Clive retired from Shell in 2007 after a career 38 years which spanned all its major businesses, including assignments in Brunei, Gabon, North America, South Africa, the Netherlands and the UK. His last position was in Calgary as President & CEO of Shell Canada Limited, one of the largest publicly listed companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with operations across Canada. Under his leadership, the company embarked on a period of unprecedented growth. He took a high profile on environmental matters, presenting the business case for sustainable development through communications and example.
An advocate of leadership for good and corporate social responsibility, he has held many public appointments in the UK, including Commissioner for the Equal Opportunities Commission, Chairman of the Government/Industry CSR Academy and Deputy Chairman of the Windsor Leadership Trust. He lectures on leadership and learning around the world. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.
Mr. Porter is a member of the Kaska Nation whose traditional territory covers a large part of north-eastern British Columbia and south-eastern Yukon. His career includes journalism, politics, communications and extensive public service on behalf of aboriginal organizations as well as public governments in the Yukon, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Porter spent the first seven years of his life on a trapline near Good Hope Lake, B.C. His education included Lower Post Indian Residential School, F.H. Collins Secondary School in Whitehorse, Confederation College in Thunder Bay and Pre-Law at the University of British Columbia. Mr. Porter was founding Chairman of Northern Native Broadcasting, Yukon and was elected as Vice-Chair of the Council for Yukon Indians through two terms (1978-1982), holding several portfolios including Land Claims, Housing and Economic Development.
In 1982, Mr. Porter was elected to the Yukon Legislature and upon re-election in 1985 he served as Deputy Premier. He has also served as Minister of Renewable Resources, Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and Minister Responsible for Constitutional Devolution. After leaving the Legislature, Mr. Porter was named Executive Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, then Deputy Minister of Culture and Communications for the Government of the Northwest Territories.
In the 1990’s Mr. Porter served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for the British Columbia government. He later led the Fur Industry European Lobby on behalf of the Governments of Canada and the United States.
Mr. Porter was also the first Oil and Gas Commissioner in British Columbia, where he strived to build an open environment that would bring various interests in the province to a common table.
In 2002, Mr. Porter was elected Chair of the Kaska Dena Council, with a special commitment to preserve Kaska culture and create greater opportunity for Kaska youth.
Mr. Porter was first elected to the three member political executive of the First Nations Summit, the Summit Task Group, in June 2004, and was re-elected in June 2006 to a second term. The Task Group is authorized by the Summit to carry out specifically mandated tasks on issues related to treaty negotiations in British Columbia.
The First Nations Summit, which is comprised of a majority of First Nations and Tribal Councils in BC, provides a forum for First Nations in British Columbia to address issues related to Treaty negotiations as well as other issues of common concern.
Dave is currently the interim CEO for the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council.
Tony Van Bommel
Tony Van Bommel is the Senior Managing Partner of the Industrial, Clean and Energy (ICE) Technology Venture Fund for BDC Capital investing exclusively in Canadian companies and is located in the Toronto, Ontario office. A champion of the Cleantech sector for 15 years, Tony shapes BDC Capital’s investment direction. He oversees the $172M ICE Fund. Tony has been with BDC Capital since 2001 and held positions in the BDC Halifax, Nova Scotia and Vancouver, British Colombia offices. He holds or has held numerous Board of Directors seats and currently is working with Axine, Bit Stew, Regen, CarbonCure, Nexterra, Invixium and Vizimax, all emerging Canadian Cleantech companies. Tony was also recognized in 2015 as one of Canada’s CLEAN50 and as one of the World’s most influential environmental investors by the Journal of Environmental Investing.
Prior to joining BDC, he spent four years at InNOVAcorp, a General Partner for the Nova Scotia First Fund, an early stage knowledge-based venture fund, where he helped implement a venture capital program and provided assistance to emerging technology companies. While at InNOVAcorp he completed two secondments to Ocean Nutrition – completing a market map and market strategy - and to Dalhousie University – teaching courses in business strategy, building innovative companies and market strategy. For 10 years prior to this, he worked as a lawyer and partner in the business law firm, Little & Wright in London, Ontario. Tony has held multiple directorships in both public and private emerging growth companies across Canada and holds the CVCA “VC Deal of the Year award” for the funds exit in the sale Q1 Labs to IBM in 2012. He was also instrumental in bringing Radian6 to BDC Capital, the CVCA “VC Deal of the Year Award” winner in 2011 for the sale to Salesforce.com.