Annette Verschuren, O.C., Chair & CEO
Annette Verschuren is Chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., an energy storage development company. Formerly she was president of The Home Depot Canada and Asia, overseeing the growth of the company’s Canadian operations from 19 to 179 stores between 1996 and 2011. She also led The Home Depot’s entry into China.
Ms. Verschuren began her career as a development officer with the Cape Breton Development Corporation, a coal mining operation, in Sydney, Nova Scotia. She then worked with Canada Development Investment Corporation as executive vice-president, privatizing crown corporations, before joining Imasco Ltd., one of Canada’s largest holding companies in financial services, retail and food services, as vice-president, corporate development. Immediately prior to joining The Home Depot, Ms. Verschuren was president and co-owner of Michaels of Canada, a chain of arts and crafts stores, where she opened 17 stores in 26 months.
Ms. Verschuren is a board member of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston, Air Canada, Saputo and Canadian Natural Resources Limited. In addition, Ms. Verschuren is a board member of CAMH Foundation and the Rideau Hall Foundation and the MaRS Discovery District. Additionally, Annette Verschuren sits on the federal government’s Science Technology and Innovation Council. She co-chairs the Smart Prosperity Initiative which is mapping out a course to a stronger, cleaner economy for Canada.
In 2011, Ms Verschuren was honoured as an Officer of The Order of Canada for her contribution to the retail industry and Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2010, she was appointed co-chair of the 2012 Governor General’s Leadership Conference, Canada’s premier leadership training event.
A champion of community investment and volunteerism, Ms. Verschuren serves as Chancellor of Cape Breton University and chaired fundraising efforts for the University’s new Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & the Environment (VCSEE).
Ms. Verschuren holds honorary doctorate degrees from six universities including St. Francis Xavier University, where she also earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Annette Verschuren recently wrote a business book “Bet On Me”, leading and succeeding in business and in life, published by Harper Collins
Jason Rioux, Vice President & Chief Development Officer
Jason Rioux has niche expertise in gas and power interface and commercial matters. He has a proven track record in the development and operational stages of all forms of energy projects, especially when it comes to carving new paths through Ontario’s complex energy market, contracting, regulatory, and political environments. Previously the Director of Business Development for Thermal generation projects at OPG, Jason led a wide variety of business development initiatives, including the repowering of coal plants to natural gas (3,300 MW), new gas fired generation development, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and biomass generation development, partnership management of joint venture CCGT facilities – Brighton Beach and Portlands Energy Centre, advanced biomass research and development. Jason served as Commercial Manager of the Portlands Energy Centre, a 550 MW natural gas fired generation station located in downtown Toronto. He developed and led the commercial organization of this $730 million facility, with responsibility for all gas and power trading activities. Prior to these roles, Jason held many positions at OPG, in the areas of business development, strategic planning, and within hydroelectric, nuclear, and coal fired plant operations.
Ted Leonard CPA, CA, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Ted Leonard was previously the Vice President, Markets & Chief Financial Officer at the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). In that role he led the market design and development function for the Ontario wholesale electricity market overseeing developments which included: the integration of contracted demand response resources into the market; the starting of demand response auctions in Ontario; and the introduction of capacity exports. Ted worked with stakeholders across the electricity sector, including membership on the IESO’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee. Ted also oversaw all financial aspects of the IESO, its pension plan and the $12 billion+ market. Ted was a member of the Senior Management Team for over five years having also served as Vice President, Finance & CFO.
Prior to these roles, Ted held progressively senior financial roles at the IESO having started out in public accounting at Ernst & Young in Toronto, Ontario. Ted is a CPA, CA, holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Laurentian University, and is a proud native of Sudbury Ontario.
Jennifer Manning, Vice President & General Counsel
Jennifer Manning served as Senior Legal Counsel at Infrastructure Ontario, a world-leader in large infrastructure projects where she led negotiations of the Eglinton Crosstown project, Ontario’s largest public transit construction project in more than half a century. Jennifer was also the principal lawyer for Infrastructure Ontario and the Humber River Hospital project, one of Canada’s largest and Ontario’s first fully digital hospital. While at Torys LLP, one of Canada’s preeminent law firms, Jennifer was actively involved in a number of large transactions including Hindalco Industries’ $6 billion acquisition of Novelis Inc. and a $942 million financing of the Sithe-Goreway 870 megawatt generating facility. Jennifer holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa, and a Bachelor of Arts from Western University, where she received a gold medal for academic achievement. Jennifer also actively dedicates her time to the Board of Directors and Governance Council of the Fred Victor Centre, Torys LLP mentorship program of at-risk youth and the Women’s Infrastructure Network.
Katherine Peretick, Director of Engineering
Katherine Peretick has a diverse set of technical experience. Previously at General Compression, a high-tech compressed air energy storage startup company, Katherine led project engineering for the company’s first commercial project. She also found and evaluated new project opportunities and developed models to prove functionality, reliability, and profitability of the unbuilt machine. In prior roles Katherine was part of the leadership development program at Vestas, and a reliability engineer for the Mars rover, Curiosity, during her time at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Alexander McIsaac, Director, Business Development
Alexander McIsaac played a key role in completing NRStor’s first round of funding provided by Northwater Capital Management Inc. As a founding employee, Alexander has played a significant role growing the market, expanding the business and securing projects. Alexander leads NRStor’s relationships with technology providers and is responsible for leading the due diligence of technologies and initiating and managing relationships. He led the development and project management of NRStor’s 2MW / 500kWh flywheel project with the IESO, the first commercially contracted flywheel facility in Canada, and has worked with lenders to secure project level financing. He currently sits on the Board of Directors at Energy Storage Ontario and CAMH Engage. Alexander has worked in both the investment banking and venture capital industries. He holds a Bachelors of Science Honors from Queens University and an Honors Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Geoff Osborne, Manager, Business Development
Geoff Osborne has performed several key functions at NRStor since joining the Company shortly after it was founded in 2012. He is primarily focused on identifying business development opportunities, managing project development and construction, strategic planning, evaluating new technologies and business models, coordinating technical proposals, and conducting market research and analysis. Geoff has also worked with public and private sector stakeholders to help advance regulatory policy and enable the increased adoption of energy storage in Ontario. Geoff played a key role in the development and execution of NRStor’s first installation (a 2MW/500kWh flywheel energy storage facility) and currently manages commercial operations for the project. Geoff holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Prior to joining NRStor, Geoff held positions with a major Canadian hospital and private legal practice.
Shivani Chotalia, Analyst
Shivani Chotalia joined NRStor after completing degrees in green process engineering and business. Shivani has experience with engineering and financial analysis through her work developing biogas plants in Ontario and California, conducting polymer engineering research in China, and in investment banking within the energy industry. In 2015 she was selected as a Venture for Canada Fellow, one of the top 30 recent grads in Canada to have shown an aptitude for entrepreneurship and leadership.
Allison Blunt, Office of the Chair & CEO
Allison Blunt spent 10 years as Internal Communication Manager for Home Depot Canada prior to joining NRStor. Allison has held positions as Financial Analyst for BMO, Office Manager at Zeno Editions UK and Compensation and Benefits Manager for Zurich Insurance Canada. Allison volunteers her time with Lupus Ontario along with other members of her family.
Colton Martin, Accounts
Colton Martin joined the NRStor team in 2014. He specializes in small-business book-keeping and is now in charge of the book-keeping and accounts for NRStor as well as Energy Storage Canada.
Ron MacDonald, President, Remote Communities & Mines
Ron MacDonald brings over 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. He was a Nova Scotian MP in the Canadian Federal Parliament for over 10 years and served as Parliamentary Secretary for International trade in the Jean Chretien government. His private sector experience includes President and CEO of COFI, Canada’s largest lumber marketing group, as well as Chairing a number of companies the ‘Green Metals ‘ sector. Ron is the Team lead for market development in Indigenous remote diesel dependant communities and remote mine sites.
Mark Baggio, Vice President, Partnerships, Remote Communities & Mines
Mark Baggio has worked globally building new markets for Canadian companies in the renewable energy, energy storage and energy minerals sectors. He has led negotiations for Canadian companies in Japan, China, and throughout Europe in both the Vanadium Flow Battery and Lithium Ion Battery sectors. He has held management and Board positions in lithium, graphite, vanadium, rare earth and technology metals companies. Mark has introduced and negotiated for Canadian companies at international trade forums and symposiums, as well as led successful trade, political & capital raising missions throughout Asia, Europe & North America.