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ACE Energy Team

Vicki Zinyk

Vicki Zinyk/CEO

General Manager North Parkland Power REA

 

Vicki is an innovator who has led energy change in Alberta for decades.

She started her career with Nova Gas Transmission, one of Alberta’s first major pipeline companies. In her 18 years with Nova, she moved through all parts of the company and helped to redesign the tariff to dramatically change how Alberta transports natural gas.

When TransCanada Pipeline acquired Nova to create one of the largest pipeline companies in North America, Vicki facilitated the business transformation.

She then moved to ENMAX, which the City of Calgary owns. At the time, ENMAX did not sell natural gas products. Vicki’s role was to change that. She built and launched natural gas products and services for homes and industry. She found ways to bundle services into one single, easy bill—an approach ACE follows today.

Vicki worked long hours managing mergers and acquisitions for ENMAX, looking for business expansion opportunities. She was instrumental in the development of Alberta’s first wind farm in 1993. Engineers constructed the turbines, and Vicki marketed renewable energy. With the City of Calgary, she launched RIDE THE WIND on the CTrain. The campaign let riders know that green energy was now powering the trains.

Vicki later joined the Thorhild County to run the district’s utilities division, which included a gas co-op. Additionally, she was the CAO of the Town of Bon Accord and is now General Manager of North Parkland Power REA Ltd., an electrical co-op.

“Co-ops are a different type of investment,” she says. “The people I interact with own the company. They’re trusting us with their dollars. You work every day to make a difference and provide a service they value and, at the same time, grow their investment.”

Vicki is also the CEO of ACE.

“There is nothing like ACE,” she says. “It’s very ethical and open and delivers a highly valued standard of service. We’re not a business talking to a consumer. We’re talking to our neighbours and friends."

Carl Beniuk / Chair

Carl Beniuk / Chair

Director North Parkland Power and Northern Lights Energy and Power

Carl is President of Craigend Recreation and Agriculture Society as well as a director of North Parkland Power, Northern Lights Energy and Power and Alberta Community and Co-operative Association.

 

He is a community leader involved in many local groups volunteering to help rural development wherever possible. He feels it is very important do to our part to improve our communities and the co-op model is the ideal vehicle to do this. ACE is the next step in the energy cycle; expanding our cooperative model and filling a market void.

 

After graduating from University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in Agriculture, he worked in the corporate world as an agronomist. A few years later, he came back home and took over the mixed family farm where he resides today with his wife Angele.

David Vonesch

David Vonesch/Vice-Chair

Chair SPARK, the Alberta Renewable Energy Co-operative

David is driving energy change in Alberta. In 2015, Calgary’s AVENUE magazine chose him as one of its TOP 40 UNDER 40, recognizing him as “a champion of renewable energy.”

David is a partner in SkyFire Energy, an industry leader that has designed and built more than 600 grid-tied, solar electric systems across eight provinces and territories.

He grew up near Olds, Alberta, on a mixed farm and in his youth worked in northern Alberta planting trees.

 

“The environment was always pretty close to what I was doing,” he says.

He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Alberta and briefly toyed with doing a master’s in renewable energy in Europe but instead moved to Calgary.

There he found a network of green businesses, including SkyFire Energy, which he joined in 2007, when solar was still difficult to install in Alberta. Micro-generators who wanted to tie in to the grid had to register with the Petroleum Registry of Alberta and then apply to the Alberta Utilities Commission.

 

“It’s become a lot easier and cheaper over the years,” he says. Equipment costs have dropped dramatically. The manufacturing process has improved. Worldwide, there’s more manufacturing capacity. And it’s free and quick to connect to the electrical system.

He sees renewables and co-ops as obvious partners. Co-ops give Albertans ownership, and renewables invite us to play a big part in greening energy.

Robert (Bob) Coppock

Robert (Bob) Coppock

Director Lakeland REA

 

Bob is a strong believer in the co-op business model for selling and delivering energy.

A veterinarian, Bob started his professional career in in his home state of Michigan in clinical pharmaceutical research for a large company. Next, he went into private practice in Michigan and Manitoba.

Bob has a PhD in toxicology from the University of Illinois and is a board-certified specialist in toxicology— one of two in Canada. He immigrated to Alberta in 1984 to lead scientific research and clinical investigations in toxicology with Alberta Environment at the Vegreville research facility.

In 2002, he set up his own specialty toxicology practice. Working from home on his quarter section north of Holden, he consults nationally and internationally on animal poisoning issues and also provides expert opinion. 

He is a Director with ACE and Lakeland REA, a co-op that owns electrical transmission wire and sells electricity.

“I am a big believer in co-ops,” he says, explaining that co-ops keep business and decision-making local and put pressure on other providers to bring down their service prices. He adds that electrical co-op wire owners serve 70 per cent of the land mass in the U.S., and many of these co-op also own generators.

“ACE is a co-op that is linking energy co-ops together in Alberta," he says.

"We’re bringing together the co-op community spirit for ACE customers and making sure the benefits, decision-making and point of contact stay local.”

Dwayne Kisilevich

Director at Large for Lakeland REA

 

Graduating from NAIT in Hydrocarbon Engineering led to experience as a drilling engineer and designer of natural gas coops. Subsequently I gained invaluable knowledge working with Tuboscope, inspecting oil and gas lines in Canada, the USA and Mexico which led to becoming a consultant within the pipeline integrity industry, negotiating contract agreements and project management in Canada, the USA, and Mexico.

 

Utilizing my extensive knowledge and expertise, I became an Expert Consultant for litigations in the USA for pipeline failures and eventually built two businesses in this field. As the owner of Pipe Watch Inc and Pipe Watch Construction I was instrumental in advising oil and gas companies on management, contract evaluations, contract negotiations, and project management.

 

Upon retiring from the oil and gas profession I’ve now become a full-time farmer and Director at Large for Lakeland REA. I am excited to be joining ACE as I am highly supportive of coops, and I look forward to helping guide ACE in its continued growth in the retail energy industry.

Dwayne Kisilevich
Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams

Commercial Leader of Anixter - Utility Power Solutions and Director of Leap Studios Inc.

Ryan is an accomplished Executive with a history of sales and marketing, commercial development, and project management of sustainable business strategies.  He attributes his collaborative approach to creating “win-win” solutions as the core of his professional success.

 

He earned a BA and MBA from the University of Calgary / Haskayne School of Business and has over 25 years working with regulated and deregulated electric, natural gas and water Utilities. He currently leads the growth of Anixter’s supply chain distribution product and services working with western Canadian Utilities, REA’s, Cooperatives and associated contractors. He previously was accountable for marketing data managed Utility solutions with Constellation Software and guiding numerous renewable and commodity strategies at ENMAX Corporation.

 

Career highlights include championing the investment and greenfield development of an 80 MW wind farm as well as the origination of residential/commercial scale solar lease program.  He has extensive experience in retail & wholesale energy portfolios, supply chain and data driven business solutions, billing and settlement platforms, and energy marketing and management of long-term commodity contracts.

 

Ryan has a passion for building diverse networks and supporting community-based businesses.  He is an avid practitioner of energy efficiency, owns a residential solar system, and has been an investing Director in a children’s educational dance studio in SW Calgary.  He is looking forward to contributing to the strategic direction and growth of ACE by building meaningful relationships and creating sustainable results.

 

Charles Newell

Charles Newell

Director North Parkland Power REA

 

My involvement in power coop’s goes back to 1997 as a new Board member with Egremont REA and then, following an amalgamation with three other area REAs, we formed North Parkland Power Coop.

 

In 2006 I was elected to Thorhild County and served for 7 years with 5 of them being Reeve. While on council I was involved with the regional water commission as well as the county gas utility.

 

After council I served a three-year term with the Alberta Surface Rights and Land Compensation Board as a Regional Advisor for the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan.

 

I am also a Board member with North Corridor Coop, an affiliate of Federated Coop, that supplies farm inputs as well building products, fuels, and groceries in the Redwater, Thorhild, Boyle and Athabasca areas.

 

I have always felt that being a member of a coop gives you, as a member, the ability to get the best value for the money spent whether you get a share of profit or receive a service at the best possible price. 

Tina Marleau

Tina Marleau

VP Business Development

Tina's career, predominately in the dairy sector, started at the ground level at Canada Safeway in Edmonton, where she developed and led the Safety Committee while expanding her knowledge on all aspects of the operation. Then when the need for lean manufacturing became apparent, Tina led the charge, developing the plan and leading the team through successful execution.

 

Having established due diligence and a result-oriented leadership style, she assisted the Burnaby, British Columbia plant in its reorganization and efficiency enhancement processes. 

 

Upon achievement of the plant's goals, Tina transferred to the Lucerne Edmonton Milk plant in a supervisory capacity. She led a capable team while spearheading an extensive inventory control initiative, with hard work and determination inventory was under control in short order.   

 

Tina then accepted the role of the Plant Superintendent for her prudent change management approach and effective leadership.  It was there that Tina was able to truly assist the corporation in its achievement of goals through her natural propensity to search out and achieve win/win resolutions for the team and the corporation. It was during this time that Tina entered the co-operative sector through Agropur Dairy Cooperative's purchase of the milk plant, which became part of the largest dairy cooperative in Canada.


Tina is excited to be working with a cooperative organization again as the collaborative environment is unique in its support and transparency of its operations, a sector that genuinely seeks out mutually beneficial solutions on behalf of its members.

As for ACE, Tina says she is pleased to see that ACE offers very competitive energy rates with the option of supporting renewable energy in an ethical, open and transparent environment, which includes the opportunity to be a member of the cooperative, what more can you ask for?

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