The Team


Daniel Bida, Executive Director

Daniel is a Chartered Financial Analyst that spent the first 6 years of his career as an energy analyst before leaving that behind to pursue the development of community-owned biogas projects. Daniel is passionate about food, energy and the environment, and is motivated by opportunities to turn waste into value for these industries and for local communities.

Board Members

Chris Benedetti Headshot

Chris Benedetti

Chris is a Principal with Sussex Strategy Group, and Head of its Energy and Environment Practice. With experience in both federal and provincial governments, Mr. Benedetti provides an in-depth insight and expertise into various planning, policy, procurement and political processes, particularly in the energy and environmental sectors.  Chris serves as a Board Director of APPrO; Past Chair of the RCO; and sits on the Program Advisory Committee for the Certificate in Sustainability Programme at Ryerson University. He holds a BA in political science and law from Carleton University, and an MA in political science from McMaster University and the University of Bath, England.

Melissa Felder

Melissa has led an environmental consulting practice since 2001. Her specialties include project management and business development; research, writing, and technical analysis; stakeholder consultation; and environmental certification design and auditing. Melissa has specific academic and work experience in bioenergy systems, including work on behalf of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and CanBio. She has presented on Canada’s bioenergy potential in Bogotá on behalf of the Colombian Hydrocarbon Agency, as well as spoken to this area for Ontario and Alberta. Melissa has a Masters in Chemical and Biological Engineering (Hon.) from UBC, and a B.Sc. in Geography and Environmental Studies (Bio) from McMaster.

Andrew Tarasiewicz

Andrew is a Senior Consultant in KPMG’s Deal Advisory practice, with a focus on Infrastructure Investments in the Power & Utilities sector. Andrew specializes in renewable power generation, supporting clients with M&A, financial advisory, diligence, and strategic advice. Prior to joining KPMG, Andrew was an analyst with the IESO (formerly, the Ontario Power Authority), where he focused on electricity resource procurement and policy; including designing and launching procurement initiatives, and analysis related to renewable energy development. Andrew holds a BTech in Process Automation from McMaster University, a Diploma in Chemical Engineering Technology from Mohawk College, and an MBA in Finance from the DeGroote School of Business – McMaster University.

Toronto Zoo

John Tracogna

CEO of the Toronto Zoo

(Represented by Paul Whittam, Manager of Financial Services, Toronto Zoo)

Paul Ungerman

Paul Ungerman

Chief Marketing Officer – Strategic Mapping Inc.

Paul is the CMO of Strategic Mapping Inc., a Toronto-based transportation technology solutions company. Paul is responsible for the development and execution of the company’s strategic brand and marketing strategy. Paul possesses well over a decade of private and public sector senior leadership experience; having previously worked in Ontario’s energy sector and as a former Chief of Staff and senior advisor to two Ontario provincial cabinet ministers. Paul is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a BA (Hon) degree in Political Science and a graduate of McMaster University with an MA in International Relations.

John Vellone

Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

John has been with BLG since 2008 and is a member of the Electricity Markets and IT Groups. He practises corporate/commercial and regulatory law with a focus on energy law and matters relating to the Ontario electricity sector. John specializes in the corporate/commercial and regulatory components of electricity markets and infrastructure revitalization. John is on the executive of the Natural Resources and Energy Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association, and is an executive member of YPE (Young Professionals in Energy) of Toronto.

Victoria Botvinnik

Victoria is a Financial Analyst with the City of Markham. Prior to joining the City, Victoria was a Senior Accountant at KPMG, where she specialized in providing auditing services to Energy and Renewable Energy clients. Victoria currently serves on the Board of Directors of Environmental Education Ontario as Treasurer, and has previously volunteered her time and skills to ZooShare, WWF, Enactus (SIFE), and corporate environmental committees. Victoria holds a CPA, CA designation from the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and a B.Comm from The University of Toronto.