Keynote Plenary Session – Tuesday, June 25, 8:30 am – 10:30 am
Find out what's in store for the future of the environmental industry! This spectacular event features high level environmental leaders who will share their perspective and solutions on climate change and other pertinent environmental issues. Each speaker will present and there will be a Q & A session where they will address pre-approved questions from the audience.
Introduction by Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Assemblée Nationale du Québec for the Deux-Montagnes
Benoit Charette has been Member of the National Assembly for the Deux-Montagnes riding in the Laurentides region since December 8, 2008. He was appointed Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change on January 8, 2019. After graduating from the École nationale d’administration publique and Université du Québec à Montréal, Minister Charette got involved early on in international work, first as a volunteer aid worker in Haiti in 1995 then at the Délégation générale du Québec in Mexico City and the Ministère des Relations internationales du Québec. He subsequently became a program manager at the Agence intergouvernementale de la Francophonie.
Mr. Charrette held numerous positions at the National Assembly of Québec, including as Chiefs of Staff for the 2nd Opposition Whip and Leader from 2012 to 2014. Prior to his appointment to Cabinet, he served as Chair of the Committee on Institutions,, as well as a member of the Committee on the National Assembly and the Committee on Culture and Education.
Jean-Yves Benoit – Director of the Carbon Market, Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development
Mr. Benoit is the Director of the Carbon Market Division at the Quebec’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment, and the Fight Against Climate Change. His team is responsible for the development and implementation of Quebec’s cap and trade system and its linking with California’s system. He represents the government of Quebec at the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), and is a member of the Board of Directors of WCI Inc., a non-profit organization created to support the implementation of WCI’s Regional Cap-and-Trade Program. Jean-Yves is also one of the two co-chairs of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) as well as Quebec representative on the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) program and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition.
Mr. Jean-Yves Benoit holds a Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Montreal. He worked for many years in the private sector before joining, in 2006, the Quebec government.
George Minter – Regional Vice President, External Affairs and Environmental Strategy, SoCalGas
George Minter is regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy for SoCalGas. He is responsible for the company’s public affairs, community relations, public policy and energy and environmental affairs functions. Minter is a long-time policy professional specializing in energy and environmental matters, strategic planning, program development, communications and political advocacy.
Before re-joining SoCalGas as senior director of policy and environment, Minter was managing principal for L.A.-based public affairs firms Greer/Dailey/Minter and GM Public Affairs from 2000 to 2013. There he managed public policy initiatives and communications programs to approve large energy and land use projects. Minter also served in the capacity as director and manager of a number of other functions for SoCalGas from 1985–2000. Prior to his career at SoCalGas, Minter was a political consultant handling local, state and national political campaigns.
He currently serves as co-chair of the Energy, Water and Environmental Sustainability Council of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, is a Board member at the Coalition for Clean Air, and is a member of the Land Use (GLUE) Council for SCAG, and the Advisory Boards of the Clean Tech Initiative of the LAEDC and Water Education for Latino Leaders (WELL). Minter has been the recipient of several awards and honors and has been a regular speaker at state and national conferences on energy and environmental policy. He recently was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the U.S. Council on Service and Civic Participation. He is a Phi Beta Kappa and honors graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. François Reeves – Cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Montréal
Dr. François Reeves is an interventional cardiologist and Associate Professor of Medicine with a joint appointment in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Montréal. Head of the cardiac catheterisation laboratories at, successively, Notre-Dame Hospital, the CHUM and Cité de la santé in Laval and member of the Steering Committee of the Québec Tertiary Cardiology Network, he now devotes a significant part of his professional life to environmental cardiology. In 2011 he published Planète Coeur, Santé cardiaque et environnement, a book which examines the impact of the environment on our arteries. The English and upgraded version, Planet Heart: How an Unhealthy Environment Leads to Heart Disease was released in March 2014 by Greystone Books, Vancouver, and was a finalist for the Lane Anderson Award 2014 for the best scientific publication in Canada. He is member of many comities devoted to environmental health, amongst them the Advisory Board on Climate Change of the Minister of Environment of Québec.
Bill Wehrum – Assistant Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation
Bill Wehrum currently serves as the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. Bill has a long history of public service, and his career includes more than 31 years of working in the environmental field through engineering, legal practice, and administrative duties. He previously served as EPA's Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation from 2005 to 2007, as well as Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator and counsel to the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. Bill most recently worked as a partner and head of the Administrative Law Group at Hunton & Williams LLP, where his practice focused on air quality issues.