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Canada sets itself up for success in clean tech sector

By Karlie Lipsit in Blog

In February 2019, Global Cleantech Innovation Index ranked Canada as the fourth of ten countries in its dedication to clean tech innovation.


Over recent years, Canada has worked hard to set itself up to be a global leader in clean technology – particularly in the oil & gas sector. Clean technology companies have partnered with oil and gas organizations to change economic and environmental issues surrounding the Canadian oil and gas sector.


Canada is quickly kicking off an unprecedented scene of environmental competitiveness in energy efficiency, digitization, resource recovery and transport. Fortunately, Canada is already a leader in the world of energy, which has helped to position it for success in the growing sector of clean tech.


Canada’s oil and gas sector has already been a large contributor to the business of clean tech in its country, which has only helped to set up the clean tech business for success. Once these businesses thrive and are commercialized, they will soon be able to contribute low-carbon solutions to a variety of other sectors aside from just oil and gas.


Going global


In its effort to be clean tech sustainable, Canada must expand its strategies onto the global scale. Fortunately, Canada is the only G7 country that has free trade agreements with every other G7 country; but what does this mean exactly? G7 countries, or countries that are part of the Group of Seven, are dedicated to addressing urgent global issues.


Along with its G7 status, Canada has 14 free trade agreements that cover more than 50 countries and give it access to over 1.5 billion consumers. Together, these two factors can help Canada achieve its desired results in the global sector of clean tech. However, global reach can only do so much in a world where everything comes at a cost. In 2017, the Canadian federal government gifted a total of $2.3 billion over a span of four years that would be dedicated to helping Canadian clean tech firms succeed in the global market.


Canada has plenty of expansion opportunities in a variety of countries around the globe. In the U.S. for example, Canada can expand into Colorado as its core resource is much like that of Canada’s – primarily oil and gas. However, expansion opportunities are arising even further from home, as Guyana and Surname are on the hunt for green technology in oil and gas.


In 2016, China announced its high standards for emission control in its five-year plan spanning from 2016 to 2020. With commitments like this, Canada is quickly becoming the central point for other countries who are searching for clean tech solutions.


Close to home


Not only is Canada becoming the clean tech powerhouse with its 800 industry-related companies, but Calgary is quickly becoming the country’s source of environmental firms. In February 2019, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a company that works alongside Canadian companies to introduce clean technology to market, committed $13 million to the growth of Calgary-based clean tech companies. Not only are these companies dedicating their efforts to green solutions, but amidst their work they are supporting economic growth, creating work and contributing to the protection of the environment we all share.




Information on the above topic was pulled and summarized from the following articles:





Prepare your business for any emergency.
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Marlin Hovrisko
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Founder & President

Marlin Hovrisko is the founder and President of Black Gold Emergency Planners and BGGoPlan®. With more than 20 years of experience in emergency preparedness, oil and gas project management and business operations, Marlin has helped grow the company from a loft to a continent.

As Black Gold president, Marlin oversees the consulting business, while at the same time driving innovation and growth across all markets. Prior to founding Black Gold, Marlin worked with an industry leading, technology-focused consulting service.

Marlin has a BSc. from the University of Calgary. He is proud of the Black Gold family-like office atmosphere and attributes the company’s success to his committed, experienced, long-term project managers.

Outside of work, you can find Marlin watching his daughter ride her show jumping horse, attending ringette games or chasing walleye across North America.
Jason Swan
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Vice President

Jason is a passionate leader who ensures operational excellence in the company. He understands that preparedness and safety are integral elements of any successful business. His main motivation is to design meaningful programs to help people communicate and respond effectively in emergency situations.

Jason joined Black Gold Emergency Planners and BGGoPlan® in 2006 and manages employees, develops business goals and assists in the development of effective emergency response plans for a diverse group of clients.

Prior to joining Black Gold, Jason was the Environmental, Safety and Regulatory Manager at Samson Canada. He holds a BSc. from the University of Calgary, diploma in Chemical Engineering from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP).

Jason is a family man who is working with his wife to raise their children to appreciate the arts, history, science and the world around them.
Curtis Herron
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Project Manager/Business Development

As Project/Business Development Coordinator, Curtis Herron focuses on quality assurance and quality control in Emergency Response Planning. With over 15 years of experience, he thrives on being a skilled problem solver, while working closely with the Black Gold team to ensure clients needs and requirements. Curtis thrives on establishing client relationships and being available to support clients in anything from planning, training and responding when called upon.

Curtis has taken on the previous roles of ERP Administrator, ERP Technical Writer, Senior Emergency Preparedness Advisor and Emergency Response Manager/Training Specialist. Being in these various roles has allowed Curtis to understand and apply all facets of the Emergency Response process. Curtis has worked both internally at multiple major oil and gas producers and consulting services companies.

He has an Applied Degree in Criminal Justice from Lethbridge Community College.
Tammy Bonderenko
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Office Manager

Tammy Bonderenko has worked in office management for over 19 years and ensures the smooth day-to-day operation of the Black Gold office. Her responsibilities include office administration, finance, facilities management among many others.

Prior to joining Black Gold, Tammy worked in the oil and gas sector as office manager and field contract liaison in Cold Lake, Alberta for over 15 years.

In addition to spending time with her family, Tammy has been involved with the Cold Lake Youth Bowling Canada and was also the chairperson for 5-pin bowling for the 2010 Alberta Winter Games.  Tammy is an avid hockey and football fan and enjoys cheering for the hometown teams. Tammy loves pets and often tells stories about the antics of her dogs.
Chantale Reitenbach
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Operations Manager

A natural leader and strategist, Chantale Reitenbach is instrumental in developing and maintaining Emergency Response Plans for a wide range of clients. With over a decade of experience in the field, Chantale focuses on building practical programs that meet clients’ needs.

Chantale brings enthusiasm and resourcefulness to each of her projects in a continued effort to deliver value and improve efficiencies.

Prior to joining Black Gold Emergency Planners and BGGoPlan®, Chantale completed her BA in Psychology, followed by her BComm in Finance.

Over the last 25 years, Chantale has played women’s soccer at the national and provincial level and is also a competitive runner. She also coaches her two young daughters in soccer.
Tori Wohlfarth
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Operations Manager

Tori Wohlfarth joined our team as an Emergency Response Planner in 2004. She has since worked her way up to Senior Emergency Response Planner, Project Lead and as of January 2022, Operations Manager for Black Gold. Tori has seventeen years of experience in managing Emergency Response Planning programs, liaising with government agencies, and developing public awareness campaigns. Tori’s leadership approach encourages cohesiveness and facilitates solutions that are practical, measurable and results‐oriented.

Prior to joining Black Gold, Tori worked as a Project Coordinator where she worked on risk assessments and mitigation strategies for high profile public consultation projects.

Tori is a generous, caring team player who recognizes the importance of safety management strategies and preparedness. Her focus and enthusiasm sets the foundation for success both professionally and personally.

Outside of the office, she enjoys being a Mom to her now teenage daughter, hiking, running and walking her dog Blue.
Chris Bijl
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Senior Emergency Response Planner

A seasoned leader with an esteemed military career, Chris Bijl brings close to three decades of experience to Black Gold as a Senior Emergency Response Planner. He is certified to the Incident Command System 300 level and constantly strives to increase his knowledge about the industry.

Chris has spent recent years working directly with clients in the upstream and midstream oil and gas industry. His 28 years of operational and administrative experience as a senior manager in the Canadian Forces includes two United Nations tours as a Military Observer. This specialized training and experience gives Chris a unique advantage. He applies these skills today by helping clients prepare, coordinate and execute responses to all types of operational emergencies and threats.

Chris holds a BA from Saint Francis Xavier University and a BSc. in Information Technology from DeVry University. 
Mandeep Dhesi
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Project Manager

Mandeep Dhesi is an accomplished, solutions focused professional offering extensive experience in emergency response planning.

He has over 6 years of experience in preparing emergency response plans and coordinating crisis management activities within the petroleum industry.

He has a proven background developing and maintaining liaisons with municipalities, county departments, and similar entities to facilitate plan development and response coordination.

As a senior emergency response planner/project manager, Mandeep delivers expertise in business management principals, strategic planning, leadership, and coordination of people and resources.

He has attended the Northern Institute of Technology (NAIT) majoring in Emergency Management, and is currently working towards obtaining his Associate Business Continuity Practitioner (ABCP) Designation. Mandeep has also received numerous certifications from the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and Response Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health.
Alecia Beauchamp
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Project Manager

Alecia Beauchamp has joined Black Gold as a Senior Emergency Response Planner and brings with her a wealth of knowledge including over a decade of experience specific to the development, implementation and management of Emergency Response Programs.

Prior to joining Black Gold, Alecia most recently worked as a Project Manager/Senior Emergency Response Planner. In addition to overseeing the development and updating of emergency response programs, Alecia’s responsibilities also included managing a variety of regulatory/compliance projects across western Canada. During this time, she participated in hundreds of emergency response planning exercises and real-life emergencies.

Alecia has completed the Principles of Health and Safety Management and Auditor Training Program. Alecia has also recently started working towards a certificate in Occupational Health and Safety through the University of New Brunswick and is eager to complete the course in 2017.

In the summer of 2016 Alecia and her husband welcomed their first child Olivia. When not at work, Alecia is enjoying her role as a mother and spending time with her friends and family including their two dogs Teddy and Paddington.
David Mitterhuber
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Senior Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician

David Mitterhuber joined Black Gold in 2004 as a GIS Technician. For the past 12 years, he has been instrumental in developing maps for drilling, facility and corporate emergency response programs.

As the Black Gold GIS lead, David reviews and coordinates all mapping activity, ensuring that mapping criteria are met according to regulatory guidelines. He also assists with the training and implementation of the Emergency Messaging Application (EMA) for resident notifications.

David holds a BSc. from the University of Calgary and a Marketing Diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. David has recently completed the Project Management Extension Certificate at Mount Royal University.

For David, training does not end at work. During soccer season, you’ll find him busy volunteering or coaching his children’s soccer teams.
Philip Poole
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Training Manager

Having joined the Black Gold team in 2017, Philip Poole brings with him a blend of regulatory knowledge, audits and has an extensive background in conducting specialized training in emergency response and business continuity planning.

Clients have relied on Philips’ experience to provide them with guidance before, during and after incidents and emergencies have taken place. Philip has also proven himself to be a key asset in assisting clients during real emergencies and with post-incident reporting, on numerous occasions.

Prior to working for Black Gold, Philip worked for Deliotte LLP where he worked with some of the biggest oil & gas companies in the world. Philip has a willingness to share his knowledge gained from his experiences.

Philip has a British Army background that has been followed by 8+ years in the oil and gas sector, with experience in both operations, public consultations, emergency response planning training. He has added more than 10 years of emergency management and response experience though pervious employment and subsequent employment with Black Gold.

Outside of work, Philip enjoys spending time with his family, distance shooting (marksmanship), watching and playing both football and rugby.
Darcy Stratmoen
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Public Consultation Specialist

Darcy Stratmoen joined Black Gold in 2006 as a Public Consultation Specialist. His role involves doing public consultations across Western Canada for energy related industrial projects that include H2S gas and liquid natural gas (LNG) assets, rail facilities, and flaring operations. Other responsibilities include extensive field mapping duties, summarizing and daily reporting of resident issues to clients and compiling/recording field data into a secure relational database.

Darcy holds a Diploma in Land and Water Resource Management from Olds College and he is also trained in ICS 200. Darcy assists our Senior Training Consultant in the field during Major Training Exercises.

On his days off, Darcy looks forward to spending time with his young daughter. He is also passionate about outdoor recreation activities such as camping, hunting, and ATV’ing.
Shona Belvoir

Technology Manager

Shona Belvoir joined the BGGoPlan team in 2017, taking on the role of Technology Manager. She brings enthusiasm, positivity and passion to our application development team along with over 17 years of training and education experience.

Before BGGoPlan, Shona worked for an engineering firm where she focused on marketing and business development. She has worked in a variety of industries, each with a different realm of clientele which has provided her a well-rounded business outlook.

Within the BGGoPlan ERP mobile APP department, Shona conducts training and demo sessions for clients in addition to ensuring the installation and administration of the application technology. Her focus for the APP is technological development and improvement, and to ensure clients understand its functionality.

Shona attended the University of Calgary and earned her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communications and Marketing.

Outside of work, Shona is very family focused, you can find her escorting her two children to their various sporting activities, volunteering and spending as much time with her kids as possible. She is very active, and enjoys walking her dog, running, skiing, playing tennis, swimming, and riding motorcycles.
Jenna-lee Natrasony
Jenna-lee Natrasony

Project Manager

As a Project Manager based in Grande Prairie, Jenna-lee’s focus is on managing all aspects of Emergency Response Programs including client management, development and facilitation of emergency response training and conducting public/stakeholder consultations. Jenna-lee successfully completed her AA in Sports Psychology followed by the completion of her BA in Applied Disaster & Emergency Studies. She is passionate about emergency preparedness and ensuring the safety of the communities in which we live and work.

Prior to joining Black Gold, Jenna-lee has spent the last decade gaining a wide variety of experience from the field to corporate level, including working with the National Energy Board and major producers. In her previous roles of Field Emergency Preparedness Advisor and Project Manager, Jenna-lee has worked closely in operations providing incident response support. She would also ensure accuracy in field mapping, stakeholder identification and comprehensive training conducting numerous exercises and training sessions annually.
Karen Mather
Karen Mather

Training Coordinator/Project Manager

Karen’s role at Black Gold includes Training Coordination and Project Management.

As Training Coordinator, Karen Mather specializes in regulatory compliance in Emergency Preparedness and Response. With 15+ years experience in emergency management, Karen brings a high level of expertise specific to development, implementation and management of emergency response programs. Karen’s focus is on regulatory guidance in emergency management and development and facilitation of exercises and training. She is an ICS Canada Incident Command System Approved Course Instructor for I-100 and I-200. Karen has been involved in coordinating hundreds of ERP training sessions from role specific training to major exercises and has provided ICS role-based support to real emergency events.

In her previous positions as Senior Emergency Response Specialist with major producers, Karen actively participated in and co-managed the development and maintenance of Emergency Response Plans and Emergency Preparedness Programs as well as coordination and facilitation of exercises and training.

Karen spent six years at the Alberta Energy Regulator with four in the Emergency Planning and Assessment Section. In her various positions, she provided support to the Public Hearing Process, municipal reciprocal land use set back reviews, ERP review and approval process and observation/evaluation of industry held exercises and training.

In her off time, Karen can be found leading fundraising activities for a non-profit organization in support of local charitable organizations focused on helping at risk children, seniors and veterans.
Bob Wyonzek
Bob Wyonzek

Business Development Coordinator

Bob joined the Black Gold team in 2019 as the Business Development Coordinator. In this role, he will be strengthening Black Gold’s prior relationships and looking to diversify its current client base.

Before working at Black Gold, Bob was a Surface Land Agent for 20 years in the oil and gas sector. With his years of experience, he brings knowledge of the industry and a passion for communication to the position.

Bob has completed the Dale Carnegie training to better his skills as a Business Developer.

When Bob is not at the office, you can find him outdoors. He is an avid fisherman, mountain biker, skier, and loves snowshoeing—jack-of-all-trades! He also enjoys spending time in Fernie with his wife.
Emily Cuthbertson
Emily Cuthbertson

Office Manager

Emily Cuthbertson is new to the Office Manager position and is looking forward to being an integral part of the day-to-day operations of Black Gold. Her responsibilities include office administration, finance, facilities management among many others.

Prior to joining Black Gold, Emily worked in Safety and Regulatory Affairs at Canadian Pacific Railway, four years as an Emergency Response Technician in the in the oil patch and was the Executive Assistant for the Chief Administrative Officer, Mayor and Council for the Town of Fox Creek, Alberta. Emily has a certification in Human Resource Management through the University of Calgary, and looks forward to continuing her education to help better herself in her role at Black Gold.

When Emily is not in the office you can find her paddle boarding, snow-shoeing, hiking or on a road trip with her sister, spending time with her family and friends or taking the family dog, Tucker for runs at the dog park. Emily also enjoys giving back to Kids Cancer Care, a foundation near and dear to her heart.