In 1999 Mary Jane Patterson left a successful career in television production to seek a Master’s in Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. Her research focused on certification schemes for green electricity and she helped the faculty establish REEP Green Solutions in 1999, an organization she came back to manage in 2001 once her degree was complete.
Since then REEP has also graduated to become a preeminent environmental non-profit, providing tools and services to promote positive environmental action. As the Executive Director, Mary Jane oversees human resources, financial management, fundraising, program development and delivery, and partnership development at REEP, working with a highly skilled and committed staff of energy, water and community outreach professionals.
Today, REEP has evaluated more than 14,000 homes in Waterloo Region for energy efficiency, helped participants save over 23,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and branched out to offer urban rainwater management, rural well check-ups, and energy upgrades for households on limited incomes. Under Mary Jane's leadership, REEP Green Solutions has also educated delegations from around the world seeking to promote energy efficiency.
Mary Jane serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for Green Communities Canada, working with environmental organizations across Canada to share resources and develop programs to better serve our communities. She is also a Director on the Board of CTxGREEN, a non-profit organization working with remote tribal villages in Orissa, India to develop low-tech solutions for energy and food security.
Mary Jane continues to be closely linked with the Faculty of Environment as well, and has served as a judge for final projects in SEED, worked with Geography students showcasing the REEP House, and critiqued policy briefs prepared by ERS students. Her vast network of community-to-global connections, coupled with her understanding of complexity, has allowed her to advance innovative solutions to foster transformative change towards sustainability.