Leadership Breakfast Series

Leadership Breakfast Series

The Leadership Breakfast Series is an initiative of the Faculty of Environment, aiming to give students the opportunity to connect with and learn from alumni through discussion and networking over breakfast. 

January 2017 Breakfast- Standing Out

event logo- coffee cup on table with event details

The topic of focus for January's breakfast is Standing Out; learning how to differentiate yourself and bring forward your best attributes.

Location: Ev1- Courtyard

Date: January 25, 2017

Time: 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Register here to attend, space is limited.

Alumni in Attendance

Heather Bigelow PhotoHeather Bigelow, ENBUS '10

Operations Manager, Community CarShare

Heather graduated with two years of work experience as she was enrolled in the cooperative program.

She is a big advocate for co-op as she believes it gave her an edge when applying for jobs. She spent a few months after graduation travelling and then secured a series of short term contracts for Environment nonprofits. Later on, through a connection made from an extracurricular she was involved in at UW (FASS theatre company), Heather was hired for a local software company as a business analyst. Two years ago, having missed having a bigger purpose with her paycheque, Heather returned to working for nonprofits.

Martina Braunstein photoMartina Braunstein, PLAN '07

Landscape Planner, Dillon Consulting Limited.

Martina continued with graduate studies at the University of Toronto (Master of Landscape Architecture). She then worked abroad in Switzerland for the summer before joining Dillon Consulting Limited. Martina has also had the opportunity to volunteer in Tanzania, East Africa. During her undergrad she was a member of the hip-hop dance club. Martina finds volunteering for such events a wonderful opportunity to share experiences with students. She hopes to empower them to lead meaningful work in their chosen fields - it will become their next challenge upon graduation. Martina’s contributions and intellect are widely recognized in the professional field. She has been asked to be on an urban design award jury, teach undergraduate courses and lead workshops at professional conferences. 

Dan Currie photoDan Currie, URP '98, MA '06

Partner, MHBC Planning Ltd.

Dan has been employed as a planner for 20 years. The first 13 of which he spent working in the municipal sector for cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. The last seven years he has been in the private sector with MHBC. His biggest accomplishment to date is the fact that he is still able to use all of his education from Waterloo and work in a field he enjoys. Dan emphasizes experience, whether paid or unpaid as being a key factor for demonstrating your knowledge. 

Wendy De Gomez PhotoWendy De Gomez, GEOGMES '11

Capital Planning Analyst, WCDSB

Wendy graduated with a Masters in Environmental Studies in 2011 after having her son in 2010. She was a stay at home mom for 15 months until her son started daycare. Her first job back was at the Guelph Community Health Centre as a Data Analyst. Later Wendy worked at UW for a year on the International Tobacco Control Evaluation Project as a Research Associate, and then returned to the Guelph Community Health Centre to assist on a short-term project. Since graduating from UW she finished a Specialization Certificate in Population Health Data Analysis. Wendy did her undergrad in Political Science but volunteered for many different organizations and projects. Prior to returning to UW she is happy to have experienced different fields such as being a child and youth worker. Such an experience taught her how to run a house and raise children; things higher education does not really teach you.

Jessica Fisher photoJessica Fisher, ERS '02, LEDM '06

Program Innovation Manager, Sustainability CoLab

Jessica has worked in a number of not-for-profits with a focus on helping businesses or residents to reduce their environmental impacts. Two local organizations Jessica worked in were community- based with 5-10 staff but she has also worked in large conservation organization, WWF-Canada. Her work to date has revolved around the relationship between businesses and the environment; i.e. supporting businesses in reducing their environmental impact. Jessica has also worked in the private sector in sustainability consulting where she advised businesses on creating sustainability strategies, devising employee engagement initiatives and implementing projects to reduce their energy, carbon, water and waste. 

Sarah Klassen Rempel photoSarah Klassen-Rempel, BKI '14, MDEI '15

User Experience Designer and Research, Descartes Systems Group Inc.

After graduating, Sarah completed a Masters in Digital Experience Innovation at the Stratford campus. She then did some consulting work for design companies. Everything Sarah has done has been geared towards what she wanted to do later on. For example, she worked on museum exhibits and design activities. Sarah took on roles she enjoyed doing. She has had first-hand experience with how easy it is to get distracted by school but advises students to find ways to make it happen if it’s something you’re interested in.   

Marilyn Kuntz photoMarilyn Kuntz, GEOG '89

Portfolio Manager, Sun Life Financial Inc.

Marilyn currently works for Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. as a Project Portfolio Manager. For the majority of her career she has worked in the Financial Services sector both in Toronto & Waterloo.

Eric Pisani, PLAN '11Eric Pisani photo

Principal Planner, Transit Development, Region of Waterloo

After graduation, Eric spent a few months travelling. He obtained a summer job in Ottawa and the following fall term went for his Masters abroad. Eric completed his Masters in Sustainable Urbanism within a year in London. Later, he moved back to Canada and has been working with the Region for 4 years now. Eric had a great experience developing his interest in transportation with the coop program as there were not many transit courses in Planning back then. To this day, he finds himself leaning on his coop experiences.

Micahel Torreiter photoMichael Torreiter, ERS '94

Naturopathic Doctor, Healing Path Centre for Natural Medicine

After graduation Michael worked at Alternatives Journal, an environmental journal for several years. On the side he played the guitar for multiple bands. Later on Michael began taking science courses at UW as prerequisites for a diploma. Michael graduated from Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. Currently, Michael is in a business partnership with another doctor running a successful integrated health clinic.  

Ailish Wade photoAilish Wade, LEDM'14

Consultant, Strategic Consulting, People+Place, Jones Lang LaSalle

Ailish currently works for Jones Lang LaSalle as a Sustainability Consultant. Her work involves developing and implementing an engagement program at office buildings on behalf of landlords for tenants and occupants. In addition to occupant engagement work, Ailish also supports clients in assessing and pursuing WELL Building Certification, a standard that focuses on the health and wellbeing of building occupants. Ailish volunteers for the KW Humane Society.

David Wade photoDavid Wade, GEOG '87

President, Canadian Operations, Premier Environmental Services Inc.

David is the founder of a successful environmental science and engineering business which was established in 2002. Premier Environmental Services Inc. provides environmental site assessments, soil and groundwater remediation, terrestrial and aquatic ecological services, asbestos and designated substances services, and risk assessments across Canada.  After graduating from the University of Waterloo in 1987, David started his career at Environment Canada’s at CCIW in Burlington, Ontario where he conducted research on the fate and persistence of PAHs in soil and groundwater. He then moved into the World of environmental consulting where he worked for various engineering firms in Vancouver, Toronto and Kitchener. Today David works and lives in Cambridge.  An advocate for giving back to the community, David believes volunteering is a good way to add extra experience; that experience goes on paper, giving you an edge. 

Breakfast will be provided by Abe Erb and Settlement Co. catering.