Board of Directors
Rod Johnson - President
Rod Johnson is a leader in resource conservation and environmental awareness. He is a lecturer at the University of Saskatchewan in the Department of Geography and Planning where he has developed courses on Physical Geography and Environmental Studies. His experience lecturing, as well as consulting as a principal in an environmental consulting partnership with the firm Johnson and Weichel Resource Management, led to work in ecological research and environmental management analysis. Rod has been a longtime member of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, and serves on the board of the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. With his experience, he naturally became involved in alternative energy source production. Rod and his partner Barbara have their own solar array, a solar fence that promotes renewable energy in an urban setting. Rod welcomes the opportunity to be involved in providing an extension role in a community-based initiative, like the SES Solar Co-operative Ltd., that allows the potential for leadership in advocating efficiency and sustainability of our society’s energy consumption.
Michael Nemeth - Vice President, Member of Projects Committee
Michael Nemeth is a mechanical engineer and Passive House consultant. For the SES Solar Co-operative, he supervised the solar panel installations at Radiance Cohousing and Wolf Willow Cohousing. He has promoted improving building energy efficiency standards and renewable energy development. He co-developed and now lives at Radiance Cohousing with his partner Shannon.
Jeff Montgomery - Secretary and Chair of Projects Committee
Jeff Montgomery was born in 1954 in Saskatoon, SK. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Ed. in Industrial Arts/Vocational Education, Jeff pursued a life in contracting. In 1983 Jeff joined Blue Insurance Ltd., a family business, where he spent 25 years making a career in underwriting and claims management. He operated the business until his retirement in 2008. Jeff married his wife Judy in 1982. They have four children, Scott, Maja, Adrian, and Natasha, as well as four grandchildren, Freyja, Brennan, Tikken, and Isaac. Jeff and Judy live on an acreage near Beaver Creek in a passive solar home that they built in 2003. They have their own wind turbine and photovoltaic panels for electricity production. Jeff has always had an interest in energy efficiency and waste reduction in building and transportation. He has become involved with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, volunteering on various projects with his wife Judy. Since 'retirement', Jeff has returned to building, constructing infill homes in Saskatoon.
Ali Elbermani - Treasurer, Chair of Finance & Admin. Committee
Ali Elbermani is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a career spanning seven years of progressive accounting experience. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce at the Edwards School of Business in Saskatoon in 2012. His designation was earned while articling for Deloitte as an Audit and Assurance Associate. He is currently employed as the Regional Controller for Ffun Motors. In addition to his interest in renewable energy and electric vehicles, Ali is an avid sports fan. When not working, he enjoys playing basketball, football, and soccer.
Haley Carlson - Board Member,
Hayley has a B.Sc. in Environmental and Conservation Science and a Master’s of Public Policy. She has a range of work experience with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, and the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. In 2017, she was recognized as a Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader across Canada. Hayley currently manages an interdisciplinary water research program at the University of Saskatchewan, is on the Board of Directors for the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, and volunteers with Climate Justice Saskatoon (CJS). In 2018, Hayley co-authored the results of a CJS research project interviewing Estevan and Coronach workers affected by the federal coal phase-out announcement, attempting to reconcile these perspectives with the need to reduce fossil fuel-based energy sources. She has an interest in environmental policy, effective communication, and working productively with diverse stakeholders.
Kira Judge - Board Member, Chair of Communications Committee
Kira Judge lives in Saskatoon with her husband and son. She earned her BA and MA from the U of S. Her MA project was focused on the Porter hypothesis – the effectiveness of strict vs slack environmental regulations. She has a mechanical engineering diploma and MA in Finance from Kyrgyzstan where she was born. Currently she enjoys solving business problems as a Senior Business Analyst in IT at FCL. Lately Kira has been focusing on science of happiness. She researches why people’s emotions are more important than reasoning and logic. She has enjoyed a car-free life style in Saskatoon for 12 years and earned her Happy for No Reason trainer certification. Kira is excited to apply the Happiness teachings and principles for serving her be-loved community of Saskatoon. She joined Saskatoon Cycles advocacy board in November 2020 and represents public in Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee (SEAC) since 2018. Kira has volunteered for the Sustainable Speakers Series and for various programs of SES since 2017. She served as a national director of the Canadian Association for Business Economics (CABE) and as a treasurer for Saskatchewan Economics Association (SEA) from 2016 to 2019. She speaks fluent Russian and Kyrgyz languages and is inspired to speak French.
Jason Praski - Board Member, Member of Projects Committee
Jason Praski graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has 28 years of engineering and business experience in Saskatchewan. He spent 15 years with SaskEnergy in planning, project engineering, and business development roles. Jason works at Titan Clean Energy, a bio-recycling company that he has been devoted to for 10 years. Jason has a lifelong interest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, owning his own hybrid and electric vehicles. He provides renewable energy services through Exa Energy Consulting. He has his own solar photovoltaic installation at his home where he resides just outside Saskatoon.
Gail Stevens - Board Member, SES Appointee
Gail grew up in Saskatoon and completed a M.Sc. degree through the College of Commerce, University of Saskatchewan. She taught at University of New Brunswick and Mount Allison University, and then returned to teach at University of Saskatchewan for several years. Gail also held senior management positions over nine years in the financial-, retail/wholesale-, and health sectors. Retirement in 2010 enabled Gail to spend more time with her five grandchildren, and to serve as an active volunteer for several organizations, including the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, Council of Canadians, The Stand Community Organizing Centre, and Climate Justice Saskatoon. Believing strongly in the cooperative business model, she was actively involved in the formation of three new cooperatives, and served on the Saskatoon Credit Union Board. Serving on the SES Solar Coop Board merges her interests in renewable energy and cooperative ownership and governance.
Bert Weichel - Board Member, SES Appointtee
Bert Weichel is a lecturer in environmental studies and physical geography at the University of Saskatchewan and also a principal in the environmental consulting partnership, Johnson and Weichel. A long time board member of SES, he is also currently on the board of the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council and secretary of the Saskatchewan Association for Resource Recovery Corp.
Kelly Winder - Board Member, Member of Projects Committee
Kelly Winder graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a dual degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. He worked for SED Systems for 10 years as an embedded systems designer before completing his International Master’s degree in Sustainable Energy Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. His more recent expertise lies in the areas of building energy efficiency, energy modelling and monitoring, and renewable energy for buildings. He was a member of the Building Performance group at the Saskatchewan Research Council where he administered Saskatchewan’s Net Metering Rebate Program, designed a research project to study the performance of small wind turbines in Saskatchewan, and monitored Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s EQuilibrium Net Zero Energy Healthy Housing projects across the country. He is one of the founders of Saskatchewan’s premiere sustainable buildings conference, Building Saskatchewan Green. Kelly joined Integrated Designs Inc. in 2014 as a Senior Project Manager.
Members of the Board of Directors participate in committees. The committees are outlined below:
Assists the Board with internal and external communication, press releases, etc.
Finance and Admin Committee
Ensures the finances, accounting, insurance, website, government reporting, and other administrative tasks such as invoicing, business plans, budgets, etc. are managed in a responsible and ethical manner.
Assists the Board with recruiting new SES Solar Co-operative Ltd. members and preferred share holders.
Assists the Board with identifying and prioritizing locations for 'solar farms'. The Site Selection, Vendor Selection, and Project Management Committee is responsible for managing the installation of systems, as well as for the ongoing maintenance of existing systems. This committee ensures the solar panel supplier(s) and installers are the right fit for the SES Solar Co-operative Ltd.