Executive Officers

Karen Chovan
Karen Chovan
Principal, Enviro Integration Strategies
Chair

I am a bit of a chameleon and wear several hats - I am a strategic, life-cycle thinker, an engineer and project manager, a sustainability expert interested in leaner processes, and a change agent! I am a Principal of 2 companies, Enviro Integration Strategies and Shift2Lean Inc., where I speak, train, coach and advise on various means to improve the way industrial projects are planned, designed, constructed, operated and closed. With 20 years in the field and corporate settings of the mining sector, I enjoy engaging teams for the purposes of improving project and operational performance by facilitating trust and alignment, encouraging out of the box thinking, and collaboration amongst diverse stakeholders. Experience has proven that this enables multi-disciplinary teams to openly identify risks, challenges, and improvement opportunities within the processes they follow, as well as for the operations, projects, and developments they work on. Many years ago I gained a BASc in Geological Engineering, promptly followed by a MASc in Mine Waste Management from the University of British Columbia. After managing projects in the field, running studies & implementing change initiatives, I gained my PMP, and as a result I was asked to coach with the Project Management Institute - guiding a few more PMs on better project planning practices! More recently, I have also volunteered on tailings and closure-focused projects with the Canada Mining Innovation Council, Environmental Stewardship Initiative, and am currently a Director on the Board of Women in Mining Women in Nuclear Saskatchewan Inc. Finally, after serving as Communications Director for the past 2 years, I stepped up to become Vice-Chair this year for the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society (ESRS). In my role with ESRS, I hope to engage and enable the diverse experiences of the ESRS membership to raise awareness, provide guidance, improve our industry processes and practices, and to encourage a collaborative nature amongst CIM societies and members to solve our biggest challenges. I truly believe that the greatest value can only be derived through common goals, healthy engagement, and collaboration to reduce wasteful practices!

Jenifer Hill
Jenifer Hill

Vice Chair

I am an ecologist with a Masters in environmental management and more than 20 years of experience. I have been involved in environmental and social components of project management, independent engineer and due diligence reviews benchmarked to IFC performance standards, NI 43-101 technical reports, baseline studies, impact assessments, mitigation planning, management, and consultation. I have worked on mining projects across Canada and internationally.

Edith Garneau
Edith Garneau
Independent
Past Chair

Born in the South Shore of Montreal, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, I am back to the same place almost 50 years later. I am a postdoc fellow from the University of Chicago. PhD in UQAM and Bachelor and Master degrees at University of Ottawa. I have been involved in indigenous governance issues as well as women issues since the Canada Meach Lake Accord! I am a senior researcher and project manager, socio-political expert, negotiator and trainer specialized in Indigenous governance, inclusion and engagement strategies of minority groups into energy (hydro and wind farms) projects and mining projects (as a Senior Director with SNC-Lavalin). My projects were mainly during development/planning and construction phases of life cycle. I have been involved with the public, semi-public, and the private sectors, at the project level and the corporate side for social responsibility. I see the needs to balance fieldwork and concepts. As such, my fieldwork strength is to be able to mobilize various and different stakeholders regarding sensitive issues. These days, training and planning reconciliations with Indigenous peoples seems challenging mining companies and that is my focus. On the other side, my theoretical standpoint are reported from best practices in conferences and teaching. I also have been involved in multiple representations made to provincial, and federal agencies and Indigenous collectivities. I often don’t see differences between volunteering and working, so ESRS seems to be the best place for action. I am involved in this society since 2014 only and see a full potential for inclusion of environmental and social responsibility approaches into the CIM community as well as creating and sharing leading-edge knowledge. As a young society within CIM I see our role as a crucial contributor to a responsible, sustainable and respectable mining industry. On the last note, I take real pleasure and satisfaction to challenge people… and to be challenged.

Julie Champagne
Julie Champagne

Technical Program Director

I was born and raised in Montreal and studied at McGill University and Université de Montréal in Cell and Molecular Biology. I am a research project manager at National Research Council working with a team using genomics tools to characterize, monitor and improve many different environments, from the human gut… to mining sites! DNA is all around us, even on mining sites and rocks, and my mission is to help mining industry realize they can’t afford to leave out the information provided by genomics analysis. I have been involved with CIM and the mining industry for only a couple of years. Our goal is to help the mining industry with the environmental challenges that companies are facing through NRC’s program “Environmental Advances in Mining” which focuses on green processes. Water management and treatment, waste valorization, ARD prediction and management, and more. Working with the ESRS has allowed me to be involved in important environmental and social issues for the mining industry, and to meet and connect with great people sharing the same interests. Mining in 2018 has to address environmental and social issues and concerns from government, citizens and stakeholders and it’s great to be part of it and work to try to make a difference. I am also very curious about the world and the different cultures which motivated me to learn many languages: Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. I would like to learn more but work and my two kids are keeping very busy. In my spare time, I like to run, read, travel and spend time with family and friends. I also have a great passion for cats, especially my adorable red British Shorthair.

Andres Recalde
Andres Recalde
Independent, Mining4Good
Working Group Director

Andres specializes in the processes to deliver solid and sound strategies related to social performance in the mining sector. He started his professional career as a management consultant with Price Waterhouse in Lima, Peru. After this he held progressively senior positions with oil & gas exploration companies and with international development organizations. In Canada, he worked with World Vision Canada as Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. In this role he became deeply involve with sustainable social development processes. Also, in this role he adapted corporate social responsibility strategies of large mining companies. He was part of the staff of Barrick Gold’s Pueblo Viejo Mine Project in the Dominican Republic. His main role was to devise community engagement strategies and managing the resettlement of 250 families. Also, he played a key role training local staff in community engagement, public consultations, and grievance mechanisms. In 2010 accepted the challenge to transform a socially distressed project into a $2.0 billion market capitalization. This was with Torex Gold Resources in Southern Mexico. This process took five years of constant engagement and conflict prevention measures. It finally rendered a solid social license to operate. He is a regular speaker in international events. He is a Speaker/Visiting Professor at University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Western Ontario University. Andres has established a reputable consultancy practice in Toronto serving different companies and organizations related to the mining sector operating in Latin America.

Marian Tibor-McMahon
Marian Tibor-McMahon
SNC-Lavalin Inc.
Secretary

I am a socio-economic researcher and community engagement specialist with over 10 years of experience. My passion is working and collaborating with Indigenous and local communities, stakeholders and researching. I have experience in environmental planning, Indigenous consultation, public and stakeholder consultation, social surveys and interviews, socio-economic impact assessment for a variety of projects in the transportation, transit, mining and power sectors. I currently am an Engagement Specialist with SNC-Lavalin’s Environment and Geoscience group, working on various projects requiring socio-economic and community consultation and engagement needs. As of April 2019, I became involved with the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society, where I serve as the Secretary. My involvement with ESRS has allowed me to connect with and learn from experts and others passionate about environmental and social responsibility.

Coco Calderhead
Coco Calderhead

Treasurer
Gabriel  Castillo
Gabriel Castillo
Hatch
Publications Director

I am an engineer by training and interdisciplinary by design, with more than 15 years of experience in the area of sustainability within the extractive industry. Since high school, I was involved in social development programs as a volunteer in rural areas of South America, having the opportunity to understand the strong connection between the environment, natural resources and people. As engineer of life science, I specialized in grassland management and rural development. That gave me the opportunity to start working in the mining industry, where I implemented several Environmental and Social Impact assessment. I have a Master in Social Development and another postgraduate in Environmental Management. I was very lucky to worked in different companies, as the biggest gold operation in South America, and two of the three biggest copper operations in Peru. My experience in different management roles involved the engagement with indigenous groups, water governance, environmental and social responsibility management, project management, resettlement, communications and external affairs. Before start my PhD, I was the Sustainability and Land Acquisition Manager in a 450,000 tonnes copper production operation. I decided to return to academia, with a research focus in Climate Risk and Adaptation Management in the mine cycle, addressing the closure planning. I firmly believe that the future changing weather needs to be assessed locally and be considered in the design of the facilities, and involve the local communities in the watershed during the monitoring of the ecosystem services. Being part of the Executive Committee in the CIM - ESRS, gives me the opportunity to support the strategic goals for the development of natural resources development, with a focus on social and environmental improvements. The great group of members and values of the team increase the development of new ideas and innovation for the industry. I am very glad to be part of this leading team that supports CIM members and serve the society.

Resa Furey
Resa Furey
Stantec
Awards Director

Resa Furey is a market analyst and marketing director for Stantec with over fifteen years of global experience providing direction, guidance and solutions that create sustainable returns and competitive edge for companies in the mining industry. She has published widely on water in mining, water reuse, water balance, chemical mass balance and women in mining. Since 2013, she has been involved in organizing and establishing the technical program for Mine Water Solutions, a conference devoted to improving the sustainable use of water at mines. Resa is multilingual and is a true believer that diversity, in particular diversity of thought, leads to better decisions and outcomes.

Karola Toth
Karola Toth
SNC-Lavalin Inc.
At-Large Advisor
Kim Bittman
Kim Bittman
Kim Bittman Consulting
At-Large Advisor

I was born and raised in North-eastern British Columbia in Dawson Creek (not the TV series) and was lucky to head to nearby Tumbler Ridge after graduating from University of BC with a BA in Geography. I have worked in the mining industry for more than thirty years, with open pit mine operations experience for 16 years at Quintette Coal in which I gained experience in supervising a team of environmental professionals handling permit compliance, mine reclamation/research and permitting processes for two major coal mine expansions. Thereafter, I worked at Vancouver mining corporate offices for the next 16 years managing Regulatory compliance, permitting and ESM auditing for coal and copper mining operations. Since 2016, I have been on my own, contracting to Taseko, Westshore coal terminal and AKF Mining Services, the latter for which I primarily handle Notice of Work’s for a BC junior exploration company. On a volunteer basis I have been with the CIM as secretary/treasurer of the Environmental and Social Responsibility Society for several years, the BC Technical and Research Committee on Reclamation (TRCR) since early years in the industry, and recently, Vice-Chair of the BC Association for Mineral Exploration, Land Access and Use Committee.

Franco DiGiovanni
Franco DiGiovanni
DiGiSci Environmental Inc.
Director Communications

I am a specialist in air quality impacts and have worked with aggregate extractive resource reviews for the last 15 years but have also worked in other aspects of air quality impact assessment for over 20 years in Ontario, across Canada and Internationally. I have a BSc (HONS) in Geology and PhD in Physical Geography where my thesis was in particle dispersion modelling. I am also first author of the International Association of Impact Assessment’s Guide on Air Quality Impact Assessments; many of the examples used in the guide pertain to the extractive industries. The combination of educational training in geology and air quality has made me especially interested in the impacts of mining operations, particularly air quality impacts especially for NI43-101 reporting purposes. I joined ESRS with a view to moving the field of impact assessment forward in terms encouraging rigorous impact assessments. The Co-Directorship of Communications allows me give back to the environmental field.