The Ignite Power Panel has volunteered their time to mentor, advise and judge the Ontario Power Generation Ignite Applicants on their business ideas. Made up of OPG executives, industry professionals and seasoned investors, the Ignite Power Panel is responsible for determining the finalists and the winners of the OPG Ignite Pitch Competition.

JASON VAN WART

Jason Van Wart is a professional engineer who attended the University of New Brunswick, where he completed both a Bachelor and Masters of Mechanical Engineering. He began his career at OPG in 2001 and has worked in Nuclear Engineering, Finance, Inspection and Maintenance. In 2014, Jason achieved Dean’s List standing while completing his MBA at the Rotman School of Management.

Late in 2014, Jason was appointed to the position of Vice President for Ontario Power Generation’s Inspection and Reactor Innovation (IRI) Division. With more than 450 staff and an annual operating budget of $150M, IRI is responsible for safely executing the specialized inspection and maintenance programs at OPG’s power generating facilities.

Outside of work, Jason is passionate about contributing to his hometown community of Saint John, New Brunswick and is a part owner of the National Basketball League of Canada’s Saint John Rip Tide.

DIETMAR REINER

Dietmar Reiner is Senior Vice President, Nuclear Projects at OPG. Appointed to this position in May 2014, he is the senior corporate officer responsible for the vision, strategy, and leadership for planning and executing one of the world’s largest electricity infrastructure projects; the mid-life refurbishment of the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.

Prior to this appointment, Dietmar was Senior Vice President, Nuclear Refurbishment, where he was responsible for establishing the Darlington Refurbishment Program.

Dietmar joined Ontario Hydro (OPG’s predecessor company) as an engineer in 1985 and proceeded to hold progressively senior positions in nuclear, hydroelectric and power systems.

Dietmar has a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Honours Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

HEATHER FERGUSON

With nearly 20 years of experience, Heather is currently the Vice President of Environment at Ontario Power Generation (OPG). She is responsible for OPG’s Environment team which supports OPG’s Hydro, Thermal and Nuclear operations, as well as OPG’s development and construction projects.

Heather also has accountability for key strategic environmental initiatives, including OPG’s Transportation Electrification Strategy. Prior to this, Heather was the Director of OPG’s Hydro Business Development Group where she was responsible for the advancement of OPG’s hydroelectric project portfolio from concept to construction.

Heather holds an undergraduate and Master’s degree in Science from Queen’s University, as well as an MBA from the Rotman School of Management and is a Director on the Boards of the Ontario Waterpower Association, Wildlife Habitat Council, Electric Mobility Canada and the Peter Sutherland Sr. Generating Station.

SEAN GRANVILLE

Sean Granville is Chief Nuclear Officer (CNO) at OPG. Sean was appointed to this position on May 1, 2018, after two and a half years as Deputy CNO. Prior to this, Sean spent three years at Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station in New Brunswick as the Site Vice President and CNO. During his tenure with NB Power, the station achieved improvement as measured by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) Peer Review.

Sean’s extensive background includes a 35-year career with OPG (and the former Ontario Hydro) holding positions such as Deputy Vice President, Director of Operations and Maintenance, and Director of Nuclear Programs. He was certified as a Licenced Shift Manager and has held Duty Manager positions at both Darlington and Pickering stations. Sean has expertise in areas such as operational leadership, leader development, performance improvement, organizational effectiveness, and industry engagement.

Sean’s nuclear industry experience also includes a secondment to WANO, serving on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Nuclear Association, and as a voting member of the Candu Owners Group.

Sean is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with a B.A.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering.

CONNIE HERGERT

Connie Hergert is an energy professional committed to partnering across business functions to support the achievement of corporate objectives. In her current role as VP of Real Estate and Environment at Ontario Power Generation (OPG), she manages a vast portfolio of real estate assets and provides leadership in environmental management. OPG generates safe, clean, reliable, low-cost power for Ontario. More than 99 per cent of this power is free of smog and greenhouse gas emissions. Connie’s mandate is to ensure that OPG operates in an environmentally responsible manner and to execute a strategy that contributes to a low carbon future. With over 28 years of experience in various roles at OPG ranging from health and safety, environment, human resources and real estate, Connie has built strong relationships across the business and with external stakeholders. She knows that really connecting with people on a human level and developing common purpose and understanding is the best path to success for any of the transformative initiatives she has lead.

Connie has a keen interest in environmental stewardship and wildlife habitat preservation. She enjoys being outside in the natural environment where she runs, kayaks and hikes with her three kids.

Connie holds a BSc from the University of Waterloo.

FRANK AUDDINO

Frank spent over thirty years in Business Development producing top Sales with a career track record in delivering breakthrough revenue growth in Canadian, U.S. and international markets.

Though he’s worked with high-profile corporations such as TC Transcontinental, Rupert Murdoch News Corporation, the Jim Pattison Group of Companies, and was a majority partner in a Rogers Media firm, it is the start-ups, SME’s and the businesses that are stagnant in growth and require funding that he revels in assisting at his currently role as President with Vitaliz Business Growth.

He is an active angel investor, 2018 York Angel of the year, and co chairs the membership and marketing committee with Angel Investors Ontario (AIO) and on the membership and marketing committees with the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO).
When not engaged in helping companies, Frank spends his time volunteering as a Rotarian, VP Start-up Durham, board member with the Humane Society, and on resource committee with Outfox magazine created to empower kids with Autism.