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CEO & Co-Founder

Entrepreneur. Dreamer. Scientist. Kevin has spent 20 years on the front lines of energy innovation in numerous executive leadership roles in the industry. Starting his career in the energy industry as a roughneck on the oilrigs of Northern Alberta he grew through the ranks until he was Chief Executive of Canada’s oldest drilling company. His accomplishments speak for themselves, championing some of the first fully computerized drilling rigs in the world to the leading the first long-reach horizontal well in the Canadian arctic. Leading a major corporation through the disruption of the Canadian energy industry, Kevin has been an articulate and major champion for unlocking the energy transition solutions inside oil and gas for a better future. A major contributor to the public energy dialogue and public policy framework in Canada, he is uniquely positioned to champion the solutions generated in Avatar. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science from McGill University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Haskayne School of Business and serves on the steering committees of both the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) and the Energy Futures Lab (EFL).

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CFO & Co-Founder

As an accomplished Capital Markets professional, Bryan’s 20 years on Bay Street has seen him lead through many market and investment cycles in energy,  becoming an Executive Director at one of Canada’s largest banks. Given his extensive first-hand experience with Canada’s largest institutional investors, Bryan’s insight into the changing landscape of energy investment makes him one of Canada’s rare energy bankers able to connect the importance of oil and gas with the market driven need to decarbonize. His numerous career accomplishments include establishing a #1 market share position during the vibrant Royalty/Income Trust era, managing a proprietary equity book holding over $100MM in equity positions, and working closely on some of Canada’s most successful IPO’ with dozens of C-Suite Executives. Based in Toronto, Bryan facilitates Avatar Innovations connection with the institutional investors critical to unlocking the massive capital required for the energy transition. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the Sprott School of Business and has over a decade of volunteering with the United Way MIG Cabinet.

Lead Architect

Team-builder. Problem-solver. Go-getter. Ana Villarreal-Escudero has been working in Canada’s energy industry for the last 6 years lending her expertise in mechanical design to champion sustainable low-emission facilities. Her career has spanned areas of facility integrity and reliability, commissioning and capital expansion in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Recognizing that young professionals have the drive and passion to catalyze positive change in the energy Industry, Ana joined the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC) where she serves as co-chair for the Calgary Chapter. In this capacity, she has channeled her passion for connection and transformative change to create spaces where young professionals are empowered to think big and think bold. As part of the Avatar Program, Ana is bringing her tenacity and ambition to continue developing innovative solutions for the energy ecosystem. Ana holds a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary and is a Professional Engineer in the province of Alberta.

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Lead Architect

Trailblazer. Innovator. Connector. Justin has spent 10 years developing and executing major capital projects in the energy industry across North America. His career in energy began with roles in facility and pipeline construction and operations. His career diverged when he made the decision to pursue an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. Currently focused on mainline compression in Canada and the US, Justin incorporates the concepts of safety through design, environmental stewardship and value engineering in his work. This is achieved with his proven track record of stakeholder engagement and collaboration while being accountable for leading a multi-discipline Project Engineering team. Based in Calgary, he is responsible for building and coordinating the Avatar Innovations – Avatar Program. In this role he brings passion for the development and empowerment of emerging energy leaders to build a new energy future. He volunteers with several organizations including APEGA and the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC) where he serves as the Calgary chapter Co-Chair. He holds a professional engineering designation in the province of Alberta and is a certified Project Management Professional

Lead Architect

Strong. Resilient. Indigenous. Kaella-Marie Earle is Anishinaabekwe (Odawa/Potawatomi/Ojibwe) from Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory and Aroland First Nation, and holds a B.Eng in Chemical Engineering from Laurentian University. She is an EIT at Enbridge Gas in Engineering Construction, System Improvement where she works as a project lead for natural gas transmission, storage expansion and integrity in Southern Ontario. She was also recently appointed as Vice-Chair to the Indigenous Advisory Committee at the Canada Energy Regulator, where she works with some of Canada’s brightest and most influential leaders on building energy policy and relationships that prioritize the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples as well as truth and reconciliation. Her career goal is to weave her Anishinaabeg cultural values into her work in a way that will lead the oil and gas industry to a lower carbon energy future, and empower young professionals to do just that, especially through her role as Co-chair to the Indigenous Inclusion Committee at the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC). Kaella is determined to build and accelerate a cultural renaissance that allows the energy industry to understand the land (and our collective responsibility to it) through an Indigenous lens – and act on it. 

Andy is a Data Science Engineer (EIT) at Teine Energy Ltd. in Calgary. In this role, he assists in advanced analyses, data engineering/architecting, optimization projects, and digital strategic planning company-wide. 

 

Attending the University of British Columbia, Andy obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering. Immediately after graduation he decided to move back to Calgary to apply tech to Energy.

 

In his free time, Andy enjoys personal programming projects, yo-yoing, documentaries, and hiking

Jennifer is a born and raised Calgarian, a proud graduate of MRU and holds her SCMP designation. She has worked for various energy companies in Calgary, both upstream and midstream, and spent nearly three years in Qatar working for Total E&P. In 2016, she was honored to receive a Young Women in Energy award for her dedication to changing the face of energy through innovation. Currently, Jennifer is
working as a Category Lead at TC Energy looking after enterprise wide spend, strategy and performance for engineering and survey services. In addition to Avatar, Jennifer volunteers with the Junior League of Calgary and the Marda Loop Communities Association. Jennifer enjoys cooking, wine, travel and a good book.

Katie leads Business Development for Industry Diversification for Spartan Controls, an industrial technology company with process automation, valve, measurement and control solutions in Western Canada.  In addition, Katie is the Executive Director of Young Women in Energy (YWE), a non-profit Alberta organization of more than 4,500 members that provides voice, presence, development, and leadership of women working in the energy industry. In this role, she has presented to the Senate of Canada’s ENEV Committee on Bill C-69 and was featured on ARC Energy Research Institute’s ARC Energy Ideas podcast. She is a founding board member of Axis Connect, a non-profit acting as a collaboration and resource hub for women-focused initiatives and organizations, and in 2019, she was recognized by She Innovates Alberta, UN Women’s first pilot chapter of its Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC). Katie is currently pursuing her MBA in Executive Management at Royal Roads University. 

Katia recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calgary, Schulich School of Engineering. Highlights of her degree include completing a 16-month internship focused on pipeline integrity at TC Energy and working in a nanocomposite engineering research lab.Katia is now working as a Pipeline Stress Engineer-In-Training at TC Energy, where she completes stress analysis and modelling for in-service natural gas pipelines. She is continually looking to learn as much as she can and develop new skills. Her career aspiration is to become a technically focused leader who drives positive change within the industry.Katia is passionate about volunteerism and the pipeline industry, during her time at the University of Calgary she co-founded and led the UCalgary chapter of YPAC, as well as served as the president of the volunteer organization Robogals UCalgary. She has continued to volunteer with YPAC, launching the first annual YPAC mentorship program, connecting 50 students and industry professionals across Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys 3D printing, reading, and baking.

 An award-winning communications and design strategist with nearly 15 years of experience and passion for developing communication solutions. With an education in graphic design and a background in communications, Leanne takes technical information and turns it into a story worth sharing, through traditional, digital and social media to achieve business goals. Delivering results in crisis communications, stakeholder relations and media outreach.

Stella Cunha has extensive experience in cross-cultural leadership having lived, worked, and traveled around the world. She started her career as a Mining Engineer in Brazil and moved to Calgary to pursue her master’s degree in Pipeline Engineering. Her career has been focused on pipeline design and construction. In the university she came across YPAC and joined as a member, and has been holding roles since then from Outreach Coordinator to her current role as Chair of Value to Young Pipeliners and Young Pipeliners International Council representative, As part of the Avatar team, she can channel her passion for collaboration and innovation to help build the new energy future. 

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