Advisory Committee

Valerie Kitchell

Manager, Renewable Energy Approvals
wpd Canada Corp.


Valerie Kitchell has been driven by her passion for environmental sustainability, energy, education, and stakeholder engagement for the past 10 years. Valerie is active in wind energy development. With a background in health science, business and environmental policy, Valerie worked with the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association to drive the expansion of renewable energy in the province. A proud member of the Women in Renewable Energy Advisory Committee, Valerie is dedicated to furthering education and awareness surrounding renewable energy development and policy.


Mary Warner

Finance Manager
TREC Renewable Energy Co-Operative

Mary Warner has worked at TREC for over 8 years.  As Finance Manager, she manages the bookkeeping and financial reporting for TREC and its many renewable energy co-operative and charity clients.  Mary is dedicated to helping boards better understand their financial position through clear, timely and customized reporting. A passionate cyclist, Mary commutes by bike most of the year and loves exploring the city's bike paths and trails with her husband and daughters. 


Julia Cushing

Senior Environmental Planner
Savanta Environmental Consulting 

Julia Cushing is a Senior Environmental Planner at Savanta with over 10 years of experience conducting environmental assessments with a focus on renewable energy projects. In her role, Julia is responsible for managing projects, liaising with clients and developing business opportunities. Through her involvement with WiRE, Julia looks forward to meeting and supporting other professionals in the industry. She values the networking and career development focus of WiRE, in addition to the mentorship opportunities.


Catalina Castillo

Brookfield Renewable Partners

Catalina Castillo is a Manager in Brookfield Renewable's Asset Management group and has over 7 years experience working in the energy and resources sector. In her current role she provides management and oversight for Brookfield Renewable's global investments in renewable platforms and works closely with the investment and capital markets teams. Catalina is passionate about growing the involvement of women in the sector and looks forward to supporting WiRE's initiatives and mission.


Laura Van Soelen

Commercial Litigation Lawyer
Gowling WLG

Laura Van Soelen.jpg

Laura Van Soelen is a lawyer who works as a partner in Gowling WLG’s Toronto office.  Laura advises clients in the energy sector on regulatory compliance, dispute resolution and transactional issues.  Her clients include electricity generators, suppliers, competitive energy retailers and operators, with a particular focus on clients operating in the solar industry. Laura has appeared before all levels of court in Ontario, the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal, as well as arbitration panels and regulatory tribunals.

Aleks Modelewska

Business Development, Transmission & Distribution
Digital Engineering Ltd.


As Business Development Executive for Transmission & Distribution at Digital Engineering Ltd, Aleks Modelewska helps utility representatives use data analytics and computer modeling to solve common problems through non-intrusive solutions. She completed her studies at McGill University, located in Montreal, Canada. Prior to Digital Engineering, she spent several years at CEATI International, leading several of the transmission & distribution programs. Along with a colleague, she started CEATI’s Women in Power Group, and in her free time she enjoys photography, hiking and learning about other cultures while traveling the world.

Leila Durante

Director Business Development
Summerhill Group


Leila Durante is an international affairs professional with extensive and continuous experience in energy issues. Leila's experience in the sector spans 15 years with Canadian, US and international experience, and includes international development and diplomacy, business development, policy and regulatory affairs, and consulting services. She currently advises clients on business development matters. Leila graduated from NYU with a Chemistry degree and obtained her MIA in International Energy Management and Policy from Columbia University. Leila is a true citizen of the world, having lived and worked on four continents, is passionate about the planet, and promoting renewables, energy efficiency and sustainable mobility. Leila is excited to contribute to WiRE's international presence.

If you would like to be considered for a position on the WiRE Advisory Committee, please contact