WEBINAR: Hydrogen and the Great Lakes Region’s Clean Energy Transition

View the recording from the webinar below! 

The binational Great Lakes region, which includes the eight US states from New York to Minnesota and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, serves as North America’s economic engine.

A large, carbon-intensive industrial base that is home to over 100 million people, accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels to clean energy will be critical for meeting both countries’ commitments to decarbonization and achieving a prosperous net-zero emissions economy across all sectors.

Hydrogen is expected to play a key role in the decarbonization of the region’s many sectors, especially hard to electrify sectors like heavy duty transportation and aviation, agriculture, steel, and refining.

In our February 8th webinar we heard from expert speakers from the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2) and the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) on an update regarding the latest hydrogen developments, challenges, and opportunities throughout the region and across the border between the U.S. and Canada.


Neil Banwart, Chief Integration Officer, Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen

As Chief Integration Officer, Neil Banwart’s responsibilities include ensuring MachH2 maximizes all sources of funding and also working to continually expand the reach and impact of MachH2. In conjunction with the CEO, he also represents MachH2 in public facing matters such as media interviews, on panels, and at tradeshows. 

Neil also serves as Managing Director-Hydrogen at Energy Systems Network (ESN). Prior to ESN, he spent nearly a decade at Cummins Inc. He has held several M&A, Treasury, and finance roles in his career, including service as the CFO of a small private equity fund. Neil earned a Bachelor’s in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Bradley University. He is a CFA Charterholder and serves on the Board of Directors of the CFA Society of Indianapolis as the immediate past president. 

Ivette Vera-Perez, President and CEO, Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA)

Ivette Vera-Perez has over 15 years of experience in the cleantech and environmental technologies sector. Her expertise spans from business development to site engineering, operations, and financing. She holds a Master of Applied Science from the University of British Columbia, and an MBA from McGill University.

Before joining the CHFCA, Ms. Vera-Perez was the National Team Lead for Mitacs’s Account Management group and directed a multidisciplinary group of account managers across Canada with the mandate of helping industry secure top talent to advance innovation.  She also previously served as the Manager for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction programs at the Ontario Centres of Innovation, where she managed over $275 million in program funding. Ivette also serves on the board of the Ontario Clean Technologies Industry Association (OCTIA).


Lora Shrake, Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Lora Shrake is the Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability for the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), where she is working with a growing network of business leaders to connect across sustainability issues and support the advancement of cross-sector solutions.

Some of the programmatic areas include circular economy, water stewardship, and climate change and decarbonization. Lora also facilitates CGLR’s monthly business and sustainability webinar series, providing a platform for knowledge sharing and amplifying regional best practice.

About MachH2: 

The Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen is a multistate alliance of public and private entities who have joined together to grow the regional hydrogen value chain. This alliance includes carbon-free energy producers, national labs, leading universities, hydrogen technology providers, diverse hydrogen end users across sectors and environmental justice organizations who are committed to delivering clean hydrogen to power our communities and create a carbon-free economy.

With potential investments across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin, the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen has been established to promote commercially scalable projects that will stimulate clean hydrogen production and supply hydrogen end users across diverse sectors. The hub will produce tens of thousands of metric tons of hydrogen per year, with plans to grow over time as we develop a clean hydrogen economy. The hub partners have a shared commitment to a positive climate impact and decarbonization, safety, training, and workforce development. This includes a specific focus on historically disadvantaged communities.

About CHFCA:

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) is a national association that supports industry, academia, government agencies, financial organizations and other stakeholders focused on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and products. As the collective voice of Canada’s world-leading hydrogen and fuel cell sector, the CHFCA’s mission is to strengthen Canadian leadership, raise awareness of the benefits of the technology, and accelerate the adoption of its members’ products and services in Canada and abroad. The CHFCA currently has more than 170 members across Canada and regional branches in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario. You can also follow CHFCA on Twitter at @PoweringNow or visit www.chfca.ca for more information.

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