2022 State of the Strait Business Update

State of the Strait Business Update:  March 30, 2022

Thank you to our panelists and attendees who helped make our Business update a success!  On March 30th we had a great day at our State of the Strait Business Update at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre!  We welcomed 9 panelists to speak on Housing for All, Expanding in New Directions and a Shift to Green Energy. Great conversations took place highlighting many of the challenges and successes we have in this region – many new connections were made!  


Have a peek at our Facebook album to see from highlights from the day we’ll be adding more images in the coming days!

Date:  March 30, 2022

Time:  8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location:  Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre (606 Reeves St., Port Hawkesbury)

Tickets:  $75 members / $85 non-members / Tables of 8 available for $550 (plus tax)

Detailed Itinerary:

8:00 a.m. – Light Breakfast Buffet Opens

8:45 a.m. – Welcome

8:55 a.m. – Breakfast Keynote

9:15 a.m. Expanding in New Directions Panel

10:00 a.m. – Housing For All Panel

10:45 a.m. – Morning Break

11:00 a.m. – The Shift to Green Panel

11:45 a.m. – Lunch Served

12:15 a.m. – Lunch Keynote

12:40 p.m. – Closing Remarks


Lunch Keynote – SCOTT URQUHART

CEO and Founder
AEGIR Insights

Scott Urquhart is the founder and CEO of Aegir Insights, using research and analytics to help clients make better offshore wind investment decisions.  He has more than 18 years of energy industry experience, starting out as a petroleum engineer in Canada before transitioning into energy investment banking with Macquarie Capital in the UK. In 2011 he started in the offshore wind sector with Ørsted, initially responsible for building a commercial team focusing on turbine pricing and technology valuation. He later was a Programme Director for the Race Bank and West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farms. Scott has also been a strategic advisor to industry pioneer Henrick Stiesdal in establishing Stiesdal A/S across areas of floating wind, long duration storage and PtX. The Aegir Insights team combines extensive industry experience in energy project development, technology, and strategy with specific skills within management consulting, programming and communication. They are united by their passion for making an impact on the renewable energy and climate sector.

Breakfast Keynote – KAILEA PEDLEY
Local Immigration Partnership Program Manager

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Kailea Pedley works for the Cape Breton Partnership as the Program Manager of the Cape Breton Local Immigration Partnership (or ‘CBLIP’). She began this role with the launch of the initiative in 2017 and is responsible for supporting all CBLIP groups and activities. Kailea believes that immigration will continue to play a critical role in the future of Cape Breton-Unama’ki and is proud to work alongside CBLIP members to help foster welcoming and inclusive communities for all newcomers.

Kailea holds a BAH in Political Studies and Global Development Studies and an MSc in Rural Planning and Development. She has a diverse background that includes experience living, studying and working in El Salvador, the United Kingdom, China and New Zealand. Originally from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Kailea has lived in Pipers Glen, Inverness County since 2014. When she is not managing the CBLIP, she operates Patchwood Farm with her husband and can often be found selling their vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers at the Mabou Farmers’ Market.

Housing for All


Executive Director
Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia

Jim worked in various social housing programming with the Province of Nova Scotia for over 30 years before retiring from public service in 2004. Since then he has spent time with Phoenix Youth Programs (Program Director), the South African National Department of Housing (Technical Advisor to a new social housing program), and New Dawn Enterprises (Senior Consultant), a community development organization in Cape Breton. He also served as a Trustee for the Federal Cooperative Stabilization Fund. Jim rejoined the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia’s (AHANS) Board of Directors in 2012 but stepped down and as Executive Director has led AHANS in its role as the Community Entity responsible for delivering Service Canada’s programs which make community based investments to end and/or prevent homelessness, one for Halifax and the other for Nova Scotia and in expanding AHANS role as non-profit housing owner, developer and consultant.


While with the Province Jim was recognized nationally by both the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for his contributions to both cooperative and non-profit housing in Nova Scotia. In December 2020 he was appointed to and remains a member of the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Commission.

President & CEO
New Dawn Enterprises

Hailing from Western and Central Canada, for the last decade Erika Shea has called Cape Breton home.


Her role with New Dawn has allowed her to engage in the work of its various divisions and to meet the many bright and passionate people working to shift the course of Cape Breton Island.


Prior to assuming her current role, President/CEO, as Vice President of Development Erika worked with the teams responsible for bringing The Eltuek Arts Centre and the Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration to life.


New Dawn, incorporated in 1976, is the oldest Community Development Corporation in Canada. Its work in the community is guided by its mission – to engage the community to create and support a culture of self-reliance.


In addition to her work with New Dawn, Erika has served as a Director with both local and provincial boards and committees including: ACAP Cape Breton, the Highland Arts Theatre, and the Social Enterprise Network of Nova Scotia.


Erika holds an MA in Canadian Studies from Carleton University and a BA in Political Science from Saint Mary’s University. She lives in Mira Gut with her partner Rob, children Frances and Charlie, and a handful of cats and chickens.

Community Navigator
Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce

Rebecca Cassidy, BA, RMT was hired as Community Navigator for the Yarmouth Region in September 2019.  Over 30 years in health care and business prepared her to identify a variety of barriers to health care recruitment and retention in her community. Rebecca will be highlighting the process of recognizing, fulfilling  and operating the solution to one of these barriers: housing.

Expanding in New Directions


Founding Partners
Anchored Recruiting Ltd.

Danielle Johnston and Danielle Patterson are co-founders and partners in Anchored Ideas Ltd. and Anchored Recruiting Ltd. Over the past five years, “the Danielles” have worked with more than 200 local clients of Anchored Ideas to create and execute marketing and communications strategies to build brand loyalty and drive sales. Through this experience, they identified a need for a locally-owned recruitment agency in Cape Breton and thus Anchored Recruiting was born in March of this year.  Anchored Recruiting combines recruitment marketing strategies with pro-active outreach to connect quality employees with great employers. Simply put, we take the headache out of hiring. 

Danielle Johnston is also the General Manager of City Print Plus. Danielle Patterson is non-operating partner in Devantec IT & Security. 


Real Estate Agent with Engel & Volkers and Co-Owner/Creator, Inverness’ Company House

Desiree’s charm and enthusiasm is infectious. She is from Cape Breton; currently residing in Inverness with her husband and two children. With a keen interest in design, she and her husband recently finished restoring a 1940’s home. She has been selling real estate for nearly ten years, currently working as a Real Estate Advisor with Engel & Völkers. In 2019, Desiree took her entrepreneurial spirit to the test; she began the making of what is now a newly built, three story building on Central Avenue Inverness; a collective work space for entrepreneurs like herself, along with seven leased office spaces, a deli cafe, boardroom / co working areas, and a two bedroom suite with a grand balcony overlooking Cabot Links and the Gulf of St Lawerence. The suite is available as a nightly rental, and commonly used for events. This building has thoughtfully been named, The Company House; paying tribute to what is a rich history of a once coal mining town and the ‘Company Homes’. Now a busy realtor and business owner, with other projects on her horizon, Desiree is also an active volunteer within her community. She co-chairs the Inverness Women’s Group, is on the Board for the Cape Breton West Women in Business, and administers a reading program catered to young children and their families. But, her greatest accolade, is simply being a mom.


The Shift to Green

Executive Director
Marine Renewables Canada

Elisa has been involved in the marine renewable energy sector for over ten years. As Executive Director of Marine Renewables Canada, Elisa has been working to advance offshore wind, tidal, wave, and river current energy in Canada. She facilitates technology innovation and sector development by advocating for supportive policies, identifying international business development opportunities, and enhancing the capacity of the local supply chain. Elisa has also designed and led numerous engagement and outreach activities to grow knowledge and support for marine renewable energy development.

Elisa is a founding member of the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CanCORE) and Electricity Alliance Canada, as well as the alternate delegate for Canada on the International Energy Agency’s Ocean Energy Systems (OES) executive committee. She has also worked at several other organizations, focused on clean technology, tidal energy, and the broader renewable energy sector including Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), and Nova Scotia Department of Energy.

Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Masters in Public Administration from Dalhousie University.


Community Wind Farms

Keith spends most of his energy finding ways to use naturally occurring forces to lessen human impact from carbon-emitting power production. He has a background in finance and engineering and 20 years of experience developing renewable energy projects in North America, South America, and the United Kingdom.

He is the CEO of Community Wind Farms Inc. The renewable energy company is working with partners across Atlantic Canada on projects that will fight climate change, ensure energy security, and provide low-carbon, low-cost energy for people in the region and for industries.

He has worked in partnership with large and small wind developers and with community groups and First Nations – most recently for a portfolio of grid-scale wind projects in Nova Scotia. He has a MBA from University of Durham and a MA in engineering and economics from University of Cambridge in the UK.

Keith spends as much time as possible at an ancestral family home along the Mulgrave Road. He is always delighted to see the wind turbines along the Strait of Canso.


Founder and CEO
EverWind Fuels LLC

Trent is the CEO and Founder of EverWind Fuels LLC. Prior to Founding EverWind Fuels, Trent Co-Founded Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, was a Senior Managing Director at The Blackstone Group and a Managing Director at Macquarie Bank. Trent has 25 years’ experience in North American infrastructure.

Trent’s infrastructure experience including over $20Bn of investments in Renewable Energy, Utilities, Terminals, Midstream Energy, Rail, Water and Communications Infrastructure. In addition to managing a $20 billion portfolio of infrastructure assets he has sitting on the boards of seven infrastructure companies across these sectors. Trent has raised over $15bn of institutional capital from over 100 investors (including US Public Pension Plans, Canadian Institutions, Insurance Companies, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Fund of Funds and High Net Worth Investors).

Trent received a Master’s degree in Economics from Macquarie University (Actuarial Studies) in Sydney Australia, qualified as an actuary as in Australia. He is a CFA Charterholder.


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