I would first like to say that it has been my personal and professional pleasure to have been a Director of HIEA since 2016 and the Chair of the Board of Directors since 2018. I am very proud of all that we have been able to accomplish and would like to offer my sincere thanks to all of our members and staff for their continued hard work and dedication throughout this particularly challenging year. While some uncertainty remains and we will surely face more adversities, HIEA will continue to invest our time and resources to fulfil our mission to:
Care for our environment and improve the quality of life in our communities through sustainable operations, open dialogue with our neighbours, and local partnerships that support environmental education for Hamilton students.
In 2021 we welcomed a new Vice Chair, Julie Wedzinga who replaced Andrew Sebestyen, and a new General Manager, Geoffrey Knapper who replaced Ed Cocchiarella. Our Board of Directors also underwent adaptation as Bruce MacGregor replaced Gabriel Panaccio at Air Liquide, Karl Marcotte replaced Adam Ruys at AIM, and Robert Van Vugt replaced Mark Lynch at Sanimax. I wish Andrew, Ed, Gabriel, Adam and Mark all the best and look forward to our continued work in the Hamilton Community.
We are incredibly honoured to provide a new endowed fund in a brand new, first of its kind Sustainable Chemistry Program at McMaster University. We were very fortunate to have special guests Professor’s Gillian Goward and Michael Brook join us at our fall public meeting to discuss the significance of this program. “Chemists need to practice environmental stewardship,” says Brook, who will teach in the new program. “Our stewardship needs to start in labs and classrooms and continue into the chemical industry. In the decades ahead, chemists will be counted on to make key contributions in building a sustainable green economy,” says Brook. The first award will be issued September 2022 and HIEA is delighted to support a bright and talented student every year going forward.
One of the key benefits of HIEA membership is our ability to merge resources as a collective of 14 companies to improve our connection to the community. One of the ways we can do this is by supporting environmental education programs for Hamilton’s youth. In 2021, HIEA supported The Bay Area Restoration Council, The Hamilton Conservation Foundation, The Royal Botanical Gardens, and the City of Hamilton’s McQuesten Urban Farms. Details about the specific programs that were funded can be found later in this report.
HIEA members also understand that it’s today’s students who will be tasked to help us shift to a more sustainable future and we believe that post-secondary environmental studies are a primary focus for financial support. Since 2006, HIEA has awarded students with our own scholarship fund at Mohawk College. The endowed fund has provided a total of over $27,000 to support 30 recipients enrolled in Environmental Diploma Programs.
HIEA is proud of the work we’ve been able to do in our community. As a neighbour to industry, your input is integral to HIEA’s on-going success. We welcome your involvement. For more information about our meetings and other current initiatives, visit hiea.org or contact us at 905-662-2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair of the Board - Hamilton Industrial Environmental Association