Energy Council of Canada names Fort St. John Mayor as Energy Person of the Year
The Energy Council of Canada has chosen Mayor Lori Ackerman of Fort St. John, British Columbia as Canadian Energy Person of the Year.
As a 30-year resident of Fort St. John, B.C. and the community's first female mayor, Lori Ackerman is one of Canada's top energy advocates. She is admired for her leadership of a resource-driven municipality, striking a balance between energy development, community representation, and First Nations partnerships.
Mindful of the challenges and opportunities that energy resource municipalities manage, Mayor Ackerman consistently advocates for economic and community development, technological innovation, and Canadian competitiveness. Her willingness to share lessons learned and to engage in dialogue regarding the relationship between local communities and Canada's energy sector marks her as a leader not only in her own community but across Canada.
Mayor Ackerman thinks globally and acts locally. Together with Fort St. John City Council, she successfully aligned the City's Strategic Plan with UN Global Sustainable Development goals, toured local resource projects with mayors from across B.C. and received one of only two Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum and Certified Passive House designations in Canada for Fort St. John's demonstration house. Fort St. John, under Mayor Ackerman's leadership, was presented Clean Energy B.C.'s Community of the Year Award and installed an in-line turbine on the City's gravity-fed effluent outfall line generating 780 MWh of energy each year. Mayor Ackerman is also a contributing member of the Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America (CISAL) initiative, working with resource-based communities in Colombia and Peru to build capacity in local government, was recognized as one of the Top 35 Most Influential Women in BC and was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.
When asked about the decision to present Mayor Ackerman with the Canadian Energy Person of the Year Award, Energy Council of Canada President, Jacob Irving had this to say: "Canadian communities that grow alongside energy development, manage unique development opportunities. Balancing economic highs and lows, while moving toward a sustainable future for both the community and the energy industry requires vision, tenacity and strong leadership. Canada is fortunate to have a leader like Lori Ackerman who sees the big picture and the local reality and is able to fit the two together for mutual benefit. There is a lot we can learn from Mayor Ackerman, which is why we're so pleased she is the 2019 Canadian Energy Person of the Year."
The Canadian Energy Person of the Year Award was established by the Energy Council of Canada in 2001 to recognize and pay tribute to a Canadian energy leader who has made a significant impact at the national and international levels within the energy sector and nominations are based upon the nominee's outstanding accomplishments in the business or public sectors and the community at large.
A foremost characteristic of the nominee is their strong sense of social responsibility and their commitment to give back to the community. Their focus upon environmental and social issues, and economic development should be evident. Their forward thinking and innovative spirit enable these leaders to promote the Canadian energy sector and Canada's role in the world energy market.