People

Research Team

We are a small but nimble team with big hopes of changing the world.

Dr. Stephanie Bertels

Dr. Stephanie Bertels

Founder and Executive Director

Stephanie directs all the activities of the Embedding Project and is the focal point for the partnership’s research efforts. She founded the Embedding Project in 2010 when she developed the embedding framework in a systematic review on Embedding Sustainability into Organizational Culture. Since then, she has worked with global firms to refine the framework into a comparable diagnostics assessment tool and build a set of resources and tools to support its implementation. Stephanie is also the Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability and an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. She has worked in industry as an environmental engineering consultant. She has a BSc in Geological Environmental Engineering, a MSc in Petroleum (Environmental) Engineering, and a PhD in Strategy and Global Management and Sustainable Development.

Dr. Jess Schulschenk

Dr. Jess Schulschenk

Partnerships Director, Africa

Jess is a Senior Researcher with the Embedding Project. She is also the Director of South Africa’s Sustainability Institute and a lecturer with the University of Stellenbosch. She brings a wealth of research and practice knowledge from past roles in private and public sectors, including Senior Researcher with EY and Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Network for Business Sustainability South Africa. Jess has a BSc in Ocean and Atmosphere Science and Environmental and Geographic Science, a MPhil in Sustainable Development and a PhD in Business Administration. When not getting lost in the oceans and mountains, Jess can be found with her hands in the soil, helping things grow.

Sally Crane

Sally Crane

Partnerships Director, North America

Sally is a certified Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability professional with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Business Management. She has 13+ years’ professional experience and has worked in a variety of sectors, including research and events, investment banking, travel, fashion, international development, and website development. Her international work experience (including the UK, Canada, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Ethiopia) has given her an appreciation of corporate best practice across different countries and cultures. Sally has knowledge on a broad range of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability related issues, including those pertaining to the workplace, marketplace, community, environment, and governance. Sally has excellent communication skills, builds strong relationships, and thrives on a challenge.

Sinead Sprigg

Sinead Sprigg

Communications Manager

Sinead is the communications manager for the Embedding Project, responsible for knowledge mobilisation and community engagement. She has a Masters in French from the University of British Columbia, bringing experience in design and copywriting from her work in the water sector and multilingual marketing.

Alexandra Cooperman

Alexandra Cooperman

Operations Manager

Alexandra oversees our day-to-day operations and financial planning and administration. She has been with the Embedding Project since its initial formation and has contributed to the development of the embedding framework, conducted data analysis and synthesis, and produced assessment reports for over two dozen leading global companies.

Rylan Dobson

Rylan Dobson

Knowledge Manager, Contextualised Strategy

Rylan managed the activities of our Community of Practices exploring Contextualised Strategy-making. He conducts research, develops resources, and provides contextual strategy development support to the companies we work with. Rylan has a degree in Environmental Biotechnology and Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Rylan joins our team with over 10 years of corporate freshwater consulting and international project management experience.

Ariel Fabbro

Ariel Fabbro

Knowledge Manager, Community of Practices

Ariel conducts research, develops resources and writes case studies, with a focus on contextualised strategy. He has a degree in Global Studies and completed his Master of Science in Sustainability Management at the University of Toronto. His previous experience includes information synthesis and writing structured content across a broad range of knowledge fields. Ariel’s changemaking career in the sustainability field follows on the heels of his playmaking career on the football field.

Brandon Toews

Brandon Toews

Knowledge Manager, Governance

Brandon manages the activities of our Community of Practice on Governance Strategy-making. He conducts research, manages databases, and develops and curates tools and resources for embedding sustainability. Brandon has a degree in History and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).

Jeeten Morar

Jeeten Morar

Knowledge Manager

Jeeten supports engagements with member companies, and assists with the research and writing of reports, guidebooks and other knowledge products. He also assists with the planning and coordination of events and oversees some of the Embedding Project’s other administrative and financial functions. Prior to the Embedding Project, Jeeten worked in the short-term (general) insurance and social enterprise/ impact investment industries. He has a BCom in Management Studies, as well as a PGDip and MPhil in Sustainable Development. When not at work, you can find Jeeten on the mountain or spending time with family.

Mireta Strandberg-Salmon

Mireta Strandberg-Salmon

Research Assistant

Mireta contributes to the creation of various guides and resources for businesses to assist with the development of contextualized corporate strategies. She conducts research, writing, and analysis on corporate trends and best practices in response to various sustainability issues. Mireta is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Environment in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University.

Research Collaborators

We collaborate with some of the top global business scholars that share our commitment to shaping practice in business sustainability.

Dr. Stephanie Bertels

Dr. Stephanie Bertels

Lead Researcher

Stephanie directs all the activities of the Embedding Project and is the focal point for the partnership’s research efforts. She founded the Embedding Project in 2010 when she developed the embedding framework in a systematic review on Embedding Sustainability into Organizational Culture. Since then, she has worked with global firms to refine the framework into a comparable diagnostics assessment tool and build a set of resources and tools to support its implementation. Stephanie is also the Director of the Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability and an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. She has worked in industry as an environmental engineering consultant. She has a BSc in Geological Environmental Engineering, a MSc in Petroleum (Environmental) Engineering, and a PhD in Strategy and Global Management and Sustainable Development.

Dr. Jen Howard Grenville

Dr. Jen Howard Grenville

Research Collaborator

Jen is the Diageo Reader in Management Studies at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. She serves as an Associate Editor at Academy of Management Journal, and is the author of 20 papers in academic journals and 3 books. Her work is published in management/organization studies journals, as well as journals focused on environmental issues. Jen’s research focuses on cultural change within organizations, organizational routines, organizational identity, and environmental and social issues in business. She is an expert in qualitative research methods, deriving insights from in-depth interviewing and participant observation. Jen holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MA from Oxford University, and a BSc from Queen's University, Canada.

Dr. Ralph Hamann

Dr. Ralph Hamann

Research Collaborator

Ralph is Professor and Research Director at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business. He researches and teaches on business sustainability, social innovation, and cross-sector collaboration. He has published in leading management and development journals, and he is an executive editor of "Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development." Ralph co-founded the Southern Africa Food Lab, for which he received UCT’s Distinguished Social Responsiveness Award. Much of his tertiary training was in environmental science at UCT, and he has a PhD on corporate responsibility in the South African mining sector from the University of East Anglia in the UK. He grew up in Africa, Asia, and Europe and has travelled widely, including a sailboat crossing of the South Atlantic (despite a propensity for sea-sickness).

Dr. Jess Schulschenk

Dr. Jess Schulschenk

Senior Researcher

Jess is a Senior Researcher with the Embedding Project. She is also the Director of South Africa’s Sustainability Institute and a lecturer with the University of Stellenbosch. She brings a wealth of research and practice knowledge from past roles in private and public sectors, including Senior Researcher with EY and Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Network for Business Sustainability South Africa. Jess has a BSc in Ocean and Atmosphere Science and Environmental and Geographic Science, a MPhil in Sustainable Development and a PhD in Business Administration. When not getting lost in the oceans and mountains, Jess can be found with her hands in the soil, helping things grow.

Dr. Jason Jay

Dr. Jason Jay

Research Collaborator

Jason is a Senior Lecturer8 at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan. He teaches courses on leadership, strategy, and innovation for sustainable business. He engages students and alumni in hands-on projects with leading companies and organizations. His research focuses on how people navigate the tensions between personal, business, and social goals in sustainability efforts, particularly in cross-sectoral collaborations and hybrid organizations. Much of his research and practice occur in the technical domain of energy efficiency. Prior to MIT, Jason was a management consultant for Dialogos International, where he consulted on leadership development and organizational change for major international corporations and NGO's including BP and the World Bank. Jason holds a PhD in Organization Studies from the MIT Sloan School of Management, and an AB and MEd from Harvard University.

Dr. Joep Cornelissen

Dr. Joep Cornelissen

Research Collaborator

Joep is a professor of corporate communication and management at Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University. His research involves studies of the role of corporate and managerial communication in the context of innovation, entrepreneurship and change, and of social evaluations of the legitimacy and reputation of start-up and established firms. In addition, he also has an interest in questions of scientific reasoning and theory development in management and organization theory. His work has been published in the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Science and Organization Studies. He is an Associate Editor for the Academy of Management Review, a Council member of the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies, a former General Editor of the Journal of Management Studies (2006-2012) and serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies and Organization Studies.

Dr. Charlotte Cloutier

Dr. Charlotte Cloutier

Research Collaborator

Charlotte's research focuses on strategy practice in pluralistic organizations (industry associations, government ministries or agencies, hospitals, universities, NGOs, etc.) with a particular focus on how such practice shapes and is shaped by the wider institutional environment in which these organizations are embedded. In addition to her academic credentials, Charlotte has fifteen years of professional experience, including several years in senior management positions, held both in the private and public sectors. She has worked as Executive Director at the Newton Foundation; as Director of Development at Université de Sherbrooke; and as Director of Development – Faculty of Management at McGill University. She is a trained facilitator, professional fundraiser, and has worked as a freelance strategy consultant, notably for private foundations seeking to increase the impact and reach of their funding programs.

Dr. Eric Werker

Dr. Eric Werker

Research Collaborator

Eric is an assistant professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. He serves as academic lead from SFU to the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute. He researches how less developed countries can build more thriving and inclusive private sectors, and how international actors can play a positive role in creating successful societies. Eric is also an advisor to the Liberia program of the International Growth Centre in London, serves on the advisory group of the Center for Global Development in Washington, and is a member of the Centre for International Policy Studies study group on Canada’s sustainable development policy in Ottawa. He has set up and directed the International Growth Centre’s Liberia program, served as economic advisor to the President of Liberia, supported host government teams negotiating concession agreements, consulted to the NGO Conservation International on low-carbon development and to the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation on foreign aid projects, and worked with the Refugee Law Project in Uganda. Eric earned his AB and PhD in economics at Harvard.

Advisory Board

We collaborate with a set of global practice leaders that help shape our research agenda.

Ronan Chester

Ronan Chester

Manager, Strategic Environmental Initiatives. Vancouver Fraser Port Authority

Ronan is responsible for leading programs and projects related to air emissions, energy conservation and social responsibility across the Port of Vancouver. Ronan is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Energy Manager (CEM), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), Envision Infrastructure Sustainability Professional (ENV SP), and holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability.

Ronan led a multi-stakeholder initiative to define what sustainability means for the port, and integrated this into the port’s long term scenario planning process. He also led the development of the port’s sustainability reporting program, establishing Port of Vancouver among the first ports globally to meet international standards on sustainability reporting. Other examples of Ronan’s work include the Port of Vancouver emissions inventory program, the EcoAction Program for Ships, the Energy Action Initiative in partnership with BC Hydro, the Non Road Diesel Emissions Initiative, the Climate Smart Initiative, and the expansion of shore power to container terminals.

Gigi Dawe

Gigi Dawe

Director Research, Guidance and Support. CPA Canada

Gigi is a corporate governance thought-leader and educator for companies, and individuals responsible for the oversight of organizations. Gigi has extensive knowledge in corporate governance structure and is an authority on board performance, strategy and risk oversight. 

Gigi has created and produced public forums, presentations and guidance publications through the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada. A leader in corporate governance with a pragmatic and strategic approach, Gigi has been a member of boards throughout her career. Currently, she is on the advisory board for Women Get on Board and board committees for the International Federations of Accountants and the International Corporate Governance Network. Gigi has a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Jamie Gray-Donald

Jamie Gray-Donald

VP Sustainability at QuadReal

Jamie Gray-Donald joined QuadReal as the VP, Sustainability in February 2017 and has been promoted to Senior VP, Sustainability & Environmental, Health & Safety as of January 2019.  From development through to asset management, Jamie finds ways that sustainability practices can enhance prudent growth and sustainable returns. He helps colleagues play effective roles in nurturing vibrant communities and residential and commercial environments. In his role as leader of QuadReal’s Environmental, Health and Safety team, Jamie works to ensure they quantify and manage a range of environmental risks such as contaminated soil through to providing training and on-going support, so their employees have a safe and healthy workplace. 

Jamie was formerly the VP of Sustainability at Bentall Kennedy, and the Associate VP, Sustainability with Sears Canada. Previously he held the position of Research Coordinator at the Centre for Sustainable Futures in Plymouth, UK and worked in the Philippines at the International Rice Research Institute.

Jamie holds a PhD in Adult Education and an MA in Geography from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Arts Philosophy from McGill University.

Nathan Maycher

Nathan Maycher

Director, Climate Change & Sustainability Integration at Suncor Energy

Nathan is a professional engineer, currently fulfilling the role of Director, Climate Change & Sustainability Integration at Suncor Energy, an integrated energy company strategically focused on developing Canada's Athabasca oil sands.  Nathan leads a team, which holds accountability for climate strategy and policy advocacy, and integrating sustainability into key business decisions.  Nathan has been involved in the Embedding Project for the last five years and has used the unique experience to inform and enhance his strategic approach to sustainability.

Formerly, Nathan held the role of Director, Environment and SD Systems and Manager Sustainable Development at ConocoPhillips Canada.  His team held accountability for strategic sustainability projects, environmental strategy and policy advocacy, external reporting and SD risk management.

Vanessa Otto-Mentz

Vanessa Otto-Mentz

Head of Group Strategy Unit, Santam Insurance

Vanessa is an experienced international professional with a background in finance (CA(SA)), enterprise risk & governance; and a track record as a strategic change practitioner. Her current focus is on contextual strategy practices, systemic risk & resilience, and sustainable business.

As Head of Group Strategy Unit at Santam, Vanessa is responsible for the executive strategy process in the office of the CE. She also sits on the board of the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance and is a member of the UNEP FI Regional Task Force for Africa and the Middle East. Vanessa is also involved in academic work. She is a virtual faculty member at the University of Stellenbosch Business school, where she teaches the Strategic Management MBA module, and a part-time lecturer at USB Executive Development Ltd, where she works with the Business in Society team to help leaders and managers make sense of sustainable competitiveness.

Esther Speck

Esther Speck

VP Sustainability, Lululemon Athletica

Esther has extensive experience providing strategic sustainability consulting to some of the world’s leading outdoor athletic brands. She also has advisory experience across sectors, from tourism to financial to real estate. Prior to her role at lululemon, Esther was Head of Business Sustainability with Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) for six years, preceded by three years as a Board Member. As a Board member, Esther co-championed MEC’s Futures Project, fostering longer term thinking and value creation through the use of scenarios. As management, Esther built on this work by developing and leading MEC’s next level sustainability strategy.

Esther sits on various boards, is an associate with the Natural Step Canada, and is a frequent speaker on sustainability strategy, integration and culture. She was recently recognized with the Clean16 Outstanding Contributor to Clean Capitalism 2015 award. Esther holds an MBA and a Master of Applied Science in Resource and Environmental Management (MRM). She has also completed certificate programs in cooperative economics and in leadership.