Steve MacDonald, CEO

Speaking at SPARK 2019

About ERA

ERA was created in 2009 to help deliver on the province’s environmental and economic goals. ERA takes action on climate change and supports economic growth by investing in the pilot, demonstration and deployment of clean technology solutions that reduce GHGs, lower costs, attract investment, and create jobs in Alberta.

For every ERA dollar we commit to advancing new technologies, $7.20 has been invested by funding partners.

Mandate & Vision


Reduce GHG emissions and grow Alberta’s economy by accelerating the development and adoption of innovative technology solutions.


Alberta has competitive industries that deliver sustainable environmental outcomes, attract investment, and are building a diversified, lower carbon economy.

Value Proposition

Our investments help innovators develop and demonstrate GHG-reducing technologies.These technologies will lower costs, improve competitiveness and accelerate Alberta’s transformation to a low carbon economy.

Strategic Priorities

To achieve ERA’s vision and mandate, we will:

Accelerate Technology

Invest in GHG-reducing technologies that help Alberta grow existing industries and create new ones.

Drive Commercialization

Convene the resources required to accelerate the commercialization and wide spread adoption of technology solutions that lead to economic growth and GHG reductions in Alberta.

Maximize Impact

Maximize our impact through leveraged funding, communications, operational excellence, and by measuring and reporting on key performance metrics.


Steve MacDonald Chief Executive Officer

Steve MacDonald is CEO of (ERA), an Alberta-based, board-governed not-for-profit corporation with a mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow Alberta’s economy by accelerating the development and adoption of innovation technology solutions. To date ERA has invested $796 million in 220 technology projects worth $6.5 billion.

Prior to taking the leadership role at ERA, MacDonald had an extensive career in the Alberta Public Service, serving in a range of ministries including Treasury Board, Energy, Human Services, Innovation and Advanced Education and Executive Council. During this time, he led major initiatives to guide and transform policy and delivery systems to improve outcomes for Albertans including Alberta’s Social Policy Framework and province-wide economic and environmental initiatives.

Steve holds the ICD.D designation and is a Director on the Board of the Canada West Foundation. He is also a part-time instructor in the University of Alberta’s MBA and Executive Education programs. In 2018, Steve was honored to become a member of the Kainai Chieftainship.

Heather Stephens Chief Operating Officer

Heather Stephens is ERA’s Chief Operating Officer. Heather has worked with ERA since inception and has played a key role in operating and growing the organization over the past 12 years. In her current role, Heather leads teams responsible for finance, project portfolio management, information technology, contract management, governance, and Human Resources. As a Chartered Professional Accountant, Heather brings her extensive background in audit and financial accounting with not-for-profit organizations, Government of Alberta agencies, as well as various private and public Canadian and International companies. Prior to joining ERA directly, Heather spent 20 years with the multi-national accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in both the Edmonton and London, UK offices, the last nine of which were primarily dedicated to helping establish and operate ERA (formerly Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation). Heather graduated from the University of Alberta with Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce degrees.

Dr. Mark Summers Chief Strategy Officer

Mark Summers is Chief Strategy Officer for Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA). He is responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of key strategic initiatives, partnerships, external relations, and stakeholder engagement that demonstrate and communicate ERA’s unique value proposition. Prior to his current position, Mark was Executive Director of Technology and Innovation, leading ERA’s technology investment process and project management activities.

Mark’s background includes technology investment program and portfolio management, renewable energy technology, and climate change policy. Prior to joining ERA, he was Director of Renewable Energy Innovation at Alberta Innovates. He has also served as a Climate Change Engineer in the Climate Change Secretariat for the Government of Alberta, and a researcher at the University of Alberta. Mark is a Professional Engineer who holds a BSc in Engineering Physics and a PhD in Nanostructured Engineering from the University of Alberta.

Justin Wheler Executive Director, Technology and Innovation

Justin Wheler is Executive Director of Technology and Innovation for ERA. Justin is a Professional Engineer with over a decade of experience in greenhouse gas regulation and policy. Previously, he worked to advance climate policy and regulation for the Government of Alberta since 2007, when Alberta started its industrial carbon pricing system. In that time, he worked on numerous climate strategies and policies, including the building and delivery of Alberta’s industrial carbon pricing systems. Justin also worked in the Economics and Fiscal Policy division of Alberta Treasury Board and Finance supporting the design and implementation of Alberta’s carbon levy system. Most recently Justin served as the Executive Director of Climate Implementation and Compliance in Alberta Environment and Parks. Justin graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Civil Engineering in the Environmental Engineering Option.