Leadership Team

Stephen MacDonald

President & Chief Executive Officer

Stephen MacDonald is the President and Chief Executive Officer of EfficiencyOne, the not-for-profit operator of Canada’s first electricity efficiency utility, Efficiency Nova Scotia. Under Steve’s leadership, EfficiencyOne continues its track record of meeting its energy savings targets under budget, with a focus on continuous improvement, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Nova Scotia’s results and innovative model have been cited by the influential International Energy Agency, and by the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. Steve has been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs for 2019 and 2020 and is a recipient of Canada’s Clean50 award; both acknowledging his industry-leading efforts promoting energy efficiency and reducing C02 emissions.

Steve is a relentless champion for the development and growth of the energy efficiency industry in Nova Scotia, and the more than 2,500 people working in this field across the province. He is regularly asked to participate in national discussions on energy efficiency and climate policy. A Chartered Professional Accountant, prior to his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer, Steve previously served as EfficiencyOne’s Chief Operating Officer and held senior leadership positions with a Nova Scotia Crown Corporation and Grant Thornton. Steve is a member and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth and chairs the Governance Committee. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee for The ReCover Initiative, a project to develop a deep energy retrofit solution that responds to the climate crisis at the speed and scale necessary to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets. He has been a member of the Advisory Committee of the Canadian Business for Climate Policy and the Maritimes Energy Association Nominations and Elections Committee.

Sarah MacDonald

Chief Operating Officer

Sarah MacDonald is an accomplished Executive with international operational and corporate experience in the energy industry.  Sarah spent almost 20 years with Emera and its subsidiaries.  She has a proven track record of building, turning around and operating companies along with a history of increasing profitability and resolving difficult situations with multiple stakeholders.

Sarah, originally joined the Human Resources team at Nova Scotia Power.  She then moved into Emera Human Resources but soon got involved in operations.  She was CEO of Emera Utility Services before she took on the leadership of Grand Bahama Power.  Her Caribbean responsibilities expanded to include Barbados Light and Power, Dominica Electricity Services and Lucelec – Utilities with 250,000 customers and 1100 employees.  She and her team developed, received regulatory approval for and built Emera’s first solar installation.  Sarah also led the 38-day restoration of the electricity system on Grand Bahama following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.  Following Emera’s acquisition of TECO in Florida, Sarah took on the role of the President of TECO Services Inc. Most recently she was COO of XOCEAN, an Irish company that uses uncrewed surface vessels to map the ocean floor.

Sarah’s volunteer work includes the Positive Coaching Alliance in Tampa and prior to her move south she was a member of Dalhousie’s Board of Governors and involved with the IWK Board and Centennial Committee.

Sarah Buckle

Executive Director & Chief Climate Investment Officer

Sarah is an experienced sustainability leader with over 20 years effecting positive and transformative change through strategy and innovation. Sarah held the position of Director of Enterprise Sustainability at TransLink (Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority) from 2013 to 2021. Sarah joined TransLink after 13 years as a sustainability consultant working with various public and private organizations on the development and implementation of sustainability and environmental programs.

At TransLink, Sarah was responsible for ensuring enterprise sustainability efforts enhanced business performance and influence strategic planning. Sarah led the development of enterprise-wide sustainability initiatives such as annual Accountability Reporting, climate action planning, including low carbon fleet and sustainable infrastructure programs, carbon offset programs and sustainable investing programs. In 2019, Sarah was a recipient of Canada’s Clean50 award recognizing her leadership in sustainability.

Sarah served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Urban Transit Research Innovation Consortium (CUTRUC) from 2017-2021, and was a member of the BC Environmental Managers Association Board of Directors from 2011 to 2013.

John Esaiw

MBA, Chief Strategy & Technical Officer

John is a seasoned executive with over 24 years of industry expertise in the electricity sector across all aspects of energy including extensive commercial deal negotiation, establishing new regulatory frameworks, leading long-term planning and economic analysis, managing unregulated and regulated assets, leading highly technical analysis, providing insights, advice and recommendations to executive’s and corporate boards and leading strategic planning exercises.

Prior to joining EfficiencyOne, John has held senior leadership positions at publicly traded power generation companies, a provincial regulator as well as a provincial electricity system operator, and has engaged extensively with highly regarded international organizations such as the Harvard Electricity Policy Group on energy policy and electricity market design. He proudly served on the Halifax United Way Poverty Solutions Advisory Committee in its effort to provide solutions to ending poverty in Halifax and has served on the board of Distress Center Calgary. John is a graduate of Queen’s University Smith School of Business where he obtained his MBA.

Sarah Chaisson

Director, Service Delivery

Sarah Chiasson oversees the delivery of EfficiencyOne’s energy efficiency programs. Prior to her current role, Sarah has held various roles at EfficiencyOne. Before joining EfficiencyOne, Sarah worked in the areas of Equity Research and Strategic Planning.

Chuck Faulkner

Director, Engineering & Planning

Chuck Faulkner is a professional engineer who has specialized in energy efficiency for more than 30 years. His experience includes energy auditing of commercial/industrial/institutional buildings, retrofit project engineering, energy performance contracting, utility regulatory affairs, engineering consulting and developing/managing energy efficiency programs.

Chuck was the Director of EfficiencyOne’s Programs and Services department from 2010 until mid-2018 and is currently Director of Engineering & Planning. Since 2015, Chuck has also managed the company’s consulting subsidiary, EfficiencyOne Services, which has completed projects in other Canadian provinces and in the Caribbean region. Chuck holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now Dalhousie University) and a Certificate in Applied Science from Acadia University.

Hugh MacDonald

Director, Information & Analytics

Hugh is responsible for oversight of information management, analytics, business intelligence and research. His focus is on identifying energy savings opportunities through predictive analytics and energy modeling – for use in targeted marketing, service delivery and pilot development. Hugh has managed the organization’s research and analytical needs since 2012.

Prior to joining EfficiencyOne, Hugh held leadership positions in information and analytics across a variety of industries, specializing in developing and managing insights-driven infrastructure and teams to guide business strategy and tactics.

Hugh holds a Master of Science in Resource and Environmental Economics from the University of Georgia.

David Thomson

Director, Human Resources & Infrastructure

David Thomson is the Director, Human Resources and Infrastructure at EfficiencyOne, and started with the organization in 2012. David is responsible for oversight of, Human Resources Management, Information Technology, , Customer Information System, Continuous Improvement, Health, Safety and Environment, Privacy, and Security and Facilities.

David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (honours) in Psychology and Administration from the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Industrial Relations degree from Queens’ University.

Prior to joining EfficiencyOne, David worked as Director of Human Resources with Irving Shipbuilding where he had responsibilities for human resources and labour relations for businesses around the maritime region.  David previously served as a board member with the Apprenticeship Board of Nova Scotia and the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia.

Gina Thompson

CPA CMA BA, Director, Finance & Regulatory Affairs

Gina is currently the Director, Finance & Regulatory Affairs where she oversees the organizations financial operations and reporting; supply chain including procurement and contract management; and all regulatory matters with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. She joined EfficiencyOne in 2013 as the Director, Finance and expanded her role to include Regulatory Affairs in 2018. Prior to joining EfficiencyOne, Gina held senior management positions in the manufacturing, publishing, insurance and professional services sectors.

Gina is a Chartered Professional Accountant.

Amelia Warren

Director, Customer Experience, Partnerships & Development

Amelia Warren oversees the organization’s marketing, education and outreach, communications and stakeholder relations, business development, customer service, and Trade Network. She is passionate about using storytelling to engage a wide range of customers and stakeholders, and building strategic partnerships to help everyone enjoy the good things efficiency brings.

She previously worked in a senior role with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and has experience working in government and health care research. She is a former board member of the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, VON Halifax and the Women’s Employment and Advocacy Society.

Amelia holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts‎.