RCA 2023 Conference – Speaker Session Announcement – Forged in the Fire of Mount Doom – Renewable Energy

We invite you to join us for the highly anticipated 2023 RCA Circular Economy Conference, set amidst the stunning backdrop of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise from October 18 to 20. This year’s theme, “There and Back Again: The Journey to Circularity,” draws inspiration from the epic Lord of the Rings saga, promising a transformative experience over three days filled with captivating insights and engaging discussions on the circular economy.

The Forged in the Fire of Mount Doom speaker session will focus on the critical topic of renewable energy. Renewable energy is a linchpin in our efforts to combat climate change, and Alberta holds vast untapped potential in this realm. As we embark on the journey towards cleaner energy sources, we must remain vigilant to avoid unintended consequences. This session will explore innovative ways to seamlessly integrate zero-waste principles into renewable energy developments.

Session Sponsored by Liberty Tire Recycling

Moderator: Sheri Praski (SWANA Northern Lights Chapter) 


  • Vittoria Bellissimo – Canadian Renewable Energy Association
  • Amanda Cotton – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Grady Howell – Vestas American Wind Technology

Find detailed speaker bios for this session below, and stay tuned for updates on speakers for our other sessions!

Secure your registration now and explore sponsorship options or host a tradeshow exhibit during the event. Visit www.conference.recycle.ab.ca for the program and more details. For any further inquiries, please contact the RCA at 403.843.6563 or email us at info@recycle.ab.ca.

Vittoria Bellissimo – Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

Vittoria Bellissimo is the President and CEO of CanREA, the voice of Canada’s wind energy, solar energy and energy storage industry. She was previously the Executive Director of the Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta, and worked in renewable energy procurement at both the Ontario Ministry of Energy and the Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO). Vittoria serves on the Board of Emissions Reduction Alberta and is a founding Board member of Women+Power. She holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh and is a licensed professional engineer (B.Sc. Queen’s University). Vittoria is based in Calgary.

Amanda Cotton – Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Amanda Cotton has worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) as the E-waste coordinator for 14 years. She has also expanded into policy work for additional product stewardship products, including solar panels, mattresses, carpet, packaging and rechargeable batteries.

Grady Howell – Vestas American Wind Technology

Grady Howell is a Program Manager working in recycling and sustainability with Vestas American Wind Technology, where he has been working since 2017. He has worked in many capacities for Vestas over the years, predominantly in engineering, and has found a home in sustainability. In late 2020 he played a critical role in the startup of the “Blade Recycling” program for Vestas. He has stayed with the program ever since and took over management of the program in early 2022. 

With 1600 tons of composite recycled in 2021, and over 5000 tons recycled in 2022; Grady has high hopes for the future of composite recycling in North America. Vestas, through the Blade Recycling program and other sustainability initiatives, looks to lead the wind energy industry in setting the sustainable standard.