Electricity Canada’s “Faces of the Industry” award honours leadership and innovation in the electricity sector

The Faces of the Industry award highlights the work of six individuals who have shown outstanding achievement within the electricity sector.

OTTAWA (April 30) - An executive vice president who led efforts to restore power to a Caribbean island; A Communications Manager who was the face and the voice during Hurricane Fiona; A telecom engineer who has innovated through the use of cellular networks and broadband to aid the electricity sector; A supervisor of distribution lines who helped found a system used by electricity companies during severe outages; A stakeholder relations manager who managed to get an entire province to talk about the energy needs in the future; A biologist who uses technology to help wildlife avoid electrocution. These six individuals are the inaugural winners of Electricity Canada’s very first Faces of the Industry award.

The Faces of the Industry award highlights the work of six individuals who have shown outstanding achievement within the electricity sector. These individuals have been selected from every region of Canada,and come from every part of the industry including executive leadership, communications, engineering, safety and public engagement. What they all have in common is leadership and innovation.

Electricity Canada, an organization that represents the companies that generate and distribute electricity in Canada, sent out a call for nominations in January. This was a grassroots campaign that resulted in 47 nominations being submitted by people who worked for one of Electricity Canada’s member companies. Six winners were then selected by an independent panel based on the candidate’s leadership, innovation and the overall impact of their work on the electricity sector.

The recipients for Electricity Canada’s first-ever Faces of the Industry Award are:

Gary Smith, Executive Vice President, Operations and Innovation – Fortis Inc 

Gary’s current responsibilities span the entire operation of Fortis Inc, with $66 billion in assets in 18 locations and close 10,000 employees. He has shown leadership in the organization on the energy transition, reliability, safety and expanding access to the grid. Gary has also managed major power outages including Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Irma.    

Kim Griffin, Manager Sustainability and Corporate Communications – Maritime Electric

During the three-week restoration effort of Hurricane Fiona, Kim was the “face and the voice” of Maritime Electric as she conducted hundreds of press conferences to keep customers informed. Kim has led a wide range of projects that have kept the customer at the heart of Maritime Electric’s work, including implementing a virtual contact centre and building their sustainability program. 

Barmak Khosravi, Ingénieur télécom, Architecte de reseaux, Hydro-Québec 

Barmak has been an innovator in the telecommunications portion of the electricity sector, using cellular networks and broadband to enhance operations and safety. Barmak’s work has made significant impacts on Hydro-Québec’s work, and, through his leadership working with other Electricity Canada members, on a national stage as well. 

Rick Putman, Superintendent, Distribution Lines – Hydro One

Rick helped develop the Canadian Mutual Assistance agreement in 2013 that modernized how utilities share resources during large-scale restoration events. This helped create the Ontario Mutual Assistance Group, or OnMAG, Mutual assistance has now become a North America wide effort, and Rick has overseen power restorations both in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada and the U.S..   

Lara Ludwig, Manager, Stakeholder Relations – SaskPower

In 2022, SaskPower began talking with residents about how Saskatchewan will be powered in the future. Since then, Lara and her team have reached out to over 60,000 Saskatchewan residents and engaged them in meaningful conversations about Saskatchewan’s future power supply.    

Keyra Hawley, Environmental Specialist – ATCO

A self-proclaimed “bird nerd”, Keyra has used innovative technology including drones and 3D models to prevent wildlife from being electrocuted – which can be harmful to both wildlife and humans alike – and developing novel methods to keep crews and the environment safe, while saving money and improving reliability. 

Electricity Canada’s Faces of the Industry awards were given out at a reception in Ottawa yesterday evening, April 29. The recipients will be featured in a social media campaign during National Electricity Month in June.


“The electricity sector isn’t just made up of companies. It’s made up of people. The Faces of the Industry Award was created to bring the people who provide electricity front and centre. Our very first awards are being given to six individuals who represent the very best of the electricity sector. They have made incredible innovations that have changed how electricity companies work. They have shown leadership in extremely trying situations. They have come up with brilliant solutions to problems and have connected to customers with empathy and understanding. Gary, Kim, Barmak, Rick, Lara and Keyra are truly the faces of our industry. These awards celebrate their talent—and the talent that is in every part of the electricity industry.”

– Francis Bradley, President and CEO, Electricity Canada

Faces of the Industry Award Winners (L-R: Keyra Hawley (ATCO), Rick Putman (Hydro One), Lara Ludwig (SaskPower), Kim Griffin (Maritime Electric), Gary Smith (Fortis Inc.), Barmak Khosravi (Hydro-Québec))