Q&A With Ivette Vera-Perez, the CHFCA’s New President and CEO

What attracted you to the president and CEO role at the CHFCA?

Hydrogen has the potential to help us win the race to net zero; not as the only solution, but as one of many viable solutions. I am very excited by the opportunity to play a role, in helping the industry develop.

How did your past experiences prepare you for this role?

 I have worked in the cleantech and innovation spaces most of my work life, and with companies in the hydrogen industry since 2008. I have also developed funding programming to help greenhouse gas emitters reduce their carbon footprint, and worked at the intersection of government, industry and academia. I am a connector and matchmaker at heart, and this is an essential part of the role.

 What will be your priorities as president and CEO of the CHFCA?

 My overarching priority will be to focus on enabling the execution of Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy. This will help us reach our net-zero goals while creating economic development and high-quality jobs across the country. Successful implementation of the Hydrogen Strategy will require coordination and collaboration across all levels of government to ensure that hydrogen continues to be top of mind in the federal, provincial, and municipal agendas.

Adoption of hydrogen is crucial for the sector to thrive. I will be working with both end-users and suppliers of hydrogen technologies to enable fruitful partnerships, and continue deploying industrial-scale hydrogen projects, at home in Canada, and internationally, with some of our partners present here today.

Developing regional hubs and corridors is also a critical part of growing the hydrogen space in Canada. I will work with our affiliates, and regional experts so we can understand how to enable the development of their regional hubs.

Same as the first automobiles didn’t have seatbelts or catalytic converters, there is a lot of learning and innovation to be brought into the hydrogen space. I will thrive to continue working with colleges, universities, SMEs, and adopters of hydrogen technologies, to deploy the best solutions in the sector, continue to de-risk technologies, and increase their economic viability.

Awareness and communication across all levels of society are critical at this point. Helping policymakers and other stakeholders become knowledgeable about topics such as hydrogen safety, uses, and benefits will be a priority of the Association.

Lots of work to do!

 What do you like to do outside of work?

 I am an avid cook and love to entertain. Friends know that even when they come unannounced, they can always have a seat at our table. But my favorite thing in the world is to spend quality time with my kids and my husband. We love to travel, and I hope we can do more of that in the coming year. Oh, and I hope it’s not too late to get my PADI certification sometime soon!

 About the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA)

The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) is a national sector association that supports industry, academia, government agencies, financial organizations, and other stakeholders focused on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and products. As the collective voice of Canada’s world-leading hydrogen and fuel cell sector, the CHFCA’s mission is to strengthen Canadian leadership, raise awareness of the benefits of the technology, and accelerate the adoption of its members’ products and services in Canada and abroad.  The CHFCA currently has more than 160 members across Canada and provincial affiliates in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The CHFCA can be followed on LinkedIn at @CHFCA, Twitter at @PoweringNow and visited at www.chfca.ca.