Chief Executive Officer
Vinay Sharma, P. Eng., Ph.D., MBA, C. Dir. ACC
Mr. Sharma joined London Hydro on August 24, 1998, and has served in several different roles with the utility. Before becoming CEO on August 1, 2009, Mr. Sharma was Vice President of Strategic Planning & Customer Services.
Before joining London Hydro, Mr. Sharma worked for Saskatchewan Power Corporation in various capacities, including, Distribution Planning, Power Procurement, and Marketing. He also worked as a consulting engineer with Cambrian (now AMEC) and as an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.
A Professional Engineer in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, Mr. Sharma also obtained an M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan and an MBA from the University of Regina. In June 2016, Mr. Sharma was inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
Mr. Sharma has been a Chartered Director since 2008 and currently serves on several boards. He is the Chair of the MEARIE Board, Vice-Chair of the EDA and a Director of the King's University College Board.
Gabe Valente, B.A., B.Comm, CPA, CA
First appointed to the Board in 2008, Mr. Valente was appointed to the position of Vice-Chair in 2016, and then elevated to Board Chair upon the retirement of then Board Chair Mohan Mathur in 2019.
A Chartered Accountant and managing partner in the accounting and management consulting firm of Valente & Theocharis LLP., Mr. Valente is experienced in providing a broad range of financial, taxation and strategic business management consulting services. He is also Managing Director of Health-Pro Assist, providing health care practice management consulting as well as practice acquisition and sale services for health care professionals.
The federal government appointed Mr. Valente to the Greater London International Airport Authority, where he served as Chair. He has also Chaired the Children’s Health Foundation, served on the boards of the London Health Sciences Centre, the Canadian Airport’s Council, as well as many other for-profit and not-for-profit boards.
Mr. Valente is actively involved in many charitable organizations in southwestern Ontario, coaches youth soccer and is part of the ownership group of the FC London Blues soccer team of the Professional Development Soccer League of North America.
Connie Graham, ICD.D., BSc Biochemistry
Ms. Graham was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2011 and subsequently to the position of Vice-Chair in 2019.
In addition to serving on the London Hydro Board, Ms. Graham is a professional independent board director serving on the boards of the Federal Bridge Corporation Ltd. and the Fanshawe College Foundation.
Ms. Graham was previously employed in a variety of marketing and sales management capacities with Varian Inc., IBM and General Electric Medical Systems.
She, her husband Bill, and their extended family are long-time residents of London, Ontario.
Jack Smit, CPA, CGA, FCUIC, Executive Program (Queens)
Now retired from his distinguished career in the financial services industry at Libro Credit Union, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer for more than 20 years, Mr. Smit was appointed to the Board in 2016.
Mr. Smit brings a wealth of knowledge and governance experience to London Hydro's Board, having served on a variety of boards, including the Credit Union Central of Ontario, London Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of London and Middlesex.
Committed to his community, Mr. Smit also serves on several local boards. He actively participates in fundraising activities for local organizations such as Children's Health Foundation, St. Joseph Hospice and Boys and Girls Club.
Guy Holburn, Ph.D., M.A., B.A. Hons
Appointed to the London Hydro Board in 2017, Mr. Holburn is the Suncor Chair in Energy Policy and a Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey. An expert on the intersection of business strategy and public policy, much of his research and teaching is applied to strategy and policy issues in the energy and utility sectors in Canada, the United States, and internationally.
Mr. Holburn joined Ivey in July 2001, after completing his Ph.D. in Business and Public Policy and M.A. in Economics at the University of California, Berkley. He is also the founder and Director of the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre,
Canada’s leading university-based centre for research and outreach on national energy issues.
Before his Ph.D. studies, Mr. Holburn worked for several years as a management consultant with Bain and Company in London, England, and was a founding member of the Bain South Africa office. His undergraduate degree (Economics, B.A. Hons. First Class) is from Cambridge University.
Marilyn Sinclair, B.A.
Ms. Sinclair was appointed to the Board in 2005.
With more than 20 years of leadership and entrepreneurial experience in building and successfully merging software service businesses, Ms. Sinclair brings extensive experience to the board. Her background in business start-ups, accessing financing, launching and building a U.S. Corporation, building strategic partnerships, merger and integration issues, human resources and public relations was pivotal in her success as President of an organization providing advisory services, resources and programs to the tech community in London and Southwestern Ontario.
Ms. Sinclair received the “Woman of Distinction” award for business in 1997 and was also runner up for the “Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year” that same year. She has served on many boards, task forces and committees and volunteers her time on community-based initiatives.
Ms. Sinclair has completed the Directors' Education Program at the Rotman School of Management.
Michael van Holst, B. Ch.E., B.S.Ed.
Mr. van Holst was appointed as the City Council representative to the Board in 2015. In addition to being a board member, Mr. van Holst is a Ward 1 Councillor.
He also serves on the boards of the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System, the London Transit Commission Long Term Growth Report Working Group, the Governance Working Group, and the City of London and London District Catholic School Board Liaison Committee.
Mr. van Holst has a chemical engineering degree from the University of Waterloo and an education degree from UWO. He works for the Thames Valley District School Board and, before becoming a Councillor, he taught math, physics, chemistry and environmental science for a decade at the St. Thomas Adult Learning Centre. Other work experience includes engineering, business tax accounting, trades and IT.
Andrew N. Hrymak, BEng, Ph.D.
Professor Hrymak was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2019, and is currently Western University’s ProvostVice-President (Academic).
Professor Hrymak is Western’s chief academic and budgetary officer, providing senior executive oversight for a broad portfolio of academic and administrative units across campus. He also serves as Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Composites Research @ Western.
Professor Hrymak holds a BEng degree from McMaster University and a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include modeling, design and optimization of materials processing systems, in particular: composites processing, injection molding, compression molding, mixing liquid coating flows, and complex rheology. He is a Fellow of both the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Chemical Institute of Canada.