About Us

Jason Rioux, Chair & Strategist

Jason Rioux has niche expertise in gas and power interface and commercial matters. He has a proven track record in the development and operational stages of all forms of energy projects, especially when it comes to carving new paths through Ontario’s complex energy market, contracting, regulatory, and political environments. Previously the Director of Business Development for Thermal generation projects at OPG, Jason led a wide variety of business development initiatives, including the repowering of coal plants to natural gas (3,300 MW), new gas fired generation development, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and biomass generation development, partnership management of joint venture CCGT facilities – Brighton Beach and Portlands Energy Centre, advanced biomass research and development. Jason served as Commercial Manager of the Portlands Energy Centre, a 550 MW natural gas fired generation station located in downtown Toronto. He developed and led the commercial organization of this $730 million facility, with responsibility for all gas and power trading activities. Prior to these roles, Jason held many positions at OPG, in the areas of business development, strategic planning, and within hydroelectric, nuclear, and coal fired plant operations.

Heather Sears, Vice President of Gas & Power Services

Heather Sears Director Gas & Power Services, Workbench CorpFrom strategy to settlement, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to Ontario Power Authority (OPA), Heather Sears has unique field experiences and an impressive track record spanning over 13 years in Ontario’s electricity industry.  Offering  a very rare skill set, Heather has a strong understanding of the integration of gas and power markets in Ontario, real world gas plant operating experience and in particular, niche expertise in short notice gas management strategies, and all aspects of commercial operations with respect to gas-fired generation under contract to the OPA.

Through her time at Ontario Power Generation, Portlands Energy Centre and providing services to the GTAA cogen, Heather has worked to develop flexible strategies for gas and power management to optimize net revenues in the IESO market.  Heather is also accomplished in interpreting IESO market rules and applying them to commercial operations in a responsible, compliant, and successful way.

Jennifer Jayapalan, Director of Gas & Power Services

Jennifer_Jayapalan_BrochureJennifer Jayapalan has spent the last 10 years in commercial operations, settlements and contract management within the IESO market.  Her depth and breadth of knowledge in each of these areas is unparalleled: she can trace a megawatt of electricity from the purchase of its source fuel to the last cent it has earned its supplier and cost its user. Navigating the evolving market changes and developing strategies for the ever changing supply/demand mix landscape is not only Jennifer’s skill set, but also her interest.

Sandy Drysdale, Fuels Specialist

Sandy_Drysdale_Brochure Sandy Drysdale has 38 years of energy industry experience in Ontario, from design of gas transmission and distribution systems, supply planning and regulatory work at Consumers’ Gas to fuel and transportation contracting at Ontario Power Generation’s thermal generating fleet.  From coal to gas to biomass, Sandy knows the supply chain from fuel procurement through generation of megawatts.  He was instrumental in the development of OPG’s biomass program, and the creation of new supply chains to sustain and support this new resource technology. 

Brad Wilke, Controls System Specialist & Energy Manager


Brad Wilke is a strong contributor to the Workbench team.  His background in control systems engineering and asset management give Brad a detailed understanding of the business, technical and IT operations of power plants in Ontario and beyond.  As a professional engineer, his technical expertise coupled with a genuine interest in data management and process efficiency make Brad a valuable asset not only to us, but to our clients.  

Victoria Cheng, Director of Marketing

Victoria Cheng has real-time experience in the dispatchable operation of renewable generating assets in Ontario, from the management of IESO market offers to the operation of the real time dispatch workstation and vital support to Workbench’s operations.



Darryl Oake, Energy Manager

Darryl Oake has been working in the Canadian natural gas and electricity markets for over 15 years.  His back-office analytical work in energy markets has Darryl dealing directly with suppliers, utilities, and large volume end users. Keeping apprised of an ever changing energy world from a commodity, delivery, and consumer mind-set has been instrumental in keeping him ahead of the game.

Melanie Maddix, Energy Manager

Melanie Maddix has interacted with the IESO market from wholesale settlements to generator commercial operations for over 13 years. Her IT development and integration skills along with real-time operations experience in gas & power markets brings a unique perspective on energy market matters. From the development of IESO market programs to the integration of public and private report data into decision tools and reports, Melanie keeps the report world running smoothly.

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