The CANDU Owners Group management team, led by President and CEO Fred Dermarkar, provides leadership in four lines of business: Research and Development (R&D), Joint Projects and Services (JP&S), Nuclear Safety and Environmental Affairs (NSEA), and Information Exchange (IE), including Learning and Development (L&D). Members and supplier participants work together through collaboration. COG also has experienced Corporate Services and Information Management and Technology teams who ensure efficiency and security in all COG operations.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Stephanie Smith assumed the role of CANDU Owners Group (COG) President and CEO in 2020. She is the first female president in COG’s 36-year history. Prior to joining COG, Stephanie served as Deputy Site Vice President at Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Darlington Nuclear Plant. Stephanie has 30 years of experience in the nuclear industry with roles in senior management as well as plant operations and management.
Stephanie was the first woman certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission as a shift manager at the Pickering Nuclear Plant. She was also the first female maintenance manager and plant manager at a Canadian nuclear power plant. In 2016, she was appointed OPG’s first female director of operations and maintenance, overseeing all maintenance activity at the Pickering plant, from fuel handling to safety systems. Stephanie was previously seconded to roles at the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) before being appointed Deputy SVP at OPG in 2019.
Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a bachelor of applied science in chemical engineering and is also a certified professional engineer in Ontario.
Director, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer
John Moore has served as director of corporate services and chief financial officer since January 2018. He joined the company as the program manager of the Fuel Channel Life Management program in 2017. Before joining COG, John worked within the Nuclear Energy Department of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. In his role, he provided guidance and training on a variety of topics such as procurement, supply chain issues, financing, feasibility studies, piping, industrial safety and concrete aging. Before his role at the IAEA, John held a variety of project and design management positions at Ontario Power Generation and Ontario Hydro at the Pickering, Darlington and NPD nuclear power station.
John graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering and from York University's Schulich School of Buisness with a Master of Business Administration. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Ontario.
Manager, Information Technology & CIO
As manager of information technology (IT) and chief information officer, Carmen Trandafir brings more than 27 years of IT experience and leadership to the CANDU Owners Group (COG).
Since joining COG in 1999, Carmen has developed the information management department to align business and IT strategies. She leverages technology to transform business processes. Carmen and her team focus on creating and maintaining reliable and secure IT infrastructure to meet COG's corporate needs and to help COG members and suppliers to collaborate efficiently.
A team player and advocate for building relationships, Carmen is passionate about people development and constructing skilled and dedicated IT teams. Carmen is also a certified project manager. She is accredited by the ITIL Foundation and has a university degree in computer science.
Director, Joint Projects & Services Program
Sonia Qureshi is a registered Professional Engineer with the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) with over 20 years of experience in the nuclear industry. As the Director of Joint Projects & Services, Sonia supports COG member nuclear utilities towards achieving excellence in performance of their CANDU reactors. She joined COG as a program manager in the Information Exchange department where she led the first-ever COG Collaboration Week and managed the 14th COG/IAEA Technical Committee Meeting.
Prior to joining COG, Sonia held positions at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Candu Energy and SNC-Lavalin. Since her entry into the nuclear industry in 1997, Sonia has worked in many capacities including process system design engineer, senior cost engineer, business manager of product development and director of marketing and strategy.
Sonia graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering. She is also the Chair of the Women in Nuclear Canada's Golden Horseshoe West Chapter.
Director, Research & Development Program
As Director of Research and Development, Liette Lemieux oversees the department responsible for managing a portfolio of projects in six streams of R&D, with an investment of almost $40M, annually. The result of these projects contributes to continuous improvement and innovation in the safe, reliable, cost effective operation of CANDU stations worldwide.
Liette has over 20 years of experience in the nuclear industry, with leadership roles in radiation safety, operations and maintenance, chemistry, environment, human performance and organizational effectiveness. Prior to joining COG, she was radiation safety director at Ontario Power Generation, and while performing that role has been an active participant in various radition safety and chemistry research committees both in Canada and in the US.
Her work experiences prior to joining the nuclear industry include research, manufacturing, health and safety, and industrial sales.
Director, Information Exchange Program
John Sowagi is the Director of Information Exchange for the CANDU Owners Group (COG) Inc. As the Director of the Information Exchange (IE) department, the goal is to leverage operational experience and best practices across the industry and among CANDU utilities so that each member and supplier participant can make the most of shared operating experience and best practices. Learning & Development is one of the programs that is specifically designed to capture lessons learned, promote understanding of the CANDU technology and provide leadership training to the CANDU community. Another key program under IE is the COG Supplier Participant Program that is to share supplier perspectives, best practices and lessons learned, compile messages on common challenges in execution of services for customers, engage with customers and resolve common issues for the benefit of the industry, and finally to work collaboratively to ensure a strong supplier network supporting the CANDU nuclear industry.
John has over 37 years of nuclear experience working at the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce nuclear generating stations. John has worked in technical and management roles both in the station environment and in support organizations. He current leads executive development programs, mentoring programs and international joint programs for COG members. He has led teams of utility leaders to over 80 nuclear plants around the world. John completed his education at Centennial College in Electrical and Controls, St. Francis Xavier University in Adult Education and the University of Toronto in Human Resources.
Director, Nuclear Safety & Environmental Affairs Program and Deputy CEO
Rachna Clavero is the director of nuclear safety and environmental affairs at CANDU Owners Group. In this role, she oversees facilitation of industry alignment on key nuclear safety and regulatory issues, and promotes adoption of common strategies among the COG Members for both CANDU and new generation technologies.
Upon return from a secondment at Ontario Power Generation in January 2020, Rachna assumed the role of Deputy CEO. Rachna continues her leadership of the NSEA team while interacting more closely with COG’s international members, supplier participants, industry partners and other key stakeholders.
Rachna has had a diverse career in Safety Analysis and Licensing. She has worked for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Candesco Corporation and the Ontario Ministry of Energy. She began her career performing safety analysis for the restart of the Ontario reactors and then moved on to regulatory projects for Iter Canada, NWMO, OPG and Bruce Power. Rachna returned to AECL to lead licensing for new CANDU designs. During her time at the Ministry of Energy she provided strategic advice on nuclear new builds, refurbishment, radioactive waste management and emergency planning in Ontario. Rachna joined COG in October 2015, where she has been the Program Manager for the Strategic R&D Program. She has consulted internationally at the IAEA and sits on the committee developing Nuclear Safety Standards at the Canadian Standards Association.
Outside of COG, Rachna volunteers as a regional judge for FIRST Robotics and is a member of Women in Nuclear.