Feb
06
2018
Volume
6-2

Meet The Directors

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The 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games operates under the guidance of a dedicated Board of Directors. The Board is made up of directors with specific active portfolios and appointed representation from major stakeholders: the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Alberta Sport Connection. Overseeing a major volunteer workforce across multiple portfolios, the Board of Directors is made up leaders with unique skill sets and knowledge within their chosen field.

 

Amanda Mercer

Co-chair

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, and raised in Peterborough County, Amanda moved to Fort McMurray in September of 2012. In the region, she created and facilitated a monthly networking group for Women in Business called Wood Buffalo Women in Networking.

With hobbies including mountain biking, cross-country skiing, paddling, hiking, and yoga, it was natural that Amanda spent the first 10 years of her career leading multi-day wilderness expeditions all across Canada. Today, Amanda works in Transit Services with the RMWB.

 

Mohamed Salem

Co-chair

Born in Egypt and raised in Ontario, Mohamed holds a Degree of BioChem from the University of Windsor.

He has over 15 years of management experience and establishing businesses both in Canada and the USA, was the secretary of Amnesty International in London, Ontario, and did archaeology work around southwest Ontario.

Currently, Mohamed is a Business Development Manager with the Tuccaro Group Inc., a longstanding Aboriginally-owned and operated company located within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

 

Bill Brook

Director of Facilities

Bill moved to Fort McMurray in 1977, has resided here for 40+ years and considers this region his home. In the mid 80’s, Bill participated as an athlete in the Alberta Games. He kept current in the sporting community once out of high school, looking after the Gentlemen’s Floor Hockey League for several years and later assisting the slo-pitch community.

Bill has a background as an electrician, branching off into Facility Management overseeing several large facility areas, from lodge settings, to an operating plant, to over 250+ facilities for the RMWB. It is this experience which lead him to the role with the Alberta Winter Games Board of Directors as Director of Facilities.

 

Diana Moser

Director - Culture, Ceremonies, Protocol

Diana was born in Toronto and grew up in the GTA and rural Georgia, USA. She lived in Hamilton before moving to Fort McMurray in 2011. Diana holds a BA and an MA in History from McMaster University, as well as a Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) from the University of Toronto.

She has worked in a variety of settings, including historic house museums, a science centre, university departments, and within municipal and provincial government structures. Diana’s skills include program and event development and delivery, communications and marketing, and project management. Her work often includes collaboration with community, social profit, education, private, and government organizations.

Diana has worked for Arts Council Wood Buffalo for two and a half years in a variety of roles, and is currently the Programs & Partnerships Manager. She is a musician, singer, and actress who has performed in a variety of volunteer ensembles in both Canada and the United States, performing on stage regularly with Keyano Theatre Company, Theatre; Just Because, and the annual Alberta Drama Festival Association (ADFA) one-act play festivals. Diana is also the Program Manager for Theatre; Just Because, Fort McMurray’s independent theatre company.

 

Kathi Brewer-Gouthro

Director of Sport

Born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Kathi’s family moved frequently and she had the opportunity to reside in New Brunswick, Labrador, Quebec and Alberta.

Kathi’s experience with multi-sport Games events started with the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games as the Technical Officials Chair. She was hooked immediately by the collective effort of volunteers and staff, with a fantastic reward of experiencing the Games events and meeting the officials. Kathi’s children are involved with competitive sport and she has seen first-hand the positive influence sport has on youth. They have had the opportunity to participate in the Alberta Winter Games and Arctic Winter Games, along with ongoing competitive soccer, volleyball and downhill skiing.

Kathi is no stranger to board work, having been the President of the Fort McMurray Competitive Ski Society since 2013. As a professional engineer with Suncor, she worked in Mine and Tailings Planning areas, and with the Major Projects department. Her current roles is Director of Extraction & Tailings Projects with Major Projects. It is with this project mindset that she approaches her volunteer roles.

 

Todd Byers

Director of Transportation

Born and raised in Edmonton, Todd lived there until 2015, then moved to Fort McMurray to work with Transit Services.

Todd held volunteer positions for numerous curling events in Edmonton as Bar Manager and Supervisor for Briers events, and transportation during the 2015 Canadian Seniors Championships.

Todd started working for Edmonton Transit in 1981 and left in 2015, starting as a Bus Operator and moving into the role of an Inspector and later Superintendent. The duties of these positions were diverse as they included operator supervision, collision investigation, along with bus movement at special events. He worked closely with Edmonton Police Service during special events and emergencies. This included times spent in the Emergency Operations Center.

In sport, Todd has studied Gojukai (Karate) for the past 20 years. Gojukai is one of the original styles that originated in Okinawa. He follows a healthy lifestyle incorporating curling, squash and golf.

 

Helen Yu

Director of Finance

Born and raised in China, Helen moved to Canada with her family in March 2003.

She received a Bachelor Degree in Business Commerce in China, and later obtained CPA, CGA in 2014 while in Canada.

Helen worked at Hopewell Residential Management LP for five years as a project accountant and is currently working at Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo as a Business Analyst.

 

Greg Tolson

Director of Communication

Greg was born in Manitoba and raised in Eastern Ontario. He went on to spend 13 years in the military working and living all over Canada.

Greg was hired by Tridon Communications in 1999,  immediately after leaving the military.

He is currently the General Manager for Tridon Communications in Fort McMurray and partner in the company. Not only does Greg commit his time to the Games on the Board of Directors, Tridon Communication is the largest local sponsor of the 2018 Alberta Winter Games sitting at the Games Champion level.

 

Krista Balsom

Director of Promotions

Born in St. John’s and raised on Random Island Newfoundland, Krista moved to Fort McMurray in 2001 and finished high school at Westwood Community High School. Later she ventured to Ottawa and studied Political Science at the University of Ottawa and Public Relations at Algonquin College before starting a career in politics and community engagement.

Krista is currently the owner/president of Balsom Communications which publishes Your McMurray Magazine, and is a Ward One Councillor for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

She is passionate about the community and engaging with others. From a Games perspective, she worked for two years at MacDonald Island Park in communications and marketing,  and also served as the marketing and communications coordinator for the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games. She worked with the bid committee for the 2018 Alberta Winter Games, and now sits on our Board of Directors as the Promotions Director.

 

Jeff Penney

Director of Volunteer Workforce

Jeff was born and raised in the small fishing community of Cook’s Harbour at the northernmost tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula.

After completing his Bachelor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University in 1999, Jeff returned to Newfoundland and began his career in Business and Economic Development.  His career progression brought him to Alberta in 2005 and subsequently to Fort McMurray in 2007 where he became the Economic Development Director for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.  In 2015 Jeff moved to the private sector to become the External Relations Manager for Albian Sands.  He is currently the business development and stakeholder relations lead for both the Horizon and Albian Sands mines for Canadian Natural Resources Limited. 

This is Jeff’s first experience helping plan a multisport games, but he is aided by his lifelong participation in various amateur level sporting events including hockey, softball and basketball as well as a number of racquet sports.  As Director of Volunteer Workforce Jeff also draws upon the experience he has gained through volunteering with such organizations as the Fort McMurray Tourism Association, Community Futures Wood Buffalo and Economic Developers Alberta.

 

LARRY FAROUGH

Director of Security

Born in Neepawa, Manitoba, Larry is certified and experienced in the planning and delivery of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Event Security. Larry served in a number of HMC ships and shore establishments on the East and West Coasts and retired as a warrant officer. Following his career in the Royal Canadian Navy, Larry operated several successful remote tour/adventure businesses in British Columbia prior to moving to Fort McMurray in 1999.

Over the past 16 years, Larry assumed increasingly complex security roles with several private security contractors prior to forming Great Plains Security (GPS) in 2010. He presently maintains GPS branch offices in Fort McMurray and Courtenay, British Columbia.

He has also served in a variety of volunteer roles within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo community, including the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games where he acted the Lead for the Security Committee.

 

Frank Creasey

Director of Tourism & Visitor Experience

Frank has been working with the tourism fabric of Northern Alberta since 2008, including the Wood Buffalo Region. He is currently the CEO of Fort McMurray Tourism.

Frank has strong roots in the tourism field, holding a Master of Arts in Tourism Management, and is passionate about promoting the Wood Buffalo Region to visitors. He is excited to welcome participants 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games and their families to Fort McMurray and the surrounding communities.

 

Jean-Marc Guillamot

Athletes Village and Food Services Director

Born from French parents but raised in Casablanca, Morocco, Jean-Marc joined the hotel industry in his youth by attending the French National Hotel School in Nice, France. His passion for the hotel industry brought him to rise up through the ranks with posting in England, Germany and Switzerland to then immigrate to Canada in 1975 where he met his wife Donna while working for CN Hotels in Halifax.

Jean-Marc and his extended family continued his personal growth through postings in the Laurentians, Montreal, Victoria, Osoyoos and Abbotsford. Jean-Marc joined Temple Hotels under the Atlific Hotel Management Company in 2007 where he came to Fort McMurray to establish an initial “Beach Head” for this company with the acquisition of a few hotels in this active market.

Jean-Marc sits presently on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and the Fort McMurray Tourism Association and has actively participated through his various posting in local economic strategic panels. In addition, Jean-Marc participates in local partnership with Keyano College, the Airport Authority, MacDonald Island Park, the Hospital Foundation and related charitable local causes.

 

Monica Lance

Municipal Representative

Born and raised in Fort McMurray, Monica has been actively involved with sports, recreation, culture and community all her life. She played a primary leadership role in both the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games and 2018 Alberta Winter Games from the bid processes.

She is a proud Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Community Services Department Manager that believes strongly in working together to improve quality of life for all those she serves and is grateful for all those that pull together to support youth development through sport and cultural activities in our region.

 

Phillip Meagher

Council Representative

Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Councillor Phillip Meagher grew-up in the country and worked on a dairy farm. He attended the University of New Brunswick and later moved to Western Canada.

Councillor Meagher started his education career as a Physical Education teacher and has a general background in just about every sport, however, running was his sport of choice during the running boom of the 70’s and 80’s. After hip surgery in 2010, he went back to cross country skiing as his “go to” sport.  Since then, he has coached and raced in a number of places including Greenland and Alaska. Councillor Meagher assisted in hosting the cross-country event at the 2004 Arctic Winter Games. He also acted as a co-chair at the Western Canada Summer Games for Track and Field.

Presently, Councillor Meagher is the Chief Deputy Superintendent of The Fort McMurray Public School District.

His largest hobbies are cross-country skiing and reffing hockey in the winter and biking in the summer. Councillor Meagher also enjoys being active in the Snow Angel program for seniors.

 

Bonnie Feakes

Alberta Sport

Born in Edmonton, now residing in Parkland County, Alberta, Bonnie has been involved with Alberta Games program since 2011 as a Games Manager and now with Alberta Sport Connection, Alberta Games and Marketing branch (Edmonton office) since 2012.

Outside of work, she is actively involved in the sport community with three kids competing in hockey, ringette, volleyball and basketball. Bonnie serves an assistant ringette coach and on the Board of Directors with Spruce Grove Ringette as U12 Director.

 

Jeff Ryks

Alberta Sport

Born in Edmonton, Alberta and raised in Barrhead, Jeff has had the opportunity to work with 26 Alberta Winter and Summer Games. He also has experience as Mission Staff for seven Inter-Provincial Games including the Canada Games and Arctic Games.

Jeff is currently a Senior Sport Consultant for the Alberta Sport Connection. In his free time he enjoys hockey, golf, and travel.

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