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Profession: Mayor, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo
Age: 46 • Years in Wood Buffalo: 34

46-year-old Melissa Blake is best known as her role as Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. She came to Fort McMurray from Quebec as a child in 1982, and graduated from Composite High.

Mayor Blake was elected to Council in 1998, and as Mayor in 2004. In 2013, she was re-elected to her fourth term as mayor.

Being the top elected official in one of Canada’s largest municipalities brings with it tremendous challenges and opportunities. Because Wood Buffalo is the heart of Canada’s energy industry, it is often subject to global scrutiny. Most recently our new challenges with the devastating wildfire really demonstrated to the community and the entire world that her compassion, strength and resilience is first-rate. Her poise in the face of pressure and such scrutiny demonstrates her ability to continually perform admirably as spokesperson of Wood Buffalo on a global stage.

Mayor Blake has served on numerous committees in addition to her regular council duties, including those related to development, protective services, community services, and affordable housing.

She brings to her position a range of experience from her corporate career, including public affairs, materials & services, and human resources. Mayor Blake holds a Bachelor of Administration from Athabasca University, and is proud to call Fort McMurray home with her husband Peter and two young sons. Earlier in 2016, she announced that this current term would be her last and that she would be moving on from a life in public office.

Throughout her time serving our community, Mayor Blake has shown time and again her commitment, passion, and love for Wood Buffalo. For these reasons, she is an excellent addition to YMM’s Top 50 Under 50.

IN HER OWN WORDS: “Leading for me has always been about visioning a better outcome and leveraging the efforts needed to get there. This is where our citizens shine. The most giving community in Canada, the most vibrant and diverse, the strongest and most resilient, and simply the best!”