(2 votes)


Ben - Profession: Commercial Banker
Age: 37 • Years in Wood Buffalo: 3.5

Margaret - Profession: External Relations Advisor
Age: 36 • Years in Wood Buffalo: 10

Power couple status: Ben Gill and Margaret Ziolecki have been named one of YMM’s Power Couples because, although not born in Canada, both are impacting the community as if they were born with a passion for it. Both have a strong desire to help the community and have proven to do just that through both their careers as well as personal time.

Three accents, three passports.

Ben Gill, 37, was born in New Zealand to British parents, and moved to Canada when he was 10.

A Senior Relationship Manager with ATB Financial, Ben sits on the board of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, as well as Habitat for Humanity Wood Buffalo.

When not working and volunteering his time, Ben enjoys cycling, reading, movies, travelling, eating, and football. In 2016, his love of cycling found him competing in the 2016 Edmonton Velothon.

Ben’s favourite thing about living in Wood Buffalo is the resilient, pioneering, and entrepreneurial spirit of the community.

Immigrating to Canada has shaped who she is, how she views local, national, and international issues and opportunities.

36-year-old Margaret Ziolecki has lived in Wood Buffalo for 10 years. Born in Slupca, Poland, she immigrated to Canada with her family when she was four-years-old.

Margaret works as an external relations advisor with Shell Canada, and is the vice-chair for Habitat for Humanity Wood Buffalo. She is also the advisor to the HR Committee, PR Committee, and Events Committee. For more than 10 years she has worked as a United Way Employee Campaign support; she also was part of the volunteer committee for the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games.

When she’s not working or volunteering her time, Margaret enjoys graphic design, socializing, travelling, fine dining, cooking, entertaining, home decorating and reading.

Margaret considers the people and the community culture that has been cultivated as her favourite things about living in Wood Buffalo, calling it inclusive, grounded, resilient and kind.

IN BEN'S OWN WORDS: Mark Twain’s quote, ‘The secret to getting ahead is getting started’, has always inspired me.

IN MARGARET'S OWN WORDS: I always remember the words of Zig Ziglar:, “Fear has two meanings - forget everything and run, or face everything and rise. The choice is yours.”