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Board of Directors

 

The Board of Directors consists of 10 members with four community representatives, three industry representatives and three government representatives.

 


COMMUNITY REPRESENTATIVES

Kirby BigCKirby BigChild hild (2017-2020) elected

Kirby says: “Tansi! Hello!” Kirby BigChild is of Cree decent and is a band member of Sunchild First Nations. He currently works as the Executive Director for the Rocky Native Friendship Centre Society. Kirby has always strived to be a steward of the land, doing his best to respect the land we live on and to use the resources we have been given. Kirby has been involved with different synergy-based stakeholder groups throughout his life. He has also been self-employed in the Oil and Gas industry, worked in the forestry industry as a relief supervisor in a West Fraser sawmill as well as walking mountains performing surveys on cut blocks.

 

Brenda Knight (2016-2019) electedBrenda Knight

Brenda Knight is pleased to be a part of synergy and believes that synergy groups are a great resource to both oil companies and landowners. She is a born and raised Albertan, 3rd generation on the family farm. Brenda's career was as a municipal administrator for many years and for the past 7 years she has been a Lacombe County Councillor.

Brenda and her husband Leonard raised 4 children on a cow calf farm with Leonard also working in the oil patch for 35 years. As a landowner, Brenda is familiar with oil wells, pipelines, risers and other infrastructure of the oil field as well as the challenges of land leases and compensation.

 

Bryce Liddle (2017-2018) elected

Bryce Liddle farms east of Ponoka with his wife Bonnie. Bryce is going into his fifth year as Ponoka County Councillor for Division 1 and has also been the deputy Reeve for 5 years.

Bryce currently sits on a number of boards - Rimoka Housing board for seniors housing in Ponoka and Rimbey; Ponoka Seed Cleaning Coop; Ponoka Coop Oils board; President of the Ponoka Rural Crime Watch. He is also involved in the Ponoka Agricultural Service board and the Calumet Synergy group.

With his job as a county councillor, Bryce is also involved in a great number of other community projects. He believes he can have a role in Synergy Alberta as a voice for agriculture and that he also has an understanding of people living in rural Alberta who aren't directly involved in agriculture.


Fraser Stewart (2015-2018) electedFraser Stewart

Fraser is a strong supporter of numerous community volunteer organizations. Currently involved the Waterton Advisory Group, which is how he got here. Fraser has represented the skiers, shareholders, and cabin owners of the Castle Mountain Community for 9+ years. An avid skier, Fraser is starting his 37 year volunteering with the Canadian Ski Patrol, as a patroller, 1st-aid and CPR instructor and a mentor to recruits. As well as the Pro Patrol for 6 years in the infirmary.
Representing the Southern Alberta rural viewpoint and continuing the work already started by Synergy Alberta.
Fraser retired after serving the residents of Lethbridge for 32 years, with the Lethbridge Fire Department. His career included working on the Ambulance, Fire, Rescue, Aerial trucks, and the Water Rescue Team. Culminating his career, Fraser taught fire safety, accident and injury prevention, to industry, business, students and people of all ages.
Fraser and Monica have called Castle Mountain Resort home, or Heaven, for six years, with their two dogs.

 


INDUSTRY REPRESENTATIVES

 

Vanessa Cartwright (2017-2020) electedVanessa Cartwright

Vanessa Cartwright is a Community Relations Coordinator At Keyera Energy Ltd. since 2013. Vanessa has worked in the oil and gas industry with landowners and community stakeholders since 2004. She has been involved with four Synergy Alberta groups across Alberta since 2013.

Vanessa enjoys her role in community engagement and working with communities and municipalities to facilitate long term meaningful relationships. She seeks to understand the culture and values of communities to support development that respects the unique character of each community.

Originally from Calgary, Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University and a Master of Arts, Dispute Resolution from the University of Victoria.


Chris Montgomery (2014-2017) appointed by Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)

Chris Montgomery currently serves as the Manager, E & P Engagement for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the voice of Canada's upstream oil, oil sands and natural gas industry. In this capacity, Chris leads CAPP's stakeholder engagement efforts in communities impacted by oil and gas development, outside the Athabasca oil sands region, and acts as a CAPP media spokesperson.

Prior to joining CAPP in 2013, Chris spent more than a decade working in Ottawa in various roles in federal politics, most recently as Director of Parliamentary Affairs to the Leader of the Government in the Senate where he was responsible for advancing the government's agenda through the Upper House of Parliament.

He has also served the Leader of the Government of the House of Commons, a Member of Parliament and, as the Manager of Political Operations (Western Canada) for one of Canada's major political parties.

Chris is a recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.


Jill Salus (2015-2018) elected Jill Salus

Jill Salus has worked as a Stakeholder Engagement and Aboriginal Relations advisor in the oil and gas industry since 2012. She is an advocate of Synergy Alberta in the community and an active member in six Synergy Groups throughout Central Alberta.

Jill loves her role in Stakeholder Engagement and enjoys working with communities to advance Corporate Social Responsibility. She is always seeking innovative ways to engage internal teams, Indigenous communities and stakeholders to build meaningful relationships by being present, honest and transparent.

Originally from Crowsnest Pass, her success as a national team athlete brought Jill to Calgary to train, compete and pursue a post-secondary education. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with her major in Marketing, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Global Energy Management and Sustainability, both from the University of Calgary.


GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES

Darcy Allen (2016-2019) appointed by Alberta Energy Regulator

Darcy Allen is a Regional Manager in the AER's Alberta Stakeholder Engagement branch, supporting the Northeast areas of the province. Darcy is a veteran community and indigenous relations specialist with over 35 years of technical and managerial experience in the upstream oil and gas sector and regulatory environments. Born and raised in central Alberta he remains closely connected to his rural roots, while having had the fortunate opportunity to engage with numerous stakeholders, organizations, local governments and communities throughout North America.

 


Peter Dobbie (2015-2018) appointed by Alberta Agriculture

Peter J. Dobbie, Q.C., was appointed as the Farmers' Advocate for Alberta in April of 2012 bringing to the position more than 20 years of experience as a lawyer advising farmers and agribusinesses, and as a resident of rural Alberta.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario, as well as a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alberta. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a lawyer advising farmers and agribusinesses in financing, purchase, sale, leasing, surface rights, dispute resolution, succession planning and estate administration matters, giving him direct knowledge of the laws and regulations.

He also has years of experience as a volunteer with organizations such as the Rotary Club of Vegreville, the 4-H Foundation of Alberta and the Vegreville and District Chamber of Commerce, and as a Commission Member of the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission.


Karen Henderson (2016-2019) appointed by Alberta Energy

Karen Henderson is the Associate Director, Community Relationships and Monitoring with Alberta Energy. She has an extensive career with the Alberta provincial government; most recently, she was part of the Oil Sands Sustainable Development Secretariat which collaborated with ministries, industry, communities and stakeholders to address the various impacts of regional oil sands development. As a new Synergy Alberta board member she is looking forward to being part of this dynamic group.