Michael Alpern

Expertise: Board Governance, Strategic Planning, Risk Management

Michael immigrated to Canada from the United Kingdom in 1966 and, over the next few years while teaching at Edmonton Public Schools, he followed his passion for learning and education at the University of Alberta.  His credentials include Bachelor of Education, a Masters of Education and subsequently a PhD in organizational culture, organizational development and leadership.

Michael taught for the Edmonton Public School Board for 17 years and subsequently was employed as a Senior Manager by Alberta Education. He played important roles in the development of a variety of education and training programs for a number of Government ministries and community agencies.  Michael was a founding member of the Job Safety Skills Society and for 17 years served as the organization’s Executive Director.

Michael has always been impressed by the importance of giving back to the community and has taken this philosophy to heart.  He has served on multiple non-profit boards, frequently at the executive level. He recently completed six years on the board of the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, including as co-president, nine years on the board of Jewish Family Services, including two terms as President, eight years as a board member of the Alberta Safety Council, as well as on the executives of the Beth Shalom and Beth Israel Synagogues.

Peter Faid

Expertise:  Board Governance, Strategic Planning, Risk Management

Peter served as the Executive Director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council for 10 years before embarking on a lengthy career with Community Services Consulting, a company he founded in 1991. During his consulting practice his clients have included all three levels of government, health authorities and professional associations, as well as school districts and non-profit agencies. Peter’s community involvement in the Edmonton area has been extensive, most recently on the Board of the Edmonton Community Legal Centre and the Board of the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, with prior engagements on the Board of the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region along with expertise as an active member of a Roundtable for End Poverty Edmonton. Peter’s educational credentials include two Masters degrees: Political Science (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and Social Policy and Administration (London School of Economics and Political Science).

Peter’s skill set is varied in the areas of Board Governance, Strategic Planning and Risk Management to name a few.  As a founding member of the Alberta Community Support Network, is an enthusiastic driver for finding opportunities for retired and semi-retired women and men to give back to their communities. His process facilitation skills as second to none and, while presently semi-retired, he has just exchanged some of this paid work for increased volunteer work.  Noteworthy accomplishments include teaching social policy at colleges in both London, England and in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary.

Peter Farnden

Expertise: Social Services, Executive Leadership, Risk Management

Peter is recently retired after serving 15 years as Chief Executive Officer of WJS Canada, one of the few private national social service agencies delivering 125 services across British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Through 90 government contracts WJS provided community-based services to children and families, persons with developmental disabilities and young offenders. A significant accomplishment for Peter during his work as CEO was organizing an employee buyout of the company and ensuring that the company was able to thrive and grow.

Peter has an MSc in Educational Psychology and has taken courses in management and trauma-informed approaches to childcare. He has expertise in strategic planning, human resource management, financial management and risk management. He has continued as a Board member of the company he ran and currently is the chair of the governance committee. Peter has experience working on and with non-profit boards on matters of governance and strategic planning. He has been president of a swimming association, a board member of a soccer association and is presently the President of Brookview Community League.

Janet Giles

Expertise: Finance, Strategic Planning, Governance, Human Resources

Janet has recently retired from a 42-year career working with YMCAs across Canada and globally. During her years as a Senior Leader in a number of YMCAs across the country, she provided leadership to almost every aspect of YMCA operations including Strategic Planning, Board Governance, Fiscal Management, Philanthropy, Human Resources and Program Development and Delivery.  She enjoyed working with leaders from all levels within the organizations, from Board of Directors and Executive Staff to Frontline Staff and Volunteers.

Janet is excited about the opportunity to spend time closer to home and work with inspiring local Volunteers and Staff who share the goal of making the Greater Edmonton area a great place for all.

Marsha Guthrie

Expertise: Front-line experience with not-for-profit organizations

Marsha is currently the Director of Operations and Resources with the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE). She has previously been the Director of Administrative Services / Division with Pacifica Housing Advisory Association on Vancouver Island, the Executive Director of Leduc and District Victim Services, with prior experience as Executive Director for the Alberta Legal Information Society. She has volunteer experience with the arts communities and as a home care volunteer with Alberta Health Services. She presently serves as a director on a condominium association board in Edmonton.

Marsha’s educational credential includes a Master of Arts degree (applied social and market research), Bachelor of Science degree (political science with law), and certificates in project management and non-profit management. She is also a Certified Change Practitioner. Her work experience in the non-profit sector has given Marsha a great appreciation for the challenges faced by organizations with very limited resources to address their business issues. She can bring her experience in financial management and strategic planning to help smaller organizations.

Nancy McCalder

Expertise: Senior-level Not-for-profit Organizations

Nancy McCalder is retired after a career in social services and community services, most recently in the position of Executive Director for The Support Network (now affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association), with prior senior roles with The Family Centre of Northern Alberta, plus educational and government agencies. She co-led the successful integration of The Support Network and Canadian Mental Health Association to ensure sustainable delivery of mental health services for the Edmonton region. She also co-chaired a community celebrations event to coincide with Olympian Clara Hughes’ “Big Ride”, which raised $50,000 for mental health services.

Nancy has a Masters of Science (Human Resources Management), completed the Positive Workplace Champion Certificate Program (via Family Services Employee Assistance, and obtained a National Volunteer Training certificate through her volunteer work with Pilgrims Hospice. She is a Past Board member of Strathcona County Community Mediation Society, past Board member and Chair of Annual Conference for Alberta Recreation and Parks Association, and presently Board member of Festival Singers Society. She brings insight and wisdom to help non-profit organizations tackle a variety of challenges.

Allan McCalder

Expertise: Human Resources Management

Allan is a Human Resources professional with broad range of experiences over a career of 30 years. Past employment highlights include senior Human Resources roles (Strathcona County and City of Fort Saskatchewan). Noteworthy experience includes business planning and policy development, recruitment and on-boarding processes, strategic compensation planning and total compensation administration, and building business and employee relationships.

Allan holds the Chartered Professional Human Resources and the Certified Compensation Professional designations along with two University degrees (Athabasca; Waterloo) and a Certificate in Municipal Management and Leadership (Alberta). He is a recipient of the Outstanding Career Award presented by the CPHR Alberta (2009). His volunteer commitments included being a member of Board of Directors for the CPHR Alberta (2006 – 2008, and 2010 -2012); and a member on a national Task Force for the Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA). He also serves as a volunteer mentor with CPHR Alberta and Edmonton Regional Immigrant Employment Council.

Allan has assisted non-profits on matters as employment and employer obligations under the Alberta Employment Standards Act, role descriptions and organizational reporting, compensation reviews, and policy development.

Jeff Pearson

Expertise: Strategic Planning; Board Governance

Jeff retired from the Alberta Provincial Government in 2015, following a 38-year career in Municipal Affairs. With degrees in Urban and Regional Planning, Jeff served as a Manager of a Municipal Planning Unit, Senior Adviser and Strategic Issues Coordinator, and Senior Research Analyst, Corporate Planning & Policy Branch.

Since moving to Edmonton in 1997 Jeff has contributed to the work of a number of non-profit organizations. These include being a member of the Boards of Directors of the Edmonton Social Planning Council, Family Centre Edmonton, the Family Centre Foundation and Central Lions Seniors Association, where he is currently active. As well as being active with the Alberta government’s Board Development Program, Jeff has facilitated many workshops and planning retreats for Boards of Directors of libraries, visual arts centres, museums, municipalities and community organizations throughout Alberta and the Yukon. As a result Jeff has an extensive background in strategic planning and board governance.

Peter Sikora

Expertise: Human Resources

While Peter presently enjoys “an Island lifestyle” in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, he frequently travels back to the Edmonton region to visit family and friends.

His skills and expertise in Human Resources Management include areas such as collective bargaining, recruitment strategies, job evaluation and compensation planning.

Peter’s credentials include a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta along with several professional development programs and certificates related to human resources, including a Certificate in Municipal Management and Leadership from the University of Alberta.

As a community volunteer and Board Member Peter remains active with a multicultural association in the Nanaimo region, as well as a volunteer association of human resources professionals.

Karen Sillito

Expertise: Human Resources

Karen is an accomplished Human Resources professional, with credentials that include Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations (Athabasca), the national CPHR designation, along with the Registered Professional Recruiter and Registered Professional Trainer designations.  During her professional career she also possessed the Safety Auditor certification from Alberta Municipal Health and Safety.

Her professional experience spanned 27 years with the City of St. Albert, in a variety of HR roles.  She is known for her excellent relationship development skills, disputes resolution talents, and an insightful alignment of business strategies to HR policies, programs and actions.

Karen skill set includes recruitment and hiring, policy development, respectful workplace programs, and employee relations.  She is an authentic Human Resources generalist with an inherent ability that allows her to connect easily with others.  Now retired, Karen is looking forward to utilizing her skills to assist organizations to improve their work environments.

Mavis Snider

Expertise: Governance, Strategic Planning

Mavis brings a unique approach to the volunteer consulting services of ACSN, one that includes a combination of being an instructor for the Alberta Culture Board Development Program and her direct involvement with amateur sporting groups.  Her approach when working with not-for-profit groups can be described as one of positive reinforcement and building upon what an organization is already doing effectively. With a degree in recreation administration and a career of public engagement, marketing and board liaison, Mavis’ skillset enables her to work with groups to achieve buy-in and commitment.

Shelley Williams

Expertise: Strategic Planning and Coaching

Shelley Williams has been in a leadership position within community-based organizations for over 40 years. She was CEO of four Edmonton agencies including HIV Edmonton, Bissell Centre, YWCA of Edmonton, and Edmonton Women’s Shelter (WIN Houses). Achievements have included the redevelopment of organizational structures and systems, completing a successful capital campaign for three buildings, responding to and helping to develop a municipal strategy to address homelessness, and the development of a local supervised consumption services model as chair of a coalition.

Shelley is passionate about her work and is known for her expertise on board governance, organizational development, strategic planning and implementing change. Shelley is a certified executive coach and is a member of the International Coaching Federation.

She focuses on fostering community collaboration and partnerships among those with whom she works. Her work has been recognized numerous times including Edmonton YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Lifetime Achievement, an Honorary Doctorate from St. Stephan’s College – University of Alberta, Global TV’s Woman of Vision, a one-year Fellowship with Muttart Foundation and Canada’s 125th Commemorative Medal for significant contributions to her community.

Adina Piso

Expertise:  Financial Risk Analysis; Regulatory Compliance; Business Analytics

With more than a decade of professional experience, Adina has worked within financial institutions in roles that entail regulatory and compliance analysis, as well as within the seniors homecare industry and the dental marketing sector in client services roles. 

Adina brings skills in the areas of business management strategies and business analytics (problem solving using data analysis) while working within a team environment.  Known for her results-oriented approach, she manages projects and time effectively while keeping an eye on the results to be achieved.

Adina’s credentials include a Bachelor of Commerce degree (MacEwan University), supplemented by a diploma in Accounting and Strategic Measurement (MacEwan University).  Her technical acumen is broad, and includes the Microsoft suite, Simply Accounting, SharePoint, and Data mining to name but a few.