Leadership

Our Board of Directors are community leaders unwavering in their commitment to achieving the best health and best future for all children and families. Their expertise and tremendous compassion help drive innovation and impact in all that we do.

President & CEO

Saifa KoonarPresident & CEO

Ms. Koonar has served as President & CEO of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation since 2009. As CEO, she is accountable for the leadership, direction and operations of the organization. Previously, Saifa held the positions of Chief Operating Officer, Chief Development Officer and Campaign Director for the building of the new Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Saifa serves on the Premier’s Council for Charities and Civil Society and Aga Khan Foundation Canada. She is also a member of the International Women’s Forum, Canadian Children’s Hospital Foundations, and serves on the Board for The Woodmark Group, a consortium of leading Children’s Hospital Foundations throughout North America.

In June 2021, she was inducted into the Order of the University of Calgary for her contributions to the University and child health. Saifa is a two-time UCalgary alumna, having earned her Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business Administration degrees at UCalgary. She also holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

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Board of Directors

Dr. Mark AnselmoHead, Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Health Services Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Calgary

Dr. Anselmo is the head of the Department of Pediatrics in Calgary. Prior to his appointment in 2018, he spent four years as Facility Medical Director of the Alberta Children’s Hospital after serving as the section chief of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine. Mark is an associate member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and an associate professor of Pediatrics. His clinical interests include asthma, interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension. Mark earned his medical degree from the University of Alberta, underwent residency training at the University of Saskatchewan and pulmonary fellowship training at Harvard University. He returned to Alberta with his family in 2010 after spending seven years working at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. He enjoys collaborating with other members of the Pediatric Chairs of Canada and Children’s Healthcare Canada.

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Mike BeginCommunity Advocate & Retired Executive

Mr. Begin is an active community advocate with roles that include: past chair and governor of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), corporate and personal supporter of many post-secondary initiatives and programs across western Canada, leadership across several other community initiatives including the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, United Way, STARS, Dennehy Foundation, Canadian Blood Services, Corporate Challenge, as well as coach for competitive level sports.

He is also an entrepreneur and technology start-up company investor, a Fellow with Creative Destruction Labs, advisor to multiple start-ups, advisor to Schulich School of Engineering and the UCEED innovation initiative at University Calgary, and a campaign cabinet member for the new Alberta Cancer Centre.

Mike is a retired long-term CEO of Spartan Controls and has held prior executive roles in global marketing and sales, business leadership in Asia Pacific and Canada, plus several industry board chair, director and governor positions. His education includes a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree, Electrical Engineering with Management Science – University of Waterloo; Honourary Bachelor of Science Degree – SAIT; Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D); and Honourary Bachelor of Technology Degree – NAIT.

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Dr. Susanne (Susa) BenselerDirector, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary

Dr. Benseler is the Director of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. In addition to caring for families as a pediatric rheumatologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Susa is a Professor of Pediatrics, a clinical epidemiologist and clinician investigator in rare inflammatory diseases and child precision health. She trained at SickKids, Toronto and joined the University of Calgary in 2013.

Susa focuses on the transformation of care for children with inflammatory diseases. She previously established the first Childhood CNS Vasculitis and Inflammatory Brain Diseases Clinic and Research program at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and built BrainWorks, an international Childhood Inflammatory Brain Diseases Investigator Network. She is past Chair of the Canadian Pediatric Rheumatology Investigator Network and co-leads the Canadian translational childhood arthritis projects UCAN.CURE and UCAN.CAN-DU, the latter in partnership with the Netherlands. Both research projects strive to understand the biology of childhood arthritis and translate biological evidence into optimal treatments to achieve the best possible outcomes for children living with arthritis. Susa holds the Husky Chair in Child and Maternal Health, is also Chair of Child Health Research Institute Directors, MICYRN and is part of the strategy core team of #WeCANforKids, a national partnership of UNICEF Canada, Children’s Healthcare Canada, the Pediatric Chairs of Canada and the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health.

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Catherine (Kay) BestCommunity Member & Corporate Director

Ms. Best is currently a director of Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Badger Infrastructure Solutions Ltd., Superior Plus Corporation and is the Chair of the Board of Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company. Previously she was the Executive Vice President Risk Management and CFO of the Calgary Health Region. She also served as the first CFO of Alberta Health Services, which was formed by the integration of all Alberta health regions. Kay was a partner with Ernst Young in Calgary, where she worked for 19 years, the last ten as a corporate audit partner. She is a Chartered Accountant and was awarded her FCA designation in 2002, then obtained her Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D) designation in 2009.

Kay is also an active member of the Calgary volunteer community. She serves as a director of the Calgary Stampede Foundation and, in the past, has held several positions with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, including serving as an elected representative on the Institute’s governing Council. She also served as a director of the Calgary Foundation and the United Way of Calgary including a term as chair of the board.

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Jeff BoydRegional President, Alberta and the Territories, RBC Royal Bank

Mr. Boyd is responsible for RBC’s Personal & Commercial Banking Businesses. With RBC for 20 years, he has progressed through a variety of positions including senior management roles in both Retail and Commercial Banking and National Sales Strategy. Most recently, Jeff held the role of Regional President for Ontario North and East.

In the community, he is currently on the board of the Calgary Homeless Foundation as well as a member of the Business Advisory Council for the Alberta School of Business. Jeff is a past Advisory Board member for The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haskayne School of Business, a past Director of the National Music Centre, as well as a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Hospital Foundation. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Mount Allison University.

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Meg BregazziCommunity Member & Corporate Director

Ms. Bregazzi is a CPA, CA with more than 20 years of business experience. She has worked as a financial consultant principally within the energy and financial sectors. Meg has experience with both public and private companies and, most recently, she was the treasurer and co-founder of an investment fund. Meg is currently an expert advisor with Innovate Calgary and volunteers with a community mentorship program.

Prior to becoming a CPA, CA, Meg earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta and spent the first five years of her career working in diagnostic hematology labs in Canada and the U.S.

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Laura DanielsCommunity Member & Corporate Director

Prior to her retirement in 2020, Ms. Daniels led the Public Sector practice at PwC. She joined the firm in Toronto in 1988, transferred to the Calgary office in 1992 and spent more than 32 years serving municipalities, not-for-profit organizations and private companies. Having supported many multinational organizations, Laura has extensive experience working collaboratively with teams located in different locations.

She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and served on the Practice Review Committee for CPA Alberta for 5 years. Laura also serves as a director of Invest Alberta.

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Dale Dusterhoft, Board ChairPresident & CEO, Prostar Energy Services

Mr. Dusterhoft is the President and CEO of Prostar Energy Services, a new technology service rig manufacturer and service supplier to the Oil and Gas business in Canada and Australia. Prior to this, Dale was the President & CEO of Trican Well Service, a position he retired from in 2020. He joined Trican at its inception in 1996 and, preceding his 11 years as CEO, was the Company’s Senior Vice President of Technical Services. Before joining Trican, Dale worked with a major Canadian pressure pumping company where he held management positions in Operations, Sales and Engineering.

He graduated from the University of Calgary in 1984 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Dale serves on the Board of the Calgary Petroleum Club and Prostar Energy Services. He is a past Chairman of the Canadian Executive Oilmen’s Association, past President of the Canadian Association of Drilling Engineers, past President of the Canadian Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and a past member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary.

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Margaret FullertonSenior Operating Officer, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Alberta Health Services

Ms. Fullerton is the Senior Operating Officer at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where she leads the hospital and its multi-disciplinary teams in providing specialized care for children and families in the Calgary Zone and Southern Alberta.

Margaret’s health care experience spans over 30 years. As a Registered Nurse, she began her career in a general hospital pediatric unit and subsequently cared for patients and families in a neonatal intensive care unit, post-anaesthetic care unit and in the operating room. She has held a wide range of leadership positions and private sector health care roles in Saskatoon, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. In addition to leading the Alberta Children’s Hospital, she also leads several provincial AHS programs.

Margaret is committed to providing excellence in patient and family centred care and is dedicated to supporting multi-disciplinary health care professionals in continually improving access, quality and sustainable models of care. She supports research and education in the pursuit of best practice. When she is not working, she likes spending time with her family, playing the piano and actively enjoying the great outdoors that Alberta has to offer.

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Marty GilesOwner, NorthStar Automotive Group

Mr. Giles is the founder, owner and principal dealer for NorthStar Ford Group. He started his first Ford dealership in 1995 and now operates in 5 different locations including Fort McKay, Calgary, Cochrane and two in Fort McMurray.

Marty, his family and employees participate in a number of fundraising and philanthropic initiatives including Drive 4 UR School, Charity Poker Tournament and We Scare Hunger. He is the only Canadian winner of the Ford Salute to Dealers award for philanthropy. NorthStar Ford received the 2010 Blueprint Award for its Workplace Campaign from the United Way and won the 2010 President’s Award by Ford Motor Company for its outstanding corporate citizenship. Marty and his wife, Dennine, were among the finalists in the 2010 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and recipients at the 2011 Heart of Wood Buffalo Leadership Awards. Marty is a past Campaign Chair for the 2015 United Way campaign in Fort McMurray and he has also served as a Board member of the Northern Lights Health Foundation and Vista Ridge (a recreational park in Fort McMurray).

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Ryan GilesSenior Managing Director, TriWest Capital Partners

Mr. Giles is the Senior Managing Director at TriWest Capital Partners, where he has provided executive leadership since 2006. Prior to joining TriWest, he was an Associate with Onex Corporation, where he was actively involved in evaluating and conducting due diligence for new investment opportunities. Previously, Ryan had worked in the Canada Group of Morgan Stanley and was involved in various mergers and acquisitions and financing-related assignments. He graduated with distinction from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, with an Honours degree in Business Administration. He received his A.B., Economics and Math, from Bowdoin College.

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Alyson GoldmanPartner, McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Ms. Goldman is a partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP. Alyson has been practicing law for over 20 years with her practice focused on securities and corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, shareholder activism and corporate governance. Alyson is a member of the Alberta Bar Association, the Law Society of Alberta, the Law Society of Ontario, the Canadian Bar Association, the Calgary Bar Association, the Calgary CFA Society and the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Alyson has an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree (Kinesiology) from Western University and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Queens University. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

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Darlene Haslam, Board Vice ChairCommunity Member & Corporate Director

Ms. Haslam is a self-employed Chartered Accountant, with over 30 years of experience working as a consultant CFO to many organizations and spanning various industries. Also a Corporate Director, Darlene is a recent graduate of the Director Education program having earned her Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D).

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Mona JasinskiSenior Vice President, Human Resources & Communications, Nova Chemicals

Ms. Jasinski is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Communications with Nova Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta and wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Previously, she was the Executive Vice President, People & Culture with Vermilion Energy, a mid-cap Oil & Gas firm operating in Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia. Prior to joining Vermilion, Mona held various leadership roles in Sustainability, Strategy, Human Resources and Communications.

Mona is a graduate of the Director Education Program and earned her Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD.D). She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.). Mona also serves on the Board of Governors of Calgary Petroleum Association as Vice-Chair and was previously a Board member and Chair of Governance of the YWCA of Calgary.

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John MercuryVice Chair, Clients and Industries, Bennett Jones LLP

As head of Bennett Jones’ private equity practice group, Mr. Mercury concentrates on private investments and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts and PIPE transactions, primarily on behalf of Canadian and U.S. financial sponsors. John also spends time advising general partners and investors in the formation of private equity funds and other investment vehicles. John’s clients span a variety of industries, including energy, financial services, consumer products and manufacturing.

John joined Bennett Jones after spending nearly a decade in New York, where he practiced corporate and U.S. tax law with a leading New York-based law firm and where he worked as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch in its mergers & acquisitions group. In these roles, John provided legal and financial advice to a broad range of U.S., Canadian and foreign companies, primarily in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, debt and equity financings and corporate governance matters.

John is a member of the firm’s board of directors and serves on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards. He holds a Bachelor of Economics Degree from Northwestern University, a Masters of Finance Degree from Yale University, and his Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Toronto. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar.

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Andrew PhillipsPresident & CEO, PrairieSky Royalty Ltd.

Mr. Phillips is the President and Chief Executive Officer of PrairieSky Royalty Ltd. and has over 20 years of experience in the petroleum and natural gas industry in the areas of exploration, geology, business development, asset evaluation and executive management.

Prior to his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Andrew was the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Home Quarter Resources Ltd., a private oil and natural gas company he founded in 2010 with producing properties and royalty interests in southwest Saskatchewan and Alberta. Home Quarter was successfully divested to a public oil and natural gas company in 2014. Before this, he was the Vice President, Exploration at Evolve Exploration Ltd., a private junior oil and natural gas company with assets in Western Canada, and an exploration geologist at each of Profico Energy Management Ltd. and Renaissance Energy Ltd., both of which were Canadian oil and natural gas exploration companies.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science, Geology Degree from the University of Calgary and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta and the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists.

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Christopher (Chris) S. PotterChairman & CEO, Peters & Co. Limited

Mr. Potter is the Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Peters & Co. Limited. He has been in the investment business since 1994 and held a number of executive level positions with Peters and Co. prior to taking on his current role. Chris holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and has served on various boards and committees, including the Financial Sector Advisory Committee for Calgary Economic Development. Chris also holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Calgary.

Chris is one of the Past Chairs of the Foundation, was named one of Alberta’s 50 most Influential People in 2014 and was a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 in 2007.

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James (Jim) H.T. RiddellPresident & CEO, Paramount Resources Ltd.

Mr. Riddell has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Paramount Resources Ltd. since May 2015. Over the past 30 years, he has held various positions at Paramount, in addition to serving as a director since 2000. Jim also currently serves as a Director of Big Rock Brewery, as well as several additional private energy companies in Canada.

He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and received a Masters of Science Degree in Geology from the University of Alberta in 1993. He is a member of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Jim is Chairman of the Shaw Charity Classic.

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Mike H. ShaikhCommunity Member & Corporate Director

In addition to his work as a humanitarian, volunteer, philanthropist, and community leader, Mr. Shaikh is known for being an exceptionally proud citizen and ambassador of Alberta and Canada.

Mike is a past Chair of Education Matters, Chair of World Literacy Organization, the national chair of ImagiNation campaign for the Paralympic Foundation of Canada and a board member of various public and private companies as part of his professional career as a businessman, entrepreneur, and Chartered Accountant.

Previous leadership roles included serving as Chair of the Calgary Police Commission and a board member of: Alberta Securities Commission, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, University of Calgary, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, and the Canadian Association of Police Boards. In addition, he served as President of Kiwanis Club of Calgary and was a founding member of People for Progress Foundation, as well as the Calgary Police Foundation.

 

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Steve Stretch, Past Board ChairSenior Geoscientist, Pipestone Energy Corp.

Mr. Stretch is a Senior Geoscientist at Pipestone Energy Corp. Prior to that, Steve was Vice President, Geophysics of Cequence Energy Ltd. which he joined in 2010 when it merged with Temple Energy Inc. Up until that point, Steve had been the Vice President and Chief Geophysicist of Temple Energy. His previous leadership positions within the energy sector included serving as Senior Geophysicist of Vermilion Resources Ltd., and later as Vice President and Chief Geophysicist of Temple Exploration Inc.

Steve also serves as a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute Strategic Advisory Board.

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