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
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.
Board of Directors
Dr. Anselmo is the Calgary Zone Medical Director, Alberta Health Services. He served as the head of the Department of Pediatrics in Calgary from 2018 to October 2021. Prior to that, 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.
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.
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.
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.
As Regional President for Alberta and the Territories, Jeff leads a team of over 2,500 employees in providing financial advice and services to RBC’s Personal, Small Business and Commercial clients in the Region. Since joining RBC in 1995, Jeff has held a variety of increasingly responsible positions including senior leadership roles in both Retail and Commercial Banking and National Sales Strategy. Prior to assuming his current role in 2014, he was Regional President, Ontario North & East.
Jeff is an active and dedicated community leader, including his involvement on the boards of Arts Commons and FRAYME, as well as the Advisory Board for the University of Alberta Business School.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Mount Allison University, the FICB from the Canadian Securities Institute and has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Education Program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
Since its inception in 2016, Mr. Joshaghani has led the team at Symend, the leader in Behavioral Engagement TechnologyTM, as its co-founder and CEO. Throughout his career, Hanif has held senior roles in capital markets, business development and energy finance and has been recognized as EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2021 Prairie Region and Avenue Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40. Under his leadership, Symend has ranked on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50TM and Fast 500TM and supports the world’s leading telecommunication and financial services companies as they deliver better experiences to their customers using Symend’s technology. In addition to his role at Symend, Hanif is a member of the Business Council of Canada, sits on the board for the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund and supports the Canadian technology entrepreneurial ecosystem as an active mentor and angel investor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Stang is the Academic and Zone Clinical Department Head for Pediatrics. Antonia joined the Alberta Children’s Hospital as an emergency physician in 2008. From 2018 until 2022 she served as the Section Chief for Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Antonia is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine and Community Health Sciences.
She completed her medical training and degrees in health care administration and research methods at McGill University. Her academic interests include healthcare systems research, patient safety, quality improvement and the translation of best evidence into clinical practice.
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.
Mr. van Spronsen is the CEO and co-founder of Versett, a technology consulting firm that works with high-growth companies to capitalize on emerging behaviours, markets and technologies. Established in 2012, Versett’s global team of over 350 consultants bring together rigorous research, exceptional design and software engineering to create and scale world-class digital platforms and interfaces. In the past year, the company has worked extensively with clients like American Express, TD Bank, Visa and Getty Images across a variety of global projects. Versett is headquartered in Calgary and has offices in Vancouver, Paris, Brussels, Toronto and Ho Chi Minh City. He also serves on the board of True North Water. Doug was EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year (Prairies) for Technology in 2019 and was named one of Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2018.
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