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 currently serves on the Ismaili Council for Canada and the 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, and in 2023, she was the recipient of the Haskayne Alumni Excellence Award. Saifa also holds an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

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Board of Directors

Dr. Mark AnselmoCalgary Zone Medical Director, Alberta Health Services

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.

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Jo Ann BeckieSenior Operating Officer, Alberta Children’s Hospital
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Mike Begin, Board Vice ChairCommunity Advocate & Retired Executive

Mr. Begin is Vice Chair of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation (ACHF). He also serves on the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) Strategic Advisory Board, UCEED Health/ Child Health/ Neuro Health Investment Advisory, and is an OWN Cancer Campaign cabinet member for the new Arthur JE Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre. He is also an active community advocate for innovation – a technology angel investor, Fellow with Creative Destruction Labs, mentor for the CDL Scale Up program, advisor to multiple start-ups, and advisor to Schulich School of Engineering.

Mike retired as the long-term CEO of Spartan Controls – an entrepreneurial, employee owned and one of Canada’s Best 50 Managed Companies for over 20 years. He has held prior global executive roles, plus several industry board chair, director, and governor positions. He has also served as past chair and governor of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT); been a corporate and personal supporter of many post-secondary initiatives and programs across western Canada; and provided leadership across several other community initiatives including support of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, United Way, STARS, Dennehy Foundation, Canadian Blood Services, and Corporate Challenge. His education includes an Engineering with Management Science degree from the University of Waterloo; as well as honourary degrees in science and in technology for SAIT and NAIT, respectively.

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. Francois BernierDirector, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Francois Bernier is an academic clinical geneticist, Professor of Medical Genetics and Pediatrics, and Director of the Alberta Children Research Institute (ACHRI) at the University of Calgary.

His clinical practice includes rare genetic diseases, cardiogenetics, and prenatal genetics. His research program is focused on the identification of genes for rare genetic disorders, and the translational application of genomic technologies to the clinic. Dr. Bernier is the project lead of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund One Child Every Child: A Transformational Child Health Research Initiative with a vision for all children to be healthy, empowered and thriving. He is also the Scientific Director of Precision Health at ACHRI.

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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.

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.

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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, Past 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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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 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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Hanif JoshaghaniCo-Founder & CEO of Symend

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.

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John MercuryExecutive Chair and Board Chair, Bennett Jones LLP

John Mercury is Executive Chair and Chair of the Board of Bennett Jones. As Chair, John has overall responsibility for the direction, management and financial performance of the firm, with a focus on its strategic plan, market and industry initiatives, and client relationships.

In his practice, John was formerly the head of the firm’s private equity practice and has been recognized as one of Canada’s leading M&A lawyers with a significant focus on cross-border transactions. He will continue to practice and serve clients in his new role.

John joined Bennett Jones after spending nearly a decade in New York, where he practised 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 M&A 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 serves on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards. 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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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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Dr. Antonia StangHead of the Department of Pediatrics

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.

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Steve StretchSenior 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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Doug van SpronsenCEO and Co-Founder, Versett

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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