Top 40 Under Forty is presented by the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO.
These are 40 people in our community who are doing BIG things. They are thriving in business, entrepreneurship, arts, athletics or are striving to make our city and region a better place to live and work.
Have a look at our frequently asked questions!
2019-2020 Top 40 Under Forty
A belief that Lethbridge is a truly world-class destination, a place with entertainment, culture and an amazing climate. Returning to Lethbridge in late 2018, Mike has had the opportunity help re-engage Exhibition Park with the City of Lethbridge.
His main focus has been the EXolution development project and the creation of the StagEX Music Festival since arriving in Lethbridge. He believes that Southern Alberta is one of North America's best agricultural regions and as the largest agriculture society in the region; Exhibition Park has an obligation to showcase this, not just to the community and region, but to the world.
“As Lethbridge continues to grow, the importance of a world-class gathering place increases. The introduction of the StagEX Music Festival is just the first step in helping to establish Lethbridge as a marquee tourism destination.”
Growing up in Lethbridge and graduating from the University of Lethbridge allowed Mike to understand the unique sense of place that Lethbridge has.
After graduating with an MBA in Sport Management from San Diego State University, Mike returned to Canada and became the General Manager of Rexall Place for Northlands in Edmonton, AB. This experience with one of the oldest agricultural societies in Canada taught him about the importance these groups have in the community and the extensive economic impact they can produce.
During this time, Mike had the opportunity to work on and create some of the country's largest events, including Edmonton Oilers Hockey, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, the Davis Cup, not to mention countless marquee music events. In 2018, Mike returned to Lethbridge to work for Exhibition Park and has been tirelessly working to redefine how Exhibition Park serves the region.
“We’re uniquely positioned as an organization to showcase the agricultural production and processing sector, while providing entertainment, cultural and commercial opportunities for all of Southern Alberta and Canada.”
In 2018, Mike also founded Three-Sixty Leadership a predictive analytics firm focused on delivering quantitative results to the Sports and Entertainment industry.
Mike has been an active volunteer throughout his career. His passion and understanding of the importance of organized sports lead him to his current role as Vice-Chair of the KidSport Society of Alberta Board of Directors.
Additionally, the connection he feels to his alma mater, the University of Lethbridge lead him to join the University of Lethbridge Senate in 2019.
Leader, advocate, innovator, supporter and self-proclaimed closet artist. Those are all terms used to describe Katie-Jo Rabbit. She is all of these things and also passionate about enhancing the lives of Indigenous peoples in the City of Lethbridge.
Katie-Jo will support anything to do with employment and or education. She is also full of ideas that she has had implemented with various projects throughout the city. She likes to share ideas with others to develop the mandate of making Lethbridge a more inclusive and diverse place to work and live.
Katie-Jo is a strong Blackfoot woman who is living in a modern world while still upholding traditional Blackfoot values. She has been able to do this successfully while managing the only Indigenous Employment Center in Lethbridge.
After attending Kainai High School on the Blood Reserve, Katie-Jo attended Grant MacEwan College studying journalism, and the University of Calgary studying Adult Education Career and Academic Advising.
A duel citizen, Katie-Jo lived in Missoula, Montana where she attended University and was part of a non-invasive genetic study of the Grant Teton Bison herd in Yellow Stone National Park. This is where she reconnected to her understanding of why we need to maintain our relationship with the land and each other.
When she returned from school, she helped to develop and maintain the Wolf Crow Bison Ranch that is now fully functional on the Blood Tribe Reserve. This experience helped her to heal and decolonize her ideals and it reminded her of the self-sufficiency that her ancestors achieved. This is something that Katie-Jo tries to pass on to others in her work with the Lethbridge Urban Indigenous Community.
Katie-Jo is proud to have been involved with providing the Lethbridge Indigenous community with exciting and industry leading programs that enhanced the education and lives of participants.
She has performed Eve Ensler's Crooked Braid at the Lethbridge Fringe Festival, contributed to the Aboriginal Voices Column for the Lethbridge Journal, hosted a radio show of the same name on the CKXU 88.3 FM, hosted an Indigenous Arts Showcase at CASA and performed at a variety of different events as a Jingle Dress Dancer. These have all contributed to our community having a strong Indigenous voice. Katie-Jo has also traveled to various locations in Canada learning from other tribes and cities to bring back the lessons to the community of Lethbridge to implement the best practices.
Through her work with Saamis Aboriginal Employment & Training, Katie-Jo supports and sits on various committees that are doing some great work such as the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee, LISN, Education, Employment Training Committee which she co-chaired. She is also the Indigenous Representative on the Economic Development Lethbridge Committee.
The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Katie-Jo Rabbit as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
In early 2008 at the age of 23, Chris Cooke called up his good friend and said that there's more video work out in Alberta for him to handle and that they should start a company together. In fall of 2008, they incorporated Feature Productions.
Feature Productions started off doing primarily corporate work. As time went on, they slowly shifted towards live event production and that morphed into live sports production.
They are now a leader in Canada doing live video production and LED Screens for sporting events. Chris still makes nearly 100% of all of the sales calls and client relations meetings while his partner Steve manages much of the event logistics.
Chris directs many of the events that Feature Productions produce and is active in making sure each event is a success. As any successful entrepreneur understands, you have to be always on all the time in the early years to see growth in your bottom line. That's what Chris has done and continues to do.
Chris has had the great opportunity to create relationships with the management and ownership at some very high profile organizations such as the Calgary Stampede, ENMAX Centre, Lethbridge Hurricanes & PBR Canada. These relationships have turned out to be exceptional clients that know and trust that when he promises something, he will ensure that he delivers it.
During high school in the small town of Swan River, MB a teacher introduced a course called Television Production while Chris was in grade 11. At that point, he fell in love with the industry and began making snowboard films with his friends as they pulled each other behind the snowmobile.
After high school, he did an internship at the Miracle Channel in Lethbridge and immediately afterward was hired. Chris worked at the Miracle channel until November of 2007 and went freelance for about 11 months before starting Feature Productions.
Feature Productions has grown every single year under the leadership of he and Steve Prankard. They were able to buy their own office a few years ago and have reached some significant revenue milestones in the last few years that have met and exceeded their goals.
Coming from a ranching background, it has always been Chris’ goal to land the Canadian Finals Rodeo production. In November of 2019, they have been hired to produce the CFR in Red Deer for the first time. Chris is excited to move into this new realm and look forward to continued growth and success.
Chris worked alongside the committee for the 2019 bid that tried to get the Canada Summer Games to Lethbridge. He is now part of the committee who will be helping to host the 2020 Alberta Summer Games opening ceremonies.
An exciting entrepreneur in our community, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Chris Cooke as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Heather Kerr believes in making a connection with employees. She credits AGI with creating an environment that puts people first, and because of this she is able to create relationships and contribute to a meaningful workplace.
Through combining ongoing professional development with her love of the Southern Alberta community, Heather is able to be a part of and help shape a workplace that genuinely cares for its employees. She loves being able to see people enjoy coming to work, and being part of what makes their day great.
From leaving thank you notes to having trivia days, Heather tries to make the work less mundane and more fun. She spends time on the manufacturing floor every day talking to employees. This keeps her connected to the pulse of the plant and keeps the lines of communication open.
Heather also manages the safety department and keeping open communication about how to keep people feeling safe and comfortable at work goes a long way in retaining employees.
A Lethbridge native, Heather was born here, went to school here, and did her post-secondary here. She completed the “2+2 program” with the Lethbridge College and University of Lethbridge, which gave her both a diploma and a bachelor’s degree.
Heather holds a bachelor's degree in management with a major in human resources an labour relations. She has worked in the human resources field in Lethbridge since graduation, and has been able to work with some wonderful people that have helped guide her on her journey.
A true passion for labour law, a love of people, an outgoing personality, and a strong desire to achieve the best all helped shape Heather into the person that she is today.
A volunteer with her son's hockey team through Lethbridge recreational hockey, Heather values youth sport. She has worked with with Kin Canada in the past, and has also helped fundraise for the Chinook Hospital NICU renovation.
A lifelong learner, Heather has studied lean manufacturing. Ongoing continuous improvement has been important in her personal and professional life, because she believes that just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean that's always how you have to do it!
Kyle Hussey has dedicated his life to helping others who are underrepresented and need a strong advocate in the community. This has varied in many different avenues from mental health, disability services, coaching and women’s sports within the last ten years.
In recent years his focus has been helping those with mental health problems and specifically those living with schizophrenia as I the Branch Manager of Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Online Programs for the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta.
Kyle may have a long title, but his favorite part of the day is talking to those living with the illness and seeing how society, their peers and the community can help aid in life-changing recovery. He is also overjoyed that he can help people regardless of their income. He values that working at a non-for profit organization allows him to truly help anyone who walks in the door regardless of their background, faith, race or wallet size.
A childhood tragedy turned Kyle into the man that he is today. His teenage years were spent coping with depression and suicidal thoughts. However, he was saved by the kindness of others in the community. Through teachers, coaches, and therapists, Kyle was able to see positives in himself and his life. He wanted to share that feeling with others and at that point, knew that he wanted to spend his life helping people.
That journey began by attending the U of L leading towards education. In that program, the kids that seemed to fall through the cracks really stood out to Kyle and he wanted to do something more to help them. This caused him to change his major to psychology where he could learn more about behaviors and disabilities. During school, Kyle began work for a company that helped individuals with disabilities and this shaped the career path for his future.
Kyle helped to create, coach and direct Lethbridge’s women’s adult football team The Lethbridge Steel. During a two year period, he helped launch the program, win their first game and sat on the board of directors.
Kyle lives his life by the motto “Be a voice and help those in need”. In 2018, he was selected by the International Day of Disabilities (Alberta) to receive The Supporter award. This award is given to one individual from Lethbridge each year.
Community is important to Kyle. He feels that community is what saved his life and he wants to do everything that he can to give back. He has volunteered at events such as Canada day calibrations, target hunger, casino volunteering and even talked people down from suicide watch. He also continues to volunteer his time to help people in the community with resume and job prep skills.
Kyle feels that the most important way that he engages the community is by talking to the people that he sees every day, whether it be a stranger at the grocery store, a neighbor, friend or person down on their luck. He treats everyone with love, compassion and respect because we all need each other to succeed.
Amy Allred loves community. Her desire is to be able to create and build community through all that she does, the old-fashioned way, face to face. She believes that music is a great tool for this – whether it’s connecting people while on stage, encouraging them through online platforms or meeting new musicians at open mic nights.
She also loves to write songs and hopes that her story, told through songs, both the highs and lows will encourage and inspire other people. Music is a language that everyone speaks.
Southern Alberta has shaped who Amy is – the love of a simple life, the understanding of values and integrity and the tight-knit community – a great place to learn and grow in but she has also had the experience of living overseas.
At age 17, Amy moved to New Zealand for two years, working, learning and growing with Youth With A Mission. After that she moved to Australia for three years, where she studied music at Hillsong International Leadership College.
Amy’s personal story is one of great loss, the restoring power of friends and family and one that she hopes to use to show others that they too can rise above their circumstances. She is passionate about inspiring people to live in the moment, to truly value each day and to have some fun along the way.
In 2018, Amy was asked to open for George Canyon. She was also nominated for Fan’s Choice Award with the Alberta Country Music Association. She was a finalist at the Voice of the Big Valley Jamboree, the nation’s biggest country music festival.
These last few years have given Amy so many opportunities to be involved locally. One of the ways that she is able to be involved is by volunteering her time to local causes. She and her band volunteered for a number of events, including the Coaldale Demolition Derby hosted by Coaldale Kinsmen.
She has been involved with numerous charities including Teen Challenge Alberta & World Vision and has shared her love of music through community theatre. Choosing joy in life is a value that Amy holds dear, that she loves to share and hopes will bring a smile to someone’s life.
The one thing that is clear about Claire Lint, is that she is passionate for sharing movement with anyone who wants to learn.
She works with students of all ages and abilities, and strives to make dance accessible to everyone she works with. She strongly believes in the importance of developing foundation and technique while encouraging students to explore a variety of creative processes and understanding dance as an art form. She divides her time between dance instructor, choreographer, performer, arts administrator and is a proud mom of two young boys.
Claire is happy to call Lethbridge home and be a contributor to its vibrant arts community.
Claire Lint has been professionally trained in the ADAPT, RAD and Al Gilbert tap syllabi and has studied in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and throughout Western Canada.
She is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, BC and upon completion of her post-secondary education worked on and off the stage in dance and theatre. While working as a performer, Claire found a passion for Arts Administration.
Keen to continue developing her skills, Claire has participated in a variety of programs to deepen her understanding of Arts Administration. In 2018, she completed the Board Leadership Lethbridge one day training and participated in the Business for the Arts- ArtsVest program with LSIDA. In June of this year she completed the RAFT program with the Rozsa Foundation and looks forward to continuing through their Arts Leadership programs.
In addition to developing herself as an Arts Administrator, Claire continues to pursue dance training opportunities to support her work as an instructor, choreographer and dancer.
Claire graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in 2006 and quickly started working in theatre and dance. In 2008, she jumped at the opportunity to perform in Dawson City, Yukon working as a Can-Can Dancer at Diamond Tooth Gerties, Canadas first and longest running Casino. After several contracts up North, she was ready to set roots and decided to do so in her hometown of Lethbridge.
In 2013, Claire was accepted for a residency at Casa and developed three new works (Haptikos- Aspects of Touch) while mentoring four local dancers. This residency was the impetus to create an organization focused on pre-professional and professional dance in Lethbridge. In 2015, she co-founded the Lethbridge Society of Independent Dance Artists, with the goal to promote pre-professional/professional dance opportunities in Lethbridge.
She spent the next four years volunteering as Secretary for the board and the Allied Arts Council awarded Claire the the Young Artist Award for her efforts with LSIDA in 2016. Earlier this year, Claire launched her own dance studio Haptic Dance Arts, with the vision of Enriching Mind, Body and Spirit through Discipline, Technique and Performance.
Claire has the honor of working with hundreds of students each year. Her work as a dance instructor allows her to make an impact on students young and old.
Whether it’s to encourage or inspire, she takes great pride in the work that she does at both a professional and community based level. When Claire isn't busy teaching classes or choreographing for a musical or show, you can most likely find her busking at local art events and volunteering at art openings or with LSIDA.
She’s had several opportunities to mentor young up and coming performers and is always excited to take on new students eager to learn. Her experience sharing dance in Lethbridge has made a lasting impact and drives her to continue her work in this community.
Allan denBok has taken a very unique career path. After graduating from law school in 2015, unlike many young professionals who choose to work as employees in an established office, Allan went in a different direction.
In association with his two partners, in April of 2019 he took a leap into the establishment of his own business: Harvie denBok Pollock Law Office.
As a partner, Allan has worked to ensure that their office has focused on breaking the stereotypes of staid, traditional legal service, in favor of client-focused delivery where they see clients as unique individuals with individual needs.
Allan earned a Bachelor of Management, majoring in Finance, from the University of Lethbridge, prior to attending the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary, where he earned his Juris Doctor.
While obtaining his Juris Doctor, Allan volunteered with Pro Bono Students Canada in the Civil Claims Duty Counsel and Master’s Amicus Curiae projects where he assisted in providing legal advice to self-represented litigants in Provincial Court and Master’s Chambers proceedings.
Following completion of his articles, he was called to the Law Society of Albert in June 2016. His entrepreneurial spirit was kindled as a result of growing up in his Dad's bakery, which inspired Allan to start his own business.
Allan is a former director of the Lethbridge Bar Association, and provides various pro bono legal services to local charities. He also guest lectures at the Lethbridge College in the areas of contract and tort law in the Engineering Department.
Angela Suntjens is different because she is a one woman show. She owns and operates Dryland Custom Fabrication completely on her own. Angela is a trained fabricator and welder but also an accomplished metal artist.
All of Angela’s work is done freehand, she does not use any sort of computer aided cutting in any of her work which means that her work is not only original, it is completely 100% handmade and custom.
Giving back to the community is important to Angela. She works to make sure all of her material is locally sourced and that the local community is the first to benefit from anything Dryland can offer or help with.
Raised on a farm in central Alberta, Angela has been welding for almost as long as she can recall. She attended Lethbridge College to become a trained welder, after which she worked building trailers.
Angela later returned to Lethbridge College and earned a diploma in Sociology. She moved on to the University of Lethbridge where she earned a dual Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Philosophy and Psychology in only three years. After earning her BASc, Angela began working on her Masters. Angela turned down a PhD position to stay in Lethbridge and open Dryland Custom Fabrication.
Angela volunteers her time and resources to help those who are temporarily left without the means to provide for themselves. She has donated several pieces to local auctions, and supports the woman’s shelter as well as the food bank. She also offers repair services free of charge to at risk individuals.
Katie Bruce grew up in the small town of Cayley, located between Calgary and Lethbridge just off of the No.2 highway. Her love of all things art started at a very young age, encouraged by her parents and extended family.
She spent ample time outdoors and tucked away in libraries, exploring both the real world as well as the imaginary ones held in countless books. She believes that this instilled in her a real sense of wonder and the ability to look at the lives of those around her with empathetic, accepting eyes.
In 2011, Katie graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, and went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at York University two years later, graduating in 2015. Following a month long residency at Casa in 2016, it became evident to her that Lethbridge was where her heart wanted to be.
Since moving back to Lethbridge, she has continued to be an advocate for the arts and accessible education to those in the community, teaching courses at the University of Lethbridge and Casa alike, now working as the Education Services Manager for the Allied Arts Council.
In 2014, Katie was awarded a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her work on empathy within her research-based practice. The Schulich School of Business purchased a piece of Katie’s in 2015 which is now on permanent display in their downtown Toronto campus.
In 2017, she attended A Handmade Assembly in Sackville, New Brunswick, and presented a paper on the importance of intentional consideration for the world around us. Katie has been awarded a residency at St. Michael’s Printshop in St. John’s Newfoundland, which was funded in part by the Canada Council of the Arts. Her work has also been supported by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
Her most heartfelt personal achievements though have come from teaching in Lethbridge, where her love of art originally blossomed into a serious art-practice. Her students range in age from 6 to 65, and adapting her approach for each group has strengthened her ability to communicate as well as empathize; something the world can always use a little more of.
Whether speaking in New Brunswick or California, Katie makes a concerted effort to boost the presence of Lethbridge to a broader audience; actively engaging in changing the perceptions or stereotypes of southern Alberta.
By speaking directly to the opportunities that Lethbridge has afforded her -- an amazing education from giving professors; affordable studio spaces and facilities; residency opportunities; galleries exhibiting international artists -- she is a vocal advocate for the community she feels fortunate to call home.
In her work at the Allied Arts Council, she has found herself searching for ways in which to make art more accessible to everyone, regardless of limitations they may encounter elsewhere. Teaming up with her colleagues, she is actively searching for funding to bring wheel-chair accessible stations to the clay classroom -- making sure that all students can experience the joy of throwing clay forms on a wheel, without physical discomfort.
Following this, she has also made changes to the Child Bursary (an existing Allied Arts Council program) to ensure that children’s classes are financially more accessible. In doing so, her hope is to remove barriers that would prevent young artists from following their path further into the arts.
The fundamental belief behind Katie’s drive to provide connective moments boils down to acknowledging that the simple act of sharing can soften our exteriors and open us up to new perspectives.
Chris DeLisle grew up in the Crowsnest Pass and traveled to Lethbridge regularly. When he did, he was always intrigued by the wind turbines – even at a young age. To be working in the renewable energy industry now is a cool reflection on the past for Chris.
Chris has an infectious passion for the wind energy industry. He is committed to enhancing the future of green energy in Alberta and around the globe. As the chair of Renewable Energy at Lethbridge College and an instructor in the Wind Turbine Technician program, Chris is passionate about student success and providing the needed workforce for the wind industry. He cares about the student and is often following up with alumni to let them know of opportunities. He has been a very strong advocate within the wind industry.
After graduating from Crowsnest Consolidated High School, Chris attended Lethbridge College, where he graduated from the Electrician Apprenticeship program.
He became a Master Electrician working in all areas of the trade before joining a wind turbine company as a wind turbine technician. Throughout his electrical career, Chris always had a passion for teaching people new things and helping them achieve their goals and when he saw an opening at Lethbridge College, he thought it would be a natural fit for him.
Chris has spent the last seven years teaching the newest generation of wind turbine technicians. He loves teaching. While teaching is his passion, Chris also had the opportunity to move into the administrative side of education, being promoted to program Chair where he is able to advocate for his program and fight for its students.
Shortly after he began teaching at Lethbridge College, Chris won a teaching excellence award. He has become a recognized expert voice in his field and is frequently asked to speak with media from across Canada – and beyond – about renewable energy and wind turbines.
As a new immigrant from the hills of Nepal who has worked internationally, Ram Khanal brings a unique global experience to Lethbridge.
Though he was born in Nepal, he spent many years of his life working on cruise ships, experiencing the wider world. This experience taught him how wonderful cultural differences are, while also showing him that no matter how different we seem, our similarities are what make us human.
Since settling here in Southern Alberta, Ram has fallen in love with his new home. But, for him, that doesn’t mean sitting back and enjoying the beauty of the people and the region. Instead, he wants to be part of the energy that moves our city and region forward.
Ram has shown this vision for excellence through his renovation of the Picture Butte Hotel. He worked with many in the community to create a new space that fits the needs of people in Picture Butte, while simultaneously bringing in new and exciting food and maintaining the rich history of the hotel. Recently, Ram took over the Water Tower Grill in Lethbridge’s iconic Water Tower.
As a child, Ram’s family was not well off, which meant he had to walk one hour, down into a valley and up the other side, every day to go to school. Though he hated it at the time, this is where the dedication and resolve to be the first person in his family to go to post-secondary started.
Though he was from a poor, rural area Ram knew he wanted to do more than just farm. So, he worked hard at school, studying Sanskrit as his major in High School, which allowed him to pursue his dreams by going to Indira Gandhi Open University in New Delhi.
Ram started his post-secondary studies with a Bachelor in Tourism Studies, before moving on to pursue a Masters in Business Administration, specializing in Oil and Gas, at Amity University in New Delhi. After graduating, he had the opportunity to work on a cruise ship, which introduced him to the varied nationalities of the world.
Over the course of his career on cruise ships, Ram worked with people from over 40 nationalities, visited 30 different countries, and learned four languages. By working with people from all over the globe, visiting so many countries, Ram learned a great deal about our differences and our similarities. When working cruise, he encountered people from all walks of life and their experiences have shaped his life.
As a business owner, Ram feels that it is important to give back to the community. In that spirit, he is involved in a number of charitable organizations and gives donations through his businesses. He supports local little league teams and participates in as many events as he can in the community.
But, he believes that supporting the community is about more than just charity. From the ingredients his restaurants use in their dishes to the cultural events they host, it is Ram’s desire to see his restaurants sustain the vibrant culture and economy of Southern Alberta while pushing the area to go further and explore new cultures and new ways forward. There is also still a part of Ram’s heart back in Nepal, where much of his family still lives. With that in mind, he has partnered with a volunteer organization called “Helpage Nepal’’ to support the aged population in Nepal, who are in dire need.
James Dempsey has the unique opportunity within his business at The Master Plan Wealth Management to hone and blend two distinct skill sets. First, his “hard” skill set includes financial analysis, market and product research in an efficient and proficient manner. Next, he uses those hard skills in an empathetic, compassionate, and integral way.
He has learned that in order for people to open up about their financial circumstances, James must first build a relationship based on mutual trust and respect. He would truly do anything for his clients and goes to the greatest extent for them while acting in their best interest.
James feels that if his clients succeed, he succeeds, however, his business will only ever grown if his clients truly understand that are at the root of all that he does.
James went to Briercrest College and SAIT where he studied Business Administration and Finance. He has a Diploma in Financial Planning and is in the final stages of achieving a Certified Financial Planning designation.
After five years as a Financial Advisor, James owes his industry experience and approach to business to his father, Rick Dempsey. He is a man of integrity and truly has a 'client first' attitude. Through James’ childhood and time at college he played volleyball. During that time, he was a member of some great teams. He feels fortunate to have very talented teammates and coaches who have been an integral part of shaping who he is.
In his free time James helps coach high school and club volleyball. He loves to share his time and talents to empower the next generation. James feels that he wouldn’t be where he is without the role models he has had, so when he can, James wants to support the next generations of athletes.
From a young age, Hailey Babb has demonstrated thoughtful, consistent leadership and strives to give back to her community in meaningful ways. She is highly service-oriented, knowing that her achievements will greatly impact on the lives of others.
She draws greatly upon personal experience to inform her advocacy and has a leadership style that empowers others to claim their space at decision making tables.
Hailey is deeply dedicated to breaking down systemic barriers for youth and women in both higher education as well as the political system. Hailey is a vocal advocate for Open Education, commonly defined as the philosophy that everyone in the world should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources.
On campus and abroad, Hailey has pushed for the adoption of Open Educational Resources (openly-licensed learning materials that are high-quality and free to use) as an alternative to expensive traditional textbooks. She is currently Open Education Coordinator at Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) North America. She was a contributing author to their comprehensive filing to the United States Department of Justice antitrust division to block the proposed merger between publishing giants Cengage and McGraw-Hill.
Hailey is a long-time resident of Lethbridge and graduate of Chinook High School. She later enrolled at the University of Lethbridge (UofL) from where she will soon hold her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Throughout this time, she was heavily involved in campus leadership, first serving two years as a Residence Assistant and earning the Residence Life Professional Award, presented annually to the top three leaders in the nearly 40 member cohort. She later went on to work as a new student mentor, and took her first step into the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union (ULSU) as a faculty representative and Vice-President Academic before being elected as student body President.
In this role, she served on the University’s Board of Governors, Senate, and lobbied as a member of two advocacy groups: the Council of Alberta University Students and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. Here, she advocated on behalf of over 300,000 students across the country at the Alberta Legislature and Parliament Hill.
Her advocacy was instrumental in the passing of the Government of Alberta’s Bill 19 in October 2018, widely regarded as the largest win for post-secondary students in over a decade with unanimous support across party lines.
During her tenure as Vice-President Academic with the ULSU, Hailey was the institutional lead for the inaugural #TextbookBrokeAB campaign, a provincial effort put forward by four of Alberta’s major institutions to promote Open Educational Resources and bring attention to the rising cost of educational materials to relevant policymakers.
As a direct result of this advocacy, Hailey has been invited to speak both nationally and internationally on the topic, most recently at the Creative Commons Global Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.
Hailey has been a champion of her community from a young age. Now, Hailey uses her platform to elevate those around her and frequently volunteers her time to various youth organizations. She hopes to continue to raise Lethbridge’s profile provincially, nationally, and internationally wherever she goes.
Brandon Boorsma co-founded DROP Structures after realizing that with a baby on the way he and his wife didn’t have enough space in their home.
After looking into additions and seeing costs quickly mount, they abandoned the idea and began to get creative. In that search for extra space, the idea for the first DROP Structure was born.
DROP Structures was self-funded and grown from scratch here in Lethbridge. Brandon is proud to say that they have successfully sold not only to the local market of Lethbridge but have had the pleasure of expanding the business to Vancouver, down the coast to California and across to the other side in New York.
They have built partnerships with other Lethbridge companies to expand the reach of both DROP Structures and other local companies to an international stage. Brandon loves problem solving and believes that characteristic has been one of the drivers in the creation of new products and new markets.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Brandon earned a BASc from the University of Lethbridge in 2009. From there he worked in project management in the energy sector, managed and started a hand full of local restaurants and started DROP Structures.
Brandon is proud to have improved our community through creating good experiences, solving problem for people and creating jobs in a positive healthy environment.
Tanya Kellington is a mentor and coach for her team at Kenegdo Salon Spa as she guides them in the development of their careers. Tanya loves connecting with people and helping them grow.
At Kenegdo, Tanya has an education fund to support team members in staying up to date and being able to give customers the best service possible. To ensure consistency, every professional completes an advanced training program. Tanya gets a huge sense of fulfillment when she guides her team in achieving their goals for their business.
Tanya has built long lasting relationships with her clients. She doesn’t just consider them clients. Her connection to each of them goes beyond that. She takes time to learn the names of her clients’ children and spouse, and to learn about their lives on a personal level.
After attending a year of business school at Lethbridge College, Tanya chose to go straight into the hairstyling program at Marvel college and continue with the Esthetics program, which she finished in 2001. She started Kenegdo in 2011 and had multiple coaches each year for different areas of business, which Tanya credits with much of her success.
Recently, Tanya completed a Business Mastery program in Florida as well as advanced Business Mastery from the Tony Robbins 7 Forces of Business Mastery program.
In 2010, Tanya was recognized with the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur Award at the Business of the Year Award gala. She has involved herself in the Lethbridge community through sponsorship of the Beautiful Inside Out Academy which works to empower young women through the development of leadership skills. Tanya also serves as a sponsor for the Women of Distinction Awards. She is also a proud supporter of Wood's Homes, Youth One, Children's Wish foundation and Kid's Sport.
Michael GaleGrowing up Michael Gale was diagnosed with a learning disability that made grade school extremely difficult. Learning did not come easily to him, and he struggled for many years in school.A small handful of people helped him to learn that leaning differently does not mean you are unintelligent.After many years in learning support classes, Michael graduated high school with honors and applied to the University of Lethbridge for the combined Bachelor of Science and Education degree.He wanted to give back to the profession that made such a difference in his life and help children that struggle like he did.In an effort to maintain lifelong learning Michael’s degree evolved into a Bachelor of Science streaming in Neuroscience, Biology, and Geography spanning nearly a decade. In his time in University he was on academic probation, was forced to drop out in order to have life changing spinal surgery, lost his home to a house fire, and lost his Father to cancer.Through all of these hardships he was able to earn his Bachelors degree, maintain positions in the Students Union for three consecutive terms, take active rolls in several University and community organizations, get hired by the University, and start his Masters Degree.After earning his degree, Michael was hired by the UofL as a Recruitment Officer which allowed him to travel all over Canada and share his experiences at the University. While working for the University, he was also elected to be on the Executive Committee for the University of Lethbridge Alumni Association to serve as the Treasurer for a two year term.During his Masters program, Michael has had the opportunity to work with NASA doing a Metabolomic Analysis on Astronut’s biofluids to determine the changes in their metabolome before, during, and after space travel. The goal will be to determine and monitor the Astronauts health and special nutritional requirements
Dominika Wojcik’s diverse experience allows her to solve problems better than most people. In her role as Assistant Manager of Conference and Event Services — though she humbly refers to herself as ‘Chaos Coordinator’ — her main responsibility is to facilitate the planning and coordinate the details of conferences held at the University of Lethbridge.
She strives to ensure that their guests enjoy a stress free experience from start to finish. This can look different every time; sometimes she is filling in at registration tables, other times she is running tablecloths, or grabbing coffee for speakers. She does whatever is needed to ensure a successful event for her clients.
Dominika was closely involved with the successful rebranding of the University of Lethbridge Campus Hotel to the University of Lethbridge Lux Hotel.
In September 2019, Dominika embarked on a new adventure in addition to her role at the UofL, becoming co-owner of Organic Tan Lethbridge. She spent many years prior to event planning in the beauty industry, and has always dreamed of opening her own salon.
Dominika was born and raised in Lethbridge. She attended school here from kindergarten to grade 12, and then went on to complete a double diploma at Lethbridge College and Bachelor's Degree at the University of Lethbridge, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Social Responsibility.
She feels blessed to have had many remarkable men and women offer mentorship over her career. Beyond teaching her to be a savvy and optimistic businesswoman, the most valuable lesson she has come to understand is: success means something different to each of us.
Dominika has served on the YWCA Lethbridge & District board for over four years, and presently serves as Board Co-President. At her core, she believes in creating unquestionable equality for young people growing up in our community.
She loves what the YWCA stands for and the support it provides, particularly the enrichment of women’s lives.
Vicki PietrasAs the interior design lead at SONGER architecture inc., Vicki Pietras believes that well-designed interiors impact our lives in unperceived ways. Good design improves how well a space functions, and can improve both productivity and emotional response from those who occupy that space.Vicki enjoys the process of working with clients to ensure that the interiors reflect their personality while creating an efficient and comfortable environment. Working at a smaller firm gives her the opportunity to be involved in the entire design process – from initial client engagement and needs assessment right through to construction administration. She particularly enjoys working with not-for-profit groups to design efficient and cost-effective interiors.Recently, Vicki was the interior design lead for the Genevieve E. Yates Memorial Centre renewal. SONGER architecture inc. had the honour of updating this beloved building to improve its function while honouring the original 1960s design. Vickie found breathing new life into the iconic Lethbridge building to be incredibly rewarding.With a keen interest in nutrition, Vicki enrolled at Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology in the Food & Nutrition Management program – earning her diploma in 2007. Following graduation, she worked as a nutritional consultant in Central Alberta.Although she loved the opportunity to work with clients, Vicki realized that she wasn’t honouring her innate creativity. She knew from a young age of redesigning rooms in our family home that interior design was her passion.In 2008 Vicki registered in the Interior Design Technician program at Lethbridge College – earning honours standing and a Professional Spirit Award. She gained invaluable, practical work experience in flooring and millwork after graduation that has helped to inform her designs. In 2013 she joined SONGER architecture inc. as the lead interior design technician.Committed to sustainability, Vicki studied for and obtained designation as a LEED Green Associate in 2015. With a desire to continue her education beyond college, she pursued her National Council for Interior Design Qualiﬁcation (NCIDQ) certiﬁcation. After extensive studying, work experience, and a series of grueling exams, she earned her certification in 2017 and is one of only three of NCIDQ holders in Lethbridge.
Simon Restrepo Munoz
Simon Restrepo Munoz is an ambitious individual who is self-driven and motivated to make an impact in this community. He is dedicated to expanding his family business, We Clean, so that he can create more well-paying jobs and provide opportunity to immigrants like him.
Simon began his post-secondary education at Lethbridge College. At The College he was studying to be a Civil Engineering Technologist. While he was in school he started to help his father with quotes for new clients while cleaning office buildings in the evenings after school.
Once he earned his diploma he realized that he was hungry to learn more and left for Thunder Bay, ON to earn a Civil Engineering Degree. While he was away he was still helping out with emails, quotes and as much as he could do at a distance with the business. Since, January 2019, Simon has been back to Lethbridge and working full time with We Clean.
Simon has been passionate about growing his family business. In a short period of time they have successfully grown from from three employees to seven. He views this as a huge achievement because his goal is to create more opportunities for the people in our community.
As a proud Latin American, Simon supports not-for-profit groups in Lethbridge such as the Lethbridge Latin American Association to grow these groups and showcase Latin American culture to the people of Lethbridge.
D’laney WestonD’laney Weston has been a Licenced Stylist for over 12 years. She knew when starting up Chrome that she had the opportunity to be the boss that she always wanted to have. She prides herself on being a motivator for her staff and believes that mindset is important as a leader. She leads her team to visualize success, set goals and aim high.As a small business owner, D’laney feels blessed to be in Lethbridge, where she has been able choose her own path and help to empower others.In 2007, D’laney graduated from the hairstyling course at Marvel Beauty College in Saskatoon. In school, she was taught the basics, but her growth in skills came through apprenticing in salons.She knew that she was good with cutting techniques and Color formulations, but was better at connecting with people. D’laney truly loves what she does, because of the relationships that she has formed with clients and staff. She loves helping people feel confident, because she believes that when you look good, you feel great.Before opening Chrome, D’laney completed the self-employment course with execuserve plus inc. She continued to reach out to the mentors that she met there.A former competitive figure skater and coach, D’laney now volunteers her time with Galbraith school to help children learn to skate in their kindergarten program.
Joey Baranyay is dedicated to the City of Lethbridge and the success of our community. He is a young, entrepreneurial minded Management Graduate from the University of Lethbridge that sees tremendous opportunity to do business within this city.
At age 27, Joey was given the opportunity to manage and operate EMCO, a multimillion-dollar mechanical distribution business in Lethbridge. He has built his business on relationships, community, and people. He prides himself on creating the culture within his business where family comes first and by that his team, customers, and vendors are an extension of his family.
In 2010, Joey earned his Management degree from the University of Lethbridge. While in university he developed his skills as a community leader through years of work with the Students Union as a faculty representative. He represented the interests of over 2000 Management Students, as well as over 600 students living in residence each year as a Resident Advisor for the Organization of Residence Students.
Upon graduation Joey was hired by EMCO Corporation as part of their Management Development Program where they taught him to be a business leader and to this day have allowed him to operate their Lethbridge distribution business. He manages a team of thirteen people, coaching and developing them into business leaders ensuring their success within our company and community.
In early 2019, under his leadership, EMCO won Lethbridge’s Best of the Best Bathroom store. Through EMCO, Joey has been involved with the work of BILD, where he has been on the Board of Directors for the past four years and where he currently holds the position of Past President and treasurer.
As an active board member with BILD Joey advocates for one of Lethbridge’s largest industries, employing thousands of people and generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the local economy. Through the work of BILD, Joey has also been active in their charity projects donating time and money for the College Home Project for the Trades and Technology facility as well as a $20,000 renovation giveaway to a deserving citizen of Lethbridge.
Joey is passionate about the City of Lethbridge and what it has done for its citizens. He believes that a business cannot be successful without the help of a vibrant community, so it is important to him to give back. Through EMCO, he has partnered with the YWCA and Lethbridge Family Services with the Tubs with Toys campaign, where every year at Christmas they donate toys to children to make their Christmas magical. In almost 10 years the program has raised close to $85,000 in toys for children in Lethbridge.
Karl Hendrickson sees more than just the numbers and recognizes opportunities that others might overlook. He is a trusted advisor to his clients at Best Roest & Co LLP and simplifies complex topics so that they can make informed business decisions.
He is not just a number cruncher but an innovative business advisor and consultant who cares about his clients, builds relationships and helps clients meet their potential. He works with a number of clients across industries including agriculture, construction, food services, trucking, retail, and professionals.
Karl earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Lethbridge in 2007 and a post-baccalaureate certificate in accounting in 2009. He articled with an international accounting firm where he obtained his Chartered Accountant Designation in 2012. After obtaining his professional designation, Karl went on to complete the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada’s In-Depth Tax Course.
Karl has a passion for volunteering in the community. He enjoys working with youth and has been involved in coaching with Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association for several years as well as actively involved with Scouts Canada.
Currently, he sits on the board of LMHA for and prior to that was a board member for the Lethbridge Boys and Girls Club. Growing up in Southern Alberta it is extremely important to him to support the community and give back like those who had an impact on his life.
Kyle Lebeau tries to lead with a focus on integrity, transparency, community and being of service. This attitude embodies the core values of his company, CENTURY 21 Foothills South.
This has been Kyle’s key to success in an industry that is highly competitive where he is advising clients on major life decisions. When he must make a tough decision he always falls back on those values. This breeds an environment where his staff will support each other despite being in competition.
Kyle did one year of post secondary at the University of Lethbridge and a second at Lethbridge College where he studied business. After his second year of post secondary, Kyle purchased his first home, which proved to be a life changing event.
After working with a great realtor and experiencing the process and excitement of buying a house he immediately knew that he wanted to get into real estate. That led to Kyle taking the risk of jumping into a real estate career and not continuing to work towards a degree.
In 2010 he earned got his real estate license and started with Century 21 Foothills, and by 2011 he was recognized as New Home Salesperson of the year from the Canadian Home Builders Association.
In 2012 he started his own sales team which grew to two assistants and three junior associates in only a year. The team quickly won various Century 21 sales awards and five years later, Kyle bought the Century 21 Franchises for Lethbridge and surrounding areas.
At the time the team consisted of 13 agents and one staff member and mainly practiced in residential. Since that time his team has grown to 45 agents, five staff and has thriving Commercial, Agricultural and Property Management Divisions.
Kyle is a big supporter of Youth One Youth Group. In 2019, he headed up the planning for the very first C21 Gold Gala in support of Youth One Youth Centre. Through CENTURY 21, Kyle has also sponsored many events and organizations in the community including the Children's Wish Foundation, Lethbridge Regional Hockey, Youth One, Environment Lethbridge Regional Hospital Foundation and Shelter Canada.
Kate MillerKate Miller loves what she does because she cares about people. We spend most of our time at work, so Kate believes that it should be productive and feel rewarding.In every industry that she has worked, she has realized that people want to work hard, do well, and feel good about the work they do. She loves seeing the relief on her client's faces when they are drowning in turnover and she can help them see and fix the HR issues they are facing.Kate enjoys helping a business owner address performance issues with their employee and then seeing that employee succeed with coaching and follow up. When she helps an employer become compliant with legislation, she is helping them mitigate their risk. She loves to demonstrate that a healthy culture can make work fun; enjoying the people around us and the work we do is key.In 2010, Kate earned her a Bachelor of Human Resources & Labour Relations Degree with a minor in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Lethbridge. During her time in university, she completed a co-op that took her to Botswana where she bottled fed baby baboons and helped spay a hyena.Her next co-op was less exotic but flamed her passion for Human Resources at the Lethbridge College where she received excellent mentorship and learned so much. From there she has held two HR Manager roles in manufacturing and professional services. Both jobs did not have an existing HR program and realized the need for one. She was able to collaborate with ownership and management to create an effective HR program, increasing job satisfaction and decreasing turnover, which increases productivity and profits.Kate earned a CPHR designation in 2012, which involved passing the NKE, and exam which has a high failure rate and has a requirement to be in an HR management role. This designation is kept up through learning and professional development through CPHR.A love for Lethbridge motivates Kate to give back to the community. She volunteers her HR services for some select local not-for-profits.
Mark DeBoerMark DeBoer has made huge strides to be a leader in his field of accounting in both the private and the public sectors.He developed to a high level through experience at BDO Canada LLP, where he was able to work with a variety of industries. His work at BDO allowed Mark to also assist other offices throughout Canada and around the world.Mark has served as the Director of Corporate Services for Vulcan County. During his time at Vulcan County, Mark was able to make significant improvements specifically to the operations and finances.In 2017, Mark’s career path took a different direction as he joined Lethbridge School District No.51 in his current role as the Director of Finance and FOIP Coordinator.In this role, Mark has received international awards for financial reporting and budgeting from The Government Finance Officers Association and the Association of School Business Officials International. During his tenure, Lethbridge School District No.51 became the first school board in Canada to be awarded the Canadian Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting.Mark continually strives to simplify a complicated topic and assist parents, staff and the general public in better understanding the school board’s financials.In 2008, Mark earned a Bachelor of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge. He followed that up by earning a Chartered Accountant designation in 2012 and subsequently a Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 2015. He has also become a Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations.Mark has been recognized internationally for his outstanding work in the financial field. In 2018 Mark was selected as a member of the Canadian Audit Process Tool team and had the opportunity as the only Canadian to assist the international team in the development and testing of this software in the Netherlands.
Alan Pavan believes that hard work is an essential attribute in achieving success and self achievement and something that he embodies every day at Scenic Drive Landscape Centre. This belief in the importance of hard work lead to Alan starting a landscape installation company during his post-secondary studies. Over five years, what started as a small private business has seen significant growth.
After Completing High School at LCI, Alan did a semester of post secondary at BYU Hawaii, after which he served a mission in Australia from 2007-2009. Upon his return, Alan picked up his post secondary education at Lethbridge College and then transferred to UofL where he completed a BSC in Kinesiology.
During his last year of university he had an opportunity arise where he was able to begin negotiating with Lafarge, a large Worldwide Corporation, on leasing and pricing agreements to evolve the business he had started to work his way through school into a sustainable, successful community involved business and career.
Sports have been a long time passion of mine Alan’s. He has been able to coach high school football at LCI and assist with a middle school basketball team.
Alan has also been participating as a leader for youth groups and Scouts Canada for more than eight years. As a youth who attended these programs himself, Alan can look back with appreciation for the time and effort my leaders sacrificed and see the impact and positive influence it had for him in his life.
Kathy Hong is passionate about sports. As Marketing and Community Liaison with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, that passion is obvious as Kathy promotes the team and shares all things Canes with our community.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Kathy has a strong love for the community and for those who build it. She strives to help the city grow, and to show the world what Lethbridge has to offer. She believes in supporting our small business owners to cultivate our local economy.
In 2016, Kathy earned a combined degree with a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology and a Bachelor of Management in Marketing with a Social Responsibility Minor from the University of Lethbridge. She graduated with distinction in both degrees while maintaining a full course load and working with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in a virtually full-time position as the Marketing, Game Day, and Public Relations Coordinator and volunteering with the Pronghorns Women’s Soccer Team as the Team Manager.
During her studies, Kathy completed the Integrated Management Experience program and a six-week international work-study in Hungary with the Budapest Honved Professional Football Club.
In 2017, Kathy started a marketing and event planning business with her friend, Kayla. Together, they have been learning the ins and outs of operating a business. Still in the growing stage, and navigating the business world as entrepreneurs, they have seen exponential growth in the first few years of their venture and hope to continue that trend.
Kathy was asked to be the Event Coordinator for the 2019 University Cup men’s university hockey national championship. Since this was a national event, she had the opportunity to work with multiple parties across Canada to ensure the tournament ran smoothly. This meant working directly with the U SPORTS office, Sportsnet, Rogers Hometown Hockey, various university participants, and all of the local partners involved.
Being trusted with that responsibility at just 25 years old bolstered Kathy’s confidence in her career choice. The intricate details of organizing a formidable nationally televised event, with short turnaround times, involving so many stakeholders is not something you can learn to handle in a classroom. She views it as a lesson in lifelong learning.
Kathy is an active community member, having donated her time to organizations such as Alberta Children's Hospital, Chinook Regional Hospital, community groups providing support for domestic violence survivors, sports teams/leagues, and community groups focusing on empowering women.
Krystal Cruickshank works hard to deliver an exceptional experience for her customers while always having fun! As Director, Entrepreneurship at ATB Financial she believes that life is short and if we cannot laugh while getting the business deal done, we have definitely not done all that we can do.
Most of Krystal’s clients have become life long friends and she is so thankful to work in a community filled with so many awesome people who help her be the best that she can be. Krystal looks at ATB as “where the magic happens”.
In 2009, Krystal earned a BComm with a Major in Finance from the University of Alberta. She a commitment to being a lifelong learner, looking to take something away from every experience she has.
At first it was through her parent's family business in Winnipeg, learning how to count change back to customer and providing great customer service. This experience has been invaluable in her venture, Zum’s Eatery, which she co-owns in Waterton National Park.
Krystal has been recognized through ATB as a President's League award recipient. She also won the Peak Practice award, notating top of her class.
Krystal tries to volunteer as much as she can. Each year, she participates in decorating a tree to donate to the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation. She is also part of the Allied Arts Council board of directors and serves as a volunteer for the working committees of the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta. Krystal can also usually can be found at any auction vying to 'win' whatever is being auctioned for charity…much to her husband Bob’s dismay.
Kelly Cabrera believes in self improvement, leadership, growth and loves to take on opportunities where she can learn to better myself. This allows her to translate these changes into staff and clients lives at 4 Elements Massage Clinic.
Kelly has been a registered massage therapist for 10 years and co-owns 4 Elements Massage Clinic with her husband, Jesús. She is proud to have been able to go from renting a room as a sole proprietorship to a large and well-known massage therapy clinic which employs more than 15 staff.
In 2010, Kelly earned a diploma in Massage Therapy from Lethbridge College with honours. I has continued her training to include Stone Massage, many levels of Cupping Therapy, Raindrop Therapy, Shiatsu Massage for Headaches and Migraines, Advanced Stretching, and Muscle Release Techniques.
Kelly has altered her career path to one of a leadership and coaching role to the staff at 4 Elements. She has created her own continuing education massage courses, offers workplace ergonomic seminars for productivity and health improvements, and has also taken an active interest in business coaching.
What shapes Kelly is her drive to always learn more, develop her skills and pass them on to the next generation of massage therapists so that they can have longstanding and thriving careers.
Kelly has worked with the Lethbridge College as a Practicum Assistant Instructor and currently sits on the Massage Therapy Diploma Program Advisory Committee.
Giving back to the community is important to Kelly. She has been an active supporter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters foundation as well as being a part of the Angel Tree campaign.
4 Elements has an active volunteer program at the clinic where Kelly and her staff volunteer as a group to various community programs or events. They have taken part in the Animal Shelter, Parkinson's Step n Stride Event and more.
As co-owner of Public Image Co., Kaela Corazza meets people every day who blow her away with their awesomeness. This motivates her to make sure that she never gives any effort less than her best. She prices herself on being honest, trustworthy, and having a positive attitude.
Kaela attended both Lethbridge College and Red Deer College. From a young age she had dreamt of having her own business. Her imagination ran wild, from "owing an interior design studio" and going to Rona to take home color swatches create masterpieces, to “owning a mechanic shop” in the quonset at her family home.
When she was 21, Kaela owned her first real business: The Rox Pub & Grill. After realizing that her passion as not in the food and beverage industry, she pursued a series of different ventures in different fields ranging from medical to accounting.
Eventually she found herself in sales with HBS (Home and Business Solutions). While she learned that office supply sales wasn’t the path for her, HBS was partnered with Logomotives Group.
At Logomotives, Kaela was able to use her creative juices (that she didn't even know existed) to help businesses, teams and other organizations to promote their brands. That is where she found her passion.
Kaela managed Logomotives for five years and in that time the company doubled in sales. She was proud to be a part of that achievement. Almost six years after becoming manager of Logomotives, Kaela is a partner in the re-branded Public Image Co.
Kaela is all about community. She is a proud Rotarian as well as a member of the board of directors. She is one 1 of 100 Women Who Care and a supporter of AAWEAR. She is the founder of #BeKindYQL where they promote kindness as well as donate the funds raised through t-shirt campaigns to our local community.
As co-founder of TaDuler Corp., and co-founder and CEO of Inbridge Inc., Jefferson Gardner is the definition of entrepreneur. Having worked in 10 industries and seven countries, and consulted for large corporations as well as foreign government in areas of operations, strategy, marketing, automation, concept development and technology has given him a wide range of expertise to draw from.
Jefferson is a Certified Blockchain Expert and researcher. As well he is lauded as 'one of the biggest names in blockchain and AI', putting him on the forefront of one of the most cutting-edge industries in the world today.
In 2009, Jefferson earned his Business Admin, Management diploma from Lethbridge College. Afterward he attended Athabasca University, but in 2013 dropped out after three years to co-found TaDuler.
TaDuler is a service for booking reputable local services. In less than a year, the company had a $5 million valuation and earned the title of “One of Calgary’s Most Promising Startups.”
In 2018, Jefferson did it again, co-founding Inbridge Inc., a tech company which helps businesses better use their data and helps improve efficiencies; develops custom blockchain, AI and other technologies; and helps to provide education in advanced technology.
Jefferson also works as an expert keynote speaker on emerging technologies. He has spoken at conferences with Arlene Dickenson, Ben Goertzel, Vitalik Buterin, Temple Grandin, Michele Romanow, and others.
Jefferson believes in giving back. He has volunteered as a guest lecturer at the University of Lethbridge, Dhillon School of Business, and worked as a volunteer mentor for the Lethbridge College AgENT Program
As a fierce advocate for mental health, Jefferson founded of Clarking, a mental health advocacy group which attempts to destigmatize mental illness.
Andrew Malcolm considers himself to be remarkably un-awesome, despite accomplishing so much both personally and professionally. As Urban Revitalization Manager at the City of Lethbridge, Andrew works hard to make our community a better place on a daily basis.
Andrew’s mindset it what sets him apart. He is fully committed every day to the 10 things that require zero talent: being on time, work ethic, effort, body language, energy, attitude, passion, being coachable, doing extra, and being prepared.
These 10 important focuses were learned through lived experience. Andrew credits his parents with being incredibly supportive growing up, without offering freebies or easy ways out. This has prepared Andrew for success. From age 13 Andrew had a job, on top of being a high-level soccer player who trained five or more times per week.
Andrew’s teenage years consisted of working early mornings stocking inventory at the mall, days going to school, and long evenings training and playing soccer.
In 2011, Andrew earned his BA in Urban & Regional Studies from the University of Lethbridge where he had also played for the Pronghorns men’s soccer team throughout his studies. Following the University of Lethbridge, Andrew attended Simon Frasier University where he earned Next-Generation Transportation Certificate in the field of Transportation Planning, in 2016.
Andrew was the UofL Men’s Soccer assistant coach for six years after graduating. Currently, he sits on the Lethbridge Men’s Soccer Association Executive and the UofL Men’s Soccer Alumni Association Executive. Each year he volunteers for Operation RedNose during the holidays as a designated driver.
However, in Andrew’s mind the biggest way that he engages with the community is every single day is by showing up to work at the City of Lethbridge. He demonstrates the culture of public service by working for the residents and businesses of our city. Through this dedication he is able to give back and make Lethbridge a better place every day.
Ryan Vanderploeg is the manager at Shaw & Associates Chartered Professional Accountants & Bookkeepers. He is constantly focused on what he can bring to the table in order to improve whatever environment that he finds himself in.
After growing up on a farm outside Vulcan, Ryan studied accounting at Lethbridge College where he earned his diploma in 2014. Afterward, he transferred to the University of Lethbridge, where in 2016 he earned his Bachelor of Management majoring in Accounting.
Ryan began the CPA program immediately following university. He wrote and passed the CFE on his first attempt in only 18 months, just over half of the amount of time taken by most candidates.
Within two years of graduating from university, Ryan had passed his CFE and was working in a leadership position as manager at Shaw & Associates. He believes that valuing hard work, always treating people with kindness, and seeking to contribute in whatever way that he can has allowed him to excel in his career in such a short period of time.
In his spare time, Ryan sits as a board member of the Empress Theatre Society and participates in various causes through Shaw & Associates including the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
Steve Szilagyi prides himself on setting the gold standard for client care as a Realtor with Re/Max Lethbridge. With real estate being a self-regulated industry, Steve believes that above all, being ethical in business is key to being held in high value by homebuyers.
A lifelong athlete, Steve likes to help professional athletes prepare for “life after sport”. He works with athletes to transition from sport to life during and at the end of their careers by helping them to set up real estate portfolios and connecting them to other professionals such as investment advisors and small business experts.
In 2009, Steve earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Lethbridge. Following that, he went on to earn a MA, also from the UofL.
For five seasons, Steve served as Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He has also served as Strength Coach for Team Alberta Special Olympics. He has successfully been able to transfer skills from his education and developed through coaching to his real estate business.
His background in athletics has led to Steve being the first Canadian real estate professional to join Next Move Network, a group of real estate professionals who work with professional athletes and other executive clientele.
For six years, Steve volunteered his time with the Lethbridge Combative Sports Commission helping to regulate combat sports in Lethbridge. He was instrumental in redesigning and implementing a modern Combative Sports Commission to ensure safety of all hand to hand combatants in Lethbridge.
Kiarra Armstrong looks at customer service as the most important thing to her in business.
As the owner and founder of Elevation Wellness, she takes pride in putter her clients’ needs first. She does not just consider them clients; they are her friends.
Raised in Manitoba, Kiarra attended the Massage Therapy College of Manitoba for two years and earned her designation as a Registered Massage Therapist. She has also earned her certification in Myofascial Cupping Therapy.
In the spring of 2016, she made the move to Lethbridge. Kiarra has been working as a sole proprietor since the age of 19 renting out spaces to work in until 2018 when she decided that she would take the risk to start her own clinic.
Kiarra has worked with professional athletes, cancer care patients, children and adolescents, and everyone in between.
Opening Elevation Wellness is what Kiarra considers the biggest achievement of her career. Despite being a scary prospect to start her own business at a young age in a city that she was new to, she is a fast learner and was able to adapt to situations as they presented themselves.
Kiarra and Elevation Wellness are involved in the community as much as she is able. She donates whenever possible to minor sports and attend local events which her clients support.
Hillary Slusar loves creating an awesome team environment where everyone can grow and learn together in the company. She lives by this day to day as Operations Manager and COO at Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence. She believes that the fundamentals of a good business are the same, regardless of industry.
In her role, Hillary develops and implements new processes and strategies and helps her brokers to give clients the best possible experience.
In 2015, Hillary earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Lethbridge.
Her journey into management began at a restaurant in Lethbridge at 18. She I worked there until she graduated from University and transitioned quickly to become the Operations Manager at Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence in 2016. Shortly afterward, she became Chief Operations Officer as well.
Hillary has established a team that has been empowered to add value to the business and build relationships with clients.
In 2018, Hillary was named a Young Gun, one of 50 young professionals leading the industry, by Canadian Mortgage Professional, a magazine devoted to the mortgage industry. In 2019, she was recognized with a Dominion Lending Centres Unsung Hero award.
Adam Zellweger pushes to stay constant day after day, year after year. He always gives his clients at Landsperg Automotive Group sound financing and auto advice, to help rebuild and maintain great financial goals.
In such a stereotyped industry, Adam truly strives to help his clients as they come into his office to start the sometimes stressful process of financing, credit building, and the vehicle selections.
After taking a road trip through BC with his wife in 2007 and ending up in Tofino as a bartender, Adam was getting by, but living a simple life. When they had a baby on the way, Adam and his wife decided to return to Alberta.
His dream was to be in media, specifically radio, and he started in St. Paul. There he worked in every aspect of the station from on-air to sales. While selling advertising, he was offered a job with a dealership and that is when it all started. From there Adam worked at dealerships from Kelowna to Cold Lake until he found himself in Lethbridge.
In Lethbridge, Adam was offered a position of Internet Manager and Online Credit Analyst, working with Canada Drives online approvals. Adam has now spent over six years working with financial institutions, clients, and dealerships to expand his client's financing and vehicle options. In that time, Adam has set records for both monthly and annual sales and served as Canada Drives Keynote Speaker in Financing Process and Sales.
Landon Court is a local guy, born and raised in this community. He embodies a sense of community in his business Comfort Heat & AC.
Growing up, Landon found himself surrounded by supportive people and that’s made him feel like he needs to give back. The best way that he feels he can give back to the community is through honest business practices, exceptional customer service and volunteering his time.
Landon completed a SAIT apprenticeship and received his journeyman red seal in 2012. In 2017, he founded Comfort Heat & AC. Lanson credits the teachers, coaches and past colleagues with playing a substantial role in his success today.
Landon has given back by volunteering his time with coaching basketball and volleyball teams. He has also played in the 24 Hour Hockey Games for cancer research for a number of years. Through Comfort Heat & AC, Landon has also donated both his skills and a furnace to a family in need so they had a warm home.
2018-2019 Top 40 Under Forty
Brandie Andrews & Sonja Miller
Brandie Andrews & Sonja Miller are the founders of Key Connections Consulting, a one stop shop for services including: speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, psychology, behaviour services and counselling, all in one agency.
Sonja and Brandie have always had a keen passion to support children and youth with special needs. Early in their careers they noticed the insurmountable challenges that families of Lethbridge were often faced with in attempts to obtain specialized services for their children.
Many families reported their difficulty in obtaining and coordinating their own services. Brandie and Sonja decided to take a risk 10 years ago while in their late 20’s, creating Key Connections Consulting.
Since opening their doors in 2009, KCC has expanded the supports they provide based on service needs identified in the community. As a result, KCC also started Project ICE to support unemployed youth and young adults with disabilities.
Brandie graduated with BSW and MSW at the UofL. Brandie had the opportunity to work as a job coach, youth mentor, researcher, community liaison counsellour, special needs consultant, etc. placing herself in roles where she could be a voice for those who might not have one.
Sonja graduated with her BA in psychology from the UofL and then went to on receive her MA at Wichita State University in speech-language pathology. As a teen, she volunteered at the Chinook Regional Hospital and from this experience she knew a career working in the health care field would fit wonderfully with her desire to support others.
Brandie is known in southern Alberta for supporting the creation of the FSCD/Education “Pilot Project.” The intent of the pilot project was to allow children who accessed specialized services at home to also have access to the same team of professionals in their educational program and other community settings.
She has made a difference for those she works with by providing them with a “voice” through function communications systems even when they are not physically capable of physical speech.
Sonja’s focus on early language intervention has made a difference for young children and families in our community.
Brandie has a young family and has enjoyed devoting her time in educational programs, Lethbridge Recreation Hockey and Southwest Little League. She also believes in the importance of teaching and keeping abreast of new research and as such has enjoyed partnering with the University of Lethbridge supervising MSW leadership students.
Sonja is an active member of the Croatian-Canadian Club of Lethbridge where she has been a member for over 20 years and supported in a variety of roles. Sonja has volunteered as kit captain for the Canadian Diabetes Association. In addition, Sonja has had the pleasure of participating in a mentorship program to support and supervise many local new graduates from various speech-language pathology programs.
Both Brandie and Sonja volunteer their time offering community presentations, education sessions, and are representatives at community sector meetings.
For their dedication to improving the lives of families in need of specialized services, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Sonja Miller and Brandie Andrews as two of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Shawn Hammond is the Owner/Operator of Big Al's Auto Repair, an independent automotive repair shop in Lethridge.
In 2012, Shawn and his wife Becky purchased Big Al's Auto Repair from the original "Big Al". Since then the business has grown exponentially. Shawn is dedicated to trying to change the way people in Lethbridge perceive mechanics in the traditional sense. He prides himself on being highly skilled while maintaining transparency and honesty.
Shawn was born and raised in Lethbridge. He graduated from the Lethbridge College in 2003 with a diploma from the Automotive technician program. Right out of school, he had the opportunity to work at a dealership under one of the most sought after automotive diagnosticians in southern Alberta. He learned as much as he could coming in early and staying late to absorb as much as possible.
By the time he was 25, Shawn had become shop foreman. This thrust him into a leadership role where he had to sink or swim. It also allowed him to learn leadership skills to run an effective team that is good at what they do.
Under Shawn's leadership, Big Al's Auto repair has won Lethbridge Sun Times Best of the Best contest for the last three years. They have also been rated one of the top three local repair shops for the last four years by an independent rating firm.
Shawn also spearheaded Big Al's Christmas Vans program. For the past three years, they have given away a mini van (or two) to families in need in our community. With help from their friends and colleagues in the community they are able to fill the vans with groceries and gift cards to help a struggling family have an awesome Christmas, and give them a hand when they are down.
Shawn is proud to participate in and sponsor a number of community initiatives including Walk A Mile in Her Shoes, The Boys & Girl's Club, Street Machines Weekend, Expressions Dance and more!
For his dedication to helping the community, and and outstanding work in the automotive field, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Shawn Hammond as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty!
Elisabeth Hegerat is a passionate advocate for public libraries, for literacy and the literary arts, and for diversity and inclusion. She believes in making a personal commitment to making the change you want to see in your community, and loves connecting people with resources—and each other.
She is the festival director for Lethbridge Public Library’s The Word on the Street Festival, an outdoor one-day event in celebration of literacy and the written and spoken word, with six stages, twenty to thirty presenting authors from across Canada, and an estimated attendance of more than 5,000 people.
She has organized multiple programs for Lethbridge Pride Fest for the last three years, and was organized and helped out with more than twenty events in the month of June this past year.
Elisabeth completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary, and is a graduate of the University of Alberta's Master of Library and Information Studies program. She has worked in public, school, and corporate libraries.
She moved to Lethbridge with her wife in 2006 to take a position at the Lethbridge Public Library in 2006, where she has worked in a variety of different capacities ever since. In her current role with the Lethbridge Public Library as Manager: Community and Economic Advancement, she works with grants, fundraising, and community initiatives.
Elisabeth was thrilled to accept the Celebrate Downtown Event of the Year Award on behalf of the Library for the Word on the Street Festival. In her time as the festival director, the event has expanded to include a comics stage, and an indigenous cultural stage. She has organized a Pride Fest author event since 2016, and worked with the Lethbridge Public Library, and the English and Women and Studies departments at the University of Lethbridge to bring in three different presenters for Pride Fest’s tenth anniversary. She also facilitated a new event for Pride Fest this past year. She was honoured and humbled to accept the Pride Fest 2018 Community Development award.
Elisabeth has been an active member of the Rocky Mountain Book Award committee since 2006, an Alberta-wide reader's choice program for students in grades 4-8, and reads sixty to eighty books a year as part of the shortlist selection for the award. She has volunteered with Lethbridge Pride Fest since 2016, and is a member of the board of directors for Pride Fest 2019. She is also a regular participant in the Knitting a Revolution’s holiday charity knitting projects, including the 25,000 Toques Project, a citizen-driven spontaneous national knitting movement to welcome Syrian refugees to Canada.
For her advocacy for public libraries as well as the LGBTQ+ community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Elisabeth Hegerat as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty!
Chance Olsen is the owner of Chaparral Registry and Insurance which opened this past spring in West Lethbridge.
Chance has demonstrated a hard work ethic ever since he was a young boy. He is very motivated to accomplish the goals that he has set for himself.
Chance is loyal, family oriented, trustworthy, and very kind. His staff would describe him as open minded, always encouraging his staff to be the best they can be, supporting them in their career paths and choices.
He is a great teacher. No matter if he is simply playing a board game, building something, or working in the backyard, he is constantly taking the opportunity to teach his children how to do new things. Balancing his career and family can be challenging, but Chance is constantly trying to find time to spend with his young family. Their favorite family activity is spending time at the lake.
Being a young business owner is a huge learning curve, but Chance is excited to learn and improve his businesses.
Chance received his Accounting degree from the University of Lethbridge in 2015. He worked at a local accounting firm before starting a new adventure in opening Chaparral Registry and Insurance.
In 2007 Chance served a mission for his church in Hungary teaching and serving the Hungarian people in their native tongue. He continues to serve in his church as a young men leader; planning camps, activities, and spiritual lessons. He also helps the young men accomplish their scouting goals and certify in the Canadian scouting program.
Chance really enjoys working with the youth and volunteers his time in the community as well. Coaching spring league and kids soccer has been a highlight for him. Chance was able to coach his oldest son in soccer this past spring which made it really special. Chance looks forward to coaching more in the future.
For his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to his young family as well as bettering the community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Chance Olsen as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Peter Casurella is the Executive Director of SouthGrow Regional Iniative, an economic development alliance of twenty-four south central Alberta communities committed to working together to achieve prosperity for the region.
Peter is deeply passionate about making life better for everyone in our community and in the region. His occupations and career path have consequently led him towards work that impacts and improves the lives of an increasing number of people.
At Lethbridge Family Services, Peter was able to positively impact the quality of life of hundreds of new immigrants and vulnerable persons in the City. At the Chamber of Commerce, he was able to work towards the economic prosperity of thousands of employers and employees in the City. Now, at the SouthGrow Regional Initiative, his work has the potential to improve the quality of life of tens of thousands of southern Albertans.
Peter was born and raised in the small farming town of Didsbury, Alberta where his father was a teacher and a hobby woodworker. He learned how to swing a hammer and worked on farms and framing crews through his teenage years. After graduation, Peter wanted to get out of the small town and see the wide world beyond, so he went to the booming metropolitan city of Lethbridge to pursue post-secondary studies.
He started his education in the International Management program, graduating 4 years later instead with a B.A. in English Literature. Peter paid for university by working construction jobs, and promptly went into management for a local residential construction company. After a couple of years of supervising framing crews, he quit his job, started a private renovation business, and went back to school at the same time to study Philosophy. Peter graduated again in 2010 with a B.A. in Philosophy (magna cum laude), and went on to earn his Masters in Philosophy at McMaster University, where he studied Probability and Epistemology.
Since grad school, Peter has followed a fast-paced career path that has led him through rolls that have exposed him to everything that our City, and region, has to offer, arming him with a wide range of connections and knowledge. He worked as a front line worker for Immigrant Services, helping new refugees to settle in Lethbridge, then as a Communications, Government Relations, and Fundraiser for Lethbridge Family Services. He has done a wide range of digital marketing work, and spent a year as the policy and communications strategist for the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. The wide diversity of experiences, education, and connections that Peter has accumulated has served him very well in his current professional role as the Executive Director of the SouthGrow Regional Initiative, where he works to market south-central Alberta to the world and promote economic growth for all of the towns, counties, villages, and cities in the region.
Peter supports our community primarily by participating in community committees. including Vibrant Lethbridge anti-poverty committee, Intelligent Community Initiative, The Human Subject Research Committee at the U of L and more. Peter and his wife Mackenzie are also strong supporters of the Family Centre, giving monthly to their programs and serving as regular volunteers.
For his dedication to improving and promoting our city and our region, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Peter Casurella as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Chelsa Larson is the owner and senior floral designer at Funky Petals Floral Studio, a flower shop in Lethbridge.
Chelsa opened Funky Petals in 2015 with a dream to bring big city design to our home on the prairies; re-invigorating the local floral community. Her mission has grown along with the studio to reminding the general public why flowers are so important, and how they have ‘lost their way’ due to over-commercialization by big box stores and online order gatherers. Gifting flowers is a very personal experience, so it was important for her clients know that when they visit Funky Petals, that intimacy and significance is acknowledged.
With consistent community support, Chelsa has taken the opportunity to direct Funky Petals’ online reach towards raising awareness and education of local non-profit organizations. In addition, she does her best to support and donate florals and/or time to countless annual fundraisers.
Being a florist means that Chelsa has an eye geared towards beauty, but she knows that the gift of flowers goes beyond pure aesthetics. It is the gesture behind the gift that showcases the flowers beauty. For that reason, the belief in “Flower Power” is integral at Funky Petals – with every new direction she takes her studio, it is to ensure that the compassion BEHIND the flowers go beyond the walls of the studio, impacting our community in a positive, lasting way.
Chelsa graduated from the Lethbridge College as a Marketing Major with Honors back in 2010, but before that had pursued the Fine Arts in her hometown of Fort McMurray. College provided her with theory and personal growth and gave roots to her teenage dream of someday opening my own studio.
Her passion for flowers began at a young age and she has had a love affair with them ever since. Beginning her official floral career in 2005, Chelsa observed and learned as much as possible from prior jobs.
The experience of owning a business has been eye opening and impactful. Losses and gains have turned into powerful life lessons, and she has gained many valuable friendships with other local business owners who inspire her daily.
For her entrepreneurial spirit and hard work to reimagine the floral industry in Lethbridge, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Chelsa Larson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Derek Loose is the CEO of Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Excellence, a mortgage and leasing company that takes pride in uncovering every mortgage option available to each family or individual that they work with.
Derek has been part owner of DLCME since 2010 and took over as CEO in 2016. Since completely taking over DLCME has increased production by 35%, expanded into Ontario and BC, and expanded one of the most efficient underwriting teams in the country.
Derek excels at bringing people together and keeping everyone focused on their quality of life which in turn increases their execution at work.
He is a high-performance coach, certified by the High Performance Academy in 2013. He was part of the John Maxwell Team coached by Darren Hardy in his CEO course and hired him to personally speak to the DLCME team.
Through his journey of personal development, Derek has learned about the importance of working on oneself. He has seen how contagious personal growth can be to those around you if you create that type of culture. It has helped him push through and surround himself with the very best. Derek credits the mentors and partnership that he has had with shaping him into one of Lethbridge’s Top 40.
Derek was nominated for Brokerage of the Year Canadian Mortgage Awards in 2014, 2016 and 2017. He earned a Diamond Award for top producer of mortgages in Canada and is a member of Dominion Lending Centers Elite Hall of Fame.
For his track record of excellence in the field of lending, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Derek Loose as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty!
Kristen Griffiths is the project developer/manager for Strength in Smiles, dental public health program focused on preventative services and oral health education in Tanzania which she designed, developed, fundraised for, and is overseeing this year.
While on a volunteer dental trip in 2016, she discovered there was a gap in preventative education and services offered in rural Tanzania and came up with a plan to address the growing issue. After spending a year developing a proposal, and creating a template for the program, Kristen took a year sabbatical from her community health position with Alberta Health Services to initiate the Strength in Smiles program.
Before starting the project, she was involved with the resettlement of the Syrian refugees to Lethbridge. She played an active role in the development of the multidisciplinary clinics that served the newcomer population by providing easy access to healthcare services within the first few months of their arrival. She organized a donation drive at the Lethbridge Train Station that provided new families with warm clothing, food and household items, to help them settle into their new lives in Lethbridge. She also volunteered with Lethbridge Family Services at several of the events they hosted.
Kristen moved to Lethbridge in 2001 and started high school at LCI. She took a few courses at Lethbridge Community College before moving to Medicine Hat to complete her prerequisites for the Dental Hygiene program through the U of A. She graduated with both a diploma in Dental Hygiene and BSc in 2009 and moved back to Lethbridge to work as a hygienist in private practice.
For the next four years Kristen worked between Lethbridge and Taber providing oral health education and services to the people of Southern Alberta. She grew to love how close knit the community was and knew that she wanted to focus more on community development and public health. After spending a year traveling abroad she was fortunate enough to be offered a position with Alberta Health Services doing just that.
Kristen is currently working towards a Master of Health Studies through Athabasca University
Her role with the population health promotion team at the Lethbridge Train station has given Kristen the opportunity to really get to know the city. The team visits elementary schools, continuing care facilities and healthcare centers in every corner of the city. They participate in a number of community events including Flu-lapalooza, Back to School Connect, Party in the Park, Senior’s Fair and Operation Connect and help strengthen the community connections and access to care.
Kristen has volunteered with Lethbridge Immigration and Family Services with their Newcomer events and Angel Tree Christmas Campaign. She supports local businesses and events every chance that she gets and loves seeing local entrepreneurs grow and thrive in our community.
For her incredible dedication to community development and public health, and taking the spirit of Lethbridge overseas to help those in need, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Kristen Griffiths as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Javier Moreira-Jovel, professionally known as L Rev, is a hip-hop artist based in Lethbridge. Since the first time he picked up a mic at the age of 14, L Rev has been a part of the Canadian hip hop scene bringing a diverse repertoire of battles, performances, promotions and recording.
Javier has been a hip-hop artist for more than 10 years. He has toured Canada and Europe, and performed countless shows spreading his message through his music. Javier’s songs have touched on issues such as suicide, bullying, addiction, recovery, and more. He is proud to have used his skills to spread positivity throughout the community.
After graduating from CCHS in 2006, Javier began making music. He is currently attending Lethbridge College to obtain a General Studies diploma majoring in sociology and child-care. When his daughter was born, Javier realized that his calling was to help the youth of the community to stay away from the things that held him back as a kid. His goal is to become a teacher while continuing to use music as a tool to reach the youth.
Javier has toured Canada twice, both times with big-name artists. He has toured Europe, performing in six different countries over the course of a month, all on his own. He has released three albums and many singles, and has managed to earn a small income from making music. He supplements that income by working with youth.
Javier has many followers who engage with his music and tell him that he is helping them get through hard times in their lives. He has helped younger artists find a platform to show off their talents in Lethbridge as well as in Standoff and other surrounding cities and towns. His work on the reservation is something that he holds very dear, as the youth there are at high risk compared to those in the city. Javier works to motivate young people to stay away from drugs, gangs, and other negative things that surround them. People look up to him, and he uses that opportunity to inspire love and respect in everyone around him.
When not performing, studying or spending time with his family, Javier volunteers for JessFM, a local internet radio station, where he discusses serious issues in our community. He also hopes to create a program that helps at-risk youth stay away from violence and drugs and gives them a creative outlet through music, dance, art, and other aspects of hip-hop.
To Javier, rap music is a tool that he can use to help people channel the bad things that happen to them into something creative and positive.
For his dedication in giving back to the community, and helping improve the lives of those at-risk through hip-hop, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Javier “L Rev” Moreira-Jovel as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Amber Jensen is the founder of Sweetgrass Youth Alliance and a Career Practitioner with Lethbridge School District # 51.
Amber has been a proud Southern Alberta resident for her entire life. She is a single mother of two teenage boys and for almost 10 years, has been a licensed foster parent for Southwest Alberta Child and Family Services.
In 2015 she lost a foster son who was only 19 due to a Fentanyl overdose. Following that, Amber founded the Sweetgrass Youth Alliance to help support vulnerable youth in the community. Amber has developed programs which tackle the opioid crisis. Her group has conducted four local events geared towards young people and their families to increase awareness, knowledge and share stories of people whose lives have been affected by the use of drugs.
Amber earned a General Studies Certificate from Lethbridge College. In 2007, she also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a psychology major from the University of Lethbridge. While attending the U of L, she had a paper published in the Lethbridge Undergraduate Research Journal entitled “Synesthesia”. Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which two or more bodily senses are merged so that the detection of each is mismatched.
Amber spent five years working for the Government of Alberta at Alberta Works. She was in charge of a complex caseload where she connected vulnerable Albertans to resources and helped them increase their quality of life.
In June, Amber collaborated with publisher/artist from Kainai, Jason Eagle Speaker, to release the book I Am the Opioid Crisis: Stories from Southern Alberta. In this publication she shares a collection of true stories from people who have been affected by the opioid crisis. Her hope is that people who read it will see drug users as fellow human beings, and that the stories appeal to young people and those with low literacy because of the graphic novel style illustrations.
Amber was invited to fly to Shoal Lake First Nation near Kenora, Ontario to do a presentation on the Opioid Crisis. She was very humbled to share knowledge and increase awareness so this community might be better equipped to implement prevention strategies.
Amber sits on the board of directors for Sik Ooh Kotoki Friendship Society and spends a lot of time there volunteering and helping to organize events. In addition to advocacy and general volunteer work for people experiencing homelessness, she is also part of a group that initiated a weekly Community Games Night at the Lethbridge Shelter and Resource Center where members of the community engage with shelter residents by playing cards, bingo and board games for meaningful, positive interactions.
Formerly, Amber sat as co-chairperson of the Youth Justice Committee where under the direction of the Alberta Solicitor General they used a restorative justice approach to divert young people away from the court system for less serious first offences. Amber is a member of “Moms Stop the Harm” which is a network of Canadian families whose loved ones have died due to substance use or who hope for recovery. She also currently works at the Lethbridge Youth Treatment Center helping young people receiving addictions treatment to complete school courses while away from their home schools.
For her tireless dedication to fighting Lethbridge’s opioid crisis and improving quality of life for vulnerable people in our community, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize Amber Jensen as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Sim Bains is the Vice President of Manufacturing at Triple M Housing, a Lethbridge company specializing in manufactured and modular housing.
Sim is a progressive executive with a particular strength in driving performance, reducing inefficiencies and cutting costs. Although she leads through the facilitation and empowerment of others, she still takes personal responsibility for all challenges under her leadership.
She has always lead teams in traditionally male dominated industries, however believes that it is what you bring to the table in skill set, and not your gender that determines your success in your career. She has never let her gender intimidate her or limit her on what she can do and achieve.
Sim is first generation Indo-Canadian. Her parents instilled a very strong work ethic, and raised her to be strong and independent. Her first job was working at McDonalds after school, where she quickly was promoted to being a supervisor and got hands on training in scheduling, training, customer service, and general business skills.
Sim majored in Wood Products Processing, with a minor in Commerce and graduated with honors from UBC in 2002. She was recruited by Weyerhaeuser during her last semester of University, and began her career in Grande Prairie, in the Engineering Department as a Project Manager.
After five years with Weyerhaeuser, Sim moved on to the modular industry where she worked progressive roles in Material Management, Quality, and Manufacturing. She worked for a camp manufacturer, overseeing three plants, and 400 employees, located in BC and Alberta.
After the downturn in Oil and Gas, Sim moved to Lethbridge, to take on the role as VP of Manufacturing at Triple M Housing. She oversees Design and Engineering, Quality, Safety, Production and Warranty, and involves the hard work of over 300 employees.
For hard work and leadership, rising her to the top of a male-dominated industry, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Sim Bains as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Corlee Torok is a radio announcer for Clearsky Radio’s 98.1 The Bridge where she hosts The Bridge Breakfast.
Corlee considers herself a champion of all things Lethbridge. Having worked in the media for the past 15 years, she has had a lot of opportunities to immerse herself in basically everything “Lethbridge”, from a vast array of charities, sports and events, there isn't much she hasn’t had a hand in, in some way or another, over the years. Corlee loves this city, so whether it's seeing the latest new local band, showing her support at a fundraiser, playing ball in Softball Valley or taking in the latest event at Galt Gardens she loves to be there!
In 2003, Corlee graduated from Lethbridge College’s Broadcast Journalism Program in, where she had many experienced broadcasters to learn from. Her very first "announcing" job was recording the 'on-hold' system for Overhead Door Company.
She completed her practicum at Country 95.5FM in Lethbridge and was hired shortly afterward to work mid-days, the drive home show and eventually the Country 95 morning show with Marv Gunderson. Corlee credits a lot of her success to Marv.
After her time at Country 95.5, Corlee moved on to do mornings at B93.3FM, eventually becoming interim Program Director for a short period. She moved on to help launch 98.1 The Bridge, where she now currently hosts the Bridge Breakfast morning show.
Corlee also spent time as the Fund Development Coordinator at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, where she got a deeper look into Lethbridge's philanthropical world. It was an eye-opening experience to see how giving Lethbridge really is.
Corlee has strong connection to Lethbridge. She is appreciative that when a major event comes to town and an emcee is needed, her name is brought up -- sometimes by strangers who have seen her host another event or by recommendation from others she’s worked with. One of her biggest highlights was being honoured with a Blackfoot name at a naming ceremony during the International Peace Pow Wow in 2011. Normally reserved for citizens in high, political positions, she is still humbled to this day. Corlee’s Blackfoot name is Miani'stsii Piiksaki, meaning 'Many Different Birds' or 'Wakes Before the Birds'.
Volunteering is something that Corlee values. She volunteers as both a mentor and emcee for Junior Achievement Southern Alberta which serves to coach young ladies in high school about job opportunities and women in business. She is deeply involved with Softball Valley and Softball Alberta, event managing a ladies team in last year's provincials. She was involved with the International Peace Pow Wow for several years. She is also an avid supporter of the live music scene here in Lethbridge.
For being such an ardent champion for our community and striving to make it a better place however she can, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Corlee Torok as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Kristen Mrazek is a professional makeup artist, esthetician and the owner of Mrazek Makeup Artistry who strives to bring out the inner beauty of every person and to accentuate the parts of them that they love the most.
Kristen specializes in empowering women to feel like their most comfortable, confident and beautiful selves. She created her business because she loves the artistic expression that makeup artistry allows, while also making people feel good about themselves. She takes a personal interest in her clients and makes it her goal to not just do her job well, but also to truly make people feel special.
She is a vegetarian, activist, and animal lover – she makes sure to only use cruelty-free products in her work – who tries to live holistically and sustainably to preserve the world we live in.
Currently, Kristen is in the process of receiving her life coaching certification, and developing a program geared towards women to encourage self-esteem, promote self-respect, and to talk about the effects that social media has on their perception of themselves.
Kristen graduated from the Lethbridge College with a Diploma in Fashion Design and Marketing and has earned a Degree in Art from the University of Lethbridge. At the same time, she received her Esthetics training certification in Calgary.
Kristen spent a month volunteering at an orphanage in Africa, where she realized a need to help others and become more engaged in life. She has volunteered for many years for Lethbridge Fashion Week, doing makeup for the fashion shows and mentoring young women. That is where she came to realize how much empowering women meant to her.
She does many collaborations with models, photographers, and other artists within the community. By promoting other local artists, Kristen feels that everyone is able to not only gain recognition, but also build this artistic community we are in. She also works closely with #Perfectfit4u, where she is able to build relationships and play a small role in the self-development of so many incredible women through workshops and sponsoring different events.
Each year, Kristen sponsors a scholarship at Wilson Middle School in honour of her father, Dr. Richard Mrazek who passed away in 2013. She has done multiple volunteering stints over the years at Wilson, whether it was a program for encouraging young women or doing makeup for their annual end of the year plays.
This year, Kristen was nominated for Alberta’s Hair and Beauty Awards as Freelance Artist of the Year.
For her work to empower women, volunteer time and drive to improve the lives of those around her, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Kristen Mrazek as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Cameron Howey is the Community Development Coordinator at United Way Lethbridge & South Western Alberta.
Cameron believes that life truly begins once we leave our “comfort zone” and learn through the new and sometimes scary experiences. These experiences and opportunities are how we grow as individuals, and our personal growth in turn fosters growth in the community.
He has been responsible for the wellness of over 8,000 people and helped lead a multi-million dollar institution at the strategic level as a young adult in his twenties. Although this was a lot of pressure, he rose to the occasion and respected the responsibility that he had to those he represented. Cameron has never shied away from an opportunity or challenge and this mentality and philosophy is what sets him apart.
Cameron attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Political Science and History and a minor in Philosophy. He was involved with the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union and in total served two years as an Arts & Science Representative and one year as President. This was his first step into public service and giving back to the community in consistently meaningful ways.
He was a representative in both the Council of Alberta University Students’ (CAUS) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) through which he represented and advocated on behalf of 300,000 students. He also served on the Youth Delegates Committee for Universities Canada and represented the University of Lethbridge at Universities Canada Converge 2017 conference.
Cameron facilitated the creation of a student referendum to sponsor a refugee student, which passed. Collectively he has served on over 30 committees at the university, municipal, and national level, including the University Board of Governors, Senate, and City transit committee. He was the Business manager for the Pincher Creek food bank, a teaching assistant at the university, and currently works with United Way Lethbridge as the Community Development Coordinator.
One of Cameron’s proudest achievements was being elected by over 8,000 students to serve as President of the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union. This was a big dream of his. He knew that he wanted to help give students a voice and make their University experience richer, especially beyond the classroom.
Mental health funding at the post-secondary level was a major focus of Cameron’s and to have played a part in successfully lobbying the provincial government for three million dollars in funding for the University of Lethbridge was an extraordinary moment for him. He also enabled the Students’ Union food bank to give tax credits for donations, which was a major reason the food bank generated more donations that year then any year previously.
Joining the United Way Lethbridge’s team and focusing in community development is another great accomplishment. It is crucial we give back to our community and build stronger and more resilient communities. Lethbridge has given Cameron so many opportunities and it is important to him that he helps build opportunities for others in our community.
Cameron has the pleasure of engaging his community every day at work. He works with amazing community partners and organizations that truly make Lethbridge a stronger and more vibrant community.
He has volunteered with Volunteer Lethbridge for their Random Acts of Kindness and project Paintbrush initiatives. Cameron also had the honor of emceeing the International Students’ dinner at City Hall. This dinner welcomes all of our international students, from both the University and College, helping create the feeling of Lethbridge being their “home away from home”.
For his impact on the community and hard work to better the lives of UofL students, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Cameron Howey as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Nigel Atwood is Flaman's Fitness and Healthcare Consultant for Lethbridge and surrounding communities, where he helps individuals and their families find the right fitness equipment that helps them live a healthy life style.
Nigel has worked with many schools, gyms and businesses to get the proper equipment for their students, employees and members. He takes pride in helping individuals to find the right healthcare products for their homes to live more independently.
With both fitness and healthcare, Nigel’s goal is always the same with each customer and that is more than just selling them a product but to help them live a happy, healthy and independent life.
Nigel graduated LCI in 2010, after which he attended to Minot State University in North Dakota on a football scholarship. He suffered a career ending back injury in 2012 while playing football.
After his injury it was tough to keep positive but Nigel found that helping others achieve their goals really brought joy to his life. Following his injury, he continued with his education at Minot State University. He was a Position Coach for the Football team and spent time as a Strength and Conditioning Coach until he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Corporate Fitness in 2015.
When he was finished at Minot State, Nigel moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and became a Strength and Conditions Coach for the University of Minnesota. He worked with many different University, Professional and Olympic athletes while in Minnesota.
Once he finished his time in the United States he moved back to Lethbridge and wanted to continue helping others. Flaman Fitness and Healthcare has allowed Nigel to keep on doing what he loves to do – help others live more free and assist others in achieving their goals.
Nigel values knowing that every person that comes to Flaman Fitness is putting their trust in him to help them get what they need. He feels that working with his customers each and every day is helping them build a better future for themselves.
For his dedication to helping make Lethbridge a better and more healthy place, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Nigel Atwood as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Jessica Hicken is the Lethbridge Manager at Purely Inspired Academy of Beauty, a hair school based in Lethbridge.
Jessica makes a conscious effort to make someone’s day better even if just a little She thrives off of making the students laugh, telling stories, and being a confidante. Jessica values forming strong relationships with Purely Inspired students and being able to build up confidence and self-esteem of the many young woman and men who attend.
When Jessica graduated from high school she I didn't know what she wanted to do. She went straight to Mount Royal University and took a general studies diploma program. Along the way, she decided to major in Marketing and Management.
With Jessica’s wife being from Raymond Alberta her journey continued here in Lethbridge where she began with Purely Inspired.
Jessica credits much of what she has learned throughout the years with her parents. Her mother was lead of human resources with Scotiabank before she retired, and her father was GM of a large window and door company. Their compassion towards others and their drive to lead a team to success impacted the way that she manages staff.
Jessica was instrumental in introducing the Blended Hairstyling, Makeup and Aesthetics Diploma Program at the Purely Inspired. She also assisted in opening four other Academies throughout Alberta in Medicine Hat, Calgary, Grande Prairie and Edmonton.
Through the Beauty Industry, Jessica has the opportunity to help make people feel amazing about themselves. With something as “simple” as a new hair style or make up, Jessica feels that it is rewarding thing to see that you can bring a sense of purpose to someone’s face.
Jessica feels blessed to be in a role in which she can engage in the community. She has taken part in a number of events throughout Lethbridge, including Career Transitions Skills Competition, Ready, Set, Go Fair (Providing back to school haircuts to young kids who are less fortunate), Help Portrait (Providing Hair and Makeup to Families who then get to have Family Photos taken), Head/Beard Shaves at Lethbridge College for Movember, Cinderella Project which provides hair and makeup for grads and even more!
For her hard work to help grow Purely Inspired and her dedication to her students, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jessica Hicken as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Travis Jestin is residential operations manager and partner at Neu-Lite Electric, a full service electrical contractor owned and operated in Lethbridge.
Travis prides himself on being available to contractors, clients, and employees all hours of the day and weekends. He pushes for going above and beyond on all tasks, and passes this way of thinking to his employees.
He strongly believes in providing fast and professional work for customers and makes sure to always deliver on promises and deadlines. Travis visits all job sites daily, and reviews homes room by room to ensure quality control.
Beginning his electrical apprenticeship in 2004 in Fort Macleod, Travis focused primarily on commercial, agricultural and industrial. In 2009, he earned his Journeyman and Red Seal certificate from Lethbridge College. He continues his education, remaining on top of code changes and providing educational and growth opportunities to his staff.
Travis has been with Neu-Lite since 2006, beginning as an apprentice. His leadership and organizational skills quickly made him a standout among co-workers and management. In 2014, Travis joined the Neu-Lite ownership group and became a partner.
When not working with Neu-Lite, Travis enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. His alter ego Travis “The Heat” Copeland can often be found in a wrestling ring for Pure Power Wrestling, where he is the longest reigning Cruiserweight Champion.
For his unparalleled work ethic and dedication to his customers and staff the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Travis Jestin as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Madeline Gormley is Manager, Information Services at Lethbridge Public Library
Madeline moved to Lethbridge in July 2017 to work at LPL. In her first management position, Madeline is grateful for the opportunities afforded her including being involved in the opening of the newly renovated Main Branch; leading the adult services team; and being able to contribute to the library service provided to Lethbridge.
Public libraries are Madeline’s career and passion. She looks to bring energy, positivity and enthusiasm to an already vital institution. She feels that to be able to contribute to the public library in any community is to create a warm and welcoming space for anyone who enters the building, and to have joined the team at LPL has been a pleasure for her.
Madeline earned her BA in History from the University of Victoria in 2008. However she found her passion later on.
In 2012, Madeline began her second undergraduate degree in Secondary Education at the University of Alberta and took on her first role in a public library. She was blown away by the incredible ability of the public library to be a positive force in individual patron’s lives and their impact on the community overall, and was inspired to complete her Master of Library and Information Science from the U of A, which she earned in 2016.
She has since worked in both academic and public libraries in Alberta and Ontario, and when searching for her first library management role was excited to accept the position of Manager, Information Services at Lethbridge Public Library. She believes in the Library’s role in transforming lives because she sees it every day.
Madeline has been lucky to have lived all over Canada. She has moved for school, for fun, and, more recently, to Lethbridge for opportunity! She is happy to become a part of the community, and appreciates that her job allows her a close working relationship with community organizations and members of the public.
For her dedication to the Lethbridge Public Library and improving our community through Library programs, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Madeline Gormley as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Deepy Sharma is a financial advisor and partner at Laurie, Kenna and Associates Financial Services.
He is excited to help his clients and their next generation’s financial security. He values meeting a new client and get to watch them and their families grow over the years.
Deepy attended Mount Royal College in their Business Administration program; however he gained much of his business skill before college. His uncle owned Fas Gas in Frank, Alberta. From him, Deepy learned how to deal with employees, customer service skills, networking , and most importantly how to run a successful business – many things that textbooks cannot teach you.
From the age of 13-17 Deepy managed the night shift. He worked full time as well as attending high school full time. From this experience, and a firsthand education from his uncle on all the “how to’s” of running a business, he got an early start to his business career.
Deepy has spent many years travelling the world. He has been to 35 countries and 5 different continents. While travelling, he was trading stocks himself – a self-taught skill – and because of the flexibility this gave him, he was able to work from anywhere in the world.
He has been to all but one of the Wonders of the World. Deepy has visited Petra in Jordan, the Taj Mahal in India, The Pyramids in Egypt, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza in Mexico, and The Colosseum in Rome. Only the Great Wall of China is remaining.
In his career, Deepy achieved Million Dollar Round Table status in his first year as a financial advisor. This is a global achievement for the top 1% of all financial advisors. He has built a very successful practice and has reached all personal and professional goals that he has set for himself so far.
Deepy spent five years on the board of the Ricky Ryp Foundation. During his time, The Foundation helped many people who don’t get help from larger charities. He was honoured to have been a part of an organization that benefited Southern Alberta so much.
Last April, Deepy organized a fundraiser for a young father with MS. They were able to raise $55,000 to send him for stem cell treatment in Panama that could potentially help him walk again.
Deepy tries to participate in as many events and fundraisers as he can in the community. He knows that he has the ability to help others and give back and feels as though it is his responsibility to do so.
For his dedication to his clients and desire to help make our community a better place, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Deepy Sharma as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Broc Higginson is the Principal of École Agnes Davidson School, an elementary school in Lethbridge.
Broc genuinely loves to make a difference. He loves knowing that he is making a difference in the lives of others and ultimately making our community a better place. He exemplifies strong leadership and communication skills.
Originally from Fort Macloed, Broc attended the University of Lethbridge where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History, Geography, and Sociology. He then went on to attend Queen's University where he received a Bachelor of Education.
After earning his BEd, Broc returned home and worked in Grassy Lake at Chamberlain School. Three years later, as age 27, he was appointed Principal of Enchant School and soon after completed his Masters of Leadership and Administration through the University of Gonzaga.
Since then, he has been Vice-Principal at R.I. Baker Middle School in Coaldale, Principal at Noble Central School in Nobleford, Vice- \Principal of Wilson Middle School, Principal of Fleetwood Bawden Elementary and now Principal of École Agnes Davidson School. For the past two years he has also worked as a realtor with Atkinson & Associates and also continues to organize charity and for profit concerts, festivals and events.
Broc co-founded the Canadian Country Weekend music festival and Lethbridge Music Fest. He also organized and built Concert for a Cause in support of local charities.
Broc has volunteered his time to coach baseball, basketball, volleyball and soccer. He helped organize Feeding Future Minds raising over 18,000 pounds of food for the Interfaith food bank. Within his school communities over the years he has participated in dozens of community events and fundraisers. One of his favorites was organizing the 35th Annual Terry Fox Run for kids where they hosted Roland Fox, Terry Fox's father, to come and greet over 3000 students that attended at Henderson Lake.
For his dedication to bettering our community through education, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Broc Higginson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Ceejay Garner is co-owner of Anytime Fitness Lethbridge, Renegade Nutrition Services and The Chopped Leaf Lethbridge.
Ceejay is a proud multiple business owner and loves the community of Lethbridge. She has been very self-driven since she was young.
She graduated from Stirling High School in a small class of fewer than 30 students. At that time, she hated school, was absent most of the school year, but made sure she earned her diploma. After taking several years off from school, she attended Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge to earn her Bachelor of Nursing. Nursing was something that she had always wanted to do since being in and out of hospitals visiting her father.
Ceejay worked in the nursing field in a variety of scopes including Correctional Nursing, Emergency Nursing and Public Health.
Ceejay was at the gym when she met her husband. Over time, they noticed that West Lethbridge was lacking in the fitness department, and they decided to open Anytime Fitness. This both helped them realize that Lethbridge was a great community to be an entrepreneur and helped make way for their other ventures.
While Ceejay is owner of these businesses, she doesn’t take all the credit as her husband is also part owner and has used his entrepreneurial experience to help make the businesses what they are today.
In 2017, Ceejay opened The Chopped Leaf franchise in West Lethbridge with hopes to expand to other franchises in the near future.
Ceejay holds status as an International Federation of Body Building professional. She earned her pro card in 2016 after only four years of competing. She also holds three Canadian women’s power lifting records in the 70kg weight class.
Through Renegade Nutrition Services, Ceejay is happy to have worked with many women to help them feel more comfortable and confident in their bodies and minds.
Ceejay is also passionate about charitable endeavors. She has organized a number of charity events, including a softball tournament for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, an Interfaith Fall Food Drive which collected over 1000-lbs of food and a competition for fundraising for Prairie Pitbull Rescue. She also serves as team leader annually for CIBC Run for the Cure and Interfaith Food Bank Red Dress Run.
For her entrepreneurial success and desire to help others, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Ceejay Garner as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Kaella Carr is Senior Reporter at CTV News Lethbridge where she has covered countless major news stories throughout Southern Alberta.
Kaella always knew that she needed to find a career that allowed her to give back to others. Being a reporter is just that. Every day she gets to tell the stories that matter. Whether it's helping someone find the answers they're looking for, shedding light on a disease, or letting people know about an upcoming fundraiser, she is able to use her platform to inform the community. She is passionate about making Lethbridge a better city every way she can.
In 2003, Kaella earned her diploma in Broadcast news from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. She spent two years working in radio and television in Northern Sasktachewan before moving to Lethbridge.
Originally Kaella came for six months but has been here for 14 years. Although she has been offered a number of other jobs in bigger markets, Lethbridge is where she wants to continue to grow her career and raise family. She feels the value in putting down roots and making connections. The more people that she knows, the more that she believes she can help people and inspire others to do the same.
She feels that the best part about her job is being able to tell the community what organizations, services, or people are in need of help and how others can get involved. She sees that as the best way to use her platform.
Kaella is honoured to have the chance to emcee events, sit on boards and give back to the community through volunteering. From 2005 through 2012, she served as local media chair for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation in Lethbridge and helped raise thousands of dollars every year to support awareness and research. She was also named Vice President to the national board of directors for the CCFC.
She has served on the organizing committee for the Lethbridge Police Service Run For Special Olympics and started #RunYQL a free weekly run club for people interested in starting to run or to improve their skills. Kaella also volunteers at the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen once a month preparing and serving breakfast to those in need.
For her dedication to using her platform to make our community a better place, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize Kaella Carr as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Paul Kingsmith is Senior Communications Specialist at Lethbridge College where he helps to guide messaging that relates to their strategic goals, works on brand and reputation management, and tells stories that highlight the amazing work of others in their institution.
Paul has achieved high levels of success in two different, but related, career paths. For 13 years, 10 in Lethbridge, he was an award-winning television journalist. He then decided to tackle a new challenge as he switched to a communications career at Lethbridge College.
During his time at Global Lethbridge, Paul earned both national and regional awards for his reporting. He also rose through the ranks to new levels of leadership and responsibility, eventually over-seeing both the website and social media strategies for the station, while earning editorial control of the 11 p.m. newscast.
In his first year at Lethbridge College, Paul earned a major international scholarship and wrote a magazine feature story that won an international award. After less than two years on the job he was promoted to the college’s most senior communications position.
Paul grew up in Cochrane before earning a Diploma in Broadcast News at SAIT. That gave him the basis to jump into his career, but he feels that his greatest learning came in the field.
He was offered a job before he even finished his diploma and worked very briefly in Swift Current, Sask. before a three-year TV and radio stint in Dawson Creek, B.C. where he reported and anchored news and sports. Paul’s first large-scale innovation was bringing hockey games to air for the first time in the TV station’s history.
He moved to Lethbridge in 2006 where he began at Global as the junior sports reporter and anchor. Over 10 years, he graduated to sports director, news and sports video journalist, news anchor, and web and social media coordinator, proving his adaptability in a shifting news landscape.
When Global changed its news delivery format, Paul had a leading role in creating the new show and format that is still in use. At The College, he has learned a new career on-the-fly, and has launched a variety of new initiatives. Paul feels that he is a product of his on-the-job experiences, where his adaptability and creativity have allowed him to thrive.
Paul has won a number of awards for his work, including Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VIII Bronze Award for Magazine Feature Writing in February 2018. He was awarded SimpsonScarborough Scholar award for promising newcomers to the field of post-secondary Advancement in July 2017. He earned the RTDNA Prairie Regional award for top small market television sports reporting in April 2015 and the Edward R. Murrow international region award for top small market television reporting in April 2014. In February 2019, Paul was recognized with the CASE District VIII Rising Star Award.
Paul values giving back to the community with his volunteer efforts. He has volunteered as a head coach in Southwest Little League's coach pitch division. He is a sitting board member for the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame and a former board member for the Canadian Cancer Society's Face Off Against Cancer event. He was on the organizing committee for the 2016 Southern Alberta Summer Games. Paul has also lent his time as an emcee to a variety of causes, including the Rotary Club of Lethbridge's Black Tie Gala and the Lethbridge Bulls' Legends of Sports Gala.
For his outstanding success in both journalism and communications, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Paul Kingsmith as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Derrick Antson is a Professional Officer at the University of Lethbridge Faculty Association.
Derrick is committed to the principles of social justice and inclusion, and those principals underpin all his professional work.
As a young queer youth, Derrick spent much of his time trying to be camouflaged among his straight peers and silence his internalized fears. Though, with age, he has made a commitment to not let anything tarnish his sparkle and to uplift those around him.
Derrick strives to serve and to strengthen our community, while supporting those around him. Whether creating initiatives for under-represented groups within the queer community, assisting in preparedness exercises for disaster response, or weighing in on library programs and maintenance, Derrick’s focus has always improving the lives of those around him.
He is willing to put in hours of work for the people and projects that he loves, finding that when he contributes and builds something up, he truly shines. He has set himself apart from those that he once aimed to blend into by recognizing that the only thing that limits his potential is his fears.
Derrick obtained his BA from the University of Lethbridge, majoring in Philosophy, and MAS in Peace and Conflict Transformation from the University of Basel, Switzerland.
Through the Canadian Red Cross he has gained firsthand experience on how to implement the Seven Fundamental Principles into compassion-related work and gained the ability to remain calm in stressful situations. His professional career has equipped him with an understanding of bureaucratic processes and labour rules.
He is able to weave these threads together to quickly generate ideas, deconstruct and analyze complex situations, while considering the possible implications on relevant interest groups, and plotting a route forward. This helps him as he embodies the lesson of Martin Niemöller’s poem ‘First they came…’, asking questions as to why actions are taken and speaking when objections are present.
On June 18, 2018 Derrick was honoured to speak at Lethbridge Pride Fest’s flag raising at Lethbridge City Hall. After the events had concluded he was confronted by four youth that had attended the event, all of whom were either in tears or on the verge of crying. Despite their tears, these kids had the largest smiles on their faces.
His speech focused on what it means to be a responsible ally as members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically why it is important for gay and lesbian individuals to recognize and give space for Trans, Non-binary, and Gender-nonconforming individuals. He cherished this interaction because despite being in a crowd of about 300 people, he was able to connect with each of these individuals so authentically that they felt validated for the first time as members of the broader Lethbridge community.
Volunteering is Derrick’s primary way to engage with the community. Ranging from volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross as a supervisor on the Personal Disaster Assistance Team and as a responder on the Emergency Response Team, with the Lethbridge Public Library Board as a Trustee, serving as a member of the Governance Committee and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, with the Lethbridge Pride Fest Society in various capacities such as Secretary and Treasurer, and with the YQueerL Society for Change as Co-President. He also supports the endeavors of the community through maintaining memberships to OUTreach Southern Alberta and Theatre Outré.
For his tireless work to improve the lives of under-represented people and our community as a whole, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Derrick Antson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Megan Skelly is a consultant at IG Wealth Management where she has built a practice on the foundation of “why?” It has been Megan’s experience that clients often don’t understand what she does or how she does it until they understand why.
She has always had a genuine desire to help improve the lives of the individuals in her circle. It was five years ago when Megan realized that one of the largest impacts she can have is through the power of helping clients achieve freedom to do more of what they want, when they want.
Megan earned a Division I Athletic Scholarship from Syracuse University to play hockey. She was named to the College Hockey America All-Academic Team in 2012. That same year, Megan was nominated for the Doris Soladay Award, which is given annually to the top female and male athletes that encompass excellence in areas of academics, community integration and athletics.
Megan graduated from Syracuse in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science and Minor in Women and Gender Studies. Balancing full-time studies with 30 hours per week of training, practices and games developed her work ethic and the drive that is instilled within her today.
Another major influence in shaping her character has been travelling abroad. Getting out of her comfort zone and travelling alone is both an enlightening and challenging experience, one that allowed Megan to distill her life down to what is most important and what she wants her impact to be.
Megan is a former assistant coach for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women's hockey team and now serves as an assistant coach in Lethbridge Minor Hockey. She has been involved with a number of charity organizations through Investors Group such as the Alzheimer's Society, United Way and the YMCA strong kids program.
For her strong work ethic and desire to improve her client’s financial futures, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Megan Skelly as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Blake Corey is the president of Laurie, Kenna & Associates, a financial services company with offices in Lethbridge, Taber, and Blairmore. He is the principal partner of the firm and has been so since 2015.
Blake is lucky enough to be part of a team that has always encouraged him to push the limits of his personal growth.
While attending university full time, Blake purchased and flipped a property while completing a trade. He was able to not only earn his journeyman ticket but also his red and blue seal. Blake’s employer at the time saw the drive and encouraged him immensely.
Blake graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor Management and a major in finance. He is a certified financial planner. While attending university, Blake also completed a trade through SAIT and became a Journeyman Baker with both a Red and Blue Seal.
After university, a joined LKA in 2009 and was immediately pushed and challenged. In 2015, Blake took over as principal partner and CEO.
Blake lives his life by two rules: don't offer a deal you wouldn't' take and don't set people up to fail. He believes that doing the right thing is always the right thing to do and that when you deal honestly with people, those people will always root for you to win. As such, Blake made the commitment early in his career to invest in the skills and the people around him.
Since Blake became president of LKA, the company has been voted Best of the Best - Financial Planner every year. They recently partnered with several other local businesses to form the Kenna Professional Campus building in Lethbridge.
Blake regularly meets with other industry leaders in Canadian fin-tech to discuss how to better serve clients all over the country. In addition to supporting the Gord Laurie Foundation, both Blake and the firm routinely give back to the community including The Lethbridge Public Library, Lethbridge Family Services, Lethbridge Pregnancy Care Centre and more!
For excellence in the financial services industry, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Blake Corey as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Jill Manning is the Managing Director of ARCHES, a not-for-profit organization that provides leadership in building individual and community capacity to respond and reduce the harm associated with HIV and Hepatitis C in South-Western Alberta.
Jill is a passionate human rights advocate, with a focus on raising community awareness around issues of addictions and mental health. In her role at ARCHES, Jill is a fierce defender of marginalized populations within our community. Jill works to build and maintain relationships with the community through outreach and by working alongside community groups.
Jill has had the opportunity to speak at a number of community events and professional development conferences throughout Southern Alberta, including for the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs, the Southern Alberta Library Conference, and the Treaty 7 Frontline Healthcare Workers Conference.
She attended both Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2007. Jill feels fortunate to have worked under a number of strong mentors in the human services field through her work with the Canadian Cancer Society, the Camrose Women's Shelter, Quest Support Services, and now ARCHES.
Jill enjoys all forms of physical activity, with a particular interest in running and hiking. She is also passionate about travelling and has so far experienced 17 countries. She looks forward to further growth through the exploration of other cultures. Recently, Jill had the pleasure of climbing the tallest mountain in the UK, and plans to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro next.
For more than 10 years, Jill has been a Rotarian. In 2017-18, she served as President of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Urban Spirits, during which the club received a District Award for the club that experienced the greatest growth in membership. Jill has chartered two Interact Clubs (Rotary Clubs at the high school level), including the Interact Club of Chinook High School and the Interact Club of Camrose. In her seven years of overseeing Interact Clubs, she has taken students on two international trips and has mentored hundreds of youth in their volunteerism.
For her tireless dedication to fight for at-risk groups in our community, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jill Manning as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Sydney Wakaruk is Alumni Relations Coordinator at Lethbridge College where she engages with alumni, donors and stakeholders and shares narratives, creates impact and advances education daily.
Sydney is result-oriented, philanthropy driven and passionate about the non-profits and public sectors that she contributes to. She sets goals and doesn’t quit until she makes them a reality.
Being highly involved in the non-profit sector, Sydney brings dedication and focus, knowing that her achievements will highly impact the lives of others. She continually educates herself, volunteers, gives back and perseveres in order to transform, grow and succeed.
Sydney moved to Lethbridge in high school, and quickly saw the network and educational opportunities the community provides.
Her career and investment in non-profits began the day that she started at the YMCA of Lethbridge where she worked part-time while furthering her education. Her position evolved from member services to fund development and marketing for the expanding non-profit. Her role was essential in impacting others by providing the funding they needed to receive the same opportunities that she had as a child.
Throughout her time at the Y, she earned a Business Administration Diploma from Lethbridge College and a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge. Her desire to impact lives led Sydney to the Ronald McDonald House where she directed fundraisers, assisted in signature events and created awareness for a cause that allows families the ability to stay close to their sick children.
In her current role at Lethbridge College, Sydney leads events and initiatives that connect alumni, donors and stakeholders back to campus. She speaks to her own experience and education at Lethbridge College by leading an Alumni Advisory Committee of 12 and a signature event committee of 25. These efforts engage the community significantly as they look for individuals who can support the need for education and find benefit in networking with previous, current and future students and graduates.
Sydney is happy that she is able to continue to be the awareness spreader, the silent auction prize seeker, the network-er, the community event attender and the volunteer.
For her dedication to making our community a better place through volunteerism, fundraising and advancing education, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Sydney Wakaruk as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Aaron Bauer is an Investment Advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy where he manages over $120,000,000 in assets and helps clients navigate the complex financial world.
Born and raised in Calgary, Aaron moved to Lethbridge in 2016. From the first time in Lethbridge, he has felt like it is where he truly belongs and can make a difference.
He loves to help clients work towards and live the best retirement lifestyle they can and help the next generation become financially responsible. As a younger advisor, most of Aaron’s clients will retire before he does, which means he get to work and grow with them as they prepare for and transition into and throughout retirement.
Aaron earned a dual Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance and Risk Management & Insurance from the Haskayne School of Business in Calgary. Since then, he committed himself to his profession through education. He has completed any designation, course, certificate etc. that he feels applies to his job and strengthens his ability to provide clients with premier wealth management advice. He currently holds the Chartered Investment Manager, Personal Financial Planner and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute designations.
Aaron began working at CIBC Wood Gundy in 2005 and has worked in many roles including working in the operations cage, administrative support, time in management working in compliance and now currently as an Investment Advisor.
Aaron serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors for SAIPA which assists adults with disabilities to drive change in their communities as engaged and empowered citizens. He also sits on their Policy, Finance and Fund Diversification committees.
He helped develop the Pie It Forward fundraising event with SAIPA which has been a huge success, both in raising funds for a great organization, but also further raising awareness for SAIPA! Seeing videos and pictures on social media getting pied is a great feeling knowing that it's a fun event that benefits a lot of people and it's something that he helped create.
Aaron also volunteers as an in-class presenter with Junior Achievement, an organization that provides programs for youth to develop financial literacy, work preparedness and entrepreneurial skills. He doesn't believe financial skills are sufficiently taught in schools so believes that JA is a great way to get kids thinking about their financial futures.
For helping to improve financial literacy in our community and helping his clients to live their best lives, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Aaron Bauer as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Tanya Plonka is the owner of Tanya Plonka Photography where she photographs weddings, relationships and outrageous photo ideas!
Tanya believes that what sets her aside is her client experience. While her clients rave about their photos, she believes it's the experience that she offers them that makes them happy to leave great reviews and refer their friends and family. She is always available and does detailed planning with her clients to give them an amazing experience. She has clients who have been following her since her first year in business.
Tanya believes that all people are beautiful and she wants to show that. She has had many plus size individuals, senior couples and others comment on how happy they were to see people like them represented in her samples.
Very few photography businesses make it past their fifth year, and Tanya is proud to have celebrated her tenth. She built her company up from scratch to a full time business within a few years, and has been able to expand her business enough to hire her husband and allow him to leave his day job.
Tanya really started photography in high school for yearbook and while working as the entertainment editor at the UofL student paper, The Meliorist, in her second year of university. She graduated in 2006 with a BFA (Multidisciplinary) with Great Distinction from the University of Lethbridge and was soon photographing weddings at a local studio. In 2008, Tanya officially started her business and continued to grow her skills through hands on learning and experience, as well as keeping up with online and in-person photography workshops.
Each year that Tanya has been in business, she has placed in the top three for the Sun Times Best of the Best, winning first place in 2014 and 2017. She has been accepted for two separate year plus long contracts for the City of Lethbridge to build their stock photo library, resulting in having the opportunity to see her work on the City's website, public transit ads, and more. Her work has been published in multiple magazines and wedding blogs.
Tanya is happy to donate her photography skills to a number of animal rescues. She is the Lethbridge photographer for AARCS for their rescue photos, and has photographed the PAW Society calendar annually since 2013. She regularly does mini-session fundraisers for a variety of other local rescues. Each year, Tanya photographs the Lethbridge MS Walk.
For her continued excellence in the field of photography, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Tanya Plonka as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Cordell Young is a veterinarian at Innovative Veterinary Services where he works as a swine veterinarian.
Cordell grew up on a farm in rural Saskatchewan near Yorkton. His entrepreneurial spirit was established early when his parents allowed him to buy his own sheep at the age of nine.
The responsibility of raising, learning about the sheep and the finances involved shaped his childhood as his flock grew to 150 breeding ewes and ultimately lead to where he is today.
Because of raising his own sheep, Cordell learned how to shear sheep and grew a client base of over 3000 sheep per year. Between shearing and the revenues from his own flock, he was able to pay for half of his six years of schooling.
Most of Cordell’s life experience comes from the farm, where he learned about responsibility and how to work. His father always taught him that if he is willing to work, he will always have a good and rewarding job, even if there are slow times.
After graduating from high school, Cordell pursued a degree in Animal Science at the University of Saskatchewan. Within two years, he had completed all the pre-requisites to allow application into the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and was accepted to start the DVM program the following September. In 2017, Cordell then graduated as a veterinarian.
Becoming a veterinarian was a goal that Cordell had set as early as elementary school, so it was surreal to be able to accomplish that childhood dream. Now, his goal is to be the best veterinarian that he can be.
On a personal level, music has meant a lot to Cordell. He earned his Associate Degree in Piano (CNCM) which entailed over an hour of memorized performance in a concert setting. He also learned the cello while in veterinary school.
Cordell is very involved in his church where he helps by leading the singing, playing the piano, and being available for any other tasks. As well, Cordell teaches piano and is overjoyed with how much fun it is to teach and see people learn.
For his entrepreneurial spirit and excellence in the veterinary field, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Cordell Young as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Tyler Barrett is Western Canada Logistics, Distribution, & Transportation Manager for PepsiCo Foods Canada, one of Lethbridge’s largest employers.
Tyler leads a team of 120+ employees, predominately based out of Lethbridge. He feels that he has been fortunate in his career at PepsiCo, from being the lead project engineer on the warehouse expansion at their Lethbridge Frito Lay facility where they added 80+ new jobs for our region.
Growing up, Tyler moved every two to three years from. He lived in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, Washington D.C., and Texas.
Through these frequent relocations he has learned how to be adaptable and comfortable in new situations, as well as make connections with individuals of a variety of backgrounds. These skills have enabled his curiosity to being involved in a variety of different fields which allow him to make a difference in his career and community.
In 2014, Tyler earned his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Dalhousie University. In 2015, he graduated from Harvard Business School’s HBX CORe certificate program, where he passed with honours.
In both 2016 and 2018, Tyler received the PepsiCo Foods Canada UxL Excellence Award from the PepsiCo senior executive team for his leadership and results during the automated warehouse expansion (2016) and during a major project with Costco (2018). The UxL Award is given to the top 0.1% of employees nationally each year.
During his free time, Tyler serves as the Lethbridge Hurricanes team photographer, covering game day activities and on ice photos. He has worked alongside the Hurricanes as photographer for five seasons. Tyler also serves on the board of directors for the United Way Lethbridge and South West Alberta, as a way to give back to the community and make a difference in the city.
For working to bring new jobs to Lethbridge and a proven history of excellence, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Tyler Barrett as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Kelti Baird is one of the founding co-owners of Theoretically Brewing, a Lethbridge craft brewery that operates with a simple premise— 100% Canadian ingredients, a local focus, and pride in the Lethbridge community.
Kelti and her partner started and built Lethbridge's first craft brewery from the ground up starting in 2012 and opening in 2015. Kelti is the youngest female brewery owner in Canada, and the first woman to own an operational commercial brewery in Lethbridge.
In 2012, Kelti earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Lethbridge. She has also completed courses in entrepreneurship from Athabasca University.
Kelti is proud to own a community-focused brewing company. She has a passion for education and spends a lot of time educating consumers about the locality of craft beer in general, the brewing process, and where top-quality ingredients come from. She, and Theoretically Brewing, has a dedication to sustainability that has made her brewery an example for other businesses in Lethbridge.
She works hard to raise awareness about small business in Lethbridge and actively campaigns to support local businesses.
Kelti is a vocal proponent of social programs in Lethbridge and believes it is her business' responsibility to support the community. As a close neighbor, she actively supports the Supervised Consumption Site and ARCHES.
As a supporter of Elections Canada, Kelti offers her time to campaign to register voters. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Lethbridge Medieval Club, the Lethbridge Historical Society, and The Galt Museum & Archives.
For her drive to promote and improve our community, and outstanding achievement in a typically male dominated field, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Kelti Baird as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Rianna Wilson is co-owner and business manager at Adaptive Technologies Inc., a prosthetic and orthotic care facility in Lethbridge with a patient-centred perspective.
Rianna is proud to be part of a team that is helping people improve their quality of life on a daily basis.
In 2011, Rianna completed the “two plus two” program through Lethbridge College, which earned her a diploma in Business Management. After completing her diploma program, Rianna then attended Lethbridge College’s sister school Griffith University in Australia where she earned her Bachelors of Business Management.
After completing her education, Rianna worked in a prosthetic-orthotic clinic for four years, before branching out with three partners to form their own 7200 square foot clinic – Adaptive Technologies.
For more than five years, Rianna has volunteered as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters. Being born and raised in Lethbridge, Rianna values giving back to the community that provided her with so much, in any way that she can.
Rianna also volunteered as a basketball coach 13 years, which not only gave her the opportunity to mentor young ladies but also taught her about the kind of leadership that is needed to run a business.
For her dedication to helping improve the quality of life for those in our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Rianna Wilson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Imogen Pohl is a student at the University of Lethbridge where she is working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience.
At age 19, Imogen was diagnosed with Schizophrenia, and is an advocate for mental health and stigma reduction here in Lethbridge. She talks about her illness openly. She goes to businesses and schools, talking about her experiences with Schizophrenia to reduce the stigma around it. She is the youngest presenter for the Schizophrenia Society in Alberta if not Canada.
Imogen grew up in Grande Prairie where she earned her high school diploma. Following that, she attended an additional year of schooling at Winston Churchill High School to complete her International Baccalaureate.
Currently, Imogen is enrolled in a BSc. Neuroscience program at the University of Lethbridge with Minors in Health Leadership and Liberal Education. Her end goal is to be a Clinical Psychologist and to work with people who have major mental illnesses and to remain an advocate for social change.
Imogen has been a member of Girl Guides of Canada since she was four years old. She earned all of the badges and awards possible as a Girl Member and even received the Girl Greatness Award in Resourcefulness, an award that has only been given out a total of seven times.
Her work with the Girl Guides of Canada has allowed Imogen to work directly with about 100 young girls. She recognizes that hundreds, if not thousands, of hours were put into her as a child to provide her with Girl Guide Programming, and feels that she should pay forward as many of those hours as possible.
Imogen is proud of her community service work. She takes two fewer classes than a full course load at university so she can volunteer in the capacity that she does. This means that she will take an extra year to graduate.
Last year she completed over 500 volunteer hours to services such as Girl Guides, Special Olympics Canada, and the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta, where she serves as a director. This dedication to volunteerism and contributing to the community lead Imogen to receive the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada. In 2017, she was one of six people to receive the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Award. She has also earned the Young Woman of Promise award from the YWCA Lethbridge.
For her dedication to volunteerism and mental health advocacy, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Imogen Pohl as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Shane Garner is co-owner of The Chopped Leaf and Anytime Fitness Lethbridge.
Shane grew up in the business world – his family has owned and operated a trucking company in Taber Alberta for nearly 40 years – which instilled a strong work ethic in him. He worked with his family business from ages 13-21, before starting his own trucking business at 21.
A very “hands on” business education saw Shane exposed to everything involved in operating a small business including management, operations, finances, leadership, marketing and more.
Shane was interested in pursuing post-secondary education, but was too involved in the family business. Instead he made the commitment to continue to study on his own what he would need to become a successful small business owner. To this day, Shane reads three books a month, attends some type of informative seminar quarterly, and takes online courses to further his studies.
Between the ages of 21 and 33 Shane started six businesses, several he built and sold. He was very interested in real estate at a young age and eventually built up to a total of 22 properties. In doing so, Shane received the Real Estate Investment Network rookie of the year award.
Shane is also a competitive bodybuilder, a passion that synchronizes perfectly with owning The Chopped Leaf and Anytime Fitness.
Having businesses in Lethbridge has lead Shane, his wife – also a Top 40 Under forty recipient – and their our team of staff members to engage in various groups and causes. Some of the events that they have participated in include the Interfaith fall food drive of collecting over 1000 lbs of food, CIBC Run for the Cure, Interfaith food bank Red Dress run and more. Shane and his wife Ceejay also worked to organize the Pirates of the Platform powerlifting event.
For proven success in small business, and constant support for the community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Shane Garner as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Adam Thom is the founder of Tomcat Visuals Inc., a full-service production company in Lethbridge.
Adam is an extremely ambitious and creative business owner. He first started running his own businesses when he was 13 years old. He feels that his ambition and dedication are what sets him apart from many people his age who spend most of their time talking about their dreams instead of acting on them.
After graduating from Catholic Central High School, Adam started at the University of Lethbridge, but dropped out in his first semester to go directly after his goals. He hopes to show other young people that don't need permission from anyone to follow their own dreams.
Creating gives Adam a rush like nothing else and for him that passion drives everything. He has had the opportunity to work with Trevor Panczak on the music video for his song “Cheap Shades”. He also worked on creating the 2019 intro video for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Adam is actively involved in each years ALS walk. He is also constantly collaborating with local creatives and fellow artists to try and bring the creative community in Lethbridge closer together.
For proven entrepreneurial success at a young age, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Adam Thom as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
April Hamilton is a financial adviser at 1st Choice Savings & Credit Union where she has been helping people meet their financial goals for over 18 years.
She has been working for members of 1st Choice Savings for 15 years, has been involved with people through all of their life stages and even now helping the next generations as well. She has taken documents to her clients’ homes and hospitals, and has even been invited to weddings, birthdays and funerals.
April has had the opportunity to work in every community throughout Southern Alberta served by 1st Choice. She treats her job as if she is the owner of the company and that is what has contributed to her success. She has taken the Dale Carnegie Course and the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for managers and was a part of the Credit Union two year Alberta Young Leaders program.
April and her family travel to promote a family hobby business Phoenix Scroll Saw Art. They have had many opportunities to meet actors and actresses and were even invited out to California to celebrate Stan Lee's 95th birthday and give him a special piece of art.
She has a passion for helping animals, and is a certified Tellington Touch practitioner which can help animals who have injuries, stress and tension. Alongside of that, she owns and operates Digger's Delights and makes homemade healthy treats and cakes for Pets.
For her dedication to her clients and helping them to achieve financial security, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize April Hamilton as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Nelson Williamson is the president of Silver Star Custom Homes and Silver Star Plumbing & Gas Fitting.
Nelson is self-made. His work day usually starts at 5 a.m. and doesn’t end until the sun goes down. This work ethic has allowed him to build a strong business. He takes pride in working right alongside his employees.
In 2008, Nelson graduated from SAIT as a journeyman plumber and gasfitter. He has over 10 years of experience in the building industry. Nelson has built many homes in the Lethbridge area and has done plumbing or gas work on many others. He enjoys driving down the street pointing out all of the houses that he has been involved in building to his children.
Immediately after graduating from SAIT, Nelson started Silver Star Plumbing & Gas Fitting. A year later, he started Silver Star Custom Homes. He is proud to have grown Silver Star into a name that is able to compete against some of the best businesses in our region.
In his spare time, Nelson volunteers with his church group working with Scouts.
For his work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Nelson Williamson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Frances Luzille Doria
Frances Luzille Doria is CEO and founder of Doria Communications and alongside her parents helped found Doria & Doria Canada Immigration Consulting.
Frances considers herself a global citizen. She has been to 40+ countries and has lived and worked in 17 of those countries.
Growing up in multiple cultural settings has fundamentally shaped who she is: being raised in Montreal taught her to embrace the plurality within individual identities; growing up in Bohol taught her to enjoy the simplicity of island life; spending her adolescence in Colorado taught her to love nature; having Madrid as one of her “home bases” taught her the value of a well-balanced life; and of course, Lethbridge taught her the value of community.
Frances hopes to be a conduit for Lethbridge to the global landscape, and vice versa. Her connection with Lethbridge began by occasionally visiting her parents, who moved here from Montreal in 2010.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development (Economics specialization) from McGill University, with a double minor in Cross-Cultural Management (for which she studied abroad in Brazil) and Sustainability (which she studied at the McGill campus in Barbados). She pursued a Master’s degree in International Business from Hult International Business School in London, UK.
Professionally, Frances’ background spans a variety of sectors: from Fair Trade at Ten Thousand Villages; to Private Aviation at Bombardier Aerospace and Vistajet; to being a Student Consultant at LebaraPlay; and then to being a Global Business Developer for boutique media firms, where she negotiated with C-level executives and government leaders in several countries.
Frances wants to empower other entrepreneurs to think big and understand the global landscape. She especially wants to empower women-led and minority-owned businesses in Canada and globally.
In May 2018, Frances lead her family business to a grand prize victory at the Chinook Entrepreneurship Challenge. She recently competed against 3,580 talented young professionals across Canada through various challenges and a virtual bootcamp to become Adecco Group CEO for One Month, gaining her experience leading a Fortune 500 company.
She is an advocate for representation, especially in business. Her expansive international experience has opened Frances’ eyes to the harsh realities that women of colour face while trying to break the glass ceiling. This has driven her passion in cultivating social enterprises and bringing underrepresented talents to the forefront.
Despite a self-proclaimed transient lifestyle, Frances always tries to leave a positive footprint wherever she is. Her involvement with her parents’ immigration consultancy allowed her to provide assistance to refugee clients, especially through translation. She has worked as a volunteer with the Lethbridge Family Services and Saint Martha’s Parish.
For outstanding achievement as a global citizen and entrepreneur, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Frances Luzille Doria as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
2017-2018 Top 40 Under Forty
Trevor Brown is the Executive Director of 5th on 5th Youth Services where he works to enhance the services offered to our community.
Over 13 years, Trevor has worked with with youth across Alberta focusing on bullying and suicide prevention, and engaging the youth voice in municipal and regional governance.
Trevor ran a consultant company called Operation Humanity for seven years travelling across Alberta providing presentations, workshops and events for youth. He worked collaboratively setting up youth panels in multiple regional Children Services Authorities and the City of Lethbridge Youth Advisory Council. In 2007, he was a part of the original team that established Lethbridge’s Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination.
Originally, Trevor was interested in a career in dentistry and received a four-year scholarship. During this time, he experienced a number of difficult situations that significantly impacted him and lead him to realize that it wasn’t his true career path. He took a break from university to travel and find a new direction. He has since reenrolled at the University of Lethbridge to finish his BSc, which will be complete in December 2017.
Trevor has travelled to over 20 countries across four continents. Since he was 19 years old, he created employment opportunities for himself and others by securing funding for youth initiatives, including bullying and suicide prevention.
In 2015, with two friends, Trevor co-founded Pogo Bros Inc. providing entertainment activities for our community such as Oktoberfest.
Trevor’s entire career has focused on supporting positive growth in people and the greater community. He has participated on community committees and coalitions, such as CMARD, SHIA, CSART, and Safe2Party; facilitated local youth panels SYNAP and YAC; and engaging in service groups such as Rotary Clubs of Lethbridge.
For his dedication to the youth of our community and improving our community as a whole, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Trevor Brown as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Mike Prociw is the Market Analyst at Economic Development Lethbridge. Simply stated, Mike analyzes economic data and extracts trends and insights which are used to highlight the strengths Lethbridge has to offer. By drawing attention to these attributes, his work strives to make Lethbridge a premiere destination for investors to do business. Above all else, Mike enjoys analyzing economic indicators and looking for hidden insights. On a monthly basis he scrutinizes a broad range of metrics including labour force figures, building permit statistics, housing starts and prices and crop and livestock prices, in an effort to understand the factors that shape the local economy. He agglomerates this information and then disseminates it as efficiently as possible. Mike explores a diverse range of topics on a daily basis using technical publications, current events and statistical data sets. Drawing on this knowledge, he is able to connect local issues to provincial, national, and global trends. A strong advocate for health and wellness, Mike participates in a wide-variety of physical activities including tennis, squash, swimming, and curling.
Mike grew up in a small town just outside Waterloo, Ontario. He attended Wilfred Laurier University where he earned a double degree in Political Science & Geography. In his fourth year, Mike took a class on public opinion which combined elements of data analysis and psychology. His enjoyment of this class propelled him to complete a Masters Degree with a specialization in this field. Upon completion of his degree, Mike worked for a Market Research firm in Waterloo for a year before relocating to Lethbridge in 2013 to serve as Market Analyst for Economic Development Lethbridge. He enjoys his job and takes pride in the knowledge that the figures he analyzes can be used by a diverse section of stakeholders to catalyze local investment. Did we mention that he is currently working on achieving his Project Management Designation?
While at Economic Development Lethbridge, Mike has worked on a wide assortment of projects pertinent to the local economy. He served as the lead Project Manager on the Commercial & Industrial Development study, a land allocation report that provides a broad vision to guide development in Lethbridge over the next 20 years. Prior to this, Mike was the Project Manager of the Trade Area study, which quantified the size and geographic location of the Lethbridge Trade Area. Relocating to Lethbridge was a major milestone as Mike left his familiar Ontario background, family and many friends, to open a new chapter in the West. Lethbridge and Southern Alberta proved to be a great fit for him as the loves the community spirit that reverberates here.
Since arriving in Lethbridge, Mike has become involved in a number of community endeavors. He has been part of the Urban Spirits Rotary Club since 2014 and has been part of the board for the past two years as chair of the special projects committee. In his role, he has helped shape the club’s volunteer activities and engagements and provided organizational support for the 2017 Masquerade Ball. Arts & culture are very important to Mike and he has become acquainted with a number of individuals with similar passions. Since 2015 he has been part of the Lethbridge Jazz Society board of directors, where he has assisted in the organization of the annual jazz festival as a logistics coordinator and member of the artist selection committee. Mike also serves on the Lethbridge Tennis Club board of directors in an effort to promote participation in his favorite sport at the local level. For the past two years, he has been part of the Chamber of Commerce, serving on both the Municipal Direction and Natural Resource committees. Upon moving to Lethbridge, Mike joined the ‘Definitely Not Plato’ book club and participates in monthly meetings through the auspices of the regional library.
For his dedication to the economic, social, and artistic health of our community, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Mike Prociw as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Travis Zentner is Business Manager, Funeral Director and Embalmer with Cornerstone Funeral Home.
Travis was born in Calgary but raised in Lethbridge from a very young age. Along with his older brother Chad, he grew up in the funeral industry with his parents, Ralph and the late, Faith Zentner, owners of Cornerstone Funeral Home Ltd.
As a member of a family who owned and operated a business, it was a natural progression for him, as a young man, to be seconded to duty in the family business on a regular basis. He washed vehicles, mowed lawns, did any building and yard cleaning and maintenance as required and as able. As he matured, he worked on the transfer team, ushered at on and off-site services, assisted at receptions, ran errands and drove funeral vehicles.
He started full time at Cornerstone after graduating high school in 2006 and earned his Funeral Directing and Embalming License from the Canadian College of Funeral Service in 2009.
For a time, he ventured off to work in the construction industry and gain experience in the world around him. In 2012, the calling was strong to return to the funeral profession and work alongside his family.
For the past few years, along with his demanding 24/7 roles as a Pre-Arrangement Counselor, Funeral Director and Embalmer, he has served as the Business Manager at Cornerstone. His responsibilities include managing legislated issues surrounding the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board requirements for employers and employees as well as participation in the Alberta Funeral Services Association.
His enthusiasm and passionate leadership affects his colleagues in many positive ways and he is a great example of “service above self”. Many of Travis’ families have become life-long Cornerstone friends due to the relationships he forges with them.
Through quite unfortunate circumstances, Travis was involved in a workplace accident in September of 2011 while working on a local construction site. The event saw his co-worker severely injured in a deep trench that Travis was also working in and he, without hesitation, took action to save this man’s life.
At City Hall in October of 2013, Travis was awarded a Community Hero Award by the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services for “a selfless and heroic act taken under difficult and sometimes extraordinary circumstance”.
Travis is a dedicated husband and father to his wife and three children. In his spare time he coaches the soccer teams of both of his oldest children, hoping to encourage team building, self-confidence and promote life-long appreciation for active life-styles in young minds. Travis is also a strong community supporter as a member of the Knights of Columbus as well as serving on boards for Bridges of Hope and Wood’s Homes.
For his dedication to the service of families during some of their most trying times, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Travis Zentner as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Jennifer McCarthy is the owner of Teacup Tiny Homes, a tiny home builder in Lethbridge specializing in functional design and residential construction.
In 2016, Jennifer incorporated Teacup Tiny Homes Ltd. and as the Sole Owner and Operator, joined a group of passionate people across North America that believe in living simpler lives, and creating more affordable housing options for the purpose of living life to the fullest.
Born and raised in Milk River, Jennifer enrolled in the Interior Design and Merchandising program at Lethbridge College when she was 18. She completed the first year and began her career with Milestone Homes for the next two-and-a-half years. After earning her diploma with honours, she went on to work with Avonlea Homes from 2005 until March 2017.
Jennifer’s time at Avonlea was filled with many experiences, as she worked from Interior Designer, to Head of Design and Production, and ultimately to Operations Manager. Jennifer is very proud to have climbed the corporate ladder at Avonlea Homes, especially as a female in the male-dominated construction industry.
The amount of knowledge that she gained, and her many experiences at Avonlea inspired Jennifer to forge ahead with her entrepreneurial spirit.
Jennifer has served our community through a number of community and professional organizations, including as a board member of both CHBA Lethbridge Region and the YWCA. She is a founding board member of the Tiny Home Alliance Canada, as they work toward NPO status.
Jennifer also instructs at Lethbridge College, teaching Professional Practice in Interior Design. She continues to support Lethbridge College students by taking on interior design practicum students at Teacup Tiny Homes.
For her entrepreneurial spirit, and for bringing attention to Lethbridge and our region through the Tiny Home movement, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jennifer McCarthy as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Ryan WestersonRyan Westerson is the Legislative Services Assistant at the City of Lethbridge. In this capacity he aides the City Clerk in the provision of governance related services to Council and Administration in the City of Lethbridge. This includes work related to the annual municipal census and the 2017 municipal election.Whether supporting large scale community projects, or creating complex policy responses to government initiatives, Ryan's reliable worth ethic, and desire to constantly learn, have proven invaluable throughout his career.Ryan graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2014 with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science. In addition to this, Ryan is pursuing a Project Management Certificate through Mount Royal University as well as a National Advanced Certificate in Local Authorities Administration (NACLAA) at the University of Alberta.Upon graduation from University, Ryan was accepted into the Alberta Municipal Internship Program, a competitive internship focused on creating the next generation of municipal government leaders. This internship saw Ryan employed by the City of Brooks, where he was introduced to the intricacies of municipal governance.While an intern, Ryan was tasked with the management of several key projects and initiatives, including the successful transition of the Brooks Handibus Service back to Municipal Operations. Under the system Ryan implemented, this service saw a 200% increase in ridership in the first year.With the increased recognition of catastrophic events and the toll these instances have upon a community, Ryan has pursued additional education in Emergency Management, obtaining an Incident Command System (ICS) 300 level certification.While attending University, Ryan was appointed by Lethbridge City Council to serve on their Youth Advisory Council. In this capacity Ryan was tasked with creating dialogue between the youth of Lethbridge and City Council.This dialogue included leading the Youth Advisory Council in providing a voice against the proposed oil and gas exploration in West Lethbridge in 2014.Ryan believes in being an active member of the community in which you reside. Whether serving as a volunteer firefighter, to being the Chair of the Board of Directors at a local youth centre, to serving as a member of the board for a local sport council, coaching local athletes, and joining a local organizing committee for summer sporting events, Ryan's belief in contributing to his community is what guides his actions daily.For his dedication to making Lethbridge a better place to live, work and raise a family, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Ryan Westerson as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty .
Lauren Hart is the founder of Lauren Hart Yoga, and Hawk + Harvest Market, an artisan market showcasing local artists, creators and designers.
At the age of 19, a switch flipped in Lauren’s mind that took her off of the conventional path, and onto her own path. She discovered yoga, the first thing that made her feel truly at home within herself
Lauren traveled to 3 different continents to become a teacher and came home inspired to offer something truly raw and different to the community. She has completed three yoga certifications which makes her an Experienced 500hr Certified Instructor. These programs have taken her to Thailand, Los Angeles, and Nicaragua where she lived for roughly two months each while being educated.
She started her own yoga business, Lauren Hart Yoga, at age 20, because she didn't see the proper channel in the city to share what she wanted to share. No matter where Lauren worked, she was always thinking of ways it could be better, more effective and more authentic. That feeling inspired her to pave her own path and see if she could create something better.
Alongside teaching yoga, Lauren has a line of jewelry and relics that she sells online and at markets called HVRTSPVCE (heart space), and she curates an artisan market four times per year called Hawk + Harvest.
The independence of being her own boss made Lauren into a creative and original teacher, her own graphic/web designer, marketer, book-keeper, etc. as she had to be resourceful to kickstart her career. Lauren has grown to starting her own Jewelry business, planning creative events, curating Hawk + Harvest market, and eventually being the official Events/Marketing Coordinator for Coulee Brewing Company.
Lauren is proud to use her businesses to also showcase other very deserving young artists, teachers, and musicians. She wants her followers and supporters to see how cool our community is. She wants to ignite the spark in others to create and be exactly who they want to be.
Lauren engages people through yoga to not only do something great for their physical health, but to also dig into the mental practice which usually breaks down walls and barriers that make us feel separate. She loves using creative and unconventional venues for her classes – including the brew room at Coulee Brew Co., Helen Schuler's Living Roof and CASA Dance Studio – to not only break people out of their comfort zones, but inspire them to adventure here at home.
For her self-made success, passion for showcasing our city and its artists, and dedication to improving her followers’ health and overall wellbeing, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Lauren Hart as one of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Dmitri and Anali Reizvikh
Dmitri and Anali Reizvikh created True North Slings, a line of high quality linen baby carriers made by Canadian moms. Dmitri serves as Operations Manager and CFO, while Anali serves as CEO and Marketing Director.
When Anali and Dmitri found out their family of two was to become a family of three, Anali began her search for the best baby carrier. After some research it was clear that while linen ring slings were highly recommended, they were hard to come by in Canada. After a lengthy and expensive experience ordering a ring sling from abroad, Anali knew that there must be a better way. And just as Anali and Dim welcomed their son Alex into the world, True North Slings was born.
Dmitri and Anali put a strong effort into creating mutually beneficial partnership with a focus on being environmentally conscience and giving back whenever they are able.
They hire local moms who work from home as seamstresses. They are passionate about recycling everything they can from the workshop, while also working with three other small Canadian shops that use True North Slings remnants to make baby bonnets, soft soled baby shoes and baby bows. Not only has this partnership eliminated textile waste from their shop, but it has also been a great way to cross-promote three other Canadian small businesses.
While there are other babywearing companies in North America, there are very few that offer products ethically made in Canada from materials largely sourced from other Canadian businesses.
Dmitri is a University of Lethbridge alumnus with a B.Sc. in Computer Science and has also worked with the University in the neuroscience department developing research software.
After graduating from UofL he pursued a career in IT Project Management and has held the Project Management Professional designation for the past seven years, working with Dell Technologies as a Sr. Advisor.
Anali and Dmitri have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and it wasn’t until their son was born that they knew what their first combined venture would be. Babywearing has a special spot in their lives. It was essential to them during the first couple of years with their son Alex. It got them through rough spots and having experienced the benefits first hand, they knew it was something they wanted to provide to other parents in Canada.
In 2009, Anali and Dmitri made the decision to move to Toronto to further their careers. Anali focused on dance and worked as a ballet teacher at several of Toronto’s top schools. She was also one of the founding members of Intrinsic Dance Project, a contemporary dance collective that won the audience choice award at the Fresh Blood festival at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.
Dmitri worked on furthering his Project Management career and started a web design company with a colleague.
Both successful ventures, however, after six years, they felt Lethbridge calling them again and made the decision to leave their Toronto life and move back to start a family.
Building a babywearing business means being very involved in the babywearing community. Philanthropy is a strong focus for True North Slings.
The company works with several non-profit organizations by donating a portion of their proceeds to a variety of causes. They also connect with babywearing groups across Canada and donate to their lending libraries where parents can try a variety of baby carriers before purchasing.
Locally, Anali is one of the volunteer leaders of the Bridge City Slingers – Lethbridge’s babywearing group and baby carrier lending library. They are strongly focused on babywearing safety, not only to ensure that their own products are safe, but also to help in developing better safety standards in the industry.
Dmitri and Anali are members of two important nonprofit organizations which work towards improving safety standards: the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance and American Society for Testing and Materials.
With Anali’s dance experience she also serves as a board member with the Lethbridge Society of Independent Dance Artists.
For their unique and innovative entrepreneurial success, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Dmitri and Anali Reizvikh as two of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Jeff Hinman is the owner of Jeff Hinman Photography, and independent photography business based in Lethbridge.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Jeff first picked up a camera only three years ago. He started his photography business in January, 2017 and has already been overwhelmed with success.
After graduating from Catholic Central High School in 2006, he turned to sheet metal work as a stable career but always felt like something was missing from his life.
Jeff has been drawn to the arts for as long as he can remember. For Christmas 2015, he received a camera from his mother and it consumed his life.
Jeff attended the self-employment program at Excuserv Plus. It helped him to properly understand how to run a business.
Much of Jeff’s success can be attributed to his tendency to go above and beyond to ensure that clients are delivered a high quality product.
Jeff loves working with local business owners and realtors to show case their abilities and what they have to offer to our community.
Through photography, Jeff has learned the most important thing your career is to have passion—passion creates inspiration; inspiration creates movement; movement creates achievements. He feels so passionaltely about photography, that he doesn’t even consider photography work.
Jeff has had his prints and calendars sold around the globe. He has shot over 150 houses in as a real-estate photographer, and serves as the in-house photographer for Atkinson & Associates Reality. His landscape and real estate photography has been published in multiple local magazines.
Jeff loves to give back to the community. He regularly donates his time to charities and non-profit events, including the MS Run, Battle of the Badges, Steps for Life, and the 1/8 Mile Drag Race.
He has also donated landscape prints to the Ducks Unlimited dinner and other events. Jeff jumps at the opportunity, whenever he is able, to lend a hand for someone in the community.
For his talent, desire to give back to our community and entrepreneurial spirit the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jeff Hinman as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Dr. Matthew Secretan
Dr. Matthew Secretan is a practicing plastic surgeon with a practice in Lethbridge, where he performs cosmetic procedures with a special interest in reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Secretan’s reconstructive practice focuses on facial reconstruction following skin cancer excision, hand surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, and reconstructive surgery for burn victims. Each patient presents with a unique problem and he enjoy the challenge of trying to restore normal function and appearance to each of them.
Dr. Secretan grew up in Picture Butte and attended high school there. He completed his undergraduate degree in biochemistry at the University of Lethbridge in 2005 with Honors with Great Distinction. He then went on to study medicine at the University of Alberta and received his Doctor of Medicine in 2009.
He was accepted into the plastic surgery program at the University of Alberta and completed his training to become a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Dr. Secretan is committed to providing the highest quality of care to all of his patients. He values the community that we live in and tries to support those who helped shape who he is today.
He attends several community events, sponsors local fundraising efforts, supports other small businesses, and does what he can to offer the best possible service to the community.
For his success as a surgeon and entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Dr. Matthew Secretan as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Deana Dypolt is a full time math teacher, girls’ basketball coach and owner & operator of ArtBeat Lethbridge – a non-profit organization that engages with Lethbridge's vibrant artist community.
ArtBeat Lethbridge exists as platform to allow local artists to showcase and sell their work. Deana participates annually in the Lethbridge Art Walk, and her unique, corky style has landed her home in the SAAG House Tours and Tea. Her art can be seen in several businesses in and around Lethbridge and Calgary.
Deana feels that Lethbridge itself has shaped her into the person that she is today. Lethbridge has given her the opportunity and platform to get involved with many organizations.
Originally from Calgary, Deana came to Lethbridge to play basketball at Lethbridge College where she studied Fashion Design. The College allowed her to travel Canada and play basketball at a high level, captaining the team from 2003-2005 and winning the 2004 CCAA Women’s National Championship.
Playing at this level allowed Deana to gain the experience to play for OutWest Canada. She travelled the world playing basketball with other national teams and athletes. In 2006, Deana was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame.
During this time, Deana enrolled in art classes, reviving a passion from high school. She continued with art and earned her combined Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Education in 2009.
As a full-time math teacher and basketball coach, Deana was missing her involvement with the arts. She looked for an event or organization that she could get involved with and couldn't find one that suited her needs. That’s when she decided to start her own business: ArtBeat Lethbridge. Deana found a business partner and ArtBeat Lethbridge emerged!
ArtBeat Lethbridge has an artist collective of approximately 50 local artists, including Deana.
ArtBeat gives these artists a platform to show and sell their work in a gallery setting, where most have not been given the opportunity before. The community of Lethbridge is then able to interact with these artists, view and purchase local, original art at an affordable price.
ArtBeat’s shows and sales open the door to other community members and organizations. ArtBeat Lethbridge collaborates with local DJ's, radio stations and other various local businesses.
For her unwavering dedication and versatility through teaching, coaching and working to promote Southern Alberta’s art community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Deana Dypolt as one of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Rachel Lindemann is the owner of Atlatl Archaeology, an archaeological consulting company based in Lethbridge.
Rachel sets high standards for the work don’t by Atlatl Archaeology both in the field, as well as the reporting requirements. She strives to provide the most information possible to integrate it into the larger picture through research and interpretations.
She also works hard to foster a positive learning environment in her company for her employees where they are encouraged to learn, and ask questions and feel like valued members of the team.
After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Lethbridge in 2005, Rachel travelled overseas to continue her education. In 2007, she earned her Master's degree at the University of Bristol, England before returning to Alberta.
After completing her education, Rachel taught at Lethbridge College for three years before moving on to a large environmental company in Calgary. While teaching at Lethbridge College, Rachel discovered that sh enjoyed teaching, giving her the opportunity to break down complex ideas and topics and guide students to find the best ways to express their ideas.
Starting her own company has been a massive learning curve for Rachel. Even several years in, she feels that she is still continually learning and being challenged.
As a graduate of the UofL, Rachel has been passionate about giving back to the community and over the past four years. She has hired almost 20 students and graduates of the UofL Archaeology and Geography programs giving recent graduates and students hands on experience and training.
She is currently the president of, the Archaeological Society of Alberta, Lethbridge Centre. She believes strongly in encouraging the general public to be excited about archaeology.
Through Atlatl, Rachel participates in public outreach events such as visits to local schools, local events such as Nature Play Day, and Word on the Street. She also partners with the Galt Museum to educate and engage children in archaeology.
Rachel also makes sure to do a variety of free public presentations on the major archaeological sites that they excavate, as well as participating in local conferences to get the general community, as well the archaeological community, engaged in what they are researching.
For her dedication to furthering the field of archaeology, teaching and training future archaeologists and engaging the next generation of archaeologists, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Rachel Lindemann as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Tony Montina is the Magnetic Resonance Facility Manager at the University of Lethbridge where he supervises students and responsible for all operational and financial aspects of the facility.
Tony earned a BSc in general sciences in 2007 and an MSc in Physical Chemistry in 2010, both from the University of Lethbridge. He originally enrolled at the UofL to become a high school science teacher.
While completing his undergraduate degree, Tony successfully applied for the position of NMR facility manager at the UofL. He accomplished this at the age of 25, which is a very unique accomplishment in the academic community. This academic position allows him to pursue his loves of research and teaching.
Tony prides himself on being an educator that is willing to go above and beyond when teaching students. Several of the students that he has supervised have gone on to medical school or further academic and professional studies. Getting to see the light bulb turn on in a student’s head when they finally grasp a difficult concept is the highlight of his day.
The growth and financial stability of the NMR facility over the past eight years showcases Tony’s leadership skills. Since taking over the NMR facility he has been successful in securing approximately $1.9M in highly competitive national grants to expand and upgrade the facility to double its original size. Furthermore, when Tony took over the facility it was in a deficit, which he has been successful in turning into an annual surplus for the past six years.
Tony feels that giving back to the community is one of the most important things an individual can do. Over the past 15 years he has volunteered in several different capacities ranging from being a group leader for the homeless census, judging at the regional science fair and volunteering for various events at both the Canadian Cancer Society and YWCA.
He is also passionate about coaching and spent 10 years coaching junior high basketball and high school volleyball at Coalhurst High School. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Coulee Kickers Soccer Association, which runs a recreational soccer league for several small towns in southern Alberta.
For his success in running the NMR facility at the University of Lethbridge and as a educator, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Tony Montina as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Karissa Schlaht is a Relationship Manager with TD Agriculture Services where she works with producers to manage the financial health of large farm operations across Southern Alberta. She helps companies grow through strategic borrowing, first class customer service and transparent financial advice.
Growing up on a mixed grain and cow calf farm near Lomond taught Karissa the importance of teamwork, community involvement and hard work.
Karissa earned her Bachelor of Management, majoring in Finance, from the University of Lethbridge in 2009. During that time, she began working as a bank teller where she found her calling. Today, she is an emerging leader with TD Canada Trust.
Karissa has always been strongly involved with the community. She has been a member of the Lethbridge Chamber for over a decade, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors during 2009-2010.
She began as a dedicated volunteer with Crohn’s and Colitis Canada in 2006, and served as President of the Lethbridge chapter from 2010-2012. She helped organize a charity BBQ, garage sale and walk-a-thon annually, which combined have raised over $300,000 for the foundation over the past ten years.
Karissa is a founding board member of Alberta Women in Agriculture, an innovative group aimed at helping women connect and build relationships that support growth and networking for a successful career in agriculture.
Karissa was raised to believe that giving back to the community isn't just about big endowments, grand gestures and public recognition, but also about spreading small, consistent kindness. Her mantra is this: Give out of love. Give when its least expected.
For her dedication to community involvement and improvement, and to helping strengthen region’s our agricultural base, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Karissa Schlaht as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Patrick McCullagh is the creator of the Lethbridge Sports and Social Club, an organization that allows adults to participate in recreational sports and social activities they might not otherwise do because they have a small social network, or a social network that does not share all of their interests.
Patrick created the Lethbridge Sports and Social Club as is a way for adults to connect with others, play entry level recreational sports and feel that they belong to a group that shares their interests. Since its inception earlier in 2017, membership base has grown to over 300 members. Patrick started the club in his spare time outside of his full-time job, and it has grown into being another full-time job.
When he first moved to Lethbridge in 2014, Patrick was looking for a group that supported recreational sports and social activities. After three years of not finding that group he took it upon himself to create it.
The social activities the club offers supports local businesses and other events in town. Many club members want to experience what the city has to offer, but do not want to do it alone. The club is a way for adults to connect with people in a safe inclusive environment.
Patrick has earned three college diplomas: Advanced Motion Picture Production, Culinary Arts and, most recently, Library and Information Technician.
Patrick’s goal is to bring people together so that they feel like they belong to a community that supports them. Lethbridge Sports and Social Club offers a variety of programming for adults including hiking, organized recreational sports leagues, fitness classes, pop-up sport events, cultural activities, social nights, trivia nights, leisure walks, skiing, snowshoeing, go-karting, and more.
Lethbridge Sports and Social Club also supports the YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and donates 5% of its membership fees towards that campaign.
For his entrepreneurial spirit and innovative idea to bring people together, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Patrick McCullagh as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Verlin Torkelson is the owner of BlueGrass Landscaping Ltd., a landscaping business that creates stunning landscapes for discerning clients with an eye for beauty.
BlueGrass Landscaping was started in 2004 when Verlin and a co-worker bought his brother's lawn care. They have grown the business substantially since and now employ 8-10 people seasonally.
Verlin’s background is from the farm where he learned many of his life skills and how to work hard. This value for hard work extends into his business values, where he puts a strong focus on honesty, and quality work for customers. He loves to create beautiful ponds and water gardens, and replicate natural ecosystems to keep them clean, and create habitat for local birds and wildlife.
Verlin attributes much of his company’s success on teamwork and the people that they have been able to employ. He employs the best people, and use only the best equipment and materials because creating their customer's ideal outdoor living spaces brings his team as much joy as it brings them.
A strong community supporter, Verlin has volunteered with Streets Alive Mission with their outreach to hand out sandwiches and coffee, and their Sunday Lunch program.
He also serves as coordinator for Christian Aid Ministries Rapid Response Service which bring cleanup volunteers into the area within forty-eight hours of a disaster. Their team spent a month in Fort McMurray following the fires, and helped in Nova Scotia with flooding. This year the team has been in throughout interior BC helping with fire cleanup.
For his outstanding work as an entrepreneur and dedication to giving back to our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Verlin Torkelson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Katie Saruwatari is the owner and operator of Vital Essence Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine, an acupuncture clinic committed to delivering the highest standards of treatment to their patients.
Katie has always had a desire to help and care for others. This desire developed into a keen interest in alternative medicine, which lead her to a career in acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.
In her practice, Katie strives to create and maintain a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Her first priority of patient care is taking the time to develop a strong professional relationship with all patients so as to fully understand their health concerns and create a unique and successful treatment plan to suit their individual needs. Katie prides herself on one-on-one patient care.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Katie has deep roots in the community that have taught her the value of contributing to bettering our community and giving to others.
Katie attended the Alberta College of Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine and earned a Doctorate in Acupuncture Diploma. She holds an Alberta Acupuncture License with the College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta.
Katie treats a wide range of ailments, but mostly sees acute and chronic pain in her practice. She is currently working toward continued education in sports medicine acupuncture. Katie also works in furthering her knowledge towards fertility issues. She takes great pride in helping medically unexplained infertility cases to get pregnant.
Katie strives to educate the public on how Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can work for everyone and not just in an acute injury or rehabilitative manner.
For her work to help her patients and educate the public about the benefits of acupuncture and TCM, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize Katie Saruwatari as one of Lethbridge Top 40 Under Forty.
Lane Anderson is the owner of London Road Media a content marketing agency in Lethbridge specializing in social media marketing and digital media.
Lane is a storyteller. Combined with a dedication to staying on top of social media strategies and innovative marketing approaches, he is able to take his storytelling skills within the business world, making him a leader in the content marketing field.
Not one to follow the safe and established path, Lane’s daily mission is to develop better ways to build quality relationships between businesses and customers. He created an agency that is doing business locally and is highly invested in our community, but is also recognized internationally for doing innovative things with global brands.
In 2014, Lane earned a Bachelor of Arts in Honours English, minoring in Sociology at the University of the Fraser Valley in B.C.. UFV prepared Lane for innovation and thought-leading.
Living at a variety of places around the globe has exposed Lane to a lot of diversity. It's this broader view from other communities that helps him see things that could add value to our community, and makes him a superb storyteller.
Lane has had fiction, poetry, and non-fiction published in the literary magazines Louden Singletree and The Pacific Rim Review of Books, and the UFV student newspaper The Cascade. He was also Associate Producer of a documentary called Phwap's Back, following the return of Kevin "Phwap" Boudreau to the 2015 World Series of Poker following a serious brain injury suffered during the 2013 event.
Soon after moving to Lethbridge in 2014, Lane started a community resource called Your Quintessential Lethbridge (YQL), spurred by his love for this city and recognizing the need for a publication that celebrates Lethbridge and all the things going on here. He created Your Quintessential Lethbridge to show off our city and to help “Lethbians” discover all of the awesome things going on in the city.
Lane believes that Lethbridge is an unrecognized and underappreciated city with amazing natural beauty, incredible culture, inspiring community, and enormous economic opportunity. He takes pride in shouting this from the rooftops of Your Quintessential Lethbridge and working to convince the world of it.
In addition to his professional duties, Lane serves on the board of directors for Fifth on Fifth where he helps to give youth the tools to find success in our community, investing in Lethbridge's future.
For his work in promoting our community through storytelling and helping local businesses grow, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Lane Anderson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Jordan Sailer is the president and personal trainer at Twisted Steel Fitness, a fitness centre located in Coaldale.
Jordan had always wanted to own his own business, but never knew exactly what. When he realized Coaldale had almost 10,000 residents and no place to work out, he knew just what to do!
The main thing that sets Twisted Steel apart from many other fitness facilities is their focus on customer service. Jordan believes developing a strong relationship with the customer is the key in running a successful business.
Jordan developed a passion for fitness at a young age and started training at age 15. He has learned a lot from experience and always trying to further his knowledge. Jordan studied Exercise Science and Business Management at Lethbridge College and did a semester of International Business at the Kajaani University of Applied Science in Finland.
In June 2015, Jordan acquired two pieces of commercial real estate. After several months of hard work he converted one of the buildings into a community fitness centre while the other building is currently being leased out.
Jordan considers it a major achievement to wake up every day and going to work doing something that he loves. His favorite thing about his job is seeing the results of his clients and how their attitude and confidence grows at the same time.
The focus at Twisted Steel has been to build a community within a community. Their gym members come from all different backgrounds, yet they all feel comfortable and connected. No matter what one's goals are, Twisted Steel has the tools and knowledge to help them get there.
Since opening the gym, Jordan has been extremely dedicated to giving back to the community in every way possible and plans to continue to do so as the business grows. In the past three years they have enjoyed helping out the community with fundraisers and local events.
Twisted Steel has connected with local youth as well, giving them a positive place to go after school. They run youth fitness classes to help them learn the fundamentals of weight training and sports conditioning. They also support or local sports teams through sponsorship and training with some of the teams.
For his dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of his clients, and entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jordan Sailer as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Adriana Mercader is the vice president of Flexahopper Plastics Ltd., a rotational molding plastics company founded in 1967 and headquartered in Lethbridge.
Starting as the sales and marketing manager, she worked her way up to the vice president of a Multinational Manufacturing Company. Through her leadership, she encourages everyone in the company to support community-involved initiatives.
Adriana earned her Bachelor's Degree in Management, part in Mexico at ITESM and part in Canada at Mount Royal. After working for a few years, she was awarded in Mexico with an international scholarship to study for her Master's Degree in China, which she would go on to earn from Zhejiang University in 2007.
In 2008, Adriana immigrated to Canada, with her whole life packed into one suitcase and has never looked back! Being an immigrant has come with many challenges but most importantly with lots of great life learning experiences.
Her vision and foresight has proven invaluable to the growth of Flexahopper Plastics, propelling the company into new arenas of business that never seemed possible before.
Since taking the company under her direction, Flexahopper has become an internationally recognized brand. They have penetrated new markets with strong product lines and world-wide known quality levels. The company’s safety program has been awarded internationally by the Association of Rotational Molders as the best one in the field. Flexahopper was awarded "Best Supplier", from over 1500 suppliers, by one of North Americas largest poultry operations company.
Most importantly to Adriana, she has been able to foster a sense of family and a passion to succeed throughout the entire organization. Through her leadership, she encourages everyone in the company to support community-involved initiatives.
Adriana is grateful to be able to give back to the community. She sees it as a cycle: she is able to employ immigrants, that like her, came to this country with hope to better themselves and have a brighter future for their families.
Flexahopper sponsors many events in the community such as Immigrant Achievement Awards, the Val Matteotti Italian Open for the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, Rotary Galas, SAAG Art Auction and more.
Also, as a young woman, athletics played a large role in Adriana’s life. She was very fortunate to have strong mentors and coaches who helped her along the way and she now enjoys volunteering her time helping coach youth athletics within the city – especially soccer!
For her outstanding achievements in business, putting Lethbridge on the map internationally in the plastics production industry, and her commitment to making the immigrant experience in Lethbridge positive, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Adriana Mercader as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Breeanne Fuller is the director of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Lethbridge, managing over 50 talented music faculty who teach 2,200 students per year.
The U of L Conservatory of Music is located in the downtown core at Casa, so Breeanne aims to work with the community as much as possible. She organizes a free concert series called Lunch & Listen, offering classical music concerts on the first Friday of every month and volunteers her time to serve on the Lethbridge and Area Music and Speech Arts Festival board.
Breeanna is proud to represent 50 of the most talented musicians in this city, knowing that they have the potential to make such a huge difference in the Lethbridge arts community.
Born and raised in Southern Alberta, Breeanne grew up in the Crowsnest Pass. She discovered music on a Suzuki piano at the age of 2, and continued with traditional piano and singing lessons at 5.
Breeanne has earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta, Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge and a Masters in Education also from the U of L.
Over 11 years of post-secondary education, Breeanne discovered that her passion was education. She absolutely loves working at the U of L Conservatory of Music, where she has the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives.
She has been featured as one of the top Kindermusik educators in the world by Kindermusik International, and has been a leader in the world of Kindermusik since 2012.
In addition to her duties as director of the U of L Conservatory of Music, Breeanne sits as Vice President for the Lethbridge & District Music & Speech Arts Festival. She volunteers in the arts community as much as possible.
For her passion in instilling a love of music in our community’s young people, and her guidance over the U of L Conservatory, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Breeanna Fuller as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Micheal Ostrom is the owner of The Number Guys, an accounting and business consultancy firm that was founded to help small businesses learn, grow, and succeed in the dynamic landscape that is Lethbridge.
Michael spent a decade working for a local construction company, many of those years as a foreman. Eventually he realized that working for this construction company was not enough of a challenge and that he wanted more.
He left to start his own construction company, Refresh Construction, and at the same time applied to go back to school. In 2012, at the age of 27, Michael began at Lethbridge College where he earned a diploma in accounting. He transferred to the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor of Management in Accounting and Finance in 2016.
Michael kept his construction business running during the school year and spent two summers in a co-op position with an oil and gas firm in Calgary. While at the U of L, he had the opportunity to work with an elite group of students in the Integrated Management Experience where they raised money for charity, entered case competitions, learned from knowledgeable business mentors in the community, and built a network of like-minded individuals both in and outside of school.
After participating in, and winning, several business competitions both in and outside of the classroom, Michael’s keen sense for business development and entrepreneurship began to flourish.
During his second year of University, he moved away from participating in business competitions to coaching other students for the competitions.
During this period he also taught case workshops for The Management Students Society and the Cor Van Raay Agribuisness Case Competition. During his time at the U of L Michael sat on both the Accounting and Finance Club boards, was the Director for 5Days for the Homeless, and participated in the SMIF program where he got to learn how the stock market and investing worked in real time.
When he completed his degree, Michael began to work on his CPA designation. During this time he noticed that small business owners in Lethbridge needed accounting and consulting services that were action oriented and cost friendly. The result was the creation of The Number Guys, a company focused on helping small business owners!
It has always been Michael’s passion in life to help people. During his construction career, he loved working with clients to help them achieve the best outcome for their project. As a foreman he enjoyed teaching co-workers new skills that would help them succeed. Since finishing school he has concentrated on helping his accounting and business consulting clients learn and grow their businesses.
Michael sits on the Lethbridge and Area Cycle Association Board and has served as treasurer for two years. Outside of business, biking is his passion. He is dedicated to contributing to the Lethbridge biking community.
For his dedication to helping other small business owners succeed, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Michael Ostrom as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Angie Nilsson is the co-owner and COO of The Epiphany Group, a business consulting service for financial advisors and the co-founder and publisher for Lethbridge’s newest magazine, The Breeze.
Angie started her education degree at the University of Alberta. She is working toward her business management degree.
After teaching in China for a summer, she discovered that she loved to teach and train but not necessarily in the school setting. She refocused and entered the business world and discovered a passion for creating systems, protocols, managing, and training.
Starting as an administrator, through a process of taking courses and hands on experience, Angie eventually came to run the operations for Laurie, Kenna and Associates, the largest multi-agent corporation of its type.
In April of 2015 Angie moved on to form The Epiphany Group with Darryl Kenna and Rick Ursel. She is now the COO of The Epiphany Group. She runs the administration team and continues to develop the systems and tools to expand their many services.
Angie believes that everyone has a story and loves being a part of people’s journey and learning about the obstacles they overcame to become successful.
Because of this, Angie launched The Breeze magazine in May of 2017. The Breeze tells the stories of men and women who have succeeded in their profession and other facets of life.
Angie feels strongly about giving back to the community. She serves as director of The Gord Laurie Foundation. Every year they host a golf tournament and a poker tournament that raises money for local charities, contributing over $200,000 to charities in southern Alberta over the past six years.
For her track record of success, work in helping local business owners and drive to tell the stories of those in our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Angie Nilsson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Jonathan Hamilton is focused, determined, hardworking, dedicated and loyal. He sets goals for himself and for the company that he works for and attain those goals and visions.
These traits led him to his current Chief Operating Officer position at Tollestrup Construction. Tollestrup is a third generation, local family business in Lethbridge that he feels privileged to be of operating.
He believes his personal commitment to these qualities is perhaps what sets him apart.
In 1999, Jonathan moved to Lethbridge with very little to his name. He was accepted into Lethbridge College and had earned a tryout for the men’s Basketball team. He packed everything he owned and moved to Lethbridge.
Something clicked in him with that decision. He knew this was his chance to create a better life then what he had experienced, and lay the foundation for his future.
While at the college Jonanthan was able to earn two scholarships which helped him stay afloat in pursuit of his goals. He continued to work hard and never gave up. This hard work was rewarded with a diploma in General studies. In 2003, he started with Tollestrup Construction as a concrete labourer.
His continued hard work and dedication helped push him through the ranks. Because of Tollestrup, he found himself back at College earning his second diploma with honours in the Civil Engineering Technology program. This sent him on a new path forward with vision and opportunity.
Jonanthan gained his accreditation as a C.E.T. with ASET and currently sits as a member of the advisory committee at Lethbridge College for civil engineering technologies program. He is also a director for the Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association.
Jonanthan has volunteered to coach basketball at Coalhurst Elementary School, which he found very rewarding being able to witness the players grow and excel as the season progressed. He has run multiple basketball camps for players aged 7-17 at both beginner and elite levels. He sits on the ARHCA Board of Directors at a provincial level, a position that provides him the opportunity to help improve the road building and heavy construction industry in Alberta.
For his hard work and success in business from the ground up, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jonathan Hamilton as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Stacey Bourque is the Executive Director of ARCHES, a not-for-profit organization that works to help to respond and reduce the harm associated with HIV and Hepatitis C in South-Western Alberta.
Since joining the ARCHES team in 2014, Stacey has quadrupled the agency revenue and increased the number of programs delivered by the organization. The number of people employed by ARCHES has also increased. This growth is in response to meeting changing community needs and both identifying and filling service gaps in our community directly related to marginalized populations.
Stacey believes that empowering staff, building and strengthening partnerships, advocating for marginalized populations, and innovative program development have allowed her to excel in her role, increase the capacity of the organization and better meet the needs of the people served.
Her ability to educate and create understanding around addictions, specifically, the opioid crisis, has garnered strong community and governmental support to better allow ARCHES to break down stigma and create effective programs.
Connecting with clients is the highlight of Stacey’s job and she works hard to interact with and remember the names of the hundreds of people who access ARCHES services. She works to ensure that ARCHES provides a safe environment for vulnerable populations where everyone is treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve.
Stacey earned both a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in Addictions Counselling and a Master of Education (Counselling Psychology) at the University of Lethbridge.
Afterward her initial degree, she worked as the Human Resources Coordinator at Lethbridge Family Services, DaCapo Program for five years. While working toward her my Master's degree she accepted a position as the Executive Director of ARCHES.
Stacey has also been working toward earning her Ph.D. in Population Studies in Health.
She has been invited to speak at local, provincial, national and international conferences and events in regards to the opioid crisis, harm reduction, naloxone and supervised consumption services. In 2015, Stacey established the Lethbridge Community-Based Take Home Naloxone program and worked in partnership with many members of the Blood Tribe to develop an on-reserve program as well as harm reduction and mobile outreach programs.
She has co-authored two publications on naloxone program development and outcomes. Even with the distribution of naloxone, the opioid crisis has continued to worsen. Stacey worked with municipal and provincial governments to complete and submit an application as well as secure funding for Supervised Consumption Services in Lethbridge. She worked with the federal government to receive an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. After much hard work, Supervised Consumption Services in Lethbridge opened its doors on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
Building and maintaining strong partnerships and community-based relationships is the cornerstone of the work of ARCHES. Stacey believes that meaningful involvement of people in an organization is imperative to achieving success. She uses education and community-wide engagement strategies to garner feedback, allow people to voice concerns and ask questions.
In the field of harm reduction where there is often a significant amount of controversy. Transparency, providing opportunity and keeping an open door are essential.
Stacey sits on a number of committees, working groups and coalitions locally, provincially and nationally. She chairs the Alberta Community Council on HIV and co-chairs the Community Harm Reduction Network. She also sits on the Executive Leader's Coalition on Opioid Use, the provincial Valuing Mental Health Advisory Committee, the Alberta Harm Reduction Committee, and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.
For her strong advocacy for marginalized populations, and hard work to make our community a better and safer place, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Stacey Bourque as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Michael Thompson is President of Halma Thompson Land Surveys, a professional land surveyor providing a full range of legal and construction surveying services.
He prides himself on being an industry expert who knows the process for real estate transactions, subdivision of land, and anything to do with boundaries inside and out.
Customer service is a cornerstone of Halma Thompson. Michael ensures that HTLS is operated as an employee-owned business, ensuring that their employees are always doing their best to cater to clients’ needs. In a show of dedication to customer service, if you call the HTLS office you will get directly through to Michael, an Alberta Land Surveyor for expert advice.
Michael takes the time to listen to the unique situations that his clients have, and offers unique solutions.
Originally from a farm near Elrose, Saskatchewan, Michael moved to Alberta and completed a B.Sc. in Geomatics Enigneering from the University of Calgary, which he earned in 2005.
Michael began his legal surveying career with Maltais Geomatics and managed their High Level office for four years. Managing the only Alberta Land Surveyor North of Peace River allowed Michael to gain experience in every aspect of professional surveying services, from wellsites to building condominiums.
He moved to Lethbridge in 2010 and operated MPE Geomatics Inc. as President and General Manager. In 2015 Halma Thompson Land Surveys was formed from the merger of employees from Halma Surveys and MPE Geomatics.
Michael holds designation as Alberta Land Surveyor, British Columbia Land Surveyor, Canada Lands Surveyor (Federal Lands) and Professional Engineer. He also serves as director of Professional Surveyors Canada, the advocacy body for Professional Surveyors in Canada.
He sits as a Board Member of Canadian Common Ground Alliance, is a former Treasurer of High Level & District Chamber of Commerce and a Board Member of The Regional Economic Development for Northwest Alberta.
Michael ensures HTLS gives back to our community financially on a regular basis, supporting local charities such as the Gord Laurie Foundation, SAIPA, YMCA, and the Poker for Diabetes Foundation (for Juvenile Diabetes). Since forming, 6.5% of Halma Thompson profits have gone back into the Lethbridge community through sponsorships and donations. Michael has been personally involved with Big Brothers and Sisters as a big brother.
For his success and advocacy in the field of land surveying, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Michael Thompson as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Jessie Westers is the Director, Internal Audit at the University of Lethbridge.
Jessie’s driving force in life is being of service to others. Building and supporting our community in a variety of formal and informal roles is of paramount importance to her.
In 1999, Jessie came to Lethbridge from Redcliff, AB to attend the University of Lethbridge. She graduated from the U of L with a Bachelor of Management and articled at MNP ultimately earning the Chartered Accountant designation.
Jessie returned to the U of L in 2014 in the role of Director, Internal Audit where she continued her education through the Institute of Internal Auditors and achieving the Certified Internal Auditor designation.
Moving to Lethbridge was a turning point for Jessie. She realized that she had found the place to be her home as an adult. From working part-time jobs while attending post-secondary to making the conscious decision to article in Lethbridge instead of Calgary when pursuing the Chartered Accountant Designation she has invested in building deep relationships within the city.
She is active in the community on a variety of ways. She has volunteered with many organizations and was a member of the Board of the Lethbridge Chapter of Executive Women International (EWI) from 2009-2015, serving as the Treasurer, President, and Past-President of the organization. She has served on the board of the Lethbridge and District YWCA since 2014, currently as the VP Finance. In 2015 and 2016, Jessie co-emceed the Women of Distinction Awards.
Jessie particularly enjoys supporting the local arts scene and can often be found enjoying art openings and live music venues.
For her hard work to grow and improve our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jessie Westers as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Candice Boldt is the owner of Lethbridge Hearing Centre, a hearing centre using cutting-edge hearing technology, equipment and hearing devices
Candice has lived in Lethbridge her whole life. She has been involved in the hearing industry for over 17 years and opened Lethbridge Hearing Centre in 2009.
Candice takes pride in being a privately-run family operated hearing centre. Her husband Jake started working with her in 2013, and the two love helping people hear better, together.
A Lethbridge College graduate, Candice earned her Business Administration Diploma. Afterward, she completed the Hearing Aid Practitioner program at MacEwan University.
Her time at MacEwan gave Candice the theoretical knowledge and hands-on training required to excel in her industry.
She worked at several different hearing centres to gain experience, but when she was presented the opportunity to open her own hearing centre, she jumped at the chance.
Candice wants to bring a different experience to her clients. Being privately owned, she is able to use the products that are best suited for them. Seeing her clients have the love of hearing and having confidence back is why she loves what she does!
Lethbridge Hearing Centre is involved with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which provides hearing aids to people in need throughout the U.S. and around the world. They love to give back and see how better hearing can change someone’s life.
Candice is currently involved with the College of Hearing Aid Practitioners of Alberta in three different positions.
Lethbridge Hearing Centre has been awarded an Angel award by the Starkey Hearing Foundation for their help and donations.
For excellence in her field and her entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Candice Boldt as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Colin Moreland is the President of Moreland Professional Projects, a full service management consulting and training firm in Lethbridge.
Colin attempts to elevate every organization that he is a part of. He feels that he has succeeded when they don’t need him there anymore.
Formerly the manager of the Project Management Office at the University of Lethbridge, Colin oversaw
a 400% increase in major KPIs there, and across the board improvements in value add, cost management, and on-schedule delivery. More rewarding for him, however, was the opportunity to develop a team, create new jobs in the local economy, and create opportunities for training and personal development for his staff.
Colin owns Moreland Professional Projects. The company is split into a consulting division that has seen a year-over-year growth of 800% from 2016-2017 and created four new jobs; as well as a Photography arm (MPP Photo) which provides low-cost photography for weddings, as well as volunteer photography for the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Colin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Calgary in 2007. Afterward, he joined a software startup out of school where he worked for the first 10 years of his career.
He saw the company grow from 10 people and a negative cashflow to over $15 million in annual revenue and nearly 100 people. He left as the company acquired their biggest competitor and was about to double in size, but has continued to consult with them
At age 28, Colin became the youngest Project Management Office Manager in Canada, and at age 30 became the youngest Project Management Office manager in post-secondary education. He has completed three novels, and had photos published by Jasper Fitzhugh newspaper, CBC Calgary, and Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club.
Through the UofL Work-Life Balance sub-committee, he successfully pitched ideas for a campus social committee and flex time to University executive.
In his personal life, Colin is a husband, father and cancer survivor – five years in 2017!
For his outstanding efforts to help the University of Lethbridge, as well as other entrepreneurs, grow and prosper, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Colin Moreland as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Paul Bonenfant is the Co-Founder of Chinook Media, local online marketing specialists, digital advertising consultants, videographers, website developers, graphic designers and content writers.
In late 2016 Paul, and fellow Top 40 winner Janelle Wensley, founded Chinook Media largely because small businesses were asking them for help.
The duo created a company that is deeply rooted in accountability, transparency, and integrity. The marketing world is full of sales people and while Paul could be considered a salesperson, he truly cares about his customers and how they are treated. The foundation of his business is built on trust.
In 2003, Paul earned his diploma in Golf Business Management from Holland College in Charlottetown, PEI. He was in the golf industry for 15 years, including as a teaching professional and course head professional. This experience allowed Paul to rub shoulders with other business people, during which time he soaked up as much of their knowledge, experience, and advice as he could.
Paul is proud to have built his reputation on providing excellent service. Having been embedded in the local business community for the past four years, he has met some individuals in Lethbridge who've helped shape the business person that he is today. Becoming a leader in his industry is what he is most proud of.
A part of Paul’s business with Chinook Media is ShopLethbridge.com. This is an online platform to help local businesses with their online marketing efforts. Paul works with many local nonprofits and charities to use his services for free to help promote their operation. In the past, he has also volunteered his time for the YMCA of Lethbridge and Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization.
For his dedication to help other local entrepreneurs succeed, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Paul Bonenfant as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Sheena Bennett is an airline pilot with Jazz Aviation-Air Canada Express and co-owner of Jonathan Mark Salon in Lethbridge.
What sets Sheena apart is that she is a women working in the predominately male-dominated field of aviation. She has been in the aviation industry for almost 20 years, since becoming a commercial pilot at the age of 18.
A Lethbridge native, Sheena graduated from Winston Churchill High School in 1999 after which she attended flight school in Lethbridge that fall.
She graduated with a Commercial Pilots License at the age of 18 and became a flight instructor in 2000 at Lethbridge’s Excel Flight Training. In 2005, she earned her Class 2 Instructor Rating and was offered the position of Chief Flight Instructor.
In 2015, Sheena decided on a change, and went on to pursue a career in the airlines. In 2017, Sheena became a Captain at Air Georgian. Later that year, she made the shift to Jazz Aviation where she serves as First Officer.
Her passion for aviation extends to her private time as well. Sheena gives back by volunteering for an organization called Elevate Aviation, which serves to promote and mentor women who would like to pursue a career in aviation.
For her success in a male-dominated field, and desire to encourage other women to do the same, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Sheena Bennett as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Fergus Raphael is the president of Tangle Media a web and custom app design firm in Lethbridge focused on developing totally customized web-based software systems.
In 2004, Fergus decided to start a small company called Tangle Media to offer custom web development in Southern Alberta. They help clients leverage custom-designed database and management and reporting systems. No matter the industry, managing data well is good for business.
When Fergus was young, his family moved from England to rural Saskatchewan, and he attended high school in a small prairie town. His family moved to Lethbridge in 2000, and he enrolled in Communication Arts at Lethbridge College where he earned a diploma in 2003.
In the early 2000s, the internet was still developing, and full of potential. As a ‘builder’, it has been an interesting ride for Fergus to see how this very new technology shapes so many aspects of the way we now live.
Whether developing involved scheduling, inventory, logistics, sales, and research projects for a variety of industries, Fergus loves the unique puzzles and problems to solve. The real excitement is in arriving at finished products that start as a “what if?”.
Fergus finds satisfaction in work well done, in achieving a balance between work and life, finding time for travel and adventure. Seeing success in the products and systems we develop is the most fulfilling aspect of Tangle Media’s work, alongside getting to know the great leaders and the many interesting people in Lethbridge who they have the pleasure of working alongside.
He serves, or has served, as a board and/or committee member for various organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Economic Development Lethbridge, the Intelligent YQL Initiative, and on an advisory committee for Lethbridge College.
Fergus takes pride every year in offering work experience placements for Lethbridge College students, and to trying to find some other small opportunities to quietly volunteer. Tangle Media has also sponsored a junior sports team and other youth initiatives including more than a decade of various kinds of support for a particular summer camp, which does great things for youth in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
For being on the leading edge of internet development and media for nearly two decades, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Fergus Raphael as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Shylo Harvey is the owner of Liquid Empire Plumbing & Heating Group, a locally owned company that specializes in residential and commercial plumbing, gas fitting, heating and air conditioning projects.
Shylo founded Liquid Empire in May of 2011. At the time, many people told him that it was a bad time to start but he was sure that he had the skill, drive and dedication to quality to make it work. Seven years later and he has grown the company to doing high end custom home builds alongside some of the best business in our region.
A firm dedication to his people leads Shylo to believe that his business, and the people that he employs, are the best in Southern Alberta. They put quality and the customer as their main focus above anything else.
Shylo took Business Marketing at Lethbridge College. In 2010, he earned his Plumbing/Gasfitting Red Seal from Medicine Hat College.
Shylo and Liquid Empire regularly become involved with local community events such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and the Walk to Fight MS. They also work to fundraise for local charities, and sponsor children’s sports clubs.
For his dedication to quality and customer service that has made him a leader in his field, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Shylo Harvey as one Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Dana Woodward is a Lethbridge-based graphic designer and the Creative Director/Owner of Three Legged Dog –Graphic Design.
Dana has worked as a designer for the past 18 years, which has provided him the opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients and industries. He has worked for numerous small-business start-ups, events, educational institutions, municipalities, and not-for-profits.
Guiding an organization through the design process, from start to finish, is a very rewarding experience for Dana. He takes pride in working to effectively communicate the many nuanced aspects of an organization in a limited time and space. His genuine care, dedication, and attention to detail continue to ensure strong and successful working relationships. He considers these relationships to be the best part of his job.
Dana graduated from MacEwan University’s Visual Communications & Design program in 1999. In the years that followed, he worked as Senior Designer, Creative Director, and Illustrator for a number of design and marketing studios in Edmonton.
In 2005, Dana took the entrepreneurial plunge with a partner and started Woodward Design, where he served as Creative Director and gained valuable experience in all aspects of operating a small design studio. In 2009, he earned the designation of Certified Graphic Designer, which is recognized across Canada by the Graphic Designers of Canada as a highly qualified professional, exemplifying an excellent standard of work and ethical business conduct.
Dana Edmonton in 2010 for the warm winds of Lethbridge, where he has owned and operated Three Legged Dog –Graphic Design ever since. Following his arrival in southern Alberta, he has worked with numerous organizations on their branding and marketing materials including: Economic Development Lethbridge, Lethbridge College, the University of Lethbridge, National Music Centre, Charlton & Hill, and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.
The move to Lethbridge in 2010, signified a big shift in Dana’s life. After working in Edmonton for 11 years as a designer starting a new firm in a new city was daunting. The process and journey of building Three Legged Dog into a successful design studio in Lethbridge has been rewarding and gratifying, both personally and professionally. Dana feels indebted to the many small businesses and organizations that he has grown to know, love, and work with over the past eight years.
One of Dana’s favourite aspects of working in design is that it provides him an opportunity to contribute his expertise, and engage with different areas of our community. Whether it be through contributing design work to community initiatives and events such as Celebrate Downtown, First Friday, and Rotary’s Masquerade Ball; working to help not-for-profits such as Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Lethbridge, Womanspace, and the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation; or contributing to the local arts community, such as the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG), Trap\Door Artist Run Centre (ARC), and Love & Records.
His involvement within the artistic community has been one of his best experiences in Lethbridge. A regular supporter of the arts, Dana has been a member of the Trap\Door ARC Board of Directors, and has been an ongoing donor and volunteer at SAAG since 2011, serving as an official sponsor for several exhibition openings over the past few years, including exhibitions by local, national and international artists such as Corinne Thiessen, Miruna Dragan, Anton Ginsburg and Sarah Anne Johnson.
For his proven track record of excellence and constant desire to give back to the arts community, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Dana Woodward as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Nicole Reynolds is the Human Resources Manager at North and Company LLP, a law firm providing legal services to clients throughout Southern Alberta since 1973.
Nicole didn't always know what she wanted to be when she grew up. She thought about everything from Radio Personality to Veterinarian. It wasn't until she began her Business Administration Diploma that she started to see HR as a career.
She enjoys the challenge and learning new things every day about employment law and HR and also the legal sector. She enjoys helping people be better at their jobs and happier at work and enjoys seeing things progress and the changes that can come about from some dedication, hard work, and enjoying what you do!
Nicole went to High School in Nobleford but moved to Lethbridge to attend Lethbridge College where she earned a Business Administration Diploma with a major in Management in 2011. Then, In 2013 she went to the University of Lethbridge and earned a Bachelor of Management - Human Resources and Labour Relations. In 2017 Nicole received her professional designation, CPHR through CPHR Alberta.
Nicole grew up in a military family and has lived all over Canada, literally from Newfoundland to Alberta. She learned how to adapt in new situations learned that it's not always about who you knew!
Currently, Nicole volunteers with CPHR AB as a committee member for the Lethbridge Chapter. CPHR AB assists with professional development and member events in Lethbridge.
She also volunteers for the University of Lethbridge Co-op Mock Interview Program where she is able to help students develop and become excellent at job interviews. Nicole really enjoys helping students. She likes spending time with eager students and providing any advice that she can.
Over the years, Nicole has volunteered for a number of Lethbridge events like coulee cleanup, tree planting, Project Paintbrush, and Project Connect.
For her dedication to helping students and those in the HR profession, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Nicole Reynolds as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Jeremy Rickaby is the Creative Director, Senior Designer and CEO of Hybrid Media Ltd., a team of marketers, artists, programmers, and copywriters, who provide first-class marketing solutions for all types of businesses. He is also Lead Designer for Citizen Sheep Clothing, an urban lifestyle clothing brand.
Jeremy enjoys the challenge and creative freedom of completely branding a business or product. The feeling of helping a startup distinguish its presence in the community and to elevate and amplify the overall voice, vision and engagement put forth.
He believes that what sets him apart is his interest in identifying and solving a client’s problem instead of solely just selling them his art or looking for quick fixes in the short term. He has spent years establishing solid working relationships and surrounding himself with many industry experts both locally and internationally, in many different fields.
From 2000 until 2004, Jeremy worked in the music industry as a music promoter and band manager. He worked closely with several local acts and promoted more established headline shows locally before moving with one of his groups to Vancouver in 2004. He worked for one of the largest artist management companies in Canada at the time and continued to pursue his interest in design software by creating the bands show posters.
By 2005, Jeremy had realized that his passion wasn't in music but rather in graphic design so he moved back to Lethbridge to pursue the field. Primarily self-taught as a designer, over the next 6 years he worked for himself as well as freelanced for many local print and design companies and continued to develop his skill-set.
In 2008, Jeremy earned a Multimedia Production diploma from Lethbridge College, which he followed up by earning his Computer Graphic Design diploma from Reeves College in 2010.
Jeremy opened his own full service graphic design and web agency in 2012 called Hybrid Media, and launched his own side passion, a clothing line called Citizen Sheep Clothing.
For his entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to helping his clients, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jeremy Rickaby as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Jason Unwin is the Vice President of Desk’n File, a Lethbridge office furniture store that has served our community for over 24 years.
Jason is dedicated to providing a welcoming and first class environment to customers and employees. He has worked to build a team that provides end to end customer service.
Jason was the youngest driller employed at Classic Well Servicing when he was only 22 years old. In 2008, he earned a diploma in Petroleum Engineering Technology from SAIT. Afterward, he worked as a Drilling Consultant for Bankers Petroleum for five years.
A week before his second daughter was born, Jason moved home to Lethbridge. He started working at Desk'n File with no background in office furniture and within the year had revitalized the building and added a spectacular showroom.
Jason has changed the face of Desk'n File, helping the company to become the leading office furniture supplier in Southern Alberta. He studied with Action Coach for a year to enhance his skills in all aspects of business. He credits much of his success to the many great mentors that he has had over the years.
Jason loves to support other local businesses by highlighting them in Desk'n File's annual Rib Eating contest. He is proud to raise his family in Lethbridge, and enjoys participating in many of the great local events.
For his hard work and success in two industries, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jason Unwin as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Asif Muhammad is a lawyer at Alger Zadeiks Shapiro LLP, a client centred law firm in Lethbridge.
Asif lives by the mantra of giving back to his community, as it does so much for him. He tries to provide his best self in all aspects of his life and practice.
When Asif is presenting himself in a professional capacity he tries to ensure that he gives his best self to clients, to the public and to the community. It doesn’t matter if he is teaching, acting as a board member, or just acting as a lawyer, Asif believe that we have a duty to help those around us. Volunteering is something that Asif believes strongly in.
Asif attended the University of Victoria where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in degree in psychology. Afterward, he earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Alberta.
Asif admits that he wasn’t the greatest high school student and that it took him some time to find his path in University, but when he found what he loved he excelled at it. Now, in his professional life he has found what he loves – being helpful and doing great work in both the private sector, non-profit and public.
In 2015, Asif was recognized as Lethbridge Legal Guidance Volunteer of the Year. He believes strongly in giving back to the community and works as a Public Legal Education presenter, teaches a Parenting After Separation class with the Lethbridge Family Centre, and serves as a Board Member of Lethbridge Legal Guidance and lawyer volunteer with Lethbridge Legal Guidance.
Navigating the legal system is difficult and Asif believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to have some assistance. He tries to provide public assistance and prides himself on creating a safe and open space for people to ask any questions they have.
Through teaching the Parenting After Separation class Asif meets with individuals going through family law matters and speak to them not only as a lawyer, but as an individual helping them try to understand the greater impact of their decisions on themselves, their significant others and their children.
Asif wants people to better themselves to better the community. Any time people want to chat, whether it’s about the law or otherwise, he is always happy to talk. Asif wants his children to grow up in a community that fosters communication and the ability to connect, and wants to lead by example by providing that to anyone who wants to engage.
For his hard work in helping people of all walks of life to navigate the legal system, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Asif Muhammad as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
Mike Wuchterl is the Supervisor of Marketing & Sales at the Lethbridge & District Exhibition.
Mike is a former gritty hockey player turned relentless marketing professional. Bred in a high level sports atmosphere he is committed to out-prepare, out-work and outlast the competition.
Mike played in the WHL for five seasons from 2003 until 2008 which included trips to the WHL finals with the Everett Silvertips, Vancouver Giants and Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Mike thrives in extremely fast paced environments, takes great pride in staying up to date on new media and cutting edge marketing trends.
He loves the Lethbridge community, and credits the business mentors and colleagues that he’s had the pleasure of working alongside with helping him to find the success that he has today. Mike love to give back by serving on the Lethbridge Hurricanes Board of Directors.
For his dedication to staying on the cutting edge of media and marketing the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Mike Wuchterl as one of
Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty!
Tyler Brack is a wealth planner with Avail CPA, the largest independently owned accounting firm in Southern Alberta.
He works with several clients in a variety of industries helping them achieve their business goals. He is also passionate about helping others and has developed internal training for CPA candidates at Avail.
Tyler acts as mock judge at case competitions, serves as an online facilitator and session leader with the CPA Western School of Business and is a member of the Examinations Panel for the Financial Planning Standards Council.
Tyler has acted as a minor hockey coach and currently sits on the executive as treasurer for the Lethbridge Hurricanes Board of Directors.
For his dedication to helping small business owners achieve their goals, and grooming the next generation of CPA candidates, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Tyler Brack as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty!
Tim & Andrea Sandul
Tim & Andrea Sandul are co-founders of The Port Coworking Space, a bright, open, and uniquely furnished coworking community located in Lethbridge.
Andrea earned a bachelor degree in Business Operations from DeVry Institute of Technology in 2007, after which she spent eight years working as a bookkeeper and business administrator. In 2013, Andrea launched her first business Equilibrium Bookkeeping, which is still going strong.
Tim studied Business Management and Marketing at SAIT. He has 10 years management experience in the automotive sector, including time as Operations Manager at Lethbridge Dodge. Through this experience, Tim has learned to look at all aspects, from the numbers to the people and personalities that make up the foundation of every business.
Tim and Andrea feel that the most important aspects of life and business are the relationships and trust that you build, by far the most important investment that can be made.
The duo works hard to build a strong community, both within The Port and in Lethbridge as a whole. They are proud to be running a business that is helping the growth of our city and small business community.
Andrea has worked to develop and facilitate a business planning workshop as a pilot project for Community Futures' Entrepreneurs with Disabilities program. She has worked with this program for a number of years offering business plan development coaching and support.
For their dedication to providing local entrepreneurs a place to grow their business, and commitment to making our downtown a more vibrant, sustainable place to live and do business, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Tim & Andrea Sandul as two of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty!
2016-2017 Top 40 Under Forty
Patricia Luu is the owner of Umami Shop, a grocery boutique which offers offer food from around the world, cooking classes taught by she and other chefs, a kitchen/deli that offers authentic world food prepared in-house, and a Café Tea Bar that brings coffee and tea culture from around the world right here to Lethbridge.
Patricia began working as a child at her family grocery store, with plans to inherit and grow the business. But after leaving the retail industry at 17, her parents were eager for her to leave and get to know the world so she traveled, earning the education and experience that would help make her a successful business owner.
After graduating from Catholic Central High School, Patricia went to University of Alberta where she earned her Bachelor of Arts. From there she explored the world, earning graduate degrees from University of Toronto, Universitat Hamburg and Universitat Rostock in Germany.
Patricia spent more than a decade in Germany. While she was there she served as Communication Consultant confidant for one of the country's largest banks, travelled Europe and, of course, attended the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich...12 times!
She has also worked with world-class track athletes from the Thailand Track Team, North Korea Track Team, Jamaica Track Team and the USA Track Team.
Patricia runs Umami Shop with five core values:
- Inspire our customers
- Raise our standards
- Work well together
- Think global
- Act local
Patricia Luu Accepting the 2014 Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Business-Environment Connection Award
"We act lean. We recycle. We compost. In other words, we do our best to reduce our carbon footprint, because we want to leave the world better than we found it," said Patricia of the way she runs her business.
"Thinking global means being worldly, which means having an international mindset. We are aware and accepting of all cultures, and we get excited about their cuisine! It's important that we are open-minded, because that's how we will discover greater success."
Patricia also believes in acting locally, which means sourcing fresh food from local farms and showcasing local artisans in her space.
"We get involved with our community, and we give back too. Why? Because the only way we can grow within a community is by helping to grow the community we're in."
Patricia has always believed that everybody eats, so life is too short to not eat good food! She and her team believe that eating well and laughing often with the ones you love should be a regular part of life, because these are the things that make life great.
It's because of these beliefs that inside Umami Shop walls, you'll find a new world of amazing food, lots of laughs, and some great people to share it all with!
A world-wide journey that lead to business success back at home, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Patricia Luu as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Danielle Tait is the Associate Director of the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, a not-for-profit contemporary art institution located in downtown Lethbridge.
In eight years at SAAG, Danielle has seen the organization change and grow. Hired as the gallery's first Manager of Fund Development, Danielle has contributed to increases in revenue, support from corporate partners, individual donations, the gallery's operating budget and number of staff. This is despite some of the most significant provincial funding cuts in SAAG's history.
Most recently, coinciding with the gallery's 40th anniversary in 2016, they launched the Live Art. Love SAAG. campaign last fall. As the largest fundraising campaign in the gallery's history, their goal is to raise $1 million over the next three years. This campaign has been groundbreaking for SAAG, and has already raised over $450,000.
As Associate Director, her main areas of responsibility include fund development, financial management, human resources, and administration.
As a long-time resident of Lethbridge and a graduate of the University of Lethbridge, Danielle is passionate about being involved in my community. She strives to act as an ambassador for encouraging young people to stay in our city to build their careers and grow their families.
Danielle earned her Bachelor of Management: Marketing from the University of Lethbridge in 2010. She has also earned a Rozsa Arts Management Program Certificate from the Haskayne School of Business Executive Education Programs at the University of Calgary.
Danielle got her start with SAAG as a co-op student hired as Special Events Coordinator in the summer of 2008. She I maintained some involvement with SAAG, and stayed on part time to plan another special event the following February. She was offered a full-time contract before graduation, and completed her degree while also working at SAAG.
Danielle has maintained her involvement with the University of Lethbridge, returning as a speaker in the Managing Not-for-Profits class, and working with upper-level management students who needed to partner with a non-profit organization.
Earlier this year, Danielle became the inaugural recipient of the University of Lethbridge's Young Alumnus Achievement Award. The Young Alumnus Achievement Award Recognizes the significant contributions made by University of Lethbridge alumni aged 35 years or younger.
Danielle loves to engage the community through working at SAAG and feels that the gallery it truly is at the heart of the heart of our city, and a community gathering space and hub of activity.
Whether it be meeting one-on-one with donors, hosting a social function, getting to know a visiting artist, working with corporate partners and local business owners, or engaging with our liaisons at the City of Lethbridge, she values all of the relationships that she has been able to create in her time at SAAG.
For nearly a decade of dedication to the arts in Lethbridge, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Danielle Tait as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Jarred and Joel Kotkas
Jarred and Joel Kotkas are the owners of Lethbridge Fit Body Boot Camp, a fitness facility in Lethbridge devoted to helping their clients live a healthier life.
What sets both Jarred and Joel apart is their drive to impact and change the lives of people around them.
They have a deep desire to support individuals in bettering their fitness, their physical, mental, and emotional health, and ultimately their life while simultaneously living a life of purpose and passion.
Joel followed the "Canadian Dream", going university, earning a degree in Geophysics and working for an oil and gas company in Calgary while earning nearly 6 figures, as well as receiving some top notch bonuses.
Three years into his corporate journey, he realized that he was chasing a paycheque rather than chasing a dream and wanted to live a purposeful and passionate life
Joel received his Level 1 Precision Nutrition Coaching Certification and began coaching a few individuals before quickly transforming this personal one-on-one coaching into a successful nutritional program for Lethbridge Fit Body Boot Camp.
Following completion of his neuroscience degree, Jarred obtained a health coaching certification from the American Council of Exercise and a training certification from both Fit Body Boot Camp and the Functional Aging Institute.Although Jarred had always chased his dreams of helping people, he began on a similar path: following a "dream" he was not truly passionate about.
After 4 years at the University of Lethbridge, receiving an honours degree in Neuroscience, Jarred realized his pursuit of medicine/dentistry was not where his heart laid. He recognized flaws in the medical system and rather than diagnosing and prescribing, only after individuals became ill, Jarred wanted to apply his passion and knowledge of nutrition and fitness to preventing the onset of chronic disease.
Over the past 9 months, Jarred and Joel have supported over 793 individuals in Lethbridge in making a positive change in their lives, and coached over 350 full time clients at Lethbridge Fit Body Boot Camp to lose thousands of pounds, improve their fitness, and live a healthier life. They have raised over $5,000 and 1,500 food items for local charities and helped thousands of less fortunate individuals internationally. Their mission goes beyond the walls of their fitness facility and that it what they are most proud of.
Jarred and Joel engage the community by providing resources to individuals who otherwise cannot invest in their services. They regularly host free in-house seminars as well as live Facebook webinars. This allows them to reach out and educate anyone on the topics of nutrition, fitness, mental health, compassion, and overall well being.
Whether working directly with a client, broadcasting to the community through various social media platforms, or running a free informational seminar, the Kotkas brothers take pride in engaging the Lethbridge community in a positive way.
For their entrepreneurial risk taking, and dedication to helping members of our community better themselves physically, emotionally and mentally, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jarred and Joel Kotkas as two of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Dr. Clayton Koganow
Dr. Clayton Koganow is a Naturopathic Doctor at Meridian Integrated Health and Wellness Centre.
From an early age Clayton had decided he wanted to become a general practitioner. He wanted to help people get better. He decided to go into Naturopathic Medicine as it allowed him to treat patients using both conventional and alternative medicine.
While attending the University of Lethbridge, Clayton conducted three years of research on radiation and cancer under Dr. Olga Kovalchuk. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science Kinesiology in 2007. While at the U of L, Clayton also cofounded the Kinesiology Student Society, where he served as Vice President.
He graduated from medical school at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster B.C., and obtained extra training in IV, neural, prolo and chelation therapies.
During medical school, Clayton headed AIMS (Alternative Integrated Medical Society) at UBC which serves to progress integration between medical streams. He was involved in the interview selection process for 2 years as a third and fourth year student and was also awarded the Boucher Spirit Award upon graduation in recognition of clinical, academic and service excellence.
He enjoys family practice, and the integrated treatment of cancer as well as sports medicine, structural and physical medicine and pain management. Clayton also focuses on optimizing gastrointestinal wellness, hormone imbalances, immune and nervous system imbalances.
Clayton integrates conventional and alternative medicine daily. He works with medical doctors to help treat and diagnose very difficult cases, which often have been pushed off as untreatable.
Currently, Clayton enjoys sharing his knowledge as a guest lecturer. He has lectured at the West Coast College of Massage Therapy, Douglas College, Southern Alberta Institute of Massage Therapy, Lethbridge College Health Science Department and Massage Therapy Department, Lethbridge Senior Center and Lethbridge Running Room.
He also provides a free newsletter monthly, which focuses on providing knowledge about key health issues.
For his outstanding work in the field of naturopathic medicine, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Dr. Clayton Koganow as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Tyson Leavitt is the owner of Charmed Playhouses, a luxury playhouse manufacturer in Lethbridge featured on TLC's Playhouse Masters.
Tyson owned three landscape-related businesses, Aztec Masonry & Landscaping, Kwik Kerb By C.A. and Terra Soil & Aggregate, for ten years before he founded Charmed Playhouses. Tyson loves building play structures to suit the imaginations of his most fun clients, kids!
At Charmed Playhouses, Tyson has surrounded himself with creative people who all have a vision to excel and innovate with their products. Their work atmosphere is what sets them apart from most companies. Tyson wanted the workplace at Charmed to be fun, creative and unique.
Most of Tyson's education has come from running businesses. He has always loved business and has had a knack for marketing and sales.
He looks at securing season one on TLC as his biggest achievement in business.
Tyson's playhouses have attracted the attention of superstar clients, including Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry.
Tyson is a big fan and supporter of Make-A-Wish and has supplied them with a number of playhouses. Charmed is in discussions to complete all of their 'wish' playhouse requests in the USA and Canada.
Tyson won't shy away from any challenge and he strives to make each project as breathtaking for parents as it is for their kids. The only downside for him is saying goodbye to the build when it's completed.
For his incredible entrepreneurial success and the rapid growth of his company, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize Tyson Leavitt as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
John Skierka is the President & CEO of Great Excavations Inc.
After working internationally in the aeronautics industry for nearly 10 years, John returned home in 2011.
While living in the Crowsnest Pass, John was able to reconnect with an old boss and mentor on a project involving amphibious equipment. As they built up the service side of the industry through Great Excavations Inc., he realized that innovation was key to successfully building up the sector.
After moving to Lethbridge he was able to start developing technologies to advance amphibious equipment in new and exciting ways, leading to the creation of Amphibious Equipment Solutions Inc.
John took aeronautical engineering technology at SAIT, and began his career at Cascade Aerospace in Abbotsford, BC, where he worked on all manner of aircraft on the technical side as a project engineer. He was asked to work internationally in airplane sales and started his first company, Skierka Technical Consulting, based out of Hong Kong.
Where SkierkaTech focused on the technical aspects of providing services in the areas of purchase, sale, leasing and repossession of aircraft, his next start-up, Aeroptions, was created to allow clients to manage and advertise their capabilities and capacity for all aspects of aeronautical work.
After returning to Alberta in 2011, John created Great Excavations Inc. and Amphibious Equipment Solutions Inc., and became involved Economic Development Lethbridge, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and tecconnect.
He credits the mentorship and support of these organizations with helping him develop ties with the National Research Council and Alberta Innovates, as he works to apply aeronautical engineering technologies to the amphibious equipment industry.
As Great Excavations has evolved, John has been able to take on contracts with major oil and gas companies.
Another big achievement is working through Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) to show that working with amphibious equipment is not only better for the environment, but is also faster and has a lower cost than using traditional equipment.
Like many entrepreneurs, John's focus is on getting the job done while also making it his own through investment in innovation. He feels that Lethbridge is one of the best places in the world to live, and wants to help make it even better.
As an entrepreneur, John's most important relationship is with the tecconnect community, which is helping him develop the skills and contacts necessary to grow the amphibious equipment industry.
Through teconnect and Economic Development Lethbridge he is making inroads while also showing the potential for this type of innovation in our community, as well as the wider economy.
John tries to stay involved through attending local business and political events. He does the same in Fort McMurray, which is his company's second home.
During the fires in Fort McMurray this year, Great Excavations' equipment was declared an essential service. That made John feel like his small Lethbridge company could make a real difference.
Knowing how hard-hit Fort McMurray was by the fire, he was also proud to support development of the song "Alberta Strong" by Curtis Butala, which is a fundraiser for the Red Cross. John's family has always been strong supporters of Red Cross programs. Curtis is his brother-in-law and an accomplished musician, and the song is available on iTunes with all proceeds going to support Red Cross disaster relief programs.
For his outstanding multi-time entrepreneurial success the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize John Skierka as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Shannon Frank is the Executive Director of the Oldman Watershed Council a community-based, not-for-profit that works with everyone to find practical solutions to environmental challenges.
Shannon's work is focused around engaging the community to take action for the watershed, whether it is at home, at work or at play. We all depend on water and can all play a role in protecting it. Shannon feels that her best day is when someone tells her what they are doing for the watershed.
Shannon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Environmental Science, from the University of Lethbridge in 2007.
Her professional career began in the fields of environmental education and community engagement for the Government of Alberta and City of Lethbridge where she learned a great deal about how important trusting relationships are and was inspired by the passion people have for the land and water. After nearly five years of front line community engagement and education work, she had the opportunity to become a manager.
Shannon has been Executive Director of the Oldman Watershed Council for over five years. She believes that the strong work ethic taught to her by her mother and growing up in the wilderness where she had the opportunity to develop a love for nature has shaped her the most.
She is most proud of her achievements as Executive Director of the Oldman Watershed Council because of the blood, sweat and tears that she has put into the organization.
Since she became ED Shannon has more than doubled OWC revenue and added three full-time employees to the staff which has enabled them to have a much larger impact for residents of Southwest Alberta who depend on the Oldman watershed for their water supply and economy.
She is also proud to have established The Hub in downtown Lethbridge in 2016 as a collaborative space for environmental events, information sharing and community engagement. She also helped create Environment Lethbridge as a coalition of community partners. As a member of the Steering Committee she lead the creation of EL's Strategic Plan and the hiring process for its first staff member.
As Executive Director of OWC Shannon works for our community every day. She has been a long-time volunteer first at the University of Lethbridge and Oldman Watershed Council and more recently with the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and Environment Lethbridge.
For her longtime service to the environment in Southwest Alberta and dedication to environmental education and community engagement, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize Shannon Frank as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Megan Plausteiner is the owner of LA Home Solutions and Riverpark Homes.
Megan took over LA Home Solutions & Riverpark Homes at the age of 29 when the previous owner was ready to retire. Over the past three years she has helped to turn both companies into thriving downtown businesses.
At Riverpark Homes, Megan drafts and customizes unique home plans, estimates the cost of the homes, schedules all of the tradespeople and acts as the daily site supervisor. She also does the home selections with the customers and the warranty and services claims.
She also runs LA Home Solutions; a down town flooring studio that also sells cabinets & décor. Megan works with many builders and retail customers, selecting the flooring and tile selections with her clients, ordering products and overseeing the receiving and installations. She also takes care of all social media and advertising for both companies.
Megan attended the University of Saskatchewan before transferring to Lakeland College's Interior Design Technology Program where she graduated with honours. Pulling all-nighters in the computer lab to meet project deadlines and finish up drafting projects with short deadlines and realistic customers really helped shape Megan into the designer that she is now.
After school she was offered a job designing and drafting cabinets at a large cabinet company in Calgary. She worked with many large builders such as Beattie Homes & Homes By Avi.
Megan also worked on large multilevel condo projects. Within two years she was promoted to manager. She started supplying cabinets to a few Lethbridge builders which is where she made her connections and eventually was offered a job here in Lethbridge. She started working for the companies which she has now taken over.
Working at a small locally owned flooring studio and home builder has shaped Megan in many ways. Being a small business owner requires Megan to wear many hats, which has given her experience in all areas of the industry.
Supporting the local community is very important to Megan, whether it's sourcing products that are locally made, or hiring tradespeople from Lethbridge and surrounding areas. It is very important to Megan to employ tradespeople and suppliers that have roots in Lethbridge.
For her extremely fast rise through her field and business success, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Megan Plausteiner as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Matt Gillin is the owner of Candie Co Clothing, a clothing brand based in Lethbridge.
In nine years, Matt has grown Candie Co from selling t-shirts out of his locker as a 16-year-old high school student, to a marketing and merchandising company operating out of a 1,200 square foot office space in a vibrant area of Lethbridge.
Matt has been able to successfully expand his company from selling t-shirts to competing in an industry where the market usually is dominated by companies more than twice his size. He has a keen understanding of what product he can supply to meet public demand and always strives to meet customer's and the community's needs.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Matt's entrepreneurial dream was born at Winston Churchill High School. After high school, while still operating Candie Co, Matt attended Lethbridge College where he earned a diploma in Marketing. While in college, Matt was awarded the Spitz Entrepreneurial Award.
Matt has recruited a team of BMX and MTB riders who participate in community events like Canada Day at Henderson Lake, the Whoop Up Days Parade and West Fest. They perform bike demos and show off their skills to entertain the community.
Because of the community's strong backing of Candie Co, Matt has always focused on giving back. He has traveled to various schools around Lethbridge, volunteering to give talks and fostering entrepreneurial spirit from a young age.
Matt was recently selected as a judge for a mini Dragon's Den activity at Wilson Middle School. One of his favorite parts of his job is going out into the community, and possibly having the chance to inspire a child the way he was when he was 16.
For his grassroots entrepreneurial success and continued growth, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Matt Gillin as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Kevin Kranzler is a Financial & Employee Benefits Advisor with Kesler & Associates Inc.
Kevin started his career as an Investment & Insurance Advisor when he was just 23. Nine years later he has established himself as one of the major players within the financial advisory practice in Lethbridge. He attributes his success to three things: hard work, commitment, and passion.
Kevin feels that having people trust him with their finances is a huge accomplishment and a great feeling to have. A by-product of this trust is how much he becomes involved in clients personal lives. He hears about all of the pregnancies, relationships, vacations, drama, births and deaths and he values that relationship.
A University of Lethbridge graduate, Kevin earned a Bachelor of Management Degree in Finance in April 2007.
He has also earned Canadian Securities Course, Life License Qualification Program, Alberta Insurance Council - Full Life & Accident and Sickness, and Mutual Fund Branch Manager Course certifications.
Kevin sees himself as an entrepreneur at heart. At 10 years old, he paid a friend an ice cream cone per day to help with his paper route because he was on rollerblades and could do it quickly, giving them more time to play.
Kevin was born and raised in Lethbridge and loves the city. He strives to be community minded and help to build the local economy, working with local businesses through organizations such as BNI. He has also served as a youth soccer coach.
For his tireless dedication to his clients and excellence in his field, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Kevin Kranzler as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Angela Zuba is the Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Home Builders Association Lethbridge.
Angela is fiercely dedicated to enhancing a business' success and using that success to help better the community.
Over the last 15 years she has worked with all types of business: Charities, Associations and for profit business. Each type of organization has had unique challenges related to the individual business type. Understanding client needs is critical. In her current role as CEO for the CHBA the organization's needs are education and business solutions for members. Angela does her best to learn their business and find out what they need so that she can deliver it; even if it means going on site, regardless of the weather, to understand the building code or to support an initiative.
Angela is a life-long student; both academically and in life. She believes that a person never stops learning and whatever situation you find yourself in you should pursue knowledge to make you better. She has earned a diploma in freelance photography and certificates in situational leadership, mergers and amalgamations and technical rehabilitation.
Currently, Angela is a member of the Canadian Society of Association Executives and close to completing a degree in business management that will further enhance her skills as a CEO.
Angela has achieved the national CHBA membership retention awards two years in a row, despite economic hurdles in the province and has been an active member of the national CEO Council for CHBA. She has also been facilitating a 5-year project where CHBA members are building 10 homes and donating $1 million to the Lethbridge College Trades & Technology Facility.
Angela believes strongly in developing her employees wherever she can. She works to teah others so that they can reach their potential as fast as possible. She finds empowerment, autonomy and seeing them become more successful to be truly enriching.
Angela engages the community through her work as the CEO of CHBA in a number of ways. Building great communities is about so much more than houses, it is about creating an environment of safety and comfort. She is passionate about improving the lives of others and utilizes her position to help make that happen.
CHBA fosters programs that help girls and women at risk learn necessary life skills; everything from changing door locks to preparing will's and how to save money for the future. They engage and connect high school students with successful entrepreneurs in the Association so that they have a broader knowledge of available career options.
Through efficient business planning, Angela has been able to expand CHBA's scholarship fund for struggling and deserving apprentices. In addition to these things she believes passionately that in order for our City to thrive and for the home building industry to remain a leader they have to be engaged and collaborative.
Because of this belief she participates in the Community Design Committee of City Council, the Efficient Land Use Strategy Committee with the City of Lethbridge, the Chamber of Commerce Advisory Council and aside from formal committees, she has formed partnerships with Careers the Next Generation, Lethbridge College, both the public and Catholic school districts and the YWCA.
For her dedication to our community and proven excellence in business development The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Angela Zuba as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Scott McGregor is the Program Director, Music Director and Afternoon Show Host on 98.1 The Bridge, a local and independently owned company playing a mix of music on the radio that isn't heard anywhere else.
In September of 2014, Scott, along with Clear Sky Radio's Paul Larsen, launched 98.1 The Bridge as Canada's first "Modern Music" radio station.
Under Scott's leadership, 98.1 The Bridge has been the first radio station in Canada to play artists like X-Ambassadors, Kaleo and Bishop Briggs in addition to many Lethbridge artists such as The Silkstones, Grey Area and Leeroy Stagger.
Where the majority of music programmers across Canada and The United States stick to the artists that the major record labels are trying to push, Scott is willing to go out on a limb for many local, national or international artists. That's the way radio used to be programmed and Scott is proud to be leading the charge in getting radio back to its roots.
Radio was made to be localized and as a broadcaster Scott feels that it is his duty to reach out to local non-profit organizations to help promote community events that Lethbridge constantly has to offer. Scott also lends his time to host community events, including co-hosting this year's Whoop-Up Days Parade.
Scott earned his diploma in Radio Broadcasting from Loyalist College in 2002. Since then, he has been in radio with on-air and producer roles across Canada. He first arrived in Lethbridge in 2004 and throughout those 12 years has found himself getting jobs in bigger and smaller cities - including Chatham, Ontario, Victoria, BC, Brockville Ontario - but always seems to come back.
Living in all these different cities throughout his career has given him a perspective on how things are done elsewhere but also gives him confidence that Lethbridge is the place for he and his family.
In May 2016, Scott won Small Market Music Director of the Year at the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Awards.
For his innovation and excellence in radio programming and dedication to our local community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Scott McGregor as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty!
Chris Broughton is Manager of Human Resources & Safety for the Alberta, a manufacturing company specializing in storage and handling products to serve the Agricultural, Industrial and Oil & Gas industries.
Chris is a dedicated professional in Human Resources, who, when taking part of a project, being a part of a committee, or reviewing business challenges, looks for the chance to make a difference and further develop his discipline.
He tries to find new ways to integrate the Human Resources profession with Information Technology by leveraging technology to automate the administrative tasks that take up time and allow HR professionals to focus on a more strategic focus.
One of the reasons Chris chose Human Resources as a profession was because it provided him the ability to help others reach their potential.
Chris graduated from Lethbridge College with a Diploma in Business Administration and subsequently earned his Bachelors of Management degree from the University of Lethbridge with a major in Human Resources & Labour Relations.
He feels that his experience at both of these institutions helped shape him in both professionally and personally. The small class sizes and personal attention from the professors had a great impact and helped him to understand the potential of being able to help others in a similar fashion.
The opportunities at these schools provided him with the ability to take on several extracurricular activities and be a part of something bigger than himself.
As Chairman of the Students for Tobacco Reduction, President of the Management Students' Society, or JDC West Business Case competitor, Chris learned and developed.
After graduating from U of L, Chris went to work with Precon Manufacturing, a local business which provided him with the opportunity to learn and grow as a professional. His time with Precon afforded Chris with the opportunity to gain experience in many different facets of the business. During his tenure at Precon, Chris was responsible for establishing the entire HR department and process.
In 2013 Chris received his Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, followed by a Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designation in 2016. These are designations awarded to individuals who possess the necessary knowledge of HR principles as well as demonstrated professional experience in this field.
Chris served as Chair of the National Policy Review Committee for the WGI Westman Group and is currently an active member of the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, having served on the chapter advisory committee in the past and currently as member of the awards selection committee.
He is dedicated to helping to develop the Human Resources profession through participation in industry events, mentorship programs, professional association membership, speaking opportunities, and reaching out to new members of the HR community and introduce them to the larger network.
For excellence in the Human Resources field, and his dedication to help others within his field, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Chris Broughton as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty!
Jenelle Wensley is the owner of IdealFilmCreations, a video production company that works with clients of all sizes whether they are hoping to promote their business or remember their wedding.
Janelle believes that her passion for her craft, combined with dedication to ensure her clients satisfaction, sets her apart from others in her field.
Her attention to detail, focus and creativity allows her to take a client's ideas and vision and shape it into an expose of their business, event or wedding. Her positive and infectious personality brings a confident energy to the room that engages the client in the process to allow for the best product.
In 2010, Janelle earned a diploma in Multi-Media Production from Lethbridge College. Following her diploma, she completed the one-year New Media program at University of Lethbridge and earned her Motion Picture Arts degree from Red Deer College.
Growing up, Janelle was always fascinated with video. Combined with being raised in a household where both of her parents successfully ran their own business, this set Janelle on the entrepreneurial path to start IdealFilmCreations.
While studying at Red Deer College, Janelle worked on the short film Under the Acorn Tree. The film went on to win the People's Choice and Best Dramatic Short at the Edmonton Short Film Festival, and Best Short Film at the Maob International Film Festival.
Janelle was also awarded the MS Society of Canada Alberta & Northwest Territories Division Communications Award for a video that she created for the MS Scoiety of Lethbridge.
Janelle is always looking for opportunities to engage in the community. She is active in Business Networking International which supports local businesses throughout Lethbridge.
Recently, Janelle co-founded Chinook Media, a new media and marketing organization with a modern team and ideas.
For her award-winning work and entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Janelle Wensley as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
David Cocks is one of three Principal Architects at FWBA Architects, the oldest continuing architectural practice in Western Canada.
David is set apart by his passion for his profession that allows him to engage with the public and create spaces and environments that have a lasting impact on our community for people to enjoy.
In 2001, David earned a diploma in Design and Drafting Technology from Lethbridge College and shortly after began his career with FWBA Architects.
While working at FWBA, he studied Art History at University of Lethbridge. He continued his studies at Dalhousie University and completed a Bachelor of Environmental and Design Studies before earning a Master of Architecture in 2010.
Throughout his studies, David continued to be connected to Lethbridge and FWBA. This connection allowed him to return to FWBA Architects to continue his career.
Over the course of his career, David has received awards such as the Structural Steel Education Foundation Architecture Scholarship for Excellence in Steel Design, the Bruce and Dorothy Rosetti Scholarship for Travel and Research and an AACIP Book Prize.
One professional achievement that he is most proud of is becoming a Principal Architect with FWBA. He is thankful to all of the partners and staff at FWBA who supported him during his career and education, allowing him to excel in his profession.
David currently serves as a Board Member and is Past President of SAAG. He also serves as the Chair of the Lethbridge College Alumni Advisory Council Member.
For excellence in his profession and work within our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize David Cocks as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Kasha Thurston is a Marketing Coordinator at Lethbridge College, where she takes an idea and mobilizes it into a real world marketing campaign. Working in a creative field like marketing she brings a sense of structure, project management principles and consistency to allow the artists around her to perform at their best and meet the goals of clients.
Kasha attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated with great distinction in 2011 having earned her Bachelor of Management degree with a Major in Marketing, Minor in Social Responsibility. In 2014, she earned a Project Management Extension Certificate from Mount Royal University Continuing Education. Through her time she completed a publicist internship at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, co-organized the 5 Days for the Homeless fundraiser, participated in the Integrate Management Experience and act as a JDC volunteer coordinator.
Within her career she has been able to take on and execute large-scale events and marketing initiatives at Lethbridge College. Kasha served as the lead marketing specialist on the Possibilities Are Endless capital campaign. She led the marketing efforts for the 2012 BMO Womens Basketball National Championship and supported the Kodiaks athletics team’s marketing efforts. Kasha was also the project lead on the college’s Extreme Career Makeover contest in 2015 and 2016.
Every day, Kasha works with talented photographers, videographers, copy-writers and graphic designers to create marketing initiatives. She truly believes that art and business can combine in amazing ways and that is why she loves marketing.
During her time at Lethbridge College she has positively influenced enrollment rates, advertising standard and the ongoing capital campaign.
Working through Lethbridge College has given Kasha the opportunity to work with organizations such as Canadian Blood Services to promote their cause through the College blood drive.
Kasha is also a Group Fitness Instructor at GoodLife Fitness and is a strong advocate for health and wellness. What began as a part-time job during university has lead nearly 10 years of group fitness instruction and various class certifications.
For excellence in the Marketing profession and her dedication to helping Lethbridge College grow and improving our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Kasha Thurston as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Shelly Kanyo is the Founder and Designer of Shelly Kanyo Studio that has held The Lethbridge Fashion Weekend (LFW) annually since 2007.
Her event features the work of local designers, models, hair and make-up artists, photographers, DJ's, artists, stylish new venues and local businesses.
The initiative for the LFW is to build and support the fashion industry in Lethbridge, as well as bring a sense of style and community to the already thriving arts scene in Southern Alberta.
Her goal with the LFW was to create a platform for established and emerging designers in order to present their collections to the public.
Under Shelly Kanyo Studio, Shelly designs her own fashion collections. Last October Shelly collaborated with the Showcase of Women In Business. She also works as an Interior Designer and refinishes furniture and interiors.
In Lethbridge she has done great work at the Classique Dancewear, Nicholai Home Fashion and Bad Apple Salon.
Shelly attended the Lethbridge College and graduated from the Interior Designer program as well as the Fashion Design & Merchandising program.
After earning some experience, and some dollars, Shelly went back to school to study Art History at The University of Lethbridge.
Through her time in school Shelly was an excellent student. She completed two internships in Design (one in NYC and one in Atlanta) and won an international design competition. These achievements in her life made her more confident in her design ability and encouraged her to start the Lethbridge Fashion Weekend.
Within her career, Shelly worked as a luxury Kitchen Designer in Calgary and taught for about four years at Lethbridge College.
Her work as a stylist, designer, upholsterer, painter and market vendor is all community-based. She supports local events by attending or volunteering and get involved with local markets.
Shelly often helps models and photographers to grow their own careers by styling photo shoots and trying to connect people in Lethbridge. Shelly defines the LFW as a community-based volunteer event and acknowledges that without the support and inclusion of the community members the event would not exist.
For excellence in the Design profession and her dedication to get involved in the Lethbridge Community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Shelly Kanyo as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Jessica Joss is a Financial Advisor at Laurie, Kenna & Associates. Jessica is a courageous business woman that left her traditional accounting role to become a financial advisor. She has been able to build a successful practice, become an active member of our community and achieve her professional as personal goals.
After only two years in the business, Jessica achieved industry recognition with membership to the Million Dollar Round Table in 2016. She has been recognized for her leadership skills by chairing committees of the YWCA and now Co-Chairs the Board. She has also been recognized for her public speaking abilities by co-hosting the Women of Distinction Awards in 2015 and 2016. Her goal is to improve the lives of women of all ages, religions, races, and life circumstance.
Jessica is actively engaged with the community and she acknowledges its importance as Jessica said "the community makes me awesome!"
Jessica feels lucky to have grown up in a small town where the community influences, encourages, directs, and keeps her focused on her goal. Together with her clients, she creates strategies, and takes actions toward their goals in order to achieve them in the most efficient way possible.
Her technical background as an accountant gives her the ability to work closely with their other business advisors to make things as seamless as possible from a client perspective. Jessica's engagement with the community can be summed up in one of her favorite quotes: "Lift as you climb" by Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard.
She believes that she has a responsibility to improve the world around her by giving back. Her love for the community comes from her grandfathers that were both town councillors. She gives back to the community by focusing on listening, giving to others, collaboration, mentoring, fostering relationships, commitment to learning, commitment to teaching, and an overall positive attitude. She also participates in many events and fundraisers around town from Chamber events, to golf tournaments, auctions, and the local arts.
Before being a successful business women Jessica was a successful student. She attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated from the Management program in Accounting with Distinction. After getting her Bachelor she moved to Calgary where she articled to get her Chartered Accountant Designation. Jessica did not stop there and after receiving her designation in 2006, she moved to the US and obtained her Certified Professional Accountant (CPA - Illinois) designation. She also licensed with the Mutual Funds Dealers Association, and Alberta Insurance Council.
Jessica's greatest role model, personally and professionally, is her grandmother. She considers her as the hardest worker she has known, a lifelong learner, and gives back to her community at the age of 92!
For excellence in the financial profession and her dedication to helping the community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jessica Joss as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Jess Fehr is the Fund Development Coordinator for the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, a not-for-profit contemporary art gallery located in the heart of downtown Lethbridge. During her 4 years at SAAG, Jess has excelled in numerous positions, including Volunteer Manager and Events and Facility Coordinator, before taking on her current role in Fund Development.
Before embarking on her career in the arts, Jess was fiercely dedicated to local athletics. While completing her diploma in General Studies at Lethbridge College in 2005, she competed with the Women's Kodiaks Volleyball team. She later went on to coach with the Lethbridge Volleyball Club for 7 years and Volleyball Alberta's High Performance Summer Camps in Sylvan Lake, Jasper and Canmore for 4 years. Jess continues to play volleyball once a week with the Lethbridge Co-Ed Volleyball League for the Court Devilz.
After graduating from the University of Lethbridge in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts, Jess had the opportunity to travel the world. From Asia, to Europe, to the year she spent in Melbourne, Australia, Jess has met people from all walks of life and has experienced a variety of beautiful cultures. Upon her return to Canada, she funneled her passion for people, art and community into a career that celebrates Lethbridge's creativity and diversity, both locally and internationally, and allows her to give back to the place she's proud to call home.
In 2016, coinciding with the gallery's 40th anniversary, Jess and her team launched the Live Art. Love SAAG. campaign. This was SAAG's first campaign of this scale, with a goal to raise $1 million by 2019. So far, just one year in, the gallery has raised over $500,000, half of their 3-year goal. Also in 2016, Jess organized the 5th annual Art and Culture Tour and this past May, she toured 10 Lethbridge residents to Madrid and Barcelona, Spain to experience some of the greatest art in the world.
Jess continues to be involved in our community and has served as Director of Culture for the Alberta 55 Plus winter games where she helped execute the Opening and Closing ceremonies, as well as the entertainment and cultural activities throughout the weekend. She was the Vice President of the Young Professionals of Lethbridge which holds networking events once a month to create a strong and powerful group of young professionals in our community. She is a member of the local Association of Fundraising Professionals and is the co-chair of the 2017 National Philanthropy Day Awards.
For her dedication to arts, culture and athletics in our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jess Fehr as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Ryan, Jason and Scott Sailer
Ryan, Jason and Scott Sailer are the three brother management team at Southland Trailer Corp, one of the largest manufacturers of industrial trailers in the country, and the largest in Western Canada.
Southland Trailer Corp. was founded by the trio's father in 1980 at 21 years old as Southland Welding Ltd, producing produced R.V. chassis and trailer frames.
Today, Ryan serves as the General Manager and has been with Southland since he was 14 years old, working summers in the yard and office doing whatever needed to be done, learning as many jobs as possible and working his way up.
Photo courtesy of ey.com
Ryan earned his Bachelor of Management in accounting from the University of Lethbridge, and served as part of the initial Project Team for Lean Manufacturing at Southland, which won an Alberta Manufacturing award.
Jason has been with Southland since 2004, and today is the Purchasing Manager, in charge of the entire inventory. He oversees every part that comes into the plant, as well as every trailer shipped.
Scott is the Operations Manager. The youngest of the three brothers, Scott joined Southland in 2012. Before joining the Lethbridge office, Scott supervised the Kelowna dealership for two years.
Photo courtesy of ey.com
The brothers believe in their people and in allowing them to be engaged by giving them the tools to develop and succeed within the company. Everything that Southland does is with four core values in mind:
- Be Positive, Lead with humility and respect every individual
- Open Communication
- Hard work with Continuous Improvement
- Calculated/Strategic Risk Taking
Southland Trailer Corp. believes in investing in their employees. They pay for welders to get their journeyman ticket, and encourage all employees to upgrade their skills.
As of today, Southland employs 175 people in an 80.000 sq. ft. facility and manufactures 4 different product lines under four different brand names: Renn, Southland Trailers, Royal Cargo, and Spectrum Series.
Photo courtesy of ey.com
The trio has been recognized several times throughout the years. In 2011, Ryan won the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Southland Trailer Corp. took home the Innovation & Advancement Award at the 2016 Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Award, for advancements made to their production process. The brothers were also finalists for the 2016 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
For the outstanding work that they have done in expanding their family business, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Ryan, Jason and Scott Sailer as three of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Rob Gunderson is Owner, General Manager & Certified Personal Trainer at #Perfectfit4u, an online-based Nutrition and Training company, which he founded in 2014 alongside his fiancée, and fellow Top 40 Under Forty winner, Ashlyn Merriman.
Rob is dedicated to going above and beyond for his clients whether it is answering to a text at 11 p.m. on a Sunday night or meeting at the office at 6 a.m. Rob loves to help his clients overcome the obstacles that are obstructing them, whether it be building confidence in a gym setting, designing and altering their daily nutrition regiment or motivating clients to get out of bed and be awesome. He takes pride in their progress and the process that he undergoes to build the Perfect-fit-4-YOU lifestyle for individuals focusing on Health, Happiness and Balance.
In 2014, Rob graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he attended on a full-ride scholarship for hockey. While at UAA, Rob won the Kelly Cup as goalie with the ECHL Alaska Aces.
Rob is also a certified Canadian Fitness Professional (CanFitPro) and ISSA Nutrition Specialist. His degree and certifications have helped tremendously with the interaction and understanding of clients' concerns.
#Perfectfit4U is a two-time Lethbridge Sun Times Best of the Best award winner, winning "Fitness Facility" and "Nutrition Centre" of the Year in 2015 and 2016. The company also won the 2016 Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Customer Service Award.
#Perfectfit4U hosts Transformation Challenges which bring many individuals with similar goals and interests throughout the community together to support one another in attain these goals (weight-loss, confidence, nutrition/training knowledge, etc.). Rob has also visited Catholic Central, FLVT, LCI and Chinook High School for school nutrition and training lectures where he presents to classes on proper exercising and nutrition facts.
For excellence in the fitness industry, and promotion of healthy lifestyles in our city, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Rob Gunderson as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty
Roy Pogorzelski is the Inclusion Consultant with the City of Lethbridge and, alongside his brother John, runs Pogo Bros Inc., an Aboriginal based small business that provides entertainment, event planning, fundraising and support to Urban Aboriginal events and agencies.
Roy is Metis from Saskatchewan and was raised in a traditional family with Indigenous values. He takes every opportunity to dance a Red River Jig in the community. He has been asked to dance at major events, conferences, for community agencies, overseas, at national parks and as entertainment.
Roy has always volunteered himself to perform the cultural dance as it is important for him to continue to educate and raise awareness about Metis people in Canada. Volunteerism is an intricate part of Roy's life. He believes in giving back to the community not only fiscally, but lending a hand to assist with a number of community events.
His career is an absolute passion for Roy. Working in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is a dream come true because it has given him the opportunity to grow from advocating for Indigenous rights to Human Rights in general.
It has been his passion that has driven his work as a Municipal employee, a small business owner and an instructor.
Roy's goal has always been to act as a role model to Aboriginal youth (Metis, Inuit and First Nations), to demonstrate that anything is possible and that rich Aboriginal cultures are something to be celebrated and proud of.
Roy earned his Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Studies with distinction, and a Bachelor of Human Justice from the University of Regina in 2006. Afterward, he was selected for an internship in Vienna, Austria to work at the University of Vienna as a research assistant in the legal anthropology department.
In 2008, Roy returned to Europe and in 2009 graduated cum laude with an Advanced Master of Science in Cultures and Development Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.
Upon graduation, he was offered a job in Lethbridge for the Aboriginal Council of Lethbridge as the Diversity Support Coordinator. This was his first time being in Treaty 7 Blackfoot territory. Afterward, Roy continued in academia by taking on the position of sessional instructor at the University of Regina's First Nations University of Canada, in the faculty of Indigenous studies for a year. During this time he facilitated an International Human/Indigenous rights workshop to students from Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, Sweden, Norway and Finland as part of a program through INCOMINDIOS in Geneva, Switzerland.
Roy has remained very involved in academia and sits on the U of L Senate. He is the Chair of the U of L Student's Union and a sessional instructor on Canadian Culture & Management to international students at the U of L. For the past three years he has taught an ESL program at the Lethbridge College to junior high youth from Japan. These educational experiences and opportunities in both Canada and Europe have allowed Roy to explore 28 countries.
Roy believes that it is important that we strive to ensure that all citizens have the ability to participate in our community regardless of their background, culture, way of life, socioeconomic status, ability or gender. He works hard to ensure that we recognize all people as valuable assets that can contribute to building and maintaining a community that is welcoming, inclusive, secure and accessible.
His Indigenous upbringing contributed to a continuous education in social justice and being a voice for those that are currently without a voice in our community.
In 2013, Roy and his brother John started Pogo Bros Inc. as an entertainment, event planning and fundraising small business. Currently, they operate the Oktoberfest YQL, Downtown History and Beer Tour, the Zoolanderesque Walkoff, LACL Rock, Paper, Scissor Tournament and assist with fundraising efforts for many agencies in the community.
Pogo Bros Inc. won the Best Festival of the Year at the Best of the Southwest Service & Tourism Awards last year for Oktoberfest YQL and in December Roy was honoured with a Human Rights Champion Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights in Edmonton. In 2014 Roy was recognized at the STARS of Alberta volunteer awards.
Roy joined the national City for All Women Initiative as a representative from Lethbridge and along with Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Strathmore, P.E.I created the National Equity and Inclusion Guide for Municipalities. He was a co-creator behind the PANGAEA Diversity Cafes that have been running since 2010.
He has consulted on the national Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism & Discrimination (CMARD) initiative in a number of other provincial municipalities and has become a leader in equity and inclusion work provincially. He has also consulted for businesses, non-profits and on reserve when it came to discussing inclusion and human rights.
Roy has been published twice in the Canadian Diversity Journal, including for the 10th Anniversary of the CMARD initiative. He also co-created UNITAS by engaging ethno cultural groups in the community and hosting an event every month, which lead to the creation of Black History month festivities, Aboriginal awareness festivities, and more.
Roy engages the community through collaborating on many festivals and fundraising events. Currently, he sits on the Vibrant Lethbridge Committee which works on poverty reduction. He was the co-chair of the Aboriginal Opportunities Committee of the Lethbridge Chamber.
Through his role as the Inclusion Consultant with the City of Lethbridge, he also sits on the Provincial Hate Crimes Committee.
In his spare time, he serves as the Public Relations Director for the Rotary Dragon Boat Festival. He also serves as a community member on the Urban Aboriginal Interagency Committee and sits as a planning member for the international day for persons with disabilities. For many years, Roy has supported the Sister's in Spirit Missing & Murdered Candle Light Vigil.
For his outstanding work in human rights and efforts to make Lethbridge a stronger, more inclusive community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Roy Pogorzelski as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Eva Leblanc is a science teacher at Chinook High School in Lethbridge. A self-proclaimed "Science Nerd", Eva enjoys sharing her love of science with her students every day.
Eva is homegrown from Lethbridge, graduating from Catholic Central High School before moving on to the University of Lethbridge to complete her B.Sc. in Biology. In 2013, Eva earned her B.Ed. in Science Education from the UofL as well.
In her career as a teacher, she constantly seeks out professional development opportunities to become a more innovative educator and provide her students with the best possible experience in the classroom. One of her favourite experiences was working with Telus Spark in Calgary for a week in the summer of 2014, where she was able to develop a wide repertoire of innovative ideas, and new ways to think about learning.
Outside of a formal setting, Eva takes pride in learning through every experience and opportunity that comes her way. She learns in her classroom alongside her students; she learns every time she finds a new organization to volunteer for; she learns when life gives her challenges to face.
Eva feels fortunate to have helped shape the lives of hundreds of students that entered her classroom. She has taught eight of the 12 curricular science courses across grades 9-12, along with locally developed science options for grade 9, and the University Extension course for grades 10-12.
Her students learn about science and the world around them through labs, projects, activities, and classwork, with as much room for choice and thought as possible.
Eva has worked as a Learning Support Teacher, helping students one-on-one with coursework, study skills, learning styles, and more. Working outside of her traditional classroom for one or two periods a day showed her that there are many different approaches to teaching and learning.
Because of the positive relationships that she builds with her students, Eva was asked to fill in as a Teacher Counsellor for seven weeks during her second full year of teaching. This experienced challenged her, but allowed her to connect with students on a deeper level, and support them through some tough life moments.
Eva's parents emigrated from Poland to Canada just before she was born. From a young age, they instilled in her the importance of developing community, and that one of the best ways she could do this was through helping others. Whether it was collecting cans of food or knitting blanket squares as a Girl Guides of Canada member, canvassing door-to-door with her parents for the MS Society and the Canadian Diabetes Association, or walking dogs and cleaning cages at the Humane Society, Eva was so deeply impacted by these simple acts that she started to seek out more opportunities wherever possible.
Eva is still a hard-working volunteer. She has been an active Rotarian for several years and has held the positions of Vice President, President, and Foundation Committee Chair. At Christmas, Eva wraps gifts with the Chinook Interact Club at Lethbridge Family Services for their Angel Tree campaign and stuffs food hampers at the Lethbridge Food Bank. During the spring, she focuses her efforts within Chinook High School, working with the Robotics Club, and coaching Badminton. In the summer, those coaching skills translate onto the waters of Henderson Lake leading up to the ATB Financial Lethbridge Rotary Dragonboat Festival.
Eva also volunteers with the Lost Soul Ultra through Runner's Soul, supervises kids at the Pumpkin Festival supporting the Children's Wish Foundation and participates in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
When Eva is not teaching or volunteering, you will find her living the fullest life that she can - climbing mountains, running, practicing yoga, singing, dancing, and learning about all things science.
For her dedicated volunteer work, and the passion with which she helps to mold the next generation, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Eva Leblanc as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Nicole Barnett is a Chartered Accountant at Burton & Co. Chartered Accountants, a Lethbridge accounting firm that offers a wide range of services, personally tailored to individuals and business clients.
Nicole's job is so much more than sitting at a desk punching numbers on a calculator. She gets to help people fulfill their dreams! Nicole's favourite part of her job is helping people who are just starting a business get started on the right foot and then being able to advise and watch them along the way as they grow and become profitable, successful businesses.
Nicole grew up in Bow Island, and moved to Lethbridge to attend post-secondary school.
In 2006, Nicole graduated from Lethbridge College with a Business Administration diploma in accounting. She then went on to earn a Bachelor of Management degree with a major in accounting from the University of Lethbridge in 2008. During her time at the UofL, Nicole worked part time as an accounting technician.
After university, Nicole earned her Chartered Accountant designation in 2014 through the Chartered Accountant School of Business.
Juggling a family with two children, work, and school was difficult, but Nicole credits the support of her husband and other family members in helping her get to where she is today.
Nicole was instrumental in starting Success Chain, a business networking group made up of entrepreneurs, professionals, sales people, and managers that meet for lunch on a weekly basis with the purpose of helping each other grow their businesses. She has made many connections through this networking group that have helped Nicole to better service her clients because she can point them to people who can help solve their problems.
Nicole has had the pleasure of coaching Little League T-Ball. She has also served as President of Land O Lakes Ladies Golf League, President and Treasurer of Lethbridge Montessori Society, and as a member of the Lethbridge Kinette Club.
For her outstanding work in the accounting field, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Nicole Barnett as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Matt Calnan is the Operations Director at Avison Young Lethbridge.
Matt believes that he has a different approach than most to business. He is a firm believer in open book management - the belief and practice that the more information your employees know, the more empowered that they will be in their jobs. By trusting those around you, and allowing them to make mistakes to broaden their knowledge, the overall team will have far greater success than individuals who are just a cog in a machine.
In both business and in life, Matt believes in four fundamental keys to success: hard work, passion, trust in others, and the brains to make sure you're surrounded by smart individuals. He always tries to be the hardest working person in the organization, and go into business in areas where he has a passion. He trusts the individuals around him, and always tries to build a team with people who are smarter than he is.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Matt attended Lethbridge Collegiate Institute before enrolling in the Faculty of Management at the University of Lethbridge, with a major in Accounting.
After earning his Bachelor of Management degree, Matt went on to earn a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation, and subsequently a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.
While attending the UofL, Matt took a co-op position for the Business Development Bank of Canada in their consulting department. The position with BDC is what made Matt fall in love with business and business development. He knew at that point that he would finish his accounting degree to understand the language of business, but that his true passion was entrepreneurism and business development.
After University, Matt was hired to work in the accounting department at Haul-All Equipment. He was promoted to the financial controller (head of accounting) one year after joining the company. The experience that he was able to gain over the next two and a half years working in that role was invaluable.
Entering into the role of financial controller at a young age, Matt had to learn a lot of things in a short period of time, taking care of the financial position of a company with 130 employees. It took many early mornings and late nights to finally get a grasp on things - learning cash flow management, control systems, receivables collection, payroll processing, and so much more. In that time, Matt was able to grow a lot as a person and as a professional.
In the Spring of 2015, Matt began his dream job working in business development for Avison Young. His position allows him to be an entrepreneur while helping a successful local firm grow and diversify across several business lines.
Matt has strong roots in Lethbridge. He has been involved with the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce for a number of years, and for the 2015 calendar year, sat on the Board of Directors for the Lethbridge Conservative Association and participated in both the Finance committee and the Fundraising Committee.
While attending UofL, Matt was co-founder, and served as VP - Finance, of the University of Lethbridge Accounting Club.
Matt is a proud University of Lethbridge graduate and has had the opportunity to do a lot of volunteer work with the Faculty of Management. For three years he co-instructed a case competition preparation class which helped students prepare for the JDC West case competition. He has also acted as a volunteer coach for the JDC case competition and other local case competitions.
For excellence in the accounting and entrepreneurial fields, his rapid rise in business and continuing desire to give back, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Matt Calnan as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Rodrigo Esparza is the General Manager and a Partner at Ashcroft Homes, a home builder in Lethbridge rated as Alberta's Builder of the Year for three consecutive years.
Rodrigo is a risk taker. He likes to try new designs and new ideas. Rodrigo focuses on growing Ashcroft's business within the community. He has helped the company to build a recognized brand in Southern Alberta, and feels that their homes and clients speak for themselves.
Rodrigo completed a Bachelor in Management at Universidad Panamericana, ranked as a Top 3 Private University in Mexico, in 2004. Afterward, he moved to Barcelona, Spain where he earned an MBA Executive from Universitat de Barcelona in 2006.
Immediately after completing his master's degree, Rodrigo moved back to Mexico where he started working for Pepsi in several roles such as Sales, Negotiator and as Sales Manager. At the same time he applied for his Permanent Resident in Canada, which was accepted in 2008.
That year he moved to Montreal where he took a Global Management Diploma at McGill University. Afterward he was hired by Pepsi Canada where he served in several roles, including as Operations Manager for Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.
When he moved to Lethbridge, Rodrigo and his wife bought the fourth home that Ashcroft had built and became very good friends with the President of the company, Stephen Amonson.
Stephen asked Rodrigo if he would be interested in joining Ashcroft Homes. Rodrigo credits Stephen with taking a risk on him as he had zero experience in construction and zero experience in the home building industry, but Stephen hired Rodrigo with trust in him and his skills.
After working at Ashcroft for six years in several positions such as Scheduler, Project Manager, Site Superintendent, Estimator, Operations Manager and Construction Manager, Rodrigo helped to grow the company from one that was building 15 homes the first year to 100 homes in 2016.
Rodrigo had to take several courses, certifications and diplomas in construction industry-specific topics in order to learn what he needed to play all of those roles at Ashcroft.
He spent several years of nights at home studying Construction Fundamentals through SAIT, the Residential Construction Management program through the Professional Home Builders Institute, Moisture Control, Alberta Soil Test, Building Codes, Drafting, Building Materials and more.
In 2016, Rodrigo was influential in Ashcroft Homes' Presence, not Presents contest which gave away flights for two people from anywhere in the world to come to Alberta and spend time with their loved ones over the Christmas holiday.
Being from out of the country himself, Rodrigo understood what it's like to spend Christmas without your family, and wanted to give someone local who, otherwise might not have had it, the opportunity to have two of their loved ones flown in to Lethbridge.
For helping to develop Ashcroft Homes into one of the top builders in Alberta, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Rodrigo Esparza as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Jill Calnan is the owner and manager of ThreeSixZero Salon & Spa, one of Lethbridge's premiere destinations for high quality salon and spa services in an elegant and comfortable atmosphere.
At ThreeSixZero, Jill helps to foster a comfortable and high-end feel to the salon, while ensuring that all of their clients feel welcome, and truly enjoy their experience.
Jill has always had a passion for the beauty and esthetics industry. She opened ThreeSixZero Salon & Spa in April of 2016. She had always wanted to open a salon and spa, but knew that it had to be different from all the rest. To do this Jill had to ensure that her staff are able to earn a fair and honest wage, have comfortable and safe working conditions, and focus on providing customer service to clients above all else.
Jill never attended any formal education after high school, but knew that she wanted to own her own business. She worked for several years after high school in different roles trying to find out what she loved to do without success.
In 2015, Jill decided that she needed to take a leap of faith. She had no training in the beauty industry, but her passion fueled her to open up a high-end salon and spa in West Lethbridge. Her vision was to create an atmosphere that her clients would love going to.
Jill had never felt comfortable going into a salon; she always felt that there was a pretentious atmosphere. She wanted to have people feel completely relaxed when they came to the salon, as if it was a place to escape their hectic lives and just enjoy the hour or two in total relaxation.
Jill believes that what makes her strongest at what she does isn't education, because she doesn't have any. It isn't business savvy, because everything that she does is on intuition. She believes that what makes her strongest is her passion for the industry and, more importantly, the passion that she has for her staff.
The staff at ThreeSixZero love expressing their creativity through the various services that they provide. For Jill, being able to provide them this platform is the best thing that she does. She believes that staff should be empowered with their work and that the best staff are staff that are owners. That's why Jill created an employee equity program at ThreeSixZero to reward and retain top talent, and to allow her the ability to work alongside them as long as ThreeSixZero exists.
Born and raised in Lethbridge, Jill has always had immense appreciation for the city and its people. Through the creation of ThreeSixZero, she has been able to reach out to different areas with donations and appearances.
Jill has always felt that she owes more to Lethbridge than it owes to her. She has made a commitment to support local, regional and provinial community efforts through cash donations and sponsorships as much as possible. In the past, ThreeSixZero has supported Sunridge Days, the Tour of Alberta, Alberta Red Cross for the Fort McMurray fires, and the Fire Fighters Charity Calendar.
For successfully taking the entrepreneurial risk and becoming a job creator, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jill Calnan as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Mandy DeCecco-Kolebaba is the Director of Operations at Hire Standard Inc., permanent, temporary and background screening specialists in Lethbridge.
What sets Mandy apart is her dedication to the community as well as to her company. She has been a member of the the Downtown Rotary Club for 11 years where she currently serves as President Elect. She believes strongly in all the work that they do in Lethbridge and the world.
She credits the great mentors throughout her life with contributing to her success. She is thankful to have so many people rooting for her to be successful, from her business partner, Emma Goerzen, who took a chance on her when she was only 26, to the people who mentored her in Rotary, at school and in business.
Mandy works hard but strives to maintain a balance with family. She is working to change the way the world sees women and moms in business. She does not believe in the term mom-preneurs, but is an entrepreneur. She believes that women, particularly mothers, in business can do it all...they just have to do it in a different way.
A Lethbridge College graduate, Mandy and earned a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism in 2001. Following that, she moved on to the University of Lethbridge where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005.
While at the U of L, Mandy was able to travel to Malaysia to teach English and drama. She has continued to take courses through the U of L in order to keep learning and growing.
In 2013, Hire Standard was listed as #24 of the Alberta Venture Fast Growth 50; a list for the fastest-growing companies in Alberta. The next year, she was nominated for the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneur Award, and in 2015, Mandy was nominated for an Alberta Women Entrepreneur Award.
Currently, Mandy serves as a Senator for the University of Lethbridge. She also works as Treasurer for the Lethbridge Montessori Society Board and Friend of the Lethbridge Food Bank Society. She is an original member of the 100 Women Who Care and Hire Standard has a $2000 annual scholarship with Lethbridge College for a single parent trying to change their life through education. From 2012-2014, Mandy also served as a member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
For her entrepreneurial successes, and being an outstanding role model for women in business, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Mandy DeCecco-Kolebaba as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Shannon Westhora is the owner of Munchkin Manor Daycare & Learning Centre Inc., an inclusive daycare in Lethbridge whose objective is to promote healthy development through play and exploration.
What sets Shannon apart is the amount that she genuinely cares about every child that walks through her door. Children are never just a number or customer to Shannon. She is truly invested in how each child grows and learns on a day-to-day basis.
Shannon was born and raised in Lethbridge. After graduating from LCI, she went on to study psychology at the University of Lethbridge. While there, Shannon completed a number of developmental psychology classes which she felt would best provide her with the tools needed to work with children of all ages and stages. In 2010, Shannon earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
While attending University, Shannon worked part time for a local area day home agency. In 2010 she began with a new daycare program that was starting in Lethbridge. She soon obtained her Childcare Worker designation.
Shannon had the opportunity to learn about the business side of daycare operation by assisting during the licensing, pre-accreditation and accreditation processes as well as many of the health and licensing visits.
In 2014, Shannon founded Munchkin Manor Daycare & Learning Centre, which she has been running successfully ever since.
Shannon is the extremely proud mother of three girls: Isabella, Raeleigh & Emery as well as her foster son Draydin.
Shannon actively supports a number of community groups throughout the region including Family Support for Children with Disabilities and Key Connections. This helps her to develop programs that are well-suited to each individual child in her care.
She loves bringing in members of the community for visits to her centre, including fire fighters, police officers, authors, nurses who all come in to share stories and engage with the children.
For her entrepreneurial success and for providing quality, inclusive daycare services the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Shannon Westhora as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Gord Maljaars is the co-owner, alongside his wife Laura, of Matters Of Design Inc., a unique design studio that provides start-to-finish residential & commercial design including architectural design, interior design & decorating, and window coverings sales.
Gord and Laura started Matters of Design as a small interior design company that has quickly expanded to a sought-after design firm with a team of designers for both award-winning residential homes and commercial design.
Matters of Design recently expanded into a retail store that has quickly become known as a popular and unique-to-Lethbridge shopping experience with unique products including a wide range of furniture, home décor, women's & baby fashion.
Gord earned his Architectural Drafting Technician certification from the University of The Fraser Valley, where he also studied business and accounting. At Fraser Valley, Gord graduated on the Dean's List and was awarded the Top Student Award. He also earned his International Design and Decorating Professional designation by completing the Interior Decorating diploma through QC Design School.
Formerly employed with a public accounting firm, and later a financial controller of a local business, Gord feels that his experience with business and accounting is invaluable for owning a business of his own.
Gord also had the valuable experience of several years in the construction industry as office manager and designer of award winning custom homes & show homes in Lethbridge. Now working with many different home builders, individuals and contractors, Gord and Laura are recognized for their designs in and around Lethbridge.
In addition to business success, Gord is an accomplished musician; both as a pianist and a choral conductor of choirs up to 75 voices in size! Gord has organized local concerts to raise thousands of dollars for various non-profit organizations.
Gord and Laura are actively involved on committees through the Lethbridge Home Builders Association. Their retail store regularly hosts events such as women's shopping evenings, Mother's Day celebrations, and other fun events.
Gord is involved with the Lethbridge Pregnancy Care Centre where he has had an active role in fundraising for the organization's annual budget for several years.
For his entrepreneurial success and rapidly-expanding business, The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Gord Maljaars as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Andrea Hogan is a Senior Account Executive with the SANS Institute, a global cybersecurity training company and the largest, most trusted source for information security training and security certification in the world.
Andrea is an ambitious, self-driven professional who has chosen the path less traveled, and puts her heart into everything that she does.
She is currently a sole proprietor and has been on contract with the SANS Institute for the last six years. She acts as an account manager for highly technical, immersive information security training with clients ranging from local organizations to Fortune 500 companies and Federal Government agencies.
Andrea loves that every day she gets to help organizations formulate strategies for their teams to mitigate cybercrime. It is a hypercurrent industry that is constantly evolving so every day brings new and exciting challenges and attack vectors to learn about.
Working out of her home office, Andrea is constantly "surrounded" by leaders in their fields of cybersecurity and allowing her to constantly grow her knowledge base. She has a passion for learning and enjoys having the opportunity to consult individuals and organizations on their learning paths and develop solutions and career plans.
Andrea works with companies to identify people who have an aptitude for cybersecurity to participate in a Master's Program or leverage training as a retention program for employees. The programs that she is the most proud of are the VetSuccess Academy to get returning veterans back into the workforce in cybersecurity and the Women's Academy designed to address the shortage of women in the cybersecurity industry.
Raised in Lethbridge, Andrea graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Management in 2002.
Her sense of adventure took her to the Cayman Islands for a number of years after graduation where she worked for an international hotel chain, the Governor of the Cayman Islands, and in management positions with two project development companies.
Andrea has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and relished the opportunity to grow professionally provided by the latter two positions. She opened two new businesses and managed teams. She feels that it was rewarding to be involved with building companies from the ground up.
Living abroad taught Andrea that the world has much to offer and also made her appreciate what a special city Lethbridge is. When she returned to Lethbridge in 2010 her focus wasn't on what the city could give to her but what she could give back to the city. Andrea is thankful to live in a close knit and beautiful community like Lethbridge and to have the ability to work at a local and international level to support cybersecurity missions.
Andrea has been a member of the Rotary Club of Lethbridge Urban Spirits since 2011. She believes that Rotary has been a huge gift in her life and identifies with the motto of 'Service above self'. Through the club's "Rotary in the Community" events Andrea is able to connect with other people in the community and give back to the city that's given so much to her.
Rotary gives Andrea the opportunity to contribute to the community both at a local and global level through the Lethbridge Food Bank Christmas hamper program, beautifying our city with the Coulee Cleanup, providing bus tickets to low income pregnant women so they can attend prenatal doctor appointments, playing games and spending time with seniors living at the Alberta Rose Lodge, and more.
On an international level Andrea is proud to have been a member that was involved in building the Rafiki House at the Karim Orphanage in Tanzania so volunteers weren't taking beds away from children.
Far and away the project that Andrea is most proud of is making the SLP Skatepark in Lethbridge a reality along with the other generous donors and supporters. Hardly a day goes by that there aren't kids on the park - rain, shine and even snow.
For outstanding achievement in a typically male-dominated field and dedication to improving our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Andrea Hogan as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Derek St. Jean
Derek St. Jean is a youth advocate in the city, currently attending the University of Lethbridge.
Derek was born and raised in Lethbridge, and is passionate about the community. He has been volunteering with youth-oriented organizations and initiatives since he was 18 years old.
Having grown up in Lethbridge, Derek always felt a strong need to give back to the community that helped raise him. Once he was in a position to give back, he began working hard to help the community in any way that he could. He found his passion with the youth of Lethbridge, and feels that a strategy of empowerment most helps foster the potential within the youth of our city.
Derek is currently attending the University of Lethbridge, working towards a Bachelor Degree in both Political Science and Psychology. Throughout his time at U of L, he has had the opportunity to meet some very gifted, talented, and kind academics and community members.
The current Chair of the Youth Advisory Council for the City of Lethbridge, Derek sees this as his current crowning achievement. He has served on the Youth Advisory Council since 2014. As the Chair, Derek is proud that he is now able to give back to those youth coming into our community.
Derek has volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club of Lethbridge, for their Tuesday night "MAT" program. This opportunity allowed him to be personally involved with youth in our community who need support, and youth in our community who are looking for opportunities to embrace their potential.
He has held seats on a number of councils and committees as a youth advocate, or as the youth perspective.
Some of these committees include Intelligent YQL, 40 Developmental Assets, Council of Lethbridge Neighbourhoods, Beyond your Front Door, Little Lethbridge Libraries, Galt Garden Public Engagement, Efficient Land Use Strategy Community Liaison Group, Environment and Historic Resources Strategy Community Liaison Group.
Outside of these initiatives, Derek has also had a consistent friendship and communication with organizations such as United Way, Family Centre, and other youth serving and community agencies.
For his ongoing contributions to better our community and help youth reach their full potential, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Derek St. Jean as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Tevi Legge is the Director Business Development for ATB Financial in Lethbridge where she helps medium to large-sized businesses to navigate the often complicated world of banking. Tevi has been working with entrepreneurs and professionals in Lethbridge for more than 10 years. She has worked hard to help local businesses be as successful as they can be and grow to their potential.
Born and raised in Moose Jaw, Sask., Tevi first arrived in Lethbridge in 2002 to attend the University of Lethbridge. A two-time U of L graduate, Tevi earned her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Kinesilolgy and Exercise Science in 2004, at which point she re-enrolled and earned her Bachelor of Management in 2008.
Growing up in Moose Jaw shaped Tevi in many ways. She believes that when you grow up in a small city you learn to be a doer of all things. Tevi played all sports, acted in plays, was part of school council, has had a job since she was 14, and learned early the importance of having a strong sense of community.
This sense of community drew Tevi back to Lethbridge following an internship in Edmonton. She has been in Lethbridge ever since, having worked with entrepreneurs, professionals and aspiring business people as a part of Community Futures in Taber, BDC and now at ATB Financial.
Tevi has participated on many boards and committees focused on bettering our community and helping up-and-coming business people. Until recently, she served as chairwoman of Southern Alberta Women in Business group. The group has made huge strides in supporting women in business through education, mentorship, and networking opportunities.
Another passion of Tevi's is the Chinook Regional Hospital Foundation, where she sits on the planning committee for the Christmas Tree Festival. She is also a former board member for Junior Achievement, YPAL, and was a founding member of Urban Spirits Rotary.
Tevi contributed to spontaneously raising over $25,000 in money and food through initiating the #snowballeffect challenge using social media with local businesses, and inspired thousands of local businesses and individuals to throw their snowballs and donate to the food banks at Christmas.
With three children at home, Tevi is a strong advocate for working mothers. Her goal is to be a role model for her generation and others to show that it can be done. Tevi prides herself on setting a great example for other working mothers, all while supporting as many others as she can and doing it with kindness.
For striving to help up-and-coming entrepreneurs and business people, and serving as an example to working mothers and all young people in our community, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Tevi Legge as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Ken Aitkens is the founder and lead designer at Lethbridge-based Type Three Homes, a home building company that is at the forefront of architectural design and innovation. Through it’s developments, Type Three Homes is leading the way in revitalizing mature south side neighborhoods in Lethbridge.
After completing his first residential redevelopment at 18 years of age, Ken spent the next decade learning the ins and outs of the residential construction industry. In 2009 Type Three Homes was born. Type Three is a design + build company that focuses on modern architectural design through infill development. Type Three’s developments are bringing up land values in older areas and have created a new real estate market in Lethbridge that didn't exist before.
Ken has learned, through his 17 years of experience, that there is no better teacher than practical application. He is continually humbled by how much life has to teach us and has learned to see obstacles and the status quo as opportunities to grow and innovate.
Ken is a believer that mature neighborhoods can be revitalized through modern infill development by re-purposing existing lots and building new homes where older ones previously stood. His developments are attracting families of all demographics and are working to promote an authentic sense of community in these neighbourhoods. Ken prefers to redevelop in mature neighbourhoods to combat urban sprawl which in turn can have significant impacts to reduce a city’s environmental impact.
His dedication to our region, fuels a passion toward redeveloping and revitalizing downtown Lethbridge, and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Ken's company Type Three Homes was responsible for the design and renovation of local hot spot Bread Milk & Honey.
For entrepreneurial excellence, and leading the way to create a new homebuilding market in our region, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Ken Aitkens as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Christy Jones is stylist and owner of Bettys and Bombshells Hair Salon, a salon in Lethbridge with an exciting and fast paced environment for all ages, interests and lifestyles to come and enjoy having amazing beauty services.
With 14 years' experience as a stylist in Lethbridge, Christy opened Bettys & Bombshells in 2009.
Christy views opening her salon as her greatest achievement. Taking on any business is a risk, but the hair and beauty industry is particularly difficult. Christy is pleased with the strong support shown by the community in Lethbridge.
When she opened her salon, Christy wanted to create a comfortable, fun, family-friendly salon. Christy is a firm believer in that if you do what you do the best, all of the time, there is no time for failure.
Christy graduated from L.A. School of Hair Design and has since taken on many advanced cutting and coloring classes with some of North America's greatest stylists, and artists.
Christy has joined the education team of Joico Canada. This enables her to constantly grow her skills as well as pass on knowledge and training to up-and-coming stylists across the Province. Being a member of the Joico team will allow Christy to be at the forefront of all of the current trends and product developments.
Christy believes in giving back to our community. She participated in a fundraiser for victims of the High River floods. She also planned and hosted the Hotrods & Hair charity BBQ and car show in 2015 with proceeds benefitting JDRF in support of Shaylene Mann.
For her entrepreneurial spirit, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Christy Jones as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Candace Ebrey is the director of marketing at Chinook Country Tourist Association, the destination marketing organization for southwest Alberta.
Candace believes that everyone is in charge of their own path and it's not about the obstacles along the way, it's what you learn in the process of climbing them. She considers herself an avid "climber" with a mantra of "fall down, but never lie down".
When she was 13 years old, Candace's father made she and her sister open up a greenhouse. They started in February and spent their entire summer transplanting tomatoes. It was hard work and at the time she absolutely hated it.
However, her father let her come up with the name of the business, "C&J Greenhouse", and she was able to design the business cards. At the end of the summer, both she and her sister had each made $600.
Through this experience, Candace learned the value of hard work and reaping what you sew.
In 2006, Candace graduated from Lethbridge College with honors in the Communications Arts Program where she majored in Advertising and Public Relations.
For nearly five years, Candace worked as the Director of Sales for the Lethbridge Lodge Hotel. This role involved joining the Executive Team at 24 years old, making her the youngest Director of Sales in a corporation which represents more than 20 hotels across the nation.
In 2015, Candace received the Alto Award as Project Lead for the Chinook Country Tourist Association Circle Tours marketing campaign. This was the first award that Chinook Country received from Travel Alberta.
Candace's role at Chinook Country involves constantly engaging with community members. Her job is also to coach community partners on best practices on tourism marketing. She has assisted in grant writing for various events and festivals so that organizations can receive funding and improve our community.
For excellence in the field of marketing, and hard work in promoting Lethbridge as a destination the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Candace Ebrey as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Candace Ford is a Financial Adviser at Servus Credit Union. She is passionate about making Lethbridge great and has spent her life focusing on being involved in our community.
Candace believes that Lethbridge is a great city that is changing and evolving every day. Her hope is that we become one of the best cities to live in the country.
In her work at Servus Credit Union, Candace has developed a love of working with youth and teaching them the basics of banking and budgeting.
Candace earned her Business Management Diploma at Lethbridge College. She has also worked to attain a Bachelor of Business Management through Athabasca University.
A founding board member of Alberta's YouthVOLUNTEER! Society, Candace helped form the organization which works to encourage, enhance, and ease youth into volunteering across the province.
Candace was selected by Volunteer Lethbridge as a Leader of Tomorrow in Lethbridge and has also received the Premier's Citizenship Award.
Currently, Candace serves as a board member for the Lethbridge Family Centre. She also works with the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Additionally, Candace is involved in many great organizations around the community, including the United Way, Pig and Pumpkin festival, youth sports, and more.
For constantly striving to make Lethbridge a better place to live and work, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Candace Ford as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Ben Osmond is a Consultant at Investors Group Financial Services Inc., wealth management experts with over 90 years of history in Canada.
Ben is a strong advocate in helping those in need, and practices what he preaches. As a financial planner and investment manager,
Ben comes across people who need expert advice but have no money to invest or pay for that advice.
He loves to see the look in the eyes of someone who is struggling financially after being able to give them the relief that comes with a strong financial plan.
As a senior in high school, Ben tore three out of four tendons in his knee. He was told that he would never play competitive sports. Not only did he play competitive sports again, but he again he was offered scholarships to play football in the CIS and ultimately went on to play basketball for the University of Lethbridge.
In 2014, Ben earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Lethbridge. When he was attending University, Ben started a contracting company.
He ran into many elderly people who could not afford services but desperately needed them done, and so his company would help them free of charge.
Ben has worked with a number of charity organizations including the United Way, YWCA, 4-H Club, Scouts Canada and Operation Red Nose.
For excellence in the financial services field and a strong dedication to charity and community improvement, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Ben Osmond as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Blair Hamer is the owner of PropertyGuys.com in Lethbridge.
Blair was born and raised in Yellowknife, where he experienced numerous cultures and learned the strength and beauty of diversity.
He attended the University of Lethbridge, where he earned a combined degree in Education and the Arts.
From there he taught for 12 years and was a principal for four years in northern Alberta. Blair became principal at Nampa Public School in Peace River when he was only 24 years old.
His experiences that students, athletes, co-workers, and community members taught Blair the value of listening, being prepared, giving unconditionally, providing when others needed it and enjoying watching people grow to reach their full potential.
Blair is happy to provide sponsorship of high school athletic teams and organizations. He also volunteers his time coaching basketball, volleyball, curling, hockey and Soccer.
Blair is happy to provide free PropertyGuys resources to those in need. He donates five per cent of PropertyGuys Real Estate Pro listings to a number of local charities.
He also participates in Canada Day festivities and donates items to make the day special here in Lethbridge.
For his dedication to helping youth and mentoring the next generation, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO are proud to recognize Blair Hamer as one of Lethbridge's Top 40 Under Forty.
Jake Klassen is the owner of Jake Klassen Plumbing Inc., a plumbing and gas fitting company in Lethbridge that he founded with his wife Lacey in 2011. The team at Jake Klassen Plumbing strives to provide their services efficiently and correctly while maintaining fair pricing and customer relationships.
Jake puts great customer service first. He wants to exceed customers’ expectations with the highest quality work at fair prices.
Born in Mexico, Jake immigrated to Canada at the age of 4. Before earning his Journeyman Plumber Certificate from Medicine Hat College, he worked on farms and driving semi-trucks.
Jake credits his wife, family and the outstanding team that they have assembled for the success of the business.
Both Jake and Lacey want their children to grow up with a strong work ethic, to be pillars of the community and to give back to people who may be less fortunate. They believe that the best way to instill those values is by example.
Jake believes that giving back to the community is important. He is a member of BNI helping other local business grow within our community. Jake and Lacey are strong supporters of Streets Alive, especially their youth and food programs.
For his dedication to customer service and making the community a better place, the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO are proud to recognize Jake Klassen as one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 Under Forty.
Do you someone doing AWESOME things in Lethbridge? Nominate them for the 2017-2018 Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce & BDO Top 40 Under Forty today!
Make your nominations online at lethbridgchamber.com.