The success of this initiative requires talent and cooperation – all of which are reflected by our team of volunteers. They are former bankers, government employees, marketers, administrators and publicists – some are retired, while others are still working. Their common trait? Having a strong commitment to The Forest - Common Ground and to each other.
Jon is a self-taught photographer who first started exhibiting in 2009. By using various exposures, angles and techniques, Jon strives to achieve a unique union of photographic detail with the primary components of depth, colour and light. His goal is to highlight the extraordinary that is inherent in the ordinary – to heighten our appreciation and awareness of our environment and the communities and people sustained by it.
Jon has exhibited at the Calgary Stampede (2010 through 2012), Capital Ex in Edmonton (2009 through 2011 [Featured Artist in 2010], 2013 and 2014), the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Keyano College in Ft. McMurray, The Muttart Conservatory (2014, 2016 and 2018), The Shaw Conference Centre and various other Alberta locations. His previous career included: legal counsel for a multi-national oil company; politician at various levels; and, public procurement consultant.
Project Advisor, Finance and Sponsorship
Les is a retired bank/government executive. Throughout his career he has served in various leadership capacities, undertaking new projects and guiding large teams to successful outcomes. In retirement he travels, takes some pictures and likes to golf when not working on projects for his condo board. He joined this project out of admiration of Jon’s body of work and the theme of fostering a positive, common ground amongst citizens, at home and abroad.
After graduating from the NAIT Engineering Design and Drafting program, Maurizio started working at Edmonton Power (now EPCOR) in the Engineering Department as a Draftsman. In 1997, he received his Business Management Diploma and Human Resource Certification, and in 2008 a PMP Certification. Responsibilities while at Epcor included: Manager of Business Process Optimization; team leader for the design, build and implementation of an Enterprise Work management system, a new payroll system, a new data centre and requirements for the new EPCOR Tower; and, IT Asset Manager.
Randy is a partner at Edmonton-based RED The Agency, specializing in corporate branding and marketing communications strategy development. His career spans more than 35 years, serving in a variety of positions with advertising and public relations agencies, major corporations and government, as well as operating his own consulting firm. Randy is a past president of the Advertising Club of Edmonton and is an ACE Fellowship Award recipient. He currently serves as a program advisor to the NAIT JR Shaw School of Business and NorQuest College.
Creative Team Lead
Shelley is a creative brand and lead generator in construction, land and community development. Her extensive experience will provide valuable support to the project. Some roles throughout the past 30+ years include: Natural History Interpreter, Manitoba Department of Natural Resources; VP Sales, Canadian Maps, Canada; Sales & Brand Ambassador (IT Information Technology Certified Training), Network Learning Masters, Edmonton, Alberta; Interior Design Manager, Wen-Di Interiors, Edmonton, Alberta; Brand Ambassador & Interior Design, F2 Furnishings, Edmonton, Alberta; and, founder & content creator of Wildurban.ca.
ANDY & ANN DOWDALL
Photographer Liaison and Sponsorship
Andy and Ann moved from Manchester UK to Sherwood Park, Alberta in December 2006. Andy is a Sales Manager in a busy truck/tractor dealership, having been voted in the top 50 sales people in 2014, 2015, 2017 and in the top 25 sales managers for North America in 2018. He is an avid amateur photographer, constantly experimenting and seeking out new subjects. Ann has an acute eye for detail and brings the organizing to their relationship – as Andy says, “keeping everything together”.
Before retirement, Neris worked for the Government of Alberta for 40 years, 29 of those in senior positions with various Cabinet Ministers and MLAs in the Legislature Building. She is an avid volunteer, including numerous political campaigns and charitable events, Kids with Cancer, The Festival of Trees and the 2018 Grey Cup. Neris encouraged Jon to pursue his passion for photography and to open his gallery. She assists with his exhibits and events relating to the artwork and is his constant and welcome companion on their many hiking trips.
LENNY MING LO
Lenny attended the University of Alberta, earning a Bachelor of Design Degree with a major in Industrial Design in 2005. He founded Blangk, a design and marketing firm, shortly after graduating. His designs have been recognized by numerous magazines around the world and have won several international awards. He also helped Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern Alberta win their first Innovation Award in 2013.
CATHY & ROGER PALMER
Government Liaison and Sponsorship
Roger started as a teacher with Edmonton Public Schools, became a school administrator, moved to Alberta Education and was eventually appointed Deputy Minister of Education. Subsequently, he was Deputy Minister of Innovation and Science, Deputy Minister of Environment and Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness. Upon leaving government, Roger was appointed the Interim Dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta. Following his term as Dean, he joined the Alberta School of Business to teach public policy in the MBA program. Roger’s awards include the IPAC 2004 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Alberta Centennial Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Cathy initially served as a researcher supporting government members and select committees in the Alberta Legislature. She then established her own management consulting business and eventually re-joined the Alberta Public Service in 1998. She held several senior positions in Alberta Health dealing with primary health care, physician compensation and health system innovation. Cathy has also been a volunteer leader in Edmonton for more than 20 years, including school councils, the City of Edmonton Family and Community Services, Services for People with Development Disabilities, and the Bissell Centre. She was also a member of the Edmonton Police Commission for seven years, including two years as President of the Canadian Association of Police Governance and two years as Chair of the Edmonton Commission.
Shane is Chief of Operations at RED The Agency. He has more than 20 years of experience in digital marketing and has worked with award-winning international agencies including MacLaren McCann, Organic, Critical Mass and Proximity (BBDO). With a thorough understanding of digital strategy, technology platforms, social media, user experience, analytics and measurement, Shane’s focus is on building integrated end-to-end consumer experiences.
Prior to retiring, Sandy worked for the Government of Alberta for 29 years. Most of those years were spent supporting Cabinet Ministers and MLAs at the Alberta Legislature. Currently, she passes her time taking fitness and watercolor classes, gardening and enjoying some travel.