Legacy Council Directory


Chris McLeod

VP, Global Marketing & Communications - Edmonton Global

Chris McLeod is Edmonton Global’s Vice President of global marketing and communications and has a lead role in building an international brand and investment strategy for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region in markets around the world. An experienced leader and active community volunteer, Chris has a strong track record of bringing people and ideas together. He helped found the Business of Hockey Institute, is the past chair of St. Albert’s Economic Sustainability Advisory Council and has served on several boards including the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce.

Chris currently sits on Invest in Canada’s Pan Canadian marketing committee, Consider Canada Cities Alliance communications committee, and on the organizing committee of Canada’s first-ever international nanotechnology conference with NanoCanada. He’s also deeply involved in attracting events in hydrogen, cleantech, AI, deep tech, and video games to the Edmonton region.

As a volunteer, Chris leads the Canadian Ski Patrol at Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park. He has a BA in political science from the University of Alberta and an MBA from Athabasca University.

Professional headshot of Alexis Ksiazkiewicz of the Business Events Legacy Council

Alexis Ksiazkiewicz

Associate VP, Government & Community Relations - University of Alberta

Alexis Ksiaskiewicz leads the University of Alberta’s government and community relations team within the External Relations portfolio. An accomplished leader and advocacy expert, she develops and leads stakeholder relations strategies, provides strategic counsel, builds and sustains institutional relationships and works within complex legislative and funding frameworks to secure support for the University and post-secondary education sector.

A passionate community builder and volunteer, Alexis is a proud Rotarian and member of the Rotary Club of Edmonton. Recently, she served as the Chair of Community Services for Rotary District 5370, supporting community development initiatives across 60 clubs. Currently, Alexis serves as Past Chair of the Government Relations Officers’ Network for Canadian Universities (GRO Network) and is a member of the Government Relations Institute of Canada. Her work leading the development of the University’s Community Engagement Plan was recognized internationally with a Circle of Excellence Award (Gold) from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She was also named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 (Class of 2019).

Alexis holds a BA (Hon) and an MA in Political Science from the University of Alberta and has completed a program in Leading Strategic Change from Rotman School of Management. In her spare time, Alexis, her husband, Fil, and their dog, Seymour, can be found at their local dog park enjoying Edmonton’s river valley.

Sector Leads

Darrell Petras – Agriculture Sector Lead

Director, Business & Community Development - Innovate Edmonton

As Innovate Edmonton’s Director of Business & Community Development, Darrell works with individuals, start-ups, scale-ups, and the corporate sector to develop strategies and programs to support innovation-intensive entrepreneurship and bolster the commercialization of innovation arising from the Edmonton region.

Darrell is a business development and technology transfer leader with nearly two decades of experience facilitating the commercialization of innovation and managing innovation-based businesses. Much of his career has focused on realizing economic value from innovation generated by universities and private companies working in all facets of the agricultural, energy, and IT sectors. Darrell’s commercial success includes partnerships related to the new plant varieties, gene sequencing, energy distribution, and dairy animal health. Numerous closed commercial deals have generated a strong return on investment for stakeholders, including start-ups and multinational companies.

As a founder, business owner, and business coach with years of experience as a service provider focused on growing start-ups, Darrell has extensive knowledge of programs that accelerate the development of early and growth-stage companies. His background is complemented by years of agricultural production and not-for-profit and for-profit board experience working with technology companies and a small investment fund.

Reg Joseph – Health & Life Sciences Sector Lead

CEO - Health Cities

Reg Joseph was appointed as the CEO of Health Cities in February 2018, where he is focused on developing new pathways for healthcare delivery to drive better health outcomes and economic growth for our region. He has 20 years of experience spanning the health, technology and investment sectors. Health Cities leverages Edmonton’s tremendous assets in health, health research, data, artificial intelligence and entrepreneurship to position the city as a premier location for health innovation.

Having served in a variety of roles, Reg's experience includes work as an analyst with Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co. and managing a global business unit at US-based Invitrogen Corporation (now Thermo Fisher). He has founded and led local health technology companies and, most recently, served as the Vice President of Health at Alberta Innovates, managing outgoing investments from the Heritage Fund.

In addition to serving on multiple boards of health technology companies, Reg currently serves as Chair of the Board of BioTalent Canada and on the MacEwan University Board of Governors. He is also a member of the Minister’s Advisory Council for the Ministry of Seniors and Housing for the Province of Alberta. Reg has a B.Sc. in Physiology and an MBA in Finance.

Professional headshot of Anne Naeth of the Business Events Legacy Council

Anne Naeth – Energy and Sustainability Sector Lead

Professor, Land Reclamation and Restoration Ecology - University of Alberta

A professor of land reclamation and restoration ecology at the University of Alberta, Anne Naeth has also been Director of the Land Reclamation International Graduate School since 2011. In 2018, she was named Director of the $75 million federally-funded Future Energy Systems program and in 2019, she took on additional responsibilities as the Director of the U of A’s Energy Systems Signature Area.

Anne is engaged in all major U of A strategic and administrative operations related to energy and she also guides and supports the development of research partnerships with other research organizations, industry, and government in Canada, and internationally. She chairs a committee contributing to the development of new energy curricula at the U of A and oversees an expansive energy outreach and engagement program including partnerships with the Edmonton Public Library and numerous educational stakeholders in Alberta and beyond.

Originally hailing from Saskatchewan, Anne completed her BSc, MSc, and PhD at the University of Alberta, and was the first student at the institution to complete a graduate degree in the field of land reclamation. She became a faculty member in the Department of Renewable Resources in 1993.

Professional headshot of Myron Keehn the logistics sector lead for the Business Events Legacy Council

Myron Keehn – Logistics Sector Lead

Vice President, Air Service and Business Development - Edmonton International Airport

Myron Keehn is Vice President, Air Service and Business Development at Edmonton International Airport (EIA). His 30 years of experience working in the private and public sectors in North and South America, Asia, and Europe help him to see and implement new and effective approaches to airport business development.

Myron leads EIA's Airport City Sustainability Campus - an ecosystem of companies driving innovation in e-commerce, cargo/logistics, advanced manufacturing, and pharma. His vision and tenacity have attracted more than USD$1.2B of private investment to EIA. Myron’s mission is to recast the roles that airports play, evolving beyond utilities into economic engines for cities, regions and countries.

Prior to EIA, Myron built a career focusing on how to drive economic potential of private and government-owned assets to maximize returns for countries by driving national investment and commercial plans. Myron is an active Director on governing boards across a range of sectors including real estate, healthcare, private industry, and philanthropy.

Professional headshot of Eleni Stroulia of the Business Events Legacy Council

Eleni Stroulia – AI Sector Lead

Acting Vice Dean, Faculty of Science Professor, Department of Computing Science Director, AI4Society Signature Area - University of Alberta

Dr. Eleni Stroulia is a Professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. From 2011 to 2016, she held the NSERC/AITF Industrial Research Chair on Service Systems Management with IBM. Her research focuses on addressing industry-driven problems by adopting AI and machine-learning methods to improve or automate tasks.

Dr. Stroulia's flagship project in the area of health care is the Smart Condo in which she investigates the use of technology to support people with chronic conditions to live independently for longer and to educate health-science students to provide better care for these clients. In 2011, the Smart Condo team received the U of A Teaching Unit Award. She has played leadership roles in the GRAND and AGE-WELL Networks of Centres of Excellence, in 2018, she received a McCalla professorship, and in 2019, she was recognized with a Killam Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

She has supervised more than 60 graduate students and PDFs, who have gone forward to stellar academic and industrial careers. Since 2020, she has been the Director of the University of Alberta's AI4Society Signature Area.

Council of Ambassadors

Michael O’Driscoll

Professor, Department of English and Film Studies – University of Alberta

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Michael O’Driscoll was raised in Waterloo, Ontario. He earned his BA and MA degrees in English at the University of Waterloo, and his PhD in English at the University of Western Ontario. While completing his degrees O’Driscoll worked for twelve years as a writer for CTV Television, and in 1997 took up a tenure-track position at the University of Alberta as a Professor of American Literature.

He is the proud father of four adult sons and grandfather of two brilliant twin boys. He has traveled extensively in North America and Europe, and enjoys music, dining with friends, and fine single malt scotch. O'Driscoll is a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies and has served in various leadership roles at the University of Alberta, most recently as Convenor of Congress 2021.

He teaches and publishes in the areas of poetry, critical theory, and cultural studies, and leads a research team that is building a nationally networked archive of recorded literary performances. Michael’s passion is working collaboratively with others to build great things, and he’s thrilled to bring that spirit to celebrating the City of Edmonton and all it has to offer.

Martin Ferguson-Pell

Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine – University of Alberta | Executive Director – Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute

Martin Ferguson-Pell was appointed Dean of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine in 2007 and completed his first 5-year term in 2012. During his first term, the faculty expanded in Edmonton and used synchronous video-conference-based systems to establish satellite programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy in Calgary and at U of A’s Augustana Campus in Camrose, Alberta. The faculty’s first endowed chair was established in musculoskeletal rehabilitation and a second shortly afterwards in rehabilitation for members of Canadian Forces and Veterans.

In 2010, Martin was also appointed to the role of chair of the Health Sciences Council. While he was chairing the Council, the $500M Edmonton Clinical Health Academy was opened, creating a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary setting dedicated to the education of health.

Karen Lee

Associate Professor, Preventive Medicine; Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health; Instructor, School of Urban and Regional Planning; Director, Housing for Health; Director, Public Health & Preventive Medicine Residency Program - University of Alberta | Instructor, Mailman School of Public Health - Columbia University

Dr. Karen K. Lee, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine at the University of Alberta. Dr. Lee is also a part-time Medical Officer of Health with Alberta Health Services, Provincial Public and Population Health.  Also at the University of Alberta, she is Director of the Housing for Health project which includes working with more than 200 multi-sector partners from six provinces in Canada on Healthy Cities Implementation.

Prior to returning to Canada, she lived and worked in the United States for nearly 15 years, first as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and then as Inaugural Healthy Built Environment Director and Deputy to the Assistant Commissioner for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control at New York City's Health Department. New York City's comprehensive environmental and policy approach to health and wellbeing reversed childhood obesity trends and increased life expectancies from improved chronic disease outcomes within less than one decade. She has worked with more 30 cities globally.

Dr. Lee is the author of the recent book, Fit Cities. For more information, see also www.drkarenlee.com and https://www.ualberta.ca/

A professional headshot of Janet Riopel of the Business Events Legacy Council

Janet Riopel

President & CEO - TREYL Communications

Janet Riopel is the President & CEO of TREYL Communications Inc. She has deep roots in our community and considerable experience in managing complex, multi-stakeholder projects. Most recently, she was the President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce. Janet is a Director on the Boards of the Invest Alberta Corporation and NAIT. She was Board Chair of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and Compassion House Foundation, Campaign Chair for United Way, Board Chair of MacEwan College and the Edmonton Chamber, and President of the Urban Development Institute Alberta.

Janet’s community service has brought her much recognition. She was honoured with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, has twice been named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People, and was a Global TV Woman of Vision. Janet has received UDI’s Merit Award and the City of Edmonton’s Outstanding Service Award. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Janet is a lifelong Edmontonian with two children and four amazing grandchildren.

Professional headshot of Dr. Vivian Mushahwar of the Business Events Legacy Council

Dr. Vivian Mushahwar

Director, SMART Network and ST Innovations | Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Functional Restoration; Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry - University of Alberta

Dr. Vivian Mushahwar's work focuses on developing intelligent wearable and implantable neural prostheses that restore mobility and prevent secondary complications. She also focuses on developing creative rehabilitation interventions that are both efficacious and cost-saving. She pioneered the development of micro-implants for stimulating the spinal cord to restore standing and walking after paralysis, as well as the development of the wearable garments, Smart-e-Pants and the SOCC (Smart Ongoing Circulatory Compression), for preventing pressure injuries and deep vein thrombosis, respectively.

Dr. Mushahwar has spun off Biotechnology and Health Innovations Inc. (Bio HI) and co-founded two other spin offs, Prev Biotech and DepthSee.


Spencer Murray

Director, Communication & Public Relations – Amii

Spencer Murray is the Director of Communications and Public Relations at Amii, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, one of Canada’s centres of AI excellence in the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy. He is passionate about science communication and the role technology can play in improving the lives of those around us.

In his role at Amii, he leads strategies for communicating scientific excellence and thought leadership while ensuring that research advances are able to be understood by a wide range of audiences. He has played an instrumental role in creating and launching the Amii brand and for communicating landmark advancements such as DeepStack, the world’s first AI to beat human professionals at heads-up no-limit Texas Hold’em, and Amii’s work in diagnosing schizophrenia. Spencer holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta and a diploma in Public Relations from MacEwan University.

Hana Marinkovic

Director, Public Affairs & Strategy – Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation

Hana is a relationship builder, strategist and people-leader with a demonstrated history of leading diverse teams in complex, high-stakes environments. She is currently the Director of Public Affairs & Strategy for Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation, a life sciences non-profit organization based in Edmonton. Dedicated to good leadership and continuous learning, Hana leads API's strategic engagement with policy makers, government, ecosystem stakeholders and the general public.

With more than 14 years of experience, Hana previously worked as Chief of Staff in the provincial and municipal governments. She has served on the board of the Canadian Mental Health Association - Edmonton Region since 2017 and is a mentor with the Peter Lougheed Leadership College and the Canadian Public Relations Society. She cares very much about mental health and storytelling and does speaking engagements about the unique experience she and her family had as newcomers to Canada in the early 1990s.

Passionate about making a difference by improving outcomes for individuals, organizations and our communities, Hana also enjoys being active and exploring new places with her partner, Marc. She has been a vegetarian for more than 30 years and tries to put her yoga and meditation training to good use in all aspects of her life.

Professional headshot for Puneeta McBryan

Puneeta McBryan

Executive Director - Edmonton Downtown Business Association

Puneeta McBryan is the Executive Director of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association, a role she took on in December of 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and an inflection point for downtowns across North America. A transformational leader and a connector by nature, Puneeta is working hard to restore and reimagine the vibrancy and prosperity of Edmonton’s downtown core and contribute to our city’s economic recovery through innovative new initiatives, community collaborations, and strong advocacy at all three levels of government.

Prior to joining the EDBA, Puneeta was a marketing & business strategist, serving a diverse set of public and private sector clients across Alberta in the areas of branding & social purpose, strategic public communications, government & stakeholder relations, mass advertising, and everything in between.

Professional headshot of Jelena Bojic of the Business Events Legacy Council

Jelena Bojic

Director, Community Relations External Affairs and International Relations - Concordia University of Edmonton

Jelena is the Director of Community Relations as part of the External Affairs and International Relations team at Concordia University of Edmonton. She brings experience in fundraising, corporate marketing and sponsorships, and public and community relations. This past decade, she worked in both not-for-profit and multi million-dollar corporate environments and has demonstrated consistency, tenacity, and passion for excellence.

Jelena’s most valued skill set to date is the foresight and aptitude towards donor and organizational alignment, where an inspired and sustainable bond between the donor and the organization is created for years to come. Her warm and approachable nature and depth of understanding the need to contribute and give back to the community adds a special element to the entire fund development process. She also understands the power of corporate social responsibility when utilized to build strong and healthy communities.

Marian Gayed

Vice President, External Relations and Partnerships - Norquest

Marian Gayed joined NorQuest College in 2016, where she is currently the Vice President, External Relations and Partnerships leading a diverse portfolio of advancement, continuing education, and corporate training, as well as government relations and international recruitment and projects. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing, and an MBA from the University of Alberta. Marian brings extensive experience in leadership and consulting within various industry sectors such as education, construction, and healthcare.

Prior to joining NorQuest, Marian was Program Director at University of Alberta Executive Education, working with national and international institutions and organizations. She advised and consulted with a large number of organizations and boards in the public, private, and non-profit sectors on designing and developing professional development opportunities in governance, strategy, and leadership. Prior to her tenure at Executive Education, she worked at the Health Organization Studies Centre managing a number of grants for research in the pre-amalgamated healthcare regions across Alberta. Prior to that, she worked in sales and marketing at Brookfield Residential.

Marian has chaired a number of advisory and working committees, and currently sits on a number of boards, including serving as Board Chair, E4C; Board Chair, Firefly Theatre & Circus; and as a member of the both the Canadian Board Diversity Council and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Leadership and Inclusion Council.

Olle Lagerquist

Associate Vice President, Industry Solutions - NAIT

Olle has the pleasure of supporting and leading teams at NAIT that serve industry through applied research and skills development. He seeks to put innovation to work by bringing together people and resources to create intensely industry focused teams that build strong impacts for communities, companies, and learners. He has spent 17 years working with companies and academics to advance research, innovation, partnerships and collaborations.

As the Associate Vice President, Industry Solutions, he oversees a diverse team of professionals with deep ties to industry and communities in Alberta, across Canada, and internationally. He enjoys serving on several municipal, provincial, and federal advisory committees related to entrepreneurship, innovation, skills development, applied research, and technology commercialization. With a passion for teambuilding, he feels exceptionally fortunate to be part of an innovate and agile team at NAIT.

Originally from Sweden, Olle immigrated to Canada and completed his Bachelor of Science at Simon Fraser University, and his PhD in Neuroscience and MBA in Technology Commercialization at the University of Alberta. Now, a rooted Edmontonian with a young family, he feels fortunate for the opportunity to contribute to Alberta’s innovation and economic development community.