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.

Sector Leads

Darrell Petras – Agriculture Sector Lead

Director, Business & Community Development – Innovate Edmonton

As the 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. He has 20 years’ experience spanning the health, technology and investment sectors. At Health Cities, Reg is focused on developing new pathways for healthcare delivery to drive better health outcomes and economic growth for our region.

Reg has served in a wide variety of roles including as an analyst with Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co. and managed a global business unit at US-based Invitrogen Corporation (now Thermo Fisher). Reg has founded and led local health technology companies and most recently, he 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.

About Health Cities

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.

Find out more: healthcities.ca

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 established, using synchronous video-conference-based systems, satellite programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy in Calgary and at UofA’s Augustana Campus, 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 he was also appointed to the role of chair of the Health Sciences Council. While 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 | Director, Housing for Health; Director, Public Health & Preventive Medicine Residency Program; Associate Professor, Div. of Preventive Medicine, Dept of Medicine; Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health; Instructor, School of Urban and Regional Planning; University of Alberta, Edmonton (Amiskwaciwâskahikan). Instructor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Author, Fit Cities.

Dr. Karen K. Lee MD MHSc FRCPC, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of 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. She is Director of the Housing for Health project at the University of Alberta which is working with >200 multi-sector partners from six provinces in Canada on Healthy Cities Implementation including creating a set of Healthy Community Guidelines anticipated to be released in 2022.

Prior to returning to Canada in 2018, Dr. Lee lived and worked in the U.S. for nearly a decade and a half, 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 over 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/depart...

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.


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.