Mark Hopkins is a Calgary-based theatre artist and community-builder. He is the Co-Artistic Director of Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre, Calgary‘s leading purveyor of fearless site-specific theatre. He’s also thrilled to be associated with the Calgary Foundation, the Centre for Newcomers, Human Venture Leadership and VoteKit Calgary, and is the founder of We Should Know Each Other.Some of Mark’s honours and awards include the Creative Placemaking Award (2016 Mayor's Lunch for Arts Champions), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 and the Calgary Herald’s 20 Compelling Calgarians.
1st VICE CHAIR
Born and raised in Alberta, Laura has lived in both rural and urban centres in the province. She and her family have called Calgary home, since 2000. With a background in sales & marketing management, Laura started her career in media, first in broadcasting and then settled into the publishing industry. She has been with Postmedia and the Calgary Herald for nearly 20 years. A focus on offering solutions to the needs of a business, organization or community has served well in her role, both in the business and non-profit sector. Laura is an active volunteer both locally and nationally. She has served in various capacities with volunteer organizations in Alberta; is the past-chair of CISV Calgary, and currently does fund development nationally, for CISV Canada. Laura has been involved with the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund since she joined the team at the Herald in 2000. She values her involvement with the Christmas Fund, as it has given her an understanding of the needs of Calgarians and the incredible work that is done by the not-for profit sector in our city.
2nd VICE CHAIR
Alysha is an energy professional with over 8 years of experience in the Upstream and Midstream space. She currently works for Keyera in Business and Strategic Development. Before that, she worked for Shell as an operations geologist and development planner for a variety of their North American assets. She holds a Bachelor of Geological Sciences degree from Queen’s University and an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid. Born and raised in Calgary, Alysha is passionate about facilitating and promoting the continued growth of Calgary’s diverse and vibrant community. As such, she is extremely excited to be apart of the Calgary Centre for Newcomers. Previous community involvement work includes international poverty reduction initiatives and access to education for young women.
A driven, strategic collaborator with over 17 years of proven expertise in sustainability leadership and business advisory, combined with training and education in business and environmental science. My professional experience includes deep content knowledge in enterprise-wide management of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy, risks, and opportunities; corporate responsibility/sustainability strategy and reporting; climate change strategy; carbon risk management; assurance of non-financial performance indicators; environmental management system design, implementation, and auditing; and environment, health and safety (EHS) performance management.
TREASURER & SECRETARY
Shawnnette was born in British Guyana, South America and grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. She started as a Full-time agent with TD Bank, Easy line/Phone Channel after finishing her Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of Alberta. While completing her B.Comm., she also completed multiple courses related to banking including working towards her Professional Financial Planning designation. Throughout her tenure with TD, Shawnnette has been recognized multiple times for her outstanding leadership in sales management, business results and has a personal brand of attracting and developing leaders of tomorrow. She is known for her ability to motivate and engage teams to exceed objectives.
Don MacDiarmid recently retired from an energy industry career during which he worked first as an engineer and later as a lawyer. He completed his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University and his LL.B. at Dalhousie University and practised law in Calgary for almost 30 years. Don has also been involved in numerous community volunteer roles, including political campaigns, university alumni fundraising, junior soccer coaching, Inn from the Cold and various Board roles at St. David’s United Church.
Vivek Warrier is a partner and Co-Head of the firm's Energy Industry Team. In this role, Vivek helps lead and implement the firm's strategic initiatives and intersections across the broad spectrum of the energy industry. Vivek's practice encompasses the entire energy value chain, from extraction or generation, transportation and transmission to the marketing of energy products to end users. He is consistently sought out by clients to lead complex private M&A transactions and frequently advises clients in the structuring, ownership and operation of energy infrastructure projects. In this regard, he has represented clients on many transformative projects, including the development of liquefied natural gas export facilities, equity participation transactions between energy industry project proponents and First Nations, renewables energy partnerships and on the development of linear infrastructure projects throughout Canada.
Veronica is currently Interim Vice President, Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at WestJet Airlines. In her role, she leads the airline’s legal function, is responsible for WestJet’s corporate governance matters and for liaising with the company’s Board of Directors and advises WestJet’s executive team on a range of legal issues. Veronica has been at WestJet since 2012; prior to this, Veronica practiced securities, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions law at Stikeman Elliott in Calgary. Veronica is a member of the Alberta bar and holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degrees from the University of British Columbia. Veronica is a born-and-raised Calgarian. She loves to travel, and her favourite WestJet destination is Palm Springs.
As Director of the Hopewell Group, I have a strategic role with each Company while providing oversight through a Board structure. The Group’s capabilities include residential land development and home building (Hopewell Residential), commercial land development (Hopewell Development), property and asset management (Hopewell Real Estate Services), warehousing and logistics (Hopewell Logistics), final mile distribution (Ziing Final Mile), property technology early stage venture capital (GroundBreak Ventures), and overall strategic and support services (Hopewell Capital).
A proven leader and trusted peer, with demonstrated experience formulating and implementing strategies to drive organizational development and capitalize on opportunities. Areas of expertise include non-profit board leadership, community investment, stakeholder relations, early childhood education and literacy.
Jessica LaCroix is currently the Senior Vice President, Corporate Services & General Counsel for Coril Holdings Ltd., a family business asset manager. Ms. LaCroix graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Laws in 2005 and thereafter practiced securities law with a large national law firm. Prior to joining Coril, Ms. LaCroix held in-house legal counsel positions with both private and public companies where she advised on governance, continuous disclosure and other legal matters. In her current Executive role, she is involved in strategy development, governance and all people and culture matters in addition to acting as General Counsel and Secretary for the Coril Board and its committees.