2021 Award Recipients

CPA Alberta is pleased to recognize the 2021 Achievement Award recipients. These exceptional individuals embody the core principles of the CPA profession: integrity, expertise, and commitment, and their activities and accomplishments bring honour to the profession and strengthen the reputation of all CPAs.

Congratulations to all 2021 recipients!

Lifetime Achievement Awards

The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to those CPAs whose continual commitment to the betterment of their profession, their communities, and the organizations they have served is unparalleled.

Hear from this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients:

Tom Gee FCPA, FCA

Congratulations Tom Gee FCPA, FCA!

Marilyn Kuntz FCPA, FCA

Congratulations Marilyn Kuntz FCPA, FCA!

Tom exhibits the best qualities of a CPA. Generous with his time, gentle and engaging in his demeanour, and impactful in his endeavours, Tom has spent his career personifying the characteristics best-associated with the designation.

A partner at RSM Canada in Edmonton, Tom was previously a partner at a number of other public practice firms. His accounting and business knowledge have provided value to innumerable small and medium-sized enterprises. He also held multiple roles at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, including Director of Professional Standards and Director of Ethics, as well as professional roles with the Government of Alberta.

Tom has always been actively involved in the profession and its regulatory body. In addition to his staff roles, he served as a member of the ICAA Council from 2012 until unification of the profession in 2015. As well, he has served on the provincial body’s Discipline Advisory Board, By-laws and Rules Committee, and Audit Committee, among others. Tom has also been involved with the profession nationally and currently serves as a member of CPA Canada’s Private Enterprise Advisory Committee, which assists the Accounting Standards Board in improving accounting standards for private enterprises in Canada. Keenly interested in accounting standards, Tom also served on numerous ad hoc committees, task forces and focused groups that reviewed and commented on exposure drafts related to accounting and assurance standards. His insights and expertise helped shape changes that strengthened and improved these standards.

Perhaps Tom’s biggest legacy is the impact he has had on hundreds of CPAs and CPAs-to-be through his education and recruitment activities. Tom is and has always been passionate about developing future generations of accounting professionals. To that end, Tom never misses an opportunity to volunteer to raise the awareness and profile of the profession among post-secondary students. He has acted as a presenter and/or panelist at a number of CPA Alberta events designed to attract the next generation of CPAs, and has also attended many such events simply to network and connect with students. Taking that commitment further, Tom has been involved in educating future CPAs through teaching at a variety of institutions, including the CPA Western School of Business, University of Alberta, NAIT, Grant MacEwan Community College (now MacEwan University) and the University of Lethbridge.

In the community, Tom served with the Arts and Life Foundation, Canadian Home Builders Association, and Edmonton Regional Association for Bright Children. He is also a dedicated volunteer and supporter of Boy Scouts of Canada – Northern Region and Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta, and served those organizations in a variety of capacities.

For his professional and community activities, he received Fellowship in 2012.

Tom’s record of service and continued dedication to the profession make him a worthy recipient of the CPA Alberta Lifetime Achievement Award. 

"I was stunned and humbled when I first heard I was being honored this way, and I still feel stunned and humbled now that time has passed. I was fortunate in having met some great role models over the years, such as Allan MacTavish, Bill Halford, Mike Gibbins, Ross Denham and my good friend Robert Young who, tragically passed away last year. They led by example and showed me that professional accountants have a responsibility to give back to society and to the profession."

Marilyn has been a professional accountant for almost all of her working life and her designation has been an essential part of her identity. She was a partner at BDO in Calgary, and retired in 2014 after 10 years with the organization. As a senior member of BDO’s public company audit group, she provided expertise to publicly traded companies in the energy and natural resource, financial, and technology sectors. She was also a member of the firm’s natural resources group and has presented on financial reporting at conferences and other events.

Though until her recent retirement she was always a busy professional business woman, Marilyn has always found time to advance the profession beyond office hours. Through her commitment and leadership, she has brought distinction to the profession as a volunteer and contributed to the profession’s reputation for high ethical and technical standards.

For example, Marilyn has been committing her time as an active volunteer in the profession for many years, and currently serves as a Director on the CPA Canada Board, which she joined in 2014. Marilyn is also a former member of the Council for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA), and in June 2012, she became the ICAA president -- only the second woman to hold this role. During her tenure as ICAA President, Marilyn led the ICAA’s participation in the unification process and was instrumental in the success of unification in Alberta. 

In 2012, Marilyn was honoured as a Fellow for her notable leadership within the profession. 

Marilyn’s impressive volunteer commitments within the profession also include participating on the ICAA Complaints and Enquiry, Rules and By-laws, Audit, Nomination and Executive Committees, and being a member of the Assurance Services Development Board and the Differential Reporting Committee for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Marilyn has been a dynamic member in the community as well, serving as a member of the executive of several community organizations including the Calgary Horticultural Society, the Rotary Club of Calgary Sarcee, and the Chinook Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. 

During the course of her career and continuing through her retirement, Marilyn has been a prime example of leadership in and commitment to the profession. Her impact and achievements make her a role model in the profession and have led to her recognition as a CPA Alberta Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. 

“Since learning of this award I have had some time to reflect on the profession and the impact it has had on my life. As an articling student I met my late husband Neil, who was also a CPA, CA and we raised three beautiful children, two of whom are CPA, CAs. Our other daughter, a human resource professional, choose a similar but alternate career. So the profession has blessed my family but also provided me personally with a rewarding, challenging and satisfying career that continued to evolve and change over time. I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer and to have had the pleasure of meeting colleagues from Alberta, across the country and beyond. During this time I learned so much from the expertise and experiences of my colleagues from diverse backgrounds. So I am very happy, grateful and humbled to be recognized in this way. Thank you!”


CPA Education Foundation Impact Award

Awarded annually and presented by the CPA Education Foundation, the Impact Award honours an individual for his/her contributions to the work and goals of the Foundation.

Robert AndrewsRobert is no stranger when it comes to creating an impact. As the Executive Director for the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of Alberta (AFOA Alberta), he has worked tirelessly to support Indigenous people who wish to join the business and accounting professions or enhance their management practices to improve their communities. He is a passionate mentor, educator, and leader who has worked hard to build stronger ties between the CPA profession and Alberta’s Indigenous students, while creating learning opportunities for those interested in accounting. Over the years, he has achieved remarkable success in his commitment to strengthening diversity and inclusivity in the profession.

Creating those types of opportunities is at the heart of the CPA Education Foundation’s mission, and Robert’s commitment to helping the Foundation achieve its goals is unparalleled. He was not only instrumental in the success of No Limits—the Foundation’s recent initiative to provide information and support to Indigenous people in Alberta interested in pursuing careers in business and accounting—but also in raising awareness in the CPA community of the obstacles faced by Indigenous people seeking educational and career opportunities.

Whether it’s through his leadership and support of the Foundation, or his work as an educator and advocate for Indigenous learners and communities, Robert is a committed, passionate, and visionary leader in the CPA profession, and has been an inspiration to many.

To what or whom do you attribute your success? 

I can attribute success to one main factor: learning. I have been a lifelong learner, and learning takes many forms. Of course, to achieve a CPA designation, many years of formal learning in an academic setting are required. Post-designation, I continued my learning and am currently pursuing a doctorate, which supports my work. Receptivity to learning outside of the institutional structure of the post-secondary environment has contributed equally and perhaps more: Learning from elders has reinforced the need for humility. Learning from my parents has taught me tenacity. Peer-to-peer learning has broadened my understanding of concepts learned in and out of the classroom. This year, I begin to keep Mason bees; I am excited about all the lessons I will learn from bees. Learning has taught me the limits of my knowledge; sometimes, the answer is not found with our intellect; it may be our emotional or spiritual learning that provides the insights we need. Much success can be found by learning to say, "I am sorry" or "I was wrong" and "Let me learn from you." I might opine that we learn these lessons relatively late.  

What does it mean to you to receive the CPA Education Foundation Impact Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

The award recognizes the value of the work I have contributed to, not personally but in the broader social perspective. Finding pathways for Indigenous learners to succeed in business is seen more broadly as a meaningful contribution to society. The award recognizes the generous contributions of donors supporting the No Limits initiative, the contributions of the volunteer boards of AFOA Alberta and the CPA Education Foundation, and the enormous efforts our Indigenous learners have made to return to their academic studies and excel. I shared the news of the award with my spouse, who has been with me every step of the way and supported our learners and me in so many ways. Indeed, her own efforts to surmount personal hurdles to complete her education inspires me.

What is your favourite quote and why?

"Why do things the easy way when you can do them the hard way?" This is more than a (mis)quote, but the way I live my life. The easy way is just that: easy, definitionally, causing little difficulty or discomfort. The hard path is replete with challenges, lessons, rewards, and discovery. The hard path teaches us about ourselves and others; it encourages us to grow, through our efforts to overcome challenges, by gaining new insights from novel perspectives. The hard way helps us build character and resilience. The hard way is filled with discovery and adventure.

Why is it important for you to give back? 

Giving back is part of the Indigenous culture; sharing what you have, whether much or little, is part of our traditional practices, and these are practices I learned as a child. Sharing the gifts we have the good fortune to have received recognizes that our strength is in community; generosity and kindness are reciprocated, helping one another advance. In our current context, we understand better how important we are to each other and our society's functioning. We have been reminded of these basic lessons; we are not alone but are part of a complex network of people, supporting one another. As society gets larger, these relationships become more abstract and distant, but no less important. During the pandemic, we were all reminded of small acts of kindness; generosity, sharing, and helping one another are the foundations upon which community is built. People stepped forward to help others in need.

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of?

I have long been a strong advocate for the value and importance of education. Seeing our community members achieve academic success and understanding their impact on their organization, community, and families is extremely gratifying. Understanding the barriers to business education and addressing these challenges through innovative partnerships with post-secondary institutions broadens the opportunities for our Indigenous learners and enrichens the learning experience of those non-Indigenous learners that share in the classroom. Our programs become institutionalized, and our experiences to address barriers become embedded in these organizations and thus sustainable. This, perhaps, is my most important contribution.


Fellows of the Chartered Professional Accountants

The Fellow of Chartered Professional Accountants (FCPA) will be granted to those Alberta CPAs who have rendered exceptional service to the profession or whose achievements in their careers, the community, or in the profession have earned them distinction and brought honour to the profession.

Richard  ArthursRichard’s 30-year career has involved continuous leadership roles in finance, internal audit, and risk management in Canada, the US, and the UK. Over this time, Richard was asked to take on roles with significant responsibility, such as building a global risk-based internal audit function for General Mills Inc., and leading projects in over 50 countries. He also managed multi-billion product portfolios and country operations while being a US National Brand Finance Leader and UK & Ireland CFO for General Mills. After 13 years with General Mills, Richard returned to Canada with family and became the VP of Risk, Audit, and Compliance for AltaLink, A Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company. In this role he overlooked the risk related to $7 billion in capital construction projects to build a new electric transmission grid in Alberta.

For the past five years he has been a Partner, and now National Leader of Internal Audit Services, for MNP. Richard’s client’s, co-workers, and friends see him as a trusted advisor who greatly cares about their success. Richard is a selfless promoter of the CPA profession whose passion and enthusiasm for internal audit and data-based applications is contagious, and helps attract the finest students.  

Richard is also a hard-working and dedicated volunteer who has dedicated his energy and expertise to countless professional and community organizations. This includes being the Chair of the National Board of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Canada, where he is considered a strategic thought leader for the internal audit profession. He has also taught Enterprise Risk Management for the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) to over 1000 Canadian Board members over nine years.

Also, Richard has played a significant role in supporting the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. Richard helped support the launch of the Business Analytics and AI academics program as a member of the U of C Industry Council. He has received various awards for his volunteer efforts, such as the Global Alumni Hall of Fame Award, for his contribution to AIESEC Canada. 

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?   

When I was in high school in Halifax the vice principal wrote in my yearbook, “Richard – Be a dreamer and never let your dreams die.” The funny part of this story is that he knew I was a driven young leader with big dreams, who was quite often found daydreaming in class. I have taken significant risk in my life to move several times and travel the world, though I was always confident I could manage this risk and it would help me learn great wisdom over time.

Mel BhatiaMel was born and raised in Delhi, India, moved to Canada in the mid-1970s, and lived in Southern Ontario before moving to Edmonton in 1980. In Edmonton, he worked as a controller at a car dealership for the next 14 years. During that time, he had two children, became a homeowner, became involved in the East Indian community and the Hindu Society of Alberta, and completed the educational requirements needed to become a CMA through evening and weekend programs. In 1992, Mel received his CMA designation and in 1994, he made the decision to hang his own shingle up and began his accounting practice under the name V.K. (Mel) Bhatia Professional Corporation, which subsequently became Equitus Partners LLP.

Since starting his practice in 1994, Vimal has exemplified leadership qualities. He has mentored many of his employees, developed their skill sets, and allowed them to grow both professionally and personally. Mel built a fruitful practice which grew to 20 staff members, servicing clients across Alberta and in the N.W.T.

Mel has always been known as a community builder. He has made his greatest impact is giving back to his community over a 40-year period, taking on significant leadership and fundraising roles for both the Hindu Society of Alberta and the Bhartiya Cultural Society. He served as the Treasurer and President over a 15-year period. Through Mel's efforts with the Hindu Society of Alberta, he was able to bring financial stability to the organization through countless pro-bono hours. The legacy of his work lives on in the society today.

Mel has also frequently been turned to by many minority communities, including the Serbian, Italian, Lebanese and several Asian communities.

Mel is a well-regarded and respected member of his community and is a strong leader who is passionate about building and maintaining an ethical and professional practice. He brings these same qualities to his volunteer roles with several associations. Through his achievements, he has brought honor and distinction to himself and his profession.

What is your favourite quote and why?

"Excellence is something that comes about only as a result of ceaseless continual striving for improvement in every area. It is a journey, not a destination, and its greatest enemies are complacency and satisfaction."

I love this quote because it has inspired me in my professional and personal life.

What values do you live by?

I live by values of honor, discipline, and integrity. These are the values with which we shape our future.

Who would you like to thank and what would you like to tell them?

I would like to thank my wife Nisha: no success in the world is worth it unless I can share it with you; thank you for always unconditionally sticking by me. I would also like to thank my late friend, Biri, for pushing me to make bold decisions with confidence and encouraging me to open my accounting practice.

Kim DreverKim is a nationally recognized leader in the tax and accounting industry. She is actively sought out by policy makers, industry peers, and clients for her professionalism, integrity, passion, and high standards of excellence in her professional practice. On a national level, Kim has advanced the interests of her clients and the reputation of the accounting profession through various presentations to the Federal Government, appearing before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance and the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance numerous times. Her ability to address the potential impact of complex changes in tax policy to businesses in understandable and relatable terms speaks to her technical acumen.

Not only is Kim recognized for her professional and technical expertise in tax and financial matters, she has also been an engaged volunteer in several not-for-profit and community organizations. Most recently, Kim was named Chair of the Alberta Red Tape Reduction Industry Panel for Small Business and is working alongside business leaders and government to foster improved competitiveness by reducing red tape for all Alberta businesses. Noteworthy in Kim’s volunteer efforts is her extensive leadership involvement in the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation, where she has served in executive positions, including Treasurer and Board Chair, for numerous years. Her efforts in this endeavor will have lasting benefits to the community of Grande Prairie and surrounding region. Kim was also a driving force behind the launch of a $20 million dollar capital campaign to coincide with the development of a new regional hospital in Grande Prairie. 

Kim has a passion for tax education and the mentorship of young tax practitioners. She has developed and facilitates a series of tax courses for her firm and is also a national lecturer for the CPA Canada In-Depth Tax Program.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

I have been privileged to have great mentors in my career. In particular, Bridget Hennigar FCPA, FCA and Michael Calder CPA, CA have been role models to me throughout my career. They possess qualities that I highly admire, have advocated for and encouraged me throughout my progression, held me accountable, and were always willing to work together to achieve our common goals.

What is your favourite quote and why?

“This above all, to thine own self be true” from Hamlet. To me, this quote means I must always take care of myself so I can provide value to others. I hold myself to a high standard and I live by these words every day. 

How has the CPA designation impacted you?

I am the first person in my family to obtain a university degree and the designation has opened doors and created opportunities I would never have had otherwise. Being a tax specialist has provided me with the skillset to advise businesses and assess the impact of tax policy for Canadian business.

What values do you live by?

In my professional life, teamwork, opportunity, and quality are core values that I live by. Collaboration allows my team to showcase their individual strengths and produce quality work.  I also believe in providing opportunities that focus on quality and development of a strong entrepreneurial spirit.     

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

My husband has supported me throughout my education and career, understands my drive, accepts my long hours, and provides balance and perspective. This achievement is as much a testament to him as it is to me.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

I went to university with plans to be a lawyer. My introductory accounting professor, Duncan Green at the U of C, encouraged me instead to broaden my thinking and consider the accounting and tax profession. Providing me with an understanding of the intricacies of corporate structuring and how a CPA helps to advise businesses on transaction strategy was a major turning point (and shift) in my career.  

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of?

I can never repay my mentors for what they provided me, but I can honour them and their contribution by paying it forward. I am most proud of being part of the development of tax professionals and helping them achieve their personal and professional goals. I love coaching and observing young tax specialists grow into strong professionals and business advisors.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? 

Entrepreneurial, passionate, high expectations.

Joan DunneJoan has always been actively involved in the profession and dedicated to the education and support of the next generation of CPAs. Joan sat on CPA Canada’s Small Company Advisory Group and Canadian Performance Reporting Board and was ultimately appointed as Chair of both. She was dedicated to working with these groups within CPA Canada, generously volunteering her time to serve all CPAs. Joan was also always willing to mentor and educate CPAs through on the job training and as a mentor.

Joan’s career took her from senior finance roles, such as CFO of public companies, to joining the Board of Directors and being a member and chair of audit and other board committees for both public and private enterprises. In these roles, Joan’s “leadership by example” enabled many junior CPAs to learn, grow, and take on these more senior positions. In many cases, Joan paved the way for smooth succession transitions on these leadership positions and was always willing to support the next generation.

Her exceptional leadership skills and commitment to governance ensures ethical and appropriate solutions to the many complex issues that face companies in today’s economic environment. Joan, again leading by example, has the leadership skills to navigate the needs of investors, management, communities, and the profession to ensure practical resolutions to problems.

What is your favorite quote and why?

In the Spring 2009 issue of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta magazine, “Spotlight” (the CA precursor to Dividends), I was featured on the cover and was interviewed. The article, which discussed my professional and personal life at that time, revolved around my favorite quote “Decisions Matter”. Twelve years later, on re-reading the article, I’m amazed how this quote still applies to my life and how little my priorities have changed. I even still have the same blouse. Many changes have occurred in both my professional and personal life, but the simplicity and accuracy of the quote to me is unchanged. Decisions really do matter and many have far-reaching repercussions, both positive and negative; a great motivator to make each one count.  

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

At the risk of sounding like an academy award candidate, and thanking absolutely everyone I’ve ever come into contact with, how can I pick out just one person to thank? Like most, successes I’ve enjoyed in my professional and personal life can be attributed to a long list of individuals, ranging from university professors, professional co-workers during my public accounting years, peers in a multitude of public, private and volunteer organizations to mentors and my family and friends. Each, in their own way, have helped encourage, pick me up when I’ve stumbled, and push me onwards. Life really is all about the people we interact with...and those are the ones I’d like to thank.  Now, as I’m being granted the Fellowship designation, I’d also like to say thank you to those individuals who submitted my name and supporting letters, and to the members of CPA AB. It is truly an honor to be made an FCPA, FCA. Thank you all.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

My parent’s guidance and many words of advice certainly helped form my values. One of my favorite phrases of my dad was, “You’ve got to have a plan. If you don’t, you won’t know where you’re going to and you sure won’t know it when you get there.” Transitioning my dad’s thoughts into action, for me it soon became “First make a plan, then figure out what steps are needed and when. Reassess your progress regularly, be realistic. Re-adjust if needed then keep going.” I guess it’s really just about being goal-oriented.

Bob HahnBob is a visionary. He has been a partner at Hahn Lukey Houle LLP Chartered Professional Accountants (formerly Hahn & Houle LLP Chartered Accountants) since 2004. Prior to that, Bob was an Assurance Partner at Grant Thornton LLP for 14 years. Bob has been a CPA since 1982 and his practice focuses on accounting services, process improvement consulting, lean accounting, and business advisory services for construction, manufacturing and professional service companies.  

Bob has been an active community volunteer, holding key leadership positions with the Edmonton Police Foundation, Canadian Angus Association, CA Forum North Committee and Little Bits Riding Club for the Disabled. Bob has always had a desire for improving processes in business and in his life, as well as the lives of those around him. He is passionate about building a lean culture and empowering others to look around and ask: “How can we do things differently?” Bob’s gift for coaching and mentoring is evidenced by his ability to encourage and challenge others to be the best they can be. All of this comes from his caring nature and his underlying principle that we should all practice continuous improvement, to become better people every day. 

Throughout his career, Bob has presented countless times in business and accounting classes at Edmonton based post-secondary institutions (e.g., University of Alberta, NAIT, MacEwan). He has also taught for the profession in areas of Practice Management, Analytical Procedures, and Quality Assurance. His topic is always related to the benefits of the training as a CPA and the range of career opportunities the profession creates. Bob presents the profession in a dynamic, agile way while demonstrating the impact each CPA can have for their clients and organizations.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

I have been fortunate to have fantastic role models and business coaches to follow, including Gary Davidge CA and David Simmonds CMC just to mention a few names. 

What is your favourite quote and why?

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit…. Nelson Henderson.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?  

It would be impossible to give back without having a support team. This has happened throughout my life.

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of?   

I’ve only begun. My goal is to use my experiences to date to leverage from and make the most difference going forward. I truly see that my CPA skills will always be front and center – the legacy piece is still to come. To date, helping build HLH to what is today and setting the foundation for what it will be become tomorrow is pretty cool.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?    

Visionary, driver but with compassion, loves to build anything. (Sorry, that’s more than three words.)

Dale MeisterDale has specialized in international taxation, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate reorganizations for more than 25 years. He has served as the PwC Calgary Tax City Leader, PwC Prairie Region Tax Leader, and as a member of the PwC Canadian Tax Leadership Group, roles through which he has been responsible for tax planning for numerous large public and private companies. His dedication to Canadian and international clients is recognized across Canada and internationally.

Dale’s volunteer commitment to the accounting profession at the provincial and national levels, especially through his 30+ years of teaching, lecturing, and tutoring, is truly exceptional. He has been a lecturer or tutor for CPA Canada (formerly CICA) tax courses for over 30 years, demonstrating commitment to sharing his knowledge and adding to the competency of colleagues and younger professionals. He has made a significant contribution to the quality of tax education in Canada.  

Dale’s published papers have helped develop the technical tax literature that is available in Canada, helping tax practitioners develop their tax skills, and contributing to the discussion of tax policy in Canada. He has received numerous academic distinctions. His expertise has been responsible for causing amendments, clarifying, and correcting anomalies in the Income Tax Act.

Dale has no limits to his sense of community and the need for successful people to be involved in providing leadership at home and abroad. Throughout his career, he has found the time to provide leadership through board positions in his church and community charities, including First Alliance Church, Ambrose University, and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My success is attributable to a number of people. First, my faith as a Christian has been a guide to my life and success. Here are some of the most important influences on my life.

  • My father and mother, William and Inez Meister, who provided me with a loving and caring home that got me off to a great start in life. My father used his service in the Canadian armed forces to support him in going to university and becoming an engineer after the Second World War. This was always an inspiration for me to attend university and become a professional.
  • My wife Joan Meister - has had the biggest impact on my life. Supporting me financially while I was articling and throughout my career. I could not have achieved much of anything without her loving support for the last 38 years.
  • I have had many mentors over my career but Mel Majeau CPA, CA was my first and most important mentor and coach. He was a tax partner at PwC (C&L at the time) when I started my career with PwC. Mel took me under his wing and supported me throughout my career. He included me in client matters, firm matters, and social engagements from the day that I started. My hope is that I have been able to pass on some of this coaching to the people that I have worked with in my career.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with? 

I am very honored to receive the FCPA designation. I received the news while driving back from a day skiing at Sunshine and immediately called my wife Joan to share the great news with her.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

My parents, my wife, and my coaches. I have thanked them already and expressed my appreciation for their love and support.

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my wife and our four outstanding children. They are all graduates of the University of Calgary (notwithstanding that both Joan and I graduated from the U of A) and all have become very personable and lovely people.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?

I think that most people would describe me as helpful, wise, and caring.

Edward NedzaEdward joined the Calgary office of Touché Ross in 1975 and achieved his designation in 1977. In the summer of 1977, Edward moved to Lethbridge and joined KPMG LLP. He became a partner in 1983 and stayed until his retirement in October of 2015. During his career, Edward was the lead engagement partner on many well-known and successful private company accounts within Southern Alberta, including Southland International Trucking, Haul-All Equipment Ltd., Triple M Housing, Neu-Lite Electric, and Headwater Equipment, to name just a few.   

Edward has been an active volunteer in his community and the country. He has held local and national executive roles with Junior Chamber International (JCI) and was honored by JCI as Senator (top honour in the world). He has also held key leadership roles with his church and parish over the past 40 years.      

Edward can best be described as passionate, devoted, analytical, and a good listener, all combined with a relaxed composure and quiet wit. Even after his retirement, Edward continues to be a consistent source of wise counsel. He is committed to the profession, his community, and his family and many friends.  

To what or whom do you attribute your success? 

Total enjoyment of my career. I was happy and looked forward to dealing with clients every day. Never had a day of second-guessing my career.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with? 

My daughter, who is a CPA, and then my family.

What values do you live by?   

Honesty, integrity and leaving the world in a better place than when you started.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?

Work hard, play hard, and Ed worked to travel. 

Nick has worked as a health sector consultant and senior health manager internationally and in Canada for the past thirty years. His experience and expertise include the fields of health budgeting and planning, institutionalizing national health accounts, health management information systems, simulation modeling and analysis, health financing, policy reform, and physician human resources planning, monitoring and evaluation.   

Nicholas TaitOver the past twenty years, Nick has gained a solid reputation among his clients, which include the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, and provincial governments. Nick has worked on four continents: North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Seeing the need for software and informatics to improve decision making in healthcare, In the early 2000’s he pioneered the use of time studies among physicians and health professionals. Using personal digital assistants (PDAs), detailed data was collected and analyzed to learn how medical specialists spent their day and how they could be more efficient and best compensated. Nick has also engineered and delivered physician workforce planning software to provincial authorities. These tools ultimately allowed for better allocation of health care resources and improved residencies for various specialties. 

Nick has brought Canadian health expertise to the world through a series of contracts within the international community. While his Canadian experience alone has brought great honour to the profession, the ability to demonstrate Canadian leadership in healthcare financing to the rest of the world further demonstrates Nick’s profound knowledge and the application of his accounting skillset and principles to the real world. 

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

I am both honored and humbled to receive the CPA Alberta Achievement Award. The first person I shared the news with was my wife, Lynn, who has been so supportive of me throughout my career.   

What values do you live by? 

Honesty, respect, hard work, and compassion.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?  

Thank you to my wife, Lynn, and two children, Meagan and Owen, you are my shining lights. Thank you professionally to Larry Neufeld, Frank Potter, and David Peachey for the example you set for me and others in how to conduct yourself in work life.  

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of? 

The design, engineering, and delivery of physician workforce planning methodology and software to provincial health authorities.  

Reynold TetzlaffReynold is a highly-respected professional and inspiring leader with more than 25 years of experience serving Canadian and multinational clients. He is currently the Managing Partner of PwC Alberta and former National Energy Leader of PwC.

Throughout his career, Reynold has had many professional achievements and has made significant contributions to his profession and community. Reynold is people focused, establishing and championing programs that develop staff and support diversity and inclusion, and is also a role model, coach and mentor to many. As well, he has given back to the profession through his service on multiple committees, including a legacy body governing council.  

Reynold currently serves on the board of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, the Patrons Council for UNICEF, the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business Advisory Council, the Alberta Securities Commission New Economy Advisory Committee, and Forum Vice Chair of the 23rd World Petroleum Council. An avid sports fan with a focus on his family, Reynold also lends his time coaching local sports teams for children.  

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with? 

This was a total surprise to me. It was arranged by two of my partners, Angela Loo and Shannon Ryhorchuk, along with my wife, Linda Legere-Tetzlaff. I then read the very touching letters from many of my co-workers, contacts, and friends. It was awesome. The really nice thing is that one does not realize how much you influence people by listening to them, supporting them, and just helping wherever possible. 

What is your favourite quote and why?

One of the best quotes is: "There are some leaders who open doors for others, and then there are some leaders who not only open the door but stand next to you and use their influence to amplify your voice." I have been very active in promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels and all we do. I also believe in mentorship to help the younger staff and members and give them guidance. This truly showed in my letters as most letters discussed my support, mentorship, focus on inclusion and focus on helping all those who ask. They all focused on the personal level and none about work or how good or bad of an accountant I am. They also focused on me being a friend and not me being an accountant. That really says it all. One's career is defined on how you treat people, clients, staff and not if you are the smartest person in the room. It is about how one uses their skills. 

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

I could not do any of this without the support of my wife Linda. My job is not 9-5. I worked many hours and spent a lot of other time with the kids and helping with their sports. She is always there, always available and so incredibly supportive, and a CPA as well. 

Chioma credits her success to her upbringing. She immigrated to Canada from Nigeria in 1996 at the age of 16 and watched her parents worked assiduously to provide for Chioma and her siblings. To this day, her parent’s sacrifices motivate Chioma to work hard, strive for excellence, and aspire for success. 

Chioma UfodikeOver the past 20 years, Chioma has developed a compelling record of achievements in her career, the community, and the profession. She has developed a high level of expertise and respect in anti-money laundering compliance and forensic accounting, and is recognized as a national leader in trust accounting by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. She is an active volunteer in the community and to the profession.

Chioma is known for delivering financial literacy programs to Cultural organizations, post-secondary students, and several charitable organizations. By facilitating these sessions, she hopes to create stronger financially literate communities, grow the profession, and strengthen CPA’s reputation as a career choice for young professionals.  She has served on the boards of non-profit organizations and Crown corporations, including serving as chair of Finance, Audit and Risk committees.

A mother of four herself, Chioma is deeply passionate about developing the next generation of professionals and in mentoring high-achieving young women. In her words, “There is nothing you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it. Find your passion, work hard and give back to your community.”  Chioma shares the sentiments of Philanthropist Ron Conway that “Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful”. This is a mantra Chioma lives by—she believes society as a whole is better off when people serve.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My parents, who imparted the value of hard work and confidence at an early age; my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me in building my career; my nominators who believed in me and were instrumental in my being bestowed this honor; my husband - my biggest cheerleader, who inspires me to always aim for excellence; and finally, my four little blessings - my kids for whom I’ll keep paving the path to success.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

“There is nothing you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it.” Find your passion, work hard and give back to your community.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?   

To see every disappointment as an opportunity to learn or change. This piece of advice given to me by my sister has helped me navigate difficult situations and work harder to achieve a desired outcome.

Hussein WarsameHussein is highly dedicated to inspiring and developing the CPA leaders of the future. He is an award-winning teacher and researcher who brings enthusiasm and energy to everything he does. Students are drawn to Hussein, who describes the role of a CPA as one that is crucial to the success of business, the economy, and our society. An expert in tax research, he is possibly best known for teaching EMBA students; in that context, he stresses the importance of understanding financial accounting and engaging CPAs in all strategic decisions of the corporation. He also teaches Advanced Taxation (tax 2) to senior undergraduate, and CPA bound students. Year after year, Hussein has influenced students and has created a deep sense of respect and reverence for the importance of becoming a CPA. He is an unwavering promoter and supporter of the CPA profession.  

Hussein is a thorough and committed researcher whose research interests and expertise cover a wide range of areas. He has particularly demonstrated outstanding achievement through the contributions he has made to the literature in the areas of environment, taxation, capital markets, and accounting education. His work has been published in top-tier accounting journals, including Accounting, Organizations and Society; Journal of American Taxation Association; and Canadian Taxation Journal. His research output since graduating in 1995 from the Haskayne PhD program demonstrates that Hussein is a leading scholar in the discipline of accounting, producing scholarship that is admirable in the international accounting community. He has an innate ability to synthesize seemingly disparate ideas and to come up with frameworks that offers new insights into accounting practice. His works demonstrate theoretical eclecticism, drawing on various economic-based and social theories where he displays not only a strong understanding of these theoretical perspectives but also adopts a critical approach to them. The quality of his research has been recognized by several prestigious awards from various top-tier conferences and journals. 

Due to Hussein’s strong commitment to the University of Calgary and his insightful contributions to General Faculties Council, he was selected to serve on the General Faculties Council’s Executive Committee. He began his term in 2018 and he continues to this day. The General Faculty Council’s Executive Committee serves as General Faculty Council’s primary advisory group on strategic and complex issues, steering, and early-stage matters. 

Hussein also served on the University of Calgary Senate, whose role is to create a bridge between the university and the wider community. 

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

Receiving CPA Fellow Designation (FCPA) is testament to my belief and trust that hard work and good deeds are very likely to be noticed, appreciated, and rewarded by people of goodwill.

When I received the good news by telephone that I was going to be approved by CPA Alberta to receive FCPA designation, I called my wife and children. Then I called my friends and colleagues. My late mother was also in my mind.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

My favorite quote: “The highest results of education is tolerance.” - Hellen Keller.

Ms. Keller was blind and still went on to university—Harvard—and was able to write 14 books. But most importantly, she fought for inclusion for all: men, women, racialized groups, indigenous groups, and people with disabilities. If by educating my students, I could not help them breakdown barriers, then I would have failed in my quest to improve the well-being of society.

Why is it important for you to give back?

While giving back does help the target community, it gives a sense of purpose, compassion, and an attachment to values that support the common good. While I do help charities in Alberta and around the world, my giving back relates mostly to the Somali community in Alberta and in Somalia.

What values do you live by? 

Of the values that I live by, two stand out: commitment and tolerance.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

I would like to thank CPA Alberta, my colleagues at the University of Calgary, and my students. I would like to tell them “you honored me, and I will not let you down.”  

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?  

An advice given to me by one of my professors as I was about to graduate with a PhD degree from University of Calgary. On that day, I was feeling disappointed and surprised that I did land on a job for which I thought I was the most qualified person. He detected that I was little bit over-confident. He said “Hussein, people do not hire the smartest candidate for the job. They hire the smartest candidate who can work with them. Humility helps.”

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of?

I am an accounting educator and researcher, and I am good at both. But while my research is very well cited, and I received international awards for it, what I am most proud of is the relationship with my students. That relationship is why I received the Haskayne Commerce Teaching Excellence Award, Student's Union Teaching Award, the Dean’s award for PhD support, Great Supervisor award from the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the CPA Education Fund of Alberta Teaching Excellence Award.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you? 

Humble, dependable, and tolerant.


Distinguished Service Awards

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes Alberta CPAs or supporters of the profession who have demonstrated a significant achievement within the last five years and have therefore brought honour to the profession.

Paul BorrettPaul has had many roles in the Audit and Assurance Practice at Deloitte and is one of the senior partners in the Edmonton practice. From 2018 to 2020, Paul led the Audit Private Practice across the firm’s Mid-West Region, where his relentless focus on talent development and quality service delivery resulted in growth of the practice and continued elevation of the firm’s teams and professionals. In 2020, Paul increased his scope of responsibility to become the Regional Service Leader for all of Audit and Assurance in the Mid-West Region, a practice which includes over 400 professionals.   

Paul is passionate about people and clients and has built a very strong reputation in the marketplaces based on these core principles. Paul believes in the importance of giving back to the community through his long-standing role on the Board of the Alberta Lung Association for over 10 years, taking roles as treasurer, leader of committees, and vice chair, followed by chair of the board. More recently, he joined the board of directors of the Alberta Diabetes Foundation to devote time and energy towards helping find the cure. He has also been a dedicated ambassador for local youth soccer for over 14 years, committed to coaching youth teams as well as staying active and playing competitive soccer over the years. For his entire career, Paul has dedicated himself to building the profession through his commitment to clients, community, and young professionals building a career.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My upbringing and my family. Always having the desire to put other people first and help wherever I am able to help.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

This was truly a surprise to me, and to be nominated by one of my longest standing clients means the world to me. Of course, my family was the first to hear about it as I was shocked that I had been nominated.

Why is it important for you to give back?

To me, it just feels like the right thing to do – if I am able to help someone, whether it be a client, a coworker, a student or soccer player, or a driver broken down, it is just the right thing to do.

What values do you live by?

Be true to yourself and your principles.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

My parents, my family, and my friends. I have received the best guidance and inspiration from both of my parents, amazing support through my early career through my wife and children, and built true friendships when we came to Canada back in 2004. Everyone has been a true inspiration over the years.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

Two things come to mind. As a trainee fresh out of university in the UK, being told that becoming a chartered accountant was going to be too difficult—as the pass rate was so low—so try something easier was a red rag to the bull and made me more determined than ever to succeed. Secondly, the support and backing from Deloitte in 2004 to transfer myself and family over to Edmonton from Edinburgh has been fantastic for my children and has given me the opportunity to be successful as a CPA.

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of?

There are so many things I am proud of: My four children, who have all grown up to be successful human beings in their own right; seeing my friends and colleagues excel as we bring them into Deloitte and train them into being leaders in the finance world; and my clients that have continued to succeed and develop deep friendships with over the years.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?   

Dedicated, invested, and thoughtful.

Anna CoghillAnna can be described not only as an exceptional person, but as a leader in the Edmonton community. Her career accomplishments are truly outstanding, but Anna’s ongoing commitment to helping others is what is truly inspiring and worthy of recognition. Anna is one of the most highly sought-after coaches at PwC, and she also invests her time in young, aspiring CPAs by co-leading the firm’s talent acquisition team in Edmonton. Her impact with people at all levels and her willingness to invest her time in others is part of what has made her such an impactful leader.   

Anna is an advocate for and passionate about gender equality. She was the first female assurance partner and the first female to be promoted to partner at PwC Edmonton. She has been a trailblazer and role model for women by fulfilling her role as a partner, while raising a family and working on a flexible arrangement. Anna is a member of PwC’s Women Inclusion Network and previously led PwC's Women in Leadership group in Edmonton. She actively mentors other women in the profession and works to bring a diversity lens to PwC's performance evaluation and recruiting processes. 

Professionally, her depth of expertise and commitment to her not-for-profit clients enables them to drive meaningful, positive change in our community.  Anna’s resolve to help the community extends well beyond her day job, as she volunteers her personal time to lend her skills to organizations such as the Art Gallery of Alberta, where she serves as a Director and Audit Committee Member; United Way, where she serves as the Partner Campaign Chair; and Grant McEwan, as a former member of the Business Advisory Council. She also served as the partner chair of the Women Inclusion Network for five years, where she drove forward both awareness and action around gender bias and equity. Her commitment and leadership have brought, and continue to bring, important and meaningful change around diversity and inclusion. 

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

I would like to thank both my family and my "PwC family". My family has demonstrated patience, understanding and unwavering support throughout my career. I would also like to thank my fellow PwC partners, both present and retired, for their belief in me and amazing mentorship. Both have been fundamental in the development of my values and professional skills.

What is your favourite quote and why?

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

I like this quote because it is a reminder that the intention behind our actions is more important than what you are doing.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

When I was a senior associate one of our partners took me out for coffee and told me he thought I had the potential to be the first female partner in the PwC Edmonton office. That conversation planted a seed and gave me the confidence to turn that insight into reality.

John ColbertJohn retired in 2019 following a career that spanned 45 years, most of it with the Triple Five Group of Companies, the owners of West Edmonton Mall. John was well known in the Edmonton business community and served on the Municipal Finance and Infrastructure Committee of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce for many years. John began his accounting career with Price Waterhouse and worked as Controller of the Edmonton Oilers, as CFO of numerous sports franchises owned by his employer, as General Manager of the Edmonton Drillers Soccer Club, and as an insolvency manager with Peat Marwick. John always took his role very seriously and was as attentive and attuned to details at the date of his retirement as he was throughout his career. He set up processes and coached and mentored his teams through continuous growth, all with unwavering passion for timeliness and professionalism.

In addition to a challenging career and raising a wonderful family, John always found additional time and strength to give back to the Edmonton community. He was, and continues to be, very involved in the Good Neighbour Fund, an Edmonton charity that provides funding to approved applicants who have fallen on difficult times and are in need of assistance to give them a hand up and make a difference in their lives. John’s greatest contribution to the Good Neighbour Fund was using his financial acumen and expertise to guide the charity through some difficult financial times, to the point where the Good Neighbour Fund is now on solid financial ground and will be assisting Edmonton’s less fortunate for years to come.

John has always been active in various sports and continues to take part in golf, cycling, skiing and hockey. John has three talented daughters and an enduring testament of his passion for the profession is manifested through two of his daughters who have followed in their dad’s footsteps and are both CPAs.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

It means that I have been recognized by my peers, always a great feeling. The first person that I shared the news with was my wife, Patrice.

What is your favourite quote and why?

I have many favourite quotes, but there is a quote attributed to Winston Churchill that resonates with me: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” I have been fortunate in my life and have always felt that it is important to give back to my community and to those who are not so fortunate.

Meghan DeRoo McConnanMeghan is a partner with Grant Thornton in Northern Alberta and leads the Charities and Not-for-Profits team. With over 20 years’ experience, she looks for ways to help organizations navigate through their financial reporting requirements; strengthen their internal controls, including board governance; protect their assets and reputations; and be sustainable.  Her insights and knowledge have proven to be incredibly valuable to many organizations in the not-for-profits and charities sector. 

Meghan is a leader in the community who is dedicated to unconditional sharing of her professional experience and skills.  She serves humbly, wholeheartedly, and with unfettered integrity. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

I have been lucky to have wonderful role models and mentors throughout my career – starting with my parents, Linda and Ian McConnan, who have always volunteered and given back to the community.  My dad is a CPA, CA and has always said that giving back was a part of being in the profession.  I’ve also been very lucky to have incredible mentors and support at Grant Thornton, who have encouraged and supported me in being active in our community.  And of course, my family – my husband, whose patience and help at home allows me to spend my time volunteering and my kids, whose kindness and curiosity inspire me to want to make the world better.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

It is a huge honor – my husband was first to know as he handed me the phone to take the phone call! 

What is your favourite quote and why? 

I collect quotes, so I have a few! 

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison

“Happiness is not a goal...it’s a byproduct of a life well lived.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

How has the CPA designation impacted you? 

I feel like it has really opened a lot of doors to me for amazing opportunities. I have travelled the world as a result of my work, and I’ve seen the inner workings of a wide variety of organizations. It has allowed me space and time to find some of my “super-powers,” including a skill in being able to connect the dots as to how organizations might help make things easier or smoother and in facilitating discussions so people can find their own “ah-ha” moments. 

Ross is a humble leader and believes that “we is stronger than me”. Because of this philosophy, he is continuously bringing people together to align on priorities and growth. Ross continuously acts with ethics and integrity, gaining the trust of his partners, staff and clients. Ross has been a champion for audit innovation, pushing the Edmonton EY office to be the Canadian leader of all offices in incorporating data analytics in audits. This has proven very valuable to management and audit committees of clients, who have valued the insights data analytics brings.  

Ross HaffieRoss strongly supports various charitable and community organizations within Edmonton. He is a long-standing member and now serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation. Ross exemplifies strong leadership; a collaborative, respectful and pragmatic approach in all his relationships in business; and in giving back to the community through his volunteering.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“Life’s too short to be a (jerk) all the time.”  I truly believe that being respectful and kind in life is most important. 

Why is it important for you to give back?

I feel the CPA designation provides us with so many benefits and opportunities that it is so very important for us to share and give back to the community. I’ve been involved and on the Board of Junior Achievement (JA) for a number of years. I feel JA’s work and purpose of teaching financial literacy and promoting entrepreneurship amongst our youth is very crucial in giving this next generation the tools in life to succeed. Having an appreciation for and teaching youth how to manage and understand how their finances work is one of those fundamental skills in life. Recently I’ve joined the University Hospital Foundation Board (UHF), which does so many great things for our hospitals and supporting the heath of Albertan’s.     

Carla is a true force. When she commits to a role, she not only sees it through to the finish, but takes every opportunity she can to “up the ante.” In her roles as Partner and Assurance People Leader with Ernst and Young LLP (“EY”), Carla has demonstrated a commitment to professional excellence and development. Her work as member of the EY Partners Forum has assisted in setting the strategic direction for the firm, ensuring the Canadian executive team is aware of initiatives that are important to her local staff and clients, and holding leadership accountable to their commitments.  

Carla MadraWhen it comes to community involvement and volunteer initiatives, Carla sets a clear example of what is possible. She has been steadfast in her commitments with Norquest College, the Mental Health Foundation, and more recently her appointment with STARS. In each of her roles, Carla has exemplified what it means to be a leader in the community. She takes her volunteer commitments seriously and often describes her efforts as “simply doing what she always felt she ought to do.” Carla sets a clear example of the great work that can be accomplished by CPAs and the positive and tangible impacts they can have on our community. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success? 

Firstly, my parents, through the work ethic they instilled in me and the encouragement to always stretch myself. My mom always told me I could do whatever I wanted when I put my mind to it. Secondly, my husband, Don, who has always been 110% supportive of me and who knows having a fulsome career has always been important to me. We always joke that I was never “stay at home mom” material. We have always made decision that focus on what is best for our family to succeed, but also for each of my husband and I to fulfill our personal career objectives.

Early in my career I worked with some individuals who really took interest in my career and created opportunities and experiences for me that were well beyond my years. I am very grateful for those experiences and that level of mentorship as it really helped me form my professional backbone. EY has been absolutely fantastic over the last 7.5 years. They presented me with an opportunity to start the FAAS practice in Edmonton back in December 2013—it was an amazing opportunity to start something while having the brand of EY behind me and fulfilled my entrepreneurial spirit. Through my time at EY, I have had many people supporting me both professionally and personally and I have built some great relationships with my EY Partners and colleagues that I truly appreciate and value.

My time serving NPO boards has been a truly amazing learning experience. I have gotten to sit on boards with very seasoned board members and have taken tremendous learning from them.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award?

Whether within EY or externally within the community, I choose where to focus my time and energy; I want to help make a difference for people. In my view the relationships we build throughout our personal and professional journeys and the impact we have on people is our legacy and what truly matters. I am humbly honored to be recognized by CPA Alberta for those contributions. While I am very appreciative of the acknowledgement by CPA Alberta, the really touching part for me was when my Nominator shared (after I was notified by CPA Alberta of the award) with me the personal letters that had been written to support my nomination; I found that very overwhelming!

Why is it important for you to give back?

I believe we have an obligation to give back simply because it’s the right thing to do. As CPAs, we can bring the skills and expertise we have to help organizations with social purpose be more impactful in achieving their objectives. I have been very purposeful in the organizations I have given my time to (the Mental Health Foundation, NorQuest College and STARS Air Ambulance). I have had a personal connection to each of them and first-handedly see the value they bring to the communities they serve. Being involved with these organizations has been personally very rewarding and is part of how I “fill my bucket.”

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them? 

There are so many to thank; it is hard to include everyone without erroneously excluding someone. Three shoutouts:

  • Colleagues (both Work and Board colleagues) and clients: I feel like the interactions and experiences with colleagues and clients over my career are analogous to pieces of Lego—different shapes, sizes, and colour. Although each Lego piece may not seem individually impactful, when built together they create an amazing Lego structure representing my career. I am so grateful for all those Lego pieces and the culmination of them in to what has been a fulfilling and rewarding 20-year career.
  • My daughter, Alex, and husband, Don: I am so fortunate to get to be your mom Alex! I am so proud of the person you are. The strength of your values and integrity, work ethic, and your kind and caring heart are amazing. And to Don, I always believed that the most important decision a woman who wants children makes as it pertains to their career is their life partner. I am grateful that we have always focused on dual careers, not dueling careers. As you know, I can be emotional and I am thankful that you are there to be my sober second thought when dealing with a tough or challenging situation. I am most grateful for the life we have built together based on the strength of our relationship and the great dad that you are to Alex!
  • To my colleague and friend Hayat who nominated me: The nomination process is a time-consuming undertaking, so to do so with a young toddler and through COVID is very generous of you. The nomination has not only been an honour to receive, but also been a time of personal reflection for me. That is something I don’t always take time for, so this has also been perhaps an unintentional gift of the nomination.

In 2017, Barry was honoured with the CPA Alberta FCPA designation. Since that time, he has continued to maintain exceptional leadership in his career as a senior partner with EY, leading EY’s Canadian corporate finance business and sitting on EY’s global leadership team for that business. Barry has also continued to share his expertise in the service of many community organizations, including senior volunteer leadership roles with Calgary Stampede Foundation and the Calgary United Way.

Barry MunroCommencing in 2017, Barry was a critical member of a volunteer committee struck by Calgary Economic Development to establish the $100 million Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. This innovative fund is acting as a catalyst to attract investment, drive innovation, and spur transformative economic development in Calgary. Barry served as the Chair of OCIF from its inception in 2018 to 2020.

In 2019, Barry served as the lead negotiator to help create the Calgary Events Centre, the planned 19,000 seat entertainment complex in Calgary intended to serve as the anchor to the development of the Rivers District in central Calgary and be home for the Calgary Flames. This endeavor required achieving alignment and agreement amongst the City of Calgary, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Inc., the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, and Calgary Municipal Land Corporation on a complex series of funding, design, and operating agreements. 

Barry’s passion and commitment to the community along with his wealth of knowledge and experience have been essential in leading and achieving success with each project, both of which will have long term benefits to Calgary and all of Alberta.

How has the CPA designation impacted you?

My CPA designation has been the catalyst for all my professional and community successes. The rigorous training, technical and strategic thinking, and high community stature the designation carries have provided a fantastic foundation from which to excel.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

I try (sometimes more successfully than others) to live by my golden rule—a “commandment” that I was given very early in my career: “Help each other be right, not wrong.” Seems that this may be way more important today than it was in 1988, when I was told to use that simple phrase as my compass and I would be successful.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?

My three words: a builder (of our community; of our people at EY; of our business); creative (in deals; in getting to a solution; in new ideas); fair-minded (in trying to get to a win-win outcome without giving away too much).

Greg ObertiGreg is a partner who covers PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure practice in Alberta and is National Cleantech & Energy Transitions Leader for PwC Canada; he is also a member of PwC's Global Deals Origination team and is the Lead Partner for PwC at UN Women. In these roles, Greg has led his teams to several impressive achievements that have impacted many groups in the province and across the globe. Prior to his current role, Greg spent time overseas working at one of the world's largest commodity trading firms.

Greg is highly collaborative and excels at developing multi-functional solutions for clients across the globe. He has over a decade of international experience and has worked in over 15 countries, assisting clients and colleagues on large scale infrastructure projects in Africa, Central America, South-East Asia, Australia, Canada, and Europe. He also speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish fluently.  

Outside of the office, Greg is a Sessional Instructor at the University of Calgary, where he teaches an undergraduate course and a graduate level (MBA) course in Project Finance. He is also an avid skier and an aviation enthusiast holding multiple pilot licenses. Greg devotes considerable time to his community and in that regard is passionate about contributing to economic development and education-related issues. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My family; my wife and my kids have been very patient and supportive over the years, but most of all, my wife. There's no way I could have made partner, passed my CBV, finished a Masters degree, and managed to get through the CPA without her support, love, and guidance. Going further back, I'd say my parents and grandparents were instrumental in equipping me with the foundation and the drive to succeed and instilling in me a sense of responsibility to do my very best.  

What is your favourite quote and why? 

I'd love to throw in one of Churchill's rallying cries here and/or a great quote from my favourite poet, TS Eliot, but I'll stick with a quote from my grandfather that's always stayed with me and which I think about most days. It is an Italian quote: "Vai dove gli altri non sono; segui la strada meno battuta"; which means, more or less: "Go where others aren't; follow the road less travelled". I often am looking for "white space" professionally and in how I give back in the community. It's become almost an instinct for me now, and it's really thanks to this quote from my grandfather, Professor Guido Oberti.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them? 

My wife. I'd need a book to properly convey my gratitude for her patience over these past ~15 years.

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of? 

In terms of what I've personally accomplished, I'd probably say becoming a pilot at 17 years old, through Air Cadets, and then taking my dad up as my first (and very brave) passenger. That said, what I'm most proud of is really a "who" question and it's my wife and children; my wife for her incredible fortitude throughout some quite challenging situations and my children, each of them, for their unique grace, openness, and fortitude with which they've handled adversity.   

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?  

I'd say, inquisitive, collaborative, and innovative.

Julie PerrasIn her daily life, Julie works for TELUS and has held roles as a Financial Analyst, Internal Auditor, Enterprise Risk Management Manager and Senior Program Manager. In addition, she is a member of the steering committee that supports TELUS’ CPA pre-approved training program, provides training for mentors and managers of CPA candidates within TELUS, and mentors CPA candidates working towards their designations.

For over twenty years Julie has been a committed volunteer with Girl Guides of Canada. Her roles with the organization have progressed from being a unit leader with Sparks (girls aged 5-6) through to Pathfinders (girls aged 12-14) to unit treasurer, district treasurer, area treasurer, district commissioner (administrative lead of multiple units) and to deputy provincial commissioner. In each of these roles, she was committed to assisting each girl in becoming “everything she wants to be” through her leadership, creating opportunities for experiences and, above all, being an excellent role model for the girls.  

Julie served as the deputy provincial commissioner for Girl Guides of Canada-Alberta Council from 2017 to 2020. In this role, she supported the provincial commissioner in the leadership of the organization, supporting 13,000 youth and 3,500 adult members. Julie was a valued member of the council (board) which is tasked with the strategic governance and financial oversight of the organization in Alberta, Northwest Territories and Yukon. Her professional accounting background assisted her in identifying risks and in formulating risk mitigation policies and processes Julie did and continues to share her talents and step in wherever the need is the strongest. She served as acting provincial council treasurer for a period during her term when the treasurer needed to step down due to other obligations. She continued to support this role and ensure a smooth transition to the incoming provincial council treasurer. Julie has strong organizational skills and was instrumental in organizing a board development training session and GrassRoots conferences in 2017 and 2019 what brought together leading youth and adult members from across the jurisdiction to hear their needs and concerns, as well as offer support in their roles. Without this leadership, GGC-Alberta Council and its volunteers would not have been poised to weather the situations posed by COVID-19.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

Receiving this award is a huge honour for two reasons: I am incredibly proud of being a CPA and for the opportunities that it has awarded me personally and professionally, and because the nomination came from an amazing group of women that I honour and respect and with whom I feel incredibly blessed to have had an opportunity to work alongside in Guiding.

One advantage of COVID is that with working from home and on-line learning for my children, I was able to share the news right away with my husband and kids.

How has the CPA designation impacted you?

Attaining a CPA designation gave me the foundational knowledge to know what questions to ask, to root out the real challenge, and to drive action. It ignited a growth mindset to never stop learning and to challenge myself with new roles, responsibilities, and opportunities.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

I would like to thank:

  • my family and friends for their love and support
  • my sisters in Guiding for their inspiration and dedication to making a better world by girls
  • my TELUS family for their encouragement and for the opportunity to grow and develop my leadership, skills, and knowledge.

Carlie PerssonCarlie is PwC Edmonton’s Public Sector Assurance Leader and an assurance partner in the firm, with more than 20 years of experience. Carlie is known by clients and colleagues not only for her superb technical accounting and auditing skills, but also for exceptional client service. Carlie takes a hands-on approach to leading teams, making sure there is a practical and pragmatic approach to resolving issues, developing an efficient audit, and identifying and solving any risk matters.  She is seen as a technical leader in many areas, including PSAS, the education industry, and the public sector in Edmonton and nationally. She has also provided both assurance and advisory services to a variety of private and public companies, including some of Edmonton’s largest and most complex insurance companies, real estate companies, and various not-for-profit organizations.  

Carlie cares passionately about giving back to the community and organizations that hold a special place in her heart, including the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and The Fringe Theatre Adventures Society. These organizations have benefited immensely from her knowledge, skills, strategic planning, and goal setting. She can draw participation from members when chairing a meeting, allowing for more robust discussion and a stronger plan moving forward. She embodies the absolute best skills of a leader providing direction, inspiration, and guidance, while sharing her passion, confidence, and commitment. 

Who is the first person you shared the news with?

My parents, who are both accountants as well! It was very exciting to share the news with them and how proud and honoured I was for being recognized for areas outside my day-to-day job that I care passionately about. 

Why is it important for you to give back? 

I've always felt it is important to give back to the community. I believe strongly that it is our duty as professional CPAs to share our knowledge and skills and give back. In addition to the positive impact it has on our communities, I feel it's important for me as an individual as well.  It is so rewarding for me personally to share my skills, try new roles, and develop new skills and help organizations in a variety of ways. I also like that it is positive role modelling for my kids and colleagues.

What values do you live by?

The value of care. I believe that sums up nicely how I look at myself and how I hope others see me as well. Care is contagious, and by caring about our clients, our charities, our colleagues, our friends and our families we make our communities and ourselves better.

Nicholas is a recognized high contributor to the organizations he serves, with expertise leading teams and connecting finance to the business. He has a breadth of finance expertise and is able to analyze and understand complex business issues and drive for results. Nicholas is a strong, accountable leader and professional who always strives to set the bar higher.

Nicholas PyraThe concept of devotion and dedication to a cause is something that Nicholas demonstrates every day. Through these traits, he has driven successes and positive changes in all his endeavors. He is not only a consummate professional, but has proven himself to be a kind and caring person with a deep concern for the community. This is demonstrated through seven years of volunteer efforts with Propellus (Volunteer Centre of Calgary), starting as a member of the finance and audit committee and increasing engagement and involvement in the organization through various positions, culminating in chair of the board of directors. His efforts have been instrumental in strengthening Propellus through initiatives focused on strategy, risk management, succession planning, performance management, and governance.

Nicholas has 13 years of experience in real estate, construction, and utilities with roles across all areas of finance. He is currently leading the real estate finance team for Gracorp, which is a part of Graham Construction. Outside of work, he is a proud dad to his daughter and enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, golfing, fishing, and watching Formula 1 racing.

To what or whom do you attribute your success? 

My success is fully attributable to my family who imparted strong values and work ethic, and the leaders and co-workers at Gracorp, Graham Construction and TransAlta who challenged, supported and gave opportunities to grow. 

How has the CPA designation impacted you? 

The CPA designation provided me with a framework to consider difficult business decisions, critical thinking skills and a breadth of finance and accounting skills. They are the foundation that I continue to build on today. 

Why is it important for you to give back? 

It was an opportunity to challenge myself and an opportunity to work with a group to create something bigger. It was important to work on something which could develop momentum and continue on.     

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

I’d like to thank those who nominated me at Propellus who are inspiring and thoughtful. Keep going!

Liza RicherLiza has served on the CPA Assist Board and Committee since 2017, providing overall strategic direction to support the profession’s wellness program. She takes her involvement with CPA Assist very seriously, and has worked diligently to brainstorm ideas that will work and be a good fit for the CPAs in Grande Prairie. These innovative activities included “Yoga in the Park” during the stressful summer of 2020, care packages with muffins and CPA Assist information to GP firms to help get through the crazy days of tax season in 2019, and arranging for life and wellness coach Gail Poston to speak at the CPA Chapter AGM in January 2020 on ways to deal with stress. In October 2018, she worked with CPA Assist to host Jennifer Moss at an event, with the profits from the event being donated to the Suicide Prevention Resource Centre in Grande Prairie. She continually promotes CPA Assist at every Grande Prairie CPA Chapter meeting and event to increase awareness and encourage our members to use the program.  

Liza has also contributed much to the local Chapter/Club. She stepped up and took on the role of President with the CA Club when the individual groomed for the role respectfully declined leaving the organization with a void in the leadership. Within the Grande Prairie CA Club and now the Grande Prairie Chapter of CPAs, she has served as a director at large and as part of the executive team of the Chapter in the crucial role of scheduling and coordinating PD for both CPA Alberta and non-CPA Alberta PD providers to ensure locally available PD was available. Administration fees arising from her efforts with group registrations accrued to the Chapter have been periodically endowed to a bursary program with Grande Prairie Regional College. She has also been a regular contributor in finding and scheduling guest speakers on topics relevant to CPAs for monthly Chapter meetings. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My family. I come from a long line of people with amazing work ethic and it has been passed on to me. I have always been surrounded by support.

Why is it important for you to give back?

My designation has provided me with so many opportunities that I will always be grateful for; it’s important to me that I recognize that by giving back both within my profession and community.

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of?   

I am very proud of the work that CPA Assist does. It is such a valuable tool to so many.

Perri SkeltonPerri has more than 30 years of experience, primarily in post-secondary education, not-for-profits, and regulated environments. Her involvement with the Women Building Futures Board has been invaluable to the organization. Perri joined the Women Building Futures Society Board of Directors in September 2015, was elected the Audit Chair in 2017, and has supported the organization during periods of mass growth. She has spent numerous hours volunteering at many budget meetings and strategic initiatives benefiting WBF students. She is an avid ambassador for WBF and a great champion for the organization’s mission.  

Professionally, after attaining her professional accounting, she discovered her passion for teaching and completed assignments for MacEwan University, Athabasca University, and the Chartered Accountants' School of Business. She joined the Faculty at NAIT and there contributed in various capacities, including Associate Dean of the JR Shaw School of Business. She proudly continues her commitment to lifelong learning as the Program Chair for Business at NorQuest College where she is committed to develop a well-balanced curriculum that will meet the learning needs of different types of learners. Under her leadership, the Business Administration Program received the Community Inclusion Award from Alberta Inclusion in 2020.   

What do you like to do your spare time? 

Outside of my professional life, I enjoy spending time with the amazing family that Craig and I have created! We spend much time travelling, RVing, and finding adventures. Feeding people and eating are high up on the things I like to do list. During the pandemic, I’ve continued my personal lifelong learning journey by exploring all things related to quilting. I was delighted to discover the alignment between quilting and math!! Who knew??!!

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

I was totally surprised by the call advising me of the award! I am grateful to my peers and colleagues for the nomination and for taking the time to provide supporting letters on my behalf.

Jeanette has been a brand ambassador for CPA through her dedicated and exceptional volunteer participation, particularly with the Edmonton Chapter of the Financial Management Institute (FMI). In her volunteer role as FMI Conference Project Manager, Jeanette has spent countless hours organizing events for its public sector members in Edmonton. Through her efforts, she has provided networking and professional development opportunities to fellow Edmonton-area CPAs. In addition to all her professional and community volunteer work, Jeanette found the time to author 2 books. The first title, "Armchair Abby-Lessons for Living in the Zone", initial copy run of 1,000 books sold out. Jeanette’s second book titled “Armchair Abby Seasons of Hope for Wherever You Are” was just published in March of 2021.

Jeanette SteadTo what or whom do you attribute your success? 

My parents and grandparents were great role models for me. They were hardworking, humble people that were passionate about their work and who had a way about bringing out the best in other people.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

“Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” This is a quote from Senator Robert F. Kennedy as a theme from his 1968 presidential campaign. It is very similar to a quotation by George Bernard Shaw. I particularly like it because it speaks to the notion of being open-minded enough to dream big.

How has the CPA designation impacted you? 

The CPA designation has benefited me greatly in my career and in connecting me with other accounting and finance professionals that have been wonderful to work with, and who have also become good friends.    

Why is it important for you to give back? 

This again goes back to the values that I learned from my parents and grand-parents. There are lots of opportunities out there to support good causes and the rewards that you get back from getting involved always pays off with a much greater return on investment in terms of personal satisfaction and accomplishing something that has a more lasting or bigger impact than what you could do on your own.   

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?  

I know there were a number of people that were involved in submitting my nomination and I am so very grateful to these very accomplished individuals for this very kind gesture. Special thanks to Hans Lung, Frank Potter, Neil Palesh, Pastor Marv Ziprick, and my husband, Mark. I admire you all so very much. And to any others that I may have missed, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life? 

When I was completing my MBA program, there was a time in the early stages of the program that I almost gave up. It all seemed too hard trying to balance work and school and family interests at the same time. At one of my low points, my husband, Mark gave me a hug and told me I could do it. That sticks with me—it’s always good to have that reassurance from someone who you know who is in your corner.  

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you? 

I would describe myself as a community-minded servant. I think others would see me as caring, concerned, and reliable.   


Early Achievement Awards

The Early Achievement Award recognizes CPAs who have had their designation for 10 years or less and have rendered exceptional service to the profession or whose achievements in their careers or in the community have earned them distinction and brought honour to the profession.

Jessa Aco-KuchmakJessa is a leader in business and in the community. She is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Pontem Innovations, which empowers organizations to make data-driven decisions through data analytics and process automation. Jessa started the company from the ground in 2018, without external funding, growing it into a successful business with clients across Canada. Jessa is entrepreneurial and strategic, with an eye for process improvements and the knowledge to make the most out of data. Her business skills and proven analytical expertise have been key strengths as demonstrated in her work at Pontem, prior experience at PwC and Gateway, and her ad-hoc consulting for the World Bank. In Jessa’s perspective, life is the cross-section of self, family, career, and community, and she has showcased her achievements in each of those areas before she has reached 30 years old. 

Jessa has two key passions outside of work: female empowerment and immigrant success in Canada. She was a founding member of the Network of Empowered Women (NEW) Conference and the Philippine Students’ Association (PhilSA) during her time studying at the University of Alberta, which reflect these passions. NEW aims at fulfilling the mission of women empowerment and is still held each year. PhilSA is a not-for-profit organization where students, alumni, and staff of the University of Alberta can celebrate Philippine heritage on campus. As an immigrant herself who moved to Canada when she was 16, Jessa continues to be involved in a number of different Filipino groups in Alberta such as VISMIN and the Annual Filipino Fiesta.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My parents, as every major decision they have made had me and my sister in mind, including enrolling us in the best schools growing up and immigrating to Canada even though they had a comfortable life as a dentist and a geologist in the Philippines. This inspires me to do my best every day.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

This award is such a special gift—it inspires me to think of the next 10, 20 or 50 years and what I’d like to accomplish during that time and truly find my place in this world. I first shared the news with my husband, Justin Kuchmak, who has been a rock for me over the past few years.

Why is it important for you to give back? 

Because I feel incredibly lucky to be born in a family that loves me, to be alive in a time where I can thrive, to be educated, to have opportunities, and to be free. We often forget it, but there are many places in the world where having clean water is a luxury, where going to school is not possible because you have to work, where some people feel like they have no choice but to illegally cross borders because they see no future for themselves, and many more. I often get overwhelmed when I hear and read about these unfortunate situations, but I have to take the piece of world that I can influence and make better, and just do my part.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them? 

My husband, for without him, starting my own business and starting a family would have been so difficult that I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do it. He believes in me sometimes more than I do myself and I’d like to tell him that I am ever so grateful for his love and support.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

Realizing that the impostor syndrome was doing me nothing and being true to myself was the most effective way of being a leader and person. If I’m in a meeting where I don’t understand the details, instead of pretending that I do, I now speak up about it with confidence that I may not know everything but I definitely have something to contribute of value.

Michael BejermanMichael is described as knowledgeable, trustworthy, and diligent in his craft. Aside from his professional accomplishments, he has volunteered prolifically for tax clinic programs since 2013, assisting many at need in the community through these efforts. As such, Michael has prepared hundreds of tax returns throughout the years, helping low-income individuals complete their returns in order to receive benefits and saving them the cost of preparation. Michael has been instrumental in the continued success of this program. Michael has also helped educate and inspire the next generation of CPAs through teaching accounting classes at the University of Lethbridge, Mount Royal University, and Bow Valley College. Michael is proud that a number of his former students have now joined the profession.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

Hard work and a no-BS attitude.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

Recognition by CPA Alberta is a moment of pride. My family was the first to know!

What is your favourite quote and why? 

“We’ll always have Paris.”

How has the CPA designation impacted you?

It has opened doors I never thought would open to me.

Why is it important for you to give back?

I was fortunate to arrive to the position I have. It’s good practice to give back and to ensure that no one who works hard and has the drive and desire to succeed is ever left behind.

What values do you live by? 

Honesty—a trait that often gets me into trouble—and objective treatment of peers, information, and information reporting.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them? 

The list is long, but mostly, my family, my friends, and mentors. I could not have done it without them.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life? 

“When you turn and run, that’s when you get shot in the back.”

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of? 

Raising two incredible and fascinating little humans.

Azfaar DharaniAzfaar has proven to be a natural leader with a remarkable ability to notice someone’s unique strengths. Azfaar always lifts the spirits of those around him, demonstrating integrity, enthusiasm, and dedication in everything he does. He has excellent communication skills, a strong work ethic, and proven ability to lead and manage projects, which have proven invaluable to his company. As the previous Co-Lead of the Young Professional Network (YPN) at Nutrien, Azfaar played a key role in providing career development, networking, and leadership opportunities for Nutrien’s young professionals. Amidst all this, he has still found time to pursue his passion in accounting, by taking on role as an Accounting Lab Instructor at Mount Royal University. This is a testament to his continuous engagement in the accounting field, whether at or outside work and what better than to develop the next generation of accounting minds. 

Azfaar is always willing to lend a helping hand and continues to be an inspiring role model for up-and-coming CPAs. One of the many familiar faces at CPA Alberta for budding CPA PEP candidates is Azfaar; he regularly appears on many panels and actively engages with students at networking events. At times he has been the last person in the room, ensuring that any student who needs their questions answered has been given the time. 

Azfaar is an exemplary example of the John Templeton quote: “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” Through humbling CPA and work experience, sharing his wisdom with other CPA Students, and working to give back to the community at Nutrien, he has been able to demonstrate that quote in everything he does. Azfaar has garnered nothing but respect from his peers and his enthusiasm towards his job, activities, colleagues, friends, and family has been infectious to all.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?  7. Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

All my success is due to the amazing people I have in my life. My mom, dad, mumma, dada (mumma and dada are grandparents from my dad’s side), nani, and nana (nani and nana are grandparents from my mom’s side), have worked extremely hard, made countless sacrifices, and have always showered me with well wishes. It is only because of them I even had an opportunity to come to this country, receive the best education and make something of my life. Not once did I ever feel deprived of any resources I needed or wanted to excel in my education. I love them beyond words. Further, I have had amazing support of family, friends, and peers through this journey, for which I consider myself lucky and forever grateful. THANK YOU for all that you do for me and being part of my life!

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

I am so humbled to receive this award. Reading the letters that went behind this nomination was so heartwarming and to me personally that is my award and reward. My mom was the first person I shared this news with, and we were both so so happy we were almost in tears.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

I love quotes so it’s extremely difficult to just chose one. My all-time favorite quote is from Nelson Mandela: "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

I am an extremely competitive person and I just refuse to give up, no matter the odds. I take pride in all my failures; this stems from the fact that I don’t stop fighting.

Why is it important for you to give back?

I want this world to be a happy and loving place for us and the future generations. It is very important for me to give back; currently this scope is through time and knowledge share, but I am very passionate to have a very big positive impact to the world. We must build bridges across the world, share our knowledge, experience the power of diversity, and grow as one global community.

What values do you live by?   

  • Love and accept; hate takes effort
  • Share and giveback; there are lots of opportunities for all of us to grow
  • Just be a good human

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Passionate, trustworthy, and loving. 

Shane DollThrough Shane’s hard work and technical expertise, he has risen through the ranks at Grant Thornton, progressing from accountant to his current role as a senior manager. Aside from prioritizing the technical component of his professional role, Shane spends much of his time giving back to his colleagues and communities. He’s dedicated his time to build the future generation of CPAs by helping develop the firms’ CPA Program, and by acting as both a CPA and CFE Mentor for current articling students. He holds a leadership role in Grant Thornton’s Young Professionals Group, plays an integral part in the development of the training process for new hires, and has also impacted the future of the firm through his contributions to the National Future Business Model program. Shane also gives back through his involvement in Movember; the MS Bike Tour; and, with the help of his wife Rae-Lee, Operation Christmas Child, where they pack shoeboxes with gifts and necessities for less fortunate children around the world.

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

I would attribute my success to two things. Firstly, my work ethic, which was instilled upon me from an early age by my parents. In my eyes, I was never the biggest/strongest/fastest/smartest and so the only way to succeed was to be the hardest working. I owe this to my parents for setting a great example for me to follow, whether it be my dad working upwards of 60+ days straight to ensure we had everything we needed as kids or my mom working full-time while driving my brother and I to our endless commitments. I wouldn’t have that drive but for these examples set for me. Secondly, the unwavering support I have from my wife, my family, my friends, and my firm. I know that I can lean on any one of these areas for support whenever I may need it, and without that I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.

What is your favourite quote and why?

“Be uncommon amongst uncommon people” – David Goggins

This quote has always stuck with me since hearing it. I think it does a good job of summing up one of my aspirations in life—to be remembered. To me, this is a unique way of putting what it means to be the best that you can be, and in doing so, you will ultimately become more and more uncommon. Becoming a national champion when I was 18 was one step towards this, graduating at the top of my university class was the next, obtaining my CPA designation another, and finally achieving this award the latest.

Why is it important for you to give back?

It’s important to me because I realize that I was dealt a much better hand than many people in the world when it comes to the opportunities I have been afforded in life. As such, not only is it my duty to capitalize on these opportunities wherever I can and to not take anything for granted, but to also do my best to give other people these opportunities. When it comes to my immediate community, I think this is important in the form of paying forward all of the time and efforts that others have put into my growth and development. On the wider scale, giving back to those less fortunate is a way to share some of the good fortune that I have had in my life.

Amanda HeckAmanda is a poised professional who balances a full workload at PwC while maintaining a deep involvement in the community. An enthusiastic learner who demonstrates an innate ability to embrace the changes of tomorrow, she inspires others with her positive attitude and the courage to reach out and make connections. She connects with students and staff with an empathetic nature, she shows care in her communication, and leads by example to inspire others.

An example of Amanda’s achievements are her significant contributions to the United Way campaign for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Calgary, where her efforts led to record-breaking support.  Her skilled public speaking shows a maturity beyond her age and experience that is rare in her peer group. Amanda plays an essential role in ensuring that young female staff members have an instant role model they can look up to throughout their careers at PwC. 

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

Being recognized with this award was honestly a very special moment for me, as learning that I have been a role model to future CPAs or made a difference to someone in their career is truly a very rewarding experience. The first person I shared this news with was my mom, and it was extra special as I found out I had received this award on her birthday!  

What values do you live by?

I think one of the most important values that I try to live by every day is not to go to bed angry with someone that you love and to look at every day as a fresh start! Living life through all of the uncertainty of the past year has reaffirmed the importance of treasuring the time that you have with those you love and not to sweat the small stuff that you cannot control.  

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them? 

I would like to thank both my colleagues and mentors at PwC, my fiancé, and my family for continuing to believe in my capabilities thoughout my career, even when I didn't necessarily believe in myself. It is the unwavering love and support that I have received throughout these formative years in my career and as a CPA that has helped shape me into the person I am today!    

Karl HendricksonKarl is a dedicated business and tax advisor, focused on various industries, including agriculture, construction, food services, trucking, retail, and professional. From early on in his career, it was clear that Karl was someone who fully dedicates himself to the task in front of him. Karl's in-depth tax knowledge and common-sense approach to business brings creative solutions to his client's needs and his warm and charismatic personality allows him to communicate complex solutions in a way his clients understand. In this way, Karl contributes to the reputation of the profession wherever he goes.  

Karl also has and continues to give back to the Lethbridge community in many ways. He has volunteered hundreds of hours with community organizations, such as Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association (LMHA) and Scouts Canada, through coaching, youth mentorship, and participation at various community events. At his core, Karl truly is an individual who leads by example. He is a dedicated father, coach, and husband and is an excellent role model to those who work with him. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

I attribute my success to my family, specifically my wife who has always encouraged me to go the extra mile and to never settle.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

"If you want to take the island, burn the boats!" To me this quote exemplifies that when you do something you go all in and give it 100%. Once I commit to something I see it through and never look back.

How has the CPA designation impacted you?

The CPA designation has provided me with the ability to make a difference in everything that I do. It has changed the way I look at the world and how I approach a problem. The CPA designation has provided me with opportunities that would not have been available if I did not have a designation.

Why is it important for you to give back?

Giving back is important to me because I want to provide equal opportunity. I attribute a lot of my success to those who took the time to invest in me and that’s why I feel it important to provide opportunities to others.

What values do you live by?    

Strive to make a difference, be a good person, treat others with respect, be honest and considerate and never judge a book by its cover.

Priya KapurPriya is a Senior Manager with KPMG International, working in the Global Learning & Development group. She is an accomplished and dedicated individual who takes pride in the profession. Priya’s contributions in the audit field saw her rise quickly to the role of Senior Manager; she was valued by her clients because of her dedication to serving their needs. Following her greater purpose, she took this dedication to accounting and combined it with her passion for learning and helping others to learn and grow. She now facilitates courses that are instrumental to the future of audit at KPMG, where her expertise and experience are heavily relied on to develop training materials that are implemented globally.

In addition to her core work, Priya’s ongoing contributions to her community are highlighted through her work to support inclusion and diversity and giving everyone a voice. Knowing the importance of community, she has dedicated her to time to creating the Women’s Interchange Network for her global team colleagues. In addition, her dedication to family and social justice is unyielding. Priya is a natural leader who is generous with her time and talents. Her goal-driven behavior allows her to adapt to adversity, embrace change, and continue moving forward. She works to serve the broader community, isn’t afraid to speak up for change, and finds tremendous purpose and meaning in this work. In all she does, Priya brings respect and honor to the accounting profession. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

I attribute my success to my support system, which consists of people who are good for me, people who are good to me, and people who are good for my soul. My family is my moral compass and help navigate everything I do by always ensuring I am aligned with my values. My mentors have believed in me and helped me reach my full potential in my professional life. And my friends always remind me to stay grounded in who I am and always be my authentic self in my professional and personal life. 

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award?

My profession is a big part of who I am so to receive the CPA Alberta Achievement Award is an incredible honor. Education was a huge part of my upbringing and I have always taken pride in my career and my profession as a CPA. Receiving this award is a reminder of how much I value being a CPA and how proud I am to have these letters.

What is your favourite quote and why?

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

I have believed in this quote since I was 14 and truly believe that one has the ability to initiate change they want to see happen. I have always been someone who wants to create and implement positive change in the world. I am passionate about engaging in real conversations and self-growth and giving back. My life experiences, upbringing and my inner heart compels me to give back to everyone around me in whatever capacity I can.

Why is it important for you to give back?

Since a young age, my parents have taught me to always give back to those who are less fortunate. I have spent much of my lifetime volunteering and finding ways to contribute to society as an individual. As I have grown in my professional life, I have learned that giving back can happen in many different shapes and forms. One way of giving back is by using my voice to empower others, especially as a leader in the firm. I believe that true leadership is service, so I will always find ways to give back and hope to inspire others to do the same and pay it forward. 

What values do you live by? 

Authenticity is the most important value I live by. The leaders I admire the most are the ones who live and lead authentically. Authenticity allows for deeper connections and is the gateway to creating change in the world. I try to live authentically by embracing who I am in my personal and professional life and trying to inspire others to do the same. Vulnerability is also an important part of authenticity and by being open about my life and taking risks, I hope to motivate others to share their own views and perspectives.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

When I was very early in my career, one of my mentors shared the best advice that I live by today: “Know what you don’t know”. By truly embracing this, I have entered into a lifelong journey of continuous learning and growth in all aspects of my life.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

The three words I would use to describe myself are passionate, resilient, and empathetic.

Taryn KlymykTaryn contributes her accounting knowledge in a variety of capacities at the Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta, where she completed her Bachelor of Commerce in 2013. Since earning her designation in 2016, Taryn has been actively involved as a volunteer coach for the JDC West Case Competition’s Accounting Case Team. She also leads one of the school’s Accounting 311 seminars, teaching approximately 75 first year business students introductory financial accounting concepts and providing them with a glimpse into the accounting profession. Sharing her knowledge and expertise, Taryn freely gives back to the University of Alberta as a thank you for the opportunities she received while attending.

Taryn also gives back to the profession by volunteering her time to mark cases for CPA Canada’s Capstone 2. She provides in-depth feedback on each candidate’s case writing and response skills to assist them in their CFE preparation.  

In the community, Taryn is known as an invaluable volunteer for Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta. Since 2016, she has volunteered in various roles as well as served as Chair of the Young Professional Advisory Committee (YPAC), where she initiated a fundraising campaign that now raises over $10,000 each year. 

Throughout her career at Mowbrey Gil, Taryn has demonstrated her leadership abilities by becoming a mentor and role model for accounting students. She assists them in preparing for exams by marking practice cases and by providing training on various accounting topics and regularly receives positive comments from students.  

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

My family. They instilled the value of hard work into me at a young age. I studied hard and did well in school and I was always involved in the community, whether it was fundraising for a fun run, a magazine drive, or fundraising for trips to dance in Disneyland with Joy’s School of Dance. They always supported me and made it so that the sky was the limit when it came to achieving goals.  

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

It is a great honour to receive the CPA Alberta Early Achievement Award. I have been working hard at my career since I started articling with Mowbrey Gil almost eight years ago, and on top of that have been involved in the community. I thoroughly enjoy my job, but it is also very fulfilling to be involved in activities and organizations outside of work. To be recognized and rewarded not only for the work I’ve put towards my career but also the work I’ve done in the community means a lot. The first people I called were my managing partner, Greg Mowbrey, who nominated me; my fiancé, Stephen Schram; and my parents, Grant and Tanis Klymyk.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

“If you can’t love yourself then how are you going to love somebody else?” – RuPaul Charles

With “Nobody puts baby in a corner” from Dirty Dancing being a close second. Self-love and knowing your self-worth is so important. I think it is something that everyone struggles with, but being your own champion is huge! I truly believe that believing in yourself not only gives you the confidence to live the life you want to live, but people are drawn to people who are comfortable in their own skin.

Why is it important for you to give back?

It is important for me to give back because I have been very lucky in my life so far to be surrounded by supportive friends and family and to have the opportunity to participate in many unique experiences. This was especially the case in university at the Alberta School of Business, from studying abroad in France to attending numerous case competitions throughout Canada. Being involved with the university is the least I can do for everything I was able to achieve and participate in while completing my degree there. Being involved with Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta was a no-brainer. I was introduced to their Young Professional Advisory Committee (YPAC) through a friend and instantly fell in love with the mission and vision of Make-A-Wish and what they do for children in our community. YPAC has raised enough funds to grant eight wishes so far and we are currently working towards our ninth. Completing the Wish Grantor training also allowed me to be directly involved with the wish kids and their families in the weeks leading up to their wishes being granted. Volunteering is extremely gratifying and I do not plan on stopping any time soon!

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?   

Ambitious, hard-working, and funny (although my fiancé may disagree). I asked my best friend for three words to describe me and his immediate response was “tiny but feisty” and he’s not wrong so I am including it here!

Christine LeungSince childhood, Christine has been actively involved in the community. For many years, she has volunteered and contributed hundreds of hours annually to several different organizations. Dedicating her time as a coach, mentor, and project manager, Christine has served with organizations such as the Calgary Youth Justice Society and the Martin Family Initiative, where she mentors at-risk youth and invests in their personal and professional development. With a passion for building up people and future generations, Christine has also been invited to speak to high school and university students and young professionals about her career path through keynote speeches and on panels. She has also been invited to judge case competitions and connect with aspiring students and professionals through organizations such as CPA Alberta, the University of Calgary, Haskayne Consulting Club, and Enactus. Through Christine’s coaching, individuals and student teams have gone on to win prestigious awards and monetary prizes.  

Christine is a board member for National Hope Movement, an initiative that seeks to promote awareness and decrease the stigma around mental health while creating opportunities for people to make meaningful connections. Since joining the organization, Christine has raised thousands of dollars to support the cause. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success? 

I attribute my success to my family and friends as I truly believe there is a lot of truth in the quote “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. The people I am closest to have been there through the ups and the downs, celebrating milestones with me while supporting and encouraging me during difficult times as well.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with? 

It is an absolute honor to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award and I am humbled to be recognized as it encourages me to pay it forward and inspire others on their CPA journeys on both a professional and personal level. My family members were the first people I shared the news with.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

One of my favorite quotes is “speak words that rebuild the torn down places in others.” During first impressions, there is always more than meets the eye; this quote encourages me to ensure that everyone I cross paths with feels seen and acknowledged as we never know what they may be going through.

Why is it important for you to give back?

Every day, I strive to make each moment count and giving back allows me to exercise empathy and think outside of my own needs and wants while finding ways to bless others.

What values do you live by? 

Faith, love, integrity, trust, and hope.

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?    

“What kind of impact do you want to leave on the world?” This question resonated with me and really encouraged me to reflect on and evaluate how I was spending my time.

Raymond LiFor many years, Raymond has been passionate about helping to develop tax practitioners of the future. Given his natural ability to teach and care for his coworkers, Ray has also become an informal mentor to many, both within and outside of KPMG.  His involvement in KPMG tax technical trainings and various CPA courses, including the CPA In-Depth Tax Program, provides him the opportunity to encourage people to become more informed and inspired. Ray is selfless, non-judgmental, someone who embodies the spirit of teamwork, and is the first to help anyone regardless of their position and profile. Not surprisingly, Ray is often sought out as a career counsellor and development coach by his colleagues and community members. Even with a full client workload and many other competing demands, Ray is always available to help those who are in need.   

These characteristics extend to his numerous professional and community service roles. Ray is eager to share his expertise by offering his knowledge to support many not-for-profit and charitable organizations.  

Why is it important for you to give back?

It makes me happy when I can make other people’s life easier and happier. I wouldn’t have the solutions for everyone’s problems but, with time and efforts, I would find the alternatives by learning new ways to help them. Such learnings help me grow as well.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them? 

I would like to thank my family, friends and colleagues for their mentorships, kindness and supports. I would also like to personally thank the following professional colleagues:

  • Cliff M. Taylor, CPA, CA
  • Amanda Hart, CPA, CA
  • Evan Capatos, CPA, CMA
  • Edwin D’Mello, CPA, CA
  • Vanito Pobran, CPA, CA
  • Pawel Biedacha, CPA, CGA
  • Dugan Batten, CPA, CA

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?    

A piece of advice that has been meaningful to me is: “If there are something important you want to communicate, call or meet the person before writing emails or memos.” This advice has helped me a lot in my career and volunteer engagements.

Adrienne WongAs a Director in PwC’s Deals practice, Adrienne specialises in advising private equity and corporate clients on the financial aspects and pricing mechanisms of their M&A transactions. Adrienne brings a diverse skill set and several years of experience leading buy-side and sell-side due diligence engagements for local and international clients to support the growth of this practice in Western Canada.

Throughout her career, Adrienne has contributed to a number of firm initiatives focused on creating a positive environment both in the office and in the community. From organizing team volunteering and networking events for professionals in Calgary to presenting national workshops on complex deal issues, Adrienne leads with integrity and care. As a result of her exemplary leadership, she was selected for PwC’s Women in Leadership program, and most recently, the National Staff Council to support the Canadian Leadership Team.

Adrienne utilizes her skillset as a CPA to give back to the community. She currently volunteers with DirectHer Network, an Alberta-based not-for-profit focused on empowering Canadian women with the tools and support to serve as board directors. In her role as the content lead and facilitator, she draws on her experience to make the discussion around financial statements and NPO accounting more relatable and less intimidating.

How has the CPA designation impacted you?    

Some of my most memorable, rewarding. and character-building experiences have come from my journey as a CPA. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and work with clients from around the world to help solve complex issues. My designation has not only given me the foundation to build a diverse skill set as a professional, it has also introduced me to an incredible network of friends, coaches, and mentors. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the opportunities and experiences that I’ve had as a CPA over the past several years.  

Why is it important for you to give back?

I started volunteering with the City of Calgary when I was 12 years old. Even from an early age, I recognized how volunteering connected me to the community and taught me new skills. Volunteering has also helped me to understand broader issues and to see things from a different perspective. I have a deep appreciation for the organizations and individuals that have dedicated themselves to making this world a better place. Small acts of kindness can go a long way; whether that’s through supporting local businesses or donating time and resources to a specific cause, I hope to use my actions to inspire a bit of change and make a positive impact in our community.

What three words would you use to describe yourself? What words do you think people use to describe you?   

Positive, resilient, and energetic.

Mike WoodwardMike joined Campus Energy, a growth-focused power & midstream company, as CFO in late 2019. He is responsible for finance, risk, IT, and until recently, Mike also led the power division of Campus Energy. He is known for being a change agent, driving best practices, and striving for continuous improvement. He led the company through the energy downturn with contributions to strategy, data analytics, and acquisition activity. Mike obtained his CA while working at PwC in Vancouver in 2010, moving to Calgary at that time.

When Mike moved to Calgary in 2010, he joined the Equity Research group of CIBC, later transitioning to Investment Banking. During his four years there, Mike took the initiative to develop standard templates for models that incorporated up-to-date tax planning. He also took significant initiative around business development and was successful in bringing in two new clients. Later, as the VP of Finance for Torq Energy Logistics, Mike executed three acquisitions and led the consolidation of four separate accounting systems. Following Torq, he joined BMO Capital Markets as VP of Power, Utilities, & Energy Infrastructure, where he originated new business with new clients, maintained and built upon existing relationships with critically important clients of the firm, and recruited and mentored members of the team.

While his career accolades are impressive, what speaks loudest to Mike’s character is how he contributes to the broader community. He is a profound, invested volunteer and has been involved in many fundraising initiatives, such as his efforts with Heart & Stroke, where he co-chairs the Caring Hearts Council.

Outside of these accomplishments, Mike makes sure to spend time coaching and mentoring junior staff on skill development. He has created a supportive atmosphere enabling staff to pursue their educational endeavors, which include supporting the CPA program at Campus. 

To what or whom do you attribute your success?

I was lucky enough to be a part of the student government at the University of British Columbia, where I had exposure to many successful mentors (of note were Dan Muzyka, Ali Pejman, and Maureen Howe). While my drive is my own, through speaking with them and getting advice from them I was able to see what was possible, which caused me to shift my sights higher. Managers along the way have continuously increased their expectations of me, which has given me the opportunity to meet those expectations.

What does it mean to you to receive a CPA Alberta Achievement Award? Who is the first person you shared the news with?

My mom, Sue Woodward! I’m a second-generation CPA,CA—both my parents are CPA, CAs in Calgary. It means a lot and is the culmination of many long conversations with them.

What is your favourite quote and why? 

I used to have one from Dave Barry about not getting invited to parties but I’m not sure it’s appropriate here… I’m not sure it’s a quote, but “You can’t get what you don’t ask for” comes to mind. It speaks to setting clear goals, clear communication of those goals, and then pursuing them aggressively—all things I aspire to for my business and my career.

How has the CPA designation impacted you?  

It’s given me a desire to “get to the answer” which has served me well in my career. Not taking inputs for granted and “auditing” them is a big part of due diligence and something that’s served me well over time.

Why is it important for you to give back?

Early in my education and career I was given lots of time and attention by mentors and people senior to me. There is a certain aspect of paying it forward that I subscribe to. A former colleague from BMO used the term “send the elevator back down”. Many of the not-for-profits and charities operating in Alberta couldn’t do it without volunteer support—I think you have to pick a cause you support and literally support them!

What values do you live by?

Honesty, education, passion, and work ethic.

Who would you like to thank, and what would you like to tell them?

I’d like to thank my wife, Claire, for supporting me in my entrepreneurial endeavors and for understanding the work / volunteer schedules! I’d also like to thank the friends, family, and coworkers who contributed to my nomination and application. Thank you, this means so much!

What piece of feedback or advice was particularly meaningful or marked a turning point in your life?

I suppose the biggest one, was just after qualifying for my CA when I was considering a move back to Calgary. I thought I needed to go back to school to get a job in energy in finance, but from a number of places people told me to just try and get the job I wanted rather than putting in a roadblock that might not exist. So I did that, got the job I wanted, and have carried and lived that philosophy ever since.

What do you consider your most important achievement or contribution?  What are you most proud of? 

My 10-month-old daughter! She’s great!

Congratulations to all 2021 recipients!

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