All directors are members of the Council and are elected to the board at the Annual General Meeting. Directors can serve a maximum of three consecutive 2-year terms.
Click a name below for more information on the individual 2015/2016 Board of Directors.
How to become a Board Member
Become a Board Member
The Board of Directors consists of 8 to 12 members who are elected at the Annual General Meeting each spring.
Requirements and Term of Office
All board members must be current members of the Edmonton Social Planning Council and in good standing and must be committed to supporting the ESPC and its mission to address and research social issues, inform public discussion, and influence social policy.
The term of office is 2 years, and board members are eligible to serve a maximum of 3 consecutive terms.
Board meetings are held monthly (excluding July and August) and are usually held every second Tuesday. Board members also participate in board committees and are involved in periodic strategic planning sessions.
How to Become a Board Member
Applications are accepted year-round. Once an application is submitted, prospective board members will be notified when vacancies arise and/or when the Annual General Meeting is scheduled.
Upon submission of the completed application form, the Membership and Board Development Committee may interview candidates to determine acceptability. The Membership and Board Development Committee may then recommend potential applicant(s) be accepted on an interim basis to the Board of Directors at the next regular Board Meeting. Interim Board Members must be elected at the next Annual General Meeting (see bylaws).
Potential applicants are encouraged to submit the completed application form any time of the year.
Nominations by an ESPC member in good standing are also accepted from the floor at the Annual General Meeting, in addition to candidates proposed by the Membership and Board Development Committee. The nominee(s) from the floor will be asked to present their qualifications and commitment to the ESPC’s mission and answer inquiries from the floor prior to a vote by the ESPC membership.
How To Apply
Doug Meggison joined the board of the ESPC in 2005 and was elected president in June 2006. Doug has returned to the Board in 2012. He has previously served on the Board of Trustees of the Edmonton Public Library and the Community Investment Committee of the Capital Region United Way.
Doug worked for a health care labour union as a policy analyst but has since retired. He lives in the Old Strathcona neighbourhood with his wife Marie Chidley.
Alexandra is an Edmonton-based lawyer with a practice focused exclusively on criminal defence work and defending the rights of individuals who have been charged by the state at both the trial and appellate level. She graduated from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law in 2012 after receiving a B.A. from the University of Calgary in Political Science with a minor in History.
During law school, Alexandra’s academic and extracurricular focus was on criminal law, advocacy, and constitutional issues. In all three years at the Faculty of Law, Alexandra was extensively involved in Student Legal Services, representing low-income individuals charged with criminal offences and dealing with criminal justice issues facing the low-income community. Alexandra was the vice-chair of the Board of Directors for Student Legal Services until June 2015.
Alexandra’s criminal law practice involves extensive research and writing as she conducts appeals at all levels of court, including arguing at the Supreme Court of Canada, and she is strongly committed to the mandate of the ESPC and believes in the value of research and advocacy in social policy. She was pleased to join the ESPC Board of Directors in 2016.
Candas Jane Dorsey
Candas Jane Dorsey
Candas Jane Dorsey is an internationally-known writer and editor. A lifelong Edmontonian, she (with her partner, fellow artist Timothy J. Anderson) has made Boyle Street community her home for the last twelve years. She is a literary writer with nine books and many stories, poems, reviews, and critical essays published. In addition to her work as co-founder of The Edmonton Bullet arts newspaper and The Books Collective literary press, she has for 35 years been a freelance writer, editor and communications consultant. She also teaches writing and speaks internationally on writing and publishing.
She is committed to social justice and for over 40 years has been an active community and arts advocate, individually and on diverse boards and committees (arts organisations, community leagues, Edmonton Police Service citizen liaison committee, and many more). She ran for city council in Ward 6 in 2013. In addition to her literary honours she is the recipient of the Alberta Centennial Gold Medal, a City of Edmonton Achievement Award, the Todd Janes Pride Award, a Edmonton Police Service Human Rights Citation, and the YWCA Woman of the Year award.
Erin LaRocque recently graduated from the University of Alberta in Political Science and is currently working with the Alberta Public Service. As part of the Social Policy branch of Intergovernmental Relations, Erin is involved in intergovernmental work in the areas of housing, justice, and the status of women.
Over the past few years, Erin has been involved on and off campus promoting student and youth engagement in politics; working with an employment and literacy program for individuals facing socioeconomic barriers; and undertaking social science research in variety of areas, from public satisfaction with health care to Indigenous-settler and Indigenous-newcomer relations in Canadian cities. Erin strongly believes in the important role of good research in effecting social change. Some of her areas of interest include local and grassroots approaches to reconciliation, community engagement, housing policy, and poverty reduction.
Dave Trautmanis a veteran of more than 36 years of video production in a variety of working environments. In 1988 he formed a media production consulting firm called EncycloMEDIA Ltd. to provide project management to organizations who undertake interactive training and instructional projects. He developed a project management coursefor the Digital Media and Information Technology (DMIT) program at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. He spent three years providing expertise on video conferencing and collaborative technologies for Alberta Human Services.
Dave has been dedicated to the continuing development of other video producers by serving on advisory boards at NAIT and Grant MacEwan from time to time. Dave was the Faculty of Education’s TV producer for ten years where he was responsible for the production of computer-aided instruction and courseware. Dave went on to serve in the Faculty of Extension’s Academic Technologies for Learning centre for three years offering guidance and mentorship to professors who wanted to enhance their classroom instruction with digital media.
Dave’s expertise in digital and interactive media allowed him to become a consultant to ACCESS Network, SuperChannel, Lateral Communications, The Becker Group, The Provincial Archives Audio-Visual services, the Canadian Armed Forces, Bombardier, General Dynamics, and Alberta Human Services. He has, more recently, taught at both NAIT’s digital media program and theUniversity of Alberta Faculty of Extension’s Local Authority Administration online course.
Dave Trautman is currently his community league president, was the first chairman of the Edmonton Professional Arts Council and was Vice-president of the Film and Video Arts Society. He is a lifetime member of Uncles at Large, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Society of Television Lighting Directors, and has earned awards for innovative programming, production design, and interactive simulations. Dave was also an award-winning community program coordinator for seven years while producing public access television for Shaw Communications.
Dave is currently working to help Edmonton City Council improve their public consultation and engagement process. He has been specifically concerned with development of a new public engagement policy for the city for the past four years.
Gwen is a researcher and lawyer dedicated to the advancement of social justice. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) in Political Science from the University of Alberta, a Juris Doctor from Queen’s University and a Certificate in International Public Law from the Bader International Study Centre in the United Kingdom. She also studied in Mexico and the Netherlands and taught English in Taiwan prior to law school.
Gwen previously worked as a corporate lawyer in the Calgary offices of two international law firms and in political and policy research and communications for the Alberta NDP caucus. She now works for Alberta’s largest union as an economic, political and legal analyst and advisor. Over the years, she has developed particular interest and expertise in social policy, including housing, poverty reduction and disability issues, health policy, access to justice, Indigenous issues, and human rights.
Gwen has extensive volunteer experience with community organizations including Calgary Legal Guidance, the United Way and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary. She formerly held leadership roles and provided strategic direction on major fundraising campaigns for social service organizations and as the President and Vice President of two federal riding associations in Calgary.
Maxwell Harrison is a life-long resident of the Edmonton area. He attended the University of Alberta where he received his Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences. Mr. Harrison has worked as a private consultant, with the Public Service, and as an environmental researcher. Recently, he has qualified to become a Professional Biologist. Maxwell is currently employed as an energy policy analyst with the Public Service.
Mr. Harrison is also on the Board of Directors for his local Electoral District Association, and he was formerly a Canadian Forces Reservist. Maxwell has a special interest in social issues, politics and the overall civic life of his community. He is very excited for the opportunity to engage with other individuals who care about City of Edmonton and its most vulnerable citizens.
Ben Whynot has worked in public policy advocacy and research for over seven years, serving in roles with the Alberta Legislature, the University of Alberta’s government relations team, and the Alberta Public Service. He is currently on secondment as a Senior Policy Advisor with Executive Council.
Ben contributes to his community through several organizations and causes. He has served on the Board of the LGBTQ Pride Centre of Edmonton from 2010 to 2016 and was an Adult Tutor with the Centre for Family Literacy for five years. He currently serves on the Edmonton Public Library’s City of Learners Community Steering Committee. Ben is also a retired workshop instructor with Alberta Culture and Tourism’s Board Development Program.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Ben relocated to Edmonton for graduate school. Although the original plan was to depart after finishing his degree, Ben has been proud to call Edmonton home for almost nine years.
Peter Schalk currently works for the Department of Human Services as the lead for enterprise risk management activities. In this role, Peter focuses on ensuring the department can more effectively achieve key strategic priorities and objectives by better understanding and mitigating risk. Peter is a policy wonk with social policy interests in emergency social services, affordable housing, poverty reduction and accessible post-secondary education. Peter also currently serves on the board of Sombrilla International Development Society and the International Association of Emergency Managers' Canada Council.
Ashley Salvador is a student at Dalhousie University, where she is completing a Combined Honours in sustainability and sociology. Originally from Edmonton, Ashley is back home to complete her fifth and final year of University from a distance. During her fifth year, she will be completing her undergraduate honours thesis on affordable housing and accessory dwelling units in Edmonton.
Ashley’s studies are focused on issues of social and environmental sustainability, political economy, urban sociology, and sustainability leadership. Her research interests include affordable housing, infill development, poverty reduction, placemaking, community engagement, and climate change adaptation. She has experience working with Alberta Municipal Affairs on housing related reports and is currently working at the University of Alberta’s Office of Sustainability. Ashley also works with Abundant Community Edmonton, a city-wide initiative to increase neighbourliness, enhance connection and belonging, and reduce urban isolation. She is also on the Infill Development in Edmonton Association Board of Directors (IDEA), an organization that provides research, advocacy, and support for infill development in Edmonton.
Ashley has published research on an immigrant and refugee housing program proposal that was circulated throughout the province of Alberta. Ashley has also been involved in various sustainability related projects including co-authoring a Corporate Social Responsibility Transition Plan for the Crown Corporation Trade Centre Limited. She has conducted research on a range of topics including food insecurity in Halifax, environmental governance, and sustainable community design. She volunteered extensively as team manager for the Dalhousie Women’s Soccer Team and as a mentor for young athletes. Ashley champions collaboration, authenticity, and sound research to influence change.