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Talented team helping Alberta build future prosperity

The Redford government is bringing together 12 economic leaders to ensure Alberta can drive forward with its plan to open new markets and diversify the economy. 

With international expertise in the financial, energy, agriculture and technology industries, the new Alberta Economic Development Authority board will help the government ensure it has the right tools to continue building a better Alberta.

The Alberta Economic Development Authority was improved during the 2013 fall session of the Alberta Legislature, when the Alberta Economic Development Authority Amendment Act was passed. The new Act restructures the governance of AEDA and integrates the work of the Alberta Competitiveness Council.

The smaller and more focused 12-member AEDA Executive Board will sharpen its mandate and focus on the priorities of diversifying Alberta’s economy and expanding our markets.

“The quality of life of Albertans depends on the decisions government makes now. Many of those decisions will be strengthened with AEDA’s advice. Together we can lead responsible change and reshape Alberta for a more competitive world.”

- Premier Alison Redford

“AEDA has been one of the government’s most dependable, enduring and trusted partners for the past two decades. These newly appointed members are senior level executives who are leaders in their communities, and the vast knowledge and expertise that they volunteer will serve our province well.”

- Dave Hancock, Deputy Premier and Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education

“AEDA is a forward thinking organization with unique economic knowledge and expertise. Its new mandate reflects the priorities of the Redford government, focusing on improving market access and diversifying Alberta’s economy. AEDA will continue to advise government and ensure Alberta continues to prosper in a global economy.”

- Barry M. Heck, Chair, Alberta Economic Development Authority

Established in 1994, AEDA has been a valuable advisor to the Premier and Cabinet on issues affecting Alberta’s economy. AEDA has identified strategic solutions to a range of economic challenges, such as job creation, skills and education, productivity and competitiveness, and market access. AEDA board members serve for a term of three years. Membership in AEDA has always been comprised of volunteer senior level executives. These appointees receive no remuneration other than reimbursement of travel expenses.

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.


AEDA Executive Board

Barry Heck, Chair

Barry Heck is the President and Chief Executive Officer of WinSport (Calgary Olympic Development Association). He is also the President and Principal Partner of EL Merchant Capital, a private merchant capital and corporate finance firm, and Vice Chair of Alberta Enterprise Corporation.  Mr. Heck has served and continues to serve on numerous corporate boards and agencies. He is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization and the University of Alberta’s President’s Think Tank. Mr. Heck earned his Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta. 

Andy Calitz

Andy Calitz is the Vice-President for Liquefied Natural Gas of Shell Canada and leads the development of LNG Canada. During his 17-year career with Shell, Mr. Calitz has been responsible for new business development in upstream projects and strategic investments in Russia, China, Australia, India, the Middle East and Africa. He has held directorship of Sakhalin Energy, Gorgon LNG and Brunei LNG. Prior to that, he worked in electricity generation, transmission, marketing and pricing. Mr. Calitz studied at the Harvard Business School and holds three degrees from universities in South Africa. 

James (Jim) Carter

James Carter is the former President of Syncrude Canada Ltd. Mr. Carter served for more than 27 years with Syncrude, including 10 years as President and 18 years as Chief Operating Officer.  Prior to joining Syncrude, Mr. Carter held progressively responsible management positions at McIntyre Mines Ltd. and the Iron Ore Company of Canada. Mr. Carter has extensive board experience with multi-national companies including: Finning International, Epcor Utilities, Clark Constructors and Alberta Treasury Branches.

Mr. Carter holds a B.Sc. (Mining, Engineering) from The Technical University of Nova Scotia and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He is the recipient of three honorary Doctorates. In 2001, Mr. Carter was named Resource Person of the Year by the Alberta Chamber of Resources, and was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. 

Dr. David A. Chalack

Dr. David Chalack is a veterinarian, active in Canada’s cattle industry with extensive international experience. He is currently an International Sales Manager for AltaGenetics, a leading international genetics company dedicated to enhancing products, services and research for the dairy industry.  Dr. Chalack’s professional and non-profit board experience includes work as Board Chair for Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Board Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Board for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, former Chairman of the Board for the Calgary Stampede, Board Member of Alberta Energy Regulator, Horse Racing Alberta, Calgary Zoo, Canadian Dairy Network and a Member of the Canadian Institute of Corporate Directors. 

Marc de La Bruyère

Marc de La Bruyère is a Principal and the Chairman of Maclab Enterprises in Edmonton. He has extensive board experience and has led numerous strategic development initiatives. Mr. de La Bruyère has served on several educational, community and non-profit boards including those of the University of Alberta, Edmonton Economic Development and the Citadel Theatre. Mr. de La Bruyère was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. 

David Hardy

David Hardy is President of Franvest Capital Partners. Franvest is a private investment firm that invests in, and/or acquires private companies. Mr. Hardy is also the President of World Health Edmonton and the CFO and Partner with Ultimate Fitness Group LLP., franchisor of Orangetheory Fitness.  Mr. Hardy’s board and community experience includes work with the Calgary and Edmonton Associations for Corporate Growth and the Fitness Industry Council of Canada. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Economics) from the University of Alberta and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Toronto. 

Brian Heald

Brian Heald. P. Eng., CFA, is Managing Director, Private Wealth Management with CIBC. Mr. Heald is responsible for business development and the integration of CIBC’s wealth management offering with corporate and high net-worth individual clients throughout western Canada. Mr. Heald was previously Managing Director, Global Energy Investment Banking at CIBC and has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance and investment banking in the Canadian energy sector. 

Mr. Heald was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005. He holds a number of degrees including a Master of Science, Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Alberta and a Master of Business Administration, from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. 

Todd Hirsch

Todd Hirsch is Chief Economist with ATB Financial and has previously served as Chief Economist with Canada West Foundation and as an Economist with the Bank of Canada. As Chief Economist with ATB Financial, Mr. Hirsch makes more than 150 presentations annually on Alberta’s economy.  Mr. Hirsch’s community and board experience includes National Director of the Canadian Association of Business Economics and Board Chair of the Calgary Arts Academy. In 2012, Mr. Hirsch was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and was named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture. Mr. Hirsch has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Economics) from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts (Economics) from the University of Calgary. In 2012, Mr. Hirsch released his first book entitled, “The Boiling Frog Dilemma:  Saving Canada from Economic Decline”. 

Yasmin Jivraj

Yasmin Jivraj is President and co-owner of Acrodex, a leading provider of strategic IT services for numerous Canadian businesses in seven cities including Toronto and Vancouver. Ms. Jivraj is also the former President of Atlas Systems Group and has served on the boards of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Edmonton Economic Development Group. She has also served on the board of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and the Canadian Information Processing Society.

In 2011, Ms. Jivraj was named one of the top 30 women in the IT industry by Computer Dealer News, Canada’s premier publication for solution providers and IT. She has a Bachelor of Science with specialization in Computing Science from the University of Alberta and in 2011 she was awarded an Honorary Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management degree from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. 

Dr. Brenda Kenny

Dr. Brenda Kenny is the CEO of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association.  In her capacity as CEO for the past seven years, Dr. Kenny has been responsible for industry programs on safety, environmental performance, regulation, policy and finance associated with Canada’s transmission pipeline companies. She was also business unit leader with the National Energy Board and has served on a variety of professional and community boards including the Climate Change Emissions Management Corporation, the University of Calgary, and WaterSMART. Dr. Kenny received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Queen’s University in Metallurgical Engineering, a Master’s Degree from the University of Waterloo and her Doctorate in Resources and the Environment from the University of Calgary, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering. 

Nancy Foster

Nancy Foster is the Senior Vice President of Human and Corporate Resources with Husky Energy.  She is an experienced human resource practitioner with extensive oil and gas experience, both domestically and internationally. Ms. Foster has served on a number of industry related committees, including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Conference Board of Canada.  Ms. Foster has worked on a number of charitable committees, including the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, Child & Youth Friendly Calgary, Hospice Calgary, the United Way of Calgary & Area and the YWCA of Calgary. She has a Bachelor of Arts from McMaster University and is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. 

Brad Sparrow

Brad Sparrow is the President of Eden Textiles, an international supplier of textiles to the hospitality and healthcare industries. Mr. Sparrow is also President of DSL Ltd., a leading distributor of innovative food equipment to restaurants and food service outlets from Winnipeg to Vancouver. 

Mr. Sparrow is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club.    

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