The Talent Advisory Council on Technology brings together leaders of industry, post-secondary institutions, students and labour to help guide Alberta’s future in the technology field.
Technology is rapidly affecting key sectors of our economy, including health-care, agri-food, energy, commerce and the service industries. Alberta must continue to develop a highly skilled, talented and adaptive workforce to diversify our economy and improve our global competitiveness.
The council will provide government with guidance and advice in order to increase access to a variety of educational opportunities and technology skills development programs.
The council is an important milestone in the implementation of the Growth and Diversification Act.
Roles and responsibilities
Over the coming months, the council will work together to finalize a detailed terms of reference that outlines their strategic roles and responsibilities.
The council consists of 2 co-chairs (1 government and 1 industry) and 14 members. Of the 14 members, 9 are industry representatives, 4 are post-secondary representatives (2 faculty and 2 students), and one will represent a labour organization.
The membership is intended to reflect the diversity of our industry and post-secondary system, gender and geographic locations.
Brad Zumwalt, Co-chair
Brad is CEO of Zinc Ventures, a venture capital business. He has been involved in a number of successful technology companies and serves as member on various technology-related boards. Brad is also a co-founder of Rainforest in Calgary. Rainforest is an informal organization of people and tech companies working together to advance Alberta’s innovation system.
Rod Skura, Co-chair
Rod is the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Advanced Education. Rod has been DM of Advanced Education for more than 2 years. Previously he worked as an infrastructure analyst with the department of finance and spent nearly 21 years with the Canadian Forces.
Myrna is the founder of RUNWITHIT Synthetics, a computer consulting firm based in Edmonton. She has experience with startup technology firms and has been recognized for her progressive work in the field of synthetic intelligence.
Barbara is the chief operating officer of Cybera, a not-for-profit technology infrastructure company. Barb is experienced in research, spatial statistics and developing Information and computer technology infrastructure in Alberta.
Aaryn is an entrepreneur and consultant working with startup technology companies. Previously, he worked at BioWare as a computer game programmer, Director of Technology, and eventually General Manager overseeing all of the company's studios and development. He has also worked with the University of Alberta to develop curriculum for computer gaming courses for over a decade, and is a member of the A100.
Evan has over 25 years’ experience creating and managing successful businesses. He has extensive experience in developing new technology companies and is currently an active angel investor.
Tara is the president and CEO of Splice Software, a technology company based in Calgary. She has experience in developing technology companies and is widely recognized in Calgary’s business community for her work to encourage more women entrepreneurs.
Stephen is the founder and president of Above and Beyond. He has experience as a technology entrepreneur and has served on the advisory council to the business school and computer science faculty at Mount Royal University.
Sharon is experienced in developing marketing strategies for technology companies and has also been a sessional lecturer at some of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.
Mashhood is CEO of Diplai Consulting Services Inc., and is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of strategic and tactical leadership experience in the business and IT fields. He is dedicated to giving back to the community, and has vast experience serving on boards for social, community and tech organizations.
Robert is the founder of Agri-Trend Group of Companies based in Olds that develops and implements new technology in the agriculture sector. He has extensive background in the tech sector and has worked closely with Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.
Robert is the department chair of Art and Design at MacEwan University. He has 15 years of experience teaching user experience design at the University of Alberta and MacEwan University and is also the CEO and co-owner of Big Pixel Creative.
Dru is the provost and vice president academic at the University of Calgary. She has experience with data analytics and worked closely with technology experts to develop new academic programs and learner pathways in post-secondary institutions in Alberta.
Nadia is a PhD student majoring in computer science at the University of Alberta. Her focus is on reinforcement learning methods for computational curiosity and has extensive experience in student governance.
Stefan is a student at Mount Royal University, majoring in computer information systems. He is the co-founder and CEO of Bridgewater Labs and is also the co-founder and CTO of TLink Golf.
Anthony (Tony) LeBel
Anthony is a member of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1944 in Edmonton. He is a full-time Journeyman Communications Technician, and is a graduate of NAIT.