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Members of the Board


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The Labour Relations Board is an adjudicative agency subject to the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act.

Board members are recruited through a transparent and competency-based process. 

The Chair and Vice-Chairs are required to have a law degree or a related degree, combined with an extensive labour relations background. Board members must be experienced labour relations professionals who are active in the labour relations community and knowledgeable about Alberta’s labour legislation.

The Labour Relations Board currently includes a Chair (who also serves as the Essential Services Commissioner), Vice-Chairs, part-time Vice-Chairs and numerous Board members representative of both labour and management. All members are appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council for their experience and knowledge of labour relations.

 

 

 

 

Nancy Schlesinger
Nancy Schlesinger - Chair and Essential Services Commissioner
Nancy Schlesinger first worked for the Board in 1996, when she joined the Board for a six-month secondment as legal counsel. She returned to the Board in October 1999 to work as legal counsel and was appointed to the position of Vice-Chair in January 2002. Nancy previously worked as legal counsel at the Alberta Court of Appeal, where she assisted the appeal justices with their work. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta Law School and clerked with the Alberta Court of Appeal and Court of Queen's Bench before completing her articles at the law firm of Witten Binder.
Pam Kirkwood, Member
William J. Johnson, Q.C. - Vice-Chair
Mr. Johnson has practiced labour law in Alberta for 30 years. Bill has a diverse background in labour and employment law with exposure to numerous sectors of the economy (retail, industrial, health care, public sector, transportation, entertainment, communications, education, construction and utilities).  In 2002, the Province of Alberta appointed Bill as a Queen's Counsel, and in 2011, he was inducted into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  Bill has been frequently listed in LEXPERT magazine to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada in the area of employment and labour law.  Bill was appointed in 2013 for a three year term as a member of the Alberta Human Rights Commission.  In the 2016 Chambers Canada, Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business journal, the authors comment on Bill states, "William Johnson commands 'a national reputation' as a 'highly sophisticated' and 'very well respected' employment lawyer". 

 

Ian Smith, Vice-Chair

Ian Smith - Vice-Chair
Ian Smith was appointed a full-time Vice-Chair of the Labour Relations Board in November 2013.  Prior to joining the Board, Ian was a partner at Miller Thomson LLP practicing labour and human rights law.  He has represented clients’ interests before arbitrators, administrative tribunals and all levels of the Alberta Courts.  Ian is a graduate of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.

 

Jeremy D. Schick
Jeremy Schick - Vice-Chair
Jeremy Schick was appointed a full-time Vice-Chair of the Labour Relations Board in September 2019. He previously acted as Legal Counsel for the Board since 2013. Before joining the Board, Jeremy practiced labour and employment law, administrative law, and civil litigation, on behalf of employers, employees, school boards, and other agencies, boards and commissions. He also previously taught as a Belzberg Lecturer with the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, teaching legal research, writing and advocacy. Jeremy is a graduate of the University of Alberta (B.Com. 1996, LL.B. 1999), and clerked for the Alberta Court of Appeal and Court of Queen's Bench before being called to the bar in 2000. In his spare time, Jeremy volunteers and acts with various community theatre groups in Edmonton. 
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Gordon Nekolaichuk - Vice-Chair
Gordon Nekolaichuk was appointed a full-time Vice-Chair of the Labour Relations Board in 2021.  Prior to joining the Board, Gordon practiced labour, employment, and human rights law with both employer-side and union-side law firms.  He has represented employers and unions before arbitrators, the Board, other administrative tribunals, and at all levels of Court.  He also taught labour law as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta.  Gordon is a graduate of the University of Alberta (B.A. 2008, LL.B. 2011) and clerked for the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench before being called to the Bar in 2012.

Lyle Kanee
Lyle Kanee, Q.C. - Vice-Chair (Part-Time)
Lyle Kanee is a labour mediator and arbitrator working primarily in Alberta and Ontario.  Prior to becoming a neutral, he worked in Toronto and Edmonton with union-side law firms.  He has been a sessional instructor in labour law at the University of Alberta and Osgoode Hall law schools and has presented at a number of conferences.  Lyle was a part-time Vice-Chair for the Ontario Labour Relations Board between 2009 and 2016 and has been a part-time Vice-Chair of the Alberta Board since 2008.
J. Leslie Wallace, Vice-Chair J. Leslie Wallace - Vice-Chair (Part-Time)
J. Leslie (Les) Wallace is a labour relations neutral who arbitrates and mediates disputes in the Alberta and federal jurisdictions. Les has 10 years of experience as an arbitrator and 20 years of experience with the Alberta Labour Relations Board as staff solicitor (9 years) and vice-chair (11 years). Les holds a B.A. in History and an LL.B from the University of Alberta.
Ayla Akgungor, Vice-Chair Ayla Akgungor - Vice-Chair (Part-Time)

Ayla Akgungor is a partner with Field Law. She practices in the areas of labour and employment law, human rights and professional regulation and is the Practice Group Leader for Labour and Employment in Edmonton. Prior to joining Field Law in 2001, Ayla clerked for the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeal. Ayla has appeared before several administrative tribunals including the Alberta Human Rights Commission, the Alberta Labour Relations Board, arbitration boards, the Employment Insurance Board of Referees and Umpire, Canada Labour Code adjudicators, professional discipline tribunals and various levels of court in both Alberta and the Northwest Territories. She is the Co-Editor of the Thomson Reuters text, Remedies in Labour, Employment and Human Rights Law.  Ayla was appointed as a Vice-Chair of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in February 2019.

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William Armstrong, Q.C. - Vice-Chair (Part-Time)
Mr. Armstrong has practised labour law in Alberta for over 40 years.  Bill was a partner of a boutique, management side labour relations firm from 1983 to 2013.  Subsequently, he was a senior partner of a full service, international law firm from which he retired in 2018.  Bill primarily represented employers, and occasionally employees, in labour relations, employment, human rights and related issues before arbitration boards, the Alberta Labour Relations Board, the Canada Industrial Relations Board and all levels of civil courts up to the Supreme Court of Canada. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel in 2000.  He is a graduate of McGill University and Osgoode Hall Law School.  

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Bill Begemann - Member
Bill has been a member of Local 424 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers for over thirty years. He has worked in various positions throughout his 17 year tenure within the business office of the Local Union and is currently working as an Assistant Business Manager for the membership of Local 424. As a result of his experiences he has been involved in all facets of organizing, grievances, arbitrations, board hearings and negotiations. He has sat on numerous Industry boards and is an active participant in the Labour community.

Brent Bish, Member Brent Bish - Member
Brent Bish has been an executive member of United Mine Workers Local 1656 for the past 20 years and is currently the President and full time officer. Brent has served on numerous municipal boards, two terms as Town Council and served two terms on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Board. He attended college in Prince George in the business program.
Paul Bokenfohr, Member Paul Bokenfohr - Member
Paul Bokenfohr has over thirty years of experience in the labour relations and human resources management field.  He has practiced in a number of different industries including education, construction, oil, brewing, telecommunications and technology.  He has held positions in Construction Labour relations- Alberta, Suncor, Labatt’s and TELUS.  Paul holds a BA and MBA from the University of Alberta.
Allan Brown, Member

Allan Brown - Member
Allan has served as the Labour Relations Officer for the SAIT Academic Faculty Association since December of 2010. His responsibilities include grievance handling, conflict resolution, contract negotiations and arbitration presentations on behalf of the Faculty Association.  Mr. Brown’s Labour Relations experience began with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 424 where he worked for 12 years in Membership Development and eventually Assistant Business Manager.

Allan has developed a broad knowledge of the Alberta Labour Relations Code and practices as they pertain to Union Certification, Negotiating Collective Agreements, Interpreting and servicing Collective Agreements, Grievance and Arbitration cases.

Jennifer Burns, Board Member

Jennifer Burns - Member
Jennifer has a LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. She was called to the bar in Alberta in 1996. For most of thirty years, Jennifer worked with Extendicare Canada Inc. in various roles, primarily in the areas of labour and employment, and then with The Good Samaritan Society as Vice-President, HR and Legal Counsel. Jennifer currently works as Vice President, Human Resources at Shepherd’s Care Foundation. Aside from serving numerous terms with the Alberta Labour Relations Board, Jennifer served as a Tribunal Member with the Alberta Human Rights Commission from September 2010 to June 2013.

Pemme Cunliffe, Board Member

Pemme Cunliffe - Member
Pemme is in-house counsel at Covenant Health responsible for Labour and Employee relations. Her background includes 30 years as a nurse and a health care administrator and seven years in law. Her responsibilities include labour and employee issues, grievances and arbitrations, wrongful dismissal and other employment-based complaints, collective agreements, policies on compensation and benefits and managing Human Rights.

Clayton Davis, Board Member

Clayton Davis - Member
Clayton Davis is the Executive Director, Human Resources, at NAIT. He provides strategic HR direction and is accountable for labour relations matters. He started his labour relations involvement in the 90s with the Alberta healthcare sector, including a number of years with Alberta Health Services, then shifted to post-secondary in 2005. Clayton is an active community volunteer, with a focus on STEM initiatives for young people. He has held board roles for a variety of local non-profit organizations.

Geoffrey Eustergerling, Member Geoffrey Eustergerling - Member
Geoff Eustergerling is Senior Advisor, Labour Relations, working for ATCO, a global company with nearly 6,000 employees. In his role, Geoff maintains labour relationships across Canada. This includes collective bargaining, grievance resolution, and third party litigation. Through his career, he has gained experience in health care, public education, construction, hospitality and maintenance labour relations. Geoff has negotiated over a dozen collective agreements for employee groups across the country.  Geoff holds a BComm from the Haskayne School of Business and has had a CPHR designation since 2016. 

Kris Farkas Kristine Farkas - Member
Kris Farkas is a labour relations consultant in Alberta with degrees in both commerce and law. After several years in private practice, focusing on labour law, Kris joined United Nurses of Alberta, initially as a Labour Relations Officer, and for ten years as Manager of Labour Relations. She has acted as Union Counsel at arbitrations, labour board hearings, professional conduct hearings, and various levels of court. Kris also has experience negotiating collective agreements, for groups ranging in size from less than twenty to more than 20 thousand.
No image available Raelene Fitz - Member
Raelene Fitz works as a Lead Negotiator for Alberta Health Services responsible for collective bargaining, contract administration, dispute resolution, developing interpretive guides and resources, and providing expertise to strategic initiatives and projects. Raelene's career in human resource management and labour relations includes experience in the construction industry and the health care sector. Raelene holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alberta and Diploma in HR Management from MacEwan University.
Lynda Flannery, Board Member Lynda Flannery - Member
Lynda Flannery brings over 30 years of experience in human resources, specializing in labour and employee relations, to the Board.  Her experience encompasses the public and private sectors and several industries:  construction, oil and gas (operations plus pipeline and up-grader major projects ), municipalities and health care.  Lynda began her professional career as a labour economist, and progressed through various construction project management and human resources management positions.  In all her roles, she introduced innovative and practicable approaches to all aspects of human resources and sought to and was successful in improving employee and labour relationships and processes.  She has an Honours and a Master of Economics degree from U of A and Queens University respectively, as well as a Masters degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Bastyr University (Washington, USA).  She was first appointed to the Board in 1985/86 and served until 2010.  At that time she retired to meet family obligations.
Jody Fraser, Board Member Jody L. Fraser - Member
Jody Fraser is a senior human resources practitioner with extensive experience in employee and labour relations. In her 15-year career, Jody has excelled in relationship management, change initiatives and coaching techniques. She has thrived in employee and labour relations roles through her work in both the private sector and at post-secondary institutions, including in her current position as Manager, Labour Relations at SAIT.  She excels at developing strong relationships and recognizes the needs of various stakeholders.

Jody has a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Drama in Education and has completed certificates in negotiation skills and organizational design through Queen’s University’s Industrial Relations Centre. She also holds a Management Certificate in Human Resources from the University of Calgary.

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Corinne Galway - Member
Cory Galway is a Senior Negotiator with Alberta Health Services. Since 1995 she has negotiated on behalf of a variety of health care employers and is/was responsible for collective bargaining, grievance management and consultation, dispute resolution, project management and employee benefits. Cory has a Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta and a mediation certification with the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society. Previously, Cory was a board member and volunteer for the Strathcona County Mediation Society.


Carol Graham

Carol Graham - Member
Carol is currently a Management Consultant with over 25 years experience working with public, private and non-profit organizations. Her experience is creating and implementing successful human resource strategies in a challenging and constantly changing environment. She has provided a leadership and mentoring role while involved with a number of reorganizations focusing on strategic planning, change management and the evaluation of various initiatives. Carol's legal education and experience as an advocate in court and in front of a number of administrative panels has assisted in the development and presentation of training and orientation programs dealing with a number of legal topics, including reasonable accommodation, collective bargaining and privacy. Carol is a member of the Alberta Labour Relations Board and deals with matters under the Labour Relations Code and the Public Service Employee Relations Act. She also frequently sits on Arbitration Boards as an Employer nominee.

Randy Klassen, Board Member

Randy Klassen - Member
Randy Klassen is the Regional Director of the CLAC Member Centre in Calgary and has over 20 years of experience working as a Union Representative with employees in a variety of sectors.  Randy currently serves on the CLAC H&W Board of Trustees and has served on two other Boards over the last 15 years.  Randy has completed and obtained Trust Management certificates from the IFEBP and holds a Marketing Diploma from Mount Royal College in Calgary.

Bill Kolba, Board Member

Bill Kolba - Member
Bill is a retired National Representative with the Communications Energy & Paperworkers’ Union with extensive experience in servicing local unions and organizing unorganized workers. He served as President of the union’s Composite Local 777 while working at CIL\AT Plastics. He also served as a Board Member for over nine years on the Employment Insurance Board of Referees as well as serving on the Executive Board of the Energy and Chemical Workers Union.

Jacqueline Lacasse, Board Member

Jacqueline Lacasse - Member
Jacqueline Lacasse is the Director of Labour Relations at the University of Calgary and is responsible for collective bargaining, contract administration, program and policy development, grievances and arbitrations and labour relations training. Prior to joining the University, Jacqueline practiced labour and employment law in private practice and as in-house legal counsel for Alberta Health Services.  Jacqueline is an active community volunteer and has held board roles for a number of local non-profit organizations. 

 

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Darren Leclair - Member
Darren Leclair works as a Director, Labour Relations for Western Canada with Chartwell Retirement Residences.  In his Corporate role, Darren directs Labour Relations activities for the Western Region platform.   He works with operations management in all facets of labour relations matters including: negotiations, grievance arbitration, management training/education and assorted regional labour and employee relations issues.  Darren has over  30 years of progressive labour relations experience across several industries.  Darren's experience includes corporate, regional, and field roles within multiple provinces in both provincial and federal sectors; and within both private and public sectors.    Darren is a member of the Discipline Committee of CPHR Alberta.   He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from the University of Manitoba and has held CPHR certification since 1999.

Peter Marsden, Board Member

Peter Marsden - Member
Peter has over 30 years of labour relations experience in the municipal and electrical industry. Prior to his retirement in 2016 Peter spent 28 years as full-time President of Local 38, Canadian Union of Public Employees. His experience includes collective bargaining, contract administration, grievances and disputes resolution. Peter has served on many boards including Employment Insurance Board of Referees, Local Authorities Pension Plan, CUPE Alberta and his community association.

Donna Neumann, Board Member

Donna Neumann - Member
Ms. Neumann was appointed as a member of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in 1990 and served on the Board to the expiration of her term in February 2010. Ms. Neumann’s professional practice includes a considerable amount of third party neutral work.  As a member of the Alberta Labour Relations Board, she was, in addition to sitting as a member of panels, assigned by the Chair to conduct informal dispute resolution activities.  Techniques for same ranged through facilitation to mediation to arbitration.  As well, she has served as management nominee on arbitration boards.  In addition she has been asked to serve as Umpire for the United Nurses of Alberta/Alberta Health Services Relocation Committee; as Chair of the Job Review Committee for University of Calgary/Alberta Union of Provincial Employees; and Fact Finder for National Energy Board/Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (Federal legislation.) Her third party neutral work includes day to day resolution of conflicts within organizations as well as many assignments to investigate inappropriate workplace behaviour.  These investigations involve gathering information from, and in support of, both the Complainant and Respondent, making a determination, and providing recommendations.  In some cases, clients request additional assistance in implementing the recommendations.

Crytal Norton, Member Crystal Norton - Member
Crystal Norton has over 18 years of broadly based experience, having held various Human Resources and Labour Relations positions in the healthcare, utilities, and construction industries.  Crystal has acted as the chief spokesperson role in collective bargaining, facilitated collective agreement administration and conflict resolution, and the delivery of programs focused on healthy, safe and productive workplaces. She is currently the Director of Human Resources Business Partnerships for Alberta Health Services where she leads a team in providing solutions to business leaders on all people related issues.  Her educational qualifications include a Bachelor of Management degree with a major in Labour Relations and a Master of Business Administration degree. She has also pursued additional training in leadership, conflict resolution, and interest based negotiations and is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR).
Cal Ploof

Cal Ploof – Member
Cal is currently the Director of Organization and Recruitment, for the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada, local Union 488. Mr. Ploof has been involved in Organized Labour for 34 years obtaining experience in collective bargaining, grievance proceedings, unfair labour practice complaints, duty of fair representation complaints as well as numerous certifications and revocations.

 

 

Carl Soderstrom, Member

Brygeda Renke - Member
Brygeda Renke is the Executive Director and General Counsel for the Association of Academic Staff of the University of Alberta (AASUA) which represents over 4200 academic staff - faculty, librarians, administrative and professional officers, trust research staff, academic teaching staff, faculty service officers, and temporary administrative staff. She first joined the organization in December 2007 and took on the role of Executive Director in July 2010. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a BA (Distinction) in 1982 and then obtained her LLB from the University of Alberta in 1985. She is a member of the Law Society of Alberta in good standing with nearly 25 years of legal experience, with a focus in civil litigation and employment law. As AASUA's Executive Director and General Counsel, she has extensive experience in the post secondary sector and provides legal advice to the organization. She serves as a resource to the Association's negotiating team for collective bargaining. She represents the Association on all matters arising from the seven collective agreements, including grievances, appeals, arbitrations, and discipline matters. As well, she is responsible for all management, personnel, and financial matters, and is responsible for the effective delivery of all AASUA services and administrative duties associated with her role as Chief Administrative Officer for the AASUA.

 

Rod Schenk - Member
Rod Schenk works for PCL Constructors Inc. as the Director Labour Relations, Western Canada. He has 30 years of experience in labour relations, working on both the union and management side. He has worked for CLAC in Alberta and British Columbia, JV Driver Projects, and Bemac Construction. His labour relations experience is primarily in the construction, maintenance, and fabrication sectors in Western Canada, but also has construction labour relations experience in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.  He has a Bachelor of Management degree, specializing in Human Resources and Labour Relations from the University of Lethbridge. Rod was a ALRB Member previously from 2011 – 2017.

Carl Soderstrom, Member Carl E. Soderstrom - Member
Carl Soderstrom is the Executive Director of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, Alberta's largest union with a membership of over 90,000. Carl directs, coordinates, and advises the Union regarding high level strategy and tactics. He has presented numerous cases before the Labour Relations Board, arbitration panels and professional licensing boards and has negotiated and been involved in a broad spectrum of collective bargaining disputes. He has served as a member of the Alberta Labour Relations Board since 2011. Carl has also served as a Vice-Chair and Trustee to the Local Authorities Pension Plan and as a Member of the Public Service Pension Plan Board.
Karen Thibault, Member Karen Thibault - Member
Karen Thibault is a Union Representative in Disputes and Arbitrations for Alberta’s largest union, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees. Karen graduated from the Labour College of Canada in 1985. She began her career with AUPE as a Union Representative in 1987. As well as being involved in organizing, Karen has negotiated numerous collective agreements covering many sectors, and has extensive experience in grievance handling and dispute resolution. As a Union Representative in Disputes and Arbitrations, Karen acts as Union Counsel representing members at arbitration and dispute resolution.  
  Trisha Thibodeau - Member
Trisha Thibodeau has over 18 years of experience in the Labour Relations field and is currently employed as a Labour Relations Consultant with the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) which represents over 27,000 paramedical technical and professional members. Trisha handles the majority of the arbitration work for HSAA in her role and acts as both Counsel and Nominee at Arbitration. She also has experience negotiating various Collective Agreements, organizing, Professional College hearings, mentorship and education. Trisha has also pursued arbitration education at Queens University and mediation training through the ADR Institute of Alberta. 
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Kathy Vasko - Member
Kathy is a labour relations and human resources consultant, bringing over 25 years as an experienced negotiator, mediator and facilitator to her professional practice.  Specializing in the areas of conflict resolution, workplace harassment, labour negotiations, grievance and labour mediation. Kathy has distinguished herself as an effective problem solver committed to enabling the advancement of critical workplace relationships. Prior to initiating her consulting practice, Kathy’s distinctive career with the Government of Alberta encompassed roles across a number of Ministries including: Director, Labour Relations, Chief Negotiator, Employer Arbitration Counsel, and Director of Human Resources. She is highly regarded for her leadership skills and relationship management expertise, particularly in facilitating effective working relationships for the employer and union. Kathy is a long standing member of the Human Resources Institute of Alberta and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Certificate in Conflict Resolution, and Labour Relations Certificates.

Dianne Wyntjes, Member
Dianne Wyntjes - Member

Dianne was elected as a member of Red Deer City Council October 2010 and was re-elected October 2013. Previously, Dianne was the Alberta Regional Director for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and held that position from 1996 to 2013. Until this time Dianne was the Alberta Regional Director for the Canadian Union of Public Employees and has held that position since 1996. Prior to this position, Ms. Wyntjes was a National Representative for CUPE from 1992 to 1996. She served as a member of the Employment Insurance Board of Referees in Red Deer for 20 years.  She is familiar with the deliberation of fair and reasoned decision making.

 

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