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Meet the leadership team who serves credit unions in Alberta.

Our executive team is focused on effective strategy development and execution, thought leadership and encouraging a strong culture of innovation as part of our commitment to credit union system success. Our board of directors consists of representatives from across the credit union system, each of them bringing unique experiences and perspectives to ensure sound board oversight.

Executive Team

Executive Team

Sean Lesy

Chief Investment Officer and Interim CEO

Executive Team

Anne Gillespie

Chief Financial and Governance Officer

Executive Team

Kate Hill

Chief Credit Union Relations and Risk Officer

Executive Team

Loree Gray

Chief Strategy, Transformation and People Officer

Sean Lesy

Chief Investment Officer and Interim CEO

Sean believes that credit unions are changing the world. That they serve an important social purpose by putting people before profits and members’ interests ahead of the bottom line. Further, because they put their revenues back into serving more members, he knows that he is part of a growing system that will continue to do great things in the future. Sean joined Alberta Central because he sees the important role it plays in ensuring that credit unions are positioned for success.

As Chief Investment Officer since 2012, Sean provides oversight to Alberta Central’s financial activities. He has the business acumen and credit union expertise required to lead a team that provides a wide array of financial products and services to credit unions and manages nearly $3 billion in credit union funds along with the corresponding loans and investments that those funds are placed in. In his role as interim CEO he is also responsible for working with the executive team to ensure Alberta Central continues to effectively execute its strategic priorities and support member credit unions.  In addition, he is one of two executives leading payments modernization work currently underway.

He prides himself on the role he and his team play in helping credit unions build strong capital foundations that will ensure their increasing prominence in Alberta’s future financial landscape. With more than 17 years of executive-level experience – and 11 of those in credit unions – Sean has led teams in the areas of finance, accounting, technology and deposit-taking and lending operations. He possesses a deep understanding of credit unions and brings a strategic perspective to all that he does.


“I am always driving to better understand the needs of our member credit unions and to identify new and sustainable opportunities to serve them better.”



A thoughtful and results-oriented leader, Sean holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Business Administration from York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Anne Gillespie

Chief Financial and Governance Officer

When Anne joined Alberta Central, she was looking specifically for a challenge and an opportunity to be part of a team that could make a positive difference. That was more than 10 years ago, and today she still finds her work complex, but interesting. Bringing high standards to her role as Chief Financial and Governance Officer, Anne has a genuine interest in building consensus and finding solutions that benefit all credit unions.


“I admire the unique structure of the system, where organizations are in direct competition with each other but also collaborate in support of cooperative values and principles.”



Anne started at Alberta Central as Controller and has held various positions of increasing responsibility across the organization. In her current role, she is responsible for accounting, budgeting and financial reporting. She is also the Corporate Secretary, responsible for the governance portfolio and board relationship, and the designated Privacy Officer for Alberta Central. Her previous experience includes time as Chief Financial Officer for a private economic consulting firm and as a Senior Principal with KPMG. She is focused on results and brings critical reasoning and conceptual thinking to the executive table. Compassionate and with strong character, she is genuinely interested in enabling others to succeed.

Anne holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).

Kate Hill

Chief Credit Union Relations and Risk Officer

Kate joined Alberta Central because she knows credit unions are unlike any other financial institution out there. For her, the credit union governance model is a unique and important value proposition and she believes the system is at its best when collaborating and solving problems together.

With experience working in federal politics, for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions and within the credit union systems in British Columbia and Ontario, Kate’s background gives her the ability to view issues from multiple perspectives and to represent the interests of Alberta credit unions with government, system partners and other centrals. Responsible for credit union relations, she is dedicated to developing and maintaining strong working relationships with all stakeholders and always keeps members top-of-mind. A continuous learner, Kate is driven to achieve results and challenge the status quo as she leads the audit services, risk management and market research teams.


“Credit unions serve an important role in a marketplace that would otherwise be monopolized by the big banks offering Canadians an alternative.”



Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Queen’s University and a Masters of Public Policy and Public Administration from Ryerson University. Kate also holds an Institute of Corporate Directors Designation (ICD) and a Masters Certificate in Risk Management and Business Performance from York University.

Loree Gray

Chief Strategy, Transformation and People Officer

Loree is passionate about driving transformational change: building highly engaged and productive teams, partnerships and networks are some of her favourite things. As Chief Strategy, Transformation and People Officer, Loree leads transformation at Alberta Central by implementing the methodologies, programs and processes needed to help achieve our vision.

Loree has 30 years of experience in financial services, spanning a wide range of roles including retail banking, wealth management, insurance and operations. Most recently, as President and CEO of the Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C., Loree was responsible for the regulatory body that administers and enforces the legislation governing personal vehicle sales in the province. Her leadership experience across industries and provinces provides value to the credit union system, something she is enthusiastic about supporting.

 

“What I have come to know and love about the credit union system is from two perspectives: as an employee it’s a collegial, positive environment which I really appreciate, and as a member I value the community roots that credit unions maintain – even in these fast paced times.”

 

Loree has a BA from the University of British Columbia and has since done certifications with the Institute of Canadian Bankers, the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning, Canadian Securities institute and Lean Sensei International. She has served as BC Chair for the Loran Scholarship Foundation since 2012 and as assessor/interviewer since 2006. Loree is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D). She currently sits as Director on the Coast Mental Health Society Board and is chair of the Operational Performance committee.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Perry Dooley

Chair

Board of Directors

Brett Oland

Vice Chair

Board of Directors

Randy Allarie

Director

Board of Directors

Michelle Belland

Director

Board of Directors

Robert Bhatia

Director

Board of Directors

Iris Evans

Director

Board of Directors

Sandi Kaye

Director

Board of Directors

Ron Pilger

Director

Board of Directors

Matthew Protti

Director

Board of Directors

Cindy Skrukwa

Director

Board of Directors

Mark Wiltzen

Director

Board of Directors

John Veldkamp

Director

Perry Dooley

Chair

Perry has been supporter of the credit union system in Alberta for many years and truly believes in the importance of collaboration. To help ensure credit unions have greater relevance and impact in years to come, Perry joined the board for Alberta Central, elected in April 2018. He brings an inquisitive and strategic focus and is committed to holding the board accountable to its mandate.

A small business leader and active community member, Perry has extensive experience in board governance, audit and finance, and compensation. He previously sat on the boards for Calgary Opera Association, Learning Disabilities of Alberta, Alberta Central and Servus Credit Union. He holds a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge and the Institute of Corporate Directors Designation. Pragmatic, open and direct, Perry brings strategic focus and an understanding of the trade-off between risks and returns.


“Credit unions are different. We care deeply about our members and the communities in which we do business. We have a huge opportunity to tell our story, leverage our difference and grow the credit union market share in Alberta.”



With more than 20 years of leadership experience in financial services, Perry is now the owner of two successful business in Southern Alberta. He supports many local charities in Medicine Hat, where he lives with his wife Donna and two children.

Brett Oland

Vice Chair

Brett Oland was elected to Alberta Central’s board of directors in April 2014 and was chair of Alberta Central’s board from 2016-2019. He brings a wealth of knowledge from his days in a senior management role at Canadian Western Bank and working with other financial institutions in Edmonton and in the Cayman Islands. Brett has been a credit union member all of his life. He is currently the Interim CEO of Bow Valley Credit Union.

Brett is a Chartered Professional Accountant and gained extensive experience working with many industries while articling with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Calgary. Brett also holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary.

Although Brett was born and raised in Medicine Hat, he feels very fortunate to now call Canmore home with his wife and two children.

Randy Allarie

Director

Randy joined the Alberta Central board in order to support the continued success of the Alberta credit union system. He feels that the strength of credit unions comes from their member-owner structure: while banks benefit shareholders, credit unions benefit members.

With his 25 years of experience in banking and finance, Randy brings a diverse background to the board that has included member-facing roles, management at large accounting firms, enterprise risk management leadership, and internal and external audit expertise. A collaborative leader, he is the Senior Vice President of Risk and Audit at Servus Credit Union. Randy has worked in Canada and the United Kingdom in both customer-facing and leadership roles in banking, and as a Chartered Accountant.


“Changes are coming to the banking industry and credit unions need to focus on what they do best – serving members - to prosper in the new environment.”



Randy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Alberta, Chartered Accountant designations in both England and Canada, and an ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors. He also has a Masters Certificate in Risk Management and Business Performance from York University. Randy enjoys Taekwondo, cycling, mountain biking, running, water sports, traveling and going to the gym.

Michelle Belland

Director

Michelle has been a part of the credit union system in Alberta for many years and is well-versed in the challenges – and opportunities – it presents. The current Chief Marketing & Digital Officer with Servus Credit Union, Michelle has been instrumental in developing the credit union’s marketing and digital communications functions and she is also focused on payments modernization and working directly to integrate payments into digital banking channels. She has held multiple marketing and digitally-focused roles of increasing seniority with Servus and over the years has watched the financial services industry evolve. As such, she understands the impetus for all credit unions to rapidly digitally transform to meet the evolving needs of members.

Prior to joining Servus, she held executive roles in a number of different industries including telecommunications, transportation and retirement housing. She has served on the Alberta Motor Association Board of Directors for six years and was elected to the Alberta Central board in April 2021. Michelle feels in her role on the board she can encourage different ways of thinking among her peers.

 

“I am committed to doing what is best for the credit union system and will work to keep the board focused on serving all credit unions and their current and future members.”

 

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Alberta and is a graduate of the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt executive education program. She also holds her ICD.D designation from the Rotman Institute of Corporate Directors and has completed Servus’ Executive Development Program. A resident of Edmonton, she enjoys golfing and spending time with her family.

Robert Bhatia

Director

Robert Bhatia joined the board of Alberta Central in 2019 because he believes in the importance of community-based financial institutions like credit unions. He has extensive financial leadership experience and is known for asking thoughtful questions and working collaboratively to solve problems.

Inquisitive and analytical, Robert is a professional Executive Coach and Consultant with Clover Point Consulting Inc. A Deputy Minister for more than ten years with the government of Alberta, he led four major portfolios: Finance and Enterprise, Revenue, Seniors and Community Supports and Government Services. He has a strong interest in supporting the Alberta financial sector and has experience as a member of the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation board, the Alberta General Insurance Council and the City of Edmonton Audit Committee. He is also a member of the Local Authorities Pension Plan Corporation board.


 “I believe I bring a broad perspective and the ability to see the big picture to the board, but I’m not afraid to dive into the details when required.”



Robert has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Alberta and a Master of Arts in Economics from Queens University as well as his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. Passionate about running and travel, he currently lives in Edmonton.

Iris Evans

Director

Iris joined Alberta Central’s board to listen, learn and help address the challenges faced by the credit union system by offering practical and realistic solutions. Committed to establishing best practices to guide the board, Iris believes in the power of working together to benefit members and build communities.

Appointed in 2016, Iris is the president of an executive solutions company and has board experience with Servus Credit Union and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation. She was an elected official for more than 33 years, working as a school board trustee, chair and association president, municipal councilor and reeve, and Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). As an MLA, Iris held six provincial government portfolios including Health, Employment, Industry and Immigration, Finance and Enterprise, Municipal Affairs, and International and Intergovernmental Relations and honed her skills in governance. Her time in office reinforced for her the importance of teamwork.


“When every member of the system contributes to each other’s successes and learns from each other’s mistakes, we all benefit.”



Iris graduated as a Registered Nurse from Holy Cross School of Nursing in Calgary and completed the Directors Education Program from the Institute of Corporate Directors. She enjoys giving back to her community through volunteer work and identifies her family relationships as the most precious things in her life.

Sandi Kaye

Director

Sandi has been a part of the credit union system for more than 10 years. Passionate about the industry, she joined the board to act as a support and guide for Alberta Central. She believes that working together to better the entire system is an important goal to ensure long-term success. The Chief Financial Officer of Connect First Credit Union, Sandi has more than 25 years’ experience in finance. With an in-depth appreciation of how to communicate complex ideas in easy to understand terms and expertise in board governance and reporting, she is a hard worker who is dedicated to the credit union cause. Sandi believes in the importance of listening and understanding both sides of any conversation and brings hands-on familiarity of Alberta Central’s operations and management group to her role with the board.


“I understand the importance of knowing when the board must step in and offer advice, and when the board should step aside to not get in the way of innovation and change.”



Sandi holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in Management from Athabasca University. She is also a graduate of the Certified Management Accountant FastTrack Program and holds her ICD.D Designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors. A resident of Cochrane, Sandi enjoys skiing and hiking.

Ron Pilger

Director

Ron Pilger was elected to Alberta Central’s board of directors in 2015. Ron is no stranger to the credit union system, both as a life-long member in Camrose and by serving on the board of Vision Credit Union since 1993. In the capacity of Audit and Finance chair, Ron was on the committee that oversaw the 2014 merger between Caisse Horizon and Vision Credit Union.

Ron is a graduate of the Mouser School of Advertising in Crewe, Virginia. Throughout his 38-year career in publishing, Ron has earned an impressive variety of honors and awards in advertising, marketing, and photography. Currently, Ron is Sales Manager and Associate Publisher for Camrose Booster Ltd.

As part of his on-going commitment of giving back to his community, Ron served on the board of St. Mary’s Hospital for 11 years. As board chair, he was a driving force in locally raising $1 million, to purchase a CT scanner for the hospital. Ron resides in Camrose with his wife and three children. He is passionate about songbird conservation and is an avid restorer and collector of vintage cars.

Matthew Protti

Director

Matthew Protti is co-founder and CEO of BlackSquare Inc.; a global, award-winning e-commerce technology company founded and headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. He has an MBA with specialization in finance from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Alberta.

Matthew brings to the Alberta Central board extensive experience in investment banking, private equity, technology and strategic planning. His strong business sense, in-depth understanding of governance best practices, passion for entrepreneurship and commitment to mentorship will provide the board with valuable insights.


“Albertans should have a local, community-owned choice in financial institutions. Alberta credit unions are uniquely positioned to help ensure that capital remains in Alberta.”



Matthew lives in Calgary with his partner Jillian and his two daughters. He enjoys travelling, skiing in the Rockies with his family and gardening in his backyard.

Cindy Skrukwa

Director

Cindy is a business leader who is adept at offering insights into brand, customer service and strategy in her role as CEO and Founder of Strategy House Inc. She is passionate about providing organizations the data analysis and customer-centric view they need to transform and achieve measurable increases in revenue and customer satisfaction. Previously with Brookfield Residential as the Vice President, Marketing and Sales, she also has experience working directly with credit unions as Vice President, Marketing and Strategy with Celero Solutions. Having worked in financial services, consumer products, telecommunications, technology and real estate development, she is well-versed in how to excel within rapidly changing and competitive environments.

On the board for Connect First Credit Union since 2018, Cindy brings a balanced view of the cooperative and private sectors to her role with Alberta Central’s board, which she was elected to in April 2021. She is an active volunteer in her community with a breadth of volunteer and governance expertise with organizations such as Child Haven International, Peer Support Services, Boy Scouts, Calgary Ski Club and more.

 

“I have a decade of cooperative sector work experience, starting with Celero Solutions and now as a board member of Connect First Credit Union. I believe in the importance of credit unions and want to help them grow and adapt to succeed.”

 

Cindy holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Alberta, is a Master of Business Administration Gold Medalist (the top student from the graduating class as determined by marks and confirmed by faculty discussion) from the Ivey Business School and also holds her ICD.D designation from the Rotman Institute of Corporate Directors. She is a writer, painter and personal finance enthusiast who calls Calgary home.

Mark Wiltzen

Director

Mark joined Alberta Central’s board because he believes in supporting a vibrant credit union system. For Mark, it’s the cooperative, member-ownership model and commitment to giving back to the community that positively differentiates credit unions from other financial services organizations.

With more than 35 years’ business experience, Mark was Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of EPCOR Utilities Inc. from 2001 to 2013. He brings to the board expertise in finance, governance and the financial services industry as well as risk and people management skills. His board and committee work includes time leading multiple executive committees while at EPCOR and serving on various provincial and municipal level boards.


“I believe collaboration and being a team player, combined with a strong work ethic, will get things done.”



Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) and member in good standing of CPA Alberta. He is a graduate of the Queen’s University Executive Development Program and enjoys road cycling, reading and travel. A long-time member of Servus Credit Union, Mark and his wife have lived in Sherwood Park for more than 40 years, where they raised their two children.

John Veldkamp

Director

John joined the board of Alberta Central in 2017 to be a voice for small and medium-sized credit unions, working to promote the best interests of all credit unions across the system. As the CEO of Christian Credit Union since 2008, John’s experience makes him aware of the past, present and future challenges facing credit unions, particularly those in Northern Alberta. Striving to be a servant leader, John uses his analytical skills to understand all sides of an issue before taking a position and always ensures that any decision he makes has a positive impact on the people involved.


“I love that the cooperative model keeps the member at the centre of all that we do. I believe we can create even more value for our members when we all work together.”



John believes his role on the board is an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with an exceptionally qualified group of directors as we lead Alberta Central in the promotion and support of credit unions in Alberta.

John has a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Alberta. His focus is on encouraging excellence and motivating those around him to develop their potential. John enjoys spending time with his wife and their five boys and volunteering at his church and local school.

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