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

President and CEO

Ian Burns

President and Chief Executive Officer

Executive Team

Anne Gillespie

Chief Financial and Governance Officer

Executive Team

Kate Hill

Chief Credit Union Relations and Risk Officer

Executive Team

Sean Lesy

Chief Investment Officer

Executive Team

Loree Gray

Chief Strategy, Transformation and People Officer

Ian Burns

President and Chief Executive Officer

Ian knows the importance of being a steadfast partner. As the President and CEO of Alberta Central, an organization that serves Alberta credit unions, Ian understands that being proactive, responsive and committed to credit union system advancement goes without saying. That’s why he believes in ongoing collaboration to make sure that the strategic solutions Alberta Central provides to members truly make sense. He recognizes that when the Alberta Central executive team, employees and board work together, we can all achieve success. Ian joined Alberta Central in 2018 to encourage excellence in member service and engagement and is committed to always evolving and improving in his role.

As President and CEO, Ian leads the organization in establishing current and long-range goals and works to ensure strategic objectives and operational targets are achieved. Previously, Ian served as CEO of the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA), where he focused on revitalizing the mandate and direction of the association. He has more than twenty years of banking, retail finance, telecommunications and executive management experience across multiple highly regulated industries and has a strong portfolio of governance and regulatory work. Ian always strives to empower his team and encourage them to bring forward their ideas.


“My role is not only to provide strategic insight and direction, but to act as a partner to Alberta Central employees and credit union leaders as we all work together to position the system as a leader in growth and innovation.”



Ian holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Regina as well as an Institute of Corporate Directors Designation from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

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.

Sean Lesy

Chief Investment Officer

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 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.

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. 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

Badriea Taha

Secretary

Board of Directors

Randy Allarie

Director

Board of Directors

Sandi Kaye

Director

Board of Directors

Bob Petryk

Director

Board of Directors

Matthew Protti

Director

Board of Directors

Joanne Simes

Director

Board of Directors

John Veldkamp

Director

Board of Directors

Mark Wiltzen

Director

Board of Directors

Robert Bhatia

Director

Board of Directors

Iris Evans

Director

Board of Directors

Ron Pilger

Director

Board of Directors

Kurt Richard

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.

Badriea Taha

Secretary

Badriea is committed to contributing to Alberta credit unions – as the system has been an important part of her life for more than 25 years. She believes that the inclusiveness of the credit union model truly sets the system apart from the competition and this spirit must be protected and maintained moving into the future. This belief is what spurred her to put her hand up for a role with Alberta Central’s board, to which she was elected in April 2018.

Badriea is a warm and genuine leader, who enjoys building relationships and brings operational and strategic experience to her role with the board. She has worked at both small-and mid-sized credit unions and understands what it means to be a lean financial institution working in a constantly changing and very competitive industry.


“Breadth of perspective is a big contributor to the value of a board, and this is what I hope to bring – not just because of my gender, but also because I led a mid-sized, closed-bond credit union.”



Badriea has a Finance diploma and a Certificate in Business Management from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She is currently the President & CEO of the SPARK The Energy Credit Union and lives in Calgary where she enjoys spending time with family and staying active.

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.

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.

Bob Petryk

Director

Bob Petryk was first appointed to the board of Alberta Central in 2011 for a one-year term and was then reappointed in 2013. He has been on the board of Connect First Credit Union for more than seven years.

For the past 12 years, Bob has served as the Managing Director of Petwin Capital Group, a Calgary based investment and Real Estate Company. Petwin has 17 employees and operates in Calgary, Edmonton, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Prior to this, Bob practiced corporate and commercial law with an international law firm in Calgary.

During his terms on the board of Connect First, Bob has served as chair of the Audit & Finance, Investment and Credit and Governance Committees. He has also served on the Human Resources and Nominations Committees. His time has also included terms as board secretary and vice chair. At Alberta Central, he served as chair of the Governance Committee. Earlier board experience includes being a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary and the University Senate.

Bob's educational background includes both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Law degree from the University of Calgary and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He has also taken numerous programs from the Credit Union Director Achievement Program.

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.

Joanne Simes

Director

A goal-oriented leader at Servus Credit Union, Joanne joins the Alberta Central board with an extensive background in banking risk management. She has honed her skills through exposure to a broad spectrum of banking operations at all levels including fraud, individual credit analysis and operational procedures. Joanne continues to expand her knowledge through ongoing training in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) governance.

In her role on the Board of Directors Joanne would like to add value to Alberta Central and become more involved in oversight of the system. She is interested in a better understanding of governance and the interrelationships between Credit Union Central of Alberta, Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation (CUDGC) and the provincial government.


“I am a strong believer in the credit union system… the cooperative values, member ownership and, importantly, the advantage of local decision making.”



Joanne is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and also holds a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. She lives in Edmonton and is known for her improvement-focused approach to risk assessment, credit analysis and procedural efficiency.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kurt Richard

Director

Kurt joined the Alberta Central board in September 2018 because he believes in the cooperative business model and how it drives value for its members. A proud advocate for the energy industry, Kurt is the Principal Owner and General Manager of KUDO Energy Services, specializing in pipeline and facility construction, oilfield transportation, electrical, and instrumentation. Kurt is also the Principal Owner and General Manager of Steel Ridge Homes, a new home, industrial and commercial contracting business serving the Lakeland area.

Kurt brings a grassroots view of doing business in Western Canada, with a deep understanding of its cycles. A long-time credit union supporter, Kurt sits on boards and committees for Lakeland Credit Union, Lakeland CO-OP, and Bonnyville Flying Club. A passionate and driven leader, he strives to always put others first and meet challenges head-on. Kurt is committed to continually developing himself and encouraging his peers to do the same.


“I aim to be an advocate of credit union members to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the system as a whole.”



An aviation enthusiast and professional pilot, Kurt enjoys giving back and fostering a love of aviation in youth through volunteer work with the Bonnyville Flying Club Regional Airport Authority. He is grateful for his family and enjoys spending time with wife Deidre, daughters Abby and Priya and son Konnor. Kurt attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, is a Journeyman Crane Operator, National Construction Safety Officer and recent graduate of the Credit Union Director Achievement Program.

Click to learn more about our responsible governance.
Section 2
Click to learn more about our responsible governance.

Alberta Central’s organizational structures, policies and controls are designed to ensure that, through the diligence of knowledgeable and capable directors and senior management, we are making effective decisions and demonstrating good corporate citizenship.

Our processes and procedures include:
  • Succession planning process for the chief executive officer and senior management
  • Leadership development programs for management
  • Individual performance scorecards for management
  • Established performance management processes
  • Board evaluation of senior management
  • An annual board evaluation process
  • An annual strategic planning process
  • Governance committee oversight of board governance practices
  • Regular board and committee meetings
  • Ongoing director development and training
  • A comprehensive director orientation program
  • Director qualification and competency criteria
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