Why should I vote for you?
- With an MBA & two decades of finance experience working with the clients in the public and private sectors, I have extensive background in planning, budgeting, finance and risk mitigation.
- I have a certificate in Urban Design, positioning me well to work with all stakeholders on future development issues.
- I am extremely involved in the community, from housing issues, my community association, United Way, the Arts and civic boards.
- I am an independent candidate, able to be the thoughtful, experienced voice for ALL Ward 7 residents. Unlike the incumbent, I am not funded by developers or unions.
Why are you running?
To put it simply, I was asked. Prior to the 2013 civic election, members of the community approached me as they were concerned that most voters were making their decisions not based on who they wanted to vote for, but rather, who they didn’t want to get elected. They wanted a positive choice to vote for in 2013 and believed I would be an excellent alternative. They saw my education, work and community experience as well balanced to offer a unique skill set that is not currently represented on council. Furthermore, they liked the way I worked, bringing people together, often with opposite views or concerns, to be able to address those concerns and allow groups to move forward.
Immediately after the 2013 election, people asked if I would run again. While they were disappointed with the results, as was I, they felt it was a great result for someone with no previous name recognition and little media coverage and that 2017 could be different. With the support of my family behind me, I decided to run again in March 2017 and registered as a candidate to begin fundraising in April 2017. The launch of the campaign will be in May 2017.
Why did you say yes and decide to run in Ward 7?
In short, because I believe in community service and that I do have something very positive to contribute that has been lacking in Ward 7 for some time.
I have always been very involved in my community. Since returning to Calgary in 2006, I have been involved in many facets of my community – hyper local, city level and beyond:
- I served on the United Way of Calgary’s Leadership Cabinet to promote giving as an act of community building;
- I have led a group to develop a small low cost housing project in Hillhurst Sunnyside on the site of my church – Hillhurst United (unfortunately, it did not proceed);
- I was on the audit and finance committee of cSPACE – an organization that is developing a self sustaining arts hub and incubator – the first project of which is the King Edward School redevelopment just north of Marda Loop;
- I am on the Alberta Real Estate Foundation and am currently its chair elect – a group that funds almost $1,000,000 in community projects throughout Alberta every year;
- I have been on both my sons School Councils and involved with both their schools playground rebuilding and renewal.
- I was an assistant coach to my sons Timbits Hockey teams (sadly my skill set isn’t good enough for Atom level!) in the NorthWest Warriors Hockey Association.
- I, along with three others, were instrumental in bringing together communities along Crowchild Trail to insist that the City properly engage the stakeholders in the redevelopment of Crowchild Trail. City Hall finally agreed to a new process of engagement, implemented it and have just recently unveiled staged improvements to improve Crowchild Trail.
- I am a Rotarian, involved in community fundraisers, the Major Grants committee, the Calgary Rotary Clubs Foundation that stewards the endowments to the club and most importantly, as a mentor to two kids to help them Stay in School – providing supports from laptops to tutoring.
- I am the Past President of the West Hillhurst Community Association, navigating, along with the rest of the board, the renegotiation of the long term lease of our facilities, the renewal of the ice facility and the community response to the massive mixed use redevelopment on Kensington Road – all while I was President.
- Founder and Captain of the #2 Fundraising Team (Whiskers and Blisters) for Walk a Mile in Her Shoes to benefit the YWCA.
- Numerous volunteer and fundraising efforts for various charities, including Inn From the Cold, ALS Society, AIDS Calgary/HIV Community Link, and a Walk for Syrian Refugee.
- Lastly, and possibly most proudly, President and Past President of Families Matter – an amazing organization that works to strengthen families to improve the outcomes for all, but especially for the children.
My career has also been one of bringing people and solutions together, whether internal to my own organization or from outside providers of services. I have always been a long-term thinker, ready to tackle the issues of today, but with an eye always on the horizon of where my clients want to be. That means being very aware of both the intended and unintended consequences of ones actions.
Lastly, I am doing it for my family. I have a young family, even though I am not! We adopted our sons 6 years ago. They are now 7 1/2 and 10 years old. I want them to have the best city possible to live, learn, play and work in.
Why did you change your last name?
When I got married, neither I nor my husband had any interest in changing our names. But after we were placed with our kids, we both knew we wanted one family name once their adoption finalized. Our sons were both going to have to change their last names, so we decided we would ALL change our names to one family name that would be new to all of us – just as our family was new to all of us. Both my husband and I switched our previous last names to become our respective middle names to maintain the link to the family in which we were born. If our sons get married, we hope they do the same and start a new family tradition.
How did you choose your last name?
Pretty simple and hard at the same time. At first we tried to blend our last names or middle names into a new one. Three well known names came out of that exercise, but they all came across as being pretentious if you knew we chose one of them. So we studied lives of the saints for inspiration. Unfortunately, the most compelling saints had some of the most difficult names! Eventually we chose to consider ancient names such as Alexander. While that was only supposed to be an example, we never did consider any other name from the ‘ancient’ category. It had a lot going for it, including being recognizable without being extremely common as a last name, easy to say and remember and only one spelling in english. It had some nice meanings. A version of the name could be found in every culture from the Indus River to County Cork, Norway to Northern Africa – not to mention the colonized worlds. Given our family histories are from many parts of Europe, that was a nice touch.
How did you choose your campaign colours?
Simple: I am Red/Green colour blind. As a result, blue and yellow have always been my favourite colours. They are much more vibrant and more easily identifiable to me because of my colour blindness. Mystery solved!