2023-2024 Board of Directors
The board of directors at Airdrie Food Bank comprises passionate and dedicated individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure the organization's success. Each member brings unique skills and experiences, with backgrounds in various fields such as finance, education, and community development. Working closely with the executive director, the board sets strategic goals and oversees the food bank's operations. They are committed to upholding the organization's values of compassion, respect, and inclusivity and to positively impacting the lives of those in need in the Airdrie community.
I have been continually involved in volunteer positions in my community and with organizations in which I have had a vested interest. In the past, I have been a Board Member at a golf course where I was a member. Having played university hockey, I was the Treasurer and Secretary of the Hockey Alumni Association for several years after graduating. I have always been involved in community sports organizations at a volunteer level.
Since moving from Montreal, my family and I have maintained our volunteer focus through numerous venues, including Airdrie Minor Hockey, the Airdrie Aces Track Club and the Airdrie Food Bank, where my whole family has and continues to volunteer.
On a professional level, I have been a Chartered Accountant for over 20 years. I have held progressively senior managerial positions in finance, strategy and business development, IT and human resources.
Lori grew up near Halifax, settling in Airdrie in 2008. The mother of five children, ages thirteen to five, has been avidly involved in the school, sports, and arts communities to support her children. She is passionate about community involvement and bettering the lives of those that share that community through volunteer efforts and initiatives.
An experienced program management professional, Lori holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Mount Saint Vincent University. Through various roles during her career Lori has developed a considerable range of experience including program management, human resources, recruitment, document control, IT, fund development and more. She currently holds the Program Lead position for Career Leap – a government-funded program that supports individuals with difficulty entering the workforce, employees transitioning to other industries or occupations, and highly skilled professionals.
In addition to her time on the Airdrie Food Bank Board and volunteering at the facility, Lori founded Airdrie-based Adopt-A-Grad Foundation of Canada which works with high school students struggling with graduation-related costs, Airdrie’s #livelocal campaign that sells locally created goods with 100 percent of proceeds from the mark-up going to support the Airdrie community, and is also a volunteer member of the Kalix Legacy Foundation Board which helps those families who are facing financial challenges to cover the cost of sport program/training fees and equipment costs. Lori was honoured with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal in early 2023 for her dedication to the service of family, community and country.
Lori joined the AFB Board of Directors in 2019 and has been thrilled to be part of the Food Bank family, contributing to its mission with an incredible team of volunteers and staff.
Originally a Winnipegger, Jamie moved to Calgary in 1990 and has lived in Airdrie since 1994, right around when Airdrie was getting their second traffic light in the small city of about 12K and since moved to Balzac in 2003.
His career has spanned over 35 years with various large, medium and small Companies in Order Management, Project Management, Production Control, Logistics and Warehouse Management, People Management and different Supply Chain Management roles. He has extensive background and experience with Lean Manufacturing and Logistics, 5S, with a strong focus on safety. Jamie enjoys coaching and sharing his knowledge and experience with younger Team members, developing them for their next challenge and helping to progress their careers and personal growth. He is currently Operations Manager at an appliance and home comfort Distribution Centre in Balzac.
Volunteering has been part of his DNA, having grown up in a Winnipeg community where everyone looked out for each other, and everyone's parents contributed in some way at the local community club or helped out a neighbour or pushed a stranger's car out of a snowbank without hesitation. He is an active blood donor, with over 75 donations and shooting for 100.
The Airdrie Food Bank is making a difference in the quality of life for many people and helping them through the rough patches. As a new board member, I look forward to contributing and working with the entire Food Bank Team to make hunger a thing of the past. Jamie and his wife Franca have been active volunteers in the school arts and sports communities for the past two decades and share four children.
Brenda Harwood, a resident of Airdrie and its surrounding areas for over 30 years, is the Manager of Corporate Human Resources at Chorus Aviation and a proud member of the Metis Nation District 4 - Rocky View Métis. She began her career in HR as the Health and Safety Project Manager at Silvera for Seniors, a non-profit organization.
In 2008, Brenda joined Jazz Aviation, a regional carrier in the Chorus group of companies, where she held several roles, including Corporate Recruiter and Diversity & Inclusion Manager.
As the Manager of Corporate Human Resources, Brenda is responsible for implementing HR strategies, programs, and change processes across Chorus Aviation.
She is also passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion, and her efforts have been focused on embedding these values into the company's culture. Brenda holds a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Certificate from The University of Southern Florida, a Management Certificate (ASCHA) from Red Deer Polytechnic, and a Registered Professional Recruiter (RPR).
Aside from her professional career, Brenda has also been an active volunteer for over two decades, supporting various causes such as the Calgary Mustard Seed and advocating for Indigenous Peoples within and outside the aviation industry. Brenda strongly believes in the Seven Generation concept and encourages others to make decisions that positively impact the welfare and well-being of future generations.
Lori McRitchie has been a part of the Airdrie Community since 1981. Lori worked for Rockyview School Division in Airdrie schools for many years and has been the Director of the R.J. Hawkey Breakfast Program since 1998. In 2006 Lori became the Executive Director of the Airdrie Food Bank. At that time, the Breakfast Program and the Food Bank merged under the Food Bank's Board of Directors. Lori leads all operations of the Airdrie Food Bank. She has overseen its growth from a grassroots organization to a respected mid-sized agency that continues to meet the growing needs of her community.
In 2012, Lori received the Amazing Airdrie Women Leadership Award and Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee medal. In 2014 she was chosen as Airdrie's "Best Citizen" for her work in bringing the community together and advocating for those in need of food support. She is passionate about her work and supports other food banks through her role as Vice Chair of the provincial association “Alberta Food Banks."
Lori has been married to Greg, has three grown children and is a proud Grandma to 7 grandchildren.
An Airdrie resident since relocating from Calgary with my partner Suze Casey in 2018, I volunteer at the Airdrie Food Bank and bring a wide range of relevant professional skills and competencies to the Board.
Most of my career has been as an instructor and administrator in the Alberta post-secondary education sector, including over six years as an Associate Dean at SAIT, where I specialized in faculty development, teaching excellence and implementing baccalaureate degrees. I was also an advisor and consultant to organizations, including Keyano College and the Alberta Energy Regulator.
In addition, I have been an Executive Director in the Alberta not-for-profit sector and have had extensive experience as a board member or volunteer for various groups, including Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the Calgary Folk Club and the National Music Centre. Contributing as a volunteer stems from my committed service ethic and a strong desire to give back to my community.
I am also a published author of three books on philosophy and the philosophy of physics and have recorded several CDs of original acoustic guitar music.
Rob and his family moved to Airdrie in the fall of 2005. His family chose Airdrie for various reasons: The city was growing fast, had a high proportion of young people, had a commitment to environmental issues and had a community feel that reminded them of where they came from. Since 2005 Rob has contributed to that community feel by filling the role of manager, treasurer or coach, often for multiple teams at ADSA, AMHA & RMLL. He has also been involved with the local schools and volunteered at various events and organizations. He and his family have been helping at the Airdrie Food Bank for five years.
Rob spent the first half of his working years managing people and operations in the retail grocery industry. He implemented several operational policies relating to reducing stocks of specialty items and a shrink reduction in the perishable departments adopted company-wide. For the last 15 years, Rob has been helping people with their tax preparation needs and consulting with small to mid-size businesses on financial, tax and human resource matters. He enjoys getting to know new people and helping them achieve their goals.
Rob enjoys being active and can be found on the golf course, at the hockey rink, hiking in the mountains or kayaking between them. At home, he enjoys reading, gardening and game nights with family and friends.
Bob Gautama is an executive with expertise in strategic planning, financial management and program development. He has been involved in several national and global industries and works in a professional association environment. Bob has served on non-profit, public and private sector boards, including in governance and audit committee (chair) roles.
Bob is a Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA, FCMA) and a Chartered Director (C.Dir). He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Simon Fraser University and a Business Administration diploma from the BC Institute of Technology.
Shawn Kraft, a native of Central Alberta, cultivated his roots on a farm before embarking on a diverse professional journey. Graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Alberta in 2004, Shawn and his wife relocated to Calgary.
Over the next four years, he navigated energy regulations and reservoir engineering within a major oil and gas company.
In 2011, Shawn achieved an MBA and law degree from the University of Calgary. His legal career began with articling at a national law firm, followed by a stint as a patent lawyer for a sole practitioner.
Relocating to Airdrie in 2013, Shawn established a law firm, proudly contributing to the community he now calls home.
Actively engaged in community service, Shawn has lent his expertise to various boards and passionately supports charitable causes. His commitment extends to the Airdrie Food Bank, where he is delighted to be a contributing member.
When Shawn is not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He is also a recreational league hockey player and has a passion for music, showcasing his talents in singing, piano, guitar, and ukulele. Shawn is dedicated to maintaining an active lifestyle and is a well-rounded individual committed to professional excellence and community enrichment.