Board of Governors

NorQuest College's Board of Governance is made up of 14 members.

Alan Skoreyko

Board Chair

Board Chair: December 19, 2014 - December 18, 2017
Vice Chair: February 3, 2014 - December 18, 2014
1st term: February 3, 2011 – February 2, 2014

Alan Skoreyko is a seasoned entrepreneur with an interest and expertise in both finance and governance issues. He has extensive experience in residential and commercial real estate development. Alan has been the recipient of many outstanding builder/developer awards over his career in the development industry. His business experience includes running a $120 million entertainment operation, staging large events and hosting 850,000 paid visitors yearly. Alan has been appointed to a number of corporate and not-for-profit Boards, including the Alberta Tourism Partnership Corporation, the Glenora Rotary Club and the Hope Foundation of Alberta, Gem Cabinets, Alberta Custom Tee, and many others. He currently serves as a governor Vice-Chair of the Board at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club. He is familiar with international immigration programs designed to promote investment into Canada and has a strong network of contacts within the provincial and federal governments.


Dr. Jodi L. Abbott

President and CEO

Dr. Jodi L. Abbott is the President and CEO of NorQuest College. Since joining the college in 2010, Dr. Abbott has grown NorQuest’s credit and non-credit programming; unveiled innovative partnerships like the Landmark Group Centre for Value Improvement, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Hospitality Institute, and the Alberta Aboriginal Construction Career Centre; and enhanced NorQuest’s brand recognition. Under Dr. Abbott’s leadership, the college began construction for the new Singhmar Centre for Learning slated to open for fall term classes in 2017. The centre is part of a larger expansion project which includes a retrofit of the existing downtown main building and the development of green space.

Dr. Abbott is the Chair of Edmonton’s Health City. She is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (Gold). In addition, she has a longstanding involvement with figure skating, including as an Olympic judge in 2010 and 2014. In 2011, Dr. Abbott was included in the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity’s list of Canada's top-20 most influential women in sport. In 2013, she received the University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award in recognition of her international work with figure skating and for championing improved health-care services. Dr. Abbott is also a two-time recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her significant local, provincial, and national contributions in sport and post-secondary education. In 2015, she was named as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), receiving the Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award for women who are either the first in their field or have made a major impact on it. In 2016, Dr. Abbott was named among the Top 50 Most Influential People in Alberta by Alberta Venture magazine. Most recently, she received the first-ever District 99 Toastmaster Award in Leadership and Communication.


Carla Madra

Public Member Chair, Finance and Audit Committee

1st term: November 20, 2013 - November 19, 2016
2nd term: February 15, 2017 - February 14, 2020

Carla is a Partner with the Edmonton office of Ernst & Young LLP. Carla is the Edmonton office leader of the Financial Accounting Advisory Services practice within the Assurance practice. Previous to joining Ernst & Young in 2013, Carla spent 12 years with Deloitte and led the finance and human resources teams as the Director of Finance at CannAmm Occupational Testing Services. Carla is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and obtained her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. Carla is currently the Treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees of the Mental Health Foundation, and she also chairs the Foundation’s Audit & Investment Committee. Carla resides in Edmonton with her husband Don and daughter Alex. Together the Madra family enjoys skiing, golf and travel.


Brian Hjlesvold

Public Member

1st term: January 30, 2015 – January 29, 2018

Brian Hjlesvold is a retired RBC banker with over 30 years experience as a Senior Account Manager in commercial markets, serving late in his career as Manager of Aboriginal Markets for Alberta, NWT, and Yukon.

Brian has a strong desire to see Indigenous people succeed, to share in the country’s resources in a responsible and respectful way, and to live in healthy communities. He received his Professional Economic Developer designation from the Council of Advancement of Native Development Officers in 2010 and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Brian is Chair of the Board of Directors for Loon River Development Corporation, a successful enterprise owned by Loon River First Nation in Alberta. He sits as a Director on the Goodfish Lake Business Corp – a successful First Nation-owned enterprise of the Whitefish Lake Band, and is a Director of the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association - Alberta Region. He is also Past Chair of the Metis Entrepreneurial Fund, Past Chair of Child and Family Services Region 6, Past Chair of Apeetogosan (Metis) Development Inc, and past Director of Embark Engineering Limited Partnership, a partnerships between the Lax Kw-alaams Nation and KWL Holdings Ltd., both of British Columbia.

Brian is of Ojibway and Scottish descent and lives in Bon Accord. He and his wife have four children and six grandchildren. He is an avid reader and golfer.


David Dominy

Public Member

1st term: April 22, 2015 – April 21, 2018

Dave is CEO of FIRMA Foreign Exchange Corporation, one of Canada’s leading providers of international payment and foreign exchange solutions to commercial enterprises in Canada, US, UK, New Zealand, and Australia. He spent 15 years in a variety of senior banking and investment banking roles with a Canadian chartered bank, as well as 8 years as CEO of a private equity group in Western Canada. As CEO of a provincial regulatory body, he was directly involved in the implementation of new liquidity and capital standards for credit unions. From 1999 through 2003, he was CEO of a mid-sized public company active in the oilfield services sector and, prior to that, was CFO of a large-cap public company active in gas processing and transportation.

His extensive board career includes leadership roles on a variety of not-for-profit, private, public and crown corporation boards. He is currently Chair of the Board and Chair Audit of Chandos Construction LP; Vice Chair, Chair Governance, Chair HR of NorQuest College; Chair 3D Capital Inc., Director University of Winnipeg Foundation and an instructor in the Alberta School of Business’ governance program for small and medium-sized enterprises.

He is an active contributor to a number of local charities, most recently as Chair of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation in Edmonton.

Dave holds a Masters of Management from the J.L. Kellogg School of Business in Chicago, a BA in mathematics from the University of Winnipeg, the Canadian Securities Course, and the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada.


Lillian Ruptash

Public Member

1st term: January 30, 2015 – January 29, 2018

Lillian Ruptash’s career in finance spanned over 45 years with the Toronto Dominion Bank. As a banker, she was able to practice a wide range of financial skills including credit functions, marketing, administration, and  customer service. Lillian is a former member of the Alberta Student Finance Board and the Lakeland College Board of Governors. She is a recipient of provincial and national service awards and has dedicated much of her life to volunteering in her community – ranging from youth groups, political campaigns, her church council, the United Way, and the University Hospital Festival of Trees. She also has a strong interest in post-secondary education and believes that everyone should have access to learning opportunities. Lillian and her husband Larry have three children, two granddaughters, and live in Vegreville. They enjoy sports, dancing, theatre, and family vacations.


Melissa Bourgeois

Public Member

Melissa is a lawyer with the Edmonton firm Jomha Skrobot LLP. She primarily practices family law with a secondary interest in residential real estate.

Melissa is fluent in both French and English in her day-to-day life. Melissa obtained a Master of Arts (MA) in Sociology from Concordia University in Montreal. Her thesis, Modernity and the Catholic Church: Religious Advertisements in Quebec 1895-1960, explored politico-legal theories on Quebec culture.

She is a graduate of the National Program of Law at the University of Ottawa, having completed a civil (LL.L.) and a common law (JD) degree. Upon the completion of her legal studies, Melissa and her husband returned to Alberta and they began establishing their lives and careers in Edmonton.

Melissa currently serves on the executive committee of the Citie Ballet Society, where she has taken an active role in helping the company achieve its mission of elevating the art of dance in Edmonton. She has also enjoyed a long-standing management role as a director of her family’s business, Willowbend Resort at Lac La Nonne. Melissa enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends in Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, and beyond.


Dr. S. Ann Colbourne

Public Member

1st term: March 21, 2017 – March 20, 2020

Dr. Ann Colbourne is the Senior Medical Director, Culture, Transformation and Innovation, Alberta Health Services.

Dr. Colbourne has a career history of mobilizing clinical teams, middle managers, and decision makers to transform care process towards an interprofessional integrated plan of care for all patients and families.  Dr. Colbourne and team received the 2013 AHS President’s Excellence Award (Quality & Safety) for the Care Transformation Initiative.

Dr. Colbourne’s lifelong learning journey has seen her travel from Newfoundland, Labrador via a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, Mayo Clinic, and University of Alberta. She holds degrees in biochemistry, theology, and medicine.  Dr. Colbourne was the third overall recipient of the Mayo Clinic Plummer Society Award of Excellence (2011) – the first woman and the first international recipient of this prestigious award.


Troy Chalifoux

Public Member

1st term: March 21, 2017 – March 20, 2020

Troy Chalifoux, a Cree-Métis, was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. Upon graduating law from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta, Troy accepted an articling position with the Department of Justice Canada and was admitted to the Bar in 1995.  Troy stayed on with Justice and dedicated his practice to Aboriginal issues, primarily those relating to lands, commercial transactions, and outstanding land claims.

In 2000, Troy joined what is now Indian and Northern Affairs Canada as a Senior Negotiator and continues his work on land claims and various types of partnership negotiations affecting First nations in Alberta.

Troy was awarded the Deputy Minister’s Circle of Excellence Award in 2002, for his work on the Claims Settlements Implementation Act (Bill C-37). Troy is a sessional instructor in Aboriginal Role in Crown / First Nations / Industry Negotiations with the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta and is Faculty Leader a the Banff Centre’s Indigenous Leadership Program in Negotiation Skills, and has developed and instructed negotiation workshops throughout Canada.

In addition to his professional work, Troy has been passionately involved with numerous charitable and non-profit organizations such as Kids Kottage, where he has served as a Director since 2008.


Kanwal Lali

Public Member

1st term: March 21, 2017 – March 20, 2020

Kanwal Lali grew up in England, where she received her BSc. in Biochemistry from the University of London, and emigrated to Canada in 1981. She worked as a researcher for 18 years at the Alberta Research Council where she managed scientific projects for international clients. Kanwal earned her Chartered Professional Accountant certification in Canada in 2002 and has worked in many executive management and strategic leadership roles at Deloitte, Government of Alberta, and currently at the City of Edmonton as Director, Property Taxation. Kanwal has over 30 years private sector, municipal, and provincial government experience in strategic planning, change management, program administration, project management, and customer service. She is president of Knowledge Management Strategies, her consulting company that specializes in providing services to learn, acquire, and manage knowledge for personal and business success.

Kanwal has served as a board member for Action for Healthy Communities; board member and treasurer at Changing Together - Center for Immigrant Women; victims advocate with Edmonton Police Victim Services; tutor with the Project Adult Society; host with Catholic Social Services; and accountant with Learning Disabilities of Alberta. She currently serves as a board member on the City of Edmonton's Community Services Advisory board.

Kanwal enjoys working with people with different personalities and backgrounds, and is passionate about helping people achieve their full potential. She volunteers her time  as a career and life mentor with University of Alberta, Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Organization (EREIC), Certified Professional Accountant association, and the City of Edmonton. In addition, she teaches Cultural Integration and English as a Second Language in non-profit organizations.

Kanwal believes in providing people the knowledge and tools to successfully navigate life, which in turn benefits the community as a whole. She sees serving on the NorQuest board as an exellent opportunity to give back to the community by helping to shape Edmonton’s future.


Tracy Topolnitsky

Academic staff member

1st term: July 14, 2017 – July 13, 2019

Tracy is the Chair of Academic Upgrading in the Faculty of Foundational, Career, & Intercultural Studies at NorQuest College. She manages a diverse portfolio of programming for foundational learners including Transitions to Employment, Apprenticeship Prep, Youth in Transitions, and Academic Upgrading.

Tracy began at NorQuest in 2005 and shortly after discovered a passion for online and blended education. Her experience with adult learners has enabled her to work with thousands of students in both Edmonton and around the world. In 2014, this work led to her being honoured with NorQuest’s Jay Fredrickson Award for Teaching Excellence.

Tracy has a Master of Education Degree and lives in Edmonton with her family.


Khalid Hashi

Non-Academic Staff Board Member

First Term: March 9, 2015 – March 8, 2017

Second Term: April 5, 2017 – April 4, 2019

Khalid Hashi is a senior analyst in the Faculty of Foundational, Career, and Intercultural Studies at NorQuest College. He oversees financials for key contracts at the college, including Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and correctional education.

Khalid attended George Brown College in Toronto, and Queen's University at Kingston, where he obtained his BA in economics.

Khalid has a strong interest in community development and empowerment, especially as it relates to higher education. He volunteers as a mentor helping new immigrant youth on basic employability skills.  Currently, Khalid servies as a site coordinator for the annual Make Tax Time Pay (MTTP) tax clinics at NorQuest's Westmount campus. Previously, Khalid has services as a member of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC) Board of Directors from 2010 to 2012.

Khalid lives in Edmonton with his wife Hayat and two sons, Adnan and Omar.


Gordon Holub

Student Board Member

1st term: June 1, 2017 – May 30, 2018

Gordon is a father, grandfather and great grandfather, born in Calgary AB on June 08, 1960. Adopted into a very loving family, he is the oldest of his siblings, two brothers and a sister. A few years ago, he decided to change his career path and started upgrading at NorQuest College for a career as a Community Support Worker.

Gordon as received many awards and participated in a number of student groups in his time at the college, including the RBC Aboriginal “Starlight” Mentorship award for his work in the RBC Aboriginal Mentorship Program and the Marie Helena Warick Ambassador award for his contributions as an RBC Student Ambassador. Gordon is also a current member of the NorQuest College Students' Council. He has volunteered for numerous organizations and festivals including the college, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Northlands, Ice on White Festival, The Deep Freeze Festival, Silver Skate Festival, and many more.


For more information

Phone:
780.644.5899