Board of Directors

President

Raymond Swonek
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Raymond is the Chief Executive Officer of GEF Seniors Housing (GEF), the largest provider of seniors’ subsidized independent and supportive living in Alberta, serving over 3,500 seniors. Raymond is a Chartered Accountant and has over 30 years of business experience in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. He has been involved in the Seniors Housing Industry since 1997.

He served on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Public Housing Administrators’ Association for ten (10) years.

Raymond is passionate about positively influencing seniors’ quality of life.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~ Winston Churchill

Vice-President North Region

Jackie McCuaig
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I am very proud and excited about embarking on this new journey with so many people who have such passion about their community and our beloved seniors.

I live where I was raised. I have spent my entire life (minus 5 years) on the same quarter section of land my husband and I subdivided 3 acres from my parents in 1992. I have two beautiful daughters, who are grown now, and we have been blessed with a wonderful grandson.

I was lucky to be within close proximity to my grandparents and great grandparents during my life, and have learned the true value of our seniors first-hand. Our children, as well as our grandson, get to enjoy the same family dynamic.

I was elected to Parkland County Council in 2013, and am a board member of the Meridian Foundation, which has brought me to this position.

I have been a volunteer in my community for many years and love to work with people for a purpose.

My husband and I have been in business since 1998. We are the owners of Doug the Carpenter and Spruce it up Promotions.

I am passionate about community and believe we get what we give.

North Region Director

Sheri Heller
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I am a relative newcomer (March 2015) to the seniors housing industry but I have had family in seniors care at the Vermilion Valley Lodge for over 5 years. I really understand the issues and challenges that families go through as they navigate the complicated world of seniors care.

I come from a post-secondary background where I taught the business courses in Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation at Lakeland College for almost 20 years. I have a Master's Degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University. Teaching and working with the students was my favourite occupation until budget cuts had me searching for a new passion. I am very happy to have landed in the world of seniors housing - I love working for our seniors and bringing a smile to their day - each and every day! My goal is to help our residents live their best lives.  We are undergoing a new build and have a very successful fundraising campaign happening which makes our days very exciting.

I look forward to participating in the exciting ASCHA world and working with an amazing team of staff and board members that are dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors in Alberta.

I have been married to my wonderful husband Ron for 39 years and we have 3 amazing children who are also happily married and are enhancing our family with the cutest, brightest, smartest grandchildren ever!

North Region Director

Pamela Spracklin-Purdy
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Pam started working in long term care as a health care aid to help pay for university, and graduated with a Liberal Arts Degree from Mount St. Vincent University in 1995.  At that time, she had no interest in further pursuing a career in health care, but found she loved it!!  Not wanting to return to complete a second full degree, which was the standard in Nova Scotia at that time, she decided to pursue nursing at the college level and moved forward to receive her Practical Nursing Certificate from Nova Scotia Community College in 2000.

Originally from Newfoundland, Pam has slowly moved across the country to live and work while pursuing avenues to advance her in her service to seniors.  She has nursed in Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Alberta and has worked as a nurse on the floor in both hospitals and continuing care centers, has been a team lead, charge nurse and educator in continuing care, and most recently, she has managed a supportive living center and a long term care center.

Pam is new to seniors housing and started at St. Andrew's Centre as the Centre Manager in January 2017.  This is the first time she has been in a role which has her working directly with a board or on a board and she is looking forward to the new adventures and the new challenges that the industry will bring.

Vice-President Central Region

James Nibourg
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So as we embark on a new journey with this new governance model and a new board, the sky is the limit for ASCHA.  We are in very exciting times.

So a little about myself…my lovely wife Lori-Anne is a Registered Nurse working in Stettler. We have raised four awesome and very busy children. I was born and raised in the Erskine / Stettler area ( central Alberta). I learned to get along with others as I was the youngest of eight, and there was lots of discussion and, okay, arguing along the way. We did learn that respect is important and that a strong sense of volunteering is great because a community is what you make it. After graduating from high school in Stettler, I moved away to follow work in small towns all around Alberta, always comparing them to the Stettler area. Fifteen years ago we moved back home. Now we live just south of Erskine, raising purebred sheep, chickens and our kids. I have now owned and operated East Central Auto Recyclers for the last ten years. My many experiences with different volunteer groups and businesses have given me the tools and talents {I hope} to meet the challenges of being your voice at the table for the next few years. Please do not hesitate to contact me and let me know what you are thinking. I truly look forward to serving you. I have been a County of Stettler councilor for four years and with that, one of my roles has been with the County of Stettler Housing Authority where I am currently Chair.

I do believe we are in the people business. Every day we interact with people.  How we deal with people is a lot of how we deal with issues. I would like to think I keep the people important, which keeps the issues important. Any time you would like to talk about an issue that is important to you, give me a shout, text, email, twitter, phone or just a coffee I will make time. I can always find time between shearing sheep, towing junk, or coaching.

Remember:  "You can easily judge the character of a someone by how they treat those who can do nothing for them."

Central Region Director

Bruce Beattie
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Bruce was a long-time and now recovering dairy farmer who is currently involved in forage and beef production on his farm in the Bergen district, South of Sundre. Bruce was very involved in governance of the dairy industry at the provincial and national levels. He was chair of the Dairy Nutrition Council of Alberta and served for five years as Chair and several terms as Vice Chair of Alberta Milk Producers. Bruce served as Alberta Director of Dairy Farmers of Canada for over 15 years during which time he Chaired the Research Committee (PESAC), as well as representing DFC on the Canadian Bovine Research Network and Canadian Agriculture Research Council (CARC).  Bruce was also a delegate to Agrifoods International Co-op. Bruce received the WCDS Award of Merit in 2007.

Beyond the dairy industry, he was elected as the first Chair of the Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Council, serving in that position for 5 years. He was a founding director and Board member of Climate Change Central (C3). He was appointed to the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council in 2008, and to the position of Chair in April 2013.  On April 16, 2015 Bruce was re-appointed as Chair for an additional two year term.

Bruce was acclaimed in October 2017 for a third term as Municipal Councillor for Division 4 in Mountain View County and has served as Reeve since September of 2011.  He was appointed to represent Mountain View County on the Board of Mountain View Seniors Housing in 2010 and was elected as Chair in 2013 serving in that capacity since that time.

Central Region Director

Darren Young
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Darren has been an Information Technology Expert for more than twenty years. He has worked for the Local Governments Medicine Hat, Lethbridge and Red Deer County.

Darren strongly believes in community participation and to this end has served on numerous professional associations and charitable boards and committees. Most recently he joined the board of the Piper Creek Foundation. Piper Creek is the local management board for affordable seniors housing in the City of Red Deer. During his term Darren has served as a director, Chairperson of the Financial Committee as well as Board Chairperson of the organization.

As a youth, Darren spent a good deal of time with his Grand Parents who were the Matron and Patron for the Taber Alberta Lodge. He remembers these times very fondly and regards it as the impetus for his interest in Alberta Seniors Housing. His hope is that every senior as well as their families could have such a good experience regardless of their station or circumstance.

To this end, Darren now finds himself volunteering as a Central Region Director for Alberta Seniors Communities and Housing Association (ASCHA) and province wide advocate for all seniors housing in Alberta.

It is Darren's hope that his service along with all the other incredible volunteers and staff who make up the ASCHA organization will in some small way improve the elder years of all those relevant, active, and engaged seniors of Alberta.

Vice -President South Region Director

Arlene Adamson, CIHCM
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Arlene Adamson became CEO of Silvera for Seniors (formerly MCF Housing for Seniors) in June 2011. Her job is to oversee all aspects of Silvera, including the implementation of its strategic plan.

Her background in the non-profit sector spans 25 years, including 10 years at the YWCA of Calgary. As its Chief Operating Officer, she reinstated and reinvigorated the YWCA’s fund-development and communications departments, and helped the organization win an Alberta’s Top 50 Employer Award.
She has also served as National Manager of Corporate Development for the Canadian Cancer Society, Manager of Revenue Development at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and spent five years as general manager of the Calgary Winter Festival.
Arlene is currently co-chair of the Seniors and Special Populations Sector Housing Committee and is on the steering committee for the province’s Housing Access Link.
Now with Silvera for Seniors she hopes to increase support to lower income seniors helping them have a stronger voice and the promise of a quality of life that ensures independence and dignity.

South Region Director

Al Brander
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I was born in The Netherlands and arrived with my immigrant parents in 1953 and later moved to Calgary in 1958. I completed my high school education and also met my wife, Trynette, there. We have four adult sons, four daughters-in-law, 9 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  

 

My entire working career was with Canadian Pacific Railway for 37 years, starting in Calgary as a Machinist Apprentice and completing my career as the Manager of Technical Training, Mechanical Services for all Canadian and US operations.   I worked in various positions in Calgary, Nelson, BC, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal; retiring in Calgary in 1999.

 

After retirement Trynette and I enjoyed travelling and also began to volunteer annually at Camp Rehoboth (camp serves clients with developmental disabilities), I served Shalem Society for Senior Citizens Care (Calgary) as a Board member and also as President of the Board. I volunteered regularly at Habitat for Humanity sites and Trynette and I also frequently volunteered with World Renew to rebuild homes destroyed by natural disasters.

 

In 2006 we moved to High River and quickly became involved with various activities as volunteers; myself on the Police Committee and Sheppard Family Park. In October, 2010 I ran successfully in the municipal election and was appointed as their representative to the Board of Westwinds Communities. My term as Councillor was completed in 2013 and I remained on the WWC Board and became the Chairman of the Board and continue to serve as such to date.

South Region Director

Lauren Ingalls
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With a background in economic development and a bachelor of commence, Lauren Ingalls has worked exclusively in the seniors and social housing industry for over twenty years with four different agencies as the Executive Director ranging from 78 units to 1,500 units in the Calgary area.

 

In May 2011, Lauren joined Westwinds Communities as the Executive Director hoping to remain active in this dynamic industry while achieving more life balance with her growing family.

 

Lauren’s first exposure to ASCHA was in November 1993 at the annual convention, which was hosted in a very cold Grande Prairie where a lively three hour annual general meeting took place with the primary purpose of determining if ASCHA should hire an executive director. As they say the rest is history.

 

Lauren currently participates as a committee member on a working group of ASCHA and APHAA, is a past former ASCHA board member, and has enjoyed presenting to sector professionals on not for profit governance and new CAO orientation.

 

Lauren is happily married to Greg and they have two children in elementary school. Her spare time is spent chauffeuring and cheering on her kids in the endless amount of activities they involve themselves in and walking our new puppy.

Member at Large

Jennie Deneka
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Jennie Deneka is the Chief Operating Officer for Pacific Reach Seniors Housing Management and is responsible for leading operations for all 25 communities providing care for more than 4,000 seniors. She is passionate about improving seniors care and seniors housing through growth and leadership of those working in the industry.

 

Ms. Deneka has been in the health care industry for over 20 years and has been a leader in the seniors care and retirement industry for over 10 years with experience in both Alberta and British Columbia.

Before joining Pacific Reach, Ms. Deneka was the Regional Director of Operations, where she led initiatives to improve customer satisfaction, overall resident safety, and employee engagement and training. She has also been a senior advisor for Alberta Health Services and held senior positions with the Forest Grove Care Centre and Fraser Health Authority.

 

Ms. Deneka is a registered nurse along with having her Project Management & Executive Coaching certificates, and a Masters in Leadership and Training. She has authored a number of articles for industry and community publications on seniors’ health, seniors’ care and seniors’ housing needs.

Member at Large

Stephanie Miller
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After working in nursing for eight years, Stephanie decided to make a positive change in senior care. She was not satisfied with the solutions that she witnessed while nursing. After doing research on various opportunities, she applied and was accepted to Connecting Care's management team in 2008. According to Statistics Canada, in 2016 one and eight Albertans was a senior. By 2031, one and five Albertans will be a senior. As the Director of Wellness and Cultural Development for Connecting Care, Stephanie finds herself exploring and challenging ideas of wellness and how wellness though technology can help organizations prepare for the influx of seniors in Alberta.

Stephanie lives out on the farm in eastern Alberta with her husband and three beautiful children.