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Meet the Candidates

Chair

Craig Hartmetz chartmetz@gmail.com

My name is Craig Hartmetz and I am running to be the next chair of the Edmonton Section.  I’ve been an active member of the Edmonton Section for 13 years.  I am an avid climber, hiker, skier and occasionally I climb some ice.  What draws me to the mountains and the ACC is spending quality time with good people, away from the distractions of modern technology.  I see a lot of potential in the Edmonton Section, and I want to help the club achieve that potential.

I’ve always been drawn to the mountains.  After I repeatedly asked my parents to do more than day-hikes, my Dad signed both of us up for the ACC’s Summer in the Mountains course.  I was 12 at the time. After that first exposure to the club and the Edmonton Section, I’ve never left.  As soon as I turned 18, I purchased my own membership and began going on section trips.

When I graduated from university, I looked for ways that I could give back to the ACC.  The Edmonton Section has given me so much - exposing me to the wonder of mountain climbing!  I joined the board as the vice-chair, and have held that position for almost three years.  I’ve led an average of five or more trips each year, and for the past four years I’ve taught the very course that introduced me to the section - Summer in the Mountains.  Last year, I organised our ski touring nights at the Edmonton Ski Club.  These ski touring nights were very well attended and I had the opportunity to meet and speak with countless members.  This year, I also began volunteering at a national level in the club’s General Mountaineering Camp.

The ACC is a huge part of who I am, and I see volunteering as the section chair to be the best way that I can continue to give back to this fantastic club.

My focus as chair will be to unify the board and to engage our membership.  What the ACC needs at this point in time is an effective, unified board; a board which actively involves, and listens to, its membership.  That is what I will focus on building.  Specifically, I want to provide members with:

  • More trips suited to our members’ abilities.

  • Better communication.

  • High-quality monthly meetings, with attractive keynote speakers.

  • More in-city activities such as climbing nights and ski touring nights.

  • Active stewardship of wilderness areas.

I’m looking forward to an opportunity to work with you so that the club delivers an experience that you’re happy with!  If you’d like to hear more about how I plan to take the Edmonton Section to the next level, or if you would like to ask questions, please get in touch with me!  I’d love the opportunity to have a conversation with you!  Thanks for voting!
 

Konstantin Stoletov kstoletov@gmail.com

My name is Konstantin Stoletov. Originally from Russia, I was studying/working in US for 14 years till I moved to Edmonton in 2012 to work at u of A. I have been, climbing, caving and snowboarding for over 20 years doing anything from single pitch bouldering to big alpine climbs or caves. Have been a member of ACC since ~2013. Shortly after moving to Edmonton I realized that this town is missing climbing community despite lots of climbing/skiing people live here. Personally to me or anyone else it means it is hard to find a climbing or running partner here. I started to network and while I have enough partners for myself I know that many people here struggle to find a partner or friend to go to mountains with. To help this I organized series of climbing related slideshows that were successfully running last year. Yet I feel that I have enough energy to do more. Lately I got involved with ACC Edmonton organizing a few trips and trying to run the adventure slideshows through ACC for next year. Yet, again I feel that I can do more and I want to improve the way ACC Edmonton works. This is why I want to run for ACC Edmonton Chair position.

The proposal that you see attached I put together after lots of conversations with fellow Canadian/Edmonton climbers who want to see these improvements too.

What I want to achieve in brief:
  • Reaching out more to fellow ACC Edmonton member. Every member should be aware of what is going on, what has been planned and what is achieved. How our efforts and funds spent. Communicating this to the fellow members via social media and email on regular basis is a must.
  • Improving the format of our club trips and increasing their number.
  • Hosting more public events such as slide shows and group training events.
  • Improving the format of ACC Edmonton general meetings.
 

Vice Chair

Paul Trudeau pet.acc.yeg@gmail.com

My name is Paul-Emile Trudeau and I am running for vice-chair.  I joined the section shortly before my move to Edmonton in the late summer of 2014.   I have been involved with the club since then as a participant in the courses, as a trip leader, and as a member of the board of directors.  Exposure in quick succession to all roles in the club has, I believe, given me a unique perspective on the section. It has also helped provide me a framework to effectively implement solutions to commonly identified areas we could improve to better serve our membership.  

This summer, I had the opportunity to volunteer on the national level at the GMC.  The alpine club is a truly amazing institution, and it was invaluable experience as a volunteer, and also to learn about best practices from other sections.  The opportunity to engage with volunteers from other sections and learn about their best practices has further refined these strategies and I am excited to put these into practice.

I believe the board exists to ensure that the club delivers maximum value to membership.  My focus as vice chair will be to ensure that we effectively engage and enable our members to enjoy life in the mountains.  For example:

  • Developing a continuous curriculum of development courses that will enable members to advance to their desired level of excellence

  • Unified and inclusive communication with membership

  • Technology based solutions to key tasks such as trip scheduling and approval, with a focus on easing the administrative loads on volunteer trip co-ordinators

  • Improvement of existing, and development of more in-city activities


I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with the board and with every member of the section on these issues and others.

Access and Environment

Asia Szkudlarek asia.szkudlarek@gmail.com



Hello ACC Edmonton! My name is Asia Szkudlarek, and I’m vying for the Environment & Access Chair position on the Board of Directors. I’ve been an active member of our chapter since early 2012, and over the years, have come to love the passionate, mountain-loving community that the club continues to build in Edmonton. The Environment & Access Chair position resonates with me deeply, as in addition to being passionate about outdoor adventure and mountain culture, I’m also a fervent, lifelong environmentalist with years of experience in environmental advocacy and activism.

Degrees in Business Law and Environmental Sustainability form my theoretical backbone of knowledge, and I've also volunteered, interned and worked with organizations like the Sierra Club Prairie, Greenpeace Alberta, the Clean Air Strategic Alliance, the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton, Alberta Environment & Parks, and the Edmonton Area Land Trust. My roles in these organizations have included everything from grassroots environmental advocacy projects, to communicating environmental issues to diverse, multi-stakeholder communities, to environmental policy research and analysis. I'm an outgoing, social-media savvy initiative-taker with special skills in project management and writing, and my deeply-held personal values of the importance of environmental protection, conservation and sustainability align with the requirements of someone suited for this Board position.

Promoting responsible access to the mountain regions is part of the ACC’s Mission, and the minimization of human impact on the alpine environment is one of its core Values. As residents of a province with world-renowned mountain parks, the members of ACC Edmonton are uniquely poised to lead by example, promoting the protection of the alpine wilderness not only because we believe it has intrinsic value, but because it is our home.  Given the opportunity to serve as your Environment & Access Chair, I will strive to increase our section’s awareness of, and involvement in, issues that affect our treasured alpine areas, through ongoing communication, outreach and collaboration. Together, we can become an active voice for environmental stewardship in Alberta's mountain wilderness. Thank you for your consideration!
 

James Eastham eastham@ualberta.ca

My name is James Eastham and I am running to be your ACC Edmonton Access and Environment Chair. I’m passionate about the protection of our parks and natural spaces. Not only do these spaces provide a playground for the activities that we love like climbing, skiing and hiking, they also contribute to the health of our planet. I believe that my skills and experience, combined with my dedication to the outdoors make me an ideal candidate for this position.

I have a significant amount of experience with non-profit boards and recently wrapped up a two-year term as the Oliver Community League’s Director of Communications. Previously, I served as an executive at the University of Alberta Students’ Union (an $11 million, 200 staff non-profit organization). In that role I was responsible not just for the governance of the SU, but also for the oversight of each faculty’s Student Association, where I helped student executives learn to govern effectively.

My experience with the non-profit sector extends beyond my volunteer work into my professional career as a public affairs strategist with Calder Bateman Communications. Much of my practice at the firm involves working with local non-profits on their strategic planning initiatives.

Moreover, through my work I regularly engage with environmental groups on behalf of both the City and Province during stakeholder consultation efforts on various public policy initiatives. Over the course of these experiences I have become well versed in some of the province’s most prominent environmental issues including land use planning, climate change policy, oil and gas regulation and issues surrounding parks and recreation — all things that impact the stewardship of our natural spaces.

My parents instilled in me a strong passion for all things outdoors and started hiking with me once I was old enough to walk. In the 25 years since then I’ve completed an extensive list of both front and backcountry trips throughout the mountain parks.

This past year I've been keen to tackle more technical objectives and have been working on building the skills I need to get into mountaineering. This included learning to lead climb, working my way through the Kane scrambles and taking my first alpine climbing trip to the Wapta icefields.

This winter I’m looking forward learning to ice climb, building my alpine touring skills and hopefully, serving as your Access and Environment Chair.
 



Jeff Ball j_ball@ducks.ca



My name is Jeff Ball and I wish to serve the ACC Edmonton Section as Environment and Access Chair. I joined the ACC in 1994 and became a member of the Edmonton section in 2007. I’ve participated in a number of different mountain pursuits during my years with the ACC but I’m particularly passionate about all things skiing. I’ve also been a wildlife biologist for more than 20 years. Currently, I work for a not-for-profit developing science and conservation programs aimed at balancing the needs or wildlife with the needs and interests of society. While I enjoy the physical and mental challenges that I find in the mountains, and the camaraderie of likeminded adventurers, the quality of these adventures, and what keeps me coming back for more, lies in the wilderness experience. Experiencing wildlife and wild spaces is what gets many of us out of the city. I became a biologist, in part, to protect that wilderness experience. Promoting mountain recreation and supporting conservation of mountain environments are also core values of the ACC. I look forward to representing the Edmonton board and membership on environment and access issues to ensure those natural values and the experiences they afford are protected.
 

Susan Courty susan_courty@hotmail.com


My name is Susan Courty and I am running in the 2016 election for the Access & Environment Chair. I am motivated by the goal of bringing together members and other stakeholders on issues of stewardship, and want to engage with local members so that they can get a potentially greater value from their relationship in the ACC. I believe this will ultimately enhance our user experience of the environments we choose to explore as alpinists, climbers, mountaineers, hikers, skiers and more.

To fulfill the duties of the Chairperson, I want to collaborate with section members and work on the issues they feel are relevant to improving their access to recreational areas, and I want to be a representative who advocates members’ interests to other parties, such as the National office, Parks and environmental stewardship groups.

To give you a picture of who I am and what I can bring in service of Members as well as the Executive, here is a brief summary of my background in academic, professional and volunteer work:

I am educated in Environmental Management, which will provide an excellent base of knowledge and skills for the role I hope to fulfill. My background in professional life includes environmental-related regulatory compliance, environmental testing and environmental monitoring practices. I also have some project coordination experience- which I believe will be of benefit in future campaigns, and potentially longer term projects under the umbrella of the Access & Environment Chair’s scope.

Some capabilities I have developed which will support my success in the role serving the ACC Edmonton on the section’s Executive include a familiarity with aspects of web-based content production, writing for different audiences, performing volunteer work within an established board, collaborating in groups to meet project-based objectives with limited resources, composing formal reports and documents, making presentations, research and data synthesis, and communication skills.

Currently, I am an electrical apprentice working toward a career in renewable energy installation. I am also an Environmental Professional in-training, specialising in Environmental Management as well as Sustainability Research & Development.

With the goal of increasing engagement in environmental stewardship, I am driven to understand what our section members really want from their experiences in the environments they choose to explore. I also want to advocate for improvements in Environmental Stewardship by identifying stakeholders with common interests. I envision an emerging working relationship with other ACC section Executive members during the next two years so that, as part of the Executive, I can build a consensus of what actions will benefit section members in our access to the wilderness areas, as we want to see them developed and protected.

As a personal interest within this role, I want to assist in the Members and Executive in championing Hut Stewardship and Maintenance.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I am happy to field questions from any members should there be interest.

Sincerely,

Susan Courty

 

Suzie Poirier suzie_poirier@hotmail.com

I am running for Environment and access position. I am an active member with ACC for more than 10 years with Montreal, Calgary and now Edmonton sections.  I’m a very active and passionate person. I have been involved with the club as a participant in different courses and as a trip leader.

I have more than 15 years of experience in environment and I think I can help the board with environmental and access issues. 

I'm a proactive person who likes to get things done. 

I am looking forward working with all the members and the board.

Safety

Rick Checkland rick.checkland@gmail.com



I’ve been acclaimed in this year’s election as the Safety Chair for the section. My name as you know is Rick Checkland and I am the current chair of the section. I am stepping down from that position at the October meeting. I’ve been a member of the section for 54 years and a member of the ACC for 48 years. That’s possible because there was at one time a junior group of the Edmonton section.  I have served in a number of other board positions, including Breeze (newsletter) editor, climbing chair, ski chair, and courses chair. As well I have been involved with teaching the section’s basic schools for over 4 decades.

I am still active in climbing, skiing and hiking on section trips and lead several every year.

Enough about me.

The position of safety chair has a few basic responsibilities. I will continue managing the club equipment as it has been for the past few years. Thank you to Rob Denson for the great job done in the past few years and to Track and Trail for storing our gear. As well the safety chair leads the safety committee which currently approves trips, suggests safety policy to the board, and investigates incidents and accidents. Thankfully that hasn’t been necessary much in the past few years.

What I will also do is write articles for the newsletter on various safety subjects. I’ll admit it; I’m a gear freak. Some of these articles will be about gear and its safe use. Some will be about educational opportunities, others about general safety, and hopefully others about subjects that you suggest. Any questions you may have that I can work on will certainly add some interest to my retirement.

In these ways, I hope to sustain and improve the safety culture of the Edmonton section.

Volunteer Coordinator

Dustin McLachlan dustin.mclachlan@gmail.com

My name is Dustin McLachlan and I would consider it an honour to be elected to the position of Volunteer Coordinator. I am an avid skier with a passion for adventure, shared experiences, high summits, and long days in the mountains. As a consulting engineer, I value mentorship, communication, and organization and believe these traits will be important as volunteer coordinator. I’ve been an active member of the club for about 2 years and trip leader for the past year, during which time I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the diversity of volunteers in the section and their strong commitment to leadership, safety, and excellence – they are truly the core of this club.

Talking to the volunteers and long-time members has helped to identify some opportunities for our Section. It has become clear that ongoing training is important for our volunteers, and there remains an incredible demand for trips at all levels. It is also apparent that the membership is looking to engage with the club and are seeking guidance to help take on leadership roles in the club.

Based on this feedback, I see this board position as an opportunity to significantly expand the leadership pool by actively seeking out members and helping to connect them to appropriate volunteer and training opportunities. Promoting and conducting leader orientations is a big part of that, as is identifying and promoting training requirements to lead safely and competently. Linking up aspiring leaders with co-leadership opportunities is something we can do proactively. We can also promote our “in-town” activities and events as volunteer opportunities for those seeking to engage with the club. Fundamentally, I see this is an opportunity to engage with the membership and help answer the question: “How can I get involved?”

Secondly, this is chance to support the ongoing development of new and existing volunteers. In addition to the national Leadership Development courses (TNF), which has helped develop exceptional leaders, I would work with the Executive and external organizations to develop a strategic Leadership Development Program for a broader membership base. I see this as involving both soft and hard skill courses, as well as trip-specific skills and leadership training, and a schedule set up well in advance so we can promote and fill these spots. I would also like to look at funding strategies to make these more attractive to new leaders who may not qualify for the existing course subsidy program.

Finally, this is a great opportunity to help recognize the hard work and commitment of our volunteers. In addition to administering nominations for National-level awards, I will explore internal leader recognition programs to recognize our “super” volunteers that dedicate so much time to the membership.

Thank you for your consideration and interest in the future of the Section. I’m excited about the opportunity to have a meaningful impact and am looking forward to hearing from you. Please contact me (dustin.mclachlan@gmail.com) in the upcoming weeks if you have questions for me or suggestions for the Section.
 

Jackie Pearce jackie@goldenlady.ca



Hey all! My name is Jackie Pearce and I am running for the open position of Volunteer Coordinator.

Since August 2015 I have been a member of the ACC. In this short time, I have become quite involved in the club participating in most pub nights, many courses and several trips.

As a very social gal, I think this role would be perfect for me. I am able to easily engage with strangers, acquaintances and good friends alike. As a very open and outgoing lady, people feel very comfortable in my presence and at ease.  I have the time, energy, and enthusiasm to dedicate myself to the Volunteer Coordinator position.  

My desire to be a part of the executive with the ACC is to give back to a club that in less than a year has been able to open doors for me that I have been trying to pry open for over a decade. I am very passionate about mountains and the outdoors, and have wanted to make this passion more of a reality in my life. The ACC has made that possible.

I have put a great deal of thought into the Volunteer Coordinator role and have the following ideas:

  • Solidify the link and act as liaison between members and the executive;

  • Create more cohesion, streamline processes ;

  • Encourage a more active and engaged membership body;

  • Create more structure and support for trip leaders and implement new systems (and tweak old ones) so that it is easier for trip leaders to organize trips;

  • Create more support for new leaders, and those who feel they want to lead, but aren’t sure how to get there;

  • Create more courses, programs and opportunities for trip leaders /aspiring trip leaders so they can flourish into the best versions of themselves, increase their skills, confidence and ability to lead a wider variety of trips;

  • Recognize the contributions of trip leaders.

Every trip leader I know leads because they are passionate about the outdoors, getting people out there and trying new things, learning skills and discovering aspects of themselves they maybe weren’t familiar with. This is the right place to be coming from, a place of integrity and authenticity.

How can I achieve these goals?  What do I bring to the table for ACC?  

  • Business acumen of an entrepreneur who has a decade-old flourishing business – initiative, drive, ability to create practical systems to achieve goals, commitment, bookkeeping, strategic planning, etc.

  • Volunteer experience as board member with the Special Projects Coordinator portfolio for Healthy Living Therapies Alberta Association (HLTAA) – created sub-committee; planned and executed Fall Fair including vendors, speakers, presenters, door prized, catering, etc.

  • Volunteer experience with Indigo Drinks – reception and set up duties for industry mixers

I am excited to get started and sincerely appreciate the chance to be part of this fantastic club!
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