The Verna J Kirkness Education Foundation Board of Directors

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    Karen McMahon

    Board Member

    Karen McMahon is a Human Resources Professional who has 9 years of post-secondary education from 4 different programs including a Bachelor of Business from Laurentian University. She is Dene from Deninu K’ue First Nation in Northwest Territories, but grew up just north of Toronto in Ontario.

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    Annemieke Farenhorst

    Board Member

    Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst is a Professor of Soil Science and the Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Univ. Manitoba.

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    Ron Woznow

    Executive Director

    Dr. Ron Woznow is a resident of Powell River, British Columbia. He founded the Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation in 2008 along with Susan O’Brien. He has served in executive positions in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

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    Tony Williams


    Mr. Williams is an alumni of the U of M Faculty of Science where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Mathematics. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. He is a founder and former president of PBI Actuarial Consultants, Ltd.

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    Tyson MacGillivray


    Mr. MacGillivray is a resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He received his BSc. from St. Francis Xavier University in 1996. Tyson is the Area 3 Superintendent of the Frontier School Division. Prior to this, he was a teacher, vice-principal and a principal in the Shamattawa Education Authority.

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    Patrick Lauzon

    Vice President

    Mr. Lauzon is a resident of White Rock, British Columbia. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from UBC in 1978 and did advanced studies at Simon Fraser University. From 1981 to 2010 he held a range of positions in Western Canada.

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    Morgan Laboucan

    Board Member

    Morgan attended the program as a grade 11 student in 2016 and is now in 3rd year Philosophy at the University of Calgary with a goal to study Law. Joining the Board of Directors in October 2019, Morgan brings an important student perspective to the board and will assist in increasing our social media presence and help better connect program alumni .

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    DeDe DeRose

    Board Member

    DeDe was British Columbia’s first Superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement, and is a prominent advocate for Aboriginal student success. Born in Williams Lake to a Secwepempc family and as a member of the Esketemc First Nation, DeRose graduated from UBC’s Indigenous Teacher’s Education Program (NITEP) with a Bachelor of Education in 1981.

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    Verna J. Kirkness

    Honorary Chair

    A lifelong advocate of Indigenous education, Verna Kirkness created new learning opportunities for Canada’s Indigenous people through her work as a teacher, counselor, consultant and professor.

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    Gerry Brach

    Board Member

    Gerry graduated from U.B.C. in 1990, with a M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology. He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who has worked extensively as a school and private clinical counsellor.


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Increasing the number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students graduating from science and engineering programs in Canada

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