2022-2023 Board of Governors
Established under the Post-secondary Learning Act, the Board manages and operates the Institution within its approved mandate.
Northwestern Polytechnic is a public, board-governed polytechnic operating as a comprehensive community institution under the Post-secondary Learning Act of Alberta. The Institution offers regional learners instruction and support services that are learner-centred and responsive to the lifelong educational needs of full-time and part-time students of diverse, multicultural and Indigenous backgrounds.
Current Board Members
Shawna Miller is an entrepreneur and business‐woman with two decades of experience. As head of a family-based business, Shawna owns and operates Subway Restaurants across Northwestern Alberta, an oilfield service company, and a property investment company.
Shawna began her education at Northwestern Polytechnic before transferring to the University of Alberta to complete her degree in Economics. Upon graduation, Shawna returned to her home community of Grande Prairie to pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
Shawna is a strong community supporter and has volunteered her time on many not‐for‐profit boards including those of the Grande Prairie United Way, Tiny Hands of Hope, Business Link and Alberta Heart and Stroke Foundation. She served on the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors for eight years, including five years on the Executive Committee and two years as Chair. Shawna served as the Board Chair of The Alberta Chamber of Commerce and as a Director on the Canadian Chamber Board.
In recognition of her many accomplishments, she has received the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce 2017 Above and Beyond Award and NWP 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.
Brent grew up in Beaverlodge and attended primary and secondary school in Beaverlodge and Hythe, giving him long established roots within the communities of the west county. Following high school graduation, he attended Northwestern Polytechnic for two years in the University Transfer program. Brent went on to obtain a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He was admitted to the Alberta Bar in 2003.
Brent is a lawyer at Carter Lock & Horrigan, practising primarily corporate and commercial law, advising clients on all aspects of business transactions including mergers and acquisitions, dispositions and reorganizations. He has extensive experience advising on corporate agreements pertaining to the development and ongoing operation of a business. Prior to returning to Grande Prairie in 2015, Brent practiced law in Calgary for 10 years in the areas of securities and corporate finance. He completed his articles with a top tier national law firm and then went on to practice as an associate with a securities boutique and as a partner with a full-service business law firm. Brent has represented both publicly listed corporations and small to mid-sized companies, providing counsel on such matters as private placements, initial public offerings, securities regulation, corporate governance, and general corporate and commercial law.
Brent places a high value on education and understands the importance of NWP to the region. He is excited to be a part of the Institution as it transitions to a degree-granting institution.
Angela began her journey at with Northwestern Polytechnic (formerly GPRC) began as a student in 1994 when I attended an evening course. I returned to the college in 2008 and achieved my diploma in Early Learning and Child Care in 2010. She is currently, Day Care Manager. She oversee fifty-two children in four rooms (2 toddler, 2 preschool) and manage ten full-time educators. As I transition through life, the institution has played an important role, whether through support as a student, staff member, or community member. I have always felt a true sense of pride and belonging in this Institution. I am committed to the success of Northwestern Polytechnic success!
Roy was raised on a small farm in the Worsley area of the North Peace region, and has lived in Fairview for the past 28 years.
After graduating, Roy started working in the seismic business, spending over 25 years in the trade. In 1993 Roy and his family ventured into the purebred Angus business, and he has been active in the cattle industry since that time.
Over the years Roy has been involved with numerous organizations where he has worn many hats. He was a councillor for the MD of Fairview, board member for the Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, and one of the founders of the Peace Country Beef Congress. Roy has also been very involved with local sports, as President of Fairview Minor Hockey and on the board for GPAC for three terms. Roy is a member of the Alberta Métis Association and is involved in the Fairview Local.
Roy is excited to serve on the NWP Board of Governors. He realizes the importance of having a strong post-secondary institution in the Peace Region, and looks forward to contributing to the future successes of NWP.
Dr. Bolton is originally from the Grande Prairie area and is happy to have returned to his hometown to practice as a general surgeon since 2015. He’s been a pioneer in rural surgical and medical education, running the clerkship program here since its inception and championing rural surgical education by partnering with U of A’s general surgical residency program to maintain a rural stream of training (a program he was the first to complete during his residency), also mentoring GP surgeons in the area. He has directed the trauma program locally since his return and in the last couple years took on the chief of general surgery role. Prior to his medical career, he attended GPRC and greatly appreciated several professors and the ability to begin his education locally.
Brooklyn was born and raised in Grande Prairie and plans to stay in the community after she completes her education to purse career opportunities. She spent her younger years playing competitive volleyball and now coaches in her spare time, sharing her passion and knowledge of the sport.
Currently, Brooklyn attends Northwestern Polytechnic and recently completed her Business Administration Diploma – Financial Services Major. She is serving her third term with the Students’ Association Executive Council and is the current President after two years as Vice President Internal. Brooklyn has represented the Students’ Association on Academic Council and hopes to have more representation in her new role. Brooklyn is excited to serve on the NWP Board of Governors to work towards more opportunities for the institution and their students.
Heather has lived near Fairview for most of her life and therefore has the small town atmosphere in her heart and soul. After graduating from Fairview High School, she married a local farmer and settled down on the family farm to raise their four children. During this time, she started a home-based business, which she moved into town and operated for a number of years, and it is still operating in Fairview under new ownership.
In 1982, Heather and her husband John also started a seed cleaning business called Golden Acre Seeds, which they continue to operate today, complementing their expanding fourth-generation family farm.
Over the years, Heather has been involved in numerous organizations, and taken on many different roles, including coaching high school sports for many years. She has more than 25 years of leadership experience with agricultural organizations, most recently with Organic Alberta, and had served eight years on the board of Forage Seed Canada, including three years as the Chair.
Heather and John spent many years traveling with their children during their sports careers, including many trips with the Wolves club and conference sports programs.
Quality education has always been extremely important to Heather, and she is excited to have the opportunity to serve on the NWP Board of Governors and hopes to contribute to the success of the entire institution.
Justin Kohlman joined NWP and returned to his Prairie roots in November 2021.
Since arriving at NWP, Justin has overseen the change from college to polytechnic for Northwestern Polytechnic. NWP is fast becoming known as the most entrepreneurial polytechnic in Canada.
Prior to joining NWP, Justin spent nearly seven years at Coast Mountain College in northwest BC, where he led with progressive responsibility, first as Vice President, Academic, International and Students, and more recently as President and CEO.
Connie completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Alberta in 2000. Her recent academic research interests have been concentrated on scientific literacy, specifically how readers' analyses of media reports of scientific findings affect personal decision making. Since arriving in Grande Prairie in 2001, she has also engaged in numerous community-driven studies designed to facilitate evidence-based best practice. Over her academic career, Connie has received several teaching and research awards, most recently from the Canada Council on Learning and from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. As the principal investigator of the GP-Police and Crisis Team project, she is grateful for the support provided by the research partners and is optimistic that the research findings will have a significant positive impact on services provided to those who experience mental health crises. She is also excited about the number of research opportunities that the GP-PACT project will afford to NWP students.
Connie is a long-standing member of the Sunrise Rotary Club in Grande Prairie, volunteers for Odyssey House, and has served on a number of boards, currently for PACE and the Suicide Prevention and Resource Centre. She has a black belt in Shotokan Karate and hopes to continue training to a second-degree level. During her free time, Connie travels extensively; she hopes to visit every country on her bucket list before she retires.
Andrew grew up and went to School in Edmonton. He held various positions before taking a pre employment course at NWP in 2010. Upon completion Andrew moved to Grimshaw and worked as a Heavy Duty Technician. In 2013 he and his family moved back to the Edmonton area, to a town called Redwater. There Andrew continued his career as a heavy equipment technician and completed his journeyman Red Seal in 2014. Andrew always enjoyed the technical training during his apprenticeship so becoming an instructor was something he always had in mind. In 2018, after a working for various trailer and tractor dealerships and fuel hauling transport companies in Alberta and the Northwest Territories, Andrew moved back to Fairview to start instructing in the Heavy Equipment Program. Andrew is a big supporter of Fairview and the trades and loves to see his student succeed. In 2022 Andrew was appointed as the Chair of the Transportation Trades. He looks forward to serving his student and colleagues as a Board member as Northwester Polytechnic continues along its new strategy and mission.
Lorne Radbourne is a born and raised Grande Prairian who chose to stay in the city and marry, raise his family and pursue his work career goals. He is proud of Grande Prairie and the Peace Region and our potential as a growing, vibrant and resourceful community.
Following high school, Lorne enrolled at Northwestern Polytechnic with the goal of becoming a teacher. At that time NWP was a one-year learning institution, so he completed his Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta. He also completed his Diploma and Masters of Educational Administration at the UofA a number of years later.
Lorne spent his entire 35-year career as an educator with the Grande Prairie Public School District, in various roles including teacher, school administrator and district administrator. Lorne served as Superintendent of Schools for the GPPSD for 11 years, and is described as an effective and accomplished educator and leader.
Following his retirement as an educator, Lorne moved on to his second career as a dedicated and influential Grande Prairie City Councillor. He was very popular during the three terms he served on Council, noted especially for asking the right questions, understanding community issues, listening with an open mind, building relationships, doing his homework, and being fiscally responsible.
Lorne’s service to community extends to his current volunteer involvements as a member of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie, Board member of the GPPSD Education Foundation, Board member of the Hockey Alberta Foundation and as a Trustee of St. Paul’s United Church.
Lorne is both excited and pleased to continue his service to community as a public member of the NWP Board of Governors.
Kevin Szakacs is a long-time Grande Prairie resident and entrepreneur. He has been the owner and operator of Hi-Tech Business Systems in Grande Prairie since 1987, and has played a role in numerous other local businesses, including President of Signature Land Corp.
Kevin has strong ties to the local business community and credits much of his success to lessons he learned from the city’s founding business leaders. He believes in a solid education and a passion for learning, which has led him to his role on the NWP Board of Governors. Kevin loves the sense of community Grande Prairie is known for and wants to do his part to ensure our youth can get a quality education, right here at home.
Kevin moved to Grande Prairie in the early 1980’s and soon after met his wife Wendy. They have been married for over 35-years and have three adult children. Together the couple has established the Szakacs Family Fund through the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. This fund is a Community Impact Fund and serves to support the current areas of need within the community.
Lydell was born and raised in the Grande Prairie area, having lived in either Grande Prairie or La Glace his entire life. After graduating high school Lydell attended Northwestern Polytechnic, receiving his Business Administration diploma in 1998 and then his Bachelor of Administration (Management) from Athabasca University, collaborative with NWP, in December 1999. He began articling with Fletcher Mudryk LLP, Chartered Accountants in January 2000, and achieved his Chartered Accountant designation in January 2003, earning the bronze medal in Alberta on the Uniform Final Examination.
After becoming a partner with Fletcher Mudryk in 2006, Lydell received the Chartered Accountants Early Achievement Award due to his volunteer efforts, particularly the 2004 Royal Bank Cup hosted by the Grande Prairie Storm. This award is given to CAs early in their career who have rendered exceptional service to the profession or whose achievements in their careers or in the community have earned them distinction and brought honour to the profession.
During his time at Fletcher Mudryk, Lydell has championed NWP through hiring accounting graduates, as well as supporting the Institution overall. Fletcher Mudryk is currently the title sponsor of the Northwestern Classic Golf Tournament, providing both financial support as well as staff volunteers for the event. Lydell is proud to have been a part of this event, one of the Institution's largest annual fundraisers, since 2000.
Lydell joined the NWP Board of Governors in August 2019, in part due to his history there, but also in conjunction with part of Fletcher Mudryk’s overall vision, to strive for excellence for our community. Lydell wants to give back his financial expertise, which is rooted in his initial training at NWP.
Lydell takes a logical and low risk approach to decision making, wanting to be fully informed prior to taking action while at the same time not being paralyzed by inaction. He believes strongly in empowering administration to do their jobs well, while at the same time establishing firm guard-rails to ensure strong stewardship over the assets and operations of any organization he deals with and it will be no different at NWP.
Lydell and his wife Trish have three children, Marek, Melayna and Troy. Lydell enjoys playing golf, traveling, cooking and spending time with friends and family.
Ron Wiebe was raised on a farm/ trucking operation near La Crete Alberta, attending school in that community. Ron grew up with a passion for trucking and at the age of 20 he started Wiebe Transport with his father and brothers. Ron has been a lifelong entrepreneur and has been involved in several successful start-up businesses, spending his entire career in the transportation industry.
In 1993 Ron and his wife Mary, along with their three children moved to Grande Prairie to expand their business. Grande Prairie has been a great place to raise their family.
Over the years Ron has served on a number of organizations in roles such as an elected councillor in the MD of Mackenzie, and a board member of the Northwest Corridor Development Corp. In addition to these, he has served on the Grande Prairie Christian School Board, MCC Alberta Board, and WPC Church Board.
Ron is excited to serve on the NWP Board of Governors, and to work together to ensure NWP remains a viable institution that continues to offer students an excellent post-secondary education, in line with the needs of our region and beyond.
The Northwestern Polytechnic Board of Governors operates and functions in accordance with the following policies.
|Mandate and Roles Document|
|Board of Governors Bylaws|
|Board of Governors Governance Policies|
|Post-Secondary Learning Act|
|Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act|
Please address all correspondence for any board member to:
|Board of Governors|
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