Board of Directors
Sangram S Hansra
Sangram Hansra is a lawyer at Stringam LLP. He was born and raised in Fort McMurray. After graduating from Westwood High School, he attended the University of Alberta where received his Bachelors of Science and Juris Doctor. After his time at the University of Alberta, Sangram attended the prestigious Melbourne Law School where he obtained his Masters in Law.
Prior to returning back to Fort McMurray his previous work experienced included working at a Major Regional Law Firm in Edmonton and the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General.
Sangram has also sat on the University of Alberta’s Board of Governors where he was a member of the Finance and Property Committee as well as the University Relations Committee. He is also currently a Board Member of the Wood Buffalo Community Foundation. [2022-2024]
Crystal Young is the President & CEO of the McKay Métis Group. As a proud member of the Qalipu First Nation Band in Newfoundland, Crystal has leveraged energy and business savvy into a successful career with ever-increasing responsibility and a proven record of success in and around the Alberta oilsands.
Having earned a bachelor's degree from St. Mary's University, Crystal was attracted to Alberta by its vibrant communities and endless opportunities. She moved to northern Alberta to accept her first role as an administrator within the energy industry. It wasn't long before she began moving through the ranks and working with various Indigenous companies.
Joining the McKay Métis Group in 2016, Crystal successfully stewarded, deepened, and expanded the Group's business partnerships. Her strong acumen, a keen eye for opportunity, and natural-born leadership skills led the McKay Métis Group board of directors to offer her the position of President & CEO in the fall of 2020.
Since then, Crystal has led the rapid growth and diversification of the Group. Treating the business like her own, she brings an entrepreneurial spirit to everything she does and has had a significant impact on the Group, its people, culture and delivery to their clients. Under her leadership, the Group has inked many business partnerships and acquisitions, resulting in significant revenue expansion and job creation. The McKay Métis Group is being hailed as one of Alberta's largest and fastest-growing Indigenous enterprises.
No stranger to the public eye, Crystal has made numerous appearances on BNN and participated in business panels with MLT Aikens law and the National Post.
Graham Ure is currently the Director of the East Tank Farm Asset Management for Suncor Energy. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and moved to Fort McMurray in 2003 to join Suncor. Since that time has held several roles of increasing responsibility in Engineering, Operations Management, Health and Safety and Supply Chain Management.
Prior to moving to Fort McMurray Graham grew up on a small family farm in central Alberta where is love for the outdoors began. He currently enjoys spending as much time outside as possible in the many activities available in Fort McMurray, from golfing in the summer and snowmobiling in the winter, with his wife and two small boys. He also enjoys spending time with his brother, who also reside in Fort McMurray and his family (wife and 3 young children).
In addition to volunteering with some smaller local groups Graham has held formal volunteer positions with the Coalition for a safer 63/881 (2015-2018, Director and Vice-Chair) and Safe Communities Wood Buffalo (2019-2022). [2021-2023]
Denean Robinson, Vice President of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Fort McMurray Airport Authority (FMAA) has been influencing business performance beyond the numbers for more than 20 years.
Denean joined FMAA in 2017 where she oversees enterprise risk management, financial controls and commercial agreements with 70+ businesses operating at the Fort McMurray International Airport (YMM) or on airport lands.
As CFO, Denean has been instrumental in pivoting the FMAA towards sustainable business operations, identifying process improvements, cost efficiencies and revenue diversification opportunities.
Prior to the FMAA, Denean was Senior Manager with MNP LLP where she provided accounting and auditing expertise to a diverse client base. As a trusted advisor, Denean used her gift of fiscal storytelling to guide businesses towards long-term financial stability.
Denean has held various leadership roles with large accounting firms and was seconded to a commercial real estate company and a large east coast oil company to assist with International Financial Reporting Standards Conversion Projects. Denean was also named to Grant Thornton’s 2012 Task Force on Quality and Efficiency.
Denean is currently a non-voting board director and Treasurer of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Canadian Airports Council Finance Committee. She previously held Treasury roles with a United Way Agency of Saint John and with various Academic Fundraising Committees.
Denean is a Chartered Accountant and is currently enrolled in the Airport Management Professional Accreditation Programme through Airports Council International - International Civil Aviation Organization.
Jeff has been a resident of Wood Buffalo since he moved to Fort McMurray with his family in 2007. Originally hired to establish a new Economic Development office for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Jeff has spent the past thirteen years working in the region’s business community. During his tenure at the Municipality, Jeff successfully oversaw a number of critical and complex projects including the completion of the first Wood Buffalo Economic Development Strategy, design of the award-winning BIG Wood Buffalo branding campaign, development of the Business Attraction and Retention Strategy and the completion of economic development plans for each of the region's rural hamlets.
In 2015 Jeff was hired by Shell Canada to manage its External Relations Department at Albian Sands. In that role he was responsible for all elements of communications, stakeholder relations, business development and Indigenous consultation. When Shell divested its oil sands assets in 2017, Jeff transitioned to his current role at Canadian Natural Resources Limited where he leads Business Development and Stakeholder Relations activities for the company’s mining operations and helps identify opportunities for local businesses to be better engaged in the oil sands supply chain.
Beyond his professional endeavours, Jeff has also been active in the business community through his volunteer work. He has held numerous volunteer roles in the community including extended periods as a Director of both Community Futures Wood Buffalo and the Fort McMurray Tourism Association. In addition, he successfully represented Wood Buffalo at the Provincial level through his election to the Board of Directors of Economic Developers Alberta, and served as the President of the organization in 2014/2015. Given his passion for volunteering Jeff was a natural choice for the role of Volunteer Chairperson for the 2018 Wood Buffalo Alberta Winter Games.[2022-2024]
With over 40 years of experience in design, project and contract management, Gene brings forth his expertise in contracts, insurance, planning & development, innovating and improving policies within the organization. Gene is the chairman for two condominium associations being River Park Glen & the Barrington, supporting budgets, finance and insurance while giving guidance to reserve funds and property upkeep. Gene joined with the Fort McMurray Public School board Audit Committee last year and provides his support to their financial, operational and risk management as per their mandate
Gene came to Fort McMurray in 1976 to work on the Syncrude plant with Bechtel Canada and stayed ever since investing into the industries and community. He is married, has two grown children and 5 grandchildren. Within his busy schedule finds time to travel and snowboard in the winter and play tennis when he can through the summer months. He loves hospitality and misses that part of community.[2021-2023]
Nayef Mahgoub, P. Eng., MBA, has been living and working in Fort McMurray for the past 12 years. After his 6 years with Suncor Energy, with his last role as an Acting Director, Nayef founded his own engineering firm in Fort McMurray and he is now the Managing Director of Akron Engineering.
Nayef is an active volunteer, mentor and leader in the community, as he is a leader with RMWB’s Emergency Social Services (ESS), a board member with the RMWB’s Assessment Review Board (ARB) and Subdivision Development & Appeal Board (SDAB), a volunteer with Red Cross Canada, a board member with Wood Buffalo Community Foundation, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Food Bank, Girls Inc, and the president of the Fort McMurray Chapter of PEMAC Asset Management Association of Canada [2022-2024]
Mike Lambert is the Owner and Operator of East Village Pub + Eatery and East Village Liquor Store. He founded both companies in 2014 and is proud to be celebrating 8 years in business this year. One business achievement that Mike is very proud of is having East Village Pub + Eatery awarded Business of the Year in 2017 at The Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
Mike was born and raised in Fort McMurray and has over 25 years experience in the restaurant sector within the community. Mike graduated from Composite High School in 2003 and went on to get his Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge. At the University of Lethbridge, Mike was a representative of the University in an annual business competition where the top 12 universities in Western Canada come together to compete in an academic business case competition.
Giving back to his community has always been a priority for Mike. Over the past 8 years, through the efforts of his team and many volunteers, East Village Pub + Eatery has been able to help raise over $500,000 for charities, organizations, and people within the community. One of the fundraisers that Mike looks forward to being apart of every year is the Rooftop Campout organized by the Fort McMurray Fire Fighter’s Association. Mike is passionate about giving back to the community through involvement as a board and committee member within different organizations. Mike is currently a board member of the Regional Recreation Corporation. Mike is a mentor in the mentoring program started and operated by Startup YMM. He was asked by Economic Development Wood Buffalo to be a representative of the restaurant sector on their Business Recovery Task Force Committee in 2020. This committee was created to help give recommendations to council on what support the Fort McMurray business community needed to help deal with the impact of Covid-19.
Mike is passionate about personal and business development. One component of this development is his membership in the Edmonton Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization. This is a global organization that helps it’s members to achieve their full potential in personal and business life through life-enhancing connections, shared experience, and collaborative learning. He is also an avid reader. The current book that’s helping to develop Mike’s leadership skills and impacting the way he runs his businesses is Multipliers by Liz Wiseman. Two of his favorite book recommendations would be The E-Myth by Michael Gerber and Leadership and Self Deception by the Arbinger Institute.
C.J. Quinton is the Director of Operations at GardaWorld, serving the Northern Division. Having moved to Fort McMurray when he was a child, C.J. has lived in the Wood Buffalo region for nearly 40 years.
A veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, C.J.’s career in the security field began during his service as a reconnaissance squadron soldier with the Royal Canadian Dragoons. His passion and penchant for security would lead C.J. through an impressive climb up the corporate ladder.
Prior to joining Garda World in 2019, C.J. held multiple positions during his eight-year tenure with TAWS Security Ltd. Hired as the Operations Manager, C.J. quickly worked his way up to Chief Operating Officer. During this time, C.J. was appointed Director of Private Security Service for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) during the 2016 Horseshoe River Wildfire. He served Fort McMurray in this position for the duration of the fire and extensive recovery period and oversaw the operations of five different security companies and over 260 security professionals.
Throughout his career, C.J. has received numerous accolades for his work, including multiple commendations during his military career. For his work throughout the Horseshoe River Wildfire, he was recognized as “A champion of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo” at the Mayor and Regional Council Toast of Champions.
Kassondra Meyer was born and raised in Fox Valley, Saskatchewan, a small, vibrant farming community of approximately 500 people. It was there that her strong values for community building and engagement were instilled by hard-working, community minded people who were invested in and possessed immeasurable pride in the sustainability of their community. It was a natural progression for Kassondra to develop business acumen and an entrepreneurial spirit growing up surrounded by both immediate and extended family members who have a well-established presence within the community and surrounding territory for their extensive entrepreneurship and success in a variety of industries including Oil and Gas, Retail, and Service businesses.
Kassondra’s upbringing and humanitarian nature have shaped her into an articulate, dynamic, capable and caring young woman whose drive and determination have motivated her to help others. Her altruism is evidenced by her pursuit and achievement of both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Paramedicine & Nursing, and her work with the Southern Alberta Community Living Association (SACLA), and experience in her youth as a community recreation center lifeguard. Throughout these endeavors, her metric was, and continues to be, to provide top notch care with a focus on advocacy ensuring that those she serves are well taken care of and heard. In addition to these accomplishments, she has achieved two lifelong dreams. In 2016, she became the proud mother of a beautiful and spirited daughter whom she loves deeply and acknowledges helps to keep her grounded. Most recently, she ventured into retail opening a new, up-and-coming boutique named Rose & Pearl Boutique Inc. in Fort McMurray.
As the Founder and CEO of Rose & Pearl Boutique Inc., Kassondra is passionate and excited about the endless possibilities for growth and development for small businesses in Fort McMurray. She believes that developing a business is not about the title of “business owner”, but about the potential to build networks and create a niche in the market that provides Canadian goods and services, supports growth and development of other businesses and entrepreneurs and helps to build a stronger economy by enhancing businesses.
As an individual who is willing to invest in her community during a global pandemic and economic downturn, she sees and believes in the resiliency of the people in the Wood Buffalo Region and the strength of their collective efforts to achieve and sustain economic growth and prosperity. Her mission is to build, support and nurture relationships with her customers, Canadian producers, other small businesses and her local business community as demonstrated in Rose & Pearl Boutique Inc.’s company pillars: Support Small Business, Support Women Entrepreneurs, and Support Canadian Business. She aspires to use her business to complement her passion for helping others by offering unique items, many of which come from other small businesses, and to connect with other like-minded people who are willing to use their skills and resources for the common goals of creating a stronger business community and building toward a brighter future.
When Kassie is not working at her boutique or nursing, she is likely boating with her family, grilling on the Traeger, gardening, reading or participating in other various community activities.
A recovering corporate banker (soul re-implantation forthcoming), Ben is a self-professed business nerd, passionate about building relationships and communities.
In his spare time, Ben seeks to lend his time to people and organizations that align with his community based focus and that seek to emphasize compassion, courage and integrity in all that they do. In turn, he is a steadfast proponent of effective governance as the foundation upon which organizations can most effectively express their values and achieve success.
Ben was born in New Zealand to British parents and moved to Canada at an early age and is not to blame for the confused nature of his accent. When not working and volunteering his time, he enjoys cycling, reading, movies, travel, eating, and football (both kinds).
As Managing Partner of The Agency Fort McMurray, Paige Cyr leads with strength, tenacity and an unwavering commitment to achieving her clients’ real estate goals. In addition to her bold negotiation tactics, 24/7 availability and exceptional client service, Paige is backed by a far-reaching local network—which comprises past clients, industry professionals and entrepreneurs. Whether serving buyers, sellers or investors, Paige has the contacts, knowledge and tools to successfully guide clients through their real estate journey.
An experienced real estate investor and home renovator, Paige and her husband Corey —who serves as fellow managing partner of The Agency Fort McMurray—have been featured on HGTV’s Battle on the Beach competition series.
As an active member of the local community, locals recognize Paige as an honest and caring neighbour and has been voted Fort McMurray's Favourite Realtor 2022 + 2023. As a member of the Wood Buffalo Animal Rescue Committee and local activist for many other non-for-profits, Paige’s passion and eagerness to enrich Fort McMurray shine through her exemplary client service, long-lasting relationships and steady stream of referral business.
When it comes to a person who has truly explored different industries and lived a life full of excitement and challenges, one name stands out: Will Clarke. This family guy has left no stone unturned as he ventured into various fields, showcasing his versatility and determination. From military service to running a small Marketing Agency, and now as a franchisee of two M&M locations, Will's journey is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Will's diverse background begins with his time in the military. The military life instilled in him discipline, leadership skills and a strong work ethic. It provided a solid foundation for his future endeavors, teaching him the value of perseverance and the ability to adapt to any situation.
Following his military service, Will explored the world of aircraft mechanics. The intricate machinery and the thrill of being responsible for the safety of the aircraft fascinated him. However, his thirst for knowledge and new experiences led him to transition into the role of a land surveyor. This change allowed him to explore the great outdoors while utilizing his technical skills.
Will's journey didn't stop there. He found himself drawn to the world of power engineering, where he delved into the complexities of managing and maintaining power systems. HIs determination to continuously challenge himself led to yet another unexpected venture: a vending machine business. Will also stepped into the realm of radio and billboard sales honing his communications and negotiation skills. He also embarked in an adventure with heavy equipment sales. Will's ability to connect with people and understand their needs made him a successful heavy equipment salesman, further adding to his impressive portfolio.
Currently, Will is a franchisee of two M&M locations. With his natural affinity for business and his genuine love for people, Will continues to make a positive impact on the communities he serves. Will's journey is a testament to the power of curiosity, resilience and embracing opportunities. He has learned that perspective is acquired through experience and scarping your knees. His willingness to venture into uncharted territories has shaped him into the adaptable and insightful individual he is today. So here's to Will Clarke - the fearless explorer, the dedicated family man and the embodiment of someone who never shies away from embracing the unknown.
Chris Wruck was born and raised on a beef farm west of Edmonton, and spent most of his life in rural Alberta and small towns, graduating from Stony Plain in 2002. Chris pursued a career in culinary arts, and after working as a camp caterer switched into oil and gas exploration on the drilling rigs after 3 years in the culinary field.
After his initial 4 years across western Canada, he accepted the offer to become a Canadian based United States rotator and spent the next 5 years across Northwest and Northeast United States, working across 9 states and exploring another 30 on his days off, discovering small town America. All while mentoring new teammates and advancing his career upward.
Chris’ career path then shifted into the world of sales in the waterworks distribution industry for 3.5 years in Edmonton, seeking more stability. During this time, he focused on learning purchasing, procurement, sales and project management. The opportunity was put forward by his employer to learn to manage and grow a small branch in Lloydminster (Emco Waterworks), to where he took residence in 2015. While becoming engaged in the community and learning all about the region he was successful in his role and was offered an opportunity to move up to Fort McMurray in March 2017.
Upon arrival he took over a larger location (Emco Waterworks) and was an intricate part in the municipal rebuild after the 2016 wildfire in the underground rehabilitation focusing on leading the team and growing the business. During his next 6 years he became engaged in multiple nonprofits and volunteer roles to which he became engaged in the community and grew as a member. His passion to support the RMWB continued, and he became a common face at fundraisers, community events and opportunities to get involved.
2023 came along and he moved into the role of Account Manager at Clean Harbors with one of his primary focuses being community engagement and environmental services within the region. Chris still spends a lot of time engaged in fundraisers, support projects, networking and volunteering with non-profits and other various campaigns. He is often found, in his spare time, on the golf course, or out and about enjoying the many viewpoints of the region. He has coached minor hockey, while having no children, as well as been a foster/member of the Wood Buffalo Animal Rescue and is in the early stages of becoming a Shriner. Added to the various groups he is a part of, he is also an advocate for local business support and wanting to find ways to help small business succeed in the region.
He is an advocate for utilization of social media for small business and trying to engage small private business in networking events and exposing their offerings to people who may be unaware. The passion he has for community spirit, small town attitude and wanting to be involved has found him a home in the region and makes Fort McMurray a place he is proud to call home. Added to the uniqueness of the region and the world of opportunity, he speaks often of how great the community is as well as the history of the region and why it is arguably one of the greatest places around, despite the cold winters.