Members

Alberta's Post Secondary Learning Act establishes the Board’s membership which consists of a Chair selected from among the Public members, members from the external community (known as External or Public Members), members of the academic staff (nominated by GFC and AUArts FA respectively), members of the student body (nominated by the AUArts SA) and a member of the non-academic staff union (nominated by AUPE). AUArts elected and appointed members are known as Internal Members of the Board of Governors.

Carol Ryder, Board Chair & External Governor, is the AUArts Board of Governors Chair for a second term. Ms. Ryder has worked extensively in private enterprise, not for profit and with all three levels of government. She worked extensively with the Millennium Bureau of Canada and organizations around the world such as Greenwich 2000 to profile Calgary to Canada and the world.  Ms. Ryder is the current chair of the Board of Governors of Alberta University of the Arts. Her leadership in post-secondary education include being past chair of the Council of Chairs for the Alberta Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes, past chair of the Board of Governors of Bow Valley College, member of the Bow Valley College’s Art Acquisition and Collection Committee, member of Campus Alberta and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges. She served as a board member of the Alberta’s Promise – Premier’s Advisory Committee and was instrumental in bringing Calgary’s arts community together under one organization, Contemporary Calgary Arts Society.

She was awarded the Premier’s Leadership Award for outstanding leadership and volunteer service, as well as the Lighthouse Award from the Calgary Board of Education for outstanding community service. She is a recipient of the 2005 Alberta Centennial Medal in recognition of her community leadership. Bow Valley College bestowed their Distinguished Citizen’s Award for Leadership and Community Service for her service to the college and Albertans. She was the recipient of a 2012 Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her years of service to Alberta and Canada. She resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Larry Clausen, Board Vice-Chair & External Governor,  is an entrepreneur and civic leader, Mr. Larry Clausen has considerable experience in the arts, board governance and management. Mr. Clausen is currently an Executive Vice President with Cohn & Wolfe/West, which specializes in reputation and issues management, crisis communication, client consultation, and strategic planning. Prior to his current role, where he also served as Vice President and Managing Partner, and managed his own communications consulting firm for 18 years.

He has been an active member of Alberta’s arts community as chair and member of the Alberta Ballet and as a member of the Honen piano competition. A resident of Calgary, Mr. Clausen was a key contributor to the Calgary Downtown Association, chaired the Bill Brooks Prostate Cancer Benefit and is a board member of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.

A. Stewart Hanlon, External Governor, retired from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer with Gibson Energy Inc. in 2017. In his 26-year tenure with Gibson Energy, he filled senior roles in finance, business development and operations culminating within his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer in April 2009. He is the Chair of the Board of Questor Technologies Inc. and also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Hammerhead Resources Inc. He is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council for the Edwards School of Business with the University of Saskatchewan, as well as a member of the Chapter Advisory Board of the Children's Wish Foundation for Alberta and the Northwest Territories. He also serves as a member of the Finance Committee with the United Way of Calgary and Area.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants in both Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Competencies required for members of The Board of Governors of Alberta University of the Arts include: leadership, governance, finance, human resources, legal, risk management and/or strategic planning. Stewart Hanlon was directly recruited and appointed on the basis of meeting the competencies, skills and attributes as described above.

Amanda Hu, External Governor, leads a consulting firm specializing in medical support work and patient advocacy. Her diverse previous experience includes project management in medical technology at Vivametrica Ltd, assistant director at the Stride Art Gallery Association and in post-secondary education in technology support at the University of Calgary. She

A long-time volunteer in the arts community, she previously served as president of the Board of Directors at the Quickdraw Animation Society and Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (with Distinction) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Studies (with Distinction) from the University of Calgary. She resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Ashif Merani, External Governor, is a Calgary lawyer who specializes in corporate, commercial and securities law. He provides legal services on merger and acquisitions transactions, capital pool listings, asset and share purchase and sale transactions, conventional bank financings and structured real estate acquisition and development transactions.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary. He also earned his Cinema, Television, Stage and Radio Arts from SAIT.

Competencies required for members of The Board of Governors of Alberta University of the Arts include: leadership, governance, finance, human resources, legal, risk management and/or strategic planning. Ashif Merani was directly recruited and appointed on the basis of meeting the competencies, skills and attributes as described above.

James Stanford O.C, External Governor, was reappointed for a three year term to the Board of Governors of Alberta University of the Arts in December, 2016. He is the President of Stanford Resource Management Inc. and a retired president, chief executive officer and director of Petro-Canada. He is also a past chairman and director of Nova Chemicals Corporation and OPTI Canada Limited and has served as a director on the boards of EnCana Corporation, Inco Limited, Fortis Inc. and Kinder Morgan Inc. Mr. Stanford is actively engaged in the community and has served as a governor of the University of Alberta, chair and director of the Calgary Philharmonic Society and as director of the Mount Royal College Foundation. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2004 and he is the recipient of numerous accolades including the 125th Anniversary of Confederation Medal and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

He holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Alberta and Concordia University and Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering and mining from Concordia University. He resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Natasha Pashak, External Governor, was reappointed for a three-year term to the Board of Governors of Alberta University of the Arts in January 2017. She is a director of the Flanagan Foundation, the chair of the Nominating Committee of the Contemporary Calgary Arts Society, and previously served on the Calgary Subdivision and Development Appeal Board.

She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Alberta University of the Arts and a Master of Arts from Concordia University in Montreal. She resides in Calgary, Alberta.

Patti Dibski, External Governor, is the owner of Gibson Fine Art, a contemporary art gallery, and partner at Interior Living, a boutique furniture & design store. An active Calgarian, Patti is well connected in the city's social, business, political, arts and recreation communities. She has involved herself in a variety of ways, including Leadership Calgary as a participant, Calgary Arts Development Authority as a director, Art a la Carte as the board chair, The Ranchmen's Club as a committee chair, several children's sports and school groups as a parent volunteer, and a numerous not-for-profit organizations as a fundraiser.

Reid Cummings, External Governor, has a lifelong dedication to leadership, client service and business process has led Mr. Reid Cummings to seek an appointment to the board of directors of Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts). Mr. Cummings has 25 years professional experience with a focus on Finance and Audit.  He is currently a Director within Encana Corporation’s Internal Audit function where he leads Corporate Internal Audit and training related to business code of conduct, conflict of interest, and anti-fraud. Furthermore, he has helped establish teams and structure processes for Encana’s business units, while implementing several cross-division initiatives to enhance company services, project management, and governance. Mr. Cummings’ experience also includes a Senior Manager position with PwC LLP.

Spilios Kousinioris, External Governor, is the Vice President, Corporate Development with Inter Pipeline. Prior he held the position of Senior Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions with Ernst & Young and was previously an advisor for the Royal Bank of Canada in both oil and gas commercial banking and strategic finance.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Calgary, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Toronto and is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder.

Competencies required for members of The Board of Governors of Alberta University of the Arts include: leadership, governance, finance, human resources, legal, risk management and/or strategic planning. Spil Kousinioris was directly recruited and appointed on the basis of meeting the competencies, skills and attributes as described above.

Dr. Cassandra Dam, Faculty Representative & Internal Governor, is a sessional instructor in the School of Critical and Creative Studies teaching art histories, visual culture and visual representations of death. She is an interdisciplinary researcher examining artistic practices in non-artistic environments with a focus on photography and hermeneutic aesthetics.

She completed her Ph.D. in Communications and Culture and her Masters of Studies in Art History and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Fine Art and Classics from the University of Guelph.

Iain Howe, Staff Representative & Internal Governor, is a Business Process Analyst with Alberta University of the Arts. For five years, he has worked in the Student Affairs department of the Office of the Registrar, where his focus has been on the administration of the Banner Student Information System. Prior to this, his career focused on digital storytelling, including game design, research and screenplay writing for a variety of major industry companies including Sony, Hasbro and Rage Games.

Bobby Yin, Student Representative & Internal Governor,  is the Master of Fine Arts student representative to Alberta University of the Arts' (AUArts) Graduate Standing Committee and President's Students Advisory Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in glass from the University of Washington. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts degree in Craft Media at AUArts.