Meet Your Board

President | Dr. Tanya Pollard, 2018-20

Dr. Tanya Pollard is from Westlock, Alberta, where she lives with her darling husband Dan, their 5 adopted children, 2 dogs, 3 cats and 2 frogs. She loves to garden, go back-country camping and is an accomplished seamstress. Tanya grew up travelling the world, and has called Malta, Ireland, United States, Qatar and Italy home, but she always manages to find her way back to Canada. She holds degrees from Harvard University, Simon Fraser University and the University of Alberta in Criminology, Education and Family Studies. Tanya is an active homeschooling parent and a strong advocate for child-centered education. She is the Primary for Earth Child Educational Consulting- providing customised educational supports for children to meet their academic goals. Tanya has been connected to libraries from the time she learned to read. She visits libraries in every destination she travels and is actively involved in the library community in Alberta. She is currently the chair of the Westlock Intermunicipal Library Board and has been in that position for the last 9 years. Tanya has represented Area 2- Yellowhead, on the ALTA board of directors for the past 4 years. She has been the ALC Planning Committee Co-Chair for the past three years, working to bring excellent conference materials forward for trustees. As a member of the ALTA board, she has presented trustee learning sessions at Yellowhead, Peace, and Northern Lights regional conferences and taken time to assist libraries around the province with their board governance issues. She was on the planning committee for the 2018 ALTA and PLSB sponsored HR symposium. At home in Westlock, when she is not advocating for libraries or chasing puppies and children around the yard, she can be found volunteering at the food bank, gardening at the community garden, serving on the FCSS board as Vice Chair or coaching soccer for the Westlock Soccer Association.


Area 1 (Peace) | Brenda Kerr, 2018-19

Brenda Kerr is a wife and a mother of two great men. Brenda and her husband Steve have dedicated years to volunteering in the community, coaching baseball, hockey and football and have been part of Manning and Peace District since 1975. They have always been a strong supporter for children, youth and families and continue to be actively involved in many community events and committees. They are vestry members of St. John's United Anglican Church. Brenda was elected to Manning Municipal Council from 2007 – 2017, and has served on Manning Board of Trade, Intermunicipal Development Board, Municipal Planning Commission, Municipal Assessment Board, Dr. Retention Advisory Liaison, Mighty Peace Tourism, NPH Board, Disaster Services, Citizen on Patrol, Manning Library Board and Peace Library System. Brenda believes in open honest dialogue and feels that her enthusiasm will be an effective and collective voice for ALTA and looks forward to supporting this advocacy.


Alternate: PENDING!

Area 2 (Yellowhead) | Dr. Tanya Pollard, 2018-20


Alternate: Joycelyn Pelkey

Area 3 (Parkland) | Bob Green, 2017-19

I have lived in Alberta for the past 40 years, and have been in Carstairs since 1996. I have retired from a 38-year career in the airline industry, where I worked in many different areas, mostly in the customer service area, and the sales area. I am in my third term as a town of Carstairs councillor, and I have been on the board of the Carstairs Public Library for the past 5 years. I am also a current executive committee member sitting on the board of the Parkland Regional Library. I am also involved in a number of other community and charitable organizations. At present, I am the president of the Friends of Alberta Junior Hockey Society, a non-profit organization whose goal is to financially assist young athletes with scholarships to continue to play hockey at a competitive level, yet pursue their education at the post-secondary level.


Alternate: Jane Skocdopole

Vice-President/Area 4 (Marigold) | Lennox Gomes, 2018-20

Lennox has been serving as a member on the Chestermere Public Library board since 2010 and as the Vice-Chairman since 2016. He has also been serving as the Marigold representative for the Chestermere Public Library since 2015. He has been working as a Field Service Manager at Canon Canada Inc. out of the Calgary office since 2009. His day-day activities include handling a team of technicians and sales representatives to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction. He has undergone various training on organizing and conducting meetings, dealing with irate customers and handling escalations. He practices all these on a daily basis in his current role at Canon as well as at the Library Board. He is a certified Electrical Engineer besides being certified in various fields in IT. He is also certified in Business Management and currently certifying in Lean Six Sigma optimization. He would bring a rich experience of serving others, having volunteered in different capacities at the local Library, Recreation Centre, Country Fair, Citizens on Patrol, Agricultural Society, etc. He is great at organizing things, from meetings to events to fun activities for volunteers and teams. Lastly, he would bring a different perspective to things, being born & brought up in Goa, India. Then having worked in diverse places like Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania. Before finally moving to Canada in 2004 & living and working in different cities like Toronto, Calgary and now Chestermere. Lennox is currently a resident of Chestermere, Alberta since October, 2009.


Alternate: Geoff Ball

Area 5 (Chinook Arch) | Vic Mensch, 2017-19

I am a teacher by profession and am currently employed with Alberta Distance Learning Centre where I am the English Department head. I have been involved with the library world for many years; first of all as the Council representative to the Coaldale Public Library and was in that position for a number of years. I was the chair of the Coaldale Public Library and have served terms as President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of ALTA. I have also been involved in Chinook Arch Regional Library System for many years in a variety of postions such as Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer. Not all at the same time but at different points in my career. I am currently in my second term on the Lethbridge Public Library Board and I am serving as chair of that board. I live in Lethbridge and have lived in that area for most of my life.


Alternate: Doug Logan

Area 6 (Shortgrass) | Ernest Mudie, 2018-20

I'm 68, married, 6 children, and a farmer/rancher in the Elkwater area of Cypress County. Growing up in a rural setting, books and library service were very important to me and still are. Joining the ALTA board gives me the best opportunity to promote and ensure library services stay strong in rural and urban Alberta. I'm the vice chair of Shortgrass Library Board, the founding chair of Cypress County Library Board, a volunteer on Cypress County fire service Elkwater and Onefour departments, Cypress County councillor second term, President of a grazing association and I volunteer with a number of other organizations.


Alternate: Position now open! Apply here.

Area 7 (Metro Edmonton), Treasurer for ALTA | Colleen Burton-Ochocki, 2017-19

Colleen Burton Ochocki has been a member of the Strathcona County Library Board since 2011. During that time, she has served on both standing committees of the Board and several sub-committees or ad-hoc committees. In addition to her work with the Strathcona County Library Board, Colleen is currently employed on a part time basis with the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta (FCSSAA) where she works as a Project Coordinator, one of her regular tasks being the coordination and oversight of the annual FCSSAA Conference. Prior to Colleen’s role with the FCSSAA she was employed in the public sector, both the Province of Alberta and the City of Edmonton for thirty years. She retired from the City in the role of Director of Social Development, within the Community Services Department. Since her retirement, Colleen sat on the Board of Directors of ELLA- Edmonton Lifelong Learners Association. During the time Colleen was at the City of Edmonton, she was the primary support to the City of Edmonton’s Community Services Advisory Board, and also spent three years as the Acting Executive Director of the Landlord and Tenant Advisory Board. In addition, as part of her role as Director of Social Development, she worked closely with the boards of the not for profit board organizations that received funding from the City, through the City’s FCSS program. This extensive work with Boards, as a Board member, a municipal support person, or a funder, has led to an understanding of how boards work, whether they are Advisory, Governance, or Policy Setting. It has also provided exposure to the issues that arise at Board meetings, the rules that govern Board meetings, and clarification of the various roles that Board members and Administration take on, as they work collaboratively to achieve the desired outcomes of organizations.


Alternate: Barbara Hahn

Area 8 (Northern Lights) | Jennifer Anheliger, 2018-20

Being a stay at home mother of 3, originally with a background in banking and finance, at my core I am an avid reader, lover and supporter of libraries. I reached a point in my life, where I was ready to find ways to become involved within my community. I thought, I'll join the Town of Morinville Library Board! Originally as the Treasurer, and now serving as Board Chair. Little did I know that I would be thrust into being part of such an integral part of my community. I am regularly in awe of the people who make libraries exactly what they are today. Being a board trustee is such a privilege to have, and such a role requires a strong basis of support which ALTA makes a point to provide. I would love the opportunity to collaborate and contribute my enthusiasm for library services to such a great organization as ALTA. I aim to be able to continue my advocacy for libraries by expanding my access to the people who share my enthusiasm for libraries.


Alternate: Position now open! Apply here.

Calgary Public | Judy Gray, 2016

Judy has had a long career in public service in the education sector, at the Calgary Board of Education, as founder of the Calgary Girls’ Charter School, and at Foundations for the Future Charter Academy. Long committed to the importance of strong libraries in the creation of strong civic societies, Judy has a B.Ed. and a BLS from the University of Alberta and a MLS from the University of British Columbia. Judy has served on the Calgary Public Library Board since 2014 and is currently Chair of the Strategy & Community Committee. She has worked extensively on Board governance matters, including the refinement of the Board’s Roles and Responsibilities documents to reflect evolving aspirations. She has comprehensive knowledge and experience of the best practices that support robust Board governance.


Alternate: Avnish Mehta

Edmonton Public | Fern Snart

Recently retired following 3 years as a faculty member at the University of Alberta, Fern is beginning her 4th year as a trustee for EPL. An Educational Psychologist, Fern's research, teaching and practice has been focused on Special Education, and she was honored to serve as Dean of the Faculty of Education from 2004 through 2015. Under her leadership, the Faculty developed and launched the successful Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) in collaboration with Aboriginal colleagues and communities. Fern has a BA Psychology from Brandon University and a PhD from University of Alberta. Since becoming a trustee, Fern has chaired the Human Resources and CEO Performance Management Committee, and she is very pleased to join ALTA. Fern sees libraries as vital entities in our complex society, opening the doors to knowledge, social justice, and hope.


Alternate: Nazir Mulji


Executive Director | Heather Coulson

Heather brings a valuable combination of non-profit, business and government experience to the Executive Director role. Attending Brandon University, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Political Science. Committed to lifelong learning, she has become a Bunraku puppetry Master/Trainer and enjoys sailing, brain gym, yoga, hiking, meditation garden and spending time with her family. Before joining ALTA, Heather was the Community Coordinator with Community Relations and Strategic Planning with the City of Edmonton, Program Manager and Health Promotions Director with EEA, Alberta MS Public Relations Director and Canadian Red Cross Manager of Volunteers and active with the National Red Cross Disaster Responder Team. Heather co-owned and launched the first interactive corporate theatre company in Western Canada. Contracting with Hotels and Conference Planning Managers, theatre and entertainment productions were customized and developed for National and Provincial Events. She was chosen for the role of Producer Assistant in the development of a CBC television history movie documentary. Growing up in a small prairie town in Manitoba, Heather frequented her local community library always trying to take out more books than what was allowed (two books) and to persuade the librarian to purchase more of her favorite books. Heather is committed to supporting Library Trustees across Alberta.


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