Board of Directors
Evan J. HazellChair
Mr. Hazell has been involved in the global oil and gas industry for over 30 years, initially as a petroleum engineer and laterally as an investment banker. At present, he primarily serves as a Director of a number of for profit and community organizations including Calgary Opera, CAWST, Kaisen Energy, Oryx Petroleum, CMLC and the Calgary YMCA. Mr. Hazell holds engineering degrees from Queen's University and the University of Calgary, has an MBA from the University of Michigan, and is a registered Professional Engineer in Alberta. He resides in Calgary.
Marilyn MilavskyPast Chair
Fashion designer Marilyn Milavsky has spent the past 18 years involved with many community projects. As a community leader Marilyn has volunteered her time and creativity to fundraising projects for organizations such as Hospice Calgary, Stars Air Ambulance, the Glenbow Museum, Esther Honens, Alberta Ballet and Calgary Opera. Ms. Milavsky recently served as co-chair of the TELUS Community Board and as President of the Alberta Canada Day Committee as well as a Calgary Ambassador for the 2010 Olympics. Her other community involvements include the Banff Centre National Campaign Cabinet, the Hotchkiss Brain Institute Advisory Committee, and the Sheep River Health Trust Advisory Committee. Ms. Milavsky is a member of the Calgary chapter for the International Women’s Forum.
Donald C. EdieSecretary
Don Edie was born in Edmonton, but quickly moved south and was raised and has since resided in Calgary, with the exception of his legal education back in Edmonton, graduating in 1976. Don is Counsel to the firm of Carscallen LLP, where he practices law, primarily in the Canadian and international energy sectors and before Canadian regulatory boards. Don has been active with Calgary Opera, as a subscriber for more than two decades, as a director for some years and as a member of the Calgary Opera Chorus for more than 20 years. He also sings with the Scarboro United Church choir and with the EnChor chamber ensemble. Don’s passion for music is shared by his family.
Janice Woodward has been a Chartered Accountant for 25 years, and her work experience has included leadership roles as an assurance manager and leader of staff recruiting in the Calgary office of a national accounting firm. More recently, she has worked on a contract basis for various Calgary businesses. Janice is active in the community and has served on the Boards of the Calgary Patriots Swim Club, the Calgary West Electoral District Association of the Conservative Party of Canada, and in various capacities with other community organizations.
As President and CEO, Michael has led CMLC and steered the direction of the East Village revitalization plan vision since September 2011. In his role, Michael works closely with the Board of Directors, City of Calgary and key community and business partners to ensure the successful delivery of critical infrastructure programs for the Rivers District. Along with overseeing the day-to-day operations of CMLC, he is charged with leading the implementation of the organization’s strategic plan which will chart a course for CMLC’s future growth and development projects. Previously he made a highly visible mark on Calgary’s cityscape as an associate VP with Matthews Southwest – the organization responsible for delivering Encana’s 58-story downtown tower, THE BOW. Prior positions include vice president at Calgary Economic Development and director of business development at Cushman and Wakefield – the world’s largest privately held commercial real estate services firm. To deepen his connections to the Calgary community, Michael serves as a member on several boards: the Calgary Arts Development Remarkable Experiences Accelerator Program, Heritage Park’s Master Planning and Finance Committees, and Calgary Opera.
Claudia CattaneoChair, Impresario
Claudia Cattaneo is the Western Business Columnist at the National Post, where she covers business and policy issues shaping enterprise across the West. During her 30-year career in journalism, Ms. Cattaneo also served as the Financial Post’s Calgary Bureau Chief and worked at the Calgary Herald, the Montreal Gazette and the Toronto Star. Born and raised in the Valle d’Aosta region of Northern Italy, Ms. Cattaneo has a degree in journalism from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto and an MSc in Political Science from the Universite de Montreal. She is a director of Hospice Calgary and a member of the International Women’s Forum. Ms. Cattaneo’s two children are studying to be performing artists.
An avid supporter of local arts and culture, Brent Cooper is a partner at McLeod Law. He leads the business development initiatives of the firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group. A member of the firm’s management team for several years, Brent’s practice is focused on business advice and litigation, shareholder/partnership rights and disputes, employment law and M&A. He represents businesses and enterpreneurs in the energy, real estate, financial services and agriculture sectors. Brent frequently speaks at industry events and seminars, and is on several Boards including the Calgary Chamber. @GBCandWallyD
Christel JohanssonChair, Corporate Development
Christel Johansson has 36 years of experience in the banking industry, seven years in the international division of Union Bank of Finland and 29 years of commercial banking with The Bank of Nova Scotia in Calgary. She grew up in an environment with a strong focus on the arts and music which became a passion at an early age. Ms. Johansson’s intent is to take an active part in the effort to widen the interest in opera in Calgary and especially to reach young audiences and people who have not been exposed to opera.
Verne JohnsonChair, Major Gifts
Graduating in Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1966, Verne Johnson has over 40 years of involvement in the oil and gas industry. Initially he worked with Imperial Oil in Canada and EXXON in New York until 1981 when he left to join the independent sector where he ran a number of junior and intermediate energy companies ending with the sale of ELAN Energy in 1997. Since then he has undertaken a number of advisory roles and Board directorships in public and private companies. He is presently a director of Petromanas Energy Inc., Spira Data, and US Oil Sands.
Formerly a teacher and Principal in the Calgary Board of Education, Ruth has recently completed 14 years as President and CEO of United Way of Calgary. Ruth has been actively engaged in the Calgary community. She is the Past President of the Calgary Chapter of the International Women's Forum. Ruth is currently a member of the Board of Governors for Mount Royal University, the Board of Trustees for the Canadian Crown Corporation of the Museums of Civilization and War Museum, the Board of the Calgary Opera and the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership, the Calgary Greenway Patrons Council, and of the Alberta Champion Society.
Monica Sloan is Managing Director of JKS Holdings and past CEO of Intervera Data Solutions, a firm specializing in strategic information management for the energy sector. For much of Ms. Sloan’s career she has helped to build and sustain innovation within existing and new business and community ventures. Ms. Sloan is a member of a number of public, private and not-for profit boards, including past Chair of Calgary Opera. She has a BSc in Applied Earth Sciences, a BA in Economics, an MSc Engineering all from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard University. She loves to volunteer and hopes that in her next life she will come back as an Italian mezzo-soprano.
Don Swystun was born in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Petroleum Engineering. He is currently the Executive Vice-President of Refining, Marketing, Transportation & Development for Cenovus Energy. He has 30 years of experience in the energy industry in diverse engineering and leadership roles in Canada and internationally. Don is a member of APEGGA and served on the University of Alberta Business Advisory Council. Don is inspired by his father, a choir director and operatic tenor, to strongly support Calgary Opera.
Jerilyn WrightChair, Special Events
Jerilyn Wright owns one of Alberta’s leading Interior Design firms, Jerilyn Wright & Associates, for 28 years. Strong passion for design has earned her firm a reputation in the marketplace for excellence, creativity and versatility. She has been consistently recognized by her peers and critics having earned several Design Awards across the country. In 2012 Jerilyn won the Business in Calgary magazine’s “Leaders of Tomorrow” award. Community involvement is very important to Jerilyn. She currently sits on the board for the Abilities Society assisting them in their goals. In the past, Jerilyn worked with Habitat for Humanity and also chaired Mount Royal University annual fund raiser “Feast of Sound and Song” for four years to assist young underprivileged musicians with their education and career development.