Applications are now open for the 2024-2025 Cohort!

Application Deadline extended to June 21, 2024



Leadership Saskatoon is very fortunate to have a rich volunteer base to support our mentorship program. Each year we pair our participants with a community leader who is willing to mentor and share their experiences and leadership journey with them. The following will provide you a very brief glance into the credentials of our mentors.

Andrea Lafond is the CEO of Meewasin Valley Authority. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Andrea is proud of her roots and her community. She volunteers as a mentor through Leadership Saskatoon, and the City of Saskatoon’s Indigenous Technical Advisory Group. Andrea represents Meewasin on the Discover Saskatoon Board, the Canadian Committee for IUCN, and sits on Trans Canada Trail Indigenous Advisory Committee. Andrea makes the most of her downtime by enjoying travel, exercise, a good book and puzzles. She loves walks in nature with her dog Rocky and depending on the time of day, her teens Matthew and Olivia will join her! Andrea has served as a mentor with Leadership Saskatoon for several years and finds this a mutually rewarding experience.

Dr. Bill Brooks is a Creative Process and Problem Solving Coach, Facilitator and Business Coach, and Presenter/Speaker with eclecthink. He studied at the University of Saskatchewan where he received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in upper atmospheric and space physics. Bill’s volunteer initiatives include several roles with the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce, Saskatoon Public Schools, Edwards School of Business and Leadership Saskatoon. He has been recognized with Industry Canada’s Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, a Saskatoon Preschool Foundation Educator of Distinction Award, and as the Member/Volunteer of the Year of the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce in 2011. Bill is an alumnus of Leadership Saskatoon, Class of 2003.  Currently, Bill is the owner of eclecthink international, a consulting company specializing in creativity and innovation, strategic and project planning, problem-solving, and workshop associated with leadership.  He continues to present and mentor for Leadership Saskatoon and is on the Board of Directors, is Communication Committee Chair, is on the Speakers’ Bureau, and is on numerous project teams for the Saskatoon Council on Aging.

Brian Hoessler is the Founder and CEO of Strong Roots Consulting, a social-purpose business that supports change makers in navigating complexity. Using their strengths in strategic planning, organizational capacity building, and program evaluation, Brian collaborates with organizations ranging from grassroots associations to multi-stakeholder initiatives with a focus on cultivating learning and growth. In this work, Brian brings a strong interest in urban contexts and how these settings can support individuals, groups, and systems in creating more equitable communities. A Leadership Saskatoon alum (Class of 2014), Brian enjoys playing in the Saskatoon Community Band, developing his photography skills, and spending time with his partner Carolyn and their pug Gizmo.

Cara Spence, Ph.D. is a researcher and people leader at the University of Saskatchewan for the USask Health Sciences and holds an academic appointment at McGill University. She completed her doctoral work in Tanzania, Africa where she worked with adolescent girls at risk for early pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. She has worked with vulnerable and Indigenous populations for over two decades, including communicable and infectious diseases, housing, poverty, human rights, empowerment, community development, criminality, justice, and reconciliation. Her teaching and professional work is focused on collaborative partnerships, feminist and cooperative theory, race and interpersonal relations, socio-economic development, and promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion within organizations and the broader social, political, and economic structures.

Cecilia Zerr is the Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Affinity Credit Union. She has worked in the credit union system for over 35 years, most of which has been in the areas of marketing, communications and community engagement. She was born and raised in Saskatoon and is a proud first-generation Canadian of Portuguese heritage. She is has been married to her husband Phil for 30 years and they have three wonderful adult children, all of whom are teachers with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. She currently sits on the Prairie Hospice Society board as vice chair and is a member of the Saskatoon Destination Leadership Alliance through Discover Saskatoon. In her spare time, she loves to read, cook, and bake, but her favorite activity of all is travel. Cecilia and her husband are destined to visit every Major League Baseball Park, so far, they’ve been to 15 of the 30 parks and are looking forward to crossing a few more off their list each year.

Chantelle Bonin is a Center Manager at Parents’ Child Development Co-operative. She has a passion for education, specifically in early learning. She has 17 years of experience in early learning and has taken courses in ECERS, Child Development, and Child Nutrition to name a few.  Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, gardening, and reading. She is also a Leadership Saskatoon 2023 Alumna. 

Darcie Gerein is a teacher with the Saskatoon Public School Division. Darcie’s belief that “teaching touches lives” has been her vision in her 30-year teaching career. Working with a multitude of ages from preschool to adult shows her dedication to leadership, love of learning and connecting with others. Darcie has taken courses in Positive Psychology and fitness training and recently has become a True Colors Facilitator which emphasizes individual strengths and positive communication. During her teaching career she has taken on the challenges and learning opportunities of mentoring numerous interns, Teacher Candidates, Educational Assistants, and high school student work placements. Darcie’s family is high on her priority list. She enjoys spending time with her husband, three daughters, son-in-law and her Havanese dog, Hurley. Her favourite activities include water-skiing, pickleball and cheering on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Darren Pringle began working in a formalized police leadership capacity in 1998 as a Recruit Field Trainer with the Calgary Police Service. After moving home to Saskatoon in 1999, Darren continued this leadership role with the Saskatoon Police Service, mentoring new officers until his promotion to Sergeant in 2009. As a Sergeant, his leadership experience broadened through supervision of several operational and administrative units. Following promotion in 2016 to Staff Sergeant and later again to Inspector in 2020, Darren became responsible for the supervision and career development of an even greater number of diverse officer groups. Additionally, Darren’s executive role as an Inspector added a strategic focus to his mentorship activities. Darren has modeled the importance of lifelong learning not only through his own educational pursuits, but through his career-long service as an instructor in a number of disciplines, including law, investigations, firearms, tactics, command, and explosives delivered to local, national, and international audiences. Throughout the course of his police career, Darren has concurrently served as an Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves, gaining valuable leadership experience in the Naval Warfare, Signals, and Personnel Selection occupations. Darren has spent every Spring and Fall for over a decade coaching and managing the various sports teams his kids have played on and is currently the Treasurer on the Board of Directors for EGADZ (Saskatoon Downtown Youth Centre Inc.).

Dorothy Hyde’s experience is a blend of family, work, community engagement, and lifelong learning.  She has recently been recognized nationally as a Champion for Career Development Professionals in Canada and is a registered International Motivational Interviewing Trainer.  Her experience has included 12 years of Community Association Leadership, 5 years for the Saskatchewan Provincial Literacy Network Board, and most recently, Chairperson (5 years) with the Saskatoon Psychiatric Centre and Probation Services. Her extracurricular activities have often revolved around the activities of her children (sports mom, music mom, dance mom, etc.). Now that they are grown, she has found activities that bring her personal excitement such as the Saskatoon Adult Community Band (she is a trumpet player in jazz and concert bands and the Saskatoon Concert Auxiliary Band), along with the passions that come from being a grandmother to 5 wonderfully spirited boys. In addition to work and family life, she does some part-time consulting in the career development field.

Jason Stonechild is Saulteaux (‘Soto’) from the Muscowpetung First Nation on Treaty 4 Territory. He is the Executive Director of the Justice Secretariate for the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN). Jason has been with the FSIN for three years following his retirement from policing after a 28-year career.  With the FSIN, Jason works with the Saskatchewan Chiefs and Leaders to enhance community safety, wellness and equity for First Nations communities and peoples across the Province through the implementation and protection of Inherent and Treaty Rights.  Jason retired as Deputy Chief of Police in Prince Albert following a rewarding career.  Throughout his time in policing, Jason served for many years in senior management positions at PAPD.  In addition to his role as Deputy Chief, he was also the longest-serving president in the history of the Prince Albert Police Association serving in this role for 12 years where he successfully negotiated 3 Collective Agreements with the City of PA. Jason was also the Vice President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Police where he advocated for Police across the province. Jason’s time with the FSIN and in policing has provided him with valuable experience in areas of motivation, strategic leadership & planning, financial stewardship, public accountability, ethics & integrity, professional standards, legislative governance, strategic communication, mediation, policy development, planning and interpretation; to name a few.  In 2017, Jason completed a Master’s Degree in Executive Leadership and Management for Policing and Security through Charles Sturt University.  Jason has conducted many lectures focused on leadership, community safety, strategic planning, crime complexities and most currently, inequities in justice for First Nations; at the University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan, Canadian and Saskatchewan Police Colleges to name a few.  Jason also sits on the Saskatchewan Judicial Council, appointed by Premier Scott Moe, additionally he sits on the National First Nations Policing Committee, a group working with the Federal Government on the development and implementation of Self-Administered Policing Legislation.  Most importantly, Jason is a family man. He is proud of his loving wife, Annie who is Quebecois, and his two children, Mila and Loick.  

Jennie Green began her teaching career in 1993 and after 12 years in the classroom, she pursued a Master of Education degree in Administration as well as obtained her first admin position as a vice-principal. In 2013, Jennie obtained a second Master of Education degree in Educational Foundations. In 2017, she received her first principal appointment and has been enjoying the experience in her current school which is a large K-8 French Immersion/English school. She has had wonderful leadership opportunities in the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation being a provincial facilitator in the Instructional Leadership cohort as well as doing some leadership facilitation within her school division. Jennie have been involved in my community in different ways but most recently as a board member on the Community Alcohol Strategy Steering Committee between 2016-2018. In her downtime, Jennie loves to read, gourmet cook, travel, and spend time with her family. She has been married for 30 years and has four children and three grandchildren who are the joys of her life.

Jeremy Breker has served in leadership roles with different organizations for over 25 years.  His tenure as a leader has enriched his understanding of human performance and how leadership can unlock people’s talents and skills to contribute effectively and efficiently.  He has worked in roles from the workface to senior c-suite levels in large corporations and developed a good understanding of the inner workings of mining, industrial, consulting, and high-tech companies.  Jeremy is a board member for two not-for-profit innovation organizations, is a community volunteer in Saskatoon, and has spoken at conferences on projects, mining, education, and technology.  He is an avid swimmer, enjoys team sports, mentoring, contributing to the field of engineering and project management, and working with people.

Jess Hamm lives in Saskatoon and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan. Jess started working for the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association in 2008 and coordinated and managed several programs before being promoted to the role of Executive Director in 2015. For over a decade, she has served on a multitude of committees that work towards building equity, inclusion, and racial justice in our community. She has developed several new initiatives and programs that foster intercultural understanding and acceptance. She currently serves as the Vice President on the Board of SAISIA and sits on the City of Saskatoon’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Advisory Committee. Jess is a 2015 graduate of the Leadership Saskatoon Program and a 2020 recipient of the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award for Arts, Culture & Heritage. Under Jess’s leadership, SIA has been certified as a Great Place to Work for the last four years and named one of the Best Workplaces Managed by Women from Great Place to Work Canada. 

Jody Tyson is the Senior Manager, Retail Program Delivery for Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL).  FCL is a wholesaling, manufacturing, marketing, and administrative co-operative owned by more than 160 independent local co-operative associations. These local co-ops own and operate over 1,000 agro centres, food stores, gas bars/convenience stores and home centres across Western Canada. In Jody’s role, she is responsible for the planning and delivery of a vast number of in-store Retail technology programs across our local co-ops. She is a dynamic and results-driven leader with a passion for innovation and a track record of successfully leading and delivering large value, strategic programs, and projects. With a career spanning over two decades in technology and project management, Jody has become a driving force in transforming ideas into reality. As a volunteer, Jody held the position of as Vice-President, Marketing with Project Management Institute for a 2-year term and has been an active member of the Mentorship Sub-committee with Leadership Saskatoon Mentorship for 6 years. Jody holds her PMP certification with PMI, Six Sigma Black Belt from Quality Management Institute and PROCI change management certification.  She also has a Business Administration and Marketing Diploma. 

Kelly Howey is retired and has developed and facilitated leadership programs for over 8 years from entry level supervisor to executive level leaders. He is a certified workplace coach, and has experience in strategic planning, performance management, conflict resolution, delivering effective feedback, experiential learning, organization health, MBTI, Emotional intelligence, 360 assessments, ergonomist, and harassment investigator. He is the current President of the Canadian Mental Health Association (Saskatoon) Board, Saskatoon Pickleball Board member, and Leadership Saskatoon Mentorship Sub-Committee representative. Kelly’s passion is currently focused on making a difference in mental health for all.

Ken McCullough is a retired senior retail professional with over 30+ years wholesale and retail experience in food, petroleum, liquor, pharmacy, general merchandise, home health care, and travel businesses. During his career in the Co-operative Retailing System, Ken was known for high standards in merchandising, customer service, and employee engagement. Ken is proud to serve on the Boards of Leadership Saskatoon and Ebenezer Baptist Church. He enjoys being a mentor for Leadership Saskatoon and offers his leadership expertise to former Leadership Saskatoon participants and congregants of his church. Ken also likes golfing, cottage time and cheering on the Saskatoon Hilltops and U of S Huskies football teams.

Kevin Pylypow is the Senior Credit Specialist/ RVP Business Banking at Innovation Credit Union. He has 20 years of experience with various financial institutions and has a Masters in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Kevin has volunteered with Sask Abilities, Camp Easter Seal, and various local minor sports organizations. His personal awareness is that we are all leaders and influencers, so every day is an opportunity to learn leadership from those around us.

Lawrence Pinter is an entrepreneur with a varied and eclectic background. Lawrence started his career training as a marine biologist at UBC and spent six years working as a construction and salvage diver. He also worked as a deep foundation subcontractor and later as an estimator. Lawrence holds a degree in Civil Engineering from University of Calgary and for the past 24 years has been Owner/Operator of Pinter & Associates Ltd., an engineering consulting company. Lawrence has volunteered his time with Scouts Canada, the Innovators in Schools Program, as Chair of the City of Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee, and in several board executive positions with the Saskatchewan Environmental Industry Managers Association. In 2018, Lawrence was honored with the ACEC-SK Mentor of the Year Award.

Les Morrison is a man who wears many hats, working as a Systems Consultant with Delta Point Wireless and as Sales Manager for both Western Campus Resources and Prairie Packaging Inc. Les holds a B.A. from the University of Saskatchewan and remains active in the community through a variety of volunteer activities. These include roles as a Volunteer Leader with the Lieutenant Governor’s Leadership Forum, Director of Volunteers for the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships, Planning Committee Member for the 2006 Vanier Cup, and Committee Member with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. Les is a recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal and the Saskatchewan Work Educators Award, and an alumnus of Leadership Saskatoon Class of 2003.

Linda McMullen is Professor Emerita at the University of Saskatchewan. During her career in the Department of Psychology, Linda took on many leadership roles including Department Head, University Leader for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Acting Vice-Dean for Social Sciences, President of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology of the American Psychological Association, and Vice-Chair of the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association. Linda has also served on the University of Saskatchewan’s Board of Governors, and as a Board Member for the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra, and the Saskatoon Concert Band. In 1994, Linda received the Jillings Award from the Saskatchewan Psychological Association for her outstanding service to the profession.

Mavis McPhee was educated in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Calgary. Now retired, Mavis spent her professional career working in a variety of leadership roles with several organizations including hospitals, schools, daycares, and several community-based organizations. She has worked with infants and toddlers, families, teen and young parents and adult learners. Mavis was honoured as the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Education in 2008 and the Saskatchewan Literacy Award of Merit – Professional Designation Award in 2010. Nationally, she was the selected as a representative for Saskatchewan for the National Weaving Literacy Project and represented Saskatchewan on two occasions at CAPC/CPNP National Think Tanks. As a volunteer, Mavis has been involved with Adelaide Park-Churchill Community Association, Hugh Cairns VC School Parent Council, the Saskatoon Adlerian Society, Nutana Collegiate Alumni, and the Women’s Midlife Heath Centre. Presently, aside from Leadership Saskatoon, she volunteers with the Prairie Hospice Society, Saskatoon Council on Aging (SCOA) and St. Martins United Church. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, working in the yard, visiting the cottage, and travelling.  

Michael Carss is the Director, Innovation & Growth in the Group Benefits division at Wiegers Financial & Benefits. He helps guide Saskatchewan’s top employers to unlock opportunities, design, implement and communicate sustainable and competitive employee benefit strategies. Michael graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2007 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree studying Human Resources and Marketing. He proudly serves on the Council for the Canadian Pension & Benefits Institute (Saskatchewan Region) and is the Chair of the NSBA Business Builder Awards. Michael is a proud Alumni of the 2018 Leadership Saskatoon program. You can find Michael at the Saskatoon Golf & Country Club in the summer and Nutana Curling Club in the winter. His favourite leadership quote is, “A boss has the title. A leader has the people” – Simon Sinek

Raj Randhawa has had an interesting journey since co-founding Horizon in 1995.  Horizon continues to grow and expanded across western Canada.  He has gained some great experience in every aspect of business over the past 27 years and worked with some amazing people.  Currently Raj is on the board of IT Solutions Association of Saskatchewan.  He has served as a board member for the Sask Communication Network and Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce.  He has enjoyed being a big brother and volunteering at Folkfest. His four kids keep things lively on the home front.  Raj enjoys traveling as a family.  In his spare time, he likes playing squash, golfing and biking.

Sheila Pocha, B. Ed., PGD, M. Ed., is a Métis educator who has taught and worked as an elementary principal in elementary and post-secondary institutions for the past three decades. She is a proud Métis woman who works consistently as an advocate for anti-racism and social justice. She has been an elementary administrator with Saskatoon Public Schools and is currently the Program Head for the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) in Saskatoon, where she ensures students gain a stronger cultural identity and critical approach to education. Sheila has been a member of the National Family Literacy Panel, is a board member and past vice-chair of Quint Development Corporation. She has also served as Chair of the Station 20 West Board, a core neighbourhood revitalization initiative in Saskatoon and remains actively involved with Station 20 West. Sheila has been a long-serving member of the AWASIS Special Subject Council.  She has been a committed advocate for Métis and First Nations rights for over thirty years, building capacity, and working with others to support those working with First Nations and Métis children and families. She has served on the University of Saskatchewan Senate, the Gabriel Dumont Institute Board of Governors, the Saskatoon Preschool Foundation, the National Family Literacy Panel, and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner Speakers’ Bureau. Sheila also served on a number of committees on behalf of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, the Ministry of Education and Saskatoon Public Schools.  Sheila worked on the Batoche Shared Management Board, SK Culture and is currently a board member of Saskatoon’s SUM Theatre Group.  Her work stems from her belief that education, employment, self-sufficiency, empowerment, healthy lifestyles, and cultural renewal are connected and interdependent.  

Steve Shannon CEO, Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation attended the University of Saskatchewan. He has volunteered with Leadership Saskatoon as a mentor for the past 20 years and is a 2020 Leadership Saskatoon Alumni. He volunteers for the Pioneer Threshermen’s Club as President and runs steam engines at the WDM, Saskatoon’s Remembrance Day Committee as  Legion member and announcer for the service at Sasktel Center for the past 40 years, Canadian Blood Services as a donor (114 times), Denny Carr Secret Santa Foundation, and the Saskatoon Usadian Executive Association. Steve is also known for emceeing events for countless service groups and organizations. He has received the Celebrate Saskatchewan Medal from Lt. Gov. Lynda Haverstock for volunteerism and last spring received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal from Lt. Gov. Russ Mirasty; the B’nai Brith “We’re Proud of You” Award (2009), a 75th Anniversary Certificate of Appreciation from the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Quarter Century Award. Steve was the Chief English Venue Announcer for curling at the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah and  for the 2006 Winter Olympic gams in Torino, Italy. Steve was a radio broadcaster for 35 years before being hired by the Board of Directors of Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation.

Tammy Chief comes from a large French-speaking Metis family. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies and a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Education. She began her teaching career 23 years ago as a Core French teacher in elementary schools.  She has spent the majority of her career teaching in high schools and is currently the Principal of Royal West Campus in Saskatoon. Tammy has three children and four grandchildren. In the summer, her children dance pow wow which keeps them busy. Tammy enjoys sharing her culture with others and teaches beading classes in the evening. 

Terry Lowe has recently retired from the Director of Family & Community Programs at Catholic Family Services Saskatoon, where she had worked for over 20 years. Terry has served as a Board Member of the Saskatoon Adlerian Society for many years. She has also served as the Co-Chair of the Family Education Section of the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology, Co-Chair of the Saskatoon Early Years Partnership, and Co-Chair of the Canadian Certified Family Educators Certification Committee. Terry graduated from Leadership Saskatoon in 2012 and has been a longtime facilitator and mentor for the program. She and her husband Howard are the proud parents of two grown children and have five wonderful grandchildren.

Wayne Brownlee is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nutrien, retiring in October 2018. Prior to this he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for PotashCorp, a position he held since 1999.  In 1989, Wayne coordinated the privatization of PotashCorp, which transformed it from a provincial Crown corporation into a publicly traded company. As head of corporate development throughout his nearly 30-year career with PotashCorp.  Wayne served on the Boards of Arab Potash Company in Jordan and SQM in Chile as Vice Chair.  Prior to joining PotashCorp Wayne held a series of positions within the Saskatchewan Department of Finance, including Associate Deputy Minister of the Treasury Board Division. Wayne holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Saskatchewan. He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Edwards School of Business at the U of S.  Wayne is Chair of the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation and Vice Chair of Wanuskewin Heritage Park.  In addition, in 2022 Wayne joined the Board of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Association and the Board’s of Zyus Life Sciences and Gensource Potash.