Deborah Bartlett (Chair)
Deborah is a Calgary social worker with over 30 years experience in the nonprofit sector, including 12 years as an executive director of several agencies. Currently she is on contract at the United Way as Director of Strategic Outreach Initiatives. Prior to this, she was Acting Senior Director of Community Investments and Collaborations at the United Way of Calgary and Area. In addition, Deborah is a consultant working with various foundations and nonprofit organizations developing community investment and strategic plans. Deborah has been a leadership coach with Executive Directions, a transformational two-year coaching program to Calgary executive directors. She has a graduate degree in social work from the University of Calgary along with a specialized graduate diploma in human resources. Deborah was the regional coordinator of Community Foundations of Canada encompassing Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. She is the past co-president of the board of directors of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
Bailey Rivard (Treasurer)
Bailey Rivard joined the WordFest Board as Treasurer in 2011. She brings with her experience in accounting for not for profit organizations and is currently a manager in MNP’s advisory services group, specializing in forensic accounting and litigation support. Her love for reading has made her a strong believer in the importance of literary programming in our community. Bailey is proud to be a Board member and supporter of WordFest.
Wendy Beauchesne (Director)
Wendy Beauchesne joined the WordFest Board in 2010. She is currently Director of Communications for STARS air ambulance and has over 10 years experience in communications and public relations. A self-proclaimed logophile, Wendy is proud to be part of an organization which celebrates words and strives to bring readers and writers together.
Alison Buie (Director)
Alison Buie is a community and government relations professional with 18 years of experience working in the public and private sectors. She is currently Manager, Government Relations with the Calgary Stampede and holds an MBA and BA (Communications) from the University of Calgary. Prior to joining the Stampede, Alison provided strategic counsel directly to Calgary’s Mayor for nine years with overseeing the community relations portfolio.
Rosemarie Enslin (Director)
Rosemarie Enslin is president of Enslin Group, a marketing communications firm she started in 1979. During her career, Rosemarie has created campaigns for a variety of clients including arts and literacy organizations she feels privileged and grateful to have represented. Rosemarie is an active volunteer. In 2009, she was named Alberta and Canada mentor of the year by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and a 2010 Compelling Calgarian by the Calgary Herald. She is committed to the written word and the celebration of Canadian authors and readers. She has been a fan of WordFest since it began.
David Grantham (Director)
In 2010, joined the Board of WordFest—a refreshing opportunity for him to support a medium which achieves intimacy with us so differently than do his own mediums of film and architecture. David co-authors prominent Alberta buildings in major architectural firms, and his company Design for People specializes in spaces that facilitate a sense of community. His community involvement includes the boards of Springboard Performance and Motive Action Training Foundation, Dragonfly Co-Housing and enlivening elementary church school through drama and puppetry.
Alison Gray (Director)
Alison Gray has been a member of the WordFest Board since 2009. She is an Associate in the Litigation Department of Bennett Jones LLP, and is honoured to be a part of WordFest.
Sheila O’Brien (Director)
Sheila O’Brien, President of Belvedere 1 Investments, is a corporate director and business consultant specializing in workforce and leadership capacity with over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas, pipeline and petrochemical sectors in Canada,USA, South America and Europe. She has held executive positions in the areas of human resources, investor relations, public affairs and government relations with Amoco International, Petro-Canada and NOVA Corporation. She created and implemented an innovative workforce restructuring program, based on the dignity of the employee, which was designated a Worldwide Best Practice by Watson Wyatt International Consultancy. Ms. O’Brien has been active in the not-for-profit sector, having served on over 25 Boards of Directors dealing primarily with human rights, women’s rights and giving voice to marginalized members of society. She is the founder of several enduring community events celebrating the accomplishments of women and she has received numerous awards for her work in the advancement of women. In 1998 she was invested in the Order of Canada. Ms. O’Brien currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Gildan, a publicly traded, vertically-integrated marketer and apparel manufacturer based in Montreal; Advantage Oil and Gas Company, a Calgary-based, publicly traded corporation; is a member of the Board of Governors of Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary; serves on the board of directors of The Canadian Women’s Foundation in Toronto; and is a Senior Fellow at Canada West Foundation in Calgary where she co-authored, “An Extraordinary West: A Narrative Exploration of Western Canada’s Future”, published in November 2010 and Catching a Rising Tide: Western Energy Vision for Canada, published in October 2011 and “A place to Call Home” published in December 2012.
Stephen Shawcross (Director)
Born on father’s 27th birthday, pints all around. Quickly falls in with gang of junior teddy boys where he earns the nickname “Sureshot Shawcross” due to accuracy with a catapult. In 1965, joins rock group “The Knack”, playing first gig for the princely sum of $8. Enters York University, wreaking havoc with various subversive organizations. Tours Europe in British ambulance with glam-rock band “Ginger Muff”. Quickly tires of wearing makeup so gets real job. For the next 25 years attempts to juggle career, wife, kids, assorted jazz gigs, painting, killer squash game, and the odd night of high stakes poker. Takes sabbatical in ’04. Finishes writing first novel in Venice. Runaway Summer tops Calgary Herald best seller list for 32 weeks in 2007. Follows up with A Fearful Symmetry. In his spare time, Stephen Shawcross is an urban planner and partner in Canada’s number one and the world’s sixth largest architectural practice, the IBI Group.
Peter Verburg (Director)
Peter Verburg has been a WordFest Board Member since 2011. He is currently Managing Director of Gray Capital Partners Inc., a venture capital firm, and a director of Gear Energy Ltd. and Petrus Resources Ltd. Peter greatly appreciates the Festival’s role in nurturing writers’ careers due to his own background as an award-winning journalist.
WordFest Strategic Plan
WordFest creates vibrant and healthy communities by providing accessible and engaging programming that shares the power of story.