BOARD OF DIRECTORS

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” 

— Warren G. Bennis

Lisa Makinson

Lisa Makinson

President

Lisa is a CA, CPA working in the oil and gas sector in Calgary as a Director at Suncor Energy Inc. She is also proud to be a member of Women for Humane Canada and believes that all animals deserve respect and humane treatment.

Lisa attended Brock University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Accounting Honours Co-op degree, obtaining her Chartered Accountant designation in 1996, starting a career of over twenty year in Accounting and Finance in both technical and leadership roles. While working at Deloitte`s, Lisa had the privilege to participate in an international secondment program that took her to Johannesburg, South Africa, which gave her the opportunity to experience African wildlife up close. Lisa describes this experience as “life altering”.  

Having been bitten by the travel bug, Lisa moved to the tiny island of Bermuda in 1999 to further her accounting and finance career. It was there that Lisa met her Irish husband, Alan.

In 2011, Lisa moved to Calgary from Toronto and has fallen in love with the natural beauty of Alberta and its wildlife and still gets excited when the neighbourhood deer decided to nap her in her yard. Lisa and her husband are proud parents of two furry felines: Bailey and Bella.

Brian Churchman

Brian Churchman

Vice President

 

Churchman, known as “Church”, is retired with the City of Calgary where he spent many years in the Development & Inspections Area as a Senior Planning Tech in Antenna Services.

Church started as a foster parent for AARCS and fostered AARCS’ first pregnant dog in 2006. Since that time he has been actively involved in many aspects of the organization. He volunteers as a rescuer on the weekends and in his mind there is always room for another dog.

Alison Steeves

Alison Steeves

Treasurer

Alison obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and she then joined Ernst & Young LLP in Calgary and received her Chartered Accountant designation. Alison has been employed with Suncor Energy since 2011, and has held various finance roles, most recently a part of Suncor’s Enterprise Commercial Assurance group. 

Alison is looking forward to combining her professional skills with her love of animals, in supporting the valuable work that AARCS does. shares her home with her husband, daughter, and their AARCS rescue dog, Lucy.

Randy Vanee

Randy Vanee

Secretary

Randy began his career with The City of Calgary shortly after college. He has subsequently worked in many technical and leadership positions for their Information Technology department. Randy obtained his PMP (Project Management Professional) designation in 2000 and has since managed many various IT projects. He continues his career at The City of Calgary leading IT’s Service Management division.

Randy has a daughter and son who attend university and whom both love animals. Outside of his professional career and AARCS, Randy enjoys travelling as well as numerous outdoor adventures including camping, golfing, hiking, and motorbikes. Randy joined AARCS with his daughter in 2009 as a volunteer and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2011. He looks forward to continuing his volunteer work with AARCS and is happy to see the organization continue to grow and improve.

Brieanna Bridgman

Brieanna Bridgman

Board Member

Brieanna Bridgman is a marketing and communications professional. She has been with TELUS for over ten years, and has supported complex sales pursuits, new real estate development, and is embarking on a new opportunity to engage with small business owners and entrepreneurs in western Canada. Brieanna has also worked in business process improvement and change management, project management, and internal communications roles.

Brieanna completed Bachelor’s degrees in both English and Communications from the University of Calgary, a certificate in Public Relations from the University of Victoria, and has a Master’s degree in Technical and Professional Communications from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Brieanna has been supporting AARCS since 2015 and is looking forward to continuing to share her knowledge and expertise with such an incredible organization. She is particularly interested in how she can assist in elevating the brand of AARCS in the community to continue to drive towards a compassionate world for all animals. Brieanna loves travel, hiking, snowboarding, backpacking, and her dog, Ellwood.

Vanessa Salopek

Vanessa Salopek

Board Member

Vanessa Salopek is the owner of Calgary’s award-winning restaurant and food truck, MARKET.  She is also a Business Associate with Salopek & Associates, one of Canada’s top independent HR consulting companies in Canada. Vanessa was born in Calgary but spent many of her summers on her grandparent’s cattle farm where she developed a strong passion for animal welfare and sustainable living. This passion is rooted in her business, as Vanessa only partners with local farmers and suppliers that practice ethical farming and stewardship. Vanessa was named Canada’s Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs in 2015 by BDC Canada and was named Calgary’s Top 10 Game Changers in 2016 by Branded Magazine. Vanessa got her B.Comm in Marketing from the Haskayne School of Business and is currently an Associate Member for the CPHR (Chartered Professionals in Human Resources).

Vanessa is an avid dog lover and loves spending time with her German Shepherd x Husky x Wolf Hybrid, Indiana. She enjoys spending her free time walking her dog in Fish Creek Park, going up to Banff for skiing and hikes, and loves golfing. Vanessa is excited to join the Board and apply her professional experience in assisting AARCS achieve their mission and vision for animal awareness and welfare.

Marita Zouravlioff

Marita Zouravlioff

Board Member

Marita is a lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Calgary with a broad corporate and commercial litigation and dispute resolution practice. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto in 2015 and was called to the Alberta bar in 2016. 

Marita’s practice includes matters relating to contractual disputes, construction, insurance, energy, and intellectual property. Marita also advises clients on matters relating to acquisitions and corporate compliance.

Marita and her husband adopted their beloved tuxedo cat, Freddie, from AARCS in 2020. Marita was very impressed by the AARCS adoption process and was thrilled at the opportunity to subsequently join the AARCS Board. She is excited to use her professional experience to assist AARCS with its important mission of finding animals a safe and happy home.

Karin King

Karin King

Board Member

A Calgarian at heart, Karin obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Mount Allison University before returning to Calgary to finish her Chartered Professional Accountant(CA) designation.  

The lure of warmer weather (and good diving) meant a move to the Cayman Islands, where she completed her Chartered Financial Analyst designation.  Returning to Calgary, she spent almost 20 years in the energy sector in the finance and insurance fields before turning her attention to volunteer pursuits.  

On top of fulfilling the mostly reasonable demands of her two rescue cats, Scout and Stella, Karin enjoys live music and quilting, and is Chair of the Board of the Calgary Folk Fest and on the Board of the Modern Quilt Guild.

Erin Salomons

Erin Salomons

Board Advisor

Erin Salomons is Blackfoot (Niitsitapi) from the Piikani First Nation living in Calgary (Mohkinstsis). Erin has been directly affected by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the 60’s Scoop. She utilizes her lived experiences to help bring awareness of the importance of cultural connections. Erin is actively involved in initiatives and committees surrounding the promotion and wellbeing of Indigenous people. 

Erin became involved in AARCS as a caregiver to the shelter animals following the death of her best friend. Her love for animals and being close to dogs (Imiitaa) helped her in her healing journey. She brings knowledge to the Board,  provides insight on Indigenous matters, and in a supportive role- assists the organization in building upon the trust with First Nation communities. Respecting and nurturing the relationships/partnerships that exist between communities, their companion animals and the organization.

Tanya Farah

Tanya Farah

Board Advisor

Tanya is a finance and accounting professional who brings a complementary perspective to AARCS, having previously worked in the not-for-profit space at The Walmart Foundation in the US. Her career started at Wheaton College, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business & Economics degree and later returned to school at the University of Texas in Austin to complete her Master’s in Professional Accountancy. She then went to work for Dell and later Walmart, taking on work assignments in Asia, Europe, South & North America.

In 2019, Tanya and her husband relocated to Calgary, where she has embraced the beauty of the region.  They are proud parents of two black labs, Austin and Kobe.  She is excited to be a part of the AARCS mission of changing lives through kindness, believing every pet animal should have a chance to enjoy the special bond between a human and their pet.

Evan Lawlor

Evan Lawlor

Board Advisor

Evan Lawlor is an Innovation Management Consultant at Alberta Health Services. He works with various stakeholders on innovation management that addresses business challenges and recommends processes, resources, tools and service improvements to facilitate innovation.

Before joining Alberta Health Services, Evan worked in the nonprofit sector for eight years in animal welfare and healthcare. He sat on national standards and Animal Welfare Conference committees with Humane Canada, steered committees and teams alongside the Glenrose Hospital and developed and implemented two government engagement strategies. He has focused on strategic partnerships with private and public organizations to align missions and vision objects to increase organizational impact. His focus on organizational development has led to implementing animal shelter best practices, funding diversification and Imagine Canada best practices. His board experience focuses on board governance and strategic planning at both the board and executive levels.  

Evan has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta and is currently obtaining his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Fredericton. He also received executive training certificates from Queen’s University, is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive candidate. He also currently is a board member of Migraine Canada board and sits on the governance committee.