The 2015 IAP2 Canada Core Values Awards

Meet the Judges


Julia Balabanowicz is a passionate individual who strongly believes that the power of dialogue and public collaboration is required to leverage the intellectual capital needed to solve the complex, global problems we face today. She is a trained mediator, facilitator and P2 professional, with six years of experience in Ontario’s electricity sector.

Julia works as a stakeholder engagement manager in Ontario’s electricity sector where she engages Ontarians on diverse issues that will shape the future of province’s electricity system. Dedicated to helping people have difficult conversations, Julia is also a mediator with Peacebuilders, an organization that uses restorative peace building dialogues to help youth resolve conflict in their lives.

She earned a degree from Western in politics and ethics and a postgraduate diploma from York University in dispute resolution. As a lifelong learner, she continually pursues development opportunities, including the IAP2 mentorship and the certificate programs. Julia has also spent three of the last ten years living and working in England, Korea and India and uses these experiences to inform her approach to communicating and resolving conflict.

Maria deBruijn, MA Maria’s connections to civic engagement run deep.  Her commitment to investing in healthy communities started in her youth, and has continued in all avenues of her career and education.

Before founding Emerge Solutions, Inc. in 2010, Maria spent 10 years in progressively senior civil service roles focused on engagement and a strong track record in moving the dial on municipalities’ conversations and relationships with their stakeholders and public.  She also completed her Master of Arts in Communications and Technology, with a capstone research project focused on digital engagement in the public sector.

Through Emerge Solutions, Inc. Maria designs and facilitates engagement processes for organizations in private, public and not for profit sectors. She created and delivers content for two University of Alberta graduate courses, including the elective Civic Engagement in the Digital Age, and two University of Alberta Social Media Citation courses.  Maria is the Chair of IAP2 Canada’s Research Committee and she was a member of the Centre for Public Involvement’s Citizen Jury on Internet Voting Advisory Committee in 2012. Her education includes a Master of Arts in Communications and Technology, with a capstone research project focused on digital engagement in the public sector.

Underlying all of Maria’s contributions - through research, instruction, work and volunteerism - are relationships.  She is appreciative of the polarities and complexity that exist in relationships, and is committed to exploring and working with them through meaningful engagement.

Susanna Haas Lyons, M.A., is a public engagement specialist who develops strategy and provides training for better conversations between the public and decision-makers.
Bridging online and face-to-face methods, Susanna has worked on some of North America’s largest and most complex citizen engagement projects, including electoral reform in British Columbia, rebuilding post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, electronic health records for the US federal government, and the City of Vancouver’s transportation future.
Susanna is an Instructor of engagement skills for governments, organizations, and international post-secondary institutions. She is certified by IAP2. susannahaaslyons.com @zannalyons



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