Bruce Gilbert

Bruce is a “Community Engagement Practitioner” and he has come to this position through a diverse array of work and volunteer experiences.

Over the past eight years Bruce was with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s (GNL) senior executive team, serving as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Rural Secretariat (2008-13) and as Assistant Deputy Minister of the Office of Public Engagement up until this past spring. Bruce worked closely with community, business, labour and academic partners on public engagement processes.

Bruce’s work with non-governmental organizations has taken him to South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Togo, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Indonesia and Costa Rica; he is currently a volunteer policy expert on a green growth and youth entrepreneurship project in Nigeria, supported by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada/CUSO.

Bruce’s educational journey includes a master’s degree in adult education from St. Francis Xavier University (focus: community mobilization and popular education), an interdisciplinary PhD from Dalhousie and Post-doctoral research at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  Bruce is also a graduate of LEAD Canada (Leadership for Environment and Development).  

Bruce lives in downtown St. John’s with his wife Camille Fouillard and their children Léo (13) and Esmée (18).

Dhurata Ikonomi

Dhurata is currently Acting Executive Director of the Community of Federal Regulators – a partnership of 27 regulatory departments promoting horizontal peer-to-peer collaboration and capacity building. Prior to joining the CFR, Dhurata was the manager of stakeholder engagement at the Office of Consumer and Public Involvement and the Natural Health Products Directorate at Health Canada. Prior to joining the federal government in 2001, Dhurata worked for international development organizations such as the United Nations and the US Agency for International Development on projects promoting good governance and gender equity in Eastern Europe. Dhurata holds a Masters in Public Administration from University of Kansas and she is a trained IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) Practitioner.

Dhurata occupe présentement le poste de directrice exécutive par intérim de la Communauté des régulateurs fédéraux – un partenariat constitué de 27 ministères à vocation réglementaires favorisant la collaboration horizontale entre pairs et le renforcement des capacités. Elle est également membre du comité directeur de la communauté de pratique sur les consultations du gouvernement du Canada. Dhurata a également dirigé les équipes de mobilisation des intervenants au Bureau de la participation des consommateurs et du public et à la Direction des produits de santé naturels et sans ordonnance de Santé Canada. Avant de se joindre au gouvernement fédéral en 2001, Dhurata a travaillé sur des projets visant à promouvoir la bonne gouvernance et l’équité entre les sexes en Europe de l’Est pour des organisations de développement international comme les Nations Unies et l’Agence américaine pour le développement international. Dhurata détient une maîtrise en administration publique de l’Université du Kansas et est une praticienne de l’IAP2 (Association internationale pour la participation publique).

Hugo Mimee
Hugo est conseiller stratégique en participation publique au Québec avec une expérience de 20 ans dans le domaine. Son défi au quotidien : des projets socialement acceptables! Hugo est passionné par l’intégration de la participation citoyenne aux petites et grandes décisions de tous les jours. À titre de conseiller relations avec le milieu il a mené plusieurs consultations publiques dans différents types de projets (lignes de transport d’électricité, poste de transformation, réfection de centrales hydroélectriques). Il travaille présentement pour Hydro-Québec à titre de conseiller et formateur en participation publique. Membre de l’Ordre des urbanistes du Québec, il possède une maîtrise en aménagement du territoire et développement régional et un baccalauréat en urbanisme ce qui lui permet d’avoir une vision large du domaine de la participation publique. Hugo est vice-président de l’AIP2 Canada et siège au conseil d’administration de l’AIP2 Canada depuis avril 2014.

Hugo is a public participation advisor in Québec with more than 20 years of experience in this field. His professional goal: socially acceptable projects! Hugo is passionate about meeting the challenges of fostering better citizen participation in the small and big decisions that are made every day. As a community relations advisor, he has led many consultations on planning and implementation of various types of projects (major power lines, electrical substations, refurbishing of hydro plants). He currently works at Hydro-Québec, as an advisor and trainer in public participation. A member of the Ordre des urbanistes du Québec, he holds a Master’s degree in planning and regional development and a Bachelor’s in urban planning, lending him a broad and applied perspective around the public participation table. Hugo is currently vice-president of IAP2 Canada and has been a member of the IAP2 Canada board of directors since April 2014.

Brenda Pichette

Brenda owns her own consulting business, P2 Facilitators, that offers expertise in Public Participation planning, design and implementation. Brenda has been developing, designing and delivering engagement/outreach and training programs for over 20 years and is passionate about and committed to building the profession of public participation in Canada. Planning an effective engagement strategy is Brenda’s specialty.

Brenda has spent much of her volunteer time in the last 2 years serving as a member of the IAP2 USA Certification Task Force. She was the Senior Public Outreach Specialist at Health Canada’s Contaminated Sites Division where she led the Public Involvement Team for 9 years. Some of the outreach programs she managed for the Federal Government include Health Canada Programs for Contaminated Sites, Tobacco, Hepatitis C and Environmental Assessment Regulations.

Brenda was a valued member of the training team at the Contaminated Sites Division, developing and delivering training programs for P2 Practitioners serving 17 Federal Government Departments and Agencies. Prior to working at the Federal Government Brenda led the Canadian Red Cross national first aid services program for 8 years and was also involved in International development programs.

Brenda is an accomplished and entertaining facilitator with an extensive list of facilitation design and development skills.

Brenda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Concordia University in Montreal.

Sarah Rivest

Sarah has worked in community engagement since 2005 and is current the Park Development and Native Programming coordinator at the Calgary Stampede, working to strengthen the relationship between First Nations communities and the Stampede. Sarah joined the Calgary Stampede in 2011, and is motivated by the passionate volunteers and opportunities to work with community leaders. Sarah's experience working for VANOC in the lead up to the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games inspired her to learn more about the field of community relations, and she completed the IAP2 certificate in 2014. Sarah holds a double degree from the University of Calgary in Communications and Canadian Studies.

Kevin Thorvaldson

Kevin has over twenty-five years' experience in media sales, media relations, internal and external communications as well as public engagement and public participation for both industry and government.

Kevin was responsible for developing the strategic and operational direction of City of Calgary engagement activities for all stakeholder audiences. Projects ranged from large infrastructure {LRT, interchanges} to developing inner-city off-leash areas, and using goats, rather than pesticides, to solve weed problems. Public engagement was integral to providing sustainable long term solutions. The City utilized many of the tools and techniques identified in the Foundations program, and connected with citizens via organized public events, online Engage Portal, Focus and advisory groups, as well as live-streaming and pop-up destination engagements.

Prior to working with municipal government, Kevin worked with the regulated utility, Altalink, where the focus of engagement was with farmers and ranchers who would host new transmission facilities, which gave him a greater appreciation for the rural community and all of the challenges that come with making a living in the country.

He has been a member of IAP2 Wild Rose since 2010, and will serve on the boards of both the Canadian and Wild Rose Boards for the coming term.

Michael Waters

Originally trained as a Visual Language Interpreter, Mike has sent the past 15+ years working as a Facilitator and Organizational Development Consultant in Alberta and BC.

Mike co-founded and is currently managing a consulting group based in Victoria, that supports a variety of client groups focused on public and stakeholder engagement. 

His work also includes designing and facilitating training focused on group facilitation, strategic communication and stakeholder engagement. Mike joined the IAP2 Board in 2016.

Ashleigh Weeden 

Ashleigh is an award-winning rural innovator and long time advocate for meaningful community engagement, open government, and applied technological innovation. Ashleigh’s work leading Grey County’s Connected County Initiative directly contributed to the County receiving recognition as one of the Top7 Intelligent Communities of 2017 by the Intelligent Community Forum. Currently, Ashleigh serves as the Communications Manager for the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Initiative, supporting the largest publicly funded regional broadband project in Canada to date. Ashleigh holds a degree in International Development from the University of Guelph and an MPA from the University of Victoria. Her work advocating for people-centred public service and connectivity-driven innovation in rural communities can be read in publications like Toronto Life, Canadian Government Executive, and Municipal World.

You can find Ashleigh on Twitter at @ashleighweeden, where she loves to connect with interesting people from all over the world, and at her virtual home at, where she writes about authenticity, leadership, and public service renewal.

Mark Weir

Mark is a Senior Program Analyst at Health Quality Ontario in the Patient, Caregiver, and Public Engagement Office. With over 5 years experience engaging patients and the public on policy, governance, and regulatory issues in health at a federal and provincial level, Mark currently supports both patients and staff as they engage with each other on healthcare quality improvement.  He is keen to build lasting relationships between care recipients and healthcare institutions to enhance patient experience and outcomes as well as ensure governance and policy decisions are more well-rounded and sustainable.  In addition, Mark has 3 years experience of policy experience on drug regulatory and global supply chain issues and 2 years experience in research on public perceptions of nutritional genomics. Mark has previously been a patient advisor to the Ottawa Hospital.DEPUTY BOARD MEMBERS

Morgan Boyco
Morgan currently works as a community and environmental planner with Dillon Consulting in Kitchener, Ontario where he specializes in public engagement.  During his professional and academic career, he has had some unique opportunities to work and study in diverse rural and urban settings in Canada and overseas, focusing on stakeholder engagement and community-driven decision-making processes. At Dillon, Morgan has specialized in bringing innovative participatory tools and methods, including digital civic engagement technologies, to complex community dialogues. His past field of research has included democratic decision making in complex community dialogues about the environment.  He holds a Master’s degree in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph, along with an honours degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University and a certificate in International Development Studies from the University of Sussex in the UK.  His master’s thesis was a comparative analysis of public participation and Indigenous community engagement in environmental assessment processes for large mining operations in Northern Canada and in South Africa.  Morgan lives in Guelph with his wife and three young children.

Kristen Farrell

Kristen is an Engagement Professional and currently Outreach Manager for Niagara Sustainability Initiative. She focuses on planning and coordination of community engagement and communications initiatives related to corporate sustainability. She is passionate about encouraging community members to get involved in local decision-making to ensure sustainable policy creation. She holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Public Policy from the University of Guelph.

Sheri Florizone
Sheri has been in the outreach and engagement arena for over 15 years. She began her career in outreach and engagement with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment in the area of climate change education. From there she moved on to the City of Regina where she has led various public education and outreach initiatives at the municipal level for over thirteen years. Most recently, Sheri assisted the City in implementing community-wide engagement strategies during the redevelopment of an official community plan, and led improvements to engagement processes in the Planning Department. Sheri also has a strong commitment to the Arts and currently sits as Chair of the Cathedral Village Arts Festival, Regina’s longest running arts festival.

Samantha Thompson
Samantha currently works as a policy advisor with The Regional Municipality of Halton in Oakville, Ontario where she is part of a small team dedicated to municipal government relations, advocacy, policy and public engagement.  During her career, Samantha has had the opportunity to be part of a wide range of municipal public engagement projects on topics such as public health, waste management, planning, transportation and economic development.  Samantha has also worked internationally in the West Indies using development through sport to support community capacity building which included engaging with rural and remote communities. At Halton, Samantha is leading the development of an enhanced regional public engagement framework which will help inform the development of Regional programs and services. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences, a post-graduate diploma in marketing, is an accredited public relations practitioner (APR) and is working towards the completion of her MBA. Samantha lives in Oakville with her husband and young daughter.

Staff support: Amelia Shaw, Leana Modonese, Drew Snider and Anita Wasiuta - -- Meet them here.

Previous IAP2 Canada boards: 

Privacy Policy | Copyright IAP2 Canada 2015

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software