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2018 Mayor and Council's Toast of Champions


Annalee Nutter

Annalee Nutter

  • A perfect blend of strictness and kindness as the Principal at Walter and Gladys Hill Elementary School.
  • Genuine desire to determine the best way to meet each child’s unique learning needs, while consistently inspiring the students to continually learn and grow.
  • Promotes multiculturalism and opportunity for all kids to learn international sports and languages within the school’s curriculum.
  • Serves the community by volunteering on the Girls Inc. Board, at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, Wood Buffalo Food Bank and on the Alberta Chinese Language Consortium Board.
  • Has the ability to recognize a student´s potential as well as weaknesses, apart from being very dedicated and sincere. 

Atash Shiyarwala

Atash Shiyarwala

  • Founder of “Fort McMurray Hike More Worry Less”*.
  • Promotes outdoor awareness and appreciation by coordinating seminars and presentations on the basics of hiking, backpacking, and navigation.
  • Creates a safe place for people to gather and participate in physical activity by suggesting proper equipment and clothing, advising of risks and hazards and by ‘checking in’ with every participant.
  • Coordinates hikes, snowshoeing, backpacking camping trips and community clean ups to keep the trails clean and the membership free.
  • His passion and enthusiasm of the region make him a local ambassador.

Atash Shiyarwala

Christian Cao

  • Developing a computer program that identifies the optimal university choices based on a student's career choice, learning preferences, financial situation and the preferred geographical location of the institution.
  • Along with his athletics, he is involved in various school clubs and community initiatives, while maintaining academic excellence.
  • Received the prestigious Fair Play award at the Alberta Winter Games for Team Alberta North in Badminton.
  • Was a major component in the Westwood Green Initiative Club's video for Samsung Canada's "Solve for Tomorrow" challenge, winning Westwood $20,000 worth of technology.
  • A strong advocate for youth in the community through his role as an executive member of Student Council, member of Westwood’s Administrative Advisory Council, a long-term member of the Student Advisory Team and a member of MACOY.



Dr Phanisree Timmaraju

Dr. Phanisree Timmaraju

  • As a tutor, she provides friendly, flexible and individual support to youth in all areas of studies.
  • Works with children with learning challenges, while collaborating with students, families, and schools.
  • Instrumental in bringing the Spelling Bee program to Fort McMurray, which provides local students the opportunity to advance to the national championships.
  • Strives to develop new programs and create new opportunities for children in the region.
  • Invested in improving local education, so that families can have a great place to live, work and play.











FNMI SAC

First Nations, Métis, Inuit Student Advisory Council (FNMI SAC)

  • A group of young, ambitious Indigenous students whose goal is to better education for themselves and for future students.
  • Gathered in the spring of 2018 through the Fort McMurray Public School District (FMPSD) as a forum for the Indigenous student voice.
  • Presented a video to highlight their accomplishments and goals to the FMPSD Board of Trustees.
  • Wish to preserve Indigenous tradition, culture, and history for future students, while supporting their parents and Elders.
  • The group works hard to improve our community’s perspective on Indigenous ways and helps educate people on Indigenous traditions and culture.

Mrs. Frances Jean

Mrs. Frances Jean

  • Mrs. Jean was the beloved matriarch of her family and was held in high esteem by all who knew her as a trailblazer, an astute businesswoman, a historian, author, and fearless ambassador for Fort McMurray.
  • Mrs. Jean and her late husband Bernard opened Jean's Gifts and Stationary in 1967 and started the first newspaper in Fort McMurray, the McMurray Courier, where she acted as reporter, writer, and editor.
  • Pillar of the community through her many volunteer positions.
  • Keyano College Distinguished Citizen, a Woman of Inspiration for Girls Inc. and countless other awards and accolades from all levels of government and business.
  • To celebrate her eightieth birthday in 2012, she launched her book, "More than Oil: Trappers, Traders & Settlers of Northern Alberta", a collection of stories and anecdotes about the people and history of Northern Alberta.

Jay Telegdi

Jay Telegdi

  • Embodies regional pride and dedication.
  • Created and organized the Rural Coalition in 2015, a group comprised of most of the First Nations, Métis organizations and non-Indigenous community groups within the RMWB to advocate for equitable funding and access to municipal services and ventures.
  • Mobilized volunteers during Evacuation to connect and assist McMurray Métis members.
  • A passionate advocate for rural and Indigenous issues, as well as the LGBTQI+ community.
  • Dedicated to breaking down perceived barriers, reducing stigma, and building a vibrant and whole community in the RMWB.





Melanie Galea

Melanie Galea

  • Creator of “Discover Fort McMurray"
  • Organized two shop local events, during which she created over 40 live videos for participating businesses.
  • Hosted two 4-hour long classes to teach local businesses how to effectively use social media for marketing.
  • Created the popular #iShopYMM hashtag to promote shop local initiatives.
  • A passionate advocate and supporter of local businesses.

 * ”Discover Fort McMurray” is a marketing tool that showcases and raises awareness of local businesses and services. It began as a video series and is now an app for smartphones, at no expense to businesses.





Michelle Farrow

Michelle Farrow

  • Prides herself on her ability to create and foster relationships with people, which is a contributing factor to her success in her career and in the many ways she contributes to our community.
  • Recognizes the importance of sharing resources and partnering wherever possible, while always keeping in mind the best interest of the non-profit sector and the community.
  • Is the Executive Director of the Fort McMurray Boys & Girls Club and volunteers as Chair of the Early Years Coalition, Chair of Volunteer Recruitment & Registration for the 2018 Alberta Winter Games, while regularly participating in events with the Northern Lights Health Foundation and at her children’s school.
  • Is a role model, leader and has forever been an active and engaged part of our community.
  • Is continuously thinking about how to best serve the residents of the region, which is highlighted through the new and innovative programming at FMBGC that she has piloted and grown, including finding gaps within programming to serve our region’s most vulnerable and underserved youth.

Mike Jones

Mike Jones

  • A passionate advocate and supporter of the arts hosts Football Sundays and Name That Tune, volunteers with the Fort McMurray Food Festival, Wood Buffalo Arts Council Board of Directors and the Alberta Culture Days planning committee.
  • Volunteers his time between organizing fundraising events, performing in theatre productions and endorsing music shows.
  • Always looking to bring smiles to the people around him, be it on or off stage, or on or off the air.
  • Is dedicated, hard-working and humble, while always being ready to support local art and artists. Ready to go the extra mile to engage the community and spread awareness.
  • Actions transcend support; he takes to the streets and knocks on doors, rallies the troops with vigor and enthusiasm and challenges people to strengthen their capacity to give.

Nicole Greville

Nicole Greville  

  • A regular volunteer in the social-profit sector, showing compassion and support to a variety of causes and issues, while contributing to the health and wellness of the community.
  • Helps newcomers adapt and integrate into the Region as an ESL instructor at the LINC program at Keyano College, as well as at the Wood Buffalo Welcome Centre located at the Wood Buffalo Regional Library.
  • Formerly served as the Chair of the Newcomer Interagency Network, helping coordinate efforts across multiple agencies in Wood Buffalo to make the region a more welcoming place.
  • Currently serves as the Family Violence Outreach Manager for Waypoints Wood Buffalo, managing a team of four domestic abuse counselor.
  • Her knowledge and commitment to Indigenous practices and the truth and reconciliation process have the benefit of making services accessible to the region's multiple Indigenous Nations, creating a safer region for all.

Randy and Lynne Stefanizyn

Randy & Lynne Stefanizyn

  • Residents of Fort McMurray for 33 years and fierce advocates for the Wood Buffalo region.
  • Known for caring for others and putting others’ needs and considerations ahead of their own.
  • Donate endless hours, energy, funds and resources to various causes.
  • Shopped, wrapped and delivered Christmas gifts to countless families in 2017 and 2018 as part of YMM Helping Others Group.
  • Developed “Hearts of Hope” to welcome families of Beaconhill, Abasand and Grayling Terrace back to their homes upon Re-Entry. Lynne and Randy put together beautiful planters and delivered them to residents to ensure people dealing with challenges had an opportunity to ‘smile’ during their difficult times

Robbie Picard

Robbie Picard

  • Assistance with the Canada Action campaign of “I Oilsands” turned him into a leading non-partisan advocate for the oilsands development.
  • Through many personal and professional struggles, he has remained an advocate for the region, its industry and the community.
  • Began a web series called "Visit Fort McMurray" to showcase local business, activities and people in the region.
  • Uses his business to raise money and showcase local non-profit agencies.
  • Determined to make the community a better place to live by keeping the future of oil sands development first and foremost on people’s minds.






Sheldon Germain

Sheldon Germain

  • As a 19 year Councillor (1998-2017), he has represented the changing and diverse needs of the Region with an aim to truly be the voice of the people, for the people.
  • Sheldon was the driving force in the development and expansion of MacDonald Island Park.
  • Championed the idea of an indoor water-skiing training centre, was a huge supporter of the 3 on 3 hockey tournament, and was a co-chair for this Region and Province's largest outdoor Junior A Hockey game.
  • A teacher, hockey coach, swim coach, municipal councillor and event sponsor for the Sheldon Germain 3 on 3 hockey tournament.
  • He embraces and lives the term “community leader”

Tina

Tina Tetreault

  • Created and developed the Fort Mac ‘Rocks’ community campaign*
  • Has inspired generations of youth and children to explore the region and to expand their outlook of geography, wonder, and excitement in their neighborhoods and beyond.
  • A supporter and promoter of the Art in Motion program, encouraging others in the community to create and showcase their art.
  • Has worked with several groups and people to help bring attention to their cause and support their vision throughout the entire region and beyond using painted rocks.
  • Her commitment to this community initiative has fostered a generation of individuals to be creative and has supported arts and culture within the RMWB.
  •  * Fort Mac Rocks encourages residents to transform pebbles and stones into pieces of art, then hide them for others to find.


    you can ride 2

    Wood Buffalo You Can Ride 2 Program

    • The program combines a lot of work, commitment, community partnerships, sponsorship and volunteers to provide an adapted bike to children with disabilities.
    • Improves the physical wellbeing of children, while connecting through an enjoyable family activity.
    • A joint project among both school boards.
    • Allows students with disabilities to enjoy the childhood experience of riding a bike through the parks and trails in the community, while bringing smiles to the children’s faces.
    • 69 bikes were distributed through the program. 

    The 2018-2019 WMZone season is finished.  Stay tuned for updates in the fall.