David (Dave) Hubert
Dave is a seasoned educator with 23 years experience in post-secondary education, including eight years as president of Norquest College and Portage College and four years as Director of Instructional Services in the Alberta government's Department of Advanced Education.
In 1985, Dave became the first Executive Director of the Edmonton Mennonite Center for Newcomers. Two years later, he joined Mennonite Central Committee Canada as Director of Employment Development to implement employment programs in Western Canada and Atlantic Canada. He held this post until 1995, after which he devoted his time and energy to the volunteer sector.
Beginning in 1990, Dave served a five-year term as the Founding Chair for the Edmonton affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. He also founded the Edmonton Recycllng Society, Alberta Plastic Recycling Association, and Vietnamese Canadian Friendship Association. He has sat on numerous boards, including Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) and Economic Development Edmonton (later the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation).
Dave's visit to Honduras in 1995 as a member of the MEDA Board led him to found CPI as a response to the many needs he found in that country and he has served as Executive Director since 2002. Dave has received a number of awards to recognize his many years of public service. The latest is his induction into the City of Edmonton's Community Service Hall of Fame in 2019.
Board of Directors
Richard (Rick) Berube (Chair)
After earning a MSW degree, Rick was employed first with the City of Edmonton Social Services Department and then with Catholic Social Services in Edmonton. Since retiring from the position of Vice President at CSS, he has continued to serve that organization part-time as Associate Chaplain. Rick has also served with the Mennonite Central Committee in a refugee camp in Thailand and on the Board of the Sombrilla International Development Society. He has been a CPI Board member since 2012.
Suzanne Gross (Vice-Chair)
Suzanne obtained a Ph.D. in musicology and is currently the Manager of Partnerships and Collaborations at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. Her interest in Honduras began as a student in 1979 when she spent three months in that country studying Spanish and the history of that country. Since joining the CPI Board in 2012, Suzanne has served as Chair and continues to act as interpreter in communications with Asociacion Confraternidad Honduras, CPI's partner in Honduras.
Shyla Varghese (Treasurer)
Shyla has a M.Sc. degree in Chemistry and a Diploma in Computer System Technology. For many years she was a chemistry instructor at Red Deer College, from which she recently retired. Besides serving on the CPI Board (since 2011), Shyla is Treasurer for the Edmonton-based charity World in Need. She is a dedicated volunteer, busy grandmother and part-time gardener
Sheron Pickard (Secretary)
Sheron graduated with a B.ScN and was a registered nurse. During a 38-year career in rehabilitation, acute care, and long-term care, she held various management and education positions, including Director of Care Services and Executive Director. Visits to Guatemala and Honduras have demonstrated to Sheron the positive impact that non-profit organizations such as CPI can make. She joined the CPI Board in 2010.
Gordon's professional background is in oil and gas production engineering. Since retiring in 2005, he has volunteered as treasurer and member of the Finance and Audit committees for several organizations. In finding a balance between inventing, creating, constructing and general volunteering, Gordon enjoys cycling, golfing, motorcycling, music and travel. He is currently the chair of CPI's Finance Committee and, together with his wife Wendy, leads CPI's Learning Tours to Honduras.
Wendy had a successful career in marketing and promotions, mostly involving indigenous crafts. She joined the Board after visiting Honduras on one of CPI's first Learning Tours in 2014. Now Wendy and husband Gordon organize and lead one or two of these tours every year.
Frieda was one of the founding members of CPI in 1997 and has also served on the Board of the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. She was a potter and homemaker and now is a full-time caregiver to her husband.
Ronald (Ron) Dyck
Since obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology, Ron has provided leadership to governments, academia, agencies, communities, and companies. During a career in executive and senior management positions that has spanned more than 40 years, he has focused on public service, particularly in areas of innovation, science, health, and mental health, suicide prevention and intervention, and on refugee and immigrant services. Ron joined the Board in 2018.
Paul obtained his law degree and has practiced as a lawyer for 17 years. He is committed to improving his community and has worked with Habitat for Humanity, Earthkeeping, Legal Aid, and human rights law. He joined the Board in 2017.
Reuben has a Bus. Admin. Dipl., has studied in the CGA program, is a past certified ISO Auditor, and is registered with two accounting bodies (PBA and ICIA). He has been a financial controller for private and public companies in the oil and gas industry for 25 years. During his more than 15 years on the CPI Board, Reuben has held the positions of treasurer, secretary, and chair of the Finance Committee. He was instrumental in developing the CAL program in Honduras and his corporate contacts provided the first used computers for that program.
Waldemar (Wally) Friesen
After earning a Ph.D. in physics, Wally joined the Canadian federal public service as a research scientist in a laboratory investigating the fundamentals of various phenomena in the processing of coal and oil sands. He has served on the Boards of several nor-for-profit organizations and in retirement devotes some of his time volunteering for a number of groups. Wally joined the CPI Board in 2018.
Harold obtained his mechanics license from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and became a machine repair shop owner-operator and seed grain farmer. As a Select Seed Grower for over 40 years, he has worked closely with Canadian plant breeders and been a director on a number of Boards, including that of the Alberta Seed Growers Association. Harold has received national recognition from the agriculture industry for his inventing, designing and manufacturing. Now semi-retired, he is active in his local church. Harold joined the CPI Board in 2018.
John graduated with a D.Phil. in chemistry and went on to hold faculty positions at the University of Botswana for 16 years and then at Concordia University in Edmonton until his retirement in 2016. He now devotes much of his time to volunteering with his local Mennonite church and various other organizations, often in leadership positions, and has served, along with his wife, as a guest house host in Palestine. John’s passion for outdoor activities, photography, and travel has taken him to all continents except Antarctica. He has been on the CPI Board since 2012.