Executive Director

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  of Directors in 2018 and assumed the role of Interim Executive Director in October, 2021.

Honduras Program Director

Suzanne Gross

Suzanne has a Ph.D. in musicology and is currently Interim Interfaith Bridgebuilder with the Mennonite Church Alberta. Her interest in Honduras began as a student in 1979 when she spent three months there studying Spanish and the country's history. She joined the CPI Board in 2012, and has served as Chair and interpreter in communications with CPI's Honduran partner, Asociacion Confraternidad Honduras. Suzanne assumed the position of Honduras Program Director in January 2022.

Sub-Saharan Africa Program Director

 
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David (Dave) Hubert

 

Dave is a seasoned educator with 23 years experience in post-secondary education, including eight years as college president and four years in Alberta's Department of Advanced Education. He has founded several not-for-profit organizations and sat on a number of Boards of Directors. Dave's visit to Honduras in 1995 led him to found CPI as a response to the many needs he found in that country. He served as Executive Director from 2002 to 2021, when he stepped down to devote his energy to leading CPI's initiative in Africa.

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.

Gordon Baergen (Vice-Chair)

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.

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

Waldemar (Wally) Friesen (Secretary)

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 not-for-profit organizations and in retirement devotes some of his time to volunteering for a number of groups. Wally joined the CPI Board in 2018.

Wendy Baergen

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.

Phil Gaudet

Phil obtained a Master of Social Work degree from McGill University, whereupon he became an administrator in health care in Saskatoon. He then spent 20 years as President and CEO of The Good Samaritan Society in Edmonton. Since retiring he has been the owner and President of Choices in Community Living Inc., an organization which manages housing for persons requiring Assisted Living care. Phil has a particular interest in improving long-term health care methods and strategies and was a contributing expert to Alberta’s Long Term Care Review Committee report.

Michelle Lacoursiere

Michelle received a M.Ed. degree from the University of Portland and enjoyed a successful teaching career with Edmonton Catholic Schools. Since retirement, she has been active as a substitute teacher in various schools and grades and as a volunteer with the MCC Thrift Shop and several cultural and social justice organizations. Michelle speaks French fluently and continues to improve her skills in Spanish.

Olga Ochoa

Olga obtained a B.Ed. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico and then worked in Mexico as an English program coordinator and an English teacher. After coming to Canada, she was employed by various companies in sales, as an administrative assistant, and as a manager. Currently Olga has a position as a Professional Communication Instructor at MacEwan University. She is also a private ESL and Spanish tutor and volunteers in a marriage preparation ministry and with Child Haven International.

Harold Warkentin

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 Woollard

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.

canadian peacemakers international, cpi