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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

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

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Gordon Baergen (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. Together with his wife Wendy, he leads CPI's Learning Tours to Honduras. Gordon has been a Director since 2019.

Phil Gaudet (Vice-Chair)

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.


Pierre Amyotte (Treasurer)

After studying at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Pierre continued his education and earned the Certified Management Accountant designation. He worked in the Alberta Credit Union system for 38 years, many of them in senior executive roles, before retiring. Pierre has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations and has been an active volunteer in the Franco-Albertan community and in his local community. He joined the Board in 2022.

Waldemar (Wally) Friesen (Secretary)

Wally obtained a Ph.D. in physics and 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.


Richard (Rick) Berube

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.

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. She joined the Board in 2021

Dorothea Schlichting

After graduating with a B.Sc. in Nursing, Dorothea worked as a Registered Nurse in Vancouver, Ottawa, Duncan B.C, and Edmonton. Subsequently, she was employed in various social service positions in Ottawa and Nelson B.C. She has also served as a volunteer teaching ESL, assisting refugees, and managing sales at the MCC Self-Help store in Ottawa. More recently, Dorothea operated a B&B. She was elected to the CPI Board in 2022.

Harold Warkentin (on leave)

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 has been on the CPI Board since 2018.


Zaher Zhra

An entrepreneur and experienced information technology professional, Zaher founded Edmonton-based OSI Network Solutions in 2008. Since then he has been delivering practical IT solutions to many organizations across Western Canada. Outside of his IT activities, Zaher devotes some of his time to volunteering. He has been a member of the CPI Board since 2021.

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