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Director at Large

Norka Thompson (She/Her)

I am 34-year-old woman from Peru, I lived in Lima almost my entire life but in the beginning, as my father traveled for work we live in the Mountains in Puno, Peru, as I entered the time to choose my career I decided I wanted to be a psychologist, I  obtained my bachelor in 2011 but started working before in Human Resources in 2010 as a FT trainee, I know it sounds funny but love what I do, I worked in large retail companies and move into more executive search, I was exposed to negotiations with clients, retention of candidates, development of HR and Recruitment Strategies, I build relationships with stakeholders, supported HR Events and evaluate employee performance.

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 In 2013 I immigrated to Canada and my career took changed, I was not able to find a job as a recruiter so I worked as a Dishwasher, in total honesty, it did help me to improve my English and I met my husband, I worked many jobs during the time, in 2014 I returned to Peru and in 2015 I am back to Canada continuing my job at the restaurant but now in a supervisory role, until 2019 when I was headhunted by a small recruitment firm and my career in recruitment being here, I went through a lot during those years, it became clear the industry was not doing always the right thing and I feel happy my companies allow me to be vocal of my experience and allow me through their D&I policies to create change that will support candidates who were overlooked due to being part of a minority. as I always said my job is for my candidates, they are my reason, they are the ones who are the most important piece to my industry. I have been part of D&I commutes for the past 2 years but committed to inclusive practices for my entire career, I believe is time to take a new challenge, to be part of an organization like Pride Calgary, I am proud Latina, Gay women, I would like to continue to support and create initiatives that will create save spaced for our 2SLGBTQ+ community. 

Director at Large

Dawson Thomas (He/Him/They)

My name is Dawson Thomas, and I am a full-time student in the Hospitality Management program at SAIT. My pronouns are he/him/they and I identify as two-spirit indigenous male. I am both Cree and Blackfoot from Mattagami First Nation located in Treaty 5 Canada.

I am now in my third year of student leadership, and I wear many hats such as. President of Saitsa where I represent and advocate for over 13,000 students, Chair of the Calgary Student Alliance (CSA) and I sit on the institutes highest governing body the Board of Governors. I am also the advisor to the Pride+ Club at SAIT.

I have always had a passion to volunteer, and I look forward to bringing my experiences, skills, and knowledge in my newest capacity to the Calgary Pride Board as interim-Director.

Director at Large

Kevin Jowsey (He/Him)

As a person who has fallen in love with Calgary since moving to the city in 2016, Kevin learned to be his full self and was given the opportunity to explore his full potential as a person. Kevin believes that everyone should get that opportunity and believes he can offer a meaningful contribution to what the landscape of Calgary can be.

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Kevin is passionate and willing to learn how Calgary can be a place that is inclusive, diverse and safe for everyone. Kevin has a background in sales and marketing and has always had roles that involved relationship-building with a diverse cross-section of groups and individuals. Kevin has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management.

In his spare time, you can catch Kevin having coffee on 17th, his weekly runs in the park or just relaxing on a Friday night watching Youtube videos and eating his guilty pleasure… chips!

Director at Large

Shelby Dewhirst (They/Them)

Shelby is a non-binary panromantic person born and raised in Calgary (Treaty 7 territory). In addition to their work with Calgary Pride, they have proudly volunteered with Amnesty International for more than 20 years, advocating for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. Their passion lies in the rights of the 2SLGBTQA+ community and Indigenous peoples, and they have dedicated a significant portion of their life to social justice, activism, and engagement in anti-racism and decolonial education.

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Professionally Shelby has worked in the public sector for the last 10 years. During that time Shelby was an active member of the Government of Alberta’s Women in Leadership Secretariat, where they worked to enhance public policy by actively incorporating diverse perspectives at all levels.

Director at Large

Colton Fagan (He/Him)

Hi everyone, I’m Coltan Fagan, and I was born and raised in Calgary. I have a passion for the city and have held various advocacy and leadership roles within organizations such as Tourism Calgary, The City of Calgary, and the Calgary Downtown Association.

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I am also an educator in Tourism Management and Business Administration, where I have pursued research relating to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. I currently hold a Sociology Degree, a Masters in Tourism Management, and pursuing my Doctorate in Business Administration. I hope that my experience and passion can benefit the PRIDE organization.

Co-Chair

Luc DeGagne (He/Him)

Luc is a software developer and data engineering consultant. He is hoping to give back to the community by joining the Pride board. He was a founding member of his university’s Mental Health Committee of which he sat on the board for over 3 years and founded his school’s fraternity where he sat on the events committee and helped raise over $1,000 for ALS.

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Luc is most known for his empathy and authenticity and is hoping to use that to continue to build better relationships with the community and continue to develop Pride into a safe space.

Secretary

Maxwell Bui-Marinos (He/They)

I am a queer, nonbinary research scientist who is ethnically Vietnamese-Greek, born and raised in Canada. I have engaged in social advocacy for many years, fueled by the adversity I’ve faced regarding my sexuality, gender identity/expression and race. I tend to be on the quiet side and very reserved, but I make up for it by being very detailed and verbose in writing that’s driven by my passion!

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My interests include gaming, instruments, language learning, rock/mineral collecting, cooking/baking, Drag Race, and karaoke! 

Director at Large

Jacky Tran (He/Him)

Jacky Tran (he/him) is a Policy Analyst with the federal government, and has worked on a number of strategic policy files including health, natural resources, intergovernmental affairs, and major projects management. As demonstrated by his active community involvement in Calgary and Ottawa, Jacky has a strong sense of volunteerism and  dedication to fostering community building. Particularly, Jacky is passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion and building culturally competent organizations. Jacky holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Carleton University. In his free time, Jacky enjoys crossing off restaurants in his never ending list of “Must Eats” in Calgary. Also, Jacky spends most of his time with his fur baby, Tobie. 

Director at Large

Holeigh Urquhart (She/Her)

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to help people and make an impact.

I found myself in the non-profit sector after deciding to volunteer at the Distress Centre & Calgary Communities Against Sexual Assault when I couldn’t find a job, only to be later hired on with both. The time I spent in non-profit organizations prepared me for my current career as a counsellor at Sip and Psych. Undoubtedly, my own LGBT journey has led me to this place, and I am honoured to work and support my community.

I believe in showing up as my authentic self in all areas of my life. For this reason, I based my business around my obsession with coffee and have specialized in supporting the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. I’d considered moving west after completing my master’s degree however, I realized that in the Conservative political climate of Alberta, there is a need for people who will show up to support and advocate for our amazing and beautiful queer community.

Director at Large

Ijmal Haider (He/Him)

Ijmal Haider is a blogger, motivational speaker, writer, and founder/host of the Hidden Spoons Podcast. He is best known for his advocacy work for Crohns and Colitis, Chronic illness, and Mental Health. He has a degree in Urban Sociology and owns the creative design firm Haider Design Group. His focus across his many platforms is about building community through advocacy and design. He has been a featured writer and guest for over 20 organizations, publications, podcasts, and blogs, as well as a guest speaker at multiple summits and speaker events. When he is not building his design portfolio at his creative firm, he spends his free time advocating and volunteering with foundations to break stigmas, build community, and raise awareness.

Manager of Communications

Anna Kinderwater (She/Her/They)

Anna is a designer, illustrator, and maker based out of Calgary, with a childhood based in the Alberta prairies.

Anna’s contributed to developing several local community festivals over her career, such as Beltline Urban Mural Project (BUMP), and actively freelances with growing and established businesses and non-profits throughout Alberta, such as the Association of Communities Against Abuse. Anna’s marketing and design strategies focus on representing the subtle joys and nuances of the human experience, striving for emotional honesty and fresh designs that leave folks feeling connected, seen, and comforted.

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In 2019, Anna graduated from the Alberta University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Design and prioritizes her creative exploration by tabling at markets for creatives, where she can be spotted at local collectives such as Starry Dynamo, and Panel One. She is in the process of developing her first graphic novel.

Manager of Production and Programming

Sumit Munjal (He/Him/They)

Sumit (he/him) is an Indian-born Canadian with a diverse background in communications, marketing, retail development and design. As an avid supporter of minority groups and diversity in the workplace, Sumit takes a unique inclusionary approach to design and marketing that challenges the status quo high art. He believes that the narrative of Canadian diversity needs to shift from tokenism to shared beliefs of fundamental human rights and respect for lived experience.

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He moved to Calgary in 2012 from Toronto with a marketing diploma and finished his communications degree here at the University of Calgary. Besides his professional pursuits, he is working on a design & sustainability blog called ‘The Urban Paisley’ (that aims to bridge the radical approach to sustainability and design). Sumit is also an art enthusiast who loves murals and street art and appreciates the accessibility of colour and narrative at street level. His hobbies include photography, hiking and long walks in and around Bridgeland!

Manager of Membership & Fund Development

Taylor Sanford (They/Them/Any)

Taylor is a Calgary-born volunteer and hardworking professional with expertise in communications. With a background in electrical drafting and experience leading communication and graphic design initiatives across a variety of grassroots volunteer projects, Taylor brings a versatile skill set to Calgary Pride. Taylor holds an Honours B.A. in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications from the University of Winnipeg, has a true passion for community outreach, and enjoys crafting content designed to engage a diversity of stakeholder groups.

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In their free time, Taylor can be found birdwatching, playing DnD, and making all kinds of fiber arts crafts!