ADRIA is supported by a dedicated team of part-time staff led by our Executive Director. Messages & emails are usually returned within 2 business days. Calls & visits are best accommodated weekdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. To deliver our quality training and professional development, we rely on a roster of experienced instructors and coaches.
Due to Covid-19 circumstances, some members have been furloughed and most are working from home. Calls and emails will still be acknowledged and responded to by the appropriate staff member.
Executive Director (reduced hours due to COVID)
ADRIA is governed by a Board of Directors and has adopted a set of by-laws, registered on the incorporation of the Institute on May 14, 2012. The Board consists of up to nine individuals who are elected by and from the membership. The Board also includes an elected representative from the ADRIC Board, and often a Past President. An Executive consisting of a President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary is elected by the Directors and announced at our Annual General Meeting.
2020-21 Board of Directors
Barbara McNeil, C.Med, Q.Arb
Barbara is a chartered mediator, integrity commissioner, facilitator, and adjudicator. She’s a certified ombudsman and trained in workplace assessment and investigation. For over thirty years, she’s helped people find resolution for their tough problems. Barbara was a hearing commissioner with the Alberta Energy Regulator from 2013 – 2017, adjudicating and mediating oil and gas issues. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and a Masters in Public Administration.
Barbara’s work takes her throughout Alberta, where she meets wonderful people and keeps falling in love with our province’s beautiful landscapes. With more enthusiasm than talent she enjoys skiing, tennis, golf, and sailing. Recently Barbara started tormenting herself by learning and trying to play competitive bridge.
Michelle is an accomplished executive professional with extensive international corporate experience in a variation of private and public sectors. She has over twenty years of professional experience in all facets of human resources and people strategy, labour relations, strategic planning and executive leadership management and development. Michelle is a multilingual leader and high performer that develops executable strategy and employs human capital practices that attract, retain and develop high potential talent.
Michelle is currently the Vice President of Employee Experience for the Good Samaritan Society of Canada. Previously, Michelle held executive level positions with the University of Alberta, the City of St. Albert, and in the European Telecommunications sector. She was also the Vice President of the National Foundation for Human Resource Development.
Michelle possesses strong educational credentials which includes a Master of Laws (Human Rights and Employment Specialization), a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Public Policy and Certification in industrial relations, executive leadership, strategic business planning and alternative dispute resolution.
In her work as Vice President of the National Foundation for Human Resource Development and as a Board Director and Managing Partner of ‘Objective HR’, a professional consultancy firm, Michelle worked diligently to promote and advance HR practices, standards and ethics as well as ADR/mediation practices, by promoting designation standards and advancing/educating standards of practice both within private corporations as well as throughout a variation of levels of government.
Advancing and successfully executing people strategy initiatives and a commitment towards purposeful and authentic leadership are philosophies Michelle has consistently striven to incorporate in all aspects of her work. Her commitment to providing solutions for individuals to resolve conflict and to negotiate terms of resolution as well as promoting clear differentiators and employee centred value propositions have proven to be a successful strategy throughout her professional career.
Dora Dang, C.Med, C.Arb.
Dora is a Chartered Arbitrator (C. Arb.), Chartered Mediator (C. Med.), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), Registered Family Mediator of Alberta (RFM) and Commissioner for Oaths in and for Alberta. Dora currently sits on the Board of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Alberta (ADRIA) as the Treasurer.
Dora is the co- founder and co-owner of Leap! Divorce Solutions Ltd. helping clients reduce the anxiety and stress often experienced during the divorce and separation process. Dora’s mission at Leap! Divorce Solutions Ltd. is to empower couples going through divorce to make decisions and form agreements outside the courtroom through arbitration and or mediation.
Dora has twenty-five years of experience working with the public, corporations, professional associations, not-for-profit, and government (police agencies, correctional agencies, educators and medical health professions).
Dora is a proud Calgarian and in her leisure time, you might find Dora chilling with family and friends or nurturing her inner “foodie” at a Calgary restaurant.
Ali Ansell, Q.Med
Ali has a private practice, working mostly with families and communities, and currently spends most of her time as an ADR Specialist at the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). At the AER she helps companies, NGOs, landowners, and Indigenous communities work through disputes related to oil and gas development. She instructs, mediates, and facilitates, and she is actively engaged in a number of groups and committees, including the Conflict Resolution Day Planning Committee and Mediators Mentoring Mediators.
In her personal life she loves to garden and has been experimenting with composting over the last few years. She also enjoys travelling to new places and discovering hidden gems around the world. She's travelled to a number of European countries in the past and more recently has been exploring the United States. An unexpected favorite of 2019: sitting on the beach near wild horses on the island of Assateague, Maryland.
J. Barrie Marshall, QC
Barrie is a retired lawyer and was, until June, 2019, a partner in the Calgary office of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP. Barrie spent his entire career practicing in the area of commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction and securities law. He is highly regarded for his creative and effective litigation skills and dispute resolution strategies. His expertise in builders' lien law, in particular, made him a frequent advisor to a broad spectrum of construction industry participants including fellow construction law practitioners.
Barrie is a past chair of the National Civil Litigation Section of the Canadian Bar Association and has held several posts with the Alberta branch of that body.
Barrie is currently a director on the Board of ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA), an affiliate of the ADR Institute of Canada (ADRIC). Barrie also serves on the ADRIC Board as the ADRIA representative to that Board.
Barrie pursues a broad spectrum of interests and recreational activities. He enjoys reading, cycling, hiking, skiing, and spending time with his three grandchildren.
Director and Governance Committee Chair:
Kevin Kelly, Q.Arb, Q.Med
Kevin was born and raised in Calgary. After attending university in Victoria and traveling extensively while studying law and playing rugby in the UK, Kevin returned to Calgary and has practiced law primarily in insurance litigation, risk management, real estate, business, and estate planning. He acts as a mediator, arbitrator and adjudicator in disputes involving businesses and partnerships, land development, condominiums, estates, and professional competence and disciplinary hearings. Kevin works with corporations, non-profit organizations and multi-stakeholder groups as a facilitator and board meeting chair, and assists them with strategic planning and governance.
Kevin has developed and taught courses for SAIT in real estate law, business law and negotiation, and he is a learning group facilitator and evaluator with the Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education. He enjoys spending time in the mountains and by the ocean and would love to write a novel.
Amin Poonja, Q.Med
Amin Poonja is a professional biologist and has worked in the fields of pest management and public health for over 35 years. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology (BSc. Biology) from the University of Ottawa and a postgraduate (Dip (MPM) in Pest Management from Simon Fraser University.
Over the last 25 years or so, he has been actively involved in volunteering on various institutional bodies within the Ismaili Muslim and the greater community, including being Chairman of the Aga Khan Education board, Vice Chair of the Aga Khan Social Welfare board, Member for the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Boards for Edmonton and the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board of Canada.
He has also served as President of the Pest Management Association of Alberta, Member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Pest Management Association, member on the Telus - Yellow Pages Advisory Board and on board of directors of the MRJC (Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre).
He has a strong interest in conflict resolution and is currently the Chairman of the Aga Khan Conciliation and Arbitration board for Edmonton (www.cabcanada.org ) He believes that mediation has an important role to play in conflict resolution.
His interests are Travelling and learning through meeting and engaging with people.
Currently he is President of Ecopest Inc. – a company headquartered in Edmonton dealing in Pest control and Hygiene services throughout Alberta. He is married with 2 children (young adults) and a proud grandfather to 2 grandchildren.
Paul Blakeney, C.Med
Paul is a senior dispute resolution professional with a robust combination of skills, training and experience in the field. He has mediated numerous disputes in a variety of settings involving governments, companies, municipalities, landowners, condominium boards, civil claimants, and neighbours. Paul also has experience as a specialized ombudsman and administrative decision-maker involving complex, financially material and politically sensitive issues.
Samuel H. Sele, Q.Med
Samuel H. Sele's interest in conflict resolution began early in life as a child growing up in the Liberian village of Fangonda. There, in the absence of a formal legal system, he learned firsthand the importance of interest-based negotiations. The elders of his village were often referred to as mediators and in situations of conflict they would call involved parties together and help them explore all relevant perspectives. The goal of the elders-come-mediators was to help each side develop a common understanding and to encourage parties to generate solutions amenable to all interests. Building off these childhood experiences, Sam aims to practice his belief in the importance of interest-based negotiations through his everyday interactions with people and their values.
Sam currently works as a Socio-Economic and ADR Specialist with the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) formally the National Energy Board (NEB). His role primarily involves working with CER’s regulated companies, landowners, Indigenous communities, stakeholders, and other land users to reach resolution on complex and often very controversial energy and pipeline development issues. Sam also provides professional advice to the CER’s leadership, Commissioners, and staff on socio-economic and conflict resolution matters relating to the energy industry.
Sam earned a Masters of Science in Sustainable Energy Development from the University of Calgary in 2010 and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing in from the University of Minnesota. Sam has also completed certificate training in Conflict Resolution, Public Participation, Crisis and Risk Communication, and Sustainability. He is currently a member of the ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA), and the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).
Sam currently lives in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and three children. When not working, Sam enjoys spending time with family, volunteering, and coaching his community youth soccer team.
Sharon Roberts, Q.Arb
Sharon is a Partner at Field LLP in Edmonton, where she practices in dispute resolution oriented litigation and as a Qualified Arbitrator. She assists parties primarily in occupational health and safety, commercial, contract, real estate, construction, municipal, indigenous, employment and environmental matters. As an arbitrator and member of the ADR Institutes of Alberta and Canada, Sharon enjoys working with parties to ensure fair, transparent processes and procedures yielding a final result that will enable them to bring closure to conflict. Sharon is also a Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor and an occupational health and safety legal practice, in which she advises and represents clients in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.
Sharon volunteers as the Board Chair of the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) and limps along as Board Secretary to her young sons’ community hockey league. She is a heart-led mentor, passionate animal rescuer, disability and mental health champion, runner and writer. Sharon is schooled in humility, is fiercely compassionate and suffers from periodic misanthropy. She tries her best, eats nut butters by the spoonful and loves her kids to bits.