Board of Directors
Lauren was involved in fundraising & events before ground was broken and building of the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre began. She visited the centre soon after its opening and joined the Board as Secretary in 2007. Shortly after joining the Board, Lauren adopted the beautiful Kayla! Lauren was an active member of the Board for the next 6 years, assisting mostly with events; however, held a term as President as well. She left the Board at the end of 2013 but soon after returned as Vice President.
Lauren has a strong organisational/business background and of course a passion for animals! In addition to her four legged fur babies in Canmore, Lauren and her husband adopted an orangutang at the Centre for Great Apes in the United States! Funny coincidence, his name is Christopher, which happens to be the same name as Lauren's husband!!!
Lauren enjoys being involved in the day to day running of the centre, helping with events, as well as assisting with operations. Along with her love for animals, Lauren has a passion for photography! You can usually find her at our events, with one or more cameras around her neck, snapping away!
Lisa McDowell joined the Bow Valley SPCA Board of Directors in May 2017. She brings with her a number of years of experience serving on volunteer Boards including the Canadian Mountain Arts Foundation (artsPlace), Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta and Vecova Centre for Disability Research and Services. She looks forward to making a contribution to the Bow Valley SPCA serving on the Board, volunteering at events and raising money all with a view to helping the organization continue to save lives of dogs and cats and enrich the lives of the families they join. Lisa is a dedicated animal and nature lover and enjoys spending time in the mountains with her husband Dave and their dog Libby.
Roberta has been involved with the Bow Valley SPCA since 2003, lending her passion to fundraising and attending events since the beginning. Living in the Bow Valley for 32 years she saw a need for such a facility and was passionate with getting it started. She is married with two grown sons, and at the moment doesn't have any pets. Once the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre opened its doors in 2007, Roberta began working specifically with the dogs. She volunteers on the Events Committee and with the Open Paws Program, educating volunteers in safe dog training. After retiring as a Medical Assistant in 2013, she has since become the Chair of Education; teaching pet responsibility and humane treatment to the community through Education Programs and Leadership. She spends her time working with caring, dedicated staff members and volunteers to spread knowledge and education of animals to both children and adults. She also plays a huge part in providing animals with a safe, loving environment while in transition to their new forever homes. Her goal is to reach out to our generous community, who continues to show support in many ways and assists our facility in making a difference. Earning a dog's love and respect is priceless to Roberta. These vulnerable animals have taught her reliance, courage and especially forgiveness.
Joseph has been a board member since 2007 and has served as Communications Chair as well as vice-president. He currently works with the Open Paw program. He currently is the Chairperson for Funding Development. Maggie (miniature poodle resting in my lap), is 7 years old. We got her when she was 8 weeks old. Clearly the queen of the household.
Ben Miles first arrived in the Bow Valley in the fall of 1984 on a work vacation after deciding, although Toronto was a land of opportunities and urban adventures, the idea of working in the mountains and skiing seemed a far more romantic and appealing pursuit. It was during his tenure as a Pro Ski Patroller that his appreciation of the mountains firmly took hold. Over the course of 30 years Ben has enjoyed many successes and adventures ranging from white water and interpretive raft guiding, leading the Ben Miles Quartet, owner operator of two successful window cleaning companies, event coordinator and team member of both the Canmore artsPeak Arts festival ,during it inception, to Coordinator for the Canmore Folk Festival’s Kid’s Concert. Today Ben resides in Canmore where he owns and operates Livin’ & Dancin’ DJ Services. A music entertainment company servicing both destination weddings and corporate clients. It was through Forest the Raven Hound (an Australian Shepherd cross, whose passion is chasing Ravens) that Ben came to be a member of the board in the Spring of 2016. Forest is an alumni from the Bow Valley SPCA where he ended up after being abandoned in Canmore in early August of 2009. In recognizing how pets give so much in unconditional love and companionship while contributing to a healthy community, Ben joined the board in support of the Bow Valley’s forward vision of a no-cage, no-kill program.
Julie runs a behaviour and training consultancy which focuses on helping dogs with fear and anxiety. Julie apprenticed with the world’s leading force-free, evidence-based trainer, Jean Donaldson. She graduated with Honors from Jean’s Academy for Dog Trainers (CTC) and is a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT). She is on the Pet Professional Guild Shelter and Rescue Division Steering Committee. The Division advises shelters across North America, the UK and Australia on force-free behaviour and training practices. Julie lives in Canmore with her husband, her recovered separation anxiety dog, Percy, Percy’s sister India, and Tex, the Lab-Weimaraner-Chow-Pitbull mix!
Helen has lived in Canmore since 1991; originally from the UK. Came to the Rockies for a summer in in 1975! She retired September 2017, after a career in hotels, with a focus on Human Resources.
"I am proud and impressed with the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre which Canmore has embraced; we are a better community for it. I look forward to being a contributing member of the Board.
Board Member since 2017
Kate is a crazy cat lady and dog enthusiast who volunteers with the Bow Valley SPCA. For the past two years, she has instructed the Open Paw dog training program for new volunteers. This program was designed specifically for shelter dogs and focusses on the benefits of positive reinforcement training in a high stress situation such as an animal shelter.
Kate also works directly with the dogs in the shelter until they find their forever homes. She focusses on basic commands and loose leash walking but loves introducing dogs to agility obstacles. You can also find Kate at many SPCA events, introducing the dogs and talking about the benefits of force-free training methods.
Kayla got involved with the bow Valley SPCA in 2015. She began initially just to spend time with the dogs. After a short time she became and Open Paw trainer and began teaching new volunteers positive reward training techniques. Kayla has been involved in many events and like most volunteers at the SPCA is an advocate for the animals. As she currently has no pets of her own it has allowed Kayla to take her project dogs home to prepare them for life with their forever families.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan Chrystal has had a passion for helping both animals and people for as long as she can remember. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a BA in Sociology before working for 12 years for the Correction Service of Canada in various capacities.
In 2014 she secured a position at the SPCA in Prince Alberta as an Animal Care Attendant in the Adoption gallery – a position that involved working directly with the animals, staff and potential adoptees, she fell in love with the shelter, the animals and people within it – definitely a highlight of her working life so far!
In 2017, an opportunity to move to the Bow Valley presented itself and she arrived with her husband Paul, children Nara & Alex, 2 dogs Ashka & Enzo and Winston the cat! Everyone is settled in Banff. She is excited to be back working with animals in need while continuing to serve her new community!
Ann Jorgensen was a Board member until 2007 when she resigned to become the Centre's first Animal Care Attendant.
Meghan Keelan is the Bow Valley SPCA's administrator. She joined in July 2018, and loves to be part of making a difference in the lives of animals.
Before working at the Bow Valley SPCA, Meghan worked for an outdoor kids program called Forest Play that connects youth with nature and teaches them about the local flora and fauna of the Rockies. Meghan has a Biology Degree and has volunteered and worked with animals or environmental groups since she was young.
In her free time she enjoys hiking, climbing, painting and being active in the outdoors.
VP Corporate and Legal Affairs Beyond Compliance Inc.
Sue Donnelly served as President of the Bow Valley SPCA from 2002 to 2005. During this period she was instrumental in leading a team of volunteers who set the vision, developed the strategy, and found the necessary capital funding in order to bring to the Bow Valley SPCA to the building/operational phase. Sue came to the Bow Valley SPCA with more than 20 years of experience in executive Human Resource positions with organizations such as Banana Republic/The Gap, LucasArt (California), Walt Disney Company (Florida), and Euro Disney. While living in the Bow Valley, Sue worked part-time for The Banff Centre and the provincial government, as well as volunteering for various community committees. Since moving to Florida, she has worked part-time as the project manager for the Urban Land Institute, Florida Initiative for Regional Cooperation (Florida) and currently as a part-time Legal Assistant for a law firm. In her spare time, she enjoys lots of outdoor walks in the warm year-round Florida weather, all the local events, and traveling to visit her friends in the 12 cities where she previously lived during her career. "It has been extremely rewarding to work with such a talented team to make our dream a reality - to build a No Kill, No Cage Adoption Centre in the Bow Valley - the First of Its Kind in Canada - one that will benefit dogs and cats, as well as people, because people know that the dogs and cats that they fall in love with will be adopted. Providing a lasting legacy for the care and adoption of dogs and cats in the Bow Valley is truly my passion and the work of all of our souls."
Kelsey has supported the Bow Valley SPCA for over 15 years. She led the grant portfolio for construction of the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre and continues to advise in fund development. She is co-founder (since 1999) and project research lead for the Living with Elephants Foundation in Botswana. Kelsey serves as board director of her local community foundation, the Cochrane Foundation, since 2010. Her passion is making human partnerships work for animals and ecosystems. She lives with her three darling rescues (two cats, one dog), husband and two teenagers.
Dr. Ian graduated with a Biology degree in 1996 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from OVC in 1999. He was working in Brooks, Alberta in 2007 when the call of the mountains brought him to Canmore.
Dr. Karen MacMillan obtained her Bachelor of Science in 1989 and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, both from the University of Guelph. After practicing in Ontario for 2 years she moved to Canmore in 1993 and has been at the Canmore Veterinary Hospital ever since. In 2009, Karen became certified in Canine Rehab Therapy, allowing her to further develop her interests in canine sports medicine, puppy development and senior pet care. She enjoys all aspects of being a veterinarian, including surgery, dentistry and wellness care. When not at the clinic, she enjoys time with her husband, two athletic sons, Kylie her dog and Kona the cat. Karen is involved in numerous sports including running, skiing, weight lifting and Pilates.
Dr. Sylvia McAllister has been a veterinarian since graduating from OVC (Guelph), in 1987. She moved to Canmore the same year and has been happy to call it home ever since. Sylvia enjoys caring for her patients in all facets of veterinarian medicine but especially surgery and diagnostic technology, including x-ray and ultrasound. She shares her house with two teenagers, two dogs and two cats, which keep her pretty busy. (She is also a hockey Mom). In her spare time she loves to travel, paddle board (with her of her two dogs on board), cross-country ski, ride her horse and practice her photography skills. Check out her great photos on the Canmore Veterinary Hospital Website.