Board Members

>> Wood Buffalo Food Bank

Our Board Members

Jose Alvarado

Board Chair

José has been a member of the board since early 2022. The Food Bank holds a special place in his heart. Having being raised in a low income house hold with both his parents making their living in the arts. Their family often relied on the social sector for support, including the Food Bank. Both his parents sat on the board for the Saskatoon Food Bank in the early 90’s and to this day their family continues to support the organization.

José and his wife Jenn have lived in Fort McMurray since 2007, raising their 2 children here, calling it home. He’s worked at Syncrude since 2008 with his time there spread between Operations and Maintenance. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking and spending time outdoors.

“Poverty is a very complicated issue, but feeding a child isn’t.” – Jeff Bridges ”

Melanie Asher

Vice Chair

Melanie Asher is a dedicated and passionate board member of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank. As a resident of Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo since 2006, Melanie takes great pride in raising her family in this community. Driven by a strong belief in giving back, Melanie actively engages in community service and encourages her children to participate in food drives as a way to contribute. When presented with the opportunity to join the board, Melanie eagerly embraced it, recognizing the chance to make an even greater impact in addressing food insecurity. Melanie currently serves as the Organization and Sector Development Advisor at FuseSocial, where she works closely with Social Profit agencies in the region. Her experience and expertise in this role provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by organizations working towards social change.

Outside of her professional commitments, Melanie finds joy in exploring the great outdoors. She spends her free time hiking, paddling, camping, snowboarding, and traveling, immersing herself in the natural beauty that surrounds the Wood Buffalo region. Additionally, Melanie is a certified fitness and yoga instructor, lending her expertise to various studios in town.


Prasan Naik


Coming Soon…


Aleksandra Plemic Thomas –


I began volunteering with the WBFB in fall 2018 as a community member-at-large. With my background as a Chartered Professional Accountant and having accounting/finance expertise, it translated very well with assisting the Finance & Audit Committee. It was in January 2020 that I became a full board member. The staff at the WBFB work tirelessly to help those in need in our community. Working with the WBFB has created a lot of meaningful experiences and connections for me. I find satisfaction in knowing that I am making a difference in our wonderful community.

In my free time, I enjoy spending it with my husband and two little boys. We love to be outdoors – walking, mountain biking and camping.

“Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere”. -Erma Bombeck


Pieter Van Zyl 


Coming soon

Narcisa Ryan- Director

Narcisa Ryan


I joined the Food Bank back in September 2022. I love serving, and the WBFB do an incredible job at serving and supporting this community. I have volunteered many times in this past 10 years and witness the hard work and commitment of many in this community whom have impacted the lives of fortunate. I am a Human Resources Professional, My footprint is serving, so I spend a lot of time volunteering in many ways in our community. Just this past summer, I spent 3 weeks volunteering at a Children’s Soup Kitchen(El Mana), depositing seeds of hope and faith in Ensenada, Mexico. I am a member of a salsa dancing club in town, love biking with my family and getting together with friends for a good chat… also I am a foodie.

Valerie Skinner


Originally hailing from the beautiful province of Nova Scotia, Val has proudly called Fort McMurray home since 2007. As a passionate advocate for community welfare, she first became involved with food drives as a volunteer. Witnessing the staggering need within our community, she knew it was her duty to make a difference. When the opportunity arose to join the Board of Directors, she saw it as the natural next step in her journey to further contribute to the incredible work of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank. Being part of this esteemed organization allows her to be more hands-on in addressing the pressing issue of food insecurity. In addition to her dedication to serving others, she is a proud mother to her amazing 11-year-old son, Jack, and share’s her home with two adorable cats. When she’s not actively making a positive impact in the community, you can find her indulging in her hobbies, such as gardening, kayaking, and immersing herself in the power of music and spending quality time with her cherished friends.

Kerri Ann Macquarrie


Kerri has been a board member for the last two years, she wanted to spend more time working towards the betterment of the community.  She believes the Food Bank is essential in helping community members through challenging times.

She has been employed at Gordon Food Service for 13 years, as a sales rep. But Kerri is a red seal chef by trade, giving her a great working knowledge of food and food insecurity. She is also involved as a board member for her daughters Irish Dance School, as the current secretary and treasurer.  In her limited down time Kerri is often found at 9Round or spending family time with her husband of 24 years, their two kids and two dogs.

Linda Mywaart


Fort McMurray has been my home for over 41 years and it has been my pleasure over many, many of those years to volunteer for the Wood Buffalo Food Bank in the warehouse, at the Empty Bowls Festival and especially for the food drives. My ongoing passion for the work of the food bank prompted me to pursue a position on the Board in November 2021 to broaden my knowledge of the organization and hopefully increase my ability to be a difference-maker in our community. I  am pleased to be part of a Board team working to grow our governance function, efficiency, and effectiveness, ultimately for the benefit of the people served by the WBFB in the region.

My husband and I are incredibly blessed with four children, their spouses, and twelve grandchildren. We love time with them or just together as a couple, cycling, hiking, snowshoeing, playing board games, doing jigsaw puzzles, and a host of other activities. Additionally, Martin and I love to travel to see the beauty of our world. Two highlights would be our trip to Iceland and our trip of a lifetime to Antarctica. We also travel as team leads with Samaritan’s Purse Canada Disaster Response, serving and  assisting homeowners in the aftermath of crisis events such as fires and floods. Locally, I serve in various capacities at the church we attend, and am also privileged to serve Fort McMurray Public Schools since 2010, as a locally elected school board trustee. I could list other involvements, but suffice it to say I have found numerous opportunities to be involved in this wonderful region and have been incredibly blessed by the things I’ve learned and the friends I have made along the way.