Merya Gould - Board Chair
I have been involved with the Food Bank since October 2017. I began volunteering at Food Drives not long after I moved to Fort McMurray in 2008. I was moved by the energy of everyone and the impact made of the Food Bank staff, other volunteers, and community members. When the opportunity to join the board was presented to me and I jumped at the chance to be part of the organization in a larger capacity. I am passionate about ensuring that Wood Buffalo has access to food. Outside of the Food Bank I am wife to Jack and Mother to Jake & Paige. I am employed by Servus Credit Union. In my spare time I enjoy travelling, camping, working out at 9Round, and eating ketchup chips.
Theresa Wells - Vice Chair
Gordon Valverde -Secretary
Brad Lucier - Director
I began volunteering for the annual Christmas Food Bank Drive in 2009. I believe those of us that have been fortunate enough to reap the benefits of living in this wonderful community have an obligation to give back to it, and helping our community members in need with reliable access to the most basic of necessities is incredibly important work. I personally love seeing the community come together each year to support the Food Bank, and in particular from those donating who share that the Food Bank was there for them when they needed it. I am the father of two school-aged sons, enjoy traveling, and also serve on the Board of the Wood Buffalo Community Foundation.
Aleksandra Plemic Thomas - Treasurer
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
Narcisa Ryan- Director
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.
Jose Alvarado – Director
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 and have raised their 2 children here, calling it home. He’s worked at Syncrude since 2008 where he is currently the Director of Maintenance & Reliability at their Aurora site. 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
Kerri Ann Macquarrie- Director
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- Director
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.