One of the greatest compliments alumni can pay to their alma mater is in how they impact their local communities. At the University of Lethbridge, such compliments keep pouring in as alumni employed by The City of Calgary display a depth of knowledge, a commitment to innovation and a dedication to improving their communities and neighbourhoods.
Lorna Wallace, (BMgt great distinction '01) project manager for The City of Calgary, earned a business diploma from SAIT in the 1980s but she always wanted to complete a bachelor degree. When the U of L launched its Calgary satellite campus in 1996, Wallace jumped at the chance to attend the post-diploma bachelor of management program.
"I appreciated the ability to get to know the faculty and advisors; their flexibility allowed me to do this while I was working full-time and raising a family," says Wallace. "Having my degree reinforced the importance of teamwork and preparation; it opened up many opportunities for me. As the first executive assistant to the city manager, I led a number of projects including a royal visit, and while in the mayor's office I am proud to have recently led the team that launched one of the most successful food truck pilot programs in North America."
Wallace is currently working on a council innovation project involving the Community Services and Protective Services Department and 12 pilot communities in Calgary.
"This project builds upon The City's Strong Neighbourhoods Initiative and community attachment work done by Dr. Katherine Loflin and the Knight Foundation. Our goal is to make sure that communities are aware of the services available and to determine which services they need to make their community a great place to live," explains Wallace. "It is ground-breaking; we will be the first municipality in North America to commission this work."
Also working for the city is Glen Radway (BA '85), development strategist - Office of Land Servicing & Housing.
"The research skills I gained at the U of L helped me at graduate school and in my career. With the lower teacher/student ratio, I gained the confidence to dig into the meat of an issue," says Radway, who completed studies at the U of L's Lethbridge campus before obtaining his master's degree from the University of Waterloo in 1987. "In the work I do now, it is important to spend time really looking at a situation rather than jumping to conclusions, to understand the impacts of your decisions through the eyes of the residents, or understand what you see happening through change in a neighbourhood."
In 2009, city council approved the Calgary Municipal Development Plan review, a project for which Radway was the land-use lead.
"We tried to figure out what we could do to sustain the city financially, environmentally and socially and present policy directions through the MDP. It now forms the basis for a lot of projects that are developed across the city," says Radway. "One of the projects I am working on now is the Industrial Land Strategy to decide how the city will develop industrial parks. We want to support economic development in the city and incorporate more sustainable elements, like green infrastructure, with our own land development."
Blake Kanewischer (BMgt '06) and Matt Rockley (BA '02) are also among the many University of Lethbridge alumni affecting positive change within The City of Calgary.
Kanewischer works as both a sessional instructor at the University's Calgary satellite campus and as a team leader, Project, Processes, Staff Development and Training for the Assessment Business Unit at the city.
"As a mature and working student, I was constantly feeding material back into my working life from my classes," says Kanewischer.
Applying the knowledge and skills he gained at the University has served Kanewischer well in his career. One of his proudest accomplishments thus far is being a member of the team that developed the webwave program. Webwave has won numerous international and national awards for replacing the city's intranet and internet sites with what Kanewischer describes as, "one of the first search and citizen-centric websites for a municipal government anywhere."
When Rockley, Okotoks town councillor and planner for The City of Calgary, entered the University of Lethbridge, he had no idea what he wanted to pursue as a career.
"One of my professors mentioned that I should consider city planning as a career. At the time I had no idea what city planning was but her advice compelled me to look into it. That turned out to be the best career advice I have ever received," says Rockley.
That advice has had a positive impact on both Rockley and The City of Calgary. Rockley served as co-project lead on rewriting the Rockyview/Calgary Intermunicipal Development Plan, which was approved by both councils in 2012. He recently amended the Beltline Area Redevelopment Plan, allowing boutique hotels and limiting new surface parking in the city.
The contributions of these and many other alumni working at The City of Calgary stand as a tremendous tribute to the University of Lethbridge for inspiring a standard of excellence that continues to impact our communities.
GET THE FACTS
· To look at Wallace's Food Truck Pilot project, visit this site (www.transforminggov.ca/2012/02/yyc-food-trucks.html)
· To view Radway's work on the Municipal development Plan, visit this site (www.calgary.ca/mdp)
· Kanewischer's Webwave awards included a GTEC award for Excellence in Public Service Delivery and a Digital Alberta Award for Business to Consumer Innovation
· Rockley has served since 2008 as a member of the Okotoks Planning Commission
This story first appeared in the March 2013 edition of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.