Executive
and Board of Directors

External Committee Report Form

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AMM Executive

Ralph Groening, President

Reeve, RM of Morris

Ralph was elected to the RM of Morris council in October of 1995 and has served as Reeve since October 2010. During his tenure on council he has served on various committees. The reorganization of drain maintenance and water management program, the completion of the RM of Morris rural water project, and the restructuring of the Morris Emerson Area Health Foundation have been highlights. Ralph was elected to the position of AMM Central District Director – Rural in November 2006 and to the position of Rural Vice-President in November 2012. He was elected to serve as president in November 2018.

Ralph sits on numerous committees including the Municipal Bridge Selection Committee, Office of the Fire Commissioner Advisory Committee, Provincial Fire Strategy Planning Group, Municipal Road Selection Committee, Building Canada Small Communities Fund, and the Manitoba Water Services Board.

Ralph lives in the Town of Morris and is a former grain and oilseed farmer. He is married to Patti and they share five children: Jodi, Sherri, Allison, Jillian, and Mike.

In his spare time Ralph enjoys reading (history and biographies), and historical and genealogical research.

Brad Saluk, Vice-President

Reeve, RM of Brokenhead

Brad is currently serving his second term as Reeve for the RM of Brokenhead.  His political career started when the Town of Beausejour called a by-election in 2005, and Brad decided to run for the position of councillor.  He won.  In 2006 he ran for re-election and won his seat back to become Deputy Mayor.  In the years following he worked hard for the people of Beausejour and in the 2010 election became Mayor.

Brad was born and raised in the RM of Brokenhead and attended school in Beausejour.  After graduating, Brad decided to work with his family on the farm, side by side with his father and his brother, and in the year 2000 he took over full control of the farming operation.  With his brother Randy, wife Nancy, and son Justin they continue to run the family farm.

Brad was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in June 2015 and Vice-President in November 2018.

Kam Blight, Vice-President

Reeve, RM of Portage la Prairie

AMM Board of Directors

Cheryl Smith, Interlake District

Reeve, RM of St. Laurent

Cheryl is a life-long member of her community of St. Laurent.  Her husband Randal T. Smith Q.C. works for Justice Canada.  They have 6 adult children and one grandson.

Cheryl currently works for the Province of Manitoba as a Senior Analyst. She previously worked as a Human Rights Investigator with Manitoba Justice and served on the municipal Council for the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent for 9 years as a Council member, she is now starting her second 4 year-term as Reeve.

Cheryl also served as the first President of the Association of Lake Manitoba Stakeholders (ALMS). She served seven years on the Manitoba Human Rights Commission as Vice-Chair appointed by the Filmon Government and was appointed by the Selinger government to serve on the Lake Manitoba/Lake St. Martin Regulation Review Committee after the 2011 flood.

Cheryl attended Red River Community College where she received certification in Child Care. She also completed courses at Harvard University in Negotiations and Nation Building. She is fluent in both official languages.

Earlier this year, Cheryl was appointed to the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC).  CPAC is a Pan-Canadian collaboration based on shared goals to reduce the burden of cancer, reduce the number of Canadians diagnosed with cancer, and to improve the cancer experience for patients.  The Partnership collaborates with partners across the country to identify shared priorities, and coordinates a leadership response to those priorities in collaboration with hundreds of others across the country.

Kelly Cook, Interlake District

Councillor, City of Selkirk

Kelly is currently serving his third term as Councillor in the City of Selkirk. Throughout his first two terms he has served and lead numerous committees as well as task forces on projects in the city.

Kelly and his wife Betty have been residents of Selkirk for over 30 years where they raised their two children. He is retired after a 35-year career in Management with MTS/Allstream.

Kelly is truly committed to serving his community, he is Past President of the Chamber of Commerce, Past Chair of the Eastern Interlake Health Foundation, currently volunteers in the Palliative Care Program in Selkirk and as an activity volunteer at the Tudor House PCH. He represents the city on the Clinical Teaching Unit Task Force for the Health Authority as well as the Provincial-Municipal Justice Advisory Committee.

Kelly’s personal goals are to represent the Interlake District with integrity, honesty, and bring the District’s issues to the table as one voice. He believes we truly are stronger together as one voice.

He looks forward to his term as a director and meeting many new faces across the Region and Province.

Stuart Olmstead, Western District

Mayor, Town of Carberry

Stuart is serving his second term as Mayor for the Town of Carberry, serving on Council since 2006.

Working in the group insurance field as The Group Insurance Guy, Stuart studied Political Science and History at Brandon University before returning to his hometown of Carberry to go into business.  He enjoys music and concerts, various movie genres, softball in the summer, and stars in a local cooking show on access television.

Stuart was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in November of 2011.

Rhonda Coupland, Western District

Councillor, Municipality of Boissevain-Morton

Rhonda grew up in Deloraine and has spent the last 26 years on a farm in Boissevain.  She is married and has two grown boys and a beautiful granddaughter.

In 2014 and 2018, Rhonda was elected to serve on the Council of the Municipality of Boissevain-Morton. Previously, Rhonda served on the local school board for 16 years. Rhonda also holds a political science degree from Brandon University and is committed to representing the Western District on the AMM Board of Directors.

Martin Harder, Central District

Mayor, City of Winkler

Martin Harder ran successfully for Mayor of the City of Winkler in 2006, and is now serving his third term of office.

During this 10 year period, Winkler has experienced a 25% population growth, and is now rated as #4 in assessed City property value in Manitoba, only surpassed by cities like Winnipeg, Brandon, and Steinbach.

Martin truly enjoys serving his community and in 2010 divested himself of the family business so he could dedicate more time to his role as Mayor of the City.

Family is very important to Martin and he works hard to ensure that the community is a welcoming and supportive place for youth, families and aging residents.

Martin’s vision for being a regional player is evidenced in his leadership with Pembina Valley Reeves and Mayors, as well as his election to the AMM Board of Directors in November 2015.

Morris Olafson, Central District

Reeve, RM of Stanley

Morris and his wife Mary operate a family farm along with their three sons and families. Morris is currently serving his second term as the Reeve of the RM of Stanley and is also the current president of the Manitoba Auctioneers Association. Previously, Morris was a school trustee for 10 years and served in various capacities with several community organizations.

Stan Toews, Eastern District

Reeve, RM of Hanover

Stan and his wife Mary have lived in the New Bothwell area for 44 years, raising two sons and two daughters. Stan farms with his son Kevin, and enjoys fishing, camping and spending time with his grandchildren.

Stan has served as a member of council since 1995. He was first elected to represent ward one which includes the Village of New Bothwell and the rural areas  surrounding New Bothwell and the Town of Niverville.

Stan was elected as  Reeve of the municipality in October 2006, and was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in November 2017.

Melanie Parent, Eastern District

Councillor, RM of Piney

Melanie is currently serving her second term on Council for the RM of Piney. Through Council committees Melanie has developed a passion for tourism. She is currently on the Executive of the Eastman Tourism Board and chairs their local tourism initiative – Sunrise Corner. Melanie’s other passion is working with seniors, as she is currently employed as a Resource Coordinator for Services to Seniors since 2010.

Although born in Quebec, Manitoba has been Melanie’s home for the last 25 years. Melanie resides in Sprague with her dog Bear. You can also often find Melanie volunteering and writing grant proposals for community organizations within the RM of Piney.

Karen MacKinnon, Northern District

Councillor, City of Flin Flon

Karen has been serving on the Flin Flon City Council since 2006. Karen was also born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and she moved with her husband Barry to Flin Flon in 1977. They are retired and love spending time with their two daughters and their families who all reside in Flin Flon.

Karen was first elected to the AMM Board of Directors in 2008, serving until June 2011. Karen was again elected to serve as Northern Director on the AMM Board in 2015.

Kathy Valentino, Northern District

Councillor, City of Thompson

Kathy was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in June 2019.

Jim Manchur, Parkland District

Councillor, Gilbert Plains Municipality

Jim was born and raised in Gilbert Plains and was involved in a grain and livestock operation with his two brothers Lawrence and Dave up until 2014.

In the fall of 2014 and in 2018, he was elected to the newly amalgamated municipality of Gilbert Plains holding both terms as Deputy Reeve.

Jim is married to his wife Laurie of 25 years and has two sons Chris and Conner, both currently enrolled at the University of Manitoba.

Jim enjoys the odd game of golf and travelling when time permits.

Jim was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in June 2019.

 

Ron Kostyshyn, Parkland District

Reeve, Mossey River Municipality

Ron and his wife Judy have operated a mixed farm in Mossey River Municipality for over 40 years. They have two daughters, Jennifer (Ricardo) and Melissa (Kevin), as well as five grandchildren.

Prior to his election as Reeve of Mossey River Municipality in 2018, Ron served as Manitoba’s Minister of Agriculture from 2012-2016 and MLA for Swan River from 2011-2016. Ron also served as a Councillor of the RM of Mossey River from 1988-2006 and as Reeve from 2006-2011. During this time, Ron was an AMM Board member from 2009-2011.

Ron’s agricultural background and passion for the Parkland region have also resulted in various Chairperson positions for several organizations, commissions, and community initiatives. For example, Ron was the Chairperson of the Manitoba Conservation District Association (MCDA) from 2005-2008, Chair of the provincial Veterinary Service Task Force from 2007-2008, and Chair of the RM of Mossey River Centennial Celebration from 2004-2006.

Merv Starzyk, Midwestern District

Mayor, RM of Yellowhead

Merv is serving his first term as Mayor of the RM of Yellowhead and is celebrating 30 years on Council. Having rented his farm, and retired from his off the farm job, Merv and his wife Cathy still reside on their farm west of Shoal Lake.

Over the years, Merv has been on most municipal committees and boards, and his still chairman on many of them. He is past-president of the TransCanada Yellowhead Highway Association, currently Vice-President of the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame, Director on the Upper Assiniboine Conservation District, and a member of the Yellowhead Restorative Justice Committee. He has been chairman of the Shoal Lake and District Vet Board since 1991, and is very familiar with the operations of the Provincial Veterinary Services Districts.

Merv was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in 2015.

 

Murray Parrott, Midwestern District

Councillor, Town of Neepawa

Murray is currently serving his third term on Council in the Town of Neepawa. Throughout his tenure, Murray has been actively involved in various Council portfolios, including Chair of Public Works, Chair of the Neepawa Area Development Corporation, and Board Member for Prairie Mountain Regional Health Authority.

As a life-long farmer, teacher for 33 years and former RCMP officer, Murray’s multi-faceted work experiences have reaffirmed his strong belief in communication and working together with others to share best practices and successes as well as to discuss concerns and challenges. Murray looks forward to further demonstrating his passion for serving his community by representing the Midwestern District and working on behalf of all municipalities throughout the region.

Jeff Browaty, City of Winnipeg

Councillor, City of Winnipeg

Jeff was elected to Winnipeg City Council in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and again in 2014 in the ward of North Kildonan. He serves as the Chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Property & Development. He has a keen interest in urban planning and development issues that dates back to playing SimCity on a 9” black and white Macintosh computer in the early 1990’s.

Prior to his election Jeff worked as a real estate appraiser in his family’s business and was working towards full accreditation in the AACI program. He is a graduate of the Asper School of Business and is involved in many groups including the Red River Basin Commission, The Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region and the Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation.

Jeff was appointed to the AMM Board of Directors in November 2013.

Chad Davies, President, Manitoba Municipal Administrators Association

Chief Administrative Officer, Municipality of Harrison Park

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