and Board of Directors

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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

Stuart Olmstead, Western District

Mayor, Town of Carberry

Stuart is serving his first term as Mayor for the Town of Carberry, following two terms on council.

An insurance salesperson, Stu majored in political science at Brandon University before returning to Carberry to live and work. He also owns several rental properties, manages a baseball team, enjoys reading and movies, and he has a cooking show on local access television.

Stu was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in November 2012.

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

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

Karen MacKinnon, Northern District

Councillor, City of Flin Flon

Karen has been serving on the Flin Flon City Council since October 2006. Flin Flon being a border city, it is proud to be members of both the AMM and the Saskatchewan Unban Municipalities Association (SUMA).

Karen is currently chair of Social and Community Services for the City of Flin Flon. She represents the city on the Finance Committee, Traffic Commission, Flin Flon Public Library Board, The Flin Flon and District Environmental Council and Flin Flon Museum Board. She is President Elect for The Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce. Karen was appointed to the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation Board of Directors by the Provincial Government in 2012.

Karen was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia. In 1977 she moved with husband Barry to Flin Flon. They have two daughters and two granddaughters.

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

Michael Spence, Northern District

Mayor, Town of Churchill

Jack Bremner, Parkland District

Councillor, RM of Dauphin

Jack’s municipal career began as a tax assessor in 1978. Thirty two years later he retired and, having always admired the job that local municipal councils did, he decided to run himself. He was elected to council in 2010 and again in 2014.

Jack runs a cattle farm and purebred operation, consisting of 130 mother cows, in partnership with his wife Lori and son Cory. He also runs a by-law enforcement business in the Parkland area dealing with eight amalgamated municipalities.

In their spare time, the Bremners spend as much time as possible with their first grandchild Madison.

Jack was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in June 2015.


Ron Kostyshyn, Parkland District

Head of Council, 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

Reeve, RM of Yellowhead

Merv is retired from farming, but he and his wife Cathy still reside on their farm west of Shoal Lake. They have two daughters and three grandsons. The farm has been rented out for several years, and they sold their cattle herd in 2012.  Merv retired from his off the farm job in 2014, and has been helping out at the local funeral home.

Merv has been a councillor for almost 26 years, and is currently Deputy Reeve of the RM of Yellowhead. Over the years he has been on most municipal committees, and still sits on and chairs a variety of boards, along with the responsibilities as Deputy Reeve. He is past President of the TransCanada Yellowhead Highway Association, and a director on the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame Board. He was first appointed to the Shoal Lake and District Vet Board in 1991, and became chairman in 1992. He has been in that position for 23 years, and is very familiar with the operations of the Veterinary Services Districts.

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


Murray Parrott, Midwestern District

Councillor, Town of Neepawa

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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