and Board of Directors

External Committee Report Form

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AMM Executive

Kam Blight, President

Reeve, RM of Portage la Prairie

Kam Blight is a fourth generation farmer from Oakville, Manitoba, where he resides with his wife Krista and their three children. In partnership with his brother Kevin, Kam owns and operates Blight Native Seeds Ltd, specializing in Native grass seed production. Kam has served on the executive of the International Northern Seed Trade Association for 5 years including as president for 1 year.

In 2010, Kam was elected Reeve of the RM of Portage la Prairie MB and is currently serving his third consecutive term in this role. Kam previously served as Vice-President of AMM – and then was elected as President in November 2020. Prior to this, Kam was appointed by the provincial government to the 2011 Flood Task Force, and as a result of his contribution he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding achievement in public service.

In addition to his passion for farming and economic development, Kam has enjoyed many years of success as a youth hockey coach, skills instructor and junior hockey scout.

In his spare time, Kam enjoys restoring and riding snowmobiles and spending time with his family.

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.

Kathy Valentino, Vice-President

Councillor, City of Thompson

Kathy Valentino was born and raised in Thompson. Kathy has 3 adult boys Justin (Eden), Jordan (Kenzie) and Jamie who all reside in Thompson. Kathy has worked in the financial industry for the past 29 years with income tax preparation as her main focus.

The Valentino’s have a huge love for hockey. Kathy believes sport brings people together in communities.

Kathy enjoys spending her time at the family remote cottage at Paint lake. Recreation is her passion and she can usually be found down at the TRCC volunteering for committees.

Kathy was first elected to the AMM Board as a Northern District Director in June 2019, and Vice-President in November 2022.

AMM Board of Directors

Sandra Smith, Interlake District

Mayor, Town of Stonewall

Kelly Cook, Interlake District

Councillor, City of Selkirk

Kelly is currently serving his fourth term as Councillor in the City of Selkirk. Throughout his first three 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.

Scott Phillips, Western District

Councillor, RM of Sifton

Scott grew up in Souris, Manitoba, spending many years at Oak Lake Beach and living in the RM of Sifton for the last 19 years.

For him, it was an easy decision to run for Council. As he enters his 4th term, he acknowledges the honour of being elected and acclaimed by his neighbours, followed by his election by his peers to the AMM Board.

Scott is a firm believer in the rural way of life, which is why he rebuilt the Deleau General Store, it’s a true country one-stop-shop and he also publishes a daily blog of regional events and municipal news (follow Deleau General Store on Facebook).

In his spare time, Scott along with his wife Keri spend many hours in the yard, attending to the garden and looking after their small hobby farm. Scott is excited to learn and listen from delegates from across the province.

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.

Nancy Penner, Central District

Mayor, City of Morden

Nancy has deep roots in the rural landscape. She holds a degree in Agriculture and was a farm partner with her husband Henry in the RM of Roland for 25 years. Prior to her retirement, she was a Certified Financial Planner Professional and business partner in a wealth management practice.

First elected to council for the City of Morden in 2018 and then as Mayor in December 2023, she believes in giving of her time to move the city forward. She has served on a number of community boards and for several years volunteered as a 4-H leader.

Nancy is committed to bring a strong voice to AMM and represent Central District. Nancy was first elected to AMM in a by-election in December 2020.

In her spare time Nancy enjoys golf, quilting, rug hooking and volunteering.

Nancy and her husband Henry have 2 daughters and 4 of the best grandkids.

Christa Vann Mitchell, Central District

Reeve, RM of Cartier

Christa was born and raised in Elie. After working in the public sector in Elie for 25 years and volunteering for her community, she chose to run for Council of the RM of Cartier in 2018 and sat as Councillor for Elie/Glengarry Ward 5 for 2 years. In 2020, the opportunity to serve her community as Reeve arose and has now been in the position of Reeve for the RM of Cartier for 2 terms. Christa is the recipient for the first ever Emergency Measures Volunteers Award in 2008, Nomination of Volunteer for YMCA Woman of Distinction Award in 2009, Recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 and Recipient of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal in 2022. Christa and her husband Scott continue to live in Elie and raise their son Luke.

Christa was elected to the AMM Board of Directors in June 2023.

Loren Schinkel, Eastern District

Reeve, RM of Lac du Bonnet

Loren was elected in a by-election in 2016 as Reeve for the RM of Lac du Bonnet, was acclaimed in 2018, and is currently in his second term.

Loren served for 30 years of in law enforcement, commencing his career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1978. In 1981, he joined the Winnipeg Police Service, where he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and spent many years in specialized investigative units, such as Homicide and Major Crimes. He was also selected as the Coordinator of the Emergency Response Tactical Unit.

In 2001, he was elected as the President of the Winnipeg Police Association, to represent 1,500 police and staff members. During this time, he served on numerous committees and boards including the Canadian Police Association and the Winnipeg Police Pension Board.

He retired in 2008 to assume a position with the Province of Manitoba as the Coordinator of Aboriginal and Municipal Law Enforcement. He has also held appointments from Federal and Provincial Ministers on the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee – Manitoba Region, which provides recommendations on Queen’s Bench Judicial appointments to the Minister, as well as the Independent Chairperson for the Stony Mountain Institute, which adjudicates serious inmate discipline offences under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. Loren is also currently a board member for the Manitoba Liquor Gaming and Cannabis Authority and the Provincial Municipal Justice Advisory Committee.

Loren and his wife, Debbie grew up in the Lac du Bonnet area. They have been married for 47 years and Debbie owns and operates “Dance Plus,” a dance retail store in Winnipeg. They have one son, who is married, and one precious grandson.

Loren is committed to his role as Reeve and to working to improve the community and region where he grew up.

Ray Schirle, Eastern District

Mayor, Town of Beausejour

Ray was acclaimed for a second term as Mayor for the Town of Beausejour, in which he currently serves.

Married 24 years with two children, Ray is a self-starter and self-made, getting into business at the young age of 18 while taking Business Administration and Accounting at Red River Community College.  Ray’s business involvement is varied between retail, manufacturing, development, and running a seasonal campground.

Ray is a committed volunteer who serves on numerous committees, devoting time to the community and the Eastern Region. He has a passion for the good of the community, positive growth and accountability.

Andre Murphy, Northern District

Mayor, Town of The Pas

Andre Murphy has called The Pas his home for the last 51 years. Andre is married to Linda and together they have 3 adult children and 3 awesome grandchildren. Andre recently retired from the Pulp and Paper Industry after 38 years in senior management positions.

Elected in 2018 as councillor and most recently elected as Mayor, he is actively involved as Chair of The Pas Community Development Corporation, Trappers Festival Board Member, Kelsey School Division Joint Committee, and a member of TOTP Safety Committee.

In his spare time, Andre’s passion is volunteering for youth sports, especially the sport of hockey where he has been a long-term hockey coach/instructor for 35 plus years.

Andre is committed to listening to the Northern District and working with the One Team approach with the AMM Board of Directors.

Louis Fitzpatrick, Northern District

Councillor, City of Thompson

Jim Manchur, Parkland District

Reeve, 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.

Lance Jacobson, Parkland District

Mayor, Town of Swan River

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.

Ian Drul, Midwestern District

Reeve, Municipality of Harrison Park

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.

Duane Nicol, MMA President

CAO, City of Selkirk

Appointed by resolution of Council, Duane Nicol became the CAO for the City of Selkirk on May 26, 2014. Prior to this position, Duane served as a City Councillor from 2002 to 2014. Duane holds an honours degree in Political Studies from the University of Manitoba, an honours Business Analyst certificate from Red River College and has recently completed his master’s degree in public administration through the University of Victoria.

During the 2022 Conference and AGM of the Manitoba Municipal Administrators, Duane was elected as President of the organization.

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