Natalia Reiman was raised on a farm near Wanham, Alberta and attended Eaglesham School from Kindergarten through Grade 12. She went on to attend the University of Montevallo in Alabama on a golf scholarship. Natalia completed her Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology while on an academic and golf scholarship at the Florida Institute of Technology. She returned to Canada and obtained her Law Degree from the University of Alberta in 2009. Following graduation Natalia returned to Grande Prairie to complete her articles of clerkship and continues to practice in Grande Prairie at the law office of Rigler & Reiman, Barristers & Solicitors. Over the course of her studies; Natalia was a member of numerous organizations including the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, Forensic Psychology Students Association and completed her undergraduate degree as captain of the varsity golf team. She was also a member of the Theta Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi holding numerous positions including Treasurer and member of the Executive Board.
Since returning to Grande Prairie she has been the Treasurer of the Grande Prairie Bar Association, volunteered with the Rainbow Society of Alberta, and Grande Prairie Legal Guidance and assists in the junior golf program at Chinook Valley Golf Course. Natalia holds education in high regard, and she is excited to bring her passion for education to the GPRC Board of Governors. She believes the growth and development of our community and the Peace Region is positively influenced by a strong post-secondary institution. She is eager to work with GPRC and the opportunities for the region that will result in the coming years.
Don Gnatiuk, President & CEO
Don Gnatiuk and his wife JoAnn made Grande Prairie their home when Don joined Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) as President and CEO on May 1, 2007. Don brought to his new job the incredible energy, warmth and optimism for which he is now so well known. A people-centered leader, Don believes passionately in the importance of relationships; he believes that through strong relationships the impossible can become reality.
During his first year at the College, Don focused on establishing relationships with College employees and staff associations, the Board of Governors, the Government of Alberta, the community, and his post-secondary colleagues. Don has a gift for change management; the College’s “Mission, Vision and Values” were created by a large team led by Don. They are now embraced by the whole College community. Through Don’s hard work and enthusiastic personality GPRC became known as “easy to work with,” and “a truly committed member of our community” – whether that was the community of Grande Prairie, Fairview, or the community of Alberta post-secondary institutions. He has served the Alberta post-secondary system as Chair of the eCampus board and as a member of the Board of Directors of Colleges and Institutes Canada. Don has given back to his community both through his service on Rotary, as an Honourary Chair of the Grande Prairie and Region United Way from 2010-2012, and has been recently appointed to the Grande Prairie Airport Commission.
Leading the creation of a learner centered institution that strives first and foremost to serve the student has been of primary importance to Don; he frequently asks of decisions and initiatives: “How does this serve the student?” In 2010 GPRC was awarded “Employer of the Year” by the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and in 2015 Don Gnatiuk himself was awarded “Business Citizen of the Year.” In his typical fashion, Don was both surprised and abashed. These awards are recognition of Don’s commitment to working with the communities the College serves to ensure GPRC provides the learning opportunities required by citizens and the future employees required by area businesses.
Don is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D); his leadership and governance acumen are in high demand and he has participated in leadership programs and events for a variety of organizations including the City of Grande Prairie, Community Foundation, and Grande Prairie Rotary Clubs. Don is held in high esteem by his fellow presidents, as evidenced by the role he held as Chair of the Association of Colleges and Technical Institutes of Alberta Council of Presidents. During his tenure as Chair, the Council of Presidents transformed from a group of Comprehensive Community institution presidents to include all of the presidents of post-secondary institutions in the province – an incredible feat of collaboration! Don continues to lead GPRC on its journey “per gradus ad maius” – “steps to the greater!”
First Term - Appointed Until
Blaine Badiuk is proud to have been born and raised in Grande Prairie, the youngest city in Alberta. Blaine started his studies at GPRC as a Dual Credit student in Fall 2015. Following graduation from Charles Spencer High School, Blaine enrolled full-time at GPRC, and will be continuing studies for the next few years. Studying Mathematics Education, Blaine hopes to one day inspire students to open their minds to the power and beauty of math.
As President of the Students’ Association of Grande Prairie Regional College, Blaine is continuing his passion of representing students. As a member of the Minister’s Student Advisory Council with Alberta Education, student representative on School Council, and as a member of the City of Grande Prairie’s Youth Council, Blaine has advocated for students at nearly every level of government.
Grande Prairie’s music community is where Blaine spends his spare time, by being a member of Grande Prairie’s Community Symphony Orchestra and being involved with Musical Theatre productions. “Without music, life would be a mistake.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.
First Term - Appointed Until December 17, 2019
Nan Bartlett graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Home Economics degree in 1978 and moved to Fairview to work with Alberta Agriculture as a District Home Economist. Her career and volunteer activities have focused on the importance of families and education to communities. She has worked as an adult educator for the Provincial and Federal Departments of Agriculture, Regional Coordinator for the Green Certificate Program, as well as, Executive Director with Fairview and District Family and Community Support Services and continues to be a member of the FCSS Board.
In 2004, Nan was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Peace River School Division and has served four terms. She served as Board Vice-Chair and Chair and represented the Peace Region on the Alberta School Boards Association Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016. Nan is a strong believer that governance boards serve an important role in ensuring public institutions achieve their mandate and meet the needs of the communities they serve.
Nan’s family operates a grain farm west of Fairview. She and her husband, Dave, have two grown sons, both of whom live in the Fairview area with their wives. They have one granddaughter.
Nan believes Grande Prairie Regional College is important to Fairview and the communities of Northwest Alberta. GPRC provides residents with the opportunity to further their education and develop skills while remaining in their community and continuing to contribute to the well-being of their community.
Mary Ann Eckstrom
First Term - Appointed Until 2020
Ms. Mary Ann Eckstrom is a retired municipal councillor for the County of Grande Prairie where she served for 18 years. During her time as a county councillor she was appointed as chair of the local Family and Community Support Services board and also sat on the Community Foundation Board, the Affordable Housing Task Force and the Grande Prairie and Area Council on Aging Seniors Outreach.
Ms. Eckstrom earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Alberta. She resides in Sexsmith.
First Term - Appointed Until January 10, 2020
Chantal Fontaine is a proud Grande Prairie resident who has lived most of her life in the community. She completed her primary education in the French Immersion program before starting college and university.
Chantal completed two years at Grande Prairie Regional College, during which time she also sat on the Students’ Association Executive Council as Vice President Internal. She lived in Montreal while attending McGill University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science and French Language and Translation. Most recently, she lived in Vancouver, attending Simon Fraser University to earn her Master’s in Public Policy (MPP). In the spring of 2016, Chantal returned with her partner, Don, to their hometown of Grande Prairie where they live with their long-haired Chihuahua, Loki.
Chantal’s experience includes working with the Government of Canada in both the departments of Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans. Currently, her career brought her to municipal government where she works as the Program Analyst with the City of Grande Prairie’s department of Crime Prevention working closely with the City’s Enforcement Services as well as the RCMP.
Enthusiastic about being involved in the community, her schools and workplace, Chantal has taken on numerous roles over the years. She was Treasurer and Events Coordinator on the graduate student caucus for the MPP program and while a board member of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Vancouver group, she was the New Professionals Co-Lead.
When not involved in her professional and community commitments, Chantal loves to swim, go horseback riding, golf for fun, and enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. Chantal strongly believes in the value of education and is thrilled to serve as an ambassador for learning and development in the Peace region as a member of the GPRC Board of Governors.
First Term - Appointed Until 2020
Eunice graduated from the Nursing Program at Grande Prairie Regional College in 1988 and went on to work in several areas of health care, including serving as Executive Director for the Grande Prairie Primary Care Network. The main focus of her career was on business development for companies providing health and safety services to Alberta industry. Retiring from nursing in 2012, she and her husband Doug opened Bear Creek Funeral Home in Grande Prairie.
Valuing public service as a privilege and a duty, Eunice serves as an appeal panel member for the Ministry of Community and Social Services, and is the Director of Vocational Services of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie. She has served on several boards of directors including the Volunteer Services Bureau, Revolution Place Advisory Board, and the Grande Prairie Women’s Residence Association. She has volunteered at Grande Prairie Live Theatre since 1989, and in 2012 she received the Jennie Tetreau Award for long-term service. Eunice and Doug have three adult children who are all living, studying, and working in southern Alberta.
First Term - Appointed Until December 12, 2019
Jane Manning fell in love with the Peace Region when she transferred here in the early 80's. It turned out that career advancement provided other opportunities, as she also fell in love with a widowed homesteader from Silver Valley. They married, and Jane embraced a new way of life with Don Seekins, his farm, and four kids.
Jane holds her Nursing degree from the University of Manitoba, and her Masters of Science, focusing on Community Health and Administration, from the University of Portland. During her studies in the US, her appreciation for the Canadian health care system only grew.
Jane Manning's 40-year career in health care crosses the spectrum from nursing in a 30-bed hospital in an Indigenous community north of Winnipeg, to directing Public Health Nursing for the Grande Prairie Health Unit, then implementing its transition into regionalized Health Services in Alberta. In Senior Management, Jane's portfolio included Continuing Care (including Home Care), Regional Health Services, Rehabilitation Services, and even Property Management.
Now retired, Jane Manning holds an Associate Membership in CARNA, the College and Association of Registered Nurses in Alberta. Retirement simply means not being tied to the office. She continues to serve our community, especially the interests of the more vulnerable among us. Jane is a board member of the Wapiti Community Dorm Society, which operates Rotary House Emergency Shelter in Grande Prairie. She brought the voice of rural and northern regions to the provincial Interagency Council on Homelessness. Jane was on the Seniors’ Advisory Council of Alberta. She brings that same expertise, compassion, and skill in communicating client's feedback to the Patient and Family Advisory Committee with Alberta Health Services. On the Strategic Clinical Network for Population Health, she's helping to form future policy and program development in our health care system. Close to home, Jane is a board member of the United Way Alberta Northwest and a charter member of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie Sunrise.
Their children are grown but Jane and Don remain connected. With the extending families spread from Toronto to Vancouver Island Jane embraces a new life of travel, technology, and enjoying her eight grandchildren... with a few rounds of golf thrown in for good measure.
First Term - Appointed Until 2020
Laurie Nock has been an instructor of anthropology at Grande Prairie Regional College since 1990.
She has sat on the boards of the Grande Prairie Pioneer Museum, the Grande Prairie and District Multicultural Association, the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative Steering Committee, and on the board of directors of the 73-unit, self-managed condominium association where she lives. The majority of her civic work has taken place at the College, on the Aboriginal and Northern Studies Committee/Indigenous Studies Committee and numerous ad hoc committees.
She has served as a representative of the Department of Arts and Education on the Tenure Committee, the Professional Leave Committee and the Curriculum Committee.
She has been both a member and Chair of Academic Council. She has participated in the executive of the Academic Staff Association as Chair of Collective Bargaining, Vice President, and as President.
Dr. Nock earned a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Calgary, and a PhD from McGill University.
First Term - Appointed Until 2020
Gordon Pellerin was born in Grande Prairie and raised, along with five siblings, nearby on a farm at Five Mile Creek. While attending school at Harry Balfour, Gordon observed the rise of the GPRC Cardinal Building from out of the earth and across the reservoir. Fascinated by the curvilinear architecture, he became determined to explore this building and to attend GPRC, from which he completed two years of pre-med and science in university transfer studies in 1983.
Upon graduating from University of Alberta in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree, honors in Zoology, Gordon had the opportunity to return to Grande Prairie to take a term-certain contract with GPRC as a science laboratory technician. This nine month contract has turned into thirty-two years with GPRC.
Gordon has taken various positions at GPRC, including a faculty position in Academic Upgrading to teach biology, chemistry and physics, to Academic Advisor and Liaison in Student Services, and currently Associate Registrar of Admission.
During his years at GPRC, Gordon has served on a number of committees, including Academic Council and Curriculum Committee. In 2005, Gordon was awarded the peer nominated Dean Stetson Service to Students Award. Currently Gordon is co-chair of the Provincial Planning Committee for the Alberta Services for Students Conference.
His involvement in social and community development has been with HIV North Society of which he was a co-founder thirty years ago and served as president and chair of the board of directors for several years. Gordon also serves on the boards of the Alberta Science Network, Five Mile Community Agricultural Society, and Grande Prairie Environmental Science Education Society.
Along with Celestin, his life partner of twenty-four years, Gordon resides in a beautiful heritage home in one of the oldest areas of Grande Prairie. His roots run deep here as his great-grandfather homesteaded over 100 years ago at Five Mile Creek. Gordon has a passion for education and a vital connection to the GPRC Cardinal building and has been unofficially designated as the GPRC tour guide.
First Term - Appointed Until December 12, 2019
Scott Roessler was raised on a farm north of Grande Prairie and attended elementary and secondary school in Sexsmith, Alberta. Both Scott and his wife, Amanda, have attended GPRC and accessed the College’s university transfer program to obtain their degrees at the University of Alberta. They are also proud parents of two lively young boys, Jesse and Jordan, and spend much of their winter months chasing minor hockey teams around the Peace Region.
Scott has nearly 20 years of experience in the professional service industry as a Civil Engineer, and is the owner of three Grande Prairie-based businesses. Scott is very active in the community and currently serves as a Board Director with the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce and is an active Rotarian with the Swan City Rotary Club. He remains connected with the College through seminars with the Engineering program and assisted with the inception of the Pipestone Creek dinosaur project which became the Phillip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. Scott has served on local minor hockey boards and continues to coach at various levels throughout the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association.
Scott acts as Director at Helix Engineering and Helix Surveys within the Land Development and Municipal Engineering fields in Grande Prairie and the region. Scott and his partners pride themselves in their commitment to the local community and are avid supporters of GPRC. It is his belief that a solid educational institution is paramount to the success of not only a growing city, but the entire region it serves. Scott is excited to serve on the GPRC Board of Governors with such strong community members and will advocate both professionally and fairly in the best interests of GPRC.