Pro Bono Law Alberta is governed by a 14-member Board of Directors comprised of Volunteers within and outside the legal profession that provide strategic leadership for the organization. In April 2021, PBLA celebrated three Board Directors – Brett Anderson, Ed Ma, Q.C, and Jana Neal – for their dedicated and longstanding service to PBLA over the last decade and some.
Farewell to Outgoing Board Member, Jana Neal
Jana Neal joined the PBLA Board in 2011 and was elected to the treasurer position in 2014. Despite her busy schedule, Jana provided invaluable fiscal oversight and perspectives for the organization during her time with PBLA. We are grateful for Jana’s commitment to PBLA’s mission. Her contributions have shaped the organization for the better and we wish her the very best in her future endeavours.
Welcoming New Board Directors
At its Annual General Meeting in June 2021, the PBLA Board appointed five new Board members. We congratulate and welcome our new Board members – Hsiu-Yan Chan, Mike Marion, Pam Morrell, Robert Neilson, and Usman Mahmood. We are excited to have these individuals join the PBLA Board and bring their unique talents, expertise and perspectives to the work of the organization to further our innovative efforts around pro bono engagement by the legal profession in Alberta.
“I am thrilled to welcome an exciting group of new directors who have deep governance skills, diverse backgrounds, and a passion for community service,” said Karen Fellowes, QC, President of the Board of Directors at PBLA. “I look forward to working with the Board and staff as we move forward with our mission to engage the legal community and leverage their skills and resources in pro bono services that facilitate access to justice for Alberta.”
Read more about each new Director below.
Hsiu Yan Chan
Hsiu-Yan Chan is a decorated professional engineer. She holds an Executive MBA, a Bachelor of Engineering Science (Chemical), and a Bachelor of Science (Biology) from Western University. Currently the Manager of Planning & Optimization at Suncor Energy, Hsiu-Yan is responsible for the integration of Suncor’s monthly planning processes. She has held several commercial, leadership, and engineering roles at Suncor Energy. With a wealth of board experience, Hsiu-Yan has given her time to many initiatives, including the Canadian Propane Association, Junior Achievement South Western Ontario, and Huron House Boys’ Home.
Hsiu-Yan spends most of her off-hours chasing after her two young children and enjoys spending time travelling, gardening and in the mountains with her family. She looks forward to supporting access to justice for vulnerable people and contributing to a highly engaged Board of Directors.
Michael Marion was born and raised in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and obtained his Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) in Finance and his law degree from the University of Manitoba. He clerked with the Alberta Court of Appeal and Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and joined Howard Mackie before it merged with other regional firms to form Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. Mike is currently a partner and the Regional Group Manager of the Commercial Litigation/Construction Disputes Group in the Calgary office of Borden Lardner Gervais (BLG). He regularly handles disputes, litigation, arbitration, and administrative law matters for clients, and has significant experience representing clients in energy litigation, commercial litigation, expropriation, constitutional law, municipal law, and energy regulatory proceedings. Mike is also the Regional Co-Leader of BLG Calgary’s Appellate Advocacy Group and Co-Chair of its Pro Bono Committee.
Mike and his wife Kim have three daughters and two dogs. He enjoys running, cycling, hiking, and spending time with his family. He is honoured to join the Pro Bono Law Alberta Board and looks forward to devoting his energy to helping PBLA facilitate access to justice for all Albertans.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Pam received her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan, later articling at Deloitte and received her CPA-CA. She has lived in Calgary for more than 15 years, working at Nutrien and its predecessor companies. Currently, Pam is the Senior Director of Corporate Reporting at Nutrien and was involved in several crucial acquisitions, including the US$16 billion merger between Agrium and PotashCorp.
Pam is a mother of two and often downhill skis in the winter and wake surfs in the summer. She also is an active member of the First Alliance Church choir.
Robert was born and raised in Edmonton and received his Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) from the University of Alberta. He has a law degree from the University of Saskatchewan and worked tax litigation with the Department of Justice in Edmonton, and later joined Felesky Flynn in 2014. Robert possesses in-depth experience with CRA audits and disputes. Now, as a partner at Felesky Flynn, he has acted as lead counsel before the Tax Court of Canada, Federal Court of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal.
He practices on most areas of tax, with an emphasis on representation and tax litigation. Over time he has expanded his practice to include wills and estates, focusing on mental competency, undue influence and trusts.
Robert’s experience with unrepresented tax litigants at the Department of Justice drove home the importance of the work being done by organizations like PBLA and he hopes to advance this work in his role as Director.
Usman Mahmood graduated from the University of Kingston Law School in the U-K prior to immigrating to Canada from England. His specialty is immigration litigation, representing various persecuted peoples who are seeking refuge in Canada due to their religious, ethnic or gender identities as grounds of persecution in their home countries.
Usman currently serves on the Alberta Insurance Council and at Calgary Legal Guidance. He was instrumental in the procurement and construction of the $125 million GENESIS Centre in the Northeast end of Calgary. He also represented Calgarians as a member of the South Asian Police Advisory Committee.
As a brand-new member of the Board of Directors at PBLA, Usman looks forward to being part of a dynamic organization that assists individuals with their legal issues and unique needs like no other non-profit in Alberta.
We appreciate everyone who serves on the PBLA Board and look forward to working together to advance PBLA’s mission.