About the Assiniboine Park Conservancy
Our Vision: Assiniboine Park is a place where people share the wonders of nature in a way that inspires them to conserve it for the future.
Founded in 2008, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization responsible for the operation of Winnipeg’s historic Assiniboine Park.
The Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC) is also responsible for establishing the future vision for the Park and Zoo and carrying out this transformation while protecting the Park’s cherished character and ensuring its long-term financial viability. APC has a 50-year lease with the City of Winnipeg, which owns the property and assets.
APC is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of community leaders whose affection for Assiniboine Park translates into a deep sense of responsibility to our stakeholders. They provide leadership, valuable guidance, and essential connections to the communities we serve. The Board of Directors includes accomplished and respected leaders in our business, philanthropic, Indigenous, and post-secondary communities as well as representation from the City of Winnipeg.
About Assiniboine Park
For over a century, Assiniboine Park has served Winnipeg as a hub of year-round activity, a joyful gathering place, and a natural oasis where visitors can connect with nature and each other.
The Park is home to popular attractions like the Assiniboine Park Zoo and The Leaf. Winding trails, wide open green spaces, and breathtaking gardens encourage people to get outdoors and be active. Educational programs, free outdoor entertainment at the Lyric Theatre, public art galleries, unique event venues, and a great variety of events and activities provide amazing opportunities for learning, celebration and recreation year-round.
With attractions that blend the best of physical activity, sight-seeing, dining and nature into one unforgettable experience, Assiniboine Park is the perfect place to relax and play in every season.
About Assiniboine Park Zoo
Home to more than 150 animal species, the Assiniboine Park Zoo is a place for exploration and family fun in every season. Located in beautiful Assiniboine Park, the Zoo has been a favourite destination for families, tourists, school groups, and animal lovers for over a century.
Assiniboine Park Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. As an accredited, modern zoological organization, Assiniboine Park Zoo focuses on meeting and exceeding the ever rising standards of animal care and welfare, safety, and veterinary programs and as well as demonstrating a commitment to education, conservation and research.
With over 80 acres to explore, the Zoo is open year-round with both indoor and outdoor exhibits, providing visitors with the opportunity to interact with animal species from all corners of the globe. Educational programs for adults and children, unique event venues, and special events and promotions combine to make the Zoo Winnipeg's premier outdoor attraction!
Park & Zoo Redevelopment
In 2009, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy unveiled a bold redevelopment plan that has breathed new life into Assiniboine Park and Zoo.
The first phase of the redevelopment focused on renewal in the heart of the Park. The second phase involved the ongoing revitalization of Assiniboine Park Zoo, highlighted by the opening of the Journey to Churchill exhibit. In the final major phase of the redevelopment, the focus shifted from the animal kingdom to the life-sustaining world of plants and nature with an iconic new horticultural attraction, The Leaf - Canada’s Diversity Gardens.
With the support of the private and public sectors, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy has added tremendous value to the Park. By building innovative facilities such as the Qualico Family Centre and the Zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit, instituting operational disciplines, and developing creative and informative programming, the Park continues to gain a reputation as a world-class destination.
Assiniboine Park Conservancy Leadership Group
Ray Karasevich, President & Chief Executive Officer
Ray Karasevich joined the Assiniboine Park Conservancy (APC) in 2023 as President & Chief Executive Officer. Ray is responsible for charting a course for the future as the organization focuses on the sustainable operation and stewardship of the Park’s world-class attractions, amenities, and services.
As President & CEO, Ray is leading the implementation of APC’s 2023 – 2027 strategic plan, community engagement strategies, and overall Park stewardship and commitment to operational excellence. This includes expansion of APC’s diverse visitation, programming, and conservation efforts and positioning the Park as one of the leading natural attractions in North America.
Ray’s career includes more than two decades of senior leadership experience in higher education, economic development, and public service. Prior to joining APC, Ray spent eight years at the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT), serving as its President and CEO from 2017 – 2022. During Ray’s time at MITT, the institution more than doubled its post-secondary programs and enrollments and established key expansions including a cybersecurity centre of excellence and a major welding and advanced manufacturing centre. Other career milestones include serving as Secretary to the Council on Post-Secondary Education, Executive Director of Industry Workforce Development, and Director of Operations at the Manitoba Health Research Council (now Research Manitoba).
In addition to his formal appointments, Ray has served on numerous boards and committees, including as a current member of the Manitoba Opera Board of Trustees, past co-chair of the Manitoba Post-Secondary President’s Council, and former member of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre Board of Directors. He has completed graduate degrees in public administration and higher education leadership. His doctoral research explored strategies to build intercultural inclusion within diverse organizations.
Ray, his wife Allison, and their daughter Ada are an active family that enjoys spending time in nature.
- Ray Karasevich, President & Chief Executive Officer
- Bruce Keats, Chief Operations Officer
- Debbie Hannah, Vice President, People Strategy & Services
- Donna Kowbel, Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Sales
- Chris Enright, Senior Director, Zoological Operations
- Trevor Clearwater, Vice President, Guest Services
- Archie Pronger, Vice President, Operations
- Gerald Dieleman, Senior Director, Horticulture
Board of Directors
Doug Pollard, Chair
Douglas E. Pollard is the Co-CEO of Pollard Banknote Limited, a Winnipeg-based supplier to the global lottery industry with more 2000 employees globally, including approximately 800 based in Winnipeg.
Pollard Banknote has been managed by the Pollard family since its founding in 1907 in Winnipeg. The Company is majority owned by the Pollard family and publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Pollard Banknote is the second-largest producer of scratch-and-win lottery tickets in the world and, under Mr. Pollard’s leadership, has taken a leading role in helping lotteries sell their products via mobile and internet channels while continuing to grow sales of printed products at retail – driving revenue for the good causes lotteries support.
Mr. Pollard and his wife, Kristie Pearson, are currently Co-Chairs of the United Way Winnipeg Campaign. Doug has served as Past Chair of FortWhyte Alive and is currently a member of the Board of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba and is fluent in French and Spanish.
Dan Hursh, Vice Chair
Dan moved to Winnipeg in 2011 and joined True North Sports + Entertainment as Associate General Counsel. He became the organization’s General Counsel in 2014 before being named VP, AHL Operations & General Counsel in 2015 when the Manitoba Moose returned to Winnipeg. Over three seasons, Dan helped lead the successful reintroduction of Moose hockey to Winnipeg and oversaw all business matters pertaining to the Jets’ AHL affiliate. In the summer of 2018, Dan turned his focus exclusively to legal matters and other business initiatives pertaining to True North and its subsidiaries as VP & Chief Legal Officer.
Prior to joining True North, Dan practiced law with a leading Canadian law firm in Calgary, AB. Dan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science while playing four years of NCAA hockey at Princeton University and obtained his law degree from the University of Calgary.
In addition to the APC Board, Dan serves as Vice-Chair of James Richardson & Sons, Limited. Dan and his wife Katie are active members of the Winnipeg community and have two daughters and a son.
Hans C. Andersen, Board Member
Hans Andersen, CPA, CA, is a Partner at PwC, a global professional services firm with offices in over 150 countries, employing over 300,000 people. Hans has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba and is a Chartered Accountant (CA).
Based in Winnipeg, Hans provides assurance and financial advisory services to public and private companies, not-for-profit organizations and co-operatives of all sizes. Hans has assisted clients in a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, aviation and transportation, technology, real estate, agribusiness, financial services and construction.
In addition to being a board member of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Hans is a current board member of the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. Hans is a past board member of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and Variety the Children’s Charity of Manitoba.
Hans is an active community member and has two sons with his wife Karen.
Jamie Brown, Board Member
Jamie Brown is the Chief Executive Officer & Executive Producer of Frantic Films. As founding CEO of Frantic, Jamie has been proud to see the company become one of Canada’s leading film and television producers, gaining recognition for its creative work and business success. Over the past 20 years Frantic has won over 100 awards for its film and television projects that have sold to over 130 countries around the world. Jamie has also created or co-created over a dozen series in various genres and personally won numerous Gemini, Rose D’Or, Canadian Screen and Banff Rockie Awards, to name a few.
He began his career as a lawyer with the prominent Toronto law firm McMillan, where he focused on corporate finance and entertainment law. After turns at Sullivan Entertainment and Nelvana in business and legal affairs, he moved into a role as an executive producer in 1998 at Winnipeg’s Credo Entertainment.
Jamie was the first recipient of the Lions Gate Innovative Producer Award, named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, received the I.H. Asper Broadcast Entrepreneur of the Future Award, was nominated as the New Media Visionary at the Canadian New Media Awards and was the CMPA’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Currently, Jamie is the Past-Chair of the Board of Canada’s national producers association the CMPA and was Chair of Canada’s National Screen Institute and Onscreen Manitoba. Jamie also sits on the Boards of the Manitoba Busines Council, Cancer Care Manitoba and the Premier’s Economic Opportunities Advisory Board.
Evan Duncan, Board Member
Evan Duncan was elected to the City of Winnipeg Council in 2022 as Councillor for the Charleswood- Tuxedo- Westwood ward. He currently sits on the Standing Policy Committees for Community Services, and Property and Development. Evan also serves on the Winnipeg Public Library Board and the RBC Convention Centre Board of Directors.
Evan is a lifelong resident of the ward he represents, having grown up in Charleswood, a place he and his young family continue to call home. Prior to becoming Councillor, he served in the public sector working for Manitoba Justice. While with Justice, Evan developed close working relationships with law enforcement, the intelligence community, Manitoba Courts and community-based programs.
Evan has over 20 years of volunteer experience working with not for profits, community organizations and families. His post-secondary education is in social sciences with studies in communications at Red River College and the University of Manitoba.
With a commitment to active living and community involvement, Evan and his family are regular users and dedicated supporters of the Assiniboine Park, Zoo and Forest.
Richard Enright, Board Member
Richard, along with his wife Kim have been a franchisee within the Boston Pizza system for more than 35 years. He has developed and leads what today functions as a family business, which owns and operates Boston Pizza and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurants in Manitoba. They currently have 24 locations across the province, employing close to 1,500 Manitobans. As an experienced leader in the Boston Pizza system, Richard has sat on the Franchisee Advisory Council for more than 25 years.
Kim and Richard have two married children and five precious grandchildren, who all enjoy the life that Manitoba has to offer.
Richard is a board member and President of the St. Charles Country Club. He has previously served as a board member with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba and as a Past Chair and board member of Fort Whyte Alive.
Elba Haid, Board Member
Elba Haid holds a distinguished portfolio as the President and CEO of Realcare Inc., the CEO of Haidco Developments, and a former owner of Sutton Realty. With an impressive track record, Elba has been a guiding force in multiple domains.
At the helm of Realcare Inc., Elba has orchestrated a paradigm shift in elderly care within Winnipeg. Committed to upholding the highest standards in the industry, her unwavering belief in extending dignity, compassion, and respect to Manitobans has driven Realcare's mission. As Realcare marks its 29th anniversary this year, Elba's leadership has undoubtedly left an indelible mark.
Beyond her corporate roles, Elba assumes significant roles in community upliftment. As the co-chair of the Manitoba Opera's transformative $10 Million endowment fund campaign, she is a catalyst for cultural enrichment. Her presence on the Westland Foundation board and the Women of Winnipeg board showcases her commitment to education and empowerment. Notably, Elba co-chairs the Susan Thompson Women's Leadership Campaign at the University of Winnipeg, amplifying the voices of women leaders. She's also at the forefront of the Women's Heart Health initiative, forging partnerships with Heart and Stroke Canada, the University of Manitoba, and Saint Boniface Hospital, reflecting her dedication to holistic well-being.
During her tenure as the Chairwoman of Manitoba Opera, Elba initiated the prestigious Gail Asper Award, a beacon celebrating community leaders. Her passion for recognizing and appreciating leadership underscores her profound commitment to excellence.
In essence, Elba Haid's journey is one of multifaceted achievement, where her leadership, philanthropy, and devotion to enhancing lives stand as a central goal.
Heather Hinam, Board Member
Dr. Heather Hinam is an award-winning naturalist, artist, and interpretive planner. Through her business, Second Nature, she specializes in making science, nature, and heritage engaging and accessible through the creation of interpretive media.
While nature is her first love, Dr. Hinam’s passion is education and finding ways to help people connect with the world in new and interesting ways. She has over 25 years experience as a nature and heritage interpreter to compliment a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology and Ecology. She has a particular knack for taking complex concepts and rendering them into words and illustrations people can understand and relate to.
Dr. Hinam is the past chair of the Interlake Tourism Association and the Mixedwood Forest Society, former TEDxWinnipeg speaker, and is a member of Interpretation Canada, the National Association for Interpretation, and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.
Brian Mayes, Board Member
Brian Mayes has represented the St. Vital Ward since November 2011, when he was elected to Winnipeg's City Council in a by-election. He currently Chairs the Standing Policy Committee on Water, Waste and Environment and is one of the longest-serving members of the Executive Policy Committee. Brian also serves as the Council Representative on the Board of Governors of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and as a Board Director of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.
Brian grew up in St. Vital, where he attended Dakota Collegiate. He then pursued his studies in Toronto, Ontario, before returning to Brandon, Manitoba, in 2000. In Brandon, he served as a School Trustee and operated his own law firm.
Throughout his career, Brian has served on the boards of many organizations in the private sector. He has also been a Pension Trustee for the Manitoba Association of School Trustees, a Deputy Chief Commissioner with the Residential Tenancies Commission and was appointed, by his peers, as a member of the Law Society of Manitoba's Complaints Investigation Committee.
Brian resides in the St. Vital Ward with his wife Dr. Alison Marshall and their two sons. In his spare time, Brian has been a volunteer coach for Basketball and Soccer teams at the Norberry-Glenlee and Dakota Community centres. He is a retired marathon runner whose career peaked with a Top 15 finish in the Manitoba Marathon.
Priti Mehta-Shah, Board Member
Priti Mehta-Shah (FCPA, FCA, CBV, CF) is the managing director of 49-97 Capital Partners and a leading transaction advisor who has provided valuable guidance to clients in Canada and around the globe for the past 30 years. While Priti’s primary role is facilitating the sale of companies, she also provides support with business valuations, business acquisitions, and transactional due diligence. Priti is frequently invited to speak to business leaders and key decision-makers on various transactions, valuation and financing matters. An entrepreneur at heart, Priti is driven to help her clients maximize value of their business.
Priti is currently the chair of Entrepreneurs' Organization and is on the board of Manitoba Chamber of Commerce, RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba. She is the past chair of the Winnipeg Chamber and the Women’s Enterprise Centre.
Ash Modha, Board Member
Ash Modha is the CEO/Chairman and Founder of Mondetta Clothing. With its global headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, his company designs and manufactures apparel globally for retailers worldwide.
As a certified B Corporation, Mondetta Clothing is committed to adhering to high social and environmental protection standards, transparency, and accountability, believing that profit motive and corporate responsibility can coexist to create a new business paradigm in the 21st century. Namely, that business can act as a force for the greater good. Mondetta has drastically and dramatically shifted how it does business to ensure its entire operation, including global supply chain production and logistics, is geared toward reducing its environmental impact as much as possible. From 2023, Mondetta will go net zero via science-based targets (SBTs)—the organization's ultimate goal: mitigating climate change and building a sustainable future.
In addition to leading Mondetta Clothing, Ash has also engaged in several non-profit endeavours and organizations, including the board of directors for the Health Sciences Foundation, the Bank of Canada Blue Ribbon panel, the Royal Bank Young Advisory Council, the Premier's Economic Advisory Council during which time he also chaired an image task force and the Minister's Trade Advisory Council. Presently, he sits on the Board of Trustees at Balmoral Hall School, is a member of the Manitoba Business Council, and is a board member of the MBC's Truth and Reconciliation Committee. He is also an IDEA Dinner committee member of the Associates.
Diane Roussin, Board Member
Diane Roussin is an Anishinaabe ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᒃ community leader passionately committed to the pursuit of mino bimaadiziwin (the good life) for all families and children. Her in-depth knowledge of Indigenous issues and solutions flow directly from her strong sense of identity and worldview. She is a proud member of Skownan First Nation in Agowidiiwinan Treaty 2 Territory.
Working tirelessly at the local, regional and national levels to promote Indigenous People’s values and ways of knowing, being, and doing and feeling, she has led many avant-garde initiatives. She is adept at leading collaborative processes that involve numerous cross-sector partners and stakeholders. Currently heading the Winnipeg Boldness Project, Diane is a driving force in establishing the first and longest serving Indigenous Social Innovation Lab in Canada that seeks large-scale systems of change for children and families.
Diane presented at TEDx Winnipeg in June 2018 on the topic of Indigenous social innovation and in January 2018, was awarded the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal for Outstanding Indigenous Leadership. She is a recipient of the Manitoba Women Trailblazers Award by the Nellie McClung Foundation. Diane holds both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work Degrees.
Bram Strain, Board Member
Bram Strain is the President and CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba, a not-for-profit organization that consists of a diverse and prestigious group of leaders of companies who have demonstrated a commitment to Manitoba’s economic growth and community development. Collectively they represent the economic engine of Manitoba.
Prior to his arrival at the Council, Bram was most recently the City Manager in Lethbridge, Alberta, prior to that, he served as Deputy Minister in the Manitoba Government as well as serving as Assistant Deputy Minister and other senior roles within the Federal Government of Canada. Bram is a strategic leader who utilizes a relationship-based leadership style that focuses on results and outcomes beneficial to stakeholders and has a breadth and depth of experience across all levels of government.
Bram is past President of the Greendell Community Centre and is currently a board member for the 2022 World Police and Fire games. Bram Strain is a Manitoban, raised in Elm Creek, is a graduate of Brandon University and is fluent in English and French.
Don Streuber, Board Member
Don Streuber, FCPA is the Executive Chairman of Bison Transport Inc., an award-winning truckload transportation provider throughout Canada and the United States.
Don is a director and Chair of the board of Exchange Income Corporation a TSX-listed company. Don is a director and Chair of the Audit Committee of James Richardson and Sons Limited.
Don is a past Chair of the boards of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, CentrePort Canada, Providence University College and Seminary, and the Business Council of Manitoba, and a past member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.
Don is also the Honorary Consul General of Austria for Manitoba.
Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, Board Member
Chantal Sturk-Nadeau is the Executive Director, Business Events at Destination Canada. She arrived at Destination Canada (DC) in January 2017 with an intrepid spirit and an open mind. For nearly 18 years before joining DC, Chantal fostered deep relationships across Canada, and around the world, in her role as Senior Vice-President of Tourism Winnipeg – a division of Economic Development Winnipeg.
As a leader, Chantal has a proven track record for consistency, authenticity, and unabashed Canadian pride. As Executive Director of Business Events at Destination Canada, Chantal leads the business events strategy to leverage Canada’s leading economic sector strengths and legendary incentive experiences to attract global business events to Canada. Chantal and her team inspire, provide insights, introductions and facilitate connections between organizations considering Canada and our business events partners.
Some defining moments in Chantal’s career include; leading Destination Canada’s new approach to business events with an economic sector strategy that focuses on attract meetings to Canada that will have an impact beyond tourism, guiding the Canadian business events industry through the global COVID-19 pandemic, the co-creation of a Master Tourism Plan for the City of Winnipeg, an integrated tourism development model that has since been adopted globally as a best practice in destination management. In 2014, Chantal completed the Certified Destination Management Executive designation from Purdue University.
Sheree Walder, Board Member
Sheree Walder is a lawyer specializing in all aspects of family law and a partner at Myers LLP, a law firm located in Winnipeg, which offers extensive legal services to individuals, families, companies, unions and First Nations. She has appeared at all levels of the Manitoba court system and has training in dispute resolution techniques.
Ms Walder has been involved with many aspects of the legal and general communities. She has volunteered her time to assist in the preparation of materials for legal education on behalf of the Law Society of Manitoba, spoken to community groups on legal issues, was appointed by the Law Society to investigate and report on complaints against lawyers and has also volunteered as an adjudicator at the University of Manitoba Law School. She is a member of the Manitoba Bar Association and the Canadian Bar Association and has been on the boards of Jewish Child and Family Services and Family Mediation Manitoba. More recently, Ms Walder was appointed by the Government of Manitoba to be a Panel Member on the Vulnerable Persons Hearing Panel.
Sheree Walder and her husband, Richard Morantz, have long been proud supporters of major institutions in Winnipeg, including the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, the Health Sciences Centre and the University of Manitoba.