Board of Directors

ACA Board of Directors meets quarterly and consists of 11 member group representatives, one Provincial Government representative, four appointed Public at Large representatives, and the chairholder of the ACA/University of Alberta Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife.

Executive

Bill Abercrombie

Bill is currently the Chair of ACA's Board of Directors, in addition to being the Alberta Trappers' Association (ATA) representative for ACA, and President of the ATA board. Bill has gained decades of wilderness skills, with expertise in animal tracking, trapping, bush awareness, and survival in the northern boreal forest. He is a seasoned educator, having worked with conservation organizations, government agencies, and the private sector. He has been involved in many wildlife studies for the University of Alberta, along with continuing to consult on wildlife issues throughout Alberta.

Robert Gruszecki
Bob has been involved in conservation circles his entire life, more substantially in the education realm of conservation. He is currently Chairman of the following organizations: The Conservation Education W.I.S.E. Foundation, The Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association (AHEIA), Hunting for Tomorrow, and the Conservation Education Wildlife Museum.
Sandra Mellon
Sandra joined ACA’s Board of Directors in December 2016 as the Northwest Alberta Public-At-Large (PAL) member. Since 2017, she has been the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. With her commitment as the NW PAL completed in December 2022, she has now taken on the role of Business Representative on the board. She has been in the banking profession for over 30 years and is currently a wealth advisor with a Canadian bank. Since meeting her husband, Richard, she has been immersed in the outdoor life, quickly taking to hunting and angling, and then, a few years later, adding trapping to her repertoire. She and Richard raised three children in the same outdoor traditions and are now grandparents to seven, all of whom are outdoors youngsters.
Chuck Priestley
Chuck is in his second, three-year term as Public-At-Large (PAL) Director for Alberta's northeast region and is serving his second, one-year term as Secretary. Chuck grew up in the outdoors enjoying fishing, family camping trips, and outdoor adventures with Scouts. As an adult-onset hunter (ten years ago), Chuck has a deep and ever-growing passion for all things hunting, including conservation, eating well, and pursuing big and small game with family and friends.

Directors

Vince Aiello
Vince is a born and raised Albertan with a lifetime love of experiencing the outdoors; he is dedicated to preserving and protecting wild spaces and wildlife. He has 35 years of business management experience with 18 years of conservation and board volunteer work in the province.
Ken Bailey
Ken has spent his professional career in the wildlife conservation industry, including 24 years with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). He has also been an outdoors writer for more than 30 years, having published more than 1,200 magazine articles and an award-winning book, No Place Like Home. He currently provides business management support as a consultant to the nonprofit conservation sector, while continuing to write for outdoor publications.
Robin Barnes
Robin has been an active outdoor enthusiast surrounded by the beauty of the mighty Peace Country for most of her life. She grew up on a homestead in northwestern Alberta where hunting, fishing, and trapping were a way of life for her family and “running water” meant actually running for water! She is passionate about creating opportunities to engage young people and families to learn about, enjoy recreating in, and to protect and conserve our environment for future generations.
Rick Blakeley
Rick has always been interested in the outdoors and conservation from his very early days as a cub scout up to becoming a queen scout and a leader in scouting and the YMCA. He has served Lethbridge College as an instructor and as a leader for over 40 years. He is retired and has more time to dedicate to the work of several conservation organizations including Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) as the Alberta Fish and Game (AFGA) board representative. Rick has a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), has served on several boards including the Local Authorities Pension Board of Trustees, is the President of the Lethbridge Fish and Game Association (LFGA), and is the Range Operator for their Shooting Sports Facility. Rick is passionate about making it so that future generations will be able to continue to appreciate natural places to hunt, fish, and enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer.
Dr. Mark Boyce
Mark is a Professor of Ecology and holds Alberta Conservation Association’s (ACA) Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Alberta. His research specialty is population ecology and currently he is supervising research on bighorn sheep, deer, marten, wild boar, wolves, and sandhill cranes.
Fred Calverley
Fred, a petroleum geologist, worked for a major oil and gas company in senior management. During his career he worked on the ground in every Canadian province and territory including the Arctic Islands. During his leisure time he has always enjoyed fishing, hunting, and hiking. Fred has served his community as a volunteer on the executives of professional, sports, and conservation organizations, two that are national in scope. He represents Trout Unlimited Canada on ACA’s board.
Dr. Lu Carbyn
Dr. Lu Carbyn is an internationally recognized wildlife biologist, specializing in the ecology, conservation, and management of mammalian carnivores and their prey. He was President of Nature Alberta and Chairman of the Alberta Chapter of The Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists. Over the years, Carbyn has served on numerous Boards of Directors of academic institutions and conservation organizations.
Beau Cleland

Beau Cleland is a historian at the University of Calgary, as well as a combat veteran, and enjoys outdoor recreation of all sorts with his family. He is particularly concerned with wildlife habitat conservation and preserving access to hunting, fishing, and our shared public lands and waters. He represents the Alberta Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers on the ACA Board.

Randy Collins
Randy has been an energetic and vocal volunteer in Alberta’s conservation community for over 40 years. Originally from Stoney Creek, ON, and after a career transfer, Randy became active in the early 1980s with a local Alberta fish and game club in his community. That road has taken many turns over the years with him eventually becoming Alberta Fish and Game Association (AFGA) President from 2005–2007. In 2009, Randy was asked to represent the AFGA on Alberta Conservation Association’s (ACA) board and had been in that capacity for 14 years, and in 2022, Randy assumed the role of ACA Northern Board Liaison.
Lisa Holdaway
Lisa grew up with a deep passion for being out in nature. Hiking and camping were a big part of her childhood. She earned her BA in Environmental Studies, deepening her connection with the outdoors. Hunting and fishing were not a large part of her upbringing, but her career brought her to a remote Hunting and Fishing community, where she learned the value and enjoyment of living off the land. She gained insight as to the impact of humans in nature, and the importance of protecting our environment. In just 5 years, the girl from the suburbs began her journey which would give her some of the most fantastic experiences she could ever share with her friends and family back home. She is most passionate about inspiring and helping people to get outdoors!
Reg Prostebby

Reg is a home grown Alberta boy, born and raised in Edmonton. He now lives in Red Deer with his family as a retired petroleum engineer. Having lived in many places throughout Alberta during his working years, his passion for the outdoors only got stronger with time. His love for sheep hunting has provided countless journeys into Alberta's mountains, and Reg wanted to “give back” to the resource. He has been a long time life member of WSFA, and been involved with them from volunteer all the way to President. He has also participated at several government committees (AGPAC/AGMAG) over the years. Reg believes that the pillar of conservation is the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. This science has allowed Alberta and all North Americans the opportunity to enjoy the conservation of fish and wildlife. Combining this Model with sound principles of Habitat Improvement, Predator Management and Disease Control methods will allow all Albertans to continue to enjoy our great Alberta outdoors. Reg believes ACA is positioned to enforce these principles for generations to come.

Jeana Schuurman

Jeana Schuurman has been the Managing Director of the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society (APOS) since 2018. In this role, she enjoys identifying opportunities to better support members, the industry, and wildlife stewardship in Alberta. Prior to working for APOS, Jeana spent 4 years in policy and communications with the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, and then several years for the Government of Alberta, support farmers and rural landowners with conflict resolution. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (Political Studies Major, Business Administration Minor) with Trinity Western University in 2008, and her Master of Arts (Integrated Studies) with Athabasca University in 2023. Outside of work, Jeana enjoys chasing after her two little boys, reading, and exercising.

Colleen Cassady St. Clair

Colleen is a Professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta where she has been since 1998. She and her students focus on animal behaviour as a tool for understanding and reducing problems in wildlife conservation and management. Their studies address species ranging from mice and forest birds to grizzly bears and wolves. Colleen leads a long-term project to facilitate coexistence with urban coyotes, she is a novice hunter of white-tailed deer, and she loves to work, play, and think outdoors in natural areas.

Brent Watson
Brent is an avid bowhunter, hunter, and trapper for too many years to count. He has served on the Alberta Bowhunters Association Executive for over 20 years—past 18 as President, in addition to being involved in various government and stakeholder committees/meetings/processes. All with the goal to "give back" and make things "better" for future generations.

In Memorial

Long-time ACA Board of Directors member Tom Bateman recently passed away. He leaves a great legacy and a huge hole in the conservation world. Here is an excerpt from his book titled Pigweed Greens:

"Wildlife became part of me as I grew up near a marsh on a small southern Alberta farm. Wildlife provided our entertainment before we had television.

Wildlife made our dreary entertainment-starved existence something to remember. Wildlife fed us and the furs we trapped and sold contributed to our circumstances.

Wildlife was the basis for my career that had lasted 30 years. Wildlife has made some of us who we are. It must always remain a part of the lives of Albertans.

To ensure that wildlife remains with us and our children, we must be sure we protect the marsh."

A great man who will be missed by all who knew him.


Board Committees & Taskforces

Executive Committee
Finance & Audit Committee
Communications Committee
The ACA Program Grants Committee
Operations Standards Committee
Recruitment Committee
Governance Committee
PAL Member Committee