“A vital mission”

Long Service Awards celebrate 23 employees from around Alberta who’ve been with Legal Aid for five,10,15 and 20 years.

October 16, 2020
By: Andy Gregory

Scott Hammond was a lawyer with Legal Aid Alberta when there were few computers – only stacks of boxes filled with legal paperwork, piled floor to ceiling, everywhere you looked.

Technology has changed considerably in the last 15 years but his motivation for working at Legal Aid has stayed constant – to provide fair and equal access to justice.

“In Canada, we have rule of law. People can go to the courts, have their dispute heard, and they can expect to be treated fairly,” he says. “Extending rule of law to every member of our society is a vital mission and one that I am proud to support.”

Related: Meet the Legal Aid lawyer who’s been helping at-risk youth find their way for over 20 years

Hammond is one of 23 employees celebrating a milestone work anniversary in 2020. LAA’s Long Service Awards – held virtually for the first time – honour employees who have been with the organization five,10,15 and 20 years.

“As long service awards recipients, you are and have always been, LAA Ambassadors,” says President and CEO John Panusa. “You’ve kept us going. You keep us going.”

“Best work ever”

Award recipient Lorena Melara started her LAA career as a receptionist. Fifteen years later she works with lawyers on youth and criminal adult law cases.

Graphic with a quote by Legal Aid staff Lorena Melara who says Legal Aid is the "best work ever."

“It’s the best work ever,” she says. “For me, it’s all about helping kids. It has changed my perspective.”

Legal Aid Alberta has more than 300 staff and lawyers in eight offices across Alberta. This year’s award recipients work in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.

Congratulations to the 2020 LAA Long Service Award Winners.

20 years

Cyndi Brand
Edmonton

Karen McGowan
Edmonton

15 years

Scott Hammond
Edmonton

Lorena Melara
Edmonton

10 years

Lowell Carroll
Calgary

Alexander Fleming
Edmonton

Jason Glabb
Edmonton

Sonia Haer
Edmonton

Stephen Jenuth
Calgary

Song Lan
Edmonton

5 years

Samantha Busby
Edmonton

Amna Qureshi
Edmonton

Marshall Gourlay
Lethbridge

Tasha Halldorson
Edmonton

Lori Haughian
Edmonton

Amanda Kabanzi
Edmonton

Patricia Kelly
Calgary

Rosalie Lasay
Edmonton

Stephen Shirt
Calgary

Dominika Scherbakov
Edmonton

Chandra Thomson
Calgary

Vinny Wang
Edmonton

Tracy Zander
Edmonton