Three cheers for LAA’s new board of directors

Legal Aid Alberta welcomes trio of new directors taking seats at the table.

Communications and Public Relations
March 11, 2021

Catherine Braeuer, Brad Pickering, and Kent Teskey, QC, have been appointed to three-year terms on Legal Aid Alberta’s board of directors. An independent, non-profit organization that provides legal services, the board of directors are ambassadors for LAA and provide oversight of the organization and give guidance to the leadership team.

“It’s exciting to be part of an organization dedicated to supporting access to justice for vulnerable and marginalized Albertans,” Braeuer said of her appointment to the board.

Braeuer is a CPA, CA whose career has focused on finance, technology and corporate governance consulting for a variety of organizations including publicly funded health care, education, children’s aid and legal aid entities. She is currently leading the Global Financial Reporting Transformation Team for Finning International.

Pickering, a retired Government of Alberta deputy minister, says providing all Albertans with equal access to justice is a vital service.

“Legal Aid Alberta helps those who might not otherwise have support, during challenging times in their lives,” he said. “I’m looking forward to helping deliver this important service.”

Pickering served 17 years in senior leadership roles as deputy minister of Municipal Affairs, CEO of the Alberta Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Agency, deputy minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, and deputy Solicitor General/deputy minister Public Security, and deputy minister of Sustainable Resource Development. He also served on a number of boards during his tenure with the Government of Alberta including Travel Alberta, Alberta Capital Finance Authority, and the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute. Prior to joining the Government of Alberta, he spent 20 years in the municipal government sector.

Teskey is a criminal lawyer at the firm of Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey, practicing across Western Canada at both the trial and appellate level. He is a past-president of the Law Society of Alberta.

“Legal Aid Alberta plays an important role in the legal system and in our province,” said Teskey. “By providing legal services to individuals and families in need of support, LAA has a positive impact not only on its clients, but also on the province.”

Ryan Callioux, LAA board chair, and John Panusa, LAA CEO, welcomed the new directors.

“As board members, it is our role to ensure Legal Aid Alberta delivers on its mandate as it supports Albertans,” said Callioux, a board member since 2016. “Our new members bring a wealth of professional skill and personal experience and we are happy to benefit from their knowledge and perspectives.”

“Our directors play an important role in ensuring the needs of vulnerable Albertans are met and that the future of LAA is stable and secure,” said Panusa. “The depth and breadth of skill and knowledge each board member brings will help us continue to have an impact on the lives of vulnerable and marginalized Albertans, and society as a whole.”

Panusa thanked out-going board members Peter Carter, Jim Donihee, and Graham Johnson, who each served two, three-year terms starting in 2014, and to former director Daryl Royer, who served on the board since 2017.

“Each of these directors made important contributions to LAA, especially as we redesigned the way we delivered services, then swiftly met the challenges of COVID-19. We’re thankful for the support they provided and the enduring, positive impact they had over the years.”

As a publicly funded, non-profit organization, LAA provides affordable legal services in family law, domestic violence, child welfare, immigration, and youth and adult criminal defence. LAA is in nine locations: Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Siksika Nation and Wetaskiwin.

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