Board of Directors

Elected to the board

Steve McDonough, President & Chairman of the Board

A proud, life-long Calgarian, Steve has spent his professional career building organizations and taking on new challenges. He brings a wealth of leadership, interpersonal and problem-solving skills to the Calgary Stampede, as well as a strong desire to influence positive outcomes. Steve has served as a policy advisor to the Federal Government, built and sold an advertising agency and is involved in property development. He is proud to be celebrating his 40th year of volunteer service. Steve holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Law degree.

Follow Steve on Twitter: @stampede_steve

Will Osler, First Vice-Chair

Will is a partner with Bennett Jones LLP, practising corporate/commercial law. He has extensive experience in corporate governance, corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and major infrastructure projects, and is recognized as a leading lawyer in Canada. Will attended Queen’s University and the University of Calgary.

Stuart O’Connor, Second Vice-Chair

Stuart O’Connor is a businessman, entrepreneur, ranch-hand, lawyer and engineer who is currently the Chair of a software services company and sits on a number of private, public and not-for-profit boards of directors.

Dale Befus

Dale’s early career was spent managing a group of automotive stores throughout Alberta, while also running his family farm. He has a passion for heavy horses, which led to his founding Alberta Carriage Supply. An innovator and entrepreneur, he has developed a device for ground thawing and a micro grain-malting machine for the brewing and distilling industry.

Elizabeth Burke-Gaffney

Elizabeth has experience in the energy sector, having held positions of increasing responsibility in strategic planning, corporate structures, stakeholder relations, finance, and governance. She has continued to learn throughout her professional career, having received her Corporate Directors ICD.D designation. She holds a Bachelor Degree (Honours) from the University of Toronto and a Master’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma, College of Law.

Cherie Copithorne-Barnes

Cherie is a fourth generation rancher with a passion for driving innovation as it pertains to how people perceive agriculture. She is a respected agricultural leader, having sat on numerous boards where principle, integrity and strong strategic management are key.

Jennifer Doepker

Starting on the Stampede’s frontlines in 1996, Jennifer has been a volunteer with the Corporate Relations committee since 2008. Jennifer brings nearly two decades of experience in commercial strategy for major, critical infrastructure developments, working in Calgary and abroad. She holds an MBA from Queen’s University and ICD.D designation. A native Calgarian raised with the values of her family’s agricultural roots, Jennifer is a keen horse owner and a proud wife and mother.

Kari Griffith

Kari is a successful owner of a joint venture real estate company, top producing Realtor® and a fourth generation Albertan with deep agriculture roots. Serving for 30 years on several agriculture, promotional and Board committees, and as the 1990 Stampede Queen, she brings strengths in governance, strategy, leadership, marketing and business development. Kari holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Calgary and the ICD not-for-profit Governance Essentials certificate.

Justin Heskes

Justin is an entrepreneurial business leader in infrastructure development with demonstrated strengths in corporate governance, business development, finance and risk management. A Calgary Stampede volunteer for more than 19 years, Justin has held key leadership roles across both Stampede volunteer and Board committees. He is a born and raised Calgarian, professional engineer and active volunteer in both the rodeo and Calgary communities.

Paul Kavanagh

Paul has had a 35-year career in hospitality, service and alcoholic beverage industries, working in four Canadian cities and Europe in progressive sales, marketing, operations and project management positions. Paul is currently the Regional Vice-President of National Sales for Sysco Canada Inc. Paul is a Business Administrative graduate from Algonquin College.

Dave Lantz

Dave is a visionary entrepreneur with more than 40 years of diverse business experience. He is an influential leader with a wide range of knowledge, expertise and solid communication skills. Dave is well respected in the agriculture community, and his agri-business operations span two provinces. He studied heavy-duty mechanics at SAIT and is a proud supporter of the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

Dave Lougheed

Dave is a successful business owner in the financial industry and a former national team athlete. As a community leader with a proven track record in many volunteer roles, Dave has board experience in strategic planning and marketing and has proudly served as a Stampede volunteer for 15 years. Dave completed the ICD Director’s Education program in 2018.

Sandy O'Connor

Sandy is an experienced business leader specializing in energy sector governance, compliance and risk management. With a career spanning more than 30 years in the energy sector, she has a proven track record of delivering results in complex business environments. Sandy is currently consulting, advising clients across North America. Sandy holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Calgary.

Bob Park

Bob is a 46-year veteran of the Canadian oil and gas industry with a Bachelor of Arts and a BSc in Geology (Honours). He has held varying positions throughout his career, with 20 years in senior management. He has managed his family grain farm and investment companies and has raised significant funds for various startup corporations.

Patti Pon

As a proud born and raised Calgarian and University of Calgary graduate, Patti has used her role as President & CEO of Calgary Arts Development and prior work in senior leadership positions; as well has her volunteer roles to contribute meaningfully to city and community building and making Calgary a place deserving of all Calgarians, not some.

Maggie Schofield

Maggie is an experienced business leader and proven community builder. She has completed the ICD Not-for-Profit Governance Essentials and Boardroom Financial Fundamentals programs, Indigenous Awareness and media training, plus years of marketing and sales training.

John Third

John is a licensed broker/owner of a real estate brokerage, providing real estate development consulting services. With more than 40 years of experience developing and marketing real estate in Western Canada and abroad, John brings to the Stampede strong business acumen, communication and business development skills, with a team approach to problem solving.

Kate Thrasher

Formally recognized as one of Alberta’s Top 100 Outstanding Citizens, Kate is a business builder and community leader who has served as a director on 18 not-for-profit boards. She has helped raise $150 million for capital projects, secured $5 million in sponsorship and $3 million ‘in-kind’ donations. Kate is a Certified Management Consultant (FCMC) and an entrepreneur with western values.

Wendy Tynan

A 28-year Stampede volunteer, Wendy has highly coveted skills in stakeholder engagement, strategic counsel and reputation management. Leveraging a background in accounting, her unique professional and volunteer experiences deliver results. She is a community leader, one of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40 and a Haskayne School of Business Graduate of Distinction.

Tracey Zehl

Tracey, a native Calgarian, has been a Chartered Accountant for over 20 years, providing assurance and business advisory services to clients in the not-for-profit and private sectors. She’s presently the southern Alberta Managing Partner at Grant Thornton LLP. Tracey holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree with Distinction from the University of Calgary and received her CPA Fellowship in 2018.



Appointed to the board

Michael Brown

Michael Brown is a community and business leader devoted to making Calgary one of the best places to live. Michael’s leadership has helped to shape Calgary’s skyline through his work on a number of key projects including the new Central Library, and led the vision for the redevelopment of East Village and Victoria Park. Also under Michael’s leadership, CMLC and the City of Calgary were able develop and gain approval on the strategy for the new Event Centre and Arena which will help make Calgary a major event destination. As a native Calgarian, Michael is very passionate and personally committed to his community. He currently serves on a number of committees, such as the Mount Royal University Bisset School of Business Dean’s Advisory Committee and the Board of Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund. Michael has also served as the Board Chair for Calgary Opera and a number of other community groups. He sat on the Calgary Stampede’s Strategy Committee from October 2015 to March 2019.

Shane Doig

Shane is a partner at KPMG LLP in the audit practice. A chartered accountant, Shane has worked with KPMG for more than 18 years, specializing in accounting, tax and finance for public and private entities, primarily in the energy sector. He has also worked with various construction, agricultural and mining clients. A seasoned traveller, Shane feels fortunate that his work with international clients has allowed him to travel widely around the globe, including to South America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa. He has a passion for all the wonderful things that the Stampede is involved with, how integral it is to our community, and how driven the Stampede is to ensure our western heritage and values are preserved for future generations. Shane has been a member of the Audit & Finance committee since 2012 and was appointed to the board of directors in 2015.

Lesley Hutcheson

Lesley has spent the last 20 years of her 30-year career in the real estate industry in Alberta with Hopewell Residential. She led the organization as president for 14 years. In recognition of her corporate success and philanthropic activity, Lesley has received the Order of the University of Calgary, the Haskayne School’s MAX (Management Alumni Excellence) Award, the YWCA Woman of Vision Award and has been inducted into the Women’s Executive Network Hall of Fame having been voted four times as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Lesley has an undergraduate degree in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo and an MBA from the Haskayne School of Business. She has two children – a son Cole (24) and a daughter Sydney (21). She was appointed to the board in 2017.

Greg Kwong

Greg is regional managing director, Alberta for CBRE Limited. With more than 30 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry he has accumulated expertise in commercial real estate leasing, investment sales, financing, design-build and hotel & leisure investment. Before entering the Calgary market, Greg spent a number of years in the Toronto, Ontario market and has worked with clients in major international centers. He is also a director of Winsport Canada as well as other private companies. The Kwong family extends three generations in Alberta, and giving back to the community is important to Greg and his wife. He and his wife Elly have been together for more than 30 years and have two daughters and a son. He was appointed to the board in 2017.

Ravinder Minhas

Ravinder is a father and husband who was born and raised in Calgary. He chose the entrepreneurial path after completing a degree in engineering. Along with his sister (Manjit - now a Dragon on CBC), they have built distilleries and breweries both in Canada and the United States of America, ranking in the Top 10 with product selling in five provinces, 41 states and 19 countries. He is also the co-founder of Spotlight Television & Film, a company that produces scripted, documentary and reality programs. Ravinder has also received many prestigious awards including Graduate of the Last Decade by University of Calgary, Calgary & Canada’s Top 40 Under 40, JCI’s Outstanding Young Calgarian and FASD Service Award.

Wendy Powell

Wendy has a 30-year career in total rewards encompassing the strategy, design and implementation of compensation, pension and benefit programs. Currently she the Director, Total Rewards of Cenovus Energy. Prior to joining Cenovus, she held similar roles with Tervita and Enbridge. Earlier in her career she worked as a management consultant in a range of human resources areas with Deloitte & Touche and Watson Wyatt. Wendy has also shared her expertise as a volunteer, serving on the board of directors for Calgary Meals on Wheels and chairing the Human Resources committee. She has volunteered with the United Way of Calgary and the Junior League as well. Wendy Powell was appointed to the Stampede Board in May of 2020.