Board of Directors
Ami Ballman co-founded RARE Cannabis Co. A locally owned cannabis store focused on building community, sharing knowledge, and reinventing how consumers shop for recreational cannabis through an innovative shopping experience, known as the Mood Movement.
Ami graduated from Mount Royal University with a Bachelors of Communication. She focused her efforts as a retail marketing specialist helping small businesses connect the dots between lead generation, customer experience and their bottom lines. Volunteering with the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce has given Ami the opportunity to support positive outcomes for business through advocacy, shared connection & innovation. She is honoured to join the Chamber for another year and to lean on her experience as a business owner to help drive positive, palpable change for businesses & the community.
First Vice President
After several years of working for a prominent law firm, Shane decided to strike out on his own and start his own law firm – GP Law – in 2019. He has specialized in family law for nearly a decade. He has extensive litigation and trial experience and regularly appears before the Alberta Court of Justice and the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.
Outside the courtroom, Shane is well-versed in preparing and providing independent legal advice on a wide range of family law agreements. He encourages and regularly attends lawyer-assisted mediation and settlement conferences. As a professional advocate, he thrives on working with clients to provide direction on family law matters, whether a litigation model or negotiated settlement model is being used.
In addition to his work as a lawyer, Shane is deeply committed to his community. He dedicates time to pro bono work as a Volunteer Family Lawyer with Calgary Legal Guidance.
Recognizing the potential for growth and development in his hometown, he became actively involved in the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce. His leadership skills and vision for local economic prosperity propelled him to the position of Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce. He is grateful to represent the Chamber in the City he grew up in and is committed to fostering relationships between local businesses, promoting entrepreneurship and attracting new investments to Airdrie and the surrounding area.
Outside of his legal and community endeavors, Shane is a devoted husband and father. He enjoys spending quality time with his family, friends, running, hiking, traveling, photography, and playing tennis, hockey and soccer. He wears the No. 7 shirt for Real Sasquatch SC in the CUSA League and is an avid supporter of Chelsea FC and Forge FC and a lifelong Flames fan.
Second Vice President
Carmen has worked as an accountant in the public practice sector for over 15 years, where she has absorbed an array of knowledge and experience from different types of businesses in various industries. Accounting is so much more than just crunching numbers, it’s an opportunity to help businesses grow, succeed, and guide them in the right direction to do so. Carmen previously volunteered on the executive for the Rotary Club of Airdrie as treasurer for 3.5 years and is currently a member of the Airdrie Agricultural Society.
Prior to her career in accounting, Carmen co-owned a restaurant where she learned a lot about starting a business without any direction and she believes that groups like the Chamber of Commerce are key support networks for business owners. She looks forward to working with the Chamber, and she will embrace the opportunity to learn from other business owners in this community.
Michelle spent many years in larger accounting firms in various positions and realized she was very passionate about working with small business owners. She founded her own accounting firm with nothing but an ambitious goal and desire to change how small businesses felt about the relationship with their accountant. Michelle loves to work with business owners to make their accounting make sense to them so they can continue to focus on what they love, running their business!
As a business owner and someone who works hands on with clients in various industries, Michelle brings valuable insights to the chamber. Michelle is committed to giving back within the community and making a difference for small businesses. Michelle looks forward to being a part of the Chamber’s growth and impact on the Airdrie business community as a whole.
Chris has many qualifications and experiences that relate to being on the Airdrie Chamber board:
- Bachelor of Commerce Degree with a Major in Marketing
- Member of the Woodside Golf Course team for over 20 years and have served as the General Manager since 2009. In 2022 he, along with 3 partners purchased Woodside Golf Course.
- President of the National Golf Course Owners Association - Alberta Chapter
- Brewster’s Kananaskis Ranch Golf Course Management Company
All the above experiences have helped Chris gain an understanding of what entrepreneurs and business owners need in terms of support to be successful in today’s extremely competitive environment. He believes that his business and board experiences have taught him several important lessons about how to ensure that outcomes are delivered to achieve or exceed goals. Chris is a continued asset to the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce and its membership.
Chris was drawn to the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce as he believes there is a real opportunity to make some impactful changes that can create added member value and elevate the Chamber’s ability to deliver services to its members. He is excited to help reposition the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce in the minds of its membership and its potential members.
Paying your annual Chamber membership fees should be the easiest decision you make all year. That is the kind of value that Chris knows the Chamber is capable of offering.
Allison has owned her business in Airdrie for five years and prior to her dream endeavor in retail, she worked with the Calgary Stampede where she contributed to large committee executive roles.
Her experience there was largely focused in organizing and hosting meetings, planning, and executing events, maintaining budgets, and providing input toward the overall success of the organization.
She brings this experience in her role with the Airdrie Chamber Board of Directors and enjoys providing her insight and knowledge to fellow businesses.
Allison has lived in Airdrie for over 10 years and during this time she has discovered that Airdrie is a great place to live and successfully run a business. Participating on the board for the Chamber allows her to grow as a business owner as well as mentor and to collaborate with other local businesses to foster growth in the community.
Asif has been associated with the banking sector for a little over 25 years at various senior level positions internationally (Dutch, UK, GCC and Asian Markets) and has also worked as a hard-core hands-on entrepreneur. He has been part of various boards in different capacities such as a Director, President, and General Secretary.
Currently, he is associated with RBC Bank as a Senior Relationship Manager in Business Markets and by virtue of the nature of his work, he is required to meet with people from all aspects of life on an on-going basis. This includes, yet not limited to, Business community (Entrepreneurs), Salaried professionals, Retired individuals, stay at home people etc.
Asif volunteered in the office with the Airdrie Chamber a few years ago. He believes that members, rather all stake holders, need to play a pivotal role to take AC to the next level to create a positive impact towards our community at large by virtue of the exponential growth pattern of City of Airdrie. Looking at the larger picture, he chose to be part of AC due to his diversified back-ground while representing a growing (minority) in Airdrie community and having a multi-lingual back-ground, he is also working with various organizations/institutions (Profit and Non-profit) and individuals not only in Airdrie but Calgary and Cochrane as well, which enables him to represent Airdrie Chamber of Commerce as an ambassador – specifically due to his primary residence in Airdrie. In addition, his passion for volunteering enables him to contribute to an organization from strategic planning to sharing success stories, transfer learning and the best practices by virtue of greater understanding and expertise of value-chain and process management, which he has acquired through his professional career spread over several years.
Jay graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree from the Asper School of Business in Winnipeg, Manitoba with a double major in Small Business Management/Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He worked in retail sales as well as retail banking, financial planning and held both an insurance license and Canadian Securities. He managed a small book of Small Business Banking clients.
He created, owned, and operated Mabuhay Calgary (Calgary's first Filipino Community Newspaper. He is currently a part owner in the F45 Training Franchise here in Airdrie and has owned and operated NRG Fitness Inc. since 2006.
Joining the Chamber board not only fueled Jay’s passion to serve, but to has also enabled him to make a difference in the Airdrie community while networking and building relationships with our local small businesses here in Airdrie. Through those relationships, Jay has and will continue to embrace all the personal learning and development that he can transfer to strengthen my business.
Kate is a local Airdrie financial advisor with over 8 years of industry experience- dedicated to helping small businesses and families cut through the noise and bring order to their financial lives.
Kate partnered with Sun Life in 2016 with the goal of being able to help people better understand their options. Financial literacy and education has been a top priority since day 1. Financial concepts like insurance planning, investment vehicles, tax strategies etc. are all so misunderstood and poorly taught through the public school system. Kate came to recognize this gap and make it her mission to help bring financial literacy to the community. As a recent CFP® graduate, she uses this knowledge to help inform clients to make educated financial decisions for their business and family. Specializing in retirement and estate planning.
Realizing Airdrie was underrepresented, in early 2019 she decided to make a move and join the community to help service and to educate locally. Since that time, Kate and her team have made every effort to get involved with the local community. Some recent examples include; volunteering to present at financial literacy events, actively engaging with Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, giving back in fundraisers such as ‘ 100 Women Who Care’. She’s looking forward to deepening these roots and finding additional ways to give back.
Michael is a born and raised Albertan and is a local Emergency Management Consultant with over 34 years of experience in the field. He holds a Graduate Diploma in Disaster and Emergency Management and currently operates two safety management, emergency management, and business continuity consulting companies where he and his team create heroes in other people’s organizations.
Starting in 1989 in the EMS world his 13-year career fueled his soul and passion for helping others. In 2002 he and his business partner (and more importantly wife of 27 years) initiated the beginnings of the consulting firm that they now own and operate. The Response Team has worked with many different industries including oil and gas, municipalities, small medium and large sized businesses, manufacturing, NGOs, aviation, non-profits, food processing, construction, and at the community level. Michael is currently a member of three deployable Incident Management Teams at a regional, national, and international level.
Michael and his family moved to Airdrie in 2009. They are a family of four, whose passion for small business has run for four generations. Michael’s passion for service includes dozens of volunteer positions over the last 13 years in Airdrie as well as a 28-year career as a reservist in the Royal Canadian Air Force. In his spare time, he enjoys camping and travelling, is an amateur radio operator, and instructs for post secondary institutions in the disaster and emergency management field of practice.
Entrepreneur for 2+ decades, Suze built a community of trained coaches across Canada and the US. In addition, she actively coaches and mentors business owners, organizations and individuals, is a bestselling author, radio show host, experienced speaker and facilitator.
Suze holds a MEd specializing in Curriculum Development and Learning Strategies, taught for 20 years, was a Learning Process Consultant for 3 years and the Consultant responsible for acquisition of all resources, community outreach and building positive school culture for the building of a new school.
In addition, she is currently the Artistic Director of The Calgary Folk Club (+30 years), an active Board member for 40 years, one of the Founders of The Calgary Folk Festival, Showcase Coordinator for the International Folk Alliance for 11 years, and was a Board Member of the Canadian Folk Music Awards for 5 years.
Suze is currently also a Board Member of ADVAS (Airdire and District Victim’s Assistance Society).
She brings a positive, realistic, and pragmatic approach to all situations with wide experience across business, education, not for profit, and arts communities. She moved to Airdrie in 2018 to contribute to a community and make a positive difference. She welcomes the connections she has made and will continue to make through her involvement in Chamber activities and enjoys her role as Membership Committee Chair for the Chamber.
Suze knows there is an enormous need for organizations, business owners, managers, and teams to refocus and recharge, and she has a unique skill set to support the positive growth moving out of Covid. She understands home-based business and looks forward to actively encouraging membership involvement. She has a great deal of respect and admiration for the Chamber Team. The staff and Board are responsive, personable, knowledgeable and a real asset to Airdrie businesses. She is excited to contribute to the vibrancy and vision the Chamber brings to our community.
Tim has over 20 years in sales and business development. His strong commitment to detail and exceptional customer growth has been the key to his success in business. He is extremely passionate about community and business development.
His experience and expertise in business range from retail to travel and hotel management where he now sits in the technology and communication sector as a Manager - Community and Service Excellence with Telus Communications. Tim has also over the years worked with local farms, food banks, care facilities and other municipalities, building gardens and playgrounds as he truly has a passion for contributing to his community.
Tim believes firmly in the interests of Airdrie’s business and community. It is an honor to help represent Airdrie and its business and he wants to help be a positive and influential member that helps shape policy and programs that can be a driver in creating meaningful differences in our local business, community, and government. He believes in being an advocate for our city is important to all of us. Tim feels lucky to be a part of this team and family.
Tara has been with the Economic Development department at the City of Airdrie since April 2011. She holds a Diploma in Administrative Information Management from SAIT and has earned her Economic Development Certificate from the University of Waterloo. She is passionate about working with the Airdrie business community and helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Her responsibilities mainly fall within the Business Development core service helping with business retention and expansion along with entrepreneurial support services.
Tara is a born and raised Airdronian with no plans to leave. She enjoys her liaison role on the board as it’s a monthly chance to interact directly with business leaders in the community and hear directly from them. Open communication between the City and Chamber members is a top priority for Tara.