President – Erika Hagen, BMus, JD
Erika is a lawyer who practices family law as a Partner with Crerar Badejo Hagen Family Law Group which she has worked since 2013. Erika has a practice which is devoted to minimizing conflict on her files and helping her clients move forward following difficult separations. Prior to her family law practice Erika worked on the civil litigation team at Alberta Justice, and before that as a Student-at-Law also with Alberta Justice. Erika has spent countless hours volunteering to promote and provide access to justice (presently with CPLEA, and previously with Edmonton Community Legal Centre), and participating on committees. Erika obtained her JD from Western University in London, Ontario where she was an active volunteer with the student legal clinic there, as well as with Pro Bono Students Canada (drafting Court documents for self-represented individuals) and Safe Space (providing harm reduction services and safe opportunities for socializing to sex workers). She also spent a summer working for Renee Cochard (now The Honourable Judge Cochard).
Vice President – Lois Gander, Q.C.
Professor Gander is a graduate of the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta with an LLM in legal education. The founding Director of the Legal Resource Centre (now the Centre for Public Legal Education of Alberta) and the Legal Studies Program, Faculty of Extension, she has almost 40 years experience in providing formal, non-formal, and informal public and continuing professional legal education in Canada. She has worked in a variety of contexts, with both mainstream and marginalized communities, and with information, education, community, government, and social service agencies that address contemporary social justice issues. Professor Gander curates http://www.plecanada.org/, a website on the theory and practice of public legal education, her primary area of research. Her publications include The Radical Promise of Public Legal Education in Canada and “The Incubation Model of University-Community Relationships: A Case Study in Creating New Programs, New Knowledge, and New Fields of Practice” (2009 vol 35 (1) Spring CJUCE ). She co-authored “Community-University Engagement in an Electronically-Defined Era” (in Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, and Community Partnerships: Concepts, Models and Practices . eds. Melody A. Bowdon and Russell G. Carpenter. Hersey: IGI Global 2011) with Dr Diane Rhyason.
Treasurer – Hugh Neilson, FCA, TEP
Hugh Neilson FCA TEP is an independent contractor to Kingston Ross Pasnak LLP, where he is a Director, Taxation Services. He is also an independent contractor to Video News Inc., where he serves as a member of the Editorial Board of Video Tax News, and appears regularly in that publication. Hugh has instructed courses for the Institutes of Chartered Accountants of Alberta and Saskatchewan in the area of taxation, and has presented at the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants’ National Conference on Income Tax, the Banff Small Practitioners Forum sponsored by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta and the Canadian Tax Foundation’s Prairie Provinces Tax Conference. His articles have been published in Law Now and Lawyers’ Weekly. Hugh is an active participant in the CA School of Business’ pre-certification education program, and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta’s Members in Tax Working Group.
Secretary – Michelle Lang, B.Sc., M.B.A, M.A., Ph.D.
Michelle Lang has over ten years of experience working in adult education. She was a tenured professor at the University of Nebraska, where she taught undergraduate and graduate art history, as well as research, writing and critical thinking skills. Prior to this she was a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota and an instructor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is trained in change management and quality assurance, and holds a PhD from Bryn Mawr College, an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and a BSc from York University. She is currently the Manager of Knowledge, Quality and Training at the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation. Previously she was a public member for the National Health Service Education for Scotland, and currently she is a board member for Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton, and a member of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals’ professional development committee.
Giri Puligandla B.Sc., M.Sc.
Giri Puligandla currently works with the Government of Alberta as Manager of Strategy Implementation, Addiction and Mental Health, in Alberta Health Services. Prior to that, he spent six years as Director of Planning and Research with Homeward Trust Edmonton, through which he supported the work of CPLEA to uncover the interactions between housing policy and family violence. Giri is skilled at systemic design and program planning, stakeholder engagement, data management and analysis, grant management, and research and evaluation. Over the course of his career, Giri held leadership and executive roles in several Edmonton-based non-profit organizations working in the areas of mental health, housing and homelessness, family caregiving, and community development. Giri is passionate about integrating existing silos to bridge gaps that have left too many Albertans vulnerable, especially those with the greatest needs. He believes strongly that the lived experiences of marginalized groups need to drive transformation of complex social systems to make them more effective.
Jared Bielby B.A., MA/MLIS in Humanities Computing
Jared is the Chair of the International Center for Information Ethics and editor-in-chief for the International Review of Information Ethics. He is an active consultant and project manager for initiatives in information ethics and internet governance. Jared organizes research and data analysis working groups in ethics, and leads interdisciplinary and intersectoral AI ethics research for the Kule Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Alberta. He also chairs the IEEE Global AI Ethics Initiative committee on Classical Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. Jared currently works for the city of Edmonton as the city Data and Analytics Ethics Advisor.
Ken Proudman J.D.
Ken is an Edmonton based lawyer whose practice consists primarily of divorces and separations where there are businesses, farms, complex property, tax issues, appeals, legal research, or pre-nuptial agreements. Ken was named one of the “Top 3 Divorce Lawyers” in Edmonton in 2018 by ThreeBestRated and has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Much of Ken’s time outside of the office is devoted to his passion, teaching. Ken is employed by the University of Alberta Faculty of Law as a sessional instructor, teaching Advanced Family Law. He teaches other lawyers through seminars for the Legal Education Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association and teaches the public about family law topics through many different channels.