Board of Directors

Board of Directors


President – Gordon R. McKenzie, Q.C.

Gordon is counsel at Bishop & McKenzie, whose practice serves a broad range of clients. In addition to his focus on commercial litigation, he also deals in bankruptcy and insolvency, professional disciplinary actions, mediation and arbitration.

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, 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.

Erika Hagen, BMus, JD

Erika is a lawyer practicing family law at Crerar Law in Edmonton. Before joining Crerar Law she worked with the Civil Litigation team at Alberta Justice & Solicitor General – Legal Services division. Prior to being called to the bar in 2012 she articled with Alberta Justice which comprised a rotation through various departments such as the Office of the Public Trustee, child welfare, court services, and general prosecutions, among others. Erika attended the University of Western Ontario for her legal education. During her studies Erika worked at the firm Cochard Johnson as a summer student. She also volunteered in London, Ontario with Pro Bono Students Canada by drafting court documents for self represented litigants and with Safe Space by providing harm reduction services to street level sex workers. Prior to that she attended the University of Alberta where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction.

Lynn Parish, LLB

Lynn Parish has a background in law having practiced in the United Kingdom and Canada . More recently Lynn has worked as a Chartered Mediator conducting mediations in the areas of civil claims, family issues and intermunicipal disputes. Lynn has also been a member of the City of Edmonton Subdivision and Development Appeal Board for six years, including one year as Chair, a member of the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board and currently serves as Hearing Chair for the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation. Lynn has worked as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law in Client Interviewing and Counselling and is a current coach for the Client Consultation mooting team. Volunteer activities include acting as a long serving president to a community league and working at the Edmonton Community Legal Centre.

Jim McCartney, BA, LLB

A lawyer for 39 years, Jim practiced civil litigation involving commercial and tort law at all court levels. He has mediated over 500 disputes and has been appointed in more than 90 arbitration or adjudication matters involving commercial, industrial and residential construction, employment, labour grievances, shareholder and partnership disputes, commercial rent renewals, public works, oil sands royalty issues, and landowner compensation for pipeline crossings. He is a Chartered Mediator and Chartered Arbitrator, a past president of the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society, and is a Director of the ADR Institute of Canada and serves on several of its committees. He was recently appointed to a third three-year term as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta discipline and appeal tribunals and sanction agreement panels and is Chair of two NEB Pipeline Arbitration Committees. Mr McCartney has been counsel to, and a director of, EIG Ltd. (Energy Insurance Group) since 2005 and became Chair of the Board of Directors in 2009.

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.

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