Alberta Regional Board of Directors
Meet Alberta's Regional Board members:
Robert (Bob) Sutton
Robert (Bob) J. Sutton is a managing partner for the Calgary-based Korn Ferry. He is also a member of the firm’s Global Industrial Market’s Energy Sector, as well as the Firm’s Board & CEO Services group.
Bob has been involved in an extensive number of pan-North American and international assignments. His functional emphasis has focused on boards of directors, CEOs, corporate directors, general management, financial management, corporate finance, engineering, exploration and operations management.
Bob entered the executive recruitment business over 25 years ago with a search firm in Toronto. During his tenure, he was a partner in their Calgary office and led the firm’s energy practice for 10 years. He has conducted more than 500 senior-level searches for clients in a variety of industries, with a primary focus on the energy sector. He has specific expertise in the upstream, midstream, downstream and energy services industries.
Prior to his executive search career, Bob was a divisional vice-president with Madison Chemical Industries, a chemical manufacturer specializing in advanced polyurethane products. Previously, he was a sales representative for Procter and Gamble in Ottawa and co-managed Regional Drilling, a seismic drilling contractor that operated in Alberta and Oklahoma.
Bob served on the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation board for several years and is a past member of the campaign cabinet of the United Way. He currently sits on the board of West Island College.
He holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Western Ontario, as well as a bachelors in general studies from the University of Michigan.
He is an avid cyclist, skier and fly fisher, and enjoys spending time in the backcountry with friends and family.
Born and raised in rural Alberta, Barry Worbets graduated from the University of Alberta with a bachelors of science degree and the University of Calgary with a master's of environmental design. He has spent over four decades working at the intersection of the environment and business. Barry has a deep understanding of land and water, history, science, policy and stewardship in Canada.
Most recently, Barry was one of 14 Canadians who served on a National Advisory Panel for Conservation 2020. The panel informed provincial and federal ministers on how to conserve, by 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial areas and inland water through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. He has worked with Indigenous groups across Canada his entire career.
Barry is one of the founders of Western Ranchlands, which currently owns and operates the 5,666-hectare (14,000-acre) Tomahawk Cattle Ranch. Recently, as senior fellow/executive in residence at the Canada West and Max Bell foundations, his research looked at improving environmental decision-making and land/water policy in western Canada.
In his careeer working at six oil and gas companies, Barry built industry-leading teams to deliver top quartile health safety and environmental performance. He was one of the founders of North American Oilsands Corporation.
Barry is currently chairing the Alberta regional board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He initiated and led the construction of Harvie Passage on the Bow River in Calgary and served as ambassador of the Okanagan Rail Trail, He has also served on the boards of World Wildlife Fund, Alberta Water Research Institute and Parks Foundation Calgary, to name a few. The Alberta Emerald Foundation for Environmental Excellence honoured Barry in 2001 for his corporate leadership
Barry spends he free time volunteering, cycling, hiking, flyfishing, skiing and travelling with his family.
Michael Freeborn is managing director and Head of Energy, Investment Banking at CIBC, where he advises energy clients on capital raising and mergers and acquisitions. Michael has held investment banking and capital markets roles at CIBC and Goldman Sachs for over 16 years.
Michael is a native Albertan with ancestors that homesteaded in the province. He and his wife, Alison, and daughters, Katie and Elizabeth, enjoy a number of outdoor pursuits and are passionate about protecting our country’s precious natural landscapes.
Jennifer Addison currently serves at the senior vice president, sustainability, general counsel and corporate secretary for EPCOR Utilities Inc. Jennifer joined EPCOR in 2017, leading a variety of shared services functions, including IT, Public and Government Affairs, and Supply Chain Management. As the company’s general counsel and corporate secretary, Jennifer leads the legal team and works closely with EPCOR's Board of Directors. She is proud to lead EPCOR’s sustainability strategy, and is the executive sponsor for the company’s Indigenous Relations Steering Committee.
Prior to joining EPCOR, Jennifer held progressively more senior roles at a global engineering and design firm, focused on mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.
She is proud to support the Edmonton community in a variety of volunteer roles. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre, and until recently was the Prairies Chapter Lead on the board of Women General Counsel Canada. Jennifer holds a law degree from Queen’s University and is a member of the Law Society of Alberta. She also serves on the Queen’s Law Alberta Advisory Council.
Alan Harvie has practised energy and environmental/regulatory law since 1989. He regularly deals with commercial, operational, environmental and regulatory issues, especially for the upstream and midstream oil and gas, power, renewable energy, waste disposal and chemical industries. He is a member of his firm's energy and environmental departments.
Alan has also dealt extensively with commercial, environmental and regulatory issues concerning tourism and recreation projects. He has also worked on issues relating to forestry, mining, agriculture, commercial real estate, industrial facilities, sewage plants, hazardous waste landfills and treatment facilities, transportation of dangerous goods and water storage reservoirs.
He has been involved with regulatory and policy issues concerning water rights in Alberta for over 30 years. In addition, Alan has successfully completed projects involving the trading of water rights, worked with ecological and hydrological experts on instream flow assessments and participated in major irrigation and hydropower projects. He has a deep understanding of water resources laws and Fisheries Act issues, including enforcement proceedings.
Alan has been keenly interested in conservation issues for many years. He previously was on the board of directors of Trout Unlimited Canada and served as president of the Bow River Chapter. He is a founding member of the Western Sky Land Trust Society.
Harvey McKernon joined Fiera Capital in 2012 following its acquisition of Canadian Wealth Management (CWM), which he joined in 2009. Currently, as senior investment counsellor and head of Private Wealth Western Canada, he is responsible for discretionary investment management and counselling private clients on wealth preservation, estate transfer and succession. He also leads the Calgary office and oversees business development for Private Wealth across Western Canada. Harvey has over 25 years of industry experience, having started his career in 1994 as a financial advisor at Manulife Securities in Calgary then moving on to Franklin Templeton as vice-president and private wealth counsellor.
Harvey stays active in his community; he is on the board of Pheasants Forever and is a volunteer with the Calgary Stampede Courtesy Car Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary (B.A., 1993). He obtained his Certified Investment Management Analyst designation in 2004 from the Wharton School of Business and the Investment Management Consultants Association, and became a chartered investment manager in 2010.
A former senior executive at one of Canada’s largest energy companies, and a former chief of staff to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Janet Annesley has tackled some of Canada’s largest energy business and policy matters in the last decade.
A seasoned leader and dependable team player, she has a track record for executing strategies and leading teams to achieve success on challenging regulatory, policy, Indigenous and stakeholder issues across companies, large projects and government.
An accredited business communicator and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow, Janet holds MBAs from Queen’s and Cornell universities and sits on the boards of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the Calgary Green Line Light Rail Transit Project.
Based near Pine Lake, Alberta, Kelly Smith-Fraser operates NuHaven Cattle Co. She has years of experience on boards, including her current role as past Chair of the Alberta Beef Producers. In addition to serving as Chair, Kelly also worked as an ABP delegate, zone director, finance Chair and vice-Chair. She’s a director of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Foundation, and was also appointed to the interim board of Results Driven Agriculture Research.
After earning her degree in marketing at Texas Tech University and working off the farm, Kelly was drawn back to ranching on a full-time basis. In addition to running the ranch with her father and brother, she worked for the family’s livestock exporting company.
In addition to operating NuHaven Cattle Co and stewarding her ranch, Kelly is currently to Chair of Agriculture Financial Services Corporation’s Board of Directors, and also sits on the board of directors of CAREERS-The Next Generation, which helps place youth in many internships and positions in science and trades.
Mr. Pourbaix has been a member of the Cenovus Board since November 2017, when he was also appointed President & Chief Executive Officer of Cenovus. He took on the role of Executive Chair of the Board of Directors in April 2023.
As Executive Chair, Mr. Pourbaix is responsible for providing leadership to the Board and ensuring ongoing strong governance, while supporting management’s execution of the company’s strategy. He also leads Cenovus’s advocacy efforts including industry initiatives, government relations, ESG engagement and provides ongoing leadership with the Pathways Alliance.
From 2017 to 2023, Mr. Pourbaix served as the President & Chief Executive Officer of Cenovus. He was instrumental in strengthening Cenovus’s balance sheet, implementing a disciplined capital allocation framework and reducing costs. He led the company’s strategic acquisition of Husky Energy, which closed in January 2021, and also helped co-found the Pathways Alliance. Prior to joining Cenovus, Mr. Pourbaix spent 27 years with TC Energy and its affiliates in a broad range of leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer, where he was responsible for the company’s commercial activity and overseeing major energy infrastructure projects.
Mr. Pourbaix currently serves on the boards of NRG Energy Inc., Canadian Utilities Limited, the Business Council of Alberta and the Alberta Regional Board of Nature Conservancy Canada. He was previously Chair of the Mount Royal University Board of Governors, the Board of Governors at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association and also served as a board member of the Business Council of Canada and Trican Well Service Ltd. In 2022, Mr. Pourbaix was awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal in recognition of the contributions he has made to Alberta.
Mr. Pourbaix earned bachelor of laws and bachelor of arts degrees from the University of Alberta.
As Executive Chair, Mr. Pourbaix is a non-independent director and is not a member of any Board committees.
Michael Crothers retired from Shell in 2021 after 33 years at the company, including over five years as the president and country Chair of Shell Canada. In 2018, he led Shell’s Integrated Gas business in Canada and was instrumental in the approval of the LNG Canada project. He was Shell Canada’s lead shareholder representative on LNG Canada until his retirement.
In addition to leading Shell Canada’s social investment program and Indigenous Peoples strategy, Michael has been involved with the United Way of Calgary Campaign and was appointed co-Chair in 2021. Michael has worked closely with NCC, initiating the relinquishment of 8,600 square kilometres of Shell-held resource leases in Lancaster Sound, which became part of the largest protected area ever established in Canada.
Cailee Ellis’s relationship with nature is a special one. She was raised in the Qu’Appelle Valley in Saskatchewan, where her family farmed and managed a small ranch. Cailee continues to enjoy her downtime in nature, cycling in Calgary’s natural areas or hiking in the Rocky Mountains. She is thrilled to join the Advisory Board with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Alberta Chapter.
Cailee brings almost two decades of professional experience across industry, government and consulting to the Board. Currently a director with Monitor Deloitte, she offers consulting services to clients on corporate strategy and business transformation with specialized expertise on ESG strategy and energy transition. Prior to Deloitte, she led the sustainability and environment portfolio in Western Canada with Holcim, focused on decarbonization, nature, circular economy, social impact and human rights, policy advocacy, and major project development.
Cailee has been deeply connected into Alberta’s innovation ecosystem since joining Emissions Reduction Alberta (2020) to lead strategy and engagement across all sectors, while also serving as a fellow with the Energy Futures Lab. Cailee was recognized by Foresight Canada in 2022 as one of 50 Canadian Women Leading in CleanTech. In her early career, Cailee developed extensive experience in operations and regulatory/environmental affairs with the Alberta Energy Regulator leading on key climate, governance, and innovation matters and working with oilsands, conventional and midstream oil & gas companies.
Cailee is passionate about supporting Calgary’s volunteer community. In addition to NCC, since 2019 she has served as Board Director/Chair with a sustainable development charity.
Cailee holds a M.Sc. in environmental practice, an MBA in executive management and an engineering technology diploma in water resources. She has also completed executive education programs in regulatory leadership and climate change and energy policy.
Pauline McLean is currently the vice president, law, general counsel and corporate secretary for the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO). She is accountable for a broad portfolio, including all legal and regulatory work, communications and stakeholder engagement, compliance and governance matters. During her tenure at the AESO Pauline previously served as director, legal and regulatory affairs and associate general counsel, director, commercial management and director, competitive process. As legal counsel, she has also provided advice to a broad number of AESO business units, including IT, Regulatory, Operations, Finance, Corporate Security, Inter-jurisdictional Affairs, Communications and Human Resources.
Prior to joining the AESO, Pauline worked in private practice in the Business Law group at Macleod Dixon LLP (now Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP). She advised clients in the areas of general business law and technology enterprises, with an emphasis on procurement, outsourcing, general corporate commercial matters, intellectual property and brand management. Before becoming a lawyer, Pauline spent several years working in the pharmaceutical sector.
Pauline is an avid runner and cyclist and while she spends the bulk of her days tackling the transformation of Alberta’s electricity sector, she tries to spend as much time as possible enjoying a variety of outdoor pursuits with family and friends.
Pauline holds a bachelor of science degree in cellular, molecular and microbial biology and a bachelor of laws degree, both from the University of Calgary. She also holds several designations, including the CIC.C (Certified In-House Counsel Canada) from the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association and Rotman School of Management, GPC.D from the Governance Professionals of Canada and ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors.