Smart Communities Board Members Bios
Smart Communities Society is a non-profit organization established to facilitate, promote, and develop awareness of Information and Communications Technology among all citizens of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Incorporated in 2000, and administering the Smart Communities projects for the North.
Current Board Members:
- Peter Allen, Director
He is an independent consultant and business owner. He has a background of Government experience as a senior civil servant, with particular expertise in the area of policy and planning. Peter is well regarded as a creative thinker and strategic planner, with a strong personal commitment to the positive development of the NWT.
- Ben McDonald, Director
Ben moved to Yellowknife in 1979, and is now retired, having worked in the labour movement for 25 years. Ben served three terms on Yellowknife City Council and has been a part of the Smart Communities Society since its inception. He feels that ICT can be a double-edged sword and that northerners might be able to benefit from its introduction but we risk being left behind because of our geography and state of development. Ben sees the Society as a vehicle to promote equal access and opportunities for northerners.
- Michel Adam, Director
He is currently working as a DBA/Systems Analyst at ITI/ENR, GNWT. Since he moved to Yellowknife in 1984, he has held numerous IT jobs, both in and out of the public sector, as well has serving on the board of the NTNet Society in the last millennium.
- David Wasylciw, Treasurer
- Christopher Hunt, President
Christopher is a lifelong Northerner, having lived in both Nunavut and the NWT. He is the president of Asphalt Canada, and involved in the development of unique new road surfacing technologies. His Community activities include acting as: chairman of the NWT and Nunavut Engineers and geoscientists Education Foundation, the current vice-president of the Wade Hamer recreational hockey league and volunteering with the Yellowknife Food Rescue organization. Christopher is fluent in English and Inuktitut
- Sudhir Kumar Jha, Vice President
Sudhir is a seasoned professional leader, applying his skills as a professional engineer to a wide variety of projects in the NWT, Nunavut, Ontario and overseas.
Sudhir is a tireless community volunteer and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his outstanding contributions to Canada. He works with various non-profit organizations to promote skills-based careers in trades and technology and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Skills Canada NWT and the boards of several other professional organizations. For the past 14 years, he also mentored new immigrants, encouraging them to pursue their professional careers.
- Obed Duru, Secretary
As a coach, father, and high school teacher, Obed brings a vast classroom teaching and international development experience as a new member of the board. Over fourteen years, Obed has impacted many students across Nunavut and NWT in curricular and extra-curricular activities. Obed is an alumnus of the University of Alberta, the University of Glasgow and the Teachers Institute on Parliamentary Democracy. He is well travelled and published. He is also a member of the ATA, NWTTA, and the Canadian Evaluators Society.
- Jan Larsson, Director
Jan Larsson resides in Yellowknife, and has lived around the world with his Northern family. He enjoyed a 25 year tenure as the Ski Racing Director for Rossignol, all while traveling to ski competitions worldwide with his wife, Shirley Firth-Larsson, a professional cross-country skier from Aklavik. Jan moved back to the North with his family a number of years ago and was immediately asked to take the helm as the executive director of the Aboriginal Sport Circle of the NWT. He successfully implementing many new programs and then recruited a worthy successor. This organization continues to grow and provide many positive opportunities to youth in the North. Jan remains involved with the organization in an advisory capacity. Along with his extensive community and social development experience, Jan also has a strong background in business development and innovation, and is one of the founders of Asphalt Canada Inc. and Energy North, bringing new road surfacing and biomass energy technologies to markets here in the North, throughout Canada, and around the world.
9. John Robson, Director
10. Peter Chynoweth, Director
Peter has an honours B. Math. in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and this degree formed the basis of his first career as a programmer, technical support person and systems programmer for a Calgary based oil company. He tells the story that when computers became affordable enough to take home, he did so and turned his job into his hobby and his volunteer work with the church into his profession, becoming as he jokingly says: a systems analyst in God’s operating system. He has an M. Div. (Hons.) from St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon and has served in pastoral ministry in Bonnyville, Alberta, Jasper, Alberta and for the past thirteen years in Yellowknife, NWT. He plans to retire at the end of October 2018. Peter characterizes one of his aims in life as the exploration of the intersection between Technology and Theology. This will continue into retirement. He desires and works to see technology as a force for good in the world, and as background for his time with the Smart Communities Board.