Board of Directors

Steve Allan

Senior Advisor Ernst & Young (Foundation Board Chair)

Mr. Allan is a respected business and community leader within Calgary. From 2005 to 2007 he served as chairman of the board and president of the Calgary Stampede and he currently holds the title of vice-chair of the Calgary Stampede Foundation Board. Mr. Allan has been a Stampede volunteer for more than 30 years and his leadership on the board of directors was instrumental in the Stampede's efforts to enhance and expand its contribution to Calgary and southern Alberta. Mr. Allan is vice-president of RSM Richter Inc. in Calgary, Chairman of the Canadian Tourism Commission, and Director of Compton Petroleum Corporation.

Mr. Allan is a past president of the Calgary Downtown Rotary Club and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, and he is a Past District Governor of Rotary International District 5360. He is a past trustee of the Calgary Zoological Society, a past director of the Calgary Foundation, and was a member of the Committee to End Homelessness in Calgary. Mr. Allan currently is vice chair of the McMahon Stadium Society.

Mr. Allan was recognized as Calgary's Citizen of the Year for 2006 and with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta in 2008.


Mel E. Benson

President Mel E. Benson Management Services Inc.

Mel is president of Mel E. Benson Management Services Inc. an international consulting firm working in various countries with a focus on First Nations/Corporate negotiations.  Mel is part owner of a private energy  company Tenax Energy.

Mel has been a director of Suncor Energy since 2000, serving on the compensation, audit and environment, health and safety committees. Mel also sits as a Director of the Fort McKay Group of Companies a community   investment organization.

Mel retired from an International energy company in 2000 after a long career as an operations manager and senior member of project management based in Houston, TX, where he worked on international projects based in Africa and the former Soviet Union.

A member of several charitable organizations, Mel prides himself on being active in his community.  Mel has been a past Director of Hull Child and Family Services, Stars, NAIT and the University of Alberta land institute.

Mel is a member of Beaver Lake Cree Nation, located in northeastern Alberta.


George Brookman

CEO West Canadian

Mr. Brookman is well known in Calgary’s business community and volunteer circles. In 1984, he acquired West Canadian Industries Group; today considered to be one of Canada’s leading digital print and document management companies. West Canadian operates offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray. It is the parent company of Commonwealth Legal, a national litigation support and legal document management company. It is also a partner in VISTEK, which operates three retail camera stores in Calgary and Edmonton.

Mr. Brookman’s career prior to West Canadian included Real Estate Investment with Manulife Financial followed by Real Estate Development with ATCO Ltd. Today, Mr. Brookman is a Director of Penn West Energy Trust and the Chairman of Tourism Calgary. He also serves as a Director of a number of Foundations including the Calgary Stampede Foundation, the Saddledome Foundation and the Flames Foundation.

He is a Past President of the Calgary Stampede and a Past President of the Rotary Club of Calgary. In 1988, he was awarded the Pinnacle Award for Business and in 2008 was given the Distinguished Business Leader Award presented by the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business. This year, Mr. Brookman received an Honorary Degree in Applied Technology from S.A.I.T. Polytechnic Institute. George was born in Calgary and is a third generation Albertan.

Mike Casey, Q.C.

Counsel, Field Law LLP

Mr. Casey has practiced law for more than 30 years, primarily in insurance, construction and employment matters. He is a senior partner in the firm Field LLP.

His extensive volunteer experience, with both professional and community organizations, has given him valuable insight into what is required for success in a volunteer supported organization such as the Calgary Stampede. Mr. Casey is a member of the Law Society of Alberta, Canadian Bar Association, and International Association of Defence Counsel. He has served as president of the Canadian Bar Association (Alberta branch); president, Junior Chamber of Commerce; chair, Calgary Grey Cup committee; vice-chair, Alberta Motor Association; and venue chair, 1988 Olympic Winter Games.

Through his work with these organizations, Mr. Casey brings experience and insight into board governance and structure, risk management and assessment, and advocacy and communication to his Stampede contributions. He has been a volunteer with the Stampede since 1976 and a Board member since 1997. In 2012, he was elected President and Chairman of the Board of the Calgary Stampede and is now the Immediate Past President. He currently serves as a Cabinet member responsible for leadership gifts in support of the We’re Greatest Together capital campaign and is a Board member of the Calgary Stampede Foundation.

Wayne Chiu

Founder and president and CEO Trico Homes

Wayne Chiu is a highly respected Canadian business leader and philanthropist who founded Trico Homes in 1992. Wayne’s corporate and entrepreneurial acumen have reinforced his desire to support the communities that have contributed to his success. In 2008, Wayne and his wife and business partner, Eleanor, founded the Trico Charitable Foundation as a way to fulfill their passion for social entrepreneurship. The Trico Charitable Foundation is focused on provoking innovation and building capacity in social entrepreneurship, and does so through a number of programs and initiatives, including Enterprising Non-Profits Canada and the Social Enterprise World Forum.

He has been recognized with numerous awards, most recently being appointed as Member of the Order of Canada. Wayne has also been awarded with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Other awards of note are the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year Award, the SAIT President’s Partnership Award, the Immigrant of Distinction Award, the Generosity of Spirit Award, Alberta Centennial Medal and the Calgary Citizenship Award.

Mr. Chiu holds an Institute Certified Director Designation and has extensive board governance expertise in both the public sector and business community. Wayne currently serves on the TELUS Community Board; United Way of Calgary Board of Director’s; Bow Valley College Campaign Advisory Council; Stampede Foundation Board; Alberta Champions Society for Community Enrichment; and the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta Strategic Advisory Board. Wayne is also the Executive Chairman of the Trico Charitable Foundation.

Susan Church

Susan Church has worked extensively with Alberta’s agriculture and food industry for 40 years. Prior to retiring in 2009, she helped position Alberta livestock producers as leaders in animal care issues throughout Canada and the US.  She is now a proud volunteer with the Calgary Stampede on its Animal Care Advisory Council.

Susan has been recognized by her peers in the agriculture industry and has received the first Friend of the Industry Award from Alberta Pork, the Canadian Veterinarian Medical Association’s Humane Care Award, the Alberta Dairy Industry Achievement Award, and the Leadership Award of Distinction from Alberta Farm Animal Care.

Susan was a strong ambassador for the We’re Greatest Together campaign and has dedicated hours of her time to the Stampede Foundation. She brings with her diverse experience as a board member of the William Herron Family Foundation, farm member for the Agriculture Service Board of Rocky View County, past board member of Heritage Park, Community Representative for the U of C Veterinary Medicine Animal Care Committee, and a helper on her husband’s cattle ranch.

Cathy Cochrane

Owner Cochrane Urban Learning Associates

Mrs. Cochrane has worked for over 33 years as a teacher, administrator and consultant with the Calgary Board of Education. A graduate from the University of Alberta in 1976 (B.Ed.), Cathy began her teaching career working with elementary students in both special education and community school environments. After several teaching experiences with the Campus Calgary/Open Minds Program (see Projects), Cathy took on a consulting position with the CBE to provide leadership to Calgary teachers in developing custom made, innovative programming with experts in the community and corporate partners. This prompted an interest in pursuing a Master's degree from the University of Portland (2000) where she published her thesis research on the impact of primary experiences on student writing achievement (Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, September 2004).

Following five years as Coordinator of the Campus Calgary/Open Minds Program, Cathy returned to a school setting as a senior administrator. The last five years of her career with the Calgary Board of Education, she was Principal of Nellie McClung School, incorporating programming for gifted students in SW Calgary and the communities of Palliser, Bayview, and Pumphill.

Upon establishing Cochrane Urban Learning Associates in 2010, Cathy has offered a wide range of consulting services dedicated to promoting current research and best practices in teaching and learning.

M. Ann McCaig, C.M., A.O.E., LL.D.

Foundation Board Chair Emeritus

Mrs. McCaig is one of Canada’s most prominent leaders in the not-for-profit sector, a well-known advocate in the areas of youth, education and health and an accomplished fundraiser. She currently chairs the Calgary Stampede Foundation Board. Born and raised in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Ann has maintained a life-long commitment to caring about others and giving back to her community, she is passionate about continuous learning and works tirelessly to ensure the highest possible quality of life for future generations.

As Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, Ann has a long history as a champion for the cause of advanced education and research. She was Chancellor from 1994 to 1998 after having served as a member of the University's Board of Governors for 10 years. Ann is a Trustee of the $400 million Killam Estate, a Director of the Gairdner Foundation and a former director of the Banff Centre Foundation.

Ann has an equally strong passion for advancing health care and developing a strong healthy community with an emphasis on helping youth. She is the Chair of the Calgary Health Trust and the Honourary Chair of the Alberta Bone and Joint Institute. She also Chairs the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC). She is a Director of the Calgary Stampede Foundation and she has served as the Chair of the Calgary Foundation and the City of Calgary Police Interpretive Centre. Ann is a long-time supporter of the Famous 5 Foundation.

Kim McConnell

Founder and former CEO AdFarm

Kim McConnell is the founder and the former CEO of AdFarm, one of the largest agricultural marketing communications firms in North America. In 1984, Mr. McConnell started the business in the basement of his house. In 2007, he stepped down as CEO.  Over the years, Mr. McConnell has led many national and international brand and marketing assignments for several respected companies including Farm Credit Canada, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, Agrium and RBC Royal Bank. He has been the catalyst behind many industry initiatives including advancing the Canadian beef industry, the Canadian seed industry and recently has spearheaded an initiative to build greater public trust in food and farming.

In addition to numerous creative and marketing awards, under Mr. McConnell’s leadership AdFarm was recognized for three years as one of “Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies”, and in 2006 was recognized as the 3rd Best Place to Work in Canada. Mr. McConnell is also the recipient of many national business awards including ‘Agri-Marketer of the Year’, finalist for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation “Mentor of the Year” and in 2012 he received one of the industry’s highest awards when he was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame. Mr. McConnell remains involved with AdFarm and is also director on a number of corporate and volunteer boards.

Barry Munro

Managing Partner for Calgary office of Ernst & Young and Senior Vice President of Ernst & Young Corporate Finance (Foundation Board vice-chair)

Mr. Munro is the Managing Partner for Ernst & Young’s Calgary office, the leader for Ernst & Young’s Oil and Gas industry initiatives in Canada and is a senior vice president of Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance based in Calgary.

He specializes in all facets of corporate finance, including strategy, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, valuations and financings. Barry’s experience includes advising on strategy, deal sourcing, valuations, negotiations and leading multidisciplinary teams of tax, legal, due diligence and accounting professionals. He has extensive experience on mandates for Board of Directors relating to assessing strategic alternatives to maximize value for the shareholders. He has extensive specific transactions experience working in the energy industry and working with entrepreneurial organizations within Canada and operating globally.

Barry sits on the Board and chairs the Audit Committee of the Calgary Stampede Foundation, serves on the Corporate Relations Committee of the Calgary Stampede and serves on the Campaign Cabinet of the Calgary United Way.


Dean Prodan

CFO and Director of Whitehorn Resources Ltd., Portfolio Manager for Priviti Capital Corp. and Director of Whitewater  Ski Resort.

Mr. Prodan is most recently employed as President and sole owner of UTA Asset Management. Previous employment from 1989 to 2009 consists of four years as an Institutional Salesmen for Peters & Co. Ltd., five years as Managing Director and co-founder of FirstEnergy Capital Corp., four years as President and Portfolio Manager of Dominion Equity Resource Fund and Managing Director of Canfund VE Management Corp.

He has current board positions on several private companies including Chair of the Board for Markwater Handling Systems and Cool It Systems Inc., Director of Canadian Energy Acquisition Corp. Also active on the Advisory Board of Priviti Capital Corp. Other board and volunteer activities in the not-for-profit sector dean is involved in include his current position as Board Chair of the Calgary Arts Development Authority, a Director of The Palix Foundation,  member of the Investment Committee for the Max Bell Foundation and a member of the Regional Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.


Bob Thompson

Immediate past-president of the Calgary Stampede

Bob has a strong background in finance, management and board governance, and is founder, president and CEO of Brownstone Asset Management, a Calgary-based investment counsel firm. Bob is a passionate supporter of Alberta’s rural roots and agricultural backdrop. Bob is a member of Calgary Economic Development's Financial Sector Advisory Committee. A strong believer in the volunteer system, Bob has been a volunteer with the Stampede since 1987 and was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community Service. He served as Stampede president and chairman of the board from 2013-2015.