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Doug Gairns, RPR, RAS

Doug has worked for the City of St. Albert for 29 years, starting in Public Works as a labourer where he served on the Union executive and as President of the union local. Doug completed an Occupational Health & Safety Certificate program and then moved to Human Resources as Safety Officer. He continued his education, completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree and moved into the position of HR Generalist and then HR Manager. Doug became Department Director in 2007. He has achieved his CHRP, RPR and RAS designations and is currently in the process of completing an MBA at the University of Alberta.

Doug Gairns
The City of St. Albert is a municipality of about 57,000 residents located 15 minutes northwest of Edmonton, Alberta. There are 505 permanent employees and between 100 to 500 seasonal/temporary employees. There are two unions: IAFF - Firefighter/Paramedics and CUPE - Outside Workers. There is also a large group of non-unionized employees. They provide a full range of municipal services to the residents including: refuse, water & wastewater utilities; maintenance of roads, sidewalks & parks; municipal policing, fire & ambulance services; cultural, recreational & social support services; commuter & local transit: and corporate & administrative services.

Doug was recently appointed to the position of Director of Human Resources as a result of his progressive experience in all facets of HR and his commitment to life-long learning. Doug’s excellent relationship with the unions combined with his communication skills and analytical abilities prepared him for this challenge.

As Director of the Human Resources Department he oversees twelve employees providing payroll, benefits, safety & wellness and human resources services to staff. Doug is actively involved in employee relations, chairing the employee and labour relations committees. He is also involved in recruitment, job classification, salary administration, collective bargaining, and organizational planning & design. His role is to provide strategic direction to the department and to ensure that department services are meeting the needs of the organization. Doug is a member of the management team and provides human resources advice and support to the Senior Leadership Team.

The booming Alberta economy and the aging workforce create challenges. The turnover rate is increasing due both to retirements and to employees leaving for other opportunities. Future plans for the department will improve employee attraction & retention strategies, as well as leadership development and succession planning to meet future needs.

Doug believes in life-long learning and tries to instil that passion in team members. During leisure time Doug likes to read, learn & travel: preferably at least two at the same time. In the summer, Doug and his wife go camping; in the winter they like to go somewhere warm.

Maria Hines, RPR

Maria Hines works for Nielsen Media Research (Canada), a service of The Nielsen Company, employing approximately eighty people. Nielsen provides intelligence to the Canadian advertising industry on various forms of advertising activity. These include information about advertising expenditures, captured advertising executions, and gross ratings points. Nielsen also offers a suite of analytical software applications and services for television ratings and custom research and analyses to companies in the media and entertainment space.

Maria Hines
Maria is a Registered Professional Recruiter (RPR) as well as a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP), as designated by the Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario. She also has earned a certificate in Human Resource Management with Honours from Centennial College, and is a certified trainer for employee seminars dealing with change management and communication styles.
Prior to Nielsen, Maria worked for over eighteen years at the D&B Group of Companies in primarily administrative roles and was later transferred to become a Corporate Secretary, maintaining corporate minutes for five D&B companies in addition to her other administrative duties.

Maria says the best thing about joining Nielsen was the culture. She was able to find her niche in Human Resources, and was offered opportunities for growth though training and experience.

Recently, Maria helped Nielsen navigate through the successful completion of a joint venture between Nielsen Media Research Canada and BBM Canada. She is now involved in a massive project to integrate the various Nielsen businesses and services. Increasingly, Maria has been liaising with HR personnel from other Nielsen services, coordinating social and business HR projects with them.

Maria oversees Human Resources at Nielsen, supervising an HR coordinator as well. Her duties include overseeing the payroll distribution process, advising senior management on HR issues, instituting health and wellness programs, administering training initiatives, and conducting charitable fundraising for industry charities.

She came to work at Nielsen after she was contacted by a former colleague who worked there. She was hired in a dual role as an HR Coordinator and as an assistant in the sales department. During that time, Nielsen’s HR demands increased until she became indispensable and she began working solely for the HR department.

Maria is building on her experience with joint venture and corporate integration projects. She plans to become more involved in transitioning Nielsen to use a global business service structure. She is training for a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) certification to increase her contribution to the Nielsen’s restructuring efforts.

Outside of work, Maria is passionate about gardening. Although her efforts aren’t always successful, she enjoys experiments in harvesting seeds and growing her own seedlings in a makeshift greenhouse. Her other interests include household renovation and decorating.

Brenda Rowe, RPR

Brenda Rowe has been with Jazz Air Inc. since 1987. Previously, she was employed with Eastern Provincial Airlines and Canadian Airlines. Her career in the airlines has included positions as Flight Attendant, Inflight Services Supervisor, Inflight Instructor, Corporate Sales Coordinator, Manager-Inflight Services, Facilitator and Instructor-Corporate Development, Sales Manager and Acting Advertising Manager. Brenda’s most recent and favourite position is Manager, Recruitment and Relocation for Air Canada Jazz.

Brenda Rowe
Air Canada Jazz is one of the largest regional airlines in the world, serving 85 destinations in Canada and the United States. Jazz is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has regional offices and operational bases across Canada in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, London and Montreal.

As Recruitment Manager, Brenda is responsible for the recruitment strategy for all Jazz employees across the country and the daily implementation of the plan. The recruitment team consists of four full time recruiters, five part time recruiters and four Administrative Assistants who work on the day to day recruitment efforts for over 1,000 positions a year. Brenda, with her team, also manages the Relocation Program for hundreds of crews and management staff transferred to bases nationally.

Brenda came into this position when, looking for a new challenge, a discussion with the Manager, Human Resources resulted in an interview for the job, and a proposal for a plan to upgrade her recruitment skills. She says it was a little bit of being in the right place at the right time!

When asked about the future, Brenda says, “We have plenty of recruitment to keep us all busy for a very long time. I would like to continue to educate and raise awareness in the company of the importance of hiring the right people for the right jobs. We will continue to train hiring managers and make recruitment a key activity on which the great success of the company is dependant.”

Brenda’s many interests stem from a love of learning about other cultures and a love of people (how many times have you heard that in an interview!?) She is host to wonderful international students year round. She has enjoyed travel to many parts of the world and recently was involved in humanitarian work in Central America. This has lead Brenda to help organize a trip of volunteers to Central America in the coming year. She is an active member of her church community including work in strategic planning and staffing for the parish, and social action.

Brenda is Recruitment Committee Co-Chair for the Blue Nose International Marathon and is a runner, too. Being Mom is her favorite interest and job!


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