Empowering Artists: Our Team

At Empowering Artists, we come from different backgrounds with different experiences and personalities, but we are united in our passion and commitment to working with youth artists. We strive to live what we teach as we practice personal development and set a strong example of leadership and confidence to the artists we come in contact with.

Eric Rolheiser
Board Co-Chair

Born in Saskatchewan, I spent my early years living on a small farm that my parents devoted their life to. Following high school, I moved to Edmonton Alberta where I completed business studies and started my first career with a large distribution company in 1992.

After a short time, I was transferred to Calgary and continued to advance through the company. My wife and I married in 2000 and have enjoyed the last 23 years, with many more to come.

I was again transferred to Victoria BC in 2003, and after nearly 4 years, moved back to Calgary. Nearly half of my time was spent in the US for work and after 29 years with the same company, I retired in 2020.

Since I was young, I had a passion for music and performed through my adult years with various bands. Following retirement, I decided to focus more time on music and began a solo project. After recording an album and enjoying the experience, I decided to invest in a recording studio (Bucket Brigade) and start my label (Blue Willow Entertainment). In September of 2022, one of my main competitors from my previous work life asked me to help restructure his company. Music unites people so I continue to build the label and studio with the intention of supporting artists to bring their work to those who need to hear and see it.
Read More

Seth Anderson
Executive Director

An accomplished and results-oriented operational leader with 10+ years of progressive experience delivering successful outcomes as a CEO, Athletic Coach, General Manager and Director across a wide range of operational functions.

Recognized as a creative problem solver who can deliver meaningful results that drive productivity, process improvements and efficiencies. Committed to leading, coaching and developing dynamic and diverse teams so that they can thrive and deliver exceptional performance results. Strong financial management skills and ability to design, implement and monitored continuous improvement processes to ensure optimal use of company resources. Recognized as an approachable and supportive leader who is able to lead by example and inspire teams to take ownership of their work and become the best leaders they can be.
Read More

Our Board

We are extremely excited to attract and retain such a well-respected and influential group of leaders to our Board of Directors.

Deanna Werklund, MBA
Board Co-Chair

A visionary leader with an entrepreneurial spirit, Deanna Werklund is founder of Emergenetics Canada (2013) and Empowering Minds (2012).

Drawing on her experience as a successful businesswoman and her passion for helping others, Deanna helped found the Werklund Foundation in 2006. Deanna envisioned the Werklund Foundation as highly entrepreneurial in nature, investing in (and growing) initiatives with the capacity to yield the highest returns on our most important asset: our youth. Deanna’s bold vision for excellence in leadership education has led to the Werklund Foundation’s support of youth leadership initiatives in Alberta and the creation of Empowering Minds.

Deanna graduated from Queen’s University EMBA program in 2014. Deanna is also a graduate of the Institute for Corporate Directors, a Master Graduate of Rapport Leadership International, and a graduate of the highly distinguished Judy Project – an initiative led by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

A mother of two (super great) grown children, Deanna enjoys volunteering in her community and vacationing anywhere there is a beach and warm weather.
Read More

Ruth Pogue
Board Director
(Human Resources Consultant at Shift Capital Inc)

Ruth holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCOMM), Finance and Human Resources from the University of Alberta.

Her 20 year career in the oil and gas industry was with Dome Petroleum, Amoco Canada and Crestar Energy. She held various positions in many different departments but her favourite was Human Resources. After a 10 year hiatus from the working world, Ruth liked the flexibility of consulting. In the past 10 years, Ruth has worked as a Human Resources Consultant. Clients have included two oil start-ups, a Charter School and a couple of charitable organizations. During the tax season, Ruth can be found at the Kerby Centre, helping low income seniors to file their personal income tax returns.

Together with her husband, Greg McLean, they have a combined family of four sons. Ruth enjoys the outdoors with activities such as golfing, pickleball, hiking, kayaking and walking.
Read More

Patricia Koyich
Board Director
(Hospitality Leadership Educator)

Hospitality is in Patricia’s blood, and while growing up in a restaurant family, she seemed destined to work in the industry.

After working in some of Calgary’s best and award-winning dining rooms and graduating from the Hospitality Management program at SAIT, Patricia owned and operated the fine dining restaurant, Il Sogno for 15 years (2000-2015). Voted top business leader of Tomorrow 2009 in Business Calgary Magazine, awarded the Golden Fork award for restaurant operations with the WCR and the Doug Johnson service award at the Tourism Calgary White Hat Awards in 2010.

In 2012, Patricia joined the Faculty at SAIT, teaching for the School of Hospitality & Tourism. Patricia continues to educate our future entrepreneurs by mentoring, supporting, and facilitating the learning required to achieve their goals and realize their dreams. That said, respecting, connecting to, and learning from SAITs diverse student body over these years, has emphasized her desire for further knowledge, new perspectives, and the use of multiple lenses. In 2022, Patricia graduated from Royal Roads University with a Master's degree in Global Leadership and is dedicated to serving as a leader and a change agent, promoting human rights advocacy and advancement with humility through courage, connection, communication, and community.
Read More

Lance Kile
Board Director
(Pure Environmental)

Lance is a passionate leader who strives to listen and empower his people and valued customers. An expert in the industry, he has more than 25 years of experience in upstream waste management, environmental compliance, and water treatment.

Proficient in strategic growth and planning, Lance began his career as an oilfield mechanic. His natural leadership ability and enthusiasm quickly propelled him into a senior leadership role at Tervita. He grew his career at Tervita for 15 years where, most recently, he was Director of Northern Operations with responsibilities ranging from profitability to construction and operation of facilities in an active region with multiple facilities and infrastructure.

Known for his high energy and wholehearted approach to everything he pursues, Lance has been at Pure Environmental since 2018. He possesses a strong ability to problem solve and make sound decisions that reflect Pure’s corporate values of trust and integrity. He specializes in strategic growth initiatives, marketing and field operations, customer service, and operational excellence.

An ardent mentor committed to ensuring the safety of those around him, Lance strives to cultivate a positive culture for his team through a foundation of respect and trust.
Read More

Marius Ghinescu, P.Eng., MBA, PMP
Board Director
(Raytheon Canada Limited)

Marius has over twenty years of international experience in the defense and commercial industries,

occupying leadership roles on complex programs in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and ASEAN countries. In his current role at Raytheon, he is engaged in strategic development activities including outcome-based growth strategy definition, innovation portfolio management, business development and key programs execution.

Marius has a proven track record in the development of digital and advanced technologies and has a deep understanding of Open Innovation and System of Systems (SoS) development using various architectural frameworks. His major strengths include strategic planning and leadership, identifying convergent opportunities, operations management as well as building high performance teams.

Marius is regularly invited to speak and write about creating a culture of innovation and how to leverage emerging technologies to strategically grow businesses.

Marius is frequently leveraging his extensive network to connect local small business and not for profits to secure necessary funding and in-kind resources. He is also engaged in community development growth through volunteering, mentoring and coaching. Marius enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and whenever possible he is pursuing his interests in fly fishing and scuba diving.
Read More

Lauren Gross
Board Director
(Chic Geek)

Lauren is the Digital Marketing Lead at Chic Geek, a Calgary-based non-profit organization supporting the retention of women in technology.

As an avid entrepreneur, her business works with clients across Canada to establish their voice and online presence by developing digital marketing strategies.

Currently, Lauren is attending the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree specializing in Business Analytics and Computer Science, as she is passionate about the future of marketing with the implementation of data and technologies.

A graduate of the Empowering Minds Youth Leadership programs, Lauren is looking forward to supporting the future initiatives of Empowering Minds, specifically leading the marketing initiatives of the organization's annual fundraiser Live & Unsigned.

Read More