BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Director: Joel Janow (B.A., LL.B.)
PLEA Board of Directors 2011-2012
President: Glenda Cooney; Individual Director
Glenda is a member at large and vice chair of PLEA. She is retired from a 30 year career with the Government of Saskatchewan. She was Deputy Children's Advocate, Deputy Ombudsman and sat as a Commissioner with the First Nations and Metis Peoples Justice Reform Commission. She has been an avid volunteer with numerous boards and agencies at the local, provincial and national level in crime prevention, human rights and child welfare reform. She is a certified mediator and is a consultant to non-profit organizations engaged in program evaluations and organizational development including Board training.
Vice-President: Heather Jensen; representing Law Society of Saskatchewan
Heather sits on the PLEA Board of Directors as a representative of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. Ms. Jensen is an associate lawyer with the Saskatoon law firm Plaxton and Company, where she works primarily in the areas of labour and employment law and human rights.
Secretary/Treasurer: Ron Kruzeniski, Q.C.; Individual Director
Ron Kruzeniski was admitted to the bar in 1973. He was in private practice in Regina, during which time he was Chief Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission. He has also practiced law in the Ministry of Justice and in 1995 was appointed the Public Guardian and Trustee.
Ron has served his community by being Chair of the Regina Separate School Board, Vice Chair of the Regina Public Library Board, Board Member of the Saskatchewan School Trustees Association, and National Vice President of the Canadian Institute for the Blind. He received the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal for 1998, the Commemorative Medal for the Queen's Golden Jubilee and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal for 2005.
Kim Armstrong; representing Legal Aid Saskatchewan
Signa Daum Shanks; representing College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
Signa A. Daum Shanks was born and raised in Saskatoon. After attending the U of S, she finished an M.A. (Western) and worked as a civil servant in Ottawa before completing her law degree at Osgoode Hall Law School. She has worked in Saskatchewan, South Africa and Ontario for various government departments and courts and has also worked for the Toronto office of Heenan Blaikie. Previously on faculty in the University of Alberta’s School of Native Studies and before joining the U of S’s College of Law as an assistant professor, Signa taught with the U of S’s Department of Native Studies and completed graduate work in law at the University of Toronto. She specializes in the economic analysis of law, legal history and indigenous rights. Signa is also a member of the Indigenous Bar Association.
Julian Demkiw; representing Legal Aid Saskatchewan
Julian is currently the Director of Planning & Administration for Legal Aid Saskatchewan. He is responsible for policy development, medium-to-long range strategy development, communications, project management, and the regulatory needs of Legal Aid. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Julian holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and a Masters of Arts in Organizational Communication from the University of Saskatchewan.
Amanda Doucette; Individual Director
Amanda Doucette sits on the PLEA Board of Directors as a member at large. Amanda is a lawyer with the firm of Stevenson Hood Thornton Beaubier LLP in Saskatoon and works primarily as a litigator with a focus in the area of tax litigation. She also advises on estate and succession planning matters. Amanda volunteers as a speaker on estate planning matters with the PLEA “Request a Speaker” program, and also volunteers her time with Pro Bono Students Canada, and the Canadian Bar Association.
Ian Hingley; Individual Director
Ian has been an educator and counsellor for the past 17 years in both Northern Saskatchewan and currently in Saskatoon where he lives with his life-partner Jennifer, daughter Jillian, and son Jayden. Ian is passionate “about” and “for” human rights education and social justice, First Nations and Metis epistemology, cultural responsiveness, counselling theories and practise, and relational ethics rooted in an ethic of care.
Margot Hurlbert; representing Canadian Bar Association, Saskatchewan Branch
Margot is an Associate Professor jointly appointed to the Departments of Justice Studies and the Department of Sociology and Social Studies at the University of Regina. Margot commenced her career with 11 years in private legal practice followed by seven years as Assistant General Counsel for SaskPower before starting with the University in 2005.
Patricia Kovacs; representing Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
Patricia sits on the PLEA Board of Directors as a representative of the Central Region office for the Ministry of Education. Patricia is a Regional Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, where she supports school divisions with the actualization and implementation of the Saskatchewan curriculum.
Kim Newsham; representing Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice
Kim Newsham is a lawyer with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice & Attorney General. She works primarily in the area of family law policy development, and training. Prior to her present position, Ms. Newsham practiced law with Herle & Co. in Regina, and with Cawood Walker in North Battleford. She graduated with an L.L.B. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1996, and was called to the Bar in 1997.
Doug Surtees; Individual Director
Doug Surtees is an Associate Professor of Law at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan. He has taught Elder Law, Disability Law, Trusts, Wills, Contracts and Insurance Law. In addition he has taught law-related classes at the College of Commerce, the College of Agriculture and SIAST Institute. Doug has acted as a labour adjudicator and an arbitrator. He is a certified mediator and holds a Professional Teaching Certificate as well as being a member of the Saskatchewan Bar.
Christine Varnam; representing Saskatoon Public Library
Christine oversees the Legal Services area at the Frances Morrison Library. This is a specialized legal collection for the layperson and is used by many people who wish to learn more about the law and legal matters.
Zandra Wilson; Individual Director
Zandra is the Legal Editor and Publications Manager at the Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. In this role she is responsible for editorial services, administration of the publication unit, and directs the publication of a wide range of materials, including a law report series, a First Nations gazette, books and monographs.