Board of Directors

JAIME HARPE
JAIME HARPEPresident
Jaime Harpe is the President TJs Clearing Ltd, which her husband founded in 2000. Jaime, a member of the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation, grew up in the community and is fluent in the Dene Language. She sees in a strong and growing NAABA the opportunity to strengthen our communities and to help all community members achieve success. Jaime has been a board member of the Sekweha Youth Centre and of the Fort McMurray Native Youth Hockey. She envisions a strong and growing organization, one that gives opportunities to strengthen our communities and helps all community members achieve success. Jaime, along with her husband and their five children, believe in the importance of keeping Aboriginal traditions and culture alive.
Member Since 2009
TODD PRUDEN
TODD PRUDEN1st Vice-President
Todd Pruden has been in Fort McMurray since December 1977. His father was a teacher and his mother worked at the College. Todd has been a teacher and a police officer and also obtained his MEd in leadership at the University of Alberta. Since starting Dreamline Promotions in 2003, Todd now has time to give back to the community where it all started. Todd also sits on the Board of CFAR (Circle for Aboriginal Relations).
Member Since 2007
ASHLEY SHEARS-MATEI
ASHLEY SHEARS-MATEI2nd Vice-President
Ashley Shears-Matei is a local First Nations woman in business. Born and raised in the RMWB, Ashley employs more than 70 people. Under her leadership, Saskana has grown 550% in the past 3 years, maintaining a minimum of 40% Indigenous personnel in all areas of the business, including leadership roles. Passionate about the community, Ashley volunteers on numerous boards in the community and supports diverse youth-related and charitable organizations. At NAABA, Ashley is committed to continued growth and to work to support local Indigenous businesses and the community.
Member Since 2013
MIKE DERANGER
MIKE DERANGERDirector
Mike’s family is from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mike is a first-generation business owner. His drive and initiative has built Derantech into a major force, providing mechanical services in a 100,000-square-foot facility in Nisku. He also runs an innovative and successful apprenticeship development program that has been adopted by companies as far away as Mongolia. Mike has served on numerous boards, including three years on the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum Board of Directors where he promoted Indigenous youth in trades across Canada. He is also the recipient of two awards from RARA as well as from Keyano College and, in 2016, from Alberta Industry Training as Top Employer of Indigenous people. Among other work on behalf of the Indigenous community in Canada and the U.S., Mike founded the Pathways Gathering, an Indigenous Youth for Trades Conference held in Edmonton to bring together local Indigenous companies, government bodies, educators and most importantly, Indigenous youth from across Canada.
Member Since 2018
LEONA LEPINE
LEONA LEPINEDirector
Leona was born and raised in Fort Chipewyan. She is a member of the Mikisew Cree First Nation. She attended and graduated from Bishop Piche School in Fort Chipewyan. She also completed her Early Childhood Development Certificate and Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Certificate at the same time obtaining a Personal Achievement award on both. Leona worked with the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) producing a local newspaper. She worked with Seniors as a Coordinator, with both FCSS and her band, Mikisew Cree First Nation. She also worked with children at Chip Child Development, as a Bus driver, Instructor and Director. For 23 years she submitted local community reports to CBC Radio in Yellowknife. While working her regular daytime jobs, she also started a janitorial company working with various companies in Fort Chipewyan including: Alberta Forestry, Canada Post, RCMP, MWB and the Northern.
Member Since 2017
LLOYD ANTOINE
LLOYD ANTOINEDirector
Lloyd is President and co-owner of A.P.E. Maintenance Ltd., a 100% Aboriginal-owned local company that supplies oilfield construction, maintenance and transport services. Originally from Fort Chipewyan, Lloyd worked for Syncrude for 16 years prior to starting A.P.E. Maintenance in 2008. A Full Member of NAABA since 2008, Lloyd is enthusiastic in his support of the association’s goals, initiatives, and future endeavours. An avid outdoorsman, Lloyd enjoys boating, fishing, snowmobiling, and spending time with his wife and two children at their cabin on the Athabasca River.
Member Since 2008
MITCH MERCREDI
MITCH MERCREDIDirector
Mitch Mercredi is member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and the Business Development Manager of Acden, a multidisciplinary corporation owned by the ACFN. Born and raised in Fort Chipewyan, he now calls Fort McMurray home along with his beautiful and talented wife Crystal and three children. He proudly represents the 19 companies and over 2,000 employees who share a dedication to the land, people and traditions, and through consultation with industry and government strive for a sustainable, ethical and prosperous future. Mitch was on the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association Board as Director and past President from 2011 to 2015 and is happy to be back to serve its members. His Aboriginal culture is very important to him, learning both Dene and Cree traditional ways of life. He volunteers his time in the Aboriginal Entrepreneur Program at Father Patrick Mercredi High School, Wood Buffalo Native Youth Hockey Club and the Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association. He is passionate about promoting the beauty of the Aboriginal culture and promoting Aboriginal businesses and entrepreneurs within our Region.
Member Since 2007
TRAVIS DREW
TRAVIS DREWDirector
Travis Drew is a proud member of Miawpukek First Nation at Conne River. During his youth Travis was heavily involved in sports including basketball, volleyball and badminton, transforming into a love of squash and golf. Travis’ childhood experiences are the source of his deep passion for helping others and improving the world around him. Relocating to Fort McMurray in 2004, Travis soon became a Quality Assurance Specialist, acting in various inspection, advisory, and management roles. Throughout his career Travis has been intimately involved with dozens of complex projects, delivering innovative solutions to increase efficiency, profitability, and overall quality. Leveraging this diverse skill-set, in 2018 Travis joined Wright Quality Services as President and CEO, a company specializing in non-destructive testing, nurturing it from just 6 employees to over 100 by 2021. Travis is also Chairman of the Weaving Root Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to enhancing Indigenous wellness throughout Canada. In their personal time Travis and his wife love to cheer on their children at a multitude of sporting events across Alberta.
Member Since 2017
ROBYN VILLEBRUN
ROBYN VILLEBRUNDirector
Robyn Villebrun is a local First Nation Female Entrepreneur of Treaty 8. She is the President of Medika North Inc. – a Northern Alberta Indigenous Health Service Company. The company was built on passion for Health and the care of the dynamic workforce here in Northern Alberta. Medika North’s services range from: supporting employers in occupational health testing, customized health projects such as Emergency Services, Pandemic Planning, Medical Clinic builds and Medical Staffing Solutions.
Robyn Villebrun an Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Member and local to the RMWB is a Baccalaureate Degree Registered Nurse from the University of Alberta, and a Certified Occupational Health Nurse from MacEwan University. Robyn is from the communities of Fort Smith NWT & Fort Chipewyan, Alberta – currently residing in Fort McMurray Alberta. She is raising her two children – a 14-year-old daughter who is excelling in school and has been an honor roll student since elementary, and a 7-year-old son who is an avid hockey player.
Robyn is currently on the board with the Northern Lights Health Foundation, and a huge community supporter in supporting Fort McMurray’s only hospital – with yearly donations. She volunteers within the community and is a huge promoter for Indigenous education – her company recently donated $20,000.00 to Post-Secondary Education for local Indigenous Students.
Raised traditionally by her grandparents, Robyn comes with traditional values and aligning them with western values – she states this brings a sense of balance of who she is and how her company operates successfully.
Member Since 2017

Board Advisors

ROBERT STONE
ROBERT STONEAdvisory Board Member
Robert Stone, CPA, CA, is a Partner and Business Advisor in MNP’s Fort McMurray office. Drawing on more than 16 years of experience, Robert delivers a full suite of assurance and accounting services to help owner-managers achieve their goals. A trusted advisor, Robert assists clients with tax planning and compliance and financial statement forecasting and consults on all aspects of operating a business. He is experienced with numerous industries, including the real estate, oilfield service, auto dealership, electrical, surveying and professional services sectors. Robert gets to know clients so he can deliver customized solutions designed to help them advance their businesses to the next level of success. Robert received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Acadia University in 2000 and is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA) in 2004. He has served as director and treasurer for the Local HERO Foundation and the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and as director and finance committee member for the Northern Lights Health Foundation.
Member Since 2019

Board of Directors Opportunity

Help Support and Shape the Direction of NAABA – Join the Board of Directors

The Opportunity:

NAABA is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board consists of a minimum of (3) and no more than (9) Member Directors, each holding office for a term of three years. At the AGM 2021, (3) Director positions will become available for the Board of Directors for which the organization will begin accepting nominations as of August 1, 2022.

Qualifications/Eligibility

  • Any individual seeking election must be present at the Annual General Meeting, scheduled September 27, 2022 at 4:00pm
  • To qualify as a Member Director a person shall:
    • Have attained 18 years of age
    • Be a shareholder, director, officer or employee of a Full Member and
    • Be a Member Representative
  • “Member Representative” is defined as an Aboriginal person who is a shareholder, director, officer or employee of a Full Member and is appointed by that Full Member to represent the Member for all purposes of NAABA including serving on the Board, voting as a proxy or attending meeting.
  • “Full Member” is defined as an Aboriginal Business, carrying on its business in the Wood Buffalo Region which meets the qualifications of membership as set out in the NAABA bylaws at Article 6 and has been approved by the Board as a Full Member

Participation Benefits

  • Share your knowledge, skills, and experience in business as a way of giving back to the local Indigenous business community.
  • Be a driving force in uniting the voices of Indigenous Business in the Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Region.
  • Level the economic playing field for Indigenous businesses through policy development and implementation
  • Contribute to a stronger Indigenous business presence in the region, supporting the capacity building of business, senior leaders, and employees.
  • Advocate for reconciliation specifically in the economic activities of our region.
  • Leverage your experience, knowledge and connections to grow and strengthen the network of businesses and individuals who support and honor Indigenous business.

Responsibilities

Subject to the provisions of the organization’s bylaws, the Administration, Management, Control of the Affairs, Property, Business and Finds of NAABA are vested in the Board.

Specific responsibilities of individual Board members include the following.

  1. Participate in and contribute to the decisions of the Board;
  2. Attend scheduled meetings, workshops, planning sessions and events;
  3. Be respectful of and actively support the processes and administration of Board meetings;
  4. Actively listen and bring forward those views and concerns of NAABA Board members and other stakeholders that directly relate to the objectives and goals of NAABA;
  5. Be familiar with Board policies and procedures, reports and meeting agendas in order to participate fully in Board business;
  6. Participate in the development and approval of NAABA’s Strategic Plan;
  7. Provide information to the public that creates a positive profile for NAABA and enables the public to connect with appropriate service areas and resources within NAABA; Communicate NAABA goals, objectives, initiatives, and decisions made by the Board, effectively to internal and external stakeholders with one united Board voice
  8. Act honestly and in good faith in the best interests of NAABA;
  9. Keep informed of the work and activities of NAABA and the Board and changes in the environment in which NAABA is operating;
  10. Understand NAABA’s current strengths and needs by offering constructive advice to address these for both short and long term solutions;
  11. Monitor and regularly assess NAABA’s performance to ensure that it reflects the vision, mission, values and beliefs of NAABA;
  12. To participate in Board training to ensure regular education of their roles and responsibilities
  13. To sit on a least one NAABA Standing Committee during the length of term

Skills/Knowledge/Experience

  • A willingness and desire to engage in and participate in regular Board Meetings, Committee Meetings and Governance Discussions
  • Governance experience or a desire to learn and understand the role of a Governance Board (Previous Board experience is an asset)
  • The ability to collaborate and bring people together
  • Problem solving and development of strategic plans to move the mission and vision of the organization forward
  • Creativity
  • Ability to communicate openly and willingly with staff and fellow Board members
  • Experience engaging in the Indigenous Business Community
  • Experience working in the Oilsands
  • A desire to ask questions and seek out answers/solutions