About Us

Our Team

Staff

Administration

Gary McNamara
Gary McNamara
Chief Executive Officer

After a career in the private sector in finance and business development roles, Gary transitioned from FHA’s Board to CEO in late-2015. After hours you can find him reading, walking the dog or contemplating that there are apparently 2 trillion galaxies in the observable universe…

Erika Cusimano
Erika Cusimano
Director, Community Relations

Erika loves playing as hard as she works. Whether exploring the mountains, jumping in the waves or gardening, she feels happiest outdoors. Lover of travel, good books, spicy food and adventure. When not working, you can often find her leading kitchen dance parties or playing outdoors with her two young boys. Embraces a natural lifestyle and tries to sprinkle kindness everywhere she goes.

Nicolette Miller
Nicolette Miller
Director, Corporate Services

Nicolette loves ice cream, chocolate and exploring our awesome city. Skiing, squash and doing absolutely nothing are her favourite pastimes. She is motivated by the belief that safety and security are fundamental to home and that everyone deserves a place to call their own.

Mai Lam-Belisle
Mai Lam-Belisle
Administration Manager

Mai is not a morning person without her cup of joe to kick start the day. She loves to travel and experience different cultures and ethic foods. Enjoys spending time with family and friends over a glass of wine, cheese and bread. She is trying to stay healthy and active by switching to plant based diet when possible and going for run or walks when weather permitting.

Lorine Stevens
Lorine Stevens
Admissions Manager

Lorine thoroughly enjoys working at Forward Housing where people matter.  When not at work, a great day off includes time at the lake with family or figure skating at a local arena. She is an avid bargain-hunter whose car makes uncontrolled stops at all Winners stores.

Pak Tong
Pak Tong
Administrator

For Pak working with seniors, leading scouts and enjoying family life is a perfect combination. He never thought The Rockies were that close and never misses an opportunity to spend time in the mountains. for him, a wonderful day is sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee, watching The Rockies with my Shiba beside him.

Annemarie Schiemann
Annemarie Schiemann
Communications Coordinator

Annemarie loves nature and brings the outdoors in with her ever-growing (pun intended) plant collection.  When she’s not pouring over a project, she enjoys cooking, running, and yoga. Annemarie values family above all else and is passionate about making an impact on the world and the people around her.

Building Services

Marcel Amyotte
Marcel Amyotte
Manager

Marcel is a movie and live theatre fan. He and his wife are always planning a trip somewhere; Maui is their favourite vacation sport. He is a football fan, who loves to cheer on his Stampeders. Loves Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. At the top of his bucket list: to attend a live performance of Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center, Manhattan at Christmas time.

Ken Harvey
Ken Harvey

Ken is an avid world traveller who’s favourite sport is golf. When home in Canada, he enjoys hunting, fishing and camping. Future travel plans will involve more travel within Canada, trips to the Yukon, NWT and eastern provinces. Some of his favourite hobbies include mechanics, car and boat restorations, and renovations.

Greg Bejaul
Greg Bejaul

Greg is a music lover who likes his music LOUD. He loves working in his yard and having a great garden. Enjoys long bike rides along the river paths, fishing and camping with family (as long as no tents are involved.) He is happiest when trying to keep up with his grandson….who happens to be a Springer Spaniel. One day he plans to learn how to play that 30-year-old grand piano that is currently sitting in his basement.

Darrell Gallant
Darrell Gallant

Darrell is an experienced Master electrician who enjoys cooking, the great outdoors and spending time with his wife and their 2 children. Together they enjoy biking, hiking, camping, campfires and gardening in the backyard.

Dave Belzil
Dave Belzil

Dave is an avid hockey fan who can be found playing tennis, or tinkering with old machines. Hopes one day to settle back in British Columbia and amass a hoard of old American automobiles. Dave has enjoyed the last 17 years working in building maintenance and has collected enough colorful stories to write a bestseller

Ringo Tam
Ringo Tam

Ringo is a BBQ afficionado who says his wife always praises his amazing dishes. Traveling to different countries and enjoying authentic food, fishing and watching the hummingbirds in his yard are some of his favourite activities. He loves spending time with his wife & children, his 98 year old Mom and siblings, who all live here in Calgary. Ringo loves his job and is grateful for the comradery he has built with his colleagues over the past 10 years. Simplicity, truthfulness, and devotion have helped form who he is today and he is forever grateful that he and his family can live in Canada, a highly democratic and free country.

Rosie Montes
Rosie Montes

Rosie was born in Lima, Peru. Her path in Canada was quite difficult, as she arrived without speaking the language, and experienced a bit of a culture shock upon her arrival. A social butterfly who worked hard to integrate herself, Rosie now has many friends and a large support system, which she attributes to her overall wellbeing. She graduated with an Office Career Diploma from Bow Valley College. Rosie loves to cook in her free time. Her children are her inspiration and says she is so proud of them; she celebrates their big dreams for the future and is so proud of who they are becoming as they grow. Rosie hopes to be able to travel to Spain soon to visit her family and says that building a life in Canada is one of her greatest achievements to date.

Tenant Services

Shannon Ross
Shannon Ross
Manager

Shannon is a lover of world music, cuisine and travel. Born and raised in Ottawa but fell in love with beautiful Alberta and laid down roots. When not working, she can be found hiking in the Rockies, mountain biking with her family and camping or boating throughout Western Canada. She is passionate about empowering others and living a holistic lifestyle.

Lisa Van Gent
Lisa Van Gent

Lisa is an avid photographer who has shot many weddings and portraits. Her kids, now 15 and 19, used to run for cover if she had a camera in her hand! She enjoys travelling to hot spots with her sweetheart and is always looking forward to their annual cycling adventures in Maui. Fitness enthusiast who enjoys her work, interior design, and helping others. Lisa has had a soft-spot for seniors since a school project in Grade 5.

Mary Boshier
Mary Boshier

Mary enjoys “Girl’s Night” with her daughter watching scary movies or old classic comedy sitcoms. When not curled up with a good mystery novel you can find her cheering/yelling at her Toronto Blue Jays.

Lynne Berry
Lynne Berry

Lynne is an adoring Grandma to 5 kids who she loves to spoil whenever she gets the chance. Operates with the belief that a daily dose of sparkle and chocolate are essential! Enjoys hiking and observing the abundant wildlife in her neighbourhood.  Enjoys being a part of the Forward Housing Family, brightening up any room she walks into with her vibrant personality and her daily dose of sparkle! She admits that working for some of Calgarys most vulnerable citizens makes her realize just how lucky she is.

Arleen Azucena
Arleen Azucena

Arleen was born and raised in the Philippines. In his 20’s he lived in Europe for 3 years before moving to Canada. He has worked in Finance and Sales. He brings with him 15 years of property management experience, 7 of those being in seniors affordable housing.  He loves baseball (Go Jays Go!) and chess. Arleen is fascinated with geography and good books. Some of his favourite genres are biographies, political thrillers and anything by John Grisham.

Board of Directors

Robert Bedin
Robert Bedin
Chairman

Rob has been a part of the Association since 2014. After a 37-year career in the oil and gas industry both in Canada and the Middle East, Rob retired in 2020 and was honoured to accept the role of Board chair in 2021. Providing sufficient affordable housing is an ongoing challenge but he is extremely proud of the 40+ years of the organization’s accomplishments and excited about the future. Along with his wife, Karen, Rob loves traveling to places near and far.

Cindy Rutherford
Cindy Rutherford
Vice-Chair

Cindy is an avid traveller who loves to garden when she is not out exploring the world. She has been on the Forward Housing board since May 2018 and her current primary responsibilities are with the Community Relations portfolio.  She believes that fundraising, stakeholder management and government and community relations are critical to ensure Affordable Housing is on the minds of all Calgarians.  Her past involvement from 2014-2018 as Co-Chair of the Cabinet of the RESOLVE Campaign brought affordable housing to over 1800 people in Calgary. Cindy has been a Member of the ICD since 2011 allowing her to provide foundational and continued education regarding good governance for both Not for Profits and Public/Private corporations.

Gavin Harrison
Gavin Harrison
Secretary

Gavin has a love for anything that takes him into the great outdoors and especially enjoys participating in obstacle course races and triathlons.  Along with is wife and two incredible girls, Gavin is proud to call Calgary home.   Professionally, Gavin has a background in entrepreneurship and business strategy – experience he leans into to help move our organization… Forward.

Jim Fergusson
Jim Fergusson
Treasurer

Jim has been a board member since 2015, serving as the Treasurer and Building Committee Chair. An accountant with a solid natural sciences background he has worked as a Chemist, Production Manager, Industrial Relations Officer, System Analyst, Accounting Manager, Controller and Vice President Finance of a GE Capital Canada Company. He has been active in many volunteer organizations serving in many roles including senior leadership. He has been a Group Committee Chair and leader for Scouting, treasurer for several international band trips, President of a community association, Chair of his church’s finance committee, and President of the Calgary chapter of Financial Executives International. He has been married 48 years with three children and three granddaughters. He enjoys music, gardening, wood and metalworking.

Betty Suk-Mui Ho
Betty Suk-Mui Ho

Betty has been a board member since early 2014; with active involvement in the management of St. Paul’s Villa since 2006. She is now retired and spends a lot of her free time volunteering in the community as well as in her parish: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH). Prior to immigrating to Canada, Betty was a High School Teacher in Hong Kong where she taught the Matriculation classes. Once settled in Calgary, she worked mainly in the oil and gas sector and the agricultural industry as a senior analyst specializing in payroll, expats tax equalization and system implementation. Betty is married and has two daughters and one son. Since retirement Betty has formed a walking group with 4 couples, their favourite walks are in Fish Creek Park and South Glenmore Park. Betty loves to bake and her walking group friends are her “guniea pigs” who get to try out her new baking.

 

Clem Lau
Clem Lau
Treasurer

Clem was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada in 1967. He completed high school in Vancouver, entered University of BC for his undergrad degree and subsequently was admitted to UBC Architectural Faculty. Clem moved to Calgary a year after graduating university. He started his own firm, Clem Lau Architects Designers Inc. in 1987. Through the 31 years in practice, Clem has been involved mainly in the multi-family, commercial, mixed-use and hospitality industry projects with some prominent developers. His projects have been awarded first place three times and two times as runner-up in the Sam Awards. Throughout his life, Clem has continuously found opportunities to be involved in charitable and volunteer work for various religious groups, communities and non-profit senior organizations.

Lucas Tomei
Lucas Tomei

Lucas grew up in Calgary and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Calgary. He has been practicing business law for over 14 years with a focus on corporate and securities law. Lucas has extensive experience advising issuers and investment dealers in a wide variety of public and private financings and advising companies in a wide variety of M&A transactions, business reorganizations and securities regulatory matters. Lucas joined Forward Housing’s Board of Directors in 2020. He currently sits on the Finance Committee & Community Relations Committee. Lucas is married with two children. Away from work, Lucas enjoys running, bike rides, skiing, and coaching soccer.

Kiran Somanchi
Kiran Somanchi

Kiran is a professional engineer and MBA with 12 years of experience in the energy sector. He has completed a range of business transformation, change management, and R & D projects in Canada and with international teams. An award-winning community leader who has co-founded several grassroots initiatives, including AudioMobYYC, Art on Wheels and Bow to Bluff, which was awarded the Mayor’s Urban Design Award in 2011 for outstanding contribution to grassroots community building. His community building work has led to him being featured in McLean’s Magazine, Calgary Herald, PechaKucha, and CBC Radio. His passion for the arts led to a three-year stint on the City of Calgary’s Public Art Board of Directors. In his spare time he likes to garden, mountain bike, read, travel, and spend time with his family.

Forward Housing Board Alumni

Zakir Kanji
Zakir Kanji
Former Chairman

Zakir, who served as a member of the Board from 2012-2021, passionately led the Board with inspiring vision and steadfast determination through the final years of the RESOLVE campaign, Forward Housing’s rebranding initiative, and the construction of Forward Housing’s newest building. The development of Bishop’s Manor will forever stand as a legacy to Zak’s commitment and drive to provide safety and stability to vulnerable Calgarians. Zak’s 9 years of service and his tireless commitment to Calgary’s affordable housing sector will continue to inspire the Board, and all other members of the association, for generations to come.

Dave Onysyk
Dave Onysyk

Dave served the Forward Housing Board for 26 years until his recent retirement in May 2021. He has been an integral part of the organization through much of its growth over the past few decades. Thank you Dave for your philanthropy and your dedicated service!

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