Municipal Leaders’ Roles and Responsibilities

This module is delivered separately through the SARM, SUMA and New North newly elected officials’ workshops.

Strategic and Financial Planning for Municipalities

To be presented by Lenore Swystun and Samantha Mark of Prairie Wild Consulting Co.

Lenore Swystun, Principal and Founding Director

Lenore is the Founding Director and Principal Partner with Prairie Wild Consulting. Lenore is a planning and research professional with over 30+ years of experience in community engagement, facilitation, indicator development, strategic and action planning, Indigenous planning, marketing, business development, comprehensive policy development, diversity communities, and community and regional land use planning. Lenore has guided and mentored a collaborative-based team and network of Prairie Wild associates who work together to deliver projects drawing from their various skillsets, experiences, and passions. Lenore is on faculty part-time at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Polytechnic teaching Sociology and related community development, planning and cultural studies courses.

Lenore is an active community member. She served as a municipal Councillor for the City of Saskatoon in the early 2000s and sat on the Board of Directors for SUMA. Currently, Lenore is involved with a number of local, provincial, national, and international organizations including the Chair of the City of Saskatoon Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee, a director with the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, council member with the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute, member of the Community Foundations of Canada Evaluation Team, and a long-time member of the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (CC-UNESCO since 2000).

Samantha Mark, Senior Manager

Samantha is the Senior Manager with Prairie Wild Consulting Co. She leads and co-leads on a number of different projects working with municipalities, regions, Indigenous communities, and organizations across Saskatchewan and beyond. Samantha provides facilitation, policy writing, and project management. Samantha has led and co-led the development of numerous strategic plans, evaluations, needs assessment plans, district plans, municipal official community plans, zoning bylaws, concept plans, and dozens of community-based facilitations.

Samantha currently serves as a board member on the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Prairies Chapter and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. She is also the Chair of the Canadian Institute of Planners Standards Committee. Samantha has experience as a past committee member of the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation (CMHC) Housing Supply Challenge Advisory Committee and an executive member of the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute. Additional training includes a certificate in Group Facilitation from the University of Saskatchewan Centre for Continuing and Distance Education and training through the Salzburg Global Forum for Cultural Innovators based in Austria.

Municipal Economic Development Fundamentals

To be presented by various presenters determined by the Saskatchewan Economic Development Association (SEDA).

The Saskatchewan Economic Development Association (SEDA) is a non-profit, member-driven provincial association of stakeholders in community economic development. SEDA’s mission is to build the capacity of communities to grow and direct their economic future.

SEDA supports the building of sustainable communities through:

  • a provincial network which links all facets of community economic development;
  • a training program for economic development / municipal staff, including EDOs and administrators;
  • access to a wealth of knowledge gathered over 30 years through association with economic development organizations from across the province;
  • opportunities to develop strategic partnerships and investments for communities.

Human Resources in the Municipal Workplace

To be presented by Laurie-Anne Rusnak, MA, CHRP and Brian Schatz, CHRP.

Laurie-Anne Rusnak, MA, CHRP

With 30 plus years of experience in municipal government at various levels; Laurie-Anne started her career as a lifeguard, moving into City Hall in North Battleford and Yorkton. She did everything from tax collections, payroll/finance, City Clerk, and then went on to perform the full scope of HR services as the Director of Human Resources for the City of Regina. She has also had the privilege of working as an HR consultant with a variety of municipalities since 2005.

Lifelong learning is hugely important to Laurie-Anne. She completed the Local Government Administration Program and obtained an Urban Class “A” Certificate. Continuing her studies, she attended Royal Roads University where she obtained a Master’s of Arts in Leadership and Training Degree. Laurie-Anne obtained her Canadian Human Resource Professional (CHRP) designation in 2006.

Laurie-Anne has a full appreciation of the complexities, challenges and opportunities facing municipal government. She loves a challenge and leading change. Laurie-Anne is committed to building capacity in municipal HR practices to bring about positive and progressive outcomes.

Brian Schatz, CHRP

Born and raised in Odessa, SK, Brian lived in town while working on the family grain farm. It was during these formative years that he learned about community and experienced community building from a small town and rural perspective.

Following high school graduation, Brian moved to the big city and enrolled in the Computer Science program at the University of Regina. Not long thereafter however, he learned he really wasn’t cut out for a career working with machines and artificial intelligence. He loved farming but has the scars to prove farm machinery would be dangerous for him. Following his interests and passion working with people and appreciating the cultural differences of all peoples, he transferred to the Faculty of Administration majoring in Organizational Behaviour and Industrial Relations.

Following convocation from University Brian worked in Human Resource Management for the Saskatchewan Association of Special Care Homes (SASCH), Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC), Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO), Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA), City of Regina, Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD) and Eden Care Communities (ECC).  In 1999 he established his own Human Resources and Strategic management consulting firm.

Strategic Communications for Municipalities

To be presented by Mary-Lynn Charlton and Karen Brownlee of Martin Charlton Communications.

Mary-Lynn Charlton – President and CEO of Martin Charlton

Mary-Lynn’s background in journalism has given her a firm belief in the importance of story-telling. Her goal is to ensure that our clients’ stories are told in a convincing and compelling way to the audience that needs to hear it.

Mary-Lynn’s career has taken her from small-town Alberta to downtown New York. She has been a jack-of-all-trades reporter for rural newspapers, an associate in a Manhattan PR agency and a trusted advisor to a provincial cabinet minister.

She also has deep roots in government relations. She has served in a number of senior roles with the provincial government and has been on the boards of a number of federal and provincial agencies.

She has been a pioneer in public relations, public affairs and communications since founding Charlton Communications in 1989. On March 1, 2010, Charlton Communications merged with Paul Martin Communications – two companies that have served Saskatchewan for over 50 years. The new company, under her direction, continues to be a leader and innovator in public relations, communications, event management and government relations in Saskatchewan.

Karen Brownlee – Director of Editorial Content

Karen developed her insight into the media during her 15 years working as a reporter, producer, content editor, web editor, anchor, and talk show panelist in Saskatchewan. These roles in print, radio, and digital media gave her a deep understanding of all levels of the process of news gathering and distribution.

Community and Land Use Planning

The Community and Land Use Planning module is now offered online. Visit the Community and Land Use Planning module for more information.