December 3, 2020
Alberta MLAs Recognized by Colleagues for Their Service
Edmonton – “This year has been exceptionally challenging, and the Members of this Assembly have worked tirelessly in the service of this province and its people,” said Honourable Nathan Cooper, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. “In the spirit of collegial recognition I initiated the Alberta MLA awards last year and felt it was even more important this year to recognize the work of our elected officials.”
Members voted for their colleagues in a number of categories, resulting in nine Members being recognized for extraordinary work in service of the people of Alberta.
“I thank all Members for their service,” said Speaker Cooper. “Congratulations to those who are receiving special recognition from their peers today.”
Taking top honours as Alberta’s MLA of the Year is the Honourable Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services. Schulz represents the constituency of Calgary-Shaw. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, Schulz was a communications professional. She has experience working as a director of communications for the Ministry of Education with the government of Saskatchewan. She was sworn in as Alberta’s Minister of Children’s Services on April 30, 2019.
Calgary-North MLA Muhammad Yaseen was voted Alberta’s Most Collegial MLA. Yaseen currently serves as Parliamentary Secretary of Immigration. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, Yaseen worked in the oil industry for almost 40 years, starting his career in 1979. An engineer by profession, he is experienced in reservoir/joint ventures engineering, and he has held advisory roles for processing, transportation, contracts and projects.
Rachel Notley, Leader of the Official Opposition and MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona, was recognized as the Best Debater. Notley has represented her constituency since she was first elected in 2008. She was sworn in as the province’s 17th Premier on May 24, 2015, a position she held until the 2019 election. Notley has worked for a variety of labour unions in both Alberta and British Columbia and served as a ministerial adviser to British Columbia’s Attorney General in the 1990s.
Recognized for Best Community Outreach was MLA Jackie Lovely. Before being elected as the Member representing Camrose, Lovely worked in sales development and project co- ordination with a not-for-profit organization serving seniors, a property management organization and international education. Most recently she was employed with the Good Samaritan society, Collins Properties and Global Partners.
Named Alberta’s Most Knowledgeable Parliamentarian was David Hanson, MLA for Bonnyville- Cold Lake-St. Paul. Prior to his election to the Legislative Assembly, Hanson worked for over 37 years in the construction industry in service of both the commercial and oil and gas sectors. Over the course of his career he has worked in various capacities, including as a foreman, as a superintendent and, most recently, as a consultant and construction inspector for a major Alberta oil and gas company.
Thomas Dang received top marks with his colleagues as Alberta’s Best Representative of Constituents. Dang was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Edmonton-South West, in 2015. He was elected to represent the constituency of Edmonton-South in 2019. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, Dang worked in software development while pursuing a degree in computing science at the University of Alberta.
Members voted Lethbridge-East MLA Nathan Neudorf as Alberta’s Hardest Working MLA. Elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2019, Mr. Neudorf has extensive experience in commercial construction. He has his civil and structural engineering diploma and is a red seal journeyman carpenter and gold seal project manager. An active community volunteer and leader, Neudorf served as the past president of the Lethbridge Construction Association and on the board of directors for the Alberta Construction Association, Alberta Construction Safety Association and Workers’ Compensation Board.
Recognized by her peers as the Most Promising Newcomer was Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Rakhi Pancholi. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, Pancholi worked as a lawyer in Edmonton with a focus on labour/employment and education law. Pancholi has been very involved in volunteer organizations, including ParityYEG, the Canadian Bar Association, Humane Animal Rescue Team (HART) and the National Education Program Committee of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF).
Alberta’s MLA Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ric McIver. McIver is currently serving his third term representing Calgary-Hays. On April 30, 2019, he was sworn in as the Minister of Transportation and also serves as Deputy House Leader in the Assembly. McIver was an alderman on Calgary city council from 2001 to 2010. In that time, he served on the board of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association, the Calgary Police Commission and the Metropolitan Calgary Foundation. He also served as chair of the Calgary Housing Company.
Lianne Bell, Chief of Staff Office of the Speaker