AFP Calgary Leadership

About our Board:

Marni Halwas

Marni has been a non-profit professional for 16 years. She began her fundraising career began at Calgary HandiBus Association where she started as an Assistant and worked her way up to Director of Development.

Marni has experience in annual giving, prospect research, planned giving, events, major gifts and donor stewardship. She has a particular appreciation and understanding of small shop operations. Marni has worked with corporations, individuals, estates, foundations and service clubs.

Marni has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Calgary and Area Board of Directors since 2011. She has served as co-chair of National Philanthropy Day and she currently serves as Treasurer.

Marni’s personal interests include camping, boating and outdoor activities.

Wayne Steer

Wayne joined Fresh Start Recovery Centre in the capacity of Director of Fund Development on February 1, 2010 to help develop the organization's capacity to raise money for programs and to orchestrate their capital campaign to build a facility so that a greater number of people would be able to recover from a life torn apart by alcoholism or drug addiction. His professional fund development experience includes roles with Volunteer Calgary (Director of Fund Development), The Canadian Red Cross Society (Manager of Relationship Development for Alberta, Manager, Planned Giving for Alberta and Major Gifts Coordinator for Southern Alberta Region) and the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society of Alberta (Fund Development Manager).

Wayne was introduced to practical fundraising in the mid-1980s while volunteering for the Canadian Progress Club, an organization that generates revenue streams for Uncles At Large/ Aunts at Large (later  amalgamated with Big Brothers/Big Sisters), Canadian Special Olympics, the Calgary Burn Unit and Camp Warwa Society. Since the mid-1980s, he has chaired several special events committees in Calgary and Edmonton in addition to serving stints as Vice-President and President of the Edmonton Downtown Chapter of the Canadian Progress Club. Other volunteer experience includes fundraising and exposure building exercises with Edmonton’s Klondike Days Association, Reynolds Alberta Museum and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Wayne has a strong corporate background in marketing and communications having worked in management and marketing positions for companies such as the Royal Bank of Canada, Husky Oil Marketing Company (now Husky Energy), Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall and a number of small, privately held companies.

Wayne holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance, Economics and Marketing from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

Wayne has been an active member of AFP since 2004 and has served as the Editor of the AFP Newsletter – Calgary Chapter (2004 – 2008),Chair of the Chapter Services Committee (2006-2007), Co-vice Chair of the AFP Calgary and Area Chapter’s National Philanthropy Day or NPD (2007) and Co-chair of the NPD (2008), has more recently served taken on the role of Diversity Chair. Wayne is also an active member of AFP International sitting on the Membership Services Division, International Development and International Diversity & Inclusion Committees and the Diversity Resource Guide Task Force.

In addition, Wayne's volunteer roles outside AFP have included membership in the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP Southern Alberta Roundtable) as Communications Chair and editor of their quarterly newsletter “Sounds like a Plan”, Vice-President of the Western Canada College Old Boys Association and President of the Western Canada High School Alumni Association.

Adriana Simon

Adriana has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector, both in Europe and in Canada for more than 20 years. Adriana brings a distinctive perspective to her work, combining her passion for building a strong community with a broad and diverse and unique background in fund development, event planning, community initiatives and strategic planning.

For ViTreo, Adriana has most recently worked with clients on a variety of projects, most of which have involved team leadership, general fundraising, special event and 3rd party event planning, sponsorship, fund development assessments and fund development planning, prospect research, feasibility studies. She is currently acting as the Interim Director of Development for Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, and works with the Calgary Chamber to conduct a Charitable Foundation Evaluation Study.

Prior to her work with ViTreo, Adriana served as the Director of Resource Development and Membership with the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) where she led the development and implementation of CCVO's signature event, the Connections Conference. Under her leadership, the conference grew to be one of the most successful events ever organized by CCVO, exceeding all goals and targets. Now in its 7th year, the Connections Conference is an established annual event in Calgary. In 2017, Adriana was invited back to plan and organize the Connections Conference as a ViTreo Associate.

Growing up in communist Romania, Adriana dreamed of coming to Canada and to work for Red Cross or UNICEF, organizations that had made a huge impact on her country and her personal development. Over the last two decades, she has achieved those dreams: first, by working with the Canadian Red Cross as a new immigrant in Canada and then, by spending four years as Community Partnerships Manager at UNICEF.

A passion for social justice, human rights, integration and respect, and building a strong community where everyone feels welcome has led Adriana to fight in the revolution against the communist regime in Romania, and afterwards to become one of the first fundraisers and founders of the nonprofit sector in that country.

An active member and volunteer with the AFP Calgary and Area Chapter, Adriana has co-chaired the chapter’s Banff Compass Conference twice (2015 and 2017) and has served on the Board of Directors for two terms, from 2014 to 2017. Currently, Adriana is serving her third term on the AFP board, as the Treasurer. Her community work has also included roles with Decidedly Jazz, Wellspring Calgary, the Romanian-Canadian Association of Calgary and the Calgary Jazz Festival.  

Adriana loves to read and to travel all over the world, and she has a carry-on bag always packed with travel essentials, ready to go at a moment’s notice!


Sherry Dahl

Sherry Dahl, is a fund development professional with close to 20 years of experience within the non-profit sector, active in the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP), as well as the Estate Planning Council of Calgary (EPCC). She is currently a member of the AFP Calgary board as the co-chair for National Philanthropy Awareness Week in 2017; was a member of the AFP Calgary Chapter Services Committee for 6 years, serving as that Committee Chair; and was a Board member of the local chapter for 2 years during that time. Sherry received her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation in 2004, and continues to re-certify every 3 years as required. She completed the National Certificate in Fundraising Management through Mount Royal College in 2002. She has been an instructor for the AFP First Course, the guest speaker to discuss special events, fund development communications and marketing, as well as annual and legacy giving. Sherry is currently the Director of Development, Legacy Giving and Major Gifts with the University of Calgary. Her prior experience includes roles with Operation Eyesight, Boys & Girls Club of Calgary, the Calgary Zoo, and Aspen Family. In her personal time you will find her enjoying the outdoors, riding her motorcycle, travelling or scuba diving.

Sharon de Boer-Fyie

Sharon has proven leadership developing and executing fund development programs, working with volunteers, developing collaborative partnerships and helping organizations meet their mission. Currently, Sharon is experiencing the joy of being a new mom, and looking forward to returning to the Calgary Homeless Foundation as the Director of Development in early 2018. Previously, she has served in fund development capacities with Calgary Health Trust, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In 2016, Sharon earned her CFRE. Volunteering has always been a passion and she most recently served as the 2016 co-chair of National Philanthropy Week, as well as a long-time member of the planning committee for the Organizing Committee Calgary who hosts speed skating world cups and championships in Calgary.


Dan Lombardi

Director at Large is originally from Ontario. Dan moved to Calgary in 2015 and has fallen in love with the city and province. Dan is a Certified Fundraising Executive currently working for the Calgary Public Library Foundation raising money to support collections, programs, and services across the city. Dan also sits as a Director at Large for PALS in Calgary. 

Dan holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from Brock University and Post Graduate Certificate in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from Humber College.

Sheryl Barlage

Coming soon...

Suzan Valenta

Engaged as a professional in the nonprofit sector since 2002 (and volunteering in it since her youth), Suzan's passion is to resource solutions to social and wellness issues, at both local and international levels. Before transitioning to the nonprofit sector, Suzan gained from years of administrative experience in various industries. Interspersed through it all, personal and theatrical experiences have made it fun, interesting and meaningful.

Since 2012, Suzan continues to serve as the Director of Philanthropy at Wellspring Calgary. Specializing in small shops, Suzan has led successful annual through major giving initiatives in several organizations in Calgary, raising funds and awareness for causes from women exiting street life, to public education, to addressing homelessness, and preventing avoidable blindness internationally. She has previously served as a volunteer with AFP with the first Calgary conference in 2007, planning and launching a Youth Philanthropy Day in 2009 alongside Wayne Steer, and chairing the NPD Generosity of Spirit awards for three years (2010-2012). Having appreciated the friends, networks and guidance offered through AFP Calgary during her career, Suzan is excited to join the Board.

Ben Crews

Coming soon...

Stu Reid

Stu brings over 30 years of fund development experience to the projects and organizations he works with.  A recipient of AFP’s Outstanding Fundraising Professional award in 2009, Stu recently retired from Kids Cancer Care as Chief Development Officer after holding senior leadership positions with KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.), the University of Calgary and McMaster University.

Stu is a recognized speaker and presenter at the national and international level and is strong ambassador for our city, province and country. Helping improve the lives of children and teens has long been one of Stu’s passions.  His volunteer involvement has included the Calgary Stampede’s Grandstand Show Committee and Nominating and Shareholder Relations Committee, Pearson College of the Pacific, Arts Commons (formerly the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts) and Youthlink –the Calgary Police Interpretive Centre and the Council for the Advencement and Support of Education.  He currently serves as president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

A graduate of McMaster University, Stu is married to Vicki (Director of Community Relations at Cenovus) and has two adult children – Jamie and Tori.