New Board Members Bring K-12 Education, Business Analytics Experience to Cybera

While Cybera continues to expand its role in the public sector as Alberta’s not-for-profit technology accelerator, its newest board members promise to reinforce efforts to improve internet connectivity and the reach of data science in the province.

At its November AGM, Cybera elected two new board members: Brenda MacDonald, Deputy Superintendent of Clearview Public Schools, and Solange Gagnebin, President of High Level Analytics.

Making Technology More Accessible to Rural Albertans

MacDonald brings over three decades of educational experience to Cybera. She co-authored Alberta’s Learning and Technology Policy framework (LTPF), which describes Alberta Education's vision for the role of technology in education and establishes a set of policy directions for school authorities.

“I love Cybera’s passion for bringing equal access to everyone, which is something I’ve grown very interested in as an educator,” says MacDonald. “Clearview is a small school authority, with many rural schools, and we know first-hand the difficulties of trying to get internet access. One of our principals can only be reached by landline, as there isn’t even cell phone reception in his area!

“I’m excited to be a part of a team that is working to make technology more accessible for all Albertans.”

Bringing Data Tools to More Businesses

Cybera’s other board addition, Solange Gagnebin, is bringing her understanding of both data-intensive projects and entrepreneurship to the organization. Gagnebin’s company, High Level Analytics, uses predictive modelling and deep learning to enable faster and more informed decision making for a range of fields, from medical to customer analytics.

“I am interested in sharing my experiences with building a startup, and trying to find affordable computing resources outside of the university space,” says Gagnebin. “Despite the surge of machine learning companies in Canada, there is a surprising lack of resources available to entrepreneurs in this space. I really appreciate that Cybera and CANARIE offer free cloud and GPU resources to Canadians, and I want to help ensure that these programs continue to exist, and are more widely known in the business sector.”

She adds: “The fact that Cybera has a data science team that is able to advise Albertans is a huge plus, as nothing like this exists in the province. I think that almost everyone, at some point, will need to learn how to make use of their data, so it’s important to have people who can show them how to get started.”

Preparing For Alberta's Future Technology Needs

MacDonald and Gagnebin replace Christopher MacPhee, Superintendent of the Canadian Rockies School Division, and Matt Norton, Director of Information Technology Services at Lethbridge College, on Cybera’s board.

“We are very thankful for the support Chris and Matt provided over the past two to three years, particularly for their guidance as we rolled out new tools and services for Alberta’s K-12 and post-secondary sectors,” says Robin Winsor, president and CEO of Cybera. “As we prepare for the next three years of our mandate — which will see us tackling new technologies and new initiatives for the public sector — it is great to have these diverse skills and experiences on our board. We look with enthusiasm to the projects to come!”

To view the full list of Cybera board members, click here.