Meet the Team
Pamela spent the first 27 years of her life in Ontario, growing up in London, and completing her undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature, and her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science at Western University. After two years working in Toronto, she ran for the hills in the West and has never looked back.
Pamela has been an Information Management Business Leader in the Calgary oil and gas industry since 1993, working for national and international companies: Alberta Energy Company, EnCana, Statoil, TransCanada, Spectra Energy, and Enbridge. She has also operated her own consulting business, Creative Information Solutions Inc., specializing in Information Governance and Intellectual Property.
She moved to Okotoks in 2004 when she married the love of her life, Ken Colosimo, and immersed herself in the local community. She has served as Chairperson of the Foothills Country Hospice Board, Chair of the Artifacts Committee for the Friends of the Bar U Board, Member of the Okotoks Arts Council, President of the Foothills Humane Society, Fund Development at the Okotoks Public Library, and President of the St. James CWL.
In 2019, Pamela accepted the role of Executive Director of the Okotoks Food Bank. It is a job that continues to provide daily challenges and constant fulfillment. Suffice to say it has transformed her life. When not working or volunteering in the community, Pamela relishes her time spent with family, friends, and the menagerie of three dogs, one horse, and too many bees to count.
“This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” – Maya Angelou
Client Care Coordinator
Donna’s career and volunteer paths have centered around serving others in need. She has a degree in Home Economics with an extensive background in food and nutrition education in the public health and the agriculture sectors. It’s important to her that everyone has access to safe and nutritious food. She has taught cooking classes, facilitated community kitchens, and managed Fresh Food Box programs for many years. In addition to teaching, Donna has experience in food writing and developing nutrition resources.
Donna enjoys all things about food…growing, cooking, eating, and good nutrition. Since she was very young she has been influenced by her mother and grandmothers’ instinctive and creative cooking skills and gardening knowledge. She’s always experimenting with recipes or developing new ones. She feels it’s important to pass these skills onto others.
Donna has volunteered with many organizations in our community. Her strengths are in leadership and program development.
Donna has been married to Chris for 36 years and has 2 adult married sons and daughters-in-law and 3 young grandchildren. She has lived in Okotoks since 1984. She loves the friendly small-town atmosphere, community spirit, and the many opportunities to serve in our community.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Client Support Coordinator
Bente Yanota moved to Canada from Denmark as a child and has lived in Okotoks most of her life. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, she joined a local food manufacturing company and then continued to work in a variety of industries in the Okotoks area.
Bente began volunteering at the Okotoks Food Bank where her role eventually grew into Client Support Coordinator and Community Garden Coordinator.
A passionate community advocate and volunteer, Bente has lent her time and talents to the Okotoks Toy Library, It Takes a Village, and to her children’s schools. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, cycling, and walking the family dog, Peaches. She is a member of the St. James catholic church.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
Meet our Board of Directors
John Hartley - President
John has been a member of the Board since March 2017. John was the Chair of Big Rock Brewery from 2014 through 2017 and has been the People’s Warden at St. Peter’s Anglican Church for the past six years. He has been a resident of the Foothills area since 1976 and has lived in Okotoks since 2004. He is married to Lorrie and has two children and two grandchildren.
Church Affiliation: St. Peter’s Anglican Church
Soli Deo gloria
Gina Cook - Vice President
Gina joined the Board in April of 2016. Gina was asked by one of the founders, Lona Olimans if she would take over her position as Serving Team Lead when she retired and graciously accepted. After a year as Serving Team Lead she accepted a position on the Board, filled in as Secretary for a short time, and now for the past year has been serving as Vice President. She really enjoys being on the Board and working with such a great group of people. Gina says she feels blessed to be able to work for and serve our great community. Gina has lived in Okotoks for the past 15 years with her husband and their two children, and now their three grandchildren. She and her husband own C-Tech Millwrighting Ltd. They enjoy spending time together, especially going camping and having family dinners. Okotoks is a great community to live in and raise children.
St. Peter’s Anglican Church
Phillippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Tanis Young - Treasurer
Tanis joined the Board in December 2014. Tanis owns a bookkeeping business, Maven Bookkeeping, opening shop in May of 2011. She joined the Board because of a desire to use her skills in a volunteer/community-focused organization. Tanis and her husband Kevin moved to Okotoks in 2002 from Manitoba. She has an adorable pup named Skoki and enjoys cycling, running, and hiking.
Okotoks Evangelical Free Church
Philippians 4:13…I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Lorraine McAree - Secretary
Lorraine joined the Board in April 2017. Lorraine’s background includes working for the British Medical Journal Publishing Group in Customer Service. She has a long-standing history of volunteering at her children’s schools, at her Church’s Mom & Tot group, and as a Sunday School teacher. Lorraine continues to volunteer on her church’s Serving Team here at the Food Bank. Lorraine immigrated to Canada with her husband and two children in 2010 and has been living in Okotoks for 8 years. They love living near the mountains and regularly take advantage of opportunities to hike and ski.
St. Peter’s Anglican
I don’t really have a favorite quote or mantra but I really believe that we should treat others in a way we would like to be treated ourselves. We all come from different walks of life, which affords different opportunities. Kindness, compassion, a little understanding, and a smile cost nothing. Pass it on!
Carol Price - Director
Carol joined the Board in March 2018. Carol is a retired BC Teacher and now works part-time as an Educational Assistant with the Foothills School Division. She has always believed in volunteering and over the years has worked in a variety of organizations. When Carol saw the opportunity to get involved with the Food Bank she was curious to learn more about the organization and jumped at the chance. Carol not only volunteers as a Director but also on a Serving Team and in Client Care. Carol and her husband Ken moved to Okotoks from Quesnel, BC in 2012. Okotoks seemed like the perfect place to call home with family in High River, Airdrie, and Edmonton. Carol enjoys biking, hiking, and is learning to play pickleball as well as Bridge.
Okotoks United Church
John Sangster: Remember to be kind, and a little bit blind, and always look for the good in people.
Dave Wilson - Director
Dave joined the Board in September 2018. His career in Downstream oil and gas spans 42 years, living in 10 different locations. Dave has volunteered for many organizations including United Way, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, MRU Calgary Marketing Advisory Board, St. James Parish Council, and is currently the Grand Knight of Okotoks Knights of Columbus. He and his spouse Odile have lived in Okotoks since 2000 and have four grown children and 8 grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, financial management, investing in real estate, traveling, and working with volunteer organizations where he feels he can make a difference.
St James Catholic Parish
We cannot become what we want by remaining who we are.
Nanet Robson - Director
Nanet has served on the Board since April 2017. After serving 16 years in the Justice System and 13 years in Facility Management, slowing down to work part-time with the Town of Okotoks left Nanet with time to dedicate to serving the community. After volunteering on a Serving Team at the Food Bank and seeing firsthand how the resources are distributed to those requiring assistance, she felt it was a calling to contribute further. Being on the Board has been enlightening and it is exciting to be part of the future growth of resources being offered. Nanet and her family have lived in Okotoks since 1999. Her grown son and his family now live here providing Nanet with her favorite past time of spending the day with grandchildren.
Grace Lutheran Church
Benjamin Franklin: Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Shelly Bjorge - Director
Shelly has been a member of the Board since April 2015. Shelly works in Okotoks as a Dental Assistant. In the past, she has volunteered for Open Wide and Dentistry for the Heart. She previously held both a Board position and a Fundraising Coordinator position for Summer Swim Club. Shelly currently serves as Team Lead with her Church’s Serving Team here at the Food Bank. Shelly has lived in Okotoks for 17 years with her husband and two boys. They enjoy a full life of skiing, fishing, hiking, camping, and mountain biking.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Sindy Blair - Director
Sindy joined the Board in November 2017. Sindy has been a Pediatric Rehab Assistant with Alberta Health Services here in Okotoks for the past 10 years. She has volunteered with many of her children’s sports teams over the years, teaches Sunday School at her church, and volunteers on her Church’s Serving Team here at the Food Bank. Sindy has lived in Okotoks with her four children for the past 17 years and is a proud grandmother of a 4-year-old boy. She enjoys spending time with her children, catching up with friends over coffee or on a walk, and going camping in the Okanagan.
Okotoks Alliance Church
Accept what is, let go of what was, have Faith in what will be.