Recently retired Olympian Alyson Charles appointed to the role of Athlete Director
OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Speed Skating Canada’s 136th Annual General Meeting concluded on June 10 in Kelowna with the addition of three new Board members.
Joining the national governing body’s Board of Directors for their first two-year term are Tristan Stepnuk (Calgary, Alta.) as Treasurer and Alexandra Wrage (Vancouver, B.C.) as Director. Also elected by the members was Jean Pichette (Beaupré, Que.), who will serve his second consecutive term as a Director.
Additionally, Alyson Charles (Montreal, Que.), an Olympian at Beijing 2022 and recently retired member of Canada’s short track National Program, was appointed to the position of Athlete Director after her selection by the current National Program athletes.
A trio of departing Board members – Vice-President Danielle Daigle (Halifax, N.S.), Treasurer André Beaulieu (Montreal, Que.) and Athlete Director Mathieu Bernier (Montreal, Que.) – were also honoured during the annual meeting for their contributions and volunteer service to speed skating in Canada.
“I would like to thank Danielle, André and Mathieu for their valuable contributors to Speed Skating Canada over the years. They provided thoughtful insight and tremendous leadership, helping us navigate a number of challenging issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic. While they will certainly be missed at the Board table, I am excited to begin working alongside Tristan, Alexandra and Alyson to move speed skating faster forward. With unique skills and experiences, they will each bring new perspectives to our organization as we move into this new chapter of our history.”Blair Carbert, President, Speed Skating Canada
These four individuals join President Blair Carbert, K.C. (Calgary, Alta.) and Directors Dave McQuaid (Vancouver, B.C.), Wayne Kainu (Calgary, Alta.) and Steve Côté (Aigle, Switzerland) on the Board of Canada’s most successful Olympic sport.
Together with newly hired Chief Executive Officer Joe Morissette, who begins his role on July 10, they will provide leadership to the organization as it looks to rally the speed skating community and capitalize on collective strengths to achieve the objective set forth the newly adopted 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.
Learn more about the four newly elected or appointed Board Members, who bring a strong, diverse skill set to the governance of the organization.
Originally from Winnipeg, Stepnuk move to Calgary in 2006 and spent the following eight years training with the Olympic Oval’s long track program. After earning a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary, Stepnuk obtained his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in 2016 while articling at Grant Thornton LLP. He was hired by the YMCA Calgary, the city’s largest provider of sports and recreational services, in 2017. Initially in the role of Controller, Stepnuk was later promoted to Chief Financial Officer, a position he has held for past two years.
Alexandra Wrage is president and founder of TRACE, an international business association with thousands of members and staff on four continents. She specializes in corporate compliance and has more than a decade of experience with sports governance, including as a Board member for the Vancouver Anti Corruption Institute, Integrity Sanctuary, Ethixbase360 and FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee. She has been a documentary advisor and media contributor on the topics of bribery, anti-corruption and good governance within sport. She studied law at Cambridge University and has provided consulting and training in over 140 countries.
A two-time Olympian and member of Speed Skating Canada’s Hall of Fame, Pichette has been involved with the sport as an athlete, coach, administrator, and volunteer for nearly five decades. Pichette was a World Cup and World Championship medalist with Canada’s long track team, appearing at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. He worked for 10 years as the Marketing Director and Coach at the Olympic Oval in Calgary and was later elected to Patinage de vitesse Quebec’s Board of Directors in 2015. For the last 22 years, Pichette has built a professional career in the healthcare sales industry, where he has driven revenue growth, increased operational excellence, and maintained a focus on his customers’ and partners’ needs and solutions.
A World Championship medalist at both the junior and senior levels, Charles was one of Canada’s most consistent female skaters since breaking onto the international scene during the 2018-2019 season. A native of Montreal, she captured an impressive 22 medals in only four years on the international circuit, culminating with an appearance at Beijing 2022, where she finished 4th in the 3000m relay, 8th in the 500m and 20th in the 1000m. An advocate for representation and diversity with the sport, Charles retired from the National Program in 2022 and has turned her focus to her completing her studies at McGill University.