Alberta's top citizens chosen to receive province's highest honour

April 19, 2010

Edmonton...Eight Alberta leaders and innovators have been chosen for investiture into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2010 in recognition of their lasting contributions on the provincial, national and international stage.

“One of the things I’ve always valued about the Alberta spirit is our ability to pioneer fresh approaches and different ways of thinking,” said the Honourable Norman Kwong, Lieutenant Governor and Chancellor of the Order. “These eight remarkable Albertans have all made very positive contributions to our province, and they have done so while forging a unique path and encouraging others to follow their lead.”

The new members chosen for investiture in 2010 are Philip Currie (Edmonton), Alex Janvier (Cold Lake), Ralph Klein (Calgary), Janice McTighe (Calgary), Louise Miller (Edmonton), Bill Mooney (Calgary), Reza Nasseri (Edmonton) and Bob Steadward (Edmonton).

“I’d like to offer my thanks and congratulations to the newest inductees to the Alberta Order of Excellence,” said Premier Stelmach. “This year’s inductees demonstrated leadership and made long-lasting contributions to Alberta that have showcased our province’s freedom to create and spirit to achieve. Thank you for all the work you have done and will continue to do for Albertans.”

The new members will be invested into the Order in a ceremony in Edmonton on Wednesday, October 20. This will bring the total AOE membership to 109.  Full biographies and portraits of the new members will be available closer to the investiture. The Alberta Order of Excellence is the highest honour the province can bestow on a citizen. More information about AOE is at www.lieutenantgovernor.ab.ca/aoe/

Biographical summaries – Albertans chosen for 2010 investiture into the Alberta Order of Excellence

Philip Currie (Edmonton)
Dr. Phil Currie is an internationally renowned palaeontologist whose scientific accomplishments have led to a greater understanding of dinosaurs and their historic significance. He was instrumental in the development of Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum and has made major contributions to palaeontology on both the Canadian and the world stage through his extensive field work, academic research, writing and teaching.

Alex Janvier (Cold Lake)
Alex Janvier is a pioneering member of the fine arts community who has served as a leader and mentor for First Nations artists from Alberta and across Canada. His work is part of the Canadian Museum of Civilization and his paintings were among the first by contemporary First Nations artists to be included in collections of the National Gallery of Canada. He has been offered extensive provincial and national recognition for his work.

Ralph Klein (Calgary)
Ralph Klein needs little introduction to his fellow Albertans. His long and distinguished record of public service includes his 14 years as Premier of Alberta, as well as service as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta and three terms as Mayor of Calgary. His contributions to the province and country have been recognized with numerous honourary degrees, honours and awards.

Janice McTighe (Calgary)
Janice McTighe is founder of the Calgary-based Renfrew Educational Services. Because of her work as an innovator in education programs for children with physical and cognitive special needs, Renfrew is widely regarded as a world-class early childhood development facility. The inclusive approach to special needs education she developed at Renfrew has subsequently become the standard throughout Alberta.

Louise Miller (Edmonton)
Louise Miller has been a longstanding and effective advocate for people with disabilities. As co-founder of the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society she has been a strong voice in the promotion of applied research and state-of-the art technology to benefit those with spinal cord injuries. She has offered leadership to a wide range of boards, tasks forces and associations dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. 

William Mooney (Calgary)
Bill Mooney is an industry leader who has had a significant impact on the development of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. In addition to working to make the most of Canada’s natural resources he has lent his leadership abilities to an extensive list of not-for-profit organizations and associations, particularly in the areas of health care, community development, sports and programs for children and youth.

Reza Nasseri (Edmonton)
Reza Nasseri is an Alberta-based home builder who is founder and CEO of Landmark Homes. He has made significant contributions to various charitable and community initiatives, with a particular focus on building supports for immigrant Canadians. Institutions that have greatly benefited from his service include the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation, Norquest College and arts institutions such as the Citadel Theatre and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Robert Steadward (Edmonton)
Bob Steadward is an internationally recognized leader in disability sports who made key contributions to the field as a teacher, author and sport scientist with the University of Alberta. He was founding president of the International Paralympic Committee and has been a longstanding advocate of provincial and national initiatives to develop Paralympic athletes and to encourage persons with disabilities to pursue active lifestyles.