Board of Directors
Lindsay-Anne is currently a Senior Policy Advisor with Alberta's Status of Women Ministry. Along with her experience working for the provincial government, Lindsay-Anne worked for over five years with the Alberta Soccer Association as the Director of Partnerships and Communications. She holds a Bachelors Degree and Masters of Public Administration from Queen's University in addition to a FIFA Master in Management, Law & Humanities of Sport from the International Centre for Sport Studies. Lindsay-Anne's key skills include Strategic Planning, Policy Development, Grant Writing and her overall knowledge of the world of sport both internationally and locally.
Dr. Simon Turner is a thoracic surgeon at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta and is the Chair of Education for the Canadian Association of Thoracic Surgeons. Simon was born and raised in Edmonton and is passionate about giving back to his hometown. Simon was drawn to Free Footie through his love of soccer and a desire to bring the joy of sport, friendship and community to deserving kids.
Treasurer & Secretary
Brad Jesson currently works as a CA with a local accounting firm, Mowbrey Gil. Brad has extensive experience in audit, tax and advisory services and assists a wide array of clients. More recently Brad has expanded into U.S. and International tax issues advising clients on complex taxation matters. Brad has passed the U.S. CPA qualification exams and will obtain his U.S. designation in 2016.
In the community, Brad has served as a Board Member of the Pride Centre of Edmonton, a not-for-profit resource and community centre for the LGBT Community of Edmonton and surrounding areas since 2013. The Centre provides resources, social and wellness supports, public education, leadership opportunities, referrals, and a safe, welcoming space through its programs and partnerships. In addition, Brad has been actively involved with Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and the Strathcona Youth Justice Committee.
Brad brings a wealth of experience to the Free Footie board to not only ensure we have a strong financial footing, but also a solid growth management plan.
Brad and his partner Henry enjoy golfing, running and escaping to the mountains whenever possible.
Melissa Andrews is a Literacy and Music teacher at John A. McDougall School. Fun fact, she started her teaching career at that school and loves the community there so much, she has never left! She received her Elementary Music degree from the University of Alberta. She has been coaching for Free Footie at her school for 1o years and volunteered for Footie Camp for 2 summers. Melissa's knowledge of the school system, kids and Free Footie will help the program better understand and reflect the needs of the teachers and staff who support our programing.
Acting Vice Chair
Mark Thibeault currently leads the Deposit & Banking Specialty Solutions team at ATB Financial. His focus is on Public Sector, NPO, and large deposit clients throughout the province, the team provides expert advice to ensure organizations are getting the most out of their banking experience. Outside of ATB, Mark also sits on the Board for the Wings of Providence Women's Shelter. He has been supporting Free Footie since it’s inception. He’s ran tournaments, cooked meals for kids, sorted equipment, fundraised and helped steer the direction of its growth. Mark is also a very accomplished athlete. He played varsity volleyball with the U of S Huskies and MacEwan Griffins. He was a CCAA Nationals All Star and Alberta Volleyball Male Athlete of the Year.
Linda Ha is the owner of Barber Ha, a community focused barbershop that’s celebrating its 7th year in Edmonton. Linda has spent 23 years in the hair and beauty industry and has extensive experience in branding, management, sales and marketing. She’s also incredibly connected to many of Edmonton’s young, self-starters in the business community. Linda is a long time sponsor of Free Footie and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the board.
Akash Khokhar currently works as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, a global management consultancy firm, where he advises global financial institutions and public sector organizations on strategy, operations, and regulatory risk matters. Prior to joining McKinsey, Akash was the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Premier of Alberta and owned a restaurant in Edmonton. He holds a BA from the University of Southern California, as well as a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where he served on the Students’ Law Society and the Law Review.
Akash joined Free Footie as a way to once again get involved in soccer, a sport he loves (although he’ll be the first to laughingly admit it’s not a sport he excels at as a player).
Dayna Hyman is the Executive Director with KidSport Edmonton. In 2017, she moved north to Edmonton from KidSport’s sister chapter in Calgary, where she was the Manager of Events and Volunteers. She has been in the KidSport family for over five years now, and she’s looking forward to seeing the organization grow to support even more kids over the next five years. Dayna serves as a Board member for the Edmonton Sport Council, where she supports the Governance Committee, is Chair of the Nominations Committee, and proudly participates as a General Director.
A non-athlete but a feverish advocate, Dayna sees the power that sport can have on a child’s life, and she fights to ensure that all kids have an opportunity to participate. As a big fan of the Free Footie program, Dayna is excited to join its Board of Directors so she can apply her Fund Development experience to help the Free Footie program increase its impact and help more kids in the Edmonton area.
CJ Blye is a PhD student at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation. She studies environmental psychology and focuses on connecting new and diverse populations to Canadian parks. As a young scholar, research that can be used to support practical programming and policy development is extremely important to her and she plans on brining that connection to research with her to Free Footie. CJ holds a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate (Doctoral) Scholarship and is currently also on the board of the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association.
While she is passionate about nature and getting outside CJ also believes strongly in the power of sport. Having grown up in Ontario playing every sport available to her she began volunteering at her local community centre and by 18 was helping to coordinate Saturday morning house league soccer. This led to her a career in sport and recreation where she has worked for Ontario Soccer, Tennis Canada, Street Soccer Canada and various municipal and regional governments. CJ is so excited to be on the Free Footie Board and cannot wait to be involved in such a powerful and game changing organization!