Meet Your Instructors
Chief Community Builder
Growing up on a ranch outside a small community was a great practical education for Doug Griffiths, giving him a strong work ethic and critical thinking skills. He went on to also acquire an Honours BA Philosophy, followed by a B.Ed, and in 2016 completed the Executive MBA program at the University of Alberta. Education, whether he is learning or teaching, has always been an important aspect of his life. After teaching and ranching for several years, Doug successfully served as an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Province of Alberta for four consecutive terms. In that time, he served in two senior Cabinet portfolios as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister of Service Alberta, as well as three junior positions in Agriculture, Finance, and Solicitor General.
Doug retired from politics in January 2015 to actively pursue his passion of helping communities, organizations and businesses grow stronger. In his best-selling book, 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, Doug identifies challenges and opportunities that all our communities face. The lessons that come from those stories are applicable to all types of communities, whether they are towns, organizations, or businesses. His talents include seeing through the lies we tell ourselves, overcoming bad attitudes, targeted and focused tactical planning, communicating with those who are afraid to change, and building enduring prosperity for communities. His passion lies in building strong communities, because within strong communities leadership can succeed, businesses can prosper, and families can find a great quality of life.
Consumer Behaviour Expert
Heather Thomson is focused on helping people, businesses and communities grow. In her current position as Executive Director of the University of Alberta’s School of Retailing, Heather works with leaders in the retail sector and the commercial real estate sector with an emphasis on education, consulting, academic research, applied research, and industry outreach.
Heather is also part of the leadership team at 13 Ways Inc. Her enthusiasm for communities began while she was with Executive Education at the U of A where she designed and developed a program of study attended by hundreds of municipal leaders who upon completion of the course received a Certificate in Municipal Management and Leadership.
Heather is currently working on her MSc in Organizational Psychology from the University of London. She is also serving on the Old Strathcona Business Association Economic Recovery board and the Edmonton Downtown Business Association Business Recruitment and Retention committee.