Meet Doug Griffiths and the 13 Ways Team

by | Nov 9, 2021 | Blog Posts

Meet Doug Griffiths and the 13 Ways Team

Building strong and prosperous communities is what we do.

Doug Griffiths and the 13 Ways Team help communities of all sizes and situations achieve their respective goals and aspirations in strategic planning, economic development, urban design, downtown revitalization and more. Leveraging our capacity and expertise, we equip and empower them all to succeed on the global stage. Our outcomes-based approach ensures results are both tangible and measurable.

Working with individual communities on an intimate basis, we’re unmatched in our ability to lead and facilitate fruitful community conversations that inspire meaningful, transformational change. We push people beyond their comfort zones. We ask difficult questions. We inspire clarity around collective goals and objectives, and in the role of the community in achieving them.

Ultimately, we can help you establish a path forward that identifies and leverages your greatest strengths, and which positions you advantageously in being able to capitalize on emerging trends and opportunities. In working with us, you’ll soon realize that our way of doing things is different: The standards we strive for reflect only the highest of quality and most diligent attention to detail.


Who We Are

Doug Griffiths

Doug Griffiths is 13 Ways’ President, CEO and founder, who named the company after his best-selling book, 13 Ways to Kill Your Community. A former politician, Doug successfully served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the province of Alberta for four consecutive terms. During that time, he served in two senior Cabinet portfolios — as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister of Service Alberta, respectively — and also held 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. He now leads the team at 13 Ways.

Heather Thomson

Heather is on a mission to re-energize communities. A mission which she pursues in two roles:

(1) Executive Director of the University of Alberta’s School of Retailing. Heather mentors the next generation of business innovators; because strong businesses are the building blocks of strong communities. Heather works with leaders in the business community with an emphasis on education, consulting, academic & applied research and industry outreach.

(2) Consultant with 13 Ways, Inc. Heather delivers business and community assessments, builds community plans that specialize in economic development, local businesses prosperity and beautification. Heather has worked with dozens of communities across North America. She shares her thoughts about the future of business in her keynote presentation: 13 Ways to Kill Your Commerce. 

Heather is a mom of two boys, an avid snowboarder, and fashion and design enthusiast. She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Behavioural Economics and serving on the Edmonton Downtown Business Association Retention and Recruitment Committee.

Ashley Szakal

Ashley Szakal is 13 Ways’ Digital Expert, who works with communities to design and develop the various visual assets that help communicate their vision to the world. She leads (and participates directly in) initiatives related to branding, website development, social media strategy and SEO, and in every project ensures an emphasis on user experience and comprehension. With more than a decade of experience developing global digital marketing strategies prior to 13 Ways, Ashley ensures all projects are celebrated and communicated emphatically among stakeholders upon completion.

Courtney Borst

Courtney Borst started with 13 Ways as the Operations Manager in June 2019. Courtney was previously working for Executive Education at the University of Alberta starting as a Program Administrator for the Government Portfolio. She then filled a temporary position as Program Advisor in the municipality portfolio, then moved to a Program Coordinator for the Public portfolio. A few of Courtney’s clients included the Government of Alberta, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Tlicho Government, and Alberta Health Services. While filling in for the Advisor position Courtney discovered her curiosity and interest for the municipal world and gladly accepted a position with 13 Ways.

Stuart Fullarton

Stuart Fullarton is 13 Ways’ Communications & Economic Development Strategist, who as a senior municipal administrator has provided managerial oversight in the areas of economic development, communications, tourism, stakeholder engagement, and recreation. With a certificate in IAP2 Foundations, Stuart has enabled and facilitated the participation of thousands of stakeholders across a variety of sectors in projects of varying sizes. As an experienced economic developer, Stuart has planned and executed initiatives in business retention and expansion, business and investment attraction, and organizational remodelling and restructuring.


We’re only a phone call away … seriously, call us to chat!

Our team’s sole purpose is to build strong and prosperous communities that reflect and embody the authentic values of the people that inhabit them. Since our inception, we’ve achieved this with clients all across North America — thanks to the leadership, experience, and expertise of our exceptionally well-rounded team. Whether you need an informed strategic plan or a comprehensive marketing strategy to help foster and facilitate growth in your community, Doug, Heather, Ashley, Courtney, and Stuart will deliver a project that focuses less on buzzwords and lengthy documents, and more on results and measurable action.

Give us a call today.

587-573-1313