Karen Diebert – Manager and Subdivision Technician
Karen’s main goal as Manager is to ensure the delivery of planning services to the Agency’s members while maintaining the financial viability and long term future of the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency. As Subdivision Technician, her experience and knowledge of the subdivision process both from a practical and legislative basis has proven to be a valuable asset to the Agency.
Karen began her career in planning in 1980 when she joined the staff of the Peace River Regional Planning Commission based in Grande Prairie. In 1983, the Mackenzie Regional Planning Commission was formed and Karen assisted in setting up the new organization and took on the lead role of Subdivision Technician. She has continued in this role through the transition from a regional planning commission to the services agency.
In terms of the administration of the Agency, Karen took over these duties when the Agency downsized in the year 2000. Over the past years with changes in staffing, this position has progressed to that of overall Manager.
Alisha Mody, RPP, MCIP – Acting Manager of Planning
Alisha is the Manager of Planning for the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency. She coordinates with MMSA’s municipal planners to ensure that the Agency is addressing our member municipalities’ strategic planning priorities and supporting their day-to-day administrative planning processes.
Alisha is a municipal planner with expertise in strategic planning, land use bylaws, and policy development. She works on both long range planning projects for all member municipalities and with the Town of Peace River on current planning policy, projects and development. Recently completed projects include a major update to the MD of Peace No. 135’s Land Use Bylaw, implementing the Downtown Beautification Work Plan for the Town of Peace River and the Intermunicipal Development Plan between Northern Sunrise County and the Village of Nampa.
Alisha has been with the Agency for over five years and has a Masters of Planning degree from the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning. Before joining the MMSA, Alisha worked with the regional planning department at the Fraser Valley Regional District and the strategic planning division of Metro Vancouver’s Transportation Authority (TransLink).
Elise Willison, RPP, MCIP – Senior Planner
As Senior Planner, Elise supervises the Agency’s current intern and is one of the key “go to” planning staff. Her varied municipal/regional planning experience, knowledge of the agency municipalities, in addition to past municipal and private sector practice have contributed to this role. Elise is involved in both long range and current planning duties including developing and revising policy and legislative documents including Intermunicipal Development Plans, Municipal Development Plans, Area Structure Plans and Land Use Bylaws. Current planning responsibilities include providing advice and recommendations to municipalities regarding development inquiries, drafting amendments and research projects. Research projects include topics such as Lot Availability Studies, Housing Studies, briefs to the Agency board on provincial policy changes including the Municipal Government Act.
Elise has worked with the Agency since January 2009. Her previous work experience was in Ontario, working within the Niagara, Hamilton and Toronto Regions for fifteen years in planning, drafting and related fields. Elise holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA Degree), Urban and Regional Planning from Ryerson University and earned her RPP, MCIP in January 2007. Elise also holds a Cartographic Technician Diploma from Seneca College.
Thomas Deming, BA, CPT – Municipal Planner
Tom is involved in all of MMSA’s departments. He provides current planning advice and recommendations concerning development inquires and applications, processes subdivision applications, and works on long-range planning projects for all member municipalities. Tom is also involved with the GIS department acting as the department coordinator, lead spokesperson, and providing mapping support for the Town of Peace River. He recently completed the review and rewrite of the Birch Hills County Municipal Development Plan and is currently focused on the Birch Hills County Land Use Bylaw rewrite.
Tom is from Port Dover, Ontario. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Geography from Brock University and a Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning and GIS from Mohawk College. He has also interned with Stantec Consulting Ltd as an Environmental Planner and the Township of West Lincoln as a Planner. Tom is currently enrolled in the Applied Land Use Planning program at the University of Alberta.
Komiete Tetteh, MSc – Municipal Planner
Komiete is a new planner with the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency. His areas of expertise and interest span current development planning, long-range/strategic planning, land use bylaw, social planning, and policy development. In the past, he has been involved with a range of projects and initiatives centred on public space planning, housing and homelessness, community planning, and social planning in Ghana and Canada.
Komiete Tetteh holds a BSc. degree in Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He also has an MSc. Planning degree from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Shahira Jalal, BA – Municipal Planner
Shahira recently joined the MMSA team in October 2017. She has experience in working for a Northern Alberta municipality doing various planning tasks such as; conducting research, policy drafting, producing Development Agreements, issuing permits, reviewing ASPs and creating subdivision applications. She has undertaken many large projects such as co-crafting a Community Visioning Plan and presenting it to the community organization. She has a keen interest in rural, as well as urban design and places a significant value on using her knowledge & skills to help communities develop.
Shahira has graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and continues to pursue education with the ALUP program.
Jan Sotocinal, MSc – Municipal Planner
Jan is a new municipal planner with a relatively diverse background. Before joining MMSA, he was an intern for Health Canada in its Chemicals Management Plan program, a summer planning student for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and recently finished a Community Projects Management Intern in the Philippines for Global Affairs Canada. He is interested in the areas of community engagement, environmental sustainability and disaster management.
With respect of his educational attainment, Jan acquired his Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences at the University of Alberta in 2012 and proceeded to complete his Masters of Science in Planning at the University of Guelph in 2015.
Clark Zhou, MSc – Senior GIS Technologist
Clark is the Senior GIS Technologist whose main responsibility is the development and maintenance of the Agency web mapping. Clark brings over 10 years of GIS work experience and is proficient in the programs needed to move the GIS program forward.
Previously, Clark worked with Opus Stewart Weir for 7 years designing and developing web maps, cartography and geography maps. Clark has a Certificate in GIS Technology from NAIT. He has a Master of Science Degree in Geophysics from Ocean University of China.
Hector Perez, MSc – GIS Technologist
Hector is a GIS Technologist with expertise in professional mapping, GIS analysis, geoprocessing, and aerial photo interpretation. He is responsible for the on-going spatial data maintenance and dissemination, as well as for the compilation and organization of GIS data from maps, databases and other sources. Hector is also in charge of the end-use support and the generation of maps and other GIS reports and information products. The main projects he is currently involved in are rural addressing, land use bylaw, plan index, landowner and cemetery map generation and updates.
Hector worked as a GIS Technician for the University of Extremadura in Spain for nearly four years where he provided GIS technical support to new students and the Forestry Research Group staff. He was also in charge of developing several hydrological projects and hydraulic simulations in order to obtain floodplain maps.
Hector holds a Bachelor Degree in Forestry Engineering and a Master Degree in Geographic Information Technologies: GIS and Remote Sensing from the University of Extremadura’s Forestry and Environmental Engineering department.
Darlene Hachey – Administrative Assistant
Darlene recently joined the MMSA team in February 2017 as the Administrative Assistant. She provides assistance to the staff, municipalities and clients. Her strengths are in office administration and customer service.