Star of the North Board of Directors are a dedicated group of volunteers who work with the Executive Director to bring life and action to the Star’s vision and mission.
Star Board of Directors
Chair: Phil Schmidt
Phil Schmidt, his wife Marie and their four children moved to St. Albert in 1996. He has been an active member of Holy Family Parish ever since. Currently he is the Chairman of the Parish Pastoral Council, Lector Coordinator, he sits on the Liturgy and Stewardship committees and is also an active member in the Knights of Columbus, Brother Anthony Council. With over 35 years in the corporate business world, Phil has years of experience leading major change initiatives, working on various steering committees and leading large teams in delivering excellent customer service. Phil joined the Board of Directors of the Star of the North Retreat Centre in October 2016 and is thoroughly enjoying working with the Board members, staff and volunteers.
Vice-Chair: Wayne Dosman
Geneva Lander is the longest serving member on The Star of the North’s Board of Directors. Since 2002, she has given of her wisdom and experience to guide The Star, where she has served on a variety of committees through the years. Geneva spent 34 fulfilling years in the Corporate world. Through the years she has volunteered for many organizations including the Canadian Mental Health Association, Citizens on Patrol, the St. Albert Parish Library, the St. Albert Parish Heritage (community) garden, on committees to sponsor refugees, the St. Albert interfaith caring counsel, the St. Albert environmental action committee, and more. Her faithfulness and wisdom have grown out of her commitments to these many volunteer services, and to her husband Bill and family life, including caring for generations of pets. She exemplifies the spirit of the Star with her interests for lifelong learning through in person and virtual classes, book studies and retreats.
Josee Marr has served the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton for almost 30 years in various capacities both in administration and ministry, as an executive employee and as a volunteer. Josee has coordinated the planning and execution of several events, retreats, and seminars at the archdiocesan and parish levels. She is an active member of the Roman Catholic & Mennonite Dialogue, the St Joseph Seminary & Newman Theological College Faith Fitness and Fun Run/Walk Committee and the newly formed pastoral care committee of the joint parishes of Assumption and Resurrection. Spirituality, fitness, and friendship with people and creation occupy most of her time, utilize much of her talent and have become her treasure. She is glad to join the Board of Directors of the Star of the North Retreat Centre.
Joyce Tutt brings eighteen years of employment experience in fund development with registered charities. She has a long history of volunteerism with Christian-based organizations before and since her retirement in 2012. Her work history includes acting as coordinator for annual campaigns and special events for The Foundation fo Newman Theological College and St. Joseph Seminary, Director fo Fund Development for the Society of Retired and Semi-Retired Priests, and works with the Franciscan Friars, Habitat for Humanity and more.
Catherine Twinn is a Treaty 8 First Nation member since 1980 and an Alberta Lawyer. She has 34+ years experience in fiduciary principles as a Trustee fo First Nation Trusts, Codes of Conduct and best practices for good governance, structures and conditions. Her Board experience includes understanding Social Responsibility, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, Capacity Building, Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Tax Planning and more. Catherine is the first indigenous woman to graduate from the University of Alberta, Faculty of Law and she obtained her Masters’ in Law from the University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science. She received the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Community and Country Service. More recently she received the Alberta Centennial Medal for Outstanding Service to the People and Province of Alberta.
Linda joined the Board in 2013 and participates on two of its committees. Her career paths have embraced teaching, counseling, working for 19 years with the Social Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of Edmonton as an adult educator, workshop facilitator and activist and serving 10 years as Pastoral Associate with Inner City Pastoral Ministry. Now semi-retired, she still considers herself a work in progress committed to justice-seeking and justice-building.
Fr. Mark Blom, OMI is a catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He is currently associate pastor at Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples in Edmonton and has worked with Indigenous and Metis peoples over many years. He served as vocation director for the Oblates for six years. Fr. Mark has a great interest in transformative spirituality, Scripture, and Christian art. He was appointed by OMI Lacombe Canada to The Star of the North Board of Directors on May 31, 2021.
Archbishop Emeritus Sylvain Lavoie is a missionary Oblate who has spent over 30 years ministering among the aboriginal peoples of north and central Saskatchewan, including three years as director of a team that offered sessions on faith renewal, leadership and community development. As archbishop emeritus of the archdiocese of Keewatin-The Pas, he now serves as chaplain and spiritual director at Star of the North Retreat Center in St. Albert, Alberta.