Direct: 780.969.0558 | [email protected]
Christine has been an invaluable member of the LESA team since 2010. She began her work with LESA as the Associate Director for Educational Resources, moved to Counsel in 2014, and served as our Executive Director since May of 2018. Now, Christine continues her excellent service to LESA in the role of Executive Director.
Christine graduated with distinction in 2003 with a Bachelor of Commerce followed by her Bachelor of Laws in 2006, both from the University of Alberta. She then earned her Masters of Law from Columbia University in 2010 as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Throughout Christine’s tenure at LESA she has consistently brought a wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership. She has the unique ability to understand the needs of LESA clients, the legal community, and the LESA team.
When we asked Christine what she enjoys most about working at LESA, she responded, “Most of all I love the people that I work with. I love our highly collaborative work environment – it makes it so easy to come to work each day! I enjoy keeping up to date on the law and working with our staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders to ensure that the legal profession is receiving the programs and resources they need to keep up-to-date and ensure they are competently serving the public.” She was also quick to note her favourite thing that we’ve done together as a team was play combat archery as a team building exercise.
As a wife and mother of 2, Christine has plenty to keep her busy outside of the office. She enjoys baking, relaxing with a good book, and watching her kids at the pool and the arena.
Director of Programs
Direct: 780.969.3559 | [email protected]
Born and raised in Edmonton, Matt is LESA’s Director of Programs. Matt has a Bachelor of Education, in Secondary Education, with Distinction (University of Alberta); experience as a high school Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher; and a Bachelor of Laws (University of New Brunswick). He articled and worked in private practice in Lethbridge and was Legal Counsel at the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta in Edmonton before joining LESA.
In addition to Matt’s education and experience, he brings a growth mindset to the office and encourages a collaborative and fun-loving work environment. His experience as a lawyer in different settings helps Matt do his job both efficiently and effectively, including overseeing all in-person and online programs, setting proposed learning outcomes, developing program content, assigning project responsibilities for LESA staff and volunteers, and recruiting chairs and faculties for programs.
Matt was recently elected as the President of the Association of Canadian Legal Education Directors (ACLED). He is also a member of the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) and currently serves as a co-chair of the International Special Interest Group.
Outside of the office, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids. He also devotes his time to volunteer with community groups and is an active member and lay leader in his local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is an avid birdwatcher and enjoys hiking and generally being outdoors.
Direct: 780.969.0550 | [email protected]
Alandra joined the LESA team as Staff Lawyer in the fall of 2022. Alandra graduated from the University of Alberta – Faculty of Law in 2021 and completed her articles with MLT Aikins in Edmonton. She was called to the bar in June of 2022 and worked as an associate at MLT Aikins in their corporate/commercial group with a focus on tax law before joining LESA.
Alandra’s organization and communication skills as well as her ability to think analytically serves her well in her role. She eagerly applies her past experiences volunteering with Alberta Law Review as well as working as a writing fellow in law school to her role at LESA.
Her passion to pursue continuing education for herself (she is an avid Duolingo user!) can also be seen in her excitement to plan, host, and deliver quality continuing legal education programs for the Alberta legal profession. When not at work, Alandra loves to spend her time cooking, playing board games, skiing, and spending time with loved ones (including her new puppy and two cats). She also enjoys gardening and hopes to one day explore the canning and preservation process. She aspires to one day be fluent in another language.
Direct: 780.969.3557 | [email protected]
Ashley has been part of the LESA team since she graduated from NAIT in 2009. Her positive attitude, willingness to be a team player, and adaptability to change have served her well in the many different roles she’s filled here. In the past, Ashley has worked on our print publications as well as with the CPLED facilitators, evaluators, and students.
Currently Ashley enjoys her role as the Resource Coordinator where she helps get our print and online materials ready for you to use.
In LESA’s ongoing coffee-versus-tea debate, Ashley falls into the tea camp. And if there’s one quirky thing you should know about Ashley, it’s that black pepper is too spicy!
Outside of work, Ashley loves to relax by going to the lake and taking her dog on walks. She’s also very close with her siblings; her brother and 2 sisters were able to stand up with her at her wedding in Mexico, and yes – her brother was a bridesman. Although one thing Ashley likes best about working at LESA is her awesome coworkers, she also loves taking time off with her husband and children to go visit family in Vancouver and Arizona.
Event & Customer Experience Coordinator
Direct: 780.969.3551 | [email protected]
Carolyn is a LESA veteran. She’s been part of the LESA team for over 30 years. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of working with her will tell you that that in the LESA coffee-versus-tea debate she falls strongly into the coffee camp. And if you want to get on Carolyn’s good side, you can sweeten her up with … you guessed it … garden fresh tomatoes, because Carolyn absolutely loves her veggies.
Her work experience before coming to LESA – as a registered psychiatric nurse and as a sales associate for a tour company, to name just two examples – has been as varied as the roles she’s filled in our organization. In her current role as Event Customer Experience Coordinator, Carolyn wears many hats. She works with firms and organizations who sponsor our programs and is actively engaged in spreading the word to the profession about the diverse range of LESA’s programs and resources.
Perhaps it’s all the variety that has kept Carolyn hooked for so long. She loves that no 2 days are ever the same, and her ability to embrace change is one of the biggest assets she shares with LESA. Carolyn is always on the hunt for new ways to inform the Alberta legal community about all that LESA has to offer.
In her downtime, Carolyn loves to garden and read. She also loves vacationing in Vegas and volunteers at the Food Bank. Some of her future goals include going on an African safari and meeting Oprah Winfrey.
Direct: 780.969.0553 | [email protected]
Gina graduated on the Dean’s list from MacEwan University with an Office Administration certificate. She began working for LESA in July of 2018 as one of LESA’s Education Assistants. She transitioned to Live Event Faculty Administrator and is now LESA’s Programs Administrator.
A typical day for her also includes formatting materials, preparing pre- and post-program faculty correspondence, uploading materials to the LESA website, registering customers into programs, and making sure everything is running smoothly for upcoming programs and webinars. When asked what she enjoys most about her role at LESA, she responded with saying she enjoys, “…the variety of tasks required in preparation for a webinar/program. Our work community is super positive, and I always look forward into coming into work because of it.”
When not at work, Gina enjoys reading, thrifting, and taking her giant dog, Duke, out for walks around the city. Since she started with us, her favorite thing we’ve done together as a team was play combat archery as a team building exercise. Gina was also lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel to Japan where she walked up Mount Fuji.
In the future, Gina’s goal is to continue to learn, whether it to be learning new languages or new skills. She also hopes one day to learn Norwegian and would love to travel there.
Finance & Accounting Coordinator
Direct: 780.969.3550 | [email protected]
Event Delivery & Business Development Lead
Direct: 780.969.3556 | [email protected]
Kathy has been an event and meeting planner for the last 28 years. She earned her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation in 2000. Before coming to LESA, she was a corporate, not-for-profit, and independent planner. She has planned and executed some amazing events which have included celebrity fundraisers, large corporate team building events, weddings, corporate holiday parties, national and international conferences, company launches, business meetings, graduations, and more. She has attended many world education conferences for meeting professionals held in various locations throughout Canada and the United States.
Kathy started with LESA in December of 2006 as the Programs Coordinator. Her role has changed and evolved from working primarily with in-person LESA programs, to adding CPLED programs, and to recruiting volunteers for all of the CPLED Face2Face programs. She books all of the venues for LESA’s live events and assists the Executive Director in arranging travel, meetings, and other activities. Her organizational skills, past experience in executing and organizing meetings and events, as well as the relationships she has built over the years with various contractors, venues, and volunteers has contributed greatly to the success of LESA events.
Outside of the office, Kathy spends a lot of her free time enjoying her beautiful acreage outside of the city. Currently there are no family pets other than the moose, deer, and coyotes that frequent her yard. She loves nothing more than having her adult children come out to visit, and she hopes that one day soon she’ll have grandchildren to play on her backyard play structure.
Kathy’s dedication and goal-oriented mindset has led her to complete 5 half marathons. She is planning to once again train for another half-marathon, with hopes to complete it in Disneyland in 2023, with her kids and their partners along to cheer her on. She is “team sweet” but anything with salted chocolate would take top prize!
Direct: 780.969.3553 | [email protected]
Graduating from the University of Alberta with distinction from her undergraduate degree in English (2015), Katie has a true love for learning. While studying at the U of A, she received a few Jason Lang scholarships and U of A – Faculty of Arts Academic Excellence scholarships along the way.
Katie first joined the LESA team in January of 2018. Her role has evolved and changed over time. Beginning as an Integration Assistant, Katie soon moved to Legal Assistant. Katie’s attention to detail and ability to think analytically helps her in her current role as Research Analyst. In her current role, Katie analyzes and reports on our resources, assists with Board governance, and is the primary contact for LESA Library and publications inquiries. Plus, she is our resident expert in Excel.
Katie falls into our “team salt”, but she doesn’t mind LESA pie days either! Outside the office, Katie likes to indulge in a good book, listen to an engaging podcast, or chill out with an entertaining Netflix show. Katie also enjoys coffee dates to catch up with friends, cooking up a new recipe, or taking a road trip (preferrable to someplace warm). Ambitious and full of adventure, she also hopes to explore the countries of the Southern Hemisphere one day.
Resources & Publications Lawyer
Direct: 780.969.0551 | [email protected]
Before pursuing law, Kelsey received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Distinction from the University of Alberta. During her undergraduate degree, she completed the Cooperative Education Program in Psychology, which involved a year-long work placement at the Edmonton Drug Treatment Court. She then continued on at the University of Alberta to earn her Juris Doctor. While completing her law degree, Kelsey was an editor and committee member for the Alberta Law Review and served as a board member on the University Appeal Board. She also co-authored and published a paper on shark conservation in the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice.
Kelsey first joined LESA as a summer student following her second year of law school. After articling and working at a large Edmonton law firm, primarily in civil litigation, she rejoined LESA as Staff Lawyer on our legal team in 2015 and has since transitioned to her current role as Resources & Publications Lawyer on our resources team. Kelsey’s role involves providing input from a legal point-of-view, and includes researching and working on LESA’s publications and resources; staying current on legal developments; and advising on legal content and questions.
Kelsey enjoys many things about her job, most notably having the ability to work with legal material in a wide array of practice areas. “It keeps my work interesting and has allowed me to continually learn about new and varied legal issues. I also really enjoy working with the other LESA team members. Everyone has their own skill set and educational background, so it’s great to collaborate with such a diverse and talented group.”
In her downtime, she spends most of her time chasing after her young daughter, who keeps her very busy in the best way! Kelsey also likes to travel and spend time with friends. She has played soccer for most of her life, and has recently taken up pottery.
Muhammad Umer Khan
Online Systems & Web Administrator
Muhammad graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Computing Science. Before coming to LESA, Muhammad’s experiences were academically focused, including an internship with the University of Alberta and McGill University where he worked on an open-source software application for collecting clinical and neuroimaging data for longitudinal research studies.
Muhammad first joined the LESA team at the start of the global pandemic, in April of 2020. He was a key player in the shift to online programming and helped with the launch of LESA webinars. With his love for problem-solving, he is steadily working on providing solutions to improve workflows and to decrease the administrative burden for LESA staff on various activities. He is customer focused – incorporating efficiencies into the LESA website to improve the experience for our valued customers.
When asked what he enjoys most about his job and working with LESA, Muhammad’s answer is “the team – even though we have only gotten to know each other remotely, it is a pleasure to work with everyone.”.
When not at work, Muhammad can be found enjoying time with his family and pursuing his hobby of landscape photography.
Renee Vander Meulen
Strategic Initiatives Coordinator
Direct: 780.420.6001 | [email protected]
Before coming to LESA, Renee completed her Masters of Arts in English at the University of Victoria where she focused on 19th century studies and spent hours and hours in the archives pouring over copies of the world’s first illustrated weekly newspaper, the Illustrated London News, for her MA essay. She also worked in the Registrar’s Office at Concordia University Edmonton and in the Co-operative Education Program and Career Services department at the University of Victoria.
Renee first started at LESA in 2014. Throughout her time with the organization, she has since had the opportunity to work in many different areas; communications, programs, and resources. Currently, she is the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, where her detail-loving, process-oriented, logical brain gets to play a part bringing major projects and initiatives to fruition.
Variety is one of the things Renee most enjoys about working at LESA. She also loves how LESA has offered flexibility and opportunities to try different things, work in different areas, and put different skills to use. “But one of the best things about LESA are the people I work with: I’m delighted to be part of a hard-working, fun-loving team,” she adds. There have been a lot of tasty team building moments at LESA. But some of the best have to involve one (or more) of Vi’s for Pies’ delicious creations.
Outside the office, Renee keeps busy with her husband and kids. She loves to read, bake (or eat) anything with chocolate, and unplug and get outside in the garden, out for a hike, or out camping. She also loves to knit, and wonders if maybe in another 50 years she’ll be just as good as her great-grandmother, who first taught her how to cast on.
Online Programs Coordinator
Direct: 780.969.3555 | [email protected]
Rhiannon graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2017. During her time there, she majored in Human Geography and minored in History. Before joining the LESA team, Rhiannon spent the better part of a year working in New Zealand as a content creator for an Online EdTech company that provided online learning for Australian and New Zealand high schools.
Rhiannon joined the LESA team in October of 2018 as the Education Coordinator for the CPLED Legacy Program. Beginning in July of 2020, Rhiannon excitedly transitioned to Online Programs Coordinator and is now responsible for planning and developing online programming, such as online courses, livestream webinars, and on-demand programs. When asked what she enjoys most about her role at LESA, she responded, “I enjoy finding new ways to engage people in learning in an online/virtual environment. I love all the supportive and amazing staff at LESA, who really value quality, professionalism, and creativity.”
Outside the office, Rhiannon is passionate about music and the arts in Edmonton. She is the Chair of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra & Winspear Centre’s Young Leadership Council. Rhiannon has also sung in choir for most of her life and enjoys singing in an adult community choir. On the weekend you can often find Rhiannon, her husband, and dog, Olive (the sweetest goldendoodle), going to farmers markets, hiking in the mountains, or discovering new neighbourhood restaurants and coffee shops.
Brand & Communications Coordinator
Direct: 780.969.0555 | [email protected]
Robin first joined the LESA team in August of 2009. Robin graduated from the University of Manitoba with an honours degree focused on graphic design and visual communications. She began as LESA’s Communications Designer and has taken on a few different roles within the organization throughout her time, including contract graphic designer during the early years of parenthood.
Now, Robin is back on staff as LESA’s Brand & Communications Coordinator and oversees LESA’s communications initiatives, marketing, and is responsible for executing LESA’s overall brand strategy. With an ability to think big picture while maintaining a tight eye on details, Robin is dedicated to furthering the growth and development of LESA while ensuring consistent, high standards for marketing and communications.
In her downtime, Robin loves to let the creative juices flow. She enjoys gardening, going for a jog with a podcast in her ears, and hand-painting floral patterns for custom fabrics. She can often be found spending time with her husband and two boys enjoying the outdoors, trying a new skate park, or watching hockey.