Our Team



Peter Elson

Senior Research Fellow

Peter has been a senior researcher with the Institute since 2008. He previously spent fifteen years as a nonprofit executive director and community activist. Based in Victoria, he has a cross-appointment with the School of Public Administration at University of Victoria. Peter’s current research focuses on the impact of grant-making foundations, voluntary sector-government relations, and social enterprises. He is the author of numerous academic articles and two books published by the University of Toronto Press. E:


Cathy Glover

Changemaker in Residence

As Cathy retired from an over 16 year career as leader of the Suncor Energy Foundation, she was recognized and gifted with the name Aahpii Pitahgii - White Eagle Woman.  As Elder Casey Eaglespeaker described, he choose this name because of her ability to have a system wide view, to see unique interconnections and to bring people together to create space for collaboration and change.  As a strong proponent of social innovation Cathy and her team created a corporate community investment program that brought together unlikely partners to address complex social issues and transformative change at regional and national levels, while at the same time supporting employee initiatives and local priorities.  While the team developed expertise in working with external partners in the social innovation space, they also found that they gained an ability to work differently within their internal organization, and one of Cathy’s accomplishments was co-leading the team that designed Suncor’s social goal that focuses on reconciliation.  Cathy has worked on both sides of the philanthropy equation, with an almost equal amount of time working in charitable and non-profit organizations in Calgary ranging from Alberta Children’s Hospital and Children’s Cottage to the XV Olympic Winter Games and Junior Achievement.  She has an MBA and BSc in Psychology, both from the University of Calgary. E:


Walter Hossli

Changemaker in Residence

An MRU Alumnus, Walter took Momentum from a start-up to an award-winning organization with 20 programs and 4000 participants per year. After 15 years in the private sector, he studied social work before entering the community sector.  Walter serves in a number of volunteer capacities and has played key roles with several large collaborative or sector initiatives. For example, since 2003 he has been an integral part of Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC), an organization dedicated to sustainable poverty reduction through the involvement of broad citizen and sector participation.  VCC has succeeded in elevating the City’s role in addressing poverty. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of The Calgary Foundation since 2010 and, as of 2015, on the Board of the Canadian CED Network. He wrote “Competition in the Voluntary Sector: the Case of Community Based Trainers in Alberta” published by the Muttart Foundation.  In addition to his leadership work in Canada, Walter regularly volunteers his time and knowledge abroad in Africa and Central America.  In 2011, Health Nexus and 3M Canada recognized Walter as a finalist for the 3M Health Leadership Award, acknowledging outstanding community leaders across the country who have enhanced their community through dedicated contribution and inspiring change.



Anna Johnson

Community Engagement Coordinator

Anna is a graduate from Mount Royal University's BBA program where she focused her studies on social innovation and nonprofit studies. While in university, Anna supported Enactus Mount Royal as VP of Project Development where she was involved in financial literacy and community development projects. Prior to working for the Institute, Anna worked for Creating Value Inc,  a social-purpose consultancy that works with organizations that are creating positive social, environmental, and/or cultural change. She currently serves on the stewardship committee of Calgary Can and is the co-founder of Solidariteas, a local social-justice tea company that supports violence prevention programs for women. E:


Tracy Pfeifer

Administrative Assistant

Tracy moved from Winnipeg to Calgary in July 2001 and started with the Institute in August 2001 when it was originally created.  She left her position working with the dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg to make the move with her husband. Tracy’s motto is “change is good” which has served her well as her roles are always changing and she loves the diversity her position brings. Tracy feels very fortunate to work with such an amazing team at the Institute for Community Prosperity. E:


James Stauch


James has served as a foundation executive and non-profit sector consultant with nearly two decades of experience working in the field of philanthropy. He has guided or advised on programs that support the emergence of community leadership, or that help organizations uncover new possibilities for their programming and operations in order to be strategic, authentic and enduring in their impact. James has worked extensively with communities in the Arctic and Far North, with the non-profit sector in the Calgary and Greater Toronto regions, as well as with Aboriginal communities and organizations across Canada. E:


Lena Soots

Changemaker in Residence

Lena is a sustainability educator, facilitator, and consultant with over 15 years experience working with local government, academic institutions and community organizations. Her work focuses on the intersection of sustainability and social innovation, with a focus on processes that foster deep collaboration and transformative learning. Lena comes to us from Vancouver, where she was the Program Manager and founding team member of CityStudio – an innovation hub for the City of Vancouver that brings students together with City staff to co-create and design sustainability solutions for the City. Lena was also a member of the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Steering Committee and is an Associate with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University.

Affiliated Faculty

  • Yasmin Dean, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Disability Studies, Faculty of Health and Community Studies (main research/teaching interests - international education, including cross-cultural and Indigenous practices, community development)
  • Ray DePaul, Director, Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, MRU (main research/teaching interests include entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, fundraising, startups, mentoring, social enterprises)
  • Patti Derbyshire, Chair, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, Bissett School of Business (main research/teaching interests - human-centered design, cultural marketing, community-driven entrepreneurship, new media)
  • Wendelin Fraser, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, Bissett School of Business (main research/teaching interests - social enterprise & community purpose organizations)
  • Roberta Lexier, Coordinator, Cluster 3 (Community and Society), Department of General Education (main research/teaching interests - social change and social movements)
  • Jennifer Pettit, Department Chair, Humanities, Faculty of Arts (main research/teaching interests (main research/teaching interests - Canadian history and government policy pertaining to First Nations)
  • Mike Quinn, Director and Talisman Energy Chair for Environmental Sustainability, Institute for Environmental Sustainability, MRU (main research/teaching interests - interdisciplinary approaches to complex social-ecological problems, ‘resilience' analysis). 
  • Katharine McGowan, Assistant Professor, Social Innovation, Bissett School of Business & Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo (main research/teaching interests - social innovation history, Canadian history, Indigenous history, Indigenous social innovation, social innovation labs)
  • Catherine Pearl, Assistant Professor, Social Innovation, Bissett School of Business (main research/teaching interests - social enterprise, cooperatives, nonprofit management, marketing) 

Summer Interns and Research Assistants (MRU Students)

  • Timothy Lipp, Bachelor of Business Administration, General Management, and 3M National Student Fellow

SHAD Internship Program

SHAD is a registered Canadian charity that empowers exceptional high school students – at a pivotal point in their education – to recognize their own capabilities and envision their extraordinary potential as tomorrow’s leaders and change makers. Each year, SHAD provides the opportunity for 700+ students from across Canada and internationally to attend a month-long summer program, in-residence at one of their Canadian host universities, focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts & math).

  • Amy Han, Grade 11 Student at Sir Winston Churchill, SHAD Summer Intern program
  • Hemish Minhas, Grade 12 Student at Dr. E.P. Scarlett, SHAD Summer Intern program