Connie MacDonald, Chief Executive Officer
A long-time resident of Banff, Connie moved west from Halifax in the early 80′s to work in the ski industry. As the classic story goes, she fell in love with the mountains and the community and Banff has been her home ever since.
In September 2013, Connie joined the YWCA of Banff as CEO taking on the responsibility for planning, organizing, directing, and implementing the operation and programming of the organization in accordance with the policies, goals and strategic directives established by the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining the YWCA, Connie worked with CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, a leading global tourism operator, as Director of People and a member of the senior leadership team. Connie’s main priority was to strategically develop the very best team of people to provide leadership at all levels of the company to achieve the overall goals. In her diverse role as a senior leader she also managed communications and community relations and played a key role in brand management, strategic planning, critical incident management and external relations. During her tenure, CMH was awarded a number of prestigious national and international tourism awards and regularly achieved industry-high Net Promoter and Employee Engagement scores.
Connie also has significant experience in both the not-for-profit and government sectors. For nine years she worked at The Banff Centre, where she held a number of key positions including Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications. Earlier in her career she worked in Community Development with the Family and Community Support Services for the Town of Banff.
A passionate, energetic communicator, Connie holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Dalhousie University and attended the Banff School of Advance Management. She was a member of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Brand Experience Committee for the past six years and a founding director with the Valemount Area Recreation Development Association. An active community volunteer, Connie has has held Board positions with Bow Valley Victim Services, Friends of Banff National Park, Aids Bow Valley, YWCA of Banff and a number of other community organizations.
Connie is married to Tom Robinson, a general contractor in Banff. Together with their son Casey and Missy the wonder dog, they take advantage of all that Banff National Park and the local community has to offer.
Stephen Crotty, Director of Operations
Stephen joined the team in July 2009 and brings 30 years of Banff hospitality based experience to the organization. He is leading a competent, dedicated group of managers and staff in the hotel, food services, housekeeping, maintenance, and building and grounds departments. Stephen’s extensive background, while diverse, has a common thread in focusing on Guest Service in all aspects of operations. He has a strong connectivity to the Bow Valley through his family, career, recreational pursuits and volunteerism.
Tim Binks, Director of Finance and Human Resources
Originally from New Zealand, Tim has an interesting professional background that includes holding a number of accounting and business management roles in a large, international accounting firm, to Chief Financial Officer/Director for FREERIDENZ, a smaller tourism business. Most recently he spent the winter ski patrolling at Sunshine Village. Tim has volunteered in Kashmir India, holds an advance first aid certificate and speaks intermediate Japanese. He is also a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and a Prince2 Project Management designation.
Amber Forest, Director of Programs and Services
Amber Forest has recently joined our team as the Director of Programs and Services. Prior to relocating to the Bow Valley, Amber worked with the Calgary Homeless Foundation, United Way of Calgary and Area and Enviros Wilderness School. With a master’s degree in counselling and a clinical practicum at Wood’s Homes, Eastside Family Centre, Amber has gained academic and practical experience in family systems therapy, couples counselling and trauma and interpersonal violence.
Her arrival aligns nicely with the announcement that the YWCA has been awarded a Family and Community Safety Grant through the Ministry of Human Services to develop a Community Response Plan to Sexualized Assault. This will be a community based collaboration with Bow Valley Victim Services, RCMP and local FCSS departments and other agencies.
In her spare time Amber enjoys art, swimming and hiking.