Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Speaker Bio:

Michael Evans: After 15 years as an independent communications and strategy consultant with special expertise in environmental affairs, Aboriginal relations, municipal infrastructure and associated taxation, Michael Evans joined the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo as Executive Advisor to Mayor Melissa Blake in 2008. He was charged with strengthening collaborative ties between the Municipality, the Alberta government, and oil sands developers. In 2010, he was appointed Executive Director, Stakeholder Relations, with expanded responsibilities related to government and industry relations, and new responsibility to lead economic development. Michael has an undergraduate degree in Drama, and a Master's degree in English literature. He taught first-year English at the University of Alberta for seven years while establishing his consulting career.  He has published or presented papers concerning socio-economic impacts of explosive industrial growth, sustainable municipal infrastructure, citizen engagement protocols, Shakespearean drama, Elizabethan theatre history, and modern initiation rituals.

Dennis Vroom: Dennis Vroom has lived and worked in Fort McMurray for 5 ½ years. He works in the Stakeholder Relations Department at the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo as an Industry Relations Officer. In this role he implements the Municipality’s industry engagement strategy to mitigate the negative socio-economic impacts of rapid industrial development while enhancing the positive impacts. This includes engaging in the regulatory process, negotiating agreements with industry and collecting and analyzing data on the socio-economic impacts of industrial development. Prior to working for the Regional Municipality, Dennis worked for the provincial regulatory agency for oil sands development, the Energy Resources Conservation Board. Dennis has a B.Sc. in Environmental Studies from the King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta.

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