Board of Directors - Chair, Ambassador Board Representative, Founding Gem
An adopted Calgarian, Michelle moved to Canada from the UK after completing her Joint honors MA in Law and Philosophy. From working in the Oil Sands to Co-Founding the Energy Disruptors Initiative, Michelle’s background has a solid foundation in Energy but her passion lies in all things creative. Michelle is happiest when reading and writing, and is inspired by strong, authentic and determined women like J. K. Rowling and Emma Watson, who use their talents to make a difference in our world. “When I first met Jordan I was blown away by her drive and passion. Honestly, I would follow Jordan into any initiative she believed in, but it just so happens the cause she has put her heart into is completely aligned with my values, morals and spoke to me at my very core. Gems for Gems is a unique organization with an amazing purpose and a visionary leader at its helm”.
Board of Directors - Vice Chair, Zero to Hero Board Representative
I had the pleasure to meet Jordan Guildford at Fashion Forward and learn more about this extraordinary organization. I was extremely impressed by Jordan’s, and the organization’s, commitment to helping victims of domestic abuse. Gems for Gems’ strategy to address domestic abuse by focusing on the empowerment of victims is remarkable; through its unique approach and innovative programs, this organization has immense potential to continue creating lasting change and making real strides to end the cycle.
I have witnessed and experienced domestic abuse first-hand and firmly believe empowerment – through motivation and education – is key in tackling this pressing, extensive and under-addressed issue. I have been fortunate to the necessary resources to overcome my struggles related to domestic abuse. Many women, however, are not as privileged and I feel compelled to help change that. I am very passionate about this cause but like many, have not actively done as much as I can to help address it. It’s time to change that!
As a communications professional with extensive experience in events, community engagement and program development, I am excited to add value to Gems for Gems while supporting this cause which is very important to me.
Board of Directors - Treasurer, Zero to Hero Board Presenter (Financial Literacy/Resilience)
Sarah is knowledgeable in the area of due diligence, business reviews and viability assessments, restructuring, and alternative dispute resolution.
Sarah is a Chartered Accountant with a specialization in tax, a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, and holds a Masters in Law in Banking and Finance from Osgoode Hall in Toronto. She is a member of CPA Alberta, the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, and the ADR Institute of Alberta.
Gems for Gems holds a special place for Sarah as she herself was able to not only overcome her own experience with domestic violence but relied upon the generosity and services of various social resources in rebuilding her future and securing a safe environment for her daughters. She believes strongly in the Gems for Gems model of creating opportunity for all and is thrilled to be part of the community.
Sarah believes that whatever your situation may be, she can help you understand your options and your best course of action. Sarah will present on financial success planning and point out some of the pitfalls that people fall into and how to overcome them.
Board of Directors, Scholarship Board Representative
DAVE SWEET is an active-duty Homicide Detective with twenty years on the job.
He has worked in the Drug Unit and the Organized Crime Section and teaches new recruits. He also presents at law enforcement conferences and various community groups.
In addition to a Distinguished Service Award in 2010, Detective Sweet received the Chief’s Award for Investigative Excellence in 2017.
Dave has also been featured on the CBC series The Detectives and recently released his first book Skeletons in My Closet – Life Lessons from a Homicide Detective.
The Gems for Gems organization fits well Dave’s own personal Mantra to leave people better then you found them and believes wholeheartedly that this is the intention of the Gems movement.