Michael B. Decter is a Harvard trained economist with more than three decades of experience as a senior manager. As a senior manager in the public sector, Michael served as Deputy Minister of Health for Ontario with responsibility for the management of the Ontario health system serving all residents of the province. He also served as Cabinet Secretary in the Government of Manitoba. As a Senior Research Scholar at the Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto, Michael authored the book Healing Medicare: Managing Health System Change – The Canadian Way. In 2000 he published the book Four Strong Winds – Understanding the Growing Challenges to Health Care. His book Navigating Canada’s Health Care, co-authored with Francesca Grosso, was published in 2006. Michael remains active as a public speaker and writer on issues of health reform and he serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the investment management firm, LDIC Inc. Michael was the Founding Chair of the Health Council of Canada, and has served as a chair or member on several boards. In 2004, he was awarded The Order of Canada. Michael has been the Chancellor of BU since March 19, 2013.
Dr. David Docherty joined Brandon University in May 2019 and was officially installed as BU’s 15th President and Vice-Chancellor at the 2019 Convocation. An accomplished academic and administrator, David has a distinguished history of leading institutions through growth and transformative change. He is currently leading the development of a new strategic plan for Brandon University.
An expert in parliamentary government in Canada, David is the author of two books, including Mr. Smith Goes to Ottawa: Life in the House of Commons and Legislatures. He has written many articles and chapters on Canadian legislatures and is a media commentator on provincial and national politics.
With a deep commitment to embracing Indigenous knowledge and perspectives, he was humbled to receive a Blackfoot name and headdress in 2018. He is also a strong advocate for the importance of mental health well-being, including reducing stigma and providing the necessary supports.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (Honours) from Wilfrid Laurier University (1984), a Master of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University (1990) and a Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Toronto (1995).
David came to Brandon from Mount Royal University in Calgary, where he served as President for eight years. Prior to that, David was a faculty member in the Political Science Department at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where he also served as senior advisor for campus initiatives and governance in the Office of the Provost and Vice-President: Academic, dean of the Faculty of Arts and chair of the Department of Political Science.
Born in the town of Midland, Ontario, to Scottish parents, David took up the bagpipes as a teen and continues to play, especially at University occasions like Convocation. David enjoys frequent visits with his three adult children, and lives in Brandon with his wife Kris and their two dogs.
Kerry Auriat is Brandon-born and raised. An alumnus of Brandon University, Kerry has been involved with BU as a student, a former member of the Senate and Board of Governors while a member of the Brandon University Students’ Union, a sessional instructor, and is once again back on the Board. He also has an MBA and has completed many securities industry education courses. He is a Vice-President of National Bank Financial Ltd, where he manages client investment portfolios for private clients and corporations. A father of one daughter, Olivia, Kerry is a strong advocate of being involved in his community. He is the co-chair of the Brandon Riverbank “Back to the River” campaign, as well as serving as a long-term board member of the Canadian Friends of Rambam Healthcare Campus, Haifa, Israel. He was also the co-chair of the Murray House cancer residence fundraising campaign and has written op-ed columns for the Brandon Sun for over a decade.
Shawn Chambers grew up in Alexander and attended Neelin High School in Brandon. He attended Brandon University for one year, has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Manitoba, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He is a Personal Financial Planner and member of the CFA Institute. Shawn brings more than 30 years of experience to his role as Investment Counsellor with RBC PH&N Investment Counsel. Shawn is dedicated to serving the wealth management needs of high-net-worth individuals, their families and their corporations, foundations and not-for-profit organizations throughout Manitoba, Southern Saskatchewan and Northwestern Ontario. As an active member of the Winnipeg and Brandon communities, Shawn has volunteered his time in the past with the Brandon and District United Way, the Brandon University Foundation Board of Directors and the Brandon Regional Health Centre Foundation. He also volunteers in his local community coaching and scouting hockey. Shawn currently lives in Winnipeg. His wife Cecile is a graduate of BU, and they have a son, Brendan, and a daughter Karlyn.
Dr. Trudy Corbett was born and raised in Sussex, N.B. She studied two years at McGill University before attending the University of Western Ontario, where she obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree. She later earned her graduate diploma in Periodontics at the University of Manitoba. Trudy was engaged in practice in Winnipeg before opening her periodontal practice in Brandon in 1998. She also teaches part-time in the Graduate Periodontics program at the University of Manitoba. Trudy was the recipient of the 2006 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Excellence in Service. She is a Dale Carnegie graduate and co-owner of Smiles Specialty Centre. Trudy has served on boards with the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba and the United Way of Brandon. She is an active member of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and was awarded the Brandon Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award in 2009. Currently, she is the Co-Chairperson of the Brandon Riverbank Inc. capital fundraising campaign “Back to the River” and is an active volunteer with the Brandon Humane Society.
Katie Kerkowich was born and raised in Brandon. She graduated from Brandon University with a 4-year Bachelor of Arts Honours degree. She majored in Political Science and, following graduation, she worked as a constituent assistant in the Winnipeg office, and occasionally the Riding Mountain constituency, of former Manitoba MLA Leanne Rowat. Through that opportunity, Katie saw first-hand how hard local leaders in Manitoba work to better their communities. She then attended the University of Manitoba, graduating with a Bachelor of Education. Following graduation, she started teaching Grade 7/8 at Earl Oxford School in Brandon. She values her role as middle-years teacher and the inspiration and excitement for the future she gains from her students. In the fall of 2017, Katie started taking courses toward her Masters of Education degree, and she is delighted to be a part of the BU community once again as she looks forward to the opportunities and challenges of her role.
Brad Zander is a Partner at the Winnipeg office of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman (TDS) LLP. His practice is focused in the areas of corporate, commercial and securities law and he has experience advising clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions, shareholder and partnership disputes and corporate governance matters. Until 2014, he practiced in the Toronto office of a leading national law firm. Brad graduated from Brandon University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (Greatest Distinction), received his Juris Doctor (Dean’s List) from Dalhousie University in 2010 and is called to the bar in Ontario (2011) and Manitoba (2014). Brad currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Curling Association, is a member of the Law Society of Manitoba’s Professional Liability Claims Fund Committee and the City of Winnipeg’s Advisory Committee on Heritage, Culture and Arts, and volunteers as an advisor to charitable organizations participating in the Winnipeg Foundation’s Fast Pitch fundraising program. In his spare time Brad enjoys cycling, golf and curling. He is a member of the Fort Rouge Curling Club.
Tami Rae Rourke is the Chief Operating Officer and a partner of TowerCo Canada, which she spun off from a previously successful business that she co-founded and later sold. She is also founder of consulting company The Rourke Group, and is the owner of two other companies. Along with an MBA and numerous certifications in leadership, project management and a green belt in Six Sigma, Tami has a passion for giving back to the community. She is a member of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce board, where she has served in many roles, including as President, and as the chair of many committees. Among other boards, she has served on Brandon Crime Stoppers, Brandon Human Society, Big Brothers & Sisters and Habitat for Humanity.
Julee Galvin is a Chartered Professional Accountant in Virden with MNP who has been serving clients for more than 30 years. These days, she primarily works with a broad range of industries and high net worth clients, specializing in the agricultural, agribusiness and oil and gas sectors. Julee has held a number of leadership roles within the firm, serving on internal boards and think tanks. She has also served as board member and chair of the Virden and Area Foundation, as board member and trustee of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, and has been a member of numerous agricultural boards, volunteer sporting committees and events over the years. Julee is married to John, with three adult children, Marissa, Miranda and Jonathan. They manage and operate a 7,700-acre grain farm south of Virden, where they annually host agricultural foreign exchange students for the seeding / harvest seasons, including students from Brazil, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, and Russia.
Wilf Taylor is a Brandon University alumnus and a retired educator. He earned Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees at BU and also played for the Bobcats hockey team. Wilf has previously been a member of the Brandon University Board of Governors, holding the position of Treasurer in 2000. He has been heavily involved service work in his community, including more than 25 years as a coach of high school sports. He also enjoys golf and spectator sports. Wilf presently resides in Minnedosa, with his wife, Jean Taylor, who is also a graduate of Brandon University (Class of 1969). They have two adult children.