“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
~ Margaret Mead
The Hope Bridges Board and Staff is comprised of citizens of Wheatland County who dedicate their time to this cause because they envision a better place for all.
Chairperson & Co- Founder, Sheila Konschuh
Sheila Konschuh has a passion for community building. She was a founding member of Project H.O.P.E., and has served on many community boards and initiatives in Strathmore and the County of Wheatland. On her family farming operation in Southern Alberta, Sheila dedicates time to gardening, cycling, cooking and hosting friends and family. She has enjoyed a variety of creative and business pursuits, including the operation of ‘Hearts on a String’, a clothing and jewelry boutique. In 2014 Sheila’s Painted Quilts idea won Strathmore’s ‘Let’s Make a Pitch’ and the project is part of the ongoing town beautification initiative! Many meaningful and lasting connections have begun through painting workshops, and Sheila is inspired by the power of music and the arts as a foundation for connections and friendship.
Vice-Chairperson, Gwen Cyr
Gwen and her family have lived in Strathmore since 2010. Her background in working with seniors and individuals with special needs gives her a sensitivity for others. Gwen holds a diploma in Recreation Therapy/Gerontology from Lethbridge College and with her certificate as Health Care Aide she works in continuing care with Alberta Health services. That was her stepping stone to Hope Bridges Society where as an activities convener, she was excited to offer joint programming through ‘Sing Your High Note’ workshops which she brought to continuing care residents. She has since joined the board and as Vice-chairperson, Gwen feels that Hope Bridges offers needed programs to the people of Strathmore and Wheatland county, and says that she is honoured to be part of it.
Treasurer, Cathy Lindon
Cathy brings a common-sense approach to Hope Bridges in her position as board Treasurer. Her experience as a commercial account manager for Asset Insurance Brokers in Chestermere and previously as a business owner and realtor, gives her valuable skills in financial management. Cathy hopes her business experience will help Hope Bridges remain sustainable for many years to come. Cathy grew up in a business minded family near Cochrane Alberta and is the middle adopted child with two adopted siblings. Her sister Rhonda was born with cerebral palsy and Cathy has always advocated for her. In joining Hope Bridges, Cathy wants to be the voice for her sister and also for others like her, that they might have a place to go where there is no judgement, creativity is encouraged and most of all to connect with others.
Secretary, Pat Timmermans
Pat has been a Hope Bridges board member since 2013 and enjoys involvement as board Secretary. She advocates for individuals with special needs where ever possible and identifies with the HB mission – using art as a means of forming valuable connections. Pat is passionate about drawing, and she is doing as much as she can – while she still can! Pat has a condition of the retina that is gradually robbing her of her eyesight and today she is considered legally blind. Her pencil drawings have appeared in exhibitions including Strathmore’s Heritage Days, the local library, the Art Walk, and she occasionally teaches drawing class in the community. Pat has always loved the arts and when drawing is no longer possible she will focus on music. Examples of her artwork may be seen at luv2draw.com.
Recording secretary, Hannah Konschuh
Hannah was invited to Hope Bridges in May 2016 and the skills that she brings to the board as recording secretary are appreciated by all! She is accurate and thorough with meeting minutes, which in turn allows the board confidence that meeting content and valuable information will not be overlooked or lost.
Board member, Barb Praeker
Having been a long-time supporter of Hope Bridges Society, Barb joined the board in April 2016. Her insights and her ongoing involvement in events including the Annual Art Auction and Fall Gala are greatly valued by her fellow board members as well as participants and guests of HB events and workshops.
Coordinator, Wanda Reinholdt
When Wanda is not busy coordinating Hope Bridges events and workshops, she directs, acts and produces in the theater and film production industry. Her productions have received awards in Alberta and she has also mentored artists, some having been accepted into influential college programs. Wanda is known for her integrity, skill and her aspirations for excellence, not only for herself but also individuals she mentors. Wanda is the Artistic Director of Reinholdt Productions, which focuses on telling real stories through film, stage and canvas. Hope Bridges’ desire to share the arts with everyone, and provide educational opportunities through workshops, fits with her heart for expression.
Member, Katy Webster
Katy is the co-owner of Katy’s Consignment Boutique. She has a passion for life, people and the arts. Having experienced marginalization, she understands the feelings of loneliness and isolation that many individuals feel today, but Katy faces life with a positive attitude and tries to make each day the best ever! She pursues acceptance, respect and friendship and was thrilled to be a part of Hope Bridges Society, which she has found to be a valuable advocate. Highlights for Katy include performing in Hope’s annual Artists Among Us Gala, and receiving the 2012 PDD Individual Leadership Award for her work in the community