Join us for a fascinating and in-depth conversation with three new mayors and political trailblazers in Alberta – Calgary’s Mayor Jyoti Gondek, Grande Prairie’s Mayor Jackie Clayton and Medicine Hat’s Linnsie Clark. All three women made history in October 2021 by becoming the first women ever elected to the top jobs in their respective communities — mayor. You’ll learn more about their political journeys, what it’s like being “Her Worship,” and their advice for women, girls and gender diverse people interested in getting involved in politics.
This free virtual conversation is hosted by the YWCAs of Alberta and the Searching For Izena Project. All are welcome. The conversation will be moderated by Global Edmonton City Hall Reporter Sarah Ryan.
WHEN: Monday, November 29 – 12-1 p.m. MT
WHERE: Free zoom webinar
Jyoti Gondek was sworn in as Calgary’s 37th mayor and the first woman to be elected to this role on October 25, 2021.
Prior to being elected as mayor, she served as city councillor for Ward 3 from 2017 to 2021. She holds a Ph.D. in urban sociology, and an M.A. in organizational sociology.
Throughout her career, Mayor Gondek has taken a big picture approach to pressing challenges. Often, she has found processes and policies exist simply because they have never been questioned. She has come to understand that by probing and chipping away at issues, we move forward with improvements that have meaning in our everyday lives.
Mayor Gondek’s professional background includes leading the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business where she examined the challenges facing Calgary’s commercial sector as property values in the core plummeted. She knew then that this issue would be a big one for Calgary. She also ran a successful consulting practice for 12 years helping clients in the energy and city-building sectors evolve their business models to fit a changing regulatory and economic environment.
Jackie Clayton has been a resident of Grande Prairie since 1999 and was first elected to City Council in 2013. During her second term as Councillor, she was appointed as Interim Mayor in January 2021. Jackie was elected as Mayor at the 2021 election and now holds the distinction of being the first elected female Mayor in the City of Grande Prairie.
Jackie is an engaged Past-President of the Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce and has been a proud Rotarian since 2001. Jackie is an entrepreneur whose professional career has included many roles in the marketing and public relations sectors. In 2003, Jackie opened a retail franchise business, which she still owns today. After numerous years in her various retail businesses, Jackie followed her passion to be more involved in corporate business, most notably as the VP, Public Relations & Partnerships for Pomeroy Lodging, where she oversaw external and government relations for 19 hotels within the various markets they operate.
She is business minded and future focused and believes that together we can build strong communities. She is always ready to contribute, not afraid of hard work and truly committed to every initiative she is part of. She believes you can only expect a community to give you as much as you are willing to give it.
Mayor Clayton and her husband Rob have lived in Grande Prairie since 1999 and have always been deeply involved with and worked in the Grande Prairie business community. She is a mother of two sons age 13 and 16. The Clayton family is incredibly passionate about their community, sports, fundraising and education.
Linnsie Clark began her life on a farm near Oyen, Alberta before moving to Medicine Hat at a young age. Her family continued to ranch south of Medicine Hat, which helped her to develop a strong work ethic, as well as an appreciation for community, family, a strong economy and the natural world.
After graduating from Medicine Hat High School, she attended the University of Lethbridge where she received a Bachelor of Science (with Distinction). She went on the study in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria and spent ten years with the Hospital Employees’ Union in Vancouver, eventually becoming the Director of Legal Services.
After a brief stint in Edmonton, she returned home to in 2017 to work for the City of Medicine Hat in the City Solicitor’s department.
Clark cites her passion for community values as the driving force behind her decision to run for Mayor and aims to align the priorities and values of the City with the values of the residents that call it home. Building on these values, she aspires to build a healthy community – one that recognizes the importance of the well-being of residents, the economy and the environment.
Sarah Ryan is Global Edmonton’s city hall reporter.
Since graduating from St. Francis Xavier High School, she has travelled Canada extensively and lived in five different provinces. She holds a double major in Journalism and Environmental Sustainability from the University of King’s College and Dalhousie in Halifax. She got her start in the TV industry as an intern at Global Edmonton back in 2012.
After paying her dues in smaller newsrooms across Western Canada, she returned home six years ago. Before jumping into the world of municipal politics last January, Ryan primarily covered crime and court stories.
In her spare time, Ryan can be found walking her dog Ruth, fostering other rescue dogs, cross country skiing or hiking through the river valley.