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ONLINE: AltaLink and Women+Power Present: Women Leading ‘The Charge’

November 8, 2023 @ 5:00 pm 6:30 pm MST


Click HERE to ACCESS MEETING. Meeting ID: 213 561 240 37 Passcode: jS934W

*Registrants will be added as participants to the TEAMS meeting prior to event.

AltaLink and Women+Power invite you to join us for a panel discussion featuring five diverse AltaLink leaders speaking about their career paths, their experiences in leadership, and their backgrounds in unconventional or typically male-dominated roles.


  • 5:00-6:30 p.m. Panel Discussion, Audience Q&A


  • Zora LazicSenior Vice President, Law and Regulatory, General Counsel
  • Cayla Saby – Vice President, Government Relations and Commercial
  • Kathy LeewDirector, Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management, Corporate Finance
  • Danyell RiceDirector, Security and Information Services Business Office, Security and Information Services Management
  • Marie-France LabrieBusiness Transformation and Wildfire Program Manager, System Operations Management
Johanne Picard-Thompson

Our panel and Q&A will be moderated by Johanne Picard-Thompson, AltaLink Executive Vice President, Customer and Corporate Services, and Women + Power Board Member.

Johanne is a graduate from the University of Toronto’s Engineering Science Program and Queen’s University Master of Business Administration program. Prior to joining AltaLink, Johanne held senior executive roles in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors. At Shell Canada, she was the General Manager, Oil Sands Growth Operations, and oversaw operations, commissioning, and startup planning for expansion projects. At Celestica, she was the Senior Vice President of Canadian Operations, responsible for multiple production facilities and more than 40 production lines.

Having led business improvement strategies across multiple business sectors with operations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Johanne has applied this experience to the delivery of AltaLink’s capital program from 2010 to 2017.

Other notable career highlights include serving on the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s (NAIT) Advisory Board for the Shell Manufacturing Centre and receiving the Globe and Mail’s recognition as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 for her leadership in growing Celestica’s Canadian Operations. Johanne also received the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Engineering 2T5 Mid-Career Achievement Award recognizing alumni who have earned respect within the profession and within the broader Canadian community.

Panelist Biographies:

Zora Lazic

Zora Lazic – Senior Vice President, Law and Regulatory, General Counsel

With more than 20 years of experience in the electricity industry, Zora‘s background involves work with a major Canadian utility, a power marketer, an independent system operator, and energy crisis management for a state agency with responsibility for markets, external affairs, contracts, compliance, regulatory and legal matters both in the regulated and deregulated side of the industry.

Zora holds a Master of Law from Cambridge University (UK) and degrees in Civil Law (B.C.L.) and Common Law (LL.B.) from McGill University.

Cayla Saby

Cayla Saby – Vice President, Government Relations and Commercial

Cayla started her career at AltaLink in 2005 and has progressed through various customer service-based leadership roles within the organization. At AltaLink, she has gained extensive experience working with external stakeholders in project execution, operational delivery, and regulatory engagement. In May 2022, Cayla joined AltaLink’s Executive team, assuming accountability for engagement with municipal, provincial, and federal governments.

Cayla holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Culture from the University of Calgary. Outside of AltaLink, she is involved with the United Way of Calgary Cabinet Committee, and volunteers with the Nose Creek Softball Association.

Cayla is chauffeur to her two teenage children, dog mom to Karl, and still watches Grey’s Anatomy weekly with her partner, John.

Kathy Leew

Kathy Leew – Director, Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management, Corporate Finance

Kathy currently serves as the Director of Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management for AltaLink. A professional engineer and certified internal auditor with over 18 years of experience in the electrical utility industry, she has experienced a variety of roles, including managing the commercial development team, senior maintenance engineer and transmission line engineer.

Kathy is passionate about risk management and contributing to a positive employee culture. She also recently served as the first president of the employee resource group for Asians and Pacific Islanders, called InspirAsian, and believes in championing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in and outside of the workplace.

When not at work, Kathy and her husband Dave can usually be found chasing around their four-year-old daughter Edith and their 16-year-old Beagle Nemo. In the sliver of time she has between work life, parenting life and sleep, she loves to bake and watch a good romantic comedy.

Danyell Rice

Danyell Rice – Director, Security and Information Services Business Office, Security and Information Services Management

Danyell recently joined AltaLink as the Director of the Business Office in Security and Information Services, focusing on business alignment, process improvement, and strategic planning. With over 20 years of experience in the energy industry and most of her experience in oil and gas, she brings diverse skills and abilities in leadership, project management, and technology.

Starting her career at Suncor Energy, Danyell held various roles in IT and continued to progress her career at Ovintiv (formerly Encana) with roles of increasing responsibility. Danyell is continually drawn and driven to streamline processes and implement innovative solutions for challenging business problems. She is passionate about leadership development and participates in focus groups advocating for women in leadership roles. Danyell has also been involved with the Women in Leadership Foundation, the Encana Women’s Network, and leadership mentoring programs and is a graduate of the Queen’s University Master of Business Administration program.

Outside of work, Danyell enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband, reading, skiing, and travelling. Community involvement is near and dear to her heart, and Danyell is the Board Chair for a local, non-profit before and after-school care organization.

Marie-France Labrie

Marie-France Labrie – Business Transformation and Wildfire Program Manager, System Operations Management

Marie-France Labrie was born and raised in Montreal. She is of Colombian and French-Canadian descent and moved to Calgary in 1997. She completed a diploma in Electrical Engineering Technology at SAIT and a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Marie started in the industry as a summer student with the former AESO, then quickly moved to TransAlta into their distribution planning team. After three summers with TransAlta, she discovered this was the industry for her. She continued to work in distribution through the Alberta electrical deregulation to land with FortisAlberta, where she held various roles from Project Engineer to Area Field Manager and more over 12 years.

She then moved onto the transmission side of the industry with AltaLink, where she has been working for the last nine years. She started as a manager in projects, then moved to manage a multidisciplinary team in asset management and then took on new opportunities in human resources during the pandemic. Marie is currently the Business Transformation and Wildfire Program Manager. She participates on the emPower employee professional development steering committee and is the founding member of the Hispanic, Latino, Latina, and Latinx employee resource group called Our Familia. Marie manages these impressive roles while juggling two smart, well-rounded, busy teenagers and staying active by playing slow-pitch every summer for the last 27 years.