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RECognizing Our Board

President - Laine Wilson (Rockwood-Stonewall Recreation Committee) 

I am the Recreation Facilitator for the RM of Rockwood and the Town of Stonewall. I feel fortunate to get to live and work with communities as I am really passionate about the power of recreation and leisure. My discretionary time is spent chasing around our 3 kids, at the lake or volunteering and I enjoy every minute of it!

What do you find most rewarding about working in the parks and recreation sector?

The people, connections and the opportunities.

Why did you decide to become a RCM Board member?

To try and advocate for our professionals and highlight the good in recreation and leisure.

What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy any time I can spend with friends and family.

What does recreation mean to you?

Recreation means more that one would think. It is everything to everyone, every minute of the day.

What advice would you give to people considering becoming a RCM Board member?

I have to credit my fellow (past and present) board members, network of educators, Old Wise Ladies (OWLs), past and present colleagues with supporting my personal RCM journey. So my advice would be to lean on your networks for information and support, show your passion and pride and always work as a team.

Amber Mamchuk, B.Kin (Municipality of Ritchot)


I live and work in the Municipality of Ritchot with my husband, two daughters and dog. As a family, we love to spend time outside in every season. In the summer and in between seasons you can find us camping, hiking, paddling, and swimming and in the winter, we like to snowshoe, ski and explore.

What do you find most rewarding about working in the parks and recreation sector?

The parks and recreation sector centers around bringing communities together and creating opportunities for shared experiences. I love working with communities to create and build a vision for public spaces. There is also nothing better than seeing generations come together in celebration at a community event.

Why did you decide to become a RCM Board member?

I became a Rec Connections Board Member to learn more about recreation in our province and to help build a strong vision for our future.

What do you like to do for fun?

I am always drawn to the water so anything in or around water is my happy place.

What does recreation mean to you?

Recreation is incredibly important to me because it brings people together to build something bigger than ourselves. When the never ending to do list is completed and we have a choice in what to do with our time, we look to recreation to fill our cup.

What advice would you give to people considering becoming a RCM Board member?

If you are curious about the RCM board, talk to one of the board members. The more diverse our board is, the better representation we will have of our membership. If becoming a board member seems overwhelming or too big of a commitment, try joining one of the conference committees. It is a great way to meet new people, build skills and seek professional development opportunities that are relevant to your work.


Tara Cowan (Pipestone Albert Recreation Commission)


I live in Virden, MB and Work for the RM of Pipestone as the Recreation and Facility Manager. I am a Town Councillor for Virden and I like to play hockey, go for walks and bike rides and play baseball. I may not be great at it but it’s something to keep me busy..

What do you find most rewarding about working in the parks and recreation sector?

I love the variety of projects, programs and events that I get to be involved in. I enjoy seeing the benefits that the community receives from recreation, parks and community development. Everyday is something new and exciting and I am even more excited that we get paid to do all this fun stuff!


Why did you decide to become a RCM Board member?

I am very passionate about recreation and community development and strive to be a leader in the sector to help push recreation as an essential service to all communities. I believe that I have diverse experience and love to share it with others.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love playing hockey, going for walks, riding my bike and playing baseball.

What does recreation mean to you?

Recreation means happiness, fun, excitement, celebration, healthy active living, learning, motivation, enjoyment, amusement and much much more!

What advice would you give to people considering becoming a RCM Board member?

I know we are all very busy and have a it’s hard to find time to add one more thing on to our days but it is important to be part of the change you want to see in the sector.

Stephanie Jeffrey, BMGMT (Manitoba Fitness Council)


I have been working as the executive Director of the Manitoba Fitness Council, for the past 11 years. In my leisure time I like to be outside, hiking, kayaking, exploring. I also love to be active so playing tennis, teaching fitness classes or even attending classes.

What do you find most rewarding about working in the parks and recreation sector?

I enjoy knowing that we create leaders in the fitness industry, who go on to make Maniobans healthy both from a physical and mental perspective .

Why did you decide to become a RCM Board member?

I have been aboard member in the past and missed the collaborative part of the recreation industry.

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to experience new things, go new places, try new active activities.

What does recreation mean to you?

Recreation means, finding options for everyone that enhance their lives whether it is activities, skill development, or personal development.

What advice would you give to people considering becoming a RCM Board member?

Everyone needs to experience the collaborative nature of the board. More opinions and different viewpoints make for a stronger board.


Leila McVannel (Manitoba Developmental Centre)


I live in MacGregor MB., and have been married for 28 years to Rob and we have two wonderful daughters – Taylor and Tamara. I started my career in recreation by working in a variety of summer recreation positions and then after I graduated from U of M, my first “real” adult job was as a Recreation Director for the Municipality of Lorne. I was only there for a short time and then was offered a position with the Manitoba Government at the Manitoba Developmental Centre where I have been employed for 28 years as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. My leisure time is spent mostly outdoors as our family has a love for sports and recreation. We have a cabin in the woods by Riding Mountain National Park where we escape to on many weekends during the summer months.

What do you find most rewarding about working in the parks and recreation sector?

I find the biggest reward comes from promoting, and engaging individuals with all abilities on the importance of recreation and leisure in their lives and how it enhances their overall wellness and quality of life. Seeing individuals smile, laugh and feel empowered by their participation is fantastic. Accessing the many park and recreation facilities to do so is the icing on the cake.

Why did you decide to become a RCM Board member?

I have been out of university for some time, so becoming a Board Member was a way to stay connected, to learn and grow as a recreation professional; support others in the field of TR and to see what other recreational professionals are doing.

What do you like to do for fun?

Our family loves sports & the outdoors – so anything related to that, we do!

What does recreation mean to you?

It means “everything” - from the smallest of activities to the largest of facilities and everything in between. Recreation is so valuable to everyone

What advice would you give to people considering becoming a RCM Board member?

I would encourage anyone/everyone to join the board; every Board Member has a wealth of information and so do you. Never stop learning, growing and challenging yourself.


Adrian Alphonso (Clear Paths Momenta)


Lifetime resident of Winnipeg, Manitoba I currently am the Director of Clear Paths at Momenta. I take every opportunity to spend time with my community and family in nature.

What do you find most rewarding about working in the parks and recreation sector?

Helping citizens reach a physical and emotional balance in communities through engaging spaces.

Why did you decide to become a RCM Board member?

I have been involved with planning of the Parks and Trails Forum and felt the organization set a high standard of delivery to its membership!

What do you like to do for fun?

Anything that has to do with recconnection with nature and the outdoors. Cycling, Nature Walks, Kiting, Canoeing and Picnics.

What does recreation mean to you?

Spending time in spaces that are suitable for preferred ways for activities.

What advice would you give to people considering becoming a RCM Board member?

Fantastic organization serving communities across Manitoba. The board is full of knowledge with diverse backgrounds!



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