About Us

Students enjoying a selfie on graduation day with Wolfie!Alumni is comprised of the Alumni Association Board of Directors (AALU) and the Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement team.

We work in partnership with our alumni, donors, communities, faculty, staff, and government to ensure that Lakehead delivers an outstanding student experience that will help our graduates transform the world through their exceptional and unconventional accomplishments.

The Alumni and Annual Giving team works within External relations which is comprised of the following units: Alumni and Annual Giving, Philanthropy, Government Relations, Communications, Marketing and Web Development.

Learn more about the External Relations Team

The Alumni Association Board of Directors (AALU) is a board of alumni volunteers who work to support the mission and vision of the Alumni Association.

The 2020/2021 Board Members are:

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Yolanda Wanakamik

Honours Bachelor of Arts, 1998
Master of Education, 2020

Yolanda has over twenty years of progressive experience within education, social services, healthcare, and private sectors dedicated to integrating structure, policy, and programs that most effectively influence a... More information about Yolanda Wanakamik

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Karen Boz

Bachelor of Administration, 1992

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario and now residing in Toronto, Karen joined Royal Bank of Canada full-time in 1992 after graduating from Lakehead University's Bachelor of Administration program, where she majored in Personnel & Industrial Relations. More information about Karen Boz

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Paul Popo-Ola

Honours Bachelor of Commerce, 2010

Paul Popo-Ola is originally from London ON, and a proud Alumnus of Lakehead University, who chose Lakehead University to pursue both his academic and athletic career. Paul graduated from the H.B. Commerce Program in 2010, and while attending Lakehead University he played for the Thunderwolves. More information about Paul Popo-Ola

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Mike Walton

Honours Bachelor Outdoor Recreation, 1983

Landing in Thunder Bay from Toronto to start at LU in 1979, Mike fell in love with the idea of wilderness and Lake Superior. He has spent his life hiking, paddling and camping in some of the most beautiful places in Canada, including the north shore of Lake Superior.  Working... More information about Mike Walton

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Linda Henderson

Honours Bachelor Physical & Health Education, 1982
Masters of Science, 1985
Bachelor of Education, 1985

Linda was born in the city of Toronto and grew up in Mississauga. After high school graduation from Clarkson Secondary School, Linda chose to attend Lakehead University because of its renowned Physical and Health Education Program. She also went on to complete a Master of Science Degree... More information about Linda Henderson

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Nancy Luckai

Bachelor of Science in Forestry, 1981

Dr. Luckai began her career at Lakehead just over 40 years ago when she enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree.As a member of the Faculty of Natural Resources Management, she developed the Forest Resources and Soil Testing laboratory and served as Chair of the Honours Bachelor of... More information about Nancy Luckai

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Jamie Dennison

Civil Engineering Technology, 1995
Honours Bachelor of Commerce, 1999

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario and now residing in Oakville, Ontario, James joined Great West Life in 2016 and is the Vice President & Global Head of Operational Risk. James has worked in the financial services industry since graduating from the Bachelor of Commerce program at Lakehead University in 1999, and has since held various roles in risk management and regulatory organizations including the Bank of Montreal and the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)... More information about Jamie Dennison

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Annette Butikofer

Bachelor of Administration, 1985

Ms. Annette Butikofer began her information technology career in 1985 working as a programmer/analyst for Telecom Australia as part of the university work exchange program, AIESEC. Upon her return to Canada, Annette worked as a programmer/analyst for Woods Gordon Consulting and the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1991, Annette joined the Information Technology Branch of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) as a Senior Programmer Analyst. She has held progressively challenging positions since then and is a graduate of the Executive Development Program (EXDP). Since 2002, Annette has occupied a number of executive positions. In October 2015, Annette assumed the role of CIO and Assistant Commissioner, Information Technology Branch... More information about Annette Butikofer

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Carmen Pekkarinen


Carmen was born and raised in northern Ontario and has lived and worked in Finland since 1998. She currently works as a Documentation Specialist at Trimble Solution in Espoo, Finland. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (Laurentian, 1997) and an MA in Integrated Studies (Athabasca, 2013)... More information about Carmen Pekkarinen

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Mark Tilbury

Director of the Annual Fund and Alumni Engagement
Honours Bachelor of Commerce, 1994

Mark Tilbury believes that you get out of something what you put into it. Following this philosophy has made him an exceptional Lakehead supporter for 27 years.From the moment he set foot on the Thunder Bay campus, Mark has epitomized the spirit of volunteerism.“Lakehead was my first choice,” he... More information about Mark Tilbury

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Zack White


Born and raised on Prince Edward Island, Zack came to Thunder Bay in 2006 to attend Lakehead University. During his time at Lakehead, he was a member of the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team as well as the Steel Bridge Competition Team... More information about Zack White

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Debbie Balika


I moved to Conservation Ontario in July 2020, to the role of Drinking Water Source Protection Manager. Previously, I worked at Kawartha Conservation, in Lindsay, Ontario, in the role of the Water Quality Specialist, for 5 years, but have been working in the field of water quality since 2008. Other experience includes teaching at Lakehead University in Orillia as a Laboratory Instructor and Contract Lecturer... More information about Debbie Balika

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Cameron Holmstrom


Cameron was born and raised in Kenora, Ontario, he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in French with a minor in History, and a Bachelor of Education through the Concurrent Education program at Lakehead University. He is a... More information about Cameron Holmstrom

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Chris Blueman


Graduating from Lakehead University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree and born in Toronto, Christopher Blueman is an entrepreneur at heart with experience in finance, adult education and local politics. Currently advancing an independent & diverse team of highly skilled Financial Assurance Professionals, Christopher has... More information about Chris Blueman

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Lahama Naeem


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Liz Murray


Liz is an accomplished life sciences researcher and safety co-ordinator at Earthmaster Environmental Strategies Inc., a consulting firm in Calgary, Alberta that offers multi-disciplinary environmental services and is a world leader in plant-based soil remediation solutions. Liz was always interested in medical science and obtained a Bachelor of Science and an Honours Bachelor of Science in biology from Lakehead. She continued her studies... More information about Liz Murray

There are more than 60,000 alumni around the world. Working in partnership with the Alumni Association, we create and deliver programs, services and communications to engage alumni, encouraging life long relationships between them and Lakehead University.

Lakehead University’s Alumni and Annual Giving Office is responsible for establishing and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships with our Alumni, friends, and community partners. We act as an engagement and outreach resource for students, staff and faculty, and welcome the opportunity to consult with all in regards to newsletters, reunions, gatherings, fundraising projects and the like. Our office also coordinates the Lakehead Annual Fund, which includes payroll deduction and monthly giving. All gifts may be designated to an area or project of your choice.



Alumni and Annual Giving Director

Campus: Thunder Bay

Office Location: NO 1012

Phone Number: 807-343-8010 ext. 8916

Email: mark.tilbury@lakeheadu.ca

Read more about Mark Tilbury



Associate Director, Annual Giving and Student Aid

Campus: Thunder Bay

Office Location: NO 1011

Phone Number: 807-343-8010 ext. 8910

Email: meghan.hanbury@lakeheadu.ca

Read more about Meghan Hanbury



External Relations Associate

Campus: Orillia

Office Location: OA 3006

Phone Number: 705-330-4010 ext. 2080

Email: jkent@lakeheadu.ca

Read more about Jacquie Kent

External Relations Associate Sam



Alumni and Annual Giving Associate, GTA

Campus: Toronto Office

Phone Number: 705-330-4010 ext. 2083

Email: associategta.er@lakeheadu.ca

Read more about Samantha Lennon



Alumni Engagement Specialist

Campus: Thunder Bay

Office Location: Alumni House

Email: drobnik@lakeheadu.ca

Read more about Diane Robnik



Alumni Engagement Associate

Campus: Thunder Bay

Office Location: NO 1010A

Phone Number: 807-343-8010 ext. 8972

Email: anna.sampson@lakeheadu.ca

Read more about Anna Sampson

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Research Analyst

Campus: Thunder Bay

Office Location: Remote

Phone Number: 807-343-8010 ext. 8899

Email: research.er@lakeheadu.ca

Read more about Amy Silvaggio