Marie Lauer is a well-known member of the Airdrie community thanks to 25 years of community service and career in her own city.
Background On Marie
Marie grew up in Bonnyville, Alberta. She learned leadership at a young age, working alongside her family in their small family business, Brosseau’s Department Store, which was established by Marie’s paternal grandfather in 1928 and still operates today.
Working in the family business taught Marie many valuable life skills – customer service, work ethic, honesty and respect for diversity to name a few. Growing up, Marie was very proud of the contribution that her family’s small business made to the community and more importantly, Marie learned the vital role that small business has in building a community. Marie believes that small business is the economic engine of a community. Marie never forgot the life lessons she learned in her hometown. Building community and family are strong threads that have been woven throughout Marie’s life.
When Marie and her husband Stacey moved to Airdrie 25 years ago, it didn’t take long for them to establish roots and fall in love with this community. Like many young couples, Marie and Stacey chose Airdrie for economical reasons; housing prices were much more affordable in Airdrie than they were in Calgary. This was important to Marie and Stacey, as Marie had recently completed a degree in Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba (4.0 GPA) and they were planning to settle down and start a family.
Marie and Stacey have two daughters, Alison and Erika, who are both pursuing post-secondary education. Stacey is a partner in a small business – a commercial refrigeration contracting company. Stacey is often seen supporting Marie at community events, and strongly supports her decision to enter municipal politics.
City Hall Experience
Marie has worked hard to make Airdrie a better city – she has been engaged in volunteerism in the community for 25 years. One of those volunteer roles, on the City of Airdrie’s Social Planning Board (an advisory board to Council now called the Community Services Advisory Board), led to her first job in Airdrie in 2001.
Marie worked in the Social Planning Department as a Community Developer for six years. In this role, Marie supported several non-profit organizations and administered the Family and Community Social Services (FCSS) grant. Marie led the creation, planning and implementation of the first Volunteer of the Year Award in 2002 and advised on the development of the book 'Guide for Successful Groups' for the Calgary Foundation. She also planned and implemented several large-scale events, such as community wide volunteer appreciation events, The Airdrie Seniors Wellness Conference: “Living Every Day” and a community celebration in 2005 to mark the Centennial of the Province of Alberta.
Marie identified the need for and developed the Airdrie Seniors Outreach Program (she writes the Airdrie Seniors Outreach Program newsletter to this day) and developed the first Disaster Social Services Plan for the City of Airdrie by collaborating with internal departments, surrounding municipalities, local businesses and non-profit groups.
During Marie’s tenure at the City of Airdrie, she became very familiar with municipal government and non-profit governance and earned the respect of City Administration and staff.
Marie has been heavily involved at the Airdrie Food Bank since 1999. Marie started volunteering at the Food Bank in 1999 to expose her children to the importance of volunteer work in building a community. She was on the Board of Directors for eight years – ending her term as President in 2015 (she served as Past President in 2016). Marie is very proud to have been involved in the strategic planning of this organization that culminated in the building of the new Food Bank, the only purpose built Food Bank in Canada, complete with the Rotary Community Kitchen. Her role on the Board of the Airdrie Food Bank gave Marie a solid understanding of the role of governance boards – what their focus is and how they operate relative to key leadership and other staff.
Marie was hired to manage the Airdrie Lioness Christmas Hamper Program in 2010. This was one of Marie’s most gratifying community contracts. She built many strong partnerships and developed great relationships with amazing volunteers who all worked together to feed 224 families; a total of 730 individuals (which at that time was a record), with the support of 168 sponsors.
In 2010 Marie learned of a potential new opportunity with the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce. When this opportunity materialized, Marie went for it; she was excited about the possibility of working in her community again. Marie understands the critical role that small business plays in a community, and was looking forward to supporting small business in her role at the Chamber. For the past six years Marie worked at the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce as Events Coordinator & Trade Show Manager, resigning in December 2016 to pursue municipal politics.
When Marie worked at the City of Airdrie, a representative from the Airdrie Festival of Lights made a request to Council that Marie be directed to manage the volunteers at the Festival of Lights. While it wasn’t advised by City staff that Marie’s workload change to enable her to work for the Airdrie Festival of Lights, she did volunteer to assist the Festival. Marie spent two years as the Volunteer Management Team Leader for the Airdrie Festival of Lights, where she managed a team of 6 volunteer coordinators, and hundreds of volunteers
In 2014, Marie joined the Airdrie Angel Program, where she continues to work. Marie is very proud of the work of this grassroots organization; it brings together the goodwill of the community to help those who are going through a difficult time through no fault of their own.
In 2011, Marie was hearing and reading about the need for 24-hour emergency health care in Airdrie. She knew that Airdrie needed more health services, and she wanted to see if she could make a positive contribution in this area. “I have a daughter with a chronic disease, and four elderly parents, so I know firsthand how important health care is,” Marie says. Marie joined Alberta Health Services’ Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Committee (PMHAC) in 2012 in a volunteer role that allowed her to act as a liaison between her community and Alberta Health Services (AHS). Marie remained in that role for over three years, and in that time, she became very familiar with key staff in Alberta Health Services, and gained a thorough understanding of health service delivery, its challenges and successes.
Marie took the opportunity in her time with PMHAC to develop relationships and to advocate for health services in Airdrie. In 2013 she asked that an invitation be sent to Airdrie’s Mayor and members of Council to attend a Report to the Community presentation, where the Board Chair of Alberta Health Services, Dr. Stephen Lockwood, and the President and CEO of Alberta Health Services, Dr. Chris Eagle, would be present. It was Marie’s hope that this would provide an opportunity for our Council to initiate and engage in advocacy conversations with key leaders within AHS.
In 2014, Marie was invited by Alberta Health Services to be a member of the Airdrie & Area Health Service Planning Working Group which worked to develop a plan to improve health care services in Airdrie. In the Summer of 2016, Marie was invited by Alberta Health Services to join the 24/7 Urgent Care Service Expansion Task Group. In September 2016, a plan for 24/7 Urgent Care services in Airdrie was submitted and approved by the AHS Executive Team.
Marie is proud of the work that AHS staff, together with local physicians, have done to ensure the target opening date of April 3, 2017 was achieved, and is equally proud of her small contribution to bringing 24-hour urgent care to Airdrie.
Provincial Sport Leadership
When asked to be the Food Services Director for the Airdrie 2014 Alberta Summer Games, Marie couldn’t resist the opportunity to serve her community and to challenge herself. By all accounts the Food Services at the Airdrie Summer Games was “the best ever”; a sentiment heard repeatedly from participants, coaches, and Alberta Games Mission Staff. As a member of the Airdrie Summer Games Board of Directors, Marie was responsible for the governance, management, and implementation of the Airdrie Summer Games. She continued her involvement with the Airdrie 2014 Alberta Summer Games by volunteering with the Legacy Committee which donated excess Games revenue back into several local sports organizations.
The Soul of Airdrie
Marie’s leadership and commitment to Airdrie has earned her the respect of a diverse network of peers, colleagues, volunteers, business owners and friends resulting in her receiving the Soul of Airdrie volunteer award in 2015, conferred to “an Airdrie citizen who has made outstanding contribution as a volunteer and demonstrates a passion for helping others become resilient and contributing members of the community”.
Marie’s sense of social responsibility and caring for people and her community has led her to run for Mayor in the upcoming municipal election.
“I want to lead by example – with honesty, integrity, respect, hard work and heart,” Marie says.
Marie wants us to build a community based on citizen input and inclusion. She believes everyone has a voice and a right for that voice to be heard. Marie believes that everyone should have equal access to resources and opportunities. She believes that a great community should be built on a strategic plan that the community builds together. Marie is proud to call Airdrie home and wants to make Airdrie an even better city.
“Airdrie is a community built on volunteerism,” Marie says, “it’s a community where people work together to improve the quality of life for those who live here.”
Let’s work together to build an even better community.
Vote for strong leadership with honesty, integrity and a vision for the community.
I'm all in for Airdrie.
I believe Airdrie needs to develop a policy and framework regarding community involvement based on best practises.
Let’s dream big, plan it and do it!
Airdrie Volunteer Involvement
Marie believes strongly in the value of volunteerism in building character and building community. Through service to others, Marie has met remarkable people and learned new skills along the way.
- 1992 Recreation Assistant, Bethany Care Centre Airdrie
- 1992 – 1994 Volunteer Coordinator, Bethany Care Centre Airdrie
- 1993 – 1994 Advisory Committee Member, Airdrie Volunteer Centre
- 1994 – 1996 Vice President, Airdrie Volunteer Centre
- 1996 – 1997 Co-Chair, Airdrie Nursery School
- 1997 – 1999 Chairperson, Airdrie Nursery School
- 1999 – 2000 Social Planning Board
- 1999 – 2012 Class mom, Airdrie Dance Academy (class mom almost every year)
- 1999 – 2006 Parent Volunteer (elementary school)
- 1999, 2008 – 2016 Airdrie Food Bank Hamper Filler/Sorter
- 2000 Airdrie and District Soccer Association, Coach
- 2004 – 2006 Airdrie Festival of Lights, Volunteer Management Team Leader
- 2006 Kraft Hockeyville
- 2004 – 2007 Airdrie Festival of Lights, Train Station Volunteer (family opportunity)
- 2005 – 2007 Airdrie Seniors Outreach Program Committee Chairperson, Newsletter Editor, Yard Maintenance Volunteer
- 2007 – 2009 Created and implemented the Coopers’ Carnival in Airdrie
- 2008 – 2016 Airdrie Food Bank Board Member
- 2008 – Current Airdrie Seniors Outreach Program Newsletter Editor
- 2012 – 2014 Airdrie 2014 Alberta Summer Games, Director of Food Services
- 2012 – 2015 Alberta Health Services, Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Committee Member
- 2014 – 2015 Golden Rod 4-H Multi Club, Public Speaking Judge
- 2014 Airdrie & Area Health Service Planning Working Group
- 2015 – Current Airdrie 2014 Alberta Summer Games Legacy Committee Member
- 2016 – 2017 Airdrie Community Health Centre 24/7 Service Expansion; Urgent Care Task Group Committee Member
- 2016 – Current Coopers Crossing Resident’s Association Director & Special Events Coordinator
- 2016 - Current Airdrie Business Awards Committee Member
- 2017 – Current Highland Primary Care Network, Board of Directors
BESTOWED ANNUALLY ON A FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS VOLUNTEER WHO TRULY GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND
VOLUNTEER AWARD RECIPIENT
Kind words from good people
I was the Executive Director of the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) during Marie’s time with this organization. Marie started in her position with this organization at a critical time as the previous staff person had vacated the position. During this time there was no one in the organization available to train or provide orientation for Marie in her role. At this time a major volunteer event was on the immediate horizon. Marie’s initiative and strong work ethic were exemplary and she executed a very successful event. Marie took the initiative to connect with CDA staff in other regions to learn how to manage the CDA database, as no support or training was accessible at the time. Marie not only learnt how to manage the database, but was also able to train volunteers to manage it.
Marie managed a diverse team of over 120 volunteers. She had a great relationship with all of the volunteers and had a talent for creating rewarding volunteer roles and experiences for every volunteer that applied to our organization, even some that were deemed ‘difficult to place’. Marie was directly responsible for increasing the number of active and engaged volunteers by 30% within one year by reconnecting with existing volunteers and establishing rapport with new volunteers. Marie was called upon to mentor new Volunteer Coordinators from other regions but within the organization. Marie’s work ethic is illustrated by her last day at work. Marie wanted to leave everything in perfect order for the new staff person, and she stayed late to accomplish that. Marie would have stayed later, but I told her that it was time to go!
-Scott Kovatch, Executive Director of the Canadian Diabetes Association
I have known Marie Lauer for almost 20 years, of which we worked together in Airdrie for 10. Initially a volunteer, Marie's intelligence, commitment to the community, and warm personality caught my attention and I worked hard to recruit her to my staff team. What followed were several years of very productive, community-driven work together. Marie stands out as one of the most capable, dedicated, hard-working people I have ever had the privilege of working with. She brought new ideas forward continually and launched many initiatives. I am truly excited for Airdrie that she has decided to run for mayor - she'll be a great community leader.
-Dr. Colleen MacLeod, Co-worker for 10 years
If I lived in Airdrie, I’d be the first person to support Marie as Mayor!! I’ve always been impressed with Marie… her conviction; her dedication to ensuring the very best outcome in a project, and her honesty. I’ll always remember how she challenged the legacy generated from the 2014 Games, and how she could justify defending it when she’d asked her suppliers to give her the best deal, keep their prices down, etc. She is probably the first Games board member I’ve ever seen question that. It took great courage, but she was right, and I have total admiration for the level of respect she showed her suppliers! Marie is a straight-shooter! She never sugar coated tough situations, and I respect how she looked thoroughly at what the implications of a decision would be before she committed to something.
-Darrell Joy, Sport Development Consultant – Alberta Games
Marie Lauer is such a great asset to our community. Having worked with Marie on the Airdrie 2014 Alberta Summer Games, I know Marie to be honest, competent, resourceful and above all community minded. She was an invaluable asset in the success of the Airdrie summer games and she will be an asset in any project she tackles. Marie was always focused on the task at hand and she was always ahead of schedule when completing her tasks.
-Val Simpson, .
I have known Marie Lauer for more than 10 years and during that time I have been continually impressed by her ethics, integrity and passion for all things Airdrie. I have watched her take on projects large and small with grace, diplomacy and tenacity. I was thrilled to find out she wanted to run for Mayor. Marie is the consummate candidate for Airdrie today.
She is connected, has vast experience with local organizations and most importantly has demonstrated her leadership with such organizations as the Airdrie Foodbank and the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce. She has been involved and engaged as a resident, a volunteer and as an employee for more than 18 years. This is Marie’s time to take the mantle and lead Airdrie forward, while respecting its roots. We need a strong leader with vision and backbone. I am happy to say Marie has both and I am proud to call her a friend. I will be prouder to call her Mayor
-Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Visionary airdrielife
How would I describe Marie Lauer? She cares. She cares about her family, she cares about her friends, she cares about the people she works with in business and in her many volunteer roles and she cares about the City of Airdrie.
I've had the pleasure of working with Marie for a little over 2 years now. Never simply telling us what we want to hear, she is often telling us what we need to hear and steering us back towards our overall objective. All the while pitching in doing whatever is necessary to help us all accomplish our goals. Whether that means rolling up her sleeves and working in the trenches or leading us through a planning session. She is willing and able to do it all.
Very much a strategic and big picture thinker and never letting her ego get in the way of doing what is right. Simply an amazing person with an amazing heart.
-Matt Carre, Airdrie Angel | The Carre Group
I have had the pleasure of working with Marie on several different projects and it’s always been a great experience. Marie is honest and realistic about whatever task she faces. She listens to all points of view and communicates clearly. Marie is very organized and has an excellent talent of aligning with people who have the right skill set to move a project forward. Marie is not driven by ego or recognition, her goal is to achieve what’s best for the greater good.
I have always known Marie to be a cheerleader for Airdrie, whether she is supporting local businesses or the citizens of Airdrie. Marie is very hardworking and as the Mayor of Airdrie she will be able to share her insight, experience and vision. Marie can lead Airdrie into it’s next chapter of growth and prosperity.
-Michelle Carre, The Carre Group | Airdrie Angel
I had the pleasure of working side by side with Marie during her time as Community Relations Manager for a diagnostic imaging clinic in Calgary. Marie’s genuine warmth and charisma when communicating with her clients and potential clients contributed hugely with her success in business development for the clinic. She is a trustworthy business woman who worked very hard to deliver the services and customer care that her clients relied on for their patients. I believe that her integrity and trustworthiness combined with her teamwork approach made her clients feel confident to do business with the clinic. I always found it very easy to work with Marie as she had a confident voice and smart ideas regarding business development and customer service. She would be an asset to any business as a leader and team player.
-Regan Domes, Regan Domes Consulting
Marie’s honesty, straightforward approach and her ability to see a need, roll up her sleeves and jump in to do the work herself is incredible, and admirable. This is proven through the work we have done with her with Airdrie Angel and the Airdrie Chamber of Commerce. We know that her ethics and sense of community lead all of her actions. She is well respected in the community by so many.
-Suzy Rounce, Trevor Rounce
I have known Marie Lauer for nearly sixteen years. We first met while I served on the City of Airdrie Social Planning Board. During my tenure as Airdrie Seniors Outreach Coordinator, a position I held for three years, 2005 – 2008, Marie was my contact with the City of Airdrie. Marie assisted me with setting up the office and acquiring the equipment required to run the program. Marie continued as my liaison with the City of Airdrie overseeing the program and providing me with direction and support. Marie’s professionalism, honesty, dedication and knowledge were of immeasurable assistance to me in delivering the Airdrie Seniors Outreach programs. Many of the things we initiated are still an integral part of the program today. I know Marie has an in-depth knowledge of the City of Airdrie, Airdrie Food Bank and Airdrie Chamber of Commerce through her service and employment with these organizations. Marie’s continued involvement with these organizations displays her concern for her community, its social and business success. Marie always displays a positive attitude and effervescence which is uplifting to all who know her. Marie has lived in Airdrie for many years, raising her family here, volunteering and working with organizations that support the success of the City of Airdrie. Marie’s strong work ethic, interpersonal skills, honesty and integrity and pride in her community make her an ideal candidate for the office of Mayor of the City of Airdrie. Marie is someone I am proud to call a friend.
-Vicki-Lyn Dice, Past | City of Airdrie Social Planning Board, Airdrie Seniors Outreach Program. Life Member | Airdrie Over 50 Club
In The Community
Soul of Airdrie 2015: Letters of Support
I've had the pleasure of working with Marie on a variety of volunteer levels over the years and no matter what role Marie played or the group she was working for she was driven, organized and a joy to work with. I quickly learned that I could entrust Marie with key mission, critical tasks – she always delivered and surrounding herself with a dedicated team.
Marie embodies every single one of the traits needed to receive this prestigious award and importantly many others that may not even come to mind. Marie is the ultimate team player, one who made the Festival of Lights better and overall the City of Airdrie. Thank you Marie, I know I've said it before and I'm happy to say it again - you rock!
I believe that Marie is extremely worthy of this nomination and I fully support her being chosen as the recipient of the Soul of Airdrie Award. After having worked closely with Marie for the past six years I know she devotes herself to her community wholeheartedly and continually lives out her value of serving others through her volunteer efforts. Marie has been volunteering with the Airdrie Food Bank for the past six years and has served on the Board of Directors in a number of roles that include Director, Vice President, and currently the President of the Board.
Through her capacity as a board member she has sat on many committees, volunteered at many Food Bank events and has actively participated in the governance, planning and implementation of strategic planning for our agency. She is also a regular hamper volunteer putting together hampers for those in need which has given her insight and a finger on the pulse of the need in Airdrie and area. Her efforts on our behalf have helped our organization greatly. Because of her vision, and tireless efforts we have moved into our new design built food bank and are ready to launch our community kitchen programs that will be a huge asset to this community.
Marie demonstrates a commitment to serving others and to strengthening the community around her through all she does. I believe she embodies the true "Soul of Airdrie" and is a wonderful example of what it means to be a volunteer that makes the world a better place.
Our organization had the pleasure to work with Marie Lauer during the Alberta Summer Games in the summer of 2014 during her role as Food Chair for the Games and in our role as the foodservice provider for all the coaches and athletes.
As you likely can appreciate, organizing and coordinating the supply and service of three meals per day to 3000 athletes and coaches during this four day event was a very significant project. Marie was highly organized and extremely effective at planning and coordinating many of the details well in advance of the event. In particular, she was able to put a great volunteer team together of very capable people and in great numbers. Her infectious enthusiasm, determination and passion for the project demonstrated great leadership and resulted in a fantastic outcome for the coaches and athletes in addition to delivering a great volunteer experience. Please accept this as my strong letter of support for Marie Lauer as Soul of Airdrie Award.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Marie Lauer for the past 10 years in a variety of capacities including some of her volunteer roles. In her
volunteer capacity no role has been too small or too large from preparing Senior's Outreach newsletters, assembling food or gift hampers, to serving both as a board member and chairperson for the Airdrie Food Bank to leading hundreds of volunteers for the delivery of food services during the 2014 Alberta Summer Games hosted by Airdrie.
I have worked most closely with Marie in her volunteer roles during the Cooper's Crossing Carnival and the 2014 Alberta Summer Games. It was through Marie's vision of a fun event for neighbours to get to know one another that the Cooper's Crossing Carnival was initiated. Marie was critical in organizing this neighbourhood event as well as recruiting and coordinating volunteers. In a three year time span the event grew in popularity to be attended by approximately 650 residents of Cooper's Crossing. The event not only provided an opportunity for the neighbourhood to interconnect, but simultaneously also gave back to the Airdrie community with fundraising for not-for-profits such as the Airdrie Food Bank and the Airdrie Humane Society.
Marie is dedicated to building and making a difference in the Airdrie community and has instilled the lifelong importance of giving back to the community in her daughters as well. You will often see them alongside Marie filling a volunteer role in Airdrie organizations and events. Marie has and continues to contribute innumerable hours through volunteerism making Airdrie a strong community and a desirable place to live. I can't think of a better way to describe Marie than as the "Soul of Airdrie".
Marie is a respected active member of Prairie Mountain Health Advisory Council (PMHAC). This is one of 12 Health Advisory Councils established by Alberta Health Services. Part of the mandate of PMHAC is to engage the public on health related issues and to provide the public voice back to Alberta Health Services (AHS). This is done through public engagement sessions and through sitting on AHS committees.
Marie has been very active in both regards. A specific example of her work on PMHAC was Marie's involvement with the Airdrie and Area Health Service Planning Working Group. Marie volunteered to represent PMHAC on this important working group. She received well deserved praise from AHS staff who were assigned to the same working group.
As Chair of PMHAC, I am very pleased to endorse Marie's nomination for the Soul of Airdrie Award
Marie Lauer - she is part of the reason why I still work in the not for profit sector. She was my mentor in many ways when we first met and in my early volunteer management career days...therefore I would definitely say that she has a passion to help others become resilient contributing members of their community. She loves to see people get involved in the community and watch the impact it has on them, "the spark" it ignites in people - creating that "community spirit". You can see it on her face when she welcomes people to Airdrie or to an event. Her passion for volunteerism can only be stated as a lifelong journey, it is a part of who she is and always will be.
I have had the pleasure of volunteering with Marie in the following capacity:
Airdrie Festival of Lights - Committee Member
Airdrie 2014 Alberta Summer Games - Volunteer Coordinator
Airdrie Lioness Christmas Hampers - volunteer
Cooper's Carnival - volunteer
Marie's contribution to this community has been outstanding over the 16 yrs. I have known her - she connects people and she connects our community, but first and foremost, she cares about the people in our community. I believe there is a reason for it being called the "Soul of Airdrie" Award - it takes "soul" to connect people and community, it is what she has and it is what she demonstrates with passion year in and year out - without hesitation - I support the nomination of Marie Lauer for the Soul of Airdrie Award.
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."...Marcel Proust