Staff

Executive Team

Barb Carra

President and CEO
Barb earned her Master's of Science at the University of Calgary and her Doctorate in Geography and Environmental Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and she previously ran a spatial analytics consultancy. Her favourite thing about working at Cybera is knowing that what she does matters. “Being part of an organizing that is improving how technology is accessed and used, for everyone, makes me proud to come to work!” If she's not at her desk, you will find her on the road, working and meeting with Cybera’s member community.

Barton Satchwill

Vice President, Technology
Barton has devoted his career to developing systems in the public, private, and scientific domains. Since interesting things always happen at crossroads, Barton likes to spend his time where technologies and people intersect; sometimes, where they collide.

Karim Teja

CFO
Prior to joining Cybera, Karim was CFO of one of the fastest growing tech companies in Canada, Imaging Dynamics Company Ltd. His favourite thing about working here is the culture of curiosity: “being a not-for-profit allows for long-term thinking and planning, objectivity, neutrality and being able to pursue ‘doing the right thing'.” If he's not at his desk, you will find him walking his dog.

Meagan Hampel

Vice President, External Relations
Meagan has a journalism degree from Carleton University, and previously worked as a science reporter, where she was required to write up to 20,000 words a month. She continues to write at Cybera, and enjoys creating blog posts or news updates that raise awareness of the great things Albertans are doing with new technology. If she's not at her desk, you will find her traveling the world, zumba-ing, or working on the office puzzle. Three things she could not live without are cereal, chocolate, and sarcasm.
Tech Services - Network

Mulugeta Yirba

Network Engineer
Mulugeta holds a MEng in Internetworking from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and was previously the implementation lead for a network project in the Maritimes that was part of a nation-wide network redesign. His everyday tasks at Cybera include fixing connectivity issues for existing members, onboarding new members, or working on side projects. He loves learning about and trying new IT solutions. If he's not at his desk, you will find him traveling with his family.

Samir Rana

Senior Network Engineer
Samir is a Cisco Certified Network Professional and a Juniper Networks Certified Internet Specialist, and spent five years working in the oil and gas industry before joining Cybera. His favourite thing about working here is helping small K-12 school districts and libraries with network technical support, particularly during urgent times when they don’t have the in-house expertise to immediately solve a problem. He likes to play and watch cricket, and would love to one day revisit the region in India where he was born.

Zafar Yousufi

Network Engineer
Prior to working at Cybera, Zafar was a network designer at Shaw, and a network analyst at AT&T Canada. He enjoys the daily challenges of working at Cybera and creating customized solutions for members. His greatest professional achievements have been delivering technical presentations at network meetups and university classes around the world. Outside of work, his hobbies include camping, hiking, and ice skating. The three things he could not live without are: family, friends, and tea.
Tech Services - Operations

Joe Topjian

Operations Manager
Joe is the co-author of the “OpenStack Operations Guide,” a foundational document for cloud developers. His favourite thing about working at Cybera is the opportunity it offers him to create innovative solutions that help others benefit from technology. In his spare time, he helps maintain several open source projects, including the Terraform OpenStack Provider, and Gophercloud, the OpenStack SDK for Go. His favourite saying: "I told you so."

Ben Leavitt

Systems Administrator
Ben prides himself on running a very quiet and orderly cloud. His favourite thing about working at Cybera is working on the DAIR project, which he sees as an exciting opportunity to advance Canadian entrepreneurs’ use of digital technology. The place he would most like to visit is Mars, to investigate for aliens. The three things he could not live without are WAN uplink, private keys, and open source.

Logan Thies

Systems Administrator
Logan worked his way up from help desk support at Foothills Hospital, to become a cybersecurity consultant for a variety of European and North American clients. In his role at Cybera, he supports projects such as the Virtual Firewall Service, which has allowed him to tap into his cybersecurity experience, while learning new cloud skills. If he's not at his desk, you will find him venturing outdoors, building malware (for good), or playing with kitties.

Micheal Jones

Senior System Administrator
Micheal came to Cybera from the world of film and television (where he tackled an interesting variety of IT issues). As well as brewing a fine cup of coffee for his colleagues, he is also involved in building many of Cybera’s tools and services. His favourite thing about working here is knowing that he is helping Albertans do more. A modest person, Micheal says writing this staff bio has been his greatest professional accomplishment (so far).

Regi Caldez

Junior Systems Administrator
Regi holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science, majoring in Network and Information Security, and continues to enjoy learning about all things related to cloud and networking. A typical day for him can be described in one word: engrossed. His favourite thing about working at Cybera is the relaxed atmosphere and the supportive people. If he's not at his desk, you will find him in meetings, supporting staff with a wide variety of problems, or “taking strategic breaks.”

Shawn Ayotte

Senior Administrator
Before working at Cybera, Shawn did IT and tech support within a wide variety of sectors. One achievement he is particularly proud of is his work with The Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Edmonton, where he was able to reduce the IT budget by $120,000/year through automation and department design. He enjoys working at Cybera and “knowing that I am working with a team of amazing professionals whose soul job is to make life better for people”. If he's not at his desk, you will find him in his workshop building furniture, assembling old technology to donate to charity, and experimenting with electronics. “I may also be camping with my family on our acreage, playing Minecraft with my kids, or watching anime.”
Tech Services – Development and Data Science

Alecia Vogel

Developer
One of Alecia's many claims to fame is being a semi-finalist in "Edmonton's Funniest Person with a Day Job" contest in 2017. Her favourite thing about working at Cybera is the freedom to explore her interests in technology, from reading up on human-computer interaction research, to implementing and optimizing machine learning algorithms. If she's not at her desk, you will find her petting a stranger's dog.

Alex Tennant

Data Scientist
Alex used to work in a lab where he helped operate, break, fix and maintain two heavy element mass spectrometers, "while also independently performing quantum chemical simulations to help discover how proteins in the body transport and redistribute metal isotopes in relation to disease!" He now gets to play with a wide variety of data, and teach others how to become data scientists. If he's not at his desk, you will find him eating greasy food, climbing, or hiking in the mountains. His proudest achievement: “I once ate a burrito so fast, I had time to eat a second burrito.”

Andrew Klaus

Security Specialist
As a security specialist, Andrew’s greatest career achievement (so far) has been discovering, and helping to address, security vulnerabilities in a range of software and hardware products. In his current role, he works with Cybera’s staff and members to increase security awareness, and is proud of the progress being made across Alberta’s public sector. If he's not at his desk, you will find him trying to find the next big security bug, or out on the golf course. The three things he could not live without are: his passport, Instant Pot, and his motorcycle.

Cameron Mann

Senior Developer
A typical day for Cameron is spent collaborating with team members, writing code, and learning new and interesting things. His proudest moment at Cybera was working with the Edmonton Ronald McDonald House to set up a remote-presence robot to connect kids with family members who are far away, and seeing the joy it brought to the children. Outside of work, he is an avid fencer.

David Hay

Callysto Ambassador
David is a teacher from Elk Island Public Schools who is currently on sabbatical at Cybera. One of his biggest “technical” accomplishments at Elk Island was automating the G Suite user provisioning for the whole school district. His work on the Callysto project involves incorporating computational thinking and data science into regular curricular activities, and fostering digital literacy among teachers and students. If he's not at his desk, you will find him on a bicycle with his family, or inside a virtual reality headset.

Jiaxin Zhang

Data Wrangler
Jiaxin has a MSc from the University of Alberta and previously worked as a consultant in the university’s Statistics Division. One of his greatest career accomplishments (so far) was placing second place in the Case Studies in Data Analysis Poster Competition at the Statistical Society of Canada 2019 annual meeting. His favourite thing about working at Cybera is its flat structure, the fact that he can be self-organized and motivated, and the professional development opportunities. The one place he would most like to travel to is Yellowknife, to see the aurora borealis.


Laura Gutierrez Funderburk

Data Science Intern, Callysto
Laura Gutierrez Funderburk started working for the Callysto Project while still an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University (SFU). She has developed Jupyter notebooks and Python programming language for students in Grades 9-12. (Her favourite notebook contains a simulation of two players engaging in an unfair dice game.) She is very experienced in research, conference organization, and facilitating learning experiences for people who are in different stages of their careers. Her work at SFU has earned her a Terry Fox Gold Medal. “I like to share my enthusiasm for coding, and hope that the events we organize for students will inspire them down the road to become developers."

Preethi Kumar

Developer
Preethi holds a Master of Science in Internetworking from the University of Alberta. Before moving to Canada, she completed a bachelors degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering and worked as a senior software developer for iGATE, an IT firm in India. Her interests are cloud infrastructure automation and bringing software developer values, such as test driven development, into infrastructure development.

Rajan Patel

Data Scientist
Rajan joined Cybera after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta. A typical day in the office sees him working on different datasets, creating visualizations, identifying interesting trends/insights, and discussing new tools, technologies and approaches to data science. He enjoys working with the “brilliant minds” at Cybera. The one place he would like to visit is the Himalayan mountains, having read so much about them.

Tatiana Meleshko

Data Scientist
Tatiana started at Cybera as a systems administrator before transferring to the data science team. Among her many data science accomplishments is building a text generator based on Cybera’s Slack conversations. She enjoys sharing her understanding of data science tools and algorithms with others, and is frequently called on to teach data science basics to Albertans. When she’s not working, Tatiana can be found in the mountains, snowboarding or scrambling. The one place she’d most like to travel to is Hawaii, with her family and pile of good books.

Vishal Balashankar

Data Wrangler
Vishal has a MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta, where he also worked as a Research Associate at the Laboratory for Advanced Separation Process. At the university, he developed a rapid evaluation tool for the chemists and engineers for a carbon capture process, of which he is very proud. A typical day at Cybera starts with a daily standup, and then handling and managing large datasets while looking at trends with detailed data visualizations, and of course, always learning new data science tools. If he's not at his desk, you will find him playing squash or jogging along Edmonton’s scenic river valley.

Vuk Radovic

Developer
Vuk holds a Computing Science degree from the University of Alberta and previously worked as a data science analyst at an online financial media company. His favourite thing about working at Cybera is the work environment, “specifically how everyone is very collaborative and open to sharing their insights and knowledge.” The one place he’d most like to travel to is Costa Rica, to visit the sloth sanctuary. If he's not at his desk, you will find him playing Super Smash Bros.
Project and Partnership Development

May Lynn Lee

Programs & Service Manager
During her time at Cybera so far, May Lynn has overseen the launch of some of our most important services, including ShareIT and the Pika Federation, and has also led collaborations with government and industry partners. She appreciates the variety of projects here, with means she is continually learning new things. When she’s not working, May Lynn likes to experiment in the kitchen, creating both food and beauty products. An avid traveler, her bucket list includes visiting Morocco, Costa Rica, Peru, Austria, and Japan.
Staff Headshot

Badri Venkataraman

Project Manager
Badri holds a MBA from the University of Alberta, and previously worked as a Project Support Manager at a management consulting firm. His achievements there included running data and financial analysis for a First Nations management firm that was looking to build a gas station in Alberta. He enjoys the open and transparent culture at Cybera. Thre three things he could not live without are “food, music and my dog Simba.”

Byron Chu

Project Manager / Data Scientist
Byron has a PhD in biochemistry, and is a certified project manager. In his current role, as well as project managing, he also works with data, and delivers technology training to Albertans (and Canadians) of all ages. His proudest achievement at Cybera (so far) has been working with Callysto, and introducing new technologies and problem-solving approaches to grades 5-12 teachers and students. If he's not at his desk, you will find him running or spending time with his family.

Catherine Farr

Project Manager
Catherine has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta, and worked within several technology and education sectors in Alberta before coming to Cybera. Since joining, she says every day brings new adventures, and loves Cyberans’ willingness to jump in, try out something new, and see what happens. If she's not at her desk, you will find her “in the library, with the candlestick...”

Valentina Corradi

Project Manager
Valentina holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Siena, Italy, and previously worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. There, her research focused on “ATP-binding cassette transporters”. This comfort with complex topics has allowed her to quickly dive into the networking projects at Cybera. Her favourite thing about working at Cybera is the culture, the diversity of projects, and the close interaction with our member community. If she's not at her desk, you will find her exploring the mountains.
ShareIT

Mary Friedrich

ShareIT Manager
Mary was the first female firefighter in Ontario, and the first to open up a Goodlife Fitness Centre in western Canada. At Cybera, her biggest achievement so far was winning the CUCCIO “Collaboration of the Year” award for a project that's never been done before (ShareIT). Her favourite thing about working at Cybera is being given the trust to steer her own ship. The three things she could not live without are her son, her dog, and her canoe.

Deb Charnuski

Project Lead - ShareIT
Deb prides herself on her ability to compile and interpret complex data and distill it down into usable reports and visuals, and previously worked as a reporting and data analyst. Her favourite thing about working at Cybera is the innovative and creative environment, which lets her work on things like ‘robotic process automation’ and ‘chatbots to cloud solutions’. If she's not at her desk, you will find her indulging her "inner geek" by learning the R and Python programming languages. She also enjoys travelling the world, pursuing her passion for photography while hiking in the world's mountain ranges, and knitting en route!

Harold Berry

ShareIT Procurement Lead
Harold is a Supply Chain Management Professional who, prior to joining Cybera, spent several years working at the City of Medicine Hat and Mount Royal University. There, he implemented numerous shared services initiatives, including Purchasing Card Programs, and successfully tendered the construction of large buildings focusing on culture and sports. His favourite thing about working at Cybera is “that I go home at the end of the day with a smile on my face because I feel valued and I am making meaningful contributions”. In his spare time, he enjoys going geocaching.

Nathan Ragonese

Shared Procurement Program Administrator
Nathan began his career in finance before segueing to Cybera. He is a fast learner, and has quickly become an integral part of the ShareIT team, where is responsible for engaging with members, tracking data, and strategizing for the future. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball and football, and has recently been discovering new hobbies in the tech world. The one place he would most like to travel to is Italy “to connect with my roots.”
Communications and Policy

Casey Knoll

Communications Specialist
Casey’s proudest professional achievement (so far) was writing stories about the work being done in SAIT’s Applied Research department that received nation-wide attention. She is the communications lead for Callysto, and is proud of the work this program is doing to give students and teachers a leg-up when it comes to digital workforce skills. The one place she would most like to return to is Scotland, for its “people, scenery, and history.” If she's not at her desk, you will find her watching Murdoch Mysteries, playing piano, spending time with friends, or doing photography.

Graham Sucha

Communications Specialist
Prior to joining Cybera, Graham Sucha was a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary Shaw, where he chaired the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future. In his current role as Community Outreach Specialist, he actively engages innovators in the tech and education ecosystem, as well as Cybera’s members. If he's not at his desk, you will find him at a Canadian football game, cheering for the Roughriders or the Calgary Dinos.

Imran Mohiuddin

Policy Analyst
Imran previously served as a policy advisor to the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, including its 2017 study of "Broadband Connectivity in Rural Canada". A typical day for him involves reading up on telecommunications policy issues, writing government/advocacy interventions, and reaching out to Cybera’s community. Outside of work, he enjoys movies and music, and previously played bass in a punk band that broke in Austin, Texas, in 2009.

Laura Hutchinson

Communications & Design Specialist
Laura holds a B.A. in Mass Communications / Media Studies from Carleton University, as well as diplomas in Integrated Marking Communications and Graphic Design. She has worked extensively in not-for-profit organizations, both as an employee and as a volunteer. Her favourite thing about Cybera is 1) the amazing culture and great staff, and 2) the ability to help improve the lives of Albertans. The three things she could not live without are: tea, wireless headphones, and sleep.
Finance and Administration

Caroline Felsmann

Finance Manager
Caroline has been with Cybera since it was launched in 1994, helping the company implement its internal systems, procedures, and policies. Her favourite thing about working here is the forward-thinking nature of the company, and the sense that she’s "making a difference in a challenging, fun and flexible environment (with great people)." If she's not at her desk, you will find her in the mountains, or behind her guitar.

Alyshia Auston

Human Resources Specialist
A typical day for Alyshia is as follows: "Coffee. Organize. Schedule. Schedule. Organize. Meeting." Her previous non-profit experience includes managing an amateur sporting grant program for the Calgary Flames. Her favourite thing about Cybera is its culture, ambition, flexibility, and people. If she's not at her desk, you will find her at the pottery studio. The one place she’d most like to go is the Great Bear Rainforest in BC: “It looks quiet and peaceful there.”

Amyn Ramzan

Accountant
Amyn brings 18 years of experience in accountancy / accounts management to his current role. As the person responsible for distributing cheques to employees, Amyn is one of the most cherished and celebrated members of our staff. For his part, he enjoys the friendly, stress-less environment of Cybera. Outside of work, he is an accomplished singer and bagpipe player. His dream holiday is to go on an African Safari.

Jenna Robottom

Budget Specialist (On Maternity Leave)
A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Jenna’s professional achievements include facilitating and mentoring up-and-coming CPA candidates. She enjoys working on Cybera’s budget as it allows her to connect with staff in each department, giving her a unique perspective on the complex roles and operations of the company. If she's not at her desk, you will find her gushing over videos of her young daughter. Three things she could not live without are: family, Google, and her calendar.