100 Years, 100 People

The Next Generation of Leaders

Liz Cussans

Liz Cussans

Liz Cussans was born and raised in Oxford, England. After earning her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Liz worked at British Energy as a design engineer, project manager and contract manager before becoming a system engineer at Sizewell B nuclear power station.
In 2001, Cussans was seconded to Canada for six months to assess renewable business development opportunities. Since then, Canada has become her home.
In 2002 while working with British Energy on the construction of Ontario’s first wind farm (Huron Wind Project), Cussans learned about TransAlta and started building relationships with our wind team. In 2004, Cussans joined TransAlta in Ontario, working in various wind site development areas, such as site control, permitting, interconnection and assisting in the preparation of Request For Proposals (RFPs).
In 2007, Cussans was promoted to Business Development Manager, evaluating commercial development opportunities for TransAlta, specifically for wind projects. Cussans has been involved in numerous initiatives during her time at TransAlta. Recently, she joined the Centennial Project core team as the project’s Commercial Operations and Development (COD) lead, and is working to understand and help improve our company’s systems and processes.
Cussans is recognized as a leader with vision and a strong desire to help her team do their job while having fun. “For me it’s all about building strong relationships with the people I work with and encouraging them to flourish in whatever they do,” added Cussans. “At TransAlta we’re lucky because we have great talent and it doesn’t take much digging to find an expert in our midst. I have no doubt that in the next 100 years, TransAlta employees will keep working to be better than the norm and go the extra mile,” added Cussans.
Michael Jablonicky

Michael Jablonicky

Michael Jablonicky was born and raised in Toronto. He was an honours student and graduated as Valedictorian in the electrical tradesmen program at St. Lawrence College in 1989.
Since graduating, Jablonicky has kept busy. He has numerous courses in blue print reading, electrical design and hydraulics and machine fabrication.  At the age of 24, Jablonicky started working in the industrial electrical sector where he continued for over 20 years.  After joining Canadian Hydro Developers, Jablonicky spent the next three years working as the Melanchthon wind farm supervisor.  In 2008, he moved to Wolfe Island where he currently lives.
Jablonicky joined TransAlta when Canadian Hydro Developers was acquired in 2009. As part of his job, Jablonicky oversees all maintenance and service to the turbines and balance of plant. He also coordinates a working partnership with the turbine manufacturer until the warranty period ends and his team starts running the facility 100 per cent.
As a leader, Jablonicky brings years of experience of fully operating and maintaining a wind facility. He is recognized among his peers as an expert in organizing and maximizing a crew of technicians for wind site work and getting every last bit of availability out of the turbines without compromising the safety of his team.
“In my years in this industry I have learned that there is no need to shoulder all responsibilities of a wind site alone when you have fellow employees ready to assist,” said Jablonicky. “At TransAlta, there always seems to be someone who is willing help out when you need it.”
Jablonicky truly believes the best resource he has as a supervisor is the people he works with. “I try to keep the lines of communication open with every team member and treat every staff member as I would want to be treated,” added Jablonicky. “Keeping the atmosphere focused is important but so is maintaining a high level of morale by having a little fun. At the end of the day you may find that your staff actually like to come to work and they will give the company 110 per cent of themselves.”
Rob Shaefer

Rob Shaefer

Rob Schaefer was born and raised in Calgary. After graduating from Queen Elizabeth High School, Schaefer earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary and a Chartered Accountant designation.
For Schaefer, TransAlta has always been part of his life. “I’m a third generation TransAlta employee. I grew up with the company, attended the Calgary Power picnics and talked about the takeover battles in the 80s over the dinner table with my dad,” said Schaefer. His first job at TransAlta was a summer job as a pole tester in the mid-80s. Schaefer also worked in Human Resources as a summer student.  However, his “real job” with TransAlta started in March 2008 as vice-president of Development. Since then, he added Trading to his portfolio and in June 2010 became vice-president of Commercial Operations and Development. In this role, Schaefer manages and grows TransAlta’s revenue through trading, customer development, commercial management, and business and corporate development.
Under his watch, a number of growth projects have been executed – Blue Trail, Kent Hills 2, Ardenville, Summerview 2, the Keephills uprates and the acquisition of Canadian Hydro Developers.
Schaefer feels particularly proud of his work with the commercial and industrial (C&I) business and getting TransAlta back in the game with C&I customers. His team currently is involved on several projects, but their efforts now will be focused on the development strategy of Sundance 7; a key future project for TransAlta.
For Schaefer being a better leader is priority number one. “I care deeply about the people I work with and invest in their development and success,” added Schaefer. “I grew up with a company that was always well respected and that’s no different today. I feel a great connection to the company’s past, and I am ambitious to help make TransAlta an even greater company in the future.”
Marcy McAuley

Marcy McAuley

Marcy McAuley is a born and raised Calgarian. Her 20 year career with TransAlta started on June 18, 1990 when Marcy joined the Print Services team. A recent graduate from SAIT, Marcy was passionate about graphics and design. After four years helping lead the transition to the new digital world, Marcy was ready for a new challenge. She joined the Environment and Sustainable Development (SD) team at a time when the new principles were being defined and adopted around the world. Over the next eight years, Marcy had the opportunity to take on progressively challenging new roles within different teams to continue her professional development which included: Energy Marketing, Independent Power Projects (IPP), and the E-Business team.
In 2003, McAuley joined the Communications team as the Web/Portal lead launching the first generation of the employee portal and enhancing the website to be a strategic communication tool to our investor community. Over the past seven years she has taken on different roles within the team, including a four year term at the Centralia Facility to set up and lead the internal communications function.
“Nothing could compare to the knowledge I gained working with the Centralia team; learning the ins and outs of plant and mine operations,” said McAuley. “My time coincided with significant events our team went through; mine closure, flex fuel changes, floods of 2007, which were tough personally, but the opportunity to lead the internal communications initiatives was invaluable for me going forward.”
Since her return to Calgary in 2009, she has completed Royal Roads graduate certificate in Public Relations management and now focuses on Public Affairs. McAuley is the Communications lead for Project Pioneer, continues to support Centralia as well as developing corporate communication strategies and issues management to advance or protect TransAlta’s reputation.
McAuley is recognized as a leader who is curious, innovative and able to leverage her understanding of the business and relationships she has fostered across the organization and strives to understand the expertise each individual or team brings to the company. “I never thought 20 years later I would be with the same company. TransAlta has supported my development by providing diverse and increasingly challenging opportunities to learn and grow,” she said. “These experiences and relationships have really helped me to tell the TransAlta story which is essential to my role today.”
McAuley is enthusiastic about the future of TransAlta. “We are at a transformative point in our industry, in our company and with our stakeholders. Maintaining our licence to operate will continue to be challenged but I am certain TransAlta will continue to leverage the success of our team, we have a strong tradition of innovation and leadership to keep moving us forward in our communities and with government.”
Marcy’s greatest passion comes from the adventures she shares with family and friends. “We are an active family who love to travel and explore new cultures and geographies,” said McAuley. “My greatest success will be in the adults my children become, as Pete and I foster their sense of responsibility in being active, contributing members in their community.”
Parviz Mohamed

Parviz MohamedParviz Mohamed – was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. When she was 15 years old, her family moved to Canada. After graduating from Mount Royal University with a Major in Computer Sciences in 1981, Parviz was hired at TransAlta as a Programmer analyst.

Throughout her years at TransAlta, Parviz has held increasingly senior positions within the organization, primarily in Information Technology (IT).  She has been Acting Chief Information Officer, Director Application Development and Support, Director IT Development Services and has led the IT portion of a number of significant corporate developments including the divestiture of TransAlta’s distribution and retail business.

Some of her most significant roles at TransAlta include Director, Major Maintenance Planning, where she was accountable for leading long-term planning for all major maintenance activities over the life of TransAlta’s generation plants. In 2006, Parviz was appointed Vice-President, Information Technology, accountable for information technology strategy, planning and implementation including associated business transformation projects for TransAlta’s worldwide operations.

As the current IT lead of TransAlta’s Centennial Project, Parviz is responsible for bringing IT knowledge of TransAlta’s technology and applications to the project team. She feels that her participation in this project will be her greatest contribution to the company. “I’m excited about the Centennial Project because by aligning our people, processes and technologies with our business strategy, we are building a strong foundation,” said Parviz. “This will enable our talented employees to make TransAlta a top quartile company that is recognized and respected internationally.”

Among her peers, Parviz is recognized as a leader who values planning and driving for results through cross-functional collaboration. According to Parviz, TransAlta’s values, its focus on people and the transformation it has undergone in the past 100 years are what make Parviz to be a proud TransAlta employee. “I think what has made TransAlta so successful over 100 years are the people. We have talented employees that are committed to the success of our company.”

Parviz is also an active member of the community. She is Past President of the Board of the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association and an Ambassador for the World Partnership Walk.