Sharing a deep commitment to our founding principles, Sport Central’s dynamic leadership board invests in the vision of the organization. Its members have ties to key initiatives and individuals throughout the province, and each one shares expertise and resources for the benefit of an enterprise they all believe in. As a result, service on the board offers a significant opportunity for professional development and networking.

Member Directors

John Liston bio image

John Liston, President

John Liston is the Principal Consultant at Liston Advisory Group Inc.  John has been very active with Sport Central the past 5 years, helping to make the Mark Spector Golf Classic a very successful fund-raiser and friend-raiser for Sport Central.

John grew up in Edmonton and was very active in the sports scene, as he was blessed with parents who could afford to put him in sports. As a father of 2 grown children, John has coached every sport from Hockey, Ringette, Soccer, Baseball, Golf, and beyond. His coaching philosophy has always been “Sport Is The Vehicle, Character Development Is The Goal”.

John has served the community in several facets:

  • Healthcare – as a board member for many years with Caritas Health Group
  • Social Services – chair of the Sign of Hope Campaign for Catholic Social Services
  • Education – Chaired parent Councils at École Marie Poburan, and École Sec. St. Marguerite D’Youville
  • Charitable – Co-Founder T8N100Men – 100 Men who Care – St. Albert
  • Political – Chair – Alberta Provincial Advocacy Committee – Advocis (Financial Advisors Association)

John believes every child deserves the chance to experience the joy of both team and individual sport. Sport is getting too elite and expensive, and in the process it is losing kids at the times in life when they need sports, teammates and coaches to guide them through life’s tests.

Matt MacDonald bio image

Matt MacDonald, Past President and Secretary

Matt is a Policy Adviser with Alberta Health, focusing on project management, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, change management and project and program evaluation. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in commerce from Grant MacEwan University and is a member of the Project Management Institute.

Matt brings a strong strategic lens to the Sport Central board, given his grounding in effective project and process management. He is passionate about supporting children and youth in sport and is an advocate and believer in the lifelong benefits achieved through early childhood development.

A lifelong Edmontonian, Matt is an avid soccer player and cyclist who appreciates the chance to help others pursue similar passions.

Simon Stelfox bio image

Simon Stelfox, Vice President

Simon Stelfox is the Managing Director of Mast Enterprises. Mast Enterprises specializes in providing fractional COO executive oversight by helping companies grow to mid-market size and complexity by operationally implementing appropriate and tailored management systems. The firm focuses on establishing a strategic direction and implementing an executable plan for its clients.

Simon holds a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and has completed an MBA in Executive Management from Royal Roads University.

Derek Friesen bio image

Derek Friesen, Treasurer

Derek is the Corporate Controller for RTL-Westcan Group of Companies, a leader in bulk commodity transportation and a construction company specializing in civil and industrial construction. He obtained his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta and then began his career with KPMG LLP, where he attained his Chartered Accountant designation.

Derek grew up playing hockey and baseball in rural Manitoba and is an avid believer of the benefits sports can have on youth. He continues to play hockey, but with his young family his focus has shifted to them, and believes all children should have the opportunity to experience the joys and personal development sports bring.

Sean Roberts  bio image

Sean Roberts

Sean is a managing partner of Grande Tire Inc, an independent commercial tire shop specializing in Earthmover tires. He is a community minded individual and active in volunteering and supporting other charities like the Stollery Childrens Hospital.

Sean’s childhood experiences provides him with an appreciation for the work of Sport Central and he values their mission and vision for supporting children and youth in our communities.

Matthew Hewson bio image

Matthew Hewson

Matt is Vice President, General Counsel for Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd., a TSX traded retailer.  Matt previously served as a director of the Downton Business Association (Edmonton) and the Edmonton Road & Track Club (cycling).

Matt grew up ski racing and went on to coach skiing for a number of years.  Coaching in particular showed Matt the importance of sport in “people building”; through competition, relationships and teamwork.

Matt’s professional life includes acting as Corporate Secretary for a publicly traded company; and as such, has a large focus on corporate governance and many areas of legal practice.  Matt obtained both a Bachelor of Commerce and Law degree at the University of Alberta and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Robert Krewenchuk bio image

Robert Krewenchuk

Robert (Bob) Krewenchuk is a retired Edmonton Police Service officer. After serving 31 years in several divisions of the police service, he retired in 1997. He was hired as Chief of Police in June of that year, retiring again in 2002.

Bob became a volunteer at Sport Central, was elected to the board and now serves as Vice President. Has spent 35 years as volunteer with the Maple Leaf Athletic Club and has sat on several other volunteer boards.

An avid sports fan, Bob enjoys watching his grandchildren playing hockey and soccer. He is also an Off Ice Official with the Edmonton Oil Kings.

Don MacDonald bio image

Don MacDonald

Don MacDonald graduated in 1977 from NAIT with a Civil Engineering Diploma. He attended the University of Alberta years later and graduated from the Business Management Program.

His working career spanned 36 years starting out as a consultant and transitioning in July of 1977 to Transportation, Traffic Operations, with the City of Edmonton. During his tenure Don was instrumental in implementing state of the art technology and achieved International recognition for the Transportation Department through a comprehensive survey led by Federal Highway Administration. Edmonton was ranked in the top 4 of 400 cities surveyed.

Don has a passion for all sports and the involvement of kids in them. His primary interest is hockey where he has played, coached, managed and eventually elected to the Maple Leaf Athletic Club Executive as Sports Director. Over his coaching career, over 50 kids Don coached progressed to the professional ranks, from minor pro to the NHL. Two of these were selected in the First Round. Don also scouted in the Western Hockey League for 9 years working for Todd McLellan, current Head Coach of the Edmonton Oilers.

Don’s involvement with Sport Central started in mid-September of 1991. Together with his parents and family, he has worked tirelessly to support the charity and the children it serves. He was elected to the Board of Directors in the early 2000’s, and currently manages the Outreach Program and volunteers for other duties and projects as needed.

Sheldon Oleksyn bio image

Sheldon Oleksyn, Executive Director

Sheldon was appointed Executive Director in June 2014 and is pleased to lead Sport Central’s operations as it celebrates 27 Years of service to over 145,000 disadvantaged children. Sheldon brings significant experience in the charitable sector along with a keen interest in sport and its role in the development of children and communities.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Sheldon has lived and worked in the Edmonton area since 2007 sharing his talents at the University of Alberta and The Boys & Girls Clubs of Edmonton. Sheldon and his wife Carlene have three boys active in sports and music. He can usually be found at a rink in the winter and at a soccer pitch or baseball diamond in the summer, either playing or helping coach a team.

He believes strongly in the power of sport to positively shape and transform lives. His dream is to have every child introduced to sports helping them find one or more they love. At a time when childhood health and activity is a serious concern, Sheldon feels Sport Central offers a direct and fun solution.

Gene Principe bio image

Gene Principe

Gene is the Host of Oilers Hockey on Rogers Sportsnet.  Gene also covers and reports on NHL games and covers the Edmonton Eskimos along with other major sports events in Edmonton.  Previously, Gene was the Sports Director of A Channel Edmonton and has held various anchor and reporting roles across the country.  In his spare time, Gene continues to play men’s soccer and coaches soccer for youth teams.

Matthew Rudd bio image

Matthew Rudd

Matthew is the Vice President of Finance for Canadian Western Bank, a TSX traded chartered bank that delivers full-service business banking, personal banking, trust services and wealth management offerings specifically tailored for business owners and their families, with operations across Canada. He has also previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for Alcanna Inc., a TSX traded retailer, and as a Senior Manager at KPMG LLP, where he obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 2009.

Matthew grew up in rural Alberta, where participation in sports was not just a way of life but also the means to learn valuable lessons about teamwork, how effort produces results, and how being busy with sports can keep a rambunctious kid out of trouble. While he now has kids of his own that are fortunate enough to participate in sports, Matthew is passionate about ensuring that all kids are given this same opportunity.

Wyan Shankaruk bio image

Wyan Shankaruk

Wyan currently holds the position of Vice President – Production Services for WIKA Instruments Ltd.  WIKA is a privately held German based company that services the Global Instrumentation sector for process control in Oil refineries, Power & Energy Plants, Food & Pharmaceutical industries among many more.

Wyan grew up playing hockey, baseball, golf and mountain biking.  All of which he still enjoys today.  This love of sport has taught him the importance of being part of a team and to appreciate the relationships that are built while learning life skills together.  These fundamentals are core to his beliefs as he continues to coach minor sports as he has done in the Edmonton region for almost 25 years.

Wyan now enjoys the role of “Dad” and “Coach” with his young family and their involvement in sport.  It is his desire to see the smile that he and his family have playing sports on the faces of many other children through the involvement and efforts of Sport Central.

Don Darling bio image

Don Darling

Don retired from service to Edmonton Public Schools after 41 years, including 24 years as a principal at several junior high schools. He holds two university degrees: Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) and Bachelor of Education (Secondary).

Don has been involved in sports throughout his life as a participant, coach and official. He played baseball for the Canadian National Men’s Team and hockey for University of Alberta Golden Bears Team. These stints as an elite level player gave Don insights into the dedication and preparation required to compete successfully and an appreciation of how sport adds to the development of a person’s attitudes, mental prowess, and the value of cooperating as a team member.

Prior to his retirement in 2010, and more so now, Don has devoted time to volunteer work, including accepting appointments to the board of directors with the Edmonton Old Timers Baseball Association, the Edmonton International Baseball Foundation, and the Festival of Trees. He volunteers with the YEG Venetian Carnival, and also continues his involvement with baseball as an international scorer with both Baseball Canada and the World Baseball Softball Confederation.