South Peace News
The new chair of the Northern Lakes College board of governors is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work.
Barry Sharkawi, of High Prairie, was officially appointed by the Government of Alberta in an Order-in-Council April 6. Premier Jason Kenney phoned Shar- kawi to congratulate him on the appointment.
Sharkawi, owner of Amiro’s Steak House, has new ideas where he would like to see NLC grow and expand, but first things first.
“I want to go visit the campuses and write my report,” he says.
“The report” is one that will be forwarded to Premier Kenney.
“And meet with the board members,” adds Sharkawi, who has no previous experience on the NLC board of governors, but an extensive political background. He has been actively involved with the Conservative Party in Alberta since 1974 – he was a staunch supporter of former MLAs Larry Shaben and Pearl Calahasen – and has served on High Prairie town council. He is also the current president of the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce.
Current NLC president and CAO Glenn Mitchell also called Sharkawi to express congratulations. They will meet at the NLC offices in Slave Lake April 12.
“I’m looking forward to working with the board,” says Sharkawi. “Check with the board to see what is happening.”
Sharkawi’s appointment is effective immediately and expires April 5, 2025. He succeeds long-time chair Dan Vandermeulen, who also served as president of NLC for many years.
Sharkawi has several goals in mind. He would like to elevate NLC’s status to university or academy, and begin an active sports program. NLC has no teams in Alberta college athletics.
He also wants to facilitate and build on current relationships with First Nations and Metis Settlements in efforts to meet their education needs.
Sharkawi would like to explore the possibility of having a vet training and water plant operator programs at NLC and, of course, to continue building on trades training such as logging equipment operators and truck drivers.
With his plate already full of many responsibilities, Sharkawi has no current plans to step aside from any duties he is already involved in. He wants to first see how much time being the NLC chair takes before deciding on other commitments.