Foundation introduces Governor Penny Omell

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) is pleased to announce Penny Omell has joined our Board of Governors for a three-year term.

Working in wealth management, Penny loves hearing about her clients’ lives and helping them be financially sound. She brings a passion for meaningful conversation and problem-solving along with vast governance experience to the Board and she’s pleased to work with the Foundation in its efforts across Alberta.

Penny is one of the three Public Appointments to the Board of Governors. She was interested in joining the Foundation because it’s “an opportunity to contribute to a Board with impact.”

Penny has served on many boards over the years, including the Downtown Business Association and the Edmonton Community Foundation where she held the position of Board Chair in both organizations. Penny also holds her ICD.D designation granted by the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Penny was raised in Ireland and completed her university education at Trinity College, Dublin. She immigrated to Edmonton in 1980. Prior to her career in wealth management, Penny practiced as a physical therapist and held many roles over 15 years, including Chair of the Board of the newly formed College of Physical Therapists Alberta.

Penny is married to Ron and has two adult children. She has become passionate about golf and loves contributing to the community.

Review. Reconnect. Renew.

The Board has identified supporting Alberta’s real estate, economic, and community recovery as important priorities. This is key to our 2020-21 Strategic Plan, which is aligned with a significantly increased budget to invest in industry and community investment, in support of Alberta’s economic recovery.

In 2021, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation will celebrate thirty successful years of delivering its mandate. This 30th Anniversary is an opportunity for the Foundation to review its operations and governance, reconnect with its stakeholders and renew how it benefits the real estate industry and Alberta’s communities in an even more impactful manner.

AREF’s 2020-21 Strategic Plan identifies three priorities:

• Review and update operational and governance systems to improve efficiency and impact.
• Grant categories, criteria, policies, assessment, and reporting for optimal impact.
• AREF’s bylaws, policies, and governance frameworks to reflect best practices.
• Increase outreach and engagement with stakeholders across Alberta.
• Proactively seek more co-investment and grant opportunities.
• Increase AREF’s emphasis on facilitating partnerships.
• Complete the 30th Anniversary collaborative Strategic Plan.
• Enhance transparency in governance, operations, and outcomes.
• Increase support for real estate, economic, and community recovery.


By the end of 2021, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation will have:

  • Completed a new Strategic Plan through a collaborative process;
  • Increased investments in Alberta’s real estate, economic, and community recovery;
  • Increased outreach, engagement, and communication with all its stakeholders; and
  • Improved its governance and operations to better deliver its mandate across Alberta

Foundation names Janice Resch new Chair Elect

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) is pleased to announce Janice Resch has been elected as the Foundation’s Chair-Elect, to serve as the eighteenth Chair of the Board of Governors effective November 1, 2021.  Janice has served on the Board of Governors since 2018 as an appointment of the Alberta Real Estate Association.

Janice was born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta into a family that’s been active in real estate since 1962. Janice became a licensed REALTOR® in 1995. “In the past 25 years I have had the opportunity to meet and work with incredible people, both as clients and as fellow industry members,” she says. “It’s not work when you love your career like I do.”

Janice has served as President of the Central Alberta REALTORS® Association twice, serving on the Board of Directors for a total 11 years, and Chair of the Red Deer REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. She also served as a director of the Alberta Real Estate Association for four years. Her contributions to her industry and community have been recognized with the AREA Quality of Life Award in 2006, CARA Realtor of the Year in 2008 and AREA Life Member Award in 2012.

Janice’s focus as Chair-Elect is to support the outreach and engagement of the Foundation’s partners and stakeholders.  “My priority is to educate both the public and real estate professionals of the wonderful projects and organizations that the Alberta Real Estate Foundation supports throughout Alberta,” Janice says. “We also need to get the word out to potential recipients in all corners of the province to broaden our scope in which we can help.”

Janice believes strongly in the work of the Foundation and brings to the role of Chair-Elect an understanding of the real estate industry and the importance of strengthening communities.  “I think that AREF can, has, and will, continue to support Albertans and the industry in the best way possible for a positive contribution to society on all levels,” she says. “I feel blessed that I can be apart of something so positive for Alberta and the Real Estate Industry.”