Emergency Management & Disaster Recovery

Emergency Management Instructor Bios

Steve Armstrong | Ken Hoffer | Marty Pollard I Matt Sawatsky

CE Bio - Emergency - ArmstrongSteve Armstrong    CD, OStJ, MSc, BA
Steve is a Calgary-based speaker, educator and consultant. He is an expert in developing followers into leaders and building dedicated, loyal and remarkable teams.

Through the lessons learned from 35 years as a leader, soldier and humanitarian, Steve has honed his insights and leadership skills and his unique ability to inspire and teach others to lead.

Steve is one of only a handful of people in Canada who has planned and managed the relief and recovery responses and maintained complex business continuity function while leading combat soldiers in operations and during the following crisis situations: 2016 Ft. McMurray Firestorm, 2013 Alberta floods, 2011 Slave Lake fires, 2004 tsunami, SARS outbreak, 2003 blackout in Ontario and the northeastern United States, 2003 SARS outbreak, 2003 BC firestorms and the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Steve has a Master's in Public Policy and Management. He lives in Calgary with his patient and understanding wife Debra.


CE Bio - Emergency - HofferKen Hoffer    MSW, RSW, ABCP
Ken Hoffer joined Alberta Health Services as an Emergency Management Officer in 2012 after 10 years of service as a Commissioned Officer with the Canadian Forces, and 15 years as a social worker with the City of Calgary.

With Alberta Health Services, Ken led a project to assist continuing care sites across Alberta with their emergency management and business continuity planning, and assisted impacted sites to respond and recover from the 2013 Southern Alberta flood. Ken also assisted with projects to increase the coordination of AHS support to community Reception Centres, and the development of Psychosocial Response and Recovery Frameworks - this work utilized in his deployment to the Fort McMurray wildfire response in 2016.

Prior to joining AHS, Ken held City of Calgary positions with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), Family and Community Support Services, and in the Offices of the Mayor and City Council.  A graduate of the Canadian Emeregncy Management College, Ken's work with Emergency Social Services (ESS) has included ESS Coordinator, Reception Centre Manager and Coordinator of the ESS Emergency Operations Centre Team. Along with CEMA team members, Ken responded to the Slave Lake wildfire in 2011.

Ken and his wife are the proud parents of three amazing children and a fun-loving Labrador retriever, and also provide live-in support to a woman with a developmental disability.


CE Bio - Emergency - PollardMarty Pollard   BA, MA
Marty Pollard works for the City of Calgary in the Water department as a Business Continuity and Emergency Management Planner. Marty has been with the City of Calgary for the past two years.

Marty came to the City of Calgary from the Canadian Red Cross where he spent eight years, most recently as Alberta Provincial Manager of Disaster Management. During his time with Red Cross, Marty deployed to Haiti, directed the Slave Lake disaster operation, and has deployed twice to Manitoba to assist in flood preparations.

Marty has a BA in History from the University of Alberta and has recently completed his MA in Disaster and Emergency Management from Royal Roads University.

Marty is an active instructor with ICS (Incident Command System) Canada, a member of IAEM (International Association of Emergency Managers).


Matt SawatskyMatt Sawatsky, ABCP

Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations

Matt has a diverse background in disaster preparedness, response and recovery which has included years in the front line and management experience. He has been involved in emergency management with the nonprofit sector for seven years with a focus on community and individual preparedness and disaster social services.

Matt currently works for the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations as Emergency Preparedness Specialist where he oversees the Emergency Preparedness Initiative of Calgary (EPIC). EPIC is tasked with overseeing and improving Calgary's nonprofit sectors emergency preparedness and response capabilities.

Prior to his current role he's held positions with the Canadian Red Cross as Recovery Manager for 2013 flood operations in High River, Disaster Management Coordinator for Central Alberta region and others. He has worked with a variety of public, private and nonprofit agencies towards streamlining emergency response efforts in future.

Steve has a Master's in Public Policy and Management. He lives in Calgary with his patient and understanding wife Debra.