Cochrane Ideas – April 2021


Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7 p.m. via Zoom opening at 6:30 p.m.

Like everyone, we look forward to the day when we can gather in person once again. Meanwhile, we have chosen to gather virtually and hope that you will join us at our first ever ZOOM gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group: 
Zoom link: expired

Six accomplished women from Cochrane and area speak to this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #ChooseToChallenge. With a variety of backgrounds and rich life experiences, each of the women will respond to the question: How have you challenged the world?


JUDIE BOPP   Co-founder of Four Worlds International, and a Director of the Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning, Judie is a specialist in curriculum design and development and organizational transformation. She is well known for her expertise in culturally based and experiential learning and has designed and written numerous learning programs for schools, colleges, and adult training programs. Judie has a wealth of international and North American experience providing training, technical support and evaluation services related to program development and organizational change. She is also the current Chair of the Rotary District Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Judie has a PhD in education and a master’s degree in curriculum development.

LYNDA COOKE   Lynda is originally from West Vancouver and obtained her Bachelor of Engineering (Bioresource) from the University of British Columbia. Lynda got her first engineering job with Urban Systems Ltd. in Kamloops. She transferred to the company’s Calgary office in 1991, where she has been a Partner for 27 years and was a Director for 15 years. Lynda continues to work with Urban Systems as a Senior Municipal Engineer, having enjoyed serving myriad small to mid sized communities, including Cochrane, for almost 25 years. Lynda’s love of athletics saw her ski racing throughout her teenage and university years, and she continues to play hockey. Her love of the outdoors and of an active lifestyle gets Lynda out horseback riding, fishing, camping and playing golf.

MAY CUMMINGS   May was born in Iran but grew up in Sweden. She later married a Canadian and moved to Canada. Before moving to Calgary after her retirement from teaching, she lived in the Inuit village of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, the First Nations community of Bella Bella, BC, and Saskatoon, SK. As a high school teacher in Saskatoon, May co-wrote the Saskatoon curriculum for the grade 12 local courses of World Religions and Global citizenship. She served as the President of Immigrant Women of Saskatoon and of the Saskatoon chapter of the United Nations Association in Canada. She is now active within the Calgary Interfaith Council. May’s exposure to different cultures and languages reinforces her understanding of the importance of finding ways to apply the principles of the oneness of humanity in an authentic way. May has a Master of Law from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan.

NADINE EICHINGER   Nadine grew up in “very small-town Saskatchewan,” with just five students in her high school graduating class! She trained as a physical therapy assistant and worked for the Brooks Health District for several years in hospital and homecare. She and her family moved to Cochrane in 2001. After staying home to raise her three children, Nadine became involved with the Seniors for Kids Society, a non-profit intergenerational mentorship program. In her dual roles as School Facilitator and Fundraising Coordinator, Nadine coordinates the volunteer seniors, does grant writing and is responsible for the bi-monthly newsletter. Working for the Seniors for Kids Society has broadened Nadine’s sense of community and taught her the importance of story-sharing. She and her husband feel blessed to be able to raise their children in Cochrane. Her favorite things about the area are the people and the surrounding beauty, a beauty that brings a bit of peace to her world every day. Nadine likes to camp, boat, fish and ride her paddle board.

HEATHER KERR   A retired operating room nurse, Heather took advantage of her career to travel and work in four different countries: Canada (four western provinces), Australia, Papua New Guinea and Norway. Travel is a passion for Heather, and she has toured and trekked on all seven continents. Heather also loves music and plays alto sax in a Cochrane band. Her other interests include hiking, skiing, writing and reading. Heather is married to a great traveling partner and is looking forward to their next trip.

PAT VERGE   Pat is a writer and editor who has lived in Cochrane with her husband for over 30 years. Her life has been greatly enriched by relationships with the Stoney Nakoda people over many years. Her latest book, “Equals and Partners: A Spiritual Journey Toward Reconciliation and Oneness, Wazin Îchinabi,” chronicles the story of these friendships. Pat is of Irish and Croatian ancestry, a mother of two and grandmother of four.