By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator


The Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro gather nearly 2,000 participants across five regions of the province (North, East, South, West, and Winnipeg, for a total of six regional teams with Winnipeg comprising two teams), and is Manitoba’s largest ongoing multi-sport event. 

Our Chefs de Mission will lead their regional contingent of athletes, coaches, and managers, and aid operations during the lead-up to and at the Games. These talented and hard-working folks are the primary link between Sport Manitoba, the 2024 Dauphin Host Society, and the participants representing their region.

Meet Our Regional Chefs for the 2024 Manitoba Summer Games



Shaye Samec
Shaye is the Projects Coordinator at Sport Manitoba. Growing up, she was a multi-sport athlete, participating in badminton, basketball, handball, soccer, tennis, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball to name a few! A University of Manitoba graduate with a degree in Kinesiology and Recreation Management, Shaye is excited to join the Manitoba Games Mission Staff after participating in her first Games event as the Team Manitoba Athletics Manager at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games! In her spare time, Shaye loves to travel, camp, cook, and bead.

Laurie Macdonell
Currently the Event/Development Coordinator at CurlManitoba, Laurie has been involved with sport—as an athlete and fan—for many years. She has also cheered on her two children in hockey, lacrosse, and curling, including on the national stage at the Canada Games. As Mission Staff for Team Manitoba at the Canada Games in PEI last year, Laurie says multi-sport games are a lot of fun to be a part of and she looks forward to watching the athletes perform after months and years of training, and helping the regions perform without having to worry about the details.



Terry Skarban
A dad of two daughters and Vice-Principal at Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School, Terry is a great believer in that the best can be brought out in all people. He is eager to work with the coaches, athletes, and Mission Staff to create a successful Games where great memories are made. His advice to those gearing up to compete in Dauphin is that winning is great, but even better is improving at your sport, exceeding your personal best, and growing as an athlete and person!

Kim Avanthay
Kim has been involved in sport for most of her life, first as an athlete, then in various roles supporting her kids’ sports teams. A Business Analyst in her career, Kim’s most recent experience with multi-sport games was managing Team Manitoba basketball for the 2023 North American Indigenous Games in Halifax. In Dauphin, she’s looking forward to supporting the East Region so they have an enjoyable experience and contribute to the success of the event. Her advice to athletes would be to be your best self during competition and down time. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy everything this experience has to offer. Good luck, athletes!



Patrick Alexander
Patrick is a teacher at Northlands Parkway Collegiate in Winkler. A self-proclaimed Games junkie of sorts, he looks forward to giving back to sport in any way he can as he has received so much from it in the past. Heading into Dauphin, he is excited for a great adventure working with the athletes and coaches, and getting to know other people from around the province. His advice to athletes? Enjoy your time on and off the field of play! It will go by fast, so take it all in. It will be an awesome experience and will provide great memories for later on.

Heather Willis
Heather has been in the mining industry for 16 years as a geologist and underground miner. Today, she is a project manager for Rope Access and Rope/Technical Rescue. Her experience with sport is in rugby as a coach and an athlete in high school and university, and in biathlon as a cadet and coach, including contract coaching with Biathlon Canada. She’s been to the last two Canada Winter Games as a biathlon coach and is looking forward to seeing a summer Games from the mission staff side. Her advice to athletes in Dauphin is to have fun, get out and watch some of the other sports, and cheer on the rest of your team!


Scott Kirk
A Director of Health Services at Brandon Regional Health Centre, Scott has participated in numerous multi-sport Games as Mission Staff. He is a huge fan of the exciting atmosphere of the Canada Games and watching the high level of competition. His favourite sports are cycling and running, and his favourite team to cheer for is the Winnipeg Jets. Scott looks forward to taking on the role of Chef for Team West, getting to know the athletes and coaches, and creating a positive experience for them both during and outside of the competition.

Hayley Jayde
Hayley is currently pursuing her degree in Recreation Management and Community Development at the University of Manitoba. She has been involved in the world of sport throughout her entire life as a participant, but has never attended the Games. Hayley can’t wait to learn more about the multi-sport environment through this experience as Regional Chef. She is most excited to witness the effort and dedication put into such a large event, and getting the opportunity to support the athletes and help them to give it their best performance.



Neale Gillespie
Originally from Toronto, Neale is a proud dad of his two kids. He enjoys all sports at all levels. A former teacher, Neale has spent the past 17 years as a Senior Coaching Consultant with the Coaching Association of Canada, and sits on the Board of Directors of Canadian Adaptive Snowsports. He is a certified Master Coach Developer and enjoys working with coaches to support them in their growth and development. He believes working in sport is a privilege, and strives to provide a platform for people to excel in a fun, safe, and meaningful environment. Neale says sport gives us all an opportunity to become good people for life.

Tiffany Peape
Tiffany absolutely loved and enjoyed her experience with Team Manitoba as Mission Staff for basketball at the 2019 Western Canada Games. Five years later, she’s back for more fun! Tiffany is currently the Coordinator of Event Operations at the Canadian Football League (CFL) and is a part of the team of people who plan and execute the Grey Cup every year. Prior to joining the CFL, Tiffany worked for Basketball Manitoba, Football Manitoba, Bison Sports, and the University of Manitoba – Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management. She is very excited to support and cheer on Team Winnipeg Gold to win gold! 



Gerald Mirecki
A University of Manitoba alumni who is currently enjoying his retirement, Gerald has participated in various Games as Mission Staff and as a volunteer at the international, national, and provincial level. He has also volunteered with various parks and recreation associations and community service organizations over the years, and is a proud grandfather of two grandchildren who play a variety of sports. He is excited to support the athletes, coaches, and volunteers at the Manitoba Games in Dauphin this summer!

Jessica Fichtner
Jessica is a Games alumni, competing in biathlon at the Canada Winter Games (CWG) in 2011 and University Games in 2013. She also volunteered at the Canada Summer Games (CSG) in 2017 and was Mission Staff for Team Manitoba at the CWG last year. Jessica has been involved with the Air Cadet Program for 21 years as both a cadet and an officer. In her free time, she enjoys flying, staying active, and spending time with her one-year-old daughter. What she’s most looking forward to is seeing all the athletes perform. For a lot of them, it will be their first Games experience and she’s excited to see them rise to the challenge and bond with other athletes. Jessica is also excited to work with other Chefs to help ensure the athletes and coaches have a memorable experience.


Learn more about the 2024 Manitoba Summer Games powered by Manitoba Hydro.