Assistant Fire Chief Laurie VandeSchoot is known for building inclusive and high-performing cultures that strengthen communities. She is an executive level change agent who currently serves the Town of Strathmore, and worked for The City of Calgary for more than 30 years before that, while also consulting internationally for 20 of those. Along with an MSc in Sustainable Development, Chief VandeSchoot holds several other interdisciplinary degrees. Chief VandeSchoot is currently the Lead for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Diversity Executive Leadership Program, as well as the chair of their Human Relations Committee. In Canada, she is the National Co-Chair of the Canadian Association of Fire Chief’s (CAFC) National Subcommittee on Diversity & Inclusion, as well as the Co-Chair of the Women Fire Chiefs and Company Officers Network of Canada.
Outside the Fire Service, she is the vice-chair of Canada’s Centre for Sexuality. In recognition of her passion for diversity and inclusion, Laurie has received a number of accolades including an Immigrants of Distinction, Organizational Diversity Award for outstanding achievements in implementing cultural diversity initiatives, and a Federation of Canadian Municipalities Award for outstanding contributions to international cooperation.
Laurie is married, has two children and is an active participant and volunteer in sports, arts and social justice activism. Every day, Laurie aims to live her credo “I educate, I create, I inspire”.