Brad Hestbak is a community engagement strategist, fundraiser, and writer. He has held leadership roles at several post-secondary institutions across the province, including the University of Alberta, Athabasca University and Medicine Hat College.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Brad graduated from the U of A and worked for the university as a technical illustrator, administrator, and marketing consultant. During that time, he was at the forefront of implementing digital communication tools for presentation, publication, and the initial design of the University’s brand on the internet.
Moving to Athabasca in 2002, Brad soon experienced the challenge of doing business and providing services outside of a major urban centre. These issues were amplified when his work took him to remote communities across the north where the lack of cellphone and internet services, a multitude of transportation barriers, inferior educational facilities, and limited employment opportunities, posed a daily struggle.
Inspired by these challenges, Brad partnered with industry and community stakeholders to raise more than $10 million for career-based education in rural Alberta. In doing so, Brad has excelled in working with governments, business, non-profits, post-secondary institutions, and Indigenous communities. Today, his work includes brand development, strategic partnerships, and corporate communications for both large and small organizations. He is passionate about living and working in the north and making a difference in rural and remote communities.
Brad lives on a small farm alongside the Athabasca River, approximately 225 km. north of Edmonton with too many dogs, horses, and donkeys.