About the CMLTA


Valentin (Tino) Villatoro, MLT – President
Tino graduated with a BSc in Medical Laboratory Science at the University of Alberta and went on to complete a MEd degree in Health Science Education from the University of Alberta. Tino has a diverse background in both the field of laboratory medicine, as well as education. He started off working as a Laboratory Assistant and then went on to work as an MLT after completing his certification. Tino has also held several instructor positions at NAIT in the MLT and CLXT programs and at the University of Alberta in the MLS program. Currently, Tino is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. He is the hematology Clinical Instructor and Clinical Coordinator in the Medical Laboratory Science program and continues to work as a casual MLT I at the Grey Nuns Hospital. On top of his professional roles, Tino has also volunteered with the Flying Doctors of Canada on several medical missions to Central America (3 missions to El Salvador and 1 to Nicaragua), along with volunteer roles with the CSMLS (as a CSMLS Ambassador, a Peer Reviewer with the Scientific and Education Review Committee, and as an Educational Planner for LABCON 2017), and the CMLTA (current member of the Legislation Sub-Committee).

Shelly Stevens, MLT, ART – Vice President
Shelly graduated from NAIT in 1987 and started her MLT career in a multidisciplinary lab in St. Paul, AB. In 1989, she began a 20-year journey at the University of Alberta Hospital working in a variety of positions including Technical Supervisor at the Provincial Laboratory of Public Health, Quality Control Technologist and Research Technologist.  More recently, Shelly spent several years on staff at NAIT in the School of Health Sciences. In 2015, Shelly set up a Quality Management System for a private health services company where she worked with a variety of health disciplines that fall under the governance of the Health Professions Act. She currently works as a Medical Education Program Coordinator in Microbiology for the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Shelly is a life-long learner; she completed her ART in Microbiology in 1996 and a Degree in Technology Management in 2018. She is an active volunteer in her community and our profession. Shelly participated in Phase I and Phase II of the ACMLT validation for the on-line renewal process in 2005/06. She became a CMLTA Councilor in 2016 and is also a member of the CMLTA Legislation Sub-Committee.

Sally Abou-Zeki, MLT
Sally graduated with an MLS degree from the University of Alberta in 2017. She immediately started her career at Rocky Mountain Analytical (RMA), a division of LifeLabs LP, as a technologist specializing in ELISA and Mass Spectrometry in the Specialized Chemistry area. She is actively involved in quality and safety initiatives; currently serving as the Co-Chair on the Joint Health and Safety Committee, and is also a member of the RMA Quality Committee. She took an active role in preparing the laboratory for the CPSA inspection in the fall of 2018. Sally is self-motivated to seek out and take on new challenges and opportunities to continually improve her workplace and her own knowledge. Sally achieved her ASCP certification and her LEAN Six Sigma Yellow Belt in 2018 as well. Being in the early stages of her career, she will be a strong advocate for learning and development, quality and innovation, both in the MLT profession and in the laboratory itself.

Kim Alkalay, MLT, BSc
Kim graduated from SAIT with an MLA certificate in 1999 and worked as an MLA for 10 years in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia. In 2010, Kim went back to school and completed her MLT Diploma at BCIT. Kim worked in Microbiology and then in core labs in hospitals in and around the lower mainland. During this time, Kim knew that she wanted to teach and began her Provincial Instructors Diploma through Vancouver Community College. Her first teaching experience was a contract teaching position at BCIT working with MLT students in the laboratory. In 2015, Kim’s family moved to Calgary, Alberta so she could begin a permanent teaching position teaching both MLAs and MLTs at SAIT. Kim’s professional passion is teaching medical laboratory science and inspiring future lab assistants and technologists. Her personal passion is family and furthering her own education. Kim is currently enrolled and finishing her Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree through Thompson Rivers University and is looking into a Masters of Adult Education through the University of Calgary.

Tracy Bucko, MLT

Tarek Brahim, MLT
After finishing a BSc in Biological Sciences in 2006 at the University of Alberta, Tarek came to realize his passion for the healthcare field and took a particularly keen interest in pathology. Subsequently, he enrolled in NAIT’s Cytotechnology program. After graduating in 2014, Tarek commenced his career at DynalifeDx and is currently employed as a full-time cytologist. Since graduating, Tarek has also volunteered as a member of the Cytotechnology/MLT program committee at NAIT for 2014 and 2015. Tarek is still in the infancy of his career, and his passion and drive for helping achieve a high standard of work and providing competent services remains strong. Tarek believes innovation and ingenuity will progress the field of laboratory medicine, and he hopes to be an ambassador for these core values.

Gloria Paulet, MLT
Gloria graduated honors from the MLT program at SAIT in 2012. She is currently working with Calgary Laboratory Services in the area of Immunohistochemistry and working on her BSc at the University of Athabasca. Prior to working as an MLT, Gloria spent over a decade in the social services field. This included sitting on various councils, committees, and sub-committees working on numerous community activities. Gloria has a strong belief in diversity in the work place and is an advocate of professional bodies being reflective of the communities they represent.

Kathleen Thompson, MLT
Kathleen graduated from NAIT in 1981 and spent the first 25 years of her career working in north, central Alberta. In 2006, she moved to northern BC to work as a quality resource technologist. While there, Kathleen was provided the opportunity to join the College of New Caledonia in Prince George as an instructor in their newly opened Medical Laboratory Technology Sciences program. Throughout the next several years, Kathleen completed a Provincial Instructors Diploma through Vancouver Community College, an ART in quality systems, and a Master of Education through Simon Fraser University. In 2016, Kathleen returned to Alberta to be closer to family and was fortunate at that time to be hired in her current position at SAIT as an instructor for both MLAs and MLTs. Kathleen has previously volunteered with the CSMLS and with the ACMLT, the forerunner of the CMLTA and is looking forward to working on Council; not only to learn the ins and outs surrounding regulation and legislation, but also to engage with other medical laboratory professionals from across the province.

Pauline Tomlin, MLT
Pauline graduated from the MLT program at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario then went on to complete an ART in Microbiology; several years later she completed her BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences at the University of Alberta (UofA). In 2008, she was successful in completing her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Management and Policy from the School of Public Health at the UofA. Her MLT career started at Sacred Heart Hospital in rural Alberta and in 1981 she began her journey with her current employer the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health. Currently, she sits on the Enteric Parasitology Advisory Committee for Clinical Microbiology Proficiency Testing (CMPT), at UBC. She served for a year as a member of the Medical Microbiology Residency Program Committee at the UofA, and is the coordinator for the Residency Teaching Bench at ProvLab. She is a lecturer and laboratory instructor for the MMI 426 Advanced Parasitology Course at the UofA and a guest lecturer for the parasitology lab at NAIT for the past several years. She helped organized and presented at several parasitology workshops with participants from across Canada and in June 2017, she was a presenter at CSMLS LABCON 2017 in Banff and has also been a convention speaker for the CMLTA in 2005 and 2006. In addition to her professional roles, she has been a volunteer Peer Counselor for over 30 years at the Pregnancy Care Centre in Edmonton and have helped organized and coordinate a weekly ESL Communication Cafe for newcomers to Canada at Fellowship Baptist Church in Edmonton for the past 12 years. She has volunteered provincially and internationally with different agencies (in 2012 she went to Haiti with Samaritan’s Purse to help rebuild an orphanage that was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake). Pauline is a life-long learner and is looking forward to serving on Council.


Domingo Chavez 
Domingo Chavez was born in Santiago of Chile in May 22, 1946. In 1973 while working on his mechanical engineering degree at the Technical State University in Chile and while working for the Public Work Ministry, the democratic elected government in Chile was overthrown in a coup d’état. As a result Mr. Chavez lost his job and was deprived of his chosen career path. Mr. Chavez was interrogated, tortured, and sent to a concentration camp. In 1974 with the help of United Nations and various humanitarian and religious organizations, Mr. Chavez moved to Argentina where he was joined by his fiancé Monica, and they later married in 1974. Mr.  Chavez and his wife moved to Canada in 1975 and settled in Edmonton and had two daughters. While in Canada Mr. Chavez and his wife participated in various initiatives to denounce the violations of human rights that occurred in Chile during the military dictatorship. Both were deeply committed to re-establishing the democratization in their motherland. Mr. Chavez has been an active member of the Latin American community. In 1993 the government of Chile appointed Mr. Chavez as the Honorary Consul of Chile until 2001. Mr. Chavez has served in many positions dealing with cultural, media, solidarity, and human rights. He has also volunteered with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Teen Time. Mr. Chavez was a member of the Human Rights Commission and Multiculturalism and Education Fund for the Government of Alberta from 2000 until 2006. Mr. Chavez was a Licensed Practical Nurse for the past 25 years and is currently employed at the University of Alberta Hospital as a nursing attendant.

Kate Ruethers
Kate was born and raised in Calgary. She completed a dual diploma in Social Work and Disability Studies through Mount Royal University in 2015. She is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work online through the University of Manitoba. Kate also works full time as a Residential Counsellor at an addiction treatment center for women and works casually for Money Mentors where she teaches children financial literacy skills in schools. Her primary work experience before moving into addictions was in the disability field. Kate’s favorite thing to do is to travel and experience different cultures. During her travels, she had the opportunity to volunteer in Ipoh, Malaysia in a Rehabilitation Center and in the Dresden Zoo in Germany. She likes to include volunteering as a part of her travels when she has enough time to do so. Kate’s current goal is to get into Law School to study Human Rights Law.

Aaron Zelmer, B. Admin., LSM
Mr. Zelmer is a native Albertan having grown up in the Calgary and High River area. He completed a 30 year career in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police having attained the rank of Inspector. At the time of his retirement he was the Operations Officer at Richmond, B.C. and the chair of the Emergency Preparedness Committee for the Vancouver International Airport. His career included general duty policing, organized crime and undercover investigations, instructing criminal law to recruits, detachment command, and Emergency Response Team/Armed Ship Boarding drug interdiction command. After his first career, Mr. Zelmer has been engaged as a consultant to the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan to facilitate the development of Organized Crime business plans, as well as a Security Consultant for a National Security Company. He was a Public Member on the Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board, a Public Member adjudicator pursuant to the Alberta Health Professions Act, and a Public Member on Council for the College of Alberta Denturists. Mr. Zelmer currently instructs Ethics at MacEwan University. He is the Band Officer for the “K” Division R.C.M.P. Regimental Pipes and Drums as well as a volunteer at Edmonton Northlands in support of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. He builds and flies radio controlled aircraft as well as enjoys his woodwork shop. Mr. Zelmer is married with two daughters and three grandchildren.

Pursuant to section 12(1) of the HPA, Pursuant to Section 12(1) of the Health Professions Act, twenty-five percent of the voting members of Council must be Public Members appointed by the Government of Alberta.

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