Wally and his wife, Lori, first came to Hay River more than 30 years ago for an opportunity. Originally from Fort Smith, he came to Hay River to raise a family and grow a business in one of the most exciting communities for economic growth in the North. Hay River’s continued opportunities are we he still calls it home today.
Wally’s business experience was largely developed growing his company, Poison Graphics. Founded in 1998 as an auto body repair facility, it quickly expanded to become the largest sign manufacturing business in the Northwest Territories.
His leadership experience was fostered in his work to promote and develop one of the strongest private business hubs in the Northwest Territories. He was a director for the Hay River Chamber of Commerce, a member of the NWT Chamber of Mines Aboriginal Participation Committee, and a Director for the NWT Manufacturer’s Association. In each of these roles, he advocated sustainable, community-driven economic development opportunities.
Wally’s passion for business is equally matched by his commitment to education and culture, which are fundamental to a healthy society. He served two years as president of the Hay River Métis Government Council, and vice-president for two years prior. With a member-driven approach to decision-making, he led a large-scale community consultation to develop a community wellness contribution funding agreement with the GNWT. He also dedicated time to mentor our future leaders by participating in cultural activities and attending weekly student council meetings at Diamond Jenness High School.
Listening and collaboration are important skills Wally learned early in his career as a Red Seal auto body journeyman, and integral to his role as MLA Hay River South and Cabinet Minister for the Government of the Northwest Territories. He is deeply committed to working with constituents to re-energizing the Hub of the North to give each and every resident the best opportunity to prosper.