Progressive Conservative MLA, Peace River
Gary Friedel was born in Fairview, Alberta on October 30, 1942. He went to high school there, and later worked toward a Business Administration program through Grande Prairie Regional College. He worked with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for five years before his venture into private business in retail furniture in Fairview. In 1967 he was asked to take on the position as the first full-time secretary-treasurer for the St. Thomas More School District in Fairview. In 1969 he moved to Peace River where he became the secretary-treasurer for the Peace River School Division. In 1976 he went back to private business and began Friedel Construction and Management Ltd., a company he successfully operated until entering provincial politics in 1993. His company specialized in design construction and has expanded into management consulting.
Gary has been very active in community affairs. He is a Past Grand Knight and District Deputy of the Knights of Columbus, Past President of the Peace River Construction Association, Past President of the Peace River Progressive Conservative Association, Past President of the Peace River Forestry Association and Past District and Provincial President of the School Business Officials of Alberta and Alberta Director of the Association of School Business Officials International.
In addition to this, he has belonged to the Peace River Kinsmen Club, the Peace River Fire Department, the Peace River Chamber of Commerce, the Peace River Regional Museum Society, the Fairview College Foundation Board and many other volunteer community organizations.
In 1972 Gary was first elected as a councillor for the Town of Peace River. In 1977 he was elected to the Board of the Peace River School District No.43, and served as Chair of the Board. In 1980 he was elected as Mayor of the Town of Peace River, a position he held for six years.
Notable awards he has received, include the Peace River Citizen of the Year award in 1981, a Life Membership in the School Business Officials of Alberta, and an Honorary Life Membership in the Peace River Kinsmen Club.
He was first elected MLA for Peace River on June 15, 1993, and re-elected on March 11, 1997, and serves on the following: Treasury Board; Chairman of the Regulatory Reform Task Force; Standing Policy Committee on Financial Planning and Human Resources; and Standing Committee on Legislative Offices.
Gary lives in Peace River. His three grown children are Joe, Dennis and Linda.