Professor David Dale-Johnson


Professor Dale Johnson is the Stan Melton Executive Professor in Real Estate at the Alberta School of Business and Director of the Centre for Cities and Communities. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley and has taught at UBC, Cal Berkeley, USC and Peking University. An expert in real estate economics, real estate finance and city building, he teaches real estate economics, investment, finance and development. His research has focused on real estate markets, real estate contracts, including long-term land leases, and international real estate markets. As well as teaching and research, he has worked as a real estate consultant and as an executive in the real estate business. He is committed to building collaboration in the business of city building along with spending downtime on the mountains and on the ocean.

John Pracejus


My research focuses on consumer emotional response to marketing, how consumers interpret visual communications in marketing, and how consumers respond to brand associations, such as celebrities, events, and charitable causes. I have published work in journals such as: Journal of Advertising, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. I hold a Ph.D. in Marketing from the University of Florida and an M.A. in Communications from the University of Illinois. I have presented research findings in over 20 countries and have taught at universities in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong, Russia and the United States.

Heather Thomson


Heather is on a mission to re-energize communities. She is currently the centre officer of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Cities and Communities. Heather mentors the next generation of business innovators; because strong businesses are the building blocks of strong communities. She leads the student consulting group, which employs hundreds of students. Heather works with leaders in the business community with an emphasis on education, consulting, academic and applied research and industry outreach.

She is a mom of two young boys, delivers presentations across the country and is currently working on her master's in behavioural economics.

Leah Fiorillo

Leah Fiorillo is the program assistant for the Real Estate Program and the Centre for Cities and Communities at the Alberta School of Business. Leah holds a BSc in biology and philosophy from Western University and a graduate certificate in environmental management and assessment from Niagara College. Over the last 10 years, Leah’s experience has been primarily in contract management and procurement, as well as event management. Since 2019 she has been working closely with David Dale-Johnson to ensure the success of the Real Estate Program and its initiatives. Leah is a mom of two young children, is an avid community volunteer having held numerous roles on her community league board, and in her spare time loves to travel.


The advisory board is responsible for guiding the centre’s strategic mission while providing key insights, practical experience, and execution.