Born to a Persian mother and a Pakistani Father, Gino grew up living in several countries in the middle east and south Asia. In 1997, he travelled to Canada to begin his post-secondary education in Classical Theatre and International Politics at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Gino credits his parents for instilling in him the importance of hard work and commitment to the community. He understands the challenges facing new Canadians and firsthand experience of the benefits of welcoming newcomers to our city.
In 2005, he moved to Edmonton with his wife Michelle. Gino is married to Dr. Michelle Inness, Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Alberta. Together with their daughter, Olivia, they reside in Riverdale. The family enjoys running, cycling and raising their two cats, and Coffee!
"I came to Canada when I was 19 years old. Prior to that I lived in eight countries due to my Father’s work. My family and I witnessed war, political conflict, and sectarianism first hand. We experienced poverty, displacement and near homelessness.
My parents and experiences taught me the importance of community and family, where life is valued, where people have a roof over their head and food on their table.
I have had the opportunity of variety in my career. I owned an Edmonton coffee shop for three years. I worked in the arts; on stage, on camera and in the dance community.
I am particularly proud of the work I did for over a decade, as a civilian, teaching conflict resolution, cultural sensitivity, relationship building and negotiations skills to our military troops.
My experiences abroad, along with my work here gave me the opportunity to work with diverse groups of people and I learned to approach all challenges with one goal - to find common ground. I want to use those experiences and my values to share my vision for our city. "