Introducing the 2023-24 SafeLink Alberta Board of Directors!

Olga SydorchukBlog, Uncategorized

Name and Job: Dianne Dyer (she/her), Retired

Role on the Board: Chair Year Elected: 2021

Dianne has 44 years of registered nursing experience. She retired at the end of June 2020. Her final nursing leadership role was Provincial Initiatives Consultant for Provincial Addiction & Mental Health focusing on strategies and policy work related to the opioid crisis, harm reduction and treatment for opioid use disorder. In addition, she was the provincial lead for the establishment of the Injectable Opioid Agonist Treatment clinics (iOAT).

Name and Job: Catherine Watson (she/her), CPHR, Human Resources Consultant & Coach

Role on the Board: Vice-Chair Year Elected: 2022

Catherine is a human resource professional with 17 years of progressive HR experience in the not-for-profit, healthcare, engineering, oil & gas, and food manufacturing industries. She is passionate about a strategic approach to HR governance and practice and focuses on leadership and career development for individuals within organizations. Catherine has been a life-long ally of people who identify within the LGBTQIA2S+ communities. She is a proud aunt of a trans-woman, and this has led her to hope to make a more meaningful contribution and impact within the community as a board member with SafeLink Alberta.

Name and Job: Caia Mundell (she/her), CGA, CPA, Senior Tax Avoidance Auditor, Canada Revenue Agency

Role on the Board: Treasurer Year Elected: 2021

Caia brings to the board 20 plus years as an accountant in public practice with a specialty in Non-profit audits. Her hero was her dad, and he was part of the LGBTQ+ community. He had to endure hardship and difficulties in rural Alberta as a result and ultimately lost his life from the early AIDS crisis in the 1980’s. Caia is inspired by all people and organizations that go the extra mile to help those that are overlooked or marginalized.

Name and Job: Jonathan Ablett (he/him), Lawyer

Role on the Board: Secretary Year Elected: 2017

Jon is an experienced corporate/commercial lawyer. Over the years, Jon has counselled clients on a number of matters including corporate mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate development, professional corporations and estate planning, and regulatory conformity within the cannabis industry.

Name and Job: Alan Frank (he/him), Recovery Coach & Trainer

Role on the Board: Member at Large Year Elected: 2022

Alan brings a diverse background in banking, financial literacy, facilitating and teaching, program development, coaching and mentoring, relationship building, community connections, administration, and leadership.  He is a trained peer support practitioner and a certified recovery coach.  His lived experience includes poverty, family trauma, mental health, living with HIV, cancer, behavioural and substance addiction, and recovery. 

Name and Job: Dr. David Este (he/him), Retired, Professor Emeritus of Social Work

Role on the Board: Member at Large Year Elected: 2021

David Este is a professor emeritus at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. The majority of his research has focused on different aspects of the immigrant/refugee experience in Canada. He has also been involved in research studies that examined the health and well-being of people of African descent in Canada, and HIV/AIDS service utilization by African newcomers in Calgary. In January 2019, David was part of a team that received the Governor General’s Award in History for Community Programming for the documentary entitled, We Are the Roots: Black Settlers and Their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies.

Name and Job: Lizaine Wheeler (she/her), Chief Operating Officer, Unitii Corp

Role on the Board: Member at Large Year Elected: 2021

In her 24 years of property operations Lizaine has seen and done it all.  Her passion for property management led to roles of VP Operations at Boardwalk REIT, Mainstreet Equities and Northview Apartment REIT.  Throughout her career she has managed properties in 8 provinces and 2 territories and managed over 26,000 units while at Northview.  She’s experienced with everything from distressed properties to brand new builds and lease ups.  Lizaine has a talent for building a strong team and finding operating efficiencies to maximize returns.  Lizaine has her MBA and CPM.

Name and Job: Edward Lipin (he/him)

Role on the Board: Member at Large Location: Medicine Hat Year Elected: 2023

Edward Lipin is a technically sophisticated and business-savvy management professional with a pioneering career reflecting strong leadership qualifications coupled with “hands-on” IT expertise. Edward is the Director of Technology for the Medicine Hat Public School Division and has a passion for giving back to Medicine Hat community through volunteerism and service work.

Name and Job: Jessica Tsang (she/her)

Role on the Board: Member at Large Year Elected: 2023

Jessica Tsang is a nurse practitioner who is dedicated to improving the health experience for all. She is the founder and medical director of Alberta’s first nurse practitioner-led primary care clinic, Direct Health Solutions. Jessica has diverse experience and knowledge that she brings to the board including primary health care, urgent care, addictions, mental health, education, and entrepreneurship. She helped form SAIT’s Healthcare Leadership program and has been a faculty member at Mount Royal University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery for over a decade. In 2018, she received a Women of Inspiration award for her leadership in the community. Harm reduction and advocacy are foundational to her approach as a healthcare professional and community leader.

Name and Job: Emmanuel Okafor (he/him)

Role on the Board: Member at Large Year Elected: 2023

Emmanuel is an experienced finance, accounting and auditing professional. He has experience with top accounting firms in Nigeria, the UK and Canada. He studied Project Management Technology at the Federal University of Technology, in Nigeria. He became a chartered accountant (ACCA) in 2013/2014. He has over 15 years’ experience in auditing small to large and multinational organizations. Emmanuel is passionate about helping humanity and any endeavour that seeks to benefit the society is of interest to him.

Name and Job: Dr. Kerri Treherne (she/her)

Role on the Board: Member at Large Year Elected: 2023

Dr. Kerri Treherne is a family physician and has worked with vulnerable populations for over 20 years. She believes in the strength of community and served on her community association board for a number of years. She currently works in a community health center and enjoys providing care in a multidisciplinary team that works with those who are underserved in our community. She is also interested in advocacy and is a member of a Primary Care Network board and is involved with the Alberta Medical Association. Her newest position involves serving clients at Calgary Drop-In Center where risk reduction is a fundamental theme. She is excited to work with the SafeLink board on strategies that will help Calgarians that struggle to access support and care in Calgary.

Name and Job: Robert Chesney (he/him),

Role on the Board: Member at Large Location: Medicine Hat Year Elected: 2023

Robert is a consultant with a background as a research scientist specializing in the integration of computer systems to aid operators in the control of complex systems. More recently, he has trained to be an addictions counsellor and has experience living with people who use drugs. He has worked as an outreach worker in Medicine Hat, and he volunteers with several other community groups.

Name and Job: David McGillivray (he/him)

Role on the Board: Member at Large Year Elected: 2023

David McGillivray is a lawyer with the City of Calgary who has practiced in the areas of environmental and indigenous law and capital projects for the last several years. Prior to joining the City he developed extensive experience in the private sector. David is a born and raised Calgarian with lived experience as a person living with HIV. He cares deeply about the type of work that SafeLink Alberta does and understands the importance of harm reduction in our community.