Kevin has a Bachelor of Health Science degree, majoring in Addictions Counselling from the University of Lethbridge. His passion for working in Harm Reduction developed while working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside at InSite, North America’s first supervised injection site. Kevin feels very fortunate in having the opportunity to work for HIV Community Link, as he has seen what good they have done in the advancement of Harm Reduction in his hometown of Medicine Hat.
Janak is a public health researcher with a background in tropical medicine and global health. Janak is passionate about bringing change in the lives of people living with HIV by implementing programs related to harm reduction, health promotion and disease prevention. Janak is currently working on his Ph.D. in Community Health Sciences at Cumming School of Medicine, at the University of Calgary.
Chelsea is the Shift outreach and engagement worker and loves the work she dose. She is a huge advocate for harm reduction and giving a voice to people that have been stigmatized by society. She has been working for over six years in harm reduction. When not working, Chelsea volunteers her time to educate and shares her personal story to reduce stigma. She also loves spending time with friends out and about and at home with her dog George and cat Ella.
Katelyn (she/her) is a case manager with both the Shift and HIV Support Services programs. Katelyn is passionate about creating social change that positively impacts populations health. She comes from a background in public health, she has experiences working in sexual health, harm reduction, and population health promotion. What she enjoys most about HIV Community Link is the sense of community that brings people together from all walks of life. When she’s not working, Katelyn is often found traveling as she is always ready to tackle a new adventure.
Jordan joined the HIV Community Link Team as the Volunteer Coordinator. While she just returned from a 6 month posting through Global Affairs Canada in Laos linking youth to volunteer experiences, Jordan couldn’t be happier staying connected to volunteerism here in Calgary. She believes they’re often the backbone to many social efforts, and bring power to a collective that moves far beyond the task at hand. She continues to see volunteerism as a translation of passion into action, and is very excited to help support HIVCL’s incredible volunteer team.
Gord is very excited to be joining the HIV Community Link Team in Medicine Hat. Gord is a country boy at heart, growing up on the Southern Prairies of Saskatchewan. Gord moved to Medicine Hat last year with his husband Chad for school, and is a transfer student from the U of L Addictions Counselling program, now enrolled at Medicine Hat College in the combined Addictions Counselling & Social Work Diploma. Gord identifies as a (Two Spirited) Metis male. Gord’s passion is to work within both the Aboriginal and LGBTQ+ communities.
Coral Bush has worked at HIV Community link for over 16 years as the Information and Support Worker. She also volunteered for 2 years before she became employed with the agency. She enjoys her job very much, as she has met so many wonderful people over the last 18 years, staff and clients alike. She has watched the agency grow and change over the years always on top of any change and needs our clients require. Coral also coordinates the nutrition program. She believes that compassion, kindness and knowledge are key for a good support team in helping clients navigate the system and meeting them where they are at.
Born and raised in small town Eastern Canada, Jason Lyver received his early post-secondary education in Business Management at Keyin College, Newfoundland. Jason heard the call of the west and he has been building his fundraising career in western Canada ever since. Jason comes to HIV Community Link with ten years of progressively evolving fundraising experience. Jason’s early career and passion is grounded in health related fundraising. He enjoys meeting with donors and community partners that support the work of HIV Community Link.
Ana started her career in journalism in 2001 in Europe, where she enjoyed covering social and diversity issues. She has been working in nonprofits since 2010 and loves HIV Community Link for the passion that glues the team together and the dedication to its clients’ well-being.
Waylon is a member of the Piikani Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy. He has an education and employment background in addiction services and working with homeless populations. Waylon enjoys working with his clients and doing street outreach in the city of Calgary.
Sipiwe’s experience in working with various immigrant serving agencies has equipped her with a solid understanding and management of diversity populations. An African woman herself, Sipiwe’s work with Drumbeat is more than just a job as sometimes she feels like an aunt to the African youth in Calgary. It has taken her six years to get to this level of trust and she loves it!
Shelly was diagnosed HIV+ in 2008 while living on the west coast and has been an active, vocal and vital member of the HIV global community since. She was honoured to be an integral part of the ground breaking Peer Navigation Program housed at the IDC Clinic at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver in 2011 administered by Positive Living Society of British Columbia. This background has prepared her to bring the very best of her lived experience to our orgazniation and to build an outstanding Peer Program here in Calgary. She is the extremely proud mother of two amazing daughters and one granddaughter where she finds her greatest joy, laughing, loving and dancing this journey called life.
Mark a has been living with HIV since 1988. He has traveled a long road from the time of no treatment options to the reality today that treatment works and undetectable equals untransmittable. He has volunteered or worked for HIV Community Link, formerly AIDS Calgary, since 1997 as a public speaker, educator, advocate, staff person and as person living with HIV. He has done this in order to educate, inform with facts and work to remove the stigma and discrimination that remain entrenched at many levels of policy, law, community and service access points for people at risk for and living with HIV.
Kemi believes respectful engagement with local communities is critical to the success of any project and long term operations. Kemi has most recently worked in Fort McMurray with the Canadian Red Cross as a Community Outreach Worker. She has also worked in Tanzania and Nigeria as a Health Promotion Coordinator. Kemi has a Master of Public Health from the University of Saskatchewan.
Karen has long fostered a passion for public health and harm reduction, and has worked and volunteered in syringe exchanges and AIDS service organizations in the USA and Canada. She continually looks for ways to further her HIV education and understanding in an effort to best support her clients and to be an asset to our team. Karen can be easily won over with a cup of hot, strong coffee and engaging conversation, and she is often found connecting with clients in our drop in space.
Jody believes in the rights of sex workers, autonomy of all individuals, and has a passion for working in harm reduction. Jody comes from a background in mental health and addictions which has provided her with skills that she is able to apply in her current position. She loves the sense of community that HIV Community Link provides for its clients and enjoys connecting with, and learning from, all walks of life that access our services. Outside of work, she is found spending time with her son, in the mountains, at local festivals, markets, and trying to make the most of every day!
Dominique (she/her) is a Registered Nurse with a background in sexual health, harm reduction, and population health promotion. She loves working at HIVCL and aspires to create positive change by having open conversations and educating others wherever they are at. She is happiest when she’s got an exciting project to work on, loves participating in harm reduction efforts at festivals, and is working on her Master’s degree at the University of Calgary.
Mike Miller leads the Health Technology practice for EY Canada as well as the Advisory Analytics practice for Alberta bringing over 15 years of experience in data management, data integration, health informatics and data analytics. He’s worked with large public and private health organizations across North America on projects ranging from Clinical Information Systems, Population Care, Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, Benchmarking and Strategic Planning. He is passionate about helping organizations solve complex business problems through the use of enabling technologies. Mike’s success has been built off his diverse experience in a number of different industries including Healthcare, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing and High Tech. Mike holds a MSc in Health Informatics from the University of Victoria and an BA (Economics) from the University of Calgary.
Alexandra De Freitas is a Hospitality & Tourism Management grad who seized an opportunity, fresh out of Ryerson University, to live and work in New York City for nine years. After working in the luxury hotel industry for some time, she strategically moved into the Finance and Technology sectors, working in various corporate and client services roles, and finally becoming Director of Operations for a high level IT training company. As a firm believer in the importance of giving back where you live, Alexandra volunteered her time with children, and contributed to building the Canadian expat network through various organizations and alma maters like Havergal College. Alexandra returned to Toronto in 2006 to complete a full time MBA, with a focus on Strategy, at The University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. She tried her hand at C-level Corporate Consulting as Director of Strategy for a large retail company and loved it – but had a strong desire to move out west to Calgary. Since 2010 Alexandra has been living in Calgary and working for IBM as a Sr. Project Executive, allowing her to refine her strong business and strategic acumen. She has stayed true to her “give where you live” mantra by being involved with various volunteer activities. Most notably as the IBM Employee Charitable Fund Chair fo Calgary, and as HIV Community Link’s In the Know: Splash of Red Awareness campaign Art Committee Chair. Alexandra has been involved with HIV Community Link’s campaign since 2012.
Dr. Jack Janvier is an infectious disease specialist who is based out the Peter Lougheed Center. He also does HIV care at the Southern Alberta Clinic. He has a Bachelor of Science degree (1997) and a Doctor of Medicine degree (2001) from the University of Saskatchewan. He did his internal medicine training at the University of Saskatchewan and then received his infectious diseases training at the University of Calgary. He has been working full time in Calgary since 2009. He has been involved on the advisory board of HIV Community Link’s Strong Voices Aboriginal Program for about 3 years. He has also been involved in an advisory role for collaborative teams looking at tackling the HIV epidemic in Aboriginal populations in Saskatchewan.
Jonathan M. Ablett is a business and real estate lawyer presently working with Quarry Park Law in Calgary. Born and raised in Calgary, Jon is pleased to join the HIVCL Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. Jon obtained his degree with a dual area of concentration in both Management and Organizational Studies and Economics (2006) from the University of Western Ontario, and further completed his law degree (2009) at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He was called to the Alberta Bar in 2010. Jon enjoys outdoor activities of all kinds, and presently also volunteers with the Kerby Centre in Calgary.
Mike Peters is Vice President, Energy and Sustainability at Global Public Affairs, a national government relations consulting firm. His responsibilities focus on environmental legislation, regulatory affairs and environmental policy in the federal, northern and Alberta jurisdictions. In that capacity he worked extensively with federal and territorial governments on policy, legislative and regulatory developments, focused on providing solution-oriented issue management. In addition to his professional work, Mike also volunteers with Shader Kids, a not-for-profit focusing on
fostering youth leadership through outdoor experiences by helping kids attend summer camp. Mike was HIVCL’s Board Chair for three years, and he looks forward to continuing to contribute his experiences in dealing with government and navigating complex policy issues to helping the organization succeed. Mike holds a BA in Political Science from Dalhousie University and a Masters in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Christine Gillies, MBA, is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Mitacs, a national non-profit offering research and development funding for companies to collaborate with universities. In her current role, she also oversees Alberta operations and public affairs in the province. Having lived in New York City, Holland and Australia, Christine’s career has taken her from European Space Agency through several tech start-ups including Calgary-based SMART Technologies. At SMART, she brought new products to market in the education and corporate sectors.
She is PROSCI Change Management certified and also recently completed the Non-Profit Board Governance certification through Alberta Government. As a community-oriented professional, Christine is committed to volunteering for a local organization that is advocating to improve quality of life for under-represented or marginalized populations.
Andrew Matthews’ educational background is rooted in finance and accounting and their impact on strategy and performance on a local, national and international level. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business (University of Victoria), his Masters of Business Administration (Queen’s) and is also a Certified Management Accountant (CMA (Alberta). Andrew’s varied career has led him to roles in real estate, financial services, project accounting, financial analysis, management and controllership. Presently, Mr. Matthews is the Director of Finance for a Calgary based manufacturer of custom sand control filtration screens, which have applications in the oil & gas, water well, industrial and environmental industries. Andrew brings with him experience in the areas of finance, accounting, strategy and requirements development and implementation, as well as performance measurement and management. Andrew has broadened his experience by volunteering on, and consulting to, small business owners, boards of directors and steering committees in both for- and not-for-profit organizations and enjoys the variety of tasks and challenges these endeavours bring. His belief is that any inherent challenges ought to be treated as opportunities to learn and grow. Mr. Matthews attributes much of his tenacity, leadership and team-based approach to many years of playing and coaching high-level, competitive sports. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys playing sports, spending time with family and friends, and playing and listening to a wide variety of music.
Sebastian Madrid is a professional in Continuous Improvement, Performance Management and Management Consulting specializing in optimizing business processes through the implementation of data analysis tools and information systems. Sebastian has successfully fulfilled a wide range of business and technical functions and delivered complex projects in the energy, utilities and regulatory industries. Sebastian holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Colombia as well as a Masters in Business Administration from HEC Montreal. Majoring in Management of Energy Business sparked his interest in the Canadian energy industry, which led him to Calgary in 2009. He is a professional engineer, member of APEGA. Sebastian also sits on the Board of Directors for YPE Calgary, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting successful networking and development opportunities for over 2000 young professionals linked to the energy industry in Calgary.
Leslie Hill was appointed Executive Director of HIV Community Link in August 2015. Ms. Hill came to HIV Community Link after contributions at several Calgary-based nonprofit organizations. She was Manager, Programs at the Calgary Homeless Foundation, where she acted as a funder for 60 programs across 28 organizations in the homelessness sector, and before that, she held positions of increasing complexity at Discovery House Family Violence Prevention Society, Distress Centre Calgary, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Aventa Addiction Treatment for Women. Ms. Hill was also the President of the Bowness Community Association for two years, where she played an active role leading the community association’s response to the devastating flood of that year. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with Distinction from the University of Calgary and is an alumnus of the Leadership Calgary program (2012).