Leadership & Board of Directors

Leadership Team

Shelley Heartwell

Shelley Heartwell


Shelley has worked for over 20 years in senior management roles within the non-profit sector and holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology.   She began her career working with Young Offenders and then moved into the social sector to develop, implement and manage foster care programs, group homes, family support programs and community prevention programs for children and youth.  She joined The Alex in 2005, and under her leadership, the organization has experienced significant growth and has expanded its services to reach a wider range of Calgarians including vulnerable youth.


Loretta Dobbelsteyn

Loretta Dobbelsteyn

Sr. Director of Operations

With over 25 years in the healthcare sector as both a clinician and manager, Loretta thrives on professional challenges. With a Masters in Community Health and Epidemiology and almost a decade of international work she finds the combination of the complexities of the clients with the responsiveness of The Alex staff to be inspiring. Loretta loves physical activity and is grateful for the awesome outdoor life in Alberta that allows for spectacular running and skiing adventures.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant” – R.L. Stevenson


Mina Demian

Mina Demian

Director of Development

Mina, a University of Ottawa graduate, joins The Alex with a wealth of business development experience. He was a key member of the University of Calgary Development Office for many years, holding positions such as Donor Stewardship Analyst, Gift Compliance Analyst, and Gift Compliance Manager. Most recently, he was the Grants and Proposals Manager at the community agency, CUPS. While there, he successfully secured funding in the millions from both private and government entities. He has a passion for people, community, and is thrilled to be part of The Alex team.


Jennifer Eyford

Jennifer Eyford

Director of Housing First Programs

Jennifer Eyford is the Director of Housing First Programs at The Alex. She has worked in a variety of mental health and addiction settings for the past 16 years. As a nurse she feels especially passionate about holistic health and found her calling when she started working with homeless and marginally housed individuals. She received her education at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago/IL and Mount Royal University in Calgary/AB. Jennifer’s hobbies are long distance running and reading.


Sarah Knopp

Sarah Knopp

Associate Director of Pathways to Housing & HomeBase Programs

Sarah Knopp has worked at The Alex since 2012. She is a leader who loves building and coaching healthy and passionate teams. Sarah has worked or volunteered in the homeless serving sector since being a teenager, and finds immense joy and fulfilment working at The Alex. She has a dream of ending homelessness in Calgary and believes The Alex is the agency that could make this dream a reality.


Sheila Henchel

Sheila Henchel

Human Resources Manager


Board of Directors

Richard Boyer – President

Richard is a CA and has more than 25 years of experience in various leadership roles in both public and private enterprises. Since the beginning of 2015, he spends most of his time as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Crystal Creek Homes which is an award winning residential homebuilder operating in Calgary and Edmonton. Through his consulting practice, XCel Advisory Group, Richard is a Gazelles International 4-Decision business coach and works with small and medium-sized businesses’ CEOs and CFOs to help them manage growth and improve their effectiveness.

Doug Page – Vice President

Doug currently manages TransCanada’s Government Relations in the Prairies and Territories. Previously, Doug worked for the Government of Canada as a political staffer. He has also worked and volunteered for numerous not-for-profit organizations, and in political campaigns throughout Alberta.

Amin Rawji – Treasurer

Amin Rawji has over 25 years of experience in Energy Trading and Marketing. He set up BP Canada’s natural gas trading operation in the early 2000s, and has led large asset management, trading & marketing organizations for various organizations in Calgary and Houston. Mr. Rawji currently runs a consulting company in Calgary and is on the Board of Directors of The Alex, Niska Gas storage partners, and Ember Resources.

Ahsan Upal – Director

Ahsan is a regional manager with Burns & McDonnell, a multinational engineering and architecture firm. He was previously a Vice President at Tetra Tech and held senior management roles at Enbridge and AltaLink leading large teams and delivering some of the largest energy infrastructure projects across North America. He also volunteers actively with HumanityFirst and United Way. Ahsan has a keen interest in accessible healthcare. He is married to a registered nurse and has two active young kids.

Laura Brown – Director

Laura is currently with Sobeys Inc. and holds the position of Community Investment Specialist. Laura is responsible for managing programs in western Canada that help Canadians Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better. Laura was formerly the director of corporate social responsibility at Calgary  Co-op.  Laura worked with stakeholders to support programs in the community that focused on food security.  Prior to this Laura was with the Calgary Stampede for a number of years.  She took on the role of Centennial Strategist and lead the planning of the 2012 Stampede Centennial. Laura also volunteers her time with the Calgary Stampede Corporate Relations committee.

Dustin Owens – Director

Dustin is Director of Engagement and Integration at Alberta Energy. He works with stakeholders and agencies, boards and commissions to support the implementation of policy initiatives related to electricity and utilities. Dustin has previously held management roles at the Ministry of Executive Council, coordinating resource and environmental policy across departments. Prior to joining the Alberta Public Service in 2012, Dustin held senior management positions in Vancouver, leading fund development and research teams at St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation. He is also a past United Way employee giving campaign chair.

Michael Morton – Director

Michael is currently a member of the Corporate Development team with Inter Pipeline Ltd. where he focuses on helping the company evaluate and execute strategic opportunities for growth. He moved to Calgary from Saskatoon in 2008 after completing university and spent a number of years working for Deloitte and PwC as a Chartered Accountant.

Barb Boyer – Director

Barbara Boyer is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years of experience with clinical, operational, strategic and financial management in complex public health service organizations, and 9 years of consulting experience in health care.   She has held the role of Project Manager for a wide variety of projects for government, regional health authorities, not-for-profit agencies, and private health care service delivery organizations, with a focus on strategic planning activities, organizational structure re-design, community needs assessment, outsourcing of services, and performance measurement.

Barbara’s particular strengths lie in her analytical decision-making with excellent attention to detail; business process redesign skills; collaborative problem identification and resolution with internal and external stakeholders; financial management skills; and her excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Colleen Janseen Hood – Director

Colleen has focused her career energy into two areas that she is passionate about – communications and community investment.  Her first job was in radio at QR77 (Calgary). As promotion director, she learned the ins and outs of event management and media relations. She then took on the challenge of building the communications and community investment department at First Calgary Financial.  As an assistant vice president, Colleen was responsible for internal communications, member relations, and community partnerships, as well as working closely with the marketing department on all marketing initiatives. In July 2000, Colleen started her consulting company with a focus to support small to medium sized organizations, profit and nonprofit, in the areas of strategic communication planning and special projects. In addition to consulting, Colleen enjoys her role as a contract faculty instructor at Mount Royal University, as well as her volunteer efforts. She has served in several other board capacities including, director at First Calgary Savings, chair of First Calgary Savings’ Corporate Citizenship Committee, and vice chair, Family & Community Support Services Board, County of Rocky View.

Kellie Johnston – Director

Kellie has over 15 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.  She has extensive regulatory, environment, legal, strategy and sustainability experience.  In addition, she has led  government relations work in major oil and gas companies as well as the development and implementation of climate change and corporate sustainability strategies.  She has experience in public engagement, including work with First Nations, corporate and government stakeholders, and senior/executive management.  Kellie is a lawyer and has practiced in regulatory and environmental law.

David Pickersgill – Director

An engineer by training, and a corporate executive/owner by accident, David has been in the work-for-joy world of volunteer ‘kids stuff’ since 1994, working ‘hands-on’ with vulnerable kids, and having served as Chair of the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada Foundation, Vice-Chair of Calgary Board of Education, EducationMatters, and Safe Haven Foundation, Co-Chair of Calgary and Area Child and Family Services Authority, and as a Director of some other child-serving organizations.

Danielle Ayana James – Director

Kistina Royston – Director

Prior to moving to Calgary in 2014, Kistina worked as an accounting consultant for mid size firms in various industries. She is now an accountant with Fiberbuilt Manufacturing, which provides innovative solutions to the golf and pipeline industries.


Your donations help Calgary's most vulnerable.

Bottles 4 Health

Our Bottle Pick Up service gives back with tax receipts!


Keep in touch with our quarterly newsletter!

Sponsor Energy

Switch to Sponsor Energy - 50% of profit goes to The Alex!

The Alex

#101 2840 2 Ave SE
Calgary AB T2A 7X9
CRA# 13282 4905 RR0001


You have Successfully Subscribed!