The Alex Leadership Team

Joy Bowen-Eyre

Chief Executive Officer

As a recognized leader in Calgary’s social services community, Ms. Bowen-Eyre has a passion for community health, education, and social work and an intimate knowledge of Calgary’s nonprofit sector.  She brings the experience, leadership and love for community that is needed for this critical position.


Holding previous positions as a social worker at McMan Youth and Family Services, and as an elected trustee on the Calgary Board of Education for seven years (three as Chair), Ms. Bowen-Eyre was most recently Director of Government Relations at the United Way of Calgary and Area.


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Virginia Trawick

Chief Financial Officer

A Chartered Professional Accountant, Virginia brings with her 20 years of non-profit leadership experience in financial administration, risk and change management. With a passion for community health and social issues, she has also contributed as a volunteer with a variety of organizations including as treasurer & vice-chair at Volunteer Calgary and board member and treasurer at the Distress Centre. Virginia has completed training in leadership and strategic planning and is a graduate of the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. Outside of work, she tends her community garden, golfs and plays with her rescue dog Josie.

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Merrill Cooper

Director of strategy, research and Evaluation

Merrill comes to the Alex with 30 years of social research and evaluation experience, most of which has been conducted in the non-profit and governmental sectors.  Merrill’s work has focused on disadvantaged populations and the inter-related challenges of poverty and social inclusion, equality and human rights, crime and justice, intimate partner violence, housing and homeless, and child and youth development. She is excited to join the Alex team and contribute to the delivery of innovative and accessible programming and supports for Calgarians facing barriers.

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Jackie Liu

Director of Clinical Operations

Jackie is intensely passionate about healthcare, community, and team-building. He comes to the Alex via a variety of experiences – he is a pharmacist by profession, and has worked with the Primary Care Networks, Alberta Health Services, long-term care, and private pharmacy. He has a keen interest in program development, partnership development, quality improvement, measurement and evaluation, and clinical data optimization. At The Alex, Jackie hopes to work with the team to better understand and reconcile our clients’ life circumstances, past experiences, and sociobehavioural determinants of health with best-practice medical care to improve overall health for our population.


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Adjoa Chintoh-Silva

Associate Director of Youth Services

Adjoa (AJ) Chintoh-Silva is a passionate social advocate and community builder, with over 16 years of experience working in leadership supporting programs for at-risk, marginalized and disenfranchised young people in both community and institutional settings. She is an innovative problem solver always looking for opportunities to reduce system barriers for youth and families. AJ maintains and strives for collaborative relationships with colleagues, stakeholders and community partners on issues of mutual concern.

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Steve Gaspar

Associate Director of
Housing Programs


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Jennifer Eyford

Associate Director of Health Services

Jennifer has worked in a variety of health and mental health settings for the past 18 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.

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Renee MacKillop

Associate Director of
Food & Wellness

When The Alex Community Food Centre opened in September 2016, Renée Mackillop is the farmer and program manager who brought it to life, converting a former restaurant into a vibrant, food-focused community centre based on the idea that good food is a powerful force for greater health, equity and social change. Renée grew up on a family farm near High River, Alberta, and returned after working on social justice and food security in Cuba, Oakland, CA, and on Vancouver Island. Her family farms pasture-raised, heritage Highland beef in the Calgary area.

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The Alex

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


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