Leadership & Board of Directors
Chief Operations Officer
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
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.
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.
Director of 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.
Associate Director of Health
Jennifer Eyford is the Associate Director of Health at The Alex. She 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.
Associate Director of Food and 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.
Associate Director of Youth
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.
When not fiercely advocating for youth and families, AJ can be found immersed in nature, taking in a theatrical performance or boisterously yelling at a sporting event. Family, Culture and Adventure are her guiding life principles supporting her to live out her life motto “Love without limits, live without regrets”.
Board of Directors
Doug Page – Chair
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.
Dustin Owens – Vice Chair
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.
Kellie Johnston – Secretary
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.
Michael Morton – Treasurer
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.
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
Rev. Dr. Danielle Ayana James is a life and workplace strategist who is passionate about helping leaders and organizations recognize and achieve their potential to thrive. She is a Certified Leadership Coaching professional and Organizational Development (OD) practitioner who brings to her clients 15 years experience in community leadership, facilitation and organizational strategy.
Danielle Ayana’s personal and professional journey has been led by the question: What does it mean to be fully human and fully alive? In pursuit of living her question she completed a BSc (Biology) at McMaster University and spent her summers working with NGOs in Central America, South America and Eastern Europe. Waking up to global realities of poverty and injustice, Danielle Ayana pivoted focus to study theology at Yale University earning a Masters of Divinity degree. She went on to earn her Doctorate from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago. An Ordained Minister with the United Church of Canada, Danielle Ayana has worked with faith communities across the country. She is recognized as a thought-leader in areas of interculturalism, pluralism and community change strategy.
A Calgarian since 2015, Danielle Ayana is honoured to be a Director of the Alex where head, heart and hands are engaged to make a difference for many.