Working at HIV Community Link fits perfectly with my skill set as a psychotherapist and gives me a fabulous opportunity to further my knowledge, education and experience. With a Masters of Counseling I am given the opportunity to enhance my two areas of specialization; bereavement and as a sex psychotherapist. The diversity, resilience and openness of the community members is a cherished aspect of my position. I appreciate the transparency, non-judgemental, open and welcoming work environment for both clients and staff. I am honored and often find myself humbled when clients share their stories and truly thankful to be a part of their journey.
Alexandra De Freitas is a Client Partner Executive (CPE) at IBM Canada. This role is that of a CIO/GM providing the vision and leadership for developing and implementing information technology initiatives that align with the strategic business objectives of her clients. She brings with her a combined 25 years of business experience working with and in various sized companies focusing on maximizing the value of those around her, providing thought leadership, and removing obstacles to enable growth. Alexandra started her career in Toronto which led her to New York City; back to Toronto, and then to Calgary where she has remained for 8+ years. She’s stayed true to her “give where you live” mantra with her involvement in HIV Community Link since 2012. The value she brings to the table is due to her diverse experience within a number of industries and entrepreneurial pursuits which include Finance, Oil & Gas, Energy, Government, Manufacturing, Hospitality and Technology. She holds an MBA in Strategy from the Rotman School of Management, and a B.Comm in Hospitality and Tourism Management, from Ryerson University.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.