Real Help From Real People

At the core of Children’s Link is our people – dedicated professionals who allow us to offer resources, information, connection and hope to families and professionals in our community. Through one-to-one conversations, support groups, workshops, and online networking opportunities, Children’s Link provides a safe, accepting environment for people to learn, share and connect.

Eryn Dewald

Executive Director

Eryn Dewald is a mom to four incredible humans. She is a connector, a community builder and coach. Eryn loves to help people reach their full potential.

We all have a natural gift or talent. One special gift we can call our own. For her, this special gift is inspiring others, helping them find their way and make connections and course corrections that count. Inherently, there must be an understanding about many industries and skills. The inference is not that one must be talented at all of these industries, but it does imply an understanding of systems. Throughout her story she has felt the most joy from this gift.  From her interminable desire for life-long learning and completing a recent Masters Degree in Leadership to her ongoing commitment to volunteer work, to various experiences in assisting others to find their potential-she is at home inspiring greatness.

Eryn’s strategic thinking and coaching background bring a unique set of skills to the Children’s Link. She is excited to support the team, clients and stakeholders in continuing and further developing resources and supports to ensure we have communities where people are informed, supported, and valued.

Jodi Miller

Chair
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Jodi Miller has always been passionate about being involved in volunteering with non-profits to help them reach their full potential and enjoys doing this by bringing her governance expertise to the table.

Jodi is a born and raised Calgarian who has always had a great love of learning and has spent much of her life in searching out a path of higher education that has made her life richer and more fulfilled. Her hope is that all that she has learned on this journey will assist her in everything she does in life and every organization she is given the honour of helping. Jodi has been a proud board member of Children’s Link since 2015 and has enjoyed seeing the organization grow with its wonderful staff and all that they do to ensure that resources are available to families that, at times, have nowhere else to turn. If she can help ensure that Children’s Link can continue to fulfill its mission & support this in any way possible she would be proud to continue as a board member. Jodi has spent most of her career in business development in the oil and gas industry and currently works in non-profit fundraising.

Jodi earned a BA in Political Science & Strategic Studies as well as her LL.B. from the University of Calgary, an MBA in International Business from the University of Edmonton. She also had the great honour of receiving a Certificate of Management Excellence, Strategic Management from Harvard Business School. She also holds the accreditation of PMP.

Lorna Selig

Transition Coordinator

Lorna Selig is the Transition Coordinator at The Children’s Link Society.  She supports families to complete the documentation that is required for youth to move into the adult services system.  The whole process, although it may look daunting, can be done easily and smoothly with the method that Lorna has developed. Lorna facilitates the Transition Workshops and the Family Managed Support Workshops which are held several times per month at Children’s Link.  She is often invited to speak about the Transition process to schools and parent councils, pediatricians, community organizations and family support groups.

Lorna is the chairperson for the Annual Calgary Resource Fair for Youth and Young Adults with Special Needs.  This long running, popular Resource Fair hosts 40-50 community service vendors offering information to families who have a youth with disabilities proceeding through the transition to adulthood.

In her spare time, Lorna teaches personal safety to children and adults with her company, Safe4Life Personal Safety Training and Self Defense.  She is an active community member and an enthusiastic team player.

Kent Hehr

Children's Link Champion
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As a former cabinet minister, Kent has over 20 years of comprehensive experience in civic, provincial and federal government work. Kent has an extensive background in dealing with complex problems, systems, and policies.

He has a proven track record of managing divergent stakeholders’ interests, collaborating with federal government departments, intergovernmental relations, and chairing committees.

Prior to his entry into public service, Kent was a practising lawyer with the prestigious national law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain (now Dentons). Kent has a long history of serving on not-for-profit boards.

Kent is married to Deanna Holt.

Susan Cortes

Family Liaison Coordinator

Susan Cortes has had the privilege of working for The Children’s Link Society in various capacities for many years. In 1997, she was blessed with the birth of her beautiful daughter. She came into this world with a lovely spark for life, as well as high and complex needs. Raising her daughter has given Susan a lot of insight into the issues families face on a daily basis as they bring up children with special needs. Susan’s daughter, Alacia, earned her Angel Wings in 2017. Susan is also the mother to a wonderful son.

At The Children’s Link Society, Susan works hard to empower families to access resources of which they may not be aware of. She also supports families in building connections and networking to help prevent isolation and to stay mentally healthy.

Believe in your child because your child is a gift.

Tannis Sigfusson

Family Liaison & Natural Supports

Tannis comes to Children’s Link as our Program Coordinator and an addition to the Family Liaison team. She is a proud mother of 2 precious girls; 18 and 24 and has spent the past 18 years advocating for her daughter with complex needs. Raising her daughter has provided Tannis with an intimate and varied understanding of the special needs world, the pediatric medical system and the various services in our community that support children with disabilities. She has been devoted to helping and assisting families and children for many years. She has been fortunate to serve in several opportunities as an advisor, facilitator, support worker and family-centered care coordinator at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia. Tannis brings with her a strong mindfulness ​of ​what it is like to parent and balance both a high needs child and a typical child, along with the struggles and realities the typical child faces having a sibling with challenges. She refers to the typical child or children as the silent hero’s.

Tannis is devoted to creating and implementing a Learning Centre for Children’s Link. The intention is to educate and create more awareness on Inclusiveness, understanding and empathy regarding those most vulnerable in our society.

 

Kelsey Kryski

Family Liaison & Transition Support

Kelsey Kryski started working at The Children’s Link Society in September 2015 and presently holds the position of Family Liaison and Transition Support. She completed her senior level practicum with CLS in April 2015, working alongside Blythe Gunn and other professionals in the field developing a comprehensive Adult Service listing with the FSCD Strategic Partnership-Transition Committee. She has two more classes to finish her degree with the University of Calgary – with plans to finish in the near future.  After getting to know the CLS team during her practicum, Kelsey was inspired by the incredible work they were doing and has since joined the team. Since starting as a Family Link Consultant, Kelsey has been exposed to many facets of the human services field and her responsibilities continue to grow. Her past experience lets her bring a fresh perspective to the CLS group.  Before working with CLS, Kelsey worked for Society for Treatment of Autism with their Recruits and Pursuits program as a practicum student leading to a supervisory role for the program. Lastly, Kelsey is a wife and mother to a beautiful son and daughter.

Courtney McVie

Board Member
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Courtney McVie strongly believes in the importance of post-secondary education and has worked as Executive Director in the Office of the Provost at the University of Calgary since 2013. Previously she worked as a senior political staffer in the Alberta Legislature, working for the Minister of Health & Wellness, Energy, and then Finance. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Calgary and a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University. Courtney is passionate about volunteering and joined the Children’s Link board in September 2020, some of her previous volunteer roles include chairing the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Municipal Directions Committee and serving as editor of her community newsletter for five years.

Mikaela Johnson

Community Relations & Donor Engagement Coordinator

Mikaela Johnson began working at The Children’s Link Society as a Technology & Design Intern in November 2019 and currently holds the position of Community Relations and Donor Engagement Coordinator. Mikaela graduated with a Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies in April 2019 and shortly after, began as an intern at CLS, supporting with technology & design, coffee socials, and starting an online newsletter for the organization. After completing her internship, Mikaela couldn’t help but to stay with the wonderful organization and team that Children’s Link is!

Mikaela brings knowledge from her degree, practicums, and her experience and love of supporting children, youth, and adults with disabilities, particularly youth with autism. Mikaela previously worked at the Autism Asperger’s Friendship Society of Calgary (AAFS) and has worked alongside families as a community support worker. In her spare time, Mikaela enjoys getting out into nature, vegetarian cooking, volunteering, and traveling.

Yasmin Mohamed

Family Liaison & Connector

Yasmin began working at The Children’s Link Society as a Family Link Liaison in February 2020. She is a mom to two beautiful kids, and the older one has Autism. She can relate to many families that we are supporting at our organization as she faced these two challenging situations simultaneously: being a new resident of Canada and having a child with a disability, which gives her an insight into how to serve individuals and families who are going through the same journey. She also used to volunteer at The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth as a Reception Centre Ambassador which helped her gaining proficient cultural competence and having a positive perception of other cultures to create a safe and respectful space for our families to express their own culture and viewpoints.

At The Children’s Link Society, Yasmin loves to help develop and cultivate relationships with parents and caregivers and help them navigate the various systems that they may be trying to access. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, hiking and reading novels.

Sean Crump

Board Member
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As an individual living with a disability, Sean has personally taken it upon himself to do what he can in support of creating and promoting a more inclusive society for us all to live in and contribute towards. Currently, he voluntarily sits on three Not-For-Profit Boards, as well as sits on three additional committees, (including the Access Design committee with the City of Calgary). He founded and runs a business that actively contributes to ensuring a higher level of accessibility is implemented in the design and construction of spaces.

Providing recommendations that currently surpass any design standards existing in Canada today, his business has strategic partnerships with over 40 Not-For-Profit organizations across Canada and has personally discussed this subject matter on platforms such as; CBC, Global TV, CTV, the Calgary Herald, and LiveWire magazine. This is just a snapshot of things he has done and continues to do in support of his community.

Alejandra Alvarez

Research and Administrative Support
Alejandra Alvarez has been at the Children’s Link Society for a year. Alejandra started at Children’s Link as a practicum student in her last year of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies. Alejandra previously worked at the Autism Asperger Friendship Society, mostly in the sports and art programs as well as Girls Club. Now that she has graduated, she has joined the team to do administration and transition support. When she is not with the Children’s Link Society, you can find Alejandra working as a case manager at the Calgary Drop-In Centre or painting.

Mark Kaldas

Information and Technology Support
Mark started working at The Children’s Link Society as Information and Technology Support in June 2020 as a summer student. He mainly handles maintaining our website and our various systems, as well as anything else tech-related. Mark is in his 2nd year towards a B. Sc. in Computer Science, though he gained much of his experience outside of school.
Before working at The Children’s Link Society, he volunteered at the Calgary Public Library teaching kids to program. In his free time, Mark enjoys doing exactly what he does at work: programming and setting things up–as well as other things like art and linguistics.

Kevin Hughes

Treasurer
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Kevin Hughes started with the Children’s Link as Treasurer in 2018.  Kevin graduated form the University of Calgary in 1997 with a Bachelor of Commerce, and completed his Chartered Accountant designation in 2000. He has worked in a variety of industries in Calgary, leading and supporting finance and accounting teams. Kevin has three children, including one with special needs.  He supports the Children’s Link Society as a volunteer Board member due to the great work it does to support the community, including his own family.

Megan Stack

MBSI Project Coordinator- HR Student

Megan Stack started working at The Children’s Link Society this past August (2020) as a student intern. As project coordinator in the Human Resources Department, she is assisting with internal process changes until the end of November.  

Megan is going into her fourth year of studies at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary and is looking forward to graduating in 2021. She is particularly interested in human resources, supply chain management and social enterprise. Megan has done considerable research work in the social enterprise realm specifically on microfinance and is a lead teaching assistant for Haskayne’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation course. She has been a dedicated volunteer with the Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) program for the past nine years and looks forward to working with her CADS students each winter. In her spare time, she spends as much time outside as much as possible skiing, hiking, and biking, and on rainy days she enjoys doing puzzles inside.  

Megan brings her business expertise and wealth of social enterprise knowledge to CLS as well as her passion for helping others, specifically those with disabilities.

Joanne Nguyen

Project Expansion Coordinator

Joanne Nguyen joined the team in July 2020. Currently, Joanne is a student intern working as the project coordinator focusing on provincial expansion. She will be exploring new ventures for the Children’s Link Society to grow and reach more families across Alberta.

Collaboration, community, and compassion are three virtues Joanne values the most from her time volunteering to the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary and is excited be able to join CLS in utilizing these virtues to help more families. At the University of Calgary, Joanne is the president of the Do-It-Yourself Club where she promotes students to care for their mental health by engaging in simple arts and crafts projects that the club hosts. Joanne enjoys creative projects and has a strong passion for innovation. In her free time, she enjoys discovering local restaurants, gardening, and yoga.

Colin Bath

Business Development Coordinator

Colin Bath is the new Business Development Coordinator at Children’s Link. Colin will support client-centred program and business development, purpose-driven strategic planning, and collaborative community partnerships. He will help Children’s Link staff members work together to inform and support families of special needs children and help these families feel valued.

Colin is passionate about community and the values of empathy, listening, and hope. Whether offering emotional support for bereaved youth at the Langley Hospice Society, or providing client-centred resources and workshops for LGBTQ2s+ clients at the Centre for Sexuality, Colin’s approach is based on the belief that all clients and families are the experts in their lives.

Prior to joining Children’s Link, Colin worked at Bell Canada as a Brand Strategist, where he coordinated logistical projects and assisted with brand development. Most recently, Colin was a WiseGuyz Facilitator with the Centre for Sexuality, where he facilitated healthy relationship programs with youth, navigated resources with clients, and developed vital relationships with community stakeholders. Colin enjoys asking questions, listening, solving problems, swimming, reading, and dogs. Colin holds a B.A. from McGill University.