Meet Our Team

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors oversees the strategic direction of BrainTrust Canada, and helps us form community partnerships that support our brain injury prevention, education, and support services.  We are grateful for their dedication.

Executive

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DANIEL SHEA, Lawyer, F H & P Lawyers
President

Dan feels called to assist BrainTrust in fulfilling our mission – that of making a valuable difference in the lives of our clients and raising awareness about brain injury.  “Our clients have compelling needs and amazing stories,” he says.  He points to a classically trained trumpet player he once knew who sustained brain injury due to a near-fatal aneurysm that resulted in the loss of language, memory, and the ability to play trumpet altogether. A practicing lawyer, Dan brings both legal expertise and experience with clients with brain injury to our team. Residents of Kelowna since 2008, he and his wife eat, live and breathe music.   Dan is an amateur guitar player, and she is an orchestra conductor, and together they share two musical children.  A self-described, former aspiring philosopher, Dan is also an avid mountain biker.

 

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LAURIE LUNDMAN, Business License Inspector, City of Kelowna
Vice President

Laurie brings both personal and professional experience in the field of brain injury to our board of directors.  While playing high school football Laurie sustained his own first concussion; more concussions followed in other contact sports.  After high school Laurie completed a Certificate in Criminology and became employed with the Calgary Police Service, joining the RCMP a year later.  During his 25-year tenure as an RCMP officer Laurie says he “witnessed healthy individuals, in a second, become lifelong victims of brain injury.”  His experiences led him to developing the first free bicycle helmet safety program in Surrey for every person who could not afford a bicycle helmet, and to later serving on our Board.  Upon retirement from the RCMP Laurie joined the City of Kelowna Bylaw Services and is currently the City of Kelowna Business License Inspector.

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BRAD HALL, Senior Manager, Grant Thornton LLP
Treasurer

A Chartered Professional Accountant, Brad brings both financial and business expertise to his role as Treasurer on our board of directors.  In his professional life, Brad is also a Chartered Business Valuator and he serves as Director in the Transactions Group at Grant Thornton LLP in Kelowna.  Brad is happy to be part of the great team here at BrainTrust including the management, employees, and his fellow board members.  Originally from Ontario, like many of the rest of us, Brad moved to Kelowna for the Okanagan lifestyle and access to all that our beautiful province has to offer.

 

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KEITH BRADLEY, Customer Service Rep., Interior Beverage Services
Secretary

As a founding member of BrainTrust  Canada, Keith has shown longstanding dedication and commitment to our organization.  Behind his friendly smile and quiet demeanor is deep personal understanding about the impact of brain injury on a human life.  In 1988, he and his wife were in a car accident that left them both with brain injuries.  Despite their best efforts to cope with the changes their injuries brought, Keith and his wife ended their marriage six years later. We are grateful that Keith continues to support our cause, and brings that much-needed perspective of personal experience to our Board of Directors.  In addition to working full-time at Interior Beverages, he is the proud father of two adult children – Matthew and Hilary – and a grandfather of seven.  You could say Keith is a busy man.

 

Directors

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CYRUS AMELI, Business Management Professional
Director

After having served a term as a director of a national non-profit health organization, Cyrus was drawn by the professionalism and potential of BrainTrust Canada as an organization where he can work to make a difference in the lives of a critically under-represented and under-served community.  Cyrus is a business management professional with twenty years of experience in corporate development, finance and communications.  He has founded, managed, and/or served on the boards of directors of several publicly traded and privately held resource companies during his career.  Cyrus has also provided consulting services to a wide variety of companies in the areas of business development, communications, marketing, and community relations.  He lives with his wife and young son in the Vancouver area, but spends an increasing amount of time in Kelowna enjoying the skiing, lake, wine, and everything else that the Okanagan has to offer.

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MATTHEW CANZER, Lawyer, Pushor Mitchell LLP
Director

As an associate lawyer with Pushor Mitchell LLP, Matt is proud to continue their long-standing support of BrainTrust Canada by serving as a Director of our Board. With a background in personal injury litigation, tax litigation, and administrative law, he brings a wide range of legal expertise to his role. Having represented many clients who have acquired traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident or through assault, Matt says he has seen firsthand the impact a supportive organization such as BrainTrust Canada can have on their quality of life.  Originally from Montreal, Matt earned his law degree from the University of British Columbia in 2008.  In 2014 he and his wife, Leslie, relocated to Kelowna for the sunshine and the wine. When not at the office, Matt talks about Crossfit and nothing else.

 

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BARB EGAN, Sports Psychology, Clinical Counsellor, Sports Counsellor, Therapist
Director

Having been a hockey goaltender playing at the elite level Barb has had multiple concussions, both diagnosed and undiagnosed.  As a former university coach, and now therapist, she has also worked extensively with individuals who have suffered concussions, and clearly understands the connection between brain health and mental health.  Barb joined the BrainTrust Board of Directors because she loves what we are doing in the community and wants to be a part of raising awareness, educating, and providing hope to individuals who have experienced concussion/brain injury. We're grateful she's willing to share her knowledge, passion, and experience, so that together we can help others discover and reach their full potential.

 

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Angela Price-Stephens

DR. MATT PETRIE, Physician, Interior Health Authority
Director
Matt sees BrainTrust as filling a gap in the care of those in our community with brain injury, and sitting on our Board is a great fit for him.   As an emergency physician, Matt deals regularly with brain injury from a clinical standpoint. He has firsthand experience with the assessment, diagnosis, and management of brain injury, and sees the outcomes and effects of  the full brain injury spectrum.  Having also sustained multiple concussions of his own,  Matt brings a well-rounded perspective to our Board. Originally from Ontario, the outdoor playground of the Okanagan beckoned with its many opportunities for mountain biking, skiing, water sports, and locally sourced food and wine.

ANGELA PRICE-STEPHENS, Lawyer, Pushor Mitchell LLP
Director
As a litigator who has dealt with catastrophic personal injury for 25 years, Angela is very familiar with the effects of brain injury, not just on the injured individual, but also upon family, social, and work relationships. Angela has also sustained four concussions herself, giving her firsthand experience with the cumulative effect of concussions. She says she is acutely aware of the anxiety this 'invisible' injury can cause, and the behavioural and emotional changes that come along with the increased effort to continue functioning as one did pre-injury. Having emigrated from the UK in 2006, Angela is married and has two wonderful, adult daughters with whom she remains very close. She enjoys dancing salsa and swing, and playing golf (which she claims to do badly, but with lots of laughs).   

Our Staff

BrainTrust Canada employees are compassionate, skilled professionals. We work in a culture that welcomes diversity, and we appreciate the unique strengths of each individual member of our team.

Administration

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MONA HENNENFENT
Chief Executive Officer
In 2002 Mona traded life in the corporate sector and entrepreneurial world for a position in a non-profit organization. Since then she hasn't looked back, having found deeper passion and meaning in work that brings social issues to light and serves others in need of support.  She joined BrainTrust in September 2016, and as the CEO provides leadership and direction to the organization ensuring that we stay on top of our mission, vision, strategic plan, and priorities.  A strong communicator and networker, you will often find her out in the community spreading the word about BrainTrust and the issue of brain injury, and persuading others to join our cause.  After living in Calgary for 30 years, Mona and her husband, Scott, were drawn to a simpler lifestyle in the Okanagan, and love the strong sense of community they have found here.  Mona and Scott are proud parents of two adult children, Juliane and Jay.

MIA BURGESS
Director of Programs
Mia is passionate about social justice. She is both personally and professionally committed to community development that builds strong, healthy, and inclusive community for everyone. Mia's educational and employment experience in leadership, systems and community transformations, advocacy, program development and delivery, and applying and interpreting policy and legislation are strong assets in her role at BrainTrust.  Mia is our 'connector', having developed collaborative networks and strong partnerships locally, provincially, and federally.  In her down time Mia enjoys baking, running, and a good debate!  She also loves traveling and discovering great restaurants with her husband, Jeremy. 

DAWN CHARLES
Resource Development and Community Engagement Manager
Dawn is our 'people person', whose role it is to help the community become connected to what we do at BrainTrust.  She builds relationships with stakeholders and potential donors and sponsors and leads both fundraising and educational events.  Dawn has highly successful experience in managing fundraising campaigns as well as a personal connection to brain injury; she was the primary caregiver and advocate for her mom during recovery from a stroke. Dawn moved from Northern Ontario to the Okanagan in 2010 after falling love with the mountains on a weekend vacation.  A big animal lover, Dawn has a Shorkie (that's a Shih Tzu/Yorkshire Terrier) named Parker and a tuxedo cat named MJ.

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KATHY CHAMBERS
Office Manager
It's often Kathy's warm smile that will greet you when you enter the doors of BrainTrust Canada.  With a background in sales, she is a people person and that suits us just fine.  Our 'office goddess' wears many hats including that of administrative assistant, volunteer recruiter, and event organizer, and she does it all smoothly and efficiently.  Whether she's ordering supplies, creating spreadsheets, or assisting clients and guests, Kathy is happy knowing that she is part of a team that helps others and gives back to the community - something she values at this time in her life.  Kathy and her husband, Bob, moved to Kelowna in 2015 and have made a life here that includes time for hiking, gardening, and floating on the lake on hot summer afternoons - and of course, playing with their pup, Skyler.

 

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CARLY SUDDARD
Marketing and Events Coordinator

Carly started as a summer student at BrainTrust in 2018, and we soon decided she was such a great catch we couldn't let her go.  With her passion for helping others to succeed, she fit right in from the beginning.  Her superpower is an amazing eye for detail, and it comes in handy when she's developing new fundraising initiatives, helping to execute marketing strategies and plans, and coordinating BrainTrust events.  Carly also assists with a variety of administrative tasks, and enjoys reaching out to you all on social media.  She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours with a specialty in Finance; like we said, she's all about the details.  Carly originally hails from Canmore, Alberta, and loves Okanagan summers, camping, and volunteering.

 

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LORI HAMILTON
Controller

A chartered professional accountant, Lori has been providing financial oversight to a variety of nonprofit organizations since 1994.  Drawn by the opportunity to support folks who are ‘doing good’ in the world, this financial guru understands the nonprofit world well. She frees us up to follow our mission by making sure we're following all the money rules and regulations, and wisely spending the funds we receive.  Lori grew up in Estevan Point – a lighthouse station on Vancouver Island -  and was home-schooled until age 14.  This no doubt contributes to her ability to work so well independently.  She and her husband, Tim, have four adult children and three dogs.  They currently live in Lake Country and enjoy camping, boating, and a good ole wine tour now and then.


Client Support

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CHRISTINE ATKINS
BrainTrust Concussion Clinic Manager

Christine brings significant experience as an athletic therapist to her role as BrainTrust Canada’s Concussion Clinic Manager. With a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, she is also a certified athletic therapist with additional training and experience in concussion management.  If that wasn't enough,  we're proud to say she is also a contributing author to the following article: “Clinical characteristics, referral patterns and time to recovery in youth and adults following a sport-related concussion (SRC)”, has conducted initial assessments for acute sports concussion patients, and worked with physicians to determine best management and follow-up practices for concussed patients.  Those who connect with Christine through our concussion clinic services for children and youth, will find themselves in good hands.

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AMANDA MCFARLANE
ABI and Crime Reduction/Prevention Coordinator

Amanda combines her deep fascination with the brain and her passion for healing and helping in her work at BrainTrust. When Amanda joined the BrainTrust team in 2011 she gained experience in working one-to-one with clients.  In that time, she developed a strong understanding of the needs and approaches that best fit people with a brain injury.  She now works to see that offenders/potential offenders with brain injury are identified and managed appropriately in the criminal justice system, with a larger goal of reducing crime and preventing re-offending. Amanda is a single mother to Caidence and Cohen who she says are "the driving force behind my will to thrive in my career.” On their down time you will find the three of them somewhere in nature, surrounded by friends and family.

 

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DANA SARRIS
Community Support Coordinator, Kelowna

Dana has provided a strong, professional presence at BrainTrust since 1999. An effective advocate, team leader, and problem solver, Dana leads and coordinates services for individuals with brain injury, their families, and relevant professionals. He also maintains an active client caseload. Dana is the one we look to when seeking residential placements for clients, support in dealing with Substance Use and Brain Injury groups, or knowledge on concussion management. He makes time for fun in his life, too, with golfing, fishing, and watching hockey and NFL topping the list. Residents of Kelowna since 1991, Dana and his wife, Helen, have been happily married for 34 years and have three adult children.

 

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LAURA PLUMMER
Community Support Coordinator, Vernon

Laura's ability to see the big picture makes her the perfect person to run the Vernon office where she also assists individuals with brain injury on a one-to-one basis and runs weekly group programs. Laura enjoys focusing on the unique strengths of each individual with brain injury and working with them in achieving their goals. She is extremely passionate about the power of inclusion which makes her an amazing advocate for our clients. Laura loves the variety and the challenges that each day at BrainTrust brings, but what's most important to her is the gift of being a part of someone's life and their journey to recovery. Having lived in the Okanagan since she was five years old Laura enjoys experiencing the outdoors by hiking, kayaking, and "cautiously rollerblading."

 

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ERIKA MCLEAN
Case Manager - Interior Health Contract, Kelowna

Each day Erika wakes up motivated to come to work, knowing that she's making a difference in the life of someone in her community. Erika is responsible for managing the successful community rehabilitation of BrainTrust clients with acquired brain injury who are funded by Interior Health. She leads and coordinates services for those with brain injury, their families, and treating professionals, making sure that each client's goals are being met. Along with a Diploma in Psychology and Counselling her gifts of patience, empathy, and understanding are valuable assets in her one-on-one work with our clients.  Erika is a Kelowna-raised adventurer with a passion for health, travel, and animals. She loves being surrounded by people and takes great pleasure in building positive relationships.

 

 

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CHLOE MATTHEWS
Community Support Facilitator, Kelowna

With a B.Sc. in Behavioral Neuroscience, Chloe is well-equipped for work in the field of brain injury, and was drawn to working for BrainTrust by the opportunity to help people live fulfilling lives. She especially likes our client-centered approach which allows her to support clients in doing things that are important and meaningful to them. This might include support in finding suitable recreation, attending special events, managing day-to-day tasks, or working toward specific goals.  Chloe is excited to be facilitating one of our newest ventures at BrainTrust - the Leisure Club - which provides fun evening outings for our clients. Originally from Mission, BC, Chloe is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and snowboarding.

 

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GILLIAN GAMES
Group Programs Coordinator, Kelowna

As Group Programs Coordinator, Gillian uses group settings to help bring wellness to our clients in a variety of areas. If you haven't done so already, check out the many group programs she oversees. Gillian is a people person by nature who loves forming personal connections with others (perfect fit for her role).  She also loves learning about the brain (did we mention she's a perfect fit?!), and holds a vision that one day we will live in a world that supports all unique minds in reaching their potential.  When she's not at work you might find Gillian pursuing new experiences and connections by leading yoga classes, eating great food, or going on a travel adventure.

 

 

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LEVI PALMER
Community Support Facilitator, Kelowna

Levi brings a fresh face and approach to the field of brain injury. In addition to his present studies in Psychology at UBCO, he gained firsthand knowledge about addictions and mental health issues while growing up in a home with many foster children with diverse needs.  He also played hockey for 13 years, learning the importance of teamwork and the qualities of a leader.  As a result of his experiences, Levi believes that being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential to recovery.  He works one-on-one with clients both in their homes and in the community, and helps prevent their social isolation by getting them outdoors and active.  Levi says that at BrainTrust, "it doesn't feel like work when you're helping people reach their goals and seeing them succeed." (We love him for that. ) In his down time, Levi enjoys being in the wilderness, camping, snowboarding, and hunting.

Contracted Staff

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BRENDA MCKENZIE
Communications Consultant

Brenda is passionate about writing and creating content that moves people to take positive action. She writes and maintains BrainTrust's website, produces our online newsletter, creates educational presentations, and assists with grant writing. The end result of her efforts could be encouraging someone with brain injury to reach out for help, or inspiring new donors, funders, or sponsors to support the invaluable work we do. Brenda and her husband, Darren, moved from Saskatchewan to Kelowna in 2015 , where they now love the beautiful lake views, visiting the many beaches, and indulging in delicious Okanagan eats.  

 

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AVRIL PAICE
Counsellor

Avril loves to connect deeply with people and understand what matters to them, making her the perfect person for our clients with brain injury to confide in as they work through post-injury thoughts and emotions.  Equipped with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Avril is skilled at helping in several areas of need common to those with brain injury including relationship and family issues, self-esteem, grief and loss, depression, anxiety, injuries and disabilities, and trauma.  She draws on many different counselling approaches, depending on what will be most effective for the client. Avril feels deeply rewarded when she can help her clients discover a new perspective, strength, skill, or tool that improves their well-being.  Avril grew up in the Similkameen Valley and enjoys kayaking, hiking, reading, gardening, and coffee dates with friends.

 

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EMILY REID
Counsellor

Emily provides individual counselling for BrainTrust clients who have experienced trauma prior to or as a result of their brain injury.  She has always been passionate about working with trauma and with a Master’s Degree in Social Work, has built a solid foundation of skills and treatment approaches she uses to match the individual needs of each client.  Emily helps individuals clear out old experiences and negative beliefs that keep them stuck in self-defeating patterns or negative relationships, freeing them to move forward with greater confidence and ease. 

 

 

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DEON SOUKEROFF
Counsellor

Deon helps our clients learn new coping tools and strategies after brain injury, resulting in improved mental health and well-being. Along with a Bachelor's degree in Child and Youth Care and a Master's in Counselling, Deon draws on a variety of approaches and modalities that she has acquired over the past 15 years. This includes using a trauma-informed model - most beneficial for those who've experienced brain injury. Deon is passionate about working with people and feels privileged to help others during difficult times in their lives. She joined the team at BrainTrust in 2018, impressed with both our agency and the 'amazing work' we do in the community. Deon is a fan of the outdoors and enjoys spending time in nature with her husband and their dog.

 

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NIKKI WILLIAMS
Counsellor

Nikki is a Registered Clinical Counsellor providing individual counselling with BrainTrust. She has a Master’s of Education with a focus in counselling, where she studied the benefits of counselling for individuals who have experienced mild traumatic brain injury.  Nikki’s clinical focus is working with individuals who have experienced trauma.  She is dedicated to using a strength-based, integrative, and collaborative approach when working with clients, and draws from different counselling approaches including EMDR, narrative therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and mindfulness. She strives to be open, compassionate, and supportive when working with individuals experiencing challenging events. Nikki feels fortunate to call the Okanagan home and loves this community. She enjoys outdoor activities such as running, paddling, and hiking.

 

RICHARD MORTIMER
Counsellor

Richard provides our brain injury counselling clients a nonjudgmental and supportive space in which they can heal.  He uses a trauma-informed approach to guide these individuals toward a goal of leading an authentic and meaningful life.  Richard's areas of specialization include substance use, goal setting, managing grief and loss, and helping clients to form a new sense of self. Effective strategies he may use include writing/drawing verbal content on a whiteboard, mind mapping, cognitive behaviour therapy, and art therapy.  With a Master's of Counselling Psychology from the University of Lethbridge, Richard is passionate about helping build healthy, inclusive communities.  In his spare time, you might find Richard playing guitar, mountain biking, going to concerts, or reading autobiographies and books about ... psychology, of course!

Brain injury is a silent epidemic.

You can help us give it a voice.