Board of Trustees

Looking for a cause that matters? We’re currently recruiting for our Board of Trustees. More info here.

Mary Pat has held a range of executive-level communications positions through her +25-year career including: Vice-President, Communications, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures; Branch Manager, Corporate Communications, City of Edmonton; and Director, Communications TELUS Corporation. A University of Alberta grad with a Master of Arts in Communications Technology, Mary Pat is a Past President of the University of Alberta Alumni Association and a former member of U of A’s Board of Governors and Senate. She has chaired and participated on countless committees for a wide range of organizations including Chrysalis.

Roseanne is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with over 20 years of experience, who has spent the majority of her career providing strategic and advisory support to business clients. She is currently the Chief Financial Officer at the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation Edmonton. She previously ran her own consultancy firm working with clients working across countless industries—including technology, financial services, real estate, benefits and not-for-profit. When not supporting her clients, Roseanne can be found spending time with her family, enjoying the outdoors, delving into a new book or giving back to the community by volunteering with local sports organizations and charities.

Gord Gilroy was born, raised and educated in Edmonton. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1986 with a degree in Business. From there he founded Vision Creative in 1987 and operates it today with two business partners and 10 employees. Gord is currently a member of the UofA Senate. Previous board commitments include Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Glenora Rotary Club. Gord has been married to his wife Angie since 1996 and together they have two adult kids – Jack and Grace. In his spare time he enjoys hiking / skiing the Canadian Rockies, travel abroad and art in its various forms.

DeAnn is the President & CEO of Edmonton John Howard Society working to eradicate the root causes of crime to build safe and healthy communities. As a seasoned executive with more than 20 years in business, health care and the community sector, DeAnn is known for driving transformational change, maximizing operational excellence and building collaborations to enhance the lives of individuals. DeAnn is passionate about mental health and community development. She has held numerous community board appointments including Board Chair for Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters, Board Chair for Terra Centre and a Board member with the Mental Health Foundation. DeAnn holds an undergraduate degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice and a MBA in executive leadership. In her spare time, DeAnn can be found on the soccer field and running in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley.

Scott is perhaps best known for his time on city council, representing Ward 6 from 2013 to 2021. Scott led city council initiatives on mental health, social isolation, indigenous relations and reconciliation. His work led to the funding of supportive housing facilities, as well as the formation of the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee. Prior to his time on council, Scott was a journalist, with 24 years at The Edmonton Journal. He left the newspaper in 2010 and launched a successful communications business, serving local, provincial and federal clients. Actively involved in the community, Scott also volunteered as director of the Downtown Edmonton Community League, the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, the Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health and the Lieutenant Governor’s Circle on Mental Health and Addiction. Scott has three grown children, who all live in Edmonton. Scott is a life-long bedroom guitarist and also rides an eBike, motorcycle or yellow Vespa scooter when the weather allows.

Nicholas Mitchell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta, and the Senior Medical Director of the Addiction and Mental Health Strategic Clinical Network and Provincial Medical Director for the Addiction and Mental Health Provincial Team within Alberta Health Services. In his roles with AHS he is involved in government and community stakeholder relations, policy, strategy, and research and innovation with a goal of improving the quality of healthcare for Albertans.

Angy has 20+ yrs in the financial sector including roles in Financial Planning, Branch Management, Regional Office, and Vice-President Commercial Markets. She is currently National Director for Practice Management with RBC. Angy and her spouse Phil Nelson enjoy hiking the Alberta trails, cross fit, and running, and spending time with their dogs. Angy holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Dalhousie University, Hons. BA in Political Science from University of Calgary, and a Financial Planning designation.

Jeff currently works as the President & CEO of Impact Safety Solutions Ltd. He was previously the Vice President Business Development with Horizon North where he focused on managing executive relationships within key strategic client accounts. Prior to joining Horizon North, Jeff was the co-founder of Empire Camp Equipment Ltd. (Empire), a Western Canadian focused provider of camp and wellsite buildings. At Empire, Jeff managed all day to day dealings including business development, customer relationships and operations.

Dr. Valerie Taylor, MD, PhD, FRCP is a Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary and Head of Mental Health for the Calgary Zone. She completed a Bachelor of Medical Science degree and graduated from medical school at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. She subsequently completed her residency training in Psychiatry, a PhD in Medical Science, two research fellowships from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, an Improving and Driving Excellence Across Sectors (IDEAS) Ontario certification in Quality Improvement, a certificate from the Mental Health Commission of Canada for the Promotion of Activated Research and Knowledge (SPARK) training program, a Rotman Advanced Health Leadership diploma, and a certificate from the Haskayne School of Business. Prior to coming to Calgary she was the Chief of Psychiatry at Women’s College Hospital, the Chief of Adult Health Services at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and lead of the Division of Equity, Gender and Population at the University of Toronto. She sits on a number of boards, spending time on the areas of governance and finance.

Her academic focus has been on the area of medical psychiatry. She has over 180 peer-reviewed publications and funding from a variety of national and international agencies.

Anita is a partner at the law firm Ackroyd LLP and practices in the area of corporate commercial law with a focus on advising Indigenous communities on corporate governance matters, joint venture and partnership agreements, trusts and financing. In her spare time, Anita is an avid runner and has run a number of marathons including the New York Marathon and the Los Angeles Marathon.

Mental Health Foundation Staff

Deborah is a fundraising professional with more than 15 years of fund development leadership experience and a track record of raising more than $30M. Deb stepped up to her role as MHF’s President & CEO after formerly serving as Vice-President, Philanthropy at Covenant Foundation Edmonton. She has also served as: Director, Fund Development, YWCA, Edmonton; Director, Children’s Miracle Network & National Partnerships, Sick Kids Foundation, Toronto; and Senior Manager Annual Fundraising Programs/Children’s Miracle Network, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is also a board member for YMCA Edmonton Foundation. In her spare time, Deb loves to cook and hang out with her husband and dogs.

Jo-Anne has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta and over 20 years of experience designing print materials, digital content, and websites. Residing in Edmonton, she is an outgoing and enthusiastic person that has worked across a variety of industries. She has found her niche working for the last three years in the non-profit sector on projects that are both meaningful and rewarding. She is passionate about innovative problem-solving, diligent about details and deadlines, and always strives to deliver premium results. She is always looking to expand her areas of expertise and is currently exploring photography and video editing.

When she’s not being swarmed by her two cats, Jo-Anne enjoys running, yoga, and travelling to sunny shores with her husband and daughters.

Jill is a professional fundraiser with over 11 years of hands-on experience in the nonprofit industry. She holds a Bachelor of Business degree from Okanagan College with a double major in Management and Marketing. Jill spent several years working in fund development at Camp Health, Hope & Happiness (i.e. Camp He Ho Ha) and thoroughly enjoyed making summer camp dreams come true for children and adults with disabilities.

She joined the Mental Health Foundation in July 2022 in the newly created position of Grants Coordinator. She brings creativity, enthusiasm, and passion for mental health. Jill is excited about contributing to building resilient individuals, organizations, and communities through accessible and holistic mental health programs and support.

She volunteers with Edmonton Cause Players as an administrative board member and costumed entertainer; bringing smiles to children at community events throughout the greater Edmonton area. In her spare time, Jill is either creating a new costume, dressing up as a princess at a charity event, throwing weights around at CrossFit, camping, or spending time with her incredible spouse, Ryan.

Serving as the new Director of Communications, Rolando has decades of experience in communications, project management, and leadership roles. As an communications and engagement specialist, an entrepreneur, and a nonprofit leader, Rolando has received numerous recognitions and honours for his work and volunteerism. He is driven by contribution and creating dynamic teams full of fun and growth opportunities.

Over 25 years, he has gained experience developing business strategies, operationalizing plans, as well as with outcome and performance evaluations. Rolando was responsible for developing an engagement framework for 40,000+ Métis citizens across Alberta, and grown a start-up to 20 staff and $1.5M in revenue within its first year. He has drafted and implemented internal and external communications strategies, created procedures and policies, and has been the key contact on several initiatives receiving national media attention.

Rolando believes in servant leadership, building on strengths, and is an avid volunteer. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Business Link board and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Rolando and his partner, Nicole, are eager to start their inaugural summer of RVing throughout Alberta!

Shelley is an accomplished self-starter with a strong background in the nonprofit and finance sectors. Working remotely from Ontario, Shelley gained her extensive experience in data management and event coordination at the Grand River Hospital Foundation, following a tenure with the Bank of Montreal. Shelley volunteers making and providing hot meals for vulnerable people, as a social media manager for a nationwide prostate cancer non-profit, and is on the Finance Committee as an advisor at her church. In her spare time, Shelley enjoys hiking and camping in Ontario, and beyond.

Geoff has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Victoria and brings a wealth of leadership experience to the foundation. He is a very proud father and husband. Although he spent 13 year in Victoria, he was born in Edmonton. Geoff has always been a strong advocate for others, a coach, a mentor, and most of all a firm believer in Community. With his passion for the cause, his formal education, and over 15 years of successful team leadership, it is his goal to bring more awareness and support for mental health and addictions across Alberta.

Geoff’s personal and professional connections across Alberta will prove to be a great addition as the Philanthropy team lead. He will be developing new methods to be involved in communities and will work with both government and private individuals to help build lasting change. He is ready to roll up his sleeves and get into the trenches with all of us to reach our collective goals.

Erin joined the Mental Health Foundation in February 2022, as an Executive Assistant and Grants Administrator. She is an experienced Executive Assistant and Board Secretary, with a background in a variety of industries, including non-profits—most recently with the University Hospital Foundation.

She is excited to join a team of passionate individuals making a difference in the lives of Albertans. Erin lives in Sherwood Park with her partner and dog, Birdie. She enjoys running, spinning, and travelling.

Prior to starting with the Mental Health Foundation, Mickey Melnyk worked for the Covenant Foundation since April 2016 as a Major Gifts Officer. Mickey has over 18 years of fund development experience in major gifts, donor stewardship, community relations, fundraising, and event and project management.

During his career, Mickey has also worked for Edmonton Opera, Alberta Ballet, MacEwan University, Alberta Chambers of Commerce, and Enbridge. Mickey led and organized special events during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

He is past-President and Founder of the Alberta Piano Chamber Society and past-Board of Trustee of the Edmonton Symphony Society and Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation. He chaired the 2001 Enbridge United Way Campaign raising over $212,000 for the Alberta Capital Region. In 2015, he led and organized the Edmonton Opera gala, which raised over $350,000.

Mickey is known for excellent relationship building and stewardship. He obtained his Public Relations Diploma from MacEwan University in 2005. Mickey studied piano performance since five and plays at concert level. He enjoys gardening, hiking, travelling to see museums and experiencing different cultures.

Amanda has spent nearly ten years working in philanthropy. From Bust a Move at the Alberta Cancer Foundation, to Uniquely Me for the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society, and everything in between, she has extensive expertise in fundraising through events, donor engagement, and fun! Her passion for donor experience is the thread the binds her work at the Mental Health Foundation in Annual Giving, Cause Marketing, Stewardship, Events, and Legacy Giving. Outside of work, you can find her teaching yoga, hiking in the mountains with her husband and bernedoodle, and baking sweet treats.

Amber is looking forward to a future where we can all acknowledge mental health and addictions in a progressive and destigmatized manner. Amber has a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in International Studies, and a minor in Anthropology. Having spent most of her time learning about people and their roles in society, she pursued a person-centered career in client relations. Amber spent several years working with families at Kids Uncomplicated; she thoroughly enjoyed bringing innovation to the disability sector.

Amber also spent some time interning with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. Her volunteer time provided her great insight to the collective efforts needed to help our communities prosper. She is eager to learn more about our donor community and the mental health needs of Albertans. The Mental Health Foundation is setup for success, and she is excited to join a team of passionate and dedicated individuals. In Amber’s spare time you will find her exploring the outdoors with her family, swimming laps at the pool, cooking vegetarian food, and chasing after a mischievous dog.