Staff & Board

Meet our team of dedicated professionals. We’re passionate about supporting the nonprofit sector, the individuals, and the organizations in it. Our small but mighty staff has a solid depth and breadth of experience and education in the nonprofit sector and beyond. Get to know a little about us here – better yet, send us an email, give us a call, or connect with us on social. We look forward to meeting you!


Marisa Barber

Marketing & Communications STRATEGIST

Marisa was instilled with a passion for continuous learning at a young age from her parents, driving her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and continue her education with a Master of Science in Marketing, both at the University of Rochester. After completing her degrees, Marisa joined the Executive MBA staff at Vanderbilt University, where she focused on program administration and marketing. Through her education, university work and active volunteering in the community, both in Nashville and Calgary, Marisa feels a strong connection to the nonprofit sector. She is thrilled to be at CCVO where she combines her love of marketing and nonprofit work to advocate for these organizations.  |  403-910-5879


Tracey Braun

Manager, Programs

Tracey has been engaged with Calgary’s nonprofit sector for over 20 years as a volunteer, staff person, and board member. Her diverse career has included work with feminist organizations and carshare co-operatives, program development with small nonprofits, completing research projects for post-secondary institutions, and sitting as the executive director for three senior centres at the same time. Tracey completed her MA at Athabasca University in April 2014 with a focus in community studies, and now spends her spare time volunteering with various groups/projects while searching for the most concise answer to her kid’s question, “How did you get involved in this work?”  |  403-910-5872  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn


Alexa Briggs

DIRECTOR, Policy & Research

Alexa has a strong professional background as a researcher and writer, combined with extensive experience working for nonprofit organizations in managerial and leadership experience positions. Her work in policy analysis and research was enhanced at Vibrant Communities Calgary, where she served as Associate Director of Strategy and Research.

Alexa holds a B.A. in Sociology with High Honours and an Interdisciplinary M.A, both from the University of Saskatchewan. Her professional experience includes numerous publications and conference presentations as well as service on nonprofit Boards.  |  403-910-5871


Suzanne Chennells

Events & Membership Manager

Suzanne has worked in the private, post-secondary, and nonprofit sectors, both locally and overseas, for more than 20 years. She is an avid lifelong learner and traveler, and brings that same curiosity and enthusiasm to bear in her work and life journey. She is keen to connect with and learn about others, uncover their stories, and hear about the valuable work they do each day in their organizations.

Suzanne sampled other universities – including locally, in British Columbia, and a year in the south of France to study French – before settling on and completing her Bachelor of Applied Communications degree, Public Relations (BAC) at Mount Royal University.  |  403-910-5873


Genevieve Davis

Events & Membership Volunteer

Genevieve is an undergraduate student at the University of Calgary in the Urban Studies program. She is passionate about community development, the environment, and design thinking. These passions have led her to become an active volunteer with numerous nonprofit organizations, and she is thrilled to volunteer with an organization that is a champion for the sector. After she graduates in 2020, she hopes to pursue a master’s degree in planning. When Genevieve is not volunteering or studying, she works at the University of Calgary’s Outdoor Centre where she enjoys engaging with her twin loves of adventure and the great outdoors.

Megan Dornstauder

Megan Dornstauder

manager, Administration

Megan is an exuberant grandma, as well as a dynamic administrative professional, in that order. Megan returned to Calgary last year, and brings years of experience from her career in education and municipal government, including community services, FCSS, and emergency management. With enthusiastic purpose for working with youth and families as a volunteer, Megan has brought her passion to the nonprofit world for over thirty years.  |  403-261-6655

Lina Khatib

Lina Khatib

Policy Analyst

Lina is a public policy professional with a passion for developing research and policy recommendations that promote inclusive, healthy and equitable communities. She has worked in government and the nonprofit sector for over ten years, including with the Ontario Ministry of Education and the United Way of Calgary and Area. Lina holds a Master’s degree from the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts from York University and is also on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. She loves exploring the Rocky Mountains and riding her bicycle to work.   |  403-910-5876

David Mitchell

David Mitchell

President & CEO

David has a broad professional background, spanning the private, public, nonprofit, and education sectors. He has served in leadership roles in the resource industries, as an elected representative, in NGOs, and at a number of post-secondary education institutions. An award-winning writer and author, David’s expertise is in the areas of convening, fundraising, and public policy. He’s the father of two daughters, a doting grandfather to three adorable grandchildren, and is married to author and women’s advocate, Shari Graydon.  |  403-910-5881  |  Twitter 


Mary Polychronis

Program Coordinator

Mary brings diverse and cross-cultural experience from the nonprofit, private and academic sectors. Her fascination with understanding human interaction, cultural differences and social inequality led her to pursue an MA in Sociology at Concordia University. A native Calgarian, she is passionate about engaging people and positively influencing her community. Mary is thrilled to be part of a team which supports organizations who are driven by the same values. She enjoys yoga, live music, volunteering and loves travelling and pups.  |  403-910-5875


Trevor Prosser

Information Systems Manager

Trevor has several years worth of experience working with information systems in both the private and nonprofit sectors, having had a hand in development, implementation and maintenance of new and existing systems. His training in the journalism program at Mount Royal College, as well as his background in communication, administration, data management and web development, paired with his passion for the nonprofit sector, allows Trevor to contribute in a number of areas toward CCVO’s future successes.  |  403-910-5878  |  Twitter


Monique Sereneo

Communications Assistant

Interested in taking a data-driven approach to world issues, Monique was driven to pursue a B.A.H. in Applied Economics with a minor in Global Development Studies, as well as a Certificate in Law from Queen’s University. She has previous experience working with organizations in Manitoba and Ontario where she developed an appreciation for effective communications strategy and a passion for nonprofit work. Monique is a genuine believer in the positive impact of a thriving nonprofit sector and is delighted to contribute to the work at CCVO. | 403-910-5882


Dana Silver

Director, Community Engagement

In her role as Director, Community Engagement, Dana is focused on strategic communications, resource development, and convening to build sector capacity. She has held stakeholder engagement and communication roles with corporate, nonprofit, and volunteer organizations including the University of Calgary and the Pembina Institute. Dana holds an MBA and Bachelor of Commerce from the Haskayne School of Business. Passionate about supporting healthy communities, Dana is also Chair of the Leftovers Foundation Board of Directors, and a member of the Foothills Medical Centre Development Council.  |  587-747-0215  |  LinkedIn


Marokh Yousifshahi

Research coordinator

Growing up, nonprofits played an important role in helping Marokh’s family settle into Canada at the age of nine. With the little education she received at a refugee camp she grew up in, Marokh realized the importance of education in Calgary, which she now calls home. Her upbringing instilled great passion and drive to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy and International Affairs from the University of Ottawa. She believes in empowering nonprofit organizations through effective policy as they play a strong role in the social and economic well-being of a community. Marokh enjoys keeping up with world events and is an avid reader of international news. She believes in giving back and is always looking for ways to contribute to the Calgary community. She is passionate about immigration, education, justice, and equality for underprivileged and marginalized people. | 587-747-0185



Patty Kilgallon


Patty is a leader in the nonprofit community, and a lifelong advocate for children’s wellbeing. She has served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Children’s Cottage Society of Calgary, an organization dedicated to preventing child harm and neglect, and providing support services for families, for 30 years. Prior to joining the Children’s Cottage Society, Patty was a Registered Nurse, specializing in the care of children and young adults at the Foothills and Alberta Children’s Hospitals. She currently sits on the Alberta Association of Services for Children and Families Government Relations Committee and co- chairs the Family Sector Leadership Table for Homeless Children and Families. Patty holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.


Cyril Elbers


Cyril is a public affairs and communications leader with over 15 years of experience in the natural resources, government and non-profit sectors. Passionate about community development, Cyril has led strategic programs for the oil and gas industry, including stakeholder relations, socio-economics, community investment and sustainability reporting. He is currently the Director, Communications for the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) and has held management positions at TransCanada Corporation, Deloitte and BearingPoint. He holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics.


Judith Hanebury


Judith’s distinguished legal career culminated in a 15-year appointment to Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench as Master-in-Chambers. Prior to that, she served as General and Board Counsel for the National Energy Board of Canada, and practised civil and environmental law in Calgary.  She holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Calgary. Prior to her appointment to the Court she volunteered with a variety of organizations including the Sierra Club, the Boys and Girls Club, the University of Calgary Alumni Association and the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. Now semi-retired, Judith also volunteers with the Calgary Food Bank and KIVA.


Zubin Cooper


Zubin has over 20 years of experience in finance and accounting. He is a Partner with KPMG LLP and has provided accounting, audit, and tax services to many nonprofit organizations. In his current position, he helped develop the KPMG Not-for-Profit Seminar Series with the United Way. Zubin has volunteered on the Finance Committee for the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations since 2013. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta, Canada.


Ryan Barrett


Ryan graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in 1998. Ryan articled with PriceWaterhouse Coopers and obtained his CA designation. Ryan then went on to work at a public real estate investment trust in the hotel and resort industry, managing the tax department. Subsequently Ryan went to work for an entrepreneur, focusing on the real estate industry, where he earned his Chartered Business Valuator designation (“CBV”) and completing the CICA Corporate Finance program. Ryan’s work consisted of valuation, taxation, financing and accounting. From working with the entrepreneur Ryan realized that owners of private businesses did not have the resources or financial means to have all their needs met by one Professional. Ryan joined a mid-size accounting firm in 2009 specializing in US taxation, with a focus on providing full service accounting and advisory services to business owners. Ryan has also completed the CICA In-depth Tax Course and has obtained his Certified Public Accounting designation.


Cheryl De Paoli


Cheryl is the Executive Director of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, and sits on several boards and committees, including the Alberta Emerald Foundation and The Natural Step. She holds a Master of Science in Business and Sustainability from the University of Bath, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary. She is a certified facilitator with broad, global experience in strategic development, stakeholder engagement, communications, and community investment.


W. R. (Bill) Dickson


Bill is a retired educator who worked 33 years with the Calgary Board of Education, and 10 years with the University of Calgary.  Over the years, he has had opportunities to support community building and growth through organizations such as the Rotary Club of Calgary, Calgary and Area Child and Family Services, Bethany Care Society, Calgary Foundation, Pathways CSA, and SEEDS Connections. Bill and his wife Karen have three children and five grandchildren. He enjoys family, history, and the outdoors.


Leslie Evans


Leslie is currently the Executive Director for The Federation of Calgary Communities, a support organization for the 151 Calgary based community associations as well as about 70 other not-for-profits. Prior to joining the Federation, Leslie was a Grants Associate with the Calgary Foundation and the Executive Director of Street Teams/Safe House Society which she led through a merger with Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Management, a Certificate in Human Resource Development and a Master’s Degree in Management focusing on Voluntary Sector Leadership.


Greg Juliano


Greg is the Associate Vice President for Employee Services at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). He is a practicing lawyer with more than 20 years’ experience, called to the bar in both Alberta and Manitoba. Greg has spent most of his career leading the legal and human resource functions at large post-secondary institutions. He has used these forums to advocate for the fair treatment of employees, equity, diversity and human rights. Throughout his career, Greg has been heavily involved in supporting the work of charitable organizations. He has volunteered extensively with groups dedicated to environmental, habitat preservation, wildlife and animal related causes. He has also provided pro-bono legal advice in support the healthcare, disability, childcare and educational sectors. Greg, along with his wife and three children, are relatively new to the Calgary community, having moved from Manitoba in early 2019. They are enjoying the strong sense of community in the city, and taking advantage of opportunities for an outdoor lifestyle.


Christy Morgan


Christy is a proud First Nations woman from the Bonaparte Band, which is a part of the Shuswap Nation, in British Columbia. She holds a Degree in Social Work from the University of Calgary and is the current Director for Indigenous Initiatives with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary. She was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine in 2011 and was awarded the Dr. Douglas Cardinal award for Community Leadership in 2015 by the University of Calgary Student Association and Native Centre. Christy sits on a variety of committees and boards in Calgary and enjoys networking with others.


Greg Shyba


Greg was born and raised in Calgary. He obtained a BA in cultural anthropology from the University of British Columbia and holds a law degree from the University of Alberta. Greg has been a member of the Law Society of Alberta for over 35 years. Greg is the CEO of the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area. Prior positions have included Interim COO of Calgary’s Telus World of Science, Special Advisor – Water Initiatives with the Alberta Research Council, Executive Director for Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Water Research, and CEO of Trout Unlimited Canada. Greg is active on many community boards, including the Alberta Conservation Association, as well as corporate boards.


Ralph Strother


Dr. Ralph Strother MD, CCFP (SEM), FCFP DSM is a Medical Doctor practicing as a Family Medicine Specialist with Special Expertise in Sport Medicine. He was Chief Investment Officer and Senior Board Officer with the Max Bell Foundation and the Norlien Foundation for a decade; responsible for leadership of the organizations including grant making and endowment management. He has served as Chairman of The Calgary Foundation and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and as well as a Director of other nonprofit Boards including Alberta Mentor Foundation for Youth (AMFY), Ester Honens Foundation, the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre (AARC), Clean Air Champions, Make-a-Wish, the True Sport Foundation of Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, The Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation and the Brandon Flock Family Foundation. He has been CEO of private and public companies listed on major public exchanges. Dr. Strother received a Distinguished Lecturer Award for the University of Calgary and has given numerous national and international presentations. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Henry Wise Wood High School and Lifetime Texas-Ex of the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated with Distinction from the University of Alberta in Medicine (Conn Memorial Gold Medalist) and previously attended the University of Texas at Austin where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.