Jennifer Martin has been a long standing member of the media and has fulfilled various positions in News management roles. She is based in Edmonton, Alberta. She is also the widow of a former police officer who died by suicide in 2011. Following his death she was herself diagnosed with PTSD.
She spoke about her experiences and insights into first responders and their families needs to several audiences and organizations including the Alberta Mental Health Foundation Breakfast, Canadian Association of Police Boards, Alberta Brain Injury Awareness Month Kickoff Breakfast, a BC Emergency Responders conference and Edmonton Police Service Senior Command retreat. In December 2018 she became Chair of the newly formed International Critical Incident Stress Foundation – Canada whose board members supported the Alberta Critical Incident Provincial Network and promoted a funding proposal submitted to the Alberta Government by the ACIPN, also in December 2018.
Cammie is currently a municipal Councillor for Clearwater County. She is a retired Fire Chief with a career spanning over 35 years of active service for various municipalities. She began her career as a volunteer fire fighter and prevention officer in 1982 with the City of Wetaskiwin.
Over the years she has experienced a variety of aspects of the emergency services industry for several organizations: related to fire, emergency medical, and emergency management / disaster services in various capacities as a volunteer, contractor, and as a full-time occupation. These include fire fighter, instructor, evaluator, advisor, in many leadership positions as well as public educator, inspector, investigator, enforcement, and risk management related duties.
Cammie has a Business Degree in Emergency Services from Lakeland College and an Adult Education Degree from Brock University. She is a Level two Safety Codes Officer for both inspections and investigations and holds certificates in multiple NFPA – National Fire Protection Association standards as well as Fire Service Leadership certification from Dalhousie University. Chief Laird has been presented with several awards in recognition of her excellence, dedication, and commitment to the profession including her designation as a Certified Fire Officer through the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, Fire Engineer through the Institution of Fire Engineers and Certified Emergency Manager through International Association of Emergency Managers.
She has served as an active board member for several organizations over the years such as the Alberta Fire Chief Association and Alberta Fire Instructors Association as well as participated as an advisory committee member to Fire ETC. (Formerly – Alberta Fire School) and Lakeland College for some of their programs. She is a member of the Canadian Fire Chiefs Association, Alberta College of Paramedics, International Association of Emergency Managers and Institution of Fire Engineers as well as past membership in Alberta Fire Investigators Association, International Society of Fire Instructors.
Cammie enjoys an active lifestyle with her family (Husband – Scott of 35 years) and (Daughter – Gennifer and Son in Law Sheldon and four wonderful grandchildren); of whom have followed in her footsteps and continue to serve in varying capacities within emergency services. She is an advocate for life-long learning, effective leadership and proactive partnerships. After a diagnosis of PTSD in late 2015 she expanded her advocacy to include the reduction of stigma associated with PTSD and promotion of standardized province-wide approach to best practices for critical incident response and related support mechanisms for first responders and their families.
Dr. Ko graduated from medical school and completed a psychiatric residency at the University of Alberta. He spent 6 years as a staff psychiatrist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital where he provided care in Inpatient Psychiatry as well as participated in individual and group psychotherapy programs including the Dialectical Behavioral therapy program.
Dr. Ko subsequently spent 5 years at the Edmonton Operational Stress Injury Clinic as part a multidisciplinary team that provided assessment and treatment to military veterans and RCMP members. For the last five years, Dr. Ko has been a consultant psychiatrist at the Sherwood Park Primary Care Network. Dr. Ko has extensive experience in the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a number of populations including military veterans, police, first responders, correctional officers, and the general population.
Jeffrey T. Mitchell, PhD, CCISM is Clinical Professor of Emergency Health Services at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County, Maryland and President Emeritus of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. He earned his Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Mitchell serves on the graduate faculty of UMBC and also has served as a dissertation reviewer for numerous graduate students in international universities when their dissertations were related to emergency personnel. He has presented at conferences in twenty-eight nations around the globe.
After serving as a firefighter/paramedic, Dr. Mitchell developed a comprehensive, integrated, systematic, and multi-component crisis intervention program called “Critical Incident Stress Management.” He has authored over 275 articles and 19 books in the stress and crisis intervention fields and serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Emergency Management Institute of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Dr. Mitchell is a reviewer for the Journal of the American Medical Association and the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health. He received the Austrian Red Cross Bronze Medal for his work in Crisis Intervention in the aftermath of the Kaprum Train tunnel fire.
The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists approved Dr. Mitchell as a Certified Trauma Specialist, and The United Nations appointed him to the United Nations Department of Safety and Security Working Group on Stress. He actively teaches CISM and consults with emergency services, military personnel, hospitals, business and industries on a regular basis.
Dianne Young, principal youngteamltd., is an experienced business strategist with a proven track record of establishing credibility and forging strong working relationships with business leaders, employee groups, all levels of government, media and key community influencers.
youngteamltd. offers extensive experience in strategic and operational planning, brand management, differentiation & positioning strategies and corporate social responsibility
As President & CEO of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Dianne united people to embrace a shared vision, which was vital to ensure the construction of a new children’s hospital in Edmonton.
As Community Relations Director at Telus, she led a team responsible for brand/image, ensuring the company built and maintained a strong presence in key markets across Canada. A firm believer in the importance of both corporate and personal commitment to philanthropy, Dianne established the TELUS Bright Futures Foundation to provide a clear and impactful focus for corporate giving. She also developed the first corporate volunteer program in Canada, a strategic initiative to harness the energy of thousands of employees to compliment financial contributions and sponsorships, earning the company a national award in corporate social responsibility.
As an experienced facilitator of the Predictable Futures Pathway to Success process, Dianne helped family business owners navigate confusion and conflict to ensure seamless succession.
She has served on numerous Boards, some of which are the Mental Health & Addictions Foundation; Little Warriors; University of Alberta – Centre for Social Entrepreneurship; Boston College – Centre for Corporate Community Relations; Duke of Edinburgh Awards and YMCA, among many others.
Her dedication and commitment as a community builder has been recognized with a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award – Business & the Professions; Alberta Centennial Medal – Outstanding Service and Contribution; Mayor’s Award – Outstanding Contribution to the City of Calgary.
Dan Rude was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on May 24, 2018, after serving as Interim CEO since August 2017, and leads an organization of approximately 100 employees.
As CEO, Dan reports to the Boards of Directors of AUMA, AMSC, AMSCIS, MUNIX and APEX, and leads and manages the overall businesses to ensure strategic and business plans are effectively implemented, results are monitored and reported, and the financial and operational objectives are attained.
Dan has over 30 years’ experience in various strategic and senior management roles and organizations, including serving as Chief Financial Officer with the AUMA since 2004. Dan has also been very active serving with various community and volunteer organizations, including sitting as a Board of Director with Baseball Alberta.
Gregg “Scully” Schaalje has been a firefighter for 26 years. He is currently a Firefighter/Lieutenant in Rocky View County Fire Services along with being a devoted husband and father of two children. He has also competed in FireFit for the past 24 years… and is still going strong!
Gregg has successfully achieved his degree in Business Administration with a major in emergency services, as well Gregg has also completed the Fire Service Leadership certification from Dalhousie University.
Gregg’s place of Zen is where the waters flow and the sky is blue near the mountains. Gregg has had to deal with becoming mentally strong from a very young age, as he is a true survivor of an unthinkable act that happened to him and had to learn how to become resilient as he grew up with the challenges that he faced both within himself and with family members. His love for the outdoors came naturally to him. This Calgary native spent most of his time in the outdoors, in the mountains, or on the water.
Gregg started out as a true volunteer firefighter and moved up the ladder of his career to the highest post as Fire Chief. He has received a 12-year Alberta Service Award and a 20 Year Federal Government Award. At the highest point in his career as a Fire Chief, Gregg realized that his mental health was not in a good place and the ladder he was on needed to be changed. So, in 2018 he hit the reset button on his life and “started over” as a probationary firefighter. Recently Gregg has completed a lifelong dream of becoming a pilot and was a co-founder of a foundation that created a coin to help first responder communities start the conversation about their mental wellness, psychological impact, and stress unique to first responders.
In the past, he has helped set up three peer support teams and programs, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) teams, and sits on the Rocky View County Fire Health and Wellness committee and leads Rocky View County Fire’s peer support team and as well is a proud team member of the Albert Critical Incident Provincial Network as a peer support member.
Gregg is honored and blessed to have been asked to be a team member on the board of ICISF-Canada.
Ronda is a regular member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and has been so for nearly 19 years. Ronda is currently the Acting Sergeant and NCO i/c of the RCMP’s first and only multi-disciplinary Proactive Employee Health Support Unit in E Division, British Columbia.
Throughout her career, Ronda has been a subject matter expert for the Province of BC, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General on Crisis Intervention and De-escalation, Trauma-Informed Practice, Domestic Violence and Fair and Impartial Policing. Ronda has been the recipient of numerous awards from various organizations and has been recognized by all levels of government for her work.
Ronda’s passion and expertise in the mental health and care of the clients she has served in the community has led Ronda to focus her attention on the psychological health and wellbeing of her colleagues. Ronda; with her holistic team and expert advisor, Dr. Alan Smitton, is developing Peer Support, Critical Incident Response and Reintegration Programs for the RCMP, Provincially and Nationally. Her work is essential to filling the long-standing gaps in organizational and operational support. Ronda is focussing on creating cultural change to ensure employees and their families not only survive, but thrive.
Ronda is well versed in current research and evidence-based, best practices and makes collaborating with experts in the field of policing culture and trauma a priority. Ronda has been the primary BC RCMP evaluator of numerous external vendor offerings; such as, R2MR, ASIST, MHFA and CISM for several years. Led by Ronda, the Proactive Employee Health Support Unit’s mandate is to ensure all programs and training for the RCMP align with current, best practices based on the expertise and guidance of her trusted advisors in first responder mental health.
Ronda has extensive experience in curriculum development and effective facilitation techniques, which enables her to develop and deliver training that is adult learning centred and meets the unique and high-risk needs of her RCMP colleagues.
Ronda has a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario. She is a certified Hatha Yoga Teacher with an avid mindfulness practice. She volunteers her time to promote yoga and mindfulness to her fellow colleagues and youth in her communities. Ronda is a mother of two and is married to another RCMP member.
Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Mike Onieu joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1993 in Regina, Saskatchewan (home of the Roughriders).
He attended CMR St. Jean and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1998 as an Armoured Officer posted to Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) in Edmonton, Alberta.
LCol Onieu has served four tours on Regimental duty in various line and staff positions: Tank Troop Leader in C Squadron, Regimental Training Officer, Assistant Adjutant, Battle Captain and Second in Command A Squadron, Officer Commanding B Squadron and Regimental Second-in-Command.
He has deployed on operations with the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group in Kosovo as the tank troop leader in 1999, the 1st Battlion Royal Canadian Regiment Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team in Afghanistan as the Operations Officer in 2009, and with MONUSCO HQ on Operation CROCODILE in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014.
His service outside the Strathcona’s includes postings to The South Alberta Light Horse in Medicine Hat as the Regimental Support Staff Officer, the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Center in Wainwright as Exercise Plans Officer and then Adjutant, 3rd Canadian Division Headquarters in Edmonton as G3 Operations, and the Chief Force Development Group in Ottawa. Most recently, he served as the Base Commander of Canadian Forces Base Suffield.
LCol Onieu is a graduate of the British Joint Command and Staff College’s Advanced Command and Staff Course. He holds a Masters in Defense Studies from King’s College London and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Royal Military College of Canada.
LCol Onieu returned to The South Alberta Light Horse as the Commanding Officer on 18 October 2020.
LCol Onieu’s immediate family includes his amazing and talented wife Carolyn, their son Edan and their daughter Aurora, a Siamese cat and one very rambunctious dog.
Board Member, Ex Officio
Nicholas Carleton, Ph.D., is a Professor of Clinical Psychology, a registered doctoral clinical psychologist in Saskatchewan. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and encyclopaedia entries exploring the fundamental bases of anxiety and related disorders.
He has completed more than 350 national and international conference presentations. His interests include biopsychosocial assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders, focusing on lower-order (e.g., intolerance of uncertainty) and higher-order (e.g., extraversion) factors. He enjoys teaching and supervision of undergraduate and graduate students, and maintains a small private practice for military and public safety personnel who have anxiety and related disorders, particularly posttraumatic stress.
Board Member, Ex-Officio
Managing Director, Individual Investor Services, National Bank Financial Wealth Management CEO & Partner, Angus Watt Advisory Group
Angus Watt is Managing Director, Individual Investor Services, National Bank Financial, and mentor of the Angus Watt Advisory Group. He holds a degree in Political Science from York University.
Angus and his group manage over $1 Billion in assets, and are specialists in Investment Management as well as Portfolio Strategy, Financial Planning, Individual Insurance, Group Insurance and Benefits planning. As Central Alberta’s Business Authority, Angus broadcasts over 50 times per week on Global TV and 630 CHED.
Angus is Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Honorary Colonel of the South Alberta Light Horse regiment, Military Cup 2019 co-Chair, University of Alberta Chancellor’s Cup 2018 co-Chair, and Honorary Chair, 6th Annual Women Fore Pandas Golf Tournament. Angus has recently been appointed as Director, CN Edmonton Community Board, Founding Board member, International Critical Incident Stress Foundation – Canada and member of the Business Transition Forum (BTF), Edmonton Advisory Board. Angus is currently an advisor to Little Warriors Foundation and Past Advisor to the Hearing Foundation of Canada.
He is the past Chair, Alberta Order of Excellence, past Chair, Edmonton Consular Corps, past Treasurer, The Lieutenant Governor’s Circle of Mental Health, University of Alberta Senate past board member and past co-Chair, University of Alberta Senate Student Mental Health Endowment. Angus served as Chair of the United Way of Northern Alberta for two terms. He also served as Chair to the Minerva Foundation, The Support Network, and the Support Network Foundation. Angus was a Founder and Chair of the Edmonton Police Foundation, Telus Edmonton Community Board Advisor, and co-Chair to the David Foster & Friends Committee. Angus served as a member of the City of Edmonton Food and Agriculture Committee and the Canadian Cancer Society as an Advisor.
He is a past recipient of the “Paul Harris Fellow,” awarded by the Rotary Club of Canada. In 2012, Angus received The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Most recently, Angus received the Community Enrichment Award National Philanthropy Day 2017.
Jeff Sych is a registered psychologist who has dedicated his private practice to the wellbeing and recovery of first responders.
Jeff is trained in the assessment and evidence-based treatment of mental health conditions that arise from first responder service but prefers to present on building resistance and resilience so that first responders stay psychologically healthy and put him out of business by not needing his services any longer.
Currently, Jeff is engaged in conducting four research projects, funded through government grants, three in collaboration with the University of Regina and one with the University of Alberta. The focus of the research is on different aspects of delivering first responder mental wellness programs and their effectiveness.
Jeff is an ICISF Approved Instructor for both CISM peer support courses “Assisting Individuals in Crisis” and “Group Crisis Intervention.” He is the clinical director of seven CISM teams: first responder, hospital and corporate based. He provides expert consultation on mental wellness initiatives, CISM team development and functioning and participated directly in CISM interventions.
Over the past 3 years Jeff has trained over 1100 front-line public safety personnel and 100 leaders in emergency services in CISM Peer Support.
Malcolm McNeill is a psychological assistant and CISM Coordinator who has dedicated his focus of study to the wellbeing and resilience training of public safety personnel.
Malcolm holds a B.Sc. (Hon) in Psychology. He is an ICISF Approved Instructor for courses “Assisting Individuals in Crisis” and “Group Crisis Intervention”.
Malcolm has completed his Certificate in Critical Incident Stress Management (CCISM) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Maryland and is a CISM Network Coordinator for the Alberta Critical Incident Provincial Network, as well as supporting seven CISM teams in the areas of first responder, hospital and corporate based.
Malcolm is currently involved in four research projects, as the research assistant in collaboration with the University of Regina and two others with the same organization as well as one with the University of Alberta that focus on the impact and effectiveness of mental health and wellness programs for public safety personnel.
Over the past 3 years Malcolm has trained over 1100 front-line public safety personnel and 100 leaders in emergency services in CISM Peer Support.