Who we are

The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre exists because we believe we can do more to address the issue of child abuse when we work together.

We believe that healthy communities protect their most vulnerable — that when we protect our children and break the stigma and silence of child abuse, we create safer and healthier communities now and for generations to come.

We are a partnership among key organizations, community leaders, corporate and individual champions, and government. Together, we share a passion for supporting children, youth and families who have been traumatized by abuse, for increasing the awareness of the issue and for stopping child abuse.

Our progress has been made possible by partners and supporters who are determined to help our kids.

Helping kids: Child Advocacy Centres

Since the first Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) was launched in the U.S. in 1985, CACs have become recognized internationally as an effective and efficient way to support child and youth victims of sexual and physical assault. CACs increase collaboration, reduce costs and speed up prosecutions. The Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre is one of 25 CACs across Canada.

Board Of Directors

Member Bio

John Dielwart

Mr. Dielwart is the Co-Chair of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and recently retired as the Chief Executive Officer of ARC Resources Ltd., which owns and operates oil and gas properties in Western Canada. He has overseen the growth of ARC Resources Ltd. since inception in 1996 to current production of approximately 83,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (6:1). Prior to joining ARC in 1994, Mr. Dielwart spent 12 years with a major Calgary based oil and natural gas engineering consulting firm, as senior vice-president and a director where he gained extensive technical knowledge of oil and natural gas properties in western Canada. Mr. Dielwart has a Bachelor of Science with Distinction (Civil Engineering) degree from the University of Calgary (1977). He is a member of Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (“APEGGA”) and is a Past Chairman of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

Debra Mauro

Debra Mauro is Co-Chair of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and Co-Chair of Albi Homes Ltd. with husband, Tom. In 2012, ALBI celebrated its 30th Anniversary – an accomplishment both Debra and her husband Tom are extremely proud of. Debra’s passion for the community is demonstrated by her never-ending commitment to generously volunteering her time to numerous charities in the Calgary area. Most recently, she co-chaired the successful Big Boys and Their Toys – a fundraiser for HomeFront, a Calgary organization dedicated to reducing domestic violence and where Debra serves as a Director. Debra has been the proud recipient of Canada’s “Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs” distinction, as cited by Chatelaine and PROFIT Magazines for three years. She was also named one of the “Leading Entrepreneurs of the World” in 2002. In 2005 the Consumers’ Choice Award for Business Excellence named Debra “Businesswoman of the Year.” In her spare time, Debra, an avid reader, loves to spend time with her granddaughters Grace Alessandra and Emilia Rose.

Trent Edwards

As Chief Operating Officer for Brookfield Residential, Trent is responsible for overseeing the company’s Alberta operations. He joined Brookfield in September 2001 as Corporate Controller, progressing through roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of Finance and Chief Operating Officer in Australia. Trent earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1994, followed by his Chartered Accountant designation. Having been in the residential real estate industry for 12 years, he is inspired and excited to be part of the Alberta’s energetic and growing communities. Sharing the same passion as Brookfield Residential in giving back to communities, Trent believes that a community can only be as strong as the bond of its people. He plays a key role in the company by leading collaborative relationships with all stakeholders, and inspiring his employees to participate in many avenues of philanthropic work. From twice shaving his head for cancer campaigns, to participating in The Ride to Conquer Cancer, to gutting basements for those impacted by the 2013 Alberta floods, Trent leads his team by walking the talk. Trent is humbled to be part of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre. Raising his own four children, Trent believes that all children should have the opportunity to grow in a supportive and nurturing environment and is excited to be working with the Centre to create a better future for all children and their families.

Brian Evans

Brian Evans was born and raised in Edmonton. He attended the University of Alberta where he received degrees in Arts and Law. After articling and working as an associate with the Emery Jamieson law firm in Edmonton he moved with wife Debbie to Canmore and established Canmore’s first full time law office. After 13 years of practice in Canmore he was elected the MLA for Banff-Cochrane in 1989 and served as MLA until he retired from government in 1997. During his time in government Brian served as Minister of Environmental Protection and as Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Upon retirement from government Brian joined the Miller Thomson law firm in the Calgary office. In 2006 Brian left Miller Thomson and joined the Werklund Group family office as Executive Director, serving in that position until retiring from Werklund Group in 2010. Brian is currently Executive Chair of TSO Energy Corporation and Executive Advisor of Tecskor Corporation as well as serving on a number of not for profit and for profit boards. Brian is married to Debbie and they have 3 wonderful children and 2 amazing grandsons.

Margaret Fullerton

Margaret Fullerton currently serves as the Senior Operating Officer, Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH), where she is responsible for providing leadership to a diverse team in the development, design and implementation of the programs and services in a state-of-the-art family-centered pediatric facility. Margaret has had a long career in healthcare spanning 30 years. As a Registered Nurse, she began her career in a pediatric unit, moved on to a neonatal intensive care unit, post-anaesthetic care unit and worked extensively in the operating room. She obtained her BScN from the University of British Columba, and has held a wide range of leadership positions and private sector health care roles in Saskatoon, Vancouver, and Washington D.C. In the past 10 years, she has held a variety of progressively complex leadership positions in Calgary. Margaret is passionate about providing excellent care to patients and families, and she is dedicated to supporting health care professionals in continually improving access, quality and sustainability of models of care. She supports research, academics and education in the pursuit of best practice. Margaret is committed to the strong linkage between ACH and the Community.

Sheldon Kennedy

Sheldon Kennedy won a Memorial Cup, World Junior Gold Medal and skated for three teams in his eight-year NHL career. He is best known for his courageous decision to charge his Major Junior Hockey league coach with sexual assault for the abuse he suffered over a five year period while a teenager under his care. Through this disclosure, and the important work that Sheldon continues to do, he has become an inspiration to millions of abuse survivors around the world. Sheldon has been instrumental in bringing governments, public and private sector partners together to work collaboratively to influence policy change and improve the way child abuse is handled. He has influenced changes in Canadian law and has taken his message to the International Olympic Committee and the US Senate. Sheldon is the Lead Director at the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, the first-of-its-kind in Canada, offering full wrap-around services for victims of child abuse. He is also the Co-Founder of Respect Group Inc., which provides empowering online abuse, bullying and harassment prevention education to sport organizations, schools and the workplace. Sheldon’s awareness contributions are many: - He in-line skated across Canada in 1998 to highlight the issue of child abuse and donated 100% of the proceeds ($1.2M) towards abuse prevention programs. During this skate he was presented with the keys to the cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Winnipeg. - His life story was made into an Award Winning TV movie. - In 2006 he published “Why I Didn’t Say Anything”; a riveting account of the many psychological impacts of abuse. - He has shared his story through countless media appearances including Oprah, ABC’s Nightline, W-5, The Fifth Estate, and was named Canada’s newsmaker of the year in 1997. Sheldon has received several awards for his tireless work including: - Member of The Order of Canada, 2015 - Member of The Order of Manitoba, 2015 - Honourary Doctorate of Laws, University of Calgary, 2015 - Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award, University of Guelph, 2015 - The David Foster Foundation Humanitarian Award, 2014 - Calgary Citizen of the Year 2013 - Honourary Doctorate of Laws, University of the Fraser Valley, 2012 - Scotiabank Humanitarian Award, 2012 - Canadian Red Cross Caring Award, 2007

Tom Mauro

Tom Mauro is the Founder & Chairman of Albi Homes Ltd. Born in Albi, Italy, Tom’s personal and business philosophy is about Old World craftsmanship; a commitment to excellence, a deep commitment to the Community, and a steadfast belief in education. Tom has been in the housing industry his entire career starting as a journeyman carpenter graduating from SAIT. In 1982 he founded Albi Homes Ltd., a niche builder with a stellar reputation for quality construction and service. He served as a Director of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program from 1988–1994 and as Director of the Calgary Home Builder’s Association from 1988–1994. In 2007 Tom was inducted into the Canadian Home Builders’ Association Hall of Fame. He is presently serving on the SAIT Promising Futures Campaign raising funds for the new Trade and Technology Complex. Tom is an avid golfer and loves to travel to his homeland of Italy with his wife Debra.

M. Ann McCaig

Ann McCaig is one of Canada’s most prominent leaders in the not-for-profit sector, a well-known advocate for youth, education and health and an accomplished fundraiser. She is passionate about developing strong healthy communities and works tirelessly to ensure the highest possible quality of life for future generations. In the last 20 years Ann has lead numerous successful, large goal capital campaigns for major institutions in Calgary including the Alberta Children’s Hospital campaign raising more than $52 million to help build a state-of-the-art pediatric facility in Calgary. She chairs the boards of the Alberta Adolescent Recovery Centre and the Calgary Stampede Foundation and is a long-time supporter of the City of Calgary’s Police Interpretive Centre. Ann is Chancellor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, Chair of the Calgary Health Trust, Honourary Chair of the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, a Trustee of the $400 million Killam Estate and a Director of the Gairdner Foundation. Ann’s outstanding and exemplary community contributions have been recognized at local, provincial and national levels.

Wayne McNeil

Wayne McNeil served as Trustee and Vice-Chairman of the Rocky View School Division, volunteer President of the Sheldon Kennedy Foundation, which raised over $ 1 Million during the 1998 Cross-Canada Skate to raise awareness for the prevention of child abuse, and was volunteer Chairman of the Alberta Gymnastics Federation for six years. These volunteer experiences and his social consciousness towards the issue of abuse prevention lead Wayne to co-found Respect Group Inc.; Canada’s first, on-line, abuse, discrimination, bullying and harassment prevention training program for community/sport organizations, schools and corporations. Wayne has a seasoned, professional background in Information Technology and Project Management that he developed through key global positions with Bell Canada, 3Com Corporation and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). This strong IT expertise enabled Wayne to create a solid team and technology approach for Respect Group Inc. Wayne was instrumental in forging an exclusive partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to combine Canada’s best abuse, bullying and harassment prevention curriculum (RespectED) with Respect Group Inc.’s world-class, on-line training technology.

Melinda Park

Melinda Park is a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, a national Canadian law firm. She practices in Securities and Capital Markets Group in the Calgary office. She is currently a member of BLG's National Council, which is the BLG's governing body, as well as a member of various other internal committees within BLG. Melinda has practiced securities and corporate law for 20 years, with a focus on securities, corporate finance and commercial transactions. She primarily represents corporate clients on securities and corporate matters, including mergers & acquisitions, going public in Canada, and financings by way of prospectus and private placement offerings. She represents companies, both private and public, and works closely with the board of directors, and board committees – such as audit committees, in assessing best practices and corporate governance. Melinda has experience acting as independent counsel for special committees created for specific purposes within a board of directors. She has also been involved in "going-public transactions" and subsequent corporate governance and continuous disclosure for numerous companies listed on both the TSX Venture Exchange and the TSX. Melinda participates in numerous industry-related events and is often a speaker at events related to her area of expertise. Melinda graduated from the College of Commerce at the University of Saskatchewan and the Faculty of Laws at the University of Toronto. She has been a board member or corporate secretary of several public companies and has also worked with various not-for-profit companies/associations, including Calgary Minor Soccer Association where she has worked on specific projects relating to bylaws and governance matters. Melinda is married with two teenage boys who are very active athletes.

Anita Poscente

Anita is a leader in the private company services group at Deloitte & Touche. She brings experience in addressing the tax requirements of numerous private enterprises in various industries. Anita has extensive experience in advising private corporations on issues such as tax compliance, corporate structuring, compensation and employee retention, succession planning and merger and acquisitions. She also provides personal taxation services to many private company clients. Anita has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary (1993), her Chartered Accountant’s designation (1996) and her Tax In-Depth specialization (1998). She has also taught for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants as well as presented to various industry groups and organizations.

Jon Reeves

Jon Reeves has dedicated his career to serving and improving the lives of vulnerable children and families. He has spent 25 years in the social work field as a child welfare worker, moving to become the Chief Executive Officer for two Child and Family Services Authorities in Alberta. In mid-2013, he became the Regional Director for Calgary Region, Child and Family Services. Jon is committed to improving the lives of children, youth and families. He is focussed on improving practices in the field, and supports practice improvement projects. Jon believes services and supports for children and families can be enhanced through collaborative and innovative approaches.

Lloyd Robertson

Lloyd is the Chief Crown Prosecutor for Calgary General Prosecutions (Alberta Justice). He began his prosecution career in 1993 in Edmonton, Alberta and relocated to Calgary in 1994. During his career Lloyd has had the conduct of a number of serious and complex prosecutions. He has represented the Crown in Provincial Court and the Court of Queen’s Bench for offences ranging from shoplifting to murder. Lloyd became an Assistant Chief Crown in 2006 and the Chief Crown Prosecutor in 2008. In his spare time Lloyd is involved in Shorinji Kempo, a martial art incorporating self defence techniques and Zen philosophy. He is a 3rd Dan black belt in this Art and also teaches the Art to kids.

Murray Stooke

Joining the Calgary Police Service in November 1978, Deputy Chief Murray Stooke is a 34 year member of the Service, and presently holds the rank of Deputy Chief in charge of the Bureau of Specialized Investigations. Deputy Chief Stooke’s career with the Calgary Police Service began as a front line Patrol Constable, a position he served in until his promotion to the rank of Sergeant in 1990. Since that time, he has held increasingly more senior positions in the Chief Crowfoot Learning Centre, the Family, Youth and Violent Crime Section, the Criminal Investigation Division, the Organized Crime Control Section and finally, as Commander responsible for District 3, prior to his promotion to Deputy Chief in 2004. Deputy Chief Stooke is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology in 1986 and a Bachelor of Law Degree, in 1993. He was admitted to the Law Society of Alberta as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1994. Deputy Chief Stooke has served in the capacity of legal counsel to the Calgary Police Service, and in 2004, he received a Chief’s Award of Excellence. Over the years, Deputy Chief Stooke has been active in a variety of national and provincial policing committees including the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police Law Amendments Committee and the Alberta Standing Committee on Prosecutions and Enforcement. He has also served as a police representative to the Heads of Prosecution Sub-Committees on Miscarriages of Justice and Disclosure and has acted as a presiding/presenting officer under the Alberta Police Act. Deputy Chief Stooke has been married for 34 years and has two adult children.

Gary Strother

Gary Strother assumed his role as chief superintendent of the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) in March of 2012. Prior to his current role, Mr. Strother served as a superintendent with Calgary Catholic, providing services to CCSD’s Area D schools in addition to overseeing the information technology department. Mr. Strother has been employed with CCSD since 1983 and has served in a number of capacities, including classroom teacher, assistant principal, vice principal and principal. Mr. Strother has been involved at the provincial level with the College of Alberta School Superintendents, recently serving as first vice president. He has played key roles locally, provincially and nationally in facilitating workshops both internally and externally to the district. Mr. Strother is well known throughout the educational sector, providing exemplary leadership in every role he has filled. Mr. Strother is married to Kathie, who is a teacher with CCSD, and is the father of two grown sons, both graduates of Calgary Catholic.

Bonnie Johnston

Bonnie Johnston has dedicated her career to serving children and families. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, a position she has held since November 2012. Bonnie began her career as a nurse in an Aboriginal community in northern Alberta and later had a variety of increasingly responsible roles in the health care field in Edmonton and Calgary, including Director of Child and Adolescent Health for the Calgary Health Region. In that role, she was responsible for pediatric inpatient and critical care health services at the Alberta Children’s Hospital and pediatric inpatient services at the Peter Lougheed Centre. She most recently served as the Chief Executive Officer for Calgary & Area Child and Family Services from 2002 to 2012, responsible for programs including Child Protection Services, Family Support for Children with Disabilities and Child Care Licensing and Subsidy. During 2012, Bonnie also served in the role as Acting Assistant Deputy Minister for the Child and Family Service Delivery Division, Ministry of Human Services. Bonnie holds a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Nursing Degree from the University of Calgary. Her focus is on continuous improvement of outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and families through collaboration, innovation and best practice.