Board of Directors
Tavia Nazarko – Chairperson
Tavia is a registered nurse and has worked in the mental health field for the past 22 years, supporting individuals in their wellness and recovery. In 2010, Tavia completed her Masters in Healthcare Leadership. Following the 2013 Southern Alberta Floods, she was a member of the team designated to support recovery within Calgary and surrounding area, focusing on recovery and preparedness initiatives in collaboration with several service providers and organizations. Tavia joined the Board of Directors of Elements in 2019. When not working, you’ll find Tavia spending time with loved ones and friends.
Don Middleton – Vice-Chair
Don has been with the Calgary Board of Education since 1993. During this time, he has worked in several schools as a classroom teacher and administrator. Currently, Don is a high school assistant principal and has recently completed his Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Trauma and Resiliency in Educational Settings. Don joined the Elements Board of Directors in 2020.
Linda Duff – Treasurer
Linda is a payroll/accounting clerk with over 13 years experience and is one of the newest members to join the Board of Directors at Elements in June, 2021. Linda wants to make a difference in her community and has volunteered her time to various non-profit organizations in many different capacities, mostly in the vulnerable sector. She is proud to be part of the Board at Elements.
Steffany Welter- Secretary
Steffany is a native Calgarian and is passionate about community service. She joined the Board in May 2020. Steffany has worked in different capacities with various non-profit organizations focused on vulnerable populations, including addictions and mental health. Steffany is grateful to have the opportunity to work with Elements Calgary Mental Health Centre.
Cheryl Gardner – Director
Cheryl holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and for her whole career, she has worked in the mental health field. Cheryl has worked as an outreach social worker, crisis clinician and as a manager of crisis teams. She was the initial lead of the Indigenous Mental Health Team, and most recently was the manager of Police and Crisis Team, Urgent Mental Health and Mobile Response Team for Alberta Health Services. She helped to create a Psychosocial Disaster Response model within Addiction and Mental Health Services. Recently retired, Cheryl spends lots of time in her pottery studio, travels as much as possible, and kayaks and hikes in the Kootenays.
Asanga Gunatillaka – Director
Asanga is an Electrical Engineer who has spent the last 20 years in leadership roles bringing to market emerging technologies and new commercial models. He started his career in management and technology consultancy and has led change in a variety of companies including Virgin Media in the UK and as Chief Product Officer at the Swedish Telecommunication provider, Com Hem.
Carrie Styczen – Director
Carrie is a practicing lawyer and a partner at a mid-sized law firm in Calgary. She joined the Elements Board of Directors in February, 2021. Carrie looks forward to working with Elements and furthering the great work that has been done in the past, and that will be done in the future.
Richard Veldhoen – Director
Rich is a retired detective after working 24 years in law enforcement. During his career, Rich specialized in behavioural sciences, including the linkages between mental health and threat assessment, focusing on prevention and case management. Rich enjoys presenting and training various corporate and not for profit groups on strategic awareness of violence prevention and problematic workplace conduct. Rich managed several specialized teams and leads several Boards as part of his passion for community involvement and leadership. Rich joined the Board of Directors of Elements in 2020.
Karen Hayes – Director
Karen is a self taught artist and a native Calgarian. She became a client of the Centre in 2006 and began volunteering in a clerical position. Karen was appointed to the Board of Directors five years ago and looks forward to giving back what has been freely given to her.
Inessa Korenfeld – Director
Inessa became a client in 2014 and started in the Volunteer Program right away. She was appointed to the InterAction Committee in 2016 and the Board of Directors in 2019.
Anneisa Lauchlan – Executive Director
Anneisa has over 25 years of experience working in the mental health field. Her lifelong interest in mental health and her passion for improving the quality of life for people with a mental illness forms the cornerstone of her commitment to the work she does with the Centre. Over the years, she has devoted herself to work within the Centres’ direct service component and in promoting the goals of the Centre in the community. Anneisa has served as an Advisor to the Mental Health Commission of Canada and has also been very active on numerous committees and projects working in partnership with other Calgary service providers, funders and clients to increase awareness and reduce the stigma around mental illness in the Calgary community and throughout Canada.
Maria Ochitwa – Assistant Director
Maria has over 25 years of experience in the field of mental health, providing direct client service and in program management. She has also been active on various committees aimed at increasing awareness and accessibility to mental health services in the Calgary community. In addition to her work in mental health, Maria brings years of experience from the non-profit sector in the areas of logistics, marketing and communications, promotions, and fundraising.
Franka Poitevin – Program Director
Franka Poitevin is a Registered Social Worker with 33 years of experience in the Social Work field. She has spent the last 25 years of her career in mental health and has a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of those afflicted with mental illness. Prior to her position as Program Director, Franka provided direct client service on the Support & Recreation Services team at Elements Calgary Mental Health Centre.