About Us

Our Leadership Team

The term ‘courageous leadership’ defines our approach to helping the most vulnerable people thrive.

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Courageous leadership encourages, cultivates and implements imaginative solutions and strategies to produce uncommon results. At Kindred, it enables high performance individuals and teams, while inspiring a culture of innovation, trust and respect

Our Team

Jessica Cope Williams

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My journey with Kindred started in: Officially in 2006, but I did my first social work practicum with Kindred in 2004
Educational background: Bachelor Social Work UVic (2006); MA in Leadership Royal Roads (2013)
Before my time at Kindred: This is a hard one to answer, having been at Kindred for so long! The best things in my life happened after joining Kindred – I travelled, got married, did a life-changing masters, started a family, and have had more ‘leadership stretch’ opportunities than I can count.
Family: I’m married to my best friend and love of my life, Tyler – who is a true partner in all the ways that matter. Our daughter, Reece, is an independent thinker with strong abilities to argue a point (at 5). My mom, dad & stepmom are huge supporters of our family; our life would not work without them. We are also fortunate to have my (lovely) in-laws close by, so Reece is growing up surrounded by a lot of people who love her.
Favourite Food: Anything made by someone else!
Favourite Music: Anything I don’t have to listen to 17 times in a row (because that’s what my daughter wants to hear).
Favourite Hobbies: Fitness – especially running (only in good weather, though). I read a lot – I like to have one fiction and one non-fiction book on the go always. I was trained in classical piano growing up and, after about a 20-year hiatus, I’m getting back into playing.
Favourite thing about Calgary: Our parks and our libraries (nerd alert, I know).
Favourite way to connect with Kindred supporters: Coffee anytime! I’ve also been fortunate to be invited into the homes of some of our supporters. What an honour it is to break bread together and hear about why they think connection matters.

Vanessa McConnell

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My journey with Kindred started in: 2017
Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology (St. Thomas); Master’s in Counselling Psychology (Athabasca U); Registered Psychologist.
Before my time at Kindred: I worked in non-profit since 2005 in a variety of frontline positions in the mental health field, child intervention, developmental disabilities, and employment. Lived in the Maritimes for 6 years while going to school before coming back to Calgary. I loved getting to experience that part of the country.
Family: I am a very proud solo dog mama to Sadie. Also, a very proud auntie to three nieces and a nephew — they are getting to be quite grown now but I always stand by the fact that being an auntie is the best gig in any family.
Favourite Food: LOVE ALL FOOD- Love the creativity of vegan and vegetarian cooking, love the flavours of Indian and Thai cuisine, sushi is a go to Skip the Dishes order, and I love going new places to try new things.
Favourite Music: Anything live! Very eclectic tastes but really appreciate experiencing music live and the energy it creates.
Favourite Hobbies: Curling, fastball, yoga, and cuddling the dog.
Favourite thing about Calgary: Restaurants! I love living downtown for the energy (especially in the summer) and all the great food spots there are to check out.
Favourite way to connect with Kindred supporters: At a local bar/coffee shop/restaurant — there are so many great local spots in the city with amazing owners and stories. I love to connect with folks in these environments and meet new people.

Melanie Grylls<br />
Director, Early Parenthood & Infant Mental Health

Melanie Grylls

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My journey with Kindred started in: 2022
Educational background: Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies; Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Social Work; a Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education
Before my time at Kindred: Twenty years in the social service sector, including working with seniors, and the domestic violence and child abuse sector.
Family: Two wonderful kids and two lovely dogs.
Favourite Food: Chocolate.
Favourite Music: Anything I can sing along with in the car.
Favourite Hobbies: Learning to play the piano!
Favourite thing about Calgary: The people – our community’s care and compassion for each other.
Favourite way to connect with Kindred supporters: Over a latte!

Kindred | Realzing the power of human connection | Calgary, Alberta | Mental Health Support, Family Therapy, Rapid Access Counselling

Sarah Seminara

Senior Advisor, Strategy and Organizational Development

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My journey with Kindred started in: 2015
Educational background: Bachelor Community Welfare (UWS, Sydney, Australia). Graduate Diploma, Mental Health Counselling (Wesley Institute, Sydney, Australia). Master Not For Profit and Social Enterprise Management (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Before my time at Kindred: I’m from Sydney, Australia. I worked for many years in crisis accommodation services. I was a case manager for families experiencing violence, and families experiencing homelessness. I moved to Canada in 2014, was only meant to be here for 6 months, but I loved it here, so I stayed.
Family: It’s me and my cute dog, Maple here is Calgary. My family is all back home in Australia.
Favourite Food: Mexican
Favourite Music: I love seeing live music. If I’m driving or at home I love rock / acoustic music. BUT, if I’m working out RnB or fun dance music makes me work out so much harder!
Favourite Hobbies: Hiking, stand up paddleboarding, forcing my dog to snuggle with me
Favourite thing about Calgary: That it is so close to the mountains, and my amazing community
Favourite way to connect with Kindred supporters: Over a coffee or a glass of wine.