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

Byron Chan, Co-CEO | Kindred

Byron Chan

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My journey with Kindred started in: 2016
Educational background: Juris Doctor; Bachelor of Commerce
Before my time at Kindred: Corporate lawyer; humanitarian work in Africa
Family: Wife, two sons, and a baby girl.
Favourite Food: Pho, fried chicken, and bubble tea.
Favourite Music: 90’s grunge, alternative, and hip hop; blues rock
Favourite Hobbies: All the sports, all the time (ok… and nerdy strategy board games).
Favourite thing about Calgary: Strong sense of community… and the Flames.
Favourite way to connect with Kindred supporters: Over a finely brewed coffee.

Jessica Cope Williams, Co-CEO

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.

Wendi Campbell<br />
Director, Early Parenthood & Infant Mental Health

Wendi Campbell

Director, Finance & Administrative Services
403.205.5223
wendi.campbell@kindred.ca

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My journey with Kindred started in: 2021
Educational background: Bachelor’s Degree – Accounting and Economics; Master’s Degree -Business Administration with an Accounting Emphasis; Recently applied for a PhD program in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University
Before my time at Kindred: Served my country (I can change landing gear or repatriate a fallen soldier), financial management (always happy to talk investment vehicles), and finally non-profit work.
Family: Husband George, son Noah, and dogs Wendell and Little Bean.
Favourite Food: Just about anything. Food has historically been a way for me to explore new cultures and connect with people. I have always said that food, language, and religion are the most intimate elements of any culture.
Favourite Music: Anything and everything. If anyone looked at my (old-school) iTunes portfolio or my more current Spotify playlist they would probably think it was many different people.
Favourite Hobbies: Reading -there are not enough books in this world! Designing and crafting stained glass windows; Writing (I write obituaries for a local newspaper, in process of writing a book); Genealogy (I am the family historian -I have finally found the link to verify I am related to Samuel Clemens); Learning Reiki with the goal to be a Master by 2024
Favourite thing about Calgary: Love, love, love the diversity. I thrive in the winter so the climate here is pretty favourable for my liking. I have a love for all people, and I think Calgarians are some of the most giving of time and resources – when things get hard here Calgarians know how to show up.
Favourite way to connect with Kindred supporters: I like to listen and observe; watch the perimeter of the room during events – look for the other introverts to engage in conversation…talking about Kindred and our work in and for the community is easy and resonates with all people.

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

Melanie Grylls

Director, Early Parenthood & Infant Mental Health
403.205.7874
melanie.grylls@kindred.ca

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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!

Vanessa McConnell Director, Family Mental Health & Social Inclusion

Vanessa McConnell

Director, Family Mental Health & Social Inclusion
403.205.5883
vanessa.mcconnell@kindred.ca

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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.

Lorrie Sitler<br />
Director, Community Relations

Lorrie Sitler

Director, Community Relations
403.205.7874
lorrie.sitler@kindred.ca

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My journey with Kindred started in: 2021
Educational background: Master of Arts in Leadership; Bachelor of Management in Business Economics
Before my time at Kindred: Camrose Police Commissioner and Director of Business Development & LETR with Special Olympics Alberta.
Family: Two young adults, Cassie and Justin.
Favourite Food: Huge foodie — I love to try out all the great places to eat in Calgary and where ever I travel. Can never go wrong with seafood!
Favourite Music: Almost any live music.
Favourite Hobbies: Scuba diving, travel, and checking out new places to eat.
Favourite thing about Calgary: Being so close to the mountains and the Bow River.
Favourite way to connect with Kindred supporters: I love any opportunity to connect with supporters but if I had to pick only one, it would be connecting over coffee or lunch.