ASI Board of Directors

Malcolm Shookner (ASI President) has an extensive background in community development, social research, health promotion and public policy in the non-profit, academic and public sectors. He has worked on many projects that use indicators to measure the quality of life, sustainability, health and well-being of communities. Malcolm was formerly the Chief Statistician for Nova Scotia Community Counts (retired), a provincially supported website that provided information for and about communities.

Derrick ‘Deejah’ Biso is a trans non-binary, queer artist and performer living in Windsor Ontario. Born and raised in Prince Edward Island, Deejah completed their undergraduate in Philosophy and Diversity and Social Justice Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, and also partially completed a diploma in Graphic Design at Holland College. They have been working professionally as a graphic communication designer in Windsor since 2016 and supporting local supports for the LGBTQ2SIA+ community and liberation efforts. They are continuing their education with the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts while working part time with Nouveau Event Planning and the City of Windsor. Deejah also volunteers as a member on the Artcite Inc. (Windsor ON) and Atlantic Summer Institute (Atlantic Canada Region) Board of Directors. Derrick also teaches yoga with the City of Windsor and was training and certified by the Maritime Yoga Teacher College located in Prince Edward Island.

Robert Cahill is an experienced Community Support worker with a demonstrated history of working in the civic and social organization industry in Newfoundland. Robert started his career with community organizations as a relief worker at the Men’s Shelter and the Lilly Program with Choices For Youth, followed by full-time employment with CFY’s RallyHaven Supportive Housing Program and then the RallyForward Supportive Living Program. He spent nearly 5 years with Choices for Youth. Robert is founder and Executive Director of St. John’s Homestead Inc., a supportive living/case management organization with a focus on lived experience in all levels of programming, and also serves as Director of Development for 3 Birds Shelter Inc., which offers emergency shelter in St. John’s, NL. Robert Cahill was the 2017 recipient of the Paula Georing Memorial Scholarship for his work as a Housing First practitioner.

Rebecca Francis is the Executive Director of the Fergusson Foundation, a New Brunswick based charitable organization. Rebecca works to bring the Fergusson Foundation’s mission – to prevent and eliminate family violence through funding research, programs and education – to life. Rebecca joined the Fergusson Foundation in 2009 and has been Executive Director since 2015. She has a 20 year history in the charitable sector and believes strongly in the value of non-profits to support our most vulnerable and promote change. Originally from Port aux Basques, NL, Rebecca and her partner, Terry, live in Fredericton, NB, with their two children.

Susan Hartley PhD has spent a lifetime working as a clinical psychologist, an educator and human rights advocate. She has served in leadership roles in her profession, including as President of the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia, and in community volunteer work. Through her work and volunteering, Susan has been exposed to a wide range of human experience, and has developed a strong sense of social justice that has led her into activism, humanitarianism and politics. She was a long-standing director of the non-governmental organization, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan (CW4WAfghan), is a Rotary Peace Scholar, a conflict resolution professional and a consultant in community engagement and facilitation. Susan served as the Green Party of PEI’s Shadow Critic for Health & Wellness from 2016 – 2019. Most recently Susan taught Adolescent Social-Emotional Health as a Sessional Instructor in the Department of Education at UPEI.

Emily Laite is of First Nation descent from Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador. She is a Memorial University student in the last year of her Bachelor of Humanities and Social Sciences, majoring in French and minoring in Psychology. She has hopes of becoming a Primary/Elementary French Immersion teacher. Emily is an active volunteer with youth and young children in her community as well as an active advocate for mental health. She is committed to improving the health and safety of those living in Atlantic Canada, and continues to work towards this goal.

Cathy Leslie, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Community Health Board Coordinator has expertise in community development, program development and evaluation, working with non-profits and community outreach. She believes that small, rural communities form the essential character of Nova Scotia, driven by the rural values of determined effort, careful use of resources, and giving help to each other.

Erika Michaud is the Interim Executive Director of the Fédération des femmes acadiennes en Nouvelle-Écosse and an ASI Board member. She has a diploma in delinquency intervention techniques from New Brunswick Community College and a diploma in social work from Laurentian University in partnership with Saint-Anne University. Erika has been working as a community social worker for over a year. Interested mainly in the situation of Acadian and Francophone women in Nova Scotia and the promotion of the French language in minority situations, Erika is very focused on the new vision of feminism in Acadie. She works to preserve the history of Acadian and Francophone women of the province, foster an active offer of French services and promote active participation in the community of young Acadians and Francophones.

Eva Sock is the Primary Health Care and Intergovernmental Manager of the Elsipogtog Health and Wellness Centre. She is on the Executive Management Team and also works with a team in the Health Information Management project, promoting the collection and analysis of health information for purpose planning and to improve community health and wellbeing. Eva is the chair of the Elsipogtog Consultation Group of the RCMP community based policing program, and a member of the national organization of the RCMP, providing advice and guidance in relation to the Indigenous perspective on policing. She is also involved with a number of projects working towards improving youth mental health in her community, and is currently a First Nation member of the New Brunswick Coalition on Mental Health. Eva brings experience with community development, community planning and intergovernmental relations having served as Band Manager of her community for over twenty years. Eva received her Social Work degree from St. Thomas University and has been involved in the helping profession for over forty years. She enjoys sharing the plight of her community, its aspirations and its dreams.

Patsy Beattie-Huggan (ASI Coordinator) is the founder and President of The Quaich Inc., a PEI based health promotion and consulting company. Patsy has a broad background in nursing education and health system redesign, and is firmly committed to building capacity within communities. Her creative work in health promotion, including leadership to the development of the Circle of Health, has been widely recognized.