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.
Rina Arseneault is widely recognized as a social worker, researcher, activist, organizer, author and educator. She has a Masters in Social Work and is a Registered Social Worker. She has been the Associate Director of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research since November 1993. With MMFC she has completed and documented extensive research, organized and delivered numerous regional, national and international training sessions and workshops on the subject of violence. She has contributed to the development of the accredited University of New Brunswick certificate program in Family Violence Issues and has presented courses in the program. She has extensive regional, national and international experience working with community organizations, individual researchers, government agencies, the media and victims of violence. In 2014, Rina was appointed to the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honors, recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. She was recognized for her contributions as a researcher, activist, author and educator working to end family violence. In 2016 Rina received the Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) Distinguished Service Award.
Derrick Biso is an openly gay, queer, Trans* mixed media performance artist based in Windsor ON, but born and raised on Prince Edward Island. Derrick is a community developer and workshop facilitator with a focus on compassionate communities and mindful lifestyles that expand potential and embolden people to live creatively and become more genuine. Derrick is an active citizen and open to accepting opportunities to make an impact, cultivate change, and work collaboratively to shift towards more harmonious circumstances that ensure justice and freedom for all. Derrick is currently employed with Nouveau Event Planning and volunteers with local LGBTQ+ organizations/agencies and initiatives (i.e., Run for Rocky, Windsor Youth Centre Gender + Sexuality Alliance, and Windsor-Essex Transgender and Allied Support).
Meghan Hallett is from Belnan, Nova Scotia and is the mother of two. She works with diverse communities, with a focus on equity and inclusion, as a program and development officer with the Government of Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
Jillian Kilfoil is Executive Director of Women’s Network PEI (WNPEI). WNPEI is a feminist organization with a provincial mandate and a 35-year history of supporting Island women. Jillian is originally from western Prince Edward Island. She has an undergraduate degree and certificate in Adult Education from St. FX. She is a facilitator, feminist, and community advocate. Jillian has previously worked with Katimavik, Girls Action Foundation and Apathy is Boring. She has lived and worked across the country in various locations and has most recently returned to PEI from Montreal. Jillian has an expertise in experiential learning programs, youth civic engagement, and gender issues. Jillian is passionate about creating equity in society and spends a lot of time thinking about the intersections of power and privilege and how we can unlearn behaviours and ways of thinking that lead to exclusion, stigma and violence.
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.
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.