Helping kids reclaim
Little Warriors would not be what it is today without the hard work and compassion of our dedicated board, clinical team, clinical oversight council and staff.
Supported by our precious donors, volunteers and supporters, our tight-knit team makes it possible for children, adolescents and their families to get the treatment and support they need to cope with the effects of child sexual abuse, as well as teach adults how to prevent child sexual abuse.
Founding Little Warriors has been a lifelong dream for Glori Meldrum – she just didn’t know it. Her “Ah-Ha” moment occurred nearly 24 years after being abused. Glori had a dream to do something to help prevent child sexual abuse, and Little Warriors is the realization of that dream.
As of February 2024, Little Warriors Founder Glori Meldrum, has formally stepped back from her longstanding role as Chair of the Little Warriors Board of Directors and leadership of the organization. The Be Brave Ranch treatment program and affiliated initiatives that have sprung from her vision are unique in Canada and even the world. They exist because of her passion and tireless work for the past 17 years.
Delly McEwan founded NexGen Transportation in 2011 as a consulting firm providing Specialized Transportation and Rigging to Oil and Gas clients in Western Canada. In 2015 NexGen transitioned into full provision of heavy haul and specialized rigging services. NexGen grew very successfully for the following 5 years. A majority stake of NexGen was sold to the Myshak Group of Companies in Acheson in 2020 to support the next stage of growth.
NexGen currently has one of the largest fleets of specialized platform and wind blade trailers in Canada with a specific focus on specialized engineered transportation initiatives. Delly’s role continues with NexGen Transportation as oversight of all activities and also expands to provide support at a leadership level with the team at the Myshak Group of Companies.
Delly discovered Little Warriors in 2022. He has since supported the organization as both a donor and volunteer. This included spending time on the Resource Committee, development of the Mindful Movement Program, as a Board Director and now as Board Co-Chair.
Delly’s proudest accomplishment is being the father of 2 amazing daughters. He has lived in Alberta for 40 years. He resides in Parkland County and also Chairs the Acheson Business Association Board.
Kirsten is an experienced executive who is also a practicing lawyer. After spending 9 years at a law firm practicing management-side labour and employment law, she made the transition to executive leadership in 2011.
Kirsten works with companies that are restructuring or changing their businesses. She spent 5 years as Vice President of People Services & General Counsel of Northlands during the “new arena” era, and is currently Director of Corporate Services for Ryfan, an MEP construction company that completes challenging projects for clients like the Department of National Defence.
After learning about Little Warriors through her daughter’s school project, Kirsten joined the Board of Directors in 2018 as Governance Committee Chair before being appointed Co-Chair in 2024.
Jason is a Certified Management Accountant, a graduate of the Queens Executive Program and a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Jason works with an ownership board, including Borealis Infrastructure (OMERS) and Laboratory Corporation of America (publicly traded) as well as a board of senior policy advisors. With a decade of experience at the executive level his background includes roles such Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Business Development/Government Relations. Although his professional background is financial, he is regarded for his transparent and accountable leadership style, as a creator and driver of innovation and strategy, and a trusted and supportive partner to both government and industry. Jason participates in various bio-tech related industry groups, works with Economic Development and on various community committees and serves on the Board of the Bissell Centre.
On a personal level, Jason lives in St. Albert with a family that includes six active children. In between work and kids he is an active outdoorsman with passions from sailing to skiing, motorbikes to mountains, and loves to spend time with his family or behind the boat at their cabin near Athabasca.
Jay’s career in accounting started in 1987, he has operated a public accountant practice since 2004, and his firm is registered with the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Alberta. He provides assurance, income tax and estate tax services to a diverse client base of not-for-profit, registered charity and corporate entities.
Being a strong believer in volunteerism Jay has served in many capacities with several different not-for-profit and registered charity organizations over his lifetime. In addition to his commitment to the Little Warriors cause Jay is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of St. John Ambulance Alberta Council. Over the course of his fifteen years service to St. John Ambulance he has been the recipient of both a Chairs Commendation and Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal.
In his free time motorcycles are Jay’s passion and he has been riding since the age of sixteen. Jay and his spouse Amber reside in St. Albert and have been happily married and partners in life since 1990.
Over a 30-year professional career, Lee has worked in a number of senior positions advising Premiers, Ministers, Mayors, and CEOs on public policy and media issues.
Lee resumed his consulting practice after spending several years as an advocate for Alberta’s oil sands industry as the Interim Executive Director of the Oil Sands Community Alliance (OSCA) and the National Communications Director, Oil Sands for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
Lee also served as the most senior communications professional in the Alberta government for three years. In the role of Managing Director of the Public Affairs Bureau, Lee was as a member of Executive Council and provided strategic media relations counsel to all Deputy Ministers, Cabinet members as well as Premiers Ed Stelmach and Alison Redford on public policy issues.
Prior to his role in government, Lee spent 10 years as a successful government relations and public relations consultant. He worked on a wide-range of issues including land use planning, environmental management, infrastructure, public health and education. As a consultant Lee worked with Alberta Pork and provincial health officials on the detection of H1N1 in Alberta’s swine herd – the first known case of the virus transferring from humans to swine. Lee assisted Alberta Pork address worldwide media attention from international broadcasters including BBC, CNN, and Reuters.
Early in his career, Lee was the Communications Director for Alberta Environmental Protection and spent eight years with the department. He was the primary spokesperson for the department and conducted media interviews on a wide range of issues including employee fatalities, enforcement actions, regulatory approvals and environmental emergencies.
Lee is a committed business and community volunteer. Lee has served as Chair of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce’s Federal-Provincial Finance Committee. In addition to the Little Warriors board, he is on the board of St. Mary’s University in Calgary. Lee has also served as a member of Strathcona County’s Community Health Council and served on the local Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.
Bio to come
Dallas is an experienced leader with demonstrated success in software solutions, operational excellence and a customer-focused approach. He has led product development and software implementation around the world for more than a decade with his work spanning multiple industries, including transportation, mining, forestry, energy, construction, government and more. An adaptive master, Dallas has the unique ability to leverage innovative technologies to solve and sidestep the toughest business challenges.
Carmen is a Senior Wealth Advisor with BDO Wealth Advisory Services Group servicing clients in Alberta. She has over 20 years of experience providing Financial Modeling and Wealth Management services to entrepreneurs, professionals, and business owners.
Carmen has worked in both accounting and financial services for more than 30 years. She has held the Certified Financial Planner designation since 2005 and has been a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder since August 2015. Carmen became a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) in January 2019.
Carmen lives in Calgary with her family and spends her spare time gardening and cross-stitching Christmas stockings for everyone she knows.
Allison Ostapowich (She/Her/Hers) is a counsel with MLT Aikins LLP, practicing primarily in banking and real estate law, with a particular focus on the acquisition and sale of businesses, real estate and commercial leasing. She represents local, national and international real estate developers and banking and institutional clients.
Allison advises on a broad range of real estate transactions. Her diverse practices focuses on all aspects of real estate, including the acquisition and disposition of multi-tenanted complexes, industrial and agricultural properties as well as commercial real estate financing and leasing.
In her banking practice, Allison represents both borrowers and lenders, who benefit from her extensive knowledge and experience in structuring, negotiating and preparing financial agreements and security in routine and complex financing arrangements including cross border syndicated transactions. She has acted for some of the country’s most prestigious financial institutions, insurance companies, pension funds, government bodies and private lenders.
Throughout her career, Allison has developed and nurtured strong relations with her clients, who continue to rely on her practical, common-sense approach and responsiveness through every stage of their projects.
Alexis Barr-Gusa (She/Her/Hers) is a partner with Dentons Canada LLP, practicing in Dentons’ Construction, Infrastructure and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) groups. Based in Dentons’ Edmonton and Vancouver offices, her practice encompasses all aspects of construction law throughout the project lifecycle, from procurement of complex contracts right through to completion.
Alexis provides legal advice on a broad range of commercial matters, with an emphasis on construction and infrastructure. She represents owners, developers and contractors in connection with domestic and international mining, power, transmission and pipeline projects. She assists clients in the negotiation of project agreements, including multi-phased engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts, equipment supply contracts, construction management agreements, engineering and architecture contracts, preparation, review and clarification of requests for proposals, operation and maintenance agreements, long-term service agreements, design-build agreements, and agreements for engineering and architecture services.
Our clinical team is comprised of staff with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, including psychology, social work, early childhood development, expressive art therapy and recreation therapy.
Dr. Wanda Polzin Holman has over 25 years of counselling and clinical experience working with children, youth and families across various domains including Health/Mental Health and Addictions, Children and Family Services, as well as Education.
Dr. Polzin Holman has a Doctorate of Education (Ed. D) in Counselling Psychology, a Masters Degree (MA) in Counselling Psychology and is a Registered Social Worker. Dr. Polzin Holman’s clinical training is multi-faceted, with specialization in Attachment, Trauma, EMDR, AAT, Neurobiofeedback, Family Therapy, Clinical Hypnotherapy, and Concurrent Addiction and Mental Health interventions. She has a deep passion and energy for working with children and caregivers, particularly in the area of attachment-based caregiving, trauma and trauma-informed care, family systems, complex case needs (dual diagnosis), evidence-based practices, supporting resiliency, and promoting wellness.
Melanie is a Registered Psychologist specializing in Child Trauma and Attachment. She is a certified Hakomi Therapist and TCI (Therapeutic Crisis Intervention) trainer. She has previously worked in children’s mental health at CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health as the Clinical Lead for the Trauma Program and Trauma and Attachment Group Program.
Cheryl completed a Masters of Psychotherapy and Spirituality Degree specializing in Art Therapy at St. Stephen’s College, and is a member of the Canadian Art Therapy Association and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She brings with her over ten years of experience directing and facilitating children’s programs in her community.
Cheryl has training in Trauma-Informed and Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy, as well as in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. She is always amazed at how working through a creative process with these psychotherapy theories in mind helps facilitate self-exploration, which often opens up new perspectives on the issues we are facing.
Dr. Bina Nair MD, FRCPC is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta. After graduating medical school at the University of Saskatchewan, she finished her Psychiatry residency and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training at the University of Calgary. She then went on to do an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Nair specializes in working with youth who are struggling with trauma, addictions and mental health concerns and practices from a compassionate, evidence-based, trauma-informed lens. In 2012, she developed and was the Medical Lead of the Concurrent Addiction & Mental Health Program (CAMP) in Edmonton until 2020. Currently she is the Consulting Psychiatrist to the Mental Health Supports for Teen Parents Program at the Terra Centre in Edmonton (a non profit organization supporting teen parents and young families).
Dr. Nair also has an interest in medical education and physician health. She is the Region 1 representative on the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Specialty Committee in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is the Co-Chair of the University of Alberta Resident Wellbeing Committee.
Megan is a Registered Psychologist specializing in Child Trauma. She is trained in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and a certified TCI (Therapeutic Crisis Intervention) trainer. Megan has worked with Little Warriors since 2014 and continues to support the children, adolescents, and families impacted by trauma and sexual abuse.
Dallas is a child and family therapist from Ontario who works with a large range of mental health and developmental challenges. He works from a strengths-based perspective and uses several different theoretical orientations such as emotion focused family therapy, narrative therapy and CBT.
We are so lucky to have Rugby on our Clinical team as a facility trauma dog at the Be Brave Ranch. As co-therapist, Rugby supports individual therapy, group therapy, as well as family sessions. He enhances our Trauma-Informed healing environment through providing relational supports, sensing and supporting positive emotional regulation, providing healthy touch and therapeutic play opportunities.
We are so lucky to have Eddy on our Clinical team as a facility trauma dog at the Be Brave Ranch. As co-therapist, Eddy supports individual therapy, group therapy, as well as family sessions. He enhances our Trauma-Informed healing environment through providing relational supports, sensing and supporting positive emotional regulation, providing healthy touch and therapeutic play opportunities.
Jennifer Steed, RMT, RYT has been a practitioner in the field of massage therapy, life and nutritional coaching, yoga teaching and related healing or expressive arts for 35 years. Also trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens and families, Jennifer brings knowledge and plenty of life experience to her classes adding humour and a sincere desire to share skills and tools for living a healthy life.
The Scientific and Clinical Council is a standing committee established by the Board of Directors of Little Warriors to provide assurance to the Board that appropriate and effective clinical governance systems are in place throughout the organization.
The Council’s directive is to advise and provide oversight to the Board of Directors on clinical matters pertaining to Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch programming. The Scientific and Clinical Council provides feedback and supports the clinical team so that programs operate in accordance with leading clinical best practices and all applicable regulations.
Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Centre for Neuroscience at the University of Alberta
Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Business
Dr. Silverstone trained in psychiatry at the prestigious Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in London, UK, and then at Oxford University, where he completed his Doctoral Fellowship. He then joined the University of Alberta in 1992. He is an active researcher and teacher, having published over 130 peer-reviewed articles and has given more than 200 national and international presentations. He was independently funded by the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) for the period 1994 – 2013, as well as receiving funding from multiple national and international agencies for his research.
His current research focus is on prevention of mental health disorders, particularly in children and youth, and has carried out two successful programs in Alberta involving approximately 10,000 students in Grades 6 – 12.
Previous major research interests focused on mood disorders, psychopharmacology (drugs and the brain), and the use of brain imaging studies to better understand mood disorders. He also recently completed a program to help police forces and other first responders improve their interactions with individuals who have mental health issues, and to improve the mental health of police and other first responders.
He also has a diverse range of other interests, having previously worked in business, including being a Senior Vice-President at a billion dollar pharmaceutical company, starting several health-care companies, and serving as the inaugural Scientific Director for the Strategic Clinical Network for Addiction and Mental Health within Alberta Health Services. He is has also been active as a board member of multiple organizations in a wide range of areas.
Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, University of Alberta
Currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the University of Alberta and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Dr. Andy Greenshaw trained in Europe and Canada. He joined the University of Alberta in 1986 as a Heritage Medical Research Scholar.
A Fellow of the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP), for which he served as President from 2000-2002, and a Fellow of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP), Andy has served as University of Alberta Associate Vice President (Research) and has served on national and international boards including the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, the Institute of Health Economics and The University of the Arctic. From 2006 until 2015 he served as founding Co-Chair of the Alberta Addictions and Mental Health Research Partnership Committee.
Andy is the Research Director for the APEC Digital Hub for Best Practices in Mental Health, a digital hub that will serve the combined APEC population of 2.7 Billion people in the Pacific Rim, including indigenous stakeholders.
With extensive experience on Canadian Medical Research Council and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant panels since 1989, Andy was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the CIHR Institute of Neuroscience Mental Health & Addiction from 2012-2016. He is the director of the Alberta-based node of the national Canadian Depression & Research Intervention Network (CDRIN), which focusses on engagement of people with lived experience of mental disorders as partners in patient-oriented research, he is also Chair of the CDRIN Depression Hubs National Advisory Panel and a member of the CDRIN Board. Andy is also a member or the Scientific Advisory Board of The Royal’s Institute of Mental Health Research in Ottawa and of the Research Advisory Board for Little Warriors, a national organization committed to the awareness, prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse.
With broad interests in biological and psychosocial areas in biological psychiatry and behavioural neuroscience, his active research includes the application of machine learning and data-mining to prediction of differential diagnosis and treatment responses in mental disorders. He is part of a collaborative computational psychiatry group that includes researchers from the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute and the IBM Centre for Advanced Study at UAlberta, the IBM TJ Watson Centre in New York, West Sichuan Hospital in Chengdu and NIMHANS in Bangalore.
Clinical Professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta
Edmonton Zone Clinical Section Chief for Community Mental Health
Dr. Agyapong is an expert in Global Mental Health. He is currently a Clinical Professor with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Zone Clinical Section Chief for Community Mental Health. His research and leadership roles are primarily focused on expanding access to quality mental health services. Utilizing collaborative approaches to identify barriers to access, safety and quality care as they relate particularly to human resources, organizational changes, and analyzing reform and restructuring in healthcare to identify learning and effect transformational change are the main focus of his research and leadership.
He won Alberta Health Services’ Spirit of Excellence Award in 2016 and the EZMSA 2018 Physician Innovator of the Year Award for the development of the Text4Mood program, a daily supportive text message system for patients with depression and anxiety which currently has about 20,000 subscribers across Alberta. The program has been recognized by WHO’s Mental Health Innovations Network.
Dr. Agyapong founded the annual inter-medical school public speaking competition in Ghana to promote psychiatry as a fulfilling career option for Ghanaian medical students. Currently in its eighth year, the competition which has ongoing sponsorship from St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services in Dublin and has offered fully sponsored elective placements to nineteen Ghanaian medical students at two leading Irish mental health institutions.
In addition, Dr. Agyapong has been involved in extensive mental health advocacy in Ghana for more than a decade and played a strategic role in the advocacy that led to the passage of Ghana’s mental health law in 2012. Between 2010 and 2012, he was the country lead in Ireland of a 5 country multi-center project funded by the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Program of the European Commission that explored innovative ways to reduce racism and discrimination against migrant women living in Europe. He has over 70 publications in peer reviewed journals and has made over 50 research presentations at national and international conferences in 16 countries across four continents.
Dr. Wei has worked as a researcher and school mental health lead with the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health team at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre since 2008. She is currently the assistant professor with the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University and the interim director of the Chair team. Her research interest has focused on promoting mental health literacy in schools (both secondary and post-secondary settings) to help students achieve better understanding about mental health and mental disorders, reduce stigma against mental illness, obtain and maintain good mental health and enhance help-seeking behaviors. She has played a key role in school mental health research and program development, and has made significant contributions to the work of the team. Dr. Wei has received funding from various agencies such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, RBC Foundation, Medavie Foundation, Carthy Foundation and MaxBell Foundation.
Dr. Wei has co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and one book on school mental health. She has lead/co-led more than 30 school mental health projects, locally, nationally and internationally. She has also presented at the local, regional, national and international scientific meetings and conferences. Dr. Wei was awarded the Canadian Institute of Health Research Doctoral Research Award in 2011and the Dalhousie University President’s award in 2011 and 2012.
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta
Dr. Hannah Pazderka received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta in 2004, looking at indices of drug and alcohol craving. Since then, she has worked in a number of roles, including creation of public policy, research, and advocacy. Her primary research interests are in the regulation of impulsive and risk-taking behaviour via the frontal lobes and subcortical reward structures. She has worked with a number of different methodologies, including structural equation modeling, electrophysiology (ERPs and skin conductance), neuropsychological assessment, and epidemiology.
She is currently consulting with the PAXIS Institute out of Tucson, Arizona, helping validate a program designed to improve the resiliency and self-regulation of school-aged children. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. Dr. Pazderka is a local business owner, and is currently working on a nonfiction book about the neuroscience of aesthetics.
Dr. Matthew Reeson has a PhD in Psychiatry from the University of Alberta, with a specific focus on improving child and adolescent mental health services. He has done extensive research on the impact of early-life stress and adverse childhood experiences on psychiatric development.
Matthew is currently a postdoctoral fellow working on the development of an artificially intelligent chatbot designed to assist youth with accessing and navigating mental health resources. His current research at the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch focuses on improving program design and evaluating clinical outcomes to help develop a more efficient method for assessing treatment response in youth community programs. His research intends to explore factors that predict successful outcomes and promote resilience. Long-term, Matthew intends on becoming a registered psychologist with a specialty in trauma-focused care.
Our Resource Committee is a group of dedicated volunteers who work hard to help us solicit material donations so we don’t have to purchase them with our fundraising dollars. This helps us immensely to keep our operating costs down. This amazing group of connected people are an invaluable resource to us at Little Warriors.
Guy Mersereau (Chair)
Chief Executive Officer:
Jennifer Martin firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Support Specialist to CEO:
Jennifer Boissonneault Jennifer.Boissonneault@littlewarriors.ca
Clinical Director, Be Brave Ranch:
Dr. Wanda Polzin Holman email@example.com
Reception/Clinical Program Administrative Support:
Madison Potvin firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations / Partnerships / Communications / Events / Education
Sr. Director of Engagement:
Shannon Phelan email@example.com
Senior Philanthropy Officer
Cyndi Matthews firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Philanthropy Officer
Kyla Martin email@example.com
Events and Special Projects Coordinator
Kelsey Watt firstname.lastname@example.org
Engagement and Special Projects Coordinator
Janis Bernal email@example.com
Prevent It! Program Coordinator
Jane Waldron firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Operations, Be Brave Ranch:
Kris Hagerman email@example.com
Operations Support/Human Resources
Miranda Nazarali firstname.lastname@example.org
Leila Steenhuisen email@example.com
Karen Brown firstname.lastname@example.org
For Be Brave Ranch or Be Brave Bridge Online Program information and intake, contact email@example.com
For Prevent It! workshop inquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For Online Be Brave Bridge inquiries, contact email@example.com