Staff

Connolly Aziz

Connolly Aziz

Senior Partnership Officer

“Evidence-based upstream public well-being interventions play an important part of the health care of all Canadians.”

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Connolly Aziz

 

Connolly Aziz is happy to be living and working on PEI, a place where he has deep family roots, going back six generations. Within the Charlottetown community, Connolly is a member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, where he sits on the Outreach and Social Justice Committee, and volunteers with Hospice PEI. Connolly’s interests include competitive sailboat racing, where he has competed on national and international levels as a member of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.

Originally from Oakville, Ontario, Connolly’s education includes a Bachelor of Business Administration Honours Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, and a Master’s of Science in Applied Positive Psychology, with distinction, from the University of East London. In his post-graduate program, Connolly focused on research-based interventions shown to increase mental well-being. Connolly also holds a Culinary Arts certificate and a Life Skills Training certificate from George Brown College in Toronto.

Connolly’s work experience includes roles in fundraising and communications. He managed the direct response fundraising efforts of clients, including the Canadian Cancer Society and the Red Cross Lottery. He has also worked in Ghana with the Canadian High Commission, resulting in the establishment of the Canada-Ghana Chamber of Commerce. He also led community-based programming in Toronto’s under-serviced Regent Park, including bake ovens, gardens and potlucks. In addition, he has been involved with Sail Training International, where we worked as a youth mentor aboard tall ships sailing out of Ireland. 

In 2021, Connolly independently designed, implemented, and reported on the PEI Well-being Project, a province-wide study measuring the subjective well-being of Islanders. His research used quantitative data that highlighted the inequality of mental well-being among marginalized populations, such as LGBTQ, gender diverse, Indigenous, and those living under the poverty line.

He has honed his skills in community relations, diplomacy, and well-being research. He has enthusiasm to foster connections among community change agents, and facilitate the sharing of mental well-being best practices and the spread of successful programs and services across the Island. Connolly understands that evidence-based upstream public well-being interventions play an important part of the health care of all Canadians. Connolly is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association and the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

Connolly Aziz serves as the Senior Partnership Advisor with the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being.

Molly Pendergast

Molly Pendergast

Communications Officer

Enthusiastic communicator with a passion for effective communication and digital opportunities.

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Molly Pendergast

 

Molly Pendergast is from Tracadie Cross. Growing up in a close-knit rural community showed her the value of connection, engagement and storytelling early on in life.  

She holds a Bachelor of Journalism with a minor in History from Carleton University in Ottawa. There, she earned the Peter Reilly Scholarship for effective use of the medium of television, current affairs and documentary programs. In 2018, she was a recipient of the Canadian Military Journalism Course Scholarship and an attendee of the Canadian Military Journalism Course run by the University of Calgary. Currently, Molly is finishing the Public Relations Graduate Certificate program at Humber College. 

Since graduating from Carleton, Molly has worked with the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation, the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman and Health Canada. She has also been a member of the National Trust for Canada’s Millennial Advisory Group.  

Molly has joined the Alliance team as a Communications Officer and looks forward to connecting with stakeholders and sharing stories.  

Meet the Staff

 We invite you to meet our staff and contact us to stay in touch on how you can get involved.

Karen Cumberland

Karen Cumberland

Executive Director

 More than 20 years experience in the public sector, with expertise in stakeholder engagement and policy development.

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Karen Cumberland

 

Karen Cumberland grew up in rural Alberta and Stanley Bridge, Prince Edward Island. School studies took her from Kensington Intermediate Senior High to the University of Carleton (BA Political Studies), and Queen’s University (Master’s in Public Administration). Early in her career, she was Island Focus Host and Co-producer (PEI Government, Communications)  where she excelled at getting to the heart of a person’s story with compassion, a powerful energy, and a genuine interest. Then, she travelled to London, England and worked as a policy advisor (Drugscope, Helping People Stay Safe; Palace of Westminster’s Paul Flynn Member of Parliament Newport West - Wales, and Leader for The All-Party Group on the Misuse of Drugs), and as communications advisor (Mentor UK, England’s leading voice in alcohol and other drug prevention). 

Back home in Canada, Karen would work for the next 20 years building her career as a multi award-winning strategic policy advisor on progressive national and international initiatives for Health Canada (Healthy Products and Food Branch, and Renewal of Canada’s Food Guide; Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate; and, Interim Order Respecting the Importation and Sale of Medical Devices for Use in Relation to COVID-19); Environment and Climate Change Canada (Climate Change International; Indigenous, Northern and Stakeholder Affairs; and Water Policy); and The Parliament of Canada (parliamentary affairs). Karen also served as a national policy advisor at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.

Karen Cumberland has moved even closer home to Prince Edward Island with her husband and their young family, leading the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being as its inaugural Executive Director.  She looks forward to working within the community with diverse groups on important health matters on the Island. She is dedicated to working collaboratively with the PEI Government, not-for-profit organizations, and businesses, to create conditions for positive change that advance resiliency for all Islanders throughout their lifetimes. 

Shaunna Newton

Shaunna Newton

Office Manager

Excited to contribute to building community and fostering collaboration across many voices.  

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Shaunna Newton

Shaunna Newton grew up in Wakefield, Quebec and has lived in six provinces and one territory over her lifetime.  

She studied Creative Arts at Cégep in Montreal, which led her to work at Santropol Roulant, a community food hub focused on addressing food insecurity in the city. There, Shaunna brought her skills to a programming role that fostered inter-generational relationships between youth and seniors. After that, she moved to Ottawa to study fashion design and worked in women’s fashion for years.  

 

As a certified yoga instructor, Shaunna has spent time volunteering with Freeing the Human Spirit, an organization that teaches yoga and meditation, and promotes mind and body awareness among Canada’s incarcerated population. While living in Yellowknife, she worked with the John Howard Society to implement yoga and meditation classes at North Slave Correctional Complex.  

 

Today, Shaunna is a mom and a cancer survivor. She is excited to join the Alliance team and contribute to building community and fostering collaboration across many voices.  

Sharon Jollimore

Sharon Jollimore

Director, Engagement and Innovation

 

Seasoned non-profit leader of national and grassroots initiatives to improve community outcomes.

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Sharon Jollimore

Sharon grew up in the tiny fishing village of French River, PEI. She was one of the last cohorts of Grade One students taught in a one-room schoolhouse and truly knows what it means to walk to school, uphill, both ways! 

She left PEI to complete her Bachelor of Physical Education degree at Acadia University and returned to the Island to work in the recreation and sports sector for several years. She then left for another island to complete her Master's in Physical Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland. 
 
A fortuitous opportunity to complete an internship in Barbados, West Indies with the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada eventually led her to Ottawa where she worked in the non-profit sector for the next 23 years. There, she led grassroots and national initiatives to break down barriers and enhance the quality of life and well-being of equity-deserving children, youth and families. 

Sharon is a passionate advocate of recreation and sport and its potential to build social capital and improve community outcomes. She has a love for nature and play which comes from her rural upbringing and has enjoyed reconnecting with her roots since returning to PEI. Sharon is excited about joining the Alliance team where one of her main roles will be to lead the Focusing Action for Positive Change Grant Program intended to build and strengthen a community of practice to improve mental well-being outcomes for all Islanders.

Stephen Loo

Stephen Loo

Program Manager

Looks forward to learning about and supporting the work of so many incredible Island non-profits and community groups

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Stephen Loo

Stephen grew up in the central PEI farming community of Springfield where he spent summers putting in the hay and winters building epic toboggan runs. Following a perspective-shaping trip to Guatemala in 2004, Stephen completed a degree in Global Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario where he spent most of the next 18 years.

After attending Humber College for Fundraising Management, Stephen spent 13 years building community and raising funds for Movember, Keyano College, St. Paul’s University College and the University of Waterloo.

Stephen is excited to be joining the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being as Program Manager and looks forward to learning about and supporting the work of so many incredible Island non-profits and community groups.

Keely McGill

Keely McGill

Outreach Project Officer & Board Secretariat

Looks forward to building connections to make a positive impact.

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Keely McGill

 

Keely spent her early childhood in Nova Scotia, and moved to Prince Edward Island when she was seven years of age. She found the place to be warm and welcoming, and the sense of community unique in its caring nature. Keely prospered in the environment and her interests in theatre, and dance found fertile ground. She danced for many years at the Island Dance Academy, and became president of the musical theatre society at Mount Allison  University, where she choreographed, produced and participated in numerous shows. Nature fuels her, and she says, she is always happiest by the ocean. 

Keely attended the Charlottetown Rural family of schools, before heading to New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University for her Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry and Religious Studies. She excelled in the program and was given the Gold A Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the university community. After graduation, she earned a Bachelor’s of Education at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Loving exploration and adventure, Keely’s passion for education took her to Honduras where she worked with Global Brigades, an international sustainable development organization. In her role she oversaw organizational communication and logistics, and developed education materials centered around Honduran culture, sustainable development, and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

On PEI, Keely grew up as an active member of St. Paul's Anglican Church, serving in such roles as reader, Sunday School teacher, usher, and Youth Synod delegate. She was a substitute teacher with the Public Schools Branch, and worked as an administrative support to the PEI Government Department of Health and Wellness before joining the Alliance. She also currently works with the Front of House team at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. 

At the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being, Keely is the Outreach Project Officer and Board Secretariat. She is excited to be a part of the Alliance and its work in the community and looks forward to building connections with stakeholders to make a positive impact.

Be a part of the impact!

Our whole-of-PEI approach to mental well-being is designed to help all Islanders and engage anyone who wants to play a part in this important work. Is that you? If so, please get in touch.