Board of Directors and Staff
The inaugural Board of Directors was selected on merit based on advertised criteria and experience consistent with the Alliance’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. The Community Advisory Committee selected the board members in consultation with the Alliance’s Executive Director.
The board will meet quarterly, annually at an AGM, and throughout the year in committee work.
“We are looking forward to working with these community leaders who have a wealth of qualifications, skills, and knowledge and will provide diverse and inclusive advice, input, and perspectives.”
– Karen Cumberland, Executive Director
In Central Kings and across the Island, Sophie is a leader within the 4-H PEI community, an organization that focuses on strong leadership for positive youth development experiences. Community involvement is a major part of Sophie’s life;she greatly values working directly with people in rural communities, as that is where she sees the greatest impact. Sophie looks forward to bringing a youth perspective to the Board of Directors and to seeing the progression of the Alliance and the positive impact it will have on Islanders.
Meet the Staff
As with any worthwhile endeavour, supporting mental well-being requires effort and commitment from many people and organizations. We invite you to meet our staff and contact us to stay in touch on how you can get involved.
Enthusiastic communicator with a passion for effective communication and digital opportunities.
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.
Long-time contributor to Prince Edward Island’s volunteer community.
John Horrelt of Stratford built his career in the Island’s corporate sector. However, it is his vast community service which equips him to lead the Advisory Committee of the Alliance for Mental Well-being.
John’s community interests have been wide-ranging, encompassing health, housing, vulnerable populations, education and amateur sport. He has contributed his passion to these sectors through years of service on boards, committees and fundraising campaigns.
John’s experience and expertise will propel the Alliance forward to meet the mental well-being needs of Islanders.
Carolyn is an active member of the PEI community. Coming to our table from Kensington, she brings a wealth of professional experience from her involvement in the PEI School system as a teacher, principal and university program coordinator. Personally, Carolyn also brings her experience as a parent, step-parent and foster parent of many adolescents over the years. She exemplifies the core values of the Alliance in that she has remained active and involved in the community by taking charge of her well-being through a combination of healthy living (diet, exercise, and sleep) and a continuous interest in learning, community involvement and new experiences.
A practicing lawyer in the Charlottetown area, Lucas’s community involvement and passion for bettering the lives of Islanders has led him to the Alliance. Lucas has worked on many projects and initiatives that have already impacted the lives of Island youth: from his past work with the UPEI Student Union, to his work as the Chair of the Charlottetown Youth Advisory Committee, Lucas is ready and energised to work in the upstream realm of mental well-being.
More than 20 years experience in the public sector, with expertise in stakeholder engagement and policy development.
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.
Senior Partnership Advisor
“Evidence-based upstream public well-being interventions play an important part of the health care of all Canadians.”
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.
Chair of Governance and Nominating Committee
Pendergast has been involved in her rural Kensington area/North Shore community all her life.
Pendergast has been involved in her rural Kensington area/North Shore community all her life.
In earlier years, she was a Board Member with the East Prince Business Development Centre, on the Parish Council of St.Mary's/Holy Family Parish, Chair of the Kensington Area Community Development Association, Founding Board Chair of the Indian River Festival, and Board Chair of the Watermark Theatre.
Pendergast has received several awards for community development work, the most memorable being the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, both in recognition of community development efforts.
Mary Pendergast's career has primarily been as an educator, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from St. Thomas University, an Honours Arts Degree from University of Guelph, and a Master’s Degree in Literacy Education from Mount St. Vincent University.
Following several years raising her four children, she taught for 20 years in the Unit 2/Western School Board, primarily in English Language Arts and Social Studies. Pendergast participated in extensive curriculum development work provincially, in Language Arts, Law, and Drama, and for the Atlantic Provinces Education Council (APEC). The Language Arts curriculum outcomes (K-12) developed by APEC became the Canadian standard, and she then worked with Pearson Education writing a Grade 10 Language Arts textbook based on the APEC curriculum outcomes and adopted by several provinces across Canada.
Following her years teaching at KISH, Pendergast taught communications/report writing and research skills at the college level in the Middle East for three years.
Mary's community work has been as a member of the Heritage and Education committee for the Benevolent Irish Society, and with the Parish Council of St. Mary's/Holy Family Parish, where she also has been church organist for many years.
Since 2014, Pendergast has been employed full-time as a Board Member of the Parole Board of Canada, work she describes as always inspiring and interesting. The role of the Parole Board in Canada's criminal justice system is crucial for public safety, and, as a Board Member, she has learned much about the role of parole in the reintegration of offenders into society, the legislation and policies of the Board, and the ongoing work and effort to address issues surrounding conditional release for women, Indigenous peoples, African Canadians, and other marginalized individuals.
Mary is happy to come to the table as a Board Member of the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being.
Chelsey is currently the Director of Communications for the PEI BioAlliance. She is a skilled communicator with extensive experience working in federal politics as well as non-profit and startup environments. An avid volunteer, she is the President of the Rotary Club of Charlottetown and serves as board chair for the PEI Coalition for Women in Government. She is a certified SMART Recovery facilitator and has previously sat on the board for Pride PEI, working with the Island’s LGBTQ2+ community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UPEI and a Public Relations Diploma from Algonquin College. Originally from Crapaud, she now resides in Charlottetown with her partner and their two west highland white terriers. Chelsey is highly motivated and eager to begin her work with the Alliance’s Board of Directors.
As a member of the BIPOC community, Ryan works as a Transitions Program mentor at Holland College. Within the hockey realm, Ryan has coached with Hockey PEI, served as the Head Coach and General Manager for the Holland College hockey program, as well as played hockey. He currently sits as vice-chair of the Development Council for Hockey PEI, as well as Ethics and Discipline council member, overseeing and investigating issues dealing with racism, gender, and sexuality. Based in Queen’s county, Ryan believes in a proactive approach to address some of the long-standing challenges that marginalized groups face. He also recognizes the need for a strong reactive approach that includes allyship, solidarity and empathy.
Outreach Project Officer & Board Secretariat
Looks forward to building connections to make a positive impact.
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.
“When we combine political will and community passion – we can achieve greater heights. Islanders are caring people and with the foundational support of the PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being, the Island is positioning itself to not only achieve greater results but also be a leader in the area of mental health and addictions.”
Carlene Donnelly is a proud Islander from the Eastern end of the province. She completed a degree in Psychology at the University of Prince Edward Island, and later earned her MA of Education from the University of New Brunswick and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. She further specialized in Coaching Skills and Change Management. Over the span of her career, she has focused on developing strategies surrounding the challenge of poverty for vulnerable citizens with a number of organizations and municipal, provincial and national governments, Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, United Way’s Council of Champions, and Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. She has also served on advisory committees at the University of Calgary.
A senior leader in the social services sector, Carlene took the role of Executive Director with Calgary CUPS in 2003. Through a time of significant change and growth, she participated in high-profile research and advocacy projects and has shared her learnings with audiences around the globe. Carlene’s innovative approach, using the practical application of business to increase the impact of Calgary CUPS, has yielded many significant advances. Select achievements: growing the budget from $650,000 to $17 million, executing a successful $20 million capital campaign to accommodate this growth; securing contracts with provincial health systems to ensure comprehensive primary and specialist health care for CUPS and its partners; and, expanding child development program to a two-generational model – aligned with current science – to ensure entire families are set up for long-term success. Because of her focus on reporting, CUPS began to develop program plans tied to demonstrable outcomes and put a data infrastructure in place that positioned CUPS to speak credibly about impact.
Carlene believes in a science-informed approach to improving outcomes for children, families, and individuals. She passionately advocates for organizations to adopt business frameworks and apply current brain science to achieve a larger impact. Under her leadership, Calgary CUPS has evolved from a traditional charity to a trailblazing, science-based social agency, capable of improving outcomes for generations to come.
As Senior Advisor for The PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being, she lends her expertise and know-how. She believes that when people and groups work collectively together on a common purpose and support each other, great things can happen. Familiar with the good work on PEI, such as all those working within the mental health and addictions umbrella, she sees people already actively working to be proactive and seek new strategies to better meet the needs of those seeking support. The potential for the Alliance of Mental Well-Being to further support the great work already happening on PEI will most definitely help build stronger bridges and, most importantly, connect people who need help with resources in a more efficient and timely manner.
Interested in joining the Alliance’s Board of Directors?
The PEI Alliance for Mental Well-Being welcomes applications on a rolling basis from individuals interested in serving on its Board of Directors.
In keeping with a community-first approach and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, the Alliance is seeking diverse perspectives for volunteer Board members that bring together the following qualifications, skills, and knowledge:
- Executive management and leadership experience
- Accounting and fiduciary expertise
- Legal and governance expertise
- Human resource expertise
- Communication and community-building skills
- Previous experience as a Board member and/or in supporting a Board in a staff position
- Knowledge and/or experience pertinent to the Alliance’s focus on mental well-being, resilience and/or cross-sector collective impact approaches
Knowledge about PEI communities, contexts, and diverse populations, including but not limited to, Indigenous peoples, Acadians, new immigrants, and gender and racially diverse groups
For more information about how to apply, please contact email@example.com
Selection and confirmation of Board members will take place on a rolling basis.
“As we strive for a Board that is equitable, diverse, and inclusive, we are still inviting applications from representatives of Francophone, Indigenous, and western PEI communities.”
– Mary Pendergast, Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee
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.