Meet our Team!
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 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.
Meet our Team!
Director, Innovation and Engagement
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!
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.
Bryn Turner grew up and began her career in Toronto, Ontario, prior to moving to PEI in the summer of 2022. Despite hailing from the city, she is excited to have returned to her maternal family’s roots on the Island, settling with her cats and dog in rural southeastern PEI.
She received her Honours Bachelor of Commerce with a minor in Accounting from Ryerson University before completing post-graduate programs in Human Resources Management, Marketing Management and Fundraising Management. She has also completed her Graphic Design and Visual Communications certification through the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD).
She has over a decade of experience in the non-profit sector, specializing in fund development and project management at the community, provincial, and national level. She has overseen various programs and events with a portfolio of over $1M raised and thousands engaged annually, working primarily in health, recreation, and community-focused organizations, including Cystic Fibrosis Canada and Tennis Canada.
Most recently, Bryn worked for the John Howard Society of PEI where she oversaw PEI’s Coordinated Access System and worked closely with over 30 different PEI-based community groups, non-profit entities, provincial departments, and municipalities.
Fueled by her own lived and personal experiences, she is passionate about issues surrounding mental and physical health and how communities and families can benefit from placing a focus on improving these areas. Bryn is excited to bring her experience and passions to the Alliance and contribute to the great work already being done to advance resiliency and improve the quality of life for all Islanders.
Director, Knowledge Mobilization and Impact
Bonnie (she/her) grew up in Charlottetown and attended the University of Prince Edward Island (BSc Psychology). She left the Island to complete her Master of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.
Her journey as a social worker started in community mental health as a member of the Mobile Crisis Team at CMHA Waterloo Wellington. She enjoyed a 15-year career with progressive leadership opportunities in Student Affairs at Conestoga College in Kitchener (Learning Skills Advisor, Student Life Coordinator, Manager of the Learning Commons, Director of Student Success Services). In her last role as the Director, she was an early adopter of Stepped Care 2.0 and an innovative champion for a caring college community that removes barriers and creates conditions for students to be well and thrive towards their potential as learners and people.
She returned home to PEI with her young family during the pandemic to align her actions with her values. Bonnie joined CMHA National as the National Manager, Campus Peer Support where she led a multi-year, pan-Canadian pilot project funded by Health Canada to co-design, implement, evaluate, and scale a national Peer Support training and certification for post-secondary students. Her interest in resilience and peer support is grounded in her lived experience with chronic physical health and mental health issues. She is grateful for the protective experiences throughout her life, especially membership in caring communities, which supported her ability cope with adversity.
Bonnie is a learner and community developer. Ideas excite her. She loves collaborating with people to create and innovate. She has served diverse communities and is active in addressing issues of accessibility, equity, inclusion, oppression, privilege, and power.
Employment opportunities with the Alliance can be found here. Select a title below to learn more about an available position.
Unfortunately, we do not have any available positions at this time.