Board of Governors
Bissell Centre Board of Governors provides important oversight and governance functions for Bissell Centre.
Lee-Ann Leitch, Chair
Lee-Ann has been a member of the Bissell Centre Board of Governors since 2019. Lee-Ann is a Chartered Professional Accountant with over thirty years of experience in a variety of public and private organizations and is currently providing management consulting services at NorQuest College. Prior to that, she was in senior management with the Physician Office System Program and EPCOR providing leadership in governance, business transformation and financial management.
Lee-Ann holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. Lee-Ann’s professional specialties include strategic business planning, program management, change management, and process redesign.
Brad Shopland, Vice-Chair and Chair, Finance, Audit & Risk Management Committee
Brad joined the Bissell Centre Board of Governors in 2020. He is currently Manager of Financial Analytics and Reporting at DynaLIFE Medical Labs, a forward-looking role with an emphasis on shaping a better future through insight from the past. He is also the owner of Shopland Analytics, a local consulting firm focusing on financial modeling and custom programming. Brad brings a strong financial and analytical acumen with over 15 years’ experience.
Brad is also a serial entrepreneur, founding and serving as President or Proprietor of multiple businesses. In addition, Brad is Chair of the Edmonton Power BI User group, and a past Director of the Edmonton Rowing Club.
Brad is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Commerce from Athabasca University, and an MBA from Edinburgh Business School Heriot Watt University.
Brad loves sports where water is involved and swimming is not including kayaking, crew rowing, and sailing.
Ami Amato has been a member of the Bissell Centre Board of Governors since 2019. Driven by her own cultural heritage and being a proud Edmontonian – Ami has a keen focus on working toward ending poverty and homelessness and mental health awareness.
Professionally, Ami spent over 20 years working in the media industry, both in radio and TV. Ami utilizes her vast experience in storytelling, creative concepts, and communications experience in an effort to spread the message of Bissell Centre and assist our most vulnerable community members.
Ami has a keen focus on building strong relationships and bridging the gaps in communications among all our community members and organizations.
Continually inspired by the work of the Bissell Centre, Ami is proud to volunteer her experience in the common goal of ending poverty/homelessness.
You can often find Ami exploring our beautiful river valley or seeking out local art and artists.
Lauren has been a member of the Bissell Centre Board since 2020 and serves on the Human Resources, Nominating, and Governance Committee. Prior to joining the Bissell Centre Board, Lauren was on the board of a local arts organization. Outside of her board work, she is an employment and municipal lawyer at a mid-size law firm and is an active member of Edmonton’s choral community.
Lauren has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Alberta. She is a proud Edmontonian and continues to be motivated and inspired by the work of the Bissell Centre to end poverty.
Melanie Fix, Chair, HR, Nominating & Governance Committee
Melanie has been a member of the Bissell Centre Board since 2019. Melanie is a strategic management consultant with MNP LLP. With over 19 years of experience in the consulting field, Melanie has specialized in serving public sector and not-for-profit clients in human capital management, organizational restructuring, workforce allocation, and leadership and governance effectiveness. She is particularly skilled in the people aspect of organization dynamics. She is a passionate observer and respectful identifier of root cause barriers standing in the way of great performance. Melanie is known for her collaborative and inclusive style in facilitating strategic conversations, able to draw out a full range of factors impacting an organization’s ability to achieve success. Melanie is certified in Prosci Change Management.
Melanie believes in giving back to the community through her involvement on not-for-profit boards and volunteer service activities. Melanie is a member of the Stollery Women’s Network and past Board Member of the Association of Change Management Professionals, and has been an active volunteer with The Mustard Seed, Hope Mission, and now proudly, the Bissell Centre.
Emily Kneteman works with foreign multinationals to support their investments and is always eager to showcase the growing industries in Canada. She works across all sectors to bring industry, community and government together for a seamless service offering.
She has experience in fundraising through her volunteer work with the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the launch of the Breast Impressions Calendar Association.
Emily has a passion for community building and has worked for both Edmonton Economic Development and Calgary Economic Development, supporting industry cluster growth and foreign investment.
She loves to explore all Alberta has to offer through hiking, skiing and spending time outdoors with her family.
Avery Letendre works at the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta as the Continuing Education & Online Project Manager. Avery is committed to working toward decolonization in Canada and is keen to build bridges, interconnections, stronger relationships and knowledge toward those ends.
Avery has experience in banking, management, economic development, research and administration and holds a Master of Arts (Native Studies) and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta. She is honoured to serve at the Bissell Centre and work toward poverty elimination in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton).
Josh has been a member of the Bissell Centre Board of Governors since 2019, serving on the Human Resources, Nominations and Governance Committee and sharing the role of Policy Liaison. Professionally, Josh works to help bridge the gap between clinical practice and business intelligence as a Provincial Initiatives Consultant with Alberta Health Services (AHS), Provincial Addiction & Mental Health (AMH). Prior to this position, Josh worked as a Clinical Lead with Provincial AMH, and as an Occupational Therapist for a multidisciplinary outreach housing team with AHS (Edmonton Zone).
Josh is an enthusiastic volunteer who is passionate about Edmonton and the power of community building. In 2017 he founded a multiorganizational group called ICOTE that works to empower Occupational Therapists to be leaders in the delivery of health services to underserved populations in Edmonton, as well as support service mapping, information sharing and capacity building around the city. He also founded a small graphic design company in 2018 which he named after one of his grandfather’s mathematical theories. Josh holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from the University of Alberta, and he is a Prosci-certified Change Management practitioner.
Ryan has been a member of the Bissell Centre Board of Governors since 2020, serving on the Finance, Audit, & Risk Management Committee. Professionally, Ryan is a Senior Associate with Sequeira Partners within the Mergers and Acquisitions practice, and has over eight years of experience in corporate finance, accounting, and transaction engagements. As a Senior Associate, he oversees the preparation of marketing materials and financial models, identifies and sources new business opportunities, and assists clients throughout the transaction process.
Prior to joining Sequeira Partners, Ryan spent three years with EY in Calgary focusing on audit and accounting across a wide range of industry verticals. Ryan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Chartered Business Valuator (CBV), and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University.
Ryan is passionate about social enterprise and its ability to empower individuals to move out of poverty. At McGill, he was involved in founding and served as President of Enactus McGill, a student group dedicated to making the world a better place through entrepreneurial action.
Ken joined the Bissell Centre Board of Governors in 2023, serving on the Finance, Audit & Risk Management Committee. Currently, Ken is a Director at Alberta Health Services, where he oversees human resource and internal audit functions. Ken is also a lead Session Leader for CPA Western School of Business and is passionate about learning and development. With over 18 years of professional experience, Ken has acquired a diverse background in accounting, audit, compliance and risk management, human resources, and marketing.
Ken obtained a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Alberta, and is a designated Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR), and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).
Ken is an advocate for poverty alleviation and believes that everyone has the right to a life of equality and opportunity; he is passionate about working to make that a reality.
Help Eliminate Poverty in Your Community!
Bissell Centre is looking for new Board members.
If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering to become a Board member for Bissell Centre, please take a look at our Board of Governors Recruitment Notice.
Board member nominations are open year-round. Our Nominating Committee interviews prospective Board members twice a year, in April and October. New Board members are voted on just once per year at the Annual General Meeting held in July. If you are interested in becoming a Bissell Centre Board member, please contact Mary Higgs at 780.423.2285 extension 126 or email@example.com.
Governors must be or become members of Bissell Centre. Interested individuals are welcome to submit a short bio or resume to the attention of Mary Higgs, Director of Administration.