Andrea Silverstone, Executive Director

Describe your role:

I am responsible for the performance and sustainability of the organization. As Executive Director, my job is to be laser-focused on the vision and mission of Sagesse, and rally support from all of our stakeholders to share in and execute the mission through our strategic plan.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Domestic violence and poverty, gender inequality, hyper-masculinity, racism, homophobia, etc. are so enmeshed, it’s difficult to choose just one thing. If everyone had the tools and confidence to ask for what they need (without shame or judgement), believe that they are worthy, and engage in fierce conversations, the world be more safe and equitable.

Carrie McManus, Director of Programs

Describe your role:

My role at Sagesse is to ensure our programs and activities are strategically moving the needle toward our vision of ending domestic violence. This includes: equipping staff with the resources and support they need to effectively provide programming; leading all of our research and evaluation projects; and engaging in innovative and emerging opportunities for learning and growth.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Number 1: Do away with gender norms and the harm that comes from them. Let people be who they are – not who society thinks they should be. And number 2: Hail storms. What’s the point of hail anyway?

Wendi Campbell, Business Manager

Describe your role:

Numbers and policy are my super powers. My role with Sagesse is to keep all things operations, fund/donor development, human resources, finance, and administrative oversite on track. I get to serve in a capacity that makes my heart sing in the love of the mission and my mind stretch through overall leadership.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

The feeling that so many people have that they will never have nor deserve to have a future story that includes success and grace.

Laurie Chandler, Fund Development Associate

Describe your role:

Fund Development is critical to not only the success of our organization but our ability to provide programs and initiatives that adequately serve those affected by, or are at risk of, domestic violence. Fund Development is not just about raising funds for Sagesse, it’s also about building lasting relationships and partnerships with organizations and individuals that are as passionate about Sagesse as we are. I also dabble in our event planning and communications efforts.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Kindness. This world is messy and complicated and you never know what someone is actually going through. If you have the choice between being right and being kind – choose kindness.

Eric Pianarosa, Director of Collective Impact

Describe your role:

I provide support to the Co-Chairs and working groups to achieve the goals of the Collective. As Project Manager, I am responsible for: a) coordinating meetings and agendas; b) ensuring the creation of and adherence to action plans; c) drafting and managing project documents; d) overseeing the work of consultants; and e) reporting on progress and risks.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Remove barriers to equity and allow everyone to be part of the community to the extent of their abilities and interests.

Amy Munroe, Direct Service Team Lead

Describe your role:

My role at Sagesse is to build relationships and provide support to our Calgary-based partners who offer peer-based support groups to people who have experienced domestic violence or are at risk of being abused. I also coordinate our volunteer program, which includes providing training and support to our amazing volunteers who help facilitate our group programs.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Systemic oppression…domestic violence… intolerant attitudes… mental health stigma…. the hashtag era. So many choices! If I had to pick one thing, it would have to be sexism. I mean, come on people. Toxic and oppressive gender beliefs are so old school. I’d also eradicate large spiders. Okay, that was more than one.

Jocelyn Dubois, Intake and Programs Associate

Describe your role:

As Intake and Programs Associate, my role is to provide administration, coordination and logistical support to Sagesse’s Program Coordinators.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would change the function of my closet to be exactly like Cher’s from the movie Clueless. ‘Mis-Match’ would save me so much time and give me an endless amount of outfits. Win-win!

Emma Wylde, BElieve in YOU Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

I see my role as empowering individuals, communities and systems to address the intersection of domestic violence and sex work. As Program Coordinator, my job is to oversee Sagesse’s peer support services for women who are facing an increased risk of violence because of their involvement in the sex trade.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

The sense of disconnection plaguing the human experience. It is the root of pain, harm and suffering. The key to love and belonging, safety and joy is authentic connection – to ourselves, others, and our Earth.

Kirsty Blair, Stand By Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

Since most people who experience domestic violence reach out to family, friends and other professionals, my role is to develop community capacity to recognize and respond appropriately to domestic violence.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would like to contribute to a world where we as humans can tap into our profound interconnection and engage with one another openly and non-judgementally. I imagine creating spaces that are physically and relationally safer, where people can interact wholeheartedly, without shame or fear.

Tina Buikema, Provincial Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

As Provincial Program Coordinator, my role is to establish and nurture relationships with organizations and groups across Alberta, with a focus on building capacity to deliver peer support programming, informal supports training, and/or LGBTQ+ friendly programming.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

To quote Elie Wiesel, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.” If we eradicate indifference, it would shape our society in a very different way.

Brielle Batty-Smith, Southern Alberta Provincial Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

As a Provincial Program Coordinator, my role is to establish and nurture relationships with organizations and groups across southern Alberta, with a focus on building capacity to deliver peer support programming, informal supports training, and/or LGBTQ+ friendly programming.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

If I could change one thing in the world… it would be that no one ever feels alone or isolated; that we lived in a world where everyone feels heard, believed, valued, and loved.

Tara Tharayil, Evaluations Associate

Describe your role:

Evaluation is critical to ensure we provide programming, tools and experiences that are meaningful and impactful for clients and partners. As the Evaluations Associate, my role is to track and report on evaluations that will aid in program design or refinement.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Truly listen before speaking. Many of our issues – at home, work and in our communities – could be resolved if we could listen, with empathy, rather than relying on preconceived notions or beliefs.