• Jay Freeman
  • Dan Glugosh
  • Mark Huyser-Wierenga
  • Dan Jones
  • David Kabyn
  • Joseph Luri
  • Ali Mahdi
  • Bob Marvin
  • Pat Power
  • Benny Swanson

Biographies:

Jay Freeman

Executive Director, Homeless Commission

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Jay Freeman is the Executive Director of the Homeless Commission. In this role he works with many organizations throughout the City of Edmonton in the struggle to end homelessness. His vision for his work can be summed up the words of Jimmy Carter: “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless cititzens.” His interest in the plight of the homeless is genuine and he never misses an opportunity to engage affected individuals in a respectful and constructive manner.

Dan Glugosh

Project Manager, E4C – Our House

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Dan Glugosh was born in Winnipeg, completed courses through MacEwan University’s social program and has worked with E4C as a general care worker, and then became the Program Manager of the McCauley Project until 2008 when he became the program manager for Our Place. Our Place is a community-housing program offering comfortable housing for women living with mental illness, addictions or low income. Ten women are provided with respectful, inclusive, supportive care and opportunities to enrich their lives and establish their goals.

Mark Huyser-Wierenga

Crown Prosecutor

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As a Crown Prosecutor with 23 years experience, Mark interacts with victims of crime with dignity, understanding and empathy. He specialized in prosecutions involving serious intimate-partner violence and those involving serious physical or sexual abuse of children. He uses his negitiation and litigation skills to achieve just outcomes, build safer and stronger communities and enhance public confidence in our justice system.

Dan Jones

Inspector, Edmonton Police Service

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Dan is an inspector for Edmonton Police Service and sits on the Board of Directors for the Victims of Homicide Support Society. He is a lifeline for many families who are going through difficult times, and he does his best to help ease the hardships of what they are experiencing. He attends monthly support meetings with new grieving families, listens to their struggles, provides them with advice, and reassures them that they are in a safe place.

David Kabyn

Sergeant, Downtown Division of Edmonton Police Service

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David Kabyn has been with EPS for 14 years. He is currently a sergeant with Downtown Division, working with the Domestic Violence Intervention Unit. He works selflessly to build trust between the inner city community and the police, and to keep women on the streets safe. These women say that no matter how bad things may be, David always does his best to help them in a caring and non-judgemental way. One woman tells of how, when she was in the Glenrose Hospital in the Brain Unit after a major car accident, David showed up at her family meetings every few months to support her and let her know that he cared about what happened to her, just as he care about everyone on his watch.

Joseph Luri

Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

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Joesph Luri is a leader and mentor to families and hundreds of children and youth in his community. He supports the children and families he works with by nurturing hope in their hearts and minds motivating his clients to overcome challenges in their journey. Those who know him describe the timely, patient, solid and respectful approach he has with anyone he encounters. Joesph was born in KajoKeji county in South Sudan. His compassion for others stems, at least in part, from his own experience as a refugee. Joesph was a volunteer in the refugee camp in Africa because of his empathy for those who had lost everything.

Ali Mahdi

Coordinator of School Services, Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers

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Ali is a kind, compassionate, generous and understanding man who works closely with newcomers to Canada through the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN). As Coordinator of school services for EMCN Ali serves as an advocate for newcomers, providing the help necessary to improve the well-being of families he works with. He also coordinates school counselors who work with newcomers to Canada. These counseling groups support eleven schools in Edmonton. He works with families and children to make sure they are able to successfully integrate into the school system.

Robert Marvin

Instructor, NorQuest College

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Bob has made significant and lasting contributions to the lives of individuals and families as well as to many neighbourhoods and communities in Edmonton over 35 years as a social worker in the city. He is currently sharing his knowledge with students at NorQuest College through the Social Work Program and has also worked with students at the University of Calgary. As an educator he workds with community builders, nonprofit organizations, and with students. In the classroom he strives to ensure that each student is heard, valued and included. His teaching style encourages diplomacy and non-judgemental attitudes.

Pat Power

Community Development Social Worker, Elder Abuse Intervention Team

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Pat Power is a dedicated social worker in the field of elder abuse prevention. He began his career as a registered social worker with the City of Edmonton in 1981, initially working with youth. He transferred to a position as a seniors support worker and realized working with seniors was his passion. In 1993 Pat and a colleague developed a group called “Relationships with Your Adult Children”, the first of it’s kind in Canada to deal with abuse issues. For the past five years Pat has been the Community Development Social Worker for the Elder Abuse Intervention Team. The teams’ activities include working on the first Provincial Elder Abuse conference, being part of a national project to build connections and communication amongst service providers across Canada, and locally developing a “train the trainer” program for ATB Financial.

Benny Swanson

Former Boxer; Owner, Panthers Gym

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Benny “The Jet” Swanson is a charismatic boxer who mentors, sponsors and coaches young people in the community. The discipline he learned from his celebrated professional boxing career, the determination he showed when the odds were against him in the ring, and the perserverance he demonstrated when he was injured in two serious car accidents have all helped him become the strong, compassionate, charismatic leader he is today. Benny’s mother was a single parent who worked long hours to support her family, often including extended family, which sometimes led to tumultuous times in their household. Benny turned first to street fighting and then to boxing as an outlet for his anger. He moved to Las Vegas to compete professionally and became a successful boxer despite having to overcome attacks of anxiety.