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Our People

Navera Community Connections welcomes people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, sexualities, educations, abilities, and other backgrounds.

Trish St. Onge

Executive Director

Trish has held a variety of leadership positions, currently as Executive Director with Navera. She is a Certified Executive Coach and holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Victoria, and a Masters in Continuing Education from the University of Saskatchewan. Trish believes that by investing time into the culture of an organization first and foremost, good work will follow. It is because of passionate and committed people and meaningful purpose that she has been involved in a variety of public and non-profit organizations for more than 30 years. She is a strong advocate for the non-profit sector supporting the work, locally, provincially, and nationally. She strives to provide inspiration, creative thinking, and vision towards a better future state for leaders, the sector, and our communities. Trish is married, the mother to three grown sons and their partners, and a grandmother to one.

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Darla Hufsmith

Director of Finance and Administration

Darla is Director of Finance and Administration with Navera. She has a Bachelor Degree of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as a CPA designation.  Darla has spent her entire career in Saskatoon.  She has focused the last twenty years of her working career specifically in the non-profit /charity sector, where she has worked with several different organizations.  Darla has two children and two grandchildren.  She enjoys travel, time at the lake, staying active, and spending time with family and friends.

Tracy Mayhew

Director of Service Delivery

Tracy is the newly appointed Director of Service Delivery at Navera. She has a Masters in Social Policy and Management and Social Work qualification. Her professional experience has been predominantly in management and team leadership. Tracy’s last position at the Chevrah Kadisha in South Africa was Head of Life Enrichment and encompassed working with many different clients with an array of needs. Her passion for people and love for growing teams have been central to all her experience.

Tracy has four children to keep her busy when she is not working and likes to spend weekends exploring all the wonderful things to do in Saskatoon. 

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Anita Burkell

Director of Early Years

Anita joined Navera in 2008 when she undertook the unique dual role of Director of the Teen Student Support Early Learning Center and School Social Worker at Bishop Murray HS. While pursuing her Bachelor’s Degrees Anita held a variety of positions working with young children and youth which made this a dream position. Anita completed her Early Childhood Education Level 3 in 2010 and since then has pursued her interest in how brain development impacts learning in children and youth. Anita has been active in supporting the field of Early Childhood Education through participation in the Saskatoon Federation of Early Learning and the Saskatchewan Early Years Leadership Caucus. In the fall of 2020 Anita became the Director of Early Learning at Navera. Anita enjoys travelling, cooking, baking, painting and attending live concerts and plays.

Leanne Zacharias

HR Generalist

Leanne is the HR Generalist at Navera. She is a Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and has a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources from the U of S. She comes to the organization with over 10 years of HR consulting experience in the nonprofit sector. Leanne grew up in rural Saskatchewan. She believes in investing in people and their potential, developing leaders, and the power of community. At home, she and her husband are having fun raising 3 daughters. Leanne enjoys outdoor adventures with her family, reading, and playing and teaching piano.

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Nidhi Singh

Communications & Fund Development Officer

Nidhi Singh is Navera’s Communications & Fund Development Officer. She has an array of professional qualifications including a Masters of Commerce, Masters in Economics and a Masters of Mass Communications with Specialization in Advertising and PR. At an early age Nidhi started working with SOS Children’s Villages, India as a Sponsorship Secretary where she was dealing with European sponsors for the welfare of orphan children and destitute women. She then had her stint with the world of advertising and media planning. An educator for the most part of her career, she strongly believes in continuous learning as the way of life. She has been Head of the Department of Economics in one of the most prestigious schools in India. It is for her efforts and passion that she has been honoured twice by the Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India twice. Nidhi is a strong advocate of women empowerment, loves to spend time with her family, writes poetry and enjoys long walks. She is smitten by the natural beauty of Canada and photography is her latest passion.

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Teresa Morris

Receptionist

Teresa grew up on a farm helping with the raising of cows, pigs, horses, cats, dogs and the occasional goat, along with grain farming. She has been married to her husband, Jeff, for 35 years as of July 2022. Jeff is now a retired Canadian Air Force member. Jeff and Teresa have lived in Moose Jaw, SK., Edmonton, AB., Winnipeg, MB. and Cold Lake, AB. before retiring to Saskatoon in 2014. Teresa and Jeff have 2 girls, who both live Saskatoon area.

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Meredith Hildebrand

Administrative Assistant & Executive Leadership Support

Meredith joined the Administrative team at Navera in January 2022.

She has 7 years of combined experience in Office and Business Administration as well as Customer Service which helps her navigate the many diverse roles she does behind the scenes to help the organization run smoothly & to keep the Executive team on track. She values the importance of Mental Health and loves helping people.

Meredith enjoys spending time with her family, baking (is also a certified Pastry Chef) , and loves anything that involves being outdoors & spending time at the Lake in the Summer.

Bharat Patel

Business Manager

Bharat joined Navera Community Connections in 2017.  He has a Bachelors’ Degree of Commerce and has more than 20 years experience in accounting and finance.

He has a strong belief in family, community, and culture.  He has one child, loves to travel, and spend time with family and friends

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Debbie Nainaar

Evening Receptionist

Debbie was born in Durban, South Africa but was raised in small town Saskatchewan. She has lived in Saskatoon her entire adult life. Debbie has worked in the education field for the past 27 years and enjoys working with positive and inspiring people who want the best for our future generation.

Debbie likes spending time with friends and enjoying being active. Most of all, she loves spending time with her 3 children, their spouses and her 5 grandchildren.

Debbie is friendly and likes making everyone feel welcome.

Kendall Thomas-McEachern

BSW, RSW
Family and Community Program Supervisor

Currently on maternity leave

Kendall is our Family and Community Program Supervisor and Community Coordinator. She is a Registered Social Worker with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (SASW) and holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Regina.

Kendall has a special love for supporting at-risk children and youth, which she explains began during her work at the Haven Kids’ House (Formally the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery). Kendall values the provision of both trauma-informed and strengths-based perspectives in practice, which she demonstrates in her role as a Community Program Coordinator.

Kendall is passionate about providing psychoeducational and holistic arts-based methods to the demographics that she serves. She believes these methods of intervention can help build resilience, self-esteem, mindfulness, self-awareness, healthy coping strategies, and social skills.

When she isn’t out in the community supporting children and youth, Kendall can be found cuddling with her dog Wrigley, baking, crafting, and sharing her love for all things Harry Potter.

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MacKenzie Guliak

BSW, RSW
Acting Supervisor

MacKenzie holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Calgary. She was born in a small town in Saskatchewan and spent most of her life in between Saskatchewan and Alberta. MacKenzie loves her life in the prairies!

MacKenzie has a devote passion for working with at-risk youth and families. She loves to be involved in the community and looks for ways to be an ally in her day to day life. Throughout MacKenzie’s practice she values and demonstrates trauma-informed, strengths-based, client-centered care.

MacKenzie loves to bring a diverse approach to her practice and loves learning new approaches to support whomever she is working with. MacKenzie has a true passion and love for people and that is apparent in the work that she does! She brings a positive outlook and bright energy that she hopes can encourage and support each youth that she works with!

In her free time you will find MacKenzie with her husband and two dogs. MacKenzie loves being in nature, finding adventure and spending time with her family.

Tera Hrappstead

BSW, RSW

Tera holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Regina. She grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

She has specialized training in Visual Arts and Drama. Tera utilizes her expressive arts and psychoeducational background as a therapeutic tool in groups. She has worked with infants, children, teens, and adults from diverse backgrounds.

Tera is a group facilitator for Parents. She believes in the importance of building healthy foundations and relationships, and that all people have inherent strengths. She creates safe and supportive environments for Clients from all backgrounds.

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Elyse Laskowski

BSW, RSW

Elyse received her Bachelor of Social Work degree with the University of Regina, and is a Registered Social Worker with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers. She has 8 years of experience working directly with children and youth in summer camps, youth groups, and non-profit organizations.

Elyse is cheerful, creative, and empathic, and strives to help bring out the best in everyone. She practices a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach, which helps to promote a safe and person-centered environment. She values the use of relationship building, holistic therapies, and self-reflection to foster inner and outer connectivity and growth. Elyse is passionate about mental health education and support, social justice, and working alongside youth.

In her free time, Elyse enjoys spending time with friends and family, painting and crafting, reading, and hanging out with her cat. She also loves to learn new things and is always looking for new skills and hobbies!

Abbigayle Gress

BSW, RSW

Currently on maternity leave

Abbigayle holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Sociology from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also a Registered Social Worker with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Work.

Abbigayle’s diverse experience contributes to her work as a Community Program Coordinator where she practices from a trauma informed, strengths based and person-centered approach.

She is observant in her work which helps in supporting clients, has a keen interest in helping others and believes in the importance of connection. Abbigayle values being empathetic, kind, genuine, inclusive, and a continual learner in both professional and personal areas of her life.

In her free time you will find Abbigayle with her husband and dog, spending time with family and friends, reading, being outdoors, or working on a craft.

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Lisa Dyer

BSW

Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Regina and is a Registered Social Worker with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (SASW). Lisa’s experience working with children, youth and adults in various supportive and advocacy roles has given her a deeper understanding of the many barriers that people face in living their best life.

Lisa’s practice is influenced by post colonial and feminist theory and she works from a strength based, client centered approach. She does her best to be trauma sensitive recognizing that the diverse backgrounds of the people she works with each have their unique set of challenges. Lisa is a warm and approachable group leader whose desire is to facilitate connection and community within her groups.

In her free time Lisa loves to have adventures in nature with loved ones and friends which include hiking, biking, paddle boarding and walking her dog. She can also be found in the morning cuddled up with a cup of tea on her swinging basket chair.

Kayla Scheidl

BSW, RSW

Kayla received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina and is a Registered Social Worker with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (SASW). She was born and raised in Saskatoon and proud to call the prairies her home.

Kayla has over 10 years of experience working directly with children and youth in various capacities. Kayla is a strong advocate for women’s, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ rights. She is committed to reconciliation and is honoured to work on Treaty 6 Territory.

Kayla practices from a strengths-based and trauma-informed framework. She believes that everyone should feel empowered and valued no matter your background or unique life experiences. As an individual, Kayla strives to be an empathic, trustworthy, respectful, and genuine person.

In her free time, Kayla enjoys cooking, baking, drinking coffee, going to the lake, and spending time with friends and family!

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Bernadette Neepin

IBSW

Bernadette Neepin has her Indigenous Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the First Nations University of Canada. She is a First Nations Cree woman from the treaty 5 area in Northern Manitoba. She has Metis ancestry and connections to Batoche through her mother.

Bernadette is a Parent Community Program Coordinator. She is passionate about working with others in the helping profession and has gained knowledge through her education, work experience and life experiences as a parent. She values her creativity and the ability to connect with others. Bernadette primarily utilizes strength-based and trauma informed approach theories when working with families.

Bernadette is a mother of 5 and grandmother of 6. She enjoys spending time with her family and 2 fur babies. Family is important to her and you can find her spending quality time through activities, game nights, painting, puzzles and going for walks. Her oasis is with her love for plants and flowers.

Kathleen Regier

BSW, RSW

Kathleen (she/her) joined the community team at Navera in spring of 2023 as a Registered Social Worker.

As a children’s group facilitator, Kathleen is passionate about creating safe spaces for kids early in life and fostering their connections between each other for greater healing. Kathleen takes a person-centred, strengths-based approach with attention to anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practices. Through the use of mindfulness and communication tools, creative expression, and gentle presence, Kathleen supports kids and families on their journey to becoming their fullest selves.

Kathleen is always learning something new. In her spare time, she can be found listening to podcasts, exploring nature, playing guitar, or chatting with friends and family and begging them to let her take their dog for a walk.

 

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Courtney Kipling

BSW, RSW

Courtney holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina and a Bachelor degree in Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan. She comes from a large, diverse family and is very proud to call Saskatoon her home.

Courtney is a group facilitator for children. She prides herself in using a trauma informed, family-systems, and strengths based perspective. She supports children through connection, self-expression, identity exploration, mindfulness, and promoting resilience. As a Community Program Coordinator, Courtney values being creative, flexible, empathetic, authentic, inclusive, and above all things, promoting joy & laughter.

In her free time, Courtney enjoys painting, cooking, spending time with family, playing with her cats, and finding new adventures. She can often be found attending community events or ‘putzing around’ in her garden.

Sandra Naccarato

MISW, RSW
Clinical Supervisor

Sandra has worked at Navera since 2017, she currently works as a Walk-in counsellor at four locations in Saskatoon and surrounding areas. Sandra counsels individuals, couples, children, and families. She is a registered social worker, she graduated with her Masters of Indigenous Social Work degree in 2017. Sandra believes that encouraging clients, as they go through life challenges is a privilege, that building trust is essential in clients being able to explore their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellness. Sandra strives to be a supportive collaborator, who humbly walks with client in their healing journey. She holds a warm, welcoming, non-judgemental space for her clients. Her approach is solution focused, person centered, and trauma informed. Sandra works with children, teens, couples and families.

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Natasha Friedrichsen

Associate-CCC

Natasha is a Marriage and Family Therapist and is an associate-CCC with the PACCP. She is a born and bred prairie girl who loves her home but loves to travel too. Natasha has spent significant time overseas working in nonprofit humanitarian aid and education, and knows the value of connection in the development of individuals, families, and communities. Natasha has also worked extensively in community development in Saskatchewan with at-risk children, teens, and adult women. She strives to create a safe therapeutic relationship that will foster healthy change and personal development. 

In her free time, Natasha enjoys spending time with family and friends and looking for new places at which to travel and explore.

Abdikarim (Abdi) Osman

MACP, CCC

Abdikarim Osman (Abdi) is passionate about mental health. Abdi holds a master’s degree in counselling psychology. He believes that with the necessary support & resources, every human being has the potential to become the best version of themselves.

Abdi likes to work with clients from the client-centered approach with the understanding that every client is unique in their strengths & challenges. Abdi has experience working with families, couples, children, adolescents & youth. Abdi enjoys empowering clients to utilize their strengths in addressing their challenges. Abdi uses integrative & holistic counseling approaches while working with clients. Among other modalities, Abdi likes to use solution-focused therapy(SFT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Abdi is also a father of two lovely sons. He enjoys reading fiction & poetry and playing soccer. In his free time, Abdi likes spending time with his wife and children.

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Crystal Moser

RSW

Crystal Moser is a registered social worker who obtained her Bachelors Degree in Indigenous Social Work from the First Nations University of Canada in 2010. Crystal is of a Métis decent and is very knowledgeable in the diverse Métis and First Nations cultures, traumas and traditional healing. She is always continuing her education in order to gain as much knowledge as she can to ensure she has a library of helping modalities to assist her clients to be successful in their unique journeys. She understands that one counselling method may be exactly what one client needs, but not suit another. 

Crystal’s top priority is creating a strong rapport with her clients so they can move forward in their healing journey with the least amount of barriers. Her counselling methods come from a strength-based, trauma informed approach, knowing that with some guidance every client has the answers within them. 

In Crystal’s free time, she loves spending time with her children and extended family creating lasting memories.

Joel Povey

MC, CCC (in progress)

Joel Povey began his therapeutic work with interest in the adolescent developmental stage and has since broadened his interest in mental health counselling with a Master of Counselling. His studies and practice are informed by a full view of lifespan development and a holistic and relational understanding of human wellbeing.

Joel enjoys collaborating with a variety of people as they learn to observe and makes sense of their challenges and life vision. Based on people’s strengths and supports, Joel works to empower meaningfully experimentation with thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Joel values making therapy accessible and effective through his work with Navera’s Rapid Access Counselling for adults, families, and couples. His counselling work in this area draws upon Trauma Informed, Person-Centered, Strengths-Based and Solutions Focused Brief Therapy.

Joel is a husband and father of three who values quality time and being outdoors and active. He also loves listening and getting creative with music.

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Daniel Hooshmand

MC, CCC (in progress)

Daniel is a compassionate counsellor holding a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology. Grounded in a trauma-informed, person-centered approach, he meets clients with empathy and understanding, creating a safe space for healing and growth. Daniel’s therapeutic stance is informed by an existential values- based foundation, working with clients to explore questions of purpose and meaning, empowering them to navigate life”s challenges with resilience and authenticity.

With a diverse clientele, including adults, families, couples, and at-risk children/youth, Daniel’s professional experience reaches across various life stages and contexts. Daniel tailors his approach to meet the unique needs of each individual and group, fostering deep connections and facilitating meaningful change,.

Outside of counselling, Daniel finds fulfillment in his role as a husband and father as spending time with his wife and two girls brings him enjoyment and grounding. This connection with his family enriches his understanding of interpersonal dynamics anf strengthens his commitement to fostering healthy relationships.

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Luke MCCullough

BSW, RSW

Luke holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Regina. He was born and raised in Saskatchewan spending most of his life in smaller communities.

Luke loves working with people and has a drive to help others. He values client centered care, relationship building, and a strength-based approach; believing that people are the best people to help themselves with the help of kindness and support from others. Luke values kindness, empathy, genuine communication, and community.

Luke spends most of his time with his wife and two cats. He enjoys reading, creative writing, walking, camping, and hiking in his spare time.

Allie Lindal

BSW, RSW

Allie holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Regina and is a Registered Social Worker with the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers. She grew up on a family farm in small town Saskatchewan. Allie has worked with children, young adults, and families in many different capacities. She believes that it is important to build strong rapport with clients to empower them through their own individual journey.

Allie practices from a strength-based and trauma-informed approach. She believes that it is important that each client is met where they are at and understand that every individual has had their own life experiences. Allie is passionate about ensuring each client feels they are in a safe space where they can feel heard and valued as an individual.

Allie believes that continued education is a key part of both professional and personal life. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys spending her time back at her family farm or at the family cabin.

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Sherry Richert

President/Chair

Biography coming soon…

Curtis Korchinski

Vice-Chair

Biography coming soon…

Gord Gillespie

Treasurer

Biography coming soon…

Fr. Matthew Ramsay

Secretary

Biography coming soon…

Darlene Wingerak

Director

Biography coming soon…

Lynn Onushko

Director

Biography coming soon…

Cristina Ugolini-Hill

Director

Biography coming soon…

Abhineet Goswami

Director

Biography coming soon…