Treasurer, Family Service Canada
CEO, Kindred Connections Society, Calgary, AB
Jessica’s career in the helping field was sparked by a volunteer experience she had as a teen, answering the youth crisis line at Calgary’s Distress Centre. There, Jessica got a taste for what could be changed in the world with a single conversation – and on this foundation, Jessica’s built a career that puts connection at the heart of transformation.
From the Distress Centre, Jessica joined the Kindred team, then Catholic Family Service of Calgary, in 2006. Since then, she’s held roles in direct service delivery, volunteer management, fundraising, and executive leadership. She has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Victoria and a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Her formal and informal learning experiences shaped how Jessica defines her purpose: ignite in people the confidence and conviction to make a difference in the world with their unique brand of brilliance.
Alongside her colleague Byron Chan, Jessica was one of Kindred’s first Co-CEOs, honing her skills in collaborative leadership, leveraging differences and often conflict to advance the organization. After nearly three years in the co-model, Jessica became Kindred’s sole CEO in 2023. Her collaborative approach remains intact as she leads Kindred into new partnerships and research opportunities and in her role with several boards and committees.
Jessica firmly believes that transformative relationships between organizations are essential to the sector change she sees as both needed and possible. Her dream is to build a social service system that is so client-centred that it no longer requires professional support to navigate.