Cohesia is proud to count on a volunteer board of directors whose members, spread across several regions of Canada and originating from here and elsewhere in the world, tend to reflect the Canadian diversity. Passionate about social cohesion, they guide the team with their enlightened thinking, with the goal of moving Canada from a country known for its diversity to one celebrated for its values of equity and inclusion.
Jason Alcorn (He/Him)
Jason joined the Financial and Consumer Services Commission (NB) in May 2006. In his current role as Senior Legal Counsel and Special Advisor to the Executive Director, he helps shape laws and policies affecting New Brunswick’s capital markets. Jason is a graduate of both Osgoode Hall and the Faculté de droit of the Université de Moncton. He is a former student of both Sciences Po Paris and the École nationale d’administration of France respectively, and is an alumnus of UNB Saint John. Jason is a frequent lecturer at both the Université de Moncton and UNB. He is active in community affairs, currently serving as the chairperson of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, and acts as a Public Representative on the board of directors of CPA NB. He is also a member of Board of Governors of the Université de Moncton. He resides in the Ragged Point neighbourhood of Saint John.
Janna Hare (She/Her)
Janna is a seasoned leadership and management consultant and highly regarded Executive Coach and Facilitator who partners with her clients to offer practical approaches, solutions and counsel aligned with business strategy to drive business results.
Janna’s ability to help translate the diverse experiences of her clients into tangible resources for personal and professional growth allows her to work effectively with individuals from varied backgrounds and professions. She has a track record of helping clients become effective communicators and change agents within their organizations.
Janna is committed to the growth and effectiveness of organizations, teams and individuals, and in moving them towards their goals and successes. Janna’s approach to each client relationship is engaging, collaborative and results oriented. As a certified executive coach, she leverages her finely tuned insight and ability to connect with clients to assist them in their development as leaders. She has guided the development of entrepreneurs and senior leaders, teams and organizations, in the private, public and not-for-profits sectors.
Janna is a Certified Executive Coach; accredited with the International Coaching Federation (PCC) and a certified facilitator of the Daring Way™ and Dare to Lead™.
Marie-Christine Pierre (She/Her)
Marie-Christine obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration, concentration in management from the Université de Moncton in 2017 and a Juris Doctor from the Université de Moncton in 2020. During her time in law school, she participated in the revision of an academic textbook in criminal law. She also participated in a contingency course with the New Brunswick Crown Prosecutors Office. In order to give back to her community, Marie-Christine participated as a student volunteer in the Student Legal Aid Society of New Brunswick program and was responsible for a legal clinic at the Centre d’accueil et d’accompagnement francophone des immigrants du sud-est du Nouveau-Brunswick (CAFi) through the Pro-Bono student network program. Finally, she represented the Faculty of Law at the Laskin, a national moot court competition in administrative and constitutional law.
Marie-Christine was called to the New Brunswick Bar in 2021. She is currently an associate with Actus Law Droit in Moncton, specializing in corporate, commercial and real estate law.
Gilles Deveaux (He/Him)
Gilles has earned his Bachelor in Business Administration with specialty in accounting from the Université de Moncton in 1996. He then obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 1999 from the Atlantic School of Chartered Accountants which changed over to Chartered Professional Accountant in 2014. He joined EPR – Bathurst / Péninsule as a Partner in October 2007 after spending over 10 years with one of the big 5 CPA firms. In his over 20 years in public practice, Gilles has garnered experience in assurance, tax preparation and business consulting services in various fields: municipalities, non-profit organizations, manufacturing companies, construction companies, dealerships and professional corporations.
Past and other involvements, achievements
Gilles is a member of the Bathurst Rotary Club, and has been its president and treasurer in the past. Gilles has also been the treasurer of the Bathurst Chamber of Commerce. Gilles has also been the vice-president of EPR Canada Accounting Group. Also before graduating from university, Gilles was volunteer for the St. John Ambulance where he covered some events and did hospital transfers.
Gilles got involved in Cohesia as treasurer to make sure that everyone feels included in this wonderful province we call home!
Jane Xu (She/Her)
Jane brings more than 25 years’ experience in Human Resources, including 14 years as HR Business Partner and 11 years specialized in Talent Management and Learning.
Having taken different roles in Adidas group, Schneider Electrics and other multinational companies in China and Singapore, Jane has accumulated rich experience in adult learning, succession planning, performance management, competency model, employee engagement, etc. In the past few years, Jane has also been involved into Diversity & Inclusion projects, eg. Female Leadership Program, D&I Training, etc. In her current role of Director, Organizational Development in Dialogue New Brunswick, Jane has devoted to build an E Total Solution-MAP Model to enable organizations transforming to a more equitable and inclusive workplace. With subject matter experts’ support, Jane and the team have developed the EDI & Anti-racism e-learning Program, which has been concluded the pilot test in June. The formal launch is expected in fall 2021. Also, Jane has been working diligently on other EDI tools including 360 Degree Inclusive Leadership Survey, EDI Employee Belonging Survey, EDI Competency Model, Behavioural Based Interview Guide, EDI Metrics Dashboard, etc.
Jane has Post Graduate degrees in Human Resources and Training. Recently, Jane has been enrolled to UNB’s Adult Learning Certificate Program, and expects to complete in two years. Jane has moved to Halifax since July 2021 after living and working in Singapore for 8 years. Jane loves sports and nature. She is inspired by people around her and their stories.
Éric Labelle (He/Him)
A graduate of HEC Montreal in both Business Administration and Project Management, and holder of a BSc in Computer Network Management, Eric started his career as IT Support Manager at Aéroports de Montréal. He went on to join Bell Canada as Director of Outsourced Call Centers, and carried out several consultation mandates nationally and internationally in this capacity. In 2006, he moved to France and joined the Webhelp group as International Development Director. As such, his main responsibilities included the implementation and subsequent integration of new subsidiaries worldwide. Back in Quebec since 2013, Eric started his own consulting company, working with clients such as Nespresso USA, Colorado Group and La Presse Télé on their business strategy.
He then made a foray into the municipal world as Director of Innovation, in order to carry out several collaborative projects between municipalities and communities. He became involved in the startup ecosystem in Quebec.
Eric Labelle joined the National Bank’s Technology Group team in 2019 as Director of Startups, then has held the position of Director of Franchises and Partnerships since January 2022.
Ray Edwards (He/Him)
Ray Edwards is the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at Innovation, Science and Economic Development where he provides strategic advice to the Deputy Ministers on the state of diversity, antiracism, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the department. He also supports departmental efforts to break down systemic barriers to the full representation and participation of equity-seeking communities, both inside the department and in the Canadian marketplace. He has spent many years as a champion and strong advocate for issues of racial equity and inclusion.
His career has encompassed executive leadership roles both in social and economic policy development and coordination both domestically and internationally. He has extensive experience in service modernization, legislative and regulatory administration and national program delivery. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto in Biology and Genetics and is a certified executive coach.
Stanley Barnaby (He/Him)
Stanley Barnaby has been at the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) since 2015. He first joined the team as a Finance Intern but has taken on progressively more challenging positions during his time with the organization. He is currently the Senior Project Manager where he oversees the Workforce Development team.
Stanley is from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation. He attended the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in Fredericton where he obtained his Bachelors in Business with a concentration in accounting. From there, he received his Technological Aboriginal Economic Developer (TAED) certification through Cando and his First Nation Business Administration certificate from UNB through the Mi’kmaq-Maliseet Institute (MMI).
While working at JEDI, Stanley has continued to grow his skillset by completing the Management Development Program Certificate and Masters Certificate in Project Management from the College of Extended Learning at UNB. He also received his Professional Aboriginal Economic Development (PAED) certification through CANDO.
Michelle Levesque (She/Her)
As a Certified Executive Coach, Michelle brings a fresh, rich experience of over 30 years as a leader and motivator. She is proficient at successfully building teams and provoking and managing organizational change in various industries such as the energy and healthcare sectors, public and post-secondary education.
She has held senior leadership roles in the fields of Human Resources, Communication, Administration and Performance Optimization. Michelle is the founder and owner of Inspire Leadership Inc. and Co-owner of My HR Partners.
Throughout her career, Michelle left her mark and repeatedly demonstrated her proficiency in exemplary labor-management relations.
Her analytical, concise and ethical spirit enables her clients to benefit from advice that has a significant impact on strategic organizational decisions.
Originally from Edmundston, Michelle earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick. She is a graduate of Royal Roads University as a Certified Executive Coach and a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is Green Belt Certified in Lean Six Sigma. Michelle has earned a Certificate in Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution from Saint Mary’s University as well as a Certificate in Health Services Management from the Canadian Healthcare Association.
Michelle is a Board member of the Campbellton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Erika Cantu (She/Her)
Originally from Brazil, Erika has lived in the USA and Belgium before to move to Canada with her family. Her background is in International business and she is fluent in 4 languages. Mom of two boys, Erika and her husband are engaged with the greater Moncton community since their arrival in 2012. Erika is one of the co-founder of VIVA Moncton and BrazilNB the ethno-cultural associations in Greater Moncton and one of the past vice-president of CAFI (Centre d’accueil et d’accompagnement francophone des immigrants). In 2018 she was nominated as one of the top 25 immigrants in the Maritimes. Her most recent project was with NouLAB, the Economic Immigration Lab. As an immigrant she understands the challenges of having a new life in another country and she truly believes in the beauty of the multiculturalism; the reason she embraces diversity and inclusion in our community. As the Diversity Champion at United Way, she is working at the neighbourhood level to rebuild the sense of belonging in this new social environment in NB. She is also the co-onwer of Steps 2 Canada – a company specialized in supporting newcomers and co-owner of Milu Ice Cream Shop – a place where they celebrate diversity and fellowship.
Debbie McCormack (She/Her)
Debbie is a Retired Public Health Nurse who continues to use her acquired Nursing Skills to advocate for various populations in her community. She is a graduate of the Saint John General Hospital School of Nursing and holds a Diploma of Public Health Nursing (Dalhousie University). Her skills allow her to be the voice for the voiceless, however her real goal is always to enable the voiceless to be their own voice. Her background has provided her with a range of skills such as the ability to foster community growth by supporting forward thinking strategies, and cultivating strong partnerships to advance organizational objectives.
Past Board Memberships included:
- Canadian Mental Health Association National Board of Directors (2006-2016)
- CMHA Provincial Board of Directors
- Mental Health Advisory Committee (Minister Health appointment)
Debbie is currently a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Saint John Chief of Police, the Horizon Health Senior Task Engagement and Communication Committee, and the NB Coalition for Seniors.
Something you may not know about me:
I am fortunate to have a very diverse family – my husband, Nihat, immigrated from Turkey. My son-in-law, Thanuka, is from Sri Lanka. We are a beautiful mosaic that is bonded with love, respect, and openness – and know that we are more alike than different. The bond that unites us are the values that we share.
There is a saying that we stand on the shoulders that have come before! Dialogue NB is a progressive not-for-profit that supports the foundational element of a healthy society – our sense of belonging. I look forward to lending my voice to the challenge of ageism – where one in two are Ageist worldwide. This is the only “ism” that is accepted by Society, however it is based on prejudice, stereotyping and results in discrimination.
David Perley (He/Him)
Dr. David Perley recently retired as Director of the Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre at the University of New Brunswick. He is pursuing his PhD on a part-time basis. He is a co-founder of the Wolastoqey Language and Culture Centers located at Tobique and St. Mary’s First Nations in New Brunswick. In addition, he is currently a part-time lecturer at University of New Brunswick. He has taught the following courses at UNB, STU and University of Maine: “Aspects of Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Societies”, “Wabanaki Education” and “Wabanaki Studies”.
As a candidate for his PhD, he was a research assistant for the project titled “Incorporating Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Content into the Post-Secondary Curriculum”. He was also a member of a University of New Brunswick research team that has received a grant to collect stories from Wolastoqi (Maliseet) Elders. These stories will be used for curriculum development projects ensuring that Wolastoqey worldviews, values and teachings will be incorporated into the curriculum at the secondary and post-secondary levels.
Dr. Perley holds a B.A. (St. Thomas University) and M.A. (University of New Brunswick) in sociology. He specializes in Aboriginal education, Aboriginal studies, race relations, and analysis of social problems. His M.A. thesis investigated the causes of Aboriginal dropout at the post-secondary level. He has also published an article in the Canadian Journal of Native Education titled “Aboriginal Education in Canada as Internal Colonialism”. In addition, Mr. Perley has co-authored the following reports/articles:
- Beaton, B., Perley, D., George, C. & O’Donnell, S. (2016). Engaging Remote Indigenous Communities Using Appropriate Online Research Methods. In N. Fielding, R. M. Lee & G. Blank (eds.), The Sage handbook of online research methods – 2nd edition, Sage. London, UK.
- Taylor, S., Philpott, D., Perley, D. & Lewis, L. (2016). Making Connections: Key Economic Drivers in Aboriginal Rural and Remote Communities, Aboriginal Youth, Colleges and Industries. Report submitted to Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program. Atlantic Policy Congress: Halifax, NS.
- Perley, D., O’Donnell, S., George, C., Beaton, B. & Peter-Paul, S. (2016). Supporting Indigenous Language and Cultural Resurgence with Digital Technologies. Fredericton: Mi’kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre. University of New Brunswick, November.
Dr. Perley is a former Chief (1983-1989) and Councilor (2004-2010) of the Maliseet Nation at Tobique and has been employed as consultant for federal and provincial departments such as Education, Justice, Solicitor General, Child and Family Services as well as Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. He retired from the N.B. Department of Education (Mar., 1990 – Oct., 2003) and while with the Education department, he held the position Consultant: Aboriginal Education. His duties and responsibilities included policy/program development and implementation of initiatives designed to meet the educational needs of Wolastoqi and Mi’kmaq students attending New Brunswick public schools.
Dr. Perley has been recognized for his work in Indigenous education, cultural revival and promoting appreciation of Wabanaki histories, contributions and treaty rights among Canadian citizens in general and New Brunswick citizens in particular. In 2012, Dr. Perley received the Queen Jubilee Medal for community service. In May of 2019, he received an honorary doctorate of letters degree from University of New Brunswick for his “incredible work contributing to the support, education and visibility of Indigenous peoples at UNB and across the province”.
Asif Hasan (He/Him)
I was born in a beautiful South East Asian country called Bangladesh and left home at the age of 11 to India in order to pursue a better quality education, understand diversity, explore different cultures, and learn multiple languages. I learned that resilience, determination, creativity, and teamwork are what it takes to become a leader and overcome life’s challenges. I was blessed to have parents who guided me on this incredible journey of entrepreneurship by enabling me to reach my fullest potential. As a teenager, I learned my management skills by founding and working in multiple Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), which were focused on providing education, clothing, food for street children in Bangladesh. Empowering other individuals to make positive changes in the world became my passion and I was elected as VP for IEEE at UNB and one of the Leaders at AIESEC in Bangladesh. I sometimes refer to myself as a world citizen since I was born in Bangladesh, educated in India, and building a company in Canada. I always wondered what my purpose in life was until I met some incredible people in Fredericton, NB; like my business partners, investors, advisors, SimpTekers, and most importantly my beautiful wife.
During my engineering studies, I recognized that it was never about learning the contents from my mixed bag of university courses, it was always about applied critical thinking and problem-solving. This is what prompted me to co-found SimpTek by leading an incredibly passionate team to solve very critical problems in the energy sector with the vision to become the most trusted provider of products and services that make energy efficiency and sustainability simple for everyone.
My entrepreneurship journey is beginning to shed light on my life’s purpose of enabling and empowering others to reach their highest potential. I feel blessed to have a world-class team of SimpTekers that will continuously bring positive changes to the global stage.
Adebayo Ogunleye (He/Him)
Adebayo Ogunleye is the President of Nigerian Canadian Association of New Brunswick, an accomplished entrepreneur, humanitarian, athlete, and information technology professional with extensive background in Information technology management and business development.
Adebayo holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics & Electrical Engineering from LAUTECH, Oyo State, Nigeria, and has completed the Advanced Management Program from Project Management College UK.
Adebayo Ogunleye commenced his Information technology career in the financial services industry in Nigeria, where he spent over 13 years in banking before relocating to New Brunswick, Canada. He has worked with both Government and Private sector here in New Brunswick. He has served as a mentor in programs like the study and stay program in Fredericton, Mentoring Black youths in Technology etc.
Some of the things you may not know about me:
He is the first elected President of the Nigerian Canadian Association of New Brunswick (NCANB), he is passionate about community building and youth development. Recently, he lead NCANB in partnership with AEARA, NBAA, BLMNB, John Howard Society of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada to partner in launching the Youth Outreach Project aimed at providing opportunities for black youths and less visible minorities in our community.
He plays soccer with the Fredericton old boys where he is the leading goal scorer since 2018. Amongst many other things, he loves playing the saxophone, travelling and family time.
Why he volunteers his time with our organization:
Dialogue NB says ”social cohesion is everybody’s business”. This statement speaks to him in a lot of ways. He shares a deep commitment in areas of community development, opportunities that abounds when we make our community more diversified and inclusive. We certainly have one simple task as a community and Canadians, to join hands in making NB a family choice of destination, promote inclusiveness and equity for every New Brunswickers in this province.
DNB has taken the lead in speaking out about racism, equity, inspiring communities and ultimately promoting social cohesion of NB. He believes now is the time to sustain the gains made so far by direct participation and educating everyone around us to respect and value one another.
Our board, team, and subject-matter experts have been carefully selected to respect the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.