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Scouts Canada Leadership Team

The Scouts Canada Leadership Team is an energized group of youth, volunteers and staff who are driven individuals with a strong passion for Scouts Canada’s Mission. Engaging with key internal stakeholders and supporting the direction of our strategic plan, the Leadership Team advises the National Key 3 through performance monitoring, priority-setting and decision-making.

Get to know our inspiring Leadership Team!

NATIONAL KEY 3

Andrew Price

Executive Commissioner and CEO

Ottawa, ON

aprice@scouts.ca

Andrew Price was appointed Executive Commissioner and CEO of Scouts Canada in April of 2014. Andrew donned a blue and brown hat at age 5 and hasn’t looked back since.

His educational pursuits have given him the opportunity to expand his Scouting horizons to include New Zealand, Spain, and Scotland. Andrew served as a Deputy Area Commissioner in Ontario, a Deputy Council Commissioner in BC, and an Area Commissioner in Alberta prior to joining the National Leadership Team as the Deputy National Commissioner for Volunteer Services in 2010. In November of 2012, Andrew was named Chief Commissioner and Chair of the Board of Governors, a position he held until assuming his current role.

Andrew is passionate about growing Scouting and ensuring more young Canadians benefit from great, safe Scouting adventures. Prior to joining the Scouts Canada staff, Andrew spent ten years working at Imperial Oil where he held varying roles in Marketing, Refining, and Corporate departments.

Andrew is married to Brenda, a passionate Scouter, and they enjoy many outdoor adventures together.

Justin Chenier

National Youth Commissioner 
Halifax, NS

justin.chenier@scouts.ca

Scouting has played a critical role in Justin’s life since the age of six, when he first became a Beaver Scout with the 1st Coldbrook Colony in Nova Scotia. Justin continued onto Cub Scouts at 4th Kentville before joining the 2nd Berwick Group, where he continued through to Scouts, Venturer Scouts and onto Rover Scouts. It was not until 2013 when his journey as a volunteer first began when he became an Area Youth Commissioner. Following that he served as a Deputy Council Youth Commissioner, and then became the Nova Scotia Council Youth Commissioner (CYC) in 2016.  Following his term as CYC, Justin became a Group Support Scouter (GSS) in Halifax, spent a couple years leading a team to plan the first Atlantic Jamboree as well as serving as the Nova Scotia Council Communications Lead. Currently Justin, aka Hawkeye, works with a local Beaver Colony in Halifax, continues to support two groups as a GSS and is a member of the Scouts Canada Leadership Team. 

Outside of Scouting, Justin is currently attaining his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. Aside from classes, Justin can be found spending time outdoors as much as possible whether that’s hiking, hammocking, canoeing or simply sitting around a campfire on the shore with some friends. 

Justin is incredibly excited for this next adventure in Scouting as he takes on the role of National Youth Commissioner. Justin hopes to build upon Scouts Canada’s successes and create an even stronger organization through increased volunteer engagement, leveraging meaningful youth leadership roles and by collaborating with our incredible staff members from coast to coast. 

 

 

Stephen Loney

National Commissioner
Hinton, AB

stephen.loney@scouts.ca

Stephen joined Scouting as a Beaver in Bedford, Nova Scotia where he had countless adventures from Beavers to Venturers. He joined the volunteer ranks as a Scouter with 1st Wolfville, and then 36th Halifax while attending university where he was welcomed around the pond for the beginning of his Beaver Scouter career. During this time Stephen joined a team of Assistant National Youth Commissioners, supporting Councils and projects across the organization.

After moving to St. John’s, Stephen served as a Scouter with 1st Mount Pearl Beavers as well as working with an amazing team of youth, staff and volunteers as Council Commissioner in Newfoundland and Labrador Council. Stephen, his wife Nora, and there always fun loving dog Fig Newton now make Hinton, Alberta home where they enjoy the mountains and Stephen hopes to restart Scouting in the local area.

Stephen is passionate about youth leadership and volunteer engagement. He hopes to work with our many amazing staff, volunteers, and youth to solve problems and build a strong vibrant Scouting organization serving youth all across Canada.

Outside of Scouting, Stephen is a lawyer who works for the Province of Alberta.

 

DEPUTY NATIONAL KEY 3

COMMUNICATIONS KEY 3

Mike Eybel

Deputy National Commissioner

Mike is no stranger to communications, as a past social media moderator and leader of the National Virtual Campfire team, he has helped to engage both youth and adult members by utilizing social media platforms to further engagement and delivery of the Scouts Canada mission. Mike and the leadership team of Battlefields Council also enhanced and improved the Group Commissioner appointment process, ensuring the best volunteers were appointed to the Council’s most crucial role.

Professionally, Mike is a branding and communication consultant with Bark! Branding, and works with small business owners to grow their business through strategic social engagement leveraging the passion and skill for their work.

Mike is excited to work with Scouts Canada's youth, staff and volunteers to improve and innovate our communications to both internal and external audiences.

Mike (a.k.a Scouter “Lightning”) is the proud parent to Cub Scout Aurora and Beaver Scout Felix and married to Scouter Kate a.k.a “Skitter”.  When not volunteering time mentoring Scouts Canada youth in the 1st Niagara Beaver Colony and Venturer Company, Mike sits on the Board of Directors of OUTniagara and chairs the Governance, Succession, and Strategic Planning Committee contributing to the unity of Niagara’s sexual and gender-diverse community.

 

Vacant

Deputy National Youth Commissioner

Jennifer-Lee Thomas

Director, Communications

Although trained as a journalist, Jennifer-Lee Thomas started her career during the dot com bubble, launching the global career website Monster in Canada. That experience ignited her passion for marketing and communications. After having two boys, Jennifer decided to leverage her skills in the non-profit world and revitalized the Big Brothers Big Sisters brand in Canada. Before joining Scouts Canada, Jennifer worked in philanthropy. Alongside her enthusiasm for anything Marcom, Jennifer is an avid hockey fan. She was devastated when the Habs made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 2021 but fell just short. When not involved in hockey or Marcom projects, Jennifer likes to kayak or canoe on the Ottawa river at her family home in Grenville. Jennifer is a change-maker and lives by the philosophy that "the secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new."

 

 

 

PROPERTY OPERATIONS KEY 3

Norm Kerr

Deputy National Commissioner - Property Operations

Norm started his Scouting journey as a Cub Scout in Brooks, AB, more years ago then he cares to admit. Norm became a Scouter when his son joined the program as a Beaver. He held Section leadership roles in Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. He has also held Council roles as Area Support Scouter, Area Commissioner, as well as recent roles as Group Support Scouter and Council Commissioner for Northern Lights Council.

Norm believes that continuing education is key to personal growth and development and that Scouting is the premier non-formal platform for learning life skills through experiences.

Professionally, he worked at TELUS in Technical Sales in complex environments with many different groups and organizations, primarily Enterprise and Government. Norm enjoys motorcycling as well as camping, frequently combining the two. Norm is married to Susan who is also a passionate Scouter with Section leadership roles as well as a Support Scouter for NLC and the National Program team.

Chris Pike

Deputy National Commissioner - Property Operations

Chris completed his first Scouting adventure as a Venturer in 1973. His second started when he returned to Scouting as a Colony Scouter in 1997. Over the next seven years he served as a Pack and Troop Scouter and a Venturer Advisor. Chris moved from program to administration in 2004 and filled a variety of Area and Council roles including Newfoundland and Labrador Council Commissioner from 2010 to 2014. Chris also worked on planning teams for several provincial and Canadian Jamborees and chaired the AdVenture14 planning team. He was also a member of the 2015 Word Jamboree Canadian contingent management team. Since 2014, Chris has served as the corporate secretary of the Newfoundland and Labrador Council’s incorporated bodies. In that role, he renewed the legal framework that supports the Council bursaries to youth members.

Chris is a lawyer and when he’s not Scouting works for the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Utilities Board.

Chris is passionate about making sure Scouts Canada’s infrastructure helps Scouters serve our youth members. But he won’t miss a chance to have fun at Scouting events … like the time he ran the mud run at Camp Nor’ Wes in a suit and tie.

Kalie McKenna

Director, Property Operations

Kalie McKenna joined Scouts in March 2019 with over a decade of experience working with volunteers and providing the opportunity for individuals to develop and reach their potential through participation in sport and physical activity.

Growing up in the Guiding movement and moving throughout the country, Kalie understands how the Scouting movement creates a sense of community and develops well rounded community leaders. As a Beaver Mom she is quickly becoming well rounded in her understanding of the impact Scouts Canada makes on kids each and every day.

Kalie looks forward to ensuring that there is a portfolio of properties that not only provide safe and memorable adventures for our youth, but that are best in class, attract new members and are designed to integrate and support programming.

When not supporting properties, Kalie can often be found curling competitively or enjoying time with her husband and two kids. In addition to curling and evening walks with her family, she enjoys travelling, hiking and biking.

PROGRAM KEY 3

Sandra Keller

Deputy National Commissioner - Program

Sandra has been a passionate Scouter for over 25 years, becoming a Scouter as a young teen.   After many years working with sections and helping at events, she joined the Brant area team as a Deputy then Area Commissioner, became a member of the Battlefields Group Support team and the National Program Support team.  You’ve probably chatted with her on a Mug-up or Scouter skills night.

Sandra had so much fun as a Section Scouter. The adventures, sleepovers, hikes, crafts, camps and Jamborees are all memorable and have all contributed to her own personal growth.    Sandra believes the key to developing well-rounded youth is by having a well-rounded Program and she is excited to share her enthusiasm, ideas and Scouting “wisdom” with everyone.

If she doesn’t answer your email right away it’s because she is off skiing, hiking, boating, biking and adventuring with her dog and family.

Jason Gingrich

Deputy National Youth Commissioner - Program

Jason is a lifelong Scout who’s served as a Council Youth Commissioner, Council Voting Representative, National Youth Spokesperson, WOSM team member, and Section Scouter over the years. Outside of Scouting, Jason is pursuing a Bachelor of Management. 

Jason is passionate about the Scouting’s ability to empower Youth to grow and leave the world better than they found it. He’s excited to begin on the Program team to contribute to the long tradition of epic Scouting adventures across Canada.

 

 

Eric Schmitt

Director of Scouting Experience

When Eric first made the Beaver Scout promise at the tender age of five, he didn’t quite realize what he was getting into. Since then, he has taken part in countless Scouting adventures in virtually every Section as both a participant, Section Scouter and a Youth Commissioner. In 2011, Eric headed west to join Scouts Canada’s professional team as a Council Field Executive based out of Saskatoon, SK. After three years in Saskatchewan and a brief stint in Greater Toronto Council, Eric moved to Ottawa to take on the role of Director, Volunteer Services. His portfolio has since grown to include other functions such as program design, program support and the Group Support Centre.

 

Eric lives in Ottawa with his partner Kailey and their two daughters (who will be joining Beaver Scouts as soon as they turn five). When not Scouting, Eric can be found paddling a canoe on the Tay River, tending to a campfire at his trailer near Perth, or painting Warhammer models in his basement. Eric has seen first-hand the impact that a high-quality Scouting program delivered by confident and engaged volunteers can have and looks forward to making this a reality for more young Canadians.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION KEY 3

Vacant

Deputy National Commissioner - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Keegan Eatmon

Deputy National Youth Commissioner - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Keegan joined Scouting as a Beaver Scout in Moncton, New Brunswick. After more than 20 years in Scouting, he has had the opportunity to experience Scouting at the local, regional, national and international levels. Most recently, he was a member of the leadership team for the 24th World Scout Jamboree and served as an Assistant National Youth Commissioner. 

He is most passionate about the magic that happens in local Scout groups across the country each week through adventures. He has been a part of groups in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario and experienced incredible adventures with Beavers and Cubs.

Keegan believes that when people experience Scouting, they make their communities stronger, and young people are better prepared for the future. He looks forward to working with youth, volunteers and staff to be a part of Scouting’s journey to ensure that we honour our history, while building inclusive spaces where everyone feels included and welcome. 

Outside of Scouting, Keegan is a communications professional for the Government of Canada. He enjoys adventures and travel with his family, friends and dog Bennett (who is named after Bennett Lake in Fundy National Park).

Evelisa Genova

Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Evelisa received her Masters degree from Harvard where she focused on Education, social enterprise, and Indigenous governance.  Her professional experiences span both the education and government sectors; she was recently the staff writer for National Chief Roseanne Archibald's successful campaign.  She has negotiated land-claim settlements and curates Art and Business Diversity exhibits with the diplomatic corps in California.

Through her work with a number of organizations including 4Rs Canada, the Museum of Tolerance, and Veahavta, Evelisa has gained significant experience working with a diverse cross-section of leaders, businesses, and communities.  Along with her work at a strategic level, as a trained teacher Evelisa is committed to making a positive impact on children and youth.  She has developed and implemented youth reconciliation programs in Canada, Fiji, and India.  Scouts Canada’s focus on youth and youth leadership is particularly exciting to her.

Ask Evelisa about bicycle touring, bouldering, or hiking on the West Coast, and she might not stop talking. She speaks Italian, loves learning about people's lives, and even paints commissioned works to honour people's life memories and influences.  Her personal mission is to build coalitions and understanding across humanity for a more compassionate future for all.

 

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT KEY 3

Kaitlyn Patterson

Deputy National Commissioner-Volunteer Support

Kaitlyn started her Scouting journey out as a 3rd year Scout and continued in the program up until she aged out in Rover Scouts. Since joining, she has been able to go on some amazing adventures which are coupled with many first-time experiences.  Those experiences include volunteering at the 24th World Scout Jamboree where she was able to help lead a team of international volunteers in running a base camp for the duration of the Jamboree, while also exploring the beautiful Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve in West Virginia. She has also volunteered as a Youth Spokesperson, Council Youth Commissioner, Assistant National Youth Commissioner and most recently on Scouts Canada’s Leadership Team- to name a few.

Kaitlyn credits Scouting for inspiring her educational and career directions. She completed her DEC in Community, Recreation and Leadership Training from Dawson College and her Bachelors in Community Development from Acadia University. She is now working for Kahnawake Tourism as their Special Projects Coordinator and also assisting the Northern Village of Kuujjuaq in delivering on their community recreation initiatives and planning large-scale community events.

She is eager to help the organization in achieving its strategic objectives in enhancing the Volunteer’s experience and skillset, simplifying their role, and recognizing volunteers for their contributions. She hopes through her role she can help provide learning opportunities to volunteers of all ages. She also hopes to help make volunteering for Scouts Canada more inviting and enjoyable to all Canadians and to continue to deliver on the organization’s mission to help develop young people who are better prepared for success in the world.

Heather Eskritt

Deputy National Youth Commissioner-Volunteer Support (DNYC-Volunteer Support)

Heather is an outdoor enthusiast who studied Outdoor Recreation Management. She is currently the Sales Coordinator at Hillsound Equipment, and she seizes every opportunity she can to get out and hike, canoe, camp, or ski in her local mountains. Since joining Scouting as a second-year Scout, she has held positions as a member of the National Leadership team, a Council Youth Commissioner, Area Youth Commissioner, as well as a Scouter for various groups in Ontario, Yukon, and British Columbia. The highlight of her Scouting journey so far has been at World Moot 2017 in Iceland where she spent three weeks in her tent and ate fermented shark.

Heather is passionate about ensuring that every volunteer has the tools and skills they need to succeed. She exudes this in her volunteer roles and her professional roles as well. Heather would like to make sure that individuals of all ages have the opportunities to learn and grow. Volunteers are invaluable to Scouts Canada and Heather wants to use this opportunity to engage them in their own growth and provide them the resources available to do so.

Eric Schmitt 

Director of Scouting Experience

See above.

 

 

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Mark Little 

Executive Director Scouting Experience

Mark.Little@scouts.ca

Mark has been involved at a leadership level with Scouts Canada for more than 10 years, having previously been a Cub and Scout in the UK. Mark has worked at almost all levels of Scouting from section leadership with Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Venturers as well as Council roles as Area Commissioner, Deputy Council Commissioner and Council Commissioner for Chinook. Mark was awarded the Medal of the Silver Acorn and a Canada 150 Medal in 2017 for his broad contributions to Scouting.

Prior to joining the Scouts Canada team in 2018, Mark had an extensive career spanning more than 20 years in the Canadian and international energy business with executive leadership positions in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America.

Mark is an outdoors and travel enthusiast, avid skier, and photographer. Mark lives in Ottawa, is married to Natalie and has two sons, Olly and David. Together, they have enjoyed countless hours hiking, adventuring and climbing with more than 500 days spent sleeping in tents between them including two 30-day camping trips to Alaska & the Yukon and a tour of 12 US National parks.

Ryan Sim

Ryan has worn many uniforms, beginning with Scouting as a Beaver, Cub, Scout, and Venturer; a Sea Cadet; a very short time in the Armed Forces; a first responder, volunteer paramedic; a priest, and now as a Scouter by night—a suit-wearing strategy consultant by day.

When Ryan recently opened a box of old memories and found a log from his first rock climbing trip as a Scout, he concluded that Scouts Canada should really have a climbing badge. Over 25 years after that first trip, Ryan is still climbing, and Scouts now has Vertical Skills in the program, so dreams do come true!

In both his consulting work and in developing skills with his Cub Scouts, Ryan enjoys opportunities to take complex and confusing systems and ideas, and simplify and communicate them in fun and accessible ways. He once taught vertical skills using Playmobil!

Pradeepta Chakravarti

 

“Baloo!” – who knew this would one day become his identity? From youth, to parents, to fellow Scouters – Pradeepta is known only as the big, funny bear. It is heart-warming (and quite hilarious) for him to see the tiny Beavers or Cubs screaming “Baloo” across the grocery aisle, all excited to see him - asking him if he is there buying honey!

Pradeepta loves adventure and feels that the world truly is his oyster, having travelled to 35 countries so far: 6 in North America (excluding Canada & USA), 4 in South America, 11 in Europe and 14 in Asia. His top 3 escapades are: (i) renewing vows and celebrating his 15th anniversary at Rome’s largest church – Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, (ii) watching a pair of humpback whales swim alongside his boat in Akureyri (Iceland), and (iii) dune buggy driving in the deserts of Dubai.

Pradeepta’s most memorable Scouting memory is from a winter camp a couple of years ago; they had a very shy and introverted Cub Scout staying away from his parents for the first time. Naturally the parents were extremely nervous at pick-up time. The youth (his cheeks bright red from playing out in the snow, snow suit soaking wet) ran to his parents and excitedly commented, “I had so much fun all weekend!”

The smile made it all worthwhile…

Kaylee Desfosses

As a member of Scouting since the age of five, Kaylee has continued through every Section of the Scouts Canada program. With experience volunteering as a Beaver Scouter, contributing to the Canadian Jamboree 2013 planning committee, and leading through several Youth Commissioner roles including National Youth Commissioner, Kaylee is a seasoned member of the Scouting community. After taking a couple years off and marrying her favourite camping and hiking partner, David, the pair adopted their amazing daughter, Emily.

Kaylee now works in Police Administration with a background in Education. She lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta with their dog, 3 cats and ball python. When not outdoor adventuring with her family, Kaylee is also a Ukrainian Dancer and Board member of the Veselka Ukrainian Dance Association of Edmonton. 

Valarie Dillon

Executive Director — Business Services

vdillon@scouts.ca

Valarie assumed the role of Executive Director — Business Services in 2019 providing strategic insight and leadership to the Finance, Operations, Technology and Human Resources Teams in the execution of strategic and operational priorities while ensuring our volunteers and staff are supported. She joined Scouts Canada in 2010 following an extensive career in senior leadership in a variety of industries developing expertise in change management and coaching. As Executive Director — Human Resources and Volunteer Services and a member of the National Leadership Team, she oversaw the strategies for Volunteer Support and Talent Management.

Chris Blais

Chris has been involved at a senior leadership level with Scouts Canada for almost five years, having previously served as Council Executive Director with Voyageur, Quebec and White Pine Council. Chris is passionate about helping more kids become well-rounded youth, better prepared for success in the world, and finding fulfilling roles for volunteers to help Scouts Canada achieve our Mission. Chris is also a current Director of the Ontario Incorporated Bodies Board of Directors overseeing Ontario’s Scouts Canada properties.

Prior to joining Scouts Canada in 2015, Chris had a wide-ranging career spanning almost 20 years in the Canadian non-profit sector in youth serving organizations including Katimavik, Kids Help Phone and the University of Ottawa.  Chris, his wife Megan, girls Julianne, Gabrielle and dog Willy love their Chelsea living in the Gatineau Park of Quebec and take advantage of the trails, lakes, mountains and rivers in their backyard to ski, paddle, peddle, run and hike regularly.