Empowering Minds: Our Team

Our Teen Leadership Program Team Members

At Empowering Minds™, we all hold different backgrounds, personalities and quirks but there are two things we are all passionate about: working with teens and personal development.

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Rowena Browne

Executive Director

Rowena leads and directs all Empowering Minds™ activities to enhance and expand evidence-based leadership and empowered educational learning tools, practice, research, communications, and development.

She is an accomplished business leader with a long track record of success in the business and educational sectors. Since growing up in Hawai’i, Rowena has been involved in philanthropic projects and youth education. She’s spent nearly 20 years in the classroom and outdoors teaching teenagers, young adults, and professionals. Rowena has delivered strategic projects and educational initiatives with the Lily Claire Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, Impact Society, Compassion Canada, Empowering Minds™, Mount Royal University, and the US Department of Education.

A graduate of the University of Nevada, Rowena studied Organizational Development and minored in Psychology in Behavior Modification, and studied her Master’s in Business Administration. Since 2011, Rowena has instructed and developed programs in leadership development and business strategy for Mount Royal University. Her most favored moments are spent with her family visiting her hometown in Hawai’i, spending time on the beach, farming fruits, playing soccer and spending quality time appreciating the heritage of Hawai’i.

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Elena Deary

Controller
Nicole Langton

Nicole Langton

Manager, Program Operations

Nicole loves it when a good plan comes together. She is a dedicated communications planner and project manager with a passion for events. From the original brainstorm to the BIG REVEAL Nicole adds creativity, analytical and logistical know how to every project she works on. With more than 10 years of experience in not for profit, post-secondary and corporate environments Nicole brings a wealth of skills to the table.

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McKenna Simpson

Education Coordinator

As a passionate young woman McKenna is dedicated to impacting and empowering youth everyday.  She thrives in a team environment and listening to other ideas.  Her strength is being her unique self to create the most impactful experience for people to find their own potential. If she's not wrapped up in perfecting her schedules, you will find her travelling and seeing the world.  McKenna loves learning new things and sharing positive energy with the people around her.

Kayla Walsh

Kayla Walsh

Volunteer Coordinator

Kayla has been around our Empowering Minds community for approximately 6.5 years. She loves working with youth and helping them to exercise their skills in leadership and learning to trust and believe in themselves. She loves helping others discover their passions and encourages creativity. Kayla studied Medicine and music at the University of Calgary and is hoping to complete her studies in the next few years. She currently enjoys being a wife and new mom to a “beautiful bundle of boy”! Her other interests are in areas like traveling, horseback riding, photography, networking and more.

Our Program Educators

In order to run our programs we need our Educators! They all have different histories, stories and years of personal development and training. They empower teens with heart and it is inspiring to see them in action.

Grant McLarnon

Grant has been with Empowering Minds™ since our beginning in 2008. His passion for empowering youth and giving them the tools to be all that they can is unparalleled.

Grant has a dynamic professional background, spending much of his earlier career in at-risk youth programs. Now Grant has one of those nerdy professional careers and is actually really important to his company ADXStudios. He's also important to his family and we thank his wife, son and daughter for allowing us so much time with him.

Our Empowered U program would not be possible without our only Head Coach. If Grant does have a moment to relax, he's probably on the move anyway. He and his family enjoy travelling, great friends and good music.

McKenna Simpson

McKenna is a passionate coach for Empowering Minds who creates a safe and positive environment for youth to discover their own true potential. She continues to show diversity and allows her own unique personality shine.

McKenna ensures that she is making a difference everyday by demonstrating powerful leadership qualities.  When McKenna isn’t working she is out making new friends or bettering the relationships she already has.  Her biggest inspiration to go through everyday with a smile is her niece, and works hard to make her proud and be a strong role model for her.

McKenna’s journey started with Empowering Minds over 7 years ago.

Basil Saunders

Basil has recently joined Empowering Minds. His passion for leading & coaching youth stems from coaching a variety of sports including football, basketball & soccer.

Basil’s has a professional background of over 20 years in the energy sector as a consultant, corporate trainer & corporate officer in the discipline of electrical engineering & design. His most recent assignment was Business Development VP for his company Solidified Engineering.

A father of 3 kids, Basil is familiar with teenager challenges in school, society and sports. Today Basil is focused on providing a wide range of coaching programs and services - from individual coaching, to seminars and keynote speeches.

Our Board

We are extremely excited to attract and retain such well-respected and influential group of leaders to our Board of Directors.

Vince Aliberti

Vince Aliberti

Veris Canada
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Tracy Aylesworth

Shindigz Events/Symons Valley Ranch
Steve Bloxom

Steve Bloxom

Enbridge Inc.
Patti DeDominicis

Patti DeDominicis

Firmus Contracting
Wilfred Gobert

Wilf Gobert

MAKE History Campaign, Fort Calgary
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David Mears

Platform Capital Corp.
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Shannon Knutson

Werklund Capital Corp.
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Alex Kotkas

Fasken Martineau