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 youth and personal development.

Vince Aliberti

Vincenzo Aliberti

Interim Executive Director
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

Program 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.


Lester Valenzuela

Volunteer & Administration Coordinator

Lester is, and always has been, passionate about youth empowerment and advocacy. As the volunteer coordinator, Lester is responsible for recruitment, management, and engagement, of our incredible volunteers. He's always been a people person, culinary enthusiast, and an avid traveler. Lester believes that everyone has a unique opportunity to integrate their diverse life experience and transfer those skills into building a dynamic community

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.

Jacqueline Peace

Jacqueline has recently joined the Empowering Minds team bringing her passion for teaching and learning. She earned her BA in History and then went on to attain her B.Ed from the University of Calgary. Jacqueline has over 20 years of teaching experience with public school boards in and around Calgary.

She believes in engaging students in their learning, reinforcing confidence and self-belief. In recent years she has been working in the financial services industry, and is excited to be back in the classroom to facilitate the Connex program.

Jacqueline is married with 2 teenage daughters and 3 grown step sons, so she has an understanding of the challenges teenagers face each day. As a family they enjoy camping and family get-a-ways. When she isn’t working or with family she will be at the gym, reading or volunteering.

Basil Saunders

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

Basil’s has a professional background of over 20 years in the energy sector as a consultant, corporate trainer and corporate officer in the discipline of electrical engineering and 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.

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.

Aimee Trudel

Aimee has over 30 years of coaching and teaching experience and an abundance of passion for inspiring 21st Century Citizens to make a positive difference and go beyond what they think is possible.

Over the years, Aimee has instructed and developed goal-oriented programs for youth and adults at Mount Royal University, The National Music Centre, Calgary Public Libraries, The City of Calgary and in schools around Calgary. She is currently Chair of 604 ‘Moose’ Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron (Top Provincial Large Squadron in 2017) and teaches part-time at the Calgary Girls’ School and Rundle College.

Our Board

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

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Tracy Aylesworth

Shindigz Events/Symons Valley Ranch
Denny Chow

Denny Chow

Capexco Inc.
Patti DeDominicis

Patti DeDominicis

Firmus Contracting
Patti McLeod

Patty McLeod


Mark McLoughlin

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Shannon Knutson

Werklund Capital Corp.
Alex Kotkas

Alex Kotkas

Fasken Martineau