Search Ambassadors

Jill Girard

Nova Scotia Community Ambassador

I am from Nova Scotia and have been living in Calgary for the past 3 years with my husband, son, daughter and 2 fur babies. I am a stay at home mom who runs a small local crafting business which nurtures my creative side in a way that my previous work in the corporate world didn’t. Gems for Gems is such an exciting opportunity for me to give back to the community, set an example for my children and be a part of an amazing organization focused on empowering and encouraging women to be the best and brightest version of themselves. I am thrilled and honoured to be on the team and can’t wait to see what amazing things will unfold on this journey with such a talented group of women.

David Shilson

David Shilson is currently a forklift driver for Trans X after being a safety rep for Thermo Design and before that a courier manager and dispatcher in Kamloops,BC Is his spare time he loves working out at Orange Theory, going camping, hiking and jogging. Enjoys the occasional scotch and cigar on the deck.

Gems has impacted me by opening my eyes to how little help women suffering from domestic abuse receive after leaving shelter. How because of this many women return to abusive relationships and back to shelters sometime many times. It breaks my heart to think of someone having to return to someone that causes them so much pain because there is so little help to change their lives. Gems also opened my eyes to how men react and treat women reporting domestic abuse and how we don’t support women.

Lori Mandruslak

Lori is all about giving back and has always been an advocate for the underdog.
Since leaving the corporate world due to a breakdown, she has dedicated her time to a number of charities including ‘Hearts4theHomeless’ which she started on her own four years ago. Volunteering and helping others has been monumental in her own path of healing.
She is an advocate for women of all ages and stages, she believes in empowering women to make change and she leads by example through her passion for helping others who are less fortunate.
She has been following Gems for Gems since it’s inception and is excited to become part a team of women dedicated to making a difference.

Lyndee Free

As a former Shaw TV Reporter, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different organizations around our wonderful city. One of them was a foundation that helped house abused women and their children. I saw first hand how domestic abuse can devastate a family and how some had nowhere to turn. Another company I had the pleasure of working with was Gems for Gems, and I always said if an opportunity came up to do more, I would take it – so here I am!!!

She has been following Gems for Gems since it’s inception and is excited to become part a team of women dedicated to making a difference.

Mona Delisle

I am a part time single mother of two beautiful children ages 14 and 12. We have all survived a high conflict divorce and the toll that emotional abuse can take on a family. My independence was enabled by my education that allowed me to have a well-paying job. I worked with cancer patients for 15 years, I continue to work for Alberta Health Services where I am now dedicated to leading teams through quality improvement work that improves outcomes and safety of patients. I have a master’s degree in leadership and my superpower is developing my team so that they are able to achieve their own personal goals. The favorite part of my job is mentoring and coaching my team! I am ready to start to give back and have been looking for the right organization to give my time to. When I learned about the work Gems for Gems is doing, I was immediately hooked! I want to help women. I want to empower women, so they can empower their children. I want to break the cycle. I want to be part of the solution. The system is broken…sadly but truly…the system will not be there for women – Gems for Gems will be.

Samantha Jans

Samantha (‘Sam’) is an oil and gas professional and a Calgary based food and lifestyle blogger. Sam believes in the importance of empowerment through education, building confidence and peer support which is what inspired her to volunteer with Gems for Gems.

Anna Szabo

Community Ambassador

While I have struggled with mental illness & abuse in my lifetime, I have understood the importance of obtaining an education in the helping profession in hopes of breaking the bounds of my history 7 to change the path of my life. Because of this, I pursued an education as a Child & Youth Care Counsellor as well as a background as a Child & Youth Educator. While my passion was working with children, my heart was in helping children who have been hurt by abuse, neglect or addiction.

Within my pursuit, I also found myself in a journey of a struggle with mental illness brought on because of my life experiences with domestic abuse. I feel empowered to help others who struggle with mental illness & who have overcome addiction because of the abuse they encountered.

While I have been in the process of rediscovering my strength in finding joy in hope, I created a support group -Hidden Inside Myself- Glimpse Into Mental Illness Support Group which I take great pride & care for nurturing the relationships I have made in this support group. I facilitate this support group with the purpose of creating a supportive environment in which people who suffer with mental illness can share their struggles as they celebrate their triumphs.

My life’s purpose is to educate women & empower them in overcoming their greatest struggles in realizing they are worthy of nurturing & loving relationships.

We are all capable of growth, change & stability

Emalee Wakelin

PEI Community Ambassador

I am from Prince Edward Island. I moved to Calgary four years ago because there are no jobs in PEI. When I moved here I was in an abusive relationship and was scared to tell anyone. I finally got out of the relationship and would love to help people who are in similar situations as I was. I felt like I had no support and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way. When I heard about Gems for Gems I had to check it out and see what it was all about. I was amazed at all the work Jordan and the ambassadors were doing. I love how many strong women there are apart of this. I would love the opportunity to join and help in any way I can.

Lily Ahonen

Community Ambassador

Lily Ahonen is a Nurse and Foster Parent in the Specialized Foster Care Program, caring for medically fragile children. She loves to travel and has been to over 40 countries. Lily enjoys activities like running with bulls, car racing, rappelling down buildings for charity, and skydiving. She hopes to finish her Private Pilots License one day.

Gems for Gems impacts me strongly because I have been through countless struggles and challenges and I know that it is possible to overcome anything with support. Your past does not define you and every day is a chance at a new beginning to live your best life. Anything is possible