STAFF INFORMATION - BIOS
BRANDON THOMAS, B.C.R.
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Brandon has been with Next Step from the start. His education background
consists of a Bachelor Degree in Community Rehabilitation from the University
of Calgary, and he has been working with individuals with disabilities for 24
His passion is playing guitar and he would like to record an instrumental
CD in the future.
Send Coreena an email
Coreena moved to sunny Medicine Hat from Hinton where she was a Program
Coordinator at a Parent Link center. Her love for people and outgoing
attitude has resulted in her working in the human services field in various
positions for numerous years.
She joined Next Step as Administrative Assistant and enjoys her interactions
with all who come into the office. In her spare time Coreena enjoys
spending time with her family and enjoying the outdoors and the wonderful
weather that Medicine Hat has to offer.
CATHY STENERSON, Dip. BAdmin
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Cathy graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration/Accounting
(hons). She has over ten years of accounting experience.
Cathy lives just outside of Medicine Hat with her husband and children. She
enjoys gardening, camping and horseback riding.
JAN OLECHOWSKI, CHRP
Human Resources Manager
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Jan graduated from Royal Roads University, Human Resources Management and
holds a designation as a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP).
Jan's previous experience includes working in the retail sector and employment
recruiting and placement.
Jan's brother lived his life with disabilities, so Jan has always been a
strong advocate for people with disabilities and has been very involved as a
volunteer. She is proud to have received awards in both 2007 and 2008 for
her dedication to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities
on both a personal level and as an employer of people with disabilities.
Jan loves spending time with family and friends and traveling.
SUZANNE ANDERSON, B.R.M.C.D
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Suzanne graduated in 2012 from the University of Manitoba with a
Bachelor's Degree in Recreation Management and Community Development.
Prior to working with Next Step, Suzanne worked extensively with the senior
population, specifically those in long term care services in both Manitoba
and Alberta. Suzanne has a heart for individuals with disabilities
young and old.
Suzanne has a passion for music and dance. She has been playing
the piano since the age of four and at one point planned on becoming a
professional french horn player dedicating one year studying music at the
University of Manitoba. She now plays purely for her own enjoyment.
Suzanne found a love for Latin dancing six years ago and has been dancing
ever since. Suzanne also teaches Zumba on the side.
ROD DEVRIES, B.A., D.C.S.
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Rod graduated from Ambassador University in Pasadena California in 1985 with
a BA (Major in Theology) and completed Masters Studies at Regent College in
Vancouver BC receiving a Diploma in Christian Studies in 1996. Rod
worked in Pastoral Ministry in California, Vancouver, and Winnipeg for many
years then moved into the financial world as an investment and insurance
broker. After several years in private practice, the desire to work
more closely with people and serve in the Human Services arena eventually
brought Rod to Next Step where he works as an Adult Program Coordinator.
enjoys astronomy, palaeontology and ancient history. When possible Rod likes
to get out to do some fishing or playing a round of golf.
MARINA LYNCH, Cert. MOA
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Marina is currently working toward a Bachelor Degree in Psychology through
Athabasca University. She completed the one-year Medical Office Assistant program through
Medicine Hat College and brings experience as a Team Leader and Frontline
Staff to her position of Program Coordinator.
She provides support for
children with disabilities and is an Accredited Triple P
Practitioner, Standard and Group Stepping Stones, for Next Step.
In her spare time, Marina enjoys
traveling, quadding, and playing board games.
MEGHAN TOMPKINS, B.A.
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Meghan graduated from the Universtiy of Calgary in 2012 with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Within the discipline of
Sociology, Meghan concentrated her studies in criminology, deviance, and
social control. After graduating, she moved to Brooks where she joined
the Next Step team as a Program Coordinator in the children's department.
Meghan has a passion for working with people, and is dedicated to improving
the lives of others. She looks forward to helping people with
disabilities become active members in the community.
In her spare time, Meghan enjoys reading and spending time with her friends
LAURENE VANDEN ELZEN, B.A. (CRS)
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Laurene graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor
of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution Studies. She has worked in a
variety of human services, particularly community development in Winnipeg's
inner-city as a Program Coordinator and Executive Director.
After work, Laurene appreciates music, visual art, cooking, and