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Alberta OCD Foundation

Board of Directors

Executive Director

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Jennifer Masek 

OCDalberta@gmail.com

Jennifer started volunteering with the Alberta OCD Foundation in 2017 and had it incorporated in 2018. Raising awareness on the truth about OCD is her top priority, along with becoming a Registered Charity to help OCD sufferers access to affordable treatment. She facilitates the OCD Support Groups, social events and manages the website and encourages the local members to submit blogs. Jennifer has lived with OCD since a young child. She was diagnosed at age 31 and began treatment. "It is never too late for treatment, but you need to do your homework."

 

Over the past years, Jennifer has been to 3 International OCD Foundation Conferences and presented in Washington on HOCD. She presented on OCD in Alberta including The Alberta Hospital, Access Open Minds, NorQuest College, University of Alberta, Calgary's Science in the Cinema and many OCD Week events. She is also a volunteer with the Tourette OCD Alberta Network.

Registered as Recreation Therapist in 2008, she works full time in health care where she assists people who live with disabilities to find wellness through adapted recreation and leisure. 

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President

Stephan Vachon-Zee 

Stephanv.aocdf@gmail.com

Stephan is proud to have been elected as the Alberta Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation President for 2024. He has a loving family, with a very patient spouse, three beautiful children, and two high energy dogs. Stephan was diagnosed in 2023 with OCD, despite having struggled with the disorder since his teens. He is looking to give back and offer resources, encouragement, and using any skills he can to help others learn to live well. Post disorder growth is very important to him and he looks forward to working with everyone. 

Vice President

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Brooklyn Verenka 

Brooklynv.aocdf@gmail.com

Brooklyn works alongside the Executive Director, as well as the rest of the Executive board to ensure that the organization accomplishes its tasks and achieves its overall goals. This includes creating public awareness initiatives and ensuring that the organization is visible to the community and those interested in assisting the foundation. In addition, she also assists volunteers with the coordination of fundraisers, community events, and programs to promote responsiveness to the organization. 

 

Brooklyn is focused on assisting individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and her educational background in Psychology has included numerous papers specializing in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Exposure-Response Prevention therapy and OCD-related pharmacological interventions.  She believes that every individual should be able to obtain the necessary knowledge required, along with targeted access to all available resources, pertaining to the management of OCD.  

Secretary

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Tangraya Coupland 

Tangrayac.aocdf@gmail.com

Tangraya has been dealing with OCD in its various forms and themes since she was a teen and was formally diagnosed when she was 32. She appreciates the community at AOCDF that has supported her through her journey and hopes to help others with OCD become empowered and know that OCD doesn’t have to control their lives.

 

As Secretary, she is responsible for the administrative duties of the board. She is familiar with the policies and procedures of the organization and ensures that bylaws are followed as well as any legal or ethical standards. She organizes meetings, records minutes and keeps key documents accessible and up to date. 

 

She currently works as an administrative assistant and enjoys books, musicals and karaoke in her spare time.

Treasurer

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Natalie VanDeusen 

Nataliev.aocdf@gmail.com

Natalie is the treasurer for the Alberta OCD Foundation, and manages the society’s expenditures, keeps records of income and outgoings, and handles all cash. She liaises closely with the executive director, ensuring that the society is keeping on track with the budget. 

Natalie has lived with OCD since she was a child, but did not receive a formal diagnosis or proper therapy until well into adulthood. She has been a member of the Alberta OCD Foundation since its incorporation in 2018, and is thrilled to now have the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given her so much. 

Natalie is a Professor at the University of Alberta whose research focuses on religion, gender, and disability in the pre-modern Nordic world. She is an advocate for mental health awareness and support among her students and colleagues, and more broadly in the public school system.

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Auditor

Megan is the auditor for the Alberta OCD Foundation. Her role focuses on financial data-keeping and  decision-making. Her background is in education and writing, so she also assists the foundation therein. Like many, she believes improved mental health education is urgently needed, including a more nuanced collective understanding of obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has written a number of works on the subject, and she has regularly run literacy workshops, including a couple with the International OCD Foundation. Her ultimate hope is that we can live more meaningfully together, and active mental health awareness is required in that process. 

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Marketing Director

Kristina Josevska

Kristinaj.aocdf@gmail.com

Kristina has always been passionate about mental health and is grateful to have found community in the AOCDF. She started volunteering in June 2021 and was later elected Marketing Director.. In her role, she helps to manage the AOCDF website, social media and all other marketing activities. 

 

Kristina is pursuing her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta, with a major in Marketing and a minor in Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Management. Outside of her professional life, Kristina enjoys spending time with friends and family, travelling and finding opportunities to be creative. 

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Volunteer and Mentorship Director

Emma is the volunteer and mentorship director for the Alberta OCD Foundation. Emma recruits, creates roles, and hosts appreciation events. For the mentorship program, Emma communicates regularly to register both mentees and mentors into the program and to oversee pairings.  

Emma has struggled with OCD for many years and is now passionate about studying, researching, and spreading awareness on both the disorder as well as on other topics surrounding mental health. Emma is currently in her fourth year of a neuroscience undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta, and researches typical-range variation in autism traits and gender identity in the general population. In her spare time Emma is part of the university figure skating club and also plays the piano.  

Professional Director

Janet Caryk, M.Ed

Janetc.aocdf@gmail.com

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Janet is a Registered Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta.  She has been practicing for over 35 years.  She is the co-founder of the Centre for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where she primarily works with clients ages ten years and up, providing family- based exposure and response prevention treatment.  She developed the psychoeducational programs called “NO More Fear” (www.nomorefearyeg.com) because she believes that knowledge is power.  Janet ensures that all her clients are knowledgeable about evidence-based therapy interventions. Most of her clients are living with OCD and anxiety disorders. She also helps people with depression, body focused repetitive behaviors (bfrb.org) and eating disorders. 

 

Janet is always happy to provide evidence-based presentations to enhance the clinical practices of mental health professionals who are working with people living with OCD and anxiety disorders.  She also provides clinical supervision to psychology graduate students and psychiatry residents. Janet is a member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (adaa.org), the International OCD Foundation (iocdf.org), the Canadian Association of CBT (cacbt.org), the American Behavioral and Cognitive Association (abct.org), the Psychologist’s Association of Alberta (paa.org) and Natasha’s Daniels’ therapist community (atparentingcommunity.com). 

 

Janet loves to travel and is Baba J to her two adorable grandchildren and their two dogs, Copper the beagle and Bruno the golden doodle, and a very large gray fluffy cat with piercing green eyes, Gengar . “Kids and animals …. The best!”

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Family and Caregiver Director

Joanne Adamyk 

Joannea.aocdf@gmail.com

Joanne began volunteering with the AOCDF in September 2023 and is the Family and Caregiver Director. Joanne is a mom who has been supporting a teen with OCD for the past three years and she understands firsthand the impact that OCD can have on a family. She facilitates the Family & Caregiver OCD Support Group and believes there is great value in sharing our stories - to help others feel less alone and to destigmatize mental health issues.

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Lived Experience Director

Paul Annicchiarico

Paula.aocdf@gmail.com

Paul was diagnosed with OCD in his early 20's. At that time, there was not a lot of support, and it took a long time for Paul to get the help he needed. For Paul, volunteering with the AOCDF as a mentor and as a person with lived experience is an honour. "OCD can be an insatiable, debilitating illness." Paul's hope is that he will be able to help others understand they are not alone and to guide them towards the support they need. 

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