Executive Director - Westman Region
ED, “EEDEE” not Ed.
Executive Director, my role is to captain the ship, keep it a going concern, grow our brand, most important - facilitate an environment for the success of the other JHS Brandon team members.
Since joining the team late 2018 I’ve worked hard at achieving our major corporate goals of diversifying funding, increasing funding and reviewing our business model. My dog thinks I am doing a good job.
I believe that my major job as the ED is to set a vision for our team, promote the heck out of my team and provide them the tools and environment to be successful. My success will only be achieved if my team are successful. In my tenure our team have done some phenomenal things and I am proud of where we are going and the reputation we are building upon. At the same time I have to keep my eye on the business side of things and keep advancing the Board’s strategic goals. Implementing the teams suggestions we have recognized cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.
When not at the office I can be found walking the Brandon Hills (with aforementioned dog), laughing with my daughters, making sawdust as I renovate my century + old home or putting holes in paper targets at the range. Volunteer work is also a big part of my life wherever and whenever I am asked, though typically with my church or addictions recovery.
Restorative Justice Coordinator – Westman Region
Travis Blaine has a Degree of Bachelor of Science with a major in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Mediation Skills through Resolution Skills Center.
He has worked 6 years as a Correctional Officer, Parole Officer and Correctional Supervisor at Stony Mountain Institution.
For 8 years, he was the victim-offender mediator at Westman Mediation services for the John Howard Society of Brandon and oversight of the 8 rural justice committees in the Westman area.
In January of 2016, he became the Restorative Justice Coordinator for the Westman and Parkland area and currently he oversees 10 Justice Committees in these two areas. He is also trained facilitator for Interpersonal Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills.
Restorative Justice Facilitator – Westman Region
No Miss, Mrs, or Ms. Just Master Funk or Michelle for short if you please.
As the Restorative Justice Facilitator, I receive referrals from Police, RCMP, Schools, Crown Attorney’s, Judges and Probation for individuals who are charged with a crime and are willing to take responsibility and be accountable to their victims. I then meet with these individuals and discuss the incident that led them to my door, and their background, plans, and if they are willing to hold themselves responsible for the crime(s) they committed.
Ideally, I then am able to get in touch with the victim and provide them with options to be involved with the case. Those options may include being directly involved in victim offender mediation, or indirectly involved. Either way, victims have an opportunity to have a say in the consequences the offender needs to complete.
This year my co-worker and I were given the opportunity to speak about victim offender mediation at the International Institute for Restorative Practices International Conference in Belgium. There we spoke about post sentence mediation, and the benefits it can have on victims, communities and offenders. It was a wonderful experience and exciting to be recognized for our work on that level.
On deck for the future and currently in the works, will be the addition of a therapy dog, to assist with all of my clients who enjoy canine petting therapy.
I value equality for everyone, being non-judgemental, using trauma informed best practices to guide my work, continuing to educate myself, listening more than talking, practicing what I preach, and always trying to put more love than hate in to the world. Also, recognizing that everyone fails, and showing compassion to others and myself when it happens.
When I am not at work I can be found eating, going to the gym so I can eat more, volunteering at various events around Brandon, watching/playing various sports, hanging out at either my parent’s farm, or my in-law’s farm and spending time with good friends and family.
Community & Institutional Programs Coordinator - Westman Region
Talking about myself is not my strong point. I am a storyteller by nature and if you join us for programs at John Howard Society you will hear me talk a lot, and passionately about relationships and how to be our best in relationships whether it is using the tools of anger management or learning the tricks for building healthy relationships. I work with adults and youth in programs.
Another part of my role at John Howard Society is to help folks who have been involved in the justice system rebuild their lives following periods of incarceration. I believe this is a key to building safer communities. If we can help people find healthy and meaningful connections in community, we can help individuals make the changes necessary to avoid repeated incarcerations thereby creating a safer community for all of us.
It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. I am still growing but with a sense of direction. Along the way have been an educator, peer mentor, nurse, military medic, radio and television host and salesperson. All of these experiences eventually lead to social work and counselling.
In my down time I like to run with the wild things. You can find me outside fishing, hiking, camping or just getting dirty in the yard.