Our Team

The Children’s Grief Foundation of Canada was established in 2019 by a group of six community members. The founding members included: Christina Walton, Amelia Manera, Dr. Marissa Slaven, Teri Crockford, Ken Singh and Richard Anderson.

These six individuals had a vision which was to support grieving children and their families in Canada.

 

“We know that there are children suffering. We know they have lost people they care about, parents, siblings, and grandparents. Some of these deaths were expected and others were sudden, shocking and tragic. We cannot look away from the deep sadness in their young eyes. We acknowledge their loss and feelings of helplessness. We are on a mission to help these children and to empower them.”

Our Current Board Members

Christina Walton

President

Christina has been a licensed Funeral Director since 1988 and a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist since 2005. As part of the community, Christina works alongside the children’s grief agencies who share her desire and passion to help grieving children and their families.  She is called upon frequently as a guest speaker to share her insights and understanding of grief, and the grieving experience, from the mourner’s perspective.  Christina is a devoted mother to 3 adult children and knows firsthand how important it is to support children, to help them grieve and grow and live their best lives.


Amelia Manera

Vice President

Amelia is the owner and sole practitioner of Shanti Estate Law – a boutique Wills and Estates law firm. Amelia is also a co-founder of Passages Cremation and Burial, Inc., a new funeral establishment in Guelph. Amelia has encountered children’s grief in both her work and personal life and is honoured to work alongside like-minded individuals to ensure that grieving children and their families get the support they need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Marissa Slaven

chair

Dr. Slaven has been a palliative care physician for over twenty-five years, first in Boston, Massachusetts and then in Hamilton, Ontario. She has had the privilege of caring for thousands of patients and their families and has been profoundly moved by their journeys. As a mother of three herself, she is always deeply troubled by the grief of children losing loved ones. Children’s grief is heartbreaking and lasts a lifetime. She is inspired every day by her patients, their families and their communities and she hopes that as a board member of Children’s Grief Foundation she will be able to give something back to those most vulnerable in our society.

Ken Singh

Treasurer

Ken Singh worked in Businesses for many years as a Manager in Banking, and then as a Fraud Investigator and Compliance Officer with regulatory boards. He has been actively working to support many groups in our ethnic communities with their transition to a new way of life in Canada and the challenges that pose. The last twenty years have been spent working with the Bereavement sector, understanding the effect death can have on families and friends. The loss of a loved one is life-altering and working with the CGFC is one way of him assisting families to cope with their loss. 



Richard Anderson

secretary

Richard has been a licensed funeral director for 43 years and is honoured and blessed to have walked with bereaved families in Haldimand, New Credit & Six Nations Communities. He supported an 18-year homeschool program for his 6 daughters, a local cooperative pre-school and as a coach for local youth sports. He has been involved for many years and is the current president of the Board of Haldimand Norfolk New Credit Victim Services and the Norfolk Poultry, Pigeon & Pet Stock Association. He enjoys his exhibition poultry, dogs, and quarter horses. His own personal experiences have helped with an understanding of care and compassion to those he meets.

Dr. Kim Alvarado

position TBA

Dr. Kim Alvarado is a registered nurse with over 30 years experience spanning from frontline critical care nurse to hospital administrator of a palliative care program. She has worked with families and physicians to help improve the resources available to children grieving the loss of important people in their lives. As a mother and step-mother with five grandchildren, she has learned that children grieve differently than adults and they need special care. As a member of the Children’s Grief Foundation, she hopes to support access to bereavement expertise for grieving children.

 

 

Lisa Smith

position TBA

Lisa C. Smith is an experienced Nova Scotia Community College faculty member with over 26 years of demonstrated history of working as an adult educator, specializing in funeral service education. She is skilled in educational technology, team building, facilitation, fundraising, and leadership. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Honours from Mt. St. Vincent University, a Diploma focused on Funeral Service and Mortuary Science from Simmons Institute of Funeral Service Inc., and a Community College Adult Educator Certificate. Lisa is a life-long learner whose interests include health and wellness, community support initiatives, world travel and photography.

Staff

Shipra Taneja

administrative coordinator

Shipra Taneja has been working as the Administrative Coordinator for the CGFC since 2019. She is responsible for the daily operations and social media management of the foundation. Outside of the CGFC, Shipra is a Master’s of Science student studying Health Research Methodology at McMaster University.