Board and Leadership

LivingWorks' Board of Directors and leadership team provides expertise in psychology, social work, counseling, evaluation science, education, law, advocacy, finance, business, and faith-based perspectives. Their work helps to ensure effective development, implementation, and stewardship around the world.

LivingWorks Board of Directors

Lance Armstrong, Owner and succession partner
Dr. John Cowell, Member
Dr. Bill Lang, Owner and co-founder
Tarie Kinzel, Owner
Sanj Malik, Owner and succession partner
Brian Olson, Board Chair
Richard Ramsay, Owner and co-founder

LivingWorks Leadership Team

Dr. Trena Anastasia, Vice-President of Design, Development, and Evaluation
Glen L. Bloomstrom, Military Director and Faith Community Liaison
Cindy Hodge, Vice-President of Training
Tim Houle, Interim President
Sanj Malik, Interim Vice-President of Operations
Richard Ramsay, President Emeritus and co-founder
Heather Stokes, Vice-President of Strategic Development
Jerry Swanner, Executive Director of LivingWorks USA
Kathryn VanBoskirk, Vice-President of Associate Care

LivingWorks Board of Directors

Lance Armstrong, Owner and succession partner

Armstrong 220x300

Lance Armstrong studied finance and marketing before obtaining his law degree at the University of Alberta. After five years of legal practice at a firm where he focused mainly on tax and estate planning, he founded Armstrong and Partners in 2000. Under his guidance and leadership, Armstrong and Partners provided counsel to clients on matters of business, legal, and financial strategy. As LivingWorks USA began to grow in the early 2000s, Lance worked with the company to facilitate the integration of its Canadian and US operations. This ongoing relationship and affinity for LivingWorks’ values and mission led to him deciding to join LivingWorks as a Board member, owner, and succession partner in 2015. In addition to his Board service and legal expertise, Lance is focusing on ways of helping to bring LivingWorks programs to new audiences and ensure the long-term sustainability of the company’s operations.

Dr. John Cowell

John CowellDr. John W. F. Cowell has extensive experience as an executive leader in the fields of health and safety. He has served as Official Administrator for Alberta Health Services, Chief Executive Officer for the Health Quality Council of Alberta, and President and CEO of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta. Prior to these appointments he held the position of Corporate Vice President with NOVA Corporation of Alberta, where he was responsible for health, safety, and environment. Dr. Cowell also taught for over thirty years as a Clinical Professor at the University of Calgary’s Department of Community Health Services, and has published numerous papers on injury prevention. He focuses on ways of improving access to safety, suicide prevention, and mental health resources at the population level.

Dr. Bill Lang, Owner and co-founder

Bill Lang webDr. Bill Lang was a founding member of the RTTL partnership, which he joined in 1983, and continues to serve on the LivingWorks Board of Directors to this day. A teacher and counsellor by training, he obtained his doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of Calgary in 1982. While his primary work was as a co-founder of LivingWorks and the sole counsellor at the Banff Centre of Fine Arts, he also taught graduate courses at the University of Calgary and provided counselling and secondary special education in the public school system. He was also a partner in the Orion Group, where he provided consulting and psychological services. A prolific writer and formerly LivingWorks' Lead Designer, he has contributed to the development of virtually all of LivingWorks' programs since the company's inception. As a member of the Board, he now holds the title of Senior Consultant and continues to take a leading hand in creating and refining programs. His research interests include small group and personality theory, suicidology, research and statistical design, and program evaluation.

Tarie Kinzel, Owner

TARIETarie Kinzel's professional career began with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master's in Educational Psychology (Counselling) from the University of Saskatchewan. Her initial roles were in child and adolescent psychology followed by adult counselling, continuing education and crisis response. She served as a provincial Mental Health Program Manager in Suicide Prevention and Coordinator of the Regina Adolescent Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program. In 1986 she became a trainer with Ramsay, Tanney, Tierney, and Lang (RTTL) in the Foundation Workshop—later named ASIST—and in 1997 she began working in the LivingWorks office, where her roles have included co-developing the suicideTALK and safeTALK programs as well as revising ASIST X through 11.1. She has also served as a Senior Team Leader, Director of Trainers, and Vice-President of Associate Care. She became a partner in 2001 and maintains an active role in development and associate care in addition to serving as a director on the LivingWorks Board.

Sanj Malik, Owner and succession partner

Sanj Malik web copy flipSanj Malik began his education at the University of Winnipeg, where he studied social psychology with a focus on the psychological elements of economics. After completing his Bachelor of Arts, he obtained his law degree from the University of Manitoba. He spent several years providing in-house corporate legal counsel before joining Armstrong and Partners in 2007. With a leadership role primarily focused on guiding and advising clients, he offered legal and strategic counsel to numerous small and medium businesses. In 2015, after developing a relationship with LivingWorks centered around legal and financial counsel as well as succession planning, he joined LivingWorks as a Board member, owner, and succession partner. In addition to his Board service and legal expertise, Malik is focusing on suicidology and how to make knowledge of suicide prevention approachable and accessible to diverse audiences. He is currently serving as LivingWorks' interim Vice-President of Operations.

Brian Olson, Board Chair

BRIANBrian Olson has been involved with LivingWorks as the Chairman of the Board for seven years. He also holds board and directorship positions with a number of other private companies and charities in the Calgary and Okotoks areas. Prior to his involvement in board stewardship, he spent 19 years as a senior executive in the energy and manufacturing sector. He has always had a passion for public service, consulting, and corporate responsibility, and feels a strong affinity for the mission of suicide prevention. He became involved with charitable activities in 1984, and has managed at least two active fundraising campaigns ever since. He counts horses among his greatest passions, and devotes as much of his free time as he can to training and riding.

Richard Ramsay, Owner, President Emeritus, and co-founder

Richard RamsayA social worker by training, Richard Ramsay completed his Master’s degree in Social Work at McGill University. Beginning his career at the John Howard Society in Ottawa in 1966, he trained volunteers to work the phones at one of Ottawa’s first crisis hotlines before moving back to his native Alberta in 1969. He was Director of Care at Edmonton’s Maple Ridge Residential Treatment Centre until 1975, when he moved to Calgary to take a position as a social work professor. It was while serving as a professor at the University of Calgary that he became involved in volunteer activities coordinated by the Canadian Mental Health Association and met Bryan Tanney, forming the beginning of the RTTL partnership. Honored with numerous awards for his contributions to social work and suicide prevention locally and around the world, Richard retired as a professor in 2004 but remains an active leader at LivingWorks. He served as President from LivingWorks' inception through to 2017, when he transitioned to the role of President Emeritus to focus on mentorship and guidance for staff, leaders, and trainers.

LivingWorks Leadership Team

Dr. Trena Anastasia, VP of Design, Development, and Evaluation

Trena WEBDr. Trena Anastasia is a suicidologist, educator, evaluator, and consumer scientist. As VP Design, Development, and Evaluation, she works to both develop new programs and ensure that existing curricula reflect current knowledge in suicide prevention. She has extensive experience in the suicidology field, having served as Wyoming’s suicide prevention evaluator for eight years, evaluated Garrett Lee Smith grants, and contributed to the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s Transforming Communities task force. She has also trained Suicide Prevention Resource Center staff on the concept of collective impact and was the lead author of “Family Centered Brief Intensive Treatment: A Pilot Study of An Outpatient Treatment for Acute Suicidal Ideation,” published in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Dr. Anastasia earned her PhD in Education at Colorado State University. 

Glen L. Bloomstrom, Military Director

GLENAs Military Director, Glen Bloomstrom works with the with US Department of Defense, veterans’ organizations, faith communities, and international militaries. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Prior to joining LivingWorks, he served for 30 years as an active duty Army Chaplain at battalion, brigade, division, and Army staff levels before retiring as a Colonel in 2011. He deployed to Panama with the 75th Ranger Regiment, and to Iraq and Afghanistan with the US Special Operations Command. As an Action Officer and Director for the Army Chief of Chaplains, he was introduced to ASIST and was one of the first to bring this LivingWorks program to the Department of the Army. His civilian education includes a Bachelor of Arts from Bethel University, a Master of Divinity from Bethel Theological Seminary, a Masters of Science from Kansas State University, a Masters of Social Service from the Army War College, and a Leadership Coaching Certificate from Georgetown University. He is also a Clinical Fellow with the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Cynthia Hodge, VP Training

Cynthia Hodge webCynthia Hodge has been the VP of Training for LivingWorks Education since January 2011. Her journey with LivingWorks began in 2001 when she became an ASIST trainer in Colorado as part of a statewide suicide prevention effort. In her current position, she collaborates with senior trainers who support the rest of LivingWorks’ trainer network by providing trainer support, quality assurance, Training for Trainers, reactivation, and other important services. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology and has spent most of her 20-year career in crisis intervention, trauma response, suicide risk assessment, and counseling. In 1999-2000, she supervised the crisis team responding to the Columbine High School tragedy in Littleton, Colorado. She provides private training and consultancy through her own business and was formerly a program director for Colorado’s Office of Suicide Prevention. She served with the State of Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission and Suicide Prevention Coalition of Colorado in addition to developing a community-based trauma response workshop called Always Wear Comfortable Shoes, which has been presented in both the US and Canada. She currently lives in Louisville, Colorado.

Tim Houle, Interim President

Tim Houle webAs Interim President, Tim Houle oversees LivingWorks' strategy, direction, and finance in close collaboration with the rest of the leadership team. He earned his CGA designation in 1992 and led his own public accounting practice until 2007. Tim has extensive entrepreneurial experience, having founded and managed two corporations in the construction and home furnishing industries. He continues to play an executive role at Solaris Canada, one of the companies he founded, and his entrepreneurial perspective as Interim President contributes to the effective financial stewardship and long-term growth of our mission to save lives from suicide. A passionate supporter of suicide prevention work, he holds a pilot’s license and counts cycling, hiking, flying, and automotives among his hobbies.

Heather Stokes, VP of Strategic Development

HEATHERHeather K. Stokes, LCSW, has served as LivingWorks’ VP of Strategic Development since 2011. In this role, she works with individuals, organizations, and communities (local, national, and international) to strategically plan, implement and sustain suicide awareness, prevention, and intervention education and training. She is an active member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Clinical Workforce Preparedness Task Force as well as a co-founder and current member of the Western Montana Suicide Prevention Initiative. She is also a member of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Before joining LivingWorks, she served as the Director of Standards, Training and Practices for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and prior to that was the Director of the Helpline in New York City. She has over 20 years of clinical experience including working with those suffering from trauma, depression, and anxiety. She received her Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University in 1995. She has a personal passion for working on human–wildlife conflict matters in the USA and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Jerry Swanner, Executive Director of LivingWorks Education USA

JERRYJerry Swanner serves as the Executive Director of LivingWorks Education USA, a position he has held since 2004. In 1983, he graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington and received a Regular Army Commission as an Infantry Officer in the United States Army. He served with 21 years of active service, spending the last four of them managing the Army’s Suicide Prevention Program. In addition to leading an Army-wide effort to revise the suicide prevention program, he served as a member on an Army Surgeon General-chartered Mental Health Assessment Team involving suicides and other mental health issues for deployed soldiers supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Jerry’s education includes a BA in Psychology and a Masters of Education from North Georgia College. He has been an active ASIST Trainer since 2000 and an active safeTALK Trainer since 2006. In addition to his role as Executive Director of LivingWorks USA, he is currently an ASIST Coaching Trainer and a safeTALK Instructor.

Kathryn VanBoskirk, VP Associate Care

KATHRYNKathryn VanBoskirk provides support and consultation to all LivingWorks Associates as they work to build suicide-safer communities. She engages organizations and trainer teams in collaborating with local resources to build more coordinated life-assisting networks. She has been a LivingWorks trainer since 1987. She is also a licensed clinical social worker with over 30 years of experience as a leader, therapist, advocate, and educator. Her experience includes extensive work in community mental health centers, suicide prevention, employee assistance programs, schools, and hospices. She is also a minister and Rosen Method Bodyworker with a healing practice in her hometown of Sedona, Arizona. A long-time member of the American Association of Suicidology and Arizona State Suicide Prevention Coalition, she has also served on the Standards, Training, and Practices subcommittee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline since its inception.

In Memoriam

Dr. Philip Rodgers

PHILDr. Philip Rodgers passed away in April of 2016. As VP of Design, Development, and Evaluation, he left an indelible mark on LivingWorks with his visionary goals of program development, support for trainers, and rigorous evaluation for continuous improvement. Prior to joining LivingWorks, he spent eleven years as an Evaluation Scientist for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. During his time with the Foundation, he developed and managed the Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention in collaboration with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. He was also a member of the Implementation and Assessment Advisory Group for the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. In his 25-year career as an evaluator, he conducted evaluations in fields as diverse as education, healthcare, and instructional technology. He earned his undergraduate degree in experimental psychology from California State University Los Angeles and his Doctorate in research and evaluation methodology from Utah State University.

His memory and legacy continue to inspire us as we work toward a suicide-safer world.