Our Story

HelpSeeker was founded to transform our social safety net for the better.

Co-founders Dr. Alina Turner and Travis Turner live and breathe for social impact, and HelpSeeker is a way for them to invest passion and expertise to make significant social impact across Canada and beyond.

Dr. Alina Turner is an expert researcher and strategic thinker on diverse social issues with on-the-ground systems planning experience across Canada on complex social and health challenges.

Travis Turner brings an innovation, technology and education lens to HelpSeeker as a former school administrator and teacher working with vulnerable youth.

 
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An innovative tech start-up with a social mission.

HelpSeeker has chosen to register as a BCorp social enterprise as the most promising model for our operation. This ensures we add value to generate income to keep us sustainable and constantly innovating.

 
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Our leadership team: passion, purpose and business acumen.

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Alina Turner, PhD | CEO + Co-Founder

Alina is recognized as a leading researcher and thinker on social issues with proven implementation results. Her work on system planning is recognized as a leading practice and often called upon as a model across communities. Her drive and passion for this work is grounded in her lived experience of the social issues she continues to challenge in her professional work. Alina is a Fellow at The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary and serves on the HomeSpace Board of Directors and the Alberta Rural Development Rural Advisory Board on housing and homelessness.

Alina co-founded HelpSeeker as a spin-off social enterprise dedicated to connecting people with the help they need, fast. The back-end of HelpSeeker provides service providers and decision-makers with real-time analytics to inform strategy and decision-making. HelpSeeker is fast becoming a system mapping tool across Canadian communities, essential to mapping and analyzing over 100,000 social and health resources nationally.

Working with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home Canada, Turner Strategies established the Systems Planning Collective - dedicated to building capacity nationally to implement systems approaches to prevent and end homelessness.

Alina has worked at an executive leadership level at both management and board of directors levels for the past 10 years. During her tenure as VP Strategy at the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Alina led the implementation of Canada’s first Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS) and designed Calgary’s Housing First System of Care. She oversaw $35 million in annual investments across 40 programs in Calgary, their performance management and quality assurance. Prior to this, Alina worked at the Poverty Reduction Initiative of the United Way of Calgary & Area, and a variety of front-line immigrant and homeless-serving agencies.

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Travis Turner, MEd | COO + Founder

Travis has spent the last 15 years as a school administrator, learning leader, and classroom teacher with the Calgary Board of Education. He has a Master’s degree in educational policy, organizational analysis and leadership. His graduate work examined the role of technology innovation in school policy and teaching practice.

Travis co-founded HelpSeeker with Alina as a social enterprise focused on bringing emerging technologies to bear on real-world challenges. The app is dedicated to connecting those in need with the right services and programs, at the right time. This work has not only included working closely with developers but also with community leaders to assist in the process of system mapping to ensure effective program access.

In addition to his leadership experience, Travis has significant front line experience working with at-risk children and youth. He led a cross-disciplinary team specializing in working with youth with severe mental health concerns delivered in partnership between the school board, health services, and family supports. In this program, Travis developed individualized case plans and system advocacy strategies for vulnerable youth working closely with counsellors, psychiatrists, family support workers, occupational therapists, social workers, system specialists and behaviour support workers.

 
 
Chantal Hansen | Chief Strategy Officer   Chantal brings 15 years’ experience in the field of health and human services with a focus on the collection, interpretation, and visualization of data to inform policy and programming. Chantal has contributed her technical expertise to the analysis of databases in child health, income inequality and living wage, homelessness, food insecurity, and social well-being projects. She brings practical experience developing and implementing technology change management, online database governance, privacy regulation and practices, program monitoring and evaluation, and geospatial techniques using Geographic Information Science (GIS) technology.

Chantal Hansen | Chief Strategy Officer

Chantal brings 15 years’ experience in the field of health and human services with a focus on the collection, interpretation, and visualization of data to inform policy and programming. Chantal has contributed her technical expertise to the analysis of databases in child health, income inequality and living wage, homelessness, food insecurity, and social well-being projects. She brings practical experience developing and implementing technology change management, online database governance, privacy regulation and practices, program monitoring and evaluation, and geospatial techniques using Geographic Information Science (GIS) technology.

 
Jenny Cull, BBA | VP, Community Engagement   As VP Community Engagement, Jenny supports HelpSeeker’s marketing and communications activities through community outreach. She holds an applied Bachelor’s degree in business from Mount Royal University, and has over 15 years of combined experience in strategy, marketing, customer support, and project management. Jenny’s experience spans across various fields (ranging from gas marketing, to interior design, and auction fundraising), and has worked alongside more than 60 non-profit and charitable organizations across Canada. She is most fulfilled in environments whereby she can help impact social progress.

Jenny Cull, BBA | VP, Community Engagement

As VP Community Engagement, Jenny supports HelpSeeker’s marketing and communications activities through community outreach. She holds an applied Bachelor’s degree in business from Mount Royal University, and has over 15 years of combined experience in strategy, marketing, customer support, and project management. Jenny’s experience spans across various fields (ranging from gas marketing, to interior design, and auction fundraising), and has worked alongside more than 60 non-profit and charitable organizations across Canada. She is most fulfilled in environments whereby she can help impact social progress.

 
Igor Omelianchuk, MA | Director, Product Development   Igor is an experienced project manager who worked on dozens of different software development projects utilizing cutting edge technology through all stages of software product development. Igor founded Corsac Technologies - a software development company focused on full cycle of development for complex B2B and B2C applications for web and mobile. He has been leading the product development for HelpSeeker development with a team of full stack developers. His most recent focus is on integrating natural language processing and AI to enhance UX and analytics capabilities.

Igor Omelianchuk, MA | Director, Product Development

Igor is an experienced project manager who worked on dozens of different software development projects utilizing cutting edge technology through all stages of software product development. Igor founded Corsac Technologies - a software development company focused on full cycle of development for complex B2B and B2C applications for web and mobile. He has been leading the product development for HelpSeeker development with a team of full stack developers. His most recent focus is on integrating natural language processing and AI to enhance UX and analytics capabilities.

 

 
Camilo Escamilla, MPP | Manager, Research & Policy   Camilo is a political scientist with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Calgary. He has more than 5 years of experience in social research and policy analysis in diverse topics such as immigration, development, gender, integration, among others. He is currently a member of the Immigrant Advisory Table (IAT) of the City of Calgary and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Colombian – Canadian Professionals of Alberta (ACCPA).

Camilo Escamilla, MPP | Manager, Research & Policy

Camilo is a political scientist with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Calgary. He has more than 5 years of experience in social research and policy analysis in diverse topics such as immigration, development, gender, integration, among others. He is currently a member of the Immigrant Advisory Table (IAT) of the City of Calgary and a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Colombian – Canadian Professionals of Alberta (ACCPA).

 
Nicole Croft BA, ECE | Systems Mapping Analyst   Nicole has been involved in the child care community in various capacities in leadership and advocacy work promoting early literacy and numeracy, and equal access to quality childcare. Nicole has her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Mount Royal University with special interest in social inequality, urban poverty and research and a diploma in ECCE. Since 2007, Nicole has been a vital member of her community at an operational level and winning SAMRU’s citizenship award in 2018.

Nicole Croft BA, ECE | Systems Mapping Analyst

Nicole has been involved in the child care community in various capacities in leadership and advocacy work promoting early literacy and numeracy, and equal access to quality childcare. Nicole has her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Mount Royal University with special interest in social inequality, urban poverty and research and a diploma in ECCE. Since 2007, Nicole has been a vital member of her community at an operational level and winning SAMRU’s citizenship award in 2018.

 
Josie Cassidy, BSc Nutrition - Systems Mapping Analyst   Josie is a former dietitian and educator, with a nutrition degree from Acadia University in 2004. She has joined HelpSeeker with 15 years of experience working in long-term care, hospitals, elementary schools and post-secondary settings in Ontario and Alberta. Josie is passionate about access to health and social services for all, and thrives on truly making a difference in her day to day work.

Josie Cassidy, BSc Nutrition - Systems Mapping Analyst

Josie is a former dietitian and educator, with a nutrition degree from Acadia University in 2004. She has joined HelpSeeker with 15 years of experience working in long-term care, hospitals, elementary schools and post-secondary settings in Ontario and Alberta. Josie is passionate about access to health and social services for all, and thrives on truly making a difference in her day to day work.

 

Partnerships

Systems Planning Collective

We believe it is essential to have strong national and local partnerships. We are proud to partner with A Way Home Canada and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness to support building community capacity to prevent and end homelessness across Canada through the Systems Planning Collective.

 
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