Safe, healthy and inclusive workplace for all


We create healthy workplaces by turning research into practice

Our Story

The Work Wellness Institute was founded in 1985 as an applied research centre. We are committed to a core vision of turning research into practice, conducting and supporting global research, and mobilizing knowledge that positively impacts workplace health practices. Our goal is to lead evidence-informed change through continued collaborative work with partners across academia, industry, government, and community.



We work with multidisciplinary stakeholders in the public and private sectors to build and share the latest research on work wellness.


We lead by example. We build trust, act ethically and strive for transparency in our own work.


We value diversity in the workplace and champion the right to a safe and equitable working environment.


We foster a culture of lifelong learning. Our success is dependent on changing alongside the workplace landscape.


Steve Horvath

Steve Horvath


Steve Horvath previously worked as the President and CEO of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada. Prior to this, Steve…

held the position of President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Canada’s only national resource for the advancement of workplace health and safety. Steve has held senior executive positions with companies in the technology, manufacturing and service sectors including responsibilities as President and CEO of multi-national companies.

For more than 25 years, he has held and currently holds a number of Directorships on public and private sector Boards and global technical committees, including Chairing committees at the International Labour Organization (ILO) and World Health Organization (WHO), Director on the Board of Governors of Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences and past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services.

Elisabeth Ballerman

Elisabeth Ballermann

Vice Chair

Elisabeth Ballermann was previously acclaimed as the Secretary-Treasurer of National Union of Public and General…

Employees at its June 2016 Convention. She has been a labour activist most of her working life. From 1995 to 2016, Elisabeth was President of Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA), the NUPGE Component that represents over 24,000 health professionals in more than 200 occupations. In 2003, under her leadership, her home union, HSAA, joined NUPGE and the House of Labour, and has become a highly respected participant in Alberta’s labour and progressive communities.

In addition to fulfilling the mandate of advocating for excellent wages, benefits, workplace safety, general working conditions and work-life balance for union members, she has been a staunch advocate for social justice and the public health system. Elisabeth served as a Vice-President of both the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) and NUPGE, as well as a board member of the Parkland Institute, Friends of Medicare (Alberta), and Public Interest Alberta (PIA). She has been the co-chair of the Canadian Health Professionals Secretariat (CHPS) for almost 10 years. Elisabeth earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1980 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1991, both from the University of Alberta. Her work has been recognized with several awards, including the Alberta
Centennial Medal, the Alberta Federation of Labour’s International Women’s Day Award (2008) and May Day Solidarity (2016) Award, and the 2016 PIA Public Interest Award. In October 2015, Elisabeth was appointed to the Premier’s Advisory Committee on the Economy by Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley.

Desiree Norwegian

Desiree Norwegian


Desiree Norwegian is a member of Liidlii Kue First Nation, she is part of the Dene clan, meaning the land of the people from…

North West Territories. Desiree graduated from Algoma University with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting. With Desiree’s strong determination and drive she next went on to obtain a Certified Management Accountants designation now being called a Chartered Professional Accountant designation.

Desiree has worked in senior level accounting positions for the Municipality of Wawa and in the Energy Sector for Brookfield Renewable Power and Plasco Energy Group. Working in these roles has given Desiree the skills to take on her next big adventure, the purchase of Abraflex 2004 Ltd in early January 2016.

Desiree was also voted in as a board member for the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business along with Workplace Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute.

Abraflex 2004 Ltd. vision is to be a leading local indigenous company supporting the nuclear industry. Abraflex is the exclusive supplier of the Mark IIIB plastic suits to Bruce Power and also fabricates custom and standard decontamination tenting for the nuclear industry. Abraflex as of January 25, 2019 is the first indigenous company to receive a Nuclear Waste Substance license.

Mario Micelli Updated

Mario Miceli

​Vice Treasurer

Mario Miceli worked 30 years in the insurance industry leading innovative projects and working with world renowned experts in…

the area of disability management. He is recognized for innovation with brain injury management and the development of an enhanced disability management model to be utilized on a $3B insurance portfolio. Working within an evidence-based model to ensure gold standard treatment for injury management he was at the forefront of customer support for injured parties.

Mario currently runs a consultant company and his other roles include, Diabetes Canada Advocacy Chair for BC/Yukon and on the Steering Committee of Cities Changing Diabetes Vancouver.

Normand Cote

Normand Côté

Board Member

Normand Côté is an executive with 38 years of banking and consulting experience in both line banking and various staff…

functions. His last position at BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal) was as head of employee relations and he had the dual challenge of protecting the legal and legislative rights of both employees and the bank across North America and abroad. He managed teams in Toronto, Montreal, Chicago and Milwaukee. Normand is a certified ADR mediator and labour arbitrator and a professionally trained executive coach. He also possesses extensive experience in commercial and personal lending, staffing, training and compensation.

He played a leading role for over 20 years at the Canadian Bankers Association by representing the banking industry and all federally regulated employers at numerous parliamentary and senatorial committee hearings and at the United Nations’ International Labour Organization in
Geneva acting as the Canadian employer spokesperson, delegation head and employer chair for all 180 member-states.

He currently is an executive providing consulting support to executives going through career transition or requiring executive coaching for the firm of
Optimum Talent. Some of his current and past activities, include: Chairman of the Canadian
Employers Council, Member of the Advisory Board to the Canadian Minister of Labour, Ministerial appointee as governor of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, Board of Directors – Safe Communities Canada.

Manobhiram Nellutla


Board Member

Manu Nellutla is the CEO at Actsafe Safety Association. He is a Canadian Certified Professional…

Ergonomist (CCPE) and also a CMHA Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor (CPHSA). He has Post-Graduate degrees in Physiotherapy (with specialization in Musculoskeletal and Sports), Education, Ergonomics (with specialization in Human Factors) and Business Administration.

Apart from being a speaker in various conferences, he has also been a speaker at TEDx event. He was previously COO at Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC and before that Senior Lecturer and Head of Department at University of Rwanda.

Manu has been recognized for his efforts to introduce ergonomics in school curriculum in Rwanda and was also a technical team member for drafting OHS legislation for Rwanda.

KellyWhitt Williams

Kelly Williams-Whitt

Board Member

Kelly Williams-Whitt is a Professor in the Dhillon School of Business at the University of Lethbridge, and a Labour Mediator and…

Arbitrator. She is a former registered nurse, with an MBA and a PhD in human resource management and labour relations. Dr. Williams-Whitt teaches courses in labour relations, labour and employment law, human resources management, and workplace health management. 

Kelly is an active researcher and works with scientists from around the world to conduct studies in occupational health and return-to-work after illness or injury.  Her work is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and she has authored numerous books and book chapters on work disability and labour and employment law. Dr. Williams-Whitt is the chair of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association (CIRA) Southern Alberta chapter and former president of CIRA national. She also holds an appointment with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (Labour Program) as an adjudicator for cases falling under Part III of the Canada Labour Code. She sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Workplace Wellness and Disability Prevention Institute. Kelly earned her NDip from the Foothills Hospital School of Nursing, and an MBA and PhD in Human Resources and Labour Relations from the University of Calgary. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Tyler Amell

Tyler Amell

Board Member

Dr. Tyler Amell is an internationally recognized thought leader on the topic of workplace health and…

productivity. He is an advisor on strategic and integrated workplace health and productivity to employers, insurance companies, third party administrators, and health and well-being service providers. He has presented at over 150 conferences and published numerous scientific papers and reports.

In the past, Tyler has also served on the Executive Board of Directors of the San Francisco-based Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI), and the Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health (CARWH). He is the past CEO of a Human Resources Technology Company, past Vice President and Partner at a global Human Resources Consulting and Technology firm, and past Vice President of a large Healthcare Company.

Dr. Tyler Amell is a former instructor at Queen’s University and the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, and Ottawa. Tyler earned his PhD in Rehabilitation Medicine from the University of Alberta, a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Medicine from Queen’s University and a Baccalaureate degree from the University of Ottawa. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys skiing, hiking, biking, and golf.

Gerry LeBlanc

Gerry LeBlanc

Board Member

Gerry LeBlanc has been involved with the labour movement in Canada for nearly four decades. All that time was spent as a…

local union activist or employee of the United Steelworkers (USW).

After working in the mining industry in western Canada for twenty years he moved to Toronto to coordinate the Steelworkers Toronto Area Council’s injured Workers Program. This program assisted USW members dealing with workplace injury or illness in areas such as: all levels of appeals with the compensation system, return to work and labour market re-entry.

In 2012 he moved to the USW national office to head up the Health, Safety and Environment Department.

Gerry has also been involved in international solidarity work in health and safety as well as environmental justice. He has been attending the UN climate changes talks since 2007. He has been involved in health and safety projects with labour and community partners in South America and Southern Africa including serving as a consultant to an occupational health and safety training centre in Maputo, Mozambique from 1993-1995.

Jennifer Christian

Jennifer Christian

Board Member

Dr. Jennifer Christian is an internationally-known thought leader and advocate for improving health and…

functional outcomes and for preventing needless work disability in healthcare, workers’ compensation, and disability benefits systems. Jennifer is board-certified in occupational medicine with medical and public health degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle.

She is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine and chairs its Work Fitness & Disability Section. Jennifer is President of Webility Corporation. She also founded the award-winning 60 Summits Project, a nonprofit initiative to propagate the work disability prevention model. It produced 20 multi-stakeholder events in two Canadian provinces and 12 states in the United States.

Julie Philippe

Julie Philippe​

Board Member

Julie joined Canada Post in April 2017 and in September 2017 was appointed General Manager of Total Compensation. She is…

responsible for developing the long term direction and policy framework for the Compensation, Pension, Benefits and Disability and Wellness Management Programs across Canada Post. She is an experienced Human Resources Executive, with more than 35 years of progressive human resources experience in the public sector and a respected and recognized leader in the area of total compensation.

Julie is a bilingual Certified Human Resources Leader.  She has earned certificates in Human Resources Management from Algonquin College and Consulting Skills from the University of Ottawa.​

Nina Hansen

Nina Hansen

Board Member

Nina Hansen is the Occupational Health and Safety Director for the BC Federation of Labour, a role that includes working…

with various stakeholders—governments, regulatory bodies, unions, employers, advocates, non-profit/community organizations, and working people—to promote law, policy and program development for healthier and safer work for British Columbians.

Nina is the chair of the labour caucus on the Workers Compensation Board Policy and Practice Consultative Committee, sits on the Board of Directors for AgSafe BC, and is a member of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Bottom Line Conference planning committee. Prior to joining the BCFED, Nina worked for over 16 years as an occupational health and safety representative and workers advocate.​​


Cameron Stockdale

Cameron Stockdale, Ed.D.

Chief Executive Officer and President

Cameron is the Chief Executive Officer of the Work Wellness Institute. As the CEO Cameron…

takes the vision for the organization and makes it reality through building high performing organizational cultures and sound strategic planning. As a motivating leader who inspires action he combines people centric decisions with sound financial management to leverage business opportunities. Respected as an expert in leadership, change management, strategic planning and negotiations, Cameron is recognized as bringing high energy and enthusiasm to his role.

Previously, Cameron spent 25 years in emergency health services working his way up the ranks from Paramedic to Superintendent, British Columbia Ambulance Service. After retiring he worked in various management and executive roles within healthcare and research organizations where he built a reputation for spearheading organizational change and incubating new business strategies. The hallmark of Cameron’s work is his firm belief that an organization’s greatest competitive advantage is its people and understanding how to maximize a person’s potential to create successful organizations.

Amongst his academic accomplishments, Cameron holds a Masters of Arts Leadership degree from the University of Guelph, an Interdisciplinary Doctoral degree from Creighton University, Post Graduate Certificate in Organizational Behaviour from Harvard University and is a member of Alpha Iota Sigma Honour Society recognizing academic achievement in interdisciplinary scholarship.

Contact Cameron:

KKaroli Headshot

Kamilla Karoli

Director of Education & Development

Kamilla has built her career on creating opportunities for individuals and teams to…

connect and build-on on shared knowledge to impact change. With a belief that it is our collective challenge to gain the skills and knowledge required to better work together to mobilize deep knowledge into practice, Kamilla brings a dynamic and extensive background in program design, development and evaluation.

As Director, Education & Development, Kamilla is responsible for leading the development, implementation and evaluation of organizational education strategies and tactics turning quality research into practice while increasing public awareness and membership to the organization.

Outside of music, balancing family and a need to keep moving, Kamilla enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors.

Contact Kamilla:


Renee Misfeld

Scientific Director

Renee Misfeldt, PhD has vast experience with applied health systems and policy research along with a comprehensive understanding of Canadian health policy...

She is the Scientific Director for the Workplace Wellness Institute and is an assistant clinical professor with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. Renee’s role as Scientific Director is to build the research arm of the Work Wellness Institute through championing and conducting research that improves workforce health and safety. 

Renee is the author of over 50 publications, book chapters, published policy briefs and policy reports on Canadian health policy and systems including a book on Nunavut’s healthcare system. Before WWi Renee was a senior program manager with Healthcare Excellence Canada, a senior researcher with Alberta Health Services and a senior policy researcher with Canadian Policy Research Networks. Much of her research has focused on health human resource planning including ethical recruitment, team-based care, quality workplaces and nurse mobility.

Renee holds a PhD in the sociology of health care and public policy and a MA in sociology (criminology) from the University of Saskatchewan. She is also working on becoming a Certified Healthcare Executive through the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Renee volunteers with the Parkinson’s Association of Alberta and the Northern Alberta Chapter of the Canadian College for Health Leaders as a board member. She lives with her two cats and two dogs in Sylvan Lake Alberta where she paints, writes, and gardens.

Contact Renee:

Anil Sharma Photo 20200508

Anil Sharma, B.B.A.

Financial Controller

Anil is the Financial Controller of the Work Wellness Institute. He has over eight years experience working in the non-profit sector…

in various positions including Business Director and Treasurer. He is a graduate from Simon Fraser University with an Honours in Accounting and Marketing. He is currently a Chartered Professional Accountant candidate at the CPA Western School of Business and has completed the CFE exam with concentration in Assurance and Taxation.

He has a strong passion to give back to our communities and currently serves as a coach for Junior Boys basketball and as a volunteer for a local society.

Anil is a strong believer in education and empowering our youth into becoming great leaders of tomorrow. For fun, he can be found hiking with his dog, travelling, and playing basketball. 

Contact Anil:

Yousra Benjelloun

Yousra Salima Benjelloun, B.Sc., DIP.Eng.

Manager, Programs & Operations

Yousra is the Manger of Programs and Operations at WWi…

She is the moderator for our public access webinar program and is responsible for the implementation of online learning activities. In collaboration with Lisa Mighton, Yousra also plans webinars and manages our social media messaging. She coordinates our web and digital marketing, manages the WWI website as well as various activities related to webinars. Yousra completed her Bachelor’s degree in science with an emphasis in physics and her diploma in engineering in mechatronics from the University of the Fraser Valley. In her spare time, Yousra enjoys outdoor activities such as going on hikes, traveling, and photography, as well as learning about innovative technologies.

Contact Yousra:

129172093 10157307483572407 1816632203379418834 n

Albert Park

IT Developer

Albert is a Software Developer completing his final year in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia.

He is a former neuroscientist who completed a Master’s degree in Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Toronto, where he employed molecular tools to investigate the mechanisms of memory formation in the brain. Today, he is passionate about developing robust and functional software with sleek user interfaces.

As an IT Developer, Albert will be contributing to the design and development of the Work Wellness Institute’s technological projects. In his spare time, he enjoys hitting up yoga and spin studios, cycling to the many breweries and cafes throughout Vancouver, adventuring out to nature for hikes & swims, and going to live music events.

Contact Alberto:

Andrena staff pic

Andrena Hilder

Research Assistant

Andrena is currently a student at the University of British Columbia with a Major in Psychology, Minor in Interpersonal Development.

Andrena joined the Work Wellness Institute as a Research Assistant in November of 2019. Andrena has helped develop and expand the WWi Speakers Bureau and grow the company’s social media presence over the past year. Additionally, she has worked to develop content for Harnessing Talent partners and additional stakeholders to assist healthy workplace practices for employers. Andrena is passionate about Mental Health advocacy and has reflected this passion in her involvement with the community. She currently volunteers as a Peer Supporter for AMS Peer Support as UBC Vancouver. Andrena’s research interests include workplace mental health, and the impact of social media usage on workers psychological health. Outside of her professional and academic schedules she enjoys exploring BC and reading.

Contact Andrena:

Photo ElizabethWhite 20201218

Elizabeth White

Learning and Development Coordinator

Elizabeth has over 6 years of experience in the Non-Profit sector, which has allowed her to…

live out the personal value of providing a positive impact every day. Elizabeth’s experience in Human Resources lead to a passion for Learning and Development, which she is excited to share with the Work Wellness Institute as a Learning and Development Coordinator. Coming from a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Music, from York University, she has established a knack for creative ideas and balancing the strategic with the fine details. Elizabeth relishes finding the perfect fit between a learning medium and outcome. She is keen to contribute to the full learner experience in working with the Education team to bring to life a variety of educational resources. Outside of learning, you’ll find Elizabeth by the water, in a yoga class or baking up a tasty treat.

Contact Elizabeth:

Emma c

Emma Chubb

Project Coordinator

Emma is the Project Coordinator at WWi, where she supports the team with research and evaluation activities. She holds…

an MSc in Applied Social Research and a BA in Sociology and Social Policy from Trinity College Dublin. Over the last five years, she has worked in both public and private sector research organizations, and has experience in health research, evaluation, and educational research and assessment design. In her most recent role, Emma conducted a wide range of studies including evaluations of justice programs, Indigenous health organizations, and knowledge translation projects.

Prior to living in Canada, Emma worked in a variety of research roles in Ireland and was involved in large-scale international projects in mathematics and science assessment, the development of novel computer-based standardized testing systems, and national standardizations for maths and reading. She has also been involved in community research projects that assessed health needs and assets of local populations.

In her free time, Emma enjoys playing guitar, photography, exercising, and learning new things.

Contact Emma:

Emma Hughes Picture 2

Emma Hughes, MSc Economics

Information Resources Coordinator

Emma is the Information Resources Coordinator at WWi…

and is responsible for identifying research and resources that inform the educational outputs at WWi. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Philosophy from Oxford Brookes University she went on to complete a Master’s in Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University in 2014. She has several years of experience working in information and knowledge environments, including supporting systematic reviews and building Communities of Practice. She has previously undertaken information needs assessments and is passionate about
breaking down barriers to information. In her spare time, Emma enjoys reading, long walks, and knitting.

Contact Emma:

Photo ErikaSeltenreichHodgson 20200806

Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson, B.A. PSY.

Program Assistant

Erika is the Program Assistant at WWi where she works to support the organization’s strategic…

initiatives through both research assistance and general program support. Erika recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. While completing her degree, Erika also trained and competed full-time for the Canadian National Swim Team, including representing Team Canada at 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Personal experience with mental illness as a professional athlete was the catalyst for her passion for mental health advocacy, but her subsequent years of volunteer work were what ultimately lead her to pursue a career in the research and betterment of mental health across workplaces. In her free time, Erika enjoys reading (a lot), eating anything chocolate, and spending time with friends.

Contact Erika:

Photo JenniferMcMahon 20201203

Jennifer McMahon

Learning & Development Coordinator

Jennifer is the Learning & Development Coordinator at WWi and is responsible for…

assisting in the process of creating learning content and coordinating with subject matter experts to get research reviewed and developed in to e-learning courses. After receiving her Higher National Diploma in Journalism in 2013, Jennifer went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Media Production Management from Dublin City University in 2015. Since then she has gained valuable L&D experience working within the cosmetics, legal and professional services industries in Dublin and London before moving to Vancouver. Jennifer enjoys working collaboratively and is passionate about learning and helping others. In her spare time Jennifer enjoys exercising, reading and cooking.

Contact Jennifer:

Photo Niamh 20210203

Niamh Pardi

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Niamh is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at WWi and is responsible for the…

execution and development of marketing campaigns and strategy. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in English and French, Niamh went on to receive a Master’s in International Marketing at the National University of Ireland in 2016. Since then she has gained valuable marketing experience working in both non-profit and corporate sectors. With a keen interest in psychology and mental health, Niamh is passionate about applying her marketing and communications background to the practice of bettering mental health in the workplace. In her spare time, Niamh enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants, exercising, reading, and going for long walks while listening to a good podcast.

Contact Niamh:


Thivya Shanmuganathan, B.Sc.

Stakeholder Engagement Analyst

Thivya is WWi’s Stakeholder Engagement Analyst and works to expand the WWi network…

through active market research and analysis. Her role also involves marketing and communications initiatives and managing WWi membership services. Thivya completed her Bachelor of Public Health in Population Studies and Quantitative Health Sciences from Simon Fraser University in 2017. She has been trained in nonviolent crisis intervention and trauma informed practices for work in harm reduction, before finding her passion for knowledge translation and health promotion. She offers valuable non-profit sector experience from roles in research and public health. Thivya takes part in her community and has volunteered with the Fraser Health Crisis line and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Outside of work Thivya enjoys being outside (weather permitting), finding new places to eat, meeting pets, and watching Netflix documentaries.

Contact Thivya:

Stay in the loop

Subscribe & Follow Us

Skip to content