ALIES is governed by a Board of Directors and operated by an Executive Director. Meet them below.
Nathan Harmata - President
Louise Boychuk - Director
Louise is a fertility educator, a wife, and a mom. She is passionate about helping women understand the science and research behind human fertility and believes that supporting women in times of crisis is the responsibility of our community. She was drawn to the ministry of ALIES and The Back Porch because of its compassionate and gentle outreach to women in need of support.
Ian Meaden - Treasurer
Ian joined ALIES in 2019 in the role of Treasurer. He has a CPA designation and was looking for a way to use his financial background to benefit the pro-life movement. Through prayer, Ian was drawn to ALIES/The Back Porch because of the focus on support and guidance to those in need, as well as providing fact-based education and information pertaining to life issues. His interests are expansive - from playing a round (or two) of golf to reading a good book, especially ones that help him grow in his Catholic faith. Ian particularly enjoys a good camping/hiking trip to the mountains or travelling (within and outside Canada).
Cameron Wilson - Director
Cameron has been involved with the pro-life movement for many years. He has served on the executive of both the University of Calgary and University of Alberta pro-life clubs. He is currently the Political Coordinator for The Wilberforce Project.
Marie-Blanche Mitchell - Director
Marie-Blanche is a retired French Immersion teacher and is a member of Sunrise Community Church. When she is now working at seasonal jobs, she is volunteering at The Back Porch. Over the last few decades, she has become increasingly compelled to become involved in pro-life work. In the early 2000s, she was commissioned to write a play for VOICE FOR LIFE of Grande Prairie: DANCING WITH ZOE, in which she directed and took on a role in the dinner theatre fundraiser. She is an amateur filmmaker and film editor as well. Presently, Marie-Blanche is writing a novel about abortion and euthanasia, with the intention of raising funds for ALIES. She has a daughter and a son who are married with families. She is a happy grandmother to three grandchildren.
Elizabeth Schellenberg - Director
Gabrielle Johnson - Executive Director
Gabrielle Johnson acts as Executive Director on behalf of ALIES, directing the day-to-day operations of the The Back Porch and providing educational presentations. She has a background in philosophy, with a bachelor's degree from the University of Alberta and a masters from KU Leuven, in Belgium. She is passionate about social justice and caring for the most vulnerable members of society. Gabrielle is pleased to serve her community through her work at The Back Porch.
Liz Agudelo - The Back Porch Coordinator
Liz Agudelo has made Edmonton her after living in Ontario for 20 years since her arrival to the country from Venezuela, where she was born. Liz has a diploma and B.A. in Child & Youth Care which has allowed her to work closely with vulnerable people in different settings, namely with families and children. In recent years, Liz has been working with women in business and in ministry, and is passionate about seeing them thrive independently, as well as part of their respective communities. Liz is a champion for family and community, and believes in the calling to love and serve one another above all else. Her husband and two children support her in her new venture at ALIES & The Back Porch, where she is excited to serve and grow.
Deirdre Bouchard - The Back Porch Admin
Deirdre has served in the educational arm of the pro-life movement since 2017. She formerly ran UAlberta Pro-Life, as well as Edmonton Against Abortion, and has served two internships at the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. She is a Faculty of Education alumni from the UofA with a drama major. Deirdre has a passion for defending pre-born lives and is honoured to serve at The Back Porch! She and her husband have been blessed with their first child, arriving October 2020.
Away on Maternity Leave
Siobahn McKenna - The Back Porch Admin
Siobahn is filling in for Deirdre as the Administrative Assistant at the Back Porch. She was drawn to The Back Porch because of it's focus on combining empathy and pre-natal scientific literacy into advocation for the unborn. She holds a BSc. in the Biological Sciences and an MSc. in Human Ecology (Family Ecology and Practice stream), both from the University of Alberta. Siobahn has been a Treasurer for the UAlberta Pro-Life Club, and has a passion for volunteering with vulnerable populations. She loves and is also an advocate for animals.