Meet the Team

Jennifer Elia

Role: Interim Executive Director

Jennifer is a recognized business leader specializing in transformational change and healthy workplaces. She works with the Board of Directors and Unsinkable Team to grow our positive impact on well-being through mental health storytelling.

Favourite book: I love memoirs! Two of my favourites are “The Glass Castle” by Janette Walls, and “Can You Hear Me Now” by Celina Caesar Chavannes.

Favourite podcast: Crime Junkie

Favourite quote: “As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” – Rumi

My theme song: “Follow Your Arrow” – Kacey Musgraves

Outside of work, I turn to nature to refuel. Hiking, paddling, or walking my dog.

Shantelle Jonassen

Role: Community and Impact Lead

Favourite book: Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert OR, Educated – Tara Westover

Favourite podcast: “Unlocking Us” – Brene Brown

Favourite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

My theme song: I don’t want to be - Gavin Degraw OR, Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader (instant dancing mood)

Educational Experience: Shantelle began her studies at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology where she received her bachelor’s degree in business marketing. Shantelle used her schooling to open her own business that focused on creating awareness around the benefits of movement for mental health. She continued her education by becoming a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. Her passion is focused around strategic marketing, human science, physiology and mental health.

When I am not working you will find me on a volleyball court (either as the athlete or coach), baking my heart out in the kitchen, playing a heated game of crib, dancing like no one is watching or buried deep in belly laughs with my friends & family. Life is too short to take things too seriously.

Tracy Hall

Role: Manager of Community Support

Favourite book: Becoming, Michelle Obama

Favourite podcast: Revisionist History, Malcolm Gladwell

Favourite quote: "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude", Maya Angelou

My theme song: Fast Car, Tracy Chapman or I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Whitney Houston (depending on my mood)

Educational Experience: Following her studies in Child and Youth Care, at the University of Victoria, Tracy joined the Unsinkable team so she could demonstrates her passion to ensure that everyone is seen, heard and understood.

When I’m not working you will find me on the mountain snowboarding or snowshoeing! 

Thaisa Matias de Paula

Role: Digital Community Manager

Favourite book: The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield

Favourite podcast: Mark Groves Podcast

Favourite quote: “May you attract someone who speaks your language, so you don't have to spend a lifetime translating your soul.”, Unknown

My theme song: We're Here For a Good Time, Trooper

Educational Experience: Thaísa went to the Canadian Mennonite University for a Bachelor of Arts Degree and has a never-ending passion for learning. She is eager to keep growing professionally and does so by continually taking courses created by the top experts in the field to advance her skills. Social Media, Marketing, Psychology and Leadership are some of the top areas she focuses on.

When I’m not working you can find me having thought provoking and soul touching conversations, travelling around the globe, exploring nature’s beauty, making jewelry or laughing till my cheeks hurt. Oh, and possibly crying. I truly love feeling all the feels. (Pisces alert!)
Thaisa Matias de Paula

Arissa Roy

Role: Youth Council Lead

Arissa is an award-winning education/human rights activist and the founder of Project Power Global. She is currently in high school and is passionate about fighting for equal rights for youth. She inspires everyone to find their passion because in it lies how we can change the world. She recently wrote and published a children's book titled "Rocks to Ripples" and serves at organizations including Fridays for Future and Plan International Canada.

Favourite book: The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Favourite podcast: On Purpose by Jay Shetty

Favourite quote: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world" - Nelson Mandela

My theme song: “Girl on fire” – by Alicia Keys

Outside of work you can find Arissa perfecting her matcha tea-making skills, at a cafe with friends, dancing with a good playlist on, writing poetry, on the yoga mat, or exploring the beautiful outdoors.

Sam Gerry

Role: Youth Council Lead

Sam is an award-winning mental health advocate from Woburn, Massachusetts, USA. In addition to his work at Unsinkable, Sam is a current undergraduate sophomore at Bates College in Lewiston, ME, and works as an undergraduate research assistant at the Hamilton Lab (Rutgers University) studying the impact of sleep and social media use on adolescent suicide. Sam is also the present co-founder of Kick It for a Cause, Inc., a member of the National Center for the Prevention of Youth Suicide’s advisory board, a Telosity youth ambassador, and formerly served two terms on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline youth blog council.

Favourite book: Rethinking Suicide by Dr. Craig Bryan

Favourite podcast: Local Knowledge - Golf Digest

Favourite quote: "When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we’re not alone." - Fred Rogers

My theme song: House Of The Rising Sun - The Animals

Outside of work you can find Sam on the golf course, spending time with his dogs, or playing with Lego