Our Executive Team

To reach our management team, please call 1-866-470-7111 or email info@strongestfamilies.com.

Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie

President & CEO

Dr. Patricia Lingley-Pottie is co-founder of the Strongest Families Institute (SFI) and SFI's proprietary digital health platform, IRIS.  She is President and CEO of SFI, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Dalhousie University and a Scientist at the IWK Health Centre. Dr. Pottie has more than 30 years of pediatric nursing experience with expertise in research methods, scale development and the conduct of randomized clinical trials. The past 20 years have been focused on psychological research, specifically harnessing the advantages of technology to deliver accessible and timely distance, evidence-based interventions to children, youth, adults and families. Dr. Pottie has published 32 articles and editorials. As the leader of SFI and IRIS, Dr. Pottie has scaled SFI services successfully within Canada and in some regions internationally. She is the recipient of the Digital Health Canada 2020 Women Leaders In Digital Health Award, CAMIMH (Champions of Mental Health Award) 2019, Atlantic Canada Top 50 CEO 2018, and the co-recipient of the 2017 Governor General Innovation Award of Canada and the 2013 Ernest C. Manning Principal Encana Award for Social Innovation. Under her leadership, Strongest Families Institute has also received the 2012 Mental Health Commission of Canada Award for Social Innovation.


Kati LaVigne

VP Strategy and Engagement

Kati joined Strongest Families in 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Psychology as well as an Executive Certificate in Leadership & Innovation from Dalhousie University. Kati oversees SFI’s strategic planning, funder contracts and stakeholder relations while providing daily leadership.

Jillian Kennedy

VP Operations

Jillian joined Strongest Families in 2005. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from St.FX and an Executive Certificate in Leadership & Innovation from Dalhousie University. Jillian oversees operational growth and development for the company as well as leading our eHealth platform, IRIS.

Darcy Comeau

VP Finance

Darcy joined Strongest Families in Feb 2019 and leads the organization's risk and financial processes including strategies, budget, planning and forecasting. She holds a Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada designation.

Elizabeth Hines

Director of Coaching Services

Elizabeth joined Strongest Families in July 2013 as a Coach.  She has a Bachelor of Education from MSVU and in her role as Director, she oversees our Coaches in the delivery of our programs ensuring quality delivery and strong outcomes.  She is a proud military spouse and works closely with our military and Veteran family agencies.

April Schwanz

Director of Program Development

April joined Strongest Families in 2007.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Victoria and works on the strategic development of our programs and is currently developing the Stepped Care model approach beginning with our Parents Empowering Kids Program - The Early Years.


Theresa Cunningham

Director of Business Development

Theresa joined Strongest Families in 2011 and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from UNB and has evolved from many leadership roles to the Business Development Director. She is instrumental in helping Strongest Families achieve financial growth. She is a strategic thinking individual, who enthusiastically works alongside her teammates to help improve the lives of individuals.

Anne Marie Shannon

Director Communications and Fundraising

Anne Marie joined Strongest Families in April 2020.  She brings with her 25+ years experience in Communications and Fundraising in the Not for Profit sector. She holds a diploma in Business with a major in Marketing.  She focuses daily on our Digital Marketing Strategy, Internal and External Communications and Fund Development.

Alyssa Blais

Director of Quality Assurance and Training

Alyssa joined Strongest Families in September 2020. She brings with her 10+ years experience in developing and overseeing new programs, systems and processes. She holds a degree in Psychology, a diploma in Administration and a certificate in Leadership from St. Francis Xavier. She monitors SFI’s services as well as training programs to improve employee performance and productivity.


Katie Nickerson

Research and Project Director

Katie joined Strongest Families in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from MSVU. Katie provides oversight and expertise on research development and integration with SFI programming, works to enhance SFI’s user-centered products and programs, and manages our advisory committees.