President and Chief Executive Officer, Compassion CanadaAllison joined Compassion in 2012 to establish the Advocacy department, and became the organization’s fourth President & CEO in October 2019. She speaks regularly at events, churches and schools across the country and represents Compassion to other charities and sector associations. Her work with Compassion has taken her to more than fifteen developing countries across North and South America, Africa and Asia.
Allison also led the creation of three multimedia series from Compassion Canada that invite families, churches and groups to fulfil Jesus’ instruction to care for “the least of these.” Step Into My Shoes lets children experience life with a Ugandan family, True Story helps youth explore poverty in light of God’s redemptive story, and Eyes to See challenges adults to live out their faith in action.
One of Allison’s greatest passions is working towards a world where all children can realize their full potential in Christ. It was her time teaching English in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2000 that God first used to ignite a passion for ministry to children at risk. After spending more than a decade in leadership roles in the marketplace, God used her love for her own children to call her to be an advocate for children living in poverty. She stepped away from her career as a financial advisor and began to inspire others to live as faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to them.
Outside of Compassion, Allison serves as a board member for the Canadian Christian Relief and Development Association, a medium that exists to share expertise, encourage collaboration, and enhance the relief and development activities of more than 50 international organizations working in over 100 countries to seek flourishing lives and communities
Allison holds a Master of Arts in Global Leadership with an emphasis in International Development and Urban Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Business School. She and her husband, Tommy, live in London, Ontario and have two daughters.
Executive Leadership Team
Executive Director of Marketing and Digital Growth
CFO & Executive Director of Business Services
Executive Director of Partner Relations
Executive Director of People and Culture
Board of directors
Chair: Mark Fletcher
Halifax, Nova ScotiaMark Fletcher is Vice President of Construction for a company called Teng Inc. Compassion’s mandate to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name attracted him to the ministry. Mark’s past experience on several church boards and committees has given him the ability to see big-picture issues, contributing valuable insight as a Board member. Mark enjoys setting one evening each week for family night, bringing the whole family together and building relationships.
Vice-Chair: Shannon Williams
Duncan, British ColumbiaShannon Williams is the Director of Children’s Ministry at New Life Community Baptist Church in Duncan BC. Shannon’s love for children and her desire to see them develop holistically attracted her to Compassion’s child development ministry. Her insight as a Children’s Ministry Director coupled with her Bachelors of Education from Trinity Western University (2000) brings valuable perspective to the Board. Shannon and her husband Phil reside in Duncan, BC where they love to live adventurously with their four energetic children.
Langley, British ColumbiaJennifer Adkins was an ombudsperson for the National Energy Board and an Instructor at Trinity Western University, before going back to school full-time to pursue a PhD in Sociology. She has specialized and consulted in Race and Ethnic Relations for over 25 years in the public, private, and non-for-profit sectors and brings her passion for justice and equity to the board. After much investigation, Jennifer selected Compassion Canada as the best international organization supporting children in poverty because of their candid and unapologetic Christ-centred mission and the fiscal responsibility that they demonstrate. Jennifer, her husband, and their twin sons enjoy living on the West Coast exploring as many new beaches as they can find.
Dartmouth, Nova ScotiaDavid Burton has over 25 years of administration and management experience in social and health programs, ranging from policy development to front-line operations across four Government of Canada departments. A Compassion sponsor since 1997, he was drawn to the organization by its holistic child development approach and its Christ-centered emphasis. His interest in working with Compassion’s Board stems from a strong desire to use his administrative experience in a way that is pleasing to Christ and can help those in need. David and his wife reside in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. They are actively involved in their church, Hillside Wesleyan, where David chairs the Missions Leadership Team.
Dr. Marie Geschwandtner
Ottawa, OntarioMarie Geschwandtner is a doctor of chiropractic medicine. On sabbatical from active practice, she divides her time working with her husband in professional practice management and leadership development, and maintaining a busy household with two teenage boys. Her experience as a sponsor led her to join Compassion’s Board, where she brings the unique perspective of being a doctor and mother to the table. As a co-founder of Chiropractors with Compassion, Marie feels blessed to be able to use her skills to assist the poor. Her family lives part-time in Lake Placid, New York, where her two sons train as competitive ski racers.
Toronto, OntarioLen Hummel has been working with his church denomination, in a financial role, since 2019. Prior to that he worked for a Canadian bank, for over 25 years, serving in corporate, international, and commercial credit roles. With a strong desire to see the gospel spread and to serve the poor, he appreciates Compassion’s unique approach to child development and feels privileged to serve on its Board. As the Lord has been compassionate with Len (Ps 103:4), so Len values the work of Compassion Canada in its service to the poor. He has assisted with Alpha courses and in various other ministries in the churches he has served.
Dr. Andrew Johnson
Calgary, AlbertaAndrew Johnson is a physician specialist in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology at the University of Calgary, as well as Program Director for the U of C Adult Infectious Diseases Residency Training Program. Andrew is attracted to Compassion’s long-term development strategy of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. His knowledge of infectious diseases and tropical medicine brings a unique perspective to the Board. He most enjoys mentoring young resident physicians and coaching community sports. Andrew, his wife Nicole and three children are active in the ministry of the local church in Calgary and advocate for the work of Compassion.
Calgary, AlbertaClark Kassian is a lawyer at Dentons Canada LLP. Clark Kassian has been a Compassion sponsor for many years, and was drawn to the organization by its holistic, Christ-centered approach to child development. With his legal background and advocacy skills, Clark brings a unique perspective to Compassion’s board. Clark, his wife and their two young children live in Calgary, Alberta. In his spare time, Clark enjoys playing ice hockey and serving in the worship ministry of his church.
Lethbridge, AlbertaIan Lawson brings distinguished leadership to the Board with over three decades of leadership and ministry experience. Although recently retired, he continues to engage in interim leadership support with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member for Briercrest College and Seminary. Initially drawn to Compassion’s desire to fulfill the biblical mandate to care for the poor, Ian’s commitment to that mission is deeper now having witnessed the work in 8 field countries. He is the father of 5 grown children and 14 grandchildren, and cleverly finds time to invest into each one!
Caronport, SaskatchewanLeighton Reimer is a Chartered Professional Accountant, serving as Chief Financial Officer at Briercrest College & Seminary. Leighton, and his family, have been Compassion sponsors since 2010 and he and his wife, Sara, had the opportunity to visit 2 of their sponsored children and the work Compassion is doing in Guatemala in 2011. That experience gave him a deep appreciation for Compassion’s Christ-centred approach to relieving poverty and how they involve the local church in the process. Leighton’s accounting and finance background bring a valuable perspective to the board. Leighton, Sara and their 3 children live in Caronport, Saskatchewan. They are involved in their local church and enjoy spending time together as a family and with friends, as well as camping and travelling.