THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Steven Deveau has been working in the mental health and addictions field for 10 years. He is a certified peer supporter and a certified coach practitioner. His lived experience has driven him to help others in his community through his work and in his daily life. He believes in the power of hope and gratitude to encourage recovery and wellness for people struggling with mental health and addictions.
Nancy Everson attended her first 7th Step Society Street Group Meeting in March of 2018 and has been working a program of recovery for the last 4 years. Since then, she has excelled exceptionally within the Society. She became a core group member, a director on the provincial board, a peer support worker and most recently took on the role of Chairperson for the Board of Directors. She graduated from MBC with Counselling/Social Human Services. She is dedicated to helping those who have had conflict with the law and those who struggle with addiction. She believes her empathy and lived experience are her best assets and can assist in helping others. She will be forever grateful to 7th Step for her recovery!
LANDON "MORTY" MORTON
Landon Morton better known as Morty, has indigenous roots and is passionate about indigenous issues, helping those who have struggles with addiction and conflict with the law. The most important aspect that Morty brings to his work is his lived experience with addiction, conflict with the law and being homeless. He works at Mainline Needle Exchange and is the Vice President of the Mi'kma'Ki Youth Advisory Council here in Halifax. He took part in the Peer Support Training offered by the 7th Step Society of Nova Scotia and is now a facilitator for that program.
Nicole Luis graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce, specializing in Accounting with a Minor in Criminology. She joined 7th Step Society in February of 2021. Growing up in the North End of Dartmouth she witnessed addiction, incarceration and mental illness from the people around her. She's interested in helping those in the community who have been at conflict with the law and is excited to see where the 7th Step Society takes her.
Sophie Trinacty is a recent graduate of the Schulich School of Law. She joined 7th Step in May of 2019 and has been a committed member since. She was excited by the opportunities 7th Step can bring to the community and she is thrilled to be a part of the amazing work that 7th Step is doing.
Growing up in the inner city of Bain Town in Nassau Bahamas, Mario have seen many murders, assaults, and robberies throughout his life. This life was something that Mario was not interested of being a part of. Mario started college in 2003 in the Bahamas and finished in June 2009. He decided to move to Canada (Nova Scotia) in 2009 to further my education in Criminology. While living in Nova Scotia, He married into the East Preston community. Mario volunteered with organizations like the Health Association of African Canadians (HAAC) and Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) where he mentored young boys who didn’t have fathers in their life and came in contact with the justice system. He also facilitated various sessions on men’s health, mental health and social justice issues. Mario volunteered with CeaseFire Halifax and worked with at-risk youths between the ages of 16-25. While volunteering with these organizations, Mario was enrolled in Saint Mary’s University (SMU) where he obtained a double degree in Criminology and Sociology. After graduation from SMU he applied to Dalhousie School or Social Work (DAL) where he obtained a Bachelor and Masters of Social Work. In 2017, Mario started working for Nova Scotia Health in a program called Nova Scotia Brotherhood (the only health care service that focuses on Black Men Health & Mental Health). Mario later went on to become the acting team lead for the Community Health and Wellness Center & Nova Scotia Brotherhood. Currently, Mario is the Health Service manager for the Nova Scotia Brotherhood and Community Health & Wellness teams. His career aspiration is to be the first black CEO for Nova Scotia Health. As one of the directors of the Health Association of African Canadians HAAC), Mario’s vision is promoting health and Wellness for persons of African Ancestry living Nova Scotia.
Kala Rafuse is a Clinical Therapist with Community Mental Health & Addictions. She earned a Bachelor of Criminology & Sociology from SMU, a Bachelor of Social Work from STU, and a Master of Clinical Social Work from U of C. Kala spent years working in Corrections and volunteering with various agencies. 7th Step is a place where Kala can use her advocacy, outreach, and clinical skills to help support the needs of those who have experience with the Criminal Justice System.
Tom Pottie has been a core group member with the society since the start up in 2013. Due to drug and alcohol addictions, Tom has experienced life in and out of institutions for approximately 40 years. Since 2007 he turned his life around and has not had any run-ins with the law. He is passionate about helping people with their recovery and preventing recidivism within the community.
Janice Fiander grew up in Nova Scotia - having many family ties to Cape Breton. Most of my life has been spent in the HRM but she did live for three years in NYC in her early 20's. She was there to pursue a career as a Ballet Dancer. The only way she could afford to live in Manhattan was to work as a live-in babysitter. The Dad of the family she lived with was the person who patented Naloxone! In the end, she decided not to stay in NYC and came home to Halifax. She attended Dalhousie University where she completed her BA and BJ (Kings College). She was planning to become a journalist but that didn't work out! So, in 1995 she completed her MLIS degree and started working at a Children's Librarian at the Bedford Public Library. She has been a Manager now with the Halifax Public Libraries for 26 years. It's been an extremely rewarding career and has given her the opportunity to take part in such programs as the "Pageturners" Book Club in the CNSCF. Apart from her work, her passions have included camping, hiking and long distance running. Though she doesn't dance anymore, she is still passionate about watching ballet performances.