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NEOSS Announces New Executive Director

MELFORT, SK Dec. 12, 2023 – North East Outreach and Support Services Inc., (NEOSS), a leading nonprofit charity specializing in enhancing safety and wellness of individuals and families in crisis, is delighted to announce the appointment of Joan Bear as its new Executive Director, effective November 27, 2023.

Following a thorough search led by Affective Consulting out of Regina, NEOSS welcomes Ms. Bear as the successor to Wayne Hellquist and Hayley Kennedy, who served as the organization's interim directors for 7 months.

Co-Chairs Blair Michaliew and Kristin Lee, expressed excitement, stating, "Joan Bear’s positive energy, vision, and extensive leadership experience in nonprofit organizational development, health, education, shelters, and executive leadership in First Nations organizations will fortify NEOSS, propelling it to new heights."

Bear brings a wealth of expertise in homeless shelters as a former board member of the George Spady Homeless Shelter in Edmonton and oversaw the Emergency Homeless Transition Shelter in North Battleford. Her background is rich with over 30 years experience in senior management, board governance, fundraising, program development and community partnerships.

As the former CEO of Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs and Executive Director for Muskoday First Nation, she significantly expanded innovative community partnerships and secured public funding. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Lethbridge, Bear has also held key roles such as Executive Director for Trade Winds to Success, an Alberta Multilevel Partnership between Federal, Provincial, 4 Trade Unions and 3 First Nations and the Metis Labour Force Development stakeholders to train First Nations, Metis and Inuit with skills to meet the Construction Trades apprenticeship needs in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.

She served as the Director of Clinical Programs and Services for nine years with the Prince Albert Cooperative Health Centre leading a team of health professionals and medical staff. Ms. Bear is no stranger to juggling multiple priorities as she put herself through college and university in the evenings, while working full time and serving executive roles with numerous non-profit boards and committees in the Edmonton area and still managed to raise a family.

Expressing her excitement, Bear stated, "I am extremely happy to join the NEOSS team. Our shared values and commitment to providing assistance to families, children and individuals at-risk of Inter-Personal Violence creates an exciting opportunity to expand our mission. NEOSS’ stellar reputation and legacy in the North East Region provides a solid foundation to promote innovative counselling and support solutions to advance our vision for the future."

Established in 1984 by a dedicated group of people, NEOSS focuses on meaningful action to empower families and individuals facing safety and wellness crises. With a reputation for support service provision in Melfort, Tisdale, Nipawin and surrounding areas, NEOSS remains dedicated to building strong community supports and partnering with stakeholders to enhance family and individual safety. NEOSS recently completed a very successful community funded capital project to build the facilities on McKendry Avenue in Melfort.

NEOSS operates a 16 bed Emergency Family Violence Shelter and a 12 bed Emergency Receiving Home for children under age 12 in the North East Region, as well as providing Family Violence Outreach counselling services, Melfort Youth Evolution and runs the 24-7 Emergency Crisis Line for the area. The Charity is funded primarily through grants from the Provincial Ministries of Justice and Social Services and through the generous donations of concerned citizens and businesses in the North East Region.

Joan Bear’s selection as NEOSS’ Executive Director follows an exhaustive search. Her appointment signals a new chapter for NEOSS as it continues its mission to provide safe housing, programming and supports to foster awareness and break the chain of interpersonal violence.

The Board of Directors

North East Outreach and Support Services

For More Information Call 306-752-9464 or email

Web Site:

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