ACNS welcomes your inquires and feedback.
Whether you need information about our programs and services, volunteering, information for school, or just to say hello – we are here for you. Please know that all submissions are carefully considered and we maintain the strictest confidentiality.
All successful organizationshave a team whose goal is meaningful change. Each ACNS staff member makes his or her own unique contribution to our success. We are proud of the level of dedication and commitment they embody in making Nova Scotia a better place through support, education and empowerment.
Dena SimonExecutive Director
902.425.4882 ext 227
Dena joined the staff at ACNS in April 2017 and brings over thirty years of experience in the not-for-profit sector. During that time, she has worked in health, sciences and the arts. Most recently she was the President of the Atlantic Division of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and before that, the Director of Operations at the Discovery Centre. Dena has lived and worked in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland & Labrador, and in her home province of Nova Scotia. Her experience spans from leading small organizations to multi-million dollar international projects. She is very happy to be part of the team at ACNS serving the people of the province. In her spare time, Dena enjoys watching movies, cooking, reading and travelling with friends and family.
Ned MacInnisProgram Support
902.425.4882 ext 224
Ned holds the position of Program Support at ACNS. Involved in the AIDS movement for over 20 years, Ned has provided support and sexual health education with Men-Who-Have-Sex-With-Men, conducted training and education sessions, and has worked with People Living with HIV/AIDS creating health promotion strategies. His ancillary work includes: HIV/AIDS Education in Jamaica Project, Mount Saint Vincent University; Peer Outreach Worker: Stepping Stone Association; Consultant: Prison Outreach, Counseling, Education and Resource Development, Correctional Service of Canada; Research Assistant: Promising Practices in the Engagement of People Living with or At-Risk for HIV/AIDS in Rural Canada, Thompson Rivers University. He says “The greatest lesson I have learned here is this: I am not a salmon; I do not have to swim upstream. I have developed a strong passion about community-based work and as a result, I have learned to live life to its fullest. Carpe Diem!”
Chris AucoinGay Men’s Health
902.425.4882 ext 222
Chris has been Gay Men’s Health Coordinator with ACNS since 2008, but has been associated with ACNS, in both paid and unpaid capacities, for much longer. An educator, writer and freelance designer, he has a master’s degree in Educational Psychology, a diploma in graphic design, and broad community-based experience in cultural industries and social justice stretching back two decades. His work in social justice has included poverty and food security, and a wide range of GLBTQ support, social and political causes.
Lori O'BrienSupport Services
902.425.4882 ext 225
Lori O’Brien is the Support Services Coordinator at ACNS. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Before ACNS, she worked at The Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia with female clients in conflict with the law. There she discovered a passion for working with people involved in the correctional system. She has volunteered at Feed Nova Scotia for 6 years and is passionate about food security. Lori has a background in researching substance use and abuse and has developed programs surrounding these topics. She understands the importance of listening, empathizing and supporting clients in a non-judgmental way. Her approach is one that is guided by patience, respect, and open-mindedness. She is deeply committed to helping people make positive changes in their lives. In her free time, Lori enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with loved ones.