Meet Our Team

Cole Buhler

Communications Coordinator

Cole is a journalism student at MacEwan University. He is a strong writer, biographer, photographer, and videographer. Cole wants to write uplifting stories about people who work to make their communities a better place to live. He is of Indigenous descent by both of his grandmothers.

Cameron Bunney

Design Intern

Cameron, a proud member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, recently graduated with a degree in Visual Communications; a field he's very passionate about. His background in communications and visual design infuses his approach to creating beautiful and harmonious designs. Cameron is driven by his passion for music, which inspires his designs and motivates him every day.


Emma DeCoteau

Administrative & Logistics Intern

Emma DeCoteau is an administrative assistant with Gwin Communications. She is of Métis, Jordanian and African descent. Organized, curious and clever, Emma’s favourite part of administrative work is interacting with and helping people.

Emma has worked with NiGiNan Housing Ventures, a non-profit, registered charity that creates supportive and affordable housing for Indigenous Peoples, for five years. She is an active volunteer with multiple organizations, including the Mustard Seed, where she organized fundraisers and served in the kitchen, and Mint Health Pharmacy, where she assisted with their open house.

She has also taken on leadership roles from a young age – as an event planner, fundraiser, councillor, and workshop organizer.

Allison Duck Chief

Public Relations Intern

Allison Duck Chief is a communications student at Mount Royal University, majoring in public relations and minoring in Indigenous studies. She is Blackfoot (Niitsitapi), from the reservation of Siksika Nation located in the Treaty 7 territory of southern Alberta. She was raised by her mother, Tara Spring Chief; and also traditionally by her Grandparents, Frank and Theresa Stevens.


She is a creative and crafty person who tries continuously to create, imagine and work with her hands. Besides her artistic view on life, she tries to keep her Blackfoot culture as close to her as possible in her daily life. She hopes to work more with her community and other Indigenous communities to help achieve more engagement, knowledge sharing and community development.

Robyn Ferguson

Communications Coordinator

Robyn is a fourth-year public relations student pursuing a minor in speech at Mount Royal University (MRU). She is a First Nations person, Tuscarora, one of the Six Nations of the Grand River in southern Ontario. She contributes to the Indigenous community in the Treaty 7 territory by volunteering for MRU's Indigenous graduate powwow and sharing her culture with peers and friends.


She is especially partial to public speaking, speech writing, strategy, copywriting, editing and event planning. She spent five months in Vienna, Austria in 2019 for an intercultural academic experience and to travel Europe. She enjoys board sports, true crime, long naps on tropical beaches and Sudoku puzzles.

Melaina Goos

Design Intern

Melaina Goos is a Bachelor of Design student at MacEwan University. She specializes in Graphic Design, Branding, Typography, and Photography. Melaina is passionate about design and how it is used to communicate. Melaina was the MacEwan Book of the Year Creative Submission Winner in 2019/2020, in which she read and chose quotes from This Accident of Being Lost by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and created a cohesive poster series. She focused on using words of reflection and healing along with photography in the poster designs.


She is excited to join the Gwin Communications team this Summer. Melaina is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, paddle boarding, and spending time with her friends and family.


Shani Gwin

Founder and Managing Partner - Communications

Shani has over 12 years of professional communications experience working for government, private and not-for-profit organizations. She is a sixth-generation Métis. She's a member of the Cunningham Clan on her mother's side and a descendant of the Michel First Nation and Ferguson Clan on her father's side. Shani is a proud Métis woman with a passion for elevating Indigenous voices, projects and issues.

Rolando Inzunza 

Managing Partner - Operations

Rolando brings decades of experience in communications and working directly with Indigenous communities. He has a wealth of knowledge in engagement, community development, and all things tech-related.


Rolando came to Canada, some 45+ years ago, as a political refugee from Chile, South America.

Stephanie Joe

Writer

Stephanie Joe is an Indigenous writer and journalist from Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Yukon. She has a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies from the University of Calgary and a Diploma in Journalism with Honours from SAIT. She's written for Avenue Magazine, WestJet, Leap, Dementia Connections, Windspeaker and various news organizations. In 2020, Stephanie was awarded silver in Alberta Magazine Publishers Association's Emerging Writer category for her story Full Circle featured in Avenue Magazine. She enjoys telling stories from within Indigenous communities and is an advocate for reconciliation. She hopes to make a publication documenting traditional Indigenous ways of knowing. Writing has always been a passion for Stephanie.


Stephanie lives on Treaty 7 territory - traditional homelands of Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Tsuut'ina, and Stoney Nakoda (Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley) First Nations.

Cailynn Klingbeil

Writer

Cailynn is a versatile writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in journalism and communications. She is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta.


A former reporter for the Edmonton Journal, Cailynn has also freelanced for numerous newspapers and magazines. She previously worked as writer on the Calgary Public Library’s marketing and communications team, supporting the opening of the new Central Library. Cailynn is also passionate about being outdoors and especially enjoys hiking, biking and skiing. She is co-author of the weekly email newsletter, Go Outside. 


Desiree Labelle

Public Relations Intern

Desiree Labelle is a public relations student at Mount Royal University and is from the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, Alberta. She has completed six Indigenous studies and history courses for her minor and has over six years of experience working with Indigenous organizations. She values her education and working with businesses and organizations that help Indigenous communities thrive.

Fafali Mawutor

Public Relations Intern

Fafali has a passion for writing and connecting with audiences. She is from the Volta Region in Ghana, West Africa. Throughout her public relations degree, she has sharpened her abilities in writing, marketing and social innovation. In the future, she wants to use her public relations degree to influence policies that will break down barriers for all visible minority groups.


Jill McKenzie

Senior Communications Strategist

Jill graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and obtained her Master of Arts in Communication and Technology from the University of Alberta. Jill has 15 years experience in communications, public relations and public affairs. During her career she has focused on communications planning, media relations, issues management, reputation management and copy writing. She has worked in the education sector and for all levels of government including the Department of National Defense, the Government of Alberta, the City of Edmonton and the Government of Nova Scotia. 


Shawna-Kay Thomas

Communications Manager

Shawna-Kay is a strategic and creative Communications Specialist with over 10 years of experience in journalism and communications. As a communications professional she operates from a global perspective creating awareness and telling the stories of non-profits, governments and government agencies/departments, and private sector companies. Shawna-Kay has a keen interest in developing, executing and evaluating internal and external communication plans and is skilled in media relations, writing and editing communication pieces, managing social media, building community partnerships, and events planning.


Shawna-Kay enjoys spending time with her family, basking in the calmness of rivers, and taking long walks in parks, preferably during the warmer months.

Burhan Osman

Designer

Burhan Osman is an experienced designer, digital marketer, photographer and video editor.

Coupled with this vested interest in social justice and anti-oppressive learning, he brings a high degree of personal drive. His experience in project management, advertising/marketing campaigns and analytics rounds out our communication team.

0