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Our Team

Our Team

Together, we make it work.

Backed by 100 years of collective experience working and volunteering in the sector, we aim to bring effective IT support through collaborative technology solutions.

Our Team



Charles Buchanan
Chief Executive Officer

Charles is an information technology and business leader with a powerful combination of skills in sales, consulting, strategy, finance, customer insight, and technology innovation.  He's the visionary and founder of Technology Helps Inc. - the answer to end technology poverty in the non-profit sector.  Recognizing that ‘somebody’s got to do something’, and making the decision to step up and do it, he founded Technology Helps (formerly Ignitech) in April 2016. His solution stems from years of experience in the technology industry and working in the corporate and non-profit sectors. 

Charles has an MBA from Queen's University and an honors undergraduate degree in computer engineering. He currently serves as Past-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Centre for Newcomers, one of the largest immigrant-serving agencies in Calgary.



Scott Eden
Chief Technology Officer

Scott describes optimizing IT as “ensuring the organization achieves the most from its technology investments and harnessing that technology in a manner that propels the organization toward achieving its goals”. Since 1996, Scott has worked with technology management and solutions delivery in the corporate and non-profit sectors.  This has given him a strong understanding of the intertwined relationship between business and technology.  He has led global IT operations for several multi-national companies, and successfully implemented the Systrust and CoBIT Lite governance models to meet regulatory guidelines.

An active volunteer himself, serving on various committee and boards.  Scott also holds an MBA from the Haskayne School of Business and a B.Sc. from Santa Clara University in California.




Geoff Zakaib
Chief Data Officer

Throughout his career, Geoff has focused on projects related to data and information management. He is passionate about data and helping organizations get the most out of their data through effective planning, analytics and visualization. Geoff is involved in a number of data-related initiatives that span the public, private and social sectors. He is a Director of Data for Good and the organizer of the Calgary chapter. Geoff is active in the Open Data/Open Government movements as the Executive Director of Open Calgary and is a community member of the City of Calgary e-Government Strategy Advisory Committee. He leads a group working on semantic technology as the national Chair of XBRL Canada.

Geoff is also active on projects related to social issues such as homelessness, poverty reduction and international development. Currently, Geoff serves on the KAIROS Calgary Working Group on Homelessness and Affordable Housing and with the Enough For All strategy for poverty reduction in Calgary.



Elizabeth Natola 

Project Manager

Elizabeth brings over 20 years of experience in the service and oil/gas industry. She holds a BSc and MEng in Geomatics Engineering and has a CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) designation. She has been a technical lead on a number of Enterprise data management projects covering all phases of the Project Management lifecycle. In addition, she has worked as a Business Analysis (BA), Quality Assurance Team Lead and a GPS (Aviation) Test Engineer.

As a consultant, Elizabeth has worked in Asia, South America, UK and Norway. She is on the Board of Directors for DAMA – Calgary Chapter, a non-profit organization that caters to individuals providing a trusted environment for data management professionals to collaborate and communicate. She spends her leisure time in her greenhouse, skiing, mountain biking, scrambling and any activity that gets her outdoors.



Ellen Lau  
Analytics and Business Intelligence Leader     

Ellen brings over 15 years of experience in data management, data integration, informatics, visualization and data analytics.  She has worked on numerous projects - ranging from Process Improvement Benchmarking, System Implementations and Solution Design. Ellen holds degrees in Computer Science and Biomechanics.

Ellen is passionate in developing analytics solutions to meet the complex and dynamic needs of clients. With experience in many professional services positions, she complements her technical background with strategic insight of the business, excellent leadership and communication skills in order to provide a team oriented, collaborative approach.
Her smart, creative and discerning approach to data and analytics is unparalleled - the value her expertise will bring to your organization will all come out in the numbers.




Brent Thumlert   
Program Manager     

Brent is an accomplished Information Technology expert - having organized, directed, and architected many successful start-ups. He has lead large enterprise projects, converting organizations from manual paper processes to web-based technologies. 

Brent has a passion for the outdoors and helping people. For over 10 years, he has been volunteering at numerous hills around Calgary: COP, Nakiska, and Sunshine village. Brent has been involved in the Winterstart WorldCup in Lake Louise as a Ski Patroller and volunteered at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games on the medical team for the downhill skiing events.
Brent has also been active in the area of management, previously holding the VP of Communications role on the Calgary Zone, Canadian Ski Patrol Board. He is a member of Peloton Racing powered by bike racing team, and is an experienced mountaineer and rock/ice climber.




Paula Jennings    
Senior Data Advisor       

Paula has extensive experience in engineering, geoscience, geostatistics and data analysis. Formally trained as
an engineer, she also spent many years in the oil and gas industry as a geoscientists, BA and Data Analyst.  

Paula enjoys working with non-profits and exercises her data skills with organizations like Data for Good. She will be teaching Visual Analytics and Introduction to Business Intelligence with the University of Calgary's Continuing Education.
When she is not trying to make better data visualizations, she spends her time cycling, skiing, gardening and dabbling in art and crafts.    



Randy Thornhill     
Senior Data and Evaluations Advisor        

Randy has over 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector, with roles ranging from front-line work to program management and design. His last 15 years have been focused on the use of information technology in the non-profit sector.

Randy is currently involved in non-profit program evaluation and performance, with a special interest in data collection systems. His education includes an undergraduate honours degree in Science (Psychology and Biology) and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) designation, supplemented with training in Health Informatics and Business Intelligence.



James Ellis 
Senior Technology Advisor      

James has extensive experience in configuring, upgrading, and maintaining Windows operating systems and small networks, with particular experience in Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 10. He is also adept at the Office Suite of programs, at diagnosing issues with software and hardware performance, and at performing hardware component replacements. He is enthusiastic about making a difference in the community and committed to providing thorough and dependable support to his clientele.

James has a scholastic background in Physics, in addition to his CompTIA A+ and Network + IT certifications. He is an active volunteer, avidly supporting the Terry Fox Run and yearly “Run for the Cure”.  In 2016, he was recognized as an “Honoured Donor” for his contributions to Canadian Blood Services.



Sharon Anderson  
Bookkeeping and Fund Development           

Since 2016, Sharon has been managing the accounting and finance for Technology Helps. She recently completed her Bachelors of Commerce in accounting at Athabasca University.
Sharon draws experience from the breadth of small business bookkeeping, customer service specialization, and the full cycle accounting for the non-profit sector. She has over 10 years of involvement in NPOs, including board level for 6 years. When Sharon is not behind a computer, she can be found hiking on a mountain or rock climbing in on a wall in Calgary.




Alister Daniel
Technology Service Advisor          

Alister is an accomplished System Administrator, accustomed to supporting networks with high-availability requirements. With many years of experience supporting technology for large cross-Canada retail providers, Alister understands
first-hand the importance of good IT governance, security, documentation, and networking controls.



Roxie Laverty
Communications Coordinator            

Roxie is the Communications Coordinator at Technology Helps, who joined the team in June 2018. Her role is to assist the entire team in achieving their vision of ending technology poverty in the non-profit sector.

 While relatively new to working in the Non-Profit sector, Roxie has extensive volunteer experience and has served on multiple community Board of Directors. She sat on the Pinemont Lane Condo Board from 2008-2015, serving as President from 2010-2015. Roxie also served as  Member- at- Large for the Pineridge Community Association from 2011-2013.
Roxie is a strong advocate for animal welfare, supporting a variety of local charities with donations, fundraising and raising awareness. For the past three years Roxie has taken part in the Coldest Night of the Year walk, which happens annually in February, in support of the Mustard Seed. 




Patrick Dornian  
Data Analyst            

Patrick is a trained mathematician (M.Math UWaterloo 2016, Combinatorics and Optimization) with an interest in data analytics and visualizations. He is especially interested in navigating the space between technical implementations and effectively addressing user desires. In his free time he enjoys cycling and obsessively following the minutiea of the NBA.



Johnny Zhong   
Data Analyst             

Johnny joined Technology Helps as a Data Analyst in January 2018. He specialises in data-driven solutions, combining both predictive analytics and technical know-how to approach business problems both in the private and nonprofit sector. Within Technology Helps, Johnny is responsible for data analysis and visualisation. He has a passion for empowering and teaching data technology to young people so that they can innovate and lead in different sectors.
In 2019, he will graduate from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor Degree in Management Information Systems.


Technology to ignite your cause.