Board of Directors

Ross Green

Founder, Executive Director, Program Facilitator

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In the 80’s, as a singer in Western Canada, I was awarded recording grants through the A.M.P. (Alberta Music Project) and FACTOR (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent on Record) to pursue my original music. In 1998 I completed my first CD, ‘Biting the Hand’, and more recently, 'Life in a Spiral' - both of which can be heard on Bandcamp. 100% of the funds from sales of my music go directly to this charity. 

In 2007, after many years of creating prime time television and theatrical content, I emptied my pockets looking for change. Skills I'd been carrying around and not using all those years had weighed me down. Songwriting, singing, producing videos, and recording music, all fell to the floor with a clatter, waking me from a long slumber. Someone yelled 'cut'. I picked up my things and exited, left, through the stage door.

Applying my songwriting, singing, recording, and videography skills in an environment that helps youth around the world has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. 

Clayton Achen


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Clayton is a Chartered Accountant in Calgary. His main area of practice is Canadian Corporate Taxation. A music enthusiast at heart, his main hobbies are singing and playing guitar. Clayton and his lovely wife Erika have a deep rooted passion for travelling and relating to the world so his involvement with MSI is a natural fit. 

Clayton's been actively involved in several charitable initiatives including several trips to Tijuana, Mexico to build houses for families in need, and with Operation Christmas Child. He is actively involved in the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants' volunteer tax clinic for the elderly and volunteers at the Calgary Drop in Center.


Suzanne Armstrong


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'Zanna' Armstrong is a professional photographer currently living in Montreal Canada and is the proud Mother of two fully grown children. Zanna studied photography at Focal Point in Vancouver, BC and with her mentor Nathalie Luyer of VisAVis, in Paris, France. Zanna has a background in communications, graphics and costume design fields where she studied and worked both in Australia and Canada.

Advisory Board 

Ellen Searle

Ellen is an Orton-Gillingham therapeutic tutor in private practice in the Vancouver, BC area. She has 24 years experience working with learning-disabled children, teens and young adults and teaches reading, spelling, writing and math with a multi-sensory, humourous approach. Ellen specializes in working with dyslexic children, but has experience with students exhibiting a wide variety of learning styles from Aspergers and brain injury to gifted, ADHD, and severe behavioural issues. With a passion for helping all children reach full educational potential in all subject areas, Ellen is known for her extraordinary patience, playfulness and ability to find creative ways to help children be successful in school and life. Her extensive volunteer background includes six years on the board of the BC Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and a year on the board of Phoenix Montessori School. Education, music and singing have been lifelong interests now passed on to her daughter who is a classically-trained musician and teacher. 


Jim Connor

Jim Connor is a certified elementary school teacher. Jim has worked with and run programs for children of all ages, from infants through high school. He has led several trainings in holistic and sustainable learning and sustainable living skills in Thailand, Burma and China. As a board member of the NCACS for seven years, he helped organize several international conferences on alternative education.

Nelson Beavington

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After immersing himself in the spiritual-seeking side of the counter culture in his twenties, Nelson completed his University Science degree, established a career with GEAC Canada as Senior Computer Analyst and raised four boys. However, his lifelong passion has been music and dance. Now retired, he plays guitar and and sings for a wide variety of participatory gatherings, including nursery rhymes for pre-schoolers, camp songs for variously challlenged children, pop songs for the mentally ill, old-time songs for the elderly in long-term care, singalongs with friends, folk songs at the Vancouver Folk Song Society, and Christmas carolling gigs. Nelson rounds out his enriched retirement with mentorship, grandchildren, composing, and lots of participatory dancing. He sits on the board of the Vancouver Country Dance Society, a group he presided over for twelve years.