Northern Counselling & Therapeutic Services Welcomes Devan Pennell as President, Evolving to Deliver Needed Mental Health Services

Press Release

Ottawa, Ontario–(August 3, 2023) – Northern Counselling & Therapeutic Services (NCTS), a leading Canadian provider of mental health services for Northern and Indigenous communities, has named Devan Pennell as its President.

A dynamic, accomplished, and entrepreneurial senior executive, Pennell was recently named as one of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 for his track record building sustainable businesses and leading strong, cohesive teams. He previously served in senior leadership roles at nationally recognized brands including Flow Beverage Corp., HEXO Corp., the Ottawa Sport and Entertainment Group, and EY.

NCTS’ current President, Matt Corless, will continue to serve the company as Executive Chair, with Rianne van Bruggen stepping into the role of Senior Vice-President.

“Thanks to our team’s effective collaboration with community partners and consistently high-quality services, NCTS is growing at a rate that requires additional business and financial expertise on our leadership team,” said Matt Corless, Executive Chair of NCTS. “With his strong financial management prowess and high emotional intelligence, Devan is the perfect fit for our culture and our mission – to deliver exceptional mental health services in partnership with Northern and Indigenous communities.”

“I’m excited to join the talented, accomplished, and deeply committed team at NCTS – a Canadian leader in delivering outstanding, culturally sensitive mental health services in under-served communities,” said Devan Pennell, incoming President of NCTS. “By listening to and learning from the communities where NCTS works, we’re going to achieve sustainable growth while remaining grounded in our purpose: building capacity and collaborating with our partners to deliver high quality mental health services.”

For more than a decade, NCTS’ team of highly skilled practitioners has been delivering counselling, crisis support, and broader mental health support services in numerous Northern and Indigenous communities – working with partners including local and provincial/territorial governments, as well as Indigenous organizations, and businesses.

“Every day, the NCTS team collaborates to provide specialized mental health services for people who need them, in regions facing severe challenges,” said Rianne van Bruggen, Senior Vice President. “The addition of Devan to our team will help us continue to achieve service excellence, and realize our full potential to serve the clients, communities, and government partners with whom we are proud to work.”

NCTS specializes in culturally safe, collaborative, and multi-disciplinary mental health services, delivered both in-person and online.

The company continues to expand its remote and in-person service programs, tailored to Northern and Indigenous communities, having approximately doubled its client engagements since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking to the future, NCTS remains focused on helping to build local capacity across the North and in other service regions through collaborative partnerships and service excellence.

Pennell’s full biography can be found here.


Rianne van Bruggen


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