McMan Founders

On November 15, 1975, four graduates of Grant MacEwan College decided to open a group home in the inner city of Edmonton. With a vision to evoke change and contribute to the community, these individuals sought to provide support to young people who required care.

This ambition ultimately resulted in the foundation of McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association as we know it today.

Since then, the organization has evolved into a multi-regional body that serves the province of Alberta. Offering a variety of services that respond to the needs of their local communities, McMan has enabled Albertans to achieve their full potential as members of their community.


Norah ( McNamara ) Cantin

"I think a lot of what happened with McMan getting started was sheer serendipity"
In the early years of her life, Norah McNamara spent a lot of time at the side of her aunt who was a nun and youth worker in an orphanage for homeless children. Her aunt's work greatly influenced her and she desired to contribute meaningfully to the lives of disadvantaged children and families. Actively engaged in volunteer work throughout her career, McNamara sought an outlet to empower individuals in the long-term. This prompted her pursuit of a higher education in the field of education and social work. In doing so, she was presented with the opportunity to align herself with like-minded colleagues who shared her vision. This served as the catalyst for the co-foundation of the McMan Society. Her contributions to the organization were multi-faceted and touched every level of the agency. Having successfully realized her vision, she relinquished her role with McMan in 1985 to pursue other career endeavours.

John Meston

"McMan was one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences of my life."
Throughout his life, John Meston had always placed a strong importance on working with children and young adults. He constantly gravitated towards work, whether volunteer or otherwise, that dealt specifically with supporting youth. Through his interactions with young people, he recognized that support services were required in order to address, target and assist troubled youth in the community. Meston, in collaboration with his peers, decided to create an organization that would respond to the specific needs of young people. This newly formed organization was McMan. His committed involvement established a solid foundation from which the organization was able to grow and evolve. Having successfully created a fully-functioning agency that responded to the needs of youth in the community, Meston decided to leave McMan in 1985 to help develop a national child welfare organization.

Jim Allers

"My beliefs have led me down an interesting road that has produced some highlights in my life."
Jim Allers experienced poverty in his early years and grew up with strong moral and spiritual values. This created a remarkable dedication throughout his life to serve those in need. Upon completing high school, he chose to become a priest to better serve humanity. After a few short years, he discovered that his contributions to the community could extend much further. This prompted his hospital work, which was conducted over the course of several years. This work was executed in conjunction with his volunteer endeavours and the creation of social groups for youths. As a result of his community involvement, Allers recognized a strong need for troubled youth. This fueled his desire to pursue a higher education in the field and the co-foundation of the McMan Society. The last several years of his life were spent with Alberta's public service, serving troubled youth and families in the community. His work has made lasting impressions on those he served, and for this, he will be forever recognized and well respected.

Rick Newcombe

"McMan couldn't have happened without the energy, philosophy and strength of its founders."
In his early twenties, Rick Newcombe began his career with societal change and community contributions in mind. As a result of a strong interest to assist troubled youth, Newcombe chose to pursue an education that would enable him to affect change in their lives. During his educational pursuits, Newcombe was introduced to a working philosophy that targeted youth for healthy emotional and mental development. He fully embraced the philosophy throughout his career and he aligned himself with individuals who also believed in the approach. This resulted in the foundation of McMan, with the objective being to support youth for the betterment of the greater community. Throughout his career with McMan, his contributions were well-recognized on both regional and provincial levels. Currently, Newcombe collaborates with numerous organizations in order to support youth in the community.