Former Military Healthcare Worker Joins CNS Board of Governors

We are pleased to share that LCol (Ret’d) Anne Espenant, DMSM, CD is the newest member of the Commissionaires Nova Scotia (CNS) Board of Governors. She joined the 16-member volunteer board earlier this month, bringing a wealth of military, health care, and leadership experience. 

Hailing from Liverpool, NS, Anne was a critical care nurse at Victoria General Hospital in Halifax for several years before joining the military. She’d like to say her path to enlist was inspired by her grandfather’s and uncles’ service, but Anne admits the reality is that she lived next door to a recruiting centre in Halifax.

She felt she needed a change when she stopped by the recruiting centre on one of her days off. Several months later she was off to basic training, beginning what would become 36 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. While in service, Anne held a variety of nursing, medical planning, and health care leadership roles in Canada and overseas. 

She now looks forward to applying her experience to the CNS Board, whose members serve an initial term of seven years, or until they reach the mandatory retirement age. 

“I have always been keen to understand the employment opportunities available to former serving CAF and RCMP members and, by extension, their supportive family members. I’ve had family members who fought in wars, and I witnessed the struggles they had upon returning and reintegrating into the general workforce,” says Anne. 

“To have an organization like Commissionaires Nova Scotia that focuses on employment for this segment of the population is wonderful, and to become a member of the Board overseeing the organization is both an opportunity for my own learning and a way to give of myself in the organization’s endeavours and evolution.”

Anne says her time in the military gave her insight into the rewards and challenges of working as a commissionaire, having built a rapport with the commissionaires who provided building security. She says people with whom she used to serve have also gone on to become commissionaires, giving her “a vested interest” in the well-being of those in the job.

“As an ex-senior officer, I am also personally invested in the continued well-being of all former serving members and their families, and Commissionaires is one path to their continued work contributions,” says Anne.

A passionate community volunteer, Anne serves on the board of Queens VON Community Corp., Queens Manor, Queens Home Support, and the Astor Theatre. She holds a BSc in Nursing from the University of Alberta and has completed all courses towards an Executive Master of Arts in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University.

In joining the CNS Board, Anne replaces LCdr (Ret’d) Heather Mackinnon, MSM, CD, MD who retired after 12 years on 28 May 2021.  

During her tenure, Heather brought invaluable insight and passion. She was pivotal in her role as Chair of the Veterans’ Support Committee, which seeks to make life more comfortable for veterans living in long-term care facilities. Under Heather’s leadership, the committee was able to secure funding for recliners, adjustable tables, a wheelchair swing, a portable electronic blood pressure machine, mobile dental hygiene equipment, and community gardens.

To learn more about the CNS board, please visit our leadership webpage