Our Team

VALOUR CANADA’s small team is dedicated to educating Canadians about our country’s military history and heritage.

John Q. Adams,  President

John has over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry, where he gained significant expertise in the areas of strategic planning, business development, marketing, sales, and wealth management.

Starting a career at Royal Trust in 1987, he progressively took on more senior positions at Royal Bank, TE Financial and Scotia Bank. John was a senior member of the team that obtained a Canadian Schedule 1 Chartered Bank license for a new start-up, Bridgewater Bank, in 2005, where he successfully led the initial marketing and product development team. Most recently, he led the business development efforts of Fiera Capital in Western Canada, creating a unique value proposition and increasing brand awareness that saw his efforts pay off with him earning trust and confidence of high-net-worth individuals and families in private wealth.

John is a graduate of the University of Calgary (B.A. History 1985) where he also obtained his Marketing Certificate (1998). He is actively involved in the local business community both personally and professionally. He was recently on the board of the Glenbow Museum while serving as the Chair of Valour Canada and being involved in the Calgary Chamber, all while supporting several non-profits in Calgary.

While very much involved with outdoor pursuits, including running, mountain biking and cross-country skiing, he balances that with model railroading, model building, gardening, travel and spending time with family.

It was family connections that piqued John’s interest in military history at an early age as his father and two grandfathers were all involved in the military at one point or another since 1917. As a military brat, John lived in Fredericton, Montreal, Hamer, Werl, Lahr and eventually Calgary, where his father retired, and the family put down roots in the community in 1973.

John is very much looking forward to this new chapter in his career and welcomes every and all discussions on how to better educate youth about our Canadian Military History.

Aaron Curtis,  Lead Educator

Aaron was born in Eastern Ontario and spent his childhood in the Rideau Lakes area, primarily Lanark and Leeds Grenville counties, an area that marks the high elevation point of the Rideau Canal. In his younger years Aaron could be found playing competitive hockey in the winter and enjoying the countryside in the summer.

His employment experience includes work as a home construction labourer, building supply yard worker, truck driver, fire and burglar alarm installer, circuit pack repair technician (Nortel), production worker (3M), and archaeological assistant.

During the mid-2000s, Aaron attended the University of Calgary where he earned a degree in Archaeology (B.Sc.) and a minor in Earth Sciences. Upon graduation, Aaron went overseas. After a year and a half of teaching English to youth in South Korea, he returned to Canada and attended the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (University of Toronto) where he received his B. Ed. After leaving Toronto, Aaron was hired as an occasional teacher for both the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario and the Upper Canada District School Board. Over the course of a few years, Aaron settled into a role that allowed him to focus his teaching efforts in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Realizing that student enrolment was trending down and that increasing numbers of teachers were being surplussed, Aaron decided that for greater job security he would accept a job with an environmental consulting firm in Calgary, Alberta.

Prior to his time at Valour Canada, Aaron worked for five years at the environmental firm alongside countless First Nations and Métis communities in Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, and N.W.T. During the course of his employment, he spent weeks with many incredible people who taught him a ton about traditional knowledge and ways of life. Aaron will always be thankful for this experience.

Currently, Aaron resides in Calgary and vacations near his grandfather’s farm in Rideau Lakes Township (formerly Bastard Township). He spends the majority of his leisure time reading, playing recreational hockey, and with family.

Rachel Vendsel,  Program Administrator

Rachel was born and raised in central Ontario. Throughout her childhood, her family loved to travel and spent summers exploring Canada coast to coast. She fell in love with the Rocky Mountains as a child and knew Alberta would one day be her home.

She attended Lakehead University in northern Ontario and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with a minor in History. She is currently working on completing her Master of Arts degree.

Rachel moved to Alberta in 2008 after spending the summer working in Banff. She then spent six years as an administrator at a property management company in downtown Calgary. She enjoyed learning the complexities of running a busy office with 100+ staff. She then transitioned into public health care and worked as a medicine coordinator for five years at a very busy, rural hospital. This position allowed her to further refine her time management and organizational skills. Throughout this time, she enjoyed volunteering with organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society, the Humane Society, Kids Help Phone and 7 Cups of Tea. She volunteered in various roles, including transportation coordinator, kennel cleaner/dog walker and crisis responder. Through these roles, she developed a passion for the not-for-profit sector and was thrilled to have the opportunity to join Valour Canada in December 2019.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking her dogs, and spending time with her family.

Richard Ferris,  Program Development Manager

Richard Ferris is an Entrepreneur who comes to Valour Canada with 12 years of experience running his own Property Inspection company, where he has assisted buyers, sellers, agents and company owners in both Residential and Corporate transactions. Richard is not only the owner and an inspector with his company, but is also worked for the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) as a specialist and guest instructor for their continuing education programs and annual conferences.

Before starting up his inspection company in 2008 Richard spent 18 years as a Corporate Trainer with Bell Canada and Direct Energy. He specialized in teaching soft skills and IT training for employees of both companies. Richard found his passion for teaching when he enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1989. Since the start of his military career as a Military Police Officer, he later transferred to the Cadet Instructor Cadre as a Commissioned Officer, where he continues to facility youth engagement through instructional technique and leadership. Within the Canadian Cadet Movement Richard is an expedition instructor, qualified as; a rappel instructor, canoeing instructor, range safety instructor and a gold coach biathlon instructor.

Richard resides in Toronto, Ontario with his wife Danielle, and his two young children; Fynn and Addison, aged eight and four respectively. In his free time, Richard teaches Corporate First Aid and CPR for Link to Life.