CASDA’s Board of Directors is made of representatives from some of Canada’s leading autism organizations.

Debbie Irish

Chair – Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

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More information to come.

Jill Farber

Vice Chair – Executive Director, Autism Speaks Canada

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More information to come.

Arshad Zaver

Treasurer – Director of Finance, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

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Arshad Zaver is currently the Board Treasurer at CASDA. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Specialization in Accounting. Upon completion, he decided to pursue the Chartered Accountancy designation. He has held several roles with a variety of not-for-profit organizations, some of which include the University of Toronto, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, where he currently holds a role as the Director of Finance. Arshad was appointed to the Board in June 2020. He is excited to make a positive contribution towards the autism community, while adding some flavour and spice to the finances.

Denise McKee

Director – Executive Director, NWT Disabilities Council

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Denise McKee has spent her career as an advocate toward full citizenship for all. In 2009, Denise’s family made the life changing choice to leave Ontario and her position, as director in a large community living in Ontario, and move to the remote community of Aklavik, NT. There her husband worked as a teacher and she worked, for the government, as the community social worker. In 2011, her family moved to Yellowknife, NT where she accepted the position as Executive Director, for the NWT Disabilities Council, which provides direct support, territorially, for over 9000 people. During her continued time as E.D., Denise has been instrumental in many changes including, as Chair, the development of a new Disability Framework and Action Plan for the NWT. However, it was in 1997, when Denise gave birth to her second set of twins in less than two years, that her lifelong personal commitment to the autistic and disability communities began. Her eldest son was diagnosed as autistic with experiences many significant challenges and barriers daily. In her roles as E.D. and Chair of the NWT Autism Society, Denise strives to ensure the voice and uniqueness of the North is present in all decision making regarding autism and disabilities.

Sue VanDeVelde – Coke

Director – President and CEO, Kerry’s Place Autism Services

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Cynthia Carol

Past Chair – Executive Director, Autism Nova Scotia

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Cynthia Carroll is the Executive Director of Autism Nova Scotia and the current past-chair of the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA).

Since 2008, Cynthia has led Autism Nova Scotia to become one of the largest community-based autism organization in Canada and a recognized leader in advocacy, training, and programming across the lifespan. She has participated on numerous working groups that made recommendations to provincial and federal governments, influenced policy change, co-authored needs assessment surveys and reports, and most recently contributed to the development of CASDA’s National Autism Strategy Blueprint, which has since been prioritized by the federal government.

Cynthia’s current passion and priorities include increasing community capacity for autism supports across Nova Scotia and advocating for supported living and person-directed planning for people with autism and the greater disability community.

Heather Driscoll

Director – CASDA Member

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Tanya McLeod

Director – President, Sinneave Family Foundation

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Tanya McLeod is currently President of The Sinneave Family Foundation (Sinneave) located in Calgary, Alberta. Committed to delivering outcomes in education, employment and supported independent living, Sinneave seeks to create opportunities, unlock potential and shape a future where autistic Canadians lead fulfilled lives. As a member of CASDA’s Board of Directors, Tanya brings decades of experience working with the federal government as well as skills and experience in governance, teamwork, strategy, risk management, and stakeholder engagement. Tanya is committed to contributing to the alliance’s collaborative work to inform the government’s development of a comprehensive national autism strategy. Tanya also sits on the Board of Directors of PolicyWise for Children and Families, a not-for-profit corporation that exists to improve child, family and community well-being by leading, creating, enabling and mobilizing research and evaluation for evidence-informed policy and practice.

Nathalie Garcin

Vice Chair – Principle, Clinique Spectrum

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Kimberly Ward

Board Secretary – Executive Director, Society for Treatment of Autism

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Adrian Bohach

Director – President and CEO, Enterprise4Good

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Adrian is recognized as a world thought leader and innovator in the growing Social Enterprise sector. He is a gifted leader with a vision that inspires everyone he meets.

For over 35 years Adrian has built a reputation as a leader with a track record of delivering exceptional results in the business, government, and the non-profit sectors. His diverse career includes roles as an actuary, business owner, executive management consultant, writer and board chair/member. He is a pioneer of social enterprise in North America, and has been a advocate of the Social Enterprise model since 1989.

As CEO of the Enterprise4Good since 1996, Adrian has implemented his vision of sound business practices and entrepreneurial spirit to transform a small, local charity into a large, thriving business delivering social good across Canada and abroad. His passion is to grow the organization to a level where it can actually solve social issues and affect real change in societies both domestically and internationally.

Adrian has chaired and served on numerous community boards and committees including the Calgary Foundation, Calgary Homeless Foundation, Calgary Rotary Club, and Champions Employment Centre. When Adrian is not working, you can be sure to find him spending time with his wonderful children, of which he has 9. He loves being a father and enjoys all the blessings that children bring.

Margaret Whelan

Director – CASDA Member

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A tireless leader and visionary, Margaret Whelan has been active in the
autism sector for well over 40 years. She spent 28 of those years as the
Executive Director of Geneva Centre for Autism. Trained as a clinical
Social Worker, Margaret focused her skills on program development,
community capacity building and advocacy. Along the way she has
mentored countless emerging professionals and leaders as they entered
and contributed to the field of autism.
In addition to her work in the Toronto community, she has had a significant
impact at the national level. Margaret is a founding member of CASDA. In
this capacity, she has been a powerful advocate for Canadians on the
Autism Spectrum. In 2014, she co-led CASDA’s National Autism Needs
Assessment Project and is pleased to have worked closely with Dr.
Jonathan Weiss at the University of York as co-author of the National
Autism Needs Assessment report, Autism in Canada: A National Needs
Assessment Survey. 
In July 2015, Margaret was appointed by the federal Minister of Health to
serve on the National ASD Working Group exploring the feasibility of a
Canadian Autism Partnership. In October of that same year, she assumed
responsibility as Co-Director of the Canadian Autism Partnership Project
(CAPP). Much of that work laid the foundation for the subsequent activity of
CASDA in its pursuit of a federal commitment to developing a National
Autism Strategy.
Passionate and dedicated, Margaret’s leadership has contributed to
profound and positive change for the 1 in 64 Canadians who are Autistic
and their families, and the communities in which they live. Her continued
commitment to CASDA demonstrates her determination to ensure that
Autistic Canadians can experience a better Canada, one that is inclusive
and empowering.

Brooke Pinsky

Director – Support Programs Lead, Autism Edmonton

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Brooke was appointed Manager of Programs and Supports with Autism Edmonton in June of 2017.  Brooke oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization’s front-line services and brings a diverse background that includes program development and delivery, project management, disability management, claims management, advocacy and board governance and administration.

Born and raised in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Brooke studied Political Science at University of Alberta prior to starting a career in Disability Management.  Brooke worked with the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta and as a Senior WCB Advocate and Corporate Advisor with the Government of British Columbia before joining the nonprofit world. 

Brooke currently lives in Edmonton with her 13-year-old daughter who is on the autism spectrum.  They enjoy listening and playing music as well as outdoor activities including gardening, camping, boating and hiking.

rebekah

Rebekah Kintzinger

Director – CASDA Member

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Rebekah Kintzinger is a mentor for autistic members of her community in Kelowna, BC, working with those who have specific needs or goals, and range from child to adult. As well as being on the board of directors for the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance, she is also an Okanagan Advisor for the Pacific Family Autism Network’s Voices of Autism program.

She also offers her time as a volunteer in a literacy program and with a community Christmas hamper program to keep her busy. She once helped to organize a rally for teachers, and her speech at the rally was posted on YouTube in addition to being in a Vancouver Sun article.

Rebekah continues to be passionate about the needs of others, and is very focused on the positive outcomes of a National Autism Strategy. She raises awareness in her community and through social media with her published writings and radio pieces from her own experiences being autistic.

Rebekah is very creative, and aside from loving to draw and write she also appreciates cooking for her two boys, and acting out scenes from Monty Python with them.