Joanna joined the CASE team in 2019 as the associations first executive director. She brings with her many years experience supporting diverse Canadians to plan for and build the lives that they want in community. Joanna has worked most recently as the executive director of an Independent Facilitation Organization, and is a past steward of the Ontario Independent Facilitiation Network. Joanna holds degrees in Exceptionality in Human Learning, Social Services, and Voluntary and Non-profit Sector Management. She lives in a small town in southern Ontario with her husband and 2 teenaged boys. In her off time she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and reading.
National Marketer: CASE/MentorAbility
Scott has over 25 years of experience in marketing management, brand management, and strategic planning in a variety of industry sectors and businesses. As a management consultant he has developed expertise in formulating national marketing and communications strategies.
He has provided strategic communications guidance to a number of organizations including: Oxfam Canada, National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Tourism Commission, Conference Board of Canada, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Most recently he managed the marketing and fundraising activities for the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada.
Scott lives and works in Ottawa.
Most recently, Reno Michel has collaborated to five national federally funded projects as lead instructional designer including the Hire for Talent employer disability awareness toolkit. Published author, Reno Michel delivered study skills workshops to thousands of students, parents and professionals in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, and New Brunswick. Master of Adult Education, Reno Michel has also facilitated and managed numerous competency-based initiatives incorporating concepts of Essential Skills and the Blueprint for Life-Work Designs for the workplace integration of youth at risk. Reno Michel plays the piano, the accordion, and the bassoon.
Michelle Buckland is a seasoned and passionate Learning and Development Specialist, Accessibility Advisor and an award-winning Motivational Speaker. She has been in the Training and Development field for over 20 years which includes blended learning, (in)formal methods, custom-based training, e-Learning, digital learning, amongst others where she has worked in a variety of industries such as Government, Manufacturing, Education, and Consulting to name a few. As an Accessibility Advisor, she uses her expertise, advocacy, and accessibility legislation to help ensure compliance and provide services to organizations and the community to build and sustain accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities.
For the majority of her career, Jeanette has worked in the accounting field in a non-for-profit organization. Her love of spreadsheets and reconciliations is widely known by those working with her. You will often hear her saying “I can create a spreadsheet for that”.
Annette Borrows has been serving people with disabilities towards employment for the past twenty years gaining experience in working with people that have mental health diversities, mobility and cognitive complexities. She has also written and facilitates the Supported Employment Specialist series and specializes in Customized Employment. She has spearheaded and written content for Canada’s National Supported Employment Best Practices found at employmentforall.ca. Annette is the Employment Strategy Manager for Langley Association, Delta Community Living Society and Community Futures of the South Fraser. She holds a degree in Adult Education as well as Certification in Workplace Based Training. Annette has served on the CASE board since 2011.
Joy has a passion for everything Supported Employment and has been working in the field in two provinces for over twenty years. Joy has been employed as the SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT TRANSITION INITIATIVE (SETI) Coordinator for approximately ten years. Prior to SETI, she worked as an employment specialist in both Saskatchewan and Manitoba, along with contracts from organizations in Alberta and Ontario. Joy’s passion for an inclusive and diverse work force was born in Texas where she developed a program with VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) called Neighborhood Health Watch. The program focused on single parent families located in inner cities to develop skills and work ethic to improve the standard of living, thus improving the general health of these disenfranchised citizens. The program has spread across the southern US and is still in operation today. The Texas Department of Public Health recognized Joy’s work with a certificate of accommodation and appreciation in 1996. In 2000 Joy was awarded an Innovator Award in Manitoba for her work with Rural Entrepreneurs.
Joy facilitates an intensive multi-day Supported Employment and Marketing training and has written and facilitated several one day Supported Employment workshops; she also assists businesses develop policy and strategies for building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace in Saskatchewan.
Joy holds a Bachelor in Education, and is a certified facilitator. Joy has proudly served on the CASE board for six years.
Entrepreneurial spirit combined with a passion to make a vital difference in society and the lives of persons with disabilities landed Janice the position as the Executive Director at TEAM Work Cooperative in 2001. TEAM Work Cooperative has made great advancements as a known agency for service excellence in employment services for persons with disabilities, under Janice’s leadership.
Janice attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Janice currently sits on the Executive of the Ability Employers Board, Co-chair for the Collaborative Partnership Network Society of Nova Scotia, is a board member for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network and serves on the Board of the Canadian Association of Supported Employment. Janice was the host for the four year Nova Scotia Persons with Disabilities Employability Table project, which produced the Blueprint for Action: a Report to Achieve Equitable Access to Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in Nova Scotia.
Under Janice’s leadership, TEAM Work Cooperative became one of the eighteen Nova Scotia Works Centres in Nova Scotia bringing Inclusive Employment Services to Halifax.
Janice led the first Ability Starts Here Symposium for Persons with Disabilities and developed the partnership with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, the Disabled Persons Commission and the Collaborative Partnership Network to bring this successful event to its 10th year in 2018.
Janice was the recipient of the 2012 Progress Women of Excellence Award in the category of Management and the Professions.
Shelley Andrews has been working with Avalon Employment Inc. based in St. John’s, Newfoundland for the past 14 years where she is presently employed as an Employment Counsellor. Working with individuals, families, businesses and government, she supports and navigates the world of employment for her clients, following a client- center approach.
Shelley is a Board Member of the Canadian Association of Supported Employment as the representative for the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador.
Prior to joining Avalon Employment, Shelley had worked in the Media with a large provincial wide radio station where she helped develop radio and advertising campaigns. This has been a particularly valuable skill that she has transferred to her work with Avalon Employment.
In the last number of years, in addition to her Client Services work, Shelley has focused on promotional campaigns and special events for Avalon Employment including a province wide visual media campaign, organizing Provincial and National meetings. As well as promotional campaigns for Avalon Employment, she has successfully also ran promotional campaigns for the Supported Employment Newfoundland and Labrador (SENL) Network which is comprised of 17 agencies throughout her province.
Shelley was also involved in an 18 month Social Return on Investment Research Project with the New Economic Foundation in England and is the co-author of a report that examined the Return on Investment for Government as it relates to employment for individuals with disabilities.
In addition to her professional life, Shelley is very active within her community as a Volunteer. She is a past Board Member with the Suzuki Talent Education Program (STEP) as well as Past Secretary of the Paradise Youth Soccer Association.
Shelley is married with two daughters who always keep her on her toes.
Sonia Deraîche is a Coordinator at SPHERE, an organization dedicated to work inclusion of people with disabilities. Sonia and her team of Employment Specialists are located in Montreal and Quebec and they work together to develop programs and services for people with all types of disabilities. One of her goal is to work with partners to develop training and integration projects for groups and for individuals living with professional challenges and needing support to access the labour market. Sonia also oversees the self-employment program for people starting their own businesses or income generating activities. Sonia previously worked as an Executive Director in a Specialized Employment Agency for PWD for several years. Also, she has worked as an Employment Counsellor in Ontario with youths and newcomers and in Quebec with older workers and with job seekers living with all kinds of disabilities wanting to go back to work. She has been serving on the CASE Board of Directors since 2014. Finally, she has a Bachelor degree in PsychoEducation and a Business Administration Certificate from the University of Sherbrooke.
Maureen has been the President & CEO of CCRW since 2012. CCRW is the only national organization with the sole vision of equitable and meaningful employment for people with disabilities, and has been a strong advocate to this vision for over 40 years. Under Maureen’s leadership, CCRW has seen an increase in direct program service throughout Canada, as well as a more transparent, stream-lining of understanding the business case of hiring a person with a disability. Maureen provides insight to employer engagement through CCRW best practices and proven results.
Maureen has been very active in the cross-disability sector, currently focusing on employment issues. She has been involved with numerous committees and groups that increase awareness of and access for the disability sector and the Deaf community and is fluent in American Sign Language.
Maureen works in Toronto and lives in Markham with her husband and two sons.
Deb Hotchkiss has been the Executive Director of Partners in Employment, for two decades. Their focus is inclusive employment for all people.
They assist hundreds of people a year to find and keep employment.
She lives in a small rural community in southern Ontario. She is married with two adult children and an awesome grandson! As a two time cancer survivor, she has no tolerance for wasting time!
An experienced veteran of the web’s startup world, Garth Johnson has an infectious and memorable style that can be attributed to his breadth of experience. In the early days, Johnson developed his unique approach through television writing and production, copy editing, and market research. Garth is bringing Meticulon his experience as an executive at Fotolia and iStockphoto, both leaders in the ever-changing, dynamic microstock industry with a relatively straightforward approach: business and community are linked at all levels – something Meticulon is about as well.
Embracing this philosophy, coupled with his trademark humorous twist, Johnson develops business relations and strategic partnerships as our CEO.
Because of his business experience owning and managing several entrepreneurial businesses and his personal experience having a child with disabilities, Johnson became inspired to build the team that would make Meticulon’s vision of being not only the first but also the best IT Consulting firm in Canada to employ the unique abilities of our consultants with autism.
He led Fotolia in their successful mission to expand throughout the North American market by using the resources he developed as Vice President of Business and Community Development for iStockphoto and as Vice President of Business Development for Cinemage Software L.P., part of The ACT Cinemage Group. He shares this vision with an ambitious team, who describe Johnson as someone who leads by example. He innately blends his experiences, talent, and vision to provide a clear direction. Brainstorming sessions are fuelled by thinking outside the box and continually pushing the creative envelope. And that’s what keeps Johnson coming back for more – the privilege of continuing to learn from others and the ability to influence people to tackle their ambitions.
As person succeeding with a disability, Michael has focused his entire career on supporting other people with disabilities as they interact with the world around them, whether at work, at home, or at school. With a varied background working within group homes, schools, insurance companies, and now with Jazz Aviation, he actively looks for opportunities to help individuals with disabilities succeed with their work goals. Michael has completed training in Occupational Health & Safety, Adult Education, and more recently Mental Health & Addictions. Currently, he leads a team of healthcare professionals as they provide health management efforts to support a workforce of 4500 aviation sector employees.
Jennifer grew up in Cape Breton Island and graduated from the Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies in 2006. Following her graduation she moved to Alberta where she began her career supporting adults with developmental disabilities. She completed the Alberta Supported Employment Consultant Training in 2011. She’s helped develop a program for at risk youth that helped them choose education and career paths. She has also received training in Person Centered Thinking and Person Centered Reviews.
She started working at Signature Support Services in Grande Prairie, Alberta in 2007. They are a non-profit agency that supports people with developmental disabilities. She started her employment as a Job Coach and two years later took over coordinating the program which she has done for the past 8 years. The Employment Supports Program helps people with developmental disabilities find employment within the community of Grande Prairie. It is their belief that everyone can find and sustain long term employment with the right supports. The program’s focus is to help the individuals they support to become as independent as possible. They have had great success with some people having 15-20 years employment with the same employer.
In addition to Jennifer’s Employment Program responsibilities, she is also responsible for much of the staff training and development within the organization.
ane’s professional career choice has been driven by a personal passion for helping people. She is very driven in all aspects of her life and likes to surround herself with positive like minded people.
Jane has more than 30 years combined professional experience working with diverse cultures in the Employment & Career development Field. She has a strong background in Community Collaboration and has been the Executive Director of Island Employment since 2001, currently managing 5 locations.
Jane holds a Bachelor Arts degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Diploma in Social Work from the University of Waterloo; she is a certified Rehabilitative Worker, is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s Non-Profit Leadership Management Program, she holds a Diploma in Disability Management through Dalhousie University and is a Certified Career Development Practitioner.
Jane is the current Chair of the Nova Scotia Career Development Association, Co Chair of the Collaborate Partnership Network of Nova Scotia, is a member of the Centre for Employment Innovation Advisory Board, is a founding member of the CASE, has served on numerous committees and boards, and has worked collaboratively with government departments and government representatives to lead positive change in the area of employment services and programs for diverse groups. Jane lead an initiative to implement universal design in 52 Nova Scotia Works Centres across the Province.
Jane is known as a progressive leader in the Employment Services System. Jane has been Nominated for the Women in business Awards. She is a past recipient of the Wiltshire Award of Excellence. She is a dedicated mom of 2 and enjoys spending time with her husband Eddie, family & close friends.
Devon has 10 years professional experience assisting people with disabilities in advancing their skill sets and obtaining gainful employment.
She became a vocal advocate for persons with disabilities in 1996 when her daughter was born with Spina Bifida and has since been looking at the world through a disability lens, promoting inclusion for all.
She is employed with the PEI Council of People with Disabilities, a non-profit organization whose mandate is to “promote the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in Island society”. She began her career at PEICOD in the Community Access department providing advocacy, awareness and supports for community and disability benefits. Devon then transitioned to the Employment department pursuing her passion of helping people realize their employment and education goals. She is now the Employment Services Manager for PEICOD and sits on the board of the PEI Career Development Association. As Manager of Employment Services, Devon oversees various employment programs including pre-employment workshops, one-on-one case management, Job Development, Job Coaching and an Opportunities fund wage subsidy program “Abilities@Work”. She is also involved in employer engagement initiatives on the Island and is responsible for staff development and training.
Devon has two daughters, Carlee and Rylee and you can find all three of them singing all across the Island at various events.
Jennie Powell has been employed by Crosswinds Employment Assistance Services as a Vocational Facilitator for the past 7 years in Sussex, New Brunswick. Working with individuals with various disabilities, she is an advocate for inclusion and finding meaningful employment for her clients.
Jennie attained her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of New Brunswick in 2012 with a major in Psychology. She has her Level 1 ASL Certification and continues to work towards her Career Development Practitioner Certification, completing courses though Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF).
Jennie is an active member of the New Brunswick Career Development Association, currently filling the role of Planning Committee Member and previously on the Board of Directors.
Ernie Thiessen is the Executive Director for Premier Personnel, a supported employment agency in Winnipeg, MB, and has been employed in the field for over 20 years. Through the years he has worked as a front line worker providing job coaching, job search supports, and marketing. He has also worked specifically on school to work transition programs and has a strong interest in the early connection to employment for people with disabilities. Ernie has also been actively involved in advocacy and awareness around supported employment issues for many years now and has served as Chairperson and board member at the provincial level for the Manitoba Supported Employment Network on many occasions.
Ernie enjoys spending time with his family and loves to help with coaching for a variety of sports that his kids have been involved in (and still enjoys a little healthy sporting competition himself) when he is out of the office.
Jude currently works at TEAM Work Cooperative Ltd/NS works as the Operations Manager. She holds a Bachelor of Human Ecology and was awarded “The Senate Medal of Distinction” From Mount Saint Vincent University. She specializes in Family Studies, Gerontology, and Disability Management. She has a professional certification in counselling, leadership/management and project management. As well, Jude is a certified Human Resource Practitioner and Career Development Practitioner. She also has a certificate in non –profit sector management. Jude has sat on several Boards, Collaborative Partnership Network, Society of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Nova Scotian’s , and Reachability. Previously, Jude was the Executive Director of The Work Bridge Association, an Employment agency for job developers assisting job seekers who self- identified as people with disabilities. It was co-located with TEAM Work and Judy has worked with individuals with disabilities spanning a career of 20 plus years. She herself is a person with a physical disability, living with rheumatoid arthritis for over 27 years. It makes her even more passionate about helping others with barriers and disabilities to live a full and productive life, including work!