Board of Directors
The Canadian Association for Supported Employment is led by the passionate and dedicated supported employment and business leaders who make up our Board of Directors. These volunteers from across the country engage as champions for employment equity and create impact locally and across the nation as CASE pursues employment inclusion for all.
Annette Borrows has been serving people with disabilities towards employment for the past twenty years, gaining experience in working with people who 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 workforce 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 to develop policies 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.
An entrepreneurial spirit combined with a passion for making 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 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 run 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 goals 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. She has a Bachelor’s 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. It has been a strong advocate for 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 into 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.
Jane’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 of 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 leads 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.
Garth Johnson co-founded Meticulon in 2013, Canada’s first enterprise to deploy the unique abilities of individuals with autism as IT consultants. Garth’s entrepreneurial career in IT has encompassed roles such as VP of Business and Community Development for iStockphoto, President of Fotolia North America, currently identified as Adobe Stock photo. Garth brings his personal life experience with having an individual with autism in his family, together with his professional passion for building sustainable, disruptive businesses to auticon Canada’s mission to grow across the country and expand our services into new sectors. Garth also serves on the board of the Canadian Association for Supported Employment in support of its mission to create sustainable, equitable employment for all Canadians with diverse abilities. To add to this Garth also serves as Board Chair of Between Friends, a Calgary based organization that provides social and recreational opportunities for people of all diverse abilities within the community. Garth’s passion and dream is to help foster a world where people with diverse abilities are fully integrated into all levels of society, experiencing life to the fullest.
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.
Devon has 10 years of 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 for 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.
Deb Hotchkiss has been the Executive Director of Partners in Employment, for two decades. Their focus is on 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!
Jennifer grew up in Cape Breton Island and graduated from 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-Centred 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 of 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.
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 Scotians, 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, Jude has worked with individuals with disabilities spanning a career of 20 plus years. She 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!
René Ephestion is employed by the New Brunswick Association for Supported Services and Employment as Executive Director.
René has over 15 years of experience in various fields such as financial services, business development and human resources with a degree in law-economy-management major in law and human resources.
He has shared these skills on various boards of directors and is currently the Board President for the New Brunswick Public Libraries Commission.
René is from France and is very involved in the defence of social and societal causes in New Brunswick.
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