Harnessing Talent Alliance
Maureen Haan, BA.
The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work
President & CEO, The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW)
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 in operation for over 40 years. Under Maureen’s leadership, CCRW has seen an increase in direct program service throughout Canada. She has also enabled a more transparent, streamlined understanding of 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. These include involvement with Civil Society on the UN Convention of Rights for Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as the lead for employment for persons with disabilities – specifically Article 27; leadership with the Conference on Work and Disability in Canada; and co-development and leadership of the pan-Canadian Strategy on Disability and Work
Maureen started her career in the Deaf community and is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Maureen earned her Bachelors in Psychology from York University. Maureen lives in Thornhill with her two sons and her partner, Mike. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, walking, making beaded jewelry, and spending time with family.
Jordan Friesen, MOT, OT, Reg (MB).
Canadian Mental Health Association
National Director, Workplace Mental Health, Canadian Mental Health Association
Jordan is a young, energetic leader with a progressive vision for mental health and social services. His experience in a wide variety of roles including clinical service delivery, case management, education, and non-profit leadership provides him with a solid understanding of the industry and in-depth knowledge of where gaps exist for innovation and collaboration. A natural relationship builder, Jordan sees the work of advancing mental health services as a collective effort aided by building and maintaining effective partnerships across all sectors, including government, business, and non-profit agencies.
Jordan understands that long-term, positive change doesn’t happen overnight. He skillfully manages change – both with people and organizations – by providing the right amount of challenge to stimulate growth and by focusing on strengths. He enjoys teaching and prefers to build capacity for the long-term rather than see immediate short-term success.
Jordan’s vision is to see individuals with mental problems and illnesses thrive in all areas of society and to make mental health services streamlined, efficient, and person-centered. His personal and professional values include humility, honesty, integrity, and accountability. Jordan earned his Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Manitoba, and his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Manitoba. In his spare time, Jordan enjoys hiking, camping, and yoga.
Maureen Parkinson, MED, BA.
Cancer and Work
Co-lead/Content lead, Cancer and Work
Provincial Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor, BC Cancer
Maureen Parkinson has worked for over 20 years as the BC Cancer Agency provincial vocational rehabilitation counselor. Previously, she worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for a public rehabilitation hospital, as a vocational rehabilitation consultant for insurance and law firms, and as instructor/facilitator of job search and career exploration programs for contracted services by Service Canada.
She has been the co-lead of www.cancerandwork.ca website and co-authored a commission paper for the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology called Cancer and Work: A Canadian Perspective. She has developed job search and return to work seminars for cancer patients and developed Cancer and Returning to Work: A Practical Guide for Cancer Patients. She has been involved in research of cancer survivors focusing on return to work, rehabilitation, quality of life, and cognitive challenges. She is a Canadian Certified Rehabilitation Counsellor and has completed the Certified Return to Work Coordinator Program through the National Institute for Disability Management and Research. Maureen earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from UBC and a Master’s in counseling from the University of Toronto. In her spare time, Maureen enjoys biking.
DAN BOUCHER, MPP, BA, BSC.
Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta
Director, Regulatory Affairs & Research, Registrar, Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta (CPHR Alberta)
Steering Committee Member, Immigrants of Distinction Awards
VP, Council Affairs, Master in Public Policy Alumni Council
Dan Boucher is an experienced public policy and government relations professional with policy backgrounds in immigration, human capital, and international development. He is currently the Director of Regulatory Affairs & Research at the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of Alberta. At CPHR, he leads a member-focused team dedicated to strengthening HR professional standards grounded in relevant research. He also serves as CPHR Alberta’s Registrar.
Prior to joining CPHR Alberta, Dan was an Executive Assistant to a Member of Parliament. Dan earned his Master of Public Policy in 2012 from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Calgary, and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Calgary. In his spare time, Dan enjoys hiking in the Rocky Mountains and biking along the Bow River.
Audrey WILKINSON, BA, MDIV.
Chartered Professionals in Human Resources OF BC & YUKON
Director of Social Development, Construction Foundation of BC (Victoria, BC)
Project Liaison, Chartered Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) of British Columbia and Yukon
Audrey Wilkinson, in her role as Director of Social Development for the Construction Foundation of BC, is responsible for directing programs and facilitating research about under-utilized populations in the workforce with an aim to build up the next generation of workers. Her professional background is in Social Work, Human Resources, and Labour Relations. She has spent many years in her professional capacity as an advocate for individuals and families living with disabilities, advising workplaces about workplace wellness and disability prevention, and teaching and writing on topics related to health, safety, and workplace wellness. Audrey has been a member of CPHR for over 10 years and actively engaged in events and networking. Audrey is a member of the BC Chapter, for the Work Wellness Institute. Audrey has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and her MDiv from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Audrey lives in Victoria, BC with her husband and son who all enjoy exploring Vancouver Island, and all it has to offer.
MATTHEW GALLINA, BED.
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
National Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ISETS) Training Coordinator, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
Matthew Gallina works diligently to assist urban off-reserve Indigenous people applying to CAP ISETP with successful skills training interventions and employment supports. Prior to this position, he spent 7 years teaching elementary school in La Loche, SK, where the majority of his students were Indigenous. Matthew worked to integrate culture and traditional teachings into his lessons and supervised students on overnight trapping school and fish camps.
After moving back to Ottawa with his wife and son to be closer to family, Matthew started working at CAP in July 2017. He is involved with multiple national projects working with various agencies to support increased employment and retention of Indigenous peoples. He is a National Advisory Group member for the First Nations Inuit Metis Essential Skills (FIMES) Inventory Project, a steering committee member, and presenter for the Southern Ontario Indigenous Linkages Engagement Project; as well as a project partner on the Indigenous Labour Market Intelligence Project with the Canadian Council of Aviation and Aerospace. Matthew is also working to provide specific supports for disabled ISETP clients. He represented CAP at the Canadian Association for Supported Employment conference and at the Disability and Work in Canada conference. He is also representing CAP on the Harnessing Talent: Alliance for Recruiting and Retaining Canadians with Disabilities where he is working with academics and service providers to increase employment opportunities for Indigenous Peoples with disabilities. He works diligently to assist off-reserve Non-Status and Status Metis and Southern Inuit applicants requesting assistance from CAP ISETS with successful skills training interventions and employment supports. Matthew is committed to helping CAP constituents reach their desired career outcomes. Matthew earned his Bachelor of Education in History from Nipissing University in North Bay, ON. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife Sarah and their 2 year-old Theodore.
Nicole Daikite, MA.
Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society
Executive Director, Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society (NDMS)
Nicole has lived and worked in Nunavut since 2012, where she was employed in the field of child protection. She is currently the Executive Director of NDMS, the only territory-wide cross-disability organization in Nunavut. She has extensive experience enhancing the rights and overall health and well-being of individuals and families through the provision of programs and services while respecting cultural norms and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) values, a fundamental characteristic of health and wellness in Nunavut. Her areas of interest include supporting marginalized and disadvantaged populations, trauma-informed practice, and disability rights. Nicole has a Master’s Degree in Child and Youth Care from Ryerson University and will be pursuing a Ph.D. in the same field. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, participating in cultural activities on the land, and learning more about Indigenous worldviews.
Pierre Essoh, bsc, MSC.
Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasuaqtiit Society
Pierre currently is employed as an Employment Specialist and is now an Acting Executive Director at Nunavummi Disabilities Makinnasauqtiit Society (NDMS). He is responsible for coordinating and managing pre-employment programs, completing community scans, providing job coaching, and advocating equal access to the job for people with disabilities. He is also a Certified Instructor of Human Development Model – Disability Creation Process for the International Network on the Disability Creation Process (Quebec and Nunavut). He trains front-line practitioners and organizations to conduct comprehensive assessments to identify individual and community life habits and environmental barriers.
Pierre has also worked as a research officer for the Law Society of Nunavut (LSN) and the Center of Excellence for Aging of Quebec (CEVQ), St. Sacrament Hospital, Quebec. In those positions, he conducted comprehensive research on the LSN complaint process in terms of lawyer’s non-professional conduct when mental health or capacity related concerns are identified. He also researched the strategies and tools for identifying socially isolated seniors.
As a senior Health specialist and Nurses Instructor for more than ten years, Pierre has developed strategies on cultural beliefs, lifestyles change, and on intervention techniques for vulnerable groups in the Cote d’Ivoire community. He also worked as a volunteer at OXFAM Quebec. In his spare time, Pierre enjoys fishing, hiking, his family, and listening to African traditional music.
Tammy C. Tayes, MPHIL (CANTAB)
Executive Director, Realize
Volunteer Reviewer, Public Health Abstracts at Ontario Public Health Association
Volunteer Adult Literacy Tutor, Toronto Public Library System
In 2015, Tammy C. Yates became the first black female Executive Director of a national organization in Canada’s HIV response, as well as among Canada’s national disability organizations. She has worked for over thirteen years in the field of program management. Prior to joining Realize, Tammy was the National Program Manager of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Trinidad & Tobago Branch Office. She has extensive experience in Gender & Development and Sexual & Reproductive Health, including HIV/AIDS; she worked previously as a Program Officer with the Secretariat of the Caribbean Regional Network of Persons Living With HIV (CRN+), and serving as Chair of the Gender Theme Group of the United Nations System in Trinidad & Tobago. Tammy is a graduate of Wolfson College, Cambridge University, England and the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. In her spare time, Tammy enjoys singing as part of the Shout Sister Choir (Toronto South West Chapter).
Diana Vissers, MA, BA.
Vocational Rehabilitation Association of BC
Vice President, Vocational Rehabilitation Association of British Columbia
Diana Vissers helps organizations address mental health through consulting, disability management, and education programs. Her education includes a Master’s degree (disability management); she is a Canadian Mental Health Association Certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor; and she now shares her experiences through teaching. Diana developed and teaches two courses for Simon Fraser University: Canada’s first university level Workplace Wellness course and a Return to Work best practice course. In 2015 Diana was appointed to the BC Professional Firefighter Association Mental Health Task Force where she collaborates with organizations to improve mental health supports for firefighters through research and programs. Diana has a Master’s degree in Disability Management from the University of Northern British Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McMaster University. In her spare time, she hikes and kayaks with her hand-made wooden kayak named “knotty girl”.