Board of Directors
President (Medicine Hat)Kent became a member of the board of Voice of Albertans with Disabilitiesin 2013. In 2015, Kent was elected to be the new president of the board.
“Volunteering gives me a chance to give back to the community and make a difference,” says Kent. And give back he does. He is president of his local Elks Club. Before joining VAD he was the chair of the Advisory Committee on Disability Issues (ACDI) for the City of Medicine Hat, and representative for ACDI on the Social Development Advisory Board.
Kent is particularly interested in raising awareness about the employment barriers faced by many people with disabilities. To this end, he was involved with the Alberta Disabilities Forum’s employment working group for two years and has served on the Employment Equity Committee at the bank for the past 13 years. He is pleased to be a part of the VAD board because he “wants to be involved in an organization that is set up to represent the interests of people with disabilities.”
Kent has been using a wheelchair for 26 years and was involved in wheelchair sports for some of that time. When he called Edmonton home, he played basketball with the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League and trained for field events at the Rick Hansen Steadward Centre.
Director (Edmonton)Ian became a member of the board of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2013.
Ian brings a unique combination of humour and hope to his work as a motivational speaker, where he often says that "a brain injury is easy to die from . . . but harder to live with."
Most recently, Ian has spoken to occupational health students at the University of Alberta, City of Edmonton bus drivers at City Hall, and new employees at the Glenrose Hospital. At these events, he encourages understanding and acceptance and advocates for accessibility. In 2009, Ian undertook a cross-country train trip, from Vancouver to Montreal, on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of Canada. Along the way, Ian spoke to various groups about injury prevention—with his most notable address taking place at the House of Commons in Ottawa.
Ian advocates for persons with disabilities through a variety of volunteer activities. He served on the Advisory Board for Persons with Disabilities for the City of Edmonton, the Brain Injury Society of Alberta board (for two terms), the Friends of Medicare board and is a member of the NAIT-Glenrose Steering Committee. As well, he writes a monthly column called Community and Ability for Boyle McCauley News. In 2008, Ian received the Glenrose Award of Courage.
Ian considers himself a proud Canadian, an avid writer, a self-advocate and a humanitarian. He is a five-star cook and appreciates fine music. He credits his parents for raising him and his two older sisters in a warm and loving home and teaching them the value of good humour and fair play.
In spite of his daily battles with the aftermath of his brain injury, which he sustained in 2004, Ian says he "will never be a victim, only a survivor."
Director (La Crete)Betty became a member of the board of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2015.
Betty and her husband own and manage their own company. She encourages those with a disability to keep going in life.
Treasurer (Calgary)Ava Morasch became a member of the board of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2015.
When her sister became paraplegic as the result of a horrific accident, Ava became aware of accessibility needs. Her caring nature and compassion make her a strong advocate for anyone with a disability.
Ava has volunteer experience in many areas but particularly in fundraising to protect our environment. She enjoys our Alberta wilderness and is passionate about preserving and protecting endangered animals and their habitat. She enjoys camping with her husband and son and spends free time making artistic creations, especially with stained glass.
Director (Edmonton)Kristin Jennings became a director of the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2017.
Sharde Davis became a member of the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities Board in 2017.
Director (Grande Prairie)Tarah Patterson became a director of the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2017.
Director (Edmonton)Michael Johner has been a Director of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities since 2017.