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The Voice of Albertans with Disabilities actively promotes full participation in society and provides a voice for Albertans with disabilities.

Board of Directors

Kent Hodgins

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.
As the commercial account manager at Canadian Western Bank (where he has worked for 16 years) and a committed volunteer, Kent brings a wealth of workplace skills and community experience to his role on the VAD 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.

Margot Brunner-Campbell

Vice President (Red Deer)

Margot first joined the board of Voice of Albertans with Disabilitiess in 1995.
Margot has served two terms as President of the Board.

Ian Young

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."

Betty Doerksen

Director (La Crete)

Betty became a member of the board of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2015.
Betty became a member of the VAD board in 2015. Living in Northern Alberta with a person with a disability, Betty has encountered barriers. She desires to make a difference in helping to create a barrier free society. Betty is also a member of her local FCSS board and has served on other community boards.
Betty and her husband own and manage their own company. She encourages those with a disability to keep going in life.

Ava Morasch

Treasurer (Calgary)

Ava Morasch became a member of the board of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2015.
Ava comes from a background of more than ten years as a financial and operational leader in non-profit management, where she developed an understanding and appreciation of the work of non-profit organizations. Her extensive experience in complex grant and fund accounting and reporting will be a great asset for VAD.
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.

Kristin Jennings

Director (Edmonton)

Kristin Jennings became a director of the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2017.
Kristin is an active member in her community. She is a Rotarian, an energetic volunteer, an advocate and humanitarian. Kristin cofounded a social group for individuals with disabilities in 2014 called RootEd.  Kristin is also an active member of the foundation Young Nurses Take Action. Kristin has worked for a few different organizations that support individuals with disabilities. Kristin’s parents both worked in human services; Kristin grew up alongside many individuals her parents supported. Kristin values shared learning, mentorship opportunities and sharing narratives to learn from one another. Kristin works as a Registered Nurse. She has been working in palliative care for a majority of her nursing career. Kristin is also working on a Masters of Disability and Community Studies through the University of Calgary. Kristin has been focusing her schooling on the methodology and connection of compassion and suffering. Kristin is particularly interested in learning about the complexity and power of language.

Sharde Davis

Director (Lethbridge)

Sharde Davis became a member of the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities Board in 2017.
Having been a part of disability world in one way or another, for the majority of my life I have developed the skills and values that have brought me to where I am today. Growing up in a small town in BC, my family acted as a support home for a woman with a disability. She has grown to become a member of our family and has taught me patience, compassion and empathy.  Deciding to take a different path, I received my diploma in Recreation Therapy, specializing in gerontology. I worked in that field for a couple of years before being drawn back to my roots in the disability field. Being employed with Quest Support Services in Lethbridge, AB, for the past 8 years I have worked in many different departments within the agency. In my current role of Associate Director of Community Living I oversee the day-to-day operations of our residential program. In my role I have developed the skills to manage a wide variety of individuals and staff members, build rapport with and advocate strongly for the individuals that I support. I am also a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor; having the opportunity to teach this course has given me a better understanding for those I support on a daily basis and helped me break down the barriers and stigmas that so many face.   In my downtime I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and living a healthy and active lifestyle. Whether I’m hiking in the mountains or running with my dog I enjoy keeping busy and taking time for myself!

Tarah Patterson

Director (Grande Prairie)

Tarah Patterson became a director of the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2017.
Tarah Patterson joined the board of directors of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities in 2017. She has lived almost all her life in Grande Prairie, AB. Since childhood she has been involved in helping others. Tarah has taken programs in community rehabilitation and leadership. She joined a northwest Alberta self-advocacy group in 2000 and was a member for many years. While in Lethbridge for two years she was a member of South Region Self-Advocacy Network. Tarah has been a member of two self-advocacy committees encompassing self-advocates and allies from all over Alberta, the Provincial Self-Advocates’ Advisory Committee and Albertans Advocating for Change Together. She is also a Person with Disabilities Liaison to promote inclusion in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Michael Johner

Director (Edmonton)

Michael Johner has been a Director of Voice of Albertans with Disabilities since 2017.
Michael was born with Cerebral Palsy in 1966 and has lived his live in Edmonton, Alberta. He completed high school at St. Joes in 1986 and became involved in Cerebral Palsy Sports as an athlete from 1984 to 1998.  Michael represented Canada at the 1988 Paralympic Summer Games; winning both a silver 100m and a bronze 200m medal.  Michael represented athletes on the Cerebral Palsy Sports Association board from 1986 to 1990, and from 1996 to 2002 was on the DATS advisory Board for the city of Edmonton. He served as a Vice Chair in 2001, was the Chair in 2002, and represented DATS Advisory Board on the Edmonton Transit Board in 2002.  Michael is happy to help with the Voice of Albertans with Disabilities board of directors to help make a difference to individuals with disabilities.

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