Alberta Disability Workers Association
Building a Valued, Proud & Professional Workforce
Board & Committees

ADWA Board

Denise Young - President

A Community Development Director with the Calgary SCOPE Society, Denise has been a long-time leader for ADWA, serving first as Vice-President, and helping to lead our advocacy & certification efforts. She is an experienced and passionate advocate for Albertans living with disabilities.

Vacant - Vice-President

Eugene McCafferty – Secretary-Treasurer

Eugene is the Human Resource Director for the St. Paul Abilities Network. He holds a degree in Systems Engineering and has worked for the St. Paul Abilities Network in various positions for 23 years. He is involved in the community as a volunteer board member. He has been a member of the ADWA Steering Committee since its conception. Eugene lives in St. Paul.

Darren Bennett

Darren is currently the Executive Director of the SASH Disability Support Services in Magrath, but started out as a front-line disability worker. He has been actively involved in service provider councils and workforce committees. Darren has been a vocal supporter of the need for adequate staff compensation and the role that skilled and knowledgeable staff play in the lives of individuals with disabilities.

Jim DesRoches

Jim currently operates James A DesRoches Enterprises (JADE) in Strathmore, offering Mental Health First Aid training, strategic planning, board development and other organizational development strategies. Previously, Jim managed an agency in the Northwest, served as a Contract Specialist for the Calgary PDD Region and the Alberta Health Region, Mental Health and Addictions, and worked for the Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS).

Janet Roy

Janet has worked in this field since 1993, starting as a front line worker, becoming a supervisor, and moving on to her current position as Project Manager for the Camrose Association for Community Living in Central Alberta. She is currently a member of the Central Behaviour Management Advisory Group and the Camrose Community Behaviour Resource Committee.

Bruce Skorobohach

Bruce was recently appointed to the ADWA board to fill a vacancy. He is currently Director of the Community Support Services Department at Columbia College in Calgary and is a member of the Community Service Provider Council of Calgary.

Alexander Stoye

As MirkaCare’s Human Resources Officer, Alexander helped his organization grow from a small family-run operation to a large, complex and thriving operation with multiple funders, and without changing its core values. He is an active member of Edmonton region’s service provider and workforce councils. Alexander is part of our Certification Pilot Advisory Committee.

Michelle Wolfe

A Director with the Calgary SCOPE Society, Michelle is an experienced member of ADWA’s Board. She also represents ADWA and our members as a Provincial and Calgary Regional Workforce Council member.

Tracy Yaremko

Tracy started as a front line support worker in group home living, then earned a diploma in Rehabilitation Studies, worked in the Diversion Services program under Children Services, and became a service Coordinator for the Alberta Brain Injury Network. She has most recently been named Coordinator of Residential Supports at St. Paul Abilities Network. Tracy was previously the president of her agency’s staff council in northeastern Alberta and found it to be a great opportunity to learn about concerns of workers in our field. She passionately believes workers need to be recognized for their expertise.



Kathleen Biersdorff - Coordinator

Kathleen started at ADWA part-time in August 2014 but has worked in various roles in the disability services sector since 1989. Kathleen provides support to ADWA members and to the board and committees in their various initiatives.

Shauna Pilipchuk - Certification Coordinator

An educator in MacEwan University’s Special Needs Educational Assistant Program and, previously, the Disability Studies Program, Shauna has been a part of the sector since the early 1980s. She is leading the development of ADWA’s certification program and coordinating its pilot project. Shauna also represents ADWA on the Provincial Workforce Council.


ADWA Committees

ADWA Committees are made up of selected board members, other interested ADWA members and invited experts. If you have interest and skill relevant to the work of a committee and wish to volunteer your time and energy, please contact us at

Communications Committee – The Communications Committee coordinates and/or creates communication with our membership and partner organizations. This includes developing position statements on key issues; setting an agenda of E-bulletins, website content and public relation materials for presentations and other purposes; and setting rules around and monitoring social media posted under the ADWA name.

Certification Committee – The Certification Committee guides the development of ADWA’s certification process and core competency standards and sets directions for the implementation process.

Governance Committee – The Governance Committee develops policies and ensures the structure and processes of the organization function effectively. The Governance Committee now also manages the annual board nominations process, vets and educates candidates about board member responsibilities and conducts board elections.

Government Relations Committee – The Government Relations Committee develops strategy around advocacy with elected, appointed and employed members of the provincial government.

Finance Committee – The Finance Committee presents a draft budget for submission to the board, reviews monthly actuals, discusses and makes recommendations regarding decisions related to the finances of ADWA, e.g., banking and investment instruments.

Membership Committee – The Membership Committee develops strategies to recruit new members, retain current members and engage the membership of ADWA. This includes making recommendations to the board on ways to promote membership, advises the board on membership needs, and partners with other committees, as appropriate, on matters of common interest.