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

ADWA Board

Alexander Stoye - President

As Human Resources Officer at MirkaCare Services Inc., 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 and the ACDS HR group.

Denise Young - Past-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 then President, and helping to lead our advocacy & certification efforts. She is an experienced and passionate advocate for Albertans living with disabilities.

Tracy Yaremko Secretary-Treasurer

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.

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.

Tara Brady

Tara is a Program Manager for Janus Academy’s adult programs in Calgary. She comes to our board with experience working with PDD and FSCD to get service contracts approved so that individuals have the support they need to transition successfully from youth into adulthood. Her work has given her an understanding of services in school, day programs, recreation and social program settings. In addition to her advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities, Tara has also advocated with municipal and provincial governments about reducing single-use plastics.

Alyssa Deutscher

Alyssa works for MirkaCare Services Inc. as a team lead, Mandt and Positive Behaviour Supports trainer, and complex behaviour supports administrator. Alyssa started in the field when she was 18 years old. She completed a Social Work diploma at MacEwan University in 2014 and is a registered social worker. Alyssa  values the work done to enhance professionalism in our sector and advocate for fair compensation for our workforce. “ADWA allows Community Support Workers’ voices to be heard.”

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.

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Staff

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.

Shanda McCutcheon - Administrator

Shanda is ADWA's newest employee, starting in May 2019. She has held a number of administrative positions in the oil and gas sector, including helping coordinate the evacuation of one organization's staff and contractors during the Fort McMurray fire. She also worked in disability services at DDRC and has a family member with disabilities.

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 represented ADWA on the Provincial Workforce Council.

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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 disabilityworkers@gmail.com.

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.

External Relations Committee – The External Relations Committee develops strategy around advocacy with elected, appointed and employed members of the provincial government, educational institutions, other professional associations and organizational partners.

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.