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

ADWA Board

Alexander Stoye - President

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 and the ACDS HR group.

Lindamarie Gossen - Vice-President

Lindamarie is a provisional Counselling Psychologist, teaches in Bow Valley College’s Disability Studies diploma and FASD certificate program and is the mother of 3 children with varied diagnoses. Lindamarie has over 25 years of experience working with individuals, families, couples and children across numerous support settings including the Native Services, Calgary Counselling Centre, Calgary Catholic Board of Education and the Government of Alberta (FSCD). Her specialization is in Autism Spectrum Disorder, family supports, inclusion and personal advocacy. 

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.

Jim DesRoches

Jim currently works for VALID in Vegreville. Previously, Jim operated James A DesRoches Enterprises (JADE) in Strathmore, offering Mental Health First Aid training, strategic planning, board development and other organizational development strategies. He has also 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).

Alyssa Deutscher

Alyssa works for MirkaCare Services 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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.