Region

Position

Mark Ellis

Mark comes from a diverse professional background, most recently working as a massage therapist. Mark has a passion for assisting clients reach their potential through compassionate and collaborative communication.  He became interested in spinal cord injuries and neurological rehabilitation during his work as a therapy assistant at the Glenrose Hospital.

Since then, Mark has enrolled in the Human Services Administration Degree program at Macewan University and plans to further his knowledge of client care with SCI Alberta.

Mark is an avid martial artist, reader and musician.  He enjoys quality time with his wife and 2 daughters.

Julia Burton

Julia Burton is one of our Client Services Coordinators for Edmonton. Julia holds a BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge and is passionate about mental health advocacy. Her experience includes working with vulnerable populations, as well as individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. In her current role, Julia supports individuals who have a spinal cord injury to best utilize the resources available to them in their community and to serve as an advocate when necessary. In her free time, she enjoys travelling and has visited over two dozen countries, in addition to volunteering abroad as a mental health support worker.

Olga Krochak Sulkin

Olga is the Director of Philanthropy. She has been involved in the non-profit sector as an employee and volunteer for over two decades. Her experience includes program management and leadership, fund development, communication, and program innovation. Olga holds a BA in English Literature and Communication, an MA in English Literature with a dissertation focus on social justice and vulnerable populations, Leadership and Management Certificate, and a military diploma in social work from the Israeli Defense Forces. Olga is especially passionate about fund development and philanthropy. Her dream is to have enough to give to all her favourite charities. Olga and her family immigrated to Calgary in 2013 and have been calling it home ever since.

Jaspreet Panesar

Jaspreet Panesar is our Finance Coordinator. She started working with SCI Alberta in April 2021. Previously she was working with the Good Samaritan Society in the Finance department for 4 years and has worked with nonprofits for almost 5 years. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with family, travelling and enjoys gardening.

Mieke de Groot

Mieke de Groot joined SCI Alberta in 2010 as a Client Service Coordinator in the Grande Prairie Region.  Her role has included raising awareness and advocating for effective services, support and communities throughout the Alberta Northwest.  Her extensive experience working with diverse populations, while specializing in person-centred services, includes supporting people who have disabilities in three countries.  Life highlights include a 3-minute paraglide, rock climbing, spelunking, white water canoeing, and singing in Carnegie Hall with the Grande Prairie Regional College Concert Choir.  Mieke is a registered social worker; she enjoys visiting one-on-one, gardening, reading science fiction, historical fiction and young adult literature, and walking in the woods.

Wanda Seifried

Wanda Seifried is our Community Access Coordinator for Red Deer. She is very happy to have landed at and been with SCI Alberta for the past eight years after pursuing studies in the medical field. Wanda is passionate about contributing to her community, both professionally and personally, and is an avid volunteer for many projects and associations in the Central Alberta Region. Family time, theatre, hockey, and the great outdoors are her favorite ways to spend a day.

Ken Kwiatkowski

Ken Kwiatkowski is our Regional Program Coordinator for St. Paul. He has been with SCI Alberta since 2006. Ken is also an avid Flames fan!

Rob MacIsaac

Rob MacIsaac is one of our Client Services Coordinators for Edmonton. After sustaining an SCI in a motor vehicle accident in 2004 at the age of 18, Rob became heavily involved in peer mentoring through The Canadian Paraplegic Association in Nova Scotia. Influenced by his years of volunteering and peer work, he chose to pursue a career in Social Work. Rob joined our team in 2019 shortly after graduating from MacEwan University with a Social Work Diploma. Rob is a member of Canada’s National Development Wheelchair Rugby team and brings an inclusive team-based culture learned through sport to our team and the clients he works with. Rob takes pride in his role that consists of working one-on-one with our clients, their families, and other service providers to help clients transition effectively from hospital to community. He also provides ongoing support for accessing resources to live happy, healthy, and as independently as possible.

Edgar Jackson

Edgar Jackson is one of our Client Services Coordinators for Edmonton. He has been with SCI Alberta since 2005. His main duty is being the first point of contact for new SCI clients at the University of Alberta, Royal Alex, and Glenrose hospitals. Since Edgar became a C6/7 incomplete quadriplegic, he has been very involved with a variety of neurological studies and clinical trials. Edgar would not be who he is today without the tremendous support he has received from this organization throughout his entire journey. To this day and immediately after his injury occurred, SCI provided Edgar with knowledge, opportunities, and continuous support and enriched his own life and the life of his family immensely. In his free time, Edgar has volunteered with the Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Eskimos, and Barrier Free Council, just to name a few. He has also been a United Way speaker for many years and has received a multitude of awards for his work. Edgar also enjoys family and friend get-togethers, hunting, fishing, and quadding.

Roswitha Dziwenko

Roswitha Dziwenko is one of our Community Access Coordinators for Edmonton. She was born and raised in Austria and moved to Canada as a young adult. She has worked for SCI Alberta for almost 23 years in a variety of positions, taking on the position of CAPCC Coordinator in 2012. In this role, Roswitha helps clients connect to the community by assisting them in finding all types of events and places to go to and by putting endless smiles on their faces. In her free time, she enjoys travelling with her husband and spending summer weekends at their lake lot in Saskatchewan enjoying boating and water sports. The Edmonton Oilers are Roswitha’s favourite hockey team and she would much rather go to an Oilers games than go out for dinner to a nice restaurant.

Lorna Shannon

Lorna Shannon is one of our Specialized Fitness Coordinators. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Alberta and is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with further training in Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). Lorna enjoys the lasting impact she leaves on people’s lives by helping them improve their abilities, make daily tasks easier, and improve overall health and confidence. In her spare time, Lorna enjoys working on her family’s land, sewing, kayaking, and coaching wheelchair basketball.

Alex Hepworth

Alex Hepworth is one of our Specialized Fitness Coordinators. He is a Kinesiology graduate from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, where he earned his Clinical Exercise Physiologist Certification and developed a passion for working with individuals with disabilities. He joined the team in 2016 shortly after graduating. In the SCI Fitness Centre, Alex helps empower individuals with neuromuscular disorders by improving their quality of life through exercise prescription and education. In his spare time, Alex likes watching sports and staying active through skiing, kayaking, boxing, and weightlifting.

Terry Tenove

Terry Tenove is our Peer Coordinator for Southern Alberta. Coming from a teaching background, Terry has always enjoyed finding different ways to engage peers and help them with any problems that may arise. In his current role, he works to find mentorship for anybody who needs it from those amazing and experienced members of the wheelchair community. After sustaining his spinal cord injury and becoming a quadriplegic, it was through the help of the many members of the wheelchair community that he was able to get over his many bumps on the road and become the best version of his new self. Terry looks forward to setting up events and finding different things for people in the wheelchair community to come together and enjoy. He is now on the next adventure, having just had two young children, giving him a whole new set of lessons to learn!

Shakil Shivji

Shakil Shivji is one of our Client Services Coordinators for Southern Alberta. He graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. In his current role, Shakil is responsible for ensuring that individuals and families of those with spinal cord injuries and similar physical disabilities are receiving the support they need and are able to achieve their optimal level of integration within the community. Shakil spends his free time sharing his passion for music as a DJ, spreading his love of athletics through watching and playing various organized sports, and having a coffee at various cafes around the city.

Guy Coulombe

Guy’s provides information and program support as part of the management team. He has been with SCI Alberta and formerly Canadian Paraplegic Association since 1985, a lifer! During this time, he has filled many roles. Guy has an educational background in Social Work and lived experience with a spinal cord injury. His favourite part of work is connecting with clients and providing them with information and resources.

Janice Brownlee

Janice Brownlee is our Chief Financial Officer. She has been with SCI Alberta since 2001 and is a Certified Professional Accountant, married with two children. Janice has previously held senior financial management positions in both the government and health care sectors, including working above the Arctic Circle for seven years! In addition to volunteering as Treasurer for other non-profit organizations, Janice loves to garden out on her acreage, cook, and golf.

Shaun Dyer

Shaun Dyer is our Chief Executive Officer. Shaun’s career in social profit leadership spans almost 20 years and several roles that include being a member of the clergy, a restorative justice advocate, a communications strategist, and head of one of Canada’s most recognizable charitable brands, United Way Saskatoon. His motivating vision is that everyone in a community ought to have the same opportunities to thrive and that the most accurate way to measure community wellbeing is how committed we are to removing barriers to inclusion. Shaun was born and raised in Edmonton, shaped and sharpened in Saskatchewan, and is now putting down roots in Calgary. He is an avid sports fan, reader, mountain bike rider, proud uncle and, most importantly, dad to Luke.

Zahra Bhatia

Zahra Bhatia is our provincial Director of Programs and Services. Her background is in Social Work and Disability Studies and has worked for Spinal Cord Injury Alberta for over 10 Years in several different roles, including Client Services. Zahra has also worked closely with the Foothills Medical Centre with the physiatry team in identifying community supports and advocacy. Zahra has not only maintained her focus on providing leadership, but also supporting inclusion within the community, increasing quality of life, and effectively reaching out to individuals to reduce isolation. ‘Through communication and ongoing research, we can collaborate through our networks and community members to fill in the gaps on programs and services, promote independence and reduce barriers to clients and family members’. Zahra enjoys travelling, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the outdoors rain or shine!

Elysha Velji

Elysha Velji is one of our Community Access Coordinators for Southern Alberta. She graduated from Mount Royal University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Elysha has held a variety of roles since joining the team in 2014. In her current role, she works to provide recreational activities to those with limited supports through our Community Access for People in Continuing Care Program. In her free time Elysha enjoys kickboxing, making handmade jewelry, volunteering, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Karol Gouschuk

Karol Gouschuk is one of our Community Access Coordinators for Southern Alberta. She joined the team in 2008, coinciding with the beginning of our Community Access Program. The program supports individuals in long term care to participate in social and recreational activities. In her free time, Karol enjoys kayaking, biking, and writing poetry.

Brandice Lorch

Brandice Lorch is one of our Client Services Coordinators for Southern Alberta. Brandice, also a Registered Social Worker, aims to enrich and support individuals with disabilities so that they have the chance to achieve their goals and build the resilience required for a positive lifestyle. She works with clients post-injury, both in the community and their homes, to ensure that their needs are met on a social, economic, emotional, and physical level. With lived experience as a quadriplegic, Brandice is a relatable and empathetic resource for clients. She believes that the world has no boundaries and the answer is not whether you can or can’t achieve something, but how you can make it happen.