Region

Position

Brenda Kinnie

Brenda Kinnie has been working with non-profit organizations in the capacity of Executive Director since 2012. These organizations have included Education, the Arts, and Social Services. Brenda is passionate about leading high-functioning teams, analyzing processes, and confidently establishing appropriate steps to move organizations forward. Bringing strengths in strategic leadership, organizational management, governance, process improvement, problem-solving, and interpersonal management, Brenda leads with courage, boldness, and empathy based in a team mindset.
Brenda has a Master of Business Administration in Executive Management (Royal Roads University, Victoria BC) and credits this experience for locking in her business acumen, developing her inquiry-based approach to work, and for increasing her capacity for managing consecutive projects. Prior to receiving her MBA, she graduated from the education program at the University of Calgary. Brenda is a lifelong learner and continually seeks ways to enrich her knowledge and skills.
In 2022, her second-oldest daughter was in an accident that resulted in a T4 fracture. This changed the trajectory of life’s journey for the entire family. Brenda is honoured to be representing SCI-AB as Chief Executive Officer. With an openness and desire to learn about each person’s lived experience, Brenda is ready to champion and support resources for individuals with a SCI and other physical disabilities. Outside of work, Brenda enjoys spending time available with loved ones, especially her four adult daughters and her precious pup, Louie. She loves to walk, read, cook, travel, work in her garden, and play word games.

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.

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!

Peta Glezerson

Peta Glezerson joins the SCI-AB team as Senior Manager of Philanthropy. She has been working in the not-for-profit sector for 20 years, with much of that time spent in the domestic violence sector and social services. With a wealth of experience in all aspects of fund development, she is excited about bringing her knowledge to SCI-AB!

 

Driven by the power of stories and storytelling, Peta is looking forward to getting to know our supporters and plans on finding as many ways to share stories about the organization and the people we help as she can. Communication in all its forms is also an integral part of her role, so don’t be dismayed if you receive a piece of snail mail written with a fountain pen.

 

Peta draws inspiration from many amazing people in her life: her children for their authenticity and ambition; donors and funders who so selflessly give to non-profit organizations and who in their generosity affect change; volunteers who show what it means to give from the heart; the many remarkable people with whom she has worked for holding space for their clients to grow; and for the many clients who exemplify true courage and who aren’t afraid to put in the work to move forward.

 

Her proudest achievements were raising her two children to become the kind, compassionate adults they are who are making their mark in the world. She is happiest when in the presence of her two young grandsons whose penchant for silliness is a reminder for her to keep laughing.

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.

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.

Twila Wegenast

Twila joins the SCI team with a diverse professional background.  She has 20+ years experience in corrections, youth work, probation, addictions and working with indivudals with developmental disabilities.  She has been a professional figure skater/power skating instructor for most of her adult life and is passionate about spending quality time outdoors.  Twila is excited to learn and grow with the SCI community.

Dallyn Wirachowsky

Dallyn Wirachowsky has joined the Spinal Cord Injury Alberta Client Coordinator team as of Spring 2024. Dallyn completed his Social Work Diploma in 2018 and experienced working in many different demographics such as addictions, unhoused individuals, special needs, at risk group home and family work. He is looking forward to complimenting his skillset with new experiences from this role, with the aim of providing quality care for SCI-AB clients.  On a personal note, Dallyn is an avid fan of any types of sports or activity but specialized in instructing of Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing and MMA. He is also a passionate fan of music and will share a conversation about different music at any times and is always looking for recommendations.

Kendra Erhardt

Kendra Erhardt is the Peer Coordinator for the Edmonton region. She sustained a T10 complete spinal cord injury in a recreational accident in March 2019. In this time, she has learned many lessons along the way, and brings lived experience navigating the world as a full-time wheelchair user. Kendra is passionate about travel, cooking, and adaptive recreation. She is on the national adaptive waterskiing team, plays sledge hockey, cross country skis and downhill skis! Other hobbies include silversmithing, painting, photography, yoga, meditation and writing for her wheelchair travel blog, Wheelie Girl Travel. Kendra is passionate about community involvement, creating change and connections within the spinal cord injury community and disability community as a whole.

Eryn Petracek

Eryn Petracek is one of the Community Access Coordinators in the Edmonton area.  She has been a social worker for 20 years and has worked in a variety of different environments and with a variety of different populations. Much of that experience has come from working with people with a broad range of disabilities. Eryn has a keen interest in examining the policies and processes involved in service delivery, and working to make changes that improve the experience and quality of life for those accessing services.  The development of community, and facilitating increased participation in community, is something that has long been a priority of hers.

Eryn has two children, as well as two dogs, that take up most of her time. Eryn enjoys reading, learning, spending time outdoors and has a healthy fondness for Star Trek.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

Nikol Drobchak

Nikol is currently graduating with a BHPE in Physical Literacy from Mount Royal University. Nikol has extensive experience working with vulnerable populations, as well as individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. Nikol has been involved within the disability community for 8 years  and is working with SCI- AB in supporting individuals who have spinal cord injury to best utilize the resources available to them and to serve as an advocate when needed. In her free time Nikol enjoys hiking and the outdoors with her husband and dog in addition to working with the Alberta sport and recreation association for the blind.

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.

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.

Kimberly Hughes

Kimberly Hughes is one of our Exercise Physiologists/Specialized Fitness Coordinators. She received her Masters of Kinesiology, from the University of Calgary, and Clinical Exercise Physiologist Certification in 2021. Throughout her schooling and previous work,  Kim has been involved with in-patient and out-patient neuro-rehabilitation centres and has found passion in making exercise a part of standard care. Kim aspires to use exercise to assist others with improving their abilities, tasks of daily living and overall quality life and health. If not at work or in the gym, you can find Kimberly in the kitchen baking new sweets, or in the mountains exploring!

Christian Ream

Christian Ream is one of the Client Service Coordinator for Calgary and Treaty 7 areas. Christian completed his bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Alberta in 2017. Since his graduation, he has worked and volunteer extensively in nonprofit organizations, working with a wide range of individuals. This has highlighted the need to focus on each person’s unique needs and strengths to reach a life worth life. Christian is a strong supporter and advocate for individual’s mental health and the many unique factors that contribute to it.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time in nature, rock climbing, camping, wood carving, and spending time with friends and family