About Us

directors and advisors

Our Board of Directors

Autism Canada is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is advised by a Provincial and Territorial Council, an ASD Advisory Committee and a Professional Advisors Committee. The Board also has four committees for Marketing and Communications, Finance and Audit, Nomination and Governance, and Fund Development. 

Autism Canada’s board drives the strategic direction of the organization and establishes its policies, vision, mission and values. If you are interested in joining this strong team of leaders, please contact the board chair by email at boardchair@autismcanada.org.

Chair

Dermot Cleary

Dermot is a photographer/director who has executed advertising, editorial and personal fine art projects worldwide over the last 20 years.

Through the medium of visual storytelling, Dermot has developed a deep respect for, and commitment to, the collaborative process and the successful translation of concept into finished product.

In his spare time Dermot enjoys the mostly-humbling experience of functional fitness workouts.
Dermot studied photography and fine art at the Ontario College of Art. He is the father of two boys.

Vice-Chair

Dr. Suzanne Lewis

Professionally, Dr. Suzanne Lewis is a physician specialist in Pediatrics (FRCPC; 1990) and Clinical Genetics (FCCMG; 1991), a Clinical Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC, Senior Clinician Investigator with BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Suzanne also leads the Autism SPectrum Interdisciplinary REsearch (ASPIRE) Program and Chairs the iTARGET Autism Research Collaborative. 

Suzanne’s collaborative work focuses on the advancement of early, effective and personalized diagnostic, treatment and support services to improve the health, function and quality of life for those living with autism.

Treasurer

Tim Berry

Tim brings over 30 years of financial expertise including senior financial roles in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Tim is a CPA and holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at Western University. Currently, he is Director of Finance and IT at Ombudsman of Ontario. Tim has extensive Board experience having served as Treasurer for both the United Way of Greater Simcoe County and the Children’s Treatment Network of Simcoe York. He is currently Treasurer of ShelterBox Canada and Treasurer of Simcoe Community Services

Director

Larry Bellehumeur

Larry is an Entrepreneur in the field of Wireless Communications with 20+ years of experience in Technology, Sales, Marketing and Business Development. In addition to his executive duties with Novotech, he leads a team of 15 Sales and Marketing professionals across North America focusing in the emerging area known as “The Internet of Things”. One of his passions is to work with companies who are developing technology to improve the quality of life for those with Autism.

Prior to starting his own business in 2009, he worked in a number of Management roles in the Telecom sector. Larry lives in Calgary with his wife and two sons, one of whom is on the spectrum.

Director

Kelly Bron Johnson

Kelly Bron is a published writer and Autistic self-advocate. Having only received her autism diagnosis as an adult, she aims to help others, especially females, gain access to earlier diagnosis and services. Kelly Bron is also committed to seeing more autistic people employed and properly accommodated in the workplace. As such, she has started consulting with companies to make them more accessible.

She also works as a digital marketer and online content creator for a SAAS company.

Director

Laurel Gillespie

Laurel co-founded the South Nepean Autism Centre, is past President and former owner of Spa Concepts, a destination spa consulting company and has served as Director of Business Development for Health and Fitness Group International. Presently, Laurel works at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre for the Head of Medical Oncology and is completing her Executive MBA.

Director

Sally Ginter

Sally was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto in August 2016. She has more than 20 years of experience in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. She has held the position of President and CEO of Kerry’s Place Autism Services, North America’s largest autism service provider, as well as Regional Executive Director for the Canadian Cancer Society. Sally is a volunteer Director on Autism Canada’s National Board of Directors.

Sally holds an honours BA in English literature from Trent University and an MBA from Athabasca University. Sally lives in Aurora with her husband Lauren, daughter Madeline and son Carson.

Director

Tom Jackman

Tom is an advocate for acceptance of people on the autism spectrum. He is featured in the film Autism Grows Up, a Kelly Brothers / Ability Hub production, which takes a look at the employment related challenges of young adults living on the spectrum. He is also featured in the book Autism: The Gift That Needs to Be Opened; a resource aimed at improving the lives of parents, educators, and persons on the autism spectrum.

ASD Advisory Committee

Autism Canada’s ASD Advisory Committee is comprised of adults on the autism spectrum.  This committee, chaired by Board of Directors’ member Tom Jackman, gives perspective where it is needed most.  These individuals lend insight into the issues affecting those touched by autism across the lifespan.

Our Advisory Committee helps Autism Canada work more effectively in ensuring appropriate resources and supports are in place.  We not only invite our committee members to place a spotlight on issues, but we also invite them to provide potential solutions.

They help us all to See the Spectrum Differently.

Chair of ASD Advisory Committee

Tom Jackman

Vice-chair of ASD Advisory Committee

Kelly Bron Johnson

Professional Advisory Committee

The Professional Advisors Committee is made up of prominent and established autism professionals who act as sources of information and influence for Autism Canada, helping to keep us up-to-date and on the cutting edge of worldwide developments in the field of autism.  The Committee advises us in the areas of research, policy, procedures and intervention practices, and widely endorses our work. 

Chair of Professional Advisory Committee

Suzane Lewis, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG

Emma Allen-Vercoe, B.Sc., Ph.D.

Guy A. Rouleau, MD, Ph.D., FRCPC, OQ

Isabel M. Smith, Ph.D.

Jennifer Zwicker, Ph.D.

 

Kevin Stoddart, MSW, Ph.D., RSW

Larry Bellehumeur

Martha Herbert, MD, Ph.D.

Paul McDonnell, Ph.D., L.Psych.

 

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