About Us

directors and advisors

Our Board of Directors

Autism Canada is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and an ASD Advisory Ambassador. 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 info@autismcanada.org.


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.


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.


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


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.


Sally Ginter

Sally’s experience as a non-for-profit Chief Executive Officer spans a decade.  She has served as the President and CEO of Kerry’s Place Autism Services, North America’s largest autism service, served as Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto, and currently is the Chief Executive Officer for the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.  Sally holds an honours BA in English literature from Trent University and an MBA from Athabasca University.  She has served as Finance Chair for Autism Canada and currently serves as the Chair of Governance & Nominating.  Sally lives in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.


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.


Liz Phipps

Liz is an autism advocate and parent to a teenaged son with ASD. Liz left her career in financial services in 2010 to focus on not-for-profit work and was the Executive Director of Unity for Autism and worked in fund development for Autism Ontario. She has been featured on radio, television and in print, speaking on a variety of subjects as it relates to autism. She works extensively with the Toronto District School Board, advocating and supporting neurodiverse students. Liz also has a daughter and does volunteer work at Havergal College.


Paul Finch

Paul was elected treasurer and chief financial officer of the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) in 2014 and re-elected in 2017. He is responsible for the BCGEU’s ethical investment program and policy on housing affordability and land economics. Prior to this, Paul served as the BCGEU’s executive vice president for three years.

Paul is a plan partner representative for the public service and college pension plans, a trustee on the Public Service Pension Plan Board of Trustees and is chairperson of the BC Target Benefit Pension Plan. He also serves on the National Executive Board of the National Union of Public and General Employees and the Executive Council of the BC Federation of Labour

Paul has completed the Directors Education Program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He was appointed a Director for the Board of the BC Investment Management Corporation in April of 2019. During his career in the civil service, Paul worked primarily in real estate and IT project management.


Philippa St. C. Hood, M.A.

Philippa is an autistic self-advocate and a graduate student in the Clinical Psychology program at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. Her research and clinical work centres around supporting autistic people with mental health difficulties, and improving the autism assessment process. From an advocacy perspective, she works with mental health clinicians to destigmatize services available to autistic people and their families. Philippa lives in British Columbia.

ASD Advisory Ambassadors

An Autism Ambassador for Autism Canada is an advocate for and from the autistic community who believes in our organization, and our guiding principals.  We depend on our team of subject matter experts to help offer guidance and support for individuals with Autism and their families living in Canada and to ensure that people on the Autism Spectrum have full, healthy, and happy lives.  

Autism Canada is the only Canadian autism advocacy organization with a national perspective on the issues currently facing those with ASD, their families and other stakeholders.  

They help us all to See the Spectrum Differently.

Chair of ASD Ambassadors Committee

Tom Jackman