Michelle was appointed Executive Director of Autism Canada in March 2019. Michelle has over 20 years of experience in delivering mold-breaking campaigns and strategies for local, national and international conservation, education, health and social service charities. Michelle brings a diverse background that includes experience in fundraising, program and project management, strategic planning, non-profit volunteering as well as financial administration.
For the last 10 years, Michelle has volunteered her time to the Friends of Wellers Bay as a member of the Executive Committee for this wildlife conservation organization. Michelle is multilingual, with languages including American Sign Language (ASL), English and Spanish. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys yoga and frequent travels to often remote locations in Latin America where she works with conservation groups in the protection of endangered species.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University, and she is currently pursuing her MBA.
Since 2015, Chantale Pomerleau has delivered school presentations on autism awareness and acceptance to over 10,000 students from kindergarten to grade 8. As a sister to two brothers on the autism spectrum, Chantale provides a unique perspective as a sibling and encourages her audiences to view neurodiversity with the same compassion. After graduating with an Honours BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph in 2015, Chantale received Guelph’s Top 40 Under 40 Award and published her thesis on Pain Assessment and Management in Children with Intellectual Disabilities.
Karen has over 15 years experience developing, executing and championing large and small-scale programs and events within the charitable sector including healthcare, children’s charities, independent school and university foundations. Prior to joining Autism Canada, Karen provided her services as a consultant for a Toronto based software consulting company.
Karen is a graduate of Carleton University, Ottawa, has obtained her CFRE and is currently pursuing her MBA through North Park University, Chicago. She enjoys traveling, playing sports, spending time with her family and friends
Manager, National Fund DevelopmentKaren@autismcanada.org
Marie became Autism Canada’s first Autism Community Manager in May 2019. They are on the spectrum, bilingual, non-binary, and hold a master’s degree in history. They strive to represent, involve and include different autistic perspectives at the heart of the organization. They have experience as a speaker and high school teacher, and wish to help allistic people understand ASD a bit better. They have also worked in the medical sector, assisting physicians when they needed to find appropriate research about mental health issues and HIV. Marie’s objective is to help build, maintain, and mend when necessary, bridges between Canadians who seek to deepen their (self-) awareness, further their knowledge on autism, and create a more inclusive society.
Autism Community Managermarie@autismcanada.org
Prior to working for Autism Canada, Susan practiced for five years at the Autism Intervention Clinic of Guelph where she assisted families and ASD adults in understanding the importance of nutrition. She organized the “Autism Opportunities” Conference for three consecutive years in Guelph.
Motivated by a desire to understand autism, Susan has been taking courses and attending conferences since 2004. She is particularly interested in the gut-brain connection.
Susan is a graduate of Sick Children’s Hospital, Toronto, the University of British Columbia and the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
Family Support RepresentativeSusan@autismcanada.org
Sarah graduated from the Developmental Service Worker program from Fanshawe College and has been supporting individuals with Autism for over 10 years. She is now enjoying contributing to the administrative aspect of raising funds and awareness as a part of Autism Canada.
Office Administration Support
As a former Captain of a local volunteer fire department and training officer, Ms. Silinski is no stranger to emergency planning and response. She spent a number of years working on a joint research and development project between the Department of Defense and Public Safety as a Senior Advisor heading a national working group with a focus on emergency planning. Her over twenty years in communications and public relations experience will complement her lived experience when developing these education resources and will without a doubt be an asset when engaging stakeholders across the country.
Program Manager, ASD SAR (SARA)firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie joined Autism Canada as the Social Media Coordinator in August 2018.
Prior to joining Autism Canada, Leslie was most recently an independent stylist for a popular accessories company which launched her love for visual storytelling and social media. With over 20 years experience in supporting executives in finance and human resources, she brings with her a background in administration, event planning, project management and volunteering. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Social Science from University of Ottawa and lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.
Coordinator, Social Media & Communicationsleslie@autismcanada.org
In 2010, Tafari graduated from Cambrian College (Sudbury, ON) with a diploma in Graphic Design. Upon graduating, he started working with Autism Canada to develop and implement the visual language of the organization. Since then, he has worked on numerous projects including revamping the Autism Canada website, designing annual reports and creating the website for their national fundraiser Inside Out For Autism. He continues to freelance with various not-for-profit companies while also pursuing a career in music as a singer/songwriter.
Graphic & Web Designertafari@autismcanada.org