The Access Expo is excited to welcome an exciting speaker series
to promote inclusive healthy active living opportunities and
experiences for people of all ages and abilities.
Funding and resources
Funding and resources
& much more
Prsident & CEO, Variety Ontario
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Boston University and Queen’s University, Karen has applied her educational experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sector for over 20 years. Karen began her career in the private sector and then worked for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board as a manger and also at Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. She oversaw the delivery of multi-million dollars projects.
Before joining Variety, Karen was a Toronto City Councillor for 11 years and while serving on Council was Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission. In 2012, Toronto Life Magazine named her one of the 50 most influential people in the City.
As President and CEO of Variety - the Children's Charity of Ontario/Variety Village, Karen is committed to ensuring the facility remains a prominent, state-of-the-art inclusive facility that promotes fitness, team building and sport for individuals of all abilities.
JaimeLynn works with Parks and Recreation Ontario, focusing on working with organizations to develop quality experiences for participants and developing new facilitators in her role as Coordinator, HIGH FIVE® Training and Stakeholder Engagement. HIGH FIVE® (developed by Parks and Recreation Ontario) is Canada’s quality standard for children’s programs and is now providing training in the Older Adult sector as well.
On her path to Parks and Recreation Ontario, JaimeLynn was a Registered Kinesiologist, Varsity level softball coach and Supervisor of Child, Youth and Fitness Programs with the YMCA.
JaimeLynn has an Honours degree in Physical Education, a Diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion, is NCCP certified and a YMCA Fitness Trainer.
Speaker, Trainer, Coach
After 16 years as an officer in the Canadian Army, Chris was diagnosed with an Operational Stress Injury and medically released. He now applies the lessons he's learned to help others overcome adversity and find happiness. Chris is a Certified Professional Coach and an independent certified teacher, trainer and speaker with the John Maxwell Team. He's married, has two cats and enjoys fishing and photography.
Spinal Cord Injury
Marianne has over fifteen years of experience in the social services field, providing counselling and assessment services to a variety of individuals. She has been working with Spinal Cord Injury Ontario as an Employment Counsellor for 5 years. She works with individuals with disabilities assisting them with pre-employment, job searching and job retention needs. While living in Chicago, she worked for 7 years in a Psychosocial Day Treatment program, working with chronically mentally ill adults in a community mental health setting. She was a Case Manager as well as a Team Coordinator, supervising a treatment team. She supported clients with issues related to housing, employment, and mental health issues/crisis, as well as running a variety of support and socializations groups. Prior to that, she worked with the City of Toronto as a Welfare Visitor, which is now known as Ontario Works. This job involved working with a diverse population, assisting and assessing their immediate and essential needs (financial, housing, employment).
Spinal Cord Injury
Kristan Francis is the newest member of the employment services team at SCI Ontario. He graduated with honors from Seneca@york in the Social Service Worker program and currently has over five year’s experience as an employment counsellor and facilitator with Eva’s Phoenix, Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work (CCRW), YMCA and Tropicana Community Services.
Prior to his training in social services he worked in the travel and tourism industry for seven years where he developed his strong customer service skills.
Over the past five years, Kristan has gained experience working with both youth and adults living with disabilities to support them in their employment goals.
Double-arm amputee and three-time Paralympian and world record holder, Jeff Tiessen is founder and president of Disability Today Publishing Group. As a book and magazine publisher, Jeff’s work focuses on providing kids with special needs with tools and ideas for healthy, active living. As executive producer of the Disability Today Network, he has created a one-of-a-kind online information village for the greater disability community. An award-winning journalist and inductee into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame, Jeff is a respected advocate and highly sought-after public speaker.
PT, MSPT / Director, Euro-Pēds®
Haney is a licensed Physical Therapist specializing in pediatrics and has been the Director of Euro-Pēds National Center for Intensive Physical Therapy since 2003. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and a Master of Science degree in Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University.
Euro-Pēds is a specialized therapy center treating a nationwide base of patients who have neuromuscular disorders. Euro-Pēds opened in 1999 as the first intensive pediatric PT program outside of Europe and has recently expanded to offer an adult intensive program as well. In 2013,
Michelle founded the Euro-Peds Foundation which raises funds and awards grants to help children with special needs access life-changing treatment at Euro-Peds. Haney’s sister, who has severe mental & physical disabilities as a result of spinal meningitis as an infant, was her initial inspiration to foster a better way of teaching children with gross motor disorders new skills for greater independence.
Alfred Spencer is the Director of the Accessibility Outreach, Education and Referral Branch at the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility. He is responsible for educating Ontarians about the advantages of inclusion and developing a network of strategic partnerships that help Ontario organizations become accessible.
He has overseen the implementation of over 100 community projects related to creating awareness of accessibility issues, including programs for early childhood educators, elementary school teachers, and post-secondary students and professionals. His approach to community development has touched all aspects of social inclusion from places of faith, to workplaces and sporting events.
Most recently, he has been named to the Canadian Paralympic Inclusion Committee. He is also an advisor/panelist to the newly announced Canadian Universities Association Leed Competition – a national competition dedicated to the development of tools and resources to improve accessibility across Canada.
Spinal Cord Injury
Before joining the team at SCI Ontario, Anu Banerjee held employment specialist/recruiter positions with Community Microskills Development Centre and Woodgreen Community Services where she worked with job seekers who were newcomers to Canada.
For the past eight years Anu has built on those skills and currently holds the position of Employment Counsellor now working with people with disabilities at Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.
Anu holds a Master’s Degree from the National Institute of Design in India and has completed courses in HR and Leadership at both Ryerson and University of Toronto.
Valeria Alvia is a licensed financial educator, trainer and Marketing Director with World Financial Group. She helps families and individuals implement plans to achieve financial peace of mind. She spends her time as an advisor spreading financial literacy and training new associates looking to transition into financial services.
Her background as a former program instructor at Variety Village allows her to come from a different perspective and lead a crusade to help families. Valeria is also a mother and wife and holds family values true to her heart. When she's not helping families and individuals you'll find her having a dance party in her living room with her husband and daughter.
SPEAKER SCHEDULE: Friday June 7, 2019
10:00 - 10:45am – JaimeLynn Nowbari – High Five Training
11:00 – 11:45am – Alf Spencer – Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility
12:00 – 12:45pm – Marianne Kozinets, Anu Banerjee, Kristan Francis of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
1:00 – 1:45pm – Michelle Haney – Euro-Peds
2:00 – 2:45pm – Chris Power – Power Transitions
3:00 – 3:45pm – Jeff Tiessen – ParaSport Ontario
4:00 – 4:45pm – Karen Stintz – Variety Village/Variety Ontario
5:00 – 5:45pm – Valeria Alvia – World Financial Group