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Our team harnesses the power of inclusion and accessibility and works to unlock the potential of people and communities. 

View our Senior Management Team below. 

Mark Wafer
Mark Wafer
Interim President & CEO
Mark Wafer

Mark
Wafer

Interim President & CEO

Three words that best describe Mark:
Activist, Innovative, Passionate
 

What’s his role and connection to the cause?
Mark is a disability rights activist.  He is internationally recognized as an expert on the economics of inclusion. He is an advisor to both the provincial and federal governments on accessibility and vocational strategies. Mark is responsible for Canada’s national disability employment strategy as well as the reform of basic income for Canada’s disabled.  He is a prolific connector of people and has raised almost $100 Million in the disability and broader non-profit sector.

 
Interesting tidbit:
Mark is a race car driver and a 2008 Canadian historic sports car champion.
 


Contact:

Michaela Vaclavinek 
Executive Assistant and Secretary to the Board of Directors 
mvaclavinek@abilitiescentre.org 
T: 905-665-8500 ext.  100

Ross  Ste-Croix
Ross Ste-Croix
General Manager & COO
Ross  Ste-Croix

Ross
Ste-Croix

General Manager & COO

Three words that best describe him:
Positive, solution-oriented, committed.
 
What’s his role and connection to the cause?
Ross has spent his career in the not-for-profit, sport, and government sectors. As the General Manager and COO, his experience as a leader in these sectors, managing people, programs, partnerships, and finances all come to bear in his role in ensuring that the Abilities Centre has the staff, infrastructure and resources it needs to continue to innovate and lead the way in providing opportunities for individuals of all abilities in Durham Region and beyond.
 
What academic work set him up for success?
Ross is a graduate of McGill University (B.Ed. Kinesiology) and the University  of Ottawa (MA Sport Administration).
 
Interesting tidbit:
Ross grew up in Montréal and has trained in both stand-up and improv comedy.
 

Pinder DaSilva
Pinder DaSilva
Vice President, Programs, Partnerships & Impact
Pinder DaSilva

Pinder
DaSilva

Vice President, Programs, Partnerships & Impact

Three words that best describe Pinder:

Passionate, innovative, performance driven 

What’s her role and connection to the cause? 

Pinder is an innovative, performance-driven management professional, with experience in leading multidisciplinary work teams in the delivery and execution of employment and social service programs across Ontario. With a strong passion for inclusion, Pinder has spent over 15 years developing and managing programs that serve the unique needs and abilities of individuals. Pinder values the importance of building strong and collaborative cross-sectoral partnerships to address accessibility, inclusion and diversity challenges facing communities across Ontario.  

What academic work set her up for success? 

Pinder holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work from University of Victoria and a Bachelor’s in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. She has also completed the Senior Management Certificate Program at Rotman School of Management and the Strategic Implementation and Creation Program Certificate from Queen’s School of Business.  

Interesting tidbit:

Loves travelling and spending time with her family.

Contact:

pdasilva@abilitiescentre.org 
T: 905-665-8500 ext. 112 

 

Tracy Mahon
Tracy Mahon
Senior Manager, Member Experience
Tracy Mahon

Tracy
Mahon

Senior Manager, Member Experience

Three words that best describe Tracy:

Caring, Passionate, Charismatic 

What’s her role and connection to the cause?  

Tracy has been with Abilities Centre since the doors opened in 2012 and knew at a that point in her career that Health & Wellbeing at Abilities Centre was always going to be a part of her life. Her passion for helping everyone to connect socially or physically at the centre was her plan from day one. 

Tracy is responsible for the outstanding quality and inclusive Health & Wellbeing fitness programming for all ages and abilities; she also sets her standards to the highest to make sure we deliver outstanding customer excellence to our centre and community partners.   

Coming from the UK (Scotland)  Tracy, along with her two children had a few barriers to cross on their journey to becoming part of Canada’s wonderful diverse and inclusive country. 

What academic work set her up for success?  

Tracy has been in the Health & Wellness industry for over 25 years. Coming from a strong leadership background she has multiple certification in many streams in all fitness trends, from many fitness industries,  she also holds a BSc (Hons) diploma from Strathclyde University in Leadership & Management, through Fitness, Sports & Development, she is also an Exercise Physiologist. 

Interesting tidbit  

Being an Oshawa Generals hockey fan, she loves to go to local games, she also loves to travel on vacations to different countries and on her spare time you will find Tracy on her motorcycle.

Contact:

tmahon@abilitiescentre.org
905 665 8500 ext. 200

Tricia McAllister
Tricia McAllister
Senior Director, Finance
Tricia McAllister

Tricia
McAllister

Senior Director, Finance

Three words that best describe her:

Passionate, dedicated and goal-driven. 

What’s her role and connection to the cause? 

Tricia is an experienced financial professional.  Running the Financial department for a non-for-profit charitable organization comes with unique challenges that requires her resourcefulness, diligence and proactive attitude. Tricia’s expertise and keen eye to detail has kept the Abilities Centre books in order for the last 4 years. Tricia started her career as an Auditor and before joining Abilities Centre, she spent 15 years in the re/insurance financial services industry abroad.  

What academic work set her up for success? 

Tricia is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and is a Chartered Professional Accountant receiving her CA designation in 1992. 

Interesting tidbit:

Tricia and her family lived in Bermuda. 

Contact:

tmcallister@abilitiescentre.org
905 665 8500 ext. 119

Yin  Brown
Yin Brown
Director, IDEA
Yin  Brown

Yin
Brown

Director, IDEA

Three words that best describe her:
Passionate, results-driven, hard-working
 
What’s her role and connection to the cause?
Yin is tasked with affecting organizational and culture change at Abilities Centre, which demonstrates inclusion of diverse community groups in an equitable and accessible way. She also advocates for equal participation of persons with disabilities through leading initiatives and workshops, collaborating with governments, organizations and businesses locally, provincially and nationally.
 
What academic work set her up for success?
The combination of her studies in Diversity and Inclusion at the Workplace, Impact Monitoring and Evaluation, Organizing Leadership, Solution-Focused Coaching and her Master’s degree equips her to affect organizational change within organizations and sectors.
 
Interesting tidbit:
Yin is a first generation immigrant of Chinese descent, and has experienced gradual and eventual complete sight loss over the past 30 years.

Contact: ybrown@abilitiescentre.org 

Kelly  Kasper
Kelly Kasper
Director, Sport and Recreation
Kelly  Kasper

Kelly
Kasper

Director, Sport and Recreation

Three words that best describe Kelly:

Dedicated, Loyal, Hard-working

What’s her role and connection to the cause? 

Kelly has been involved in sport throughout her entire life. She started her pathway at a young age as an athlete and a coach participating in community programs to post-secondary programs in both roles. With a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education and Health, Kelly began her professional career working with Ontario Basketball Association then moving on to a role as Athletic Director at Bill Crothers SS before starting her role at Abilities Centre.
At Abilities Centre, Kelly works with her team to build and develop Sport and Recreation programs within the Centre as well as overseeing the program pillars for Academy for Student Athlete Development (ASAD), Mixed Ability Sport, and Physical Literacy & Inclusion
Kelly holds numerous certifications specific to program development, coach training and certification in order to help use sport as a vehicle to build inclusive programs and communities.

What academic work set her up for success? 

Kelly is a graduate of Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Physical Education and Health (BPHE). Kelly is a certified basketball coach and also acts as a Learning Facilitator and Evaluator with the Coaches Association. She is also certified as a Mixed Ability Sport Coach and Educator.

Interesting tidbit: 

Kelly is a life-long resident of Whitby and she is a proud mother of 2. Kelly is also a Type 1 Juvenile Diabetic. 

 

Contact:

kkasper@abilitiescentre.org 
905-665-8500  ext. 113

Natasha  Fieldman
Natasha Fieldman
Director, Revenue Development
Natasha  Fieldman

Natasha
Fieldman

Director, Revenue Development

Three words that best describe her:
Hard- working, passionate and solution-oriented.

What’s her role and connection to the cause? 
Natasha is a passionate and a highly skilled fundraising professional. With 20+ years of experience in the charitable sector, she is purpose driven to raise money and create impact for Abilities Centre through sustained, innovative and meaningful partnerships. She wants to create positive change and see progress in the areas of accessibility and inclusion.  

Natasha is donor-centred and committed to building strong, long-term relationships with individuals, community, and corporate partners. With a background in fundraising events, campaigns, sponsorship, and corporate and community development she is excited to create an environment of philanthropy at Abilities Centre. 

What academic work set her up for success? 
Natasha is a graduate of York University and holds a Double Honours BA in Cultural Anthropology and Communications.

Interesting tidbit:
Outside of the office, you can find Natasha spending time with her husband, son and dog. She enjoys trying out new cuisines, reading, music and travelling.
 

Emilie  Michalovic
Emilie Michalovic
Director, Research
Emilie  Michalovic

Emilie
Michalovic

Director, Research

Three words that best describe them:

Curious, kind, and loyal


What’s their role and connection to the cause? 
Emilie is an academically trained researcher whose desire for serving others led her to join the not-for-profit sector. She started collaborating with persons living with chronic diseases and disabilities early in her career and is passionate about finding ways to serve these communities through research. Since then, she has continued to find ways of advancing research in this field with partners across Canada. Her goal as Director of Research is to ensure that the programs and services at Abilities Centre have a long-term impact on participants. Before joining the Abilities Centre team, Emilie worked on research projects that aimed to better understand the physical activity experiences of persons with disabilities and individuals living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

What academic work set them up for success? 
Emilie has her Ph.D. in Kinesiology Sciences from McGill University, where she conducted research on program implementation and evaluation in individuals living with chronic disease, as well as explored behaviour change and motivation in persons with disabilities. She received her B.Sc. in Kinesiology with a Minor in History from McGill University as well. 

Interesting tidbit:
Emilie loves to travel, and her favourite activities are hiking and reading books. 

Contact:
emichalovic@abilitiescentre.org
T 905 665 8500 ext. 105

Jennifer Pain
Jennifer Pain
Director, Marketing, Communications and Public Relations
Jennifer Pain

Jennifer
Pain

Director, Marketing, Communications and Public Relations

Three words to describe her: 
Enthusiastic, Creative, Innovative

What is her role and connection to the cause?
Jennifer is a born storyteller.  As the Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations she is tasked with bringing the important brand story of the evolution of an innovation hub for accessibility to life.

With a 20-year background in media relations, communications, and digital marketing for both the public and private sectors, Jennifer brings a unique perspective to inclusion.  She is passionate about bringing our message to a broad audience enabling change across the country.

What academic work set describe her/him/them up for success?
Jennifer has a baccalaureate degree in broadcast journalism from Concordia University in Quebec.  

Interesting tidbit
Jennifer is from Quebec and speaks three languages, English, French and Spanish.
 
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