Mark Wafer – Chair
Mark Wafer is a former Tim Hortons franchisee from Toronto. Mark is a member of the Federal government’s panel on labour market initiatives for Canadians with disabilities and helped to create Canada's national strategy on disability employment. He is the co-founder of Canadian Business Senseability and served as a member of Ontario's Economic Development partnership council. Mark is the recipient of Canada's Meritorious Service Cross, the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship and was inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2014. Mark is a relentless disability rights advocate and policy change instigator. He is a champion for inclusion and lives by an example. During his 25 years as a business owner Mark and his wife Valarie hired almost 200 workers with disabilities in a meaningful and competitively paid positions. Mark’s expertise, dedication to the community and activism for inclusion and accessibility are invaluable to the Centre’s Mission and Vision. Mark is the current Chair of the Board of Directors.
Sharon Cochran – Vice Chair
During her professional career, Sharon was the Director of Faculty Bargaining Services for the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (responsible for the management support in labour negotiations for Canadian universities), Vice-President Special Projects and Vice-President Administration and Finance for the University of Northern British Columbia; and Associate Vice-President Human Resources at University of Saskatchewan. Sharon continues to consult in the post-secondary system and currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors at Lakeridge Health as Trustee of Child and Family Services. Sharon received her Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of British Columbia and fulfilled the requirements for the ICD.D. designation. Sharon’s extensive experience in the education sector, which includes financial services, human resources management, facilities/capital management, purchasing, risk operations, ancillary/business operations including public/private partnerships contribute greatly to the work of the Abilities Center Board of Directors. Sharon is the Board’s Vice Chair and also serves as the Chair of the Governance, Nominations and Human Resources Committee.
Wayne Gingrich – Treasurer
Wayne Gingrich joined Bird Construction Inc. in April 2016 and assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in July 2016. With almost 25 years of experience in finance and accounting roles, Wayne has spent the last 15 years of service as a financial executive in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector. Prior to joining Bird, has worked for MMM Group Limited, AECOM, Earth Tech and General Electric in both GE Capital and in the industrial business units. Wayne is an active volunteer in his position as a Board Member & Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee of the Abilities Centre in Whitby which delivers sports, arts, research and education, and life skills opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. Wayne is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD). He previously served as a Board Member at SENA Solid Waste Holdings Inc. and at T2 Utility Engineers. Wayne obtained his Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Wilfrid Laurier University, with a minor in Economics. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and attained his Certified Management Accountant designation in 2000.
Daniel Estoesta – Director
Daniel is the Senior Director and Head of Strategy at Simplii Financial (CIBC) where he is responsible for the development and execution of the strategy that integrates world-class client experiences, innovative digital capabilities and efficient banking operations. In prior roles at CIBC, Daniel lead the Digital Strategy team and was responsible for the development and implementation of the digital roadmap for CIBC’s industry leading online and mobile banking properties. Prior to joining CIBC, Daniel spent nearly 15 years in progressive management consulting roles with PwC, E&Y, and Capgemini focusing on Technology, Strategy, Operational Effectiveness and Global Sourcing. Daniel graduated from McMaster University with a degree in Economics and participated in CIBC’s Adaptive Leadership Program and Genesis Park, PwC’s Global Leadership Development Program. Daniel joined the Abilities Centre Board in 2018 and his expertise in Digital strategy has been instrumental in the Abilities Centre’s own digital transformation.
Derrick Gleed – Director
Derrick Gleed is the Managing Partner at Petley Hare Live and Financial and President at the Gleed Financial Services operating as IB Planning Group. Derrick has 35 years of experience working in the individual and corporate Life and Health insurance industry. Derrick is the former North Ward Councilor for Town of Whitby and Regional Councilor for Durham Region. Derrick has an undergraduate degree in Economics from York University and is a registered Health Underwriter (RHU) receiving his designation in 1998. Derrick is also a Certified Health Specialist (2011) and Member of Advocis and CALU Long Term Care Working Group task force, developing public policy for Long Term Care insurance. Derrick’s extensive experience in the insurance industry with focus on a Long-Term Care, Critical Illness and Disability Insurance; his dedicated public service and community involvement are all key elements contributing greatly to the work of the Abilities Centre’s Board of Directors.
Jason Hunt – Director
Jason Hunt is the Director of Legal Serivices at the Region of Durham. Before joining Durham, Jason practiced law in Oshawa at Kitchen Kitchen Simeson McFarlane. Jason is a graduate from the University of Windsor Law School. Jason is a long-time resident of the Durham community and dedicated supporter of the local community groups, where he held numerous roles such as Vice President of the Whitby Girls Hockey Association, Director for Sloane’s House, President and Director of Durham Region Lawyers Association, Director of Durham Region Manufacturer’s Association, Member of Durham College Paralegal Advisory Committee, Member of the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce Physician Recruiting Task Force and a Director on the Durham Access to Justice Hub. Jason’s legal expertise in non-for-profit sector and his ties to the community are tremendous assets to the Abilities Centre.
Natalie Hovey – Director
Natalie Hovey is the Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer at Lakeridge Health joining the organization in 2009. Previously, Natalie held several senior executive positions at the Capital District Health Authority in Halifax (1997-2009). Natalie received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from St. Francis Xavier University. Natalie is a Chartered Professional Accountant and completed her Certified Management Accountant designation in 1992. Since 2009, Natalie has been active on various Boards and Committees in the health care sector where she contributes with her wide array of financial and business development expertise. Natalie joined the Abilities Centre Board of Directors in the spring of 2019 and her strategic thinking approach has been of great value particularly to the Audit and Finance Committee.
Neha Vohra – Director
Neha Vohra is the Senior Manager for Delivery Advisory Services for TD's Enterprise Project Delivery Excellence team supporting >$25 MM programs across the enterprise. In her current role, Neha helps large programs in TD with governance challenges, business case funding and managing their delivery risks. Before joining TD, Neha worked with CIBC and consulting firms in various technology and project management roles. Neha graduated from the University of Mumbai and holds a Master of computer application. Neha is a strong supporter of inclusion and diversity. She has led/championed various committees and initiatives at TD and CIBC promoting and supporting inclusion and diversity. Currently she is leading Employee Resource Group within TD for Visible Minority pillar. Neha's expertise in experience in agile transformation, project management, consulting, IT Leadership and financial services are good assets to the Abilities Centre.
Todd Nicholson – Director
Todd Nicholson is Canada’s top athlete representing Canada on the international stage for over a quarter of a century as a member of Canada's National Sledge Team and a number of other summer sports. During his active years 1994 - 2010, Todd competed in sledge hockey at five Paralympic Winter Games, winning bronze, silver and gold medals. He was a team captain for 15 years and was inducted to the Paralympic All-Star Team in 1998 and 2002. After retiring from active sport in 2010, Todd became an active volunteer to sport and the Paralympic movement. Todd served as the Chairperson for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletes’ Council and was a Governing Board member for the International Paralympic Committee (2010 – 2017). He also served as the IPC Athlete Representative to the International Olympic Committee and has direct hands-on experience planning and administering the Games - Olympic and Paralympic - in London (2012), Sochi (2014), Rio de Janeiro (2016) and PyeongChang (2018). He currently sits on a number of National Sporting Boards within Canada including the Abilities Centre Board of Directors where he shares his unique knowledge and experience. Todd and his wife are champions of the Abilities Centre’s model of fully inclusive recreational facility for people of all abilities and is the co-creator of the Abilities Ottawa centre.Todd is the recipient of the Presidential Citation for Meritorious Service.