We are thrilled with the appointment of our new directors, who bring a breadth of diverse experience and expertise to Autism Edmonton. A special welcome to our newly elected board members: Karen Stone, Lauren Rollett, Lisa Laferriere, Samina Sana and Ling Huang. Also, welcome to the returning directors Gabrielle Battiste and Raymond Wong. We are privileged to have such a committed and talented group of community leaders at the helm of our organization. Please join us in welcoming our newly elected board! We would also like to acknowledge members of our board who are moving on. Thank you to Hameed Khan, Devon Heath and Brett Deneiko for taking the time to share your experience with us.
Meet Our Board of Directors 2021-22
Gabrielle Battiste (Board Chair) – Gabrielle has an adult dependent son on the spectrum. She is a practicing lawyer with over 25 years’ experience in three provinces, currently specializing in governance, policy & compliance. She has been Chief Privacy Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Ombudsman, Chief Anti-Money Laundering Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, Vice President, General Counsel & an Executive Director and Board Member in a number of different industries. She has worked with the Municipal, Provincial & Federal Governments, Oil & Gas Industries, Banking & Credit Unions; as well as various non-profit groups across the country. Gabrielle is passionate about diversity & inclusion and ensuring every individual, in their own unique way, has an opportunity to shine.
Raymond Wong CPA, CMA (Vice-Chair) – Ray has a son with autism. As a designated accountant, he has extensive experience in integrated planning, budget development and analytics. This includes senior leadership roles with the University of Alberta and provincial government ministries, including those responsible for children's services, healthcare and disability supports. He looks forward to working with Autism Edmonton in making a positive and enduring impact to the community.
Karen Stone (Director) – Karen is a strategic leader who combines integrity, and fairness, with business development and growth. She is a catalyst for innovation, and demonstrates visionary leadership. Karen has been (amongst other roles) the Executive Director of the Alberta Interagency Council on Homelessness; CEO of the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association; and the Society for Affordable Housing Education, Awareness and Development. She also served as President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. Currently she is Vice Chair of Civida, and several of its corporations. In these capacities she is an advocate for social justice, with a high priority on the provision and sustainability of affordable housing. She has served as a strategic leader in various organizations at the local, national and international levels, including Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa, and the South African Human Rights Commission in post-apartheid South Africa. She worked on policy development initiatives related to health and human rights in Africa and has vast experience on policy initiatives across Canada. Karen has served and continues to serve on many Boards of Directors within the Voluntary/Non-Profit sector. She also served as the CEO/Registrar of a health regulatory College in Canada where she initiated greater regulatory compliance, and safeguarded patient rights. In respect of formal education Karen has a BA, LLB, and an LLM degree., and ICD.D designation.
Lauren Rollett (Director) – Lauren is the Executive Director of Starfish Family Resources and has been working in the non-profit community in a variety of leadership roles for over 10 years. She has an extensive background in autism program development and delivery in Calgary and Edmonton, ranging from social recreational programs to employment across the spectrum with initiatives like Meticulon/auticon Canada and Anthony at Your Service. She is passionate about the autism community and believes that every autistic person is capable of achieving incredible things. Lauren is connected to the autism community across Canada and makes an effort to connect with local autism agencies or families when traveling. Outside of Canada she has been fortunate enough to connect with groups and families in St. Lucia, Belize and Ireland just to name a few! She is excited to join the Board of Directors to continue the meaningful work that Autism Edmonton has been doing for over 50 years.
Lisa Laferriere (Director) – Lisa Laferriere currently serves as the Director of Business Operations for Health Cities, an Edmonton based not-for-profit corporation. Joining Health Cities in March 2018, Lisa played a key role in establishing the organization as a legal entity – managing incorporation, finances, and governance; transforming it into an invaluable resource that drives health system transformation and innovation for economic growth and prosperity in the region. Prior to the above, Lisa worked for 14 years as Administrative Manager for St. Amant Autism Programs in Winnipeg, Manitoba. For 10 of those years, Lisa also volunteered as an organizer for the Canadian Conference on Developmental Disabilities and Autism. As the parent of an adult child on the autism spectrum, Lisa is dedicated to using her personal experiences and professional skills to advocate for those navigating health and social systems. With almost 20 years’ experience in public and mental health administration, Lisa brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the areas of finance, human resources, and operations.
Samina Sana (Director) – Samina Sana is a 29-year-old Albertan-Canadian woman, born and raised here in Edmonton, Alberta. Samina graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biological Sciences and Sociology in 2015 and will soon graduate from the University of Alberta School of Public Health with a Master of Science (MSc) in Health Promotion and Sociobehavioural Health Sciences. Samina first learned about what autism is and how it impacts individuals and their families in one of her sociology of conformity and deviance classes during the second year of her undergraduate studies. During all of her undergraduate years, Samina was a very passionate student executive-leader and spent most of her early 20s serving the local community by committing wholeheartedly to non-profit and grassroots causes and activities focused on human rights, women's rights, children's rights, health rights, social justice activism, community health promotion, poverty alleviation, children's literacy development, dignity-based humanitarian aid relief, and peer-mentorship across the city. Furthermore, Samina has excellent prior experience with board governance in affiliation with the University of Alberta. As a senior undergraduate student, Samina was elected by campus peers to serve (in-person) as a member of the Board of Directors of Alberta Public Interest Research Group from 2015 to 2016. In 2019, as a graduate student, Samina was elected by campus peers in her Graduate Student Association to serve as a board member of the Integrative Health Network for a one-year term which she fulfilled through virtual means. As a lifelong learner, natural listener and committed colleague, Samina has a sincere and long-term passion for serving community organizations that actively promote and provide programming and communication support for vulnerable human beings (of all ages and from all walks of life) in the local area.
Ling Huang (Director) – Ling Huang is the President and CEO of Technology North (TN) Corporation, an Alberta-based IT firm incorporated in 1998. Ling holds a BSc and professional credential of Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Information Security System Professional (CISSP). He is an advisory board member for Edmonton-based L.Y. Cairns School, Concordia University of Edmonton, and co-leads the Canadian National Autism CanTech! program at NorQuest College, sponsored by Employment and Social Development Canada. Ling is a father of two sons. His youngest, 21 years old, is on the spectrum. Ling understands the challenges and difficulties of supporting children early in their autism diagnosis, throughout their interventions and education, and into employment and independence. Ling’s company is developing multiple innovative technologies to help children’s intervention, education, and employment. He has focused TN’s efforts on developing purpose-built assistive technologies and autism employment called RoboCoach and TN Digital Service – hiring youth with autism to perform document digitization. TN’s autism employment story was aired at 6 pm on Global, CTV, and CBC news on Sept 20, 2020.
Join Our Board of Directors
Autism Edmonton is inviting caring individuals to serve on its volunteer Board of Directors, which represents Autism Edmonton and advocates for its mission and vision. Nominations are accepted year-round by submitting resume, letter of intent or equivalent to email@example.com. All nominees are considered.