Meet Our Staff

The CASE staff are energetic and invested in working to raise the diversity of the Canadian labour market.

The unique skills and experience that they each bring are essential to CASE's work to increase employment inclusion of Canadians who experience disability.
If you have any questions about CASE staff or programs, please contact us directly.
Contact Us
Image

Joanna joined the CASE team in 2019 as the Association’s first Executive Director. She brings with her many years' experience supporting diverse Canadians to plan for and build the lives that they want in a community.

Joanna has worked most recently as the Executive Director of an Independent Facilitation Organization and is a past steward of the Ontario Independent Facilitation Network. Joanna holds degrees in Exceptionality in Human Learning, Social Services, and Voluntary and Non-profit Sector Management. She lives in a small town in southern Ontario with her husband and two teenage boys. In her off time, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and reading.

Image

Shifat is a Project Management Professional (PMP®) since 2019 with over seven years of experience in managing international development projects in South-East Asia and now in Canada involving private sector, non-profits, and government. Her focus of work is project management, advocacy, and research. Prior to joining CASE, Shifat was at First Work where she investigated youth employment sector behavior and captured crucial market information to design and implement projects that addressed challenges in the youth employment sector in Canada.

Shifat lives in Greater Toronto Area in Ontario with her husband and her ten month old baby girl. In her off time she loves cooking, reading a book and gardening.

Image

Rhiana brings 14+ years of communications experience from across public, private, and non-profit sectors. She aims to engage and mobilize CASE’s audiences and raise awareness about the critical work that CASE does to enhance equitable access to employment in Canada. Rhiana holds an MA in Applied Communications as well as a BA in Sociology. 

Image

Mary is an experienced program manager who has worked with organizations undertaking ambitious initiatives in the private, public, academic, and not-for-profit sectors. Mary is passionate about sustainable social change. She worked most recently in international development programming that sought to empower women and youth in vulnerable circumstances to secure their livelihoods through meaningful employment and entrepreneurship endeavours. She has also worked on assistive device development for individuals experiencing mobility disabilities in developing countries.

Mary lives in Chelsea Quebec with her husband and two children and enjoys playing in nature with her family and friends. Presently, she shares her home office with the family’s rabbit and skinny pigs.

Image

Kristen brings 6+ years of experience in career development and event coordination. Starting her career teaching abroad in England, she developed a keen interest in helping other achieve their personal and professional goals. Her greatest professional achievement so far has been the strategic planning, development, and launch of a career centre for 8000+ clients, helping them to build skills, network, and gain employment.  

In her free time, you can find Kristen adding to her pumpkin collection, watching Game of Thrones, or cooking in her kitchen!  

Image

Belinda Deenik brings to CASE robust knowledge and awareness acquired through 20 years of working alongside individuals who experience disability. Throughout her career, she has fulfilled extensive training, coaching and facilitation roles. All of these positions solidified her prior learning around the critical role of nurturing core gifts, talents and interests, as a pivotal pathway to career development. With a well-rounded career in the social service and training sectors, Belinda is currently enhancing her knowledge from a human resources lens. She recognizes the influence of the global market and the need for enhanced diversity and inclusion practices. As a trainer, Belinda is passionate about developing co-creative relationships with key-stakeholders, creating responsive resources and participating in a paradigm shift around supported employment.
Image

Jillian George

National Member Engagement Coordinator

A client-centred individual, Jillian has over 10 years of experience working in the community based non-profit employment sector and post-secondary institutions with particular expertise supporting youth, newcomers and individuals with disabilities in achieving employment success through a holistic approach.

Jillian has a passion for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the workplace and is excited to connect with anyone interested in discussing membership!

Image

Ashley brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to CASE, with over 9 years of experience in both individual and community development, program coordination, and communications. Throughout her career, she has always been actively engaged in supporting individual growth & experience and deeply enjoys connecting and learning with Service Providers across Canada.

In her free time, you can find Ashley taking pictures and exploring the outdoors.

Image

Albert brings over a decade of experience in information technology. Topics of particular interest to him include: audiovisual systems, learning management systems, content management systems, and web development. He holds a degree in cognitive science and a certificate in web development.

In his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, dining out, and going to the library to learn new things.

Image

Shannon Johnson

Coordinator of Project Management and Process

Prior to joining CASE, Shannon worked for 30 years in microfinance and humanitarian relief throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Her project management skills range from helping small, startup organizations to managing the creation of the first women’s microbank in Mozambique and assisting the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees implement a worldwide knowledge management system. She has had the pleasure of working with top researchers in the world, including Nobel Laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege, and has a strong passion for promoting innovation and measuring its impact.

Joy McKinnon Coordinator – Innovation Lab CASE

Joy joins the CASE staff with many years of employment services experience. Her desire to assist individuals make a better life for themselves started in the late 80’s while living in Texas. Observing the state of many disenfranchised single parents who where not in the workforce made her wonder how to address the problem. With funding from Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), she founded Neighborhood Health Watch (NHW). The NHW program in its infancy helped provide nutrition to inner city families, with an emphasis on children. Later, the program evolved into assisting women prepare for, and obtain, employment to improve their standard of living so they could better provide for families.

Since returning to Canada nearly three decades ago, Joy has worked across three provinces providing employment services to people experiencing disability; with the last 12 years being dedicated to the Supported Employment Transition Initiative (SETI). Joy proudly represented Saskatchewan for 10 years on the CASE Board, as a Director on various committees and as Vice-President.

Image

Jeanette Paynter

FINANCIAL CONTROLLER

For the majority of her career, Jeanette has worked in the accounting field in a not-for-profit organization. Her love of spreadsheets and reconciliations is widely known by those working with her. You will often hear her saying, “I can create a spreadsheet for that”.
Image

Lyne has over 20 years of experience in graphic design, with a specialization in print design (brochures, annual reports, presentation packages, advertisements, billboards, newsletters, etc.). She has extensive experience in corporate identity and branding. She is committed to bringing ideas to life with a creative and professional capacity that shows in every design.

Her interests outside of graphic design include cooking, painting and simply enjoying nature; like an outside walk or hike.

Image

Alex Rascanu

NATIONAL STAKEHOLDER RELATIONS COORDINATOR

Alex Rascanu is passionate about employment inclusion for people who experience disability. His experience in the employment services community includes having served as program consultant within the Government of Nova Scotia's Employment Nova Scotia team, program coordinator with the employment services agency The Career Foundation, and member of the grow and nurture the skilled workforce taskforce by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

Alex's other work experience includes having served in roles such as global market research analyst with the world's largest snacks manufacturer, as director of business development for Canada's largest cancer research and treatment centre, and as communications and outreach lead for a federal Member of Parliament.

Alex holds a master of public administration from Dalhousie University and a bachelor of business administration from the University of Toronto.

After hours, Alex enjoys travelling and spending time with his family, reading, and serving in the community.

Image

Gina van Dalen

NATIONAL PROJECT DIRECTOR, Building a Stronger Workforce PROJECT

Gina has held a variety of senior leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector, with an emphasis on the Information Communications and Technology (ICT) sector. Gina worked most recently at TechNation as the Executive Director, Talent Division with broad responsibilities for the development of and support for a suite of talent development programs, including its award-winning CareerMash and the national work-integrated learning Career Ready programs. She is known for creating a true consensus between government, business, and academic communities. In particular, her work with Business Schools in deploying the TechNation Business Technology Management (BTM) programs across the country.

Adventure and wanderlust have always been in her DNA. Through work and pleasure, she has travelled to over 30 countries. She lives with her husband, son, dog and two cats in Toronto and enjoys pottery, scuba diving, and spending time at her cottage on the Bruce.

Image

Wendy is passionate about networking potential mentoring opportunities, building capacity for people experiencing disability and employers. She has worked as an Independent Facilitator and, more recently, as a Community Support Worker with Community Living.

Her background working in rural communities began as a Rural Organizations Specialist, having supported rural youth and adults across Ontario with needs assessment and program implementation. Along with her first-hand knowledge as an employer of a respected sales and service agri-business for over 20 years, Wendy knows the importance of community.
With a keen interest in learning, Wendy completed the foundations course for psychosocial rehabilitation. She holds an MSc from the University of Guelph with a research focus on collaboration for educational change.

Wendy’s other passion is around the use of labyrinths in healthcare. She currently lives on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Image

Erin is a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) and brings a decade of administrative and project experience from across corporate, small business and non-profit organizations. She is enthusiastic about being a part of the CASE team and is dedicated to the association's mission and vision.

When not working, you can find Erin in her garden or out on an adventure.

Woman with short brown hair and a pink shirt sitting in front of a laptop

Courtney joined the CASE team in 2022 as an Administrative Assistant for CASE’s Innovation Lab & MentorAbility Projects.

Courtney obtained her Master of Arts in Critical Disability Studies from York University in 2017 and since then she has been involved in a variety of autism and disability roles. These include Program Support Officer for the Accessibility, Accommodation & Adaptive Computer Technology (AAACT) Program, Research & Development Assistant for Carleton University’s David C. Onley Initiative, and self-advocate advisor to the Autism Mental Health Literacy and Housing Through an Autism Lens Projects (AMHeLP and HAL).

In her spare time, Courtney loves to do a variety of activities including reading, writing, taking long walks and bike rides and making up her own pun jokes just to name a few.

Image

Jon is an instructional designer passionate about creating accessible content that empowers all learners. Jon brings a wide variety of experiences and skills to CASE. With a background in education and multimedia design and production, Jon has worked as an elementary school teacher, a web producer, a content developer, and a college instructor teaching web design and development. Jon is eager to draw on his skills and qualities to contribute positively to supported employment.

Jon lives in Nova Scotia with his wife and their cat. When he’s not teaching or writing, Jon enjoys running, golfing, snowboarding, playing bass, and gaming.

Image

Xiyu is a recent finance graduate from Dalhousie University. She did two internships with one of Nova Scotia's works centers, TEAM Work Cooperative, and she loved the job as she felt she was helping people in the way they needed. Xiyu is grateful to have the opportunity to work with CASE and she hopes her skills can contribute to the organization.

In her spare time, she likes trying new recipes, spending time with her friends and her two dogs.

Want to know more About Us?

Click on the links provided to learn more about CASE.
Our Members

Our Members

Best Practices

Best Practices

Our History

Our History

Meet The Board

Meet The Board

Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Work With Us

Work With Us

Contact

Contact Us