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Our Board of Directors

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Don Anderson

President

Don Anderson

Don graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC and continued his studies at the University of Victoria where he earned a Master of Arts degree in political science.  His graduate thesis traced the development of human rights legislation here in British Columbia.

He moved from the academic world to work directly for elected representatives in Canada at both the national and provincial level. During this time, Don had the privilege to assist in driving legislative changes (many of which stand to this day) that led directly to increased women’s health and safety as well as a number of initiatives to improve environmental protection. Don was the Executive Director for issues management in the Office of the Premier during the 1990s and later the Director of Research for the Official Opposition.

Since 2007, the focus of his work with Dialogue Research Inc. centers on enhanced public engagement and participation in our governing institutions. Most recently, he taught a course in public policy analysis in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria and currently he is a Sessional Instructor with the Justice Institute of BC where he offers an on-line course in local government.

Don enjoys the rewards and frustrations of caring for the small piece of green that surrounds his home, golf and time spent with friends, family and community - all in equal measure depending on the day.

 

Barbara Phillips

Secretary

Barbara is a Physiotherapist and Co-owner of Ergo Rehabilitation Inc., a company that provides case management services and cost of future care reports for injured clients.  She has also worked extensively in home and community care rehabilitation services, providing assessment, treatment and education for clients, families and caregivers.  She has treated brain injured clients of all ages in both home and residential settings over the 40 years of her career.  She has volunteered on the Board of the community medical equipment loan service for the Western Communities since its inception 14 years ago.  Her life is enriched by her children, four grandchildren and her garden.

 

Ian Armstrong

Ian Armstrong

Ian has lived in Victoria since 1979, and works as a director for the BC Government. Ian is a graduate of the University of Victoria, and his career focus has been managing financial and information systems, including working 12 years for a local Credit Union.

In 2005, Ian suffered a severe head injury and had an extended hospital stay. With the support and love of his family, he has fortunately fully recovered. He hopes to bring a personal perspective of the challenges of a traumatic brain injury to his role on the board for VBIS.

Ian enjoys spending time with his wife and cats in James Bay, cycling, hiking, kayaking and golf.

Yvonne Blum-Gabel

Treasurer

Yvonne is a Director of Finance with of the Provincial Government .

In her spare time, Yvonne loves being physically active with her two children and has an avid interest in nutrition & weight training.

Yvonne enjoys giving back to her community and considers herself very fortunate to be able to support the society in its important work, providing education and advocacy to people with acquired brain injury on Vancouver Island.

 

Sheila Needs

Sheila is a social worker with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. While she has been a child protection social worker in the past, she is currently a child and youth with special needs/CYSN social worker.  Sheila enjoys her work and she is dedicated to ensuring her clients receive the services and supports they need.

Sheila was born and raised in Victoria and has also raised her children here as well. In 2011, Sheila's 21 year old son was in a motorcycle accident and suffered a brain injury. The impact this had on her son, and family, has been immense, but the counselling and monthly family support groups at VBIS helped them all through difficult and emotional times.

Sheila and her husband live on the Sooke River in Sooke and when they aren't bird watching or canoeing in the river, they are gardening and spending time with their family.

Shauna Leeson

Shauna graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and Grant McEwan University with an SLPA diploma.

Shauna wears two hats with Island Health Home and Community Care; one via the Community Resource Team and the other as a contractor for the Island Health Brain injury program. Shauna has Case Managed, consulted, and supported Brain Injury clients and their networks of support for 10 years and is a strong advocate in helping survivors access applicable services and adjust to the path of recovery and stabilization. With a background and strong interest in Speech and Language, Shauna finds her support work the most rewarding in assisting survivors navigate the many barriers they are faced with in light of communicative difficulties they may find themselves with after injury.

Originally from rural Alberta, Shauna is a former and long time equestrian rider and certified coach, and plans to return to it in the near future. She lives in Victoria with her teenaged son and can be found in the local rinks on any given day during hockey season.

 

Nicolette Mieduniecki

Nicolette Mieduniecki was raised in South Africa and moved to Canada in her late teens.  Her career has included organizational and human resources management.  In 2015 she gained her designation as a CPA, CMA and wants to aid organizations like the Victoria Brain Injury Society to grow.  "Opportunities like these allow me to give back to the community and help others.  We need to educate people on how brain injury impacts lives and that it doesn't need to hinder the way one moves forward."

Wyatt Pickett

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Wyatt is a civil trial and appeal lawyer licensed in British Columbia and Washington state.  Currently practicing with Campbell, Renaud Trial Lawyers in Victoria, Wyatt has had extensive experience assisting clients on both sides of the border in dealing with the after-effects of traumatically-acquired brain injuries.  Wyatt takes pride in keeping up to date with the rapidly-evolving science behind our understanding of the long-term sequelae of post-concussive injuries so as to better explain his clients’ circumstances to judges and juries. He has served as a board member for the British Columbia Wrongful Death Law Reform Society and is a past editorial board member and ongoing contributor to The Verdict, the Trial Lawyer’s Association of BC’s quarterly magazine.

A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Arizona School of Law in Tucson, Wyatt has resided in British Columbia since 2004.  He lives in Victoria with his wife, two daughters and a rotating menagerie of small pets.  

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