Council Members - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Council Members

Sheila Serup – Chair

Photograph of Sheila SerupSheila Serup of Calgary has experience working as an Executive Director, Foundation manager, communications manager, consultant, policy analyst, and a journalist. She has an educational background in Public Relations and Communications Management, English and is an Accredited Business Communicator. Sheila has worked on advancing understanding and awareness of disability issues through the National Access Awareness Week and through her active involvement with the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association. She has served as a member of the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities since 2013 and as Acting Chair since January 2017. Sheila also brings a lived experience as someone who has a hearing loss. Contact Sheila

Marie Renaud – Deputy Chair

Photograph of Marie RenaudMarie Renaud, MLA for St. Albert, currently serves as a member of the Standing Committees on Public Accounts, having previously served as a member of the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and the Select Special Ethics and Accountability Committee. Prior to serving with the Legislative Assembly, Marie worked for almost 15 years as the executive director of Lo-Se-Ca Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides residential and day supports to adults with developmental disabilities. Marie has devoted her time to various boards and committees championing the needs of persons with disabilities in Alberta. She holds a university certificate in counselling women from the women's and gender studies department at the University of Alberta and a diploma in community disability studies from MacEwan University. In 2014, Marie was named one of Edmonton's top 100 women in business by the University of Alberta's Wanderer magazine. Contact Marie

Cheryl Cunningham-Burns

Photograph of Cheryl Cunningham-BurnsCheryl Cunningham-Burns of High Level has many years of experience in several areas of social work practice (in Ontario and Alberta) including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnostics clinics; community and forensic mental health; and disability service coordination. Cheryl works compassionately and inclusively, with the socio-economically disadvantaged, and with persons with disabilities of all ages and cultural backgrounds to access and advocate for necessary supports and services. Cheryl has a Master in Social Work and supports and engages in continuous lifelong education and community service. She brings knowledge and awareness of the needs and strengths of the many northern communities in Alberta to the Council. Contact Cheryl

Alison Cutknife

Photograph of Alison CutknifeAlison Cutknife of Maskwacis is an Anishinaabekwe of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation (Ontario), who is a member of the Samson Cree First Nation. One of her daughters has cerebral palsy. Over the past 25 years, Alison has been an active advocate for families of children with disabilities who live on reserve. Her work includes developing the first Early Childhood Intervention Program on reserve, establishing an annual community National Child Day event, conducting culturally appropriate indigenous parent programs and has raising awareness of the concerns of families and individuals who are challenged with providing appropriate supports for their loved ones with disabilities. Teaching is Alison’s profession and lifelong learning is her pastime. Contact Alison

Stephanie Myrick

Photograph of Stephanie MyrickStephanie Myrick of Fort McMurray is originally from Newfoundland. After completing her degree in Therapeutic Recreation, she moved to Fort McMurray to work with Spinal Cord Injury Alberta. She continues to work at making Fort McMurray a more accessible and inclusive community. Stephanie started, and currently chairs, the Regional Inclusive Committee, which is made up of several organizations that work with people with disabilities, with the understanding that working together will yield faster and better results than working alone. Her goals are to expand the Inclusive committee to include members of the community, and to expand Spinal Cord Injury’s footprint to the smaller communities surrounding Fort McMurray and help them work toward becoming more accessible. Contact Stephanie

Shino Nakane

Photograph of Shino NakaneShino Nakane of Calgary has been a volunteer board member for a variety of organizations over the past decade. As a mother of a son with a developmental disability, she has a passion for helping non-profit groups that strive to meet the unique needs of families like hers. Her work experience includes communications, advocacy, research, stakeholder engagement and project management. Contact Shino

Ann Nicol

Ann Nicol of Red Deer has more than 30 years of experience in the human services field with the City of Calgary, Government of Alberta and the non-profit sectors throughout Alberta. She has worked directly with and on behalf of youth, children, families and adults with disabilities, including roles with Alberta Social Services, the Alberta Council of Disability Services and the Office of the Children’s Advocate. She also assisted with community initiatives to establish mental health support groups in rural central Alberta, and networks for youth in government care. Ann holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Social Work and is a recipient of the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of her community work. Her commitment is to support dignity, citizenship rights and the voice and choice of Albertans to participate fully in their community. Contact Ann

Neil Pierce

Photograph of Neil PierceNeil Pierce of Edmonton has worked passionately to improve the quality of life for all people with disabilities throughout his career in Alberta, Ontario and the Northwest Territories. Neil has served in leadership roles with Workers’ Compensation Boards of Ontario and NWT, the Canadian Paraplegic Association (Alberta), Alberta Paraplegic Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Alberta, Muscular Dystrophy Canada (Western Canada) and more recently the Parkinson’s Association of Alberta. He was instrumental in developing programs that continue to benefit those with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities, including the Alberta Neurotrauma Initiative, the Champions Career Centre, the Way Forward MS Strategy, and the Alberta end MS Regional Research and Training Centre. Neil is a recipient of the Canadian Paraplegic Association’s Honourable Lois Hole Community Development Award, an Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers’ Association social justice award, and the Leadership Award named for Gary McPherson from the Premiers Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Contact Neil

Nabeel Ramji

Photograph of Nabeel RamjiNabeel Ramji of Calgary works to making lasting positive change in the area of accessibility for persons with disabilities. He lives with Cerebral Palsy and merged his unique personal and professional experience to found Accessibility for all Albertans. This initiative is increasing awareness among real estate developers, architects and the general public to ensure that new and existing residential housing, commercial buildings, public institutions and other spaces are truly accessible for all citizens. Nabeel’s work, passion, vision and commitment to public service were recognized with the Award of Excellence in Public Awareness from the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Nabeel holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance (Honours with Distinction). He has been involved as a member of the City of Calgary Advisory Committee on Accessibility for the past three years, and was recently appointed a local champion by the federal Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, to provide input into the Government of Canada’s pursuit of a federal accessibility law. Contact Nabeel

Inara Samoylove

Photograph of Inara SamoyloveInara Samoylove of Calgary is an Ismaili Muslim originally from Tanzania.  A mother of a severely disabled young adult, she has advocated for his needs, from education to health care and everything in between. Inara is employed within the municipal government and has focused on asset management, cost management, technology initiatives and enterprise systems. She believes strongly in linking corporate vision to delivering desired results by empowering people and effectively using processes, procedures and technologies. She is a creative, holistic and innovative thinker who emphasizes effective planning and implementation, and continuous improvement. Inara is passionate about her continued involvement in various voluntary roles and initiatives for people with disabilities and new immigrants. Contact Inara

Cathy Smith

Photograph of Cathy SmithCathy Smith of Barrhead is a parent of a child with a rare disability known as Angelman Syndrome. In caring for her daughter, Cathy says she had an opportunity to further her education in a way that was both extremely challenging and far more rewarding than any educational institution could provide. She feels her family and other children have all grown into more understanding, giving and nurturing individuals especially when it comes to those with special needs. Her former experience working with Alberta Children’s Services and being part of a community that offers so much to persons with disabilities inspires her to give to others and achieve in her own life. Contact Cathy

Cam Tait

Photograph of Cam TaitCam Tait of Edmonton was a reporter and columnist for the Edmonton Journal for 33 years. He wrote extensively about people with disabilities, including following the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour for three months. Cam has spoken to countless groups on disability, volunteerism, and competed nationally in 1995 for Canada's Funniest New Comic. Currently, Cam works as a columnist with the Edmonton Sun, is the special project advisor for Challenge Insurance, and is the Community Content Co‑ordinator for the Oilers Entertainment Group. Cam had his autobiography, "Disabled? Hell NO! I'm a Sit-Down Comic," published in 2015. Cam has cerebral palsy and has made connections with disability groups locally, provincially and nationally. He has served as a member of the Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities since 2014. He also served on the Lt. Governor Circle on Mental Health and Addictions. Cam has two honourary degrees from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and McEwan University. Cam and his wife Joan have one son and three grandsons. He heavily turns to his faith for daily wisdom and support. Contact Cam

D. John te Linde

Photograph of D. John te LindeJohn te Linde of Calgary is a registered Psychologist (ret.) and has 36 years of research, management and community service experience. John has published research articles, reports and book chapters in the areas of psychology, program evaluation, needs assessment, social planning and social policy. He has served on numerous local and national boards for organizations involved in education, social policy and community service. His awards include academic scholarships from the Province of Alberta and the University of Western Ontario, and post-graduate scholarships from the National Research Council. In addition, John has been awarded post-doctoral fellowships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the University of Calgary. John has held teaching positions at the University of Western Ontario and the University of Calgary before joining the City of Calgary in 1984. John retired as Manager of Social Policy and Planning for the City of Calgary in 2013. Contact John

Regan Treewater-Lipes

Photograph of Regan Treewater-LipesDr. Regan Treewater-Lipes of Edmonton has been legally blind since birth. Growing up vision impaired within a sighted world, Regan takes great pride in her ability to overcome the daily logistical and situational obstacles faced by the legally blind. Regan has always remained determined to not let her vision limit her many ambitions. She is an instructor in the Department of English at MacEwan University, a freelance author and holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Alberta, where she researched transnational cultural identity construction. In addition to English, Regan is fluent in Russian and Japanese. She is adventurous, independent and has travelled the world – usually by herself. Aside from her academic and journalistic pursuits, Regan is an active leader within her community and has organized community events, initiatives and fundraisers. Regan has previously worked with people living with severe physical disabilities, those facing cognitive and intellectual barriers, and people with moderate learning challenges. Regan is committed to making Alberta’s diverse communities accessible to all people. Contact Regan

Darby Lee Young

Photograph of Darby Lee YoungDarby Lee Young of Calgary is a former para-alpine ski racer who was born with mild cerebral palsy and a passion for removing barriers. She created Level Playing Field (LPF) in 2015 to mitigate the barriers she faces every day. As a Principal Accessibility Strategist, Darby works with architects, designers, property owners, facilities, management, etc. to ensure spaces are universally accessible. Darby received the Calgary Stampede’s Western Legacy Award for Innovation for her work with LPF.

Prior to launching LPF, Darby volunteered for the City of Calgary’s Advisory Committee on Accessibility and was co-chair for two years. As co-chair, Darby spearheaded efforts to support inclusive workplaces, accessible services and usable facilities for everyone, and represented the City of Calgary at the International Summit on Accessibility. Darby has volunteered with Hockey Canada since 2010 and also volunteered for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Darby is dedicated to creating a strong, welcoming community that is inclusive for everyone. Contact Darby

Modified: 2017-10-02
PID: 14937