CLBC recognizes all nominees for the 2016 Widening Our World (WOW) awards for their efforts to build inclusion, create employment opportunities, and increase people’s access to community and social networks.
Below is a list of all nominees from across British Columbia, including this year’s four WOW Award Winners.
South Fraser Region
Brad Fenton – Coquitlam
“He has opened his business to inclusion by hiring myself. He has a service which delivers prescription medication to all persons, with or without disabilities, in the local communities.
He has demonstrated a commitment to the community and social responsibility by hiring persons with disabilities.” – Conrad Tyrkin, Nominator
Cam Dore – Chilliwack
“Cam is the model of ‘Servant Leadership’. He is constantly creating opportunities for others to showcase their gifts and abilities. This education of the larger community is necessary for doors and opportunities to be offered to those with intellectual disabilities. Cam has also been instrumental in creating and supporting the 17 years of the Provincial Self Advocate Retreats in October each year at the Edenvale Retreat and Conference Centre in Abbotsford.
This work has created awareness and education to employers and other community partners that have lead to both paid employment and volunteer and social networks for people served.” – Bryce Schaufelberger, Nominator
Edwina Jeffrey – Surrey
“As chair of the Inclusive Employer Awards committee, Edwina partnered with the City of Surrey, Milieu Family Services, Surrey Work BC Employment Services, Rotary Club of Surrey and the CLBC Community Council.
The Inclusive Employer Awards recognize and celebrate employers who hire people with developmental disabilities. The Awards remind employers and self advocates of the benefits of employment including confidence and building a broader social network.” – Marie Sabine, Nominator
Elizabeth Zinder de Jesus – Burnaby
“Elizabeth helps seniors have a welcoming place where everyone gathers, supports safeguards, development of social networks, and increases quality of life. Leadership development of seniors as Ambassadors is a phenomenal recognition of seniors as leaders providing supports and creating additional connection.” – Meaghen Taylor-Reid, Nominator
Jared Gillard – Surrey
“After many years of facilitating a successful music program within our center, Jared approached one of the two managers of the new Central City library and planned a new weekly music program within the library in one of the community rooms.
The music program started off small. The attendees were mostly individuals from our centre and through a combination of signage, word of mouth and public visibility, new people started to show up. At first it was our supported people and staff, then supported people from other companies started attending, and now there are also non-supported people coming to the music. The program has grown until it is standing room only and people have started to crowd outside the doorway in order to participate. In addition to people showing up to hear him sing, Jared has welcomed other performers to join him, sometimes there are as many as 6 or 7 other performers involved, singing, dancing and playing various instruments. One thing to note is that these additional performers are all supported people, resulting in an inclusive community music event.” – Dawn Berryman, Nominator
Jillian Glenney – South Surrey
“Jill is the facilitator for the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo (SAS). As part of her work, Jill provides an environment that allows SAS the opportunity to be in a supportive and safe place to identify, pursue and implement change for themselves, their peers, their community and the world at large.
Jill takes a significant amount of time listening to what SAS have to say and offering ideas of how they can accomplish their goals. She then supports them in attaining their agendas by enabling the creation of projects that SAS want to see implemented in the community.” – Louise Tremblay, Nominator
Lillian Fast – Abbotsford
“I first met Lillian at a London Drugs booth, Job fair at the Chilliwack Coast Hotel and had two candidates from Chilliwack Society for Community Living (CSCL) Supported Employment wanting to apply. Lillian was very interested and we exchanged cards to meet and chatted more about employment for candidates that would be a great fit for London Drugs. Lillian wanted to talk to the Store Manager and get back to me about hiring. I also asked Lillian about having CSCL Supported Employment Network Group come on a Job Informational Tour of London Drugs to find out what the business needs are and the jobs that they might be perfect for.
Lillian had CSCL Network Group come for the informational Interview tour at London Drugs she took them through every department of the company and explained the jobs and each duty in that job, at the end they all had the opportunity to ask any questions. Lillian asked candidates that felt they would be a good fit for London Drugs to apply and she would be happy to have them in for an interview. Two CSCL Supported Employment candidates decided to apply and Lillian soon had them in for interviews.
Of the two candidates that applied, Lillian hired Brian McAvoy as Early Morning Stock. Brian was so very happy. About a month later I was calling Lillian about another question and she asked if CSCL SES had any more candidates that were looking for work. CSCL Supported Employment promptly sent her two more candidates with resumes in hand and she set up interviews and was WOWED by Caitlin and Steven and hired them both, saying she had never had such great open honest interviews before. Caitlin was hired as afternoon stock with hopes of moving her to Cashier and Steven was hired as Early Morning Stock.” – Gizelle Debad, Nominator
Senior Citizen Supports – Burnaby
“Anne and her team have always been receptive and open to supporting individuals living with a developmental disability as they age. Individuals have received support through the grocery shop by phone program, friendly visitor program, bus outings, social lunches, and shopping buddies program.
This work is increasing individuals’ quality of life, creating social connection, and connecting individuals to their communities as they age. In addition, Citizens Support coordinators ensure equal access to seniors supports in community and otherwise.” – Meaghen Taylor-Reid, Nominator
Sharon Rowe – New Westminster
“Sharon has years of volunteer work, has dictated a book and is doing creativity workshops for ‘Specially Abled People’, volunteers at a radio show, (just received a Super Hero Volunteer button from them) works in the cafeteria at day program and does volunteer work with other groups.
She’s also involved in a science class project on Wednesdays, is a Rick Hansen Canadian 25 tour medallion carrier and winner of numerous awards including self advocacy.” – Ariadne Sawyer, Nominator
Trenna Pennington – Chilliwack
“Trenna is the General Manager of Mr. Mikes Steakhouse in Chilliwack B.C. Chilliwack Society for Community Living’s Supported Employment Services (SES) staff attended the restaurant in June of this year with a job candidate for an interview. Trenna and the Kitchen Manager Kelsey, immediately saw the benefit of hiring James just on his experience alone. Trenna and Kelsey asking me to bring more job seekers in to apply. This led to Mr. Mikes Chilliwack hiring on two dishwashers and another individual to clean and landscape outside the restaurant!” – Craig Baker, Nominator
Tribrink Contracting – Chilliwack
“Tribrink Contracting have been outstanding and empowering towards the four individuals that they have hired within the last year.
Tribrink is a company that has taken initiative with giving jobs to people with a disability to develop their skills. They promote growth on equipment, power tools and full time employment. Tribrink shows a vision for people with a disability to gain respect, overcome obstacles and flourish.” – Sharon Goldthorp, Nominator
Southern Interior Region
Greg Kyllo, MLA – Salmon Arm
“Greg Kyllo’s office contacted Shuswap Association for Community Living’s office to inquire about hiring an individual from the Community Employment Services program. Once this connection was made, we found the perfect fit for the job at hand.” – Ellen Zilkie, Nominator
Lana St. Hilaire at Dandelion Consultion – Kelowna
“Lana trains workers to help people with disabilities as well as does social groups for people to make friends and connect with each other.” – Denise Hiltz, Nominator
Thompson Cariboo and North Region
Chris Morsund, Chatters Pizzeria and Bistro – Smithers (WOW AWARD WINNER)
“This family owned and operated business has a long time commitment to employing individuals with developmental delays. All are embraced as being part of the productive team at work and away from work. It is a well bonded group on a positive work environment.
Not only are these folks appreciated of their employees, community members are celebrated as well. They have a very welcoming atmosphere and are accessible for people with mobility impairments.
The business uses fresh produce from local farms, meat from local farmers and cheese from the local cheese maker. This is a huge boost to local employment on many levels. They are very well thought of by all sectors of the community. They are Smithers’s ‘Business of the Year’ for 2016!” – Anita Clegg, Nominator
Dr. Mark Forgie, Lakelse Dental Center – Terrace
“Dr. Mark Forgie and his staff at Lakelse Dental Clinic in Terrace do an exceptional job with all individuals they serve. In particular, I want to recognize you and your staff for the inclusion offered to all patients of the clinic. From the reception area to the dental chair, patients are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect. The staff are very skilled in treating patients requiring extra time, extra support and special approaches; they are kind gentle and encouraging.
Every effort is made to engage the patient in the treatment process, regardless of communication barriers. Families of patients are not only included in the treatment area, but also welcomed. The clinic itself is accessible to patients with mobility impairments and has a fully accessible washroom. Patients from a large geographic area use this dental clinic because of this inclusive approach to a necessary, but often difficult, health care necessity.” – Anita Clegg, Nominator
Jolene Glover – Kamloops
“I started a news letter that focuses on inclusion and success stories. Jolene helps me to put all the stories together to get sent to the printers. She helps me in delivering them to organizations as well.
She goes beyond the call of duty when it comes to my socialization. If I want to do something with my friends such as a Halloween party or going to a dance and listening to music, Jolene makes it happen. She is very flexible with her schedule because she knows how important socializing is in an inclusive environment. She gives all her clients great meaning in life.” – Krystian Shaw, Nominator
Karen Moberg – Williams Lake
“My mother, Karen Moberg, has been taking action to help build inclusion for over 30 years. In her early 20s, she began a practicum placement as a college student at Tranquille in Kamloops, B.C. Those early days led the pathway to her future career of helping others succeed as she vowed to be a change-maker, to fight for the rights of people with disabilities while advocating for inclusion and a better quality of life.
After her practicum, Karen began to work at, and soon manage, a group home in Williams Lake, B.C. During this time she had gotten to know Dwayne Nicholes, a then young man with Down syndrome, and soon opened up her own home to become a Proprietary Care Home Operator. Dwayne, now 52, has been living with my family ever since.
Karen also recently received her 25 year service pin from Thompson Rivers University (TRU). She is the Workplace Coordinator for the Work Skills Training Program, a 2-year certificate course for adults with developmental disabilities where they learn many valuable life skills, as well as valuable job prep and interview skills that help them to find work within the community.” – Cassidy Porter, Nominator
Krystian Shaw – Kamloops
“Krystian is a strong self advocate that works tirelessly to create inclusion in our community and stop the stigma for people with diverse abilities. Krystian launched the Kamloops Self Advocate Newsletter in September 2013. The newsletter gives the individuals served by CLBC a voice in the community.
If there is a community event, you will find Krystian there sharing awareness and building connections. The newsletter provides the forum for all people to contribute their stories, wisdom, strengths and ideas. The Kamloops Self Advocate newsletter has an advisory group to bring ideas to the community through the newsletter.” – Tracy Jo Russell, Nominator
Lisa Coriale – Kamloops
“Lisa has written two books describing life with diverse abilities and the challenges and triumphs. These books are ‘Beautiful, Beautiful Bird’ and ‘Metamorphosis.’
Lisa has been on the Mayor’s Advisory Council (for diverse abilities) for several years. She also assists a friend with his Self Advocate Newsletter by submitting monthly columns, sitting on the advisory group and helping with the Kamloops Self Advocate newsletter’s Facebook page.” – Tami Pedersen, Nominator
Prince George Toastmasters – Prince George
“This group called Toastmasters helps to build skills that can help in getting a job or talking at group events or conferences.
They made the four self advocates feel welcome in their club plus gave them very good support.” – Ruth Stanton, Nominator
Ronnie Bouvier – Kamloops (WOW AWARD WINNER)
Skeena Bakery – Hazelton
“Skeena Bakery has had a community inclusion program since they have opened. They have supported many people within the community with developmental disabilities.
Their inclusion program provides many life skills, job skills, builds self esteem, and a sense of a work family. Their motto is ‘baking down barriers.’” – Frankie, Nominator
Steve Earl – Kamloops
“Steve, the General Manager of Fairfield Inn & Suites in Kamloops, B.C., is an inclusive employer hiring an individual with diverse abilities
Steve is a demonstrated leader in our community. He has a vast social and community network that transcends many platforms.
By practicing inclusive hiring, he has paved the way for other employers to do the same. Community members (both employers and consumers) are able to see the great work Steve has been doing, which then opens up the floor for questions and ultimately, education and increased opportunities for customized employment. The benefits Steve’s practice has had on himself and his business, the individual he hired, and the community cannot be ignored. Steve’s business has been sought out by others who support his actions and the individual he hired gets to show the world her potential (and incredible spunk!); the community is a better place because of it.” – Nevada Gallant, Nominator
Tami Archie – Canim Lake Reserve
“Tami lives works and plays in the Canim Lake Reserve located 35 minute outside of 100 Mile House BC. She is not First Nations but is very dedicated toward the community that she works and lives in.
Tami has worked at Eliza Archie Daycare for seventeen years. She is the program manager with 6 or more programs running at all times. She is on the school district 27 Parents Advisory Committee, Fall Program that collaborates within 100 Mile House school district. This program assists with communication between teachers, students, and parents faced with life long challenges and those faced with life long learning disabilities.
This is in addition to the work that Tami works to assist these same children living within the community. Over the years the Daycare building has immensely deteriorated and Tami has worked hard at finding capital dollars to ensure that the daycare can be renovated to continue with her lifelong passion of working with her community and for the children who need supportive and child care services. Tami has several children attending the center who are living with a lifelong disability and always finds a way to include all children living with one ore more disabilities.” – Sophie Anderson and Sheila Kennedy, Nominators
Coach Todd Kuc, Kelly Road Boys Volleyball and Basketball Teams – Prince George
“By allowing Wayne to be a part of two high school teams at Kelly Roadd Secondary it gives the opportunity for Wayne to feel part of the high school and he has many people who go out of their way to high five him and say Hi. Wayne feeds off the attention and often performs for the crowd from the bench.
The parents of the boys all adore Wayne and they love having him as part of the Kelly Road family. Recently at a big school Volleyball game they announced Wayne as the assistant coach and the whole school cheered for him as he was bowing and fist pumping!
Wayne even made it on our local news and in the paper during the exhibition game. This has helped to create inclusion as a team as well as a school, and as well as being part of the families cheering on their boys.
Being part of the team has also allowed Wayne to travel with the team to Provincials and meet people from all over B.C. He is well known to all teams in Prince George as well as with the refs. He brings a smile to everyone he meets and will often tell the Head Coaches on other teams what they should be doing.” – Stacey Birkhiem, Nominator
Tukii Lodge, Lloyd and Jack Hooper – Babine Lake
“Two generations (and counting) of this family owned business, Tukii Lodge, offer safe, fun, recreational fishing opportunities on Babine Lake for groups of developmentally delayed young adults.
With their help, and that of their gracious staff, their new lodge, one cabin and the wharves are welcoming to people with mobility impairments. A true highlight for those who would not otherwise have the opportunity for that type of outdoor recreation.” – Anita Clegg, Nominator
Vancouver Coastal Region
Brian Smith – Roberts Creek (WOW AWARD WINNER)
“Brian has been a lifelong advocate for people with developmental disabilities believing that embracing them as full citizens will literally “save the world”. He worked with PLAN while completing his Master’s degree. He was the co-creator of Sole Foods in Vancouver which hires people living on the Downtown Eastside. His current partnership with Sunshine Coast Association for Community Living (SCACL) has been for 6 years.
Brian invited SCACL to form a wholly-owned limited company through which we became a 5% shareholder in Persephone Brewing Co. Inc.
At his constant encouragement, we have been able to create a number of jobs for our clientele on the farm and in the brewery. He has been a keen motivator with respect to encouraging us to set up a business co-op among the people that we serve, owning a value added pickling business made from ingredients grown on the farm as well as an egg business from our chickens.
He has established numerous partnerships with the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Sunshine Coast Regional District. He applied for and received B Corp. certification, making Persephone only the second brewery in Canada to achieve this status, largely based on his inclusion of people with developmetal disabilities” – Glen McClughan, Nominator
Graeme Weeks – North Vancouver
“Graeme and his staff team have worked tirelessly to empower the 2 men they work with to develop a Clothes Recycling business (through Inclusion BC and Community Living Society) that has grown to five collection bins on the North Shore. The individuals have absolute control over the running of this business and take immense pride in doing their job to the very best of their ability. Graeme and his team believe wholeheartedly that the job belongs to the individuals and the staff are there to actively support the men to do it for themselves.” – Sue Daspe, Nominator
Jim Diggins – Vancouver
“Jim has provided a safe and loving environment for young people 16-35 to learn athletic skills (ball hockey) meet new people and experience both friendly and competitive play. These youth have grown immensely in the time Jim and the volunteers he has gathered have been involved.
The program continues to grow every year and welcomes new participants. Jim has fostered an environment that has led to increased inclusion with other teams, coaches and volunteers. They have played other teams including firefighters and local businesses.” – Lizabeth Cochran, Nominator
Susan Devlin – Port Coquitlam
“Susan Devlin is the Van City Pine Tree Branch Manager and has been extremely supportive of our charity, Community Integration Services Society (CISS). Susan and her staff serve Christmas lunch to our 120+ guests, have came out to our Heritage House and volunteered to paint and she has hired an individual from our services to work at the bank for a living wage.
Susan and her team will roll up their sleeves and help in any way needed. Whether it be through donations or through labour they are always there for us.” – Shari Mahar, Nominator
Vancouver Island Region
Astrid Koenig – Sooke (WOW AWARD WINNER)
“Astrid has helped with the development of a self advocacy group in Sooke, working alongside Robyn. The group focuses on providing a safe place to talk about issues, bring people together to learn about their rights and how to speak up for them when they are not being met, and educate the community about self advocacy and how to be good allies.
She is also a strong advocate for inclusion in the schools for children with diverse abilities. She ensures the children are receiving the support they need in the classrooms and are being treated fairly and equally to the other children.
She has an extensive understanding and knowledge of the resources available in the community. She listens to individual’s and families’ needs, and works to effectively meet them. If she is not able to meet their needs herself, she easily refers them to someone who can. In this way she is making the community more accessible to those who might otherwise feel overwhelmed or not know how to access the supports available to them.” – Robyn Appleton, Nominator
Julie Stevens – Nanaimo
“My Mom has been putting on the Christmas Dinner and social for over 20 years for PWD she is on the board for NACL for many years now, and has been VP and President and now past President helping to make people’s lives better. She runs a cafe in Chemainus and makes it very comfortable for PWD to be there creates a welcoming place. She has taught cooking lessons through parks and recs nanaimo for PWD. She helps people learn skills. And always she fights for our rights and tries to show people we all have abilities not disabilities. She works hard.” – Tammy Stevens, Nominator
Pam Hollands – Sooke
“She is an outstanding advocate for people and families in the community who have diverse abilities. She recognizes gaps in services in the community and works to fill them. Building Bridges Community Support was started by her and her co-founder Astrid, in 2011, to provide home support for two individuals, who at the time, had nowhere else to go. In the course of a week, they rented a house, wrote the contracts, and found staff to provide the 24 hr support the individuals needed.
Since then, their services have evolved to providing community inclusion and life skills development for adults with diverse abilities, and early intervention for children with autism. Pam manages the adults services and works hard at collaborating with other community resources to make sure everyone receives the support they need. The community is more educated about, and familiar with, their community members with diverse abilities, and the people with diverse abilities who know Pam, feel more included and contribute more to their communities.” – Robyn Appleton, Nominator
Wanda Gust – Campbell River
“Wanda is co-owner and operator of Balance Equestrian Centre with 20+ years experience, Pony Club Trained, Equine Canada Level One and certified Therapeutic Riding instructor. She provides the horses and tack, the expertise, and the time. She helps individuals develop a strong bond of respect, trust and kinship with the horse, volunteers and fellow riders. She has a special kindness and understanding which allows her to reach all the individuals she teaches.” – Karen Henderson, Nominator