Board Members

President – Christian Duff, Ph.D., M.Sc., CA

Christian Duff is a Professor Emeritus with Royal Roads University. He had a teaching career spanning more than twenty years and has been a chartered accountant for more than 35 years. In recent years he has been an active health care researcher in Metro Vancouver. He has published in several professional journals in Canada including CMA Management and has contributed to two text books.

Vice President – Barb West

Barb  West has over 30 years of diverse leadership experience specializing in program management, marketing, communications, and human resources.  Barb launched 2020 Consulting Services in 2010 and provides a wide variety of consulting and project management services to a diverse group of global clients in the energy and health care sectors. As the parent of 23 year old autistic twin boys, Barb has first-hand experience dealing with the opportunities and challenges people with disabilities face.

Secretary – Anne Stoll

Anne Stoll is a University of British Columbia graduate, a Registered Dietitian, holds an MBA (Marketing) and is an experienced, award-winning pharmaceutical specialty sales professional. In addition to her business experience, Anne’s motivation to advocate for the autism community is driven by her son who was diagnosed with ASD 8 years ago.

Treasurer – Brent Shirley

Brent Shirley is an independent management consultant. He has over 35 years of experience in accounting and information technology and is the president of his own consulting firm, BVS Advisory Inc.  Brent has worked with a wide-range of businesses and has held senior roles on specialized and complex financial systems projects for large regulated public utilities, transportation companies and financial institutions. He has an adult son on the autism spectrum.

Board Director – Rajan Bains, CA, CPA, CFA

Rajan Bains brings over 20 years of financial accounting and tax experience to his role on the Board. He has been a partner and the Chief Financial Officer of the Plenary Group North America for the last 13 years. Rajan also has non-profit experience, having served as the Director and Treasurer of the Learning Disabilities Association of Vancouver (LDAV) from 2000 to 2012. Rajan’s son was diagnosed with ASD at the age of two which has motivated him to volunteer and to help support other families with children on the spectrum.

Board Director – John Carinha

John Carinha joins the board with 8 years of experience as both a parent of a child with autism and as an advocate for autism awareness. Through a variety of initiatives, including Row4Autism, he has raised funds and awareness for local and national autism organizations with a recent focus on helping local families with school transitions. As the owner and Director of Operations for Aeronav Avionics he also brings a depth of business experience to the ACT board.

Board Director – Pharid Jaffer

Pharid Jaffer is a technology consultant in Vancouver. He has held senior management information technology roles in the financial services sector for more than 15 years. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and has been active in the community from BCIT to the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow program.

Board Director – Alisa Lipson, MD

Alisa Lipson, MD, is Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia. She is a pediatrician with expertise in autism diagnosis and an interest in building the knowledge of professionals about the need to identify and diagnose ASD as early as possible.

Board Director – Alison Narod

Alison Narod is a lawyer. She is a partner in the Vancouver law firm, FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY. Alison practices in the areas of labour, employment, family, human rights, workers compensation and administrative law. She rejoined the ACT Board in 2017 following an absence of several years; she was a founding member of ACT’s Board of Directors in 2004.

Board Director – Blair Whelan 

Blair Whelan is Chief Technology Officer – RAZR Marketing with a depth of experience in the technology sector. He has a family member with autism and has an interest in supporting community initiatives that use technology to meet the needs of families and professionals for information.