Board Members

President – Blair Dwyer

Blair Dwyer is a lawyer, practicing tax and estate planning law since 1985, first on Bay Street in Toronto and since 1992 in Victoria. Blair has been on ACT’s Advisory Council since its inception over 12 years ago. He also presents an online workshop for ACT and has contributed a chapter on wills and estate planning to ACT’s Autism Manual for BC.

Vice-President – Anne McCaw

Anne McCaw has a background in event facilities management and marketing and was General Manager for the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University for a number of years. Now retired and living on Vancouver Island, Anne and her husband, Mike Rekis, are the sponsors for ACT’s annual Herring for Autism Sale. Mike and Anne have two adult daughters, one is autistic and both are valued ACT volunteers.

Past-President –  Alison Narod

Alison Narod is a former partner in the Vancouver law firm, FARRIS, VAUGHAN, WILLS & MURPHY where she practiced 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.

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.

Secretary – Jennifer Branston

Jennifer Branston, participated in an ACT panel a few years ago, Special Challenges Faced by Mothers with ASD, on being a mother with ASD and parenting children with ASD. She has a school-aged son on the spectrum and is an active volunteer, promoting inclusion and diversity as co-chair of the North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council.

Board Directors

Denise Ching

Denise Ching is Director & Portfolio Manager at RBC Dominion Securities. Denise’s previous board experience includes the BC Lions Foundation for Children with Disabilities, Vancouver Society of Financial Analysts, as well as membership on the investment committee of the BC Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia and mentor to UBC’s Portfolio Management Foundation.

Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D

Brenda Fossett, PhD, BCBA-D is on faculty in the Applied Behavior Analysis-Autism Department at Capilano University. Brenda began her career in 1993, teaching Deaf children with developmental disabilities, including autism, at the BC Provincial School for the Deaf. Brenda has a Masters in Special Education from UBC. Her doctoral program focused on Family-Centered Positive Behavior Support. Brenda conducted two studies centered around the provision of PBS services to Deaf children with developmental disabilities and their families, including training Deaf service providers to do this work. Along with her scholarly work, Brenda continues to provide consultative services, primarily to Deaf children with developmental disabilities and their families, and provides training and support to staff working in home, school, and community settings.

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.

Shannon Muir, SLP

Shannon Muir is a Registered Speech Language Pathologist who runs a private practice in North Vancouver. Shannon served on the Registry Autism Service Providers (RASP) panel and ACT’s Advisory Council as a volunteer for many years. Shannon works with autistic individuals, ranging in age from preschool to young adults, and their families, to provide assessment services as well as interventions. She continues to learn from autistic people and to do her best to enable others to meet their potential.  Shannon is also active in the resettlement of refugees in the Vancouver area as a volunteer.

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.