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.
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.
Kenzie is a 21-year old, late diagnosed, Autistic self-advocate with a strong voice, hoping to aid in the inclusion of the Autistic community. Kenzie is passionate about voicing the importance of understanding demand avoidant profiles and co-occurring mental health disorders in Autistic individuals. With over seven years supporting Autistic youth both in the home and school settings, Kenzie’s goals are to bring acceptance and understanding for Autistic individuals.
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.
Juliani Kusmanto was brought up in Indonesia before emigrating to Canada as an adult, where she was diagnosed with autism. She has thought deeply about the challenges of explaining her diagnosis to her Indonesian family and the disbelief she has met when communicating her diagnosis both in Indonesia and in Canada because she is a skilled professional. Juliani is active in a number of autism-related organizations and especially interested in the challenges facing women with a late diagnosis.
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.
Marna Nelson is a family physician with an interest in young adult health. She was the Director of UBC Student Health Service from 2016 to 2021. Marna continues to work at the clinic part time providing health care for university students. She has been an active volunteer for many years with schools and community organizations that support individuals with autism. She has an adult daughter with autism.
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.