Mary-Jo excels where human engagement is emphasized and people’s capacities and potential are cultivated. As a former CEO, mother, farmer, chef, facilitator and entrepreneur Mary-Jo is a seasoned Project manager and communicator. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, especially after becoming paralyzed 18 years ago, with two young teens.
Her role’s as a Health Coach and Yoga teacher/therapist has given her diverse skills that straddle from human relations to designing the written programs that translate ideas into reality. Mary-Jo’s position as a “Peer Health Coach” with the University of Toronto has involved building the frameworks, then administering coaching programs to the disabled SCI community. In addition to creating and building businesses – cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, she is an UG student (U of Waterloo)of Social Work/Social Development. It is her belief that if we make a way, we will include everybody even those who don’t think they can – because we can. Mary-Jo thinks green, acts locally and lives sustainably, and strives to leave the world a better place.
Chair Emeritus & Vice-Chair
Maureen DeLandreville is a retired businesswoman with a background in real estate. She first became involved with the Disability Foundation when in the early 2000s she sailed with what was then the Disabled Sailing Association and quickly realized that her days of sailing were not over. She also volunteered to re-establish and expand the Boat Donation Program and successfully turned it into a major funding source. Maureen connected with and participated in a variety of activities offered by the affiliated Societies. She joined the Board of Directors in 2009 and in 2020 stepped into the position of Chair. Maureen brings to the Board her entrepreneurial experience, people skills and her passion for the Disability Foundation’s vision to empower and inspire people with physical disabilities to re-imagine what is possible.
Geoff Dodds is a Managing Partner and Personnel Partner at Buckley Dodds LLP. Geoff joined the board in 2020 and helps manage the financial reporting/operations of the Foundation and affiliated Societies.
Keiko Honda, Ph.D., MPH
Keiko is a scholar, founder/director of an arts organization, and an emerging artist. After earning her PHD in Health Behavioral Sciences from NYU, she did her post-doctoral work in cancer epidemiology at Columbia University. Shortly after moving to Vancouver, Keiko opened her house to artists and local residents, and began hosting artists’ salons, called Artists-in-Residence. Her salons became so successful that the City of Vancouver proclaimed her one of their “Remarkable Women” in 2014. Keiko believes that community is as important as the joys of life-long learning. Following this belief, she founded the Vancouver Arts Colloquium Society (VACS) in 2014, to bridge generations and cultures and to offer marginalized communities in Vancouver opportunities for artistic self-discovery. Keiko also teaches a course, Social Artistry Through Co-Creation, at SFU to explore the shared roots of artistic development and social change to expand cultural possibilities in our community. She enjoys writing and painting with watercolors.
Non-voting honorary member
Our founder, Sam Sullivan, wanted to rebuild his life following a high-level spinal cord injury. Over a 20-year period, Sam established seven non-profit groups offering opportunities to people with physical disabilities in Vancouver and across Canada. Sam found that his greatest strength was in bringing people together to create self-maintaining groups: people with disabilities who want to be more engaged, and volunteers and other supporters who want to make a difference.
And that’s what the Disability Foundation does to this day – supporting programs and services that provide opportunities for assistance, activities and social engagement for people with physical disabilities to empower their individual journey.
The Disability Foundation was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Terry LeBlanc on December 19th, 2022. Terry’s impact on the Disability Foundation, our affiliated Societies, and the disabled community is impossible to measure. He was a mentor to so many, always available to share his experiences in the hope that they would help someone else.
One of Terry’s favourite things was a conversation with friends, whether in a garden or overlooking the water at Jericho Beach. He was an avid gardener, competitive sailor, and ASABC’s top sip ‘n’ puff sailor. Terry had a great sense of humour and was a loyal Canucks fan. His leadership was felt throughout all of the Foundation’s societies as he played a crucial part in creating the Disability Foundation, served on multiple boards for many years, and helped in the development of the Martin 16 and the sip n puff device.