Who We Are ...4
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Core Team

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Marilyn Day, a professional adult educator and independent community-based researcher, started her career in education at UBC. She gained teaching experience in rural Manitoba, North York, ON and Winnipeg, MB. Twenty years later she changed career directions to study, research and work with disenfranchised adults and disempowered families. To meet the needs of adults and youths with education and learning challenges, Marilyn built and operated an adult education centre which has evolved gradually into an independent research organization specializing in community-based research projects. Personal and professional experience has motivated Marilyn to direct her interests and time to explore and to promote literacies that support development of personal empowerment. Marilyn has volunteered as a board member for community and professional groups. She is the Past President of Literacy Partners of Manitoba. Marilyn earned a masters (Higher Education) from University of Manitoba and a PhD. from Nottingham University, UK.

Annette Gupton is a registered nurse who recently retired from the University of Manitoba after 41 years in the profession. Her areas of interest include nursing research, community health and maternal child nursing. She retired from her appointment as Director of the Manitoba Nursing Research Institute and is currently Senior Scholar at the University of Manitoba. She has acted as principal investigator for several qualitative and quantitative research projects and received her PhD from the Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba.

Garth Harvey was raised in smalltown Manitoba and has done many interesting things on the way to today, such as herding cattle, driving truck, prospecting iron in northern Quebec, labourer in a copper refinery, public servant and editor of several periodicals and newsletters. But best of all, have been the 25 years as a volunteer for community service. Garth received the Valued Volunteer certificate from the BC Recreation Association and was chosen for the Spirit of Volunteering for 2001 by Volunteer Cowichan. Now, much of his time is spent as President and active participant in the Cowichan Family Caregivers Support Society. According to Garth, the happiest healthiest communities are those that recognize the interdependence of all their members and afford each member the opportunity to share his or her gifts - especially the nonmaterial ones - with the whole community.

Peter Kiessling has been a bricklayer mason, and a seller of masonry products and veterinary pharmaceuticals in western Canada and southern United States. Now retired, he continues his work as an active community volunteer with a number of organizations, including the Disability Resource Centre, January Players and the Comiaken Bridge Club. Peter's main interest is in healthy communities, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles for seniors and all members of our society.

Lynn Curtis has been involved in creating community-based organizations for 40 years. He has worked in the areas of: youth programs; community development education; forest management; economic development; disability services; aboriginal relations and government service. He is a registered social worker and is currently president of the Sustainable Community Development Cooperative and is a director of O.U.R. Ecovillage Cooperative.

Ronnie Phipps has, for almost 20 years, worked as a health advocate, community developer and researcher around the challenges experienced by people with disabilities, unpaid caregivers and others who are marginalized in our society. She is a firm believer in citizen participation at all levels of decision making and has carried out this philosophy as an initiator and founding member of eight groups or organizations. Ronnie's background is in nursing, health promotion and community education and she has a master's degree in leadership and training.

Veronica Scott started her career as a newspaper reporter in Alberta. From there she moved on to public relations work as a communications advisor for Capital Health in Edmonton and more recently the Calgary Health Region. Her experience includes internal and external communications, writing speeches, designing brochures, handbooks and working with the media. Veronica has an extensive background in the health care industry particularly in community health and long term care. She has a Master’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies, specializing in gerontology, and is the recipient of several awards in the field of public relations.

Mary Shakespeare is a senior partner in the firm Community Health Consultants and has been responsible for projects involving strategic planning, program development, needs assessments, research, program/project evaluation and community development. The scope of her work has included mental health, caregiver issues, childcare services, nursing and health promotion. Mary has a Master's in Public Health - Education and Research.

Laurie Williams has worked in the non-profit sector and as a volunteer in the Cowichan Valley for the past 10 years. Her experience and skills lie in community development, community-based research, program evaluation, peer support and advocacy both for and with people with disabilities.

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