Laurie Larson, Chair
Laurie Larson and her husband Leith are parents to three young men; two of whom have disabilities. They live in the small community of Biggar in west-central Saskatchewan. Their oldest son, Tom, lives in Saskatoon now and Ben and Kevin live at home. Laurie has been a strong advocate for her sons all their lives. She is joined the SK Family Network in 1998 and got involved with the provincial association shortly afterward. She served as President of the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living (SACL) from 2007-2008. Laurie is CACL’s President. She became Vice-President of CACL in November 2007 and has since taken on many roles within the organization, with a particular focus in the area of Family Leadership and Grassroots engagement. She participated, as a senior family leader, in 2 of the held pilots of CACL’s Values, Vision and Action Workshops. In her role as presenter and family leader she was able to connect and share with and learn from families from across the country. Laurie has also been involved in planning 3 of the last 4 national conferences. Laurie has a strong vision of full and meaningful community living for all individuals with intellectual disabilities. She believes the work done by us on disability to be critical in achieving the full and meaningful lives that we all want for our friends and family members. Laurie is a tireless worker who throws herself into whatever job she takes on.
Mary Whitehead, Vice-Chair
Mary and her husband Brian, live in the Victoria West area of Prince Edward Island. Mary has 3 children, Julie, Franki-Rae and Mike. She is the grandmother of two boys Joshua and Noah. Joshua was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 1996. Initially motivated by looking for appropriate services for her grandson, Mary has been part of the Community Living movement for more than a decade now. She has held various positions at both provincial and national levels within the ACL movement. She currently holds the position of Secretary, Board of Directors of the PEI Association for Community Living. Being a strong family advocate, Mary began participating at the National level in 2003 where she held the position of provincial appointee to the CACL on behalf of the PEI ACL. She is the Vice-President of CACL. Mary’s belief is that families are the foundation for successful inclusion within the community; for all of us and especially people with intellectual disabilities. Mary strives to strengthen the grassroots movement within our organization. “When we empower families and communities to be strong advocates for full, meaningful inclusion we all benefit”.
Peter Chivers, Treasurer
A senior strategy consultant, building on his career at KPMG, one of the global big-4 accounting firms. He is a UK chartered accountant and has a track record of early identification of emerging issues and implementation of strategic initiatives. With a broad commercial background, he has over 30 years experience in professional services including more than 10 years responsibility for leading teams and delivering change in complex organizations. Peter was Chief Knowledge Officer at KPMG UK for 8 years with additional responsibilities for the development of knowledge management policy and adoption globally. For the last few years, Peter has been an independent consultant working with public and private sector organizations helping them to build and implement business and knowledge management strategies. Peter’s particular focus has been on increasing efficiency and effectiveness and in dealing with the resulting organizational change. Peter has been a keynote speaker at many conferences.
Bendina Miller, Director
Bendina Miller is the CACL’s Past-President. She first joined an Association for Community Living in 1968 and has been involved in local and provincial associations in four provinces. She has been on the Board of CACL for over 10 years. Bendina was honored to receive a Life Membership with AimHi and the City of Prince George Volunteer Recognition Award for her work in the community living movement. Bendina was the Superintendent of Schools in the Rocky Mountain School District of Southeastern British Columbia. She retired from this position as of July 31, 2010. A major passion in Bendina’s work continues to be ensuring that inclusive practices and programs are in place for all students. Bendina believes that given the challenges we face as a nation it is even more critical that strong family and community based organizations exist to advocate for appropriate supports, lobby for strong legislation and work to bring individuals, families and provincial and territorial organizations together with a unified voice. She is committed to contribute actively to continue the critical work of ensuring that the rights and needs of all individuals with developmental disabilities are addressed in a respectful and empowering manner.
Lorraine Silliphant, Director
Lorraine Silliphant has been involved in the community living movement, locally, provincially and nationally since her son Ralph was born 43 years ago. She is an honourary life member of each. Lorraine considers the ACL movement her life long commitment. For nearly twenty years Lorraine served as a staff member and Executive Director of NBACL. She retired in 2000. As a volunteer she held many offices with the FACL, NBACL and is a founding member of the Board of Jobs Unlimited. She is past president of the New Brunswick ACL and served as a member of the board, the executive and other committees of CACL. Currently she volunteers on the NBACL Changing Lives Changing Communities and Governance committees and chairs the Social Inclusion Advisory Committee. Lorraine is past chair of the Roeher Institute, the CACL Research Advisory Committee and the Task Force on Employment. Currently she is chair of the Law Reform and Public Policy Committee and a Distinguished Associate of CACL. Lorraine and her husband David have three children and five grand children who all live in Fredericton. Their son Ralph lives in his own home that he shares with a roommate, enjoys his many friends and family, works seasonally and is supported to live his life and be included in his community.