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We believe in a brighter future for individuals and families living with autism

Our Board of Directors

The Canucks Autism Network is governed by a democratically elected Board of Directors.

Our Board

Katy Harandi, Chair, President
Katy is the mother of two, one of whom has autism. Since 1995, she has devoted her time toward helping her daughter overcome many of the challenges with this condition. She has investigated educational and biomedical treatments for autism and has researched the field extensively. Katy supervised and actively participated in her daughter’s home-based ABA program, receiving many hours of training from educational and behavioural specialists, as well as experts in the fields of speech and occupational therapy. She was the YWCA 2012 Women of Distinction nominee for her contributions to our community and recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada. Katy Harandi is the co-founder and Chair of the Board at PALS Autism Society, a specialized educational program for children and young adults with autism. Katy is a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade Women’s Leadership Circle and a member of the Sauder School of Business Women’s Leadership Council. She is also a director of the board of the Stanford University Alumni Club in BC. She received her B.A. degree from Stanford University in Computer Science and holds an MBA from the Sauder School of Business.

Clara Aquilini
Clara, along with her husband Paolo, is the Founder of the Canucks Autism Network. She is the mother of four, including a young adult with autism. She dedicates much of her free time to promoting the Canucks Autism Network and spending time with her family.

Charmaine Crooks C.M.
Charmaine is an articulate, high-energy business professional, recognized for her expertise in sports management, strategic consulting, policy development, governance, corporate directorships and the Olympic Movement. During an international competitive sports career, became a five-time Olympian, Olympic Silver Medalist (LA 84), and an eleven-time national champion, representing Canada in Athletics (400m/800m) from 1980 to 1997. As the first Canadian woman to run under two minutes over 800 metres, she has won gold medals at the Pan American, Commonwealth, World Cup and World Student Games. She had the honour of being named Flag Bearer at the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Summer Games. Since 1994, Charmaine is President of NGU Consultants Inc. a global sports consultancy providing strategic counsel to major corporations and sport entities. She has been a director on several private and public sector Boards including Aim-Trimark Mutual Funds, University of Northern BC, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and the Canadian Museum of Natural History.

Norah Flaherty
Norah Flaherty is a Business Consultant with expertise in disability related issues. She is the chair of the Provincial RDSP Action Group. She has served on the Board of Directors of Community Living BC and chaired the Quality and Service Committee since 2010. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of Canadian Business SenseAbility. A former Lecturer at Concordia University in Montreal, Ms. Flaherty has also served on several education-related boards including that of the École Française Internationale de Vancouver. She founded the West Point Grey Ball Hockey Team for young men with developmental disabilities. Ms. Flaherty holds a Bachelor of Education and Master of Science in Renewable Resources from McGill University, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Concordia University, Montreal.

James Gallagher
Jim Gallagher is Head, Special Accounts Management Group for BMO Financial Group. He has 30 years of commercial and corporate banking experience. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia and has completed an Advanced Leadership Program at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He resides in Tsawwassen with his wife and three sons.

William Macdonald
Mr. Macdonald is a founder and principal of Macdonald Tuskey, Corporate and Securities Lawyers, a boutique securities and corporate finance firm located in Vancouver, British Columbia established in April 2008. Prior thereto, from February 1998 to April 2008, Mr. Macdonald was a partner with Clark Wilson LLP and a member of the firm’s Corporate Finance / Securities Practice Group. Since May 2008 Mr. Macdonald has also been the President and a director of Blackbird Energy Inc., an oil and gas company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and since April 2008, a director of First Americas Gold Corporation, formerly Pannonia Ventures Corp., a mining exploration issuer listed on the Exchange. Mr. Macdonald is also a director of Black Springs Capital Corp., and Faith Spring Ventures Corp., both capital pool companies listed on the Exchange and Benz Capital Corp., a former CPC which recently completed its Qualifying Transaction. Mr. Macdonald has been a member of the Law Society of British Columbia since February 1998 and a member of the New York State Bar since February 2002. Mr. Macdonald obtained his Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1997 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University in 1993.

Robert Standerwick, Q.C., Secretary
Robert Standerwick was born and raised in Vancouver. He graduated from UBC with a BA and an LLB. Bob has been a lawyer for almost 40 years and was a partner in a national firm for many years until he set up his own firm in 2013. He has been active in a number of community organizations. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the West Point Grey Academy since 1999 and was the Chair of the Board from 2000 to 2016. Also, he has been a Director of PALS Autism School since 2007 and currently serves as General Counsel to a Federal Crown Corporation.

Julia Ward, OT
Julia has had a career in paediatric occupational therapy since 1981 when she graduated from the Liverpool College of Occupational Therapy in England. She has worked in England, Australia, USA and Canada, before moving to Vancouver in 1987 with her husband. She started a private practice in paediatric occupational therapy in 2002.

During her career, she has developed a strong interest in supporting children with autism and their families. She brings her knowledge of play, sensory integration, gross and fine motor development and daily living skills to the child’s team, supporting the therapy program the family has chosen. Julia is also a trained yoga teacher for adults and children and includes the movement and calmness of yoga into her therapy.

She has two young adult sons and enjoys an active lifestyle with her family.

Marie Westby
Marie has a son with autism and is a strong advocate for children with differing abilities. She’s practiced as a physical therapist since 1988, has a PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences from UBC and is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, UBC. Her research includes rehabilitation and exercise interventions for individuals with arthritis and joint replacement surgery to enable active lifestyles and safe sports participation. Marie has a long history of volunteering with children with disabilities and amateur sports in BC. She has served as a physiotherapist for the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria and at other provincial, national and international sporting events throughout BC.

Mark Zastre, Treasurer
Mark is a senior finance executive with over 20 years of experience as a partner with two of the largest professional service firms in the world.

He has been a senior audit partner at Deloitte LLP and at Grant Thornton LLP in Vancouver over the past 25 years, serving principally in the resource, technology and manufacturing sectors. His clients have included public manufacturing, mining, mineral exploration and technology clients with global operations. He has served clients listed in Canada and the US.

During his time at both Deloitte and Grant Thornton, Mark has taken on significant leadership roles at the local, national and international level. Mark has led the Vancouver assurance practice as well as the Local, National and Global mining sectors and Grant Thornton and has served as a member of the firm’s Board of Partners and chair of the firm’s Compensation Committee.

Mark lives in North Vancouver with his wife and three kids and enjoys running, swimming, skiing and hiking.