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We believe in a brighter future for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

Our Board of Directors

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

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Mark Zastre, Board Chair

Mark is a senior finance executive with over 25 years of experience as a partner with three of the largest professional service firms in the world.

Currently sitting as a partner at BDO Canada’s Vancouver office, Mark is a technology, manufacturing and resources leader delivering assurance services, providing risk consulting and internal controls assistance, as well as regulatory compliance and financial statement disclosure advice for high growth public companies and private entities working towards a liquidity event. His clients include public manufacturing, mining, mineral exploration and technology clients that often operate globally.

Previously, he had been a senior audit partner at Deloitte LLP and at Grant Thornton LLP. Throughout his experience, Mark has taken on significant leadership roles at the local, national and international level.

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

Clara Aquilini

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

Charmaine Crooks C.M., Chair of Governance Committee

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 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.

Garth Stoll, Treasurer

Garth is a passionate CAN supporter and parent. Through CAN, his son Christian has learned to bike, skate, play basketball and spent his first-ever night away from home at Overnight Camp.

Professionally, Garth recently retired from his role as VP of Commercial Real Estate for HSBC in Vancouver. He brings considerable strategic business knowledge and community connections, helping to strengthen our impact in BC and beyond.

In 2019, Garth and Christian were chosen to represent the cause at the Fishing For Kids Tournament. Traveling to Haida Gwaii, their presence was instrumental in helping raise $800,000 that year.

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 on the spectrum 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 on the spectrum 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.