About our Directors

Dylan Black (Honorary Board Member)

dylanOriginally from Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Dylan has been a long time friend and supporter of Ability First Ottawa.  In addition to his support of Ability First Ottawa, Dylan is a huge supporter of The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, The Children’s Wish Foundation and The Max Keeping Fund at C.H.E.O.

Dylan also believes in the gift of life and is an advocate for Canadian Blood Services, encouraging people to give blood.

For his outstanding commitment to the Ottawa community, Dylan has been nominated for “Ottawa Humanitarian of the Year” and “Best Community Builder”. In 2015, Dylan was awarded a United Way “Community Builder Award”.

In the past 5 years, Dylan has personally collected $15,000 through the Movember campaign and will also serve as the 2016 Honorary Chair for the “TELUS Walk for the Cure!”.

Dylan is an on air personality on BOOM 99.7 and a host of Rogers Daytime.  For 20 years, Dylan was mentored by Canadian Broadcasting Legend Max Keeping.

Christina Ranieri

Christina-Ranieri-sm1Christina has a long history of involvement within the persons with disabilities community. She is a graduate of Algonquin College in the General Arts and Science program, as well as the Crisis Management/Human psychology program. She has also obtained accreditation as a Social Service worker and Developmental Service Worker. She then continued her education at Carleton University, completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. At Algonquin College, Christina was on the Dean’s Honors list for Developmental Service Workers, and at Carleton University she received awards including the John Teuscher award, Giovanni Caboto Scholarship, a finalist for Celebration of People award for advocacy award (2014), winner Faces Magazine: Faces Awards (2016): Ottawa Favourite Social Service Worker and nominated by West Ottawa Board of Trade’s: West Ottawa Business Excellence Awards (BEA’s) for Community Support/Non-Profit Business of the Year Award (2016) . Christina served for 3 years as a  board member of Citizens with Disabilities Ontario (CWDO). Additionally, she volunteers her time within the community, and has been a tireless volunteer for initiatives such as  Make the Cut program, Slice, Walk N Roll fundraiser, All hands on Braille camp for kids, and Jewish Family Services as a program assistant. She proudly serves as the first Executive Director, and President of the Board of Ability First Ottawa.

Michael Lifshitz

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Born with a disability due to a rare condition called Multiple Congenital Musculoskeletal Abnormalities, Michael Lifshitz has never let his disability stand in the way of accomplishing his goals. Defying what many believed possible, Michael became a Chartered Public Accountant and obtained his MBA from Edinburgh Business School. Michael has built and sold successful accounting and financial planning practices, as well as spoken at various events across Canada, including at a TEDX conference. Today, in addition to continuing a successful career in accounting and finance as co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of Breakaway Experiences , a gift experience company, Michael uses speaking, writing and comedy to not only enlighten people as to what people with disabilities can accomplish but to also inspire them to conquer their own challenges through his company Illumabilities. As Michael says: “We all face challenges in life…mine just get me better parking spots.” Michael is proud to be a mentor/ director for AFO and encourage other people with disabilities to strive and fulfill their potential.

 

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Cathy Aldrich

As an experienced Executive Assistant, with close to 30 years of experience, she has a diversified background in administration, communication, event/conference planning, document preparation and Board Governance in the Non-Profit Sector. After graduating from the Secretarial Studies program at Algonquin College, she was hired at Statistics Canada as the Secretary to the Assistant Director in the Informatics Division. That is when she moved on to a fulfilling 20 year career as the Executive Coordinator to the CEO at Skate Canada, the National Sport Governing Body for figure skating in Canada.  While there, she worked for two CEOs and about 10 volunteer Presidents (Board Chairs).  She has also participated in International and National Events, being responsible for VIP Hosting, including being Barbara Ann Scott’s (1948 Olympic Champion) host among others.  After a short contract at Health Canada, she moved on to the Executive Assistant position at Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services for just over 3 years.

Currently, she has her own Virtual Assistant business called Precision Executive Services, where she can help people who need administrative assistance to keep their company organized.  Now Cathy is on the Board of Directors for Ability First Ottawa.

 


Teresa Scrivens

Teresa has been working as an entrepreneur for over a decade helping companies of all sizes both locally and internationally grow their businesses.  She is the owner of Dynaverse Group, a company dedicated to helping small businesses, entrepreneurs and corporations with client relations, corporate networking and strategic growth.  Teresa’s experience includes working in Canada and abroad, and in 2012, she was invited to teach a networking course to a University in Dubai, teaching students how to market, plan and implement their brilliant company idea in the real market.

Teresa is also the founder for Runway Networking, a business matchmaking and referral club that mentors professionals and entrepreneurs and helps propel their business forward through.

Tanys Coughlan

Tanys is a Certified Human Resources professional with over 20 years experience in the Home Healthcare Field including 5 years of management experience. She has over 10 years experience as an adult trainer/facilitator and a proven ability to work with staff, management and other stakeholders to sustain and improve key performance indicators. Tanys works diligently with businesses to increase their productivity by putting the human in human resources. Tanys has a Bachelor of Social Science and is also a Ceritfied Human Resources Professional (CHRP) with a Certificate in Human Resources and a Certificate in Applied Management.

Jas Jassal

Jas, has been a big inspiration to online and offline business startups, He has been a go getter since the age of 19 when he started first  business  JasTech Systems, at the age of 19, where he helped in developing the trend in custom made Pc’s in 1987.

His passion for helping others and always providing the best service has led him to owning and operating several business ventures.

Jas is on the board of Directors and CEO for Netchill Media Group Teejaysoft, Ability First Ottawa and Jas Auto Spa.