Joining the Board of Directors
For more information about joining the Stroke Recovery Association of BC Board of Directors please visit our volunteer page. If you are interested in joining the Board of Directors, please contact us.
SRABC Board of Directors
Biographies of SRABC Board of Directors
Atul Gadhia – President
Qualifications and Experience: I moved from London, England in 1996 with a degree in Sports and Recreational Management. I had the opportunity to work with a number of non-profit organisations from Hostelling International to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, as well as the Stroke Recovery Association of BC.
In 2004, I was the Provincial Coordinator of the Stroke Recovery Association of BC. My time with SRABC was one of great opportunity, learning and excitement. After 3 wonderful years, I moved to Toronto to pursue a managerial position with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. In 2010, I decided to move back to Vancouver to be closer to family and friends and to take on a new challenge as a Student Recruiter -Advisor with The University of British Columbia. My years of experience, along with building relationships with diverse members of the SRABC and the MS Society of Canada have equipped me with the necessary tools and knowledge to serve on the Board of Directors and to contribute to the goals and objectives of the SRABC mission.
In my spare time in I find balance through my love of running, practicing yoga and meditation.
Chris Russell – Vice President
I currently work as a Project Manager with Right Management, a global leader in Talent Management consulting. In my role, I collaborate with colleagues at all levels of the organization to execute projects aimed at aligning talent and business strategies in client organizations, with a particular focus on leadership development, employee engagement and organizational effectiveness. I have successfully managed projects ranging in scope and scale, including projects in the Healthcare industry. For instance, I have worked with hospitals to improve employee engagement and reduce high turnover rates.
Prior to working at Right Management, I worked at the Vancouver Board of Trade, while also completing my Master of Business Administration degree at Simon Fraser University. I sat on the Board’s Healthcare Committee, where I worked with Workplace Mental Health subcommittee members to develop and analyze various strategies for improving workplace mental health among member organizations.
In addition to the professional experiences listed above, I have also started a successful business, led case competition teams to award-winning finishes as both a participant and coach, and worked with diverse non-profits, such as the Minerva Foundation.
I am originally from Vancouver, but lived in Chattanooga, TN for several years. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia in 2008.
Iris Lau, CPA – Treasurer
Qualifications and Experience: I am a Chartered Professional Accountant, having attained my professional accountant designation of CGA in 1991 and working as a corporate financial controller until February 2016. I am now semi-retired, a part-time public practice practitioner.
My previous employment responsibilities included financial planning and reporting, supervision over accounting, payroll, costing and estimating, as well as management of working relationships and pricing with various suppliers, bankers and government authorities. I also have established strong experience as a trustee when I served for many years on the boards of both a national multi-employer pension plan and a provincial multi-employer health and welfare plan.
I believe it is a privilege to be able to volunteer one’s services and give back to the community. It is my pleasure to join the board of the SRABC as Treasurer. I look forward to sharing my professional expertise and contributing to the process of “making a difference in the lives of stroke survivors and their caregivers in BC’s communities”.
Mohamed Kermany, MA – Secretary
Qualifications and Experience:I immigrated to Canada from Iran in 1996 with a master degree in Economic Geology. In 2002, I graduated in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC. In 2008, I earned a certificate in Immigration Law from Humber College, Toronto, ON.
I am currently the Manager Business Support, Applications and Services (BSAS) at Justice Canada. My section is responsible for automation and creation of custom solutions for the department. With a strong background in technology, I hope that I can contribute in developing, promoting, and advancing of new media, emerging technologies, innovative alternatives to help stroke survivors. Demography of stroke survivors is changing rapidly and it is including younger generations more than ever who are more comfortable using new technologies for recovery.
I have strong qualifications in general management, business planning, staff development, coaching and leadership. I am a strategic technology leader with superior record leading cross-functional teams delivering simultaneous, large scale, mission-critical projects, and custom developed application solutions. I have been recognized for achieving on time project delivery while understaffed. I have proven ability to align information technology investments with strategic business objectives. I am noted for thorough understanding of business applications, Government of Canada standards and policies, industry trends and best practices.
I have specialised in:
• Building and mentoring teams to go beyond what they thought was possible
• Bringing projects to delivery within budgets and on deadline.
I am currently on the SRABC Fund Development Committee. I live in North Vancouver with my wife and two sons.
Angela Wright, MBA
Qualifications and Experience: I have worked in sales with Mackenzie Investments since 1997, starting as receptionist/administration assistant and most recently as Senior Vice President and Regional Sales Manager.
In November 2011 I suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at 38 years old. I have had a near miraculous recovery, particularly given the complications I had in hospital. I contracted meningitis following surgery, was drastically allergic to the antibiotics they gave me, and had an over 103 degree fever for days. My recovery had a rough start due to these complications but I decided very early on that this was not going to be my life going forward. I was going to fight until I got my life back. I did just that and am at about 90% now. I live alone with no caregiver, regained my driving ability last fall and recently returned to work.
I very much would like the opportunity to share my story so that others may benefit; be they patients, caregivers, medical professionals etc. I am motivated to get involved with SRABC and help out by being a board member and spokesperson. I do have an extensive background in public speaking, and have suffered no aphasia challenges. During my recovery I also decided to take some courses to supplement my Master’s degree in Business Administration and to build on my strengths. Since August 2012, I have been working with Cornell University and am currently taking 5 certificate programs in Leadership and Strategic Management.
I have strong links with clients and colleagues in the financial world. I am an accomplished and results driven Senior Sales Professional with over 17 years of experience combining sales, marketing and business development. I am able to lead aggressive sales strategies producing substantial revenue growth in highly competitive business markets. I have strong communication and interpersonal skills, and have been able to maintain loyal client relationships, leveraging existing networks, as well as easily building a rapport with new and potential clients.
Heather Branscombe, PT, MBA
Qualifications and Experience:Heather Branscombe is a physiotherapist with over 15 years of experience in both the public and private sector. As a mom of three (with one child with cerebral palsy), Heather has a unique perspective and passion that drove her to open Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation in October of 2007. She identified see the ongoing need for increased access to high quality and evidenced based rehabilitation services delivered within the context of a team. ‘Abilities’ has now grown to four locations within the Fraser Valley.
Heather’s professional passion continues to be the integration of rehabilitation technology into practice. She has consulted as a clinical specialist to a rehabilitation technology company and has taught therapists, orthotists and physicians across Canada. Not afraid to be an innovator and pioneer, she has brought many emerging technologies and therapy practices to Canada through Abilities.
Heather and Abilities are now seen within the industry as a community partner in emerging therapies.
Professionally, Heather volunteers her time as the past chair of the Neurosciences Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. She has prior experience on the board of the BC PT Council, as well as a variety of both leadership and non- leadership positions within her faith based community.
Heather is the author of Stroke of Hope: Creating the program you need to discover the results you want. Heather currently lives in Abbotsford and enjoys spending time with her family and exploring the beautiful outdoors.
Post Graduate Education/Affiliations
Chair of Neurosciences Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association
University of British Columbia FEATHER’s (Functional Engagement in Assisted Therapy through Exercise Robotics) Research Project
Michelle Sharp is a stroke survivor and former President of Edge Training & Consulting Ltd. She has over thirty-five years of consulting experience. Michelle has a unique combination of skills ranging from technology, people, processes and organizational development across most sectors. Some of the areas she has specialized in are Succession Management, Knowledge Management and Strategic Planning. Michelle recently launched a new program with a partner titled Retire with Intention. She is a current Board member of Raincity Housing and was previously an Oxfam Canada Board member as well as volunteering with the Minerva Foundation.
Brian is a stroke survivor and former senior manager for Caterpillar Tractor’s largest authorised dealership. He incorporated and managed one of the first cellular phone agencies in Western Canada. He also developed a worldwide, product distribution business and online store, and helped more than three hundred independent business owners to expand their business. He volunteered with hospice palliative care patients, serving by providing compassionate end-of life companionship and support for families. Currently, Brian coaches other stroke survivors in his own practice and in a volunteer capacity and is a facilitator for the joint Fraser Health / Heart and Stroke Foundation “Living with Stroke” program.
Catherine has spent 30 years in the non-profit sector working as fundraiser and CEO and participating as a community volunteer on a number of the boards. From chairing of Community Centre 55 in the Beaches area of Toronto in the 1980’s to being the first female appointed to Chair Toronto Hydro in the 75 year history of the public corporation, Catherine has worked continually to make the community she lives in a better place. Catherine worked for the Ontario March of Dimes in the 1990’s and when she moved on to another position she was asked to join the Board and is still a Board member today representing the Province of British Columbia.