Individuals with autism tend to be diverse. Therefore, it is difficult to use words such as all or none when describing this group.
Autism Services Management
Autism Services is led by an Executive Director with a team of five Directors.
Director of Autism Intervention Programs (AIP)
Eileen’s passion for working within the field of autism, has guided her education choices and her career path to bring her to this particular juncture. For the last three years she has worked as a Provisional Child Psychologist in the Sunrise Health Region based in Yorkton, SK. Eileen and her family relocated from Northern British Columbia to Yorkton in 2011 to assume the position of Autism Consultant for the Sunrise Health Region. Prior to that, she and her husband had a private company serving children with autism and developmental disabilities. Working in a rural area of BC, Eileen was contracted by a number of private consulting companies in the areas of behaviour management. During her time in BC, she also worked under the supervision of a neuropsychologist in the administration of assessment testing tools for those from birth to elderly. Always involved in services and supports for children with special needs, she’s been a parent advisor, a program leader, a behaviour interventionist and consultant. Deeply committed to children and families, Eileen views her greatest contribution as being involved in improving the lives of people impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Very much a team player and a life-long learner, she is very excited about becoming a part of the team of dedicated professionals working to support children and families impacted by ASD in the Saskatoon Health Region.
Director of Finance
Shirley is a CMA and has been employed at Autism Services since 2007. She served on its Board of Directors from 2004-2007. Other experience includes serving as Treasurer on the Board of Canadian Mental Health since 2008. She was also employed at the YWCA of Saskatoon for 18 Years and was part of the Saskatoon Community Service Village – Strategic Planning team. Shirley has a son who is on the autism spectrum.
Director of Adult Support Programs
Glenda began working in the Human Services Field in 1990. After working for six years on the front line in Residential Services, she started training and working in management. She began working for Autism Services in 2000 and became Director of Residential Programs in 2011.
Lynn brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge of the non-profit sector—primarily in the leadership role—due to her lengthy tenure in a variety of Director roles for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), Saskatchewan and Manitoba divisions. She holds a degree in Social Work and is a certified Executive Coach. She is known for her strength, compassion and respect for all. She is very excited to continue her career with Autism Services and feels passionate about AS’s mission and vision.
Director of Family Programs
Alex stays motivated by seeing the continuous progress of his clients and knowing he has helped shape children’s lives. On the side, he is an avid National Team Lawn Bowler who has travelled around the world and who plays many sports recreationally.
Autism Services Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is representative of the membership of Autism Services and therefore is always willing to hear back from the membership. Suggestions, ideas and feedback are always welcome. Please feel free to contact any member of the Board. You can reach any member of the board by mail, at the office address, or you can call the office and staff will pass along your phone number to a member of the board.
Rylund joined the Autism Services’ board in June, 2017 and is currently the Chair of the Fund Development Committee. He holds a J.D. from the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law and is a practicing lawyer at McDougall Gauley LLP. In addition to practicing law, he owns Astro Jump Saskatoon. Rylund also serves on the boards of Kidsport, Saskatoon Minor Football, Huskie Football Alumni and the Saskatoon Public School Foundation.
Rylund joined the board as he wanted to help support the organization’s goal of “ensuring all people with autism have the opportunity to live with dignity and to reach their full potential”. He feels fortunate to have these opportunities and believes people with autism deserve the same. He enjoys being part of a dedicated and passionate community that puts the people who use Autism Services first at every opportunity.
Geoff Jones – Treasurer
Geoff joined the Autism Services’ board in June, 2015 and currently serves as the Treasurer. He has a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and holds the designations of CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) and CA (Chartered Accountant). Since July 2018, Geoff has been the CFO at Saturn Oil + Gas Inc. Previous employment included Manager, Assurance Services at Virtus Group LLP (2012-2018); and Staff Accountant at Baker Tilly SK (formerly ParkerQuine LLP) (2011-2012).
Geoff has a nephew with autism and he joined the board as the organization’s mission has personal meaning to him. He enjoys being able to provide his finance and accounting skillset to a worthwhile organization.
Jennifer joined the Autism Services board in June, 2014 and currently holds the position of Vice-Chair
Justin McGhee – Chair
Justin joined the Autism Services board in June, 2014 and has held the position of Chair since June, 2016. He is the owner of Triple Crown Metals Ltd.
Having a child with autism makes this a very personal interest for Justin and his reasons for joining the board were to help spread awareness. He also enthusiastically commits himself to the agencies’ fundraising initiatives as he recognizes the importance of growing the financial resources needed to deliver quality services to an ever-growing client base. Being involved in awareness and fundraising initiatives ensures he is able to interact with the membership and staff, which is what he enjoys most about his role.
Jessica Michel – Secretary
Speech Language Pathologist
Jessica joined the Autism Services’ board in June, 2015 and currently serves as the Secretary. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) from Minot State University and has worked as a SLP in the Prairie Spirit School Division since June, 2010.
Jessica joined the board because while she works directly with students with ASD as a school-based SLP, she also wanted to be an advocate on a larger scale. Being a member of the board has taught her a lot about the organization as a whole and all of the meaningful services that are offered to families. She thoroughly enjoys hearing about the positive impacts Autism Services has on the client’s lives it serves.
Consultant (Cognitive Disability Strategy) & Behavior Support Facilitator
Mary joined Autism Services’ board in June, 2016. She holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Mary is in private practice and previously worked at Cognitive Disability Strategy and Autism Services.
Mary joined the board because she works with many individuals with ASD and wanted to stay involved in advocacy for services for individuals with ASD. What she loves the most about being a part of Autism Services is meeting the individuals with ASD and their families.
Theresa joined the Autism Services’ board in June, 2017. She is a Registered Psychologist, M.Ed. working for the Saskatoon Public School Board.
Theresa joined the board in order to show her support for individuals diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She feels that sitting on the board provides the opportunity to deepen her understanding of the various services offered by the organization. She’s also interested in better understanding the partnerships the organization has with other agencies who work to support independent living for people with ASD. What she enjoys most about being on the board are the wonderful people she’s met and the opportunities to volunteer with the organization.
Parent & Doctoral Student
Nathan joined the Autism Services’ board in June, 2018. He holds a Master’s of Science in Kinesiology, a Bachelor of Arts (4-year Psychology) and is currently working towards a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D. Kinesiology). His work experience includes the University of Saskatchewan, Aurora Soccer Club, and the Cities of Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
Nathan joined the board, as his daughter falls on the Autism Spectrum, and he wanted to know more about the inner workings of Autism Services, and to have a voice with respect to decisions that get made by Autism Services and where funding is allocated. While he is relatively new to the board, he has obtained a better understanding of how decisions are made, and some of the challenges Autism Services faces in regards to fundraising and how Autism Services works with the public.
Student Programming Support (Blind & Visual Impairments)
Molisa joined Autism Services’ board in June, 2015 and currently serves on the Governance Committee. Molisa holds a Master’s of Educational Psychology (Blind or Visual Impairments) from Halifax and a Bachelor’s of Education and Special Education certification from Brandon University and the University of Saskatchewan. Molisa works for the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School division, facilitating their Program for Students with Blind or Visual Impairments.
Molisa joined the board as her passions are deeply rooted in her desire to create meaningful education opportunities for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. She finds great reward in serving the needs of the Autism Services’ community. Molisa happily resides with her husband and three children. In her spare time she enjoys yoga, volunteering at the Friendship Inn, and is an active member in her parish community.