Maryrose De Souza has been a Direct Support Professional in Winnipeg since 2015. She provides support in the Community Residential Program with St. Amant. Prior to migrating to Canada from Ghana in 2011, Maryrose also served as a volunteer Support Worker with seniors in local communities. In her studies in Medical Office Administration at Robertson College, Maryrose had the opportunity to interact with patients of different demographics in a clinical setting. She has acquired over two decades of experience in Banking and Human Resource Management, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Human Resource Major) from the Methodist University College. In 2018, she took the Foundations in Disability and Community Support at Red River College. Maryrose believes ADSPM is a vehicle for advancing professionalism of Direct Support Professionals in the province of Manitoba.
Lindsay Buhr is a huge advocate for the field of disabilities. She is currently employed as a Team Leader at St Amant, and through her ongoing support and natural mentoring to her teams you can notice the immense dedication, hard work and commitment to the profession of direct support. Lindsay is eager to be involved so she can contribute her skills to furthering the mission, vision, and objectives of the ADSPM. She is passionate about people receiving high quality supports and for the people who provide them to be recognized and valued.
Alicia Matthews has been in the support work field for most of her adult life. She is currently employed by New Directions in a supervisory role in Shift Staffed Homes. She is friendly and outgoing, as well as has a strong voice for advocacy and passion for the things she believes in. She feels strongly about public awareness and would like to see everyone properly educated when supporting individuals with disabilities.
Michelle Tomchak started her career in human services in 2007, providing direct support to people with lived experience of disability. She spent some time studying in the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College and currently holds a dual role with St. Amant in the Community Residential Program. Michelle supports a team of direct support professionals in a residential setting, as well as conducts interviews using the Personal Outcome Measures. Most recently Michelle was certified as a POM trainer with the Council on Quality and Leadership and acts as an Advisor for People First of Manitoba, as well as held the role of Vice-Chair with the ADSPM for one year. Michelle is passionate about providing quality supports to people with lived experience of disability and joined the ADSPM board in 2019 in hopes of becoming more involved in the professionalization of the direct support profession in Manitoba.
Zahra Khan has supported individuals with disabilities since 2002 in residential settings as well as day settings, and as a volunteer in addition to being a paid employee. She is currently a Manager at Epic Opportunities in the residential program. She has supported people with disabilities in Pakistan and Australia as well as here in Canada. She has a Master's degree in Management Sciences from Pakistan and a Master's degree in Disability Studies from the University of Manitoba. Zahra supports the idea of creating ongoing training and development opportunities for DSPs in order to ensure continuous improvement of services to people with disabilities. She advocated for fair and equitable wages for DSPs comparable to other caring professionals in Manitoba.
Sean McGrath has been involved in supporting individuals with disabilities since 2009, when he was an activity assistant at Friends Housing Inc. Sean started at New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families as a DSP in 2011, and now is employed in a supervisory role in the Shift Staffed Homes Program providing 24/7 residential supports to youth and adults. Sean graduated from Red River College in the Disability and Community Support Program in June 2019, and is planning to finish up his Bachelor of Disability Studies Degree at the University of Winnipeg. Sean understands and is aware of the critical impact that education, training, and fair wages can have on the quality of care and longevity of DSPs in the field, and believes that the continued reach for recognition will have long-term benefits for DSP staff as well as the people they support.
Pauline Alexander (Treasurer) is currently a Team Leader at St. Amant in the Supported Independent Living Program. Pauline has a Bachelor of Social Work from Booth University College and has worked in the disability sector for over 10 years in various areas including residential, day services, outreach, respite, and employment services. Pauline has a passion to serve the people supported and believes in every person’s right to self-determination. Pauline believes that if we work together, we can make a difference. Pauline has been involved with the ADSPM for three terms and has held the role of Secretary, and Treasurer.
Verna Eyers is a returning Board Member, having held a Director position in previous years. She is employed as a DSP with St Amant in the Community Residential Program, and is a 2016 graduate of the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College. She feels deeply about the mission of the ADSPM and advancing and professionalizing the direct support industry.
Ashley Zuk started her career in 2002, supporting individuals in her hometown of St Claude. Ashley has worked in various sectors in the field, working and managing homes both rurally and in Winnipeg, working in a day program, and respite care. In 2013, Ashley was asked to sit on the steering committee of the then-named MADSP, which later became the ADSPM. After being a director on the first official board, Ashley took a year off to spend with her daughter. A year was long enough, and Ashley has remained in the board since then. Ashley has a passion for this field, and wants nothing more than to have it fully recognized as a valuable career choice.
The Alliance of Direct Support Professionals of Manitoba is a volunteer-run Board that stands for re-election during the Annual General Meeting in May.
The ADSPM Board of Directors consists of dedicated professionals who perform many different roles in support of people living with disabilities.
Kendra Philipchuk has been in the field of direct support for over 10 years, working in residential homes, day services, as a job coach, and by providing respite services. She started her career as a Health Care Aide, and soon found her passion working at Simaril. She is a 2016 graduate of the Disability and Community Support Program at Red River College, and has taken many other courses in addition to the 2 year program. Currently Kendra is self-employed and has a private respite company. She is a previous Board member and is excited to be apart of this upcoming Board of Directors. She enjoys being able to help advocate for the disability community and is looking forward to spreading the word about who the ADSPM is and why it is beneficial to the disability community to have the Alliance active.