MLPD Board Members and Staff

MLPD Board Members and Staff

MLPD Provincial Council

Joelle Robinson

Current: Chair of the Manitoba League for People with Disabilities (on leave)

Joelle graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba in 1993 and received her Call to The Bar in 1994. She was a lawyer at Irwin Law Office in Dauphin, Manitoba until retiring from the practice of law in 2018. Joelle was active in the community serving as a director of Dauphin’s Countryfest, The Law Society of Manitoba, the Dauphin Skating Club, the Parkland Humane Society and the Parkland Crisis Center.  Joelle has lived with Multiple Sclerosis since 1997 and faces mobility challenges. She uses a scooter and walker and has limited use of her hands.

Following their retirement, Joelle and her husband Brad Collett launched the consulting firm “BC Advisory Group”. Joelle advises both private and public sector organizations on accessibility issues focusing on practical improvements to the built environment.

Joelle is working to make our world a more accessible place for disabled people by identifying physical barriers and proposing practical, cost-conscious solutions.

Erica Irwin, CPA, CA

Current: Interim Chair and Treasurer of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Erica Irwin, originally from Dauphin Manitoba, moved to Winnipeg in order to pursue post-secondary education.  After completing her Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) from the Asper school of Business she began articling at Canada Life where she obtained her Chartered Accountant designation in 2013.  Throughout her career she has had the opportunity to pursue leadership opportunities, continuously growing her career.  Erica was recruited to join The North West Company (NWC), one of the most prominent public retail companies in Canada. As Manager of Financial Reporting, Erica is responsible for complex accounting and financial reporting matters, such as acquisitions, business combinations and business dispositions.

In her personal time, she has volunteered for a number of organizations over the years, including the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba now focusing on MLPD.  Erica and her partner were excited to welcome their first child, Maisie in August 2022.  Maisie is keeping them busy but they also make time to enjoy sports, hiking, camping and travelling.

Alexandréa Nadeau

Current: Secretary of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Alexandréa is a science student at l’Université de St Boniface and has spent most of her life supporting and advocating for others. A way she has done this was by creating a leadership forum for young women in South-Central Manitoba. Alexandréa also got the chance to advocate for youth while working with Pulsar Collective, an organization focused on improving gender equality in STEM. She is also a founding Branch Leader of IGG Prayrii – a group that provides educational programming and leadership opportunities to self-identifying women and non-binary youth in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Alexandréa grew up with epilepsy that was not diagnosed until she was nineteen and she often felt frustrated when she couldn’t keep up in school or conversation and didn’t know why. Having a non-visible disability, she knows how difficult it is to advocate for oneself and therefore is always trying to find ways to help others in similar positions. She is very excited to work with such an amazing group of individuals!

Alan Levy

Current: First Vice Chair of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Through out his career Alan’s goal has been to foster and celebrate organizational and societal diverse and inclusive workplaces with a sense of belonging; he has been committed in his organizational and academic work to build teams that reflects a wide variety of skills, perspectives and backgrounds and feel free to express their opinions, this includes his work with whistleblowing. Believing in his research on whistleblowing which only strengthens organizations to be better in their service to all customers and to society, whether in the private or public sectors.

Alan holds a BA from the U of W, Masters of Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto and a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall, York University.

Alan’s conflict resolution work is what separates him from most leaders. Both as an academic and practitioner of conflict resolution models of testing practicality apply to some of the most difficult disputes in the Country .

Natividad Dinulos

Current: Second Vice-Chair of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Offering 15 years of progressive experience leading effective human resources teams and developing human resources framework and strategies for large organizations in the manufacturing, consumer goods, academic, consulting, automotive, electronics, hospitality, call center and government industries which were gained both from the Philippines and Winnipeg. A highly-knowledgeable business-savvy resource who parlays subject matter-expertise on mergers and acquisitions, employee relations, performance management, recruitment and selection, legislative compliance, policy/procedure/program development, leadership coaching, payroll, compensation, and benefits. An effective communicator who builds consensus with non-unionized and unionized workers, and effectively resolves grievances and arbitrations.

Natividad has completed her MBA from Ateneo-Regis University and was assessed by World Education Services Ontario of an equivalent Master’s degree in Canada. Attended a diploma program in Strategic Organizational Development from Pennsylvania State University, USA. Currently taking programs in Applied Counselling, Program Development for Adult Learners at University of Manitoba and HR Metrics and People Analytics from Queens University, Ontario”.

Natividad is currently serving the CPHR Manitoba as a Professional Mentor since 2017. She also volunteers as a Catechism Teacher with St. Alphonsus School since 2021.

Bunmi Aregbesola

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Bunmi Aregbesola is a social entrepreneur with experience supporting the inclusion of people living with physical and intellectual disabilities in the community.  Bunmi is a supply chain and event logistics professional who is very passionate about equity fairness and inclusion.  He is currently on the LSC Program Advisory Board for Robertson College and is Vice President of the Waverley West Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba riding Association.

Ebenezer Ayim

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Ebenezer Ayim is a masters student in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He was born in Ghana and received his bachelor of science degree in Psychology from the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana in 2013. His background and experience includes years of research in mental health, intersectionality, disability, race, health inequity using community participatory and systematic review as research methodologies. He has worked as Community Mental Health Officer in Ghana, research assistant at UCC and research coordinator at the Network of Budding Psychologists, UCC.

Ebenezer is currently an Associate Member of the Pan-African Scientific Research Council and a research assistant in a three-year (2019-2021) provincial project: “Towards Positive Change to Promote Mental Health and Wellbeing for Black Canadians in Manitoba”.

Ebenezer is working on topics such as “Impact of Black Life Matter Movement for Black persons with disabilities”, “All Voices Count: Ensuring Inclusion and Polling Place Accessibility of the Disabled Community in Ghana during Voting” and “Social Determinant of Mental Health among Black Canadians with disabilities. He intends to establish “Psychological Institute for Excellence in Education and Research”, a non-profit research institute that will enhance the education and research skills for persons with disabilities in the global south.

Ebenezer believes persons with disabilities in the Black community are likely to experience intersecting layers of discrimination, racism, stigmatisation and social exclusion as a result of their dual identities as members of a disabled and racialized subculture, with adverse effects on their mental health. Ebenezer, hopes to see a society where such barriers that prevent Black persons with disability from achieving their mental wellness are addressed.

Robert P. (Phil) Graham

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Phil Graham has a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Minnesota. After completing his research for his thesis, he worked for the University’s horticulture department as a research assistant where he travelled to Bogota, Columbia to assist in setting up a research facility to develop frost tolerant potatoes to grow at high altitudes in the Andes.

In 1969, Phil was told he had a serious eye disease, later diagnosed as Retinitis Pigmentosa, and would eventually lose his eyesight. In preparation for the eventual loss of useful vision, Phil completed his BA in Psychology so he could apply his horticulture training in horticulture therapy.

Applying horticulture as a facilitator for community development, Phil created a Gardening program to serve elderly clients for Klinic Inc. He also managed the R. B. Russell Children’s Garden as well as other greenhouse and horticulture activities for the school division.

Phil became involved with the University of Minnesota ‘gay liberation’ movement in 1969 and introduced this movement to Manitoba in 1972. Along with others, he lobbied the Manitoba government until sexual orientation was included in the provincial human rights act.  Phil was a board member of the Broadway Community Centre for nearly 10 years and in 1991 was presented the Volunteer of the Year award by Mayor Glen Murray. In his spare time, Phil has written gardening articles for various publications and answered plant questions on radio for CBW.

Erin Honke

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Erin Honke is a student in her final semester of a Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Winnipeg. She loves young children and has spent the past 7 years working as a nanny.

After earning her undergrad, she will be getting a Master’s degree to become a licensed therapist. She has always had a desire to help others, and when she struggled with her own mental health challenges while coping with her chronic pain condition, she discovered how helpful therapy programs can be. This is one of the reasons she is passionate about MLPD.

She has been living with chronic pain for the last 10 years which has impacted her quality of life. However, she is energized, motivated, intelligent, and eager to learn.

For the last few months, she has been serving on MLPD’s Fundraising Committee. She has been attending committee meetings and completed her first grant application. In her four years at university, she has remained an honour roll student while also balancing work and volunteer positions, most recently acting as the organizer for multiple fundraisers for Save a Dog Network. She believes her education and psychology training, which included disability studies courses, allows her to connect with people in our community quite easily.

Kevin Linklater

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Kevin is very interested in the well-being of those who live with a disability. He has had experience with the Manitoba Brain Injury Association as a board member and also as a member. While he was a board member, he saw the need for fundraising.  He also helped raise awareness of the Brain Injury Association for those who have just suffered a brain injury.  He is currently a student at the University of Winnipeg working towards his disability studies degree, with that degree he can be a community support worker for those in the disability community.

Pat Locken

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Pat is a former Business Education Instructor and Work Experience Coordinator with Red River College. Her interest in disability issues stems from experience trying to access services for family members. She has served on the SSCY (Special Services for Children and Youth) working group and RCC board, and helped to establish the Movement Centre of Manitoba (MCMI), working on fundraising and serving three terms as Board Chair.

Pat’s main concerns are currently about public accessibility, including education, and access to supports for adults with physical disabilities who are mentally and socially capable of independent living but do not qualify for funding to make this possible.


MLPD Staff

Melissa Graham

Current: Full-time staff at MLPD – Executive Director

Melissa has lifelong experience with disability and over a decade in frontline work in the disability community, working for the Self-Managed Attendant Services Program and other organizations in the disability sector. Her background is in both social work and disability activism, and she is known particularly for bringing people together from different lived experiences. Melissa is a newcomer to the province of Manitoba. Prior to her move, she was the founder and lead organizer for the Toronto Disability Pride March, an annual event she organized for 11 years that continues today. She has a long history in disability policy and research focused on intersectionality, decolonization, social justice and accessibility. Melissa is proud to be MLPD’s newest Executive Director, and is excited for the future of the organization.

Debby McLeod

Current: Part-time staff at MLPD– Accessibility Coordinator

I just want to say how happy I am working with MLPD. I have worked for all of my adult life in the Health Care Industry.
The last 20 years before retirement I worked as the Critical Equipment Specialist in the Adult Emergency Dept. at HSC, and in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

I am recently new to the Disabled community. In November of 2020, I lost my left leg from below the knee due to a serious bone infection.
I am finding new challenges and adventures every day with MLPD. I am constantly learning about the world of Non- profit and funding. Takes me back to all the days of fundraising for my children for various sporting activities.

I look forward to continuing to learn with my new adventures in my new world and community. Thank -you for this opportunity.

Sheryl Peters

Current: Part-time staff at MLPD– Project Coordinator

Sheryl is a Winnipeg-based social researcher, non-profit programs coordinator, and artist. She has experienced life-long invisible disabilities. Her previous work focused on social equity, a social justice approach to autism and disability, health and well-being of women and older adults, person-centred health care, and decolonizing/community-based approaches to research and community work. Sheryl’s creative projects include digital video and community arts – most notably digital storytelling projects with Autistic people, their families and educators, and Indigenous women and girls.

Kaye Grant, B.Ed. MBA

Current: Part-time staff at MLPD– Operations Manager

Kaye is an experienced business consultant, project manager, researcher and trainer. Kaye is the Principal Consultant with Reconnaissance Management Consulting Group Inc. Kaye combines her background in education with her business experience to assist non-profit organizations to acquire knowledge and enhance their skills in order to develop their capacity. During her practice, she has managed consulting projects of varying size and scale.

Kaye Grant has related experience in conducting feasibility studies, business planning, marketing research and she has worked directly within a local social enterprise. Kaye has provided non-profit consulting services that involved conducting feasibility studies for social purpose enterprises, researching and applying measurement tools related to social enterprises, providing input and information regarding the development of social oriented businesses, and developing business plans for triple bottom line enterprises.