MLPD Board Members and Staff

MLPD Board Members and Staff

MLPD Provincial Council

Sherry Ritchot

Current: Chairperson of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities as of June 2019. Board member of Helping Hands for Manitobans with Breast Cancer Inc., Development Committee Member of the Main Street Project, and Volunteer for Siloam Mission, along with numerous previous community experiences on various Committees and Boards.

I became interested in accessibility issues as I have lived experience with it involving three car accidents and have since become increasingly aware of accessibility issues and discrimination of people with disabilities.  I am an experienced litigation lawyer with a strong and dedicated work ethic.  I have advocated successfully for clients in all levels of Courts of Manitoba, the Court of Appeal, in the Federal Court, in the Court of Queen’s Bench and in the Provincial Court, with my call to the Manitoba Bar in 2000.  I have appeared and presented cases for clients before Administrative Tribunals in civil and criminal venues.  I have sound business reasoning, drafting and filing of documents for resolution of legal matters for clients with governmental agencies, opposing parties, and the Judiciary.  I have excellent verbal and written communication, presentation skills, demonstrated analytical and investigative qualities, and  provider of reasoned solutions.  I have the training and ability to mediate, collaborate, negotiate, and resolve disputes ethically, efficiently, and effectively promoting cooperation and positive productive group interactions.  I am committed to continue to expand knowledge and ability through professional development training through various organizations, via mentors, fellow colleagues, and administrative support, promoting a positive team attitude.

Alan Bridgeman

Current: First Vice Chairperson (and Past Chair) of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities, as well as a fourth-year computer science major at the University of Manitoba (and an Assistive/Accessible Technology [AT] enthusiast).

• Manitoba Director for the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEAD);
• Chair of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind Manitoba Youth Council (CNIB-MYOC); and
• Business Lead for the University of Manitoba Space Applications and Technology Society (UMSATS).

Alan is so devoted to accessibility issues that he started a provincial group of accessibility representatives from student unions from across the province to help coordinate accessibility for students living with disabilities. He would really like to bring his experience with working on Boards and for non-profit organizations to MLPD’s Provincial Council.

Fred Dugdale

Current: Treasurer of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities elected June 2016, as well as Treasurer of the Manitoba Brain Injury Association.

During his career, Fred has successfully provided the necessary attributes to ensure fiduciary matters were properly managed. Both as not for profit executive and as a consultant, Fred has added to the continued and enhanced success of significant organizations. Fred spends his time playing in several bands and sharing accessibility information with anyone and everyone who will listen.

Whitney Hodgins

Current: Secretary of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities elected June 2018, a 2020 graduate of Brandon University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History and Anthropology and the 2020 Future Leaders of Manitoba Award Recipient (20-26 years).

Whitney is an in-demand public speaker advocating for mental health and autism acceptance across central Canada. Over the last year and a half she has primarily been speaking with youth about becoming mental health advocates in their communities, however she also does guest lectures in universities. She has also spent four years with the Brandon University Students’ Union where she became the first disabled executive in their 50 year history, as well as served as the Disability Justice Commissioner for two years at the Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba. She also has been published both academically and non-academically. From all this experience, she is well versed in community outreach strategies, conflict resolution, board governance, project management, and political campaigning. When not being a dedicated activist, she hosts weekly videogame streams where she plays videogames live.

Bunmi Aregbesola

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities elected June 2019.

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.

Nancy Cooke

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities elected June  2019. Managing Partner, Elm Park Dental; Partner, Curiata Ltd.; Candidate for the PC Party of Manitoba, Fort Garry.

Nancy has an extensive background working in professional healthcare environments in both the public and private sector.  She has been the co-owner and managing partner of a successful Dental office since 2000.

Nancy is an entrepreneur who started an information technology company with her partner in 2018.  Nancy is familiar with managing corporate finances as well as human resources and account management issues in the private sector.

Nancy gained valuable experience in senior levels of government as the Special Assistant to the Minister of Infrastructure from 2016-2018.

Nancy has a history of fundraising for Charities including Co-chair of the Gala Auction Committees for Special Olympics Manitoba and Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, Manitoba Chapter.  she is currently the member of Equal Voice, Manitoba Chapter and 100 Women Who Care and was successful in raising thousands of dollars for the ALS Society, Brummit-Feasby House in December 2017.

In 2019, Nancy became a member of the Winnipeg Food Council and the Provincial Council of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities.  Nancy is a firm supporter of accessibility for all Manitobans.

Nancy is currently the candidate for the PC Party of Manitoba in Fort Garry where she plans to extend her service to the community into governance and legislation.

Pat Locken

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities elected June 2018.

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.

Samantha Rayburn

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities appointed November 2019.

Samantha Rayburn-Trubyk is a graduate from the University of Manitoba and is a Human Resource Advisor and Accessibility Manager for Price Industries Limited.  She is President of Little People of Manitoba and had success implementing various initiatives throughout the Province specifically relating to Little People in Manitoba.

In October 2017, the Provincial Government passed a Private Members Bill acknowledging that October 25 of every year would be declared as Dwarfism Awareness Day in the Province of Manitoba.  Manitoba was the first province to recognize such a day in Canada.  In January 2019, Little People of Manitoba worked with several sports organizations within the Province to remove the term midget from sports classifications, in the fall of 2019, Hockey Canada recognized the need for this change and has committed to removing this offense term from Hockey classifications in Canada starting in 2021/2022 season.

Samantha spends much of her free time advocating for Little People of Manitoba and is working with the federal government on some exciting changes!

Robert P. (Phil) Graham

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons of Disabilities appointed December 2019.

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.

MLPD Staff

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 Principle 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.

Jennifer Sande, B.A. MPA

Current: Part-time staff at MLPD – Accessibility Program Manager (APM).

Jennifer is an experienced organizational leader, entrepreneur, and community connector. Jennifer has been the MLPD Provincial Coordinator for the past few years and recently stepped into the part-time APM role. Her desire for social justice and a vision of an inclusive society drew her to MLPD. A background in entrepreneurship led her to develop the MLPD Accessibility Consulting Services program, or Social Enterprise, to help the organization become self-funding.

Rosalie Best, B.A.

Current: Part-time staff at MLPD – Accessibility Services Coordinator

Rosalie started her career in disability related organizations providing services to the community after graduating from the University of Manitoba in 2013. Rosalie is a certified career counselor who helped people with disabilities join the workforce for 5 years, first at Premier Choix where she worked in the French community, then at the CNIB as a Vision Loss Rehabilitation Specialist.  In addition to this, Rosalie has experience advocating for disability rights and accessibility through the media and has appeared in CBC and Radio Canada news stories over the last six years. She is excited to be able to use her experience at MLPD to help further disability rights.