Pacekids Society for Children with Special Needs is a registered, non-profit, charitable organization run by a volunteer Board that consists of parents of children in the programs as well as other professional community members.
The role of the Board is to establish strategic goals for the organization, to ensure that appropriate governance is in place through effective Policies and Procedures and to provide advice and support to the Executive Director and the staff.
Board members are elected for a three-year term and meet a minimum of ten times each year.
Meet Pacekids’ current Board of Directors:
Mr. Hugh Erickson, Chair | 403.260.2563
Hugh Erickson is a Chartered Accountant and currently a senior manager with Grant Thornton LLP. Hugh has over 11 years’ experience providing audit, accounting and advisory services to a variety of public, private and non-profit sector organizations. His experience spans a range of industries including manufacturing, wholesale, retail, energy, real estate and construction, financial, professional, technology, education and not-for-profit. Hugh’s sister was diagnosed with autism and he values the significance of the programs and services offered by Pacekids and is excited to assist the organization.
Mr. John Pieri, Past Chair/Director| 403.974.5346
John Pieri is the Director of Marketing and Communications for ATB Corporate Financial Services, the commercial and corporate banking division of ATB Financial. John holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) with a major in Marketing from the University of Manitoba, and an MBA from the Asper School of Business (U of M). With nearly twenty years of experience in marketing, communications, strategic planning and leading teams, John is active in his community and currently is the Chair of the Parent Council of his children’s’ school.
Mr. Kelly Ross, Treasurer | 403.260.2574
Kelly Ross is a Senior Manager, Assurance with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Calgary. He is primarily focused on assurance and business advisory services for privately held businesses and entrepreneurs. Kelly holds the Chartered Professional Account (CPA), the Chartered Accountant (CA) and the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) accounting designations. Kelly has previous volunteer and volunteer board experience with Community Futures West, Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta and Junior Achievement. Kelly is very excited to apply his skills and experiences to assist Pacekids in realizing their vision.
Mr. Rocky Mix, Secretary | 403.998.5468
Rocky Mix is a National Sales Manager with Shaw Communications. He has 10 years of experience in sales, along with prior roles in team leadership, media relations, video production, marketing, and broadcasting. Rocky has a son who was diagnosed with Autism and currently attends Pacekids Early Childhood Services.
Ms. Brittney LaBranche, Director | 403.260.0344
Brittney LaBranche is an Associate with Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP. Her primary focus is commercial transactions within the oil and gas industry, though she also practices in the fields of competition and general corporate commercial. She has a Bachelor of Law from the University of Alberta, Bachelor of Arts from the University of Lethbridge and has previous experience working with Lethbridge Family Services as a Community Rehabilitation Worker. Brittney is excited to apply her legal skills and experiences to assist Pacekids in providing services to the community.
Mrs. Melissa Therrien, Director | 587.888.4200
Melissa Therrien’s background is in customer service, including having worked for DeVry. She possesses a Red Seal in Culinary Arts from Northwest Community College in her home town of Terrace, British Columbia. Melissa now calls Calgary home, along with her husband, daughter, and son. Her son, Hunter Laight, is in his first year at Pacekids in the Early Childhood Services Program with a severe speech delay. As a stay at home mom of two young, active children, Melissa wants to remain as involved in their education as much as possible, and is pleased and honoured to assist the Pacekids Board from her unique parent perspective.
Mrs. Susan Fader, Director | 403.260.0343
Susan Fader is an Associate with Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP. Her practice is focused on commercial litigation and labour law. Susan has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta and a Juris Doctor from Dalhousie University. Susan has experience assisting students with disabilities through the University of Alberta Student Accessibility Services and was a Challenger Baseball coach for children with special needs. She is excited to contribute to Pacekids through her legal experience and passion for supporting those impacted by special needs.
Mrs. Sarah Hernandez-Silva, Director | 403.555.8000
Sarah Hernandez-Silva is a Senior Human Resources Advisor with WorleyParsons Canada Services. She has over 10 years’ experience in Human Resources with a focus on employee relations and talent development. She has worked in several industries, including post-secondary, technology, manufacturing, energy services and EPCM. Sarah is very active in the community, volunteering with other organizations around Calgary, and is excited to contribute her skills to Pacekids.
Mr. Scott DeJong, Director | 403.710.1997
Scott DeJong is a Relationship Manager with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and a longtime member of the Calgary business community. Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Political Science from the University of Calgary. With over 15 years of Sales, Marketing, Project Management and Communications experience, Scott is very excited to apply his skills toward the betterment of the Pacekids organization. Scott’s son who is diagnosed with Autism is currently a benefiting from Pacekids through the pre-school program.
Mrs. Maeghen Cotterill, Director | 403.201.8825
Maeghen is an Elite Martial Artist and successful entrepreneur with a long track record of helping people achieve their goals and dreams in the Martial Arts and beyond. She started martial arts at the age of 8 and now proudly owns and operates the largest martial arts school in Canada – 5 Elements Martial Arts. As a national keynote speaker, Maeghen teaches fundamental martial arts, self-defense, success strategies for women on how to overcome adversity, and on how to build a Gold Medal Mindset. She is also the mother of a young son with autism and wishes to give back to the special needs community.