board of directors
Anyone wishing to join NACL's Board of Directors must first be a member in good standing. If you meet this criteria and would like more information about joining NACL's Board of Directors, please contact our Executive Assistant, Marlena Stewart, for more details and/or to get an information package.
Our Current Board - 2020/2021
DANIEL (DAN) JOHNSTON
Daniel (Dan) Johnston was elected to the NACL Board of Directors at their meeting held on April 27, 2015. Dan's daughter has attended our Actions Day Program for over ten years. Along with his wife Trish, Dan is very involved with the COCO Cafe, a social enterprise they co-created with three other families in Cedar with the objective of providing employment and social integration opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities within their community. Dan is a lawyer with over 30 years of experience. While Dan's initial practice focused on corporate/commercial matters, it has evolved over the years. Dan now practices primarily as a mediator, dealing with a wide range of aboriginal, environmental, corporate/commercial, public policy, and labour issues across Canada, with a specialty in large, multi-party conflicts. With Dan's extensive legal background and social enterprise experience, we have been extremely pleased to have him on our Board.
As a parent of a daughter with Down Syndrome, Phyllis has been involved with the community of persons with developmental disabilities for about 40 years. Phyllis strongly believes that every individual can be productive in the life of the community. She supports and hopes to contribute to NACL's efforts to personalize productive plans for each of the people it serves. Phyllis is a semi-retired CPA, CMA, and currently an associate with a firm providing planning support to the farm, food, and drink manufacturing industry in BC. Phyllis has served on the Board of Directors for the United Way as both Treasurer and Vice President, and as the Treasurer for Nanaimo Citizen Advocacy Association. Phyllis was originally elected to NACL's Board of Directors on April 29, 2008, and during her tenure served as Director, Treasurer, Vice President, and President. After taking some time away in 2017 and 2018, we were very pleased to have Phyllis return to our Board on November 27, 2018.
Paul Best retired in 2008 as the Coordinator of the Community Support Worker (CSW) Program and professor at Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina University-College). He has previously been involved with the BC Association for Community Living (now Inclusion BC), and has played an active role in fundraising with the United Way in Victoria and as the Executive Director of Victoria Association for Community Living (now Community Living Victoria). Paul served on the Board of the Pandora Arts Collective Society from 2008-2010, which is a peer support group in the mental health field. Paul was also a founder of SWAN (Start With Art Nanaimo) in 2006. In January 2004, Paul joined NACL's Board of Directors, completing his term in June 2010. During that time, Paul served as NACL's Vice President from 2005 to 2007, and President from 2007 to 2009. Paul and his wife Barb support and advocate for their adult granddaughter, who attends a day program in Victoria. Paul believes he can contribute during these times of profound change, and his depth of knowledge on Community Living issues make Paul a much-appreciated member. He was re-elected to NACL's Board of Directors as of January 23, 2012. He has served as Board Treasurer since November 2017.
kirsten j. madsen
Kirsten J. Madsen is the mother of a lovable but challenging son who has multiple diagnoses and special needs. She has been a full-time practicing trial lawyer for over 30 years. She is also a trained family mediator. She and her husband and their son relocated from Vancouver to Nanaimo in 2011 for a different life. While in Vancouver, Kirsten served on the Board of the Developmental Disabilities Foundation. Kirsten is a long-term, active volunteer with the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada, and has been the parent liaison for a medical disability in Victoria British Columbia for several years. Kirsten is also a past Board member of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, and has held various elected positions through the Canadian Bar Association. For many years, Kirsten was also volunteer legal counsel for a program run by the MS Society of BC. Kirsten has presented on legal topics related to disability as a lawyer, as well as from a personal perspective of having severely disabled special needs child. When not doing other things, you can find Kirsten with her son searching for animals like Canada geese, seagulls, and deer around Departure Bay. Kirsten was elected to NACL's Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting on September 23, 2019.
MARGARET (MARG) FRASER
Marg Fraser is the mother of Leanne, a woman who currently receives services at NACL and is now a resident of our Uplands Housing Project. Marg, along with her husband Dave and her daughter Leanne, have been longstanding members of NACL – and have supported our housing project since Day One. In the last five years of her career, Marg was the manager of Nanaimo Mental Health and Addictions, and previously had an extensive career in mental health and addictions services both in Nanaimo and Victoria. Marg is currently the Treasurer of the Zonta Club of Nanaimo. As stated in her application, Marg fully appreciates NACL’s work, and is extremely grateful for the support her daughter has received. She welcomes the opportunity to give back by joining the NACL Board of Directors. Marg was officially added to our Board as of December 16, 2019.
Neil Cutler grew up having Left-Hemi Cerebral Palsy. As a result, he has become passionate about the quality of life and the sense of connection for people with disabilities. He is a Community Support Worker working for Nanaimo Supportive Lifestyles and has been running Nanaimo Community Dances, which has offered free/by donation dances to the Community Living BC (CLBC) community since 2006. Recently, as a result of COVID-19, these have become weekly virtual dances – drawing people from around North America. He is also a certified yoga therapy teacher, and a crisis worker who enjoys sharing wellness practices with his clients with diverse abilities. Neil believes strongly in a sense of inclusion for everyone, believes strongly in the values of NACL, and brings a strong passion for creating accessible, inclusive opportunities for the community. Neil officially joined the NACL Board as a Director on September 21, 2020.
KIRSTEN J. MADSEN
MARGARET (MARG) FRASER