The Board of Directors at Deaf & Hear Alberta (DHA) is a dedicated and passionate team of individuals with personal experience, expertise and connections to the causes we champion.
Board of Directors, 2018 – 2019
Cathy Freer-Leszczynski, MLIS, BA, Chair
Working as an information professional in public libraries for over 30 years, Cathy has seen how innovation, strategic planning and staying true to mission and vision can anchor organizations operating in complexity and change. With over 15 years as a children’s librarian, Cathy is a passionate advocate for early literacy and lifelong learning. As a senior manager, she has been fortunate to learn what it means to be part of high performing teams facing profound change. Cathy believes that finding new ways to connect to community and building strong relationships will be crucial to re-inventing 21st Century service. She is a passionate Rotarian and comes to Deaf & Hear Alberta to give back to an organization that supported her and her family when they learned that their daughter Cassandra was born with a profound hearing loss. She is keen to support the CEO and staff at Deaf & Hear Alberta and other Board Members as they strive to bring alive the mission and vision of this great organization.
Keith is a Chartered Professional Accountant with 40 years of experience in public accounting and government, primarily in international and cross-border tax areas. He has recently retired as a tax partner with Deloitte in Calgary but continues to provide tax services to a variety of corporations and businesses on a consulting basis. Keith has a long history of volunteer service and involvement including service with his community association, amateur theatre and arts organizations, social service providers, and other not for profit entities. He is pleased to bring his accounting, financial and organizational experience to bear in assisting Deaf and Hear Alberta to achieve its goals and mission.
Dr. Carrie Scarff
Following completion of her Bachelor of Science at the University of Calgary, Dr. Scarff attained her Master of Science in Audiology at Dalhousie University. In addition, she has a doctorate in Auditory Science, specializing in how the brain changes after hearing loss. In 2005 Dr. Scarff decided to merge her auditory science background with her enjoyment of caring for patients in her Calgary-based clinic, Audiology Innovations. A leader in her field, Dr. Scarff provides expert evidence-based diagnostic care, leading auditory rehabilitation, and the latest hearing aid technology to her clients. Dr. Scarff became involved with Deaf & Hear Alberta in 2008 due to a desire to contribute her expertise to an organization that provided support to Deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing individuals.
James Saretsky MBA, FCPA, FCMA, ICD.D
Over the past twelve years, James has been involved with not-for-profit boards such as Financial Executives International (national), Prairie Diagnostic Services Ltd. (regional), and Financial Executives International Calgary Chapter (local). He also currently sits on a for-profit board, Xact Accoustic Telemetry Inc., a high-tech company involved in off-shore deep water completion applications.
James is the Regional Director of the CFO Centre Limited, a global company that provides part-time Chief Financial Officer services to small to medium size enterprises. He is excited about and looking forward to utilizing his governance and not-for-profit expertise to assist Alberta Deaf & Hear achieve its strategic goals and priorities.
Jessica is an HR Professional with Canadian and US experience, in the public and private sector, currently living in Calgary, Alberta. Jessica works for Carewest as the Coordinator of Recruitment and Volunteer Services.
Since moving to Calgary in 2014, she has been very involved with volunteering in Calgary, from being a Big Sister with Big Brothers and Big Sisters to being a Foster Dachshund Parent with the Alberta Dachshund Rescue. She is originally from Newfoundland where she grew up with a profoundly deaf older sister. This is what led her to look for a way to be more involved in the Deaf community in Calgary.
Jared is a Chartered Professional Accountant with 15 years of experience in a variety of accounting roles, both in public practice and private industry. Having a son who was born with profound bilateral hearing loss, he is passionate about giving back to the community that has been so supportive of his family. He looks forward to bringing his passion and experience to DHA and to help the CEO and staff achieve their goals.
Simmie Gill, CPHR
Simmie Gill is an accomplished HR Professional located in Edmonton, Alberta. She has over ten years of experience working in the public and private sector and holds her Chartered Professional in Human Resources Designation. Simmie is currently employed as an HR Business Analyst for the City of Edmonton and works to implement HR technology to support the organization. In addition to dedicating her time to the Board of Directors at Deaf & Hear Alberta, Simmie has become actively involved in her local community by volunteering for various charities and organizations.