Current Board Members
Chair, Joanne King
Joanne is an accountant and has been actively involved in the community for many years. Her involvement has included health care organizations and anything her children were involved with. Joanne is married to Mark Huggard and they have four adult children. BIAWE is important to Joanne as she has a family member with an acquired brain injury.
Vice Chair, Dr. Marcus Niessen
Marcus is a plastic surgeon in Windsor. His interest in supporting BIAWE is personal. He was in a London hospital for 4 months after a brain injury. He knows the important work BIAWE does changes people’s lives.
Treasurer, Betty Penny
Betty Penny, MBA, is a traumatic brain-injury survivor from a motor vehicle accident in 2014. Through extensive therapy and with the BIAWE and OBIA PEER support groups, she has recovered some of her skills and confidence. She is excited to be involved with BIAWE and give back to the community again, as she was a lifetime volunteer on not-for-profit boards before her brain injury.
Betty has vast past board experience of 25 years includes regional and provincial- appointed board positions. In addition to previously held board positions before the injury, she was a Chief Financial Officer in the high-tech sector and had a 5-person accounting practice. She was also an award-winning entrepreneur with various business ventures, including a citation from Canada’s former prime minister Paul Martin.
Currently, she is involved in mentoring other brain injury survivors in the Peer Support Program. She is honoured to be appointed to the Board of Directors and looks forward to serving the board.
Secretary, Rachel Olsen
Rachel Olsen is a Legal assistant at Wunder O’Brien Personal Injury Law. She regularly attends seminars, webinars and conferences on brain trauma to further her knowledge
Board Members – Directors
Tala Bitar is thrilled to be a new member of the Board of Directors. Bitar was born in Lebanon, raised in West Africa, and moved to Canada at the age of 18 to pursue a degree in Biochemistry. Coming from such a diverse background has helped Bitar understand life in different perspectives and be more open and understanding of people’s stories.
With experience in different domains and fields, Bitar intends to use skills and heart to bring awareness to BIAWE and its mission. The core essence of humanity is the ability to lend a hand, and Bitar strives on bringing happiness and making a change in a fellow human’s life.
Alexandra Carson is an Education Assistant for Paediatrics and Psychiatry at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry- Windsor Campus. Prior to working at the University of Windsor , she had many years of experience in customer service. She graduated from both the University of Windsor (Psychology & Communication studies) and St Clair College (Business Marketing). Having a family member with a brain injury makes being part of this association even more important to her. She hopes to bring her work experience and passion to help those with brain injuries to this role as a board member.
Ian MacIsaac was born and raised in Tecumseh, Ontario and continues to reside there. He has an Honours degree in Biology & Biochemistry from the University of Windsor. Ian is involved in his community and volunteers for many local organizations. He feels that it is important to give back and looks forward to being on the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of Windsor-Essex County.
Kim Spirou has worked in the public relations field for over 30 years. As an internationally recognized communicator, she has provided public relations support, expertise, and training for numerous organizations in the public and private sectors.
Her group, the Charity Chix hosted a fundraiser for BIAWE in 2018.
Theresa Wunder is a legal assistant at Wunder O’Brien. Mr. O’Brien represents people with serious injuries, including brain trauma. As a result she has attended seminars, webinars and conferences on brain trauma (as well as chronic pain) to enhance her knowledge and to help others. Theresa is the mother of an adult daughter.
Claudia Town is Masters student at the University of Windsor pursuing her degree in Human Kinetics. She has a Bachelors degree of Human Kinetics – Movement Science and her research interest focuses on head impacts in youth sports.