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.
Meghan Fyall is a recent law grad from the University of Windsor. She is currently articling with a personal injury law firm in Windsor. Prior to attending law school, she completed her Bachelor of Health science with a Specialization in Rehabilitation, which is where a lot of her desire to help those with brain injuries stemmed from. Prior to her becoming a board member, she was the volunteer coordinator for BIAWE and knew that even when she finished in this role, she wanted to remain involved with BIAWE. She is bringing everything she learned during her time as volunteer coordinator into her role as a board member, to continue the amazing work BIAWE does for the community.”
Gordon Hillman, Retired publisher of In Business Windsor magazine. Hillman is a survivor of a closed head injury obtained in August 2000. A pick-up truck ran a stop sign at a high rate of speed and T-boned his car sending his car approximately one-hundred yards down a street he was not traveling on. The impact was so intense Gordon was found unconscious and upside down in what was left of the passenger compartment, coming completely out of his seat belt. As a result of his injuries he was forced to give up his magazine and relearn many skills from reading and comprehending to writing and mathematics. Not everything was bad however, as Gordon was now able to spend a great deal of time with his family and he made many new friends during his rehabilitation. Today he is able to function on a daily basis including driving. Reading is done with audio books and he leaves the complicated math to professionals. However, in his quest to reeducate himself with numbers, he used cooking as a strategy and has become quite the learned cook. Today Gordon tries to give back to those who helped him and is currently serving on the BIAWE board.
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.