Board of Directors

Brad Parsell

Brad is currently the Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, representing approximately 300 local businesses and organizations. Brad has a wealth of experience in the music industry and more recently in the tourism industry, having been the General Manager of Fernie Lodging Company and a board director for Tourism Fernie. Brad also volunteers for the Wapiti Music Festival and Kootenay Rockies Tourism, and has served on the Canadian Adaptive Network (CAN) board of directors since 2019.

Louisa Cotton B.Sc. O.T., MPH

Louisa is excited to be a CAN Director. Louisa looks forward to transferring her international public health and research skills, and 23 years experience in Occupational therapy to her local community of Fernie. Louisa has conducted qualitative and quantitative research internationally and has provided consultation regarding country strategy responses of inclusion and rehabilitation in 3 different countries and states. Louisa has worked with several international non-governmental organizations and WHO. She is passionate about advocating for the full inclusion of persons with disabilities and functional limitations and understands the importance of evidence-based, well-informed project development to ensure the optimal use of resources.

Malory Sinclair

Malory moved to Fernie from Calgary in 2018 when her husband Jason got a job transfer.   Knowing she always wanted to help people emotionally and physically she enrolled in the Registered Massage Therapy program at Mount Royal University and graduated in 2014. At 14 Malory was diagnosed with epilepsy. Knowing what it is like living with the daily ups and downs of living with a disability, Malory wanted to help others with disabilities know that they are not alone and that everyone deserves to enjoy this beautiful town she now calls home.

Mary Giuliano

Mary arrived in Fernie in May of 1953 and has lived here ever since, by choice, because she loves the Elk Valley and everything it stands for. Good water, clean air, amazing mountains, wonderful vegetation and a great quality of life. “On a clear sunny day, Fernie is as close as one can get to being in heaven”, says Mary. She has always been very community minded and was a Councillor for three terms and Mayor for two. She believes that as long as she is communicating with honesty, transparency and with genuine representation for all the people of Fernie, then she is doing the best she can for this great little town.

Mike Low

Mike and wife Jo-Ann have been frequenting Fernie since the early 1990’s and are now permanently located in BC in the beautiful Elk Valley. Mike has been involved with the adaptive skiing community for over 20 years having volunteered as an instructor for 15 years and participating on both the Calgary and Alberta boards. Currently Mike is helping out with the local FIRE adaptive program. Mike also volunteers with the Fernie Highline 100 charity bike ride, the Calgary Stampede, and the Calgary Grey Cup committee. When not volunteering Mike and Jo-Ann are biking, skiing and hiking during their retirement.

Sharon Strom

Sharon Strom has been a resident of the Elk Valley for 30 years with her home being in Sparwood. For almost half of her time in the Elk Valley, Sharon has held a role on the Social Responsibility team with Teck’s Coal Business Unit. This role has afforded Sharon the opportunity to support numerous community initiatives such as the Canadian Adaptive Network. 

Stella Swanson

Stella and her partner Les live just outside of Fernie where they get up every morning thankful that they live in such a beautiful place.  Stella facilitated a “visioning workshop” in November, 2017 attended by people with disabilities, family members and interested community members.  It was a powerful experience, leading Stella to volunteer with several other workshop participants to form a new non-profit organization called the Canadian Adaptive Network.  Since then, Stella has been encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of her fellow Board members and the progress that CAN has been able to make despite the pandemic and other challenges. 

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