Board of Directors

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.

Board Members – Directors

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. 

Ann Marie Keough graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy. From 1994 to 2015, Ann Marie worked in acute care at Hotel-Dieu Grace/Windsor Regional Hospital-Ouellette Campus, spending most of her time working with patients on the acute neurology unit. ​

In 2015, Ann Marie left the hospital setting to begin a career in the community by opening Enable Physiotherapy. Her treatment focus remained on clients with neurological diagnoses including stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. The clinic has grown quickly and now employs two other Physical Therapists with a focus on neurological clientele.

Ann Marie is certified with the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association and has experience treating clients with vertigo, vestibular dysfunction and concussion.

Alix Khanafer presents with a professional background and knowledge in radiation oncology, community health and transitional care. Alix is a Pa-tient and Family Engagement Educator, and Patient and Family Centered Care Consultant with expertise in the patient experience.
Alix has a passion for improving the care experience across the continuum of care. His in-depth knowledge and insight from years of working directly with health care organizations, providers, academic institutions, govern-ment organizations, governing bodies, patients and families complement renowned first-hand experience as a patient and family advocate.

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.

Lauren Fields is a recent graduate at the University of Windsor for Social Work and continues her career in gerontology. She is passionate about working with BIAWE from her personal experiences and drives to help others. She is looking forward to working with BIAWE members and staff to create a positive and fun environment for everyone! 

Sara Pender recently completed her medical training through the University College Dublin. She has a background in financial services, holding CPA, CMA and CBV designations. Sara has developed her interest in and knowledge of brain injuries through clinical research opportunities with the Mayo Clinic Concussion Research team. She hopes to increase brain injury awareness at the community level while contributing to brain injury prevention strategies.

Dr. Suzanne De Froy is an educational researcher who retired from teaching in local high schools, St. Clair College, and the University of Windsor.  She first learned about BIAWE from a brain injury survivor and is currently co-authoring a book about her friend’s transformative 30-year journey.  

In the process Suzanne has learned more about healing, resiliency, and self-determination to beat the odds, in part due to the dedicated efforts by volunteers in this non-profit organization.  

Danielle Ferri started her career in the dental field after graduating with honours in dental assisting and is currently working part time for Asprakis & Danti Dental.  Life threw a curve ball in 2015 when her husband Rob Downes was in an ATV accident, in which he sustained an acquired brain injury (ABI) as well as other injuries.  In search of more understanding and awareness about brain injuries she has attended multiple conferences and conventions and completed courses through Brock University in Neurorehabilitation and Neurobehavioral Disorders.  

Finding a new passion for awareness, advocating, and supporting individuals with ABI she also works as a Rehab Support Worker for Bartimaeus Rehabilitation Support Services Inc. With a significant need for help in the mental health field she has an applied metapsychology practice called Traumatic Incident Reduction. 

She is looking forward to making good things happen!