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DiverseMinds Committee

Board of Directors

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Ashley Chen
Founder and Board Chair

Ashley Chen (she/her) is the founder and board chair of DiverseMinds. With an unwavering dedication to promoting inclusivity and understanding, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the brand's direction across various mediums, including print, digital platforms, and affiliated programs.

Ashley's passion for neurodiversity stems from her personal connection to the cause. It was through her closest friend's diagnosis of Autism and ADHD that she became acutely aware of the unique challenges faced by neurodivergent individuals. Determined to make a positive impact, she embarked on a mission to foster acceptance, empower neurodiverse individuals, and dismantle stigmas associated with neurodiversity.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Ashley indulges in the art of aerial yoga, gracefully navigating the suspension of traditional limitations while finding balance and strength within herself. This physical practice mirrors her philosophy of embracing diversity and embracing the unique strengths that neurodivergent individuals possess.

Not content with merely breaking boundaries in the realm of advocacy and physical pursuits, Ashley also unleashes her creativity in the kitchen. With an adventurous spirit, she constantly experiments with new recipes, tantalizing taste buds and nourishing the body and soul with her culinary creations.

 

Through her multifaceted endeavors, Ashley Chen exemplifies a passionate advocate, leader, and changemaker in the neurodiversity space. Her unwavering commitment to fostering acceptance, promoting understanding, and celebrating diversity serves as an inspiration for others, igniting positive change and shaping a more inclusive future for all.

Evelyn So
Vice Chair

Evelyn is an Integrative Thinker who explores the intersection of Innovation, Community Co-Creation, and Neurodiversity. Evelyn's focus lies in the Twice Exceptional (2e) population - Intellectually Gifted people who have one or more diagnosed conditions such as ADHD, ASD, Anxiety, etc. Recently she decided to set up a personal site www.thinkerandco.com - always beta as she continues to add bits and pieces! - to share an overview of who she is, what she's doing, and what she's learning beyond a LinkedIn Profile or conventional CV. Current Project: idea-testing a platform for 2e/neurodiverse families. Prior to this, Evelyn enjoyed a 30-year track record in the technology and media sector. She contributed to various critical innovative products such as the premier CIBC internet banking, first-generation on-demand videos and games, and Interactive TV. Evelyn's background in Design Thinking, User Experience, Digital Product Innovation and Development, Business Analysis, and Process Engineering continues to be part of her approach in all personal and professional projects. She holds a M.Sc. from University College London (UCL), and a B.Sc. (Honours) from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), both University of London, U.K..

Kristin Light
Vice Chair

As a senior engagement strategist, vintage dance specialist, and award-winning speaker, Kristin Light has split her multi-decade eclectic career between the boardroom and the ballroom. Co-founder of Refvik & Light Productions, her boldly simplistic marketing strategy launched the event company from literal rubble to multi-six-figure revenue in its first full year. During the pandemic, Kristin pivoted to create K•Light Digital Charisma, a uniquely positioned digital marketing consulting agency. Today, Kristin is channelling her lived experience to drive change from within Canada's P3 world – specializing in employee engagement and change management for the Metrolinx-led ONxpress transportation venture, where she is proudly helping shape the future of corporate responsibility through resolute mental wellness and neuro-inclusive initiatives. Kristin’s performing arts career spanned over two decades on both stage and screen. Her choreography skills have been featured in dozens of musical theatre productions, dance showcases, live events, and in more than a few first-dances at weddings. She was co-owner of Toronto’s Bees’ Knees Dance studio, a founding member of the award-winning dance troupe That Swing!, and in constant demand as a jazz-age vintage dance instructor. Kristin made her film debut in Mariah Carey’s 'Glitter' (blink and you’ll miss it!). A chance meeting in late 2019 led to Kristin channelling her 20+ years of stage and emcee experience into the world of inspirational speaking, quickly winning competitions with Speaker Slam International and receiving invitations to speak on multiple stages at events and corporate functions. As a vivacious showgirl and successful entrepreneur, Kristin was perhaps the last person you’d expect to be living with a diagnosed mental disorder. For decades, she kept her struggles with major depression, anxiety, and panic hidden behind a carefully coiffed, sunny exterior. But following a brush with suicide that left her confined to a psychiatric ward, Kristin was forced to confront her illness head-on. She now speaks out to provide real insight and practical strategies that demystify the facts surrounding mental illness and neurodiversity using inspirational (and often hilarious) stories from her own personal and professional life. Kristin lives in Toronto, Canada with her partner Alex, the occasional foster dog, and a bevy of temperamental houseplants.

Ranya Elan
Vice Chair

Ranya specializes in executive coaching for professionals and leaders, as well as coaching for ADHD adults. Her approach is comprehensive, emphasizing your unique strengths and crafting personalized solutions that consider you as a whole person. With over 15 years of experience, Ranya has helped leaders transform workplace dynamics, boost team morale, and enhance overall organizational performance. She holds professional coaching certification and training in counseling psychology, ensuring a holistic approach to her coaching services. Ranya offers ADHD life coaching memberships, workshops, keynote speeches, executive coaching online and in person, and training sessions. Her clients experience significant improvements in leadership effectiveness, team performance, time management skills, daily productivity, team engagement, and performance.

ADVISORY BOARD

Nancy Marshall

Nancy Marshall is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at York University, Ontario, Canada. Her research examines the impact of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) on the wellbeing of autistic people from the perspectives of lived experience. Nancy is also a registered Social Worker (RSW) who supports children, youth, and families in her role as a Child and Family Therapist at Ripple Effect Children's services in Toronto, Ontario. Before becoming a therapist, Nancy worked as a Child and Youth Worker who supported autistic and neurodivergent young people in schools and other community settings for over 15 years.

Heather Linka

Heather is a neurodiversity employment consultant located in Victoria, BC. She provides coaching and consultation services to employers hiring neurodivergent employees, and job development and coaching services to the neurodivergent candidates and employees.

Emma Allsopp

Emma Allsopp is a experienced neurodivergent coach located in London, UK. She has been nominated for a Women of Inspiration award through Universal Women’s Network.

Madeleine P. Côté 

Madeleine P. Côté aka Coach Maddy is an ADHD expert, Coach, Mentor, Trainer and Speaker. She has been in this coaching industry for over 20 years. She is also neurodiverse, Maddy has ADHD, anxiety and a mood disorder. Maddy has worked as a trainer at the ADD Coach Academy in New York, the International Coach Training Center and Concordia University. She has been published in books and articles and have spoken at conferences and universities. You’ll find Maddy to be friendly and approachable and she is very appreciative to be a part of this magazine and amongst you.

Armelle McGeachie

Armelle McGeachie is a marketer in the 9-5, and discusses her dyslexia every other hour of the day. She runs Girls with Dyslexia, an online community that seeks to educate and empower girls and women with dyslexia and other neurodiversities. She was diagnosed with dyslexia at 21, so she brings a lot of great experience when understanding late diagnosis.

Sydney Elaine Butler

With a passion for disability inclusion and a background in human resources, Sydney founded Accessible Creates to help organizations create more inclusive and psychologically safe environments for their diverse employees. Through training and consulting, I empower HR operations and business leaders to implement and audit DEIB, accessibility, neurodiversity, and disability policies and practices, and to foster a culture of belonging and respect.

Jessica Michaels

Jessica Michaels is an autistic speaker and coach for women in leadership.

Atara Lipetz

Atara Lipetz is a Psychology, neuroscience & behaviour student at McMaster University. She is also a mentor to neurodivergent children.

SUBMISSIONS

Please contact collab@diversemindsco.com to send a letter to the editor or a guest writer piece. Letters to the editor are normally 500-550 words long, whereas guest writers are often 600-900 words long. Please include your full legal name and if possible school/workplace information. Note: All submissions must be in word doc. The Magazine maintains the right to modify any submissions before publishing them and will notify writers of any significant changes.

CONTACT US

We want to hear from you. If you have a comment, suggestion, or correction to share, please contact us at info@diversemindsco.com. For press inquiries, email us at info@diversemindsco.com. ​

 

Write for us: We are continuously looking for qualified health and psychology writers. If interested, reach out to us at infodiverseminds@gmail.com.

 

Join us: Join our team! We’re looking for bright, engaged, creative, and inspiring people who want to make a difference in the world of health and wellness information.

 

Advertise with us: DiverseMindsmag.com offers the highest value to advertisers through a combination of scale, credibility, and intent. Interested in advertising with us? Email us at collab@diversemindsco.com.

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