VICE-PRESIDENT / TREASURER
VICE-PRESIDENT / TREASURER
Hamza Noor is an educator and an advocate in the field of Disability Management. He holds a designation of Certified Vocational Professional (CVP) and graduated from York Seneca Rehabilitation Services Certificate, along with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Life Skills coaching Certification from York University.
He is currently working as a Ability Rehabilitation Consultant at arcHealth Management Incorporated, assisting injured employees transitioning back to workforce, furthermore; he provides reports on Disability trends to employers through Claims analysis. In addition to employment, he is also conducting research at the Faculty of Health, York University, exploring the impact of Disability on Age and Gender. His belief in awareness through education has actively involved him in the communication committee for the Vocational Rehabilitation Association (VRA) and College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals (CVRP). He is also an active member of both the Vocational Rehabilitation Association (VRA) and College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals CVRP) since 2013.
RRP, CVRP, CHRL, CHRE, CTDP
Laura Smillie is a passionate leader with over 19 years of results-oriented, business management experience with expertise in vocational rehabilitation and human resources. She has partnered with many corporations across a wide spectrum of industries to help them achieve their business objectives and personal best. Laura has successfully managed teams of multidisciplinary professionals having a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of clients.
With extensive project management experience, Laura has managed various government funded employment support programs including Employment Ontario, Service Canada, Ontario Works, Canada Pension Plan VR Program, Veterans Affairs Canada VR, WSIB and numerous fee-for-service clients’ accounts.
Laura currently owns and operates a boutique business management consulting firm focusing on human resources consultation with a specialization in training & development and disability management services. Her clients span across Canada and across various industries.
Laura’s studies in Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling, Human Resources Management and Adult Education combined with her drive and passion has resulted in many clients realizing their business goals. Laura is a Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP), Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional (CVRP), Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), Certified Human Resource Executive (CHRE), and a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP). Additionally, Laura is a certified Personality Dimensions Level 2 Trainer (qualified to certify Level 1 facilitators), Certified WHMIS Train-the-Trainer, Certified DISC Analyst and a Certified EQ-I (Emotional Intelligence) Trainer.
Laura is an active member of the Human Resources Professional Association, the Institute for Performance and Learning and the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (VRA) and a member of the VRA Board of Directors for the Ontario Society.
My career has consisted of working with people for over 33 years. I have accumulated extensive varied experience from to role of front line staff, program supervisor to business owner. I am a Registered Rehabilitation Professional and pleased to belong to the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professional. I am a certified Solution Focus Counselor and a certified Program and Community Developer who is fluently bilingual in both French and English.
I have worked in the Social Service field as a Child & Youth Worker and Program Manager in both Ontario and Alberta. In 1990, I opened the first office in Northern Ontario for the Huntington Society of Canada; educating professionals and the communities while providing group counselling and support to individuals and their families.
While living near Sudbury, I accepted a position as a Rehabilitation Case Manager, which quickly became my passion. I worked for various rehabilitation companies helping individuals injured in motor vehicle accident with their recovery and return to work or to their previous activities of daily living. As the industry changed and many rehabilitation companies folded, in 1998 I was asked by insurance adjusters to continue in the field and to open my own business, something I had never considered. I established a rehabilitation company and named it On Track Support Services, which continues to operate to this day. We had the great fortune to work with both the Auto and Life insurance companies and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
In 2010, I received a call from the Ontario March of Dimes in Kingston and accepted a position as a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist where I worked helping individuals return to work under the programs of WSIB, ODSP, OW, CCP and Can Vet.
In April 2012, I accepted the position as a Manager of Program and Services for Community Living North Frontenac. The focus is on assisting individuals with needs to be part of an inclusive environment that fosters respect for individuals by having the opportunity to contribute, thrive and meet their full potential. Our goals for the individuals we serve include living independently with support and securing meaningful employment.
BA, RRP, CVRP
I am a graduate of the York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services Certificate Program. I graduated from the program with High Honors. I have a B.A. Psychology Degree from York University. I also possess an Adult Education & Staff Training Certificate and Life Skills Coaching Certificate from Seneca College.
I am currently a Registered Rehabilitation Professional RRP in good standing with VRA Canada and a Certified Vocational Rehabilitation Professional (CVP). I am currently employed at the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) and have held many positions for the past 20 years ranging from working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Caseworker, Claims Adjudicator, Quality Improvement Specialist in the Labour Market Re-entry Program (LMR), a LMR Provider Management Specialist managing WSIB Provider Contracts in the quality assurance of the WSIB LMR Program in Ontario when LMR was outsourced between 1999-2010. Currently, I am in the role of a Work Transition Specialist in the Work Reintegration Branch assisting injured workers in transitioning back into the workforce.
For the past 10 years I have enjoyed teaching in the York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services Certificate Program. I teach the The Rehabilitation Process Course. As well I teach in Seneca's Rehabilitation Certificate Distance Learning Program. My most recent contribution to this Program was writing a new course manual for The Canadian Health and Welfare Policy course.
Further to my professional involvement and promotion in the field of rehabilitation, I have sat as an active member for several years on the York-Seneca Rehabilitation Services Advisory Board, providing valuable input on industry changes in vocational rehabilitation and making positive recommendations and contributions to the program to further the profession. I have been a guest speaker for the program and helped to promote and champion new students to become involved in the field of vocational rehabilitation. Many of the students who graduated from the York-Seneca program are now working in this industry and in some cases are colleagues of mine at the WSIB, which is great!
I have also been a professional member of the CHCAA (Canadian Health Care Anti-Fraud Association) for several years. The Canadian Health Care Anti-fraud Association was founded in 2000 to give a voice to the public and private sector health care organizations interested in preventing fraud in the Canadian health care environment. The Association is responsible for the detection, prevention, investigation and prosecution of health care fraud. I am a professional member of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) which is a Canada-wide, non-profit association dedicated to the advancement of evaluation theory and practice. CES leads the professional community of evaluators, positioning and building evaluation theory and practice.
Overall I'm excited and very enthusiastic about being a part of the Ontario VRA Board of Directors serving as President. I look forward to contributing and providing valuable insight to the Board in support of promoting and providing effective and ethical delivery of professional rehabilitation services throughout Ontario and all across Canada.
Helping others, help themselves to become independent and contributing members of society, is the greatest gift one can give in this profession.
MBA, B.Kin, RRP, MCVP, MHP
As a Return to Work Specialist for the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Jennifer uses alternative dispute resolution skills including; negotiating, facilitating and mediation to facilitate RTW planning. This role also encompasses; educating workplace parties on RTW principles, best practices and the rights and obligations under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act and other relevant legislation.
Prior to this, Jennifer held roles with the Ontario March of Dimes, Ontario Teachers Insurance Plan and Manulife Financial. Jennifer is a frequent speaker and has presented on a variety of topics throughout Ontario such as Mental Health in the Workplace, Early Intervention and Disability Management. Jennifer holds an Honours degree in Kinesiology and an MBA. Jennifer is active in her community, volunteering for a variety of community groups and is kept quite busy with two young children.
Jennifer has been a member of the VRA board of directors since 2010. Jennifer joined the board to assist in advancing the profession of vocational rehabilitation and elevating the status of the RRP designation.
I am originally from Western Canada, British Columbia to be exact. As the result of a personal experience with brain injury, I became interested in disability issues. I moved to Edmonton Alberta in 1999 to complete a co-operative undergraduate degree program in psychology at the University of Alberta, which allowed me to spend a year working in Saskatoon at the Regional Psychiatric Centre conducting research. Upon graduating I was employed with Corrections Canada and various non-profit organizations assisting parolees, and individuals with disabilities to find and maintain employment. While in Alberta, I completed my Master's in Education focusing on Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies through the University of Calgary and subsequently worked with the Alberta Provincial Government in their Disability Supports Division as a Program Advisor, in addition to assignments as a Policy Analyst, Labour Market Specialist and Disability Research Consultant.
While in Alberta I met and married my husband, an Ontarian, and consequently we relocated to Ontario in April 2010 in order to be closer to his family. I have been working with the City of Barrie since August 2010 as the City’s Accessibility Coordinator, where I am responsible for the management and corporate policy development of the Corporation's accessibility planning processes and compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Additionally, I provide case-management support to employee short-term disability cases, as well as support and advice on the development of the Corporation's job accommodation and return to work policies, plans and procedures.
I have an interest in the continuous development of my skills and abilities related to disability management and vocational rehabilitation, particularly return to work issues and I'm always looking for ways to learn more. I am thrilled to be involved with the VRA Ontario board and I look forward to helping VRA Ontario as it grows and evolves to support its membership.
BA, RRP, CCRC, CRTWC
Wanda works in the Disability Management field. Prior to this she worked at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute as the manager of Attendance and Wellness Support. She has worked in Group Benefits as a Rehabilitation Specialist and was a Rehabilitation Consultant with Sibley and Associates.
Wanda has a degree in Psychology from York University, completed the Rehabilitation Counselling Certificate program at Seneca College and is a graduate of the Disability Management program at Dalhousie University. She is a Canadian Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and is certified as a Return to Work Coordinator with NIDMAR. She has been a professional member of VRA since 1995.
Wanda has been a long-standing VRA Ontario Board member. She is also a Board member at a Community Care Access Services organization. She has a strong interest in healthcare and believes that prevention plays a powerful role in our health outcomes. While she is pleased with the progress that VRA has made over the years she recognizes that we face challenges to remain viable to our members. She welcomes member feedback and is receptive to suggestions and input to improve our VRA professional services.
Yvonne has been in private practice since 1996, providing rehabilitation consulting, case management, vocational consultations, grief counselling and future care costing on behalf of individuals across private and public sectors. She has extensive experience working with individuals who have sustained brain injuries and complex neurological impairments. Prior to private practice, her experiences included working as a counsellor with Veterans Affairs, as a social service worker with Peel Social Services, as a youth worker with children and adolescents in residential care and as a play therapist. She gained her Registered Rehabilitation Professional (RRP) credential in 1993, Canadian Certified Rehabilitation Counsellor (CCRC) qualification in 1995 and her Certified Vocational Professional (CVP) status in 2011. She is an avid life-long learner.
As of 2014, Yvonne joined the VRA Ontario Board. In addition to her role with VRA ON, she is on the Communications Committee and the Registration Committee with the College of Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals (CVRP).