The friendly staff at Deaf Alberta take care to ensure that our services meet the needs of those who use them. Most of the Deaf Services team is able to communicate in American Sign Language, with many using ASL as their first language. Along with our staff, we employ contract personnel and approximately 70 free-lance interpreters to help deliver our programs and services.
Joanne Pawelek, Chief Executive Officer
Joanne joined Deaf & Hear Alberta in August 2014. She has worked with in a variety of non-profit organizations across Alberta for over 20 years and brings a wealth of experience in community-based programming, client-based services, social marketing and community investment.
Her work philosophy is grounded in the 4 “C”s of communication, collaboration, community and creativity! She is committed to establishing positive working relationships and partnerships with service providing agencies, funders, allied organizations and other community groups to help achieve the goals of the organization.
Raised in Calgary, Joanne attended U of A and lived in Edmonton for 15 years before coming back to the Stampede City … so she likes to say that she is a “dual citizen”. Joanne enjoys hiking, taking music lessons, and collecting Hallmark Christmas ornaments. If she ever won the lottery, she might move to Vermont!
Cindy Pilz, Deaf Services Manager
Cindy joined the staff of Deaf & Hear Alberta as Manager of Deaf Services in September 2013. As the Deaf Services Manager, Cindy oversees Deaf Alberta’s ASL and Student Literacy programs. Cindy also educates the general public on Deaf Culture, education, and employment.
Prior to joining DHA, Cindy worked in the education sector for 15 years working with teachers and interpreters to facilitate communication with students in the classroom. She is very involved with the Deaf community in Calgary and volunteered in numerous positions of responsibility. Cindy is currently taking ASLPI Interviewer/Rater Training workshop, and hopes to receive her certificate in 2015. She is also culturally Deaf and is a fluent ASL user. Cindy enjoys baking, reading and camping during her spare time.
Kathy Harrison, Special Projects / Equipment Services Coordinator
Kathy originally joined Deaf & Hear Alberta on a maternity cover-off in July of 2011. Deaf & Hear Alberta was very fortunate to have her stay on a permanent basis.
Kathy is the face and the voice of Deaf & Hear Alberta, greeting clients as they come in and solving problems for equipment users. Prior to coming to Deaf & Hear Alberta, Kathy worked in customer service, and so brings her extensive set of customer service skills with her.
Kathy is learning American Sign Language so as to be able to communicate at least the basics with Deaf community.
Together with her husband Tom, Kathy is busy with lots of extra-curricular activities with their two daughters.
Rebecca Doole, Accessibility Services Coordinator (Edmonton)
Rebecca joined the staff of Deaf & Hear Alberta in Edmonton in September 2016. As the Accessibility Services Coordinator, she will consult, offer equipment assessments, and work on our online store. Before joining Deaf & Hear Alberta, Rebecca and her husband lived in Taiwan for eight years as Missionaries with a non-profit organization doing volunteer work in the Taiwanese Deaf community.
Now back in Canada, Rebecca is taking American Sign Language classes so as to be better equipped to fulfill the duties of her job by helping meet needs in the Deaf community. Having living overseas and worked with people from many different backgrounds, cultures, and languages, she is thankful that her cross-cultural life experience will also enable her to better help those she works with here in Alberta. Rebecca also considers herself to be part Taiwanese and loves to interact with the Mandarin speaking community. She loves to learn about new cultures and customs and what makes them each unique.
Eunice Estrada, Accessibility Services Coordinator (Calgary)
Eunice has an Administrative Assistant and Coordinator background and has worked for Dental Clinics, SAIT, Canadian Pacific Railway and Hearing Clinics. Throughout her career Eunice has met people who were aware of their hearing loss, but were not addressing it or were not properly informed. These experiences, combined with her interest in hearing aid technology, lead her to go back to school and study to be a hearing instrument specialist. She graduated from the Hearing Aid Practitioner program at MacEwan University and is preparing to write the CHAPA licensing exam. During her down time she enjoys CrossFit and exploring city pathways with her dogs. Eunice was born HoH and grew up speaking Spanish at home and continues to do so.
Deanna Lilley, Interpreting Services Manager
In her position as Manager of Interpreting Services, Deanna handles interpreter booking in the Calgary area. As a part of this role, Deanna educates the public on the communication needs of the Deaf community.
Deanna has worked for Deaf & Hear Alberta for 20 years, starting in reception, then moving into Interpreting Services. A Deaf friend suggested that she apply for an available position, was hired and stayed! While her children were young, Deanna operated her own Day Home.
As a child of Deaf parents, Deanna grew up a part of the Deaf community. Deanna’s knowledge of American Sign Language is a benefit to clients, her co-workers and the organization as a whole.
Melanie Haynes, Interpreting Services Coordinator
Marcelle Coppillie, Booking Coordinator
Angela Flaman, Exclusive Use Contract Interpreter, Calgary
Angela has been working as an Interpreter with Deaf & Hear Alberta for the last fifteen years. Angela interprets in medical, legal, social services and business settings. She believes in a hard-working, professional and fun work environment. In her personal life, she enjoys sports, the outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
Sandra Kuhar, Exclusive Use Contract Interpreter, Calgary
Sandra graduated from Douglas College’s Visual Language Interpreter Training program in 1993, and has been interpreting full-time since.
Originally from Terrace, B.C., she has worked in northwest B.C. and Ontario before finally settling in Calgary, and has been on DHA’s roster for the past 17 years. Sandra truly enjoys freelancing within the Calgary community, as she loves the diversity that each day brings.
She is also currently enrolled in the Technical Writing & Professional Editing extensions at Mount Royal University, and always strives for balance between her work and home life which include her husband, their 2 French Bulldogs, and passion for travelling.
Steven Markin, Exclusive Use Contract Interpreter, Calgary
Donna Lauinger, Exclusive Use Contract Interpreter, Edmonton