Our Founders & Board

Richard Wagar

Richard Wagar

Founder & Executive Director

Richard believes that brain injury survivors deserve more help than they currently receive. A former executive coach and trainer, Richard struggled to find help while recovering from his own brain injury and wanted to help smooth the path of others undergoing similar challenges. “I want to change the way brain injury survivors are treated, both collectively and individually.”

Shirin Hadizadeh, PhD

Shirin Hadizadeh, PhD

President

Shirin is a researcher at BC Cancer Agency. Her PhD thesis was on the topic of a protein fold in the human brain followed by research as a post-doctoral fellow at a Brain Research Centre at UBC Hospital.

Mitra Hadizadeh

Mitra Hadizadeh

Director and VBIA Secretary

West Vancouver resident Mitra Hadizadeh is a Vancouver BIA’s Secretary.  Mitra is fluent in Farsi as a first language and was a translator of technical documents working in Iran for a Canadian company. Mitra also serves on our Social Media Group..

Jennifer Bonderoff, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bonderoff, Ph.D.

Founder

Co-founder Jennifer Bonderoff, Ph.D., has her doctorate in molecular biology.  Founder & Board Member through 2016

Penny Luke, M.Ed.

Penny Luke, M.Ed.

Founder

Founding member Penny Luke, M.Ed. has decades of experience as a Special Education/Resource teacher in Lower Mainland school systems. Her experience in working with special needs students is invaluable.  Penny experienced a near-fatal brain injury when, as a very small child, she was struck by a car in the street.

Bill Luke, PhD

Bill Luke, PhD

Founder

Founding member Bill Luke, PhD is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology & Biology at Trinity Western University. Dr. Luke is involved with establishing policy and guidelines for fitness and health enthusiasts who wish to become fitness leaders for individuals of all ages. He has been involved for many years with BCRPA (British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association – Fitness). In addition, he is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Registered Kinesiologist in British Columbia. He is the creator of the training program in British Columbia for the development of older adult fitness leaders. Graduates of the older adult fitness leaders program qualify for certification in the Province and across Canada.

Michael Rowan

Michael Rowan

Director

Michael, a composer and Mr. Wagar’s former coaching client, was born with cerebral palsy. A self-help enthusiast, his recovery was accelerated with coaching assistance as Mr. Wagar’s client following their meeting in 2003.

Kim Spracklin

Kim Spracklin

Director

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Tony Burrows

Tony Burrows

Director

Tony, a volunteer with Brain Recovery Fridays, has Parkinson’s disease and uses an iPad’s digitized voice to speak to others. He has been a hotel executive for many years and is presently a restaurant consultant. Tony wants to support people with brain injuries and those who help them.

How to become a Vancouver BIA Director?

Vancouver Brain Injury Association board members direct the policy of  Vancouver BIA in championing brain injury recovery and support services for people with brain injuries and their caregivers in Vancouver and on the North Shore.  Vancouver BIA wants your help in increasing community involvement.  Please join our Board of Directors, become a volunteer at Vancouver BIA, or donate to support Vancouver Brain Injury Association.

Vancouver BIA wants your help in increasing community involvement.

Join our Board of Directors! Become a volunteer at Vancouver BIA! And donate to support VBIA!