Board of Directors

Evelyne Pilger

Evelyne Pilger

President

Evelyne owns a multidisciplinary pediatric clinic in Grande Prairie. She has volunteered for her professional associations for many years, most recently as Chair of the Education Committee for SAOT. Evelyne is passionate about Occupational Therapy and believes that SAOT is the vehicle to further advocate for the profession and support therapists in their careers. SAOT is evolving and expanding, and she is thrilled to be a part of the growth of this excellent organization.

Shaniff Esmail

Shaniff Esmail

Ex Officio (CAOT Representative)

A licensed occupational therapist for 28 years, Dr. Shaniff Esmail is presently the Associate Chair and Professor with the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta. He began his career as an occupational therapist at the Workers Compensation Board and before long took on a sole charge therapist position where he was responsible for establishing an occupational therapy department in a rural Alberta hospital. Soon he was lecturing in the undergraduate program at the University of Alberta, progressing to studies for a master’s degree and PhD and an academic appointment. Over the years, Shaniff’s interests have included work evaluation; sexuality and disability training and education for adults, parents and children; and teaching and curriculum development in the area of physical dysfunction. He has won numerous teaching awards and has a particular interest/focus in the interface between theory and practice. Dr. Esmail’s extensive volunteer service include Associate Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta, member of the ACOTUP Education Committee, Chair of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy Academic Credentialing Council, Vice President of the Alberta Council of Professionals for Sexual Health; and Vice President of the Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health. SAOT is important to Shaniff as it is the voice of all occupational therapists in Alberta.

Nadia Botha

Nadia Botha

University of Alberta Student Representative, Director

Nadia is a first-year student in the occupational therapy program at the University of Alberta. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at MacEwan University. Having first learned about the field of occupational therapy while doing research for a presentation during a cognitive assessment course, Nadia likes the holistic approach and variety that occupational therapy offers. She is very excited to be a part of the SAOT as the student voice and looks forward to providing her peers with the SAOT’s insights and updates this upcoming year.

Robyn Scott

Robyn Scott

Special Interest Group Liaison, Director

Robyn graduated with a Masters of Occupational Therapy in 2013 from Queens, and has a Bachelors in Recreation and Health Education from the University of Victoria. Since working as an OT, Robyn has had the opportunity to join two new teams in the South Zone, both tied to the Addiction and Mental Health and Disability Services world (Community Treatment Order Program and Community Assessment Support Team). In both roles, she worked with a variety of interdisciplinary teams, working groups, and community service providers.  Both teams have allowed Robyn to develop community-based therapy groups, and facilitate service provider staff training. Robyn is very excited to be a part of SAOT’s group of like-minded individuals who are looking for ways to connect OTs in our province.

Kristin Ward

Kristin Ward

Chair, Education Committee, Director

Kristin works in the area of pediatrics as a private practitioner.  She lives in Vermilion and provides contract services to a large catchment in East Central Alberta and Lloydminster Alberta/Saskatchewan region.  She has a diverse background including facility-based service delivery (acute care, community, continuing care), youth mental health, private practice in the area of WCB, job site analysis, and clinic-based return to work and her most current, pediatrics.  She has an interest in the areas of sensory integration, and feeding and swallowing.  Kristin is honored to be a board member of SAOT and will serve as Chair for the Education Committee.

Sylvia Wilson

Sylvia Wilson

Chair of Professional Affairs Committee, Director

Sylvia is currently Director of her private practice firm, Sylvia A. Wilson & Associates Ltd. The firm is engaged in disability analysis and life care planning in support of legal injury settlements. Over the years, Sylvia has worked as a pediatric clinician, clinical supervisor, department administrator, community development coordinator, university assistant professor, provincial government research manager and coordinator of a health promotion program. She has worked primarily in Alberta, British Columbia and Oregon. Throughout her career, Sylvia has supported her professional associations both in Canada and the United States with the firm belief that the strength of a profession is the sum of its members. Strength in a profession comes with solidarity and pride in the profession enabling individuals, groups and populations.

Louis Joseph

Louis Joseph

Director

Louis has been working as an Occupational Therapist for last 17 years in several countries with multiple clinical areas including physical medicine and rehabilitation, mental health and program management. He has been working as an Occupational Therapist in Valleyview (Rural community in Northern Alberta) since 2009 providing services in acute care, long-term care, homecare, outpatient and early intervention. His great passion is to facilitate independence of people who experience dysfunction. His main intention is to advance OT profession through SAOT and to promote growth of Occupational Therapists in this province. To Louis, OT practice is an opportunity to be creative and innovative in problem solving. He is pleased to contribute to such an amazing profession.

Samantha Lowe

Samantha Lowe

Director/Chair of the Awards Committee

Samantha currently practices as a generalist at The Mustard Seed in Calgary serving individuals who experience homelessness or poverty. She has previously worked in a variety as a community occupational therapist providing services to the Tyendinaga Mohawk First Nation and surrounding areas in Ontario, was part of a project educating health professionals about disability in Bangladesh, and worked with the adolescent/young-adult dual diagnosis population in Kingston, Ontario. She has a keen interest in palliative care and health promotion. Samantha is excited to be part of SAOT’s dynamic team in promoting the profession of OT and connecting health professionals across the province.

Robin Telasky

Robin Telasky

Ex Officio (Executive Director)

Robin has a communications background and has worked in a management capacity for non-profit organizations for more than 25 years. She has worked with SAOT since 2008 and is passionate about growing SAOT and the profession to its true potential.