Meet The Team
Our Board of Directors
Executive Director | Founder
Leading the way, our Founder/Executive Director Pauline Halstead has been changing lives on the water for over 20 years. Her knowledge and experience has contributed greatly to the growth and sustainability of our charity organization. Pauline has been a keystone in the creation and development of adaptive programs that have been adopted all over the country.
Alliston Program Manager
Everyone knows Andy Owens! Andy is the face of our Alliston location. In 2009, when I gave a short presentation at an ORCKA AGM, Andy said he would like to be involved with the adaptive paddling program. He has worked with us ever since.
As a retired outdoor education teacher at Banting Memorial High School, Alliston, he is well-known and respected in the New Tecumseth community. In addition, he is an ORCKA canoe instructor and offers certification programs.
President | Board Member
Michael Dawthorne currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for AIM. He has a son with multiple disabilities and as such has a strong commitment to accessibility and the disability community. He serves on numerous other boards and committees at regional, provincial and national levels.
He has provided outdoor education and programming to youth for over a dozen years, including running introductory canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding sessions. He is also a PADI certified Rescue SCUBA diver. He currently works as a member of Senior Management at a national accessibility not-for-profit organization. He lives just west of London, ON with his partner, son, dog and bunny.
Vice-Chair | Board Member
Michelle is eager to take action and wants to help the community by making a difference in the lives of others. Her goal is to assist in providing opportunities to improve the quality of life for all individuals. She currently volunteers her time to Abilities in Motion by providing administrative support to the organization.
Volunteering allows her to share her passion for caring for others. Through volunteering, she is able to learn lessons and values that are different from those she learned in her corporate life. While volunteering her time to Abilities in Motion, she is able to submerge herself into the lives of others and learn from them. "No matter the differences in each one of us, we all come together to help one another".
Treasurer | Board Member
Gwen joined AIM in 2019 as Treasurer.
“I joined AIM, because I think everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy kayaking in a fun safe environment”
Diyin records board meetings, minutes, agendas, governance and policies for us. She also ensures everyone is notified and provides a monthly meeting agenda.
Disability Advocate | Board Member
Quadriplegic due to spinal cord injury but don’t be fooled by that word. I love to paddle. Prior to my injury, I was employed by Hydro One and BC Hydro as an electrical operator, operating both high voltage power grids and large hydroelectric generating stations.
Since 2014 I volunteer as a member of the Condominium Board of a self-managed high rise. I have held various positions in communications, finance, and policy & procedures. My other volunteer work includes peer counseling for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and in previous years on Hudson’s Hope Ski Hill development committee.
I have always enjoyed the outdoors but sometimes find myself being a spectator more often than a participant. AIM has changed that for me. I am hooked on kayaking and am motivating everyone I know to either try it and/or become a volunteer. Nature has an uplifting way of healing your spirit and spending time on and by the water, seeing new people embrace the experience has been wonderful for me. I want to be involved with AIM.
Adaptive Program Head | Fundraiser | Board Member
Sharon O'Leary has been a passionate volunteer and worker within the not-for-profit sector with a passion to get individuals with disabilities access to recreational opportunities including kayaking, canoeing, and scuba diving. Background working with Special Olympics UK and Ontario, Hutton House, and Peacekeeper Park. Experienced fundraiser and grant reviewer for Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Fundraiser | Board Member
Sarah is here to help improve Abilities In Motion's fundraising initiatives. She aims to deliver impactful results through strategic planning and execution within the grant writing process to help our charity raise the necessary funds to meet our mission and goals.
"It's time we all start to recognize the need for inclusivity. It's time for a change!"