Olivia Doerksen – Executive Director
Meet our Executive Director Olivia Doerksen, who joined our MC family in May of 2018. In 2019 she was nominated and became the Director of Advocacy for the Association for Conductive Education in North America (ACENA).
A believer in life-long learning, Olivia graduated from Red River College from the Business Administration – Accounting (Honours) program and continued to further her education through the University of Manitoba and Laurentian University in the CGA program. Doerksen is currently pursuing her MBA through Royal Roads University.
She has received many awards and distinctions including being the top recipient of the Enterprising Women’s Award (Red River College), PEO Foundation Award (mission of the PEO Foundation is to empower women in business) and several other bursaries & scholarships in recognition for academic achievement, exemplary leadership and model “all-round” citizen.
Olivia’s passionate about advocating for those in need and individuals living with physical disabilities, as she has her whole life for her mom and grandpa who both live with multiple sclerosis.
Olivia resides just outside of Winnipeg by Birds Hill Park. She’s a country kid at heart and enjoys her yard, outdoor adventures and loves spending time with friends and family.
Tanya Joss – Manager of HR & Marketing
Tanya Joss is the HR and Marketing Manager at the Movement Centre of Manitoba. Tanya graduated from Herzing College in 2002 with her Computer Network Technology diploma, spent 2 years in the IT industry and as Tanya would say, “discovered IT epitomizes insanity” and that it definitely wasn’t the career for her. Since then she got married and had a couple of cute kids, worked as an office manager in a web-based start up company, an assistant for the Manitoba Association of Optometrists and an assistant at Mayberry Fine Art, before finding her way to the Movement Centre. She feels passionate about doing her part to make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities. She considers herself a generalist, but has recently decided to pursue her Human Resources Management Diploma part time through the University of Winnipeg.
Tanya likes to have fun and make people laugh (even at her own expense), loves playing boardgames and spending time with her husband, two beautiful daughters, dog, friends, and Netflix, and is (un)ashamedly a True Crime fan.
Kim Saito – Administrative Assistant
What is a Conductor?
A conductor in this context are individuals who are designated and specialize in Conductive Education. The conductors are supported by conductive education assistants, who work one to one with our clients in class and are kind, friendly, understanding, and very knowledgeable.
Chris Martin, Conductor QCS
Christopher began working at the Movement Centre as an assistant in the spring of 2009. He quickly realized that this was the career he would like to pursue and moved to England the following year to study conductive education. While in university Chris would return to The Movement Center to work during the summer intensive camps. In 2013 Christopher returned home to Winnipeg and began his full time position as a conductor. When not working at the center, Chris enjoys cycling, camping and collecting records.
What is an Occupational Therapist?
Occupational Therapists are health care professionals concerned with promoting health and quality of life by enabling participation in occupations and daily activities. Occupational Therapists provide different forms of physical, cognitive, social, and emotional interventions that facilitate change or growth areas that may interfere with someone’s ability to do everyday things that are important to them. Such as:
- Productivity in school, work & community
- Leisure activities
Lacey Lynes, O.T. Reg. (MB)
Lacey started working at the Movement Centre as an assistant in 2012 with plans to apply to Occupational Therapy, but it wasn’t long before she had fallen in love with Conductive Education and the group program environment that she wasn’t in such a rush to go back to school. “Building relationships with clients and their families is the a most wonderful part of my job! What I love about Conductive Education is that we are able to build off of personal connections, trust and shared experiences among all clients and staff in the group in order to motivate and support someone as they work to achieve a goal or participate meaningfully, both in class and in their community.” Five years later, Lacey pursued a Master of Occupational Therapy and now she feels so fortunate to have found her dream job as an OT in a CE setting. Lacey is passionate about using her education and experience to blend these two complimentary disciplines in hopes of creating more opportunities for clients of the Movement Centre to participate fully in any aspect of life. A favourite pastime for Lacey is taking her dog to the park or playing fetch in the yard where she can supervise the cat! Lacey plays rugby, and enjoys going camping, hiking, snowboarding.
Conductive Education Assistants (CEA)
Joey is our senior conductive education assistant at the Movement Centre of Manitoba and has the longest career in conductive education in Manitoba. Joey graduated from the Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive High school with honours in 1994 then completed his bachelor of science with a major in physics from the University of Manitoba in 2001. Joey then went into the education field where, because of a friend, he stumbled upon the programs at the Movement Centre in the summer of 2003. He began training in CE that summer and has never looked back.
Joey’s greatest passions have been playing and coaching rugby, nutrition and the many ideologies that exist when choosing food and Crossfit. “I met my brilliant wife at the Centre, conductor QCS Gemma Davy, got married in 2008 and now have 3 wonderful children, Leiella, Alexander and Mckenzie. I’ve had a blessed life and having a career where every morning I fly out of bed ready to meet the challenge of helping some dedicated clients meet some very difficult goals has only made it better. I haven’t just worked at the Centre, I have also made many, many wonderful lifelong friends here as well. This place has always been a second home to me!”
Derek Gagnon, CEA
Derek graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2019 with a Bachelor of Physical Education; upon graduation, Derek started working for the Movement Centre of Manitoba in the fall of 2019. Prior to joining the MC Derek worked within the fitness industry, specifically with high performance athletes, some of which played professionally.
Working at the Movement Centre has given Derek the opportunity to grow not only as an employee, but as a person from the dynamic clientele which force him to evaluate and reconsider different approaches and aspects in which he goes about daily life. The Movement Centre of Manitoba has had an extremely positive impact upon him, if you ask Derek it has been the relationships that he has derived that has been most impactful, while always enjoying all the fun that is had at the Movement Centre.
Derek grew up playing all types of sport, but hockey took up the majority of his time. He played his final competitive hockey with the Selkirk Steelers, which he can look back upon these times and realize all the important relationships forged through sport. After his playing time was over, Derek took to coaching right away, as he had been volunteering his time as a coach since his young teenaged years. Currently, Derek is the head coach and general manager of the Transcona Railer Express in the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey club, and he is very passionate about this endeavor; Derek’s coaching career has seen him to be fortunate enough to meet other likeminded individuals, as well as having the privilege to attend seminars with notable speakers, such as Barry Trotz.
Other than hockey, Derek enjoys golfing, being outside at the family cabin and keeping the company of good family and friends. Derek grew up in Riverbend with his parents Wayne and Cheryl, as well as his brother Brett and sister Kristen, although his most favourite is playing with his dog Gordie!
Tamara Kalinski, CEA
Tamara graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2018 with her Bachelor of Physical and Health Education – Kinesiology. Before University Tamara attended Lord Selkirk High School, receiving MVP in Women’s High School hockey during her graduating year of 2011. She developed a passion for health, fitness, and wellness in her younger years by playing many sports.
In her free time, Tamara enjoys yoga, weightlifting, drawing, painting, snowboarding, and playing with her two dogs Axel and Revy. Tamara’s passion for learning and helping others makes her love her job at the Movement Centre all that much more.
Chelsea Walker, CEA & Fundraising Coordinator
Chelsea has been at the Movement Centre since 2011. She was originally just looking for a summer job while she was in university but after two months of summer camps at the centre, she knew that “This was where I was supposed to be. I loved being a part of something so unique, the family atmosphere and watching the the impossible happen every day!”
After a few years of seeing the magic of the Movement Centre, she started helping out with fundraising events and took a liking to that side of the organization as well.
Outside of work and as a new mama, Chelsea spends most of her time with family, adventuring the outdoors, whether at the lake or finding new places to take her pup, Ellie, for walks.
Margy Nelson (B. Ed.) – Founder
Margy Nelson has worn many “hats” in her professional life; business woman and then elementary and junior high teacher, – but according to her – the “hat” that is most near and dear to her heart is in the role of Executive Director and Co-Founder of The Movement Centre of Manitoba.
Back in January, 1989, Margy & husband John, gave birth to premature twins Bryce and Sean. Being born 12 weeks early, first-born son Bryce was quickly diagnosed with having cerebral palsy; Sean escaped complications. Years later, in the summer of 1997, Margy took her son, Bryce, out East, to a center offering a unique program called Conductive Education. As an educator at the time, Margy was enthralled that Conductive Education is an “educational” approach to motor movement; it’s a program that teaches daily-living skills – designed to increase independence. Margy and Bryce were away from home for 5 weeks, and had spent in excess of $7,000.00 for treatment and traveling expenses.
Margy quickly realized that there was a need for Conductive Education in Manitoba; in fact, there were numerous needs to be addressed. There was a need to assist all those living with a mobility challenge by providing them with Conductive Education; a need to assist all family members, by providing the necessary “tools” to their loved one – thereby potentially increasing some level of independence, and easing some of the pressures placed on the family.
When creating The Movement Centre, Margy approached two other mothers of children who had cerebral palsy – to help her create a non-profit charitable organization which would provide Conductive Education rehabilitation at a fee that would be affordable to all. “The Movement Centre of Manitoba” was incorporated in December, 1997 and immediately received its registered charitable status.