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ASO Board of Directors

Successful and committed charities require an equally successful and committed Board of Directors (BOD). The Asperger’s Society of Ontario BOD is governed by a group of 6 dynamic volunteers who represent a wide range of expertise. The Board guides the overall strategic management of the ASO and each member is deeply committed to ensuring the financial and operational sustainability of the ASO while working toward fulfilling our vision, mission and goals.




Sorana Ionescu, Chair

Sorana joined the Society to support the Aspergers’ cause for awareness, acceptance and accomplishment. Sorana believes that the “no-cookie-cutter” Aspergers have great chances of competitive differentiation and thus success, in our society. She is advocating for her son Paul (11 yrs old), a bright and creative Aspie, and for all other Aspergers out there, on the amazing value promise they hold for us all. Sorana is also mother to a most compassionate daughter Patricia (21 yrs old) who is close to completing a degree in Nursing from Ryerson University. Sorana has a Degree in Nuclear Engineering from her home country Romania, an Executive MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business and is currently Director of Smart Metering at the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).


Jodi Echakowitz, Secretary

Jodi is CEO of Boulevard PR, the public relations and digital marketing agency she founded in 2001. She has been a Board Member since 2005 and has held the position of Secretary since 2008. She is the community manager for the Society on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. She is a mother of two children, including a son who was diagnosed with Asperger’s.



Greg Johnston, Treasurer

Gregory joined the Asperger’s Society of Ontario in 2017 and assumed the role of Treasurer shortly thereafter. He works in the finance industry for the Royal Bank of Canada, holds an Honours B.Comm from the University of Guelph and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. Gregory’s commitment to individuals living with Asperger’s comes from volunteering in the Autism classroom that his wife teaches. They are expecting their first child in March 2018.




Karen Kelsey, Director

Karen is the relationship manager for Canada with Lime Connect, a not-for-profit organization in the Talent Management/Disability space. Karen’s past experience includes over 30 years experience in relationship management and people management in the banking industry, where she held positions of increasing responsibility, including 12 years of human resources management. Karen has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Society since 2003 & was a member of the Adult Housing and Support Committee & Fundraising committees. Karen is currently the co-chair for the Society and is also a step-parent to an adult son with Asperger Syndrome and grandparent to a grandson with AS.


Nancy Icely, Director

Nancy joined the Board of the Asperger’s Society of Ontario in 2017 and is personally committed to supporting individuals living with Asperger’s. Nancy is Partner at WMC (Western Management Consultants) in Toronto. Prior to joining WMC, Nancy held a succession of executive roles in Operations, IT and Risk at Interac and Capital One in both the US and Canada. Before joining Capital One, Nancy was a management consultant with Thorne Stevenson & Kellogg. She holds a B.Sc. – University of Guelph; B. Ed. – University of Toronto; and an M.B.A. – Schulich School of Business York University.






Priscilla Burnham-Riosa , Director

Priscilla Burnham Riosa is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. She is a Doctoral-level Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and has been working in the disability field for over 15 years. Her research interests are in mental health and behavioural and cognitive-behavioural interventions for youth and adults with autism spectrum disorder.


Pouya Arefi, Director

In addition to the ASO, Pouya is a Board Director at the Lymphedema Association of Ontario. His focus is on a systems-level approach to advocating for improved resources and support for those with Asperger’s. He is also the acting Chair of the HHS Volunteer Council, a member of the Michael G. Degroote Pain Clinic Fundraising Committee. Pouya is currently pursuing a Masters in Global health and has a background in Health Policy







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