Our association is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors elected or volunteered from our general membership of supporters (Friends of Inclusion Westman).
The Board meets once a month, except for July and August.
Taja Lonstrup – President
Taja Lonstrup is the mother of two children, who have disabilities. Taja has worked tirelessly to promote the rights of her children and the rights of caregivers of people with disabilities.
“Through sharing my own story, I am able to advocate for families of children with intellectual disabilities in the hopes of creating change. By identifying barriers and changes that are needed families can receive the support they need to remain whole,” shared Lonstrup.
Taja’s efforts to raise awareness, lobby decision makers such as local MLA’s, and to pressure local service providers has been very effective in making gaps in service evident. She is interested in empowering families to speak out for the supports and services they need in order to participate fully as a family, and to be contributing members of their community.
Meredith is the mother of three children. Her daughter Maddy has Cerebral Palsy. She has advocated tirelessly for accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities. Due to Meredith’s hard work, she was able to successfully advocate for an accessible school and playground at Meadows School. The first accessible playground in Brandon! Meredith has also effectively helped to spearhead change for an accessible Sportsplex. Inclusion Westman and our community is lucky to have Meredith’s voice for change.
Debby Dandy was an Occupational Therapist, working for over 34 years in Community Living Disability Services. She worked in Northern Manitoba before moving to Brandon in 1980. A concern for social justice issues and inclusion of people with disabilities drew her to Inclusion Westman after retirement. She is interested in helping individuals and their families have an active voice in how services are delivered in the province.
Etsuko Yasui – Treasurer
Etsuko Yasui teaches disaster studies and emergency management at Brandon University. She joined Inclusion Westman in fall 2019 with the hope to participate in the effort to build an inclusive community that embraces diversity and promotes safety for everyone. Etsuko is also an advocate of lifelong learning and employment equity. She was born in Japan and moved to Canada about 25 years ago. She is a mother of two grown children.
Kristen Laing Breemersch – Program Coordinator
Kristen Laing Breemersch is a mother of 4 children. Being a mother that has children with lifelong challenges, accessibility and inclusiveness are very important aspects of life to my family. My daughter Katrina was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors at a young age and my son is hearing impaired. After lobbing with local MLAs including the Minister of Education, I was only asking for the same human rights and opportunity for my daughter to attend school with her peers and siblings. Being the biggest advocate for my children has allowed my second daughter, Katrina not only graduate in the public-school sector with her peers but graduate with honors in academic and 2 vocational certificates. I continue to advocate for equality and accessibility in communities giving all families equal opportunity.
Angela Cross – Board member
Laura Thompson – Board member
Chris Brandon – Board member
Dolores Hardy – Board member
Tamra Fenty – Board member
For information on becoming a board member, please contact us.