Board of Directors

Gina Ross, Board Chair

Gina is a senior lawyer at the Calgary law firm of Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer, working to find solutions for her clients (including pro-bono legal work for a number of not-for-profit organizations) with respect to all aspects of employment law (policies, litigation, human rights, and transactional work). Gina graduated from the University of Calgary law school in 1988 and also has a certificate in Advanced Investigation Techniques.

She balances work with her involvement in the equestrian community, including as a volunteer, Equestrian Canada official and riding and showing her horses.

Evan Legate, Director & Immediate Past Chair

Evan Legate served as Board Chair of the Epilepsy Association of Calgary from June 2019 to September 2023. He currently works as Senior Advisor for Longview Communications & Public Affairs, providing support to clients in the areas of government relations, regulatory affairs, issues management and stakeholder relations.

Over the last decade, Evan has worked in a number of senior roles across Alberta provincial politics and managed provincial and municipal political campaigns. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Calgary and has completed an additional year of graduate level coursework.

Evan was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2015 and joined the Board in 2018 to ensure all Albertans impacted by epilepsy have access to necessary social service supports. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Calgary and has completed an additional year of graduate level coursework.

Ashley Anderson, Director

Ashley Anderson is a District Sales Manager at Palo Alto Networks, the world’s leading cybersecurity company. She has over 15 years of experience in sales and strategic leadership across various industries and is a passionate community advocate and medical mama. 

Ashley serves on the board of the Epilepsy Association of Calgary and actively supports United Way. She is driven by her eldest son’s journey with epilepsy and cerebral palsy, and – following her son’s neuro-surgery in the summer of 2021 – she has dedicated her community efforts within the neuro related community. 

Ashley values collaboration, compassion, and challenge, and strives to be a supportive partner and a high-performing leader.

Tasha Engel, Director

Tasha works as the Executive Vice President, People Services for Long Systems, where she’s been helping their over 1,200 employees since 2002. As their first HR professional, she has had the opportunity to see them through tremendous growth into their offices across North America.

Tasha has spent much of her free time advocating for young breast cancer patients through her volunteer work for Rethink Breast Cancer. Their initiatives have brought awareness to Calgary that breast cancer is not just a disease that happens to older women and has helped to educate our community on the benefits of early detection through cutting-edge and innovative campaigns.

In November 2012, Tasha was named one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 and in January of 2011, she was named by the Calgary Herald as one of their 20 people to watch out for. She is also featured in the Canadian Screen award winning documentary “About Her”, as one of nine young women sharing their unique cancer journey.

Dr. Julia Jacobs -LeVan, Director

Dr. Julia Jacobs is the current Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at Alberta Children’s Hospital. She is an Associate Professor affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics and Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Calgary and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany.

Born in Germany, she trained in pediatric neurology before coming to Canada for the first time as a fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute. After completing her fellowship, she moved back to Germany for 10 years where she worked most recently as the Director of the Department of Pediatric Neurology in Freiburg. She moved to Calgary in October 2019.

Dr. Jacobs is a clinician scientist aiming to bring new diagnostic tools and treatments to children with rare and difficult to treat epilepsies. Her most recent work focuses on helping to understand the individual risk of patients to develop seizures and treatment strategies that might prevent severe epilepsy in children. Her research has been awarded several international prizes.

Dr. Jacobs is married to a fellow researcher and Canadian, whom she met in Montreal. She has two sons that love the multicultural fun and great outdoors that Calgary has to offer.

Tyler Kilborn, Director

Tyler Kilborn is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is currently an audit manager at KPMG LLP, where he has spent several years auditing not-for-profit organizations. Tyler graduated from Mount Royal University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, subsequently obtained his CPA designation in 2020, and is working to obtain his Master of Science in Accounting with Cognitive Analytics in 2023.

Tyler was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 3 years old and after several experimental medications and specialists, was fortunate enough to be seizure free since he was 6 years old. Tyler remembers the challenges his family faced during this difficult time and looks forward to helping others in similar situations.

Tyler has been married since 2022, is dad to two boys and spends his free time vacationing with family or playing pocket billiards.

Derek Payne, Director

Derek Payne is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is currently an active member of Calgary’s start-up and emerging business Community, where he acts as an advisor, mentor, or board member to a number of growing companies. Prior to this, Derek held several senior roles including Chief Financial Officer of DIRTT Environmental Solutions and Treasurer & Vice President Finance of WestJet Airlines.

Derek was initially diagnosed with epilepsy in 1999 and due to the increasing severity of his seizures beginning in 2007 and then again in 2013 Derek opted to have surgery in 2015 in an effort permanently control them. Derek has been seizure free ever since and over the last several years has been proactive in his willingness to share his own personal lived experience of having gone through the surgical process with others who themselves may be contemplating surgery.

Derek has been married for over 25 years, is the father of two boys and spends his free time, volunteering at the Universities in Calgary where he enjoys working with students, as well as playing golf, cycling and both participating in and coaching CrossFit classes.

Dr. Andrea Salmon, Director

Dr. Andrea Salmon is an adult epileptologist with the Calgary Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Foothills Medical Centre, and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences for the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary. Dr. Salmon completed her undergraduate degree in neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge and medical school at the University of Alberta.

She completed her neurology training at Western University in London, Ontario followed by a clinical fellowship in epilepsy and EEG at the same institution. She returned to Lethbridge to practice general neurology in 2012, where she had a busy and varied outpatient practice, and a medical staff appointment at Chinook Regional Hospital. She joined the Calgary Comprehensive Epilepsy Program in 2019.

Dr. Salmon is also a member of the Canadian League Against Epilepsy and the American Epilepsy Society.

Wendy Tynan, Director

Wendy is the Director, Stakeholder Relations & Communications – Green Line at City of Calgary. She joined the Epilepsy Association Board of Directors in 2019 with a proven track record of delivering results and consistently exceeding expectations.

Wendy specializes in stakeholder engagement, strategic counsel and reputation management and was one of Calgary’s Top 40 under 40. She was a Haskayne School of Business Graduate of Distinction and is currently on the Calgary Stampede Board of Directors, an organization she has volunteer with for almost thirty years.

Victoria Tulk, Secretary

Victoria is an associate lawyer at the Calgary office of law firm Bennett Jones LLP. She has a general corporate commercial practice with a focus on commercial transactions in the energy sector, mergers and acquisitions and other corporate and securities matters. Victoria is passionate about the Calgary community and has previously volunteered for a number of organizations with a strong Calgary presence including Little Warriors and Pro Bono Students Canada.

When she is not working or volunteering, Victoria can be found pursuing her other two passions: baking or being outside in any form, whether it is hiking in the mountains or training for another half marathon. She is thrilled to have joined the Board of Directors for the Epilepsy Association of Calgary.

Harsh Vardhan, Director

Guided by a passion for data & technology, Harsh works with organizations to understand the ‘so-what’ behind their data and convert their data assets into informed decisions. As the Healthcare lead at SAS Institute Canada, Harsh works with researchers, policy analysts, and Epidemiologists across public sector and research organizations to help them drive policies and improve outcomes.

Having witnessed his spouse manage her epilepsy he understands its impact to an individual’s ability to live their full lives, and how misconceptions and misinformation about epilepsy continue to persist in our society. Harsh’s passion for supporting the Epilepsy Association of Calgary was driven by an appreciation for the effort of all people with epilepsy and their caregivers.

Laura Dickson, Executive Director

Laura has served in senior leadership roles in Calgary’s non-profit sector for over a decade. In addition to her role at EAC, she was elected President of the Canadian Epilepsy Alliance in 2023. Her past roles include Executive Director at the Women in Need Society (WINS) and Chief Operating Officer at the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

Laura’s non-profit career is complimented by roles in the public and health care sectors in Ontario and Alberta. She holds an MBA in Executive Leadership from Royal Roads University and a BSc from the University of Toronto where she was recognized as an Alumni of Influence at University College (2017). Laura also holds an ICD in Non-Profit Governance Essentials.

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