Hear Alberta Team
The staff of Hear Alberta are a knowledgeable, approachable team dedicated to education, problem-solving and client service.
Joanne Pawelek, Chief Executive Officer
Joanne joined Deaf & Hear Alberta in August 2014. She has worked with in a variety of non-profit organizations across Alberta for over 20 years and brings a wealth of experience in community-based programming, client-based services, social marketing and community investment.
Her work philosophy is grounded in the 4 “C”s of communication, collaboration, community and creativity! She is committed to establishing positive working relationships and partnerships with service providing agencies, funders, allied organizations and other community groups to help achieve the goals of the organization.
Raised in Calgary, Joanne attended U of A and lived in Edmonton for 15 years before coming back to the Stampede City … so she likes to say that she is a “dual citizen”. Joanne enjoys hiking, taking music lessons, and collecting Hallmark Christmas ornaments. If she ever won the lottery, she might move to Vermont!
Alia Bharwani, Hearing Services Coordinator
Alia joined the staff of Deaf & Hear Alberta in November 2016. She has always had a passion for helping others improve their quality of life. With a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Public Health in Health Promotion, she has worked on various projects focused on active living, chronic disease prevention, and mental health promotion. She is looking forward to improving the quality of life of others while working at DHA.
Alia is also a yoga instructor and has been a personal trainer. She has a strong interest in writing and social media, having completed a year of journalism in Victoria prior to completing her BSc in Kinesiology at University of Calgary.
Sharron Nixon, Peer Mentoring Coordinator
Sharron has resided in Calgary since she was a young girl. My parents immigrated to Canada from England and we crossed “The Pond” by ship. My first recollections of this amazing country was icebergs.
Sharron 2 wonderful children – her daughter is living in Sydney, Australia and her son is in Calgary and happily still home for a little longer. She also has 3 dogs – an older blue heeler-collie cross, a mature Shitzu, and a young beagle. Needless to say, the house is never dull!
Sharron worked at Diabetes Canada for 10 years working mostly in the residential door to door campaign position. She has also worked on some fun events, such as third party fundraisers and a ball tournament. Sharron has involved many volunteers over the years, and finds them to be a joy to work with.
Kathy Harrison, Special Projects / Equipment Services Coordinator
Kathy originally joined Deaf and Hear Alberta on a maternity cover-off in July of 2011. Deaf & Hear Alberta was very fortunate to have her stay on a permanent basis.
Kathy is the face and the voice of Deaf and Hear Alberta, greeting clients as they come in and solving problems for equipment users. Prior to coming to Deaf & Hear Alberta, Kathy worked in customer service, and so brings her extensive set of customer service skills with her.
Kathy is learning American Sign Language so as to be able to communicate at least the basics with Deaf community.
Together with her husband Tom, Kathy is busy with lots of extra-curricular activities with their two daughters.
Eunice Estrada, Accessibility Services Coordinator (Calgary)
Eunice has an Administrative Assistant and Coordinator background and has worked for Dental Clinics, SAIT, Canadian Pacific Railway and Hearing Clinics. Throughout her career Eunice has met people who were aware of their hearing loss, but were not addressing it or were not properly informed. These experiences, combined with her interest in hearing aid technology, lead her to go back to school and study to be a hearing instrument specialist. She graduated from the Hearing Aid Practitioner program at MacEwan University and is preparing to write the CHAPA licensing exam. During her down time she enjoys CrossFit and exploring city pathways with her dogs. Eunice was born HoH and grew up speaking Spanish at home and continues to do so.
Rebecca Doole, Accessibility Services Coordinator (Edmonton)
Rebecca joined the staff of Deaf & Hear Alberta in Edmonton in September 2016. As the Accessibility Services Coordinator, she will consult, offer equipment assessments, and work on our online store. Before joining Deaf & Hear Alberta, Rebecca and her husband lived in Taiwan for eight years as Missionaries with a non-profit organization doing volunteer work in the Taiwanese Deaf community.
Now back in Canada, Rebecca is taking American Sign Language classes so as to be better equipped to fulfill the duties of her job by helping meet needs in the Deaf community. Having living overseas and worked with people from many different backgrounds, cultures, and languages, she is thankful that her cross-cultural life experience will also enable her to better help those she works with here in Alberta. Rebecca also considers herself to be part Taiwanese and loves to interact with the Mandarin speaking community. She loves to learn about new cultures and customs and what makes them each unique.