The Rick Hansen Foundation Champions Circle recognizes the significant support and dedication of individuals who have played critical roles in the life-long work of our Founder, Rick Hansen.
These Champions are trusted advisors, valued friends and colleagues, many who have supported Rick since the very beginning of his Man in Motion World Tour in March 1985. The epic tour around the world concluded 26 months later on May 22, 1987, bringing Rick closer to his dream of raising awareness, removing barriers, and finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.
The relationships that Rick Hansen has created over a lifetime of passionate advocacy are with individuals who inspire us with their own commitment to making a difference for people with disabilities. As our work continues, our list of Champions will grow. Only together can we create a world where everyone can go everywhere.
Please join us in celebrating the tremendous support and abiding friendship of:
Edie Ehlers (Late):
- During and following the Man in Motion World Tour, Edie held a number of senior positions that included Executive Director, MIMWT Society, Executive Director, MIMWT Foundation.
- During and following the Man in Motion World Tour Jim held a number of senior positions that included Chair of the Board, MIMWT and Director of Partnerships, MIMWT Foundation.
- During and following the Man in Motion World Tour Nancy held a number of senior positions that included Logistics Coordinator, MIMWT; Director of Programs, Rick Hansen Institute; Rick Hansen Man In Motion Foundation; and Director, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Solutions Network.
Brian Hesje (Late):
- Rick Hansen Foundation Board member, 2014-2019
- Rick Hansen Foundation Board member, 2014-2020
- Rick Hansen Foundation Board member, 2007-2008
- Rick Hansen Foundation Board member, 2013-2019
- Rick Hansen Foundation Board member, 2009-2011
- Rick Hansen Foundation Board member, 2009-2019
- Rick Hansen Foundation Board member, 2008-2020
Lyall Knott, Q.C.
- A founding director of the Rick Hansen Foundation, Lyall has committed 30+ years to the governance of the Foundation and co-chair the Board along with numerous other committee memberships. Lyall’s devotion to the Founder and the organization will continue well beyond his Board tenure that concluded July, 2021.
- Perry was a much valued Board director from his appointment in 2009 until his resignation in 2021. Perry held the senior officer position of Secretary and was also chair of the HR Committee. Perry’s insightful, experienced leadership led the way in ensuring a thoughtful approach to governance issues and support of the RHF staff team.
George Gaffney (late)
- George was a tireless supporter and champion for Rick and the Foundation dating back to the original Man in Motion World Tour. He helped to guide the RHF Board of Directors for over 30 years where he served as Co-chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Chair of the HR, Investment and Succession Committees. George’s is deep friendship and commitment to the Founder and Foundation form a lasting legacy.
Eric Watt, FCPA, FCA
- Eric Watt was appointed to the RHF Board in 2013, and retired in 2022. He held the senior officer position of treasurer and was also chair of the Foundation’s Audit & Finance Committee. Eric’s dedication to the Foundation and the stewardship he brought to the role of Treasurer and chair of the F&A Committee were instrumental in building and solidifying the organization’s best practices and processes in financial principles.
- As a director from 2013 to her retirement in 2022, Kimberly was integral to the Foundation’s two-year governance review, playing a key role on the Board’s succession sub-committee. Additionally, her oversight and experience in governance, culture and human relations was instrumental in augmenting the responsibilities of the RHF HR Committee with the Governance-HR Committee.
- As CEO of Taxi Canada, Rob provides the Foundation with strategic and creative leadership contributing to the development of the Foundation’s signature #EveryoneEverywhere creative awareness platform, and helping to create a cultural shift towards improved access and inclusion across Canada. In addition, Rob has contributed his expert guidance and support to both the RHF Board of Directors and as Co-Chair of the Foundation’s #EveryoneEverywhere national campaign cabinet.
- Greg Yuel joined the Board in 2014 and served until his retirement in 2023. His commitment to the work of the Foundation and the vision of the Founder was unwavering and his leadership and support was so evident at the Board table, meetings of the Governance-HR Committee on which he served, and the numerous special committees and Task Force groups he led as a Board Director.
Ida Chong, FCPA, FCGA
- Ida Chong was appointed to the RHF Board in 2013 and retired in 2023. During her time on the Board she served on the Audit & Finance Committee, the Governance-HR Committee, chaired the Government Relations Committee, and served on numerous Task Force Groups lending her deep knowledge and thoughtful support to so many of the Foundation’s endeavours and special projects.