The CASW Board of Directors determines and oversees general and financial policies. With each provincial/territorial partner organization appointing one member to the Board, a unified voice for the Canadian social work profession is assured. The Board of Directors works from a national and, indeed, an international perspective to benefit the social work profession.
Provincial/territorial input into the deliberations of CASW is guaranteed through an Annual General Meeting between the CASW Board and Provincial/Territorial Presidents.
Joan Davis-Whelan, President
Joan is a graduate of Memorial University, completing her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1979, and her Bachelor of Social Work in 1981. She completed her Master of Social Work in 1992. She has certificates in Discharge Planning, Leadership Development, Quality Management and Ethics.
Well known in the Social Work community, Joan has experience in clinical practice including Adult and Child Mental Health and Addictions, Family Violence, Oncology, Palliative Care, Dermatology, Medicine, Nephrology, Surgery, Emergency/ Trauma, Women's Health and Child, Youth and Family Services. She has worked in Quality and Risk and in Human Resources –Organizational Development.
She has been involved with several community boards and committees including Canadian Mental Health Association, Addiction Treatment Services Association, PREP and ACCESS. She was a member of the provincial working group for the clinical review 2008 of Child, Youth and Family Services. Joan has presented on various topics including grief and loss, team dynamics, change management and social work practice. Her areas of interest include social work competencies and education, leadership, clinical services, ethics and evaluation.
Barb Whitenect, Vice-President
New Brunswick (NBASW)
After obtaining a BA (Criminology) and a BSW at the University of New Brunswick and Saint Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B., Barb obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work from Carleton University in 1992. A native New Brunswicker, she has dedicated most of her career to the field of mental health, working as a Clinician, Manager and Regional Director in both rural and urban settings. In 2002, she became provincial Director of Child and Youth Addiction & Mental Health Services and, in 2007, assumed the role of Executive Director for Addiction and Mental Health Services with the Department of Health. She was very pleased to transition from Department of Health to Department of Public Safety in January 2014, taking her back to her early career development. Since her move to Justice and Public Safety, Barb has been Assistant Deputy Minister of Safety Services and with the re-organization and merger of Justice and Public Safety she has assumed the responsibility of Assistant Deputy Minister of Community Safety, having responsibility for Community and Corrections services, Crime Prevention, Motor Vehicle, Liquor Gaming and Security as well as Provincial Firearms. Barb has also lectured on a part-time basis at Saint Thomas University.
Barb is a proud Social Worker and has served as President of the NBASW and has taken leadership roles on several international social work committees through the Association of Social Work Boards.
While Barb relaxes in her spare time on the golf course, it is the ferry ride to her home on NB’s Deer Island that most contributes to her positive mental health and sense of wellness.
Glenda Webber, Treasurer
Newfoundland & Labrador (NLCSW)
Glenda holds both a Bachelor of Social Work (1992) and a Master of Social Work (1995) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (MUNL). She also holds the Certified Health Executive designation through the Canadian College of Health Leaders (2020).
A Registered Social Worker in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Glenda has been a practicing social worker for 30 years in the field of mental health and addictions, in both clinical and managerial roles. She has also taught as a sessional instructor at MUNL for 10 years. Glenda currently serves in an executive leadership position with Eastern Health, the largest health authority in the province. Glenda’s portfolio includes responsibility for the mental health and addictions program, correctional health services, pastoral care and ethics, virtual care, and infection prevention and control.
After 7 years on the Board of Directors with the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Social Workers (NLCSW), Glenda finished her term in the office of president in 2020 (president elect, president and past president). Glenda was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Association of Social Boards (ASWB) for a two year term as Director at Large, Licensed Social Worker.
Salina is a registered social worker and received her MSW and BSW from the University of Manitoba. Salina’s qualitative MSW thesis study explored the caregiving and bereavement experiences of palliative care caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Salina’s MSW coursework focused on leadership, management and policy in social work. Salina is passionate about health equity and advocating for a health care system that is safe, equitable and accessible for all. She is currently working on her CHE- Certified Health Executive designation with the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Salina currently works for Shared Health which is the provincial health authority in Manitoba. She is the Provincial Clinical Services Consultant- Cancer and Palliative Care. In this role, she leads and supports various projects and inititiaves in the areas of cancer and palliative care and she supports palliative care education provincially. Prior to her current role, she worked as the Palliative Care Social Worker and Social Work Lead at Riverview Health Centre. She previously served a 3-year term as a board member with Aurora Family Therapy Centre where she held positions of Chair as well as Vice Chair. She is currently on the Executive for the Manitoba College of Social Workers and serves on a number of committees.
British Columbia (BCASW)
Glen was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He received a BA and a BSW from the University of Manitoba. After graduating from the BSW program in 1979, he obtained employment with the Province of Manitoba. He was based in the City of Thompson, a northern mining community located about 760 kilometers north of Winnipeg. He worked 12 years for the provincial government. During that time, he was a child welfare worker, a supervisor in child welfare, and coordinator of community mental health services. He practiced social work in Thompson as well as many remote and isolated communities throughout northern Manitoba. Glen took a leave to complete his MSW at the University of British Columbia and graduated in 1990. He later taught for the University of Manitoba Social Work Access Program located in Thompson. In 1994 he joined the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. In 2003 he received a PhD in Social Work from Memorial University.
Glen served in various positions in the School of Social Work at UNBC including Field Director, BSW Coordinator, MSW Coordinator, and Program Chair. Glen was also involved in direct practice on a part-time private basis for 19 years, working primarily in mental health, relationship counselling, and employee assistance. He is a Registered Clinical Social Worker (RCSW) in the Province of British Columbia. He retired from UNBC in 2018 and was awarded Professor Emeritus in 2019. Glen continues to be engaged in writing and research and he teaches on a sessional basis at UNBC.
Ruth Ann Thomas
As a Registered Social Worker, I have had the privilege of working with every age group from newborn to seniors and palliative clients in many different settings. I am presently providing mental health counselling. I look through the lens of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adverse Childhood Experiences Recovery Work to provide support, guidance and healing for my clients. I have a long history of being involved with my professional association. I know this involvement has made me a better social worker. I’m proud to be a social worker. Many days I say “I have the best job in the world and also the hardest”.
Prince Edward Island (PEIASW)
Bruce Davison has been a practicing social worker in Prince Edward Island since June of 1996. Bruce is a graduate of the University of Prince Edward Island and Wilfrid Laurier University. He has practiced as a clinician and manager in areas ranging from mental health and addictions, collaborative mental health in primary care, corrections, young offenders, family violence prevention, health care risk reduction and quality improvement, foster care and adoption, and child protection. Currently, Bruce is the provincial Program Development Lead in Primary Care and Chronic Disease with Health PEI. He is also the clinic social worker for Health PEI's Gender-Affirming Clinic.
Bruce lives in Charlottetown and has been an active volunteer in the Canadian Federation of Students, the UPEI Student Union (Interim President) , the Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Student's Association (Chair), the Prince Edward Island Association of Social Workers (President) , the UPEI Alumni Association (President), The UPEI Board of Governors, the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees, the PEI CISM Network (Chair), the Air Cadet League of Canada (President), and ADHD-PEI. Bruce is currently a RCAF reservist, a Cadet Instructor Cadre officer with a Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron in PEI.
Bruce and his spouse, Shannon, live in Charlottetown. They have two amazing adult daughters and two cats.
Nova Scotia (NSCSW)
Ezra Wexler MSW RSW graduated from the Dalhousie School of Social work in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he was born and raised. During and after his education he worked as a researcher in the field of elder abuse and neglect, wherein he co authored several papers and a book alongside his Masters Thesis which focused on self-neglecting older adults.
Ezra has volunteered on the council of the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers continuously since 2010 where he has held the title of Regional Representative for Halifax, Vice President, President and is currently Past President. He is proud of the work the college has done these past 13 years and the roles he has had within it.
Ezra is the Executive Director of a disability support agency, Community Living Centres, where he strives to support individuals towards meaningful inclusion in their chosen communities. The organization operates individualized programs for people with a variety of lived experiences, specializing in those with psychiatric and developmental diagnosis. Walking the winding path with those he supports brings him joy and inspiration.
Outside of social work Ezra maintains several hobbies and interests. He is a singer-songwriter, choir director, model painter, scuba diver, traveller, and dungeon master to name a few. He believes that by intentionally enriching his own life he broadens his capacity to help others on their journeys towards good lives of their own.
Evelyn Weger, BA, BSW, MSW, RSW, has worked in social services since 1982. Originally educated as a child and youth care worker at the University of Victoria, Evelyn completed her BSW at the University of Victoria in 2004 and her MSW at Carleton University in 2007. Throughout her career, Evelyn has been employed in a diverse cross-section of positions from adolescent and adult addictions, youth mental health, and child protection to paediatric and adult acute care. Evelyn transitioned into a community rehabilitation program in 2018 where she works exclusively with individuals and families living with aphasia as a result of a neurodegenerative condition. Additionally, Evelyn has a part-time private practice.
Evelyn is originally from BC however her life as a military spouse gave her the opportunity to live in 5 provinces and 2 countries. Firmly settled in the Ottawa area since 2005, Evelyn has been actively involved with the OASW since 2007, first as a member of her local Branch Board and since 2018 as a board member on the OASW Provincial Board of Directors.
Northern Canada (ASWNC)
Kelly completed her Criminal Justice Diploma from Mount Royal College in Calgary in 1979 and worked for 4 years with the Alberta Solicitor General as a probation officer. After she married, she moved to the Yukon in 1986 and she completed her BSW from the University of Regina (via Yukon College) in 1999. Kelly was employed with the Territorial Department of Justice as a probation officer and later as a victim services worker.
In 2006, she transferred to the Department of Health and Social Services to operationalize and manage the newly mandated Seniors’ Services/Adult Protection Unit. There she was involved with emergency measures, policy development and supporting Ministers at the F/P/T Seniors Forum. Kelly has also taken project-based secondments with the Victims of Crime Compensation program; to income test a seniors’ grant and co-lead a review of community home care.
Kelly retired from government in 2020 and continues to instruct the University of Regina’s Social Work and Aging course through Yukon University. Kelly was a Director with the Yukon Status of Women’s Council for over 14 years. She has held roles with the Association of Social Workers of Northern Canada since 2018 and became a CASW Board Member in 2022. Kelly feels fortunate to have raised her children in the north and appreciates the beauty and cultural diversity. She remains committed to reconciliation and social justice issues.
Rasheal is an experienced Social Work Mental Health Therapist with a Masters in Social Work and diverse leadership experiences within healthcare, social services and education. In her current role as a Director at Covenant Health, she makes time for leadership with the Social Work Association of Alberta, building her private practice and serving as a Sessional instructor at MacEwan University and the University of Calgary.
Rasheal is a relationship centered person with a passion for social justice, leadership, spirituality and volunteerism. She is an engaging speaker, collaborator and passionate advocate for whole person health and values-based practices especially within the Black and racialized communities.