Board of Directors of
for Personal & Physical Achievement
Gary McPherson contracted polio when he was nine years old, the result
of which was a permanent disability and over 30 years of
institutionalized care. These challenges did not hold him back and in
2001 he authored and published "With Every Breath I Take", a
book of humour, anecdotes and "practical suggestions on how we
can care for ourselves". The non-fiction hit found an instant
place on the Edmonton Bestseller charts and remained there for many
With his drive, wisdom and vision of the endless possibilities
available for people with disability, Gary manifests the very nature
of the philosophy behind The Steadward Centre, and is an inspiration
for everyone, with or without disability. His experience and
background in all areas pertaining to disability issues are without
parallel in Canada, and likely most of the world.
In 1998, Dr. McPherson joined the staff at the University of
Alberta as the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Social
Entrepreneurship, in the School of Business. He is also an Adjunct
Professor, as well as a Special Lecturer and Advisor in the Faculty of
Physical Education and Recreation. Prior to joining the University,
Dr. McPherson served for ten years as Chairman of the Premier's
Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities, providing advice
to the Government of the Province of Alberta.
Gary is the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, an
advisory group that provides guidance and direction for The Steadward
Centre, located at the University of Alberta and at two satellite
locations. The Steadward Centre is a health, fitness, lifestyle and
research facility, serving people with disability since 1978.
Dr. McPherson is a Founding investor and Vice Chair of Wisevillage,
Inc., an innovative lifestyle, entertainment and shopping site on the
Internet that is designed to provide a comprehensive environment with
a user-friendly interface.
Gary McPherson has extensive expertise in the voluntary sector,
having spent more than 20 years in wheelchair sports administration.
For eight of those years, he served a President of the Canadian
Wheelchair Sports Association (CWSA). In acknowledgment of his
extraordinary work, Dr. McPherson has earned considerable recognition
and several awards, including being an inductee in both the Edmonton
and Alberta Sports Halls of Fame. In 1995, the University of Alberta
conferred upon him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Gary is married to Valerie Kamitomo and they have a daughter and
son, Keiko and Jamie.
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