Board Of Directors

Our Board of Directors gives leadership and guides the strategic direction of Manitoba Down Syndrome Society. It governs MDSS on behalf of their members.


2020 – 2022 OFFICERS

Kris Yunker – President

In 2013 I participated in Walk with Us for another member, never imagining I would be here one day walking for my own son.

In 2014 my husband Lee and I were blessed with the brightest light in our lives. Our son Taylor Lee was born with and diagnosed with Down syndrome.

In 2017 I eventually became a board member and am proud to be the current President of the Manitoba Down Syndrome Society.

In addition to my role as President I currently coordinate and host our Baby Love events, I contact Manitoba Hospitals to ensure they have Parent Packages readily on hand for new parents, I volunteer on our Walk Committee, I visit families and provide them Hospital Care packages when their loved ones are not at their best and so much more. I am heavily involved in every aspect of this wonderful organization and I do it all for our son Taylor and for all of our beautiful members who have become my family. I have to say, I could not do any of this without the support of my loving husband Lee who picks up the extra work load at home when I am busy doing “MDSS Stuff”.

 I am so happy when I think of how far we have come as an organization and all of the things we have been able to do to better the lives of our members. And I can’t help but smile when I think of all of the things we have yet to do!

 I can’t wait for this upcoming year for so many reasons, one of which is to celebrate our 30th Anniversary with all of you. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to be a part of this incredible organization and to serve all of you!

Val Surbey – Vice-President

Val has been a long member of the Manitoba Down Syndrome Society from its inception to the present.  Val is mom to Timothy, 31 years of age.  Tim was adopted at birth by Val and Vince and we have never looked back.  At present Val is involved in other organizations for individuals with intellectual disabilities and is an inclusion advocate. 

Rick Sawyer – Treasurer

Rick started as treasurer on the Board in 2007, as a way of indirectly supporting his Daughter Courtney, born in 2001 with Down Syndrome. He has enjoyed volunteering with other parents in the DS community, which has led to many friendships and opportunities for his daughter and family.

He is a major sports fan and enjoys watching, attending and supporting the local teams, especially when being accompanied by Courtney or her younger sister Nicole.

Kathy Yunker – Secretary

I had participated in the annual MDSS fundraising walk, Walk With Us, the same year my nephew, Taylor, was born and have every year since. I happily decided to become a Board member in 2017. Taylor and I formed a close bond right from the moment I held him as a newborn. I knew he and I would have a special auntie/nephew relationship. His happiness and progress in this world matter so much to me. I want to make a difference by being part of a Board who cares and has a vested interest in supporting Manitobans with Down syndrome. In addition to being the secretary I have also taken on other volunteer roles including coordinating/organizing the ever popular annual dinner and dance, taking pics at the bi-annual baby love events, volunteering at the Walk With Us and being an engaged member of the Board. I am appreciative of having the privilege to be a member of the Board and I enjoy the camaraderie of the other Board members and the common goals that unite us.

Christine Collings

Christine has been a part of the MDSS board since 2018. She has 4 children, her youngest Analeigh (6 yrs) has DS.  Since joining the board, she has taken over as coordinator of the annual fundraiser Walk With Us.  Although Covid has meant the walk has been virtual the past couple years, she looks forward to when restrictions lift and the MDSS family can walk together united again.

Shelby Colvin

My name is Shelby Colvin, I am mom from Neepawa. I have 4 amazing kids, my youngest son has Down syndrome.  I joined the board in hopes to re-establish a MDSS presence in the Westman area. I am excited to be the Westman Group contact! I look forward to making this a reality and meeting new friends! 

If anyone has an ideas or requests please feel free to contact me! I am always looking for new ideas! 

Look forward to hearing for you!! 

Tayyaba Malik

I am a mom of two Daaniyal & Faris, Daaniyal was born with Down Syndrome and later diagnosed with autism. For Farooq and I he is an absolute JOY in our lives. Educating us about Love & Empathy. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

I love being a part of Manitoba Down Syndrome Society, serving our community is an honor. I have met amazing people through this organization and have built a new family.

Tina Gouzecky

My name is Tina Gouzecky and I am very excited to be a board member with the MDSS! I am an early childhood educator with over 14 years of experience in the early learning and childcare sector. My work in early learning and childcare has provided me many opportunities to work with children with additional support needs. I decided to join the MDSS because I saw it as a great opportunity to support the community that I am so passionate about! I love how the MDSS offers meaningful connections to our membership and opportunities to build a strong sense of community.

Olivia Chomicki

My name is Olivia Chomicki, i am in my last year of Psychiatric Nursing and I have always had a passion to help people with disabilities. I have worked at the Movement Centre of Manitoba, I worked as a respite worker and have volunteered at St. Amant and Swimmingly. At Swimmingly, I’ve had the pleasure in meeting Kris, Lee and Taylor, and having the opportunity to swim one on one with Taylor. I want to continue helping people with disabilities, and especially to help in my best ability towards MDSS. I’m more than honored to be on the board of directors for MDSS.

* If you are interest in becoming a member of the Board of Directors, please contact Mina at 204-992-2731 or click here to send an email.

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