Tova Sherman is CEO and, along with Dr. BL Mills, is co-founder of reachAbility (2000-present, Halifax, Nova Scotia), an award-winning agency that provides comprehensive programs and services for and about our most disenfranchised citizens. In this role, Ms Sherman manages a team of about 20 professionals, a corporate / professional board of directors and a budget of about $2m annually. Tova is responsible for all aspects of the agency ranging from human resources and training to strategic / business development and project development & management.
In an equal but differentiated role, Ms Sherman delivers internationally recognized education and awareness programs to governments and throughout the corporate and charitable sectors. Her Diversity Awareness Training (DAT) provides state-of-the-art resources about diversity and inclusion, usually in the context of workplace and practice. Tova’s problem-based approach to achieving learner potential has been featured in the media and notably in a 2013 TEDX Talk presentation.
Tova Sherman is credentialed by Cornell University (Executive Management) and her success has been recognized across Canada (The 2013 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal of Honor, YWCA Woman Entrepreneur, CBA: Canada Law Day Award, Mel Hebb Award and more).
She is frequently consulted by government and media and she sits on several boards including Nova Scotia Judiciary Advisory Council and the QEII Redevelopment Patient, Family and Public Advisory Committee. Ms Sherman has provided expert testimony to the joint parliamentary committee on disability, as well as to the Nova Scotia Legislature on Bill 59 in 2017.
Her most recent contribution is the creation of BAFF: Bluenose-Ability Film Festival; Canada’s Only film festival dedicated to showcasing the disability arts community – both first-time filmmakers and pro’s.
On July 25th, 2017 this community lost a visionary. Dr. Bruce Mills President of reachability passed.
Without Dr. Bruce Mills hard work and dedication thousands of Nova Scotians would lack access to services and supports designed to equalize the playing field – one ability at a time.
His warmth was only matched by his incredible ability to help no matter what the issue.
Dr. Mills has led this agency for over 15 years with a deft hand and a clear voice.
He will be profoundly missed. – Tova Sherman
John P. Merrick
One of Atlantic Canada’s most prominent advocates, John provides legal representation on a wide range of high-profile matters. He acted as Counsel to the Commissioner of the Public Inquiry into the Westray Mine Disaster and is presently the Consumer Advocate in water, gas and electric power rate applications.
John represents individuals, companies and organizations in every kind of proceeding from litigation in all levels of courts (including the Supreme Court of Canada), arbitrations, regulatory hearings, mediation, public hearings, negotiation and dispute resolution proceedings.
He acts as an arbitrator and mediator and holds a mediation certificate from the Harvard Law School Mediation Program.
In addition to his practice, he teaches at Dalhousie Law School and has participated as organizer and faculty in a number of professional education programs.
He is consistently listed in Best Lawyers in Canada and recommended by Lexpert.
Sandra Smith Muir
Sandra is a long-time partner and board member of reachAbility. She has worked over 20 years with the Federal Human Rights Commission being heavily involved with the promotion of equality and human rights. Sandra is currently employed as a regional manager with the federal government. She lives with her family in Bedford, N.S.
Bio coming soon.
Daniel is a local Haligonian with a Finance Degree from Bishop’s University. Daniel joined the board in early 2016 as Reachability’s treasurer. On a day to day basis, Daniel works for the Royal Bank of Canada. Daniel volunteers many days a year to other organizations as well, as he sits on the board at Sail Nova Scotia and the Sail Canada Race Management Sub Committee. Some of his volunteer events range from the Canada Games to the Pan American games as well as World Championships for the International Federation of Disabled Sailors. Daniel is extremely eager and a go-getting individual.
Chuck was born in Manchester, England and he grew up in the Eastern Townships in Québec and Nanaimo, British Columbia. In 1993, Chuck drove from Vancouver Island to Sackville, New Brunswick to attend Mount Allison University. He immediately fell in love with the Maritimes and decided to make it his home. Chuck earned his law degree from the University of New Brunswick Law School in 1999 and was called the Nova Scotia Bar in 2000.
Chuck is a long-serving volunteer, and a Board Member, with reachAbility, and he served on the LISNS Pro Bono Hub Advisory Committee. Chuck was formerly the Nova Scotia representative on the CBA National Pro Bono Committee, and he is actively engaged in several pro bono legal projects, including the LISNS Public Navigator Program.
In his spare time, Chuck enjoys swimming, running and cycling, but not necessarily in that order. Chuck lives in Bedford with his beautiful and talented wife, Shelley, and their three rambunctious children.
Scott Eckstein is a local business owner who was raised right here in HRM. Scott has been in corporate sales for over 26 years both locally and internationally. Through the 15 years he spent immersed in the technology boom while in Ottawa Canada during the late 1980’s and 1990’s, Scott learned many different aspects of business from sales and marketing to partnerships and strategic business development. Never losing his roots and sense of home Scott returned to Halifax in 2002 working with local technology companies before starting S3 Solutions with his business partners. His commitment to the city and the people of it has resulted in working with Reachability with a commitment to helping in its growth and exposure!
OFFICE MANAGER & EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
What do you love? My family and friends!
What do you most enjoying learning about? I love learning! I am happy when I can learn anything new and I do believe we learn something new every day!
What makes you feel alive? Accomplishing goals and helping other people.
Five Favourites Place: Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia. This is where my mom lives and my cottage is! (My happy place!) Fruit: Any kind of berries! (Blueberries, Strawberries etc.) Season: The summer! I love the beach and the sun Animal: My cat, Onyx! Colour: Purple
What do you love? My boys – my husband and two sons. Each of them continues to surprise me and make me smile every day. I also love the ocean, it’s my stress-free zone where all the troubles of life wash away with the waves.
What do you most enjoy learning about People. People are so interesting. Everyone has a different opinion and different outlook on life. You can learn so much from every person you meet if you just listen to them.
What makes you feel alive? Music. Music touches the soul. There is a song that goes along with every important part of my life. Music can bring back the moment and feeling of each of those experiences. It can make you happy, sad, angry, calm…
Five Favourites Book: Crime and Punishment… if you haven’t read it – you should! Instrument: Guitar – I don’t play it personally, but listening to an acoustic guitar quietly play while sitting next to the fire… so peaceful. Summer thing to do: camping! Dessert: freshly baked cinnamon rolls… nothing tastes or smells better! Personality Trait: Honesty, you just can’t go wrong with being honest
What do you love? I love my family and friends. Reading any and every book, traveling and dogs.
What do you most enjoying learning about? I enjoy learning about countries and their cultures; why people in those countries are affected by the society and perceptions.
What makes you feel alive? I feel alive when I get lost in the pages of a book picturing the world the author describes! Interacting with people and getting involved in events. I enjoy the feeling of being busy while helping others.
Five Favourites - Books: Novel and Manga - Soul and Jazz Music - Romance and Action genre Movie - Fashion - African Snacks: Small Chops
EMPLOYMENT BOOTCAMP COORDINATOR
What do you love? I love interacting with a variety of people who have different backgrounds, experiences, and personalities. I’m a serious foodie! Trying new food (and eating in general) is my favorite thing to do. I’m a geology nerd. I have a huge collection of rocks, crystals, gems, and minerals that I cherish. And saving the best for last, I love my family, friends, and kitties!
What do you most enjoy learning about? Psychology, art & creativity, holistic healing and therapeutic modalities/spirituality, different cultures of the world.
What makes you feel alive? Laughing uncontrollably until it hurts! Doing things that require all of my courage. Saying yes to those split second, now or never moments that scare me. I love facing my fears.
Five Favourites Color: Green Scent: Vanilla/Coconut Snack: Pickles Sport: Baseball Quote: “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of others” – Carl Jung
SUCCESS 40 FACILITATOR
What do you love? I love my husband and my kids. I love my family. I love my friends. I love to practice yoga and relax
What do you most enjoy learning about? I enjoy learning new things every day! For me a day without learning is a wasted day
What makes you feel alive? Watching the sun set and playing with my kids
Five Favourites Movie: Scent of a Woman Song/Music/Band/Artist: “Fragile” by Sting. “On and on the rain will fall like tears from a star, on and on the rain will say how fragile we are…” Saying: “Thoughts lead to words and words lead to reality.” Book: “The Drama of the Gifted Child” by Alice Miller TV Show: Seinfeld
What do you love? My family, my friends, my fur babies, my job and adventure!
What do you most enjoy learning about? I love to discover new things and experiences. I love being able to better understand a variety of perspectives on life!
What makes you feel alive? Being in the woods with my fiancé and dogs, kayaking, and swimming in the ocean
Five Favourites Place to Travel: Cape Breton and Newfoundland Musical Artist: David Bowie Movie Genre: Horror (zombies are the best!) and comedy Food: Anything with chocolate or cream cheese Role Model: My grandmother–the most honest, caring, and hard working woman I have ever known
What do you love? I love my family, my husband, our amazing daughter and our two wonderful French Bulldogs, Gucci & Churchill. I love my friends and my home.
What do you most enjoy learning about? History - biographies, Psychology, and Zoology
What makes you feel alive? My daughter’s laughter, being outside in the forest, in the desert or near the ocean, petting my dogs, traveling to new and to known destinations.
Five Favourites - The smell of nature after the rain - The movie Forrest Gump - Fruits and vegetables - Wine tasting and wine festivals - The Autumn
What do you love? Being in a capacity of helping others, community minded
What do you most enjoy learning about? History
What makes you feel alive? Being curious
Five Favourites Movie: Once upon a time in America Song: Lynyrd Skynyrd “Free Bird” TV Show: The Simpsons Place: Being by the beach and ocean Temperature: 24˚C
What do you love? My spouse, family, friends, and life
What do you enjoy learning about? I enjoy learning about how the brain works, body language, and overall learning about people
What makes you feel alive? I feel most alive when I am at the ocean, hiking, exercising, and when I notice I am experiencing happiness
Five favourites: - Dark chocolate - Summertime - Magnolia trees - Live entertainment - Spending time with loved ones
What do you love? My Spouse & our children, family, friends and MUSIC
What do you most enjoying learning about? I enjoy learning new skills. I’m a very quick learner and find new trades/tasks intriguing – whether its carpentry or computers, I’m not great at either, but I love learning the mechanics and principals behind things and adding them to my “tool box”
What makes you feel alive? Cooking & baking.. anything in the kitchen. Again, not great at either but if I feed you, it means I love you. Oh, and also, event planning – everything from brain storming, to branding and marketing plans, and the getting dirty and not sleeping for 72 hours when the event hits!
Five Favourites: - Pizza - Ice cream - Netflix and chill with my main squeeze - Dancing in the Livingroom - NIBS!
FIRST TIME FILMMAKERS COORDINATOR FESTIVAL DIRECTOR, BAFF
What do you love? I love making a difference in people’s lives. Affecting positive change is one of my biggest passions and if I can accomplish that, it’s a good day.
What do you most enjoy learning about? I really enjoy learning how people are changing their corner of the world, no matter how big or small it may be. Innovation and change power the future and every little bit counts. I am so excited to see where society is in 50 years from now.
What makes you feel alive? Doing something spontaneous. Having a friend over and deciding to go to dinner at the last minute, or driving to Peggy’s Cove at 2 am to do a photo shoot even though it’s November. Those little moments, as brief as they may be, give me life.
Five Favourites - Dark chocolate - Friends - Emerging Technology - Getting things done - Filmmaking
What do you love? I love my cat, Finnegan, being outdoors, reading, and of course, my friends and family.
What do you most enjoy learning about? New perspectives on social and political issues as well as anything related to the law. I also try to stay up on current global events as much as possible and to learn about their history.
What makes you feel alive? Exploring new places!
Five Favourites Season: Fall Food: Avocado Book:Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche Place: Paris Music: Jazz, ambient, folk, and (almost) anything experimental
Five Favorites - Receiving affection - Food- in general - Hanging out with my Moms – Gucci and Yana - Being “bad” and jumping on the couch - Going for walks
THERAPY BEARDED DRAGON
Five Favorites - Worms - Blueberries - Hanging out with my friends - My wooden hut - Sitting on my pillow
Five Favorites - French cheese, sushi, blueberries - Bum & belly scratches - Playing with basketballs, soccer balls, and tennis balls well… as long as it jumps & it’s chewable - Being around people - Spending time outside exploring & stretching my legs
Five Favourites - Swimming - Eating my food - Blue rocks - Peace - Exploring my water tank