Board of Directors

Quickstart early intervention for autism


Suzanne Jacobson/Founder

 Suzanne Jacobson

Suzanne is the grandmother of two young boys, Alexander and Nathan, both of whom have been diagnosed with autism.

Autism entered Suzanne’s world 15 years ago when her eldest grandson was flagged and eventually diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. She discovered a complex and difficult system to navigate, long wait-times for help and the significant difference early intervention makes.
This led to Suzanne founding the charity QuickStart Early Intervention for Autism which led to the creation of the QuickStart Early Intervention Program, helping children get help right away at the first signs of autism. This program was adopted by the government of Nova Scotia and offered as part of the Nova Scotia Autism Program.
She developed the Ottawa Roadmap for Autism to help guide parents/caregivers through the system step by step. Suzanne has supported hundreds of parents through sharing her knowledge and lived experience of actively supporting her grandsons, whom she adores.
Suzanne has been recognized for her work by CHEO, Andrew Fleck, and the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre. She received The Senate of Canada medal and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.
Her background includes attending the University of Ottawa and working for the federal government.
Suzanne's husband served in the Canadian military for 29 years and they have 3 daughters. 

QuickStart Timeline


Jennifer Cruickshank - Director

Jennifer Cruickshank

Jennifer Cruickshank has worked with QuickStart in many capacities since our inception. These roles included corporate secretary, volunteer coordinator and event planner.  Jennifer is an Executive in the public service in the field of human resources.  Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Social Science, Honours, with course concentration in Business Administration from the University of Ottawa and an Executive Certificate in Conflict Management from the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law.

Steve Dore - Director

Steve Dore

Steve Doré has been supporting the Annual Camelot QuickStart Charity Golf for Autism golf tournament since its inception in 2014 and now serves as the Tournament Chair since 2017.  Steve is a retired Royal Canadian Naval officer with 30 years of service and is also a former IBM Canada Business Development Executive on the Defence Account.  Steve has been working as an independent Business Development consultant since 2016 supporting MDA and most recently Seaspan. Steve and his wife, Julie, have two children Liz and Andy and a grandson Teddy and a yellow Labrador named Wrigley.

Ken Charbonneau - Director

Ken Charbonneau FCPA, FCA, ICD.D
Ken brings extensive accounting, audit and finance knowledge and experience, and board experience with charities and not-for-profit organizations.



David (Jake) Jacobson

Vice President


nicole dauz - Communications officer

Nicole Dauz

Nicole founded Self-care Coaching in 2019. Experience is my teacher as a self-care advocate, caregiver coach, author and speaker who chooses happiness despite my circumstances. My mission is to change the story around caregiving and celebrate the journey. I honour the role of the caregiver by helping them recognize their worth and their true gifts. 

Complementing my passion for caregiver well-being is my 23 years of government communications experience—including being a spokesperson; planning community outreach initiatives; organizing ministerial events and coordinating and implementing the government-wide communications strategy to high-profile issues. 

terry jamieson - Secretary

Terry Jamieson

“Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the public safety industry. Strong business development professional skilled in Analytical Skills, Energy, Risk Management, Government, and Emergency Management.”

anna varriano - Secretary

Ann Varriano

 Anna is a Natural Health Practitioner (NHP), a Registered Nutrition Therapist (RNT), a GAPS (Gut and Psychology/Physiology) Certified Practitioner, and the owner of Perfect Resonance Natural Health CounsellingFor over 15 years, Anna has helped individuals of all ages maintain and improve their health through in-person, phone, or video one-on-one consults, as well as group presentations/Lunch & Learn sessions. Holding both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Natural Health Practitioner diploma, Anna understands how the body works and the importance of a wholistic, customized approach to address the unique set of circumstances presented by each client. With knowledge and experience in several natural modalities, Anna is able to offer numerous avenues to maintain and promote health and well-being.

past Directors

A huge thank you to our past directors that have been integral to the amazing accomplishments we have been able to achieve.

Raymond Bourret, Director

Yolanda Korneluk, PH.D., C.Psych, Director




Recent News