Episode 014: ParaSports and Variety Village: Contributing to Improve the Lives of People with Disabilities with Jeff Tiessen and Karen Stintz

Brenda Agnew and Jordan Assaraf, your hosts, welcome Jeff Tiessen from ParaSports Ontario and Karen Stintz from Variety Village to today’s episode.

Jeff is the publisher of Disability Today Publishing Group, a disability community pioneer and leader for over 25 years, is known for its quality publications, and compelling editorial. The publisher of Alignment for Orthotics Prosthetics Canada, and a host of in-house magazine and book titles, the media firm is led by Jeff Tiessen, an amputee of over 40 years. Jeff is also the executive director of ParaSports Ontario.Jeff is a three-time Paralympian and world record holder, award-winning journalist, and Canadian Disability Hall of Fame inductee. He is a respected advocate and keenly aware of the informational needs of Canadians with limb loss through personal experience and a vast network of amputees, O&P practitioners, and industry partners.

Karen is the president and CEO of Variety Village, which is the Children’s Charity of Ontario with a 70-year history of providing programming for children and youth with a disability. In Ontario, the charity provides programming for children with a disability at Variety Village, a 168,000 square foot facility in Scarborough. Variety Village has a $7 million operating budget and includes a number of social enterprises that fund the charitable mission. Karen is responsible for facility management, revenue growth, budgets, and expanding partnerships within the ParaSport community. Karen currently leads an Executive Team and reports to a volunteer Board of Directors. Since becoming President and CEO, she has worked with the senior management team and Board of Directors to map out a new vision of service delivery, revenue generation, and expanded impact on those who are served.