Board of Directors

Michael Coady


Mike has served on the ILNS board of directors since 2014, and resumed his role as co-chair of the board in 2018. Mike is currently completing his articles at Stewart McKelvey, having graduated with a law degree and Master of Business Administration degree from Dalhousie this year.

Mike is actively involved within both the disability and Halifax communities. Notably, as a QE2 Foundation ambassador, he was the face of the Revitalizing Rehab QE2 campaign and the keynote speaker at their fund-raising kick-off and conclusion.

Within his community service, Mike has rappelled from two Halifax skyscrapers into his wheelchair to raise money for Make-A-Wish and Easter Seals. He has also happily participated in speaking engagements at local schools and at organizations affiliated with ILNS.

Nancy Walker


Nancy joined the ILNS Board in 2017. She is not new to the non-profit sector and the disability community. She has three children and her middle son, Ben, has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Nancy has been a keen advocate for her son in particular, and those in the autism community more broadly. She has sat on numerous boards, both in the community and professionally and understands the commitment of being a board member. Most notably, she started the Ben James Autism Summer Camp which is now run by Autism Nova Scotia, and currently runs the Adolescent/Young Adult Autism Summer Program which is run under the umbrella of ILNS. In her professional life, Nancy is a Physiotherapist who teaches as an Instructor at the School of Physiotherapy at Dalhousie University.

Kyle MacDonald


Kyle has served on the ILNS board since 2016. He attended both Saint Mary's University and Dalhousie University where he completed a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering; he is also a registered P.Eng. Kyle was inspired to volunteer in the ILNS community after seeing the issues his friend and fellow board member, Mike Coady, had to deal with. Furthermore, Kyle supports ILNS by assisting in policy development, providing technical support and promoting the interests of our consumers. 

Murray Vandewater


Murray is the current Treasurer of the Independent Living Nova Scotia Board of Directors for a second time. He served for six years before leaving the board for a brief hiatus until rejoining once again in 2017.  

Murray’s sister Cheryl, who has intellectual disabilities, has given him the opportunity to be involved with the disability community his entire life. Furthermore, he has also held numerous positions on mental health organizations over the years and also serves as Co-Chair of  TeamWork Cooperative’s Board of Directors.

 A retired business owner, Murray provides business acumen to various enterprises. His extensive experience in not-for-profit agencies brings his experience in Board governance to share as well. He is a lifetime resident of Halifax and graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s in Business Administration degree. 

Patricia Gates 

Pat originally sat on ILNS’ Board of Directors from 2011 until 2015 and after a two-year period rejoined the board in 2017. She worked for the Department of Education for several years and finished off her career at Dalhousie University where she worked in the President’s Office. Since 2009, Pat has volunteered for several organizations, most of which revolve around disability and in particular, vision loss.

Starting with CNIB where in 2010, she became the first “Holly Award” recipient.  This award is given to a CNIB volunteer with vision loss. Pat is also involved with the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB); she is the current CCB Access & Awareness N.S. Chapter Chair, the CCB N.S. Division Co-ordinator and the CCB National Advocacy Committee Chair. She is also a Patient and Family Policy Advisory Council member for the N.S. Health Authority as well as the current Halifax Advisory Committee for Accessibility Chair. She was a member of the former “Bill 59 Community Alliance” which worked with and advised the provincial government on accessibility legislation and as were the other members of that Alliance, a winner of an N.S. Human Rights Award for the work that was accomplished on that legislation.  

Taylor Coady

Taylor joined the ILNS board in February 2019 while completing his Master’s in Business Administration at Dalhousie University. Now graduated, Taylor works as a consultant, helping organizations to assess opportunities, manage risk, and develop programs and strategy. Taylor also has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. While attending UNB, Taylor volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society and helped organize the launch of the Relay for Life fundraiser on campus. Originally from PEI, Taylor moved to Halifax in the summer of 2015 and has loved being a Nova Scotian ever since. In his free time Taylor enjoys reading, painting, and playing soccer.

Supporting persons with disabilities live independently in the community


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