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Headshot of Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, CEO of Century Plaza Hotel And Absolute Spa Group, Co-Founder of Pacific Autism Family Network
Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia
CEO, Co-Founder of Pacific Autism Family Network

Leadership Profile

WHO WE ARE

The Century Plaza Hotel is a family-owned, home-away-from-home hotel in the centre of Vancouver. The Absolute Spa Group provides a world class spa experience to every guest. We are dedicated to making an absolute difference for our guests during their stay.

WHY WE’RE INVOLVED

As an industry leader, we’re passionate about creating more inclusive communities and empowering individuals with diverse cognitive abilities to live full and meaningful lives.

DISTINCTION AND AWARDS

  • 2017: Strong Voice Champion, BC Workplace Inclusion Awards
  • 2012 – 2015: Service Award of Excellence, Trip Advisor
  • 2010: Business of the Year, West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
  • Over 75 awards for Spa Excellence including 3 international awards

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

260

ACCESSIBILITY INITIATIVES

  • Shifted the internal culture which led to 3% of workforce self-disclosing as having a cognitive diversity.
  • Community Partner for EmploymentWorks Canada – an employment preparedness training program for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD.)
  • Wendy is a Founding Member of the BC Partners in Workforce Innovation Pilot Project.
  • Supportive of work sampling initiatives which require applicants to perform tasks or work activities that mirror the tasks employees perform on the job.
  • Conducted both internal and external diversity and awareness training programs.
  • Provide employment programming, including placement, supports and pre-employment services through the Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN.)

With Wendy’s leadership, in November 2016, the Pacific Autism Family Network’s Goodlife Fitness Family Autism Hub in Richmond, BC opened. This centre is working to build community capacity and collaboration, supporting families and individual’s accessing autism services across BC. PFAN has been focused on providing employment services specialized to the autism community.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR PACIFIC AUTISM FAMILY NETWORK

  • Support over 120 individuals into community employment.
  • Provide pre-employment training to 32 individuals.
  • Deliver autism awereness training to over 60 employers.
  • Partnered with over 100 employment service providers.
  • Created an ASD specific employer tool kit.
  • Developed an ASD specialized Employment Specialist service.
DOWNLOAD PROFILE: PDF (549.53 KB)
The Benefits of Creating Accessible, Inclusive Job Opportunities