In 1980, two head injury associations emerged, one in the Niagara Peninsula and one in Ottawa. Ray Rempel, in Niagara, and Beverley Mantell, in Ottawa, were parents of children who had sustained brain injuries. These early associations consisted of people with brain injuries, care givers, professionals and friends offering self-help and support. During the early eighties, head injury associations began to develop in London, Toronto, Fort Erie, Durham and other regions of the province. Each of these associations developed volunteer boards to manage their affairs.
During the mid-eighties, Ray and Beverley directed their energies toward the creation of a provincial head injury association because health care, housing and service provision issues related to brain injury were largely provincial matters. Working with others to raise funds and encouraged by many families, care providers, professionals and friends, the Ontario Head Injury Association was founded in 1986. In 1995, application was made to officially change the name of the organization to the Ontario Brain Injury Association.
Ray Rempel served as Executive Director of the organization from 1986 until September of 1993. At that time, Rick Guinan resigned his position as President of the Board and became Executive Director until his resignation in March 1997. Barry Willer assumed the role of Interim Executive Director until August of 1998. At that time, John Kumpf accepted the position after a 38-year teaching career. John continued in the Executive Director position until he retired in 2010. Ruth Wilcock who has been in the social services field for 24 years moved into the role of Executive Director in September of 2010.
For a list of some of OBIA's major achievements throughout the years, please click here.