Wolfgang Zimmermann

Wolfgang Zimmermann


Executive Difector

National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR)

Following a severe industrial accident in 1977, Wolfgang was retrained and continued to work for his pre-disability employer until his official retirement from that organization in 2010. Wolfgang became involved
in the disability management field starting in the late 1980’s.

Wolfgang is Executive Director of the National Institute of Disability Management and Research
(NIDMAR), an internationally recognized not-for-profit organization committed to reducing the human,
social and economic costs of disability with the primary focus of implementation of workplace-based
reintegration programs, which international research has proven is the most effective way of restoring and
maintaining workers’ abilities while reducing the cost of disability for workers, employers, government,
and insurance carriers.

Wolfgang is also President of the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS), a
statutory, not-for-profit, degree granting education and research institution for the special purpose of
creating and disseminating new knowledge including applied research in the fields of workplace safety,
health promotion, return to work and disability management, comprehensive rehabilitation and disability
leadership studies.

Wolfgang has held a range of diverse appointments bridging the private and public sector disability
management advocacy arenas including the following:

  • Chair of the Premier’s Council for Persons with Disabilities in British Columbia responsible for a redesign of disability policy
  • Vice-Chair of the Employment Equity Board for BC

Participation in a number of task forces;

  • Appeared before Government of Canada Parliamentary and Senate Committees as expert witness
  • Spent six years as one of four public administrators responsible for the BC Workers Compensation
  • Board Member on the Minster’s Council for Employment for Persons with Disabilities for BC
  • Member of the National Advisory Board for Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Was involved in creating Weyerhaeuser’s first-ever global Disability Management Program
  • Chair of the International Advisory Committee for the Centre of National Research on Disability and
    Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia

In recognition for his work on disability prevention and rehabilitation, Wolfgang was awarded the

  • Federal Certificate of Merit, 1988
  • MacMillan Bloedel’s “Employee of the Decade”, 1990
  • Order of British Columbia, 1992
  • Canada 125 National Anniversary Medal, 1993
  • Whipper Watson Award from the Canadian Rehabilitation Council, 1995
  • Governor General’s Appreciation Award, 1995
  • US National “Employee of the Year” Award from Careers and the disAbled Magazine – first non-US
    citizen to receive the award, 2002
  • Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, 2003
  • National “Providing Leadership” award by Rogers Publishing Limited, 2008
  • Citizen of the Year Award, City of Port Alberni, 2010
  • Lieutenant Governor’s BC Community Achievement Award, 2012
  • J. William Lloyd Award, United Steelworkers, 2015
  • Recipient of the “Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture” by the Institute for Work & Health, 2016
  • Selected as Speaker for Memorial Lecture by the Occupational and Environmental Medical