Board of Directors

Laura Vajanto

Director at Large

As Chief Risk Officer at the City of Vancouver, I lead a diverse team of risk professionals who integrate risk management practices into the City’s planning, policy development and daily decision-making processes. I am guided by curiosity, empathy and passion to learn. I enjoy nature through various activities such as trail running, hiking, paddle boarding and skiing. The Finnish word “sisu” meaning grit, perseverance and resilience describes me to the core.

Shannon Leisz

PCRS Board President

As vice president at Starbucks, I work to bring a sense of community and belonging into our stores across Canada by connecting over a cup of coffee. My purpose is to live life fully, be meaningful to the world while using my gifts to inspire others to be more than they thought they could be. I believe it’s important for all of us to give back and I couldn’t be more proud to be on the PCRS board. On a personal note, my husband and I love to travel and we’re always thinking about our next adventures. When we aren’t doing that you can find us ballroom dancing or hosting our friends and family at our home with our rescue animals.

Vicki Catterall

Vice President

As a British settler via the Canadian and Australian colonies, I was born and continue to reside as a guest on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish families – Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Tsawassen, Kwantlen, and the surrounding Sto:lo Nations. 

While I held a Chartered Professional Accountant designation, my professional career was split between various roles in finance, global executive program leadership, and executive coaching. Supporting others to take creative actions to be more aware of who they are and make better decisions honouring their core values brings me joy. 

I am passionate about creating space for each of us to be authentically and perfectly ourselves. Recently retired, my wife and I enjoy being amongst the trees, playing in and on the water, sharing stories and meals with friends, and helping our community thrive.

Kara Hill

Director at Large

I am a lawyer with Harper Grey in Vancouver working in the areas of health law and insurance law. I pride myself on bringing elements of practicality, collegiality, and efficiency to my work, and I do my best to bring these into my work with the PCRS board, as well. I enjoy being a mentor to younger women in what can be a challenging industry. I have a young family who I adore, and unrivaled knowledge of the lyrics to all of The Wiggles’ songs.

Wayne Thompson

Treasurer

Wayne is the Vice President and Chief Auditor for Coast Capital Savings. Wayne joined Coast in 2014 after a 15-year career in public practice, working for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young where he held leadership positions in their Risk and Advisory Practice. He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and has worked with many boards over his professional career and through his extensive volunteer work with the not-for-profit sector in British Columbia. Wayne, his wife, and two kids are proud residents of Port Moody.  In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, listening to music, and long walks with his family.

Teri- Ann Bell

Director at Large

Teri-Ann Bell is a First Nations woman from the Carrier Nation in Fort St. James, British Columbia. Teri-Ann holds her Master of Business Administration from the University of Northern British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She is a purpose-driven entrepreneur focusing on Truth & Reconciliation particularly in corporate environments. After working in large management consulting firms in the change management and Indigenous relations space for many years, she has developed a strong ability to bridge the gap between Indigenous views and Western views (also known as the two-eyed seeing approach) by working collaboratively where both perspectives are seen, heard and respected. She believes that this approach is an integral part of successfully working towards Truth & Reconciliation in the workplace.  

Teri-Ann is honoured to be a member of the PCRS Board, and looks forward to giving back to her community. 

Hardy Gill

Director at Large

Hardy is a third-generation real estate developer and Chief Financial Officer for Triumph Pacific Properties Inc. A progressive real estate development, construction, and property management firm that takes pride in providing premium and affordable rental apartment suites within the lower mainland.

I, am honoured to be a member on the PCRS Board and am committed to improve the communities we all call home. I along with my wife and three children are lifelong residents of Abbotsford, BC. My family and I enjoy travelling, skiing, hiking and playing basketball.

Caryna Jiwani

Director at Large

Caryna Jiwani is an associate at Harper Grey working primarily with the Commercial Litigation, Environmental, and Construction Groups. Her varied practice allows her to interact with a broad range of clients, which informs the diverse perspective she brings to each file. Passionate about improving the community in which she lives and works, Caryna has a genuine desire to make a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of others and does so through her involvement with various organizations. She also proudly volunteers her time as a guest blogger and speaker for Life in Law, a resource available across Canada helping to stem the exodus of women from the legal profession by providing them with opportunities to raise issues they face in a confidential environment.

Jayson Johner

Director at Large

Professionally, I am a CPA in the role of senior manager at Deloitte LLP. My role allows me to work with clients in a wide range of industries, including not-for-profits, and to glean best practices from privately held businesses as well as network with a variety of business professionals. I aim to take this experience and apply it where I can improve the community in which I live. 

I am passionate about health and fitness, and I believe good things come from taking care of yourself physically and mentally. When I am not working you can find me spending time with my girlfriend and our 3 pets (2 cats and a dog), hiking in nature, golfing, playing video games or travelling. 

Bettina Sy

Director at Large

I am a contract Business Systems and Process Analyst and Project Manager, helping companies implement new systems and improving their processes. I believe my superpower is really hearing what people are trying to say and helping translate that to others. This comes to play both in and out of work – when translating a user’s needs into a technical solution or helping bring clarity in times of conflict. I am passionate about the education of youth and especially young women in technology.  

Simon Lee

Staff Board of Director

I was born and raised in Vancouver and graduated from SFU with a degree in Criminology. Early on in my life, I developed a passion working with youth, as I was inspired by the role models during my adolescence. Since I was twelve years old, I have been volunteering at elementary schools, community centres, and places of worship where I planned events and engaged with a diverse community. I continued volunteering for non-profits such as UGM and the YWCA, where most noticeably, I had spent time at three different schools, mentoring youth by discussing various topics such as values, empowerment, self-image, and well-being.

I continued working with youth in various circumstances, such as with those in incarceration, and through a restorative justice approach with the North Shore Restorative Justice Society. Here, at PCRS, I am an outreach worker on the IRAYL team. I am at and around the SkyTrain stations in different communities, collaborating with Directions/DTES outreach, Access Youth Services/Tricities, Purpose/New Westminster Youth Hub, Burnaby South Central Youth Centre and more. With the youth we meet in community, we aim to connect individuals to resources in their locality ranging from housing, food, employment, counselling, and addiction management services. Our team also sits on various youth council meetings across the Lower Mainland to discuss the emerging trends and needs of youth.  

Jennifer Lowrey

Staff Board of Director

I have 15 years history working in Mental Health and Substance use with youth, families, and community. This work has been in the public, private and not for profit sectors.  I am a volunteer in Vancouver at non- profit and have also been a director on a board of bed-based treatment centre for the last 8 years.  I have been employed by PCRS for the last 4 years, first as Manager of Surrey Youth Services in Newton and currently as Manger Foundry Surrey.

In all aspects of my work history, I bring a Trauma informed lens. I am excited to be a member of the PCRS board to take a different role in the leadership and bring my experiences as a PCRS Manger to the board. I believe based on my experience and knowledge my lens is valuable and a positive addition to the PCRS board.  I am looking forward to having a voice as the board continues to move the agency forward.

Sarjeet Purewal

Staff Board of Director

Sarjeet is a Family Counsellor for the Immediate Response Program with PCRS for 17+ years, working in programs dedicated to South Asian Families and their vulnerable youth. She established two programs the South Asian Parents Together Program which encourages improved relationships with their youth and Club Utopia, a program specifically focused on South Asian youth.

Sarjeet is involved with Surrey’s Anti-Gang Task Force and the SAFE-Team Family Empowerment Programs to support parents and youth with their possible gang involvement.  Currently was established the South Asian Girls Strengthening Program.  Sarjeet was recognized in the Mehfil Magazine as the Unsung Hero, nominated for the prestigious YWCA Vancouver Women of Distinction Award, and received the BC Community Achievement Award.  Sarjeet has solidified her status as a pillar in her community she inspires with leadership and relationship-building skills. She supports families to strengthen bonds between family members and their vulnerable youth.

Mary Stewart

Staff Board of Director

I am currently the Supervisor of the Broadway Youth Resource Center Resource Room as well as Youth Engagement. I have been an employee of PCRS for 2 years and have valued and developed throughout my time here. I began my PCRS career as a Stop Exploiting Youth Worker and transitioned into a supervisor role in early 2023. Prior to PCRS, I was employed as the Mental Health Case Manager Team Lead with the private telemedicine organization, Dialogue Health Technologies. Throughout my 3 years with Dialogue, I developed my understanding of private and public health care services on a pan-Canadian scale. Additionally, I utilized project management skills and connected with individuals at every level of the mental health care spectrum.

Executive Leadership Team

Steve Atkinson, CPA

Chief Executive Officer

Steve has been with PCRS since 2002 and has worked in a variety of positions at all levels of the organization. Before moving to his current position in 2015, he worked for 10 years in Employment Services. Steve has presented at numerous provincial and national conferences on topics such as employment programming best practices, recruitment strategies, website development and collaboration strategies. Steve is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concordia University College of Alberta.

Flor Chung

Director of Finance

Flor comes to PCRS from the corporate sector with over 20 years of financial management and leadership experience across the private and not-for-profit sectors. Flor is a Chartered Professional Accountant and has held a Director of Finance position in another non-profit organization for several years. Flor is passionate about establishing and evolving strategies, improving systems with the latest advances in technology and advancing staff competencies to optimize service delivery in the Finance Department. She leverages a holistic approach to financial leadership by sharing expertise and collaborating with counterparts from similar organizations to assist non-profits in maximizing services to communities.

Dr. Steven Esau

Director of Operations – Fraser East

Steve joined PCRS in 2011 and has worked over 15 years in the counselling and social sector fields. His passions include program development and design, as well as collaborating and building strong relationships with several communities. With experience and training in recreation-based clinical programming, Steve has had the fortune of developing several nature-based programs as well as working in other countries providing clinical and program design services. His main focus has been researching and implementing innovative strategies in the field of substance use and trauma. Steve has a Doctorate in Behavioural Health as well as Masters in Marriage, Family, and Child Counselling.

Calum Scott

Director of Operations – Employment

Calum joined PCRS in 2019 with over 15 of experience working with vulnerable and at-risk youth.  Calum has held a few different senior leadership positions that included community engagement, marketing, communications, and service provision.  He has experience developing strong community partnerships that address barriers and improve outcomes within complex systemic issues.  He is passionate about creating opportunities for youth to discover their voice, be inspired by their own potential, advocate for their needs, and achieve their goals. Calum holds a degree in Communications from the University of Calgary.

Michelle Shaw

Director of Operations – Fraser South

Michelle started with PCRS in 1999 and has been a long standing and passionate leader in the Surrey community.  Michelle’s expertise in government relations, community partnerships, program development and empowering leadership has supported expansion and the development of innovative services across the Fraser region. Michelle is committed to service excellence and as a CARF surveyor ensures programs are person centred and that the voices of person’s served are included at all levels.  In her spare time, Michelle supports an animal rescue, spends time with her family and dogs and enjoys being in nature.  She holds a BA in History an MA in Leadership from Royal Roads University.

Masami Tomioka

Director of Operations – Vancouver Youth Services

Masami is grateful and honoured to have the opportunity to live and work in the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples. Masami joined PCRS in 2020. She has worked in social services since 2000. Most of that time was spent working with adults and youth in the Downtown Eastside. She believes that services should be accessible and free of barriers and is committed to working toward providing equitable, culturally safe, and relevant services for all youth.

Management Team

Alexis Vargas

MANAGER, EVALUATION & QUALITY IMPROVEMENT & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Annie Burkes

MANAGER, STRATEGIC INITIATIVES

Aydin Smith

MANAGER, NORTH SURREY – GUILDFORD WORKBC CENTRE

Cheryl Jewhurst

CONTROLLER

Diana Bryant

MANAGER, HUMAN RESOURCES

Feidhlim Ó Seasnain

MANAGER, SUBSTANCE USE AND MENTAL HEALTH – FRASER REGION

Jennifer Lowrey

MANAGER, FOUNDRY SURREY

Jodi Higgs

MANAGER, CHILLIWACK HEALTH AND HOUSING CENTRE

Jacquie Robertson

MANAGER, SURREY YOUTH SERVICES – NORTH

Jutta Wykpis

MANAGER, TRAVERSE PROGRAM

Kuljeet Julka

MANAGER, MIDTOWN WORKBC CENTRE

Mary Stewart

MANAGER, BROADWAY YOUTH RESOURCE CENTRE

Paul Chartier

MANAGER, VANCOUVER HOUSING PROGRAMS

Silvana Guglielmetti

MANAGER, PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION PROGRAM

Tomoko Cerf

MANAGER, YOUTH AND COMMUNITY EMPLOYMENT

Tyler Lee

MANAGER, SURREY YOUTH SERVICES – SOUTH

Tracey Fraser

MANAGER, NEW WESTMINSTER FRASER WORKS CO-OP

Vicki Martin

MANAGER, YOUTH HOUSING – THE 1.1.2.

About PCRS

Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) has been providing social services for over 39 years across BC, in education, employment, housing, substance use, mental health, and youth and family support services.

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