Board of Directors

Our Place has a volunteer Board of Directors that is dedicated to the governance and future vision of the organization. The Board’s directors contribute to the society through their passion, dedication, experience and business acumen.

Our Place’s governance board is responsible primarily for:

  • Developing, leading and guiding the organizational vision and strategic priorities;
  • Providing guidance, oversight and evaluation of the organization’s executive director; and,
  • Ensuring organizational compliance with fiscal and legal responsibilities

If you are interested in joining the Board of Directors, please review the Recruitment Process below.

Diana Butler

Diana Butler, Chair 

Diana believes strongly in what Our Place does, providing a place that is respectful, supportive and inclusive – helping to make life better for many. Over the years, Diana has worked with municipal, provincial and federal governments on projects in a variety of public policy areas including housing and homelessness, social and strategic planning, governance, community and regional planning. For eleven years Diana served on Oak Bay Council (six as Mayor) and for six years on the Capital Regional District Board. Diana joined the Board of Directors in 2011. Diana has a B.A. (Honours) from UBC and M.Sc. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Toronto. To contact the Chair - Click Here

Ernie Quantz, Vice Chair

Ernie Quantz is a retired provincial court judge. Together with his wife Ardelle, he started Serenity Garden as a therapeutic garden on the grounds of Seven Oaks in 2011. Ernie has also served on Our Place’s Therapeutic Recovery Community Advisory Board for the past 18 months. He believes the Our Place Therapeutic
Recovery Community will provide a realistic alternative to incarceration and that enhancing the rehabilitative aspect of an offender’s sentence will provide long-term benefits to society and the individual.

Andrea Jakeman Brown, Treasurer

Andrea believes lives can be changed with hope, a sense of belonging, and ongoing caring and support. She is committed to listening, learning, and then educating and sharing her knowledge with those around her on the complex issues of homelessness. Because of her strong belief in the mission and values of Our Place, Andrea was the first Chair of our Advisory Cabinet, a team of business and community leaders who assisted Our Place’s development team, since its inception in 2013.  In addition to her extensive experience in financial services, including Director of Wealth Management Services, Branch manager, and coupled with expertise in HR, team development, and project management, Andrea has served as Financial Services Chair with United Way, Treasurer for the Rotary Club and volunteered with the West Coast Motorcycle Ride to Live.

Brett Hayward, Secretary

Brett “has seen the healing power of love and compassion” firsthand since he began financially supporting and then becoming involved with the Nanaimo Working Group on Homelessness Issues (NWGHI).  As a veterinarian, he has delivered compassionate care of animals and people for 33 years, through practices that he has owned and managed.   His volunteerism has included chairing the NWGHI for two years, being a Director with the Island Crisis Care Society (ICCS) for eight years and personally providing stable housing for 19 – 29 year-olds in a house now run by Island Health.  Having recently moved to Victoria, Brett “sees Our Place as a great organization and facility to be involved with, and to continue his volunteer work with the marginalized and people in need” and also looks forward to assisting with Our Place’s Vets for Pets program.

Susan Haddon

Susan Haddon, Past Chair 

Susan volunteers at Our Place because she believes it's important for us to create a place where the most vulnerable in our community can be nourished, find hope and feel a sense of belonging. Susan has a B.Ed, Adult Education specialization and Business minor from the University of Alberta. Her last position prior to retiring was as Director of College & Community Relations at Camosun College and Executive Director of the Camosun College Foundation from 2000 - 2011.  Susan joined the Board of Directors in 2011, and is also an Executive member of the Canadian Club of Victoria and Founding Director of The Friends of Cedar Hill Park Society.  

Susan Abells

Susan Abells, Director

Susan has been working alongside Victoria’s housed and unhoused social justice advocates since moving to Victoria 10 years ago. A member of the Committee to End Homelessness Victoria, Susan has been listening and learning about the issues and concerns of people who are experiencing homelessness in Victoria. Susan also works with the Microhousing Steering Committee that is developing a new housing option in Victoria, and is a member of the City’s Community Action Plan on Discrimination. Our Place provides life-sustaining services with care and compassion for people living without housing and in poverty. Susan joined the Board to support its efforts to both provide services and engage in important discussions around homelessness, mental health, poverty and inequality. Susan has a Master’s degree in Political Science, and works as a management consultant and policy advisor.

Susan Haddon

Karen Adams, Director

Karen believes in the support and programs Our Place Society offers to those who find themselves in this vulnerable community.  Through other volunteer work in community, as a facilitator and mentor with Restorative Justice Victoria, Karen feels the need to advocate for people on issues of homelessness and addictions and to ensure meaningful support for the OPS community.  Her background for 25 years was in Accountancy in the UK where she was a partner in an accounting firm, before moving to Victoria with her family twelve years ago.  Since coming to Canada she has operated her own business, worked as a Business Account Manager for Scotiabank and five years ago she retrained in Community Support and Special Education at Camosun College.  She presently works for the Greater Victoria School District as an Education Assistant supporting students with learning disabilities.

Lauree Austin

Lauree Austin, Director

Lauree is new to the board at Our Place and looks forward to contributing to a community with such a positive outlook. She is inspired by those who have worked hard to create a space that welcomes those in need and offers such support and hope. She is particularly hopeful to see Our Place undertaking such programs as the Therapeutic Recovery Community. Lauree is confident such a program will benefit those seeking to change from an addiction driven lifestyle.

Neal Berger, Director

Neal Berger is one of the founders of Cedars at Cobble Hill Addiction Treatment Centre. A lecturer and author, Neal has produced films on the subjects of chemical dependency and treatment, and is the president of Chemical Dependency Services, Inc. Neal has over 25 years’ experience in the areas of addiction treatment and employee assistance. He has provided consultation and staff development services for hospitals, treatment facilities, unions, business, industry and municipal organizations and universities. Neal currently continues to provide consultation and training to a wide variety of large and small organizations across Canada and the United States. regarding substance abuse issues and treatment needs.

Bill Cantelon, Director

Bill believes “it would be a privilege to share in the governance of a centre that embodies a socially-engaged spirituality where hope, compassion, acceptance and vision abide in harmony”.  Reverend Cantelon is currently the Minister of Cordova Bay United Church.  He is past Chair of Victoria Presbytery and serves on both the Victoria Downtown Churches Association and Aboriginal Neighbors.  He is an ordained Minister and holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Alberta and a Masters in Divinity from the University of Toronto.

Scott Daly

Scott Daly, Director 

A long-time volunteer with a number of community organizations in both Victoria and his native Ottawa, Scott has been on the OPS Board since 2012 and has served as Secretary since March 2013. Scott volunteers at Our Place because he believes it’s important to bring together the broader community to help alleviate the challenges faced by Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens. Scott has a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Victoria.

Cairine Green

Cairine Green, Director

Cairine has a Master’s degree in Counselling and an extensive background in criminal justice, dispute resolution/family mediation, social policy development, post-secondary education and human resources.  Cairine also served for nine years in local and regional government as a Municipal Councillor in both North Saanich and Oak Bay.  Cairine has strong leadership, community development and public engagement skills and experience, and is an advocate for effective social programs and services.


Linda Ryder, Director

Linda strongly supports Our Place vision and values of unconditional love, a safe and nurturing environment to promote positive change and inclusion of everyone from all cultures and beliefs to share and grow together. Linda volunteers for several organizations working locally and globally to Improve education and healthcare and provide a hand up to those living in poverty. Since 2011 Linda has volunteered in the dining room and nutrition bar serving the Our Place family members.  For the fourth year Linda is coordinating the Angel Gift Program 2016.

Ansley Tucker, Director

Ansley Tucker is the current Rector of Christ Church Cathedral and Dean of Columbia. With over 35 years’ experience as an Anglican parish priest, she has been engaged at every level of governance and management in the not-for- profit sector. While serving a downtown parish in Toronto, she oversaw the creation of what became a full-service program for those living on the streets, including a major renovation of an historic church to accommodate and expand this work. It was in this environment that she first encountered what was there called “Homes First.”

Recruitment Process

The Our Place Society Board of Directors are elected by the members of the society at the Annual General Meeting each September. Nominations are open to any member of the society who is in good standing and whose expression of interest to stand for election has been submitted to the Chair of the Board Recruitment Committee no later than July 31; nominations from the floor will not be accepted.

In their expression of interest, candidates are asked to state why they would like to serve on the Our Place Society Board and accompany their expression of interest with their CV.

Candidates will be interviewed by the Board recruitment committee to determine if their skills and experience match those identified by the Board as needed for the coming year. The Board strives for a diversity of experience and backgrounds and may make recommendations to the membership of which candidates they feel are best positioned to serve the Society to ensure the Board is representative and capable of carrying out the functions of a governance board.