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, 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.
Cairine Green, Vice Chair
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.
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.
Scott Daly, Secretary
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Jill Cater, Director
Jill is both a volunteer and family member at Our Place and grateful for “the hope, sense of belonging and belief they had in her when she didn’t believe in herself”. She believes strongly in giving back, not only the support she received but also the skills she feels fortunate to have acquired. Jill’s work experience involves a number of entrepreneurial initiatives and, more recently, with Our Place’s Peers Helping Peers program and the Society of Living Illicit Drug Users (SOLID). Her volunteerism is extensive, including serving as Secretary/Treasurer of SOLID. She is also the Founding Member of Street College, a partnership between Aids Vancouver Island (AVI) and SOLID, co-developed the entire curriculum and co-taught every class.
Kristina D'Sa, Director
Kristina believes that the work done at Our Place, offering time and care to individuals, is changing Victoria by helping the most vulnerable find community. Kristina has served as a long time volunteer for many not for profits in Victoria including the BC Special Olympics. She works as an accountant for Latitude Geographics.
Brett Hayward, Director
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.
Geoffrey Huggett, Director
Geoffrey is a business and real estate lawyer at the law firm of Hutchison Oss-Cech Marlatt. Geoff’s past community experience includes volunteering with the Justice Education Society of BC, the UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program and the Disabled Sailing Association of BC.
Larry Pedersen, Director
Larry believes strongly in the social justice dimensions of the important work that OPS does on a daily basis. OPS believes in the value of providing its services and programs on the basis of unconditional love and Larry believes this is the right approach for providing ongoing support for family members and meeting their needs.Larry retired from a career in public service in 2010. His last position was Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Lands. He respects the importance of good governance and he has developed many important leadership and organization management skills. He believes in the value of personal accountability and has always been an active volunteer in the communities he has lived in.
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.
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.