Staff, Board and Knowledge Philanthropists
Our Staff and Contractors
Christabelle Kux-Kardos, Program Manager
Christabelle comes to the Sunshine Coast from Northern BC. She is an advocate for welcoming, inclusive and accessible communities, with a passion for community development and plain language.
Christabelle has served as an elected Municipal Councillor and School Trustee. She is also a trained facilitator/instructor of Workplace Essential Skills, “Money Skills” – Financial Literacy Program, Restorative Justice and the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise Family Council Meetings.
As Program Manager she oversees and supports all of the programs, projects and services offered at the Resource Centre and works closely with the Board of Directors to ensure we stay current on community needs. She provides on the ground information & referral, support and skill development to individuals, agencies and organizations along the Sunshine Coast.
Cheryl McNicol, Project Manager: Connecting Self-Employed Women for Success
As Project Manager for the Connecting Self-Employed Women for Success Project, Cheryl is responsible for connecting with key stakeholders, establishing and staffing an Advisory/Leadership Team, and collecting and gathering data on the current situation for self-employed women as well as women and girls who have the desire to explore self-employment.
As an entrepreneur herself, Cheryl provides small business training and coaching to aspiring entrepreneurs and experienced business owners. Her business is the provider of the Self-Employment Training Programs offered at the Open Door Group Work BC Employment Centres on the Sunshine Coast.
Cheryl has a proven track record of success in business development, operations management, risk management, financial management, training and facilitation in a number of industries across Canada and the U.S. Since 2004, she has coached, trained and mentored more than 500 entrepreneurs through the business planning and launch phase of their business. Creating business plans and financial plans that are viable, captivating and financially sound is one of her strengths. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree and a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Diploma. Cheryl is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and newcomers to Canada.
Like many people who now call the Sunshine Coast home, Cheryl and her husband Ted came here for one weekend in the summer of 2009, fell in love with the beauty, lifestyle options, the people they met, and decided right then that they had to move here. Within six weeks they sold their condo in Vancouver, packed up their belongings and moved to Gibsons.
Volunteering and getting involved in the local business community is very important to Cheryl. She joined the Gibsons Chamber of Commerce as a board member in October 2014 and now chairs the Membership Committee. Cheryl was a volunteer with the Community Resource Centre Progress Plan for Women and is known as their small business “knowledge philanthropist.” She is part of the team that launched the Self-Employed Women’s Network (SEWN) on the Sunshine Coast and is the first President of the Board of Directors of SEWN.
Donna McMahon, Project Coordinator: Connecting Self-Employed Women for Success
Donna McMahon is a Gibsons-based Communicator and Organizer who juggles employment, self employment, and a large volunteer portfolio.
With a background in freelance journalism and public relations, she has written just about everything from magazine articles to plain language legal materials, from websites to novels. As a manager, she’s taken many projects from conception to completion and she’s proficient in all the hands-on aspects of administration. For the last six years she has been a writer and financial modeller for Business Plans Canada, a company which produces hundreds of business plans for entrepreneurs across Canada and internationally. From 2012 to 2015 she was Executive Director of the Gibsons & District Chamber of Commerce. She is also a board member of the Self Employed Women’s Network (SEWN).
Donna sits on the Loans Committee of Community Futures, is a board member of the Coast Community Investment Cooperative, and served eight years on the Gibsons & District Public Library board, including two as Chair. She has sat on local government committees, including the Town of Gibsons Economic Development Select Committee and the SCRD Recycling Review Committee. She is also a keen cyclist and hiker, and belongs to TraC (Transportation Choices Sunshine Coast) and the Sunshine Coast Trails Society.
Maryanne Brabander, Seniors Information & Outreach Navigator
Maryanne Brabander moved to the Sunshine Coast from Tsawwassen, BC with her son and therapy dog, Lucy. She has worked with Seniors for over 15 years as a Recreation Therapist, Horticultural Therapist and community volunteer. She is passionate about Seniors having access to programs and services needed to enrich their lives, maximize their abilities and maintain their social connections.
Her passion has extended to starting her own business called Care For A Lift Services; providing care, companion and accessible vehicle services here on the Sunshine Coast. Through her caring natural and professional and personal experience working with older adults and their families, Maryanne benefits those who have the opportunity to work with her.
Alick Troup, Coordinator: Legal Information Program
Alick has lived on the Coast for over 26 years working as a social worker and team leader, raising 4 sons and volunteering in the community in many different capacities.
Recently retired, Alick has joined our team for this part time position. His experience and knowledge of the legal system throughout his career are helpful when providing assistance to those needing help navigating the legal system, finding useful legal information and/or referral to appropriate legal services and other community supports.
Wendy Pearson, Regional Calendar Network Coordinator
Wendy is all about community connections! After living in Halfmoon Bay and being an avid community volunteer, she is looking forward to connecting community on a coast wide scale! She not only is working on the Regional Calendar Project but is currently the Halfmoon Bay Community School Coordinator as well as the Halfmoon Bay Information and Referral Coordinator.
Wendy grew up spending all her summers and holidays on the coast before finally moving her young family permanently to Halfmoon Bay in 2007 where they love the outdoors and the amazing community that surrounded them! Shortly after settling on the coast, she became involved with the Official Community Plan Committee for Area B Halfmoon Bay, which was adopted in April 2014 and then sat on the Advisory Planning Commission for 3 years. She has sat on many non-profit boards and is currently a director for the Halfmoon Bay Community Association.
Connie Hill, Bookkeeper
Connie Hill is a bookkeeping expert with more than 40 years of successful experience in full-cycle bookkeeping. She has an extensive knowledge of accounting practices and procedures, as well as a substantial knowledge of a variety of computer applications, including Sage Simply Accounting, PCLaw, DropBox, Sync, Adobe Acrobat and Excel. She constantly strives to be on the cutting edge of the most technologically advanced methods for providing bookkeeping services. Connie offers clients exceptional professional service as well as absolute discretion and confidentiality. She has embraced the core values of integrity, innovation and professionalism and is dedicated to providing her clients with a service and excellence that is second to none.
Connie’s role with the Community Resources Centre is to provide full-cycle bookkeeping services to the Society. Connie lives in the heart of Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. She has one daughter and a cat, both of whom she loves dearly.
Alison Taylor, Web Development Support
Alison Taylor worked as a software developer for a variety of high-tech organizations in Vancouver before she and her husband fell in love with the Sunshine Coast and moved here. She started up her own web design firm and eventually he joined her in the business. Together they support a number of non-profits and small businesses with both online and print marketing.
Alison brings an unusual combination of a degree in Physics and Computing Science and a degree in Visual Art to her work as web designer and developer. She loves visual design and choosing colours, fonts and stock photographs. And if no one sells the feature a client needs, she can code it herself. But one of her favourite things about her job is helping clients identify their core message and the people they want to reach, and supporting them in the process of making that connection.
Alison is delighted to be able to assist the Resource Centre as they provide their valuable service to the community. When not in front of the computer, Alison enjoys painting in her studio, recreational dancing and gardening.
Our Board 2017-2018
Anne Titcomb, Co-Chair
Together with Pat, Anne is Co-chair of the Board. She was a member of the Progress Plan management team and also provided human resources guidance and support to all Resource Centre staff. She is the liaison with Community Services with regard to the Memorandum of Understanding and the services it concerns. Anne and Sue Elliot are the Resource Centre co-representatives on the Seniors Planning Table.
Anne Titcomb has been a board Member with the Sunshine Coast Community Resource Centre since 2006. Anne was drawn to volunteering for the Resource Centre by a strong interest in the initiatives and robust programs in place designed to support the community as a whole by supporting one person at a time.
Working with the Resource Centre is a departure from Anne’s previous volunteer experience which had mostly focused on advocacy for parks and recreation. With an emphasis locally, provincially and nationally, Anne spent nine years serving on the board of the BC Parks and Recreation Association, and is a Past-President, which engaged her in plenty of healthy conversations and hard work. She also was on the board of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association representing BC and the Yukon. Both provincial and national organizations had a strong mission to “build healthy communities”.
Anne is a passionate believer in community development. Anne chaired the Parks Master Plan 2004 process and the Recreation and Parks Master Plan for 2014 process for the Sunshine Coast Regional District. She chaired the Recreation and Parks Services Advisory Committee for many years until the SCRD dissolved most Advisory Committees. She has been on the Grants Committee for the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation since its inception and has served six years on that board.
Anne has lived on the Sunshine Coast year round since 2003 but, like numerous others, spent many summer vacations on the Coast before then. Born and raised in West Vancouver, Anne has lived her entire life in BC. Due to the friendly way of life, Anne knew she wanted to eventually settle here on the Coast, in the home on Soames she has owned since 1980. Anne continues to be drawn to the spectacular views and the welcoming people who live here; she knows that here on the Coast neighbours really are neighbours and the community is an involved and caring community.
After more than 20 rewarding years as a Legal Assistant, Anne keeps busy with four fabulous grandchildren and their wonderful parents. Active with a book club, a walking group and an eventful Bridge group, Anne also finds time to travel, with marvelous trips to Kenya, Italy and the Bahamas.
Jane Gladman, Co-Chair
Jane and her husband moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2013 after being drawn to the beauty of the coastline, mountain vistas, beaches and trails during several previous boat visits.
Jane became involved with the Resource Centre Board after volunteering as a knowledge philanthropist in 2016. She is passionate about strategic planning, policy development, accreditation processes and quality assurance.
Jane has been a social worker for over thirty years working in government and non-profit organizations in various capacities from frontline worker to director. She spent a number of years as an accreditation surveyor, volunteering to survey organizations in Canada and USA, reviewing and applying best practice and international standards to organizations providing community and social services.
She looks forward to learning more about the great work being done by the Resource Centre and continuing to share her skills and knowledge.
Hilary Estergaard, Treasurer
Hilary holds the position of Treasurer of the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre Society. Together with Sue, Hilary is involved in communications and marketing, including the current review of promotional materials and website upgrade and redesign.
Hilary Estergaard is a parent, grandparent and a world-traveler with a long history of giving back to her community!
Hilary got her first taste of community service working with the Downtown Eastside Housing Association with Libby Davies. Since moving to the Sunshine Coast, she spent 12 years on the board of Sunshine Coast Community Services, including two years as Chair. Hilary also volunteered on the PAC and District PAC, chairing that as well, while both her sons attended school.
In 1985 Hilary became a co-owner of Elite Travel in Gibsons where she has been able to follow her passion for travel and visit fantastic places across most of the globe. She has also been able to send hundreds of people on spectacular trips around the world!
Originally from the UK, Hilary learned her love for travel at an early age while moving around with her military father. She moved to Canada after meeting her now-husband in Spain in 1972. He lost his travelers cheques, she refunded them and he brought her home to Canada. Married in 1973, the couple built a home in Sandy Hook and moved here full time in 1978.
Hilary loves to read, go to Rolling Stones concerts, walk, ski, swim and, most certainly, travel to the very few places that she hasn’t been.
Hilary Griffiths, Secretary
Originally from Pembrokeshire Wales, Hilary and her husband emigrated with their two young children to Canada in 1978. She lived and worked in Fort Mc Murray Alberta for 25 years as an Owner/Director of a Child Care Center. She volunteered as a Board member for Fort McMurray Family Social Services for 8 years, and served on the Keyano College Early Childhood Development Advisory Board for 20 years. During her time in Fort McMurray Hilary was heavily involved with supporting children and families, training students, parents and adults in Early Childhood Education on campus at Keyano College and through distance learning with two other Alberta Colleges.
Hilary moved to Gibson’s in 2003 when her husband retired. In 2004 she started working for Sunshine Coast Community Services Society. The positions she held during her 8 years with the organization included the Parent and Tot Program, Director of Early Childhood Services, and as Coordinator of the Sunshine Coast Child and Referral Program, (CCRR). Through her roll as the Coordinator of CC , she provided further training through workshops and the annual CCRR child care conference.
Since retirement in 2012, Hilary coordinated the Progress Plan Child Care Action Team that brought community agencies together to find a solution for parents who are finding it hard to obtain non-traditional and infant and toddler child care on the Sunshine Coast. She is still involved with this work by volunteering at the Sunshine Coast Early Learning Council. Supporting children and families is of the utmost importance to Hilary and has been a focus of her career for the past 35 years.
Hilary likes to travel, especially to Alberta to spend time with her precious 4 year old grandchild and her two sons and their families. She likes to golf, quilt, read and garden.
Pat Hunt, Director
Together with Anne, Pat is Co-Chair of the board. She partnered with Anne on the management team of the Progress Plan Project from 2012-2015, providing Operational and Human Resources guidance and support to the project. Pat’s focus is grant writing for the organization, a task often shared with Marj McDougall.
Pat Hunt is excited every day about the work accomplished by the Resource Centre. Being part of a committed and passionate staff and volunteer team delivering information and referral services in many forms to individuals and groups is never dull. She believes that working with the Resource Centre board and strong partners and funders is key to giving quality service to the community.
Pat joined the Resource Centre board in August 2011. Her personal goal is to help build capacity, influence positive change, and to strengthen the lives of the people who live here by finding funding and making the connections necessary to take action.
After spending 43 years living, working, raising three children and volunteering in Ottawa, Pat and her husband picked up stakes and moved to Sechelt in 2006 to be closer to family. Although very different from living in a big city, this community has so many benefits and has been welcoming from the very beginning. Pat loved her 35 years working in recreation and sport both at the municipal and national levels.
She is an avid golfer, curler, reader, cook, friend and traveller. Pat’s three beautiful children have also led to six wonderful grandchildren and being an active part of their lives is one of her greatest joys.
Sue Elliott, Director
Sue’s board activities include, together with Hilary, a focus on communications and marketing. This includes the current review of promotional materials and website upgrade and redesign. Sue provides monitoring of the Strategic Plan and team facilitation. Sue and Anne are the Resource Centre co-representatives on the Seniors Planning Table and Sue also chairs the communications and marketing action subcommittee for the Seniors Planning Table.
Sue Elliot’s resume of both paid work and volunteer contributions is quite remarkable. Sue, a board member with the Resource Centre since 2012, has an extensive history in education, psychology, staff development and leadership, which she is fortunately willing to share with the Sunshine Coast community.
As a lifelong, part time resident of the Sunshine Coast, Sue is well aware of the vast and varied needs of the people who live here. It is her honour to work on the board, moving the Community Resource Centre forward with the three flagship goals of Sustainability, Information and Referral, and Volunteerism. Sue relishes the constantly evolving nature of the organization; she knows that what offers the greatest impact is being responsive to the ever changing needs of the community that the Resource Centre serves.
In 2011, Sue retired from her lengthy and rewarding career with the West Vancouver School District and became a fulltime resident of the Sunshine Coast. Sue had several different roles with the school district; Learning Assistance Teacher, School Counsellor, Co-Chair of the District’s Professional Development Committee, and Coordinator of an induction and mentorship program for beginning and returning teachers.
Sue also has an extensive variety of volunteer experience. She has served three times as President of Learning Forward BC (formerly the BC Affiliate of the National Staff Development Council), as well as three years on the International Board of Learning Forward. Sue has been on the boards of the West Vancouver Family and Youth Justice Committee and the Seaview Addictions Agency. She also sat on the Executive Committee of the BC School Counsellors’ Association, serving two terms as president. Sue has participated in numerous projects and committees, and has facilitated numerous workshops on a variety of topics. She is also involved in a program that allows her the opportunity to teach English to girls in Tanzania.
When not volunteering or working, Sue can be found travelling, gardening, kayaking, cooking, enjoying wine, and gathering people around her table to engage in good conversation.
Philip Fogarty, Director
We are especially pleased to welcome Philip, a Sunshine Coast local, as our youngest director ever. He is seventeen years old and will graduate from Elphinstone Secondary in 2018. Philip believes in a connected, inviting, innovative, and accessible community. He brings experience of coaching and refereeing youth basketball, organizing fundraising events for his grad class, working with the rotary/interact club and more. He was our summer student in 2017 and he was such as success that we invited him to stay!
Sue Perry, Director
Sue Perry has lived on the Sunshine Coast for more than 40 years. She is currently a counsellor at Sunshine Coast Mental Health and Addictions and the clinical lead of a 4 bed recovery house. Additionally she has a private counselling business.
Prior to this, she worked for the Sechelt Nation in their education and employment services and was a facilitator at Capilano University.
When not working, Sue enjoys travelling, cooking, learning and spending time with family.
Cayce Laviolette, Director
Cayce is a social worker who has worked in community and hospital settings on the Sunshine Coast and in Vancouver for over 10 years. He is a passionate advocate for seniors and vulnerable members of our society.
He lives in Gibsons with his daughter and menagerie of pets.
Caroline Farley, Money Skills
Caroline moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2006 with her partner and two boys after having vacationed here many times. She has a strong background in Recreation specializing in Community Development. Caroline worked for many years in municipal and regional recreation departments, mostly in Alberta, before moving to British Columbia in 1995. She met her partner Fiona in 1998 and they were married in August of 2003, in the first month after same sex marriage became legal in BC. She loves the Sunshine Coast and the beauty of our community. Caroline is the Human Resources/Training Senior Advisor at the Sunshine Coast Credit Union.
Caroline has been involved in developing and facilitating many recreation, sport and self development programs. Having been first introduced to the work of the Resource Centre through the delivery of the Money Skills program, she has facilitated sessions at the Gibsons Public Library, at three of the local high schools (Chatelech, Elphinstone and the Sunshine Coast Alternative School) as well as specialized group offerings and Train the trainer sessions
With a strong passion for community development and empowerment, Caroline is very excited to participate in the amazing work being done through the Resource Centre society.
Sherryl Latimer, Casual Information & Referral Assistant
Sherryl believes in the Rotary International motto “Service above self”. During the last 30 years, working as a project coordinator and event planner, Sherryl has conscientiously been working to help build a better community, wherever she lives.
The Community Resource Centre is the perfect fit for continuing her work in serving people in our community.
Alison Leaney, Seniors Planning Table
Alison is the coordinator of the Sunshine Coast Seniors Planning Table. She comments that “aging into later years is no longer theoretical…..I’m experiencing it” Alison is a commuter aspiring to live more than part time here on the Coast.
She is a Registered Social Worker and the Provincial Coordinator, Vulnerable Adults Community Response in Services to Adults at the Public Guardian and Trustee of BC where she has spent 20 years (except for a two year leave to work on the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly’s Elder Abuse Knowledge to Action Project) in implementation of BC’s adult guardianship legislation (including abuse/neglect law). Alison is also a National Trainer for the It’s Not Right – Neighbours Friends and Families initiative – a bystander campaign being rolled out across Canada to help neighbours, friends and family members know how to respond when they are concerned that an older adult may be experiencing abuse.
She is a former chair of the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and former Executive Director of the BC Association of Community Response Networks. Her practice as a front line social worker has been in the medical, corrections, domestic violence, hospice, bereavement support and pastoral care fields.
Alison was recently awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work to create a coordinated response to adult abuse and neglect in BC and Canada and was a finalist for the Premier’s Legacy Award for the same work in 2010.
Sandy McBride: Seniors Planning Table, Money Skills, Connecting Self Employed Women for Success
Sandy recently resigned as a Board member but continues to share her skills as a Knowledge Philanthropist on a variety of Resource Centre initiatives. As its longest serving member, she is one of the historians of the Resource Centre. Her public speaking skills make her the go-to person for public presentations.
Sandy McBride has been connected with the Resource Centre since prior to its formal inception when a needs assessment uncovered that the Sunshine Coast was in fact, in need of a Women’s Centre. Sandy was involved with establishing the Women’s Centre in 1992 and when its mandate changed in 2004 to serve the entire community – the Community Resource Centre. She has been active as a board member and volunteer off and on throughout that time.
In 1976, Sandy, who was working as a Recreational Therapist in Ontario, went skiing in Rossland, BC. It was there that she met her now-husband, Terry. Not long after, the couple moved to the Sunshine Coast, where Terry’s family has a summer house. Shortly after, their two boys were born, and in 1986 they moved to property in Robert’s Creek, where they live today. She and Terry became first time grandparents in the spring of 2015.
Sandy worked for 12 years with special needs children and then assumed the role of Executive Director of the Rockwood Centre in Sechelt. She and Terry were actively involved with their sons’ education in French Immersion and in working for the enhancement of recreation programs and facilities on the Coast. She is a founding member of the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation.
Sandy has been in Financial Services since 1995 and obtained the coveted Certified Planner Designation in 1998. Mostly self-employed as an Advisor through those many years, Sandy now works with the Sunshine Coast Credit Union at SunCU Financial Services.
Growing up in Ontario, Sandy learned to play bridge with her family. Since moving to the coast, she has taught others to play and still loves the social contact and intellectual challenge that bridge provides. She loves to travel the world and to “hit the slopes” with her family.
Marj McDougall has been an integral part of the CRC since 1996. Marj’s background in administration and bookkeeping coupled with her natural bent for numbers, lent itself well to her role as Treasurer until 2013.
Initially, Marj was drawn to the community connections the CRC was building upon and to this day, the caring, connected community is the very same reason she stays on the Board. The personal connections that she has made with the other Board Members during her tenure have also kept her an energized and interested contributor.
Marj’s other volunteer work includes being part of Habitat for Humanity’s recycling team and facilitation of a monthly brain injury peer support group in honour of her late husband. She is also drawn to anything “green” and is a strong supporter of the David Suzuki Foundation as well as other environmental interests.
A resident for 25 years, Marj has recently discovered more of what the Sunshine Coast has to offer in terms of access to hiking, biking and walking trails. When not at the recreation centre partaking in aquafit or aerobics, you may find her enjoying Tai Chi or Zen meditation.
Alison Sawyer, Lawyer: Pro Bono Legal Clinic
Alison Sawyer was called to the bar in Ontario in 1977 and in BC in 1982. She was the Director of Training for the Legal Services Society from 1982 to 1986, and a staff lawyer for the Vancouver intake office of the Legal Services Society from 1987 to 1991. From 1991 to 1999, she ran a private practice specializing in family law and immigration issues.
Alison has had considerable experience in public legal education. She is the author of Divorce Guide for Canada, and If You Love Me, Put it in Writing, both published by Self-Counsel Press. She has also completed a Wills manual for the Department of Indian affairs in 2008.
Alison came to the Sunshine Coast in 2004, volunteered with the Women’s Centre for about a year and a half and then opened her own law practice in Gibson’s in the fall of 2006. Her private practice is not specialized except that she believes in providing low-cost service on provincial court matters which include family, criminal and small claims cases. She also does uncontested divorces, wrongful dismissal wills, estates, and helps people with incapacity and disability issues. She has been providing free legal advice through the pro bon clinic since 2006.
In 2012, Alison won the prestigious Dougal Christie Award, presented annually by the Law Society of BC to a lawyer who provides outstanding pro bono (free) services to the community. (Read Coast Reporter Article)
Thanks to our other Knowledge Philanthropists: Lucie McKiernan for her support in policy and procedures, Ron Pyatt and Jim Brown for photography, and Christina Stewart for some board bios.