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Our Current Board - 2017/2018
PRESIDENT: Cornelis (Cees - "Case") van Oosten
In his application to the NACL Board of Directors in September 2014, Cees noted that “NACL was an important part of my late son, Bart van Oosten. I want to acknowledge that by making myself available to serve on the Board.” His career spanned over 40 years in the forest industry, with the last 18 years as an independent consultant involved in fast-growing hardwood plantations in BC and Washington state. As of July 2015, Cees joined the ranks of the retired. Cees was elected to serve on our Board at NACL's Annual General Meeting on September 25, 2014, and assumed the position of President of the Board in 2015 for a 2-year term. He was re-elected as President for another two years following our AGM on November 16, 2017.
VICE PRESIDENT: M. Lynn Rolko
Lynn is a long-time advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities, families, caregivers, and service providers. She is a Past President of the BC Association for Community Living (now Inclusion BC) and Victoria Association for Community Living (now Community Living Victoria), and has served on several other boards in Victoria and the Lower Mainland, as well as the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL). Through her work with the Provincial Monitoring Group, Lynn has become well-connected with individuals, families, and caregivers throughout the province. She served as a member of the Community Living Transition Steering Committee, which developed the report “A New Vision for Community Living – A Vision of Choice and Change.” She was a board member of the Interim Authority for Community Living BC, and served three years on the first CLBC Board of Directors. Lynn has over 20 years' experience working in financial institutions across BC. She has been married to Oskar for over 40 years. Their daughter, Nicole, who lived with a developmental disability, passed away in September 2003. Lynn and Oskar continue to be inspired by Nicole's courageous spirit. Lynn was elected to NACL's Board of Directors at the meeting of February 23, 2015. NACL appreciates the wealth of experience she brings from the community living sector to our organization.
TREASURER: Paul Best
Paul Best retired in 2008 as the Coordinator of the Community Support Worker (CSW) Program and professor at Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina University-College). He has previously been involved with the BC Association for Community Living (now Inclusion BC), and has played an active role in fundraising with the United Way in Victoria and as the Executive Director of Victoria Association for Community Living (now Community Living Victoria). Paul served on the Board of the Pandora Arts Collective Society from 2008-2010, and currently sits on the Progressive Recovery Group as a volunteer. Both of these organizations are peer support groups in the mental health field. Paul was also a founder of SWAN (Start With Art Nanaimo) in 2006. In January 2004, Paul joined NACL's Board of Directors, completing his term in June 2010. During that time, Paul served as NACL's Vice President from 2005 to 2007, and President from 2007 to 2009. Paul and his wife Barb support and advocate for their adult granddaughter, who attends a day program in Victoria. Paul believes he can contribute during these times of profound change, and his depth of knowledge on Community Living issues make Paul a much-appreciated member. He was re-elected to NACL's Board of Directors as of January 23, 2012.
SECRETARY: Sandra Hamel
Sandra Hamel feels privileged to be on the NACL Board and, in following those prior, wants to continue to advocate for inclusive communities for the individuals served. She hopes her past experience in her government career, particularly in the capacity of public policy for adults with developmental disabilities, will provide value to the organization. Sandra has public, private, and non-profit managerial experience, but also brings her experience as a mother of three young children, one of whom has special needs, to the organization. Sandra believes that being involved today will create a great future for her daughter tomorrow. She has a private wealth management practice in Nanaimo, and holds a Masters in Public Administration. Sandra was elected to NACL’s Board of Directors on November 24, 2015.
DIRECTOR: Julie Stevens
Julie is a mother of four – two of whom have special needs, and one of whom attends NACL's Actions Day Program. Along with her children, Julie also supports her husband who has had two strokes as well. She is also a grandmother of five. Julie strongly believes in helping people see the ability – not the disability – in everyone. She has learned and gained so much by having had the pleasure of being involved in many special people's lives. Julie is experienced as a Community Support Worker, Home Support Worker, Long-Term Care Worker, and in private care. She is the founder and President of the Santa Club, who along with support from the community provides Christmas dinner and gifts through an annual social event for persons with special needs. Julie also owns and operates Maple Lane Café and Catering in Chemainus, which also serves as a therapeutic environment for people with special needs, supporting those who may otherwise find it difficult to integrate into society on their own. She is a Board member of both the Business Improvement Association (BIA) and the Chemainus and District Chamber of Commerce, and is also the President of the Sea to C Lions Club. She also helped the Ontario Red Cross obtain food donations from large corporations to help fill their community food bank. Julie has also taught cooking classes for people with special needs through Nanaimo Parks and Rec, and has done a lot of special event planning. She is also the former owner of two local businesses. While working for Newfoundland to Nanaimo, she was nominated for a Sterling Award for customer service. Julie was also a Sterling Award nominee/finalist in 2015 for Best Customer Service and Food Service Business of the Year. Julie was elected to the NACL Board of Directors at our Annual General Meeting on June 25, 2009.
DIRECTOR: Daniel (Dan) Johnston
Daniel (Dan) Johnston was elected to the NACL Board of Directors at their meeting held on April 27, 2015. Dan's daughter currently attends our Actions Day Program. Along with his wife Trish, Dan is very involved with the COCO Cafe, a social enterprise they co-created with three other families in Cedar with the objective of providing employment and social integration opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities within their community. Dan is a lawyer with over 30 years of experience. While Dan's initial practice focused on corporate/commercial matters, it has evolved over the years. Dan now practices primarily as a mediator, dealing with a wide range of environmental, corporate/commercial, public policy, and labour issues across Canada, with a specialty in large, multi-party conflicts. With Dan's extensive legal background and social enterprise experience, we have been extremely pleased to have him on our Board.
DIRECTOR: Timothy (Tim) Tessier
Tim Tessier is a business professional with excellent communication skills, good judgment, and is a critical thinker. Tim has trained and consulted corporations across Canada. Most recently, Tim was a candidate in the 2015 federal election for Nanaimo/Ladysmith. Tim spoke at NACL’s public forum for candidates, and was sincerely touched by the people, both staff and persons served, who attended the event. Following, he felt a need to get involved with NACL. Tim is currently a licensed realtor, and with his wife Nattalle has three adult children and two grandchildren. Tim’s background includes years of coaching youth sports, and representing community interests. Honoured to join the NACL Board, Tim is passionate about Nanaimo, and is committed to using his experiences to help NACL achieve the goals and objectives for those with different abilities. Tim was elected to NACL’s Board of Directors on September 25, 2016.
DIRECTOR: Sharon Easton
Sharon Easton, a BlueNoser hailing from Nova Scotia, has been an active advocate for persons with learning, developmental, and behavioural disabilities for over forty years. Upon arriving in British Columbia in 2005, she began working for Nanaimo Association for Community Living, and had also taken a contract with the Parksville/Qualicum school board, working with children with learning and developmental disabilities. Sharon’s greatest passion is successfully supporting persons with learning disorders. After her completed contract with the school board, Sharon popped her head into the office of NACL’s Human Resources and said she was “looking for a challenge.” A very short time afterwards, she got her challenge. Sharon became the manager of Hammond Bay Home, while also acting temporary manager at Turner Connection Home and Caspers Way Home on an as-needed basis. She was also an active member of the NACL Management Team, a trainer for Person Centered Thinking – and, so she’s been told, the toughest member of the hiring team. Now well into her retirement, Sharon still loves a challenge. Her time is spent hiking, cycling, kayaking, entertaining, travelling, and her door ‘is always open’ to anyone who needs a hand to hold, an ear to listen, or a few tears to drop. Sharon believes she can contribute to the Board using her experience as a positive, past member of NACL team, to offer an insight to situations from another perspective. She has also been successful leading several fundraisers, her last being ‘The Ride to Conquer Cancer’ and ‘Christmas Shoeboxes’ for women in shelters. Sharon hopes her zest for a healthy lifestyle, entertaining, and organizing functions will also somehow find a home on the Board. Sharon’s was elected to NACL's Board of Directors at our Annual General Meeting on November 16, 2017.