PHS Management Team & Board of Directors
For more information about the PHS management team or board of directors, please email email@example.com.
Senior Director of Housing
Senior Director of Finance, Social Enterprise and Administration
Director of Programs
(Recruitment in Process)
Director of Human Resources
Dr. Christy Sutherland
Senior Manager of Programs
Senior Manager of Housing
Housing and Housing Support Services (Victoria)
Board of Directors
Glenn McCurdy - Board Chair
Glenn McCurdy is recently retired from the position of CEO of a segment of the Canadian interests of Bouygues Energies and Services Inc., an international provider of strategic, operational and financial leadership, leading in particular its two public – private partnership initiatives within the Vancouver area. His employment experience includes serving as Vice President-Finance of the Jim Pattison Group’s largest division and as the President of The Brick Furniture organization, as well as having been the CEO of a major Canada-wide facilities services provider.
Glenn has provided healthcare consulting services primarily in BC for almost a decade and has also been employed by Vancouver Coastal Health in a senior capacity. He has also served on the Board of the Vancouver Food Bank as well as other not–for–profit organizations. Glenn is a CPA and a CA, and received his law degree from Osgoode Law School.
Maureen Collier - Chair of the Risk, Finance & Audit Committee
CPA, CMA (retired)
Maureen Collier is a retired financial management professional CPA CMA with thirty years’ experience in not for profits, cooperatives and social enterprises both in public practice and in industry. She has served on not for profit boards, including the REACH community health clinic and Modo the car coop. Maureen has worked in the inner city for several years as the Finance Manager for Tides Canada Initiatives Society, as an accountant for the Tradeworks Training Society and as the Finance Manager with BOB – Building Opportunities with Business Inner City Society. Prior to that, she was the Controller for Family Services of Greater Vancouver. She understands the challenges of operating within a government-funded charitable model, while trying to build successful enterprises that achieve multiple objectives.
Jon Chapnick is a labour and human rights lawyer, and works as the Senior Advisor, Workplace Mental Health at the University of British Columbia. Before joining UBC, Jon worked for several years as legal counsel for a large and diverse healthcare union, focusing his law practice on issues related to employees with mental health and substance use disorders. In his role at UBC, Jon advises university administrators on various matters related to workplace mental health and substance use. He also collaborates with addiction physicians, nurses, researchers, and scientists on policy reform and public education initiatives, including current projects with the BC Centre on Substance Use. In all his work, Jon takes an approach that is evidence-based, non-coercive, and non-judgmental. He is particularly mindful of the structural stigma and institutional barriers facing people with mental illness and addiction.
Jon is an expert in disability-related workplace discrimination matters and a frequent speaker at educational and professional conferences. He has strong personal and professional connections to individuals and organizations working in partnership with marginalized people and vulnerable communities in Vancouver. His non-profit governance experience includes director roles with the Together Against Poverty Society and the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre. He also served as chair of the board of trustees of a health benefits trust, which was established in 2015 to provide coverage to over 25,000 employees working for over 100 healthcare employers across British Columbia.
Jon lives in East Vancouver with his partner and two young children.
Dr. Jan Christilaw
Dr. Jan Christilaw has recently retired as the President of BC Women’s Hospital in Vancouver, after having served for an eight-year period. In addition to her extensive experience in the British Columbia health environment, Jan brings broad leadership in British Columbia healthcare issues to the PHS. Jan received her Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from McMaster University, and continued her education at the University of British Columbia, receiving a Masters of Health Science Degree in 2002.
Dr. Christilaw brings a passion for women’s health issues to this position, and has been very generous in providing her time to important health initiatives. She is a willing presenter at health and leadership forums, providing her broad experience in a provincial and national context. Jan is also extremely supportive of grass roots community initiatives and is committed to contributing her time and talents to PHS.
Libby Davies has a long standing relationship, stretching back to the 1970s, with the Downtown Eastside, where she was a community organizer, before becoming an elected member of Vancouver City Council for five terms (1982-1993). She served six terms as the Member of Parliament for Vancouver East (1997-2015), including as Deputy Leader of the NDP from 2007-2015, and House Leader for the NDP from 2003-2011. Her strong advocacy on critical issues affecting the Downtown Eastside and vulnerable populations across the country helped develop her key leadership role in Parliament on drug policy reform, harm reduction, safe consumption sites, sex worker rights and safety, housing and homelessness, healthcare and human rights. Libby maintained a close relationship with her riding and worked with many frontline organizations, including the PHS. She was a tireless advocate for Insite, and for human rights and services for people who use drugs. She is a strong proponent of community based accessible services that respect the dignity and rights of people. She has extensive knowledge and experience with governance, public policy development, and working for transformative change. In 2016, Libby was awarded the Order Of Canada for her longstanding community contributions.
Allen is an experienced Corporate Director, and the effective Chair of several Board governance committees, providing leadership to significant Vancouver community organizations. Previous and current career experience includes significant efforts with the Vancouver Courier to keep Vancouverites informed of issues which affect them in their communities.
Executive Director – Corporate Development, Open Door Group
Alona Puehse graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Business Administration on 2004, following a Diploma of Technology, International Trade and Transportation Logistics in 2001 and is currently completing her MBA.
Alona joined Open Door Group in 2009 after 10 years of working globally in private sector business development. Open Door Group is the largest non-profit employment service provider in British Columbia and has been serving the Downtown Eastside community since 2003. Alona started out working front-line, connecting job seekers living with disabilities to employment opportunities and working with employers to tap into non-traditional talent pools. She became Director of Public Relations and Corporate Development in 2010. In 2013, she became Executive Director – Corporate Development overseeing human resources, stakeholder and employer engagement, communications, public relations, information technology and labour market development services. She is also responsible for all Business Development initiatives including securing new contracts, collaborations with different community partners and the management of Open Door Ventures C.C.C. Ltd., Open Door Group’s subsidiary company and one of the first Community Contribution Companies to be incorporated in British Columbia. Alona also sits on the Employee Action Committee, which has a mandate to increase employment opportunities and outcomes for persons with disabilities and the Disability Supports for Employment Advisory Committee with the Vancouver Foundation.
Nathan Edelson - Chair of Social Enterprise Committee
Nathan Edelson is a Senior Partner with 42 Street Consulting – a company that focuses on planning for inclusive communities. He is also an adjunct professor at the School of Community and Regional Planning where he teaches the Social Learning Studio and is on the Advisory Committee for the Indigenous Planning Program.
He worked for the City of Vancouver Planning Department for 25 years. For much of that time he was the Senior City Planner for the Downtown East Side, where he managed many issues related to housing, social services, health care facilities, community arts, community economic development, food security and public safety – within the context of the Four Pillar Drug Strategy. Here he also chaired the Vancouver Agreement’s Economic Revitalization Task Team and had opportunities to work on many initiatives with senior government and communities, including PHS.
Jeff brings extensive experience as the former City of Vancouver Director of Social Planning, having been responsible during this 11-year tenure for developing and implementing and evaluating Vancouver’s comprehensive program of social development within the City. This position provides to the City Council information, advice and policy recommendations respecting social issues, as well as providing advice and recommendations to Council on the provision of financial support to community organizations. Major areas of focus include neighbourhood initiatives, childcare programs, children, youth and family issues, alcohol and drug and mental health matters, as well as grants programs, including community services, childcare support, and capital grants considerations. Earlier professional experience includes over 20 additional years of employment in Vancouver and the broader British Columbia provincial environment, again focusing on public service oriented initiatives.
In addition to an extensive working knowledge of the pressing Downtown East Side issues, Jeff brings considerable public service involvement in British Columbia provincial, and neighbourhood associations throughout Greater Vancouver, serving on a large number of advisory committees which have helped to guide the development of the City of Vancouver.
Flavio Caron is the son of an Ojibway mother and Italian-Canadian father. He started Flavio Caron consulting in 1997 which provides custom-designed and delivered training, facilitation and consulting services. Over 19 years his business has provided economic and employment development for over 25 Aboriginal First Nations and communities. Additional programs designed have focused on inner-city and youth, new Canadians and transitioning professionals.
Flavio has given back to communities through volunteerism in many capacities. He has served on numerous Boards dedicated to serving the interests of human potential in justice, sports, economics and housing.
Through his work he has partnered with many organizations both government and private – and it is philosophy of interdependence that guides his professional and volunteer activities. Most recently he has acted as the lead consultant for Aboriginal Housing Management Association’s 2015 strategic plan renewal. He understands the key role housing plays in creating stability and assisting individuals to begin, or enhance, their growth. He brings expertise, passion, personal skills and knowledge with Aboriginal issues, social enterprise and mental health.
Dr. Thomas Kerr
Dr. Kerr is Co-Director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, and a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (Division of AIDS). Dr. Kerr has extensive research experience in the areas of health psychology, behavioural science, community-based research, and public health, especially in evaluating programs and treatments designed to address addiction, injection drug use, and HIV/AIDS. Dr. Kerr has a long history of involvement in healthcare issues in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Several years ago, he collaborated with other scientists and community members in an effort to alert policy makers to the health and social emergencies in the neighbourhood. This work involved demonstrating the scientific basis for several public health interventions, including the expansion of Vancouver’s needle exchange program and the initiation of a scientific pilot study of North America’s first medically supervised safer injecting facility.
Yasmine is a highly accomplished business executive, with experience in strategy and operations. Other expertise includes obtaining grant funding and accessing financial resources in the healthcare and related fields. Yasmine has been involved with healthcare issues in Vancouver for many years, with a particular interest in healthcare technology and evidence-based decision making.
Jennifer Vornbrock brings 17 years of public service experience to PHS, with expertise in management of the impact of government policy on lawmakers at all levels. She brings an extensive knowledge of health and social policy issues, including healthcare, housing and homelessness issues, social and economic development, post-secondary education, and issues affecting children, youth and women’s services issues.
Jennifer is currently employed in Victoria with the University of Victoria, providing services to the University at the local, regional, provincial and national level. Jennifer had recently worked for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, as well as for Vancouver Coastal Health in a number of capacities over an eleven-year period, dealing with a broad range of issues in the ever-developing area of providing health services to the residents of the Downtown Eastside. Jennifer is a passionate advocate in the mission of improving the lives of those served by PHS.
Rebecca Schalm, Ph.D.
Management Consultant (Organizational Psychologist) Founder & CEO, Strategic Talen Advisors Inc.
Rebecca Schalm, holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and has assisted organizations for over 20 years in building talent capability to enable organizational strategy. She is the founder of Strategic Talent Advisors and prior to that she was Chief Human Resources Officer of Finning International Inc. Rebecca has held a number of board positions in the not-for-profit sector and currently sits as the Chair of Vantage Point. She is passionate about governance and the leadership role board members can play in contributing to an organization’s ability to fulfil its mission. She brings deep knowledge in human resources, organizational behaviour and leadership and a desire to serve the community in support of our most vulnerable citizens.