David DeLong (Chair, National Representative)
David is the Director, Human Resources, Base Metals at Teck Resources. Experienced in board governance, policy and strategic planning, he served on the Selkirk College Board of Governors for 6 years as Chair of the Advocacy Committee and Chair of the HR Committee. David has a Master of Science – Safety Management, BA, BPE, and diploma in Strategic Human Resources Management and a certificate in Workplace Mental Health Law. With over 30 years of experience in managing employee assistance and health and wellness programs, David has a strong understanding of aboriginal affairs, addictions, corporate relationships, and mental health in the workplace. David has been on the BC Division Board since September 1, 2015 and has been Chair of the Board since December 1, 2018.
Jacki McPherson (Vice-Chair)
Jacki is from the Okanagan Nation. She has worked in Aboriginal health for approximately 30 years. Jacki currently manages all health programs for the Osoyoos Indian Band, and is part of the Okanagan National Wellness Committee. In her previous role as President of the First National health Directors Association of BC, Jacki was involved with the transfer of health services from Health Canada to the First Nations Health Authority. She has also worked closely with Interior Health Authority in all areas of health.
Errol Olsen (Treasurer)
Errol currently serves as Chief Financial Officer at Traction on Demand, one of North America’s largest salesforce consulting and application development firms. Errol brings more than 25 years of experience managing the finance and operations functions of companies ranging from start-ups to multi-national corporations including Absolute Software, Inetco Systems, Pivotal Corporation and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. Prior to leaving public practice, Errol was a manager in the audit and advisory services group at KPMG LLP, where he worked with a portfolio of private and public companies. Errol holds a CPA, CA designation and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. He brings to CMHA BC a broad experience in finance, strategy development, operations, technology and governance.
Jesse McDonald (Secretary)
Jesse holds a Bachelor of Health Science Degree in Biomedical Studies from UNBC and an advanced diploma in Rural Pre-Medicine from Selkirk College which she pursued after her snowboard career ended due to injury. Her education focused on Rural and Indigenous health and healing and more particularly how teachings from the Indigenous paradigm can be incorporated into the biomedical model for a more inclusive approach to health care. Jesse has worked at the Skookum Jim Friendship Center in Whitehorse and the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society in Kelowna, specializing in Aboriginal supported child development and youth emergency shelter services. She has experience in youth facilitation around mental health and healing with Northern Indigenous youth and has hosted circles at the Jackson Lake Healing Camp in the Yukon Territory. She has spent time in Rural South Africa as a Project Assistant with the Sinovuyo Teens Project, which aims to develop an evidence-based parenting and teen program for youth and their families who are affected by HIV/AIDS. Jesse currently works for the Interior Health Authority as the Coordinator of the Aboriginal Health Program.
Omar is a Pharmacist-Owner of three Shoppers Drug Mart franchises. He has been recognized by his peers at Shoppers Drug Mart as being a pharmacy and business leader and he was elected as the BC Peers Chair for Shoppers Drug Mart where he serves as Chair of the Board for all elected Pharmacist-Owner Representatives in BC and also serves as one of seven Pharmacist-Owners on the National Pharmacist-Owner Board representing over 1,100 Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacist-Owners in Canada. Omar was awarded the prestigious British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) Pharmacy Leadership Award and has also been awarded several other national and regional pharmacy awards. As a pharmacy student at UBC, Omar’s internship focused on the treatment of mental health patients.
After a 30-year career as an executive in the newspaper industry, Jane followed her passion and studied interior design, recently opening her own firm. Interior design isn’t about making things “pretty” but about solving real problems which in turn can improve mental wellness, especially by introducing natural materials, textures and colours, known as Biophilic Design. Jane has a personal connection to improving mental health as her youngest son suffers from depression. When she saw that there was a gap in the system for 18-19 year-olds as they aged out of children’s services yet didn’t qualify for adult services, Jane joined the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Fraser Branch of the CMHA to see how she could make a difference in the lives of young people and now sits on the provincial board. Jane brings to the board her business acumen and skills in leadership and communication. She moved to Courtenay two years ago and is very much enjoying Island living.
Kelli is a lawyer and resident of Vancouver. As a former Legal Counsel with Justice Canada for over a decade, she practiced in the areas of Indian Residential Schools ("IRS") and Indigenous rights and title claims. Prior to that, she was a Social Worker, including employment at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, and After-Hours Emergency Mental Health Services. Kelli has skills in law, government relations, human resources/hiring, treating people with mental health/addiction issues, and working as a team member and manager. As a previous Director of the Vancouver Writers Fest for five years, and as a current Director of Mago Foundation, she has experience with board governance and fundraising. Kelli lost a brother to suicide.
John spent 23 years working for BC Ambulance Service and the Justice Institute of BC as a Paramedic and Paramedic Facilitator. His political career spanned 6 years as a City Councillor and Mayor. John have sat on numerous boards, including the local CMHA from which he stepped down in 2019. John also spent some time as a consultant for two First Nations in the field of education and economic opportunities. For the past six years John have been engaged with a local non-profit to work with housing, mental health and addictions, particularly focusing over the last three years on the Opioid Crisis.
Canon is a business owner and a former finance executive with a CPA, CA and a Bachelor of Commerce from University of British Columbia. He has over 25 years of business, financial, and operational experience in consulting firms, public and private companies, and non-profits. He is the President of Bella Turf and Shift Supplies. Canon has been on the Board of Directors of Canadian Liver Foundation, BC Division including two years as Treasurer. Canon was also on the Board of Canadian Diabetes Association, BC Yukon Division as the VP Finance, a Finance Committee Member at Vancouver Lawn Tennis Club, and a mentor with the Sauder School of Business.
Martin has been a BC resident for 28 years. He is also a dad and therapy dog handler. He has lived personal experience of severe anxiety, supporting a child through suicide attempts, depression, borderline personality disorder, and mental health systems. Martin is a principles-driven leader with over 20 years of experience within complex health, research, and education organizations. He has been a student well-being director at SFU for the past 11 years with four teams and approximately 50 staff. Martin loves building relationships, innovation, and fostering settings of caring. He is passionate about servant-leadership, fostering caring and kindness, and human-centered design. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CMA), MSc. and BSc. with board experience on the SFU Board of Governors, Fairtrade Canada, and the Burnaby Hospice Society.
Sophia is a registered nurse and she is a graduate from the UBC Master of Health Administration program. Sophia is working in Quebec as a chief of service for mental health external clinics and the day hospital. She previously worked for Vancouver Costal Health Early Psychosis Prevention program. Her practice experience includes mental health programs in hospital departments and outpatient clinics. In Quebec, Sophia helped create training for health professionals, health workers and managers to understand and eliminate mental health stigma
Raegan is based in Langley BC and works with TELUS Health as a Senior Program Manager leading operational improvement initiatives. He has 15 years of cross industry and international experience in strategic planning and business analysis and holds an MBA and Telecommunications Engineering degree. His passion for community wellness and mental health and experience in IT sector motivated him to develop a mental health app. Through this experience he learnt more about the mission and community work of the organization and felt encouraged to serve on the board.
Navi is a physician who works in rural communities, emergency departments and with aboriginal peoples. He is the older brother to a victim of suicide. His younger brother died by suicide 9 years ago. Navi has helped start youth mentorship groups, organized youth gang violence forums and has volunteered at numerous organizations including Big Brothers. Additionally, he has worked within the government. He is experienced in the areas of academic research, clinical research and addiction medicine. Navi’s professional and personal goals are to bring awareness to mental health and suicide.