Meet the team
When you walk a mile in a family caregiver’s shoes, you gain valuable insight.
Team members at Family Caregivers of BC bring diverse backgrounds and skills, as well as a passion for helping others and making a difference. Everyone here has caregiving or health care experience, and according to our bylaws at least 60% of our board members have to have been caregivers.
If you'd like to get in touch with one of us, please contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
Clay Barber, Chair
Clay Barber has been a health executive for the past 14 years and brings 25 years of broad management experience. Clay has been recognized as a builder within small and large health organizations. Between 2003 and 2006 he led the transformation of a small $1M health authority portfolio with 5 staff to a $100M network of portfolios with more than 30 staff. In 2009 Clay began work on a provincial collaboration with $25k in annual funding and led the growth to over $21M, launching over 200 projects across 35 sites in BC. Clay’s broad leadership experience ranges from executive leadership and portfolio development to transformational change management. With a background in health leadership, strategic information and enterprise-wide quality improvement and risk management, Clay combines direct health executive experience with consultancy in areas such as strategy, organization development and alignment, medical administration, program and portfolio development, transformation and evaluation, and policy and program analysis. Clay has worked for national, provincial and regional health care organizations from both a private and public perspective and has built and managed large teams in excess of 40 individuals and budgets in excess of $100M. Clay has demonstrated skills in facilitating multi-stakeholder groups with clinical, executive and public members in a collaborative, results oriented approach.
Alison Wake, Vice Chair
Alison Wake works in dispute resolution and has a background as an estate and incapacity planning lawyer. With two grandparents in their late nineties, Alison understands the unpredictable and challenging nature of caring for a loved one. Alison is very pleased to be part of Family Caregivers of British Columbia as she recognizes the profound importance of providing support and resources to the growing number of family caregivers across the province.
Janine Hunka, Treasurer
Janine is the Lifeline Community representative for Philips Lifeline. She first started as a volunteer with Lifeline over 14 years ago after she found her mom in the bathroom unable to get up due to a stroke.
Janine is now responsible for ongoing contact with all health care professionals, community organizations and non-profit groups in the Gulf Islands, Greater Victoria area and Ladysmith to ensure they are kept up-to-date on the many features and benefits available to older adults and “at-risk” individuals who want to live safer and more independent in their own homes. She has spoken to over 7,000 seniors and caregivers over the last 7 years about Lifeline, fall prevention, and how you can live safer in your own home. It has been a dream come true for Janine to live and work on Vancouver Island. She currently resides in Colwood and she recently became an avid motorcycle rider and an active mentor at the 1Up Single Family Resource Centre in Victoria. She’s been a board member since 2013.
Barbra Hopkins, Past Chair
Barbra Hopkins was born and raised in Victoria and is a true member of the “sandwich generation” helping to care for both grandchildren and aging parents. She is very aware of the challenges caregivers have covering all the bases. Barbra is an independent Financial Advisor and holds the designations of Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA) and Certified Health Specialist (CHS). She also has a certificate in Grief and Loss Counselling. Barbra is licensed through the Insurance Council of British Columbia and the Mutual Fund Dealer’s Association and specializes in being a holistic financial advisor.
She comes across many stories of people who end up in a caregiving role either by choice or circumstance, most of whom are totally unprepared and many times overwhelmed with the role. Her role as their financial advisor is to help them with the financial aspects, but many times she adds the most value for them by just listening and connecting them with people and services that can help them. Board member since 2013, and continuing as Past Chair.
With 20 years’ experience in the BC provincial government, Nichola has led large-scale organizations and associated programs. Prior to entering management consulting, she was the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) responsible for Employment at the BC Ministry of Social Development & Social Innovation. In this role, she provided leadership to the nationally recognized WorkBC employment program, assisting unemployed British Columbians return to the workforce. Before that, she spent sixteen years with the Ministry of Health and was the ADM of the Medical Services Health Human Resources Division. Nichola had oversight of the Medical Services Plan, primary health care reform, and physician negotiations in addition to the strategic relationships among government, physicians, health authorities, and physician organizations.
Nichola has a solid background in change management, project and program management, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, organizational development, policy development, and evaluation. Her leadership philosophy is focused on empowerment, collaborative relationships, recognition and staff development. In her new capacity as a management consultant, she will be able to apply her experience and knowledge to advance the mission of FCBC.
Dr. Garey Mazowita
Dr. Mazowita practiced full-service family medicine in a private practice in Winnipeg for many years before joining the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba as a full-time residency preceptor. Prior to assuming his position as Chair with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Providence Health Care in Vancouver in 2003, Dr. Mazowita served as Medical Director of Community and Long Term Care for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He previously served as a member of the University of Manitoba Research Ethics Board, and is a past-president of the Manitoba College of Family Physicians.
Dr. Mazowita is Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia where he was formerly active in teaching, research, and clinical practice. He was Chair of the CFPC Mental Health Program and Co-Chair of the Collaborative Working Group on Shared Mental Health Care (involving the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the CFPC). Dr. Mazowita served as the British Columbia Ministry of Health physician representative on the General Practice Services and Shared Care Committees, and was Co-Chair of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Inter-Divisional Council. In 2010, Dr. Mazowita was honoured with the CFPC’s Donald I. Rice Award. He is a Past President of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. He is now retired, but remains an active faculty member of the Canadian Foundation for Health Improvement.
Barbara MacLean, Executive Director
Barb has over 30 years’ experience in non-profit, government and private sectors. She spent many years in the developmental disabilities field, specializing in supporting some of the most complex and challenging individuals living at home, in residential care and in school settings.
Barb has a Bachelor of Arts from UBC and a Master of Arts in Leadership and Training from RRU.
Barb knows first-hand what it’s like to juggle work, a young family and caregiving—she supported her family during her own mother’s fight with cancer. Barb is committed to influencing change to achieve recognition and support for family caregivers.
Janet McLean, Education and Engagement Lead
Janet’s the mastermind behind many of our webinars, among other education and engagement initiatives. Her non-profit experience spans 30 years starting with contracts in New York with the United Nations and UNICEF. She has a Masters degree in Business Administration and throughout her career has assisted many organizations in the private, public and non-profit sectors hone their strategic efforts to meet the needs of their clients. She has also volunteered for many non-profit organizations in a range of positions, from an extra set of hands to President.
After 15 years in health care, Janet’s thrilled to be working with FCBC. Having been a caregiver herself, she appreciates the privilege and pressure the role presents. With the increasing emphasis on aging in place, it is more critical than ever that families and caregivers have access to programming and services that will build and support the capacity they require to meet the challenge.
Whitney McMillan, Provincial Projects Lead
Whitney McMillan has over 25 years of experience in health care social work in non-profit, private and hospital settings. Whether as a Social Worker, Case Manager, Program Coordinator or Volunteer Manager, Whitney prioritizes her clients’ unique health goals, through care planning, referrals, and/or advocacy. Her Master of Social Work degree specialized in peer support programs in community-based non-profit health care organizations, resulting in her truly appreciating the importance of people supporting each other through a similar, shared health journey.
As primary supports to clients, Whitney always considers the impact on family caregivers – the true front-line health experts. As an active caregiver for her own loved ones, she deeply values the knowledge needed to navigate our complex health care system, the importance of timely access to resources, and the empathetic support of ‘people who have been there themselves.’ Committed to improving the quality of life of caregivers across British Columbia, Whitney is thrilled to expand the vision and support of FCBC into more communities.
Lacie White, Caregiver Support & Engagement Lead
Lacie White has a certification in Hospice and Palliative Care nursing. Along with her personal experiences of caring for family members, over the last 15 years Lacie has been providing care and support to people with illness and their families through her professional practice as a nurse. This has shaped her understanding and formed her great desire to support caregivers who, while invisible to many, are in significant caring roles within their communities. To complement her nursing practice Lacie has studied mindfulness and self-care, and she remains continuously curious about approaches to working with strong emotion and moving through relational complexity with kindness and compassion. Lacie’s main role with Family Caregivers of BC is to answer a Caregiver Support Line that is available to family and friend caregivers throughout the province. When people call in for support Lacie’s goal is to listen to their unique caregiving experience, hear the spoken and unspoken needs they may have as caregivers, and explore with them what formal and informal supports might be most helpful in the situations they are going through. Lacie believes commitment to caring for ourselves is essential, and shapes how we can provide care and support to others. Along with caring for ourselves, she believes caring networks of support are needed so that no one is caring for others in isolation.
Fiona MacLeod, Administrator
Fiona brings 25 years of non profit experience to her work at Family Caregivers. As the FCBC Administrator for 3 years, Fiona manages the daily financial operations of the office and provides support, information and education to family caregivers. Earlier in her career, she was the Show Coordinator of BC's 3rd largest trade show for 15 years that generated $1 mil in business for the city of Vancouver. She moved to Vancouver Island just after the Vancouver Olympics to be her mother’s primary caregiver and joined the 8.1 million other Canadians doing the same thing.
Fiona has a B.A. in Art History, a Textile Arts diploma and runs her own garden maintenance business. She found Family Caregivers of BC through her volunteer work as a bellringer and now enjoys applying her organizing, financial, problem-solving, systems and detail skills to health administration.
Lycia Rodrigues, Caregiver Support & Engagement (on Leave)
Lycia comes from a family lineage of three generations of matrilineal educators who were involved with literacy for underprivileged people through the principles of adult education. She grew up in an environment that highlighted the value of inspiring learning rather than imposing information, which has become a cornerstone for her own professional health promotional approach.
Over a decade ago, she began her professional career as a psychologist (in Brazil) within a public health programming context for adults who were dealing with chronic disease, which also involved facilitating health management educational workshops. She has a Masters degree in Social Dimensions of Health from the University of Victoria with a focus on Gerontology.
Improving the quality of life for caregivers and older adults has been a significant part of Lycia’s vocational calling for the past ten years in various capacities working with seniors programming through non-profit organizations and health authorities in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. She is especially passionate about increasing community engagement and implementing social supports for vulnerable adults. Lycia is thrilled to join the Family Caregivers of British Columbia team since this has been her career vision for many years.
Hope Tagesen, Communications Lead
Hope is a professional communicator and manages most of what you read on our website, emails, and social media. She has a wide range of experience working in marketing and communications in the retail sector, for start-ups, and freelance writing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communications from Royal Roads University.
Having personal experience in caregiving for family members, Hope is excited to be able to bring that knowledge to her work with Family Caregivers.
Marian Bennett, Bookkeeper
Marian keeps our books in order. We're endlessly thankful for her great work.
Wendy Johnstone, Provincial Program Consultant
You might recognize Wendy from our Coach Caregivers sessions! Wendy has close to 20 years of experience working with family caregivers and seniors. She has a Master’s Degree in Gerontology and currently volunteers her time to provide opportunities for North Island College Health and Human Service students for Practice Placement. Wendy also provides career advice to students interested in working with seniors through Job Options BC.
Wendy helps in many areas, including coaching caregivers one-on-one, delivering presentations, and writing for our blog, where you can learn about her caregiving experiences. She believes in sharing her personal, educational and work experiences with others.
Tobi Johnston, Provincial Program Consultant
Tobi has over 20 years of experience in non profit, government and private sectors. She has spent many years working in community development and with disenfranchised populations in society. Tobi holds a BA in Public Health policy, a Masters degree in Social Work and another Masters Degree in Political Science. Tobi Knows first hand what it is like to juggle work, a young family and caregiving. As such, Tobi is committed to supporting and achieving recognition for family caregivers in her community and throughout the province of British Columbia. Tobi is an FCBC 1:1 Caregiver Coach for the East Kootenay area and Program Manager, Caregiver Network for East Kootenay Seniors.
Katherine Willett, Consultant & Networking Guru
Katherine was our Networking Guru. Please read our tribute to Katherine and all the work she did for Family Caregivers here
Volunteers use their individual skills, compassion and experience as family caregivers in a range of roles and activities here at Family Caregivers of BC, and we’re constantly inspired by their dedication and compassion.
Interested in volunteering with us? Learn more and submit an application.