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.
Our Board of Directors
Barbra Hopkins, Chair
Barbra was born and raised in Victoria and has experienced being a member of the “sandwich generation”—caring for both her grandchildren and her aging parents.
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 caregiving roles either by choice or circumstance, most of whom are totally unprepared and often overwhelmed by the role. She helps family caregivers with financial aspects, but she often adds the most value for them by just listening and connecting them with people and services that can help them. Barbra’s been an FCBC board member since 2013.
Brenda Higham, Vice Chair
Brenda has firsthand knowledge as a family caregiver, first for four children (one of whom suffered a brain injury), then for family friends, and most recently for her parents. She currently supports her granddaughter with special needs.
Brenda’s retired from a career which culminated in the senior’s policy area of the Ministry of Health in Victoria, and has been involved in evolving home care in rural Alberta, community development with a primary focus on seniors. She was also the manager of the first national delivery of integrated care with the C.H.O.I.C.E program, followed by time leading a partnership of over 50 organizations delivering health services to students with special needs. In addition, Brenda was the Executive Director of the Alberta Caregivers Association.
Brenda has a Masters of Science in Health Services Administration, a Masters of Arts in Communication and Technology, and certificates in Public Administration and Gerontology. She completed PhD level work focused on aging and caregiving.
Following the example of many of her older mentors, Brenda views volunteering as a key way to support her community. She has been very active with the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, the Alberta Gerontological Society and other groups.
Rhonda Beveridge, Treasurer
Rhonda is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Waterloo). She was the Director, Health Authority Funding, Ministry of Health from 2005 to 2014. Her previous Board experience includes the Youth Empowerment Society for 10 years during which time she served in all board positions including President. Further non-profit experience included working as the Executive Director of a refugee settlement organization in Red Deer for 7 years. Rhonda is currently retired and volunteers as Literacy Victoria tutor, and for the herbarium project at the museum (part of the Master Gardener program).
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.
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.
Alison is a lawyer practising primarily in the areas of estate and incapacity planning. Throughout her legal practice and in her personal life, Alison has encountered many clients, friends and relatives that have found themselves providing care to a loved one. Alison is very pleased to be part of Family Caregivers of British Columbia as she recognizes the importance of providing support and resources to the growing number of family caregivers across the province.
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.
Lycia Rodrigues, Caregiver Support & Engagement Lead
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.
Fiona MacLeod, Administration and Caregiver Support
As Administration and Caregiver Support, Fiona manages the daily operations of the office and provides support, information and education to family caregivers. Fiona has spent 25 years working for non-profits and cooperatives in BC. She was the Show Coordinator of BC's 3rd largest trade show for 15 years which included overseeing staff and financial details for a show 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.
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.
Jodie McDonald, Provincial Program Consultant
You may recognize Jodie from one of our free webinars. She’s a wealth of information and has worked for over 20 years as a Registered Social Worker in the non-profit sector. Jodie has a BA in anthropology and womens studies from McGill University, a MSW from Laurentian University, and an MSW specializing in community development from Dalhousie. She’s also the Executive Director of the Cowichan Family Caregivers Support Society and she teaches at Vancouver Island University.
Jodie grew up in a caregiving family where elders were supported and prioritized, especially by her mother, a nurse. These values are central to Jodie’s life in the “sandwich generation”—raising children while caring for her aging parents.
Katherine Willett, Consultant & Networking Guru
Katherine is our Networking Guru—she is a family caregivers and seniors information and referral services specialist. Katherine’s spent over 15 years in the non-profit sector working with unpaid family and friend caregivers and is the author of two editions of the “Metro Vancouver Family and Friend Caregivers Information and Resource Handbook”. She also represented FCBC on the policy paper working group for the Doctors of BC’s “Circle of Care: Supporting Family Caregivers in BC” (2016)
Prior to working with us, Katherine was the co-executive director of the Caregivers Association of BC and she also represents the interests of caregivers and seniors as an advisor to BC’s public health and social service sectors. Katherine has a BA from Concordia University and a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Gerontology from SFU.
Katherine has first-hand experience juggling work and caregiving. She was involved in caring for her now-deceased parents. She’s committed to improving the quality of life for family caregivers and the adults they care for.
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.