Our team at Family Caregivers of BC bring diverse backgrounds and skills, as well as a passion for advancing our mission to improve the quality of life for family and friend caregivers. Every one of us has a connection to caregiving in our personal or professional lives that we feel is paramount to understanding caregivers’ needs. When you walk a mile in a family caregiver’s shoes, you gain valuable insight.
Board of Directors
NICHOLA MANNING, PRESIDENT
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.
CLAY BARBER, DIRECTOR
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.
STEVE CHAUVIN, DIRECTOR
Steve Chauvin is a licensed pharmacist in the province of BC. His knowledge that he feels is valuable in the context of serving on a board pertains to the economics of medications ie. insurance plans, optimizing medication regimens, navigating Pharmacare, special authority. Access to medications is an unavoidable part of a caregivers job and navigating the system can be overwhelming. His ability to communicate with patients typically involves active listening, asking the right questions, presenting information in a way that is important to them, taking their values into account and treating the patient as an equal. I feel being a part of Family Caregivers of BC will give me a valuable perspective on patients and their caregivers and in turn allow me to better serve my community.
DAVE HARRHY, VICE CHAIR AND TREASURER
Dave Harrhy is a seasoned health care administrator and a person with lived experience as a family caregiver. With over 35 years of clinical, administrative, and strategic experience, Dave has worked in a wide variety of roles within the mental health and substance use realm. He has worked with children and youth directly and on provincial committees including as Provincial ‘Director of the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative. During this time he was also engaged with Doctors of BC acting as provincial lead for Transitions in Care, working with GP’s, specialists, and family members and patients to enhance transitions into, through, and from hospital based services into the community. He is an experienced change management consultant, working in multiple jurisdictions across Canada and was a contributor to the Pan-Canadian Change Management Framework and Toolkit for Canada Health Infoway. He has held previous roles as Executive Director for Mental Health and Substance Use for Interior Health, where he developed the first regional strategic plan for that program, and from this role, he became the Strategic Advisor to the Mental Health and Substance Use Branch of the BC Ministry of Health.
Dave has two graduate degrees, one in health care administration of programs for children and youth, and the other in business. He is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive Coaching, with completion in August 2021.
He is the proud father of two sons who remind him of what is important. He has also has experience as a family caregiver, caring for two family members with long-standing and debilitating health issues.
SANDRA LEE, SECRETARY
Sandra Lee is a health care professional with a high level of knowledge and skills in working with seniors in the long-term care sector. As a leader with a reputation of working collaboratively with team members and building partnerships with community, Sandra is a clear communicator, strong critical thinker, and a highly skilled practitioner in using a systems perspective for effective problem solving.
Sandra recognizes the toll and emotional weight placed on family and friend caregivers. In her experience in supporting adult children, spouses, and friend caregivers, she recognizes the importance of an organization that strives to improve services to, and for quality of life of caregivers by connecting them to information, resources, education and hands-on assistance. Sandra has been a Board member since February 2022.
Staff and Contractors
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, EVALUATION AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT LEAD
Janet’s 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.
KATE LANDRETH, EDUCATION AND LEARNING LEAD
Kate is an educator, facilitator and coach specializing in learning design, training and curriculum development. She is enthusiastic and passionate about education, creating learning content and experiences that make it easy and accessible for learners to build new skills and absorb new information. Kate applies her training in mindfulness and yoga, alongside her deep experience in curriculum and learning design, collaborating with subject experts to build meaningful learning opportunities, content and activities. Kate completed her Bachelor of Arts from Wilfrid Laurier, Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University and her Master of Education from Murdoch University.
Kate has witnessed first-hand the immense but often under-appreciated role that members of her family have undertaken in caring for loved ones through health-related and other challenges. She recognizes that those giving care need meaningful support and support systems to maintain their own physical and mental well-being in challenging circumstances. Kate is committed to providing that support through her work at Family Caregivers of BC.
VICTORIA LOUGHEED, SPECIAL PROJECTS LEAD
Victoria has built a career around helping adults with very diverse experiences find work or change careers. As a coach and facilitator, she has shared knowledge and supported learning for more than 20 years. After completing a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies in Montreal, she moved with her partner to Vancouver Island to pursue the dream of coastal living.
Parenting a youth with special needs, Victoria knows firsthand the challenges and the many gifts caring for her daughter has brought. At every step in the journey, Victoria has shared knowledge and resources with other parents and the special needs community. As part of a circle of care, she has supported a family member, helping initiate housing supports, community inclusion, and social connection.
On weekends, she enjoys walking her dog, hiking trails with friends and family, and beachcombing.
WHITNEY MCMILLAN, PROVINCIAL PROJECTS LEAD
Whitney McMillan has 30 years of experience in health care social work in non-profit, private and hospital settings. Whether as a Social Worker, Project Manager, Case Manager or Program/Department Manager, Whitney prioritizes the unique goals of individuals, partners and/or collaborators, through compassionate listening, creative thinking, fostering connections, and/or empowering 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 value of people supporting each other through a similar, shared journey.
As primary supports, Whitney always considers the impact on family/friend 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 Caregiver Support Programs into more local communities.
STACEY DAWES, CAREGIVER ENGAGEMENT LEAD
Stacey grew up in a family of dedicated caregivers, who all contributed to the health and well being a family member who suffered neurological damage. It is through this exposure that she chose a career in social work. Early in her career, she worked with children, parents and foster parents through child protective services. This provided a deeper understanding of the complexities of the family dynamic and the importance of support programs and resources. It was when she moved to Vancouver from Newfoundland that she found her passion working within the nonprofit sector.
Stacey has spent majority of her career working with a community that was navigating a chronic disease. She is passionate about connecting with the community, identifying gaps in service and developing programs to address the need. It is through her interactions in nonprofit, as well as working in collaborative relationships, that provides her with a strategic and compassionate vision on how to best serve the community. She has a deep seated desire to support caregivers, and she strongly supports the selfless care they provide.
LYCIA RODRIGUES, CAREGIVER SUPPORT MANAGER
Lycia began her professional career as a psychologist (in Brazil) within a public health
programming context for adults and caregivers who were dealing with chronic disease. She has a Masters degree in Social Dimensions of Health from the University of Victoria with a focus on Gerontology. She grew up in an environment that highlighted the value of inspiring learning, which has become a cornerstone for her own professional health promotional approach.
Improving the quality of life for caregivers has been a significant part of Lycia’s vocational calling in various capacities working through non-profit organizations and health authorities in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. Working 1-1 with caregivers on our Support Line and drop-ins, facilitating a local support group and the FCBC training for new caregiver support groups in BC are the main activities she has coordinated with our team. Lycia is grateful that her work at FCBC allows her to connect deeply with caregivers; developing relationships that offers her a better understanding of how to increase meaningful supports for family and friend caregivers.
KARLA WILSON, COMMUNICATIONS LEAD
Karla is a native of Toronto, where she obtained her Bachelor of Journalism degree from Ryerson University. After four years of working in the pharmaceutical industry in Australia, she returned to Canada and made her home on Vancouver Island. Karla worked for 16 years in communications roles within the BC Public Service, then made an intentional shift to BC’s nonprofit sector in 2021. Karla has a passion for the written word and strives to make language understandable and accessible for every audience. She is eager to reach even more people across BC who could gain from Family Caregivers of BC’s information, education and supports.
Karla is familiar with the caregiving space, having seen her father’s quick health decline to cancer in her early twenties. She is also a current witness to the impacts of caregiving on her siblings as they provide care for their mother in Toronto. Karla recognizes the emotional and physical impacts of family caregiving, as well as the privilege of caring for a loved one.
Karla has one pre-teen daughter and an adopted Havanese, who reminds her by way of regular ‘bark alarm’ to keep active. In her spare time, she is a devoted reader, the writer of one adult and one middle grade fiction novel, and an outdoor enthusiast.
MECHTHILD MACZEWSKI, CAREGIVER SUPPORT COORDINATOR
Familiar with being a caregiver herself, Mechthild is passionate about providing connections, support and resources for family caregivers that best match each caregiver’s specific circumstances and enhance caregivers’ and care recipients’ well-being. A core element in all of her work is her deeply held conviction that each individual’s voice and everyone’s unique story is important to be heard.
Mechthild brings 20+ years of diverse experiences in health and social services to her position as Caregiver Support Coordinator,. This includes, practicing as a Nurse in Germany and Canada, completing an MA (1999) & Interdisciplinary PhD (2007) in Human and Social Development at the University of Victoria and more recently providing biofield treatments as an Advanced Integrative Energy Healing Practitioner and providing home support as a companion.
In her personal life, Mechthild is often found walking at the beach, hiking, doing yoga, visiting with friends in Victoria’s unique cafés and spending time with her family.
FIONA MACLEOD, ADMINISTRATOR
Fiona brings over 25 years of non profit experience to her work at Family Caregivers. As the FCBC Administrator for over 5 years, Fiona manages the daily financial operations of the office that provide 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 also managing their challenging caring journeys.
Fiona has a B.A. in Art History from Queens University, a Textile Arts diploma from Capilano University and a Horticulture Technician Certification from the Pacific Horticulture Centre in Victoria. She found Family Caregivers of BC through her volunteer work as a bellringer at Christ Church Cathedral and now enjoys applying her organizing, financial, problem-solving, systems and detail skills to health administration.
WENDY JOHNSTONE, PROVINCIAL PROGRAM CONSULTANT
Wendy understands the importance of supporting and educating caregivers and seniors in making informed decisions about their future care. When she was seven months pregnant, her father had a massive stroke. Through her own personal experience, it became clear that when faced with acute or chronic and complex illness, care transitions or extreme emotional pressure, family caregivers don’t always know where to turn. Or what to ask. Or how to get through the system.
Wendy helps in many areas, including coaching caregivers one-on-one, delivering presentations, and contributing to caregiving resources and promoting our Caregiver Rx project. You can find her on FCBC’s Facebook Live and follow her family caregiving articles with Inspired Senior Living, a provincial magazine for seniors and caregivers.
Wendy has a Master’s degree in Gerontology and 20 years of experience working with family caregivers and seniors. She loves being outdoors on her growing collection of bikes with her husband and daughter. In the winter, she loves to cross-country ski and sits on the local Board of Directors for the Strathcona Nordics. She also is currently working with other health care advocates in forming a national association of health care advocates. Originally from Toronto, Wendy traded her urban lifestyle (but hasn’t quite adopted Island time yet!) and moved to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
SAGE SCHMIED, GREATER VICTORIA CAREGIVER WELLBEING PROJECT COORDINATOR
Since she was little, Sage always wanted to work with people in some capacity. After acquiring an anthropology degree, she started her professional career working in archaeology in BC and Alberta. Fast forward a few years and she realized the capacity she wanted to work with people was much greater than what her previous experience had to offer. This desire led to her exploring group facilitation and life coaching, and working with non-profits. As a project coordinator, Sage loves the chance to connect with caregivers in her local area and provide helpful programming and support. She appreciates the chances she has to support caregivers when working on the Caregiver Support Line as well as through hosting the BC Support Group with our great volunteer facilitators.
Currently Sage is in her first year of a Masters of Counselling Psychology. When she is not working or studying, she loves to eat good food, snuggle with her cat and go for walks in nature.
SEMONE TRAUTMAN, CAREGIVER COACH
Semone is a Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and Registered Social Worker (RSW) with the British Columbia College of Social Workers.
She has over 20 years of experience working with families, plus facilitating therapy and educational groups. During the last 4 years, she has been focusing her attention on supporting caregivers who are in turn supporting their loved ones through their mental health and/or substance use difficulties.
Semone is passionate about helping others and works from a place of heart. She holds onto the belief that people are doing their best in the moment and with guidance toward self-compassion and making small shifts in how we understand and think about our situations, we can open up a big space for change. Change that creates an openness in our hearts, that brings us closer to the ones we love, allowing us to move forward in our lives with a renewed sense of hope.
MARIAN BENNETT, BOOKKEEPER
Marian keeps our year end books in order. We’re endlessly thankful for her great work.