About Us

Board of Directors

Carolin Picker

Co-chair

In her role as Secretary on the board, Carolin coordinates with the WSFP staff to keep the house running smoothly and to implement renovations. As a mother of three children under the age of six, Carolin brings her organizational expertise, caring nature and her experience in the non-profit sector to the board.

“WSFP is a welcoming place with people who care and listen to you with no judgement. I joined the board to give back and further connect with this community.”

Carolin is passionate about exploring culture, people and cooking.

Christina Martin

Co-chair

Christina has been on the Board since 2015 and was previously the Board President for five years. She visited WSFP with all three of her children and joining the Board was her way of supporting an organization that was there for her when she had no family in the city.

Christina has been a corporal with the RCMP for over 15 years. She enjoys horse riding, watching cricket and wine-tasting.

Susan Rae

Director

Susan has lived in the local community for more than 10 years and has 20 years of experience fundraising in various non-profits from healthcare to education. Having worked with immigrants and refugees in Vancouver for many years, Susan has seen firsthand the importance of community-building spaces. She believes that WSFP is integral to creating a stronger community for new residents with young families. Susan has also served on other boards in the past.

“When my daughter was a toddler we started visiting the centre in search of playmates and socialization for her. Several family members visited WSFP with our daughter at various times including grandparents, Dad and Mom. It was a great experience!”

Susan enjoys running, exploring the community and travelling the world.

Christina Dhami

Director

With 13 years of experience as a mediator on the BC Labour Relations Board, Christina specializes in dealing with interpersonal and organizational conflict in a labour relations setting. She also brings many years of human resources experience to her position on the board. Christina previously served on the board for Marpole Oakridge Family Place.

“I spent two maternity leaves in a community where neighbours didn’t check on each other, socialize or even exchange pleasantries. It was disappointing to go for daily walks where people wouldn’t make eye contact or even smile when they saw a newborn or toddler. I understand the struggle of finding activities for our little humans, of craving connections with other families and the value of having a safe space to vent or lend an ear.”

Christina moved to Kitsilano in March 2020 at the outset of the pandemic. Although it was a time of uncertainty, she felt embraced by the energy of this community and has made lasting connections with families in the neighbourhood through WSFP.

Brooke Astles

Director

Brooke moved from Ontario to British Columbia in 2013 for graduate school, settling in Dunbar. After working for BC’s largest community living organization in quality assurance, Brooke transitioned to working for a health and safety non-profit, where she trains health care workers, educates new facilitators, and develops health and safety curriculum.

“Having my son at the start of the pandemic was incredibly lonely. WSFP provided a regular opportunity to socialize with other parents in a safe and welcoming environment. It completely changed my maternity leave experience, and I am incredibly grateful.”

In her free time, Brooke can be found skiing, playing piano, exploring neighbourhoods, and spending quality time with her partner and son.

Elizabeth Vander Hoeven

Director

Growing up on the west coast led Elizabeth to the hospitality and tourism industry. In her current Human Resources role she builds a welcoming, engaging and supportive culture in her workplace.

“As a new parent in a new city WSFP offered connection and stability in a safe and cozy space.”  Elizabeth loves a good cup of coffee, listening to podcasts and exploring our city’s beautiful parks and beaches with her two young daughters and husband.

Ira Sharma

Director

Ira is a 4th year student at the University of British Columbia and she is pursuing her undergraduate degree in psychology. She spent the summer of 2022 working at West Side Family Place as a Family Program Assistant and wanted to continue her journey with the organisation. In the future, she hopes to specialise in the field of Early Childhood Development. 

In her free time she enjoys swimming, cooking, and exploring BC!