Board of Directors
Mital brings more than 15 years of public relations and communications experience to the role of President, as well as her expertise in filmmaking and editing. Mital has been on the board since 2016 and became passionate for the cause after bringing her son to West Side Family Place.
“I was introduced to WSFP by a friend and immediately felt welcomed. I enjoyed the programs and met other families, some of whom are like family to us now. I’m originally from London, UK, and my initial experience of being a mother was very lonely. WSFP helped reduce the isolation and supported me and my children.”
Mital enjoys painting mandalas, playing the ukulele and song stick as well as Bollywood dancing. Mital is also the Events Coordinator for a community cultural event, Diwali in Kits.
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.
Jeff joined the board in 2019 and is the Board Treasurer. He brings 20 years of finance and accounting experience and is currently working with the BC Lions Society for children with disabilities and Easter Seals House.
“I volunteer with the WSFP Board of Directors to give back to the local community.”
Jeff is passionate about being a good person, life-long learning, golf, wine, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. He also enjoys fitness activities such as running and hiking in BC.
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.
Privacy & Personnel Officer
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.
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.
Amrit is passionate about using her role on the board to build strong operations at WSFP and fundraise to create a more sustainable future.
“I absolutely love WSFP. I was raised by a village growing up – grandmas, aunts, family friends and more. Learning that many people do not have this support made me want to help as much as I can. Through WSFP, I can connect with many local people in my community and build meaningful relationships, especially with my fellow board members.”
Outside of her role on the board, Amrit enjoys training her dog and gardening. But most of all, she loves travelling and exploring new communities.
Merryn worked for many years in a not-for-profit organization in the arts. She also has experience of working in mental health with a focus on children, adolescents and families. Merryn understands the value of grass-roots organizations in the community, as well as connecting with multicultural and multilingual communities in a respectful manner.
“Although WSFP was recommended to me by many people when I first became a parent, it took me a while to garner the courage to visit for the first time when my baby was a few months old. As an immigrant with few friends and contacts in Canada, and no other family or support, WSFP and its incredible staff offered me a place of sanctuary; a moment of respite; a sense of normalcy; a safe place for my child to explore and play; a warm cup of coffee; another adult to talk to; and a non-judgemental space when I needed it most (especially as a reprieve from my own judgements). When an opportunity came up to be able to contribute to this organization, it felt like a natural fit.”
Outside of WSFP, Merryn has an interest in fine arts and enjoys lace-making.