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Our Board

Together, our Board Members collaboratively shape the vision of WESN. Their unwavering commitment is the driving force behind our mission to make a meaningful impact on the lives of our beloved senior community.

David Harvey

President B.Comm., M.Ed., CPHR

When David moved to BC at 20-years old, his first homes were in the West End. Since then he has lived in a variety of communities in the Lower Mainland and in Duncan on Vancouver Island. David was elected to the Board of WESN in 2021 and became President of the Board in 2023. He wants to focus on strengthening support for seniors in all aspects of their lives. David is an HR professional and educator with 30+ years of experience in post-secondary schools, hospitals, government, forestry and consulting including roles as the Chief HR officer of: BCIT, Cowichan District Hospital and as the CEO of a 2800-member employee association.

David has been an active volunteer at his professional association the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources. His involvement included: chairing its strategic planning taskforce in the late 90’s, a board member as Director of Strategic Planning and later 3 years as chair of the association’s annual conference committee.

David is happily married and they have 4 adult children plus 2 daughters-in-law. His interests include: travel, a variety of fitness activities, reading, motorcycling, sailing, family and friends time, craft beer and good food of just about any description.

Gary Glacken

Vice President

Gary Glacken Born in Saskatchewan, and raised in Kelowna, BC, Gary has lived in Vancouver since 1972 and in the West End since 2014. The first phase of his career was as a rock and roll/ rhythm and blues drummer for a series of BC bands. Gary married his wife Marla in 1982, and they have two children and two grandchildren. In 1982 Gary graduated from college as a Recreation Therapist, with a special interest in working with people with serious mental illness both in hospital and in community-based settings. He worked for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) first as Director of Recreation and Leisure Programs for the Vancouver Burnaby Branch, and later as their Administrator. From there he took on the role of Executive Director with CMHA Richmond.

One of his many interests and challenges in that job entailed the development of Richmond’s first dedicated twenty eight unit affordable housing project for people with serious and persistent mental illness. Another highlight was the operation of two social enterprises including a packaging business and a café at the Richmond Civic Complex that employed people with serious mental illness. In 1993 Gary took on the job of Executive Director for the BC Schizophrenia Society. The society has branches and employees throughout BC and their focus is on family education, support and advocacy for people with serious and persistent mental illness.

Highlights included the development and implementation of: a Province-wide 10 week family education program; a Kids-in Control education program for children 8 to 13 years of age who have a parent with a serious mental illness and an Early Psychosis education/intervention program for high school students.

Gary was hired as the Executive Director of PAL Vancouver and the PAL Studio Theatre Society in November 2008. While overseeing both societies Gary implemented a financially sustainable operating model for PAL Vancouver; improved and significantly increased the operations of the theatre and oversaw the development of a partnership between BC Housing, Vintop Developments and PAL Vancouver to build a new 66 unit affordable housing complex in New Westminster opening in 2023. Gary retired in October of 2020. Gary’s Interests include spending time with family and friends, drumming, gym time and martial arts.

Maheen Jamal

Treasurer

Treasurer Maheen has been part of Downtown West End for the past 4 years as a resident with his wife and 2-year-old daughter. He completed his master’s in business administration from Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo in 2017 and moved to Vancouver to begin his journey with Gulf and Fraser Credit Union. He started collaborating with the West End Senior’s Network in 2018 as part of Gulf and Fraser’s community outreach and has grown the relationship between these two organizations over the years. Maheen enjoys working within the West End community for its betterment and hopes to contribute his time and effort towards making the West End Seniors Network better. In his spare time he enjoys practicing yoga and playing sports such as soccer, golf and cricket.

Serena Chu

Director

Serena Chu is a visual artist with a BFA in mural and installation sculptures from York University. She has been a resident of the West End for over a decade and runs her small art business Chu Chu out of East Van as an art educator and mural artist.

Community outreach is integral of her art practice by teaching pottery/art classes as well as creating unique colouring murals for clients. She strives to provide a positive and inclusive environment that is full of laughter with the goal to lift people’s spirits.

With a professional background in graphic design and project management; she possesses the creativity, time management, organization and leadership skills to execute on her community outreach ideas from start to finish. Serena has been working with the WESN for the past few years and loves bringing art workshops and activations to their members by independently sourcing funding through grants and donations.

Her art projects are designed to be accessible to everyone; people of all ages and at any level of art experience. She aims to bond complete strangers through the joy of creating art together, after all her motto is Art Makes You Happy! www.chuchu.ca

Dawid Cielosczczyk

Director

Dawid Cieloszczyk is a Polish immigrant and union-side labour lawyer who brings a unique blend of passion, expertise, and community commitment to his role as a Director of the West End Seniors Network.

Dawid is a tireless advocate for workers in their fight for workplace justice. In 2020, Dawid joined Koskie Glavin Gordon as a labour lawyer and civil litigator. He has advocated for unions at arbitration hearings, before the BC and Canada Labour Relations Board, the BC Human Rights Tribunal, and in all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Dawid has worked on several complex labour cases ranging from human rights violations to disputes over health and welfare benefits for retirees. As a Director at WESN, Dawid applies this same passion for improving the social and living conditions of seniors in Vancouver’s West End and in shaping the future of the organization.

Dawid has always believed in giving back to his local community. He is currently a Vice-President of British Columbia of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers. Dawid also speaks on various labour and employment law panels, is a regular volunteer moot-court judge at the University of British Columbia and is a mentor for high-school students from marginalized communities interested in pursuing law through the Vancouver Summer Mentorship Society.

Dawid brings to WESN a diversity of skills and personal interests. Dawid speaks fluent Polish, intermediate-level German, and is always trying to improve his very basic French. Outside of work and volunteering, Dawid is passionate about music and nature. He is a musician and has been a drummer for indie bands in Ontario. Since moving to BC from Ontario, Dawid has fallen in love with the West Coast and its outdoor lifestyle, particularly surfing in Tofino, kayaking in Haida Gwaii, hiking in Garibaldi National Park, and running on the Seawall through Stanley Park.

Bonnie Quam

Secretary

Bonnie spent 25 years working in the field of aging. First in recreation and the bulk as a community organizer/program developer in the non profit sector. Her work with small non profits included a qualitative research project of 200 widowed persons in the Abbotsford area, developing adult educational courses for elders, organizationing a network of supportive inclusive services, brochures, information and referral and other projects for elders.

Now Bonnie has concentrated her focus on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion committee work with several Elders’ organizations, including WESN. She has been a WESN board member for over 8 years.’

Bonnie’s greatest pleasures and treasures in her life are her 6 grandchildren, some of whom she babysits regularly, her 3 children and their spouses and her beloved partner Parry. “As I approach my 75th year of life, I am so grateful to be part of the wonderful organization of WESN and observe the warmth and sense of community that is ever present! And to have the opportunity to witness the amazing work accomplished by such dedicated and loving staff, volunteers and members!”

Sara Johnson

Director

Sara joined WESN’s Board in 2014. She has been a member of the recruitment and fundraising committees and as a resident of the West End enjoys promoting the organisation’s programs and services. Sara works full-time in healthcare and is also on the Board of the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Thrift Store and she volunteers with Make a Wish and VGH’s palliative care team. She runs a women’s wellness and adventure retreat on Gambier Island, the West Coast Women’s Retreats. To reach Sara, please send an email to [email protected].

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