The Board of Directors primary function is to ensure that the Society is being operated in a manner consistent with the Society’s overall policies, strategic goals and mission statement. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the organization on a daily basis.

If you have feedback or a complaint that relates to the actual manner in which the organization is led or managed by the CEO, then your feedback / complaint will be referred to the Board. You can direct this email to or call the Director of Quality and Innovation at 604.571.4852

NOTE: Your concerns will be directed in confidence to the Director of Quality and Innovation to ensure your concerns are dealt with in a confidential and timely fashion by the appropriate party. Your feedback / complaint will be referred to the appropriate Director within the organization who is responsible for the issue in question, and that person will follow up with you promptly.

Family Leadership

Formed by families over thirty years ago, CLS continues to be led by the principles of individual and family-driven service. The organization was originally created as a not-for-profit society and independent planning agency, to assist their children as they moved from institutions into the community. It was the strong leadership of these families that moved the government of the time to agree to re-direct funding to community-based opportunities.

Today, people who receive service and their families still participate at every level of CLS, including serving on committees and as directors on our board.

“The organization has shown itself to be creative and exceptional in providing services and supports to benefit persons served, producing bottom-line outcomes that have earned it the satisfaction and esteem of stakeholders.”

CARF Accreditation Survey Report – 2011

Listening to and building the leadership from families is a key piece of the CLS strategic plan. Families bring new ideas and advocacy to the organization. They are also the best source of support to each other. We help families to get the information and resources they need to help themselves, and one another.

There are many ways that family members can get involved with CLS. We’d be happy to talk to you about it.

Find Out More About Becoming a CLS Board Member

Download our Board Member Nomination Information Package

Our Current Board of Directors

Susan Powell, Chair

Susan Powell holds a PhD in Transformative Adult Education. She has been an special education teacher, district resource teacher and inclusion consultant in the public education system. She was a faculty member and associate dean at Kwantlen University College for many years. For the past several years she has continued to work as a consultant with community living agencies, school districts and other organizations to promote the inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has created many curriculums and staff development programs on inclusion.  In collaboration with a group of self-advocates she wrote a children’s alphabet book called The ABC of Ability. She currently volunteers as a facilitator of a Next Chapter Book Club with 8 adults with developmental disabilities; and is working with another group on the the leadership capacity of self-advocates. Together this group has written and submitted an article to The British Journal of Learning Disabilities.

Darius Maze, Vice Chair

Darius Maze is a certified fundraising professional who brings his expertise in diversity, inclusion, and social justice to community engagement and development. With over five years of experience in the social service sector, he is deeply committed to supporting communities who experience social isolation and launched A-mazing Solutions to support non-profits in building relationships with these groups.

He is grateful to be able work and play on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations as a volunteer and board member for the Association of Neighbourhood Houses of BC, the Vancouver Pride Society, the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, as well as the Vancouver Foundation, Imagine Canada, and Vantage Point.

Wesley Ma, Treasurer

Wesley Ma is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CA) and executive with varied business, financial, and leadership experience. Wesley is Vice President of Finance at Technical Safety BC, a provincial safety regulator. Before Technical Safety BC, he was an experienced manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers where he led audit engagements for the public companies. Also, Wesley is the Executive Committee member (Minister’s Appointee) at Building Officials Association of BC and a board member at Queen’s Park Healthcare. In addition to bringing significant financial expertise to the board, he brings an in-depth knowledge of project and risk management.

Exploration and discovery have been recurring themes in Wes’s life. In his roles with various organizations, he now supports others in their discovery and innovation. By nurturing leadership in others, Wes aims to create a culture of experimentation and learning that propel knowledge and action.

Dawn Palmer

Dawn is the Vice President of People Services at Langara College. She is an innovative and energetic Human Resources leader with over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of Human Resources, such as: Labour Relations, Employee Wellness and Safety, Classification and Compensation, Physician Compensation, Benefits Administration, Employee Recognition, Diversity, Strategic Planning/Policy Development, Organizational Development, Executive Search and Recruitment and Conflict Resolution/Mediation. Dawn joined the CLS Board in June 2013.

Susan Regan

Susan is an experienced commercial real estate lender, having spent over 30 years working for financial institutions in Vancouver, of which the last 15 years have been with Vancity.  She has experience working with for-profit and not-for-profit real estate development and investment organizations, and has had the opportunity to finance a variety of innovative housing projects.  Her work with housing specialists aligns with her belief everyone deserves a home to call their own.  Currently she is completing her Master of Arts degree in Leadership.  Susan and her husband live in Langley with their two sons and one small dog, who bring them endless joy!

Vikas Patel

Vikas began his career with Novartis, a Swiss Pharmaceutical company, after graduating from the IMBA program at Schulich School of Business in Toronto.  Vikas worked in marketing and finance roles for Novartis in the UK and Switzerland, and ended his career with Novartis as the Head of North East Asia.  After living in 8 different countries, Vikas and his wife, Junko, decided to move back to Canada and settled in Vancouver in 2007.  He took a year off during which he bicycled across Canada.  In 2008 he purchased an IT business and grew that from a team of 9 to 25.  He has recently retired and is now looking forward to volunteering with the Community Living Society. Vikas believes strongly in making available everything possible to help every citizen achieve their true potential.

Reba Noel

Reba is the Associate Director for Indigenous Education and Community Engagement at Vancouver Community College.  She has worked in the post-secondary sector for 25 years in many facets of the student experience, in particular Student Recruitment, Counselling, Aboriginal Services and Student Engagement. Reba is recognized by her peers and family as a fierce advocate for ensuring that the rights and needs of those around her are equally recognized and respected.

Reba has been a Home Share provider for over ten years and enjoys the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those she supports, and their families. Reba is married and is the mother of two young adults. She is pleased to have a more formalized role on the Board of the Community Living Society after years of supporting youth sport and many of her children’s other extracurricular activities.

Penny Dale

Penny is a Registered Interior Designer specializing in both single-family residential, multi-family and commercial spaces. She has an in-depth knowledge of designing for accessibility and believes that exceptional design of space can positively impact lifestyle and experiences. As a family advocate, she brings a unique perspective as both her parents live with disabilities. Today her mother is supported by Community Living Society under the Individualized Supports program. She and her parents were long-time residents of Salt Spring Island. The small-town community imbedded the important influence that community plays on health and well-being, which is also a core value of CLS. She hopes that her unique background can be an asset to the Society in improving the lives of the people they support.

Christine Tunn

Christine is retired from Canada Safeway where she worked for 35 years. Originally hired as a cashier, she was promoted to a brand new store as lead Customer Service Person within the first year.  In this position Christine used her skills to manage a group of 30 employees in numerous departments as well as overseeing customers needs, and coordinating many challenges and daily tasks throughout the store.  After 25 years at Customer Service, Christine had a desire to gain experience in other positions within this store.  Over the next ten years she would become 2nd assistant in the floral department, 2nd assistant in the cash office and would lead the file maintenance team through many difficult transitions of the company changing hands.

In retirement Christine has been able to enjoy her passions for traveling, reading, hiking and kayaking with her husband Brian.

Christine would like to continue in her mother Jackie Maniago’s footsteps by being an advocate and a voice for those supported by the CLS, to live a happy, healthy and fulfilling life as her brother Norman did for the many years that he lived at Duthie house in Burnaby.

Todd Stewart

Todd Stewart is a Professional Engineer with over 30 years of experience in land development, municipal engineering and land surveying. He is a Principal and Branch Manager of national civil engineering firm overseeing engineering and development services in the downtown Vancouver office, specializing in commercial, industrial and institutional projects.  He has extensive development experience as well expertise managing complex approval processes with multiple jurisdictional levels while liaising with external stakeholders.

Todd is a past Chair of the CLS Board of Directors and is excited to rejoin the Board in support of his brother, who is supported by the Community Living Society.  He is continuing a family tradition of advocacy and support for those with developmental disabilities as his parents were founding members of both the Woodlands Parents Group and the CLS.