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 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 Executive Director, then your feedback / complaint will be referred to the Board. CLSBoard@communitylivingsociety.ca.
NOTE: This email is being 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.
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
Our Current Board of Directors
Susan Powell, Chair
Susan has worked in a variety of positions both in inclusive education and the community living sector for the past 35 years. She began her career as a special education teacher in a secondary school in Richmond, BC. She has been a district resource teacher, inclusion consultant, university faculty member and associate dean of Community and Health Studies at Kwantlen University College. She currently is a Learning and Education Consultant.
Most recently she completed a staff training project with the BC Library Association; and created a program guide and standards on inclusive after school programs for DASH BC. She co-facilitates a Next Chapter Book Club, a book club for adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities that meets each week at a local coffee shop in Vancouver. She holds a Masters Degree in Special Education and a PhD in Adult Transformative Education.
Dawn Palmer, Vice Chair
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.
Tom Wong, Secretary Treasurer
Tom is a semi-retired PwC Consulting Partner who now advises Boards and CEOs on large and complex projects and initiatives. He has over 40 years of experience advising and implementing business and technology solutions for corporate and public sector clients. He is also a CPA – Chartered Accountant and also has a CA.IT (IT Specialization designation).
During his career, he has held a number of regional and national leadership roles at PwC, EY and CapGemini including Public Sector markets, Healthcare markets, Technology Advisory services, Program Risk Advisory services, SAP Implementation services, Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence services, and Computer Forensics services.
In addition to board advisory roles highlighted previously, Tom also serves or is serving in various capacities on a number of community and public boards including:
- Vancouver Community College – Government appointed Board Member / Finance Committee active on the Vancouver Community College Foundation – Vice Chair / Investment Committee
- Zajac Foundation – Board Member/ Treasurer
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia
In Brian’s professional career he worked for the City of Vancouver for 40 years as a Professional Engineer and manager. He has a B.A.Sc. degree from UBC(1967) an M.B.A. from SFU(1975). His daughter has been supported by the CLS for over 16 years. Aside from his greatest joy – raising his family – Brian enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and golf. Brian served on the Autism Society of BC Board for over 10 years, and has been on the CLS Board for 11 years, including 7 years as the Board Chair for the Community Living Society. During his time on the CLS Board, Brian has been gratified and amazed to see and hear from the staff about their experiences providing care and genuine affection for the people they support and the reciprocal feelings the staff receive. It is Brian’s ongoing objective that the CLS provides opportunities to the people we support to achieve their maximum potential which will enable them to be full citizens in the community. He believes the CLS model operates effectively, providing growth and a thriving lifestyle for both staff and the supported person, in large part because CLS has the flexibility to meet staff and family needs and enables the unique opportunities that the supported person may have. This flexibility is also essential for achievement of full potential of both CLS staff and families.
Brian believes The CLS epitomises the best model for society to deal with people needing support; it combines the devotion of families with the dedication of knowledgeable staff and provision of necessary resources to ensure the best outcome for all.
A graduate in Broadcast Communications from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Ann currently works as a contract writer for a variety of clients – work that represents the latest incarnation of a 39-year career in media that has included radio broadcasting, public relations and publishing.
Ann worked for 8 years in news and foreground programming at CKWX and CJAZ radio in Vancouver. In 1985, she joined Variety – The Children’s Charity as publicist for the Variety Club Telethon, which led to her appointment as Variety’s full-time media and public relations director – a position she held for six years. In 1992, Ann left Variety to join Canada Wide Media Limited as vice-president of editorial, leading a department responsible for producing more than 40 magazines. She stepped down from that position in 2002 to focus on her family, while continuing to work for Canada Wide and a variety of other clients on a contract basis.
Married for 38 years and the mother of two adult children (including a daughter who is supported by CLS), Ann has been a lifelong advocate of an inclusive community that respects and supports the rights of people with disabilities to live full, active lives as contributing members of society – values she share with CLS.
Jerry moved to Mission in 2002 where I met my wife to be Laura. He always wanted to be involved in community and self-advocacy. Soon after he moved to Mission he started to go the Mission group where he was elected to be their representative on the MCCL Board. Since then he has been on the self-advocate’s caucus at InclusionBC and the InclusionBC board, self-advocates foundation, center for inclusion and citizenship.
Shirley became involved with the Community Living Society as a family member. Shirley’s family perspective comes from a lifetime of advocating with her sister in a world that historically identified a person first by their disability and second by who they are. As a CLS board member and representative on the Aging with Dignity committee she is a strong backer of active support which demonstrates dignity and respect for people as individuals.
Soon after Margaret (Anna) Fox joined the Board of CLS, she took on the role of Chair for the newly formed Orientation Committee (2009). Currently, Anna Fox is the Chair of the Governance committee and a member of the Fund Development Committee.
Anna Fox is a retired Registered Nurse holding many years of experience in post-anesthetic recovery, intensive and palliative care. In addition, Anna holds a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University (2003). She is experienced in research, writing, leadership and public speaking which is exemplified in her past work as a motivational leader for Weight Watchers Canada (1999-2002) and as a data-collector/researcher for two Doctoral candidates from the University of Pennsylvania (2008 through 2009). In 1994 Anna’s words were well received when she took the opportunity to make a presentation regarding Developmental Disability issues to the Federal Government’s Standing Committee on Social Reform.
Anna Fox is an avid and committed volunteer. Her past positions include serving as Chair for the Advocacy Committee of the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) (1997-2001), Board Member for the Simon Fraser Community Living Council (1999-2001), Site Supervisor for Douglas and Kwantlen College Community Social Work students (circa 1985-1988), and Regional Resource Parent for Family Support Institute (1988-2005). Anna also has unique experiences in event coordination and in 2006 served as the coordinating decorator for a large fundraising dinner.
Anna Fox has demonstrated success in effectively establishing a MicroBoard and running a supported living program for over 10 years. However, Anna has been involved with community living issues since the birth of her son in 1978.
Anna Fox’s involvement with CLS began with CLS charter members who gave her advice in the early years. Advocacy and a common sense approach to community inclusion is something she has been writing and speaking about for many years.
Arlene has been a Family Support Worker with the MSA Society for Community Living for over 13 years, providing guidance and support to family members of supported individuals. Her daughter Natalie was supported by the Community Living Society under the Individualized Funding Project (IF). Arlene is an Advisor to both the Mission and Abbotsford Self Advocate Groups, and is a Board Member with the Abilitas Foundation. Arlene is a returning CLS Board member.
Brian Salisbury retired in June, 2014 having spent over 30 years working in the community living field. He began his career as a service broker with the Community Living Society in 1984 but left in 1989. Since then he has worked in a variety of roles which have included international policy consultant with a focus on service brokerage and individualized funding and Instructor in the Community Support Worker Program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. His most recent work began in 2001 when he joined a community collation to help create Community Living British Columbia. Formal work roles at CLBC included Director of Strategic Planning and Director of Individual, Family and Volunteer Engagement. Brian lives in Langley with his wife Trish who has two sisters who live with a developmental disability, both of whom live on the same family property.