Who We Are2017-10-27T15:25:11+00:00

Our People

Together, we are possibility

Our mission is to improve lives and build community by engaging individuals
and mobilizing collective action in the Thompson Nicola Cariboo region.

Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a group of dedicated leaders in their professions and in our communities. They volunteer their time to help govern United Way with knowledge, insight and passion.

Hugh MacInnes - Board Chair
Hugh MacInnes - Board ChairGillespie & Company LLP
Hugh has been on the United Way Board for nine years. He is a practicing lawyer of almost 30 years working in the fields of business law and employment law. He has split his time between working for law firms and working as in-house counsel at an international company. Hugh feels passionate about working with non-profits to build their capacity to be strong and sustainable organizations.

Hugh is an avid athlete who enjoys skiing, playing and watching hockey and cycling in his spare time.

Jason Fawcett - Past Chair
Jason Fawcett - Past ChairKelson Group
As Vice President of Kelson Group, a local family-owned company that owns and manages apartments throughout British Columbia and Alberta, Jason recognizes the need for affordable housing and how the lack of it results in homelessness. He witnesses first-hand the struggles that many have to make ends meet and strongly believes it is important to provide different housing options and levels of support so that everyone has a safe and secure home to be healthy and productive in. Jason joined the United Way Board five years ago because he knew United Way was the organization that had the widest impact in the community.

Jason was born and raised in Kamloops and is a life-long soccer player.

Kari Chassie - Treasurer
Kari Chassie - TreasurerKPMG
Kari joined the United Way Board in the fall of 2014. She is a graduate from Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and currently works at KPMG as a Certified General Accountant. Kari also helps organize and coordinate the CGA exams for other up and coming accountants. She is especially passionate about working with single mothers and children. In her spare time Kari enjoys spending time with her nieces.
Keith Davis
Keith DavisTD Wealth Management
Locally born and raised, Keith is proud to call Kamloops his home with his wife and two sons. Keith is an Investment Advisor for TD Wealth. After being involved as a donor for many years he joined the Campaign Cabinet in 2014 and was also a part of investing the funds raised on the Kamloops Community Impact Council.

“I strongly believe in the United Way’s efforts and mission. Most of us are very fortunate in our lives and the United Way gives us the opportunity to help others at the time they need it most. The work accomplished amongst all of their partner organizations is truly incredible and makes a profound impact in our community.”

Jameel Aziz
Jameel AzizSchool District 73
Jameel is an educator who has had past roles as a coach, teacher, vice principal and principal within School District 73. Jameel has served as President of the Canadian Association of Principals and is past Chair of the United Way Board. Jameel has been on the Board for seven years.

He feels especially passionate about addressing child poverty in our community. As an educator he has witnessed first-hand the success a child can have when a caring adult is involved in their world and they are given the opportunity and resources to be successful. Jameel believes public education has the potential to be a great equalizer but children living in poverty can often overshadow the ability of students to be successful.

In his spare time Jameel is an avid runner and has completed seven half-marathons.

Lauren Goebel
Lauren Goebelbclc
Lauren joined the United Way Board shortly after moving to Kamloops in 2013. She was looking for a way to get involved in her new community and the opportunity was the perfect fit. Not only does Lauren sit on the United Way Board of Directors, she also chairs the Campaign Committee at BCLC, which raises more than $30,000 annually.

She has a double major in Computer Science and Economics and has worked in Leadership and Technology for over 25 years. Lauren is passionate about working with youth and with women at risk. She volunteers with mentoring programs at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and when she lived in Vancouver she sat on the Women Against Violence Board. Volunteering and giving back to the community is a very important part of her family’s day-to-day lives.

After living in big cities, working in big companies and climbing the corporate ladder for 30 years, Lauren now finds herself living on a 40 acre family farm and raising chickens, pigs, horses and dogs and loving every minute of it.

Homer Hamm
Homer HammUnifor Local 10-B / Domtar
Homer joined the United Way Board three years ago as the labour representative. He has also been instrumental in the local Domtar workplace campaign, which raises over $50,000 for the Kamloops Community Fund. Homer has been involved with high school boys’ basketball for over thirty years, through coaching and sitting on the committee for the 1993 Canada Summer Games and “AA” Basketball Championships.

In his spare time, Homer is an avid woodworker and enjoys creating furniture for his home and the homes of his friends.

Dr. Alan Shaver
Dr. Alan ShaverThompson Rivers University
Dr. Alan Shaver has served as the President of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) since 2010. An accomplished teacher, researcher and academic administrator, he is experienced in strategic planning, governance, budget management and in the development and implementation of strategy and policy. Dr. Shaver is an avid promoter of university-community partnerships and played a key role in the TRUly United Campaign which raised over $200,000 for both United Way and the TRU Foundation.

Dr. Shaver believes education can play a key role in breaking the cycle of social inequality and poverty that plagues underrepresented groups in our society.

Ray Warren
Ray WarrenRBC – Royal Bank
Ray joined the United Way Board in 2013. He was a member of United Way of the Fraser Valley’s Board of Directors for two years prior to relocating to Kamloops. Ray was first introduced to United Way through the annual workplace campaign and after being involved in the campaign for many years it was a natural evolution for him to join the Board.

Ray is a strong believer in supporting strong, healthy and communities. In his view, the more support networks and opportunities we have to assist, teach and grow creates a better life for everyone. In his spare time Ray enjoys riding his bicycle through the hilly streets of Aberdeen.

Ashleigh McClellan
Ashleigh McClellanSandman Hotel Group
Having spent the majority of her life in Kamloops, Ashleigh is passionate about giving back to the community that has given so much to her. With a background in Sales and Hospitality, she has enjoyed building corporate relationships founded on camaraderie. In addition to being a Director on the United Way Board, Ashleigh is also Co-Chair of United Way’s GenNext Council, a volunteer organization working to encourage young professionals to get involved in the community.

She is passionate about bringing together vibrant, young professionals to share their strengths, passions and creativity while building a better community.

Leslie Groulx
Leslie GroulxDistrict of Clearwater
Leslie is the CAO for the District of Clearwater and a representative for the North Thompson on United Way’s Board. She is passionate about the community she lives in and gives back to her community through Rotary, the Trails Task Force and volunteering to plan the Clearwater Canoe Regatta and Canada Day celebrations.

Leslie is passionate about affordable housing, youth integration programs and food security. She believes United Way is working to address these issues in her community and that is why she is a member of the Board of Directors.

Greg Brouwer
Greg BrouwerTeck | Highland Valley Copper
Greg is the General Manager of Teck Highland Valley Copper and he joined the United Way Board in April of 2015. Supporting United Way is very important to the employees at Highland Valley Copper and being involved in the Board allows Greg to extend his support in different ways. Outside of work and his role on the United Way Board Greg volunteers for the Kamloops Search and Rescue team.

While raising a son with special needs Greg has felt tremendous support from the communities he has lived in and strongly believes all families should have the support they need to work through similar challenges. When he is not working or traveling for work he enjoys being outdoors with his family. In the winter they spend most of their time at Sun Peaks and in the summer they can be found at the lake or hiking in the beautiful trails around Kamloops.

We are a beacon for social change. We don’t just scratch the surface of social issues by using band-aid solutions.

Our Campaign Cabinet

These community leaders volunteer their time to lead our annual fundraising campaign. They come from a variety of backgrounds and help make our communities a place you’re proud to call home.

Joshua Knaak - Cabinet Chair
Joshua Knaak - Cabinet ChairFit Financial
Katie Neustaeter
Katie NeustaeterBroadcast Centre
Deep roots in the community of Kamloops and a great desire to support those in need are just a few reasons that Katie felt humbled and privileged to be asked to serve on the United Way’s Campaign Cabinet. Katie was previously employed as a Support Worker and her insight into the lives of those less privileged and in need of resources made her affiliation with the United Way a natural pairing. Now a Creative Writer/Producer at Broadcast Centre, Katie hopes to contribute not only her time but also her media and advertising knowledge and a dash of creativity to the work of the Campaign Cabinet.
Brendan Shaw
Brendan ShawBrendan Shaw Real Estate
Ryan Deneault
Ryan DeneaultKGHM Ajax
Aleece Laird
Aleece LairdFresh Inc.
Harj Parmar
Harj ParmarCapri Insurance
Jeremy Commazetto
Jeremy CommazettoMary McGregor Law Corp.
Lucas Daoust
Lucas DaoustCity of Kamloops
Michele Logan
Michele LoganRBC

We inspire people to come together to make lasting difference in our communities. We dig deeper to identify underlying root causes of social issues.

Our GenNext Council

GenNext Kamloops is a young professional’s volunteer organization facilitated by United Way. They encourage people in their 20’s and 30’s to become involved in their community. They are influencing positive change through meaningful volunteering and giving opportunities.

Caitlin McKinlay
Caitlin McKinlayRTOWN & GenNext Chair
Caitie works as a Community Manager at RTOWN motivated by creativity, culture & community. Having been involved with GenNext since 2013, she is excited to tackle a new role as GenNext Chair.

“We’ve hosted some amazing events, volunteer opportunities and fundraising initiatives and it has been a fantastic way to get involved, meet other young professionals and network with a group that is so dedicated to their career development and their community.”

Amanda Chan
Amanda ChanKamloops Innovation & Marketing Co-Chair
By day Amanda is the Community Builder at Kamloops Innovation, and by night she is helping plan events with GenNext. She is passionate about encouraging youth to give back, get involved, and take action, while at the same time bringing together young professionals and building a vibrant community. With a background in marketing and event planning, Amanda is excited to use these skills towards making an impact in Kamloops with the GenNext team.
Stephanie Blier
Stephanie BlierDomtar & Volunteer Chair
Stephanie works as an HR Advisor for the Domtar Kamloops Pulp Mill. Originally from Montreal, she now calls Kamloops home. From the beginning, she has been impressed with the kindness and generosity she has seen.

“I joined GenNext to meet other young professionals that share the same passions and to give back to this community that gave so much to me when I first arrived.”

Richard Youds
Richard YoudsCanadian Western Bank & Finance Chair
Richard is a Commercial Banker at Canadian Western Bank. As someone who grew up in Kamloops he has observed a definite need for a group that brings together young professionals and raises awareness of community issues. He feels that GenNext will be a fun and beneficial way to increase involvement from the next generation and looks forward to seeing what the group can accomplish.

We work together with community partners to generate long-term, sustainable solutions that positively impact the health and well-being, education and financial stability of all members of our communities.

Our Women’s Leadership Council

This is a new United Way initiative being developed by women in Kamloops to help change the stories for local young women in need, and hopefully the stories of their children. Click here to learn more about this initiative.

Therese Zulinick
Therese Zulinick
Thérèse Zulinick is a principal and director with Urban Systems, a professional consulting firm committed to supporting vibrant communities. Therese’s passion is working with local governments, Aboriginal communities, private industry, and non-profit organizations in western Canada to help build communities that are safe, sustainable and prosperous.

Therese was one of the first board members for the BIG Little Science Centre from 2002 to 2004. She worked with the Centre’s early founders and supporters to ensure quality science education and programs could be offered in a financially sustainable way to all children in Kamloops.

More recently, Therese’s passion for communities has been extended to the Kamloops Women’s Leadership Council. Therese is working with other female leaders in her home community to facilitate grassroots change for women and children who face difficult barriers and challenges.

Therese lives in Kamloops BC with her husband Randy and their two children. Therese loves playing in the outdoors with her family including water skiing in the summer and hitting the snowy slopes of Sun Peaks in the winter.

Chantelle Stone
Chantelle Stone
From the boardroom table of an international company, to leading advocacy groups, Chantelle’s approach to leadership is that everyone can be and already is a leader. For the past two decades she has provided financial and administrative support alongside her husband as they built their company, iCompass Technologies, into a multi-million dollar organization. Her passion is community development.

She helped launch a campaign to assist her local college to transition to a university, joined and helped strengthen a support group for new moms, is an active Rotarian, and tirelessly supports all programs lead by her local YMCA. She is the mother of three daughters, a business owner, Zumba instructor and psychology student. Chantelle and her husband Todd have been married for 15 years and live in Kamloops.

Chantelle’s authentic desire to understand what our community offers and how it can evolve for our future generations is what has led her to help establish a United Way’s ‘Women’s Leadership Council’ that will help change the stories of young women, single mothers at risk, and vulnerable youth.

She is a proponent of striving for joy over perfection and instills those values in her children.

Rae Fawcett
Rae Fawcett
Rae has lived in the Kamloops area since 1949. Her three children were born and raised in Kamloops and still reside here. She has served 10 years on the Provincial Agriculture Environment Initiatives which, among other things, was responsible for the development of Environmental Farm Plans throughout B.C.

Along with her husband Ron, she has supported many programs in the Kamloops area to help improve the quality of those in need of help and assistance. She has always believed that education be the enlightenment of all people.

She joined the Women’s Leadership Council after listening to the needs and goals planned by the committee. “I’m so glad I agreed to be part of this group as I find myself surrounded by smart, enthusiastic and very caring women who are going to make things happen in our wonderful community!”

Denise Underwood
Denise Underwood
Denise is an educator with the Kamloops Thompson School District and has taught both French Immersion and English classes in various elementary schools in Kamloops and area. Denise has a passion for working with children, especially vulnerable youth, and strives to make a difference for those in her community.

Previously, Denise was the director of the not-for-profit Eureka Science Program for Kids at TRU, which created many programs to engage underserved youth populations. She has also served as sponsorship coordinator for the Cariboo Mainline Regional Science Fair committee. Currently, she is the Vice-President on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kamloops and region. .

Denise has a Bachelor of Science degree from UBC and a Bachelor of Education degree from UBC/UCC. In addition, Denise completed her Masters of Education in Community Leadership and Administration with a focus on at-risk youth through Gonzaga University. Currently, she is working on specializing in Special Education.

She lives in Kamloops with her husband, Steve and their three children. When not shuttling or chasing her kids, Denise enjoys being in the outdoors, hiking, biking, playing tennis, waterskiing and snow skiing.

Rhonda Maskiewich
Rhonda Maskiewich
Rhonda was born and raised in Kamloops. She is a senior environmental planner and principal with Urban Systems. Rhonda is the corporate lead for Urban Systems’ integrated environmental services team and is a corporate resource for environmental planning initiatives across western Canada.

Rhonda is a strong advocate of integrated design, sustainability and community involvement. Through her work on environmental and natural resource management issues, Rhonda has come to realize that the social components of these issues are often understated and misrepresented. This has led to Rhonda working toward understanding and, hopefully, addressing socio-economic issues within communities.

Rhonda acts as a coach and mentor to young professionals in a formal setting through her work, professional associations and academic institutions. She also provides mentorship to a host of young people through her hometown network.

Through that network, Rhonda was introduced to the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) and was honoured to be invited to be a part of the founding board. Rhonda has witnessed children and youth who have fallen through the cracks, and sees her participation in the WLC as an opportunity to work toward change. All children and youth are born with potential, it is the community in which they are raised and the support they are provided that will allow them to flourish.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Nelson Mandela.

Lisa Fuller
Lisa Fuller
Born and raised in Kamloops, Lisa works as a Human Resource Manager in the private sector.

Lisa is passionate about Kamloops and is very involved with a variety of community organizations including the Women’s Leadership Council, Venture Kamloops, United Way, Rotary, Human Resources Management Association, and more. She is extremely passionate about supporting and volunteering her time to assist non-profit organizations and individuals within our community as well across the province and globally.

Lisa strongly believes in helping families, children, and women to overcome their day-to-day challenges to achieve their dreams. Anything is possible!

As a lover of the outdoors, Lisa spends her time at the lake, running in the trails or skiing at the hill. Taking time to establish and maintain trusting relationships is a priority for Lisa as she believes that is the key improving someone else’s day.

Tara Decker
Tara Decker
Tara Decker is a lawyer and managing partner with HMZ Law. Originally from Saskatchewan, Tara met her husband while in law school and moved to Kamloops, his home town, in 1996. She has come to love the city and its amazing community spirit. Tara is a committed volunteer and has spent many hours working with youth in our community.

Tara is the proud parent of two daughters. The family enjoys the many outdoor activities that this region has to offer and when not at work, or in a meeting, she can be found skiing, hiking, boating or coaching one of her girls’ sporting teams.

“The change starts within each one of us. And ends only when all children are free to be children” – Craig Kielburger

Janet Bryson
Janet Bryson
Janet moved from Edmonton to Kamloops with her husband in 1974. She spent her career as a primary school teacher in Kamloops and is currently enjoying the benefits of retirement. Janet has been a director of the Stollery Charitable Foundation since its inception in 1994. The Foundation is committed to supporting health, education, poverty alleviation, and human rights initiatives that benefit the residents of Kamloops and Edmonton. Her work with the Foundation has enabled Janet to learn about the needs of the local non-profit sector and engage with many organizations as both a volunteer and a funder.

Janet enjoys travelling and spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She loves the City of Kamloops and is pleased to be a part of the Women’s Leadership Council.

We specialize in bringing together all sectors of a community including individuals, businesses, organizations and government in pursuit of a common goal – to create opportunities for people to live better lives.

Our Staff

Our team is a dedicated group of professionals who each bring a unique skill set and perspective to the table. They all have one common goal in mind; making the community they live in the best it can be.

Danalee Baker
Danalee BakerExecutive Director
“It’s all about people and giving back.” That’s how Danalee responds when people ask about the forces of motivation in her life and work. The United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo Executive Director has carried this passion through a diverse career in education, business, and non-profit.

She finally found the perfect place to make a difference in the community at United Way. In her seven years with the regional organization, she has helped shape their Community Impact work by collaborating with donors and stakeholders to strengthen the relationship between business, non-profit and local government. This has helped United Way strategically invest dollars in programs and services both to address and to prevent social issues like poverty, addiction and social isolation. “When everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” she says, “it’s a better community for all.”

Born and raised in Kamloops, Danalee has travelled and worked around the world and across the province. Deep local roots and a broad world view sustain both her work and her personal life. As the mother of two young children, Danalee considers the Thompson Nicola Cariboo region not only a great place to work, but a great place to live, play, and raise a family.

Geralyn Alain
Geralyn AlainSenior Manager of Resource Development
Geralyn received her Bachelor of Journalism at Thompson Rivers University with a major in Public Relations. Previously at United Way, she has held the role of Community Campaign Manager. She has now stepped into the position of Senior Resource Manager with us. In this role, she helps manage much of our own marketing, and she fosters relationships with donors on the business and individual level.

Outside of United Way, Geralyn teaches dance at her very own Barre business, sings, and is always very active. Geralyn is one of the most hard working, go-getter-people we know, and we’re so thankful to have her here.

Kristi Rintoul
Kristi RintoulSenior Manager of Community Impact

With over 12 years’ experience in the world of not for profit, Kristi has extensive experience working with those accessing services as well as with volunteers and donors sharing their gifts.

“I’ve seen firsthand the impact a caring community can have on those in need which is why I’m so excited to be a part of the United Way’s campaign and community impact initiative. Collaboration is so important and providing access to a multitude of services is paramount to ending the cycle of poverty, supporting children at risk and providing a safe neighbourhood for people to find their success in“.

New to Kamloops; Kristi, her husband and two little boys are looking forward to settling into their new neighbourhood and learning more about this amazingly giving community.

Sarah Sandholm
Sarah SandholmCommunity Campaign Manager

Sarah comes to the United Way with over 10 years of experience in designing, delivering and evaluating programs within municipal recreation, not-for-profit, and private health care organizations. As a graduate of the Recreation and Health Education program at the University of Victoria, community development has always been her main objective.

Her and her husband and two kids moved to Kamloops in 2012 from Vancouver Island. It was a difficult decision to leave their family and friends, but they believed they made the right decision in coming to Kamloops. With a booming economy, new career opportunities, a modern university, and recreational opportunities for the kids, Kamloops seemed like the perfect fit. They quickly became involved in the community through hockey and soccer, volunteering for local service groups and and participating in local events.

“We love the feeling of being in Kamloops – the rich culture here with the railway system, the passionate hockey fans and beautiful semi-arid desert surroundings split by the twin rivers. But most of all the people. Everyone in Kamloops is hard-working and down to earth. We have made many good friends by people reaching out to us just because we are new”.

Sarah looks forward to inspiring people to come together to make a lasting difference in their community and enjoys her role in raising resources strategically to meet the needs of United Way’s Community Impact Plan.

Ashlee Hyde
Ashlee HydeCommunity Campaign Manager

Ashlee is the Manager of Resource and Community Development at United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo. Her office is based in Williams Lake at Thompson Rivers University and she often travels to the South Cariboo.

She was born and raised in Williams Lake and is proud to call it home for herself and her husband. She has a certificate in Office Assistant with Bookkeeping Applications and is a certified International Event and Wedding Planner. Ashlee loves helping in her community and is glad to give back in the Cariboo region as a whole.

Outside United Way, Ashlee enjoys running her Event Planning and Rentals business with her mom, playing soccer with the local ladies league and doing wood working projects along side her husband.

Francy Hayward
Francy HaywardOffice Manager
Francy has been with United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo for 8 years. She has had numerous job here both on the community impact and office administration sides. Her goals with United Way are to keep that staff team both productive and fun while achieving our goals as well as to keep serving the community in a meaningful way.

Francy graduated from University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Sociology. She grew up in our rivalry city Kelowna, but now calls Kamloops home. She loves to spend time with her two children making sure they are learning and growing as much as possible. She has a passion for food – growing it, cooking it, and eating it!

Amy Berard
Amy BerardCommunity Impact Manager

Amy is the Community Impact Manager at United Way. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Thompson Rivers University and while there, started working for United Way in 2010 as a co-op summer student.

The stories she heard from volunteers and agency staff changed her and she has been with United Way ever since. She left Kamloops to work for and learn from the team at United Way of Winnipeg for two years, but came home in 2015. With experience in managing the fundraising campaign and leading United Way’s community impact strategy, she has seen firsthand how the generosity of our donors can transform a life.

Amy has received the TRU Distinguished Alumni Award (2013) and Kamloops Business Magazine Top 10 under 40 Award (2013). We are lucky to have such a passionate person on our team.

Ann McCarthy
Ann McCarthyKnowledge Mobilization Officer
Ann works as Knowledge Mobilization Officer for United Way TNC and Thompson Rivers University. This community outreach role will increase awareness and accessibility of research being undertaken at TRU, increase participation by faculty and students in community research, and help to use that research for community planning and decision making.

Ann has been involved in knowledge mobilization throughout her career – using knowledge to help individuals, organizations, and the community achieve more. A natural collaborator, Ann believes deeply in the mission of United Way, and the potential of people. As a lifelong learner, she will facilitate the movement of knowledge between TRU researchers and the community in order to inform decision making and measure community well-being.

Ann and her family have lived in Kamloops for over 30 years, and have watched the university and the community grow side-by-side. She loves the natural landscapes of the area, especially the rivers. She is a passionate dragonboater, kayaker, and gardener.

The people of Kamloops are special to her, and she is an eager volunteer for several organizations. She looks forward to continuing to contribute to the health and wellbeing of the vibrant community she lives in.

Roop Plawn
Roop PlawnDonor Relations Associate

We monitor and measure the impact of both short and long-term solutions to ensure they are affecting social change that leads to stronger families and more vibrant communities.