Donna Clarke – Executive Director
I have more than 25 years experience in the nonprofit sector, most of which have been working with seniors’ organizations or on seniors issues. I have managed other seniors’ centers, retirement residences, held positions in government relations and project coordination as it pertains to senior’s housing. As a young woman I even taught a senior’s fitness class at the YM/YWCA. Community Development is my forte and I prepared for that by taking the Community Leadership Program at Memorial University of Newfoundland and I learned first hand from my parents as they were activists and advocates for many causes.
I am a trained facilitator in adult education, and have taken numerous courses at University of BC, BC Institute of Technology, Langara College, and Vancouver Community College. The nonprofit sector is where I belong as I understand how important it is to give back to my community. I have volunteered all my life and have served on several committees including Boards of Directors.
Joon Kim – Executive Assistant
Joon went to BCIT to study Financial Management Accounting Option. He worked at a bead import warehouse for three years prior to starting his journey here with us at RCSS. Him and his family are from Korea. Joon has one younger brother. He is quite the athlete! He plays all sorts of sports and spends most of his free time at the gym.
Carol Yi – Nurse
In 2009, Carol was delighted to join the Society as the LPN.Carol comes from a relatively small city (of only about a million people) in the central part of China. She moved to Vancouver in the first year of the new millennium and has enjoyed living in Canada very much.
Carol has been involved with the health care industry for almost half of her life. Her credentials include working in a Chinese hospital as a neurologist and an assisted living for seniors in Vancouver as an LPN. Carol loves helping and working with seniors. Seniors remind her of her parents who are far away in China. Please come and talk to Carol anytime you need medical assistance.
Wai Yee – Nurse & Activity Worker
Wai Yee’s hometown is Montreal, Quebec, although she is originally from Hong Kong. She was educated in Montreal and Vancouver. Her studies were in special education and nursing.
Christina Webster – Adult Day Program Coordinator
Christina is a graduate of the Therapeutic Recreation program at Douglas College and began her work at RCSS as a volunteer in early 2014.
Christina’s values of health, wellness and quality of life for all perfectly align with those at the Renfrew Collingwood Seniors Society. Along with the committed recreation team, it is her goal as program coordinator to implement fun, creative and innovative programming for the benefit of all clients.
Faith Malakoff – Activity Worker
Faith is one of our many members in our recreational team at Renfrew Collingwood Seniors’ Society. She is originally from the Slocan Valley and is the youngest of four girls. She moved to Vancouver in October 2013 to study Gerontology-based Therapeutic Recreation at Stenberg College in Surrey.
She graduated October 2014 from this intensive one year diploma program, and she admits that her life has changed during that time. She feels she is in the right field and that she has something to offer. Never before has she woken up in the mornings excited about going to work, until now! She is grateful for the opportunity to work in such a fun and supportive environment.
Maricris Negrana – Activity Worker
Maricris feels wonderful to be a part of Renfrew-Collingwood Seniors Centre. She finds an abundance of joy and warm appreciation from everyone. It gives her a chance to learn new things, utilize her skills and abilities, and shine in her position.
She is the third child of seven in her family. She immigrated to Canada from Philippines over 16 years ago. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in physical therapy in Philippines. She also took the Rehabilitation Assistant program at Capillano University here in North Vancouver.
She loves to travel. She had a chance to see the other side of the world in her previous travels where she learned a new culture and have met people from all walks of life. She is an optimist and an outgoing person. She loves to hang around intelligent and smart people. She loves to explore and learn new things everyday to expand her horizons and grow as a person.
Carmen Giang – Activity Worker
Carmen is a Simon Fraser University graduate of 2015 from the Bachelor’s of Health Science program with a minor in Gerontology. She has returned to complete a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Gerontology and anticipates finishing the program in Fall 2018. While attending university, she volunteered for 4 years with the Health & Home Care Society of B.C.’s Adult Day Program at the Family Respite Centre. She is passionate giving back to the community and making a difference. Over the past 12 years, Carmen has been involved in many projects and opportunities that allow her to do that.
She has lived in Vancouver all her life but would love to experience living in a different country one day. Carmen loves a great challenge because she feels that it gives her new perspectives and helps her grow as a person as well.
Micheli Franka – Activity Worker
Meet Micheli! She is so grateful to be a part of the RCSS team. She is originally from Brazil and has been living in Canada since late 2008. She resided in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for most of her life, which is well-known for its tropical climate, beautiful beaches and the famous carnival party. She finished my bachelor degree in Physical Therapy in 2001 there.
She has numerous experiences working in public health care. She worked in multidisciplinary rehabilitation center developing home health care programs, which included assessing, treating and educating patients and caregivers as part of direct outreach program in the community.
Micheli is also a very proud mom of two beautiful children and is very passionate about her family. When she is not working, she enjoys continuing her studies; leading an active lifestyle, including running in trails, hiking, playing soccer, and volleyball; or, gathering outside with friends for a delicious barbecue. She would like to thank you all for providing her with such wonderful environment where she feels very welcome.
Cassandra Ly – Activity Worker
Cassandra first got involved with the society in high school as a volunteer for the Boulevard Gardens Project and quickly fell in love with the Centre. She was a summer student for two years and has never left since! She currently works with the Community Day Program on Saturdays.
Cassandra is a resident of the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood and attended Windermere Secondary School. She recently graduated from UBC’s Global Resource Systems Program and has a strong passion for food security and community development through food. Nothing makes her happier than sitting down with a cup of hot tea, some food, and good conversations with seniors and other community members.
Emily Lonsdale – Summer Student
Meet Emily, our new summer student here at Renfrew Collingwood Seniors Society. She just moved to Vancouver this year after completing her psychology degree at the University of Calgary. She grew up in West-Central Alberta in a small town called Rocky Mountain House, so she really appreciates all the amazing services large cities have to offer. She has applied to Simon Fraser University’s to complete a Masters in Gerontology that will begin Fall 2017. She loves spending time getting to know the different members of her community, and learning more about the unique life stories of those around her.
In her spare time she enjoys camping, reading, gardening, and travelling. A fun fact about her is that she lived in the Netherlands for a semester while she studied at the University of Amsterdam! She is really looking forward to her summer here at RCSS, and she can’t wait to get to know all of you.
Rose Smith – Cook
Rose Smith was born in Vancouver to German parents.
Her love for cooking started at a very young age. At 3 years old, she would put play dough on the heating vents to try to cook it. She was famous amongst friends for her fancy mud cakes she created outside from a puddle. At age 10 she would play restaurant to her parents and their friends at lunchtime.
Her mother trained her to cook supper for the family so she could work longer hours. In high school Home Ec was her favourite class. She would bake and bake all weekends long.
She has worked at RCSS as a casual cook for many years and then took a permanent position when it became available. She also cooked for other Adult Day Programs, Treatment Centre for Eating Disorders, hotels, camps, etc.
Marilee Sinlao – Activity Worker
Marilee is married to her loving and ever supportive husband, Archimedes. She was born in the Philippines and worked as an emergency room nurse for several years years. At the moment, she is also a Clinical Instructor for the Health Care Assistant program at a private college in Vancouver.
Alongside her nursing career lies profound passion in music. She enjoys playing various musical instruments such as drums, cajon, and a little bit of piano when her fingers are up for some dancing. She was very thrilled and excited when Donna offered her a position here at RCSS. This workplace is her second home as the staff are very accommodating, fun, and loving individuals. She enjoys working with the seniors in the Community Day Program every Saturday because it is so rewarding to interact with them. There are many different activities she does with them such as playing bingo, arts and crafts, informative group discussion, and exercise class.