Madeleine MacIvor – Member At Large
Madeleine MacIvor is Cree, Metis, and English descent with maternal ties to the Michel First Nation. She became involved with Renfrew Collingwood Seniors’ Society in 2011 when her mother, Dorothe, began attending the Centre. She was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2012.
Madeleine has a background in education. She graduated from the Native Indian Teacher Education Program (BEd, Elementary) Ts’kel Graduate Studies (MA, Science Education). In 2011 she received a Doctorate of Letters, honoris causa from the University of the Fraser Valley for her work in Aboriginal education. In 2012 she completed a Doctor of Education. The topic of her dissertation is “Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Policy Development in British Columbia, 1986-2011.” Between 1989 and 2011, Madeleine worked with Aboriginal students at First Nations House of Learning, UBC.
Madeleine is now retired, and in her post-retirement life, she is honored to serve on RCSS’s Board of Directors.
Tara Abraham – Member At Large
Tara has served on the Board of Directors for a few years now. With the Board of Directors, she has begun important work establishing policies and procedures and supporting the Executive Director, Donna, as she works toward building a smooth running organization and a healthy workplace. She enjoys working with the rest of the Board.
She looks forward to utilizing her training in management as well as her professional experience in Public Health for the furthering Renfrew Collingwood Seniors Society’s mission.
Poonam Kaila – Chair
Poonam began her journey with the Renfrew Collingwood Seniors’ Society as a volunteer in the Adult Day Program back in 2008. Since then, she has helped with the monthly newsletter and even joined the staff as summer student before becoming a director on our Board in 2012. Poonam acted as the Secretary for many years diligently keeping minutes before moving into the role of Chairperson. She was part of developing our last strategic plan and will be leading the project to create our new strategic plan.
In her professional career, Poonam is a paralegal and department manager. As such, she had the skills to facilitate the update to our Bylaws to be in compliance with the BC legislation and the society’s governance purposes.
Volunteering and community involvement are pillars of Poonam’s lifestyle, she takes an active effort to participate however she can in the organizations she is connected with.
She is very much blessed and thankful for the Renfrew Collingwood Seniors’ Society and for what we are doing in our community and beyond to support seniors.
Olga Smirnova – Treasurer
Olga moved to Canada from Russia in 2008 where she graduated from the Russian Institute of Economics with a Bachelor in Economics, majoring in Financial Management. She started volunteering at RCSS in 2009 and, after a few months, joined the RCSS staff and continued to work there for almost seven years looking after administrative and financial tasks. After leaving her job at Renfrew-Collingwood Seniors’ Society, Olga joined the Board of Directors as a Treasurer.
Olga is a finance and payroll professional dedicated to the non-for-profit sector. She brings 10 years of experience in non-profit finance, full-cycle accounting, reporting, policy and procedure development and system implementation.
In her free time, Olga enjoys doing various outdoors activities and travelling. She is also studying towards her CPA and CPM designation.
Paul Hucul – Member At Large
Paul Hucul was born and raised in Vancouver, and attended Notre Dame Secondary School. He graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and later received his Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resources, and a Certificate in Business with a Human Resources specialization.
During his 34 years with the Vancouver Police Department, Paul’s work included 13 years performing Human Resources functions as a practitioner, supervisor and manager. Paul has had the opportunity to share his skills with students at Simon Fraser University, where he was a teaching assistant, and City University where he taught Human Resource Management, Business Communication and Organizational Behaviour. He left the VPD in 2007 to Join Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society where he is responsible for Human Resources and Quality Assurance.
Paul is involved in a variety of fitness and sports activities, including Karate, which he has practiced for 43 years. Sensei Paul is the chief instructor and head of BC Kyokushinkai Karate organization under Karate B.C. He teaches Karate at the Jewish Community Centre where he teaches approximately 75 students ranging from 5 years to 63 years old. He is also the Senior Advisor for the North American Karate Organization.
Jackie became involved with Renfrew Collingwood Seniors’ Society in 2021 to use the opportunity to work with her mother, Kamaljeet, who attends the Centre and is also a Board member and Board Senior Liaison.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Jackie first began working with seniors as a university student when she volunteered with Meals on Wheels to deliver meals to seniors. She studied at the University of British Columbia where she earned degrees in History; Sociology; Film & Television Production and most recently a certificate in Change Management. Working across industries, Jackie has acquired many years experience in the healthcare sector. She has experience as a Board Member, working with Boards and has been her building Strata Council President since 2013.
Having seen how involvement with the Seniors Society has contributed to her mom’s well-being, Jackie is excited to use her skills and experience to contribute to its success and grateful for the opportunity to give back.
Manpreet Kaur – Secretary
Manpreet is an IT professional. She grew up and graduated in India and was brought up in an environment where volunteer service is considered as food to the soul. Manpreet has helped students in mathematics and computers back in India. After immigrating to Canada, she did not have many opportunities to support humanity, but contributed wherever possible. She has seen seniors struggle (in terms of relations, loneliness etc.) and to combat these challenges, she has a vision to make policies supporting senior rights. Manpreet believes this is a good place to start with.
Edward Sem – Co-Chair
Ed Sem was born and raised in East Vancouver. He currently resides in the Renfrew Collingwood neighborhood.
Professionally, Ed has spent over thirty years working in the Governments of Canada, Ontario, and British Columbia. He worked in the Parliament of Canada and Legislative Assemblies in Ontario and BC. Specifically, Ed served the people of British Columbia in the Ministries of Social Development and Social Innovation, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations, and Reconciliation. He proudly worked to resolve issues related to areas such as, people on social assistance, adults with developmental disabilities (CLBC) and Aboriginal relations.
In his volunteer career, Ed worked with Diabetes Canada’s BC Advocacy Group, helping set up Diabetes Canada’s advocacy day in Victoria. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Universities’ Model Parliament Society of British Columbia, he was previously the president, vice president and treasurer of organization. Recently, he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his work with the Korean Veterans Association of Canada.
Ed has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University and graduate of St. Thomas More Collegiate.