Myung Lee, Executive Director
Myung joined Smither Community Services Association as the new Executive Director in May 2023. She has a rich background in strategic planning, program management, fund development, community/stakeholder engagement, and marketing/communications in corporate and non-profit sectors. She has lived and worked in the lower mainland and Victoria before.
Myung is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of the most vulnerable people, such as homeless people, refugees, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA2S+ by ensuring equal access to rights, resources, and opportunities. She holds a BA in History and a BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She loves to use her creativity to bring innovative ideas to nonprofit management. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, learning new digital technology, and visiting galleries, museums, and heritage places.
Karen Moon Janson, Financial Administrator
Karen was born in Cape Town, South Africa but moved to a much smaller town for her teenage years. Despite initial resistance to this move, it was here where her appreciation grew for small town living and the connection and support these communities offer. She then moved to Stellenbosch and after completing her studies was privileged to spend the next 12 years working on one of the most beautiful wine farms in the area. It was here that she met her now husband who convinced her that a move to Smithers, BC should be next. So on Christmas Eve in 2008, she and her 6-year-old daughter boarded a plane for Smithers and have happily been living in the valley ever since. Karen was fortunate to join the SCSA team in 2017 and is very proud to be part of all the wonderful work it does in the community. In her spare time, Karen loves gardening and exploring all the natural beauty of the surroundings with her dog.
Pauline Mahoney, Site Manager, Goodacre Place
After graduating as an Occupational Therapist in 1984, Pauline wanted to extend her education and experience, so she moved to Canada for one year in 1986. Pauline didn’t account for falling in love with the Canadian wilderness and a Canadian, marrying, and having 2 children. 37 years later, Pauline is still here. Pauline and Adrian moved to Smithers in 1990 from Vancouver, attracted by the beauty, wilderness, and small-town appeal. Pauline worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in a range of settings, with a major specialty in neurology and brain injury. In 2002, with the birth of Pauline’s first child, Pauline became a stay-at-home mom, actively seeking and engaging in a range of activities committed to progressive social change. Pauline returned to the workforce in 2016 as a support worker at Broadway Place Homeless Shelter, transferring over to Goodacre Place Supportive Housing/Homeless Shelter in 2019 and becoming manager in 2022. Pauline was attracted to work for SCSA as she believes housing is a fundamental human right and that everyone should have access to the supports they need to live a life that allows for self-determination, dignity, inclusion, and connection.
Danielle Ray, Assistant Site Manager, Goodacre Place
Danielle was raised in Golden and moved to Kelowna in 2001 with her daughter. While in Kelowna Danielle studied psychology at the University of British Columbia. During this time Danielle was active in karate, reiki, drumming circles, and rock hunting. In 2012 Danielle moved to Kelowna with her husband and son. One of Danielle’s greatest joys since moving to Smithers has been training in karate with her son at the Dojo. Danielle studied criminology at Coast Mountain College and completed the Adult Probation Officer training at the JIBC while working in Ecommerce. After many years of feeling drawn towards working with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Danielle started her career with Smithers Community Services Association in 2018 as a support worker at Broadway Place shelter, and transitioned over to the Goodacre Place supported housing when it opened in 2019. New to her role as assistant manager in 2022, Danielle is committed to working with the front-line staff and supporting them with their work with clients.
Joni Parker, Site Manager, Meadows Assisted Living
Joni was born and raised in a small town in Labrador and moved to Smithers in 1995 with her parents. In 1999, she met her (now) husband, Eric, and started a family; their three boys Dylan, Brayden, and Jordan are her world. Joni worked in the financial industry for many years and in 2021, she decided to make a career change and became a Health Care Assistant at the Bulkley Lodge. Joni quickly found a love for working with seniors and elders, and it shows in the many relationships she has made within the community. Joni enjoys camping, mountain biking, paddleboarding, golfing, traveling, and spending time with her family and two dogs. Joni just joined the SCSA family in August 2023 as Site Manager at The Meadows and is immensely excited for what is to come.
Nicole Oben, Site Manager, Cottonwood Manor
Nicole grew up in Houston, BC, where she still calls home. Nicole’s passion is horses; when she is not exploring the backcountry on horseback, she can also be found kayaking, cross-country skiing, or exploring some other aspect of the backcountry. She joined SCSA in 2015 and has seen the important role the organization has played in the development of affordable seniors housing and assisted living for its neighboring community. Nicole is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the orgway for short periods of time to Ontario and Kelowna but felt the need to come “home”.
Carlie Watson, Property Manager, Administration Clerk, Reception
Carlie grew up in the valley and moved away for short periods of time to Ontario and Kelowna but felt the need to come “home”. She raised her two boys in “sunny” Telkwa, near Tyhee Lake. She has 15 years of experience working in Social Services programs, supporting community members with accessing services and support. In these roles, she provided services to diverse populations, building trusting relationships and creating a committed and supportive environment. She developed Action Plans with proven success in securing funding for formal skills training. Carlie also worked in Mining & Exploration for 10 years and Reforestation for 10 years. Fun fact: she loves gardening and used to be a Spotter with Air Search and Rescue. Carlie’s current role with Smithers Community Services provides support to the Administrator, Executive Director, Program Managers and Board. She dispatches and books curb-to-curb services for Smithers & District Transit. Carlie also works as the Property Manager, liaising with tenants and contractors to ensure the properties and tenancies are well maintained.
Jonathan Namox, Transit Program Manager & Driver
Jonathan was born and raised in Smithers and has lived in the Bulkley Valley for the entirety of his life. He is also a proud member of the Witset band. Jonathan proudly embraces his indigenous heritage. He draws strength and inspiration from his cultural roots, demonstrating a deep respect for traditional values and customs. His unique perspective and insights contribute to his ability to connect with diverse communities and create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
At a young age, he took an interest in the transportation industry and always dreamed of being a part of it. Jonathan attended Ultimate West Coast Professional Driving School to earn his Class 1 driver’s license. He enjoys being able to use his learned skills daily while driving the bus. Jonathan really enjoys serving the diverse clientele that make use of the local transit service.
Petra Kost, Program Manager, English Language and Multicultural Services (ELMS)
Petra brings many years of experience in Human Resource Management to her role. Originally from Germany, Petra worked for large international tech companies in Europe before deciding on a radical life change. In 2004, she took a year off and went on a journey to explore Canada. On this trip, she discovered Smithers and fell in love with the picturesque town and its kind people. She immigrated here permanently in 2007. Although the prospect of starting a new life was exciting, it was not without its challenges. Perseverance, determination, and patience were required to overcome various immigration and settlement challenges, all of which eventually paid off and led her to proudly become a Canadian Citizen in 2012. Part of her settlement journey involved finding meaningful work within the community. So, when the opportunity to join Smithers Community Services arose in 2010, Petra jumped at the chance to become a Settlement Worker with the ELMS Program. As an immigrant herself, she clearly understood the dynamics of settling in a foreign country and was happy to use that experience to help others in similar situations. As the Program Manager for over 8 years now, she continues to be passionate about assisting newcomers and enabling them to live full lives in their new home and can often be heard saying, “I have the best job in the world!””
Angela Sketchley, Family Support Program Manager & Consultant
Angela was raised in Houston, BC. After leaving the North for many years, she returned to obtain her BSc. (psychology) at UNBC while volunteering with the Northern Women’s Centre and UNBC Peer Counselling program. Angela settled in Smithers in 2008 and served as a program coordinator at the Friendship Centre, contributing eight years of anti-poverty advocacy on a provincial level.
Angela has also worked as a Social Program Officer at Northern Health providing Social Work coverage and has been with the Family Support Program at SCSA since 2021. Angela works with a multi-faceted lens that reflects the interrelated complexities of systemic impacts, oppression, trauma, neurodiversity, mental health (wellness), addictions, poverty, and radical acceptance. Angela is a lifelong learner, a mom of both humans and fur babies, a rock concert enthusiast, an advocate, a traveler, and an ally who deeply understands humanity.
Laura Duursma, Program Manager, Community Learning Services
Laura joined Smithers Community Services Association as the Community Learning Services Program Manager in 2023. She has a background in Education and teaching and has a passion for seeing our community become a place of belonging for people of all gifts, talents and abilities. Born and raised in Telkwa, Laura loves the small-town vibe and after living in different provinces has settled back into the Bulkley Valley as home. Laura loves to travel and has volunteered in Malawi, Haiti, and Mexico, has climbed the Great Wall in China, and has gone backpacking throughout Europe. In her spare time, she loves gardening, biking, paddle boarding, hiking and spending time with family. Laura is excited to share her love of learning and literacy with people of all ages. Please pop by and say hi- let’s learn together!
Laurel Lindstrom, Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) Cordinator
Laurel grew up in Nanaimo and Houston, BC. She spent 25 years living in Prince George, working for a non-profit organization for 17 years. Laurel went back to school in her 40s and attended the College of New Caledonia for four years, graduating with a Marketing and Management diploma. As a single mother to a son, Laurel struggled financially to support both on a single wage. Through these struggles and hard times, Laurel came to realize that the non-profit sector is where her future lies.
She enjoys helping others who are going through difficult times and assisting people to get back on their feet. Laurel started her career with Smithers Community Services working at the Broadway Place Emergency Shelter in 2012. She transitioned from Broadway Place shelter to Goodacre Place when it opened its doors in 2019, then she applied and accepted the position of Housing Support Worker for the HPP program.
Françoi Depey, Better at Home Program Coordinator
François moved to Smithers from Vancouver in 1993 shortly after obtaining his Canadian citizenship. The idea was to settle in a mountain community. He grew up in the French Alps and his background is in geography and mountain community planning. Once in Smithers, he successively worked for the school district, BC Parks, the forest industry, the mining industry, and for a period spanning over twenty years for the Office of the Wet’suwet’en as coordinator for the Geographic Information System of the Natural Resources Department. François left the valley on several occasions to work along the Cassiar Highway, in Inuvik, NWT for Canada National Parks, and in Prince Rupert for the implementation of a Marine Plan. More recently, François worked with Coast Mountain College with international students. Covid put an end to that work opportunity and in March 2021, he launched the Better at Home program for seniors in Smithers and Telkwa through Smithers Community Services Association. It is a great opportunity for him to meet many people who are so knowledgeable about the community and the area. One aspect of the work that is more appealing to François is to keep people connected with their community. François had several opportunities to contribute to the community through volunteer experiences with the Bulkley Valley Music Society (Midsummer Music Festival), the Community Music Band, Driftwood Hall, the BV Nordic Ski Club, the Bulkley Backcountry Ski Society, and the Smithers Art Gallery. François has raised three children here who are now adults and no longer live in the valley.