Board of Directors
The society is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and the Executive Director. The Board of Directors is recruited from the membership and consists of individuals with a wide range of professional and practical experience. The board meets ten times per year and separate executive meetings are held ten times per year.
President – Ken M. Kramer, Q.C.
Ken M. Kramer is the founder and president of KMK Law Corporation, a boutique law firm he established in 1999. Mr. Kramer’s firm provide specialized legal services in the areas of estate planning, litigation, elder law and mediation. He is also the Chair of the Province’s Ministry of Health, Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board. Ken is a tireless volunteer having contributed thousands of hours to numerous organizations throughout the province and our country over the past 25 years with a particular focus on disability issues. He was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and leadership with Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Currently, Mr. Kramer sits on the BC branch of the Canadian Bar Association’s, Elder Law subsection Executive and is an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Provincial Council.
Vice President – Linda Pipe
Linda has been a Registered Nurse in the field of Gerontological Nursing for the past 11 years. Since 2003, Linda was Chair for the Fraser Valley Region and Council member of the BC Nurses Union where she served as a Council member on governance issues concerning BCNU. She retired from nursing in August 2014 after a 44 year career in nursing. Linda is a member of the Mountain View Gerontological Nurses. She also supports her daughter with their horse breeding business, breeding Irish Sport horses.
Secretary – Anne Beveridge
Anne Beveridge has a background in business and legal aid administrative laws, having been a community law office lawyer and then client services manager for the BC Legal Services Society. She presently works part time as a faculty member at Thompson Rivers University – Open Learning Division, teaching and writing law courses. Anne has had several years of volunteer experience at a seniors’ legal clinic and maintains a strong interest in access to justice issues.
Treasurer -Tish Lakes
Executive Director of Okanagan Advocacy and Resource Society since 2006; administration and direct service, poverty advocacy, to people with chronic mental illness chiefly on the areas of income assistance and residential tenancy. Tish has worked as a legal advocate and also as a community volunteer in various locations in British Columbia. She sat on the Appeal Tribunals set up under the GAIN Act, including one instance where she was nominated by the then Ministry of Human Resources.
Tish has been a board member of Access Pro Bono since its inception in 2010 and also a board member of Pro Bono Law BC as a lay representative. Tish has been a provincial and federal candidate in three elections for the NDP between 2008 and 2013.
Members at Large
Sandra Wilking recently retired as Director, Corporate & Endowment Programs for S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation. Prior to this position, she was Project Manager for the Immigrant Public Legal Education & Information Project, a collaborative consortium of 12 agencies from the Immigrant Settlement and Public Legal Education & Information sectors. She served for five years as a Citizenship Judge for British Columbia & Yukon. A former Vancouver City Councilor, her community involvement has included being a board member with various non profit organizations such as the Vancouver Foundation, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., United Way, and Imagine Canada. She is currently a member of the Honorary Governors’ Council for Vancouver Foundation and a TELUS Community Board member.
Rupinder Chhina is Manager of Internal Audit for First West Credit Union. She completed her CA and FRM designations and is currently pursuing her CIA designation. Rupinder graduated with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and worked with KPMG for 5 years before moving into industry. Rupinder has a strong background in external and internal audit, risk management, and the financial services sector.
Audrey Schwartz is Executive Director of Active Support Against Poverty in Prince George BC. Like many northern people, Audrey moved south to Prince George as a young single parent to further her education. While attending College of New Caledonia, she volunteered with an advocacy group and in 1987 was hired as the Executive Director. This small organization became ASAP and in the past 27 years has grown into a multifaceted service provider. ASAP provides: direct advocacy for people struggling with poverty focusing on Income Assistance, assistance with disability applications and appeals, landlord tenant advocacy, a free clothing service, a message service, educational workshops. ASAP also offers a 16 unit low income urban singles housing project (McQuaid Place – opened in 1998), a 30 bed co-ed minimal barrier shelter (with expansion in extreme weather) which is combined with our offices, and a 28 unit homeless at risk housing project (Bridget Moran Place – opened in 2002).
Audrey Schwartz has participated in many activities/initiatives including: long standing member of the former federated antipoverty groups of British Columbia; Lower Income Urban Singles Task Group; board member of Home Support, Downtown Service Providers, Women’s Wellness Centre, Ombudsman’s complaints; Community Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth; Shelter Net, Community Partners Addressing Homelessness; long standing board member of Public Interest Advocacy of BC, Intersect, and Low Income Energy Committee, etc.
Audrey is proud of the work and growth of ASAP from .5 FTE in 1987 with an operating budget of $10,000.00 per year to 30 FTE (union and non-union) with an operating budget of over 2 million dollars per year. Audrey’s vision for ASAP involves inclusive community services that are client centered and client driven, and we are honored that we have the trust of our community and constituents.
Audrey Schwartz lives in the bowl area of Prince George with her partner, Don. Audrey is now assisting her 83 year old mother who also lives in Prince George in her journey with dementia. Vancouver Island has a special attraction for Audrey – in addition to its beauty, her grown children live there with her 10 year old grandson, who is her pride and joy.
Melinda has been a social worker for more than 20 years and has dedicated her career to working with seniors. She has extensive knowledge and clinical experience in geriatric mental health, home and community care, medical/legal capacity assessments, and elder abuse, neglect and self-neglect in both Ontario and BC. In her current role as the Specialist, Adult Abuse & Neglect for the Northern Health Regional Office, she is responsible for providing education, training and consultative support to Northern clinicians involved in Adult Guardianship investigations. She also provides public education sessions for local organizations including the Prince George Council of Seniors, the Community Response Network and the University of Northern BC. Her academic research has examined the health needs of older women in northern BC and she has held graduate level research assistant positions with the BC Network for Aging Research (SFU & UNBC) and the BC Home and Community Care Research Network. She has held numerous volunteer positions for groups such as the Alzheimer Society, the BC Psychogeriatric Association, Windsor Police Victim Services and the Victim Witness Assistance Program. In her spare time, and as part of her self-care efforts Melinda enjoys being outdoors and she is hopeful that her next accomplishment will be to become certified as a Master Gardener.
Jack Micner was born in Vancouver, and graduated from UBC’s combined Commerce-Law program in 1982. Jack was called to the bar in 1983 and has practiced in the Lower Mainland ever since. Jack’s professional activities include: Member of the Canadian Bar Association, teaching for UBC Continuing Education and Worksafe BC. These are just a few of his many professional undertakings.
His community involvement consists of being an Executive Committee member for the Canadian Bar Association Elder Law section for BC, Board of Directors, St. Jude’s Anglican Home, weekly columnist for Richmond News and the Programming Committee, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (since 2000) and organizer and officiator of the annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, past member of the Board of Directors for the Jewish Seniors Alliance and regular donor, covenant House.
Shikha is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC and also has a BSc from Dalhousie and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. Shikha is a financial professional experienced in analysis, operations support, business process design, strategic & tactical planning, and leadership. She possesses 15 years of professional experience. Currently Shikha is the Manager for Business Planning & Analysis for (CLBC) Community Living British Columbia. One of many tasks and responsibilities Shikha has is to administer the budgeting and forecasting processes for $750+ million portfolio.
Jaqua Page practices Elder Law, Wills & Estates and Family Law. Jaqua was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2010, having previously obtained her law degree at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and being called to the Bar in 2007.
Jaqua became interested in working with older adults when working in a care home facility shortly after high school graduation, where her maternal grandmother, a retired nurse, was ‘Matron’. During university, Jaqua realized her passion for Elder Law, and since returning to Canada, has focused on developing her practice in this area.
Jaqua has served on the Executive of the Elder Law Section for 4 years and is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch. Jaqua is also the President in 2016 of the New Westminster Bar Association.
Since returning to her native BC in 2008, Jaqua has been employed in boutique law firms, has been a partner in a law firm and currently operates as a sole practitioner within the Westminster Law Group in New Westminster, BC.
Before entering the law profession, Jaqua trained at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Alberta for Television Writing and Producing, and has over twenty years of experience working at senior levels of production management in London, England, Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Hilde Deprez obtained her Masters of Law degree from KUL, University of Leuven, Belgium.
After completing the mandatory 3 year articling program, Hilde was called to the Bar and worked for several years as Lawyer within large law firm before joining her husband and moving to Vancouver, Canada in 1996.
Upon arrival in Canada, Hilde worked as legal secretary for community based law practice while at the same time attending the Notary Program.
Upon graduation from the UBC Notary Program, Hilde was commissioned as a Notary Public for British Columbia in June 2001 and started, together with her husband and fellow notary, their own Notary Practice located in Vancouver, Westside.
Whereas “Deprez & Associates Notaries Public” offers full range of notary services, Hilde’s practice has a strong focus on Estate and Incapacity Planning.
Empowering clients with Information and providing them with the Tools needed to prepare for the Unthinkable, is what Hilde finds most rewarding.
Hilde supports and is actively involved in local community initiatives and events.
Honorary Lifetime Directors
Penny Bain (LLM) is a retired member of the BC Law Society and a former Executive Director of Seniors First BC. Her career was largely in management of legal services and legal policy development (Legal Services Society of BC) and management of not-for-profits addressing violence against vulnerable persons (BC Institute Against Family Violence and CEAS). In retirement, she serves as the Secretary of the Board of CEAS and the Vice Chair of the Board of WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women). She is also active in the Liberal Party of Canada and serves on the Executive of the Vancouver Quadra Electoral District Association.
Mrs. Schmalz has been working on behalf of seniors since 1982 and is co-founder of British Columbia Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (Seniors First BC). Among her many community service roles, she has served on the Surrey Mayor’s Task Force for Seniors since its inception in 2008 and subsequently the Surrey Seniors Advisory and Accessibility Committee. Mrs. Schmalz is also a writer, producer and actor, developing numerous resource tools, teaching materials and videos related to elder advocacy.
While delivering a legal information counselling service on the North Shore in the 1980s, Pearl McKenzie developed educational materials about legal issues that affect seniors, writing “Guide to Legal Issues in Elder Abuse Intervention” in 1992. Pearl was a member of the BC Task Force on Family Violence (report 1992) and the Advisory Committee to the Federal Panel on Violence Against Women (1993) and, during this period, worked with senior citizen counsellors and health and social services workers throughout BC to develop a community response to problems of isolation and lack of services so often linked to abuse and neglect. This same group of people went on to found BC CEAS and Pearl volunteered her time to be the first executive director. She was a member of the joint government/community working committee which drafted recommendations for new adult guardianship legislation in BC; helped to implement Part 3, which safeguards the rights of adults who are abused and neglected; and develop a provincial policy framework for designated agencies and police working together. Living in the Comox Valley, Pearl volunteers with a local wildlife rehabilitation centre, serves on a local residents association and an area advisory planning commission and enjoys retirement.