Our Leadership Team

Our forward-looking leadership team is strengthened by experience and driven by passion. Working collaboratively with our diverse board of directors and dedicated staff and volunteers, we are committed to supporting families to help them reach their full potential.

Our board of directors

Shannon Svingen-Jones


With a background in education and over 15 years experience working in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, Shannon brings a wealth of experience to the Westcoast team.

An early childhood, special needs and infant toddler development specialist, Shannon was previously the Executive Director of Novaco Childcare Centre, located adjacent to the Squamish Nation Reserve in North Vancouver. For the past 5 years she has been the Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Services for the Art Institute of Vancouver. Prior to that, she spent 5 years as Regional Director of Operations for Vancouver Career College where she wrote the College’s Early Childhood Education Curriculum which was successfully approved by the Ministry of Education. Additionally, she has been the publisher of the award-winning Fabuplus Magazine for the past two years.
Board Member Since: 2015

John Clark

Vice President

John Clark is a lawyer who has practiced environmental law and represented the Federal Department of Justice for over 25 years.

Prior to being called to the bar, John worked with Lookout, an emergency aid organization in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. In recent years, he has been active with the annual fundraising campaigns for both the United Way and Canadian Diabetes Foundation.
“I love being part of such a vibrant and supportive agency.”
— Shannon Svingen-Jones

Board Member Since: 1990

Major Brar


A Certified Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) and Simon Fraser University Alumni.

Major is the General Manager of Labour Relations and People Development for the Pattison Food Group, a Canadian company with operations spanning Western Canada, Ontario, and the US Pacific Northwest. With a company tenure spanning 30 years, Major oversees labour and employment, people development strategy and the administration of collective agreements, often acting as the chief spokesperson at bargaining. He also sits on the Board of Trustees for the WFC Union Health & Welfare and Pension plans.
“I have benefitted from a strong community built by dedicated volunteers. I believe in WFC and what we represent to our communities and am proud to play a part in serving our clients and members”
— Major Brar

Board Member Since: 2011

Mikaela Taylor


Mikaela Taylor is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Partner of Assurance Services with BDO Canada LLP.

She joined BDO Canada in 2015 and is the Group Technical Leader for Public Companies. Prior to joining BDO, she spent seventeen years with KPMG LLP, providing business advisory and auditing services in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. She also spent two years as the Corporate Controller of Coastal Contacts Inc., a publicly traded multi-national optical products company based in Vancouver. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business and Accounting from McGill University and currently serves on the IFRS Discussion Group committee of the Accounting Standards Board of Canada. Previously, she served on the Boards of the Aerospace Industry Association of BC and Student Biotech Network.
“I am a Board Member at WFC because it lets me use my knowledge and skills to help make a difference in my community”
— Mikaela Taylor

Board Member Since: 2005

Geri Anderson


A 1986 UBC Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate, Geri practiced as a pharmacist in a variety of communities across the lower mainland.

She spent the majority of her career (22 years) with Save on Food and Drugs in Maple Ridge. As a healthcare provider, Geri’s focus has always been to promote physical and mental wellness with a special interest in preventative medicine and diabetes. As a mother of 4, Geri was actively involved in the community as it related to children’s activities and programming, she has served multiple positions on PAC committees and as team manager and tournament coordinator for multiple sports in various years. Coming from a large extended family, Geri has always recognized that keeping families together, thriving and growing, is an inherent part of a healthy society.

Joanna Clark


Joanna has been working as a Community and Regional Planner for over 14 years.

She has worked in food security, transportation, emergency response and public space planning. She is currently the Senior Project Manager at the City of Vancouver leading a team to transform road spaces into plazas. Part of her work involves working with vulnerable communities and non profit organizations creating outdoor spaces to expand access to services and provide space for community to gather. Previous to this work, she was the Senior Planner for long range transportation planning, following a role at TransLink as a Senior Transportation Planner.

Gyda Chud


Gyda is a long-time feminist, activist, early childhood and adult educator, and a child care and diversity advocate.

Gyda is the founding Chairperson of Westcoast and has held several other key positions on the Board. Over the years, she has been fundamental in establishing the foundation for Westcoast’s vision, guiding principles, and practice. She is the recipient of numerous community awards and the accomplished author of several leading childcare publications. A leader in many organizations including the Child Care Sector Council, Gyda continues to offer perspective, expertise, and heart to Westcoast.

Trish Wallace


As a former client of Westcoast Family Centres services, Trish brings a well-informed point of view to the Board.

She thoroughly enjoys being part of the community and has volunteered with several organizations in the past, including the Elizabeth Fry Society and Hollyburn House in West Vancouver. Now happily retired, Trish plays an active role with Westcoast and sits on our Indigenous Learning & Sharing Circle.

Leadership Team

Executive Office

Ann Kutcher

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Programs and Services – Vancouver

Jill Summerwill

Manager, Programs and Services Vancouver Coastal

Ali Bonesky

Team Lead, Access & Associated Services

Sue Tan

Assistant Team Lead

Programs and Services – Tri-Cities

Shannan Davies

Manager, Programs and Services North Fraser

Stephanie Briggs

Assistant Team Lead

Programs and Services – Ridge Meadows

Michelle Picard

Team Lead

Clinical Services

Wayne Wong

Director, Clinical Services and Team Lead, Programs & Services in North Shore

Gabriela Gutierrez

Director, Programs & Clinical Services

Child Care Resource Centre

Crystal Janes

Director, Child Care Resource Centre

Kirin Sandhu

Team Lead


Johnny Zheng

Director, Finance

Simon Weeks

Director, Human Resources

Kala Servansingh

Director, Advancement

Laury Lo

Manager, IT

Rajan Manhas

Manager, Communications & Development

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Life is not easy, if we can bring some comfort and hope to people, giving them our hands when they need them, and if we can make other people’s lives easier, then it’s a beautiful thing to do, Westcoast has been doing all these beautiful things to support and help families!

Westcoast Staff

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WFC encourages staff to have work/life balance by checking in regularly and encouraging us to use our vacation time and take care of our own mental health.

Westcoast Staff

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What I love about Westcoast is the team I work with and the managers we have. I love how the managers are able to highlight and empower me and my work with strength-based approach.

Westcoast Staff

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This agency is dedicated to the development of their staff; that’s why I have been here for over 10 years. I am valued and surrounded by good people who believe in supporting vulnerable children and families.

Westcoast Staff

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I feel incredibly valued as an employee and am proud of the work that they do. I would recommend them as an agency to anyone in need of a job or to those in need of our programs.

Westcoast Staff

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