Board of Directors 2015-2016

Left to Right:
Top Row: Oscar Allueva, Jenny Peng, Joshua Hergesheimer, Julie Linkletter, Natasha Dickson, Daniel Louie, and Patricio Ibarra.
Bottom Row: Almira Borondia, Jean Kavanagh, (Muriel) Ann Rivard, and Paula Lindner.
Not Pictured: Rafael (RJ) Aquino and Alexandra Gunn.


click here to read biographies

Oscar Allueva
Oscar has lived in Collingwood since 1995. Oscar is a lawyer practicing in the area of labour and employment. Oscar currently holds the position of Manager of Labour Relations for BC Rapid Transit Co. He previously worked as Counsel, Labour and Employee Relations, with Transit Police and before that practiced law with the firm of Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy in Vancouver. Oscar has also worked at Worksafe BC in the Review Division. Oscar is a former social worker and a former staff director and Co-Executive Director of CNH, having worked at CNH for 11 years before becoming a lawyer. Oscar has been involved in volunteer work for many years.

Rafael (RJ) Aquino
RJ co-founded Tulayan, an organization that reintroduces young Filipino-Canadians to their culture, heritage and language. Wanting to plant firm roots in the city of Vancouver he has become more involved in municipal matters and last ran for City Council in 2014 with OneCity, a new municipal political party. When he's not managing projects for his day job or organizing workshops and conferences or nerding out over productivity tools, he gets a workout trying to keep up with his two young children and his wife.

Almira Borondia
Almira has lived in and out of the Renfrew-Collingwood area for the past nine years, but has always managed to stay connected to the neighbourhood. Almira is an active member of CNH's youth program, as well as many other programs, including Student Council at her former school, Windermere Secondary. She hopes to encourage more youth to participate in CNH festivities, as well as to inspire them to do volunteer work and to be more involved within the community.

Natasha Dickson
Natasha Dickson is the Vice President of Operations for Vancouver Film Studios and Pacific Backlot Services – Canada's largest film and television studio complex. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from the University of British Columbia and a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources Management from BCIT. Natasha's areas of expertise include multi-site operations management, strategic planning, customer service, change management, equipment knowledge and client service.

Alexandra Gunn
Alexandra Gunn has lived in the neighbourhood for almost all her life. She has a strong interest in community development and social justice and wants to make the community a better place for everyone. Alexandra has an undergraduate degree in business, sociology and anthropology, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in teaching. She has worked in non-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions and government. She currently works as a career specialist. In her spare time, she likes to hike, climb mountains and volunteer.

Joshua Hergesheimer
Joshua holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy from UBC, a Masters degree in Human Rights from the University of Sussex, and a Master of Science in Nationalism and Ethnicity from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Though he has had many jobs – ranging from ESL teaching to tour guiding, writing to sheep farming – he would describe himself as a freelance journalist and photographer. He is interested in exploring how Renfrew-Collingwood's ethnic, religious and cultural diversity can be channeled towards creating sustainable, vibrant and welcoming public spaces in the midst of Vancouver's rush to urbanize and develop.

Patricio Ibarra
Patricio moved to Renfrew-Collingwood in 1998 and since then has participated in programs and services out of CNH. Patricio has extensive experience participating in Boards of non-profit societies and has volunteered with several community organizations. Patricio is a Program Advisor with the Economic Immigration Program of the BC government and has 24 years of experience in the provision of social and immigrant services, strategic planning, program design and evaluation and community development. Patricio looks forward to continuing with his volunteer work in CNH's Board to help improve the quality of life for Renfrew-Collingwood residents.

Jean Kavanagh
Jean has lived in Renfrew-Collingwood for eleven years and loves living across from the Renfrew Ravine and occasionally walking the labyrinth. She was delighted to have the opportunity to join the CNH Board and learn more about the community. Jean works in communications, and has held senior positions in the government and non-profit sectors. She was a reporter, and worked in Vancouver, Toronto and Central America.

Paula Lindner
Paula owns her own business in the Hastings-Sunrise area, a local wool and fibre store named Baaad Anna's Yarn Store. Previous to venturing into entrepreneurship, Paula worked for 15 years in non-profit management in organizations such as St. Paul's Hospital Foundation, the Alzheimer's Society of BC, BCIT Foundation and McGill University. Paula completed her Masters in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and graduated with a BA in Psychology and Philosophy from SFU. Paula has also worked as a journalist for the English section of Radio Praha and the Prague Post. When she is not working, Paula chases after her two very active daughters who are no strangers to the Collingwood Early Learning and Care Centre. She also enjoys knitting and playing field hockey, albeit not at the same time.

Julie Linkletter
Julie has two daughters who attended Collingwood Neighbourhood House's (CNH) child care programs. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UBC and a Certificate in Fundraising Management from BCIT. She works at UBC as a fundraising researcher. Julie enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering in her community as a Board member of CNH. She is proud to be part of this community, where she and her family have lived since 2004.

Daniel Louie
Daniel Louie is a native Metro Vancouverite along with his wife Karen and their three children. He is the pastor of Urban Village Church, a diverse congregation that has been a part of the Collingwood neighbourhood since 2008. Before going into Christian ministry, Daniel was in the financial services field with the CIBC at Kingsway and Joyce. Daniel's ongoing hope is to see people of diverse backgrounds mobilize for the betterment of their neighbourhoods through their gifts and talents, whether as a resident, a volunteer, business, or community group. When not meeting people in the community, Daniel enjoys a variety of sports, playing music, and being the daddy cheerleader at his kids' activities.

Jenny Peng
The Collingwood neighbourhood has been Jenny's home since 2006 after moving from Montreal to study at UBC. Throughout her undergraduate years and after, she volunteered at the CNH Youth Centre and Morning Star Breakfast Program where she made many friends over the years. Before her incarnation as a journalist and writer, she worked in online marketing, event planning and project coordination. Today, she gets to interview people from all walks of life and inform readers about current events. Some of those stories include how the rise in fuel prices affects children living all over BC and how the local Safeway is having an impact on Collingwood's grocery stores. Her work can be seen in the Vancouver Courier, The Voice, Sustainability Television, Renfrew-Collingwood Community News and Taipei Times. Most recently, she was acknowledged for strengthening human relations with the Langara Peace Prize. Jenny wishes to continue on that path as a CNH Board member. If chosen, she hopes to use her fluency in Mandarin to reach out to newcomers and use her dynamic skill sets to preserve the health of the community.

(Muriel) Ann Rivard
Ann was born in Vancouver, BC and has lived here all of her life. She has lived in the Collingwood Tower Seniors' Building for the last 14 years. After reading a sign in her building's lobby she joined a CNH-led group teaching English to Collingwood Tower residents. She was quickly recruited as an English-speaking helper. When she learned about the seniors' Monday morning Walking Club at CNH, Ann joined the 20 or more people that come each week, enjoying a walk and coffee and treats afterwards. Ann is also a member of the CNH Seniors' Advisory Group, the Renfrew-Collingwood Literacy Committee and has volunteered in other ways in the Renfrew-Collingwood community. She has enjoyed serving on the CNH Board of Directors for the past 4 years.

Staff Directors Team

Left to Right:
Kulwant Kaur (Director of Operations), January Wolodarsky (Director of Community Development), Michael McLenaghen (Director of Community Services),
Sharon Gregson (Director of the Early Years) and Jennifer Gray–Grant (Executive Director).

President and Executive Director's Report

A Message from the President and ED:

With the imaginary bang of a gavel and a unanimous vote, the CNH Board completed its months-long process to co-create a plan to guide CNH's work over the next five years.

Last October, the CNH Board of Directors voted to approve the organization's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.

The process leading up to that moment included research on current trends in the not-for-profit sector, reviews of our past Strategic Plans, neighbourhood demographic surveys, dialogue circles including all staff, some program participants and service providers, and a survey involving our participants and volunteers.

We held a lively World Café engaging CNH volunteers and participants, local service providers, businesses and residents as well as some of CNH's funders. World Café participants suggested possible challenges CNH and the neighbourhood will face as well as some opportunities that may arise.

The Board of Directors and CNH staff directors spent time together poring over the findings, considering possible future scenarios and creating a vision for the way forward.

In the end, we wound up with eight strategies covering everything from promoting a healthy work environment for CNH staff and sustaining CNH's work to working broadly with our neighbours and collaborative partners to realize a healthy, vital environment in our neighbourhood. Here are the eight strategies:

• Promote a work environment that embraces communication, self-care, personal development and manageable workloads.

• Continue to develop our practice of intercultural, asset-based community development and share our stories.

• Convene an inclusive, neighbourhood-wide approach to improving the social and cultural infrastructure in Renfrew-Collingwood.

• Expand resident access to affordable childcare.

• Promote a healthy built and natural environment in our neighbourhood.

• Strengthen capacity of those who are sometimes labelled as vulnerable, isolated, or disengaged so they can share their gifts, and contribute to a sense of belonging in Renfrew-Collingwood.

• Expand our capacity to seek stable revenues that increase our independence and sustain CNH's work.

• Integrate physical and digital spaces and programming opportunities across all of our sites.

Thank you to all who participated in the process and we welcome your participation as we move forward. Over the past year, as in every year, the dedicated CNH staff, Board Directors and volunteers work hard every day to ensure that CNH remains a place where people can make a friend or learn a skill and thereby gain a sense of belonging in our neighbourhood: thank you, we sincerely appreciate all of your efforts. Thanks as well to our funders and donors who make this work possible so that CNH truly is a place to belong and a place to grow.

2015 AGM Minutes

Please click here to download the AGM minutes from Collingwood Neighbourhood House Society

Financial Report 2015-2016

Please click here to download the full report on Collingwood Neighbourhood House Society's Financial Statements as at March 31, 2016.

Program Statistics 2015-2016

Please click here to download the Program and Services Statistics for Collingwood Neighbourhood House Society

Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Action


Just a few of the many lives we touched this year

Lorenzo Sennette-Medina and Jessica Chuquiej

Collingwood Neighbourhood House has played a pivotal role in the lives of Lorenzo Sennette-Medina and Jessica Chuquiej who met as kids 20 years ago in the Families Branching Out (FBO) Program at CNH. Shortly after Lorenzo's family started coming to FBO, Jessica's family did as well.

Lorenzo's and Jessica's mothers, and their children, became good friends. Lorenzo used to go to Jessica's house a lot. "When I was a kid, I had the biggest crush on Jessica. And we were really good friends," Lorenzo said.

When Jessica was 12 her family moved to Edmonton. Jessica and Lorenzo kept in touch by phone. While Jessica was living in Edmonton, Lorenzo's Mom sent him to visit Jessica for about two weeks.

About two years ago, Jessica told Lorenzo that she was taking a trip to Vancouver with her family, so Lorenzo asked her to call him when she visited. Jessica phoned Lorenzo and they spent the whole time together. Later, she moved to Vancouver to be with Lorenzo.

Now Jessica brings her daughter to FBO. Lorenzo said that they like to bring her because they want her to experience what they had as children in the program.

Jessica credits FBO for bringing Lorenzo and her together and for providing families with valuable opportunities. "I'm very thankful for this program," she said. "It gives us a lot of opportunities and stuff to do as kids that we would not have otherwise had...our parents wouldn't have been able to afford them without the help of this program."

Bill Leaper

After working for 30 years as an entrepreneur in southern California, Bill Leaper moved back to Canada a few years ago. The move happened because he needed several operations on his eyes. Unfortunately, Bill lost his sight completely three years ago.

Bill connected with the Renfrew-Collingwood Better at Home program in March 2015. A friend had recommended that Bill check out CNH and access services from Better at Home that would make living independently easier for him. His reply at the time was "No, Thanks!" But his friend was persistent and eventually persuaded Bill to see what services were offered. He is very thankful that he did.

Now Bill uses the Seniors Shuttle and is a loyal member of the free Walking Club. Using the shuttle has made it easy for Bill to get to his medical appointments safely and on time. Bill said, "It's a lifeline". Bill also uses the shuttle to attend the Walking Club each week and to go grocery shopping. A Better at Home volunteer accompanies him to the store and they shop together. Bill said he appreciates shuttle driver Lund's helpfulness and flexibility.

Every Wednesday at 10:30 am Bill meets the Walking Club group to go for a walk to a local park or another part of the city. Two of the other club members guide him, chat with him and they all get to know one another as they walk. Bill counts on the Walking Club for his weekly exercise. He enjoys the time with the volunteers and members and recommends that others try out the Walking Club.

Almira Borondia

After immigrating to Canada from the Philippines with her family, Almira Borondia searched for a place beyond school, where she could just hang out and have fun. She was happy to discover Collingwood Neighbourhood House, right in her neighbourhood, and she quickly introduced her friends to CNH. "While there are many bad things that youth can get involved in, CNH offers so many great programs and activities for youth, the people are really friendly and nice, and it's a safe space for youth, with adults you can trust and confide in," the now 17-year-old said.

Almira has lived in Renfrew-Collingwood for about nine years and just graduated from Windermere Secondary School.

She first got involved in CNH through a dodgeball tournament. Later, she moved on to Night Hoops basketball and has played on the girls' team every Friday night throughout high school. She helped create a girls' seniors division for Night Hoops.

Through sports, Almira gradually became involved in CNH's Youth Program. She connected with Youth Coordinators Tanya, Sanjeev and Derrick, who encouraged her to get more involved with CNH. Almira volunteered to make kits for the homeless and really enjoyed cooking on Friday evenings. Almira said that the Youth Coordinators held her to a high standard and gave her responsibility. For example, she was responsible for making sure the balls got returned after sessions and that equipment got cleaned up and put away properly.

Almira has gone on to show leadership and a concern for community. As a student at Windermere Secondary, she sat on the student council throughout high school. As she approached graduation, she looked community wide to see where she could make a difference and then put her name forward for a youth appointment to CNH's Board of Directors. Now, as a director, she is already using her knowledge and experience to help guide the organization that made such a difference in her life.

Staff/Contractor Recognition

Over 20 Years

Ana Kazulin

Reynato Tan

Teresa Ha

Over 10 Years

Nicole Rousselle Maryam Jalili Rasti Suming Celine Chen
Karen Caguioa Antonio dela Vega Emilia Szubska
Grace Gaita Derrick Chiang Jolene Andrew
Marcela Mancilla–Fuller

Over 5 Years

Anahita Kaviani Destjerdi Asif Ali Hassan Daniela Todorova–Chomakova
Ana Valle Lilian Chin Chanel Ly
Kerry Porth

Collaborative Partners

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of our Collaborative Partners for their time and expertise in helping serve Renfrew-Collingwood residents and working with us to improve their quality of life.

African Stages Association of BC
AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC)
Artists without Lodgings AWOL Collective
Association of Neighbourhood Houses
Bamboo Cafe
BC Aboriginal Child Care Society
BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres
BC Association of Family Resource Programs
BC Association of Farmers Markets (Coupon Program)
BC Centre for Ability
BC Food Systems Network
BC Gymnastics Association
BC Hydro
BC Parks and Recreation Association
BC Society for Children & Youth
Books For Me! Literacy Foundation
Broadway Youth Resource Centre
Brook Pooni Associates
Burnaby Volunteer Centre
CA Design Group Inc.
Canada Safeway - Kingsway & Tyne
Canadian Diabetes Association/Food Skills for Families
Capilano University
Carleton Elementary School
Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House
Chilean Co-op
City of Vancouver
City Reach Food Bank (Broadway Church)
Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC
Coast Mental Health
Cobs Bread - Main Street location
Collingwood Business Improvement Association
Collingwood Community Policing Centre
Collingwood Library
Collingwood Neighbourhood School
Columbus Towers
Decoda Literacy Solutions
Early Childhood Educators of BC
East Vancouver Nobody's Perfect Consortium
Elite Landscaping
Engaged Immigrant Youth
Environmental Youth Alliance
Evergreen Community Health Centre
Families Branching Out Consortium
Family Services of Greater Vancouver
First Call: BC Child & Youth Advocacy Coalition
First Lutheran Church
First Nations Parent Club
Fresh Roots Urban Farm
Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House
Government of BC
Government of Canada
Graham Bruce Elementary School
Greater Lower Mainland Regional Table on Homelessness
Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Green Thumb Theatre
Grenfell Elementary School
Gym Sense Gymnastics
Hastings North Business Improvement Association
Heritage Canada
Housing Foundation of BC
HUB International
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
HUSTLE-Men on the Move (How U Survive This Life Everyday)
Immigrant Services Society
Italian Cultural Centre
Joyce Street Area Planning Committee
Joyce Area Residents Association
Key Foods Equipment Services
Kids Up Front Foundation
Kickstart Arts
Killarney Community Centre - Youth Council
Killarney Secondary School
Kingsway Continental
Kitsilano Neighbourhood House
Kiwassa Neighbourhood House
Kokoma African Heritage
Leonie Sandercock and Giovanni Attili
Little Mountain Neighbourhood House
London Drugs
LOVE (Leave Out Violence Everyone)
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House
Neighbourhood Food Networks
New Horizons for Seniors
Nighthoops Basketball
Nootka Elementary School
Norquay Elementary School
PACE Society
Pacific Community Resources Society
Pacific Immigrant Resources Society
Renfrew Elementary School
Renfrew Library
Renfrew Park Community Association
Renfrew Park Community Centre
Renfrew-Collingwood Area Services Team
Renfrew-Collingwood Artist Network
Renfrew-Collingwood Food Security Institute
Renfrew-Collingwood Seniors' Society
School Age Child Care Association of BC
South Vancouver Neighbourhood House
Southern Railway of BC
SPARC BC (The Social Planning and Research Council of BC)
Spectrum Society for Community Living
St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Elementary School
Starbucks - Boundary Plaza
Still Moon Arts Society
Still Creek Community Garden
SWAN Vancouver Society
TEDX East Vancouver
The Alan Cashmore Centre
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society/Community Angel Food Runners Program
Three Links Care Centre
UBC Child Care Services
UBC School of Kinesiology
United Way of Lower Mainland
University of British Columbia
Urban Native Youth Association
Urban Village Church
Vancity - Collingwood Branch #13 (Community Projects)
Vancity Foundation
Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre
Vancouver Board of Education
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Vancouver Farmers Market
Vancouver Film Studios
Vancouver Food Policy Council
Vancouver Formosa Academy
Vancouver Foundation
Vancouver Fruit Tree Project
Vancouver Native Health Society
Vancouver Police Department
Vancouver Public Library
Vancouver Technical Secondary School
Vantage Point
Variety Club
VIVO Media Arts
Wall Financial
Wendy Frisby
Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre
Windermere Family of Schools
Windermere Secondary School
WISH Drop-in Centre Society
YMCA of Greater Vancouver
YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association)

Main House Hours of Operation
5288 Joyce Street Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 9 PM Website:
Vancouver, B.C. V5R 6C9 Saturday, 6:30 AM to 8 PM Email:
Tel: (604)-435-0323 Sunday, 10 AM to 8 PM Facebook:
Fax: (604)-451-1191