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Board of Directors
Tina IL Marten, M.A., (PhD Candidate) President
Tina is very passionate about community and its social profit sector. She has volunteered extensively in the local community since the late 1990s. She has been serving on The Bridge board since 2005, currently as President. Tina also sits as a director on the provincial Board Voice society board. Her educational path began with a business degree from Sprott-Shaw-College. She then went on to earn a BA with a double major from Okanagan University College, followed by an interdisciplinary MA from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. She is currently working on her PhD.
Tina's award-winning academic achievements include a Pacific Century Scholarship and a nomination by the University of British Columbia to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. She has presented her work at local, national and international conferences, and co-authored several journal articles. Tina has lived with her family in the Okanagan since the mid 1980's.
Leona Pedosuk, C.M., B.S.W., Secretary
Leona’s career in Child, Youth & Family Services began as a Foster Parent. With the support of her husband, Richard, she fostered infants, preteens and teens for more than 30 years. Leona, who was both a founding member and the first Provincial President of the BC Federation of Foster Parent Associations, initiated many local foster parent groups in communities throughout BC. She constantly advocated for improvements in the foster care program by developing focused educational experiences and providing access to much needed support for Foster Parents. In addition, Leona actively participated in many Foster Parent initiatives both nationally and internationally and served on numerous boards in a variety of capacities. In 1981 Leona was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for her exemplary creativity and dedication to improving the quality of care received by foster children. She continued to work for the BCFFPA until 1986 when she enrolled in the UBC School of Social Work.
With an empty nest at home, a freshly minted BSW and a need to keep busy she went to work for MCFD. Shortly after her retirement in 2002, she became a director on the board of The Bridge Youth and Family Services.
Brit Vigg, C.A., Treasurer
Robert Whiteley, Ph.D., Director
Robert is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s campus. His research and writing focus on educational and social policy and child welfare issues. In 2004 he and his family relocated to Kelowna leaving behind his teaching, learning, and administrative responsibilities in Central Vancouver Island.
He is the Past President of the Bridge Youth and Family Services, serving in that role for four years, and has served as chair of the Program and Policy committee. Robert has always participated in his community serving for 17 years as a volunteer firefighter, serving on the Vancouver Island regional Co-op board of directors, as a union activist and, for over three decades, he has been intensely involved in local and provincial New Democratic Party activities.
He believes that how society provides for those least able to look after themselves defines who we are. Improving the lives of those youth and families living in poverty, suffering from abuse, neglect or marginalization, or those addicted are the people who sustain Robert’s commitment to the social justice work the Bridge performs.
Ben Wasenius, B.A., Director
Robert Levin, L.L.B., Director
Robert Levin is a personal injury and commercial litigation lawyer with Robert O. Levin Law Office. Bob is very active in his professional community. He is currently the Yale County representative to the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. branch, where he stays up to date with current legal professional issues, occasionally lobbies local MLA’s, and participates as a volunteer lawyer at the annual Pro Bono Clinic in Kelowna.
Bob believes in the importance of giving back to the community. Bob is a past president and Board member for The Bridge Youth and Family Services Society. Bob has been a Board member of The Bridge since 1984. He is a member and past president of the Okanagan Jewish Community Association, and supervised the construction of the OJCA’s current home building in Kelowna in 1992. He has also served on the Sunshine Theater Board and School District #23 Racism Free Committee.
Bob’s fitness passion is Karate. He is an instructor at the City of Kelowna Parkinson Recreation Centre for youth advanced karate.
Alan Chabot, Director
Type A licensed Flight Dispatcher. I've been a dispatcher for 26 years and have worked for Kelowna Flightcraft for the past 16.
I'm from Cambridge Ontario, 100 kms west of Toronto. I was educated at Confederation College in Thunder Bay where I graduated with an Airline / Airport Management Technical Diploma. After three years of college I started my career with Air Nova; a start up regional carrier for Air Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I worked in Halifax from 1987 until 1996, at which time, I moved to Kelowna for the start up of Greyhound Air. My latest accomplishment was upgrading Kelowna Flightcraft's Operational Control System to a Transport Canada Type A Standard. This involved, hiring and training dispatchers, writing a procedures Manual, implementing a training program and designing a Route Manual.
Over the years I've been involved with many different organizations as a volunteer. I started with the Project Literacy Society of Kelowna in 1996 as a tutor and eventually a board member. One great accomplishment we achieved was creating the Esteem program for youth, a program that still exists today. I've also been involved with the Red cross in different capacities, the kGH Auxillary, also in different capacities and most recently "The Bridge Youth and Family Services."
I believe in treating everyone with kindness and respect. Take pride and put 110% into everything you do. Never say why me in life and always set goals and move forward. Learn from your mistakes and don't take life too seriously. Finally, always put family and friends first. I think volunteering is the best thing you can do for society, let alone your community and I believe volunteering will become mandatory in everyones life some day.
Lynn Malinsky, Ph.D., Director
Lynn Malinsky lives her passion for health promotion through community-based initiatives, teaching, and consultation in the areas of community capacity building, research and evaluation, community activism and strategic planning. She believes promoting health is as much about changing social relations and enabling people to increase control over the determinants of health, as it is about enhancing health knowledge to reduce identified risk factors.
Lynn is recognized as UBC Professor Emeritus for her ten years of teaching and research with the Faculty of Health and Social Development at UBC Okanagan and Okanagan University College. Prior to her academic career, she was Regional Coordinator, Community Action Program for Children and Program Coordinator with Okanagan Families Society; Community Health Promotion Consultant with the Health Promotions Branch of Health Canada; Manager Health Promotion, Manager Addiction Services, Coordinator Addiction Prevention Services and Sexuality Education Coordinator with the Yukon Government; as well as Public Health Nurse with Health Canada and Victoria Public Health.
Lynn has served as Board Member and Committee Member with organizations such as the BC Collaborative University Education Evaluation Network, UBCO Student Evaluation Advisory Committee, BC Council for Families, BC Family Literacy Advisory Committee, Options for Sexual Health, Peachland Wellness Centre, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Centre Communities that Care, Human Early Learning Partnership: Collaborative Sampling Committee, Yukon Medical Review Committee, Yukon Family Services Association, Canadian Community Action for Children's Health Advisory Committee, Canadian Drug Strategy Commission, National FASD Working Committee, National Addictions Training Committee and Health Canada Healthy Communities Committee.
Lynn and her life partner Mark lived in Whitehorse, Yukon and Kelowna, BC where they raised two children before moving to their current home in Peachland, BC. She is an avid international traveler with humanitarian causes in mind and enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and sailing with Mark and friends on their Ocean Flyer.