Board of Directors
As of July 24, 2021
Chair - Shawna Adams
Shawna (she/her) is dedicated to the goal of health equity. As a parent of two young adults with autism, and herself a person with an invisible disability, she is experienced in our health system. Both children have now graduated to Persons With Disability and are in healthy and supportive Home Share situations. The journey as a low-income family has included many challenges and experiences that Shawna has employed to support others and to advocate for improvements to our systems and supports for all.
A career focused on healthcare and social services, her role with PCFSA enables her to be engaged with her goals within the community she lives and serves. In recent years, her work with medical practitioners, clinicians, and leaders within Island Health has been an excellent training ground for navigating prioirities in our health system. Education in Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology and a certification in Parent Education from the Adler School of Psychology provide an appreciation for both the analytical and the personal perspectives in addition to her Master of Business Administration degree from Royal Roads University.
As her children have transitioned from her home, Shawna has had the opportunity to further engage with the community with a passion to providing support to fundraising events and adding skills in systems, operations, and leadership wherever she can provide value.
Attending and performing live local theatre is one of Shawna's creative outlets in an effort to maintain balance with her advocating, volunteering, and business activities.
Vice-Chair - Andrew Pharo
Andrew 'Andy' (he/him) and his family moved to Victoria in 1992 by way of Edmonton, AB, and Thetford Mines, PQ. He completed a B.Sc., at Concordia University, Montreal, in 1976 and after a stint as a Labourer/Teacher with Frontier College in Granisle, BC, he worked in a peer counselling organization at the University of Alberta, followed by work on a suicide prevention phone like with the City of Edmonton. Eventually Andy joined the insurance and investment business with Sun Life where he completed a Chartered Life Underwriter designation. Semi-retired after 40 years in the finance/insurance world he is currently midway through a 5 year stay in Waterloo, Ontario, as House Spouse in support of his wife Norah McRae who holds a position as Associate Provost, University of Waterloo. Norah and Andy have two children, Adrienne and spouse Cameron, Emergency Room RNs in Nelson, BC, and son, Connor, currently studying Geomatics at University of Victoria.
Currently limited to joining PCFSA meetings via Zoom, Andy looks forward to rejoining everyone in person as soon as time and circumstances permit.
Secretary - Ashley Bertsch
Ashley (she/her) joined the PCFSA Board in 2017 and is the currently serving as the Board Secretary. A true island girl at heart, Ashley has spent most of her life on the Island and is always drawn back when she moves away; it’s something about the ocean and mountains!
The insurance industry has benefit from Ashley’s skills since 2005, currently with a specialization in Commercial Insurance; specifically, with strata/apartment building/commercial unit or mixed-use properties. Having completed both CAIB & CIP designations, Ashley is currently also working on one in Risk Management.
Ashley joined BFL CANADA Insurance Services at the end of 2020 and is looking to build the name and business across the Island. Having the opportunity to help clients with creating peace of mind with appropriate coverage is very important to her. Ashley also brings with her an education in Event Management completed at The Art Institute of Vancouver.
Ashley loves helping people and truly wants to see them succeed. When she is not working or volunteering, you can find her hiking, enjoying nature with her dogs, or reading a really good book.
Treasurer - Adam French
Adam (he/him) has achieved formal and informal training on three continents and shares a special passion for business/economic development and the sustainable economic independence and social well-being of Indigenous groups. Armed with insatiable curiosity, his passion for business comes from a competitive spirit that evolved from an early age. The tangible and intangible wins in business and teams fuels his fire. A mixture of creativity, systems/process creation and synthetic imaginative resourcefulness is how results happen.
The eternal balance between the old school hustle of practical application and understanding people, paired with a formal education consisting of a major in Managerial Economics (Hons), a master’s in Global Management, a master’s in Business Administration, a designation in Project Management and an Indigenous Studies certification, has enabled Adam to apply these many tools with real world experience.
His thesis and NGO focus in PTSD- "Establishing the feasibility of utilizing an NGO as a delivery model for mental health in a developing nation" has been a personal passion, stemmed largely from his past work as volunteer firefighter in Washington state, and volunteer work at the DropIn Centre Shelter in Calgary, Alberta
Trust and collaboration with others is everything, and trust in Adam’s eyes involves four key ingredients; integrity, intentions, capabilities, and results. A daily challenge to him is to consistently seek to give more value than offered in return, and create a listening and learning model to every experience.
Relationships did not always come easy when young, and through a continuous journey of personal development and extreme gratitude he has dedicated his life to serving and connecting with others offering his gifts to help others succeed.
Back to his hometown for a few years now, Adam is looking forward to immersing himself further into the community, and looks forward to many years with the growing PCFSA family.
Director - Philip Bisset-Coveneiro
Philip (he/him) is incredibly proud and honoured to have been selected to join the Board of the Pacific Centre Family Services Association in 2021, especially since he has devoted 10+ years fundraising and raising awareness for the amazing work that this organization has been doing. Phiip has spent the last 15 years in the Financial Services industry, as a Certified Financial Planner, where his passion to support his clients through financial education is only paralleled by his commitment to supporting and lifting his local community. He has always made it a priority to contribute time to various charitable and community boards, organizing fundraising projects, events, and initiatives all aimed at supporting our communities' most vulnerable members. Born and raised in Portugal, to living in Macau, China, and then moving to Vancouver, Canada, Philip finally discovered Greater Victoria in 2000. Philip has brought his sense of community that was cultivated from his European and Asian roots that inspired his belief that the only measure of our worth and the overal health of our community is how we treat and support our most vulnerable.
Philip is committed to learning more about what our community needs, continuing to support those organizations making the biggest impact and having the most success and then helping them get to the next level through community awareness and fundraising. We are all in this together, and those with wealth want to help and make the biggest impact possible through their donations and contributions, PCFSA is an incredibly deserving organization to help steward any family's donation or legacy for an incredibly positive community impact. Philip is very excited to help share the impact and success that PCFSA has been doing for the past 50 years and help amplify the community support going forward.
If you are interested in making a donation or coming up with a fundraising campaign in order to help support the amazing work PCFSA's dedicated staff do each and every day for so many in our community that need their support, please contact Philip today!!
Director - Janelle Anderson
Janelle (she/her) has lived on Vancouver Island her whole life & absolutely loves it! Janelle also has a passion and love for living life with a Positive Mental Attitude. With always having a strong PMA she is able to always see the best in every situation. She is a solution seeker & loves living life with the glass overflowing with joy!
Director - Marisa Collins
Dr. Collins (she/her) started out as a rural family physician and ended up with a focused practice in sexual & reproductive health and mental health. In between, she earned a master’s degree in community medicine, a certificate to teach Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), worked in clinical research, postgraduate education and continuing professional development. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia.
In 2020, after two decades with the not-for-profit Options for Sexual Health and six years as their Medical Director, Marisa was ready for change and not yet ready for retirement. In 2021 she pursued enhanced skills training in mental health, possibly becoming the oldest postgraduate trainee in the Faculty of Medicine. In the coming year she will be providing mental health services at Pearson College IWC, and will continue to facilitate MBCT groups through mindfulnesswest.ca. Professional experience with other not-for-profit health care organizations and commitment to mental health services makes joining the PCFSA Board a natural fit.
Marisa moved to Vancouver Island in 2017 from the Pemberton valley with her husband and two old dogs, swapping mountains and farm for ocean and a small apartment in a Cohousing community. At the start of the pandemic she took up open water swimming, and now prioritizes getting into cold water in all weather and four seasons.
Director - Dalyce Dixon
Dalyce (she/her) has chosen the non-profit sector focusing on children, youth, and families in fulfilling her career aspirations as a registered Social Worker. She started her career in the child and youth care field in Edmonton Alberta, migrating to Victoria to complete her undergraduate degree in social work. Dalyce and her partner worked and raised their family in the Western Communities and remains passionate in supporting community based resources as she believes these are foundational in the pursuit of health and wellness for all. Since completing a Master's degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University she has been the Executive Director of BGC South Vancouver Island. PCFSA is in a remarkable place as we transition during the Covid 19 experience. Having the privilege to continue to serve the children, youth, and families of the Western Communities and Sooke as a member of the governance table is exciting.
Director - Larry Stevenson
Larry (he/him) first came to Vancouver Island in 2010 after a lengthy career in the rail industry, and as a private entrepreneur, that took him and his family on a journey that included multiple moves within Canada, the United States, and Central America. Larry was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of the Island Corridor Foundation in 2018 where he is currently working to restore rail service to Vancouver Island.
Larry came to the board out of sense of responsibility to give back to our island community and a strong desire to put his skills and experience to work aiding organizations committed to improving the quality of life of for families and youth through the type of supportive programs offered by Pacific Centre Family Services.
Larry holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Queens University in Kingston, ON
You can read our 2021 annual report here
You can read our 2020 annual report here
You can read our 2016 annual report here
You can read our 2015 annual report here
You can read our 2014 annual report here.