PLEA

Our Board

Elaine Murray, Chair

Elaine first volunteered for the PLEA Board in 2011 when she retired from Community Living BC, a newly created Crown Corporation. As Director of Organizational Development, she was responsible for all aspects of service design and implementation including human resource management.   Prior to this, Elaine held a range of positions within the Ministry of Children and Family Services from Childcare Counsellor to Assistant Deputy Minister. In all her roles Elaine vigorously championed the rights of children and youth, and holds a strong belief that the best model of service delivery is individualized support services, combined with family care homes in the community when necessary.

Lisa Martz, Vice Chair

Lisa has been a lawyer for more than 25 years.  She has had a diverse civil/commercial litigation and public/administrative law practice that has included representing youth in care and serving as part of the commission counsel team for the Gove Inquiry Into Child Protection.  She has always been interested in the “big picture” and how we can make things in society, government or any organization work better.  Lisa previously served on the board of LOVE (BC), an organization that helps youth overcome the challenges they face through youth-driven programming. Lisa is a passionate believer in the power of supportive one to one relationships that is at the core of PLEA’s programs. 

Karla Gronsdahl, Secretary

Dr. Karla Gronsdahl, is Dean of Child, Family and Community Studies at Douglas College. Prior to that, she held the position of program director for Youth Justice Services at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, where she led a team that developed and delivered online and classroom training to provincial government employees in the areas of criminal justice, law and operational policy. She began her career as an adult and youth probation officer and family counsellor in Northern BC and had her own private counselling practice specializing in EMDR, child-centred therapy and family therapy.

Donald Gordon, Treasurer

Donald is a business person in Vancouver.  He joined our Board in 2012.  He is also a long-time Director of a wilderness leadership program for youth, including at-risk youth, in northern BC.

Joan Andersen

Appointed in 2014 Joan brings to the table more than 30 years of experience improving governance, implementing strategy and building capacity in both the crown corporation and community sectors.  In addition to a long career with CBC, Joan has also volunteered with a wide variety of community boards including the Vancouver Public Library, where she was Chair, Literacy BC, ASPECT and the Fraser Works Co-operative.  After eight years as the Director of Employment and Language services at the Immigrant-serving Organization MOSAIC,  Joan is working as an independent contractor assisting a number of non-profit organizations to reach their goals. 

Carol Cahoon

Carol is a current Board Trustee for School District 43. She previously volunteered as the Chair of the Children of the Street Society before Diane Sowden retired in July 2019 and PLEA and the Children of the Street were seamlessly joined. Carol is extremely active in the community and attends many public events in her area as well as around the Metro Vancouver area. She collaborates and works diligently with her current School Board, volunteer groups, organizations, and foundations to bring change and make efficient decisions for her fellow neighbours. With her background in finance, Carol has supported many projects and initiatives to achieve financial stability and her knowledge brings an essential perspective to the Board. In addition to PLEA, her volunteer and community involvement also includes the Coquitlam Foundation, Crime Stoppers, Royal Columbian Hospital and The Terry Fox Foundation. She strongly believes in inclusion, empathy, safety and seeing the potential in others.

Doug Cochran

Doug is an Adjudicator on two Provincial Government Boards as well as being appointed as the Lay Member of the Ethics Committee of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC.  He was in private practice as a lawyer in Vancouver, B.C. for thirty years, has published two legal text books and taught in the Institute for Paralegal Studies at Capilano University for nineteen years.  He was a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Appeal Board of Canada for six years.  Doug joined our Board in 2012 and brings an eye for policy and a strong interest in youth justice.

Mr Guy

Mr Guy has an extensive knowledge regarding the issues of sexual exploitation and human trafficking; knowledge gathered through years of experience working directly with those affected, specifically youth.  Mr Guy uses his expertise and knowledge of social support systems to assist victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking to rebuild their lives and move forward from tragic circumstances. Previously a Board member at Children of the Street Society, he joined PLEA’s Board when the two joined forces in July 2019. As such, he has a substantial appreciation for the community impact Children of the Street’s initiatives (and preventative education/programming in general) have on youth in our communities and society at large.

Judy Hayes

Judy is a retired manager for the Ministry of Children and Family Development.   She has experience in strategic planning, contract management, service development, change management, information technology development and operational management.  Judy led teams in restructuring and implementing several major service redesign projects.   Judy is currently an accreditation surveyor for CARF and has served on our Board since 2010.  She is committed to PLEA because “everyone working for the agency is always willing to take on a challenge or new approach and they never give up on the people we serve”.

Parveen Mann

Parveen is a seasoned human resources professional with over 25 years’ experience working in a variety of complex, multi-stakeholder, public sector environments throughout the province. Helping people and organizations achieve success can be traced back throughout her career. Whether it’s working at Community Social Services Employers’ Association for over 14 years, supporting student success at Capilano University, or promoting strategic human resources services to WorkSafeBC operations, Parveen is committed to making a positive contribution in the lives of others. She has experience in over 50 labour negotiations with a variety of unions. Her current specialization is in creating engaging workplaces by aligning employees to the strategic and corporate vision. In addition to her current volunteer work with PLEA, Parveen sits on the BC Borstal Association Board and has been the Vice Chair at Harbourview Daycare. Parveen is delighted to contribute, once again, to the social services sector.

Shirley Wolff

Shirley is a CPA, CA and brings more than 25 years’ experience in public practice, where she has served as an audit partner with a focus on the government, not-for-profit and financial services sectors. Shirley led Deloitte’s audit and assurance services to the public and not-for-profit sectors in BC for 8 years and advised her clients on the adoption of new accounting standards, accounting for complex transactions and improvements to their internal controls. Shirley is also a member of the finance committee of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women and a board member for North Lonsdale United Church.