Directors & Management
Board of Directors
Tony Baena, PARC Retirement Living – BCSLA President
Tony has eleven years’ experience at an executive level for multi-site funded and private pay seniors’ housing. He has been responsible for all aspects of operations including sales and marketing, human resources, hospitality services and government relations. Tony has also had extensive interactions with the Ministry of Health and the 5 regional health authorities.
Prior to joining PARC Retirement Living as Vice President Strategic Growth Tony worked for Baybridge Senior Living for 2 years and previously served 8 years as Vice President of Operations for Retirement Concepts. Tony also has a diverse background in business and finance. He is recognized as an industry leader and has extensive knowledge in the field of senior living. This knowledge will benefit the BCSLA Board of Directors in achieving both their short term and long term goals.
Marc Kinna, Baptist Housing – BCSLA Vice President
Executive Vice President Operations & Chief Operating Officer. Marc leads Baptist Housing operational teams, where over 900 Team Members serve seniors each day. His background is in operational leadership in regional and national organizations implementing transition and operational integration programs. Baptist Housing serves 2,000 seniors each day in fifteen residences across Victoria, the Lower Mainland, and the Interior of British Columbia. Their services include affordable housing, independent supportive living, assisted living, and residential care. Marc has over 20 years of experience in operational leadership.
Gilbert Schiller, Revera – BCSLA Treasurer
Hailing from Victoria, BC, Gilbert Schiller is a member of Revera’s Investment Management Team where he oversees the sourcing and underwriting of new acquisition opportunities and business development. Since 2014, Gilbert has participated in the underwriting of over $2.0 Billion of transaction opportunities in Canada, the US and UK.
He graduated from Queen’s University in 2008 with a Master of Planning Degree with a focus in Land Use & Real Estate Development. Upon graduating, Gilbert joined the acquisitions group at Groupe Maestro before transitioning to Revera. Soon after joining Revera he was appointed to the role of Asset Manager for Western Canada and the Pacific US. During his time with the Asset Management group Gilbert aided in the creation of over $300 Million in value which was monetized through a joint venture with Health Care REIT in 2013. Outside of Revera, Gilbert is an avid golfer with a young family.
Alison Howard, Origin Active Lifestyle Communities – BCSLA Secretary
Starting first as Sales and Marketing Manager on Vancouver Island, Alison was responsible for the lease up of Origin at Longwood where she also served as the corporate point person on site during the build and site opening. Working almost exclusively for Origin Active Living, Alison has been fortunate to have worked in multiple roles within our industry including, Sales, Marketing and Community Relations, Internal Business Development, Spa Development, General Manager and Corporate Business Development & Investor Relations and as such has developed a broad array of skills not only in sales and operations but also in revenue generation and new building development. Now the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Origin Active Living Alison heads up the Vancouver Corporate Offices providing support to the sales teams nationally for all of the Origin and Tapestry communities.
Kelly Lazaro - Berwick House
Kelly Lazaro is a passionate advocate for promoting seniors health and independence. As the General Manager at Berwick House in Victoria she uses her extensive background in diverse areas of senior’s health and her passion for working with senior to promote quality seniors’ health and independence. Her years as an administrator of a large home support agency provided her with an opportunity to work closely with many levels and areas within the Community Care Services offered by Vancouver Island Health Authority. While working as a Director of Resident Programs in Long Term Care she saw innumerous examples of how proper nutrition and socialization could positively affect a senior’s physical and mental well being. She has participated on several national steering committees focused on how nutrition, the socialization of the dining experience and how dining services can be set up and used to promote greater independence.
In addition Kelly has been part of several other National steering committees on health and safety and staff and resident engagement. Her leadership experience in home support, acute and retirement business provides her with a well rounded background on the challenges facing seniors and the importance of educating others on the issues and barriers encountered by seniors
Tanya Snow - Augustine House
Tanya Snow has been the Executive Director at the Augustine House Society since January 2010. Prior to that she was the Director of Care at the New Vista Society in Burnaby and started her career at the Burnaby Hospital in the late 80’s. She is a Registered Nurse holding a Master’s in Health Administration with extensive experience in the Residential Care and Assisted & Independent Living settings all in the non-profit sector.
Tanya’s work-life passions, driven from the roots of serving others, include quality improvement; engaging others to be effective leaders in a complex environment; encouraging and expecting teamwork; strategic planning; policy development and working in an atmosphere of continual change.
Tanya values ongoing education and continual improvement and is able to do so by being a member of a number of professional and industry organizations such as the BC Senior’s Living Association, the Canadian College of Health Leaders, the College of Registered Nurses of BC and the BC Care Providers Association, which all encourage and promote information sharing, continual professional growth, networking and learning opportunities.
Marian Heemskerk - Elim Village – The Emerald
Specializing in gerontology since 1980, Marian began working at Elim in 2004 and was directly involved in the development of the Emerald Assisted Living, which officially opened in August 2005. As the Director of Community Care, Marian’s responsibilities include overseeing operations of the Emerald Assisted Living as well as the provision of community health and wellness initiatives within Independent Living in Elim Village.
Along with her LPN license, she has received numerous diplomas and certificates related to nursing and her expanded health care vocation. Marian obtained her Master’s Degree in Leadership in Health Specialties at Royal Roads University in 2013. In July 2015, she received her Certified Health Executive (CHE) designation.
Working with partners such as Fraser Health Authority, BC Assisted Living Registry, Accreditation Canada and other various professionals, allows opportunity to enhance knowledge and services provided to older adults ensuring quality of care and desired lifestyle are met, maintaining autonomy, dignity and safety for the clientele served.
Karen James – Chartwell Retirement Residences
Karen James has been involved in the Seniors Living Industry for over 15 years. Her operational Housing experience has been with independent living, assisted living (private and funded) and Long Term Care in both British Columbia and Alberta.
Karen is currently the VP of Operations and Sales for Chartwell Retirement Residences, one of the largest Seniors Housing Operators across Canada with over 175 sites. Having been with Chartwell for 12 years, her position as VP of Operations and Sales and as a past Director Regional Operations has allowed Karen to become known for her strategic and focused approach, with accolades for limiting risk, creating focused teams, establishing creative strategies for optimizing internal operations, financial returns and external customer service.
Karen’s educational background is in Nursing and Human Resources. Prior to working in seniors housing Karen was responsible for overseeing day to day operations of the Contracted Home Care Agency providing community care and health service in Homecare with Alberta Health Services.
Most importantly, Karen’s vision is to be a part of a likeminded group of partners and stakeholders, seeking the best balance of care for senior’s while maintaining an appropriate business focus.
Rob Gillis – Sienna Senior Living
Rob Gillis has 20 years hospitality management experience and he has been managing in the Seniors Living sector for the last five years. Currently Rob is the Senior General Manager for Sienna Senior Living in BC; his portfolio includes the Pacifica and Peninsula Retirement Residence in South Surrey,and Rideau Retirement Residence in Burnaby.
When Rob was in the hotel business he held the position of Chair of Tourism Richmond. Relationships formed during Rob’s tenure on the Tourism Richmond Board, were beneficial when developing the plans for phase II of Richmond’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites Riverport.
Rob was a founding member of the Blue Meenies, a local party band that over the last 26 years have played over 500 shows including several for the BCSLA Conference President’s Dinner. It is Rob’s diverse background in Construction, Hospitality and Entertainment that will bring a unique perspective to the BCSLA Board of Directors.
Mark Dobson – Amica Mature Lifestyles/BayBridge Senior Living
Mark has over 15 years of customer service, sales and marketing experience, as well as nearly six years of operations experience. In his current role as Regional Director of Operations for Amica Mature Lifestyles, Mark provides support to over 500 senior living residents across BC and Alberta.
He is experienced in the operations of new developments and has played a significant role in the recent opening of two new retirement residences. Notably, Mark recently led the introduction of Enhanced Care at Amica at West Vancouver, adapting the residence from IL and AL to full end of life care under Residential Care licensing.
Mark is actively involved with BCSLA and ASCHA, as well as with Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and Vancouver Island Health Authorities.
Lucy Borges – Delta King Place – Member at Large
For the past 8 years Lucy has been the Executive Manager for Assisted living with Delta King Place Housing Society, as well as for the Kiwanis Senior Citizens Housing Society for Independent senior living sector.
Lucy was born and raised in the small town of Kitimat, BC and spent her teen years volunteering in the acute care ward of Kitimat General Hospital which paved a future involving care for seniors, and people with developmental disabilities. Upon completing Social Services Training, Lucy went on to manage residential group homes in Terrace, BC for 15 years.
Keep Learning is her moto, and she continues to do so by continuing her education in Management training, nonverbal communication, team building and capital planning. Lucy is passionate about seniors care and housing and looks forward to working with BCSLA and discussing the successes and challenges in the North.
Carole Holmes, Past President – Member at Large
Carole Holmes has over 30 years experience as a consultant, executive and business owner in the seniors housing and care industries. Holmes is in her second board term with BCSLA and has just completed two years as board President. Holmes began her career as a Registered Nurse and more recently furthered her post secondary education in the areas of health care administration, business and economics.
As an industry consultant Holmes worked with government, health authorities, private corporations and not-for-profit organizations to design, implement, evaluate and improve programs and services for seniors. As an executive and business owner Holmes has been involved in the design, construction, program planning/development, commissioning and ongoing operation of over 30 retirement communities, assisted living residences and complex care facilities.
Holmes is also an experienced human resource practitioner with extensive labour relations, employee engagement, recruitment and retention experience.
Marlene Williams - Executive Director
Marlene has worked as the Executive Director of BCSLA for 9 years. In her role Marlene works with the members to provide educational and development opportunities in the senior living sector. She networks with industry colleagues, sister associations across Canada and various branches of the provincial government as required on behalf of BCSLA members.
Marlene was part of the three year project committee conducted by the BC Law Institute on Assisted Living in BC and most recently part of the MOH Advisory Committee on the Bill 16 Assisted Living Regulations. She works with the BCSLA Board of Directors to implement the short term and long term goals of the Association and its members. Her previous work history for 20 years was with the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in sales and marketing.
Brenda Ashby - Event and Membership Manager
Brenda has worked at BCSLA since 2013 and is responsible for a wide range of administrative duties related to the annual conference, membership services and the Seal of Approval program.
Brenda has over 30 years administrative experience. Prior to working with BCSLA, Brenda worked in the women’s fashion design & manufacturing industry as an Executive Assistant. Over the course of her career she gained extensive experience in meeting planning, human resources and customer service management.