Richard Finn (President)
Richard is an active member of the community in both business and the Not-for-Profit arena. He currently sits on three boards; lending his expertise in fundraising and marketing. Richard’s business provides marketing services in the form of; print, signage, large format and responsive marketing services.
Richard’s connection with Mental Health is a personal one and he has a real desire to see CMHA Vernon grow the level of services and roll out new programs of support.
Tom Christensen (Vice President)
Tom is a lawyer at Nixon Wenger LLP. He graduated from the University of Victoria with a Law degree in 1994 and was called to the B.C. Bar in May 1995. Born and raised in Vernon, he has been involved in numerous community organizations, having held such positions as President of the Downtown Vernon Association, President of the Literacy and Youth Initiatives Society of North Okanagan and Director of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation. He is a former director and Chair of the Legal Services Society of B.C. and currently the Chair of Community Living British Columbia.
Tom was elected MLA for Okanagan-Vernon in 20013 and re-elected in 2005. While in government, Tom served as Minister of Education, minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and Minister of Children and Family Development. As MLA, Tom became aware of the scope and importance of the work done at CMHA-Vernon and jumped at the opportunity to join the Board in 2014.
Matt Garcia (Treasurer)
Matt is a Chartered Professional Accountant who works at Kal Tire’s Vernon Office as the Manager, Finance Shared Services. Before joining the Board in 2015, Matt spent over 4 years as a Director on the Board of the Auto Worker’s Community Credit Union in Oshawa Ontario. Matt is a graduate of Okanagan University College and the proud father of 4 children, two of whom are on the Autism spectrum.
Twylla Genest (Secretary)
Twylla attended the University of Calgary Faculty of Education and commenced her career as an educator in Northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. As a career change in 1980 she became a Private Investigator working out of Vancouver. Returning to education in 1984 she was employed with School District #45 (Coquitlam) as a Work Experience Facilitator developing employment skills programs and teacher manuals for high school students. She served as Chair and Director on several Boards and committees. In 2001 she relocated to Vernon where she serves as Manager of NexusBC Volunteer Services for Vernon and District.
Robert Carscadden (Director)
Robert completed Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in 1976. He practiced surgery throughout BC from 1976 to 2018, with the last 15 years in Vernon. Robert was the Director of Preoperative Care at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
He was a Board member of the Regional Advisory Council Royal College of Surgeons for six years and spent six years as Executive Member SSPS (Specialist Society of Physicians and Surgeons).
Robert served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for three years in Cold Lake, Alberta.
Jodi Cunningham (Director) – information coming soon
Scott DeLong (Director)
Scott works as a Quality Services Analyst for Community Living BC. He is currently studying for his Masters in Social Work at UBC Okanagan with a focus on community development and affordable housing. In the past, he has worked as a Public Trustee for adults with mental illness and has 8 years of experience working with people with developmental disabilities.
Through his experience of being a board member, he has garnered an appreciation for the many programs and initiatives at CMHA Vernon. He has learned a great deal about how boards provide direction for non-profit organizations and the huge impact that volunteers have on this organization.
Scott brings a Social Work perspective to the Board, applying his learning from the MSW program to the decision-making processes of CMHA, and looks forward to growing his role as a Director.
Tom Nolan (Director)
Tom is the Pharmacist-owner of three community pharmacies, specializing in palliative care and supportive housing projects. Previous board experience: Pharmasave drugstores, downtown Vernon association. Born, raised and working in the same community, with in-depth experience in the strengths and weaknesses of its Health care network.
Dave MacKenzie (Director)
Dave is a school counsellor in School District #22- Vernon and is the current president of the B.C. School Counsellors Association. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the B.C. School Centered Mental Health Coalition, an active group dedicated to building school connectedness as a protective factor for child and youth. Dave is one of the founding members of the provincial Child and Youth Mental Health Substance Use Collaborative, a project dedicated to the goal of increasing timely access to integrated services and supports for children, youth and families struggling with mental health and substance use issues. He is a passionate advocate and speaker for an increase attention to mental health and wellness in schools.
David Penner (Director) – information coming soon
James Schneider (Director)
James is a CPA, CA and a partner with Agar Schneider & Lett CPAs in Vernon, BC and is a graduate of BCIT and Royal Roads University. He was born and raised in the Okanagan and has also lived in Victoria, BC. James has been active in communities and on boards where he’s lived and has volunteered extensively as a minor sports coach as well. He comes from a large pioneer Okanagan family and has a large family of his own. He has a personal interest in many aspects of mental health awareness and is especially connected to BPD, anxiety, depression, and teen mental health issues and treatments.
David Service (Director)
Prior to his retirement in 2014, David served as a Director of Investment Consulting in the Toronto office of Towers Watson. He worked for the firm for 37 years, spending the first 16 years as a liability actuary and the remainder of his career as a full-time investment consultant.
David was a frequent speaker at industry conferences, particularly on the topic of management of financial risk for pension plans and endowments and has written regularly for a variety of industry publications.
Since retirement, David has served as a Trustee for the Long-Term Disability Trust of a major Canadian corporation. He has also served as a special advisor to the senior management of an Edinburgh based investment fund manager and serves in a similar advisory capacity to a Vancouver based investment fund manager.
David is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and holds a Bachelor of Mathematics (honours) degree from the University of Waterloo.