BCCDA BOARD MEMBERS
NATALIA BUSSARD - President
Natalia’s career includes working in career development, language teaching, HR, training, recruitment, and programming in both private and public institutions in Europe and Canada.
She has worked with refugees, immigrants, and strongly supported numerous people with their integration into the Slovak and Canadian societies. Within education sector, Natalia focused on international relations, developing international and local partnerships with universities in the markets of Asia, Europe, Mexico, and South America.
She worked at numerous private and public educational institutions and currently leads Programs and Careers at the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute at the University of British Columbia.
She is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy at the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. She is passionate about language learning and enjoys using Spanish, Russian, French, Czech and Slovak whenever she meets people from these countries.
LORI CAMERON - Director
Lori has been a BCCDA Director since 2016. She is a Certified Career Development Professional (CCDP) with a unique blend of experience and skills from the not-for-profit sector specializing in employment and immigrant services, and the private sector at the regional director level. A firm believer in education, ongoing learning and appropriate credentials, Lori holds a B.A., CDP Essentials and Global Career DevelopmentFacilitator (GCDF) certificates.
Lori is Provincial Integration Coordinator at AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC) and is responsible for developing training programs and support for BC Settlement and Integration Services (BC SIS) service providers. She is passionate about training and facilitation, and providing knowledge that will support and improve settlement outcomes for newcomers.
With over twenty years’ private-sector experience at the Regional Director level, Lori is adept at managing partnerships, programs, revenue, budgets and human resources. She has developed programs and has written successful funding proposals. Her expertise in career planning and coaching has supported others in their careers.
Lori has volunteered with numerous non-profit organizations, and has served on civic committees and working groups with the District of West Vancouver, including six years as Co-chair of the Community Awards civic recognition program and current work on the Community Grants Committee.
KALVIN KRAUS - Director
Kalvin started his career in Social Enterprise, Job Development, and Job Coaching, perhaps before those terms were coined. Later, he moved from a beachfront cottage on Osoyoos Lake to a townhouse in Fort St. John, to implement and manage an employment program for people facing significant barriers to employment. He has been challenging himself since 1980 to provide innovative employment programs throughout BC.
Kalvin runs a small business providing vocational rehabilitation services in the Okanagan and Thompson areas, and works to ensure that all of the efforts of the many people he has met in this industry over the past three decades are recognized and appreciated.
MIKE JONES - Secretary
Mike has been engaged in the Education sector for over thirty-five years, at the Middle, Secondary, and Post-secondary levels. He holds a Bachelor of Education with a major in Counselling, and pursued graduate studies in Career and Vocational Counselling.
His career has ranged from civil engineering to graphic arts, and from commercial diving to firefighting. Mike has worked extensively in Occupational Health and Safety in both industrial and academic settings. His experience in Career Education in northwestern BC includes administering vocational training, essential skills, and work experience programs; career and vocational testing; and trades and technologies careers awareness.
A Certified Career Development Practitioner, he now lives in Terrace, BC and practices as an independent careers consultant. He is a longstanding member of BCCDA, a Member of the Board of the BC Career Educators Society, and a member of the National Career Development Association. He leads many professional activities for career educators in northwestern BC and regularly attends provincial conferences and workshops.
SUSANA MENDEZ ALCALA - Director
Since completing a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of British Columbia, Susana’s career has been focused on administrative and project management with a focus on research, technology and innovation. Over the last 20 years she has held jobs in government, academia, large multinational companies and dynamic tech start-ups.
Susana is a strategic and analytical thinker with an impeccable record in project management and proposal development and writing. She is passionate about education and learning and brings a unique perspective to the BCCDA Board.
PAUL GRIGGS - Director
Paul is a business & strategy consultant with a strong passion for workplace health and wellness. He is committed to helping organizations reach their full potential through strategic planning and organizational structuring and to combining his previous work experience with his current training to empower leaders to create healthy workplace environments.Prior to joining the board at the BCCDA, Paul served as Vice President at Informa. Based in London UK, Informa is the world’s largest event and conference producer employing over 11,000 staff worldwide. Paul has also successfully started and managed a business in Vancouver before selling it to a privately owned company in 2010. Paul currently provides executive leadership coaching and business consulting and is pursuing his Masters of Counselling Degree with a focus on mental health and wellness in the workplace.
COREEN JENNERS - Director
Coreen is a Certified Career Practitioner and First Nations women of the Okanagan Territory. She has worked as an Employment Counsellor for the past 30+ years and her focus has always been within the First Nations communities. She works under the Indigenous Skills and Employment services with Okanagan Training and Development Council. She has worked with Friendship Centres and Bands within BC. She works with the North Okanagan Friendship Centre with the Urban First Nations population. She has worked with individuals to obtain sustainable employment and or education in the TRADES, Business, Administration and Health Care. I believe that Education is the way to Success.When away from work she enjoys gardening, crafting, cooking and reading.
SAM BIRKENHEAD - Director
Sam is a Director of Open Door Ventures, a Community Contributions Company whose aims to develop joint for profit ventures with complimentary business to the Open Door Group/employment services sub sector.
Sam has provided employment related services to a wide range of businesses in North America & Europe for 30 years. He brings deep level knowledge of professional networks within BC and the mechanics behind executive search services.
Sam was awarded a Fellowship with the Institute of Recruitment Professionals in 2012, a Diploma in Recruitment Practice in 1988.
He has served the community as a Board Member for the Children’s Heart Network and as a leader in Scouts Canada.
Dr. NORMAN AMUNDSON - Honorary Lifetime Board Member
Dr. Norman Amundson is a Full Professor in Counselling Psychology/Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada. He has given numerous workshops and seminars, and has been a keynote speaker at many national and international conferences.
Dr. Amundson is actively involved in a number of professional associations. He is the Chair of the International Committee for the National Career Development Association, and the Editor of the Journal of Employment Counselling for the National Employment Counselling Association. He also is a Governor of the Canadian Career Development Foundation. Additionally, he has been instrumental in the organization of several conferences for the Canadian Counselling Association, either chairing or assisting the program committee.
In his writing, Dr. Amundson emphasizes the importance of creativity, imagination, cultural awareness, and action as career counselling strategies. His publications include Active Engagement(Winner of the Best Book Award by the Canadian Counselling Association); The Essential Elements of Career Counselling; The Physics of Living; and several career workbooks, including Career Pathways, Guiding Circles, and CareerScope. He also has helped to prepare individual and group training materials for employment counsellors.
Dr. Amundson’s work has been recognized by the federal government. Most notable among the employment counselling programs that he has provided to private firms is SUCCESS, an employment transition program for immigrants and refugees. He also has been active in the corporate sectorm and is currently working with Van City Credit Union to enhance their recruitment and retention through the use of his workplace attractor materials.
Dept of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education Faculty of Education, University of British ColumbiaE-mail: email@example.comTel: 604-822-6757
AUDREY PONS, MEd, B.A., RRP - Honorary Lifetime Board Member
Audrey Pons, Past President, is the Founding President of ENET (formerly NETWERCC). A Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant and trainer with WorkSafeBC for over fourteen years, she is engaged with numerous community resources.
After completing her Master of Education Degree in Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Audrey was appointed Chairperson of the Advisory Board for the Bachelor of Community Rehabilitation Degree program at Douglas College.
She is active with VCC Advisory Committee for the Counselling Skills and Substance Abuse programs, and was on the Open Learning Agency Advisory Committee for students with disabilities. She also is an instructor of the Career Decision Making course at Douglas College and of the Vocational Counselling course at Vancouver Community College.
Audrey is one of the team recipients of the BC Career Development Award of Excellence for the Career Development Practitioner Program. In December 2008, she was honoured with the Netty Award for over 16 years of service to the ENET association and the career development sector.
With over twenty-five years of experience in the Career Practitioner field, Audrey brings a wealth of experience and dedication to life-long learning to her students and clients.
Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, WorkSafeBC – WCBE-mail: Audrey.firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 604-276-3010
Dr. SPENCER NILES, D.Ed., LPC, NCC - Honorary International Board Member
Department Head and Professor of Pennsylvania State University, Counselor Education Department
Jim Bright, BA, PhD., FAP - Honorary International Board Member
Partner: Bright and AssociatesProfessor of Career Education and Development, Australian Catholic University