BCCDA - BOARD OF DIRECTORS

KEVIN NED, CCDP - Interim Chairperson


Kevin is a certified Career Practioner and a member of the Okanagan Nation and I am currently the Employment Training Facilitator for Westbank First Nation.  He has been involved in employment and training and Education for over 20 years working with first nations organizations such as: Employment and Training Facilitator - Westbank First Nation, Westbank, BC , Employment and Training Coordinator - First Nations Friendship Centre Society, Vernon BC , Aboriginal Youth Leadership/Employment Coach Program Coordinator-  Ooknakane Friendship Center, Penticton, BC, Education Director and social Development Director - Okanagan Indian Band, Vernon BC
He holds the following certificates & diplomas: Certified Career Development Practitioner, Essential Skills Practitioner, Mental health First Aid , Business Administration Diploma, Aboriginal Leadership and Management. Banff, BC, Certified Aboriginal Economic Developer 
He has 10 years of experience as an elected Band Councillor for his community the Upper Nicola Band and he was recently elected to serve a 3 year term as an elected Band Councillor. 

ANNIKA LAALE - Interim Vice-Chairperson


Annika has nearly 2 decades of experience in various industries in the fields of organization development, career development and is a master trained facilitator in change management. Annika works with the Canadian Career Development Foundation (CCDF); as an instructor with Douglas College in the Career Development Practitioner program; and as a consultant with the Life-Role Development Group (LRDG). Annika has considerable experience working with practitioners all across Canada and internationally who serve clients in rural, urban and indigenous settings. Annika is passionate about creating person-centred approaches to working with learners, clients and organizations.

Annika holds a Master of Arts in Sociology (Work and Organizational Behaviour) from the University of Calgary. She currently lives in Parksville, BC and is an outdoor enthusiast! When not working, you will find her out walking, hiking or just simply enjoying the peacefulness that nature brings.

MICHAEL YUE, B.A., M.Ed. - Director & Treasurer


Michael has been working in postsecondary education and career development for 30 years. He is Director of Partnership Development at Vancouver Community College (VCC), being responsible for community partnerships, institutional initiatives, and innovative projects. He sees postsecondary institutions as an integral part of a complex ecosystem that serves our community members. He believes in the power of collaboration and always champions opportunities for organizations to share their expertise and knowledge, and jointly deliver meaningful projects.

Michael has a B.A. (Sociology and Anthropology) from the University of Toronto and an M.Ed. (Higher Education Studies) from the University of British Columbia. Outside of work, he loves soccer and has been a devoted player since his teenage years. He lives in Vancouver with his wife Agnes and a lovely dog called Eddie.

ETAB SAAD  - Director


Etab Saad has over 17 years of international experience working in for profit, not for profit and academic sectors. In Africa and the Middle East, she has worked with refugees through a number of re-settlement organizations. She continued her passion for helping newcomers settle in their new environments through her appointment at MOSAIC as Manager of Business Development and Employer relations and most recently as Associate Director of Employment and Training Services at the YWCA Metro-Vancouver. 

Over the past 9 years, Etab has built strong relationships with employers, local organizations and government offices to support settlement and employment initiatives. Etab is passionate about social justice and equality and continues to be a strong advocate for minorities and some of our most vulnerable populations through various media and communication platforms. Her experience strengthened her lifelong interest in Social Justice and Equality and its associated opportunities and challenges.

Etab Saad has an MBA specialized in Leadership, and continues to serve as a coach for a number of individuals aspiring to become Leaders of tomorrow.

CHRISTINE BUCHANAN - Director


Christine Buchanan is a Director of Employment Services and Training at Open Door Group. She provides oversight to 10 WorkBC centres throughout 3 regions in Vancouver City Centre, Sea to Sky, and Kamloops-Thompson. She creates service delivery models to improve services to job seekers and employers; along with developing partnerships with community services, associations, training institutions, and employers to best serve the local labour market needs. 
In 2016 she received the Career Practitioner of the Year award from BC Career Development Association for the positive impact on the profession. Christine has been working with Open Door Group for the past 15 years because it is built on the fundamental belief that everyone has the ability to succeed which is perfect alignment with her values. She has been known to be pulled away from her passion at work to follow other passions such as dancing and taking long silent meditation retreats. 

ALISON IRELAND - Director


Alison Ireland is currently the Senior Manager of Employment Services at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society in Surrey, BC, and is earning her Executive MBA through the Quantic School of Business and Technology.  She has over 15 years of experience in leadership roles within the Employment Services Sector, with extensive work in proposal development, program management,instruction, and the development of strategic community partnerships.  She’s also been a guest speaker and sessional instructor at Simon Fraser University’s Career Development Practitioner Program.

LAURIE KOCH - Director


Laurie is a dedicated professional with extensive experience in the social service sector. With a strong background in employment services and a deep commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, empowerment, and community engagement, Laurie brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to her role on the Board of Directors with the BCCDA. Throughout her career, Laurie has successfully managed and executed multi-million-dollar employment programs. Her passion for empowering individuals and fostering connections has been evident in her work as a Manager of Employment Programs and currently, as a Senior Manager of WorkBC Employment Programs. Laurie's dedication to continuous learning and professional growth is exemplified by her current pursuit of a Master of Arts in Leadership, with an expected graduation date in March 2024!

YAS SABERSHEIKH - Director


An educated professional, with 8 years of international working experience as a University Instructor, Corporate Trainer, and Logistics Expert, as well as working with five different not-for-profit local organizations for the past 7 years in multiple roles such as ESL Instructor, Career Advisor, Case Manager, and Job Developer. 
Yas holds an MBA in Strategic Management from the Farabi Institute of Higher Education and completed her Career Development Practice Certificate through Douglas College. Yas is an Employer Engagement Specialist (Job Developer) with PCRS at WorkBC- Vancouver, who is a connector between Employers and Candidates. In addition to that, she is a member of the Immigrant Advisory Table (IAT) at Vancouver Local Immigration Partnership (VLIP), and the Secretary of the Board of Directors at Heritage Vancouver Society.

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: amundson@interchange.ubc.caTel: 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.pons@worksafebc.comTel: 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

Interested in nominating BCCDA board member? Please complete the nomination form.  NOMINATION FORM