Campbell River Volunteer Society
2020-2021 Board of Directors
Marcia McKay – President: Marcia has lived, worked, and traveled across Canada, and chose Campbell River for her retirement. She has extensive management experience with the federal government in finance, personnel, administration, and IT. She was a Ministerial appointee with the BC Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal for six years. As a civilian, she worked for the Abbotsford Police Department. She maintains a consulting business and is known for her research and writing abilities. Marcia has served on several boards since moving to Campbell River, and is delighted to be part of the changes occurring at Volunteer CR. In addition to matching volunteers and non-profits, we now have programs that target specific groups, like seniors and youth, and we get those groups working together. Our relationship with Volunteer BC and Volunteer Canada is alive and well, and we have adjusted our operations to cope with the challenges presented by Covid.
Brett Woodside, Vice-President Brett obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of British Columbia and returned home to Campbell River to work with the law firm of Tees Kiddle Spencer. He was called to the BC Bar in 2015 and maintains a general law practice which includes advising local businesses on corporate and commercial matters.
Brett has volunteered at a variety of organizations including the Law Students Legal Advice Program at UBC, which provides free legal advice to low-income individuals, as well as the Artist’s Legal Outreach Program, which provides free legal advice to people in the arts community. Brett has also contributed to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association through volunteer work with Pro Bono Students Canada. Brett believes volunteerism in Campbell River plays a key role in the development of the community. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Campbell River Volunteer Society since 2014. His hobbies include travelling, baseball and golf.
Cynthia Bendickson, Secretary: Cynthia was born and raised in Campbell River and on nearby Hardwicke Island. Cynthia holds a B.Sc. (Hons) Agroecology from UBC, as well as an M.Sc. Environmental Decision Making from the Open University in Britain. She is a Registered Professional Biologist. After spending 5 years after graduation working in local government in Britain, she returned home to Campbell River and Hardwicke in 2012. Cynthia currently works for Greenways Land Trust in Campbell River as Executive Director. Volunteering has always been a part of Cynthia’s life and it has opened many doors for her professionally, as well as being incredibly rewarding on a personal level. Cynthia has seen first-hand how volunteers can make communities better places in many different ways. Cynthia is pleased to join the Board of Volunteer Campbell River and to be able to further influence the opportunities for volunteers in Campbell River, as well as support non-profit organizations in our community. Cynthia’s hobbies include birdwatching, gardening, and spending time at Hardwicke.
Thomas Nowak, Treasurer: Thomas moved to Campbell River in the summer of 2016 from his hometown of Prince George, BC to work as part of the Administrative Team at Alitis Investment Counsel. He holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce degree from the University of Northern British Columbia, with a Major in Finance. He is currently working towards the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
Ashley Russo, Director: Ashley is currently employed at North Island College supporting the Faculty of Trades and Technical programs in developing new programs, managing projects, and drafting proposals for various funding opportunities. She moved to Campbell River two years ago from Kelowna, BC where she worked for the YMCA of Okanagan. While in this role, she applied for program funding; created, instituted, and trained employees on new policies; and presented reports and recommendations to the Executive team and Board of Directors. Ashley’s roles have varied from employment advising, grant writing, risk management, HR, and project management to supporting Boards with their constitution, bylaws and policies. Ashley joined the Board of Directors for Volunteer Campbell River in 2019.
Toyin Kareem – Director: Dr. Toyin Kareem is a Communications specialist with years of experience in Relationship management in the telecommunications industry from Nigeria. She has a keen interest in diversity, inclusivity and development which informed her foray into a PhD on Social Justice Advocacy on Social Media. She has volunteered with advocacy organizations who work with marginalized groups to support diversity and inclusion. She moved to Canada in 2019 and currently works with the Immigrant Welcome Centre, a not-for-profit that provides professional settlement services and builds welcoming and inclusive communities. Her interests in Communication, Research, Relationship and Project Management have been rewarding. When she is not around family, she is probably cuddled up with a good book and music.