2020/21 Board of Directors

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"We're all so busy chasing the extraordinary that we forget to stop and be grateful for the ordinary"

- Brene Brown

MICHELLE HORN

Program Manager

Chair, 3rd Year on the Board

Michelle Horn has lived in East Vancouver for many years, and enjoys exploring all the parks and playgrounds with her two young children. Michelle is a Program Manager at BC Children's Hospital, working in child and youth mental health. Having been a regular at the Mount Pleasant Family Centre with her young children, she was inspired to join the Board after seeing the connection and care that was offered through the Family Centre. 

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"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

- Oscar Wilde

MADELEINE SPECK

Research Assistant

Secretary, 5th Year on the Board

Madeleine moved to Vancouver from Germany over 15 years ago and is calling Mount Pleasant her home. She works at the BC Children Hospital Research Institute in the field of immune regulation and in her spare time loves spending time with her 2 year old son and husband. Madeleine is very outdoor orientated and enjoys teaching her son all about nature. She is excited to work more with her local community by being a board member for the family center.

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"I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring."

- David Bowie

TOM LINKLATER

Digital/eCommerce Manager

Treasurer, 1st Year on the Board

Tom moved to Mount Pleasant from the UK in early 2019 and spent 18 months looking after his two pre-school children as they settled into life as Canadians, quickly becoming regulars at MPFCS. As a first-time full-time dad, the friendship, support and community offered by the Family Centre became an essential part of each week and he is pleased and proud to be able to contribute to the Society now as a member of the Board. Tom loves being outdoors and being connected to the local community so can often be found walking, golfing, fishing and tending to his local traffic circle! 

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"Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming."

- Alice Walker

E. FARAH SAMLI

Chief Domestic Engineer

Director, 1st Year on the Board

Farah and her family moved to Vancouver in 2017 and live in the False Creek/Olympic Village area. Farah earned her doctorate in Infectious Disease and has worked as a research scientist. She enjoys gardening, hiking, and every chance to be outdoors.  As the co-creator of two amazing humans, Farah currently operates as the family's Chief Domestic Engineer and has been an active member of the Mount Pleasant Family Center. Her connection with the centre has helped to fill some of the gaps inherent to parenting in the absence of extended family. She believes the centre’s support of families through connection, community and growth is both imperative and impactful in our community.

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"Let us become the change we seek in the world."

- Mahatma Gandhi

YAZMIN VAZQUEZ

Freelancing Mama

Director, 5th Year on the Board

Yazmin and her husband moved to Canada in 2014 looking to raise their 1 year old by the Pacific ocean and beautiful rainforest. Her son was fortunate to attend the Centre Drop-in as one of his weekly activities with mom in his toddler years. Yazmin’s background in education and family engagement quickly made her realize how valuable the work of the MPFC was, and encouraged her to get involved and give back through the Board of Directors. Yazmin’s background and experience allows her to bring a multi-layered perspective to the board as a parent and educator.

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"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

- Von Goethe

JAMES DERMER

Business Owner

Director, 3rd Year on the Board

James was born and raised in East Vancouver and currently lives in the Mt. Pleasant / Cedar Cottage area with his wife and their 2 small children, Ashton and Genie. He has a diploma of Small Business Entrepreneurship and works as the operations manager for his family's business. James can often be found singing songs about itsy-bitsy spiders at the MPFCS drop-in center, running laps around Trout Lake, or cycling the city with a baby chariot in tow. James also volunteers for community events as an Emergency Medical Responder and has enjoyed his years on the MPFCS Board of Directors.

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"We have to be continually jumping off cliffs and developing wings on the way down."

- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

MICHELLE ZAPIOLA

Student

Director, 4th Year on the Board

Michelle is a fourth year student at UBC studying Economics and International Relations. A former MPFCS attendee, she is thrilled to be back here once more, contributing to the wonderful community that gave her an amazing childhood.

Where families connect, share, learn and grow.