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2022/23 Board of Directors

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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

Co-Chair, 4th 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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"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

- Oscar Wilde

MADELEINE SPECK

Research Assistant

Secretary, 6th Year on the Board

Madeleine moved to Vancouver from Germany over 16 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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“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”
– John Wooden

VY LUU

HR Specialist

Director, 1st Year on the Board

Vy feels grateful to live the west coast oceans-and-mountains' life every day, absorbed in contributing to community care and support. She was drawn to MPFCS because of its mission of helping refugees and local Vancouver Mount Pleasant families. Vy is keen on expanding the Society's work by lending her experience in business, technology, and HR to the Board of Directors. She is an ambitious learner and credits her creative-solving abilities to lessons from earning designations in CPHR, MBA, ADKAR, and PMP. Beyond her work days as Head of People within a tech firm, she has several podcasts on the go, prances to country music whenever possible, and dreams about book authoring by the beach.

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“I rise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world” - E.B. White

LAUREN FLORKO

Organizational Development Professional

Director, 1st Year on the Board

As an aunt to 5 and an auntie to 12, Lauren Florko truly understands the expression “it takes a village”. She has a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and owns her company, Triple Threat Consulting. Her aim is to help organizations understand and engage their employees to create an environment where employees, organizations, and communities thrive. She was previously a board member and Vice President of the CoRe Conflict Resolution Society. Lauren is humbled and grateful that she is able to live and work on the unceded, shared traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in the mountains and biking by the ocean.

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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, 4th 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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"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." - Albert Einstein.

SARAH CHU

Marketing and Social Media Specialist

Director, 2nd Year on the Board

Sarah Chu has been lucky to call Vancouver home her entire life, she grew up in False Creek and is now happily settled in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Sarah works as a Building Manager and also manages the social media of a media company. She is the mother of 2 wonderful little girls which is her favourite and most fulfilling role. She got involved with the Mount Pleasant Family Centre about a year ago by attending drop ins with her youngest daughter. Sarah was amazed to hear all the incredible work that the Centre was doing, from parenting workshops and discussing environmental issues to aiding refugee families. Sarah is excited to continue the spread of care and warmth by volunteering as a Board Member.

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"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today" - Will Rogers

ELIZABETH MAGAI

Business Admin/Accountant

Director, 1st Year on the Board

Elizabeth has lived in Vancouver for over 20 years and currently resides in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. She earned her master’s degree in Accountancy and has over two decades of accounting experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  Elizabeth has spent the last 5 years working in the not for profit sector and is looking to start her own business as a financial coach.  In her free time, she enjoys the sunshine, reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with the best dog ever, Pugsley.  Elizabeth has spent years volunteering throughout the city and is excited to serve her community on the board of the Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society. 

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While we try and teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about. - Angela Schwindt

LESLIE MITTON

HR Consultant

Director, 1st Year on the Board

Leslie grew up in Ontario, and moved to B.C. for what was planned to be a short adventure.  Nearly 30 years later, with one adult child and two dogs, she is happy to call East Vancouver her home, and to be part of such a diverse and welcoming community. She has previous Board experience and hopes to bring that expertise to Mount Pleasant Family Centre Society.  MPFCS plays such an important role for families in the community, and those new to the community, by creating connections and support that help parents and children thrive. Leslie has spent the majority of her career in various roles in human resources.  She currently operates her own practice, specializing in helping organizations design and implement people programs.  She loves staying active and can be found running, cycling and walking around the city.

Where families connect, share, learn and grow.