Board of Directors
2016/17 Board of Directors – Click for Bios
- Carol Andison, President
- Lynn Thorsell
- Morgan Gough
- Jodi Moss
- Sarah Clark
- Dan Cox
- Mike Giannelli
- Bob Meyer
- Jude Platzer
- Doug Querns
- Sandy Biggerstaff, Executive Director
Carol Andison, President
Carol Andison is a retired school Principal who worked for the Vancouver School Board for over 30 years. She started her working life working with teens in care, as a Child Care worker, then a Family Support worker. She returned to SFU to do her teaching certificate and started teaching for the Vancouver School Board in 1981. After a few years of teaching in the regular classroom, Carol decided she wanted to work in Special Education. She took on the position as the teacher of students with behavioral difficulties, she continued in this job for seven years until she moved to Calgary. In Calgary, she taught in a treatment center for young offenders and returned to Vancouver a year later to become a Learning Assistance/ESL teacher. At this point, Carol started her Masters of Arts at SFU; and simultaneously began her career as a school administrator. A position she enjoyed thoroughly until the day she retired in June of 2013. While Principal at Strathcona, she was on the board of the School Dental clinic and in those five years, the committee fundraised and built a sustainable dental clinic to serve school children in the Downtown Eastside. Carol resides in White Rock with her husband and dog!
Lynn became passionate about the work of the Crisis Centre in 2012 after the death of her sweetheart, Clifford Snell, from anxiety and depression. As a result of this experience, she became an advocate for increased suicide prevention education and improved support and care for people having thoughts of suicide. In addition to serving on the board of directors, Lynn also volunteers as a safeTALK facilitator for the Crisis Centre’s Community Education Program. Lynn is a senior business advisor with WorkSafeBC, where she is responsible for a large internal communications portfolio. She holds a Master of Arts in leadership and organizational development.
Morgan Gough is a Quantitative Analyst at Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management. Prior to joining CC&L IM, Morgan founded Alpha Numerics Capital Management, Ltd., where he built and implemented successful equity trading algorithms; he has also served a brief stint as a consultant. Morgan earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree (honours) from UBC.
Jodi is a Chartered Accountant in the U.S. and Cross Border Taxation Services practice of the Chartered Accounting firm KPMG. Prior to obtaining her Chartered Accountant designation, Jodi completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree in International Business at the University of Victoria. Jodi has volunteered with a number of not-for-profit organizations, including work in Victoria, Nova Scotia, Uganda and Egypt. In addition, she has worked with several not-for-profit clients at KPMG. Jodi’s accounting and analytical skills, together with her knowledge of not for profit operations, are an asset to the Centre. Jodi’s other interests include dance, hiking and Celtic fiddle.
Sarah is a communications manager at TELUS where she leads the corporate communication strategy for Customer Solutions Delivery, TELUS’ second-largest customer-facing team. Before joining TELUS, Sarah worked at BC Hydro as a communications advisor and editor-in-chief of internal news. She is an active volunteer in the community and is the past co-chair of Young Executives for Success (YES!) Vancouver, a fundraising branch of Dress for Success Vancouver. A graduate of the graphic design program at BCIT, Sarah also owns and operates Wilde Design Co., a boutique creative studio specializing in branding. Sarah is certified by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) in not-for-profit governance.
Dr. Dan Cox is an Assistant Professor at the University of British, Counselling Psychology Program. Dan completed his B.S. in Psychology at York College of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kansas in 2009. He did his clinical internship at Brigham Young University’s Counseling Center. Following his degree, Dan did a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), focusing on theoretical and applied suicide research. Following his post-doctoral fellowship, he then spent a year at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress in the Department of Psychiatry at USU as a Research Psychologist before starting at UBC in 2012. Dan’s scholarly interests include social support’s impact on mental health & well-being; what facilitates help seeking; predictors of suicide; the process and outcome of group and individual psychotherapy; trauma, stress & coping; and veteran & military populations.
Mike is a Chartered Accountant, working in private industry as the VP of Operations of a family-owned automobile collision repair business. Previously Mike articled with KPMG LLP Vancouver and has experience in both assurance and U.S. cross border taxation. Mike worked with several not-for-profit clients during his tenure in KPMG’s assurance practice. Prior to obtaining his Chartered Accountancy designation, Mike completed his Diploma in Financial Management at BCIT and was a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team from 1997 – 2003. Mike’s accounting and analytical skills, together with his knowledge of not-for-profit operations, are an asset to the Crisis Centre.
Soon after retiring from BC Rail as a Senior Systems Analyst, Bob took his Distress Services Training at the Crisis Centre in July 2005. In 2006 Bob became a Training Assistant and soon thereafter took on Buddy/mentor work with new trainees. To date Bob has completed over 900 hours at the Crisis Centre. For the past seven years Bob has been an integral part of the day to day operation of the Distress Line. For example, Bob created skills guidelines for the Training Assistance role and also has taken on a leadership role to mentor Training Assistants. Bob has been a great role model for Crisis Centre volunteers.
After the tragic loss of her 15 year old son, Jude founded the Josh Platzer Society for Teen Suicide Prevention in 2001 and turned her grief into action. Since this time, she has been dedicated to “breaking the silence’, and removing the stigma of suicide through open conversations with parents, youth educators, and medical and social service professionals. Jude’s efforts have ensured the success of three major forums on suicide prevention and she has motivated students to distribute 10,000 wrist bands, imprinted with crisis line phone number and website. Through her ongoing and expanding efforts, Jude Platzer has made a profound and lasting impact on the health and well-being of BC’s youth. Jude is a recipient of the BC Community Achievement Awards.
Doug has worked for corporate and not-for profit organizations for over 20 years in senior finance & accounting roles. He holds an MBA from the University of BC and is a CPA with a CGA legacy designation. He has been involved in the community in a voluntary capacity for a number of years. Doug currently serves as President of the Board for the North Shore Stroke Recovery Centre and has previously held Board roles with BC Stroke Recovery Association, Autism Society of BC and Mt. Seymour United Church. Doug’s community involvement includes 13 years as a member of North Shore Search & Rescue and ten years as a youth soccer coach for the North Shore Girls Soccer Club.
Sandy Biggerstaff, Executive Director
Sandy has spent 20 years successfully cultivating stakeholder relationships and leading cross-functional teams in both post-secondary and non-profit sectors. As an integrated and strategic thinker, her leadership philosophy is firmly grounded in a commitment to exceptional communications skills and open consultation as the best way to foster positive outcomes. Her experience within large and medium sized service-based organizations has taught her that relationships matter, particularly when initiating new projects where dialogue and consultation are critical to program implementation and organizational excellence. She holds an undergraduate degree in History/English, a graduate degree in Business, a Canadian Risk Management designation, 10 years of training in conflict resolution, and is currently completing her Certified Human Resource Professional Designation.