Our Team

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Our Team

First United is proud of the diverse talents and life experiences of our leadership and staff.

Read on to get acquainted with our leadership, management, and governance teams and their rich experience from across the charitable, private and public sector.

Interested in joining our team? Current employment opportunities are listed here, and volunteer opportunities can be found here.

Leadership

The Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne

Executive Director

The Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne joined First United as Executive Director in 2017. An ordained minister in the United Church of Canada and a member of the Heiltsuk First Nation, she brings a breadth of experience both in theology and community service to the pivotal role at the busy East Hastings Ministry.

Born in Alert Bay, BC, Carmen grew up in the United Church and was involved in the church in a variety of ways. She has served on the Executive of the General Council, as United Church representative to the Executive and Central Committees of the World Council of Churches, and currently sits on the Theology, Inter-church, Interfaith committee of the national church. She holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA and speaks, writes and publishes across North America on issues of indigenous theology and indigenous-Christian relationships.

To be Announced

Director of Community Ministry

The Reverend Jim Hatherly retired in Summer 2020. We thank Rev. Jim for his dedication and service, and look forward to announcing our new Director of Community Ministry soon!

Keely Hale

Director of Programs

Keely has worked in the mental health and addictions field for over sixteen years and has served in roles at Riverview Hospital and Coast Mental Health. She holds a Community Social Service Worker Diploma from Douglas College, as well as an Advanced Citation in Co-Occurring Disorders. She also holds certificates in drug and alcohol counselling and motivational interviewing I and II from the Justice Institute, as well as multiple certifications related to frontline work and harm reduction.

Mayleen Ahoy, BA, CPA, CGA

Director of Finance

Mayleen Ahoy came to be the Director of Finance of First United Church Community Ministry Society via her role in the Finance Committee. Born and raised in Vancouver, Mayleen brings with her many years in accounting in different industries; She hopes to marry her passion for First to her skills and experiences. Mayleen is so proud to be able to tell her daughter of her work here at First United and that all endeavours that seek justice and compassion are worth our time and effort. When not working, Mayleen can be found trying to reclaim lost hobbies while accumulating many more that involve her husband and daughter.

Sean McCaughey

Director of Facilities

 

Amanda Burrows

Director of Development

Amanda joined the First United team as Director of Development in the summer of 2020. She has over 12 years experience raising funds for non-profits, and is focused on using her skill set to build stronger and more equitable communities. As a connector and teacher Amanda develops programs and curriculum that stimulate philanthropic behaviour, and volunteers with organizations and projects that encourage inclusion, civic engagement and social purpose.
Amanda has a degree in Art History from the University of Victoria, a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto, and a certificate in Fundraising Management from Ryerson and is CFRE.

Boards

Ministry Board

First United Church Community Ministry Society is governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of representatives from the United Church of Canada, as well as committed community volunteers with expertise in the legal, financial and management sectors.

Board members

  • Dr. Heather Clarke, Chair
  • The Rev. Dr. Brian Thorpe, Vice-Chair
  • Jacob Black-Lock, Secretary
  • Jean Budden, Treasurer
  • The Rev. Debra Bowman
  • Judy Graves
  • Scott Griffin
  • Jeremy Hermanson
  • Elizabeth Kerklaan
  • Kathy Kwon
  • David Munroe
  • John Christie
  • Paul Mitchell-Banks
  • Margo Dunnet

Non-voting board members

  • Treena Duncan, Executive Minister, Pacific Mountain Region, The United Church of Canada

Housing Board

First United Church Social Housing Society is governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors. The Board is comprised of representatives from the United Church of Canada, as well as committed community volunteers with expertise in the legal, financial and management sectors.

Board members

  • Elizabeth Kerklaan, President
  • Alison Lindsay, Treasurer
  • Rosemary Collins
  • Maggie Knight
  • Chris Munroe

In compliance with its Conflict of Interest policy, First United discloses the details of payments for products or services made to board members or companies in which board members have an interest.  First United’s bylaws prohibit any payment for products or services made to board members or companies in which board members have an interest.  First United’s finance policies allow for board members to have access to reimbursement of reasonable expenses related to the governance and oversight of First United; in the past fiscal year no reimbursements have been claimed.