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.

The Rev. Jim Hatherly

Director of Community Ministry

The Reverend Jim Hatherly is a United Church minister for 34 years and joined First United in 2017. Jim has served in rural, suburban, and overseas ministries and comes most recently from almost seven years of service as a prison chaplain in Manitoba. Jim’s prison ministry focused on interdisciplinary approaches to working with those struggling with mental illness, addictions, and with sex offenders. Jim is very pleased to be with the team at First, tapping back into his family and ministry roots here, including street ministry work on the Downtown Eastside. He is looking forward to helping provide a space for those seeking “safety and dignity for body and soul.”

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

 

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

  • Stan Lanyon, President
  • The Rev. Dr. Brian Thorpe, Vice-President
  • Jacob Black-Lock, Secretary
  • Jean Budden, Treasurer
  • The Rev. Debra Bowman
  • The Rev. Dr. Daniel Bogert-O’Brien
  • Dr. Heather Clarke
  • Judy Graves
  • Scott Griffin
  • Jeremy Hermanson
  • David Jiles
  • Elizabeth Kerklaan

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.