BCAHA Board of Directors 2019

Top row (l-r): Winette McEwan, Myra Abstreiter, Gloria Flaman, Gwen Chernenkoff, Carole Murray, Simone Halpin, Judith Chinn.

Bottom row (l-r): Cheryl Fry, Lynda Avis, Tim Sader, Margaret Anderson, Diane Thornton, Val Wright.

Board of Directors, Executive Members

Diane Thornton
Diane ThorntonPresident
A longtime member of the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Diane has held various executive positions and currently serves as Past President. She also volunteers at her Auxiliary’s popular Penny Pincher Thrift Store. Born in Vancouver, Diane grew up in Powell River and left after high school to attend UBC. After graduation, she worked as a Customs Broker, a career that spanned over 40 years. Diane is married to Larry Gillott. They have no children but are grandparents to six grandchildren who all live in Australia (“I skipped the middle step,” she notes). Diane and Larry enjoy travellng the world, taking cruises and venturing out in their fifth-wheel RV. They also enjoy square dancing, gardening and playing with their cute Golden Doodle puppy. Diane comes from a family of Auxiliary volunteers. Her mother was a member of the Powell River Health-Care Auxiliary and her two sisters are current members. Volunteering keeps her active and engaged, and she sees her BCAHA executive role as an opportunity to further contribute and connect with others.
Margaret Anderson
Margaret AndersonPast President
Marge has been a member of Cowichan’s Lake Healthcare Auxiliary since 2006. She was President for five years and served as Auxiliary Treasurer. She also chaired the District Council of Hospital Auxiliaries for two years. Marge’s community volunteering includes Little League Baseball, school PACs, church youth group leadership, Kaatza museum, Kaatza Health Unit Healthy Beginnings Program and BC 4-H. She joined BC 4-H as a five-year-old “pre-clubber” and later became a 4-H Junior Leader and Club Leader. She also served on the BC 4-H Foundation and the BC Provincial 4-H Council, and as a BC 4-H Conflict Resolution Manager for nine years. Marge’s working career has spanned many areas including bookkeeping, travel consultant, retail sales, hotel reception, office manager, and business partner with her husband, Paul. They have three married sons and daughters-in-law, and seven wonderful grandchildren of whom they are very proud. Marge and Paul enjoy walking, biking, swimming, boating, entertaining their many friends, and travelling. Marge’s enthusiasm and love of people bring a positive energy to her service on the BCAHA executive.
Allana Ferro
Allana FerroDirector of Finance
Allana joined the Trail Hospital Auxiliary 20 years ago as Secretary and to help with public relations, and she is currently in her fourth year as President. Her family and community involvement are a major part of who she is. With 48 years of married life, two daughters with spouses, and five grandchildren, life is never dull. Allana’s professional career includes employment as an LPN to help support her husband through university, working as a travel consultant, and spending 28 years as a Municipal Senior Administrator. Retirement allowed Allana to devote more time to her volunteering, which has included various positions in the Trail Skating Club and with the BC/Yukon section of Skate Canada. At present, she continues as Treasurer of the Kootenay Region and as a Level 2 Data Specialist. The Catholic Women’s League, Sisters of Colombo, and the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital & Health Foundation, of which she is Past President, are also cherished parts of her life as a volunteer. Allana’s energy, knowledge, and love of people and healthcare make her an asset to the BCAHA Board.
Arline Allison
Arline AllisonSecretary
Arline has been a member of the Mission Health Care Auxiliary Society since 1995 and found the experience of serving as 2nd Vice-President, 1st Vice-President, President, and Past President of her home Auxiliary to be a rewarding and enlightening learning experience. Currently, she is a member of the Ad Hoc Committee that recently updated Mission’s Constitution and Bylaws, and is updating their Policies and Procedures. Arline was Convenor of the Auxiliary’s gift shop for five years, and is currently Co-Convenor; previously, she assisted the gift shop’s treasurer with some accounting duties. She is also an active volunteer with her church, where she provides readings and helps in the church nursery. Arline and her husband have two children, one daughter-in-law, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. When not busy with volunteer service, Arline enjoys quilting, knitting, camping with family, playing guitar, fishing, hunting, and traveling—though “not necessarily in that order,” as she is quick to point out.

Cheryl Fry
Cheryl Fry Director of Communications
Cheryl lives in Revelstoke and has been a member of the Revelstoke Hospital Auxiliary Society since 2008. Starting as Secretary, she is now the Past President. She created the current website and Facebook page for the Revelstoke Auxiliary and she also serves on the Membership, Sunshine, and Wish List committees. For 16 years, Cheryl has volunteered with the Canadian Cancer Society, coordinating many fundraising initiatives such as the Relay For Life, the Daffodil Campaign and Slopes for Hope. Cheryl is a people person and is always eager to learn new skills. She enjoys a variety of activities including interior decorating, scrapbooking and spending time with her husband, two children and four grandchildren. As BCAHA Secretary, Cheryl brings valuable experience to the Board and she looks forward to sharing her skills to help maintain the best healthcare possible for all our communities.

Area Directors

Simone Halpin
Simone HalpinVancouver Island Area Director
Simone was raised in the Trail area after moving from Alberta at a young age. She worked as an LPN at the Rossland Hospital and then as a service representative for the Hospital Employees’ Union in Nelson. After moving to Victoria, she accepted a full-time position, working up to the level of Director for Vancouver Island and also serving as the president of the HEU Staff Union. After retiring in 2002, she eventually moved to Parksville and was president of the Constituency Association for five years and its treasurer for one year. She also chaired the Family Council at Malaspina Lodge and was involved with the Patient Voices Network. Simone moved to Gabriola Island in 2014 and joined the Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care Society, helping with the GABE Shop (Gabriola Auxiliary Business Enterprise). She was elected as Auxiliary president in October 2014. Having come from a large family of 15, her own family, three children and two granddaughters, are very important to her. She also enjoys gardening, travelling, fixing things, and walking.
Carole Murray
Carole MurrayLower Mainland Area Director
Carole was born and raised in Vancouver before moving to North Vancouver. After teaching for 28 years, she retired to her beloved, longtime family home in Halfmoon Bay, B.C. Carole joined her local Auxiliary in 2007 so that she could work with seniors at the Totem Lodge Extended Care facility. Little did she know that this initial step would lead to roles as Publicity Officer, Vice-Chair and Chair of the Halfmoon Bay Branch, and then various executive positions, including that of President, of the Sunshine Coast Healthcare Auxiliary. In addition to her Auxiliary service, she earned Life Membership in the Canadian Power & Sail Squadron and assumed local, provincial and then national chairmanship of Youth Programmes on behalf of the CPS. Carole has a son and daughter, and five lovely grandchildren that keep her busy. She enjoys traveling and has driven across many provinces, with her dog as companion, for family weddings and get-togethers. As a BCAHA Area Director, she is looking forward to visiting auxiliaries throughout the Lower Mainland and to meeting with auxiliary volunteers across the province.
Gwen Chernenkoff
Gwen ChernenkoffKootenay Boundary Area Director
Gwen was born in Nelson, BC and raised in the Slocan Valley in the West Kootenays. She worked at several major banks for over a decade and then took additional educational training to upgrade her administrative and computer skills. After working in the office of a courier company she became the bookkeeper for an engineering firm. Her next employment was as a payroll and shipping clerk for a sawmill facility, after which she took on a similar position with a trucking company. Currently, she owns a small business and is happily semi-retired. Having promised to join her local Auxiliary after she retired, Gwen became a member of the Castlegar Hospital Auxiliary Treasure Shop and is its Past Treasurer. Active in her community, she is a past director and president of the Doukhobor Discovery Centre Village in Castlegar and Coordinator of the Kidney Walk in Trail for five terms. A lover of animals, she and her husband have two adopted cats and three Brittany Spaniels. Gwen is passionate about volunteering and making a difference in her community and encourages others to “take the time to do what makes your heart feel full.”
Myra Abstreiter
Myra AbstreiterEast Kootenay Area Director
Myra joined the Invermere Health Care Auxiliary Society in 2015 and became active in its Thrift Store. She served as Team Leader of a group of 10 – 12 Thrift Store volunteers, assisting them and keeping them up-to-date with Auxiliary events, initiatives and changes. She also helped raise the profile of her Auxiliary by providing regular news and activity updates for Invermere’s community newspaper. In accepting the role of East Kootenay Area Director, Myra welcomes the opportunity to represent her region and to collaborate with the other members of the BCAHA Board. When not volunteering, she enjoys gardening, and hiking and cycling the trails around Invermere Valley. She likes to travel to warm climates in the winter months and to explore Canada and the U.S. on her motorcycle during the summer season. An avid motorcyclist, she has served on the Women Riders Council (of Canada) where she actively helped promote and celebrate women motorcycle riders.
Winette McEwen
Winette McEwenNorthwest Area Director
After decades of school, church and sports volunteering, Winette wanted to further connect with her Smithers community and found a fit with the Bulkley Valley District Hospital Auxiliary. At her first-ever Auxiliary meeting, the retired elementary school teacher was warmly welcomed – and promptly given a leadership position with the Candy Stripers. That was 21 years ago. Since then, she has coordinated the Youth Volunteer Program for 10 years and served on the Auxiliary Board in various capacities. She is currently its President, a position that she has held, or been called to, on more than one occasion. Winette and her husband Jan have three married children and 12 grandchildren. She enjoys walking, baking, cooking, reading and spending time with her grandchildren and she sees volunteering as a wonderful way to support and get to know her community.
Gloria Flaman
Gloria FlamanOkanagan Mainline Area Director
Born, raised and educated in Saskatchewan, Gloria has been married for 52 years and has two children and four grandchildren. After traveling extensively throughout Canada and Europe, she found her calling in the healthcare field, where she worked for over 20 years. Her early volunteerism included assisting at various levels of the Guiding movement and helping with children’s sports and reading programs. Gloria joined the Summerland Auxiliary after settling in Summerland to be near her eldest grandchildren. She began as a general volunteer before taking on two-year leadership terms as vice president, president, and past president. Assisting in the thrift shop, she was instrumental in setting up its successful 4Rs program (reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose) and in promoting waste reduction and sustainability. She is also interested in advancing public relations and awareness, and in helping to implement workable suggestions received from members. Gloria continues to work the thrift shop floor and cash counter and fills in for absent members. Having attended several BCAHA conferences and seminars, she is keen to further contribute in her new role as Okanagan Mainline Area Director.