“It has been a privilege to be able to do what I have done for so many years in my community, bringing programs and services to help enhance individuals and family’s quality of life.”
Gerry Dyble has been the Executive Director for Hope and Area Transition Society since it was a small non-profit in 1998, Gerry with the support of her team and Board of Director’s has grown the agency into the largest non-profit in Fraser East.
Holding a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, she has an eye to business and understands social issues and the complexities and challenges faced by many.
She has held various Provincial committee and Board positions, advocating for rural and remote communities. She spent 7 years as a District of Hope Councillor, using the knowledge and networks gained through local politics she continues to raise difficult conversations within the community and bring forth emerging issues to local, Provincial and Federal delegates.
2021 AGM Message
I want to acknowledge that we live, work and play on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō) and Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ (Nlaka’pamux) territories. Specifically, the communities of Peters, Shwo’hamel, Chawathil, Yale, Union Bar, Spuzzum, Boston Bar and Boothroyd. We are embraced and protected by the mountains and are nourished by the flow of living waters from the Coquihalla River down to the Fraser River. The richness of this natural beauty sustains and breathes life into us. Thank you for sharing your territory with us.
The horrors that have been uncovered in our neighboring community of Kamloops and the discovery of 215 little souls has left me in shock and with many questions. For substantive change to happen, for true reconciliation to occur, we as humans need to listen, hear, understand and be part of the change to right the wrongs of our Indigenous brothers and sisters. As an agency that provides services to Indigenous people, we need to continue to raise our awareness, we need to be open to learning, and asking questions. We grieve for the loss of potential for these little lives, the generational impact that Residential Schools has had on the Indigenous people, as we work through those feelings of grief and sadness, it will be time to rise up, be a witness and walk alongside of our Indigenous people, to speak to the fact that change and action must happen, action is needed now. My commitment as Executive Director is to continue to encourage awareness, education, cultural teachings, to encourage us to celebrate our culture and heritage.
This past year has been a year a year like no other. I have been doing this working for 25 years and I have never been witness to what we have gone through and continue to go through with COVID 19. I have said before you are my heroes, working with our vulnerable people amidst a global pandemic, the unknown and the uncertainty. An image comes to mind, of Isabel in a full hazmat suit at the Colonial, our Isolation center, who would have ever thought that we would have hazmat suits for working in Social Servces. Early on when the town was literally shut down, we had a port a pottie brought in so our clients had a place to use the washroom, a hand sanitization centre was set up. We had families, truck drivers and our community people using these facilities as everything was closed. Thank you to each one of you who suited up, cleaned port a potties, put out hand sanitization supplies, meet with clients virtually, masked and gloved up. Thank you is not enough.
To our community partners and funders who collaborated on how to work collectively yet keeping a 6-foot distance we truly showed what community spirit looks like. Proud to be part of doing this work.
Finally, thank you to the Board for always having our backs, we faced a challenging Fall/Winter with the public hearing for rezoning for the supportive housing, the negativity that some members of this community demonstrated was nothing short of hate and discrimination toward those who are marginalized and oppressed. The final decision of Council to not vote in favor of rezoning knocked the wind out of us. We have however, gotten back up and will continue to do the necessary work of shining the light on social issues and how these issues impact each of us as humans.
I look forward to another year leading this organization into housing our homeless, bringing much needed services to our community, listening to the community and responding in a way that brings credibility, integrity and authenticity to our work. As always it has been my pleasure.
Looking forward to in-person meetings where we can celebrate together. Remember continue to be the light.
Roxanne has been with the HATS team since March 2015 as our Adult Substance Use Counselor and now has taken the position of Program Manager for Homeless Outreach and Substance Use Teams. Most of her training has been ‘on the job’ and personal life experience. She completed the Justice Institute of BC’s, Substance Use Certification in 2013. For over 16 years, she has worked with agencies supporting and advocating for individuals who experience homelessness, substance use, domestic violence, navigating blended families, separation and divorce, under-employed, incarceration, court procedures and other government systems. One of her passions is running groups, facilitating life-skills topics. Her positive nature is welcoming and encouraging. When not at work, Roxanne likes to paint, travel, watch movies, spending quality time with family and friends, especially in nature.
Favorite quote: ‘Just Breathe’
Bonnie Millward is the Youth Services Coordinator at Hope and Area Transition Society. Bonnie was born and raised in Southern Ontario where she began her career as a Child and Youth Counsellor in 1996 after completing training at McMaster University. Bonnie and her family moved to Hope, British Columbia in 2005 and she joined the Hope and Area Transition Society team in 2010. She is the proud mother of two and is dedicated to serving the community of Hope and the youth that are part of this community. Bonnie brings more than 20 years of experience to the role. She is passionate about providing opportunities and support for youth and building partnerships within the community, throughout the Fraser Valley, and the canyon.
Soraya Duncan has been with The Hope & Area Transition Society since May 2015. Soraya was born in Thompson, Manitoba and moved to Hope, B.C. in her youth where she still currently resides. Her adult career began in Vancouver, B.C. in the accounting industry. After living in North Vancouver for 12 years she decided to leave the city to continue her career journey back in her hometown of Hope, B.C. She managed the solid waste & recycling contracts for the District of Hope and the Fraser Valley Regional District for 20 years. In that time, she met her husband of 26 years and raised two beautiful children. Soraya is passionate about her role as Finance Manager with the Hope & Area Transition Society by supporting the staff and Management Team and keeping the Societies affairs in order. When not at work, Soraya enjoys travelling, spending time with family and just enjoying life.
Anna is likely best known for her 25 years of owning and operating the small business and community curiosity; Anna’s Incense.
After years of serving her community through volunteer work and business, Anna took a life changing step and was able to proudly join Hope and Area Transition Society in July 2018.
Years of personal growth and a can-do attitude has brought Anna to the H.A.T.S position of Transition House Program Co-Ordinator. Anna’s life experience, heart-centered healing and trauma-informed approach suits her well as she has settled into her new position.
Hope has always been supportive of Anna and her family, and she is really enjoying supporting and inspiring women and families from an intersectional feminist approach. If you see her out walking her dogs, hanging in nature or taking the family out for food, stop by and say hi!
“Be a good friend, always”
Rachael has been with HATS since 2018 and is the Program Manager for the Emergency Shelters. Before joining the HATS team, she was working as an Instructor for the College of New Caledonia and was facilitating Continuing Education Workshops in the rural Communities of Northern BC. Originally from England, Rachael lived in several different countries before settling in North Vancouver to raise her four children. She attended Capilano University where she received an Associate of Arts Degree. Rachael spent 14 years working in Policing Support Services where she held positions in Victim’s Services, Dispatch and as the Manager of a Community Policing Centre. Rachael believes that while we are on this journey called ‘Life’ we should all help others as much as we can. She is a firm believer in the ‘Housing First’ approach and is extremely proud to work for HATS. One of her favourite quotes is “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized that I was somebody” – Lily Tomlin. When not at work, Rachael enjoys spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren; cooking, baking and walking her dogs.
Samantha Kelley has been with Hope and Area Transition Society since 2019 starting as a Key Worker and now as the Family Services Coordinator. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care, Sam has held various positions in social services throughout the Fraser Valley. Samantha is passionate and dedicated to serve the community that has been her home for much of her life. She is now happily raising her own family in her childhood community. Working with children and families to create positive change has been Samantha’s passion. Samantha is an advocate and an activist, using a feminist lens in her work, she works from a strength based, collaborative and trauma informed practice, walking alongside her families.
Isabel has proudly been part of the HATS team since Spring of 2018 and is now the Program Coordinator for the Emergency Shelter Program.
Isabel is an expert by lived experience. Having overcome her own adversities with stigmatic barriers, her empathic nature and heart for humanity led her to seek ways she could be of service to others. Isabel has organically developed the skills required to take on this current role at HATS through years of volunteering and then working on the front lines at both the transition house and emergency shelter as a Support Worker. Her favorite aspect of the job will always be the meaningful connections established with the folks. Captured by the beautiful surroundings and small-town vibe that are reminiscent of her own hometown of Squamish, Isabel and her family decided in 2017 that Hope was a wonderful place to settle down and grow roots for many years to come. “In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” – Marianne Williamson
Brian Dodd is the Team Leader for our Supportive Housing and Shelter programs. Prior to his employment with HATS, Brian was in the positions of Manager of Operations and Interim Executive Director at Seniors Services Society of BC working with seniors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
After spending over 25 years in television production, Brian chose to move into the non-profit sector in 2004, primarily focusing on food security and homelessness issues throughout Metro Vancouver. Those passions led him to the HATS team.
Brian tries to spend most of his free time with his kids and grandkids, especially in the outdoors around Hope. He has had property in Sunshine Valley for 20 years and moved his family there full-time 3 years ago. Look for Brian with his family and camera in the hills above Hope.