The YANA Board of Directors meet monthly on the first Thursday of each month at the YANA office at 6:30pm. The first portion of the meeting is open to the general public. We welcome people to come out to learn about the organization and to share new ideas. Our Annual General Meeting is the first Thursday in October of each year.
Meet the Board of Directors
Back left to right: Marcel Moose, Lauren Clark, Ashley Smith, Dan Costain, Hugh Mackinnon, Kate Berg, Adam Wunderlich and Ron Arksey. Front left to right: Lesley Hunter, Kelly Rusk and Laura Bomback.
Kelly Rusk (President)
As a member of the Comox Fire Department, I first became aware of YANA when we chose it as the main organization of choice for our donations. I learned of how YANA touched so many lives through other members of the Fire Department as well as other Comox Valley residents I met during our fundraising efforts. When I was asked to become involved as a board member, I thought it was a great opportunity for me to give back to an organization that has given so much to the families of the Comox Valley.
KATE BERG (vice-president)
I was inspired to become involved with YANA through my work in the Comox Valley School District. It is through this work that I have become personally acquainted with many families that have benefitted from YANA and have been moved by their stories. I strongly believe in service and contribution to my community and feel YANA demonstrates those same values. Being part of this organization feels like a perfect fit for me and it is a pleasure to sit on the board of directors with other like-minded individuals.
Lauren Clark (Secretary)
YANA is a true reflection of the spirit of this giving community. I have had the joy of participating and volunteering in wonderful YANA community events for the past few years. My family has experienced their integral support first hand and now I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the board.
Marcel Moose (Treasurer)
When I learned about the amazing ways YANA helps families in the Comox Valley I knew I wanted to get involved. Being on the board allows me to see how much of a difference YANA can make first hand. We are truly lucky to have YANA as part of our community.
It is often said that it takes a community to raise a child. It also takes a community to support a child when they and their family need it most. YANA is the conduit that connects the family in need to community support and assistance in an effort to make their journey more manageable. By providing services and support, YANA helps alleviate some of the questions, issues, and uncertainties associated with medical treatment, allowing the family to stay together and focus on their child’s health and well-being. Volunteering over the last few years has provided me with insight into YANA’s undertakings and all of the wonderful people that make this organization so unique. Having first-hand family experience of the long journey associated with childhood illness made committing to YANA an easy and rewarding decision. I am privileged and honoured to be a YANA board member.
I have been involved with YANA in various capacities over the years. It began in 1999, when my son was 3, and we were sent to Children’s Hospital for Diabetes training. I remain involved with YANA because I love that it is such a unique local charity that helps families stay together when their child is sick.
I love that YANA is local and I want to contribute to this group that helps provide support for families who need to travel for medical care for their children. The last thing people in crisis need is to be worried about finances and accommodation. I get emotional just thinking about it so I can’t imagine living through it. Our community has been so helpful and being a part of sustaining that support is my goal.
I started volunteering to make Christmas crackers and discovered an amazing new family. I love YANA.
Sick children who require out of community medical attention hopefully can get cured and have the rest of their lives to look forward to. In times of medical crisis, families should be together and being on the board of directors of YANA is my opportunity to help make this happen whilst helping keep the Williams family legacy (‘You Are Not Alone’) continuing!
YANA holds a particularly special place in my heart because of its sole commitment to sick kids and pregnant mothers. As a mother of a son diagnosed with leukemia, I understand the emotional devastation and financial burden that families are faced with during a time when their only focus should be their child’s health. I first became aware of YANA when I moved to the Valley in 2008 and saw a local transport truck with the YANA logo parked in the ferry line-up. Since then, I have come to learn of the vast work YANA does and how much love this community has for YANA. YANA’s presence in the Comox Valley and the support it receives from the community it serves (for over 30 years), speaks to the incredible need for this type of service in our Valley. This obvious community love and support is the reason why I wanted to get involved. I want to help other families who might need some extra support during challenging times and offer any help I can. I am so proud to be part of this dedicated YANA team and look forward to getting to know the families we serve and the amazing supporters we have!
YANA is a fantastic organization that embodies the true spirit of community. I’m inspired by the passion and dedication that the staff, volunteers and community show in supporting Comox Valley families. I look forward to being part of the commitment that continues this work.
Meet the Staff
Marcie Dumais (Executive Director & Client services)
I started with YANA as a volunteer board director in 2011. I had been attending the auction for many years and was inspired by the volunteers that were leading this event. I quickly fell in love with the cause and the people. In July 2013, I became YANA’s part-time Executive Director.
I see YANA as a fantastic example of community spirit and I am delighted to contribute and want to make sure the organization is sustainable over time. YANA is about heartfelt giving and receiving, it is about getting behind families when they need a lift up, it is about helping kids, it is about having fun while you’re making a difference, and simply put, it is about spreading love. All these things inspire my involvement. I can be reached at email@example.com
OCEAN VARNEY (Community Relations coordinator)
My position at YANA means the opportunity to be part of an organization that exemplifies the generous spirit of the Comox Valley. That spirit allows YANA to offer support to local families during some of their most difficult times; when they have to leave home to receive medical care for a child. I am honoured to assist in this work that plays such an important role in our community. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan McCaughey (Client Services)
I lived in the Comox Valley for most of my life and raised my three children here. During that time I was well aware of YANA and the wonderful work the organization was doing in the community. In 2009, my job took me to a small town in the Okanagan. Three other Rotarians and I saw a need for an organization such as YANA in that community and the Highway to Healing Support Society was created using YANA as a model. In 2016, I returned to the Comox Valley and had the good fortune to arrive right when YANA was looking for someone to fill in on a casual basis for the Executive Director. YANA is a wonderful asset to the Comox Valley and I am truly honoured to be associated with it.
keltie Schalm (Client services)
I am forever grateful that my husband and I are able to live in the Comox Valley, a community that is truly an amazing place to live and a great place to raise a family. As a busy mom of twins who once needed the support of YANA, they hold a special place in my heart and I knew that I wanted to be involved in working with such a great organization. Being a part of the YANA team is something that brings passion and embodies a work ethic second to none. It is an honour to support families in their time of need and be a part of such a loving and compassionate organization.