With leaders from health care, education, the non-profit sector, and various other sectors, the Options for Sexual Health Board of Directors are a dynamic group who bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights. Our Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and strategic planning of the organization.
2017-2018 Opt Board of Directors
Jill (she/her/hers) joined the Opt board in 2009 and became a member of the executive in 2013. She loves working with the talented, inspiring and forward thinking colleagues on the board and within the organization.
In her other life, Jill is the Canadian Director at the National Abortion Federation (NAF). The bulk of Jill’s career has been in public health and health promotion in the non-profit sector serving as the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Bagshaw Women’s Clinic, the Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS (ASIA) and Planned Parenthood Ottawa. Jill is thrilled to be involved with Opt as she believes that being able to make informed decisions involving one's body, identity, and sexuality is not only a human right but one of the cornerstones of a happy, healthy life.
Heather McEwen is a family doctor that works in Vancouver. She is fiercely passionate about sexual health, reproductive choice, and providing care to people with mental health and addictions. Her work currently includes delivering babies at BC Women's Hospital, providing outreach in the Downtown Eastside, and doing general family practice. She has an IUD clinic at the Kootenay Loop Opt location. She harks from rural Saskatchewan but moved to BC in 2012 for her residency at St. Paul's Hospital.
She has been on the board for Options for Sexual Health since 2013. Heather joined Opt because at the time she needed to rekindle meaning in medicine. With having chosen Family Medicine in pursuit to work in sexual health, she values being a member of an organization that drives and innovates sexual health in clinics, education, and publicity.
Heather enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, planning kayak trips, and doing puzzles.
Janice joined the Opt board in 2014 and became a member of the executive in 2015. A pro-choice feminist since her teens, she wrote extensively about sexual and reproductive rights, health and pleasure during her lengthy career at The Toronto Star. When not working for a professional services organization, Janice enjoys cycling, forest and beach walks, and puttering in her ever-evolving garden.
Kathryn joined the Opt Board in 2013, and the Opt executive in 2014. Opt plays an important role in providing advocacy and education, both areas that align with Kathryn’s strong personal commitment to support social justice and inclusion. When Kathryn isn’t at her day job with Vancity Credit Union, Kathryn dedicates personal time to family and friends and spending time with her 2 Labrador Retrievers; Megan and Oliver. Kathryn is a collector sports car enthusiast, and is the proud owner of 2 Sunbeam Tigers, so when you hear she keeps Tigers in her garage, it’s true! Given the opportunity, Kathryn also enjoys spending time in special places on the Oregon Coast and in California.
Jack joined the Opt Board in 2017 and became the Treasurer later that year. He has an accounting degree from UBC and obtained his CPA designation through working with a diverse set of companies ranging from technology startups to public sector entities. Jack is currently working for the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development as a Financial Management Consultant. He previously served as Finance Coordinator for the Ovarian Cancer Research Team at BC Cancer. Jack is excited to apply his financial management experience in supporting the diverse Opt community across the province. He shares the team's passion for advocacy and care of individual's sexual reproductive health. In his spare time he enjoys singing alongside YouTube karaoke videos and hosting mini concerts in his livingroom.
Members at Large
Member at Large
Gary began his interest in social activism using theatre in the early 70’s touring southern Ontario. He came to BC in the mid 70’s with the great migrations of that era. Training in theatre included driving cab, tending bar and working at a drop-in centre in downtown Cranbrook. Love for the outdoors and the people who live in the region was supported and encouraged.
Gary began working for ANKORS in the East Kootenay in 1999 and hasn’t looked back since. This is the longest job he has ever held and celebrates every day. ANKORS has given the opportunity to participate in the amazing changes that come with addressing the issues HIV and AIDS. Healing Our Spirit, Pacific AIDS Network, British Columbia Persons with AIDS, YouthCo, CATIE and others have come to the East Kootenay to add to the local initiatives that many in the community support. Almost all member agencies of BCPWA have participated as resources for this region.
Joining the Opt board in 2006 was an obvious fit. Sexual health clinics needed growth. Linda Douglas, the Opt Nurse in Cranbrook, looked for the resources to expand services in the East Kootenay. Participation on the Board allowed all the previous experiences to meld. Information through the Opt Board is shared with ANKORS and throughout the East Kootenays.
Member at Large
Joyce joined the Board in October 2014. She has a background in urban and social planning, and currently works as a housing planner for local government. She brings her passion for connecting individuals to supports and services, as well as community engagement to the Board. In 2009, Joyce's journey with Opt began when she became a counselling and administrative volunteer at the Vancouver clinic. She then moved on to a reception and volunteer coordinator role before leaving to pursue graduate school. Joyce is very excited to be involved with Opt once again and supporting access to sexual health education and services across British Columbia. In her spare time, she enjoys going to yoga, spending time with family and friends, and being near the ocean. Her talents include putting together IKEA furniture and undoing stubborn jewelry knots.
Member at Large
Kaye Hare is a completing her PhD with the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia. Kaye is a feminist and poststructuralist scholar with a special interest in online sexual knowledge exchange. She previously worked for the Alberta government in the Strategic Policy and Planning Division for Alberta Health and served on the Board for the Compass Centre for Sexual Wellness in Edmonton, Alberta.
Kaye joined the Opt Board in late 2015. She is dedicated to challenging dominant perceptions about sexuality and gender, as well as promoting holistic sexual health. She is honored to be part of an organization with a long-standing history of providing comprehensive and inclusive sexual care and education services and advocating for sexuality-related rights.
In her personal life, Kaye is passionate about community involvement and leadership, recently discovered the benefits of kickboxing, and spent many summers in Glacier National Park in Montana.
Member at Large
Saleema started volunteering at Opt’s North Shore Clinic in the 1990s and has been a Provincial Board Member since 2004. A sexual health educator, it’s no surprise that she is an avid supporter of Opt’s mission and couldn't be prouder of the services our organization provides to British Columbians of all ages. She is a member of the Order of British Columbia and her book for parents, Talk Sex Today, was released in 2016. In her personal life, Saleema is a stepmom to young adults, likes running in the trails with her dog Jagger, and never tires of creating new projects for herself around the house.
Member at Large
Thom began on the Board in 2014, and has really enjoyed getting to know Opt, as well as represent part of the organization. Previously, and while living in Calgary, he served on the Board of the Calgary Sexual Health Centre.
Thom’s passion for sexual health definitely centers on sexual health education. He knows that sexuality is an important part of living as a human being, and so much of our understanding comes from misinformation from our peers or the back alleys of the internet. There is an amazing opportunity to from high quality sexual education, both for individuals and society that he is passionate to be a part of.
During the day, Thom works as a policy analyst for the B.C. Government in the Ministry of Agriculture. His academic background is in public policy, and he has always been involved in the social sector throughout his life.
Thom is also a strong Canucks fan, and enjoys playing hockey in his recreational league.
Member at Large
Nicole joined the Opt board in October of 2016. Her passion for empowering others, particularly by providing access to education and services, has inspired her work with both local and international non-profits.
In her professional life, Nicole is part the Client Care team at Chimp. She is a proud champion of women's health and looks forward to expanding her advocacy to include sexual health services and education for all British Columbians, through her involvement with Opt.
As her friends and colleagues can attest, Nicole is also passionate about her home city of North Vancouver. In her spare time she can be found brunching with friends and wandering through the city's network of trails.
Member at Large
Bio coming soon