It was a very unique experience for the ASK Wellness Society and all those who took part in the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Due to social distancing requirements resulting from the Covid-19 epidemic, the meeting was done in an online format this year. Despite the distance between those taking part however, it was still a great experience for those involved and another chance to remind staff and members of the Society why the work done by the Society is so important.
Aside from amendments made to the Society by-laws governing how these meetings are allowed to take place (i.e. doing them in an online format) the biggest changes to the Society came in the form of a restructuring of the Society’s board of directors which included the departure of some key figures in the growth of the Society.
The meeting was chaired by board chair Melanie Reed who was making her final appearance as part of the ASK Wellness Society board of directors. Melanie began her time with the board in 2014 and served as director-at-large, then secretary, then chair. With her background in human resources she played a major role in the growth of the Society as well as a major contributor to the effort to become accredited. Melanie’s leadership will be greatly missed as she steps away from the board and has left some large shoes to fill by her replacement, long time director Dr. Stan Fike.
Another departure from the board of directors following this years AGM is one of the longest serving directors and well-known figure in the Kamloops community, Chris Rose. Chris served on the board for a decade after spending years volunteering with the homeless population and being involved with the “Out of the Cold” shelter program. While the Society will miss his compassion and wisdom, we wish him all the best as he steps away to spend more time with his has three children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Also stepping down from his role on the board is Cliff Thorstensen. Cliff played a key role on the board as he was the only director from Merritt and proudly served as the voice representing that community on the board. He continues his practice as a lawyer in the Nicola Valley with a focus on Indigenous legal issues and those related to poverty.
Despite the losses of these fine folks, the Society is happy to welcome three new directors. Joining the board are former Merritt mayor Neil Menard, lawyer and the first ever director from Penticton Paul Varga, and Londea Riffel of Kamloops.
Along with Dr. Fike and the three new directors, the board now consists of Brad Alberts (vice-chair), Gina Dillon (secretary), Garry Limpright (treasurer), Murray Campbell, and Sean Monaghan.
For a look at the full AGM report, please visit https://askwellness.ca/about-ask/.