The ASK Wellness Society

History

Our roots go back to a basement couch where HIV/AIDS activists sought out to support those in their community who were struggling. Originally founded in 1992, as the AIDS Society of Kamloops, the Society was formed to promote health and wellness and to provide education to strengthen the Kamloops community. The Society soon recognized the need to house individuals before they could focus on their health. From there, the housing first initiatives began. Others soon called on the Society to help all who were seeking assistance to find HOPE, shelter, and support. In 2016 the Society changed its name to the ASK Wellness Society to reflect the initiatives to serve all in the community who struggle with their housing, health, or employment to the ASK Wellness Society.

Our Vision, Mission, Values, and Guiding Principles

Vision

The vision of ASK Wellness Society is to work towards a society that recognizes the value and potential of each individual.

How is this done?

This requires acceptance of the choices that individuals make and an acknowledgement of the disproportionate impact of harm to certain groups due to individual and cultural realities. The Society is client centered and provides services and support in an interactive manner that is responsive to individual and collective needs. The Society is focused on developing prevention goals and strategies that support a holistic approach to health with offices throughout the B.C. Interior in Kamloops, Merritt, and Penticton.

Mission

The mission of the Society under our constitution is:

To provide outreach, housing, health, education, employment, and emotional support services for the marginalized and persons at risk.
To promote financial, emotional, and personal care support services to the community for individual/family/friends affected by HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, the marginalized and persons at risk-if and when the need arises.

To liaise with other local/provincial/national organizations involved/interested in HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, the marginalized and persons at risk.
To promote research on HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, the marginalized and persons at risk.

To receive donations, grants and funds, and administer same consistent with the objectives of the Society.

Values

The key to helping people to become self-sufficient is through HOPE.

A healthy community is a one that is INCLUSIVE.

TRUST is at the heart of community both in ASK Wellness Society and in the communities we serve.

COMPASSION ensures no one gets left behind.

Guiding Principles

Housing First

The Society believes all individuals have the right to safe and affordable housing.

We are charged with the task of assisting those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in finding, securing, and maintaining suitable housing in the service area.

Client Centered

The Society recognizes the value and dignity of each individual.

We encourage and support our clients to make healthy choices and we respect the choices that they make. We advocate with and on behalf of our clients to improve their quality of life.

Social Justice

The Society believes all individuals deserve equity in accessibility.

We collaborate with community partners and actively participate in community efforts to ensure that basic human rights are protected. We promote shared, private, and public responsibility in the delivery of education and awareness activities in the community.

Harm Reduction

The Society believes harm reduction promotes and supports the health and well-being of both individuals and communities.

We believe that all humans have the right to comprehensive, non-judgmental services based on individual need. Through education and prevention efforts we work to reduce the risk of harm for individuals engaged in or affected by risky behaviours.

Our Team

Leadership Team

Bob Hughes

Chief Executive Officer
Bob Hughes has worked in the social services field for the past 25 years in a variety of capacities. Previously, he worked as an addiction’s counselor/consultant for seven years. He was the team leader for a stimulant abuser program called Meth Kickers in Kamloops and provided workshops and forums around community mobilization for addiction issues. He has presented to various organizations and conferences including an International Harm Reduction conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Bob also worked with the Interior Health Authority developing a Youth Addictions program for the Shuswap region.

His other work experiences include the development of a Crisis Response program in Victoria for at-risk youth. This was created in response to the death of Reena Virk and was to help prevent youth from entering the sex trade. Bob has also worked for the BCGEU as a Staff Representative conducting workplace investigations and dispute resolution.

Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from Simon Fraser University in the field of Communications and Psychology, has a diploma in Brief Systemic Family Therapy, and completed his Master’s Degree in Health Leadership at Royal Roads University in 2014.

Kim Galloway

Chief Operating Officer
Kim Galloway has been with ASK for six years and started as a Housing Outreach Worker. With the increased need for housing supports and expanded rental subsidy program, she moved into a role of Program Coordinator to oversee the market housing team and HPS Housing Program.

In the last year her responsibilities evolved, and she took on the role of Director of Housing. As Director of Housing she is involved with the overall function of all housing programs and maintaining relationships with community partners.
Housing has been at the forefront of her professional career for the past ten years. Prior to her work at ASK, she worked with parolees on community release. Prior to her social work years, she spent several years as the Fundraising Co-Ordinator with the Kamloops Art Gallery.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies, a Bachelor of Social Work and is currently in her second year of a Master’s in Education with a focus on Administration and Leadership.

Cher Doolan

Director of Human Resources
Cher Doolan has been with ASK for 12 years watching and assisting the ASK Team grow from seven to over two hundred and forty staff. As the Director of Human Resources for the region, she fills a multitude of roles. She is responsible to oversee human resources practices, provide leadership support and direction, work hard to promote a healthy and supportive culture internally and oversee all fundraising initiatives.

Her other work experiences include supporting multiple law firms with management and paralegal services. Cher also fills her time volunteering to support her community through Dying with Dignity Canada.

Cher holds a Business Administration Certificate from Bow Valley College and a Certificate in Management and Leadership from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

Rebecca Doyle

Director of Resource Development and Property Services
Rebecca Doyle has been with ASK for sixteen years and has held a variety of positions. She has been instrumental in the organization’s development through the creation of the Property Services Department, as well, she has been the administrative support through projects such as renovations to several properties and the remodeling of two former hotels into low income housing.

Her background is administrative support as well as bookkeeping. She works part-time in community as a property manager for a private landlord and is experienced in property management. She is active in community volunteering for sports functions with her family.

Rebecca’s education includes a Certificate in Management and Leadership with the Justice Institute of British Columbia; a certification as a Housing Professional through Chartered Institute of Housing Canada; and finally she is currently working towards a Bachelor of Business Administration with Thompson Rivers University.

Natascha Strauss

Chief Financial Officer
Natascha Strauss joined the ASK team in December of 2018 as the Director of Finance continues to support the Finance team and the organization.

Previously, Natascha has supported the financial management of Mental Health and Substance Use Services programs supporting the organizations through major growth and restructuring.

Natascha has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor a Business from the University of South Australia and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Kyra Matheson

Director of Accounting Services
Kyra Matheson has been at ASK for eight years starting as a Service Canada funded student to work our front intake desk. Over the term of her position, she started helping administration and finance and by the end of her term was hired on as the admin/finance assistant and rent supplement coordinator. Over the years she discovered her passion for accounting and worked her way into the Finance Department full time.

Prior to ASK she worked as a Care Aid in Kamloops and has volunteered extensively with community partners and various ASK events.

She holds an Accounting Certificate from Thompson Rivers University and a Care Aid Certificate from Thompson Rivers University.

Keri Cooke

Director of Merritt Operations
Keri has been with ASK for four years and a longtime resident of Merritt. Keri has had the opportunity to work in a vast array of positions within ASK Merritt including CLBC Community Inclusion, Housing Outreach, and Adult Addiction Supporting Housing (AASH). Most importantly, Keri was involved in the Merritt AASH program from its earliest development stage through to its implementation. With her leadership skills, the AASH program continues to be very successful. Keri took on the new role as Director of Merritt Operations in 2018. With this new role she has been excited to be a part of building relationships with other Merritt partners in order to provide wrap-around support services to community members. She also provides clinical support to the Merritt team and currently plays a pivotal role in the Juniper House initiative.

Keri’s past work experiences include the coordination of the Merritt Extreme Weather Response and the provision of recreation programming for those living in an extended care facility.

Keri holds diplomas in Events and Convention Management from the University College of the Caribou and a Medical Transcription Diploma.

Board of Directors

Melanie Reed

Chair
Melanie is a Human Resource professional and Assistant Teaching Professor at TRU with over 20 years of experience delivering HR services and education. She completed both her BBA and MBA degrees at TRU and holds a professional Human Resource Management designation (CPHR), as well as certifications in Strategic Workforce Planning, Change Leadership and Compensation Management. Melanie has served on the ASK Wellness Board since 2014 serving as a Director, Secretary and most recently as Board Chair. Melanie is an avid runner, a new (but hooked) mountain biker and the mother of two teenagers who keep her on her toes!

Melanie is passionate about inclusion, engagement and communities that recognize the need to provide services, advocacy, opportunity, and education to support our most marginalized members. What initially brought her to the Board of ASK Wellness was a desire to give back to the community and gain both board experience and experience with a non-profit organization. What has kept her on the Board is the ability to play a role in making a positive impact on our communities and the lives of our clients as well as the passion, dedication, and commitment of the ASK team.

Garry Limpright

Treasurer
Garry Limpright is a retired Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) and former businessman with over 40 years of business experience. His experience includes 28 years with Shell Canada. He started with several locations in Manitoba and then moved to Kamloops in 1994. 

Garry has been married to Mary for over 30 years. They have four children together, two in Winnipeg and two in Kamloops, and eleven grandchildren. Garry has previously been an active participant in sports such as curling, and bowling; he continues to be a sports spectator. 

Garry serves on the board of other Non-Profit Organizations in Kamloops as he endeavours to give back to our community.

Sean Monaghan

Secretary
Sean is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in private practice with 15 years of experience, primarily working in the substance use field. He has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Counselling. His responsibilities in his career have included research and program development for the Phoenix Centre, individual, family, and group therapy, supervision of an outpatient treatment program, conducting psychosocial assessments for the justice system, violent and sexual offender treatment, and substance use and general mental health treatment.

Sean is the proud father of two young adults and has a strong appreciation for nature and its healing abilities. He enjoys active, playful outdoor activities with friends and family. He has served on the ASK Wellness Board since 2016 as a Director and most recently as Secretary. Since his early twenties, he has been deeply concerned about the welfare of Canada’s vulnerable populations, particularly the homeless.

Stan Fike

Member
Stan Fike is a retired family physician, having worked in Kamloops for 37 years. He attained an Honour’s bachelor’s degree at the University of Calgary, a Master’s degree in Psychology at Carleton University, and a Medical degree from University of Ottawa. He completed a two-year residency at the University of Calgary.

Stan is also on the board of Phoenix Centre, and his Rotary club. He has been on the board of ASK Wellness for 9 years.

Stan has been a Rotarian for 34 years. He lives with his wife and is an avid gardener and curler.

He worked with ASK when it was still the Aids Society of Kamloops, for over 20 years. He joined the board to assist with the mission and the work that ASK Wellness does. It has been an honour and privilege to serve this agency, with remarkable staff.

Chris Rose

Member
Chris Rose is a retired educator having worked for the Kamloops Board of Education for 33 years (24 years as a teacher, special educator, school principal and 9 years as a school trustee). In addition he has taught in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) prior to coming to Canada (3 years), Vancouver (6 years) and part-time assignments in Trinadad, Armenia, Summer sessional teaching at U.B.C. and Thompson Rivers University.

His education includes: Teacher Training Certificate (Leeds University); Special Education Certificate for Teachers of the Deaf;(Manchester University) Bachelor's degree in Education from UBC and Master's degree in Education from Birmingham University.

Chris has been involved in many community boards and committees in addition to ASK Wellness(9 years) including: Kamloops Rotary Club (10 years); City of Kamloops Social Planning Council (3 years ); Mayor's Task Force for People with Disabilities (10 years); Chair, United Way Education Cabinet (4 years); Executive Director, Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism (3 years).
Chris has received many awards including: Order of B.C. (2010); Thompson Rivers Doctor of Letters honoris causa (2009); Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012); United Way "In the Spirit of Sharing Award" (2008); Giant Steps Award of Excellence (2002); City of Kamloops Pioneer Spirit Award (2008); City of Kamloops Centennial Award for Outstanding Service to Handicapped Children (1983); Kamloops/Thompson (S.D. 73) Board of Education: 2017 Owl Award For Excellence in Education Award.

Chris lives with his wife of 58 years; has 3 children; 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

He joined the Board because of his involvement as a volunteer in the homeless population frequenting St. Paul's Cathedral "Out of the Cold" program.

Cliff Thortenson

Member
Cliff Thorstenson is lawyer in the Nicola Valley with a practice focused on Indigenous legal issues and those related to poverty. In addition to his private practice, he is also the Supervising Lawyer at the Indigenous Justice Centre in Merritt. Cliff has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and another in Law and was a founding member of the Nicola Valley Family Justice Services Society, the Nicola Valley Affordable Housing Society, the Nicola Valley Shelter, and Support Society and the Merritt Youth Soccer Association.
  
Cliff joined the ASK Board to provide support and a “Merritt voice” with respect to ASK’s work with marginalized people. Cliff lives with his wife of 47 years. Together, he and Sherry have three adult children and enjoy international travel.

Murray Campbell

Member
Murray was born, raised, and educated in Kamloops. He started his early career as a Professional Musician and worked many years as a drummer, guitar and bass player and also plays some piano. He worked with his own groups as the main vocalist and band leader and travelled throughout Western Canada. He has also volunteered as the Musical Director for professional musical theater.

He opened a Music Store in Ft. McMurray in 1976 (Campbell’s Music) and added electronics and computers to the mix as the business grew. He sold the business in 1995 to return to B.C. He received licensing as a Realtor and Property Manager and worked in the Shuswap and Kamloops, mainly as a Property and Strata Manager.

Over the years Murray has been involved in many organizations. Two of the most memorable are the Rotary Club of Ft McMurray and the United Way in Ft. McMurray as the chairperson for allocations. Now, back in Kamloops, he is a board member for the Kamloops Curling Club and is pleased to now become associated with ASK Wellness as a board member. 

Murray has been married to Janie for 48 years, has two grown daughters and, since his retirement from Property Management in 2017, enjoys golfing, curling, and kayaking.

Gina Dillon

Member
Gina Dillon is a long time Kamloops resident with over 15 years of management experience in the hospitality and retail industries. She recently completed her Bachelor of Business Administration at Thompson Rivers University in Human Resource Management and Leadership and is currently working towards her professional designation in Human Resource Management (CPHR). She has previously served as the Kamloops Unit President for the Canadian Cancer Society, Subject Matter Expert for the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council, Co-President for the TRU Human Resource Management Club, Student Caucus Member for the TRU Student Union, and Treasurer for a Parent Advisory Council. Gina has also volunteered for a number of other organizations and has served on various committees both at TRU and through previous employment.

Gina believes that everyone has the potential to be successful and they deserve an equal opportunity regardless of background and economic circumstances. She joined the ASK Wellness in March 2020 as a way to give back to her community, and to support the organizations mission to provide the assistance that many marginalized and at-risk people require to be able to work towards their potential.

Gina lives with her husband of 16 years and is the mother of two elementary school aged children and one child in post-secondary. In her spare time, Gina enjoys researching her family’s history, reading true crime novels, and spending time with her family.

Brad Alberts

Member

Want to join The ASK Wellness Board?

Board Application Package

Our Funding Providers

ASK is a non-profit society that relies on local community organizations and government to provide funding that allows us to assist people in need. Here is a list of our current providers:

Reports & Financial Statements

ASK operates within the framework established by the BC Societies Act and is led by a volunteer Board of Directors with expertise in law, health care management, financial administration, community engagement, human resources and information technology. The ASK Board is supported by an experienced management team responsible for day-to-day operations, ongoing consultation, community engagement and ensuring the Society achieves strategic goals. We strive to be as accessible, open and transparent as possible and provide our annual financial statements and reports for anyone to review:
ASK Wellness is COA Accredited
COA accreditation signifies that an organization or program is effectively managing its resources and providing the best possible services to all of its stakeholders. It also signifies that an organization or program meets standards of quality set forth by the COA accrediting body.

For more information about COA accreditation visit coanet.org.
HIV/AIDS or HEP C Questions?
Need testing or support?
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Contact:
Emma Currie, Health Navigator and Community Health Educator.
778-257-6657
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