Chair Semiahmoo House SocietyBea Hadikin has lived in White Rock/Surrey most of her life. She is a retired Principal from the Surrey School District, most recently working at Semiahmoo Secondary. In her 32 years with the district, she also worked as a teacher and vice-principal. In all of her roles, she treasured her contact with youth, the excitement of problem-solving, and the opportunity to build positive futures. She now has the wonderful gift of time and wants to give back to her community. She feels that Semiahmoo House Society’s work fits with her beliefs and practice.
Vice-Chair Semiahmoo House Society
Katie Crocker is the Chief Executive Officer of AMSSA, a British Columbia provincial umbrella association that strengthens over 80 member agencies as well as hundreds of community stakeholder agencies who serve immigrants and newcomers. Katie represents the BC Settlement Sector on the National Settlement and Integration Council and is the Board Secretary for the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA-ACSEI), the national body for settlement associations. Katie is also on the Executive Committee of the newly appointed UBC Centre for Migration Studies. Along with her background in not-for-profit management and her knowledge of the settlement and integration sector, Katie brings an expertise in children, family, and women’s issues.
Since joining AMSSA in 2014, she has worked with the Federal and Provincial governments to grow AMSSA’s technological expertise to provide online and e-learning opportunities for service providers throughout BC as well as on a national level. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Masters of Business Administration.
Board MemberFor over 25 years Ian provided leadership in organizations that make Metro Vancouver a better place to live. He held various senior positions including Chief Financial Officer at Metro Vancouver and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at TransLink. He was President and CEO of TransLink from to 2009 to 2015 and retired from that organization in December 2015. He currently is employed with the BC Utilities Commission. Ian became aware of Semiahmoo House Society by witnessing the positive impact it makes on the day-to-day life of his friends. He hopes that by serving on the Board he can leverage what he learned and practiced in his public sector career to support the continuing success of the Society. Ian and family have lived in South Surrey/White Rock since 1987 and he is a graduate of UBC and holds CPA, CA and ICD.D designations.
Board MemberAs the second female partner at the Vancouver firm Singleton Reynolds, Bonita brought her passions for public policy, legislative drafting, and effective conflict management into the world of construction law and First Nations relations, transforming these areas of practice in BC in the process. While at Yale University getting her Master of Laws, Ms. Thompson discovered her love for public policy and legislative drafting, both of which she implemented in her distinguished career as Senior Legislative Counsel in Victoria and then as Senior Solicitor for the BC Attorney General. She served as BC Hydro’s conflict of interests advisor from 1997 to 2010. Bonita’s contributions were recognized with her appointment as Queen’s Counsel in 1985, with the award of the President’s Award for Distinguished Service (CBA – B.C. Branch) in 1991 and with the Commemorative Medal presented by the Governor General of Canada in recognition of contribution to compatriots, community and to Canada in 1993. Since 2000 she has worked with First Nations Institutions dedicated to furthering the economic independence of First Nation communities.
Marie’s interest in UNITI began when her daughter in rolled in our programs. She is passionate about the rights of people with developmental disabilities and has advocated for inclusive and affordable housing, independent living, and the need for rent supplements to provide opportunities for individuals to grow and thrive in their own homes.
Marie has served as a chair of the Community Living B.C. (CLBC) – Surrey/Delta/White Rock Community Council. She also sits on the Peninsula Homeless to Housing Task Force and the White Rock Housing Advisory Committee. Prior to retiring, she served as Manager of Administrative Support Services with the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service for 16 years.
Marie attended Capilano College and received a Certificate in Local Government Administration. More recently, she completed training in advanced policy governance and Person-Centred Thinking. She lives with her husband in White Rock. She enjoys being near the ocean, the many parks and hiking trails in the area, and being close to her daughter who lives independently with supports.
Madison is an active member of the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo. She feels most empowered when she serves the community and promotes inclusion. Some of her work includes participating in bringing beach-accessible wheelchairs to White Rock Beach, enabling all people with mobility issues to go in the water and enjoy a summer day with family and friends. Madison has lived independently for over eight years. It’s been a learning curve, but for her, living independently and making her own decisions are key.
Board MemberNicole Russell feels privileged to be a part of such a wonderful organization. She has witnessed first-hand the amazing impact that UNITI plays in individuals’ lives and the community as a whole. Nicole’s sister, Jennifer, has been a participant in various UNITI programs for over 20 years. Nicole attributes her sister’s growing confidence, life skills and community involvement to the tireless advocacy and support of our organization. Nicole Russell is a partner at the firm of Graves & Russell, Barristers and Solicitors. Nicole’s growing legal practice is based in South Surrey, focusing on Wills & Estates. Nicole has also been a facilitator at Anti-Harassment and Discrimination workshops for the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Nicole and her family have lived in the South Surrey area for the past 25 years.
Matilda Williams-Obiajunwa is the Founder/ Executive Director of Sisters In Canada Wellness Society, a not for profit organization that supports immigrant women by creating a safe space for them to connect and thrive through mentorship, group support and collaborations.
She also works for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice as the Development Coordinator -Cause marketing and partnerships; and she is a director at the Daivyan Children’s Cancer Foundation, a not for profit that caters and advocates for the needs of children battling Cancer and their families in Nigeria, where Matilda is originally from. Matilda possesses a strong background in Chidhood Cancer advocacy, stakeholder engagement, and community development. Her passion for supporting minority and racialized groups is an incredible asset, as she is constantly pushing for equality and inclusion at all levels.
Matilda holds a BA in Creative Arts and a Post-graduate diploma in Educational Administration and Planning, with several other certifications.
With her years of experience in the not-for profit sector, Matilda also brings her unique strengths, knowledge and lived experience as a person of visible minority to the UNITI board, and is very happy to serve this great community.
Cathy is the mother to a daughter with a developmental disability who participates in South Campus Community Services and Recreation and Leisure Services at Semiahmoo House Society. Cathy is passionate about helping support people with disabilities.
In Cathy’s 35-year career as a Chartered Professional Accountant, she held various financial roles ranging from analytical to management-level positions, with the majority of her career spent at BC Hydro.
Her most personally rewarding experience was working in HIV/AIDS research in the 90s during the height of the pandemic. She was proud to be part of the team that created the pharmaceutical cocktail still used to treat the disease today.
She also actively participated in fundraising for BC Children’s Hospital, including appearing on multiple telethon and radiothons and undertaking numerous speaking engagements.
Michael lives with a visual impairment. Michael’s first attempt at self-advocacy was advocating for his white cane. Michael gained confidence, and shared the importance of having their voice heard. Or specifically, to feel the “power of the white cane”, whatever that white cane may be. He currently sits on the boards for Inclusion BC, BCPF, The Self Advocacy Foundation, The Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship, and The Learning Community. He is the President of a non-profit workers’ cooperative called ESATTA. Michael works with CLBC and other community services by conducting presentations to spread the importance of self-advocacy and inclusivity amongst the B.C. community. Michael is a co-founder of SALN.