Our team is made up of staff, board members, volunteers and partners who share a common passion for building a connected, supportive, and joyful community for seniors in our neighbourhood. We are a diverse group of people with varied backgrounds and talents, who enjoy working and growing together. We believe intensely in our work and wholeheartedly love SGSC.
Our small, but powerful staff oversees all of the centre’s efforts. This includes coordinating programs, planning events, mobilizing volunteers, managing the office, building community partnerships, writing grants, connecting with members – the list is endless! We maintain an open and transparent office, and always encourage discussion on how we can better run the centre.
Clemencia Gomez, originally from Colombia, has been the Executive Director of the South Granville Seniors Centre for more than ten years, where she leads the staff, volunteers and membership in organizing and providing a diverse range of programs and services for seniors, including a specially-designed weekly program for Spanish-speaking seniors who are often battling language barriers and poverty issues. She is an Economist by training and has a Masters in Applied Anthropology (Ecuador). Clemencia is all about building communities, identifying needs and finding solutions that are "outside the box". She worked with the Neighbourhood Helpers (a non-profit group that serves low-income seniors living in single-room-occupancy hotels in downtown Vancouver) for ten years, was the President of the Vancouver Cross-Cultural Seniors Network Society for 6 years, and presently is part of the City of Vancouver Seniors Advisory Committee. As well, in 2010, she was given the “Bright Light” award by the Pacific Immigrant Resources Society, in recognition for her contributions as an immigrant woman who has become a leader and a role model in the community.
Office Administrator & Program Assistant
When Leah, a 2018 UBC graduate in Biology, applied for this position, she already knew quite a bit about the Centre. “Marina [Sanz, Spanish Program Coordinator] is a good friend of mine,” says Leah. “She had been telling me for a while about the activities here and the friendly, vibrant atmosphere.”
Leah has six years of experience as a volunteer in a hospital where she helped organize activities for seniors. That, plus her passion for building community and bringing people together — skills she honed in extra-curricular activities at UBC — are among the strengths she brings to the team.
Marina Sanz Vara
Spanish Program Coordinator
Marina Sanz has a Master´s degree in Health Leadership and Senior Care from the University of British Columbia. She is passionate about social and environmental planning to foster the health of aging populations.
Donors and Revenue Canada demand two things from charitable organizations: good work for a good cause — and clear, complete, reliable financial records. Since 2011, Peter Chen has helped ensure that all our financial documents, from budgets to grant applications and tax returns, are in perfect order.
When Peter began working here part-time, he was already a professional bookkeeper, taking accounting courses at BCIT, and looking for additional work experience. He completed those courses, and went on, in 2015, to qualify as a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant). “I like working at the Seniors Centre very much,” he says. “I like the environment, the culture, and the people — especially the people. People here are very friendly.”