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 and Program Assistant
Emily Irvine brings to the Centre her passion for social justice, and her experience in the non-profit, volunteer-based sector. A 2019 UBC graduate (with a BA in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice), Emily was attracted by the Centre’s range of programs and services, and its warm, welcoming atmosphere. “I came for an interview, spent some time here, and realized I wanted to be part of it.”
Spanish Program Coordinator
At first, Danna was a volunteer with the Spanish Program; now, as of December 2018, she is its Coordinator.
Her background in Mexico was excellent preparation, even though it was not focused on seniors. “I was a pre-school teacher, I ran an educational business that helped children with special needs, I mentored students at all levels, and I ran a children’s summer camp.” All this taught her to organize and run programs, and developed her gift for engaging with people and helping them use their minds and bodies to the full.
“Here at the Centre,” she says, “we’re re-creating a little bit of ‘back-home’ — a place to relax and talk and laugh and dance and reminisce. I want people to be eager to come here, every Wednesday.”
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.”
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Jasmine Ashley-Dy came to the Centre in May 2019 after working for a Member of Parliament for a year and a half. Her background in communications, along with her prior volunteer activities in the non-profit sector, gives her a strong skill-set for her role at the Centre, with its emphasis on planning and strategy. Currently, she is pursuing a dual BA in Politics and Government and Public Policy as part of a joint program between SciencesPo University and UBC.