Staff Biographies

MANAGEMENT

Elizabeth Specht, Executive Director

Jocelyn Wong, General Manager


PROGRAM COORDINATION

Ryan Luetzen, Program Coordinator, Communications

Sydney Kuo, Program Coordinator

Alex Tse, Program Assistant


ADMINISTRATION

Beth Tetzel, Financial Coordinator

Josephine Ho, Executive Assistant

Laurie Scheuerman, Administrator

Christine Kuo, Administrative Assistant


CHILD CARE RESOURCE & REFERRAL CENTRE

Marcia MacKenzie, Manager

Chris Lee, Programming and Outreach Consultant

Roseanne Law, Child Care Outreach Coordinator

May Leung, Information & Referral Counsellor

Mitchell Coene, Administrative Assistant


SENIORS COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES

Carol Dickson, Manager

Pamela Lui, Program Coordinator

Peggy Tang, Program Coordinator

Michael Jarman, Program Coordinator

Eric Chow, Program Assistant


Elizabeth Specht

 

Executive Director


Elizabeth Specht has been a leader in the non-profit field for over 28 years. Currently, as Executive Director of Volunteer Richmond, she is responsible for the development of mission-driven innovative and sustainable programs. An integral piece to this work is her ability to form strategic alliances and relationships, develop key resource development and communications strategies, and manage a diverse group of staff and volunteers. Prior to this, Elizabeth was a General Manager with the YMCA and has experience with annual and capital campaigns, sponsorship and partner development, grants and foundational support, and developing and engaging key leadership to “friend raise.” Elizabeth has a passion for working with and empowering people and that passion transforms itself into operational success. 


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Jocelyn Wong

 

General Manager


Jocelyn Wong has been part of Volunteer Richmond’s mini family for six fabulous years. She’s had the opportunity to share key personal momentous occasions with colleagues and friends. As the agency's General Manager, Jocelyn supports the programs and services that Volunteer Richmond provides to the community. 


With over 15 years' experience in the non-profit field, Jocelyn brings a wealth of knowledge to Volunteer Richmond, having been involved with community development, youth engagement, educational training, strategic planning, and of course, volunteer management.  


What is your fondest memory at Volunteer Richmond thus far?


It is hard to pinpoint one memory because I’ve had the benefit of being part of many key programs, and each has provided me with warm, fuzzy moments. I think when you enjoy your job and believe in your work, your experience will be positive.  


What inspires you?


People. I am amazed at what each person is capable of. Everyone I have met and connected with has provided me inspiration, and depending on my day and what I am going through I draw encouragement from those around me. 


What does your perfect day look like?


Wow, I haven’t even thought about that in a long time. Being relaxed! Which may include me crafting, baking, running, doing yoga, or being with my family and friends. Oh, and of course, ICE CREAM! 


If you had to choose, what's been your greatest achievement at Volunteer Richmond?


We achieve our successes because of the whole team; everyone is a part of it because we work together. I hope that I have been able to provide leadership, and I know I feel a sense of achievement when I know I have helped someone or when I see a smile.


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Ryan Luetzen

 

Program Coordinator, Communications


Ryan Luetzen began his career at Volunteer Richmond in 2008, as a summer student. Later that year he was offered a full time position, which he promptly accepted. Prior to this he worked at a temp agency, where he became intimately acquainted with some of Richmond’s finest warehouses. He also spent a brief time in the shipping department at Purdy’s. It remains the most delicious job he’s ever had.


Ryan's role at Volunteer Richmond is substantial. As the Communications Coordinator, he’s responsible for telling the agency’s story in a compelling way, and because each program has different communications needs, each requires a unique approach. One of Ryan's goals is to produce a body of work that he can look back on and be proud of. 


What inspires you? 


Discovering new things inspires me, especially when it comes to music, movies, or books. I’m not afraid to admit that, despite my distaste for tight pants, I’m a hipster at heart. I want to hear new bands before anybody else does. I enjoy obscure art house films. I believe that the best authors write for small presses. My favourite phrase? “I liked (fill in the blank) before it was cool.”  


If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?


I spent an entire work day (that’s eight hours, if you’re counting) thinking about this question, and finally came up with an answer: my superpower would be the ability to overcome writer’s block in a timely manner, preferably less than eight hours. 


What is your favourite book?


My favourite book is The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death, by Charlie Huston. It’s the story of a Los Angeles school teacher who, following a traumatic and life-changing event, finds himself drawn into the weird and dangerous world of crime scene cleaners. Crazy hijinks ensue. World War Z, by Max Brooks, is probably the best piece of zombie-related literature ever written, so that’s up there too. Oh, and so I don’t sound like I’m utterly uncultured, let’s throw in the complete works of Shakespeare as well.


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Sydney Kuo

 

Program Coordinator


Sydney Kuo studied history at the University of British Columbia. During her time at UBC she volunteered as a Peer Counsellor and provided campus information and peer support for students and faculty alike. Sydney joined Volunteer Richmond in 2008 and is always happy to see clients feeling more informed and empowered to pursue volunteer opportunities that motivate them. As a Program Coordinator, Sydney has a vast number of responsibilities, which include developing training opportunities and workshops, managing membership, leading and coordinating agency-wide events, and managing numerous volunteer programs like Volunteer Match, Scrappy Do-Gooders, and the Community Information & Volunteer Centre. 


My happy place is… 


Under a cherry blossom tree!


What does your perfect day look like?


Reading a great book or watching a great movie.


If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?


To be invisible. 


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Alex Tse

 

Program Assistant


Alex Tse is making a big comeback at Volunteer Richmond – she last worked here as the agency’s summer student back in 2011. Alex is a media democracy nerd who is finishing a degree in Communications at SFU. Alex’s favourite part of her role at Volunteer Richmond is helping volunteers to explore their passions, gain skills, and give back to their community. Alex is proud to help fight the effects of poverty in the Richmond community through her role at the Richmond Christmas Fund.


What does your perfect day look like?


A day with lots of fresh, delicious and local organic produce! Especially if the harvest is from my own garden and I get to share the bounty with lots of friends. My perfect day would also include some kind of outdoor physical activity such as biking along the Richmond dyke, dragonboating, or playing Ultimate Frisbee.


What inspires you?


This one is easy – volunteers and nonprofit leaders who work tirelessly to make our community a better place for everyone!



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Beth Tetzel

 

Financial Coordinator


Beth Tetzel is the Finance Coordinator at Volunteer Richmond. She's involved in all financial planning and reporting, along with the day-to-day financial details. One of the things that she likes most about her role as Finance Coordinator is that it gives her insight into the great work done throughout Volunteer Richmond and allows her to provide background support to all of the agency's programs. 


Before joining Volunteer Richmond, Beth worked in the field of journalism. She has an M.A. in Journalism from Marquette University and among her previous positions, has worked as a Magazine Editor, Book Editor, and Director of Public Relations. Beth has also spent numerous hours volunteering at different organizations, including Richmond Gymnastics, where she served as Treasurer. 


What is it like to work at Volunteer Richmond? 


There is always something new to learn, a new challenge to take up.


Where is your happy place? 


I love to read and to quilt. At any given time, I am usually reading several books and working on several quilts. 


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Josephine Ho

 

Executive Assistant



Having joined Volunteer Richmond in late 1996, Josephine Ho is one of the agency’s longest serving staff members. With extensive secretarial experience, she’s extremely knowledgeable on matters related to office administration and management. Josephine has had the opportunity to take on many roles at the agency, from front desk Administrative Assistant to her current position as Executive Assistant. As Executive Assistant, Josephine has a lot on her administrative plate, her areas of responsibility encompassing office operations, IT support, human resources, and everything in between.


What is it like to work at Volunteer Richmond?


It’s like working in a family where everybody is helping each other.


What is your fondest memory at VRIS thus far? 


Having the front desk remodelled with an enclosed door after so many years of discussion.


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Laurie Scheuerman

 

Administrator



When her children were in school, Laurie Scheuerman would help out with extracurricular activities. It’s how she got started volunteering. And, fittingly, it’s through volunteering that she got started with Volunteer Richmond. She began at the agency as a volunteer, which served as a stepping stone for her career. Laurie is currently Volunteer Richmond’s Administrator, spending the majority of her time working behind the scenes with the Richmond Christmas Fund, whether processing donations, issuing 'thank you' letters, or assisting with mail outs. Laurie also provides administrative support to the Executive Assistant and to the Finance Coordinator. Indeed, throughout her 20 plus years at Volunteer Richmond, Laurie has been a valued source of support for the office as a whole.  


An inspiring quote is…


“We may run, walk, stumble, drive or fly, but let us never lose sight of the reason for the journey, or miss a chance to see a rainbow on the way.” Gloria Gaither


Where is your happy place? 


Any place that our family can get together.


What is your favourite book?


I have many “favourite books” but I am particularly fond of “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” series by Alexander McCall Smith.


What does your perfect day look like?


It has a beginning, middle and an end.


If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?


I would have the power to ensure that everyone is treated fairly, kindly and with respect.


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Christine Kuo

 

Administrative Assistant



Christine Kuo began her career as an Administrative Assistant at Volunteer Richmond in January 2014. What a great way to start the new year! Before joining Volunteer Richmond, she also worked in the field of office administration. With a background in office administration and a passion for volunteerism, Christine is glad to be part of Volunteer Richmond. During the time she studied Linguistics at Simon Fraser University, she volunteered at Trinity Lutheran Church as an ESL Teacher and the Chair of Public Relations. As Volunteer Richmond’s Administrative Assistant, Christine is responsible for the front desk reception, information referral and providing administrative support for the agency. She loves helping and greeting people with a smile. 


Where is your happy place?

My happy place is where I gather with my friends to watch a good movie.

What does your perfect day look like?

Waking up in a warm and sunny day and spending the day outdoors at a beach or a park.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I would like the power to stop wars from happening around the world.



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Marcia MacKenzie

 

Manager, Child Care Resource and Referral Program



Marcia MacKenzie has been the Manager of the Richmond Child Care Resource & Referral Centre for over half a decade. Before joining the team, she worked at the Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre as part of the Vancouver CCRR program. Marcia has worked closely with her team at Volunteer Richmond to plan, develop, and implement countless services aimed at enhancing the availability, accessibility, and quality of child care options in the community. 


Aside from doing all she can to help improve the lives of Richmond families, Marcia also produces workshops and events aimed at promoting the development of new and existing child care providers. She’s especially proud of her role in re-establishing the CCRR's presence in Richmond (the program went on hiatus for a time), as well as her work in forming the Richmond Childcare Alliance network group, which exists to promote quality child care in the city. 


What inspires you? 


My faith inspires me.


What’s your favourite movie? 


Sleepless in Seattle. 


What does your perfect day look like?


A perfect day is busy but not overwhelming, creative but not chaotic.


If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?


Patience. I would want to be ‘Patient Woman.’


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Chris Lee

 

Programming and Outreach Consultant



Chris Lee joined the Volunteer Richmond team with more than 13 years of experience in early childhood education. This background has proven to be a great asset, allowing her to excel in her current role as the Programming and Outreach Consultant with our Child Care Resource & Referral Centre. She assists with the planning and running of drop-in programs and circle time sessions, helps manage the Community Resource Library, and makes resource kits and theme boxes for members to borrow. 


She’s constantly thinking of new ways to make everyone's day a little brighter and happier. True story: as this bio was being typed up, Chris sent an e-mail to all staff informing us that she’d left some fresh cantaloupe in the fridge. Thanks, Chris!


What inspires you and why? 


“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein inspires me because it teaches and reminds people to appreciate others. 


Where is your happy place? 


My happy place is Taiwan because I love the environment, culture and food that Taiwan offers.


What’s your favourite movie? 


Patch Adams. 


If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?


To eliminate abuse from the world.


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Roseanne Law

 

Child Care Outreach Coordinator


Roseanne Law is an Early Childhood Educator, a parent, and a mentor. She has extensive experience in the child care field and is passionate about connecting children with nature. When she was young, her siblings used to call her “jungle boy” because she would stay in the wilderness all day long chasing clouds, building forts, and catching dragonflies.

Working out of our Child Care Resource & Referral Centre, Roseanne is the person people come to when they need information on child care licensing requirements, safety standards, or opening and operating a daycare. She also oversees dozens of registered license-not-required child care providers, offering them support and guidance. Last but definitely not least, Roseanne is a talented facilitator, teaching numerous workshops and training sessions, including our ever popular Mandarin Family Child Care Course.

What is your favourite movie?

My favourite movie is In a Better World.

What inspires you and why?

I’m inspired by a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

It inspires me because it works for me. I try not to judge people and attempt to understand things from their point of view.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

I would like to have the power to change all child care providers into “Super Nannies!”

What does your perfect day look like?

A normal day with no regrets is my perfect day.


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Carol Dickson

 

Manager, Seniors Community Support Services



Carol Dickson has been working as the Manager of Seniors Community Support Services at Volunteer Richmond for just over 3 years, having come to the position with over a decade's experience coordinating volunteers and seniors programs. Her first personal volunteer experience was as a Brownie, when she held a tea party for seniors. She oversees many programs at the agency, including Senior Peer Counselling, Seniors Information & Referral, Volunteer Shopping and the Caregivers Education and Support Program. 


What is it like to work at Volunteer Richmond? 


It is busy, fun, and motivating to work with a team of like minded people.


What is your fondest memory at VRIS thus far? 


When the shopping volunteers won the Volunteers Are Stars award in 2009 and all the volunteers in the Seniors Community Support Services programs won the VoluntHero contest in 2011.


If you had to choose, what's been your greatest achievement at Volunteer Richmond? 


Not my achievement but the agency's. For the first time, with the aid of a United Way grant, we are presenting the Caregivers Education and Support Series in Cantonese. What a great opportunity to be able to support more family caregivers in Richmond.


What does your perfect day look like? 


It starts with a good cup of coffee!


What inspires you? 


The care that family caregivers provide, day in and day out, to the people who depend on them.


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Pamela Lui

 

Program Coordinator


Pamela Lui, also known as the shopping expert, has been involved with Volunteer Richmond for over four years. She oversees our Volunteer Shopping Program, which provides grocery shopping assistance to seniors and others with long-term health problems, enabling them to remain in their homes for as long as possible. At the 2009 Volunteers Are Stars Awards, the Volunteer Shopping Program won the Constellation Award, which recognizes volunteer groups for their service and contribution to the community. 


By the way, we weren't joking about Pamela being a shopping expert; her shopping adventures have taken her around the world. 


If you had to choose, what was your greatest achievement at Volunteer Richmond?


My overtime hours


What quote inspires you? 


“No one is perfect.” Learn to forgive others.


If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?


Having an unlimited spending budget. 


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Peggy Tang

 

Program Coordinator



Peggy Tang joined Volunteer Richmond more than six years ago. She has recently taken up a new challenge - coordinating the Better at Home program for older adults in Richmond. The program will be launching two services starting in September 2013 - Transportation and Friendly Visiting. A third service - light housekeeping, will be launched at a later time. If you wish to know more about these services, either to sign up as a volunteer or to register as a client, please visit the Better at Home page.


Peggy volunteers with her alumni association, at various schools throughout Richmond, and as a Senior Peer Counsellor. 


What is your fondest memory at VRIS thus far? 


Seeing everyone contributing and helping with our agency events.


If you had to choose, what’s been your greatest achievement at Volunteer Richmond? 


Aggregating information about resources in the community and connecting people to the appropriate resources.


My happy place is… 


My home!


What’s your favourite movie? 


The Incredibles. I want to be like the mom, Helen. 


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Michael Jarman

 

Program Coordinator



Michael was volunteering for the Richmond Additions Services’s Aging Well Program in 2010 when he learned that there was a spot open in Volunteer Richmond’s Senior Peer Counselling course (SPC). This opportunity opened his life to a whole new path. In January 2011, Michael went back to school to take the Vancouver Community College’s Community Counselling Skills Program while finishing Volunteer Richmond’s Senior Peer Counselling course and volunteering as a senior peer counsellor (wow!). Michael took his college practicum with Volunteer Richmond, which he found insightful not only for the counselling training, but also because it provided him with a better understanding of the world of nonprofit organizations.


Michael joined VRIS in May 2013. As a program coordinator, Michael is involved in several great programs including Senior Peer Counselling, Power of Attorney and the new Recovery Mentorship Program. Michael continues to volunteer with the community meals program at St. Albans United Church every Tuesday.


What inspires you? 


Working alongside people whose work makes a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.


My happy place is… 


Being out in Mother Nature, and it doesn’t matter whether I am on the water or in the forest or the desert, I love the feeling of being connected with nature.


What does your perfect day look like? 


Being on my motorcycle, with my wife riding through the country side  of this great province we live in.


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Eric Chow

 

Program Assistant


Eric Chow recently joined Volunteer Richmond as part of the newly launched Richmond Better at Home program. He manages the wonderful volunteers who provide key services for seniors, such as transportation and friendly visiting, and he assists in all aspects of the Better at Home program. Eric is also helping with the Volunteer Shopping Program by assisting in the Shop by Phone service.


In his spare time, Eric is an avid volunteer and currently works with Five Hole for Food, a non-profit organization. He also enjoys writing on his blog, enjoying food at different restaurants, playing tennis, knowing all there is to know about new technology, and sharing his passions through social media.


What is your fondest memory at Volunteer Richmond thus far? 


Starting my first day with a Dairy Queen Blizzard to support Dairy Queen’s Miracle Treat Day. What a way to start my work at Volunteer Richmond: helping others and having a great treat as well.


What inspires you?


I’m inspired by the people that have overcome adversity in their lives and come out stronger through the process. Whether it’s people I’ve met or read about, I feel empowered by what they have done and hope to do so myself.


Where is your happy place?


Rocky Point Pier in Port Moody. It has a great view all year round and a restaurant with cheap deals. Great place to spend an afternoon and relax.


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