Meet the Board of Directors
An educator for almost 40 years, Mary has worked as a teacher, counselor, vice-principal and principal with the Coquitlam School District, concluding her career as the principal of Dr. Charles Best Secondary School. Since retiring in 2014, Mary works intermittently on a contract basis with the school district and is also an Associate Faculty in the MEd School Counselling Program at City University of Seattle (Vancouver campus).
Anne Wicks, Vice President
Anne Wicks is a spiritual director and retreat leader. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Diploma in Ministry, and has experience in church ministry, school board administration and urban development consulting. Anne offers her gifts and experience to Talitha Koum to further the mission of the Society to empower and transform the lives of women living with addiction.
Ramona Chu, Treasurer
Ramona Chu graduated from UBC with a BSc in Mathematics and became an accountant. She raised three sons and began her second career as a dedicated volunteer. Ramona joined the board at Talitha Koum in July 2017, and brings enthusiasm for supporting women in their journey and a much-appreciated love of spreadsheets.
Cassie Kraemer, Secretary
Cassie Kraemer is a retired school teacher and administrator. She enjoys volunteering her time with a Hospice Society and residents of a Nursing Home, groups which companion folks through momentous times in their lives. She is pleased to be able to support the Talitha Koum Society in its mission to accompany women on their journey.
Sister Denece Billesberger, Sej.
Sister Denece has been a pillar of the society from its inception. As a retired teacher and guidance counsellor, she helps with programming at Talitha Koum. The Sisters of the Child Jesus, of whom she is a member, have a long association with the Maillardville (Coquitlam) community who have lived and served at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish for over 100 years.
Brenda Beck, Board Member
John Haylock, Board Member
Prior to his retirement in 2012, John Haylock spent most of his career in Corporate Finance. After 11 years with BMO Nesbitt Burns in Calgary where he was a Vice President prior to leaving, he joined a Vancouver technology company where he spent 11 years as the Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Haylock has a BSc. in Mathematics and Chemical Engineering from University of Alberta and an MBA in Finance from University of Western Ontario.
Meet Our Staff
Talitha Koum is staffed, whenever possible, by alumni who serve as program director, facilitator, and evening/weekend support workers. Our employees/alumni continue to give support to help refine our program and ensure that it continues to be relevant and successful.
Andrea Cordero-Sapien, Executive Director
Andrea is Talitha Koum’s Executive Director and comes to TK not only with an impressive background in administration and community service, but also with a passion to make a positive difference in the lives of the people she serves. Most recently, she has been the Correctional Supervisor at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver, B.C.“It’s about giving back and doing something that enriches other people’s lives,” she says of her decision to work with TK. “And, I must say, that being able to serve women on their journey to recovery also enriches my own life.”
Jodie Gruninger, Outreach Coordinator/ Facilitator
Jodie is the Outreach Coordinator and Facilitator of Talitha Koum Society. She has a passion for working with women in addiction and her willingness to share her personal story are instrumental in leading other women on their journey of recovery. A graduate and former client of Talitha Koum Society, Jodie’s success with the program brings a positive wealth of experience and knowledge.
Barbara Drouin, Program Director / Facilitator
Barbara is the Program Director and Facilitator of Talitha Koum Society. Barbara’s confidence, strength, compassion and no nonsense approach is a gift for our clients as they discover a new and healthy way of life.
Program Support Staff
Lisa Beland, Weekday and Evening Support Worker
Anji Bergh, Evening Support Worker
Alison Kendall, Weekend Support Worker
Lisa Lewis, Evening and Weekend Support Worker
Nicole Walker, Evening and Weekend Support Worker
Angela Wells, Evening Support Worker
Jessica Jackson, Casual Support Worker
Alyssa Axton, Casual Support Worker
Office Support Staff
Sandra Uzelac – Office Assistant
Anastasia Ponomarenko – Bookkeeper