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).
Maria Tanaka, Treasurer
Jessica Spraggs, Secretary
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
Sylvia Wallace, Board Member
After an awarding-winning, 35-year career in journalism, Terry O’Neill served two terms on Coquitlam City Council before retiring in 2018 to focus on people and projects closer to home and closer to his heart. He has been honoured for distinguished citizenship and humanitarianism by both the Canadian Red Cross Society and Canadian Blood Services. He is the founder of Blooms into Rooms: The Easter Flowers Project.
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.
Odo Nkum, Executive Director
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.
Terri-Lynne Schack, Program Director / Facilitator
Terri-Lynne is the Program Director and Facilitator of Talitha Koum Society.
Program Support Staff
Anji Bergh, Evening Support Worker
Rhea Eve, Evening and Weekend Support Worker
Kyla Gillespie, Weekday and Evening Support Worker
Jessica Jackson, Evening and Weekend Support Worker
Nicole Walker, Weekday and Evening Support Worker
Lindsay Yamamoto, Evening Support Worker
Melissa Rousom, Casual Staff
Office Support Staff
Sandra Uzelac – Office Assistant
Anastasia Ponomarenko – Bookkeeper