embers staffing solutions

Team

Board

Barry Fenton

President

Barry Fenton

President

Barry is a senior executive and consultant with a successful track record of operational leadership within the service-driven financial services and real estate industries. In his second career, Barry is giving back to the local community via his involvement on numerous non-profit and association boards.

Robin Surcess

Vice President

Robin Surcess

Vice President

With over 35 years experience in the construction industry as Manager and Sr. Superintendent, Robin lends a wealth of industry knowledge to EMBERS, helping the organizational build social capital and avoid unnecessary risks.

Barton Reid

Secretary

Barton Reid

Secretary

Bart is a researcher and consultant, with an interdisciplinary Doctorate in Urban Studies and City Planning. He was an original member of the Community Economic Development Group that led to the formation of EMBERS in 2001. Bart is involved with consulting and research work focused on housing and economic development. He was also a founding member of Designers for Social Responsibility.

Gurminder Dhaliwal

Gurminder Dhaliwal

Gurminder is the Senior Biopharmaceutical Representative at Amgem and a business professional with over 10 years of sales and marketing experience. He has his BSc from Simon Fraser University and an MBA from the University of Northern British Columbia.

Sandra Reder

Sandra Reder

Sandra is the Founder & President of Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting a Vancouver based HR consulting firm. For over 20 years, Sandra has been a driving force within the human resource community. Her understanding of current HR best practices and trends is extensive, and  she has worked within a wide range of industries including healthcare, private sector, not-for-profit and public sector.

 

HQ

Marcia Nozick

Founder & CEO

Marcia Nozick

Founder & CEO

In 2001, Marcia Nozick founded EMBERS (the Eastside Movement for Business and Economic Renewal Society) as a community economic development charity with a mission to create economic and employment opportunities for people living on low incomes in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. A long-time community advocate, Marcia’s leadership at EMBERS has helped thousands of people facing work barriers lead productive lives by providing access to self-employment education, job placements, training and support.

In 2008, Marcia broke new ground by launching EMBERS Staffing Solutions (ESS), an award-winning temporary staffing agency. Her goal was to create flexible, short-term work placements for people looking to re-enter the workforce. A social enterprise, ESS is self-sustaining and invests 100% of its profits back into the community through higher hourly wages, equipment, and training for workers. Thanks to Marcia’s leadership, ESS is able to have a tremendous social impact. In 2017 alone, the organization employed 1,900 people and paid out over $6.4 million in wages and benefits.

An innovative leader, Marcia has been recognized nationally for her passion and contributions to the fields of community economic development and social enterprise. In 2015, she won the prestigious RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award for Charitable Giving. The following year, she received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for the Community Champion category. Most recently, Marcia won Business In Vancouver’s 2017 Influential Women in Business Award, which recognizes British Columbia’s most outstanding business women.

Prior to founding EMBERS, Marcia was the coordinator of Healthy Communities in Winnipeg, the associate editor and publisher of City Magazine and an instructor of Community Economic Development at Simon Fraser University. She holds a Master’s Degree in City Planning, and wrote the influential Canadian book, No Place Like Home: Building Sustainable Communities (1992) that David Suzuki praised as “a must read.”

Doug Aason

Director, Business Development and Accounts

Doug Aason

Director, Business Development and Accounts

Described by many as a “relationship man,” Doug Aason is passionate for changing lives and making a positive impact in his community.

Gavin Jones

Director of Operations

Gavin Jones

Director of Operations

Gavin is EMBERS Staffing Solution’s (ESS) Director of Operations and manages both the day to day operations and long term strategic growth of ESS. Gavin ensures that our client’s needs are being anticipated and met, while balancing timelines, budgets and high-impact conversations. Blending his background in business management, marketing, operations and finances, he liases between clients and our team to ensure our orders are filled and our workers are supported. Gavin is also integral to our expansion by planning the strategy, operations, and marketing behind each location.

 Self-motivated, ambitious, and eager to problem solve in creative ways, Gavin brings his passion for continuous improvement, genuine communications, and love of connection to work everyday. Seeing our clients hitting their timelines and workers succeeding in their own professional goals is what gives Gavin his greatest drive. 

Gavin joined Embers after 15 years in a variety of management positions in hospitality and athletics. When not working, Gavin volunteers with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade serving as Chair of the Peer Leadership Committee and is also a member of the Company of Young Professionals Advisory Committee. He also volunteers with the Lauier Institution which advances and disseminates knowledge about the economic and social implications of Canadian Diversity. When not at work, you will often find Gavin swimming at a local pool or walking his dog.

 

Johanna Li

Program Manager, EMBERS Ventures and EMBERS Eastside Works

Johanna Li

Program Manager, EMBERS Ventures and EMBERS Eastside Works

As the manager for EMBERS Eastside Works,  Johanna is passionate about finding innovative ways to help people earn income.  Having spent over a decade working in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) with organizations such as the Potluck Café Society and the Vancity Community Foundation, she has built a strong repertoire of expertise in community development and gained much experience in working with a diverse range of individuals. Johanna is very grateful for all the opportunities, experiences and relationships her work has afforded her and is committed to contributing to a thriving, inclusive DTES community.

Franck Salanson

Comptroller

Franck Salanson

Comptroller

Working at EMBERS means that Franck is able to help individuals become financially self-sufficient, while allowing him to use the skills and know-how he’s passionate about.

Lynne Tapper

EMBERS Training Manager

Lynne Tapper

EMBERS Training Manager

Lynne has worked in Learning and Development for over 16 years in both Vancouver and the United Kingdom. Lynne feels privileged to be part of an organization that invests in its workers through certified training and support, which opens up opportunities for increased wages and career development.

Marcel Chalmers

Community Employment Services Coordinator

Ann Kumpula

Credit and Collections Manager

Ann Kumpula

Credit and Collections Manager

As Credit & Collections Manager, Ann works closely with EMBERS’ customers, opening accounts and ensuring timely payment of invoices. Ann is proud to be part of an organization that really makes a difference in people’s lives.

Duby Paredes

Payroll Coordinator

Duby Paredes

Payroll Coordinator

Duby has been employed at EMBERS for more than three years. she believes that giving everyone a second chance can make a positive change in the world. When Duby is not working, she likes to talk long walks around the sea wall and bake!

Kevin Huang

IT

Kevin operates as IT assistant in our Vancouver office. He is currently in the process of building a custom software solution to update EMBERS’ mass email and bulk text capabilities. Kevin also fixes all the software-related tech issues and maintains the backend technology stack as his side duty.

Faye Dolati

Administrative Professional

Faye Dolati

Administrative Professional

Faye is passionate about helping organizations in meeting and exceeding their targeted goals and objectives through maintaining administrative activities and providing exceptional support to senior management. At EMBERS, Faye oversees the day to day administration of the office and its main programs. 

 

Staffing Solutions

Adam Forte

Manager of Accounts and Business Development

Adam Forte

Manager of Accounts and Business Development

As our Manager of Accounts and Business Development, Adam is passionate about strengthening our partnerships with our dedicated customers and providing the highest quality of service to our clients.

Cecilia Davila

Vancouver Office Manager

Cecilia Davila

Vancouver Office Manager

As the Vancouver Office Manager, Cecilia coordinates the daily workings of the Operations Team, acting as the link between workers and our customers. Cecilia takes care of our workers by finding them the right jobs, helping them obtain certifications while ensuring the business needs of our partners are met. Cecilia holds a degree in Sociology , with a background in the non-profit sector, working with vulnerable populations. She is passionate about helping others and can’t think of a better place to work than EMBERS.

Brad Purss

Manager of Business Development

Brad Purss

Manager of Business Development

As the EMBERS Manager of Business Development, Brad works hard to build strong connections with our workers and clients in the community.

John Szanto

Abbotsford Operations and Dispatch Coordinator

John Szanto

Abbotsford Operations and Dispatch Coordinator

Pat Richmond

Abbotsford Sales & Recruitment Specialist

Pat Richmond

Abbotsford Sales & Recruitment Specialist

Mark Smith

Surrey Sales & Recruitment Specialist

Mark Smith

Surrey Sales & Recruitment Specialist

Mitzi Contreras

Surrey Staffing Specialist

Mitzi Contreras

Surrey Staffing Specialist

Mitzi is dedicated to helping people improve through learning life skills. At ESS Surrey, she liaises with the Vancouver office and ensures that office operational procedures are running smoothly.

Michelle Martincak

Surrey Office Manager

Michelle Martincak

Surrey Office Manager

Michelle is passionate about helping people connect with work and offering them opportunities to improve there skills and to succeed in life

Holly Steele

Training Division Recruitment, Retention and Community Engagement

Holly Steele

Training Division Recruitment, Retention and Community Engagement

In her role of Recruitment, Retention and Community Engagement, Holly splits her time between recruiting new workers to EMBERS, and helping workers reach their career and short term educational goals through the EMBERS Training Division. When she’s not working, she enjoys hiking, live theater, and creating art.

Connie Man

Payroll Clerk

Connie Man

Payroll Clerk

Connie’s role is to perform payroll duties in the morning and facilitate cash advances, while assisting with front desk duties in the afternoon.

Eastside Works

Austin Lui

Programming and Outreach Director

Austin Lui

Programming and Outreach Director

Austin oversees day-to-day operations, programs, and services at EMBERS Eastside Works, our new employment hub in the heart of the Downtown Eastside. He recently completed his Masters in Community and Regional Planning at UBC. His interests include community and economic development, social innovation, music and art, and facilitation.

Jesse Cowan

Business Developer

Jesse Cowan

Business Developer

Jesse makes connections with local businesses and community agencies to create partnerships for EMBERS Eastside Works.

Stacey King

Community Success Leader

Stacey King

Community Success Leader

Stacey provides individual support to community members in their efforts to generate income as well as connecting with other organisations to encourage collaboration between agencies and help create an overall support network to address their needs. She is also an artist, designer, and an incorrigible organizer.

Monica Vuong

Community Connector

Monica Vuong

Community Connector

As a part-time Community Connector at EMBERS Eastside Works, Monica connects people to employment opportunities and resources in the community. Monica is passionate about social justice as well as working together with community members in helping them achieve their self-identified goals.

Geoffrey Morrow

Community Connector and Administrator

Geoffrey Morrow

Community Connector and Administrator

Geoffrey is the main administrator at Eastside Works, and helps the community connect to income opportunities and employment services. He completed a Masters in Fine Arts at UBC and wrote his thesis on the use of cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms in PTSD treatment. Geoffrey is passionate about reducing the stigmas associated with drug use, addiction, and mental health.