The non-profit housing sector’s leaders from across BC contribute their deep level of knowledge and expertise to our Board of Directors. Together, these housing professionals provide strategic guidance for our work.

Our Board of Directors represent four BC regions and various housing types. They serve a maximum of two three-year terms, and participate on committees and task forces. To contact our Board, please email

Julia Payson

Board Chair


Organization: CMHA – Vernon and District Branch

Julia started in non-profit work more than 20 years ago, and her career has taken her from local grassroots agencies to international emergency medical aid agencies. She currently leads the Vernon branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and sits on the boards of the BCNPHA and crown agency Community Living BC.

Monique Nelson


Lower Mainland

Organization: posAbilities

Monique has deep experience in communication, consultation, relationship development and capacity building initiatives. Prior to joining posAbilities in 2012, Monique designed and implemented communication and consultation processes to address social and environmental issues arising from unresolved Aboriginal title, rights and proposed economic development projects. She has contributed to treaty negotiations, land and resource management planning and consulted on community economic development initiatives for government and industry.

William Azaroff



Organization: Brightside Community Homes Foundation

William is Brightside’s CEO. He ensures operations are resilient, properties are well maintained, residents and staff are happy and healthy, and that they achieve the organization’s goal of doubling the number of affordable homes Brightside provides over the next decade. Prior to joining the Brightside team, William was a long-time executive at Vancity. William sits on the board of the BCNPHA and is former chair of Modo, a car-sharing co-operative and the Vancity Community Foundation.

Mike Gawliuk


Organization: CMHA Kelowna

Mike completed his Bachelor Degree in Psychology and then went on to earn his Masters in Leadership at Royal Roads. Mike started on the front line, working with youth experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. After that, he moved into program leadership and into senior leadership roles in the non-profit sector.

Alita Tocher



Organization: M’akola Housing Society

Alita is the Senior Director of Housing Operations for M’akola Housing Society, the largest Indigenous affordable housing provider in British Columbia serving more than 5,000 family members. M’akola manages more than 1,600 homes serving both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Andrea Blakeman

Vancouver Island

Organization: Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society

Andrea has been involved in community building and housing for more than 20 years. Andrea leads the Nanaimo Affordable Housing Society, which provides independent housing to a wide variety of tenants from diverse backgrounds with low to moderate incomes –  singles, seniors and families with diverse needs.

Luanne Ruotsalainen


Organization: Dakelh & Quesnel Community Housing Society

Luanne is the Executive Director of Dakelh & Quesnel Community Housing Society, the largest affordable housing provider in the City of Quesnel. Through compassion and commitment, the Society takes pride in housing people from all walks of life and feels honored to help make housing their home.

Lynda Edmonds

Lower Mainland

Organization: Fraserside Community Services Society

As CEO, Lynda led the successful transition of Peterson Place, a Fraserside program on the leading edge of public policy for people experiencing homelessness with mental health and addictions issues. Under her leadership, Fraserside received the Not-For-Profit Business of the Year – Over $1 Million 2015 Platinum Award from the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce. Lynda has led the non-profit to sustainable fiscal management and culture change, while enhancing its grassroots mission to support Metro Vancouver’s vulnerable people.

Makenna Rielly

Vancouver Island

Organization: Victoria Women’s Transition House

Makenna has worked in the non-profit sector for over 30 years, and has a strong commitment to providing critical services to survivors of violence and their families, supporting prevention education and building public awareness. In addition to her great sense of humour and love for the group of people she works with, Makenna brings valuable management skills to VWTH including more than 20 years executive administrative experience in fiscal and risk management and strategic planning. She has worked successfully as a liaison with program partners, community agencies, and funders and recently oversaw a collaboration between VWTH and the Women’s Sexual Assault Centre, which resulted in an administrative consolidation of the leadership structure. As well, Makenna is a General Surveyor for CARF International, an accreditation organization where she is an administrative surveyor and consultant.

Michelle Martins


Organization: Tamitik Status of Women Association

Michelle is Director of Services at Tamitik Status of Women (TSW), a non-profit society that provides critical programs and services in support of individuals and families in Kitimat, with a particular focus on preventing violence against women, youth, and children. Established in 1976, TSW offers ongoing support, programs, education and opportunities while prioritizing equality and safety. The society’s work is especially important these days, with many people dealing with elevated levels of anxiety and uncertainty due to COVID-19 and its impacts.

Graham Wood


Organization: The Bloom Group

Graham has been involved with all aspects of real estate, housing and development over his career, including private consulting, the public sector and the most recently in the nonprofit sector as Director, Real Estate with the Bloom Group. Graham holds a BA from SFU, Urban Land Econ from UBC and an MBA from UVic. He resides in the Lower Mainland with his wife and 11-year old son. Graham enjoys moonlit nights and long walks on the beach.