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Meet Our Team

BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Terry Lake

CEO

Terry trained and practiced as a veterinarian and taught animal health technology before entering public life as an elected representative. He served as councillor and then Mayor of the City of Kamloops and then was elected Member of the Legislature for the riding of Kamloops North Thompson in 2009. He served as Minister of the Environment from 2011-2013 and Minister of Health from 2013-2017. He was awarded the Canadian Public Health Association Public Health Hero Award in 2017 for his groundbreaking work on the opioid overdose crisis. He is a recipient of the University of Saskatchewan Alumni Achievement Award and the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association Award of Merit. Terry was VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Hexo Corporation, one of Canada’s largest cannabis producers from 2017-2019. Terry and his spouse Lisa have three grown daughters and live in Kamloops, British Columbia.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Mike Klassen

Vice President, Public Affairs

Mike serves as president of the board of directors for PAL Vancouver, a unique social housing organization that supports the local creative and performing arts community. Mike’s past board roles included serving as Vice-Chair of the Vancouver City Planning Commission, and as a director on the B.C. Small Business Roundtable. As the Executive Director of the Appellation Task Group, Mike led a province-wide industry consultation that led to significant regulatory reforms in B.C.’s wine and grape growing sector. As B.C. Director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Mike was recognized by Vancouver Sun business columnist Don Cayo for excellence in advocacy, citing his ‘clear and credible’ campaign leading a nine-member business coalition. Mike was later recognized with a Terry Biggar Award for his leadership. Mike is a UBC graduate (B. Arts studying English literature and political science), as well as being an avid runner, husband and parent.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Cathy Szmaus

Vice President, Operations and Corporate Partnerships

Cathy has an extensive background in retail management and customer service, along with experience organizing political events at both the municipal and provincial levels. Before joining the Association, Cathy worked as a freelance writer and wrote a number of popular care provider profiles. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature) and a post-graduate diploma in Art History from the University of British Columbia. Not one to let her vacation days go unused, Cathy enjoys travelling across B.C. and abroad.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Snezana Ristovski

Director of Programs and Organizational Development

Snezana graduated from York University with a Specialized Honours in Public Policy & Administration as well as a Bachelor in Education. Snezana started off her career in the banking and insurance industries specializing in business analysis, project leadership, process reengineering, continuous improvements, managing operations and organizational change which lead her to a new-found passion in helping people develop, feel cared for, valued and respected as a people manager. Snezana then went on to attain her Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation. In her personal time, Snezana likes to take local road trips, adventure on hiking trails, travel abroad, pick up a few new dance steps, and play board games with family.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Rebecca Frederick

Director of EngAge BC

Rebecca is passionate about making B.C. better for seniors, and is committed to focusing on the issues and opportunities that face the continuing care sector. She comes to BC Care Providers Association from the Alzheimer Society of B.C. where she spent five years in a variety of roles, including leading the development and launch of the Society’s Dementia-Friendly Communities initiative and managing the Advocacy & Education Department. Prior to that she completed her Master of Arts degree in Sociology, with a focus on health and aging, at the University of Victoria. When Rebecca isn’t working she enjoys hiking, traveling and reading.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Cora Schupp

Director of Finance and Member Services

Cora brings extensive experience in many facets of accounting, business ownership, the private sector, manufacturing, retail and marketing. She was a joint recipient of the New Canadian Entrepreneur Awards in 1998 under the Service category, and a nominee for the Surrey Cultural Diversity Award of 2004. After successfully starting up and profitably running a floor maintenance company and a retail store selling janitorial products, she decided to become self-employed and use her expertise to help her clients with full cycle bookkeeping, reporting and analytics. After developing a full roster of clients, and becoming a published author (“Cleaning up in a Dirty Business” – a business guide), she decided to work for a non-profit organization that does good for the community. Cora and her husband Hans sing in two choirs, a bluegrass band, and play in a community string orchestra.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Lara Croll

Senior Manager, Policy, Partnerships and Workforce Development

Originally from Abbotsford, Lara Croll holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Simon Fraser University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics. Prior to joining the BCCPA team, Lara interned for the BC Care Providers Association in 2014, as well as working in the customer service industry for eight years. On weekends, Lara enjoys swimming, pottery, and volunteering for Watari Counselling and Services Society.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Marjahn O’Connor

Programs Supervisor

Marjahn comes to EngAge BC with a background working in both customer service and non-profit. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from Simon Fraser University, where she pursued a specialized concentration in international security and conflict. Prior to joining EngAge BC, Marjahn supported various workplace health and safety initiatives for B.C.’s continuing care sector as the Programs and Events Coordinator for SafeCare BC. In her spare time, you can likely find Marjahn at the gym, on the mountains, walking her dog, or attempting to travel the globe.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Marife Sonico

Executive Assistant and Board Secretariat

Marife gained her professional experience in administration, governance support and program coordination from working in various organizations in the non-profit sector. She came to BCCPA from the College of Dental Surgeons of B.C. where she provided administrative support to the Registrar/CEO’s Office and the Board of Directors. Prior to that, she worked at Vantage Point moving progressively in different roles such as Workshops and Office Coordinator, Reporting Analyst, and Office Manager. In her spare time, she goes to the gym with her husband, son and daughter, after which they reverse the benefits of the activity by eating a hearty meal. Aside from her interest in seniors care, Marife is passionate about supporting children with autism to allow them to reach their full potential.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Melissa Grout

Events and Administration Coordinator

Melissa comes to BCCPA with event experience in the non-profit, sports, corporate, and wedding industries. She has experience planning large-scale events, smaller workshops, seminars, community events, weddings, and banquets. She also started her own charcuterie business in 2020. When she isn’t working, you will find her on the soccer field (she has been playing for 25 years) or spending time with family, friends, and her two cats Oliver and Daisy.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Michelle Ho

Digital Media and Communications Specialist

Michelle joins BCCPA with experience in communications, event planning and human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communications from Simon Fraser University and she has worked in a variety of organizations, from small local businesses to post-secondary institutes.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Farhad Jafari Basmenj

Learning and Employment Skills Facilitator

Farhad holds an MA in Education, BA in English Language and Literature and is currently completing a certificate in Instructional Design and Technology. Before joining the team, Farhad worked at the International Language Academy of Canada (ILAC) developing curriculum, teaching, and providing academic support, counseling, and feedback to adult learners. In his spare time, Farhad loves to spend time with his family and friends. A few interesting facts about Farhad are that he is an early bird and a morning gym-goer.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

Jessica Whitecotton

Programs Accounts Assistant

Jessica is a Certified Bookkeeper from the Institute of Professional Bookkeepers of Canada and brings her client experience as a contractor in her own business and other service sectors working with several different accounting packages and office software. She enjoys spare time activities with her family, camping and fishing. Jessica rides ATVs and has a strong passion for reading.
BCCPA + EngAge BC Staff

David Chau

Programs Coordinator

David brings project coordination and operations experience, managing multiple rollouts with tight deadlines while maintaining high quality and standards.