Board of Directors

Robert Tanaka

Treasurer 2016-2018; Human Resources Chairperson 2022-present; Fundraising Committee Chairperson 2022-present; President 2017-present

Bob is a Chartered Professional Accountant – CA, who has been in public practice since 1981.  Originally from Kamloops, he has lived in the Lower Mainland since graduating from UBC.  Bob is a charter member of the Knights of Columbus, St. Clare of Assisi Council and has been its Financial Secretary since the inception of the Council in 2007.

Bob has volunteered in various capacities for charitable organizations including the Coquitlam Foundation, the Coquitlam Public Library, the Coquitlam Festival Society, and Crossroads Hospice Society and Foundation.  He also served as a Parish representative on the Board of Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School in Coquitlam and was its chair for three years.

As an accountant, Bob gets involved initially in the financial aspects of the organization, but he also enjoys getting involved in the strategic planning and in helping organizations move forward and expanding their services.

Susan Schembri 

Volunteer Coordinator 2014-2017; Treasurer 2018-present

Susan has been a member of the Catholic Women’s League since 1991 and DAS-OLGCS for a number of years. She and her husband have 2 adopted children.  During her banking career of over 40 years her life was centered on her family. Now that she has retired, she wishes to give back to her community and Parish. She is a Past President with the CWL Parish Council at All Saints Parish in Coquitlam and has been on the Vancouver CWL Diocesan Council for 6 years. Her last position was Spiritual Convener. Her strong interpersonal skills and organizational skills helped her decide to accept the position of Volunteer Coordinator on DAS-OLGCS between 2014-2017. Suzanne took on the role of Treasurer in 2018 and continues to support DAS’s financial aspects. Helping people is her passion and working with people is her strength.

Maureen Carter 

Thrift Store Chairperson 2016-present 

Originally from Vancouver, Maureen lived and worked for 25 years in the US and England before retiring from Huntington Beach, California to North Vancouver in 2006. She and her husband have four children and five grandchildren. She has volunteered in many organizations over the years;  working with children with disabilities, Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation, Covenant House, Ten Thousand Villages, CWL, Agape, and the DAS-OLGCS Helpline.  Her work background in retail management, interior design, and fashion presentation has made for an easy transition as a volunteer at Thrifters’ Paradise.  Maureen’s motto in life as always been “do as much good as you can for as long as you can”.

Adrienne Castellon

Member-at-Large 2021-present; Education Committee 2021-present  

Dr. Adrienne Castellon is a Client Partner with People Development at Fraser Health.  She has authored education resources, chapters and articles and presented at academic and professional conferences in North America, Europe and India.  Adrienne serves on several boards related to social justice themes and with DAS-OLGCS serves on the Education Committee.  She is an active member of the Executive Leadership Team for the International Leadership Association’s Women in Leadership member group and an ally involved in Indigenous Pastoral Lay Ministry education supporting reconciliation.  View her LinkedIn profile here.

Maureen Fadum

President 2014-2017; Past President 2017-present; Education Chairperson 2017-present 

A member of DAS since the 1990s, Maureen has been an active member of the board since 2010 when she took the fundraising special events portfolio.  She came to BC from Ontario in 1966 as a Frontier Lay Apostle with Bishop O’Grady and has a history of social responsibility and working to enrich the lives of others.  Maureen’s background in education and educational administration has given her the skills to manage large projects and work with a variety of people.  In her early years of teaching she worked with low income families and has a passion for helping children and families.  With a Masters Degree in Administration, Maureen is happy to share her skills, passion and experience with the DAS Board.

Maureen is excited about taking the leadership role on the Board and working with such a dedicated and talented group of people.  She is confident that together they will move the Society forward in the spirit of the many wonderful people who have served on the board over the last 20 years.

Jim Fish

Eva’s House Committee 2022-present 

Suzanne Latta 

Education Chairperson 1999-2007; Volunteer Coordinator 2019-present

Suzanne was instrumental in creating the very first poster for the Society, alongside Claudie Desmarais and Roger Kibble of Creative Solutions Inc., designing the house logo for Our Lady of Good Counsel. For 10 years, Suzanne and her husband, Roger, partnered together to form a team of educators; preparing and presenting a variety of topics within the RCAV’s Marriage Preparation program including the cycle of abuse, accountability of our behaviour, covenant with God, and sharing their humorous anecdotes on raising four children – all in good effort to prepare couples for their adventures in marriage. Suzanne has partnered with Elaine Moonen to co-chair the Volunteer Coordination committee to revitalize the Society’s volunteer programs.

Maria Magnusson

Catholic Women’s League Liaison 2022-present 

Maria was born in Mexico City, and moved to Vancouver in 2000. She joined the Catholic Women’s League of Canada in 2006, was president of the St Clare of Assisi CWL council in Coquitlam from 2020 to March 2023, and is currently serving in their Executive as Past President.  In 2020, at the beginning of the Pandemic, Maria started a CWL group, in her parish, with members that have been praying the Rosary online together, every day, ever since. Since she was in elementary school, she has been involved in church activities, both in Mexico and in Canada, being part of some choirs, teaching PREP classes, helping families in need in remote communities, supporting activities and events to serve members of different communities, organizing events for kids of families with low resources, and for the last 10 years, coordinating a Fundraiser at St Clare of Assisi to support her kids raise money for the Immaculate Heart of Mary orphanage in El Salvador. 

For the last few years, Maria has been part of the refugee committee at St Clare, helping refugee families settle and adjust in her community, and making sure that when they arrive, they have a nice place to live, fully furnished and with all the main items to start their life in Canada. Currently, Maria currently works as a Case Manager, helping and supporting individuals in their efforts to find a job.

Diane McConnell

Fundraising Chair 2022-present 

Ian McDonald 

Knights of Columbus Chairperson 2014-present; Eva’s House Chairperson 2016-present 

A charter member of the Knights of Columbus Council at St. Clare of Assisi parish in Coquitlam, serving in numerous capacities including Grand Knight, Ian is enthusiastic about acting as Knights of Columbus Liaison in his role as a Director with DAS.  Ian, his wife Roxanne and their two children moved from the Calgary to the West Coast in 2001 where he continued a successful career in information technology, leading an Internet application service provider and most recently training sales representatives and sales leaders for a major Canadian telecommunications firm.  Ian recognizes the Knights of Columbus are a powerful voice for families and looks forward to cultivating their strong tradition of Charity to the benefit of DAS and the women and children we serve.

Elaine Moonen 

Co-founder 1995; Member-at-Large 2010-2018; Volunteer Coordinator 2019-present

With a Degree in Social Work from UBC followed by working with children and single mothers at Vancouver Children’s Aid Society, Elaine became a founding member of the RCAV Catholic Family Services. Her experience in family and marriage counseling and passion to help others lead Elaine to become a founding member of Domestic Abuse Services – Our Lady of Good Counsel Society in 1995. She is active in her parish liturgies and with the Catholic Women’s League, and has been a member of Providence Health Care Society since 2001 and is currently the Past Chair of that society’s Board of Directors.

Debra Padron 

Member-at-Large 2019-present 

Debra and her husband Pedro live in New Westminster where they raised their two children. She is a parishioner at St. Michael’s in Burnaby where she participates as a lector, Parish Religious Education Program instructor, and Project Advance chair. Previously she chaired the Education Committee and was on the Board of Directors at St. Thomas More Collegiate. Though retired from the practice of law, she was a member of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, and after graduating from UVic, began her career representing injured workers with compensation claims; the last 23 years were spent helping women and families enforce court-ordered support payments. She worked with multicultural support agencies assisting immigrant women with integration through education and access to services, and continues to mentor female law graduates. Other community involvement includes Canadian Blood Services Partners for Life, the Plant-a-Row Food Bank initiative, and New Westminster Hyack Association’s Ambassador Program. Not completely ready to face retirement, she currently works part-time as a Provincial Court Judicial Justice.