Board & Staff

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Tracey Carpenter, President
Jeff Mercer, Treasurer
Barb Willson, Secretary
Mandy Johnson, Past President
Stephanie Isaac, Member at Large
Barbara Johnston, Member at Large
Caroline Cassidy, Member at Large
Kerry Harding, Member at Large
Joelly Segal, Member at Large
Sabrina Roberston, Member at Large

STAFF
Samantha Aitken, Provincial coordinator
Patty Rippel, Administrative assistant
Kristi Coldwell, Hearts of Gold coordinator, Lower Mainland
Krista Molia, Hearts of Gold coordinator, Vancouver Island

BOARD & STAFF BIOS

Caroline Cassidy, Member at Large
Caroline moved to Vancouver from Glasgow, Scotland with her husband, Myles, and their two children, Louisa and Douglas, in 2012 when Myles took a job at the BC Children’s Hospital as a doctor. She is a Scottish qualified lawyer who practiced in Scotland prior to moving here and is currently undertaking her exams to becoming qualified in Canada. She was first introduced to the CHN through her friend and board member Stephanie Isaac. She has been hugely impressed with the CHN and has enjoyed fundraising with her children and attending the annual CHN gala. She is looking forward to helping the Board achieve its goals.

Tracey Carpenter, President
Tracey joined CHN when her daughter Avery was diagnosed with ALCAPA in 2009. Avery has had two open heart surgeries, her ALCAPA repair immediately after diagnosis, and her mitral valve repair two years later. The Carpenters have two daughters Chloe and Avery. Tracey has a bachelor of commerce degree and has worked for her family business in industrial sales for her entire career. Tracey was thrilled to be a part of the organizing committee for the CHN “Growing Up with Heart Disease Conference” in 2012 and she is a family resource parent for CHN. “I am very thankful for the support that we have received from the CHN and its members throughout our journey. Knowing that you are not alone in this sometimes surreal experience of being a heart parent has been a tremendous comfort and I am so honoured to be able to help other families through their journeys. I look forward to collaborating with our more experienced board and helping to carry the CHN and its membership forward. Even though all of our stories are unique we find common threads that join us together and help to make us stronger when we know we are not alone.”

Kerry Harding, Member at Large
Kerry is an art educator who has been teaching grade 6 and 7 for the last 16 years. She lives in North Vancouver with her husband Scott and her two boys, Fraser and Kailen. Kerry has been connected with the Children’s Heart Network since 2007, shortly after the birth of her second son Kailen, who was born with transposition of the great arteries. Today he is a very active 9-year-old with a special heart. Kerry is excited to continue to work with the Children’s Heart Network and offer her expertise as an educator and mother of a child with CHD. She has previously served on the CHN conference planning committee, organized February 14 walks to bring awareness to congenital heart defects, and offered art workshops for the Children’s Heart Network. As a new board member, Kerry is looking forward giving back to an organization that has done so much for her family. “I have always felt a sense of connection and understanding with the families from the Children’s Heart Network.”

Stephanie Isaac, Member at Large
Stephanie joined the CHN board in January 2014. She grew up in Victoria and trained and worked as a social worker in Victoria and in the UK, before moving to Vancouver with her husband, Charlie, and their three children, Chloë, Rhys, and Drew. Stephanie first became involved with CHN as a volunteer in 2010. Her niece Mila, was a heart child, who, sadly, passed away in August 2012. Stephanie’s sister and brother-in-law started Mila’s Fund to enable heart kids living throughout BC to enjoy the experience of camp.

Barbara Johnston, Member at Large
Barb is a writer, editor, and instructor living in Port Moody with her husband Jay and two girls, Sophia and Anna. She has been connected with the Children’s Heart Network since 1998, shortly after the birth of her first daughter Sophia, who was born with a complex congenital heart condition. Today, Sophia is a healthy teenager who attends almost every Hearts of Gold Youth program event and looks forward to attending CHN’s summer camp every year. Barb is excited to use her communications and publishing experience to help develop the Children’s Heart Network’s communications strategies. She has previously served on the CHN conference planning committee and has taken the resource parent training to support families. Barb is looking forward giving back to an organization that has done so much for her family. “I have always been so very grateful for the great support our family has received from the Children’s Heart Network. From the conferences, the unforgettable weekend at Critter Cove, to the amazing Hearts of Gold program, these experiences have all made the journey a whole lot easier.”

Mandy Johnson, Past President
Mandy is a nurse in the Children’s Heart Centre at BC Children’s Hospital and has been involved with The Children’s Heart Network for many years. She is a true believer that the best help for families starting on the road of living with heart disease comes from other families who have been there already. As the president she is always looking for new ways to connect parents with parents and heart children with other heart children. Mandy is from Newcastle in the north of England and moved to Vancouver in 1986, just for one year, which got extended. She is now married to a Canadian and firmly settled in Vancouver with her husband and son. She loves Vancouver and enjoys walking along the seawall and watching the ocean. She is also an avid reader and enjoys any kind of puzzles from jigsaws to Sudoku.

Jeff Mercer, Treasurer
Jeff joined the CHN as Treasurer in September 2014. He has over 25 years of accounting, business, and management experience in engineering, technology, and manufacturing environments. Jeff is director of finance and administration at Lance Bissett Ltd. and was controller and then director of finance and administration for Paradigm Environmental Technologies from 2003 to 2014, where he was responsible for accounting, treasury, human resources, risk management, and administration. Prior to joining Paradigm, Jeff held the position of controller at Westbay Instruments Inc., a technology company with a proprietary system for monitoring groundwater. When Westbay was acquired by Schlumberger in 2000, Jeff stayed on as a division controller for Schlumberger Water Services until 2003. Jeff lives in Pitt Meadows with his wife Darlene and son, Matt. He has a strong sense of compassion for those in need. “I am delighted to be able to give back to the community and contribute my time and expertise to this worthy cause”. Jeff holds a Diploma of Technology in Financial Management from BCIT, and is a CPA, CMA.

Barb Willson, Secretary
Barb is a registered nurse who has spent 17 years working with heart kids and families. Barb is one of the founders of the Hearts of Gold Youth Youth Program. While she no longer works in heart care, she continues to have a desire to support heart kids and families. “My niece has grown up with a heart condition and as an aunt I’m so grateful for the support she has received along her journey.” Barb lives in Vancouver with her husband Gordon. “I enjoy volunteering on the board so that every heart child and family has access to peer and family support.”

Sabrina Robertson, Member at Large

Sabrina is from the Fraser Valley where she lives with her husband Tim, & 2 son’s Zachary & Jacob. She worked in customer service for 16 years before pursuing her career as a Community Support Worker. Sabrina has recently joined the board of CHN & is working on the planning committee for the upcoming conference 2017. Her family got involved with the CHN when Zach was 5 as he was born with Tetrology of Fallot. He’s had 2 patch repairs, a stent, shunt & is currently awaiting a valve replacement in the near future. “It’s great to be a part of an organization who cares and understands so much of what you’re going through as a parent to a child with a CHD. “

Joelly Segal, Member at Large

Joelly was thrilled to join the board of the Children’s Heart Network in 2017. She lives in Vancouver with her husband Jory and their four children, Zane, Emmett, Shae and Mattea.  Joelly first became aware of The Children’s Heart Network in 2009 when her daughter Mattea was born with a VSD, and shortly after became a volunteer and then a resource parent.   Joelly is passionate about giving back to the community and supporting families and children.  Joelly has an extensive background in hospitality and event management.

STAFF
Samantha Aitken, Provincial Coordinator
Samantha has been a member of the CHN since 2006. She initially became involved as a board member for three years and then eventually took on the role of Provincial Coordinator. She lives in Vancouver with her husband Rob, son Jackson and daughter Danielle. She holds a bachelor of commerce from UBC and worked in the restaurant/purchasing industry for the majority of her career. “Our daughter, Danielle, was born with congenital heart disease and had a large VSD repair at 3 months old. As the mother of a heart child I felt it was important to give back and volunteer in some capacity. This led to me volunteering on the CHN board and ultimately to my current role as provincial coordinator. It is truly gratifying to be able to help a family that has a child recently diagnosed with congenital heart disease, and I am so happy to be working with a very committed board of directors.”

Patty Rippel, Administrative Assistant
Patty has a background in bookkeeping and accounting and will be focusing on finance and other administrative duties.  Patty has been a heart mom since 1992 when her son Connor was born. She was first introduced to CHN as a parent and she remembers how great it was to find someone to talk to who had gone through similar experiences. Patty then got involved with CHN  as a resource parent helping to support other parents whose child has just been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. Patty lives in Maple Ridge with her husband Ted.  She is a mother of two grown sons, Kyle and Connor. As a child, Connor underwent repairs to correct his transposition of the great arteries and a VSD repair, and he has transitioned to St. Paul’s PACH clinic. He is now a young adult working for the family business while attending university.

Kristi Coldwell, Hearts of Gold Coordinator, Lower Mainland
Kristi graduated from University of Victoria with a degree in Child and Youth Care and currently works as a child life specialist in the pediatric emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital. Born with a heart defect, Kristi underwent three open heart surgeries prior to her heart transplant at the age of 17. Because of this Kristi has a unique awareness and insight to what it means to be a teenager with a heart condition as well as what it means to persevere in the face of adversity. In her spare time Kristi enjoys going to the beach with her husband and two dogs, spending time in her garden, and taking advantage of a shoe sale!

Krista Molia, Hearts of Gold Coordinator, Vancouver Island 
Krista graduated from the University of Victoria, Child and Youth Care program in 2003 and is a certified child life specialist working as a casual employee at Victoria General Hospital. Since 2005, Krista has been the coordinator for the Vancouver Island Hearts of Gold program. She also helps in organizing and facilitating quarterly Heartbeat events for the island families. Through the years working for CHN she has greatly felt privileged to have developed relationships with the inspiring young people and their families. Memories made at Camp Summit, Zajac Ranch and numerous adventures in Victoria will always be remembered with many smiles. When she is not working with families and children at the hospital, Jeneece Place, and Vancouver Island Hearts of Gold she is found enjoying the west coast life with her husband and three daughters.

 

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