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Atira Announces New Leadership To Lead Organization Into The Future

APRIL 4, 2024

Vancouver, B.C. | Unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations |

Atira Women’s Resource Society is excited to announce leadership changes that will propel the organization into the future and allow it to continue to serve and protect women, children and gender-diverse people.

Key among these leadership changes is the announcement of Donnie Rosa as Atira’s new, permanent CEO, effective April 22, 2024. Rosa is a leader who believes in the power of community. They have spent their whole career lifting others up through collaboration and building strong partnerships. As the CEO of Atira, they will leverage their experiences and deep relationships with the City of Vancouver, First Nations, first responders, not-for-profits and community leaders to lead the organization in serving and protecting women, children and gender-diverse people.

“We’re incredibly happy to announce Donnie Rosa as the organization’s new permanent CEO after an extensive and national executive search,” said Michelle Yung, Chair to the CEO Selection Committee and member of the Board. “Donnie immediately stood out as a visionary leader with the track record and experience needed to lead Atira.”

Rosa takes over from Interim CEO Catherine Roome, who has done a superb job of helping Atira work toward operational and financial excellence, with a particular emphasis on staff, tenant and building safety.

Together with the Board, Roome led the organization into a new phase of governance best practices and operational excellence. Under Rosa’s leadership, Atira will continue its commitment to open, transparent and proactive communication with the Government of B.C. and BC Housing, as well as its tenants, staff and the public.

“Donnie most recently served as Executive Director of Community Services at the Squamish Nation. In this role, they were responsible for land acquisition, community operations, Squamish Valley operations, community safety, Sen̓áḵw services, and planning and capital projects, including housing delivery and long-range capital planning. It’s this kind of inspirational and transformative work that makes them an ideal leader for Atira,” added Catherine Roome, Interim CEO.

“This is a great time to be joining Atira,” said Donnie Rosa. “Catherine, the board and all of the Atira staff have done amazing work over the last year. I’m honoured to continue this work, and I’m incredibly optimistic about the organization’s future. Make no mistake, Atira’s work is more essential than ever as a result of the overlapping crises we face in British Columbia, including housing, the poison drug supply, and a deteriorating security situation.”

As CEO, Rosa will join a new leadership team that consists of Sarah McIntosh, who has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Paul Plater, who joins as permanent, part-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Both the COO and CFO roles are newly-created with the goal of furthering operational and financial excellence. Mamta Dhillon also joins the executive team as the new Executive Director of People & Culture, while Sherrie Turchyn remains in the position of Corporate Secretary.

McIntosh has been nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Reconciliation in Action which recognizes her outstanding commitment to fostering dialogue and taking tangible actions towards building more equitable communities, particularly in support of Indigenous communities.

Plater has been the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS) for almost seven years, an organization that supports Indigenous individuals and communities as a result of the impacts of colonization and residential schools. Prior to that, he was the VP of Finance and Interim CFO at an oil and gas company. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and graduated with a BBA (Accounting) from Simon Fraser University.

Dhillon brings a wealth of experience in designing and scaling people and culture programs and services. Before joining Atira, Mamta led an HR team that served 2,500 frontline employees, in three provinces, that belonged to seven different unions with 18 collective agreements.

“This team will perform the crucial task of setting the vision and direction for Atira as it looks towards the next decade by completing a strategic plan this year. The last year’s focus on operational and financial excellence will also continue under Atira’s new leadership team, who are eager and energized to help lead the organization towards a successful future,” concluded Rosa.

Media contact:
Tyler Pronyk

Additional quotes:
Sarah McIntosh, Chief Operating Officer: I am honoured to take on this new role. With the long-term strategic planning that the executive team will be doing this year, there is exciting and important work ahead of us. Atira is a crucial member of the supportive housing sector, and I look forward to contributing in its growth as an industry leader and advocate for collaboration.
Paul Plater, Chief Financial Officer: I’m looking forward to working at Atira, bringing my strong experience of strategic financial leadership, my knowledge from working in a broad group of industries, and my support for diversity, equity and inclusion to an organization that makes such a difference in so many peoples’ lives, that acknowledges and supports Indigenous communities, challenges the status quo and constructively looks for new ways of doing things.
Mamta Dhillon, Executive Director of People & Culture: Atira’s 1,300 staff members play an important role in the community by supporting women, children and gender-diverse individuals. I am excited to being joining the Atira team and the organization’s incredible staff.
Sherrie Turchyn, Corporate Secretary: The appointment of a new permanent CEO, as well as the organization’s first-ever COO and CFOs, are further examples of the steps Atira has taken towards best-in-class governance practices. I am thrilled by this announcement of a new leadership team and look forward to working with Donnie, Sarah, Paul and Mamta.