The women who make up Atira’s staff and Board are diverse, engaged, and committed to the work of ending violence against women. They are wildly talented and it shows.
The Board of Directors develops goals and plans for the Society and is accountable for all legal and financial activities.
While the Board makes policy decisions and guides management activities, the day-to-day operations are left to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a team of inspiring women.
Sheri Hundseth is Métis and was raised in the Wood Buffalo and Lac la Biche Region of Northern Alberta. She recently became the Director, Indigenous Relations & Community Engagement at St. Paul’s Hospital (Providence Health Care).
Prior she spent six years with Covenant Health Canada as Manager Learning & Development and Organization Development Consultant/Change Management Specialist – Project Lead. She is an organizational development professional, specializing in training, relationship building, coaching, and leadership development. Her focus is to improve Indigenous cultural safety and to amplify Indigenous perspectives to improve health outcomes for people who are First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
Sheri holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Education.
Deb is honoured to be the recipient of numerous awards over the years for her community work and environmental activism.
She is a 1965 Arts graduate of McGill University, and was a Probation Officer in B.C. for 36.5 years, 22 as a local manager.
She has been involved in a wide variety of volunteer positions over the years both connected to her work, the Board of YM/YWCA in Victoria and various positions including Presidency of the B.C. Corrections Association; and in the community as a parent and later a general member of the community, often serving in an executive capacity.
Deb has served on Atira's Board since 1995, stepping down and returning three times in compliance with Atira’s bylaws. Since 2005 she has served as the Vice-President of White Rock/Surrey Naturalists and since 2004, as President of Surrey Environmental Partners.
Deb is affiliated with a number of organizations that focus on retired persons and seniors' issues. She is grandmother and brings that perspective to her commitment to contribute to the community.
Elva Kim is the Chief Operating Officer of Anthem Properties Group and the President of Anthem Realty. A core member of Anthem’s executive team, she is responsible for big picture decisions and advisory for all aspects related to the Anthem experience. Driven by a passion for excellence, she ensures Anthem’s character, voice and values are accurately reflected across all areas of the business, contributing to the qualitative and quantitative growth of the organization.
As President of Anthem Realty, she oversees a dedicated team of 100+ sales, marketing and homeowner care professionals, who bring Anthem’s extensive portfolio of residential and land communities through their project life cycles. Elva has more than 21 years of real estate experience and has been involved in sales, marketing, community and product positioning, development, communications, closing services, retail and design of thousands of homes across British Columbia, Alberta and California.
She is passionate about her community and has served on the Board of Directors for Atira Women’s Resource Society for more than 4 years, most recently as Chair of the Board.
Elva holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and her real estate education is from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.
Amy is the Corporate Secretary at BC Hydro and has also held roles at BC Hydro as Senior Strategic Policy Advisor and Senior Relationship Manager, Indigenous Relations.
Amy has a Juris Doctor, Law from the University of Calgary and has served on the Executive Committee of the Lower Mainland Section of the Young Lawyers, Canadian Bar Association.
Taha is currently the Senior Strategic Business Advisor, Office of the Chief Financial Officer for BC Hydro. As a senior advisor, her focus is on understanding and distilling multifaceted, complex issues and building consensus with key stakeholders to drive decisions. She brings a strong background in strategic management, finance and process improvement.
Taha is passionate about making a positive impact to our communities, environment and climate.
Taha is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and holds an MBA specialized in Strategic Management and Finance from UBC.
Kay first became a member of the Atira Board in 2000 and has stepped down twice and returned, in accordance with Atira’s bylaws.
She works for a public sector union and is a strong supporter of the role that social programs play in making our society more equal and just. Kay is a strong advocate for women's rights, human rights and the union movement. She brings experience in governance and labour relations.
Miriam lives on the shared traditional lands of the Katzie, Semiahmoo, Kwantlen and other Coast Salish peoples and has been an active supporter of Atira for almost 30 years and has served as a member of the board of directors for several terms. Her pronouns are she/her.
Active in BC’s union movement, she has been the Director of Communications and Member Organizing at the Health Sciences Association of BC for the past 20 years, and has a background in government communications and as an editor and reporter in community newspapers.
She serves on the BC and Canadian boards of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and participates in community sports, including as a rugby match official.
Michelle Yung is a partner at Bennett Jones LLP. Her practice is focused on commercial real estate.
Michelle has extensive experience in commercial leasing transactions and regularly advises landlords, tenants and property managers on commercial leasing matters in the shopping centre, retail, office, mixed-use and industrial space leasing sectors. Michelle also advises clients on the financing, acquisition and disposition of real estate assets, and on the re-zoning, subdivision, development and building permit processes.
In the community, Michelle serves on the board of directors of The Greater Vancouver International Film Festival Society, a not-for-profit cultural organization operating the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). Michelle regularly volunteers as a clinician for Access Pro Bono Society of BC and has served on the board of directors of Commercial Real Estate Women Vancouver (CREW Vancouver), a non-profit association seeking to advance the achievements of women in the industry. She also served for a number of years on the organizing committee for Arts Umbrella's annual fundraising gala.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a Juris Doctor from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.
Senior Executive Director, Finance
Ashley Kim has taken on the senior executive financial leadership in June 2022 for financial oversight of Atira Group.
Ashley holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the University of British Columbia, and is Chartered Professional Accountant.
Through her lived experience with close family members with severe disabilities, Ashley dedicated most of her professional career to the not-for-profit sector. She joined Atira Women’s Resource Society in 2015 as a Comptroller. Later, she co-managed the Finance team at AWRS as Director, Finance until 2019, and as Controller at Atira Property Management Inc. and Atira Development Society until June 2022.
Ashley’s core strength is continuous process improvement and change management, with a focus to create value for program participants and clients, employees, and all other Atira stakeholders.
Ashley has served a Board member at various not-for-profit organizations in Canada and South Korea. She is also an active member of the CPA community, providing mentorship to students and young professionals and entrepreneurs. When Ashley is not working or spending time with her family with two children, Ashley enjoys learning artificial intelligence integration into not-for-profit sectors, reading and playing double bass.
Senior Executive Director, Operations
Born to parents from Guangdong Province, China and Edinburgh, Scotland, Sarah grew up in east Vancouver and joined Atira more than 12 years ago, after already working eight years in both front line and leadership positions in the not for profit sector, supporting women and children impacted by violence. Atira is where Sarah feels her lived experience and education are best aligned.
Sarah has been the Program Manager at Sereena’s, Maxxine Wright Place and has held three Director positions since 2015, including Operational Excellence, ensuring organization standards and procedures are followed; Early Years & Family Well Being and most recently the Director responsible for Transitional Housing. Through her experience as a Director with Atira, Sarah has been able to be involved in the development of programs from conception through to operation. Sarah has also been active in raising awareness of the women’s anti-violence sector and homelessness in her own community, and has served on the boards of various municipal and not-for-profit organizations. Sarah enjoys reading, yoga and running with her rescue dog, Echo.
Executive Director, Operational Excellence
Hajar grew up on the Gaza Strip (part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory) where she earned a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at the Islamic University of Gaza. She spent three years as a project manager before moving into the world of international aid where she spent nine years doing project design, monitoring and evaluation in countries as diverse as Palestine, Jordan and Somaliland.
Two years ago, Hajar moved to California where she earned a Masters’ degree in International Policy and Development, with a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialization. Hajar has a young family and is just recently moved to Canada.
Executive Director, Finance
Bella Sun has taken on the executive financial leadership at Atira Women’s Resource Society in June 2022.
She is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and has more than ten years of financial leadership, planning and reporting experience in various sectors.
Bella joined Atira’s Finance management team in 2018. Prior to joining Atira, she worked at the Canadian Mental Health Association, and brings with her understanding for and connection to people struggling with mental health issues.
Director, Non Residential Programs
Arita first started with Atira in 2002 as a support worker and was the first Program Manager at Sereena’s Housing for Women when it opened in 2006. Arita left Atira in 2009 to pursue education, earning a Bachelor in Child and Youth Care and a Master of Science in Social Development. In the past ten years she has worked and studied in London, Kenya, India and Seattle.
Arita has a passion for travelling, is an outdoor enthusiast born and raised in Squamish, and a vegetarian committed to environmental and social justice issues both locally and globally. She is thrilled to be back at Atira! She hopped and skipped around the world and returned where she started! Fun fact: her name is easy to remember – its Atira spelt backwards ;).
Director, Health Programs
Samreen is an internationally graduated Pharmacist and holds Doctor of Pharmacy and Masters in Pharmacology degree. She has more than ten years of extensive health care experience working and serving diversified populations.
She is responsible for ensuring health related programs that are specifically designed and delivered in accordance with Atira mission and goals, to meet the needs of the vulnerable community including My Safe, safe supplies, overdose prevention, harm reduction, vaccine hesitancy, etc. She works closely with Program Managers to implement health initiatives to improve the health and quality services to the community.
Director, Operational Analytics
Jeenu holds a Diploma in Recreation Leadership from Langara College and a Bachelor of Commerce from Royal Roads University.
She came to Atira as a Director of Special Projects in January 2021 to help with operational project work. Soon after she accepted the role of Director, Operational Analytics. She comes with over 10 years of experience in business and leadership roles, with the last six years in the non-profit sector. She also comes with years of experience working with family programming; and women’s anti-violence work. Jeenu currently has oversight responsibility for the overall Early Care and Learning Centre portfolio and supports Atira in improving operational strategies through analysis and strategic planning.
Director, Payroll & Benefits
Shirley secured her CGA in 2013, followed by her CPM in 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration majoring in finance and accounting from Simon Fraser University, and has more than 10 years’ experience in finance, accounting and payroll. She is an experienced team player and leader who believes in team work and collaboration to accomplish objectives. She is also passionate about helping others find solutions, supporting business process improvements with reporting and analytics and creating efficiencies. She takes ownership of details and thrives on challenging situations.
In her free time, Shirley likes to play badminton and volunteer. She was the Education and Recruitment Committee Director for the CPABC Richmond/South Delta chapter for three years as she believes in giving back to the community is important.
Director, Transitional Housing
Kagowa has a keen interest in law and social justice. Before qualifying as a lawyer, Kagowa worked with numerous societies and organizations to provide resources and access workshops to help fight poverty. As a lawyer, Kagowa participated in pro bono legal clinics offering housing, family, commercial, and employment law advice. Kagowa left law to focus more on addressing societal wrongs by advocating for marginalized communities.
She is delighted to be part of Atira and is looking forward to growing and learning with the organization. During her free time, Kagowa likes to push her culinary skills by trying out different recipes from around the world. When she has the time to travel, she enjoys visiting heritage sites in other countries, exploring architecture or planning adventure packed getaways. When she can, she also likes to squeeze in a wine tasting or two.
Director, People & Culture
Anne moved to from Kenya to Canada in 2003 to pursue a Bachelor’s in Human Ecology, majoring in Family Violence & Conflict Resolution and Child & Adolescent Development at the University of Manitoba. After graduating, she worked at a number of agencies in progressively more responsible roles. Anne joined Atira in 2014 as the Manager, Non-Residential Programs, and was soon promoted to Director, Non-Residential Programs as Atira expanded.
She was supporting staff throughout the Lower Mainland, and when Atira restructured its leadership team in 2018, she accepted the role of Director, Non-Residential Programs (Vancouver). This change to specifically Vancouver programs has allowed her to better support staff in the non-residential programs such as legal advocacy, stopping the violence counselling, housing outreach, women’s health and safety, women-only safe consumption site, etc. to better provide services to women in the community.
In 2018, Anne represented Atira at a South African social housing movement as it implemented its Gender Equality Strategy as part of the Rooftops Canada “Equal Spaces Project” in partnership with Global Affairs Canada.
Languages We Speak
Atira hires women who represent the diversity of people living in the Lower Mainland and more specifically, women who represent the women accessing our programs.
We believe that having a representative staff is the most import action an agency can take to make its services accessible.
At present we speak 35 languages and dialects among our staff including: