Silver Threads Service Staff
Debbie Erb – Victoria Centre Director
Dustin Lockhart – Victoria Centre Assistant
Jo-Anne Silverman – Senior Outreach Worker (contract)
Debi Stoness – Bookkeeper
Christine Hagen – Centre Receptionist
Ro Fife – Saanich Centre Assistant
Brian Penner – Saanich Centre Chef
Brian Peterson – Saanich Centre Cook
Toby Schnoor – Program Coordinator
Maureen Brouwer – Programmer
Tracy Ryan, Executive Director
Tracy joined the staff team in September 2013 and assumed the role of Executive Director in May 2014. Being part of an island based charity, connected to direct service delivery and the opportunity to work with a strong Board of Directors is important. Her past employment; includes the YM-YWCA and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation along with work with the Municipality of Saanich and Thrifty Foods, have given her a broad range of experience on which to draw from. Her vision is to address community needs for seniors and be an innovative service provider with strong organizational and financial best practices.
Debbie Erb, Victoria Centre Director
Over Debbie’s 22 years of employment she has worked in the Meals on Wheel program, in the Sidney Silver Threads and is currently the Director of the newly relocated Victoria Centre. The Centre is right across the street from the Royal Jubilee Hospital where she worked for 14 years before joining the staff at Silver Threads. A common theme in her employment has been working with seniors; it gives her great pleasure to make their day enjoyable. In addition to her busy job, she has been happily married for 38 years, is mom to two and grandmother to seven and enjoys kayaking, hiking, riding motorcycles and travelling.
Dustin Lockhart, Victoria Centre Assistant
Dustin joined the Silver Threads team in 2014. Dustin loves working with seniors and has geared his educational and volunteer experience to the field of ageing and adult development. Dustin is currently completing a Masters of International and Intercultural Communication from Royal Roads University. His research is focusing on the values, beliefs and motivations that older men have for using senior’s centres. You can find Dustin splitting his time between both the Saanich and Victoria Silver Threads Centres.
Jo-Anne Silverman, Senior Outreach Worker (contract)
Jo-Anne Silverman coordinated the successful Outreach pilot project in the Fall of 2015 and is continuing to lead the renewed initiative. Jo-Anne’s professional experience includes fund development over many years, both across Canada and locally with United Way of Greater Victoria and Camosun College Foundation. Her knowledge of the issues facing seniors encourage them to build the connections to help meet a variety of needs.
The project is in partnership with Silver Threads Service and James Bay New Horizons and will expand to new neighbourhoods in Victoria as well as to Saanich thanks to funding from the City of Victoria and the Provincial Government.
Jo-Anne brings an understanding of community resources and possesses good listening skills and genuine concern for elders and the concerns they face.
Debi Stoness, Bookkeeper
Debi joined the staff team in the fall of 2015 from Ontario and brings with her extensive bookkeeping experience managing the finances for a number of diverse clients and businesses. She has an integrated and collaborative approach and is developing the operational systems to improve the financial reporting and results for Silver Threads. Debi enjoys the active west coast lifestyle, spending time with her daughter and walking her border collie.
Christine Hagen, Centre Receptionist
Christine has lived in Victoria since 2013 and has made valuable connections by volunteering and working for other senior serving agencies like James Bay New Horizons and The Glenshiel. Her background includes Employment Counselling, a diploma in Social Service and Admin Assistant certification. She has also been employed at Women’s Resource Centre, Rogers Sugar and North Shore Continuing Education.
She appreciates that seniors still have the art of conversation, and enjoys hearing their stories. An avid independent traveler, she has visited many countries including the UK, Malta, Italy and others. Words she lives by are “Live in the Present.”
Anne Nelson, Saanich Centre Director
Anne is a Post Graduate in Recreation Therapy. As a Recreation Therapist who has worked in residential and community based organizations in Canada and Australia, she is committed to providing quality programs and services that provide a purpose to seniors. At Silver Threads, she actively engages with all who come to the centre and creates a sense of community for them. Outside of work she is often on the water, paddling on a local dragon boat team.
Ro Fife, Saanich Centre Assistant
Ro started at Silver Threads Service in December 2015 and already has made a positive impact! With her educational background in History and Education, training in Bookkeeping and Counseling along with vast experience working in community not for profits organizations and school settings Ro is improving our systems, our team and providing a warm welcome to everyone she is in contact with. Ro has lived in the neighbourhood of the Saanich Centre for over ten years and knows the community well.
Brian Penner, Saanich Centre Chef
Brian served his Culinary Apprenticeship with Canadian Pacific Hotels and past employment includes Camosun College, Royal Canadian Legion and M’akola Seniors Housing. He is committed to helping and supporting seniors and enjoys learning from their wisdom. A career highlight was serving lunch to Prince Phillip at the CP Hotel at Lake Louise. In his spare time he gardens, cooks and loves to entertain.
Brian Peterson, Saanich Centre Cook
A recent member to our staff Brian was previously employed in our Meal on Wheels Program, he has served as a cook in the Armed Forces and has experience in food service in hotels, restaurants and senior care facilities. Providing good food to seniors who may not be interested or able to cook for themselves is his way of being of service. Brian enjoys golf and fishing when he is not cooking.
Toby Schnoor, Program Coordinator
Toby believes that seniors today are breaking ground and living with a strength and “joie de vive” that is inspiring. With her background in Wellness and Lifestyle Management, Human Resources, Life Coaching and being a CPCA Registered Counsellor she is well suited to work at Silver Threads Service. Her work experience with non-profits includes past positions at Crossroad Hospice and Transitions Career Counselling, and her strong facilitation skills and positive approach are an asset in developing programs and services.
In her personal life she works out, reads, does yoga and is a devoted mom to three grown children, a soon to be grandma Toby states that her family is her proudest achievement.
Maureen Brouwer, Programmer
Maureen demonstrates a special fondness and real respect for older adults. Over the past ten years she has honed her skills in facilitation and program development in a variety of senior’s facilities. Her strong administration abilities and her pursuit of post-secondary education in the field of Adult and Continuing Education at the University of Victoria are an asset to Silver Threads.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family. Her other talents include photography, writing, baking, knitting, sewing and quilting, which she generously shares with others. The quote that guides her is by Maya Angelou – “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”