Silver Threads Service Staff
Shelley Brown – Program Manager
Lisa van Bommel – Program Coordinator
Sandy Firth – Bookkeeper
Debbie Erb – Victoria Receptionist
Ro Fife – Saanich Centre Administrator
Erica Loenen – Program Coordinator
Donene Eve – Food Services Coordinator
Vicky Strandlund – Receptionist
Jackie Taylor – Relief Receptionist
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.
Shelley Brown, Program Manager
Shelley started out her career in recreation at West Vancouver Recreation and most recently the City of Victoria working with older adults planning experiences out into nature for hikes, paddles and llama treks. Although still passionate about getting people “out there” she has broadened her horizons considerably over the last few decades to include parks and natural areas programs, Safe Routes to School programs, nature programs for youth struggling with anxiety, all ages bike skills programs, Road Trips & Rambles going here there and everywhere and many partnership programs with Island Health. In her spare time she loves gardening and spending time with her family either hiking, cycling or just trying to tire out her new border collie Sadie.
Lisa van Bommel, Program Coordinator
Lisa is returning to Silver Threads, and will resume coordinating the Memory PLUS program and other programs as she did a short five years ago. With 30 years’ experience, facilitating programs and activities, her experience working in a variety of settings has given her insight to the diversity of people as they grow older and what matters most to them as things change. Lisa looks forward to making new connections with people through her work with Silver Threads, and is passionate about helping others through meaningful interactions and activities.
Lisa has lived in Victoria and around the Saanich Peninsula since 1990 when she moved to the island to go to school and has a BSc in Psychology from UVic. In her spare time you will find Lisa taking time to go walking, hiking, gardening and being in nature with her family.
Sandy Firth, Bookkeeper
Sandy is an experienced Payroll and Accounting clerk, bookkeeper with an educational background that includes BA’s in Hospitality and Advance Business. Her recent employment has been with the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, the Backpackers Inn and various other clients.
Her knowledge of finance and strong service focus bring strength to both the Board Finance Committee and the staff team.
When Sandy isn’t working she enjoys kickboxing, tai chi and solving puzzles. She enjoys spending time with her granddaughter and lives by the words “live each moment like it’s your last.”
Debbie Erb, Victoria Receptionist
Debbie has worked at Silver Threads for 25 years in a variety of areas including Meals on Wheels, and both Sidney and Victoria Centres. For 5 years she worked for CNIB gaining experience in fundraising, administration and services for the visually impaired. In 2022, we were lucky to welcome her back to the Victoria Centre.
A common theme in her employment has been working with seniors; it gives her great pleasure to make their day enjoyable. Outside of work, she has been happily married for 45 years, is mom to two and grandmother to seven and enjoys kayaking, hiking, riding motorcycles and travelling.
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 peddling her bike on local trails.
Ro Fife, Saanich Centre Administrator
Ro started at Silver Threads Service in December 2015 and continues to make a positive impact with her excellent customer service skills and supportive approach. 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.
Erica Loenen, Program Coordinator
Erica joined our team in 2021 and has brought knowledge and experience in a diverse range of areas including kinesiology, office administration, and recreation program leadership. She holds her bachelor’s degree in exercise and wellness, and has experience working with local non-profit organizations, community centres, and recreation facilities.
Erica is passionate about health and wellness, and about offering a warm and inviting space where others are free to engage and explore movement, mindfulness, and community-building. Outside of work, Erica enjoys practicing and teaching yoga, as well as jogging, hiking, and spending time with her family and her dog.
Donene Eve, Food Services Coordinator
After over 3 years of volunteering with Silver Threads, Donene joined our team as the Food Service Coordinator at the Saanich Centre. She brings experience in the restaurant business and training in pastry making to the role, and a high level of customer service. She believes in helping seniors stay active and sees the value to providing lunches and coffee for folks to connect over.
In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, reading and camping. Her motto is “It gets better.”
Vicky Strandlund, Receptionist
Vicky comes to our team with over 20 years of experience with the Provincial Government in the ministry of Social Development as well as with people with disabilities. As a business owner, she ran a Daycare and a Horse Boarding Farm, and embraced the experience with all the risks, learnings and rewards. Her enthusiasm for working with older adults comes from her interest in listening to their stories and seeing the benefits of being active and social.
Married with two grown daughters she enjoys pickle ball, hiking and volleyball. She is guided by the words “The healthiest response to life is joy” which will serve her well in our organization.”
Jackie Taylor, Relief Receptionist
Jackie has been a volunteer with us, serving at the Front Desk and working with the More than Meal Program during COVID, she knows our organization and clientele well. She has a background in working with non-profits over many years and enjoys helping others and makes sure to provide support and meaningful interactions in every role she is in. She has raised her family, is semi-retired and will be helping at the Saanich Centre, when she isn’t travelling, camping, hiking or playing water sports.