Andrea Paquette bipolar babe

Andrea Paquette

Executive Director – Ex-officio

Andrea is also known as the “Bipolar Babe” in the community and she is the Executive Director/Ex-officio of the Stigma-Free Society, Formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia. Andrea offers a hybrid role for the Society and she is passionate about being on the front lines for program delivery as she acts as a classroom and community presenter for mental health and provides leadership in the operations of the Society. Andrea holds extensive experience in the provincial government in policy, communications, and research in the areas of education, mental health, and social development. Andrea has also been chosen as a national spokesperson for the Canadian Alliance for Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) sponsored by Bell Let’s Talk. She is named the Provincial 2015 Courage To Come Back award winner given by Coast Mental Health, received the 2015 Top 20 Under 40 Award from Vancouver Island’s Business and Community Awards, 2013 Mel Cooper Citizen of the Year Award in Victoria, British Columbia, and the 2013 Award for Mentorship from the National Council for Behavioral Health, Washington, D.C.

alexis williamson

Alexis Williamson

President

Alexis is extremely inspired to be the Chair/President for the Stigma-Free Society and she is dedicated in leading the Charity in its growth and development. Alexis has over 20 years’ experience in Strategic Human Resources Management and Organizational Development. Her success is driven by her keen sense of creative and innovative leadership and her ability to draw upon a breadth of diverse experience gained while working in senior leadership positions both in the private and public sectors. Alexis has a proven record of successfully implementing effective strategic level change management practices, redesigning programs and policy to improve operational efficiency, reduce redundancy, and to address financial and workforce constraints. Alexis has significant experience leading and driving complex strategic program objectives and publicly sensitive issues through all levels of decision making – including executive and Board-level committees. Success on these complex and sensitive issues has resulted from her ability to think strategically and lead effectively while embodying  the Stigma-Free Society’s professional values, mission, vision and goals.

Taylor Norman

Taylor Norman

Treasurer

Taylor has been the Treasurer for the Stigma-Free Society, Formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of British Columbia, since April 2014. He has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Victoria and is currently pursuing a Chartered Professional Accountant designation. Taylor is currently working at KPMG as a Staff Accountant. “I look forward to continue working with this great organization. The Society continues to show strong financial growth and I am truly excited for future developments.”

Gurpreet Randhawa

Secretary

Gurpreet joined the Board of Directors back in January 2010, even before the Stigma-Free Society, Formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC, obtained charitable status. She resigned in 2011 as she decided to make a move to Toronto, Ontario and commenced her legal studies; however, she has returned to Victoria, B.C. and has been re-appointed to the board as Secretary in August 2014. Today, she is a Principal with Sitka Law Group. Gurpreet is looking forward to contributing her knowledge and experience to the Board and making a positive impact in the community while stomping out the stigma associated with mental illness.

warren keane

Warren Keane

Board Director

Warren joined the Board of Directors in February 2013 and was appointed President later that same year. Warren proudly led and served as Society President until August, 2016. Prior to joining the Board, Warren was President of the Victoria-based Vancouver Island Entrepreneurs Toastmasters Club and Chairman of the Christmas Spirit Community Dinner Society. Warren brings both managerial and operational expertise to the Board. He has more than 25 years of experience with information technology including project management, software development, sales, and marketing. Warren moved to Adrie, Alberta, in the summer of 2016 and built his own Oranj Fitness gym from ground up in partnership with his daughter. Warren remains on the Board of Directors as he is truly passionate about the Stigma-Free Society’s growth and success.

phil bisset-covenairo

Philip Bisset-Covaneiro, BSc.,CFP

Board Director

Philip is a dedicated community supporter and Board Director for the Stigma-Free Society, Formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of B.C. He founded and he is  the current Chair of the Young Entrepreneurs Society of Victoria and he sits on a number of local Charity Boards. His passion is in empowering those who are most vulnerable. Philip is a seasoned Financial Planner, with 10 years of experience running his Financial Planning practice with Investors Group and he is as committed to his clients as he is his community – they are one and the same. Philip tirelessly strives to be the best role model possible for his 3 young girls, and lives each day to ensure the best life for his family and community.

Jackie Powell

Board Director

Jackie is passionate about being a Board Director for the Stigma-Free Society, Formerly the Bipolar Disorder Society of B.C. Jackie has been a board member of the Stigma Free Society  for the past two years and believes strongly in reducing barriers that prevent people living with mental illness from living full lives. She is the Chair of Connections Place Society (formerly Moms Like Us) and she relentlessly networks and advocates for the community based program Clubhouse International to be established in the Greater Victoria Area. The Stigma Free Society is an excellent partner with Connections Place as they both believe in reducing stigma, having effective leadership and are community based.  Jackie believes relationships are key in reducing isolation and getting lives back on track and she admires the effectiveness of the Stigma Free Zone presentations programs.  Vibrant speakers reaching out into the community and making solid connections are key.  Jackie has found great support and encouragement from the Stigma Free Society of BC, especially from Andrea Paquette, Executive Director.

Advisory Council – Stigma-Free Society

Dr. Wei Song, Psychiatrist and Director for the Mood Disorders Clinic, Island Health

Dr. Mary Kay Nixon, Youth Psychiatrist, Island Health

Robin Holden, Charity Advisor, Source Group

Sheldon Kitzul, Social Worker and Life Coach

Cindy Player, Former Director, Equity and Human Rights, University of Victoria

Dave Richardson, President, Octaform Systems Inc. & Stigma-Free Zone Co-Founder