Our Board & Staff
Our Board of Directors/Executive Director.
Ladysmith Resources Centre Association Board of Directors are lead by Board President Sandra Marquis.
Sandra has a commitment to public health and advocacy for vulnerable people. She particularly likes starting and nurturing new community programs. She worked with others to start: the Smithers Foodbank; the BABY program in Smithers; the life skills program at Cedar High School; Community Link Connections in Ladysmith and the COCO Café in Cedar. Sandra worked for the LRCA for 8 years (2003-2011), first on contract doing community development and starting Born Healthy and later as the Coordinator of the Born Healthy program. Sandra also started the Dad’s Group at the LRCA. Sandra has experience on several non-profit organization boards including the Bulkley Valley Child Development Centre, Nanaimo Foodshare, and the B.C. Pregnancy Outreach Programs Association. Sandra served previously on the Board of the LRCA in 2017 and was the Secretary of the LRCA Building Committee from 2017-2021. Sandra obtained her PhD in the Social Dimensions of Health from UVic in 2018 and now teaches Disability Studies at UVic and does research in disability through UBC. Sandra highly values all the LRCA programs and is very pleased to be once again working with the LRCA.
Serving with Sandra are:
- Mary-Ethel Audley,
Mary-Ethel holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Victoria and is a graduate of the BC Police College, now the Justice Institute of BC. She has 25 years of experience with the provincial government. She chaired the task force on Protection of Children From Known Abusers and the Victim Services Committee, managed police-based victim services programs, and had the lead on other police-related projects. Later, she was Chief Financial Officer of the Ministry of Human Resources/ Social Development & Economic Security, where she was responsible for managing a $2.3-billion budget. While with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, she worked as a Treaty Negotiator and Director of Implementation for Treaties. This role provided an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge of smaller and rural communities in this province and some of the challenges they face.Mary-Ethel has taught law courses in the School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads University for 12 years as an Adjunct Professor. She was event director for the Ride for Refuge fundraiser, which supports charities that provide refuge and hope for displaced, vulnerable and exploited people. She has served on a variety of boards, including the Cridge Centre for the Family, the Victoria Alternate Dispute Resolution Centre, BC Healthy Communities and the Saanich Police Board.
- Vicky Stickwood-Hislop,
Vicky's career in International Business Development began in Europe and Japan with cardiovascular implantable devices. Working with various government and international regulatory bodies lead to her move to the world of franchising where she became President International Development & Head of Advanced Business Systems expanding a training and development company’s growth throughout Europe, Austral-Asia and Mexico.
In 1999 Vicky returned to her family’s roots in thoroughbred horseracing working with her brother. As Chief Operating Officer she helped build a 24/7/365 innovative technology-based company incorporating live and on demand streaming media and data content in real time.
In 2010 Vicky and her husband Eric moved from Steveston to Ladysmith.
Her immediate draw was to the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association where she joined the Board and volunteered as a ‘walker’.
In 2018 she helped found the Ladysmith Ratepayers Association, and joined the LRCA as a volunteer co-managing the foodbank.
In 2019 she was invited to join the Board of Directors, became Vice President in 2020, and President in 2021. In November 2020 Vicky was tasked with moving the Buller Street project from that of an excavated construction site to the Heart on the Hill, a much anticipated building that brings 36 new homes for many in our community.
Today, as LRCA Past President, Vicky can turn her attention back to her company as it prepares to launch new technology incorporating artificial intelligence for the global horseracing industry.
- John Potts, Treasurer
Dr. John Potts is a long time resident of Ladysmith and is retired from his medical practice in the town.
He is married to Kathy, and they have two children and five grandchildren, all of whom are in Ladysmith.
He has spent much of his career as a missionary, doing work in Christian mission hospitals in Africa as well as international disaster response with Samaritan’s Purse.
He has considerable administrative experience which he brings to the Treasurer position at the LRCA.
- Candi McNeil, Secretary
Candi arrived in Ladysmith in 2017 to be closer to family during retirement. As a child, she was raised in Australia and came to Canada in 1969. She first heard about the LRCA during gardening sessions at the Kiwi Cove Food bank gardening club. During her working life, Candi has played in a professional band, worked in leasing and finance, and run a printing business with her husband, Jim. As a volunteer, Candi had the privilege to serve on Executive Boards of many cultural and business groups. These would include a museum, union, musical organization, and business improvement districts.
Candi's hobbies include growing dahlias and playing the flute, but she is always looking for new interests and meeting new people. Candi looks forward to serving others less fortunate than herself in this community.
- Guido Weisz, Director
Guido Weisz retired and became a resident of Ladysmith seven years ago. Prior to retirement, he mainly worked for the Federal government as a director in policy and research in areas such as housing, family violence, community development and disability issues.
While working in Ottawa, he helped in the formation of programs such as the Shelter Enhancement Initiative (CMHC), New Horizons for Seniors Program (ESDC), and the National Homelessness Initiative/Homeless Partnering Strategy (ESDC).
Prior to his move to Ladysmith, Guido also worked for five years in Victoria overseeing the delivery of the Canada Pension Plan for Western Canada. Since moving to Ladysmith, Guido has been the Chair of the LRCA Building Committee as well as Vice President and President of the LRCA. Guido was also the President of the Cowichan Housing Association.
Guido has an Honour Bachelor’s Degree with distinction from Concordia University and a Master’s in Sociology from Carleton University. He has also taught courses on Community Empowerment and Public Policy for Carleton University’s Master’s program in public policy.
Executive Director: Karen Laing
Karen Laing became executive director of Ladysmith Resources Centre Association in March 2021 after more than a decade of experience in the non-profit sector.
In Mission, B.C., she served as manager of Governance and Resource Development at Mission Community Services Society (MCSS), provided direct support to the society’s New to Canada and settlement services, and was named Citizen of the Year.
Karen also served Mission as a school trustee and city councilor and was a chair and director of Prospera Credit Union board of directors. She earned the designation ICD.D (Institute of Corporate Directors) from the Rotman School of Business in 2010.
By serving in various capacities with volunteer groups, Karen developed a keen sense of community and communication. She spent more than 20 years as a journalist and a decade as communications officer for Community Futures North Fraser.
Karen is an avid sailor and along with her husband John and a standard poodle furry first mate, enjoys sailing B.C.’s coast line.
“We serve our community all the way from birth to the golden years. That’s what makes resources centres and community services a really valuable hub,” she said.
“Housing is a very important pillar the LRCA wants to grow and develop,’’ she said, referring to the Heart on the Hill affordable housing project on Buller Street.
It all began early in 1992 at a meeting of the Ladysmith Inter-Agency Liaison Committee, a group of representatives from the government-mandated agencies formed in the early 1970s to maximize cooperation among the agencies while minimizing the duplication of services.
In 1992, this group pooled some of their own money and decided to form a non-profit association to try to deal with these recurring situations. This became the foundation of the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association.
Read more about our history HERE (PDF).