MPA Society Board
David has served as a member representative on MPA’s Board of Directors since 2012. Having benefitted profoundly from MPA’s services, it was—and remains—David’s desire to contribute to the organization’s continued growth and development through service to the Board. Working alongside such an amazingly-giving group of highly-skilled volunteers on MPA’s Board is a privilege. Outside MPA, David’s interests include information technology, anything with buttons or knobs (physical or virtual), learning and teaching, nurturing things, and human rights and social justice, with a focus on LGBT2Q+ issues.
Asher brings with him 20 years of corporate finance and risk management. He holds a MBA from the Manchester Business School and is a CPA and CIA. He is currently the managing principal of Boardroom Management Advisory Ltd. Prior to that, he had held key financial positions at both publicly-traded and private companies. Having first heard of the MPA Society through a family member, Asher feels a strong urge to be part of this meaningful mission. He is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow board members to continue the greater cause of creating a more inclusive community.
Damian is a retired businessman having owned and operated D & J Utility Land Consulting Company for the past several years. His company provided property consulting services to both BC Hydro and B C Transmission Corporation. In prior years Damian was the Properties Division Manager at BC Hydro. As Properties Division Manager, he oversaw the management all of BC Hydro’s real estate assets including the purchase and sale of all land, buildings, transmission and distribution line rights of ways and reservoir lands. Damian has a keen interest in mental health matters as he has advocated and continues to advocate for family members who have mental health challenges. He recognizes the difficulty many people have in navigating our mental health system, including gaining access to appropriate housing and having support needs met. Damian is a graduate of the Diploma Program in Urban Land Economics-University of British Columbia.
Rob has had an extensive career in the software technology industry, serving as chief executive and chief product officer in a number of software companies in the life sciences, financial services, and airline sectors in Vancouver, Seattle, and Victoria. A life-long learner, he has graduate degrees in Computer Science, Business, and Liberal Studies and is currently a PhD Candidate at UBC researching collective empathy. Having lived in Vancouver since 1983, he sees mental health services as an important need in this city that he loves. Mental health challenges of members of his own personal community has made him even more acutely aware of the need. Rob looks forward to joining the MPA Board and bringing everything he has to the benefit of the Society.
Melissa is a strong believer in volunteerism and sharing skills with the local community. All people need to feel valued, need a place, need a home and a sense of belonging. Healthy communities recognize that everyone has a contribution to make. Some community members may require a bit more support and some may be able to contribute a bit. Melissa is keenly interested in supporting the MPA Society to achieve its mission.Melissa has previously served on the Boards of the Dr. Peter Aids Foundation and the College of Physical Therapists of BC. Melissa works for BC Hydro in project delivery and has a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts.
John was the Chief Legal Officer with six major corporations in British Columbia, Ontario and the United Kingdom. His experience spans the retail, building products, food processing, shipping and energy industries. He also has significant and varied corporate governance experience. Since 1981 he has been a lawyer and more recently became a certified director. John has been a director of other not for profit organizations. He is passionate about helping people with mental health challenges, mainly as a result of the experiences of members of his family.
Johnson Ma currently works as a teaching faculty for the PsyD program at Adler University. He is a trilingual therapist and a mental health service provider who has experience in providing community-based mental health treatment and training to diverse underserved populations in Hawaii, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Vancouver, British Columbia. His longstanding passion for diverse mental health issues stemmed from his own immigrant experiences which has allowed him to develop personal empathy and social awareness of common socio-economical and emotional challenges faced by immigrants and marginalized groups. As a result, he is a strong proponent for psychosocial rehabilitation that promotes personal recovery and community integration. Johnson is deeply honored and excited to have an opportunity to serve as a new MPA Board member. He hopes to contribute his knowledge of mental health issues while collaborating with fellow board of directors to continue improving the quality of lives among MPA members.
Jan worked for many years in the health care field as an admin assistant in medical administration, the last number of years being in outpatient psychiatry. Now retired, she enjoys many outdoor activities such as swimming, cycling, gardening, and ocean side and forest walks. Jan has been an active member of the MPA Resource Center (RC) for the past few years and a member of the MPA Society for 16 years. The outreach program at Jan’s church contributes to MPA’s homeless outreach program and general membership at the RC. The community garden plot for the RC has been on their church grounds for nine years. The MPA Society has been very supportive to Jan over the last few years and she is now looking forward to an opportunity to give back to MPA as a Board member. Jan hopes to be an example to change the face of what "mental illness" looks like; working towards change and against stigmatization.
Matt Toma is a CPA, CGA with over fifteen years experience in not for profit accounting and financial operations, and is currently employed with the Federation of Post Secondary Educators, a provincial labour relations organization. Previously, Matt has served on the Board of Directors of the Hastings North Community Policing Association as well as Kiwassa Neighbourhood House. Born and raised in Vernon, BC, Matt has lived in Vancouver since 1997. Having experienced mental illness and the complexities of mental health care directly and on a personal level, Matt's interest in joining the Board of MPA is founded on a strong belief in the need to improve these services. Matt feels the values and philosophy of MPA are an excellent match with his own, and is looking forward to contributing positively to ensure the long term success off MPA. When not crunching numbers, Matt can be found rollerblading, attending a BC Lions game, or chasing one of his two cats off the furniture.
Mary is a CPA, CGA, who has been working in the non-profit sector since 2008. She is currently the Director of Finance and Administration for the Dr Peter AIDS Foundation, a charity that provides compassionate care for people living with HIV. Mary was drawn to MPA Society because of the strength of the organization and the calibre of the services and people there, and is excited to be a part of the MPA Society team.