Board of Directors
The society is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and the Executive Director. The Board of Directors is recruited from the membership and consists of individuals with a wide range of professional and practical experience. The board meets ten times per year and separate executive meetings are held ten times per year.
President – Ken M. Kramer, Q.C.
Ken M. Kramer is the founder and president of KMK Law Corporation, a boutique law firm he established in 1999. Mr. Kramer’s firm provide specialized legal services in the areas of estate planning, litigation, elder law and mediation. He is also the Chair of the Province’s Ministry of Health, Emergency Medical Assistants Licensing Board. Ken is a tireless volunteer having contributed thousands of hours to numerous organizations throughout the province and our country over the past 25 years with a particular focus on disability issues. He was recently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and leadership with Muscular Dystrophy Canada. Currently, Mr. Kramer sits on the BC branch of the Canadian Bar Association’s, Elder Law subsection Executive and is an elected member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Provincial Council.
Vice President – Eric B. Clavier
Eric B. Clavier is a trust and estate litigation lawyer at Fasken in Vancouver. After completing his studies at the University of Pretoria, Eric was called to the South African Bar in 2000. He practised as a barrister in the Republic of South Africa for 12 years, gaining extensive trial and motion experience, and appeared at all levels of court, including various appearances in the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa. After moving to Canada, Eric completed the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s NCA exams in 2013. Following truncated articles at Fasken in 2014, Eric was called to the Bar in British Columbia in 2014, now appearing regularly before the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Eric’s practice involves assisting clients with contentious matters related to wills, trusts, undue influence and incapacity claims, committeeship applications, unjust enrichment claims, breach of fiduciary duties cases, abuse of powers of attorney claims, breach of trust claims, and passing of accounts. Eric is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, the CBABC’s Wills & Trusts Section; the CBABC’s Elder Law Section, and The Advocates Society. Eric has given presentations on various topics, including powers of attorney, joint tenancy, and corporate shares on
Treasurer – Tish Lakes
Executive Director of Okanagan Advocacy and Resource Society since 2006; administration and direct service, poverty advocacy, to people with chronic mental illness chiefly on the areas of income assistance and residential tenancy. Tish has worked as a legal advocate and also as a community volunteer in various locations in British Columbia. She sat on the Appeal Tribunals set up under the GAIN Act, including one instance where she was nominated by the then Ministry of Human Resources.
Tish has been a board member of Access Pro Bono since its inception in 2010 and also a board member of Pro Bono Law BC as a lay representative. Tish has been a provincial and federal candidate in three elections for the NDP between 2008 and 2013.
Secretary – Jaqua Page
Jaqua Page practices Elder Law, Wills & Estates and Family Law. Jaqua was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2010, having previously obtained her law degree at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and being called to the Bar in 2007.
Jaqua became interested in working with older adults when working in a care home facility shortly after high school graduation, where her maternal grandmother, a retired nurse, was ‘Matron’. During university, Jaqua realized her passion for Elder Law, and since returning to Canada, has focused on developing her practice in this area.
Jaqua has served on the Executive of the Elder Law Section for 4 years and is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch. Jaqua is also the President in 2016 of the New Westminster Bar Association.
Since returning to her native BC in 2008, Jaqua has been employed in boutique law firms, has been a partner in a law firm and currently operates as a sole practitioner within the Westminster Law Group in New Westminster, BC.
Before entering the law profession, Jaqua trained at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Calgary, Alberta for Television Writing and Producing, and has over twenty years of experience working at senior levels of production management in London, England, Sydney, Australia and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Members at Large
Linda has been a Registered Nurse in the field of Gerontological Nursing for the past 11 years. Since 2003, Linda was Chair for the Fraser Valley Region and Council member of the BC Nurses Union where she served as a Council member on governance issues concerning BCNU. She retired from nursing in August 2014 after a 44 year career in nursing. Linda is a member of the Mountain View Gerontological Nurses. She also supports her daughter with their horse breeding business, breeding Irish Sport horses.
Jack Micner was born in Vancouver, and graduated from UBC’s combined Commerce-Law program in 1982. Jack was called to the bar in 1983 and has practiced in the Lower Mainland ever since. Jack’s professional activities include: Member of the Canadian Bar Association, teaching for UBC Continuing Education and Worksafe BC. These are just a few of his many professional undertakings.
His community involvement consists of being an Executive Committee member for the Canadian Bar Association Elder Law section for BC, Board of Directors, St. Jude’s Anglican Home, weekly columnist for Richmond News and the Programming Committee, Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (since 2000) and organizer and officiator of the annual Holocaust Memorial Ceremony, past member of the Board of Directors for the Jewish Seniors Alliance and regular donor, covenant House.
Blake M. Elyea
Blake M. Elyea is Chartered Professional Accountant (CGA), Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional (CIRP) and Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) with over 25 years of professional experience providing business owners, individuals, shareholders, board of directors, financial institutions and stakeholders with financial advisory, restructuring, insolvency, audit, accounting and tax advice.
Blake’s professional experience is inclusive of 13 years at two National Accounting and Advisory Firms; and 4 years as a Partner, Shareholder and Managing Director of a mid-sized Financial Advisory and Restructuring Firm.
Blake has broad industry knowledge across many sectors including, pulp and paper, packaging, transportation, forestry, biotechnology, manufacturing, agriculture, non-profit organizations, construction, real estate, service, hi-tech and automotive finance. Blake currently provides independent Financial Advisory and Contract CFO Services within British Columbia.
Aaron Brady is the Manager, Product and Market innovation at BC’s leading not-for-profit Health Insurance Company, Pacific Blue Cross. In his role at Pacific Blue Cross, Aaron is responsible for creating, developing and launching new features, benefits, services, business lines, partnerships and capabilities that help improve the health and well-being of British Columbians. Aaron is also a board member of the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation and a founding board member of the Whiskey Wisemen. Prior to joining Pacific Blue Cross, Aaron helped build a number of businesses and programs including helping to deliver Canada’s first virtual healthcare clinic into the Canadian Healthcare landscape. His background in building partnerships and scaling organizations will be focused on helping Seniors First BC continue to expand its services in British Columbia.
Margaret Ostrowski, Q.C.
Margaret Ostrowski, Q.C. served as the full time as the Chair of the Mental Health Review Board of B.C. for approximately seven years, a board that conducts more than 700 mental health hearings per year. She was also an Independent Adjudicator for the Correctional Service of Canada Fraser Valley Institute (BC Women’s prison) and currently volunteers at Immigration Services of BC and the Access Pro Bono Aboriginal Law Clinic. She has practised law in BC for 35 years and been a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Employment Standards Tribunal, Health Professions Review Board, Employment and Assistance Appeal Tribunal, Crime Victims Assistance Appeal Tribunal, Financial Services Tribunal. She was President of the Canadian Bar Association of BC in 2000 and a Bencher of the Law Society of B.C. from 2002 to 2006 when she was appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board. Ms. Ostrowski was the recipient of the 2009 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Business and the Professions and was the national CBA Touchstone Award winner in 2007 for her accomplishments in promoting equality in the Canadian legal profession. Active in her community, she was the Vice-President of the BC Council of Administrative Tribunals and the Justice Education Society. Ms. Ostrowski held an Advanced Commercial Mediation Certificate and a Family Law Mediation Certificate and was a BC Registered Psychologist. She was the initiator and chair of the working group that founded the CBA Women Lawyers Forum.
Tracie Janzen calls Northern BC home! She completed her Bachelor of Social Work Degree at the University of Northern BC in 2014. Tracie is currently practicing in the North East of BC, with the Northern Health Authority. She has a working understanding of Primary Care, Long Term Care, and Geriatric Outreach Services. Tracie’s work includes functional assessments to determine capabilities, as well as responding to elder abuse, neglect and self-neglect. Before her Social Work career, Tracie worked in BC’s Northern Interior, with Community Living Services, for 17 years, for individuals living with Developmental Disabilities. This work provided Tracie with a wealth of foundational community experience, which promoted an understanding of the need for community resource networking. Tracie presently volunteers with the local Better at Home organization, as an Advisory Committee Member. As well, she volunteers as a Board Member for the South Peace Hospice Palliative Care Society.
Christine Lee was born in Vancouver, grew up in Victoria and recently completed her Masters of Health Administration (MHA) graduate studies from University of British Columbia. Her previous education background includes a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Science from University of Victoria. She has worked for various BC health authorities as a Business Systems Analyst, and will be moving on with her career as a Management Consultant. She is a member of the Canadian College of Health Leaders and Emerging Health Leaders. Her hobbies include Toastmasters, dancing, fitness, travelling and networking.
Honorary Lifetime Directors
Penny Bain (LLM) is a retired member of the BC Law Society and a former Executive Director of Seniors First BC. Her career was largely in management of legal services and legal policy development (Legal Services Society of BC) and management of not-for-profits addressing violence against vulnerable persons (BC Institute Against Family Violence and CEAS). In retirement, she serves as the Secretary of the Board of CEAS and the Vice Chair of the Board of WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women). She is also active in the Liberal Party of Canada and serves on the Executive of the Vancouver Quadra Electoral District Association.
Mrs. Schmalz has been working on behalf of seniors since 1982 and is co-founder of British Columbia Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (Seniors First BC). Among her many community service roles, she has served on the Surrey Mayor’s Task Force for Seniors since its inception in 2008 and subsequently the Surrey Seniors Advisory and Accessibility Committee. Mrs. Schmalz is also a writer, producer and actor, developing numerous resource tools, teaching materials and videos related to elder advocacy.
While delivering a legal information counselling service on the North Shore in the 1980s, Pearl McKenzie developed educational materials about legal issues that affect seniors, writing “Guide to Legal Issues in Elder Abuse Intervention” in 1992. Pearl was a member of the BC Task Force on Family Violence (report 1992) and the Advisory Committee to the Federal Panel on Violence Against Women (1993) and, during this period, worked with senior citizen counsellors and health and social services workers throughout BC to develop a community response to problems of isolation and lack of services so often linked to abuse and neglect. This same group of people went on to found BC CEAS and Pearl volunteered her time to be the first executive director. She was a member of the joint government/community working committee which drafted recommendations for new adult guardianship legislation in BC; helped to implement Part 3, which safeguards the rights of adults who are abused and neglected; and develop a provincial policy framework for designated agencies and police working together. Living in the Comox Valley, Pearl volunteers with a local wildlife rehabilitation centre, serves on a local residents association and an area advisory planning commission and enjoys retirement.