Rick C. Gambrel, B.Comm., LLB. – Executive Director
In addition to being a senior and respected trial lawyer, Mr. Gambrel brings with him a wealth of leadership, communications, and relationship skills. Aided by his Finance degree from U.B.C., he has been managing partner of a number of different law firms, developing and managing budgets, and hiring, training and managing other lawyers and staff. Rick comes with a strong background in non-profit association management and governance. He was on the board and held the offices of Vice-President and President of the Trial Lawyers Association of B.C. Prior to joining Seniors First BC , Mr. Gambrel was Executive Director of the British Columbia Psychological Association. While there he was elected by his peers to head CESPPA, the 60 member international organization of psychology association Executive Directors, the first Canadian to hold that role. As well he was elected Vice-Chair of CPAP, the Canadian association of national and provincial psychology associations, as well as sitting on the board of the psychologists national professional liability insurance program. In addition, for 12 years, he was President and de facto Executive Director of the classical music concert series, White Rock Concerts, named Canada’s Arts Presenter of the Year for 2007..
Gordon Marshall – Lawyer
Gordon is the senior counsel for Seniors First BC, overseeing its litigation services, and participating in the legal clinics. A member of the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia and the Canadian Bar Association, Gordon has worked as trial and appellate counsel since being called to the Bar in Manitoba in 1973 and the British Columbia Bar in 1975.
Nighat Afsar – Articled Student
Nighat is an Articled Student in the Elder Law Clinic. Previously she worked as a Legal Advocate for almost 10 years in the Legal Advocacy Program of Seniors First BC and provided services to older adults on housing issues, residential tenancy matters, government pensions and benefits, and debt issues. Nighat represented older adults before federal and provincial tribunals regarding their legal issues.
Nighat has a law degree and practiced law for 15 years in Pakistan. As a Britannia Chevening scholar, she completed her Master degree in International Law from University of Hull, United Kingdom. She was a Fulbright scholar and completed her Master degree in Urban and Regional Planning from University of Colorado at Denver, United States. Nighat is passionate to work in Public Interest litigation in future.
Marta Rogic – Manager of SAIL and Victim Services Program
Marta is a Registered Social Worker and graduate of the University of Victoria Social Work Program and an AIRS certified Information and Referral Specialist. Marta has been working in Social Services for over 10 years in immigrant and refugee settlement, anti-violence work, addictions, crisis line training supervision and training development. Marta is passionate about incorporating an anti-oppressive, inter-sectional feminist practice into her work, and promoting social justice and community building efforts for older adults of diverse backgrounds.
Amrita – SAIL Intake Worker
Amrita is a graduate of the University of Northern British Columbia with a Bachelor of Social Work and a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts. Her interest are in family systems and the ways in which these dynamics have influences on the individual. Her previous experiences have involved working with children who have witnessed abuse, at-risk youth, immigrant families and seniors in care facilities. She is currently fulfilling the requirements to become a Registered Social Worker. Amrita works on SAIL providing callers with support, information and assistance pertaining to the needs of vulnerable older adults.
Queen – Victim Services Worker
Queen is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a graduate of the Vancouver Community College Community Counselling Skills Program. She has volunteer and work experience with the Multicultural Family Centre, YWCA, and Battered Women Support Services. Queen also has training in Community and Settlement Services, Crisis Line Intervention, Domestic Violence Intervention, Non-violence Intervention and Mental Health First Aid. Provides information, assistance, and emotional support to older adults who call SAIL line..
Ashley Durrant – Office Manager and Legal Administrative Assistant
Ashley is the Office Manager and Legal Administrative Assistant for Seniors First BC and the Elder Law Clinic. Ashley is a graduate of McGill University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in World Religions and a minor in Psychology. She has previously worked as a legal assistant in criminal law primarily serving legal aid clients in the Downtown Eastside. Her volunteer experience as a frontline worker at Atira Legal Advocacy Program involved working with low-income women in the anti-violence sector in the areas of family and civil law. She is passionate about providing access to justice to older adults facing barriers and serving all people with respect and dignity.
Mina – SAIL Intake Worker
Mina is a Registered Social Worker and works for the Seniors Abuse and Information Line. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of British Columbia, and an Associate of Arts degree majoring in Psychology from Douglas College. She draws knowledge from a variety of theories such as client centered, strengths based, trauma informed, and systems theory in order to support vulnerable older adults. She currently volunteers at a residential care facility, and also has past practicum experience supporting older adults in the community and at the hospital.
Adarshana Thapa – Workshop and Outreach Coordinator
Adarshana is the Workshop and Outreach Coordinator at Seniors First BC. She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Masters in Land and Water Systems. She has previous experience working as a Volunteer/Outreach Coordinator, involved in volunteer/staff recruitment, management and supervision. She has planned, coordinated and executed various community outreach events across the Lower Mainland, BC. She is passionate about contributing positively to the lives of seniors living in BC through outreach and workshops and wants to make a big difference in the communities well-being.
Lasse Hvitved – Legal Advocate
Lasse has a degree in law from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In Denmark he served as a citizen counsellor, where he aided in dispute resolution between citizens and the government in areas such as benefits, disabilities and housing. Lasse works in the Legal Advocacy program providing Information, referral and representation services to older adults. He is also passionate about public legal education and participates in workshops where he gives presentations on the areas of his work.
Tina – SAIL Intake Worker
Tina works on the Seniors Abuse and Information Line, with a particular lens on gender-based oppression and criminalization. She holds a Criminology and Political Science degree and a Legal Studies certificate from Simon Fraser University. Tina has volunteered and worked in areas such as community policing, corrections, crisis intervention, and domestic violence. She is committed to supporting vulnerable individuals and building a safer community.
Irene Bihari – Lawyer
Irene is a lawyer for Seniors First BC. She obtained her law degree from the University of New England, New South Wales, Australia. She was called as a solicitor in New South Wales, Australia in 2009 and to the British Columbia Bar in 2015. Since her call to the bar in British Columbia, Irene has been practicing in the areas of child protection, refugee, family and estate administration law.