Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is governed by a board of dedicated people who provide oversight and participate in setting the strategic plan for the society.
Brooklyn Mann (Chair) has lived in the Cowichan Valley her entire life and is now raising her two girls here with her husband. She brings with her a degree in Criminology and an understanding of the impact that violence and economic status can have in the Justice world. She has spent her career at Island Savings Credit Union and is looking to help bridge financial knowledge and aid with those looking to recover from an abusive situation. Having had abuse touch members of her family she understands that it does not discriminate and that it affects all ages, genders, and races. She is passionate about helping others and advocating for equality among everyone and being their voice.
When not at work or volunteering, Brooklyn enjoys time with her family and dogs enjoying all that the Island has to offer or being at the beach.
Anne Hilker (Past Chair) has a long background in community development, including assisting immigrant and women’s outreach programs in Saskatoon, coordinating the Women’s Centre at the University of Victoria, crisis counselling at Somenos Transition House, and organizing music events, artisan fairs, anti-racism workshops, and radio shows.
Believing that the personal is political, she has volunteered on many community action committees (Take Back the Night, Dec 6, International Women’s Day).
An outdoor enthusiast, Anne spends as much time as possible in the garden, hiking, swimming in the river, dancing and building clay creations. She loves to travel and explore new cultures, customs, foods and experiences. She teaches English and Student Study Skills at Vancouver Island University and does program coordination with their Community Extension and Contract Services department.
Anne is pleased to bring her work and life experience to CWAV Society’s dynamic board and society. Anne is past chair of the board.
Talitha Soldera (Treasurer) is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a background in local government and a passion for finance. She possesses a Bachelor of Education specializing in Learning Assistance and applies the invaluable skills learned throughout this training to a wide variety of situations encountered on a daily basis.
For the past 18 years, Talitha has called the Cowichan Valley home. Past involvement as the Treasurer for a non-profit society demonstrated the enormous pleasure and sense of accomplishment that can be achieved through community involvement. She serves as Treasurer of CWAV Society.
Jaime Garneau (Director) was born and raised in Alberta and 3 years ago moved to the Cowichan Valley with her husband and then 3 year old son. She has been loving the lifestyle her family enjoys on the island, and is excited to be more directly involved with the community where she has chosen to live.
Jaime has spent the past 9 years of her career with Starbucks working as a Store Manager and District Manager with a territory spanning Victoria, Duncan, and Langford. These roles have created ample opportunity for building relationships within the communities she works, as well as leading and inspiring Community Service projects ranging from volunteering with Ronald McDonald House, Cowichan Basket Society, BC Summer Games, 7-10 Club, Horizons, Nanaimo and Victoria Pride, Starbucks BC Pride Alliance, and Centre for Child Development to name a few. Having a career that focuses on creating a foundation of diversity, inclusion, and creating a sense of welcoming and respect for all who come through the doors, creates a natural fit for working with the mission and values that CWAV represents.
When she is not working Jaime enjoys reading, working out, paddle boarding, and camping with her family.
Denise Tacon (Director) After 30 years in the corporate business sector opening properties, planning events, and negotiating with highly influential people, Denise Tacon has come back to her roots. She has found her familiar joy in the creative world of art, beauty, and wellness for women. Denise owns the Golden Hanger Designer Consignment Boutique and the Nude & True Spa Services adjacent to it. Both operations meet and cater to women of all ages and walks of life.
Denise is drawn to Cowichan Women Against Violence (CWAV) Society from an lifelong process of both personal growth and connections with many women in distress. She has a Masters degree in professional communication. She studied the sexualization and objectification of women for her research. Denise understands the societal influences and pressures on women, particularly the marginalized and vulnerable and the hard work that still needs to be done.
Denise is excited to be on the board of CWAV Society, a resource-based organization that helps make a difference in the lives of women and their children. Denise believes that when people pay attention to the details of all things, there is illumination of self, and this is where the healing can begin.
Angela Underwood (Director) is a member of the Cowichan people and is the Community Safety Coordinator, Lands, Governance & Fisheries Department of the Cowichan Tribes. She has a Bachelor of Social Work.
Through the years Angela has provided much support to women and children in the aboriginal communities dealing with forms of abuse and trauma. She finds her strength and joy with her family, youth, elders and prayer. Angela enjoys taking part in Cultural Ceremonies. She practices Coast Salish Weaving with wool, and cedar.
Angela was appointed to the CWAV Society’s Board of Directors in 2013. She is on the Resource Development Committee.
Kristi Koons is grateful to live and work on Vancouver Island and is working hard to understand the complexity of living on the unceded territories of the Cowichan People. In addition to raising her family, she is an educator with the Cowichan Valley School District and a business owner. As a parent, educator and community member, Kristi is committed to raising awareness of social, racial and gender justice. As a successful business owner, she supports local community through a Charity Partner Program: annually donating to a variety of Cowichan charitable organizations. Kristi is very involved in the Cowichan Valley Teachers Union as the Social Justice Committee Chair and Staff Representative. She helps create safe spaces for Queer youth in the Valley as a SOGI leader (sexual orientation and gender identity) for the school district and has worked with various partners to reinstate the Queer Pride Parade in Duncan. She and her partner, Dwight Milford, organize the Cowichan Ultimate Frisbee League and financially support The Hub Disc Golf Course. They can also be seen running the rapids of the Cowichan River in their canoe when the water levels are perfect, or walking the trails at Glenora park in the sunshine. Kristi is an avid reader, committed learner, vocal advocate, brave activist and is looking forward to serving the community on the CWAV board.