Executive Leadership

Meet Our Highly Qualified Executive Leadership Team.

Creative Centre Society for Mental Wellness is proud to have an executive leadership team that works closely together to create a safe and welcoming environment for our clients and staff.

Brian Grootendorst

Brian joined the board of directors of CCS in 2019 and has been the president of the board since 2021. Brian is a lawyer from Chilliwack BC, practicing primarily in civil litigation. Outside of work Brian spends most of his time with his wife and two young children enjoying the outdoors, hiking the local trails, or biking.

Jeanette Poulin
Vice President

Jeanette is a former nurse.  Her first experience volunteering for a Board was the board of directors for Abbotsford Hospice Society.  Jeanette’s passion for over twenty years has been using music as a genre in hospice/palliative care workshops for caregivers, nursing students and others the aim of which was intended to help better understand the dying and grieving process. Her best job was raising her 3 children with her husband Gerry.

Steve Kendzierski

Steven has passionately been working with youth in the social services and outdoor/recreation field for the past 15 years. He has worked doing everything from being a trip-leader on backpacking trips, recreation program coordinator, youth support worker to working as a substance use and mental health counsellor in residential treatment programs. He also spent time working for Creative Centre Society, which helped influence his passion to be a board member and continue to help serve the organizations clients through leadership and engagement on the board. He resides in beautiful Chilliwack with his wife and three children. 

Jim Callaghan

As a member of the Creative Centre Society Board since 2011, Jim has served in a variety of capacities which include Vice President, President and currently Board Secretary. Jim is a retired educator who served within the Abbotsford School District for 34 years, starting as a humanities teacher and ending as a Secondary School Principal until his retirement in 2009.Jim remains active in his community as a 20 year member in good standing with Kiwanis International. His home cub is the Kiwanis Club of Clearbrook, a service club located in Abbotsford. Jim remains committed to youth in our community. In addition to his club executive responsibilities, he also serves as a mentor and Kiwanis Advisor to the Robert Bateman Secondary Key Club, a Kiwanis International affiliation for youth, grades 9-12. Jim has been attached to this Key Club since it’s inception in 1998.
Interests and hobbies include riding his motorcycle, reading, volunteering, fundraising for various community causes, assisting wife with grandchildren care as needed and dog-sitting for family members when work and vacation schedules require. Jim looks after a pack of five as his services are required and dog sitting locations range from the Sunshine Coast to Agassiz.  

Lia Bishop

Lia has been working in community development, education and project facilitation for over ten years. She currently teaches in the University of the Fraser Valley’s School of Culture, Media and Society, and works on a number of research projects related to food security, repatriation, and end of life care. Her work focuses on the intersections of social equity, power and marginalization, and this is especially important in looking at mental health and wellbeing and community belonging. Lia is honoured to be on the board of the Creative Centre Society and hopes her social science background can assist in advocating the ethics and principles of the society and its clients. 

In her down time Lia enjoys the outdoors, hot yoga and being a fur mom. 

Mary Turner
Former President

While living in Abbotsford and working as a mental health worker in the early 1970’s, part of Mary’s job was visiting district boarding homes providing activities for the residents. During these visits it occurred to her that a central location where the residents could meet up once a week would benefit the residents for many reasons She tested out this theory, setting up two church locations, one in Abbotsford and the other in Chilliwack.  It was working very well so funding was obtained and The Creative Centre Society was formed in 1979. Mary continued to work with the Society for many years and upon her retirement became a member of the Board.  She retired from the Board in 2020 after more than 41 years of service to our organization. Working with the Board has been very rewarding and an important part of Mary’s life and the Society would not exist without her!

Jennifer Ridgeway
Executive Director

Jennifer has been in her role with the Society since 2007.  She has served in a leadership capacity for over 35 years in a number of areas of expertise. Her strengths are in understanding power and leadership and organizational behaviour as well as financial management and fiscal responsibility. Jennifer has the travelled to over 26 countries and looks forward to planning her next vacation! (It’s been a while!)

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