The ICF Board of Directors works to make sure the aims of the organization are met. This happens in several ways but primarily through goal setting.  The board also oversees senior management of the Foundation—holding the Executive Director responsible for achieving identified goals.

The ICF Board holds two to three hour meetings approximately five times a year. Board members are also asked to commit an additional 10 hours per year on general foundation business such as fundraising, attending events or providing connections. The term of service is two years, with an option to renew. We are currently looking for new board members.


How you can get involved

It’s easy! To start the process, just send us a message detailing why you are interested in joining the board.

Our Board

Marco A. Romero, Chair

“Canada is fortunate in so many ways. We enjoy affluence, liberty, social justice and a great natural and political setting. Yet, our country, like so many others, suffers greatly from the impact of drug addiction and related disorders. Addiction is a disease that pervades all levels of our society, affecting men, women, rich, poor, young and old alike. Its cost to our society is immense. In 2007, I was looking for an opportunity to do something to give back to a Canada, British Columbia and Vancouver that had been very good to me. I was drawn to InnerChange and its mission to transform the way we take care of those suffering from addiction and prevent others from sliding down its slippery slope. I am now deeply committed to its success.”

Marco is an entrepreneur with over 35 years of diversified experience in the mining and construction materials industries. He has held leadership roles in mineral exploration, mine planning, permitting and finance, as well as project and corporate development. He is a co-founder of several Canadian companies, including Eldorado Gold Corporation, Polaris Materials Corporation, Delta Gold Corporation and Euro Manganese Inc. Mr. Romero was born in Chile, grew up in Montreal and now resides in Vancouver. He is married and the father of five children. He is an avid traveler, speaks several languages and has worked in a multitude of countries and cultures.

Community interests and activities are a significant part of his life. He has led or been involved in a number of local and international initiatives focused on wildlife, ecosystem conservation and watershed restoration. Since 2001, he has worked closely with and developed deep personal ties with several Vancouver Island First Nation communities. In 2006, he was adopted into the Ucluelet First Nation and given the name Tsiixwitu-ah. In 2008, he was adopted into the ‘Namgis First Nation and given the name Wawipigesu.

Bev Van Ruyven, Director

Bev Van Ruyven is the former Deputy CEO and Executive Vice-President of BC Hydro, where she was responsible for Aboriginal Relations, Customer Care & Conservation, Integrated Resource Planning, Marketing & Brand Strategy, the Smart Metering & Infrastructure Project, Human Resources and Safety, Health and Environment. Ms. Van Ruyven has held a number of management positions with BC Hydro since joining the company in 1997 as Manager Key Accounts.

Prior to joining BC Hydro, Bev worked for Canada Post Corporation in various management positions, where she contributed to the refocusing of Canada Post towards a customer service and retail oriented organization.

Bev is a member of the Board of Directors for Accenture Business Services for Utilities, and Past Chair of the Western Energy Institute. She is also a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade and the Canadian Institute of Energy. The Vancouver Board of Trade recognized her with a Women of Distinction award.

Bev holds a BA (Distinction) in Anthropology from the University of Victoria and attended the Executive Management Program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

“I got involved with the board of InnerChange Foundation over five years ago. I was approached by another board member who told me about the good work that was being done by this organization and their vision for the future. I knew immediately that this was something I could be passionate about and felt that it was an area that needed focus, funding and new programs that would come up with creative solutions to an important health issue. My commitment and enthusiasm to help people with mental health and substance use problems has grown each year. It has been an honour to serve on this board and to see positive change as we improve access to needed services.”

Jami Koehl, Director

Jami Koehl, an owner and Principal at Mustel Research Group Ltd., brings over 30 years of experience, expertise and insights from the social and opinion research industry to the InnerChange Board. Prior to joining Mustel Group, Jami was a research consultant at Toronto and Vancouver offices of Canadian Facts (now Kantar TNS) and worked in research centres at the University of Wisconsin. At Mustel Group Jami’s clients have included major public corporations, all levels of government and not-for-profit societies, agencies and associations.

Her background includes studies of public, stakeholder and users’ opinions, perceptions, attitudes and behaviours on a broad range of issues addressing personal, social and community change—including personal and public health, health programs/services and health sector charities. Jami has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin and holds the Certified Market Research Professional (CMRP) designation. She is a member of various professional associations (MRIA, AAPOR, American Statistical Association) and was a mentor for seven years with the UBC Sauder School’s Executive Mentor Program.

“Mental health and addiction touches individuals and families we know and many more we don’t know, but effective treatment and programs can be hard to find and access. I have been seeking a way to help those struggling with these debilitating problems, alongside social/cultural barriers and personal challenges. On meeting InnerChange Foundation’s Board and Executive Director I was impressed with the organization’s mandate and successes to date. What particularly captivated me about InnerChange was the bold, innovative approaches to treatment and assistance. This type of out of the box thinking is exactly what is needed to move forward and to make life-saving and societal differences. I am truly honoured and inspired to be part of this team.”

Richard Mulcaster
Richard Mulcaster joined as a Director of InnerChange in July, 2007. Previously Richard was with Vancouver Foundation from 1979 to 2004, serving as President and CEO for 14 years. Prior to that, he was a Project Officer at the Employment Development Branch of the Federal Government and Country Director with Canada World Youth. Richard is involved with many community organizations including the Telus Vancouver Community Board member, Arts Umbrella, Science World and Vancouver’s Coalition for Crime Prevention and Drug Treatment. Richard was the past Director of External Relations at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Richard is now Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the University of British Columbia.

Darrell Podowski
Darrell Podowski is a lawyer and partner with the Canadian national law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP and practices business and securities law in its Vancouver office. Prior to joining Cassels Brock, Darrell was in house legal counsel to Teck Resource Limited and practiced law on the island of Bermuda. Before his law career Darrell was an Exploration Geophysicist with an international oil and gas company based in Calgary Alberta. Darrell was born in Saskatoon Saskatchewan and grew up primarily in Vancouver where he now resides.

Darrell had been wanting to give back to the community for some time, in the arena of mental health and the recent increase in addiction-related social problems. He views service on the Board of InnerChange as a way to help those in need who face those challenges.

Advisory Committee

Kerry JangVancouver City Councillor
Dr. Kerry Jang was elected to Vancouver City Council in 2008 and is a Professor of Psychiatry at UBC.

Councillor Jang has been a strong advocate on city council for developing new homeless shelters and building low-income housing. Over the past three years he spearheaded the development of the City’s first-ever mental health and addictions plan, a strategy for helping survival sex-trade workers, and the use of modular affordable housing to help people who are homeless. His academic experience in the field of mental health and addictions has helped ensure better coordination and collaboration for city programs that help vulnerable people.

In 2006, Kerry was named “Academic of the Year” by BC Universities for his work developing a simple and effective homeless program for his local neighbourhood, and he has also been honoured with the Community Achievement Award from the Province of BC for his work strengthening communities across Vancouver. Kerry recently served on the Mental Health Commission of Canada as a Committee member on the Mental Health and Law Advisory Committee to assist municipalities like Vancouver on issues like policing, corrections, and housing standards for the mentally ill and addicted.

Gord Kehler

Currently Gord is a partner in the Vancouver law firm of MacKenzie Fujisawa LLP where he has practiced since 2005. He has practised law since 1992 and was previously a partner in the Maple Ridge law firm of McEachern, Harris, Brown and Kehler. Gord studied at the University of Victoria where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1987 and a law degree in 1990.

Gord is a consistent advocate for the community and brings a great deal of knowledge and support along with him. Gord has contributed his skills to a wide array of programs and organizations such as a contributor and presenter for the Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, President of the New Westminster Bar Association from 2000 to 2001, Vice-President of the Ridge Meadows Youth and Justice Advocacy Association from 1998 to the present, Advisor for the B.C. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Resource Society and the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Society for British Columbia, a Director of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation from 1997 to 1999 (Secretary – Treasurer 1998 and 1999), and a member of the Ridge Meadows Parks and Leisure Services Citizens Advisory Committee from 1995 to 1998(Chairman 1998). Gord also contributed his time and legal advice to the book published in 2000 “Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Criminal Justice System” by Dr. Julianne Conry and Dr. Diane K. Fast.

Dr. Bill MacEwan

Dr. Bill MacEwan is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC. He is the Director of the Schizophrenia Program at UBC and Clinical Director of the Fraser South Early Psychosis Early Psychosis Initiative. Dr. MacEwan does both clinical and research work in the Vancouver’s downtown Eastside. Clinically he works with St. Paul’s Hospital developing the Psychiatric Outreach Program from St Paul’s Hospital. Dr MacEwan is also researchers with the “Hotel” study, a research project funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research which is looking at the relationship of psychiatric illness, drug use, viral infections and cognitive functioning in residents of the Downtown East Side.

Dr. Perry Kendall
Dr. Kendall is the former Provincial Health Officer for British Columbia. He has pioneered programs for Harm Reduction, AIDS/HIV and drug abuse prevention in British Columbia and Ontario. He helped to form the Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario, and the Addiction and Mental Health Services Corporation.

In 1991 he was recognized for leadership in substance abuse prevention in Ontario and received an Addiction Research Foundation Community Achievement Award. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia for his contributions to Public Health practice and to harm reduction policy and practice in British Columbia.

Dr. Chris G Richardson
Dr. Chris G Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC and is a Scientist at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Science at St. Paul’s Hospital. His main program of research is focused on examining emerging patterns of substance use in adolescents, especially the link between mental health and the emergence of addiction. He has worked in a variety of public health settings including as a front line worker with the Surrey Men’s Shelter Program.

In addition to his professional expertise, he is also a step-parent of three Aboriginal daughters who have struggled and successfully dealt with serious mental health and addiction challenges stemming in large part from a very traumatic childhood. He has extensive experience dealing with youth health and social service systems and is a member of the advocacy group From Grief to Action (FGTA). Through his work with FGTA, he helps parents learn how to navigate the complex system of mental health and addiction services and works to build grass roots support for the development of a more comprehensive approach to dealing with the complex issue of addiction among youth in British Columbia.

Executive Director

“I am excited about this opportunity to follow through with the remarkable work that InnerChange has done over the years. They have brought about positive and pragmatic fresh thinking that are leading to addiction and related mental health service improvements to British Columbia. The innovative addiction programs which InnerChange has helped to promote and fund are becoming part of the fabric of BC’s clinical and social services.”

Dr. Laura Tate
Dr. Tate’s is role is to strengthen InnerChange with her extensive skills and experience managing innovation in addressing substance use challenges for people of all ages. Besides managing an ongoing consulting practice, Laura was the prior Provincial Director of an agency which channeled Ministry of Health funds into community-based mental wellness innovations. After years working in the trenches, on the front lines of addiction and mental health service policy, she has come to believe passionately in the need for integrated service delivery to effectively address individual and community substance use challenges. In addition, she spent many years in direct public service, holding positions at the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and at various Metro Vancouver area municipalities. Laura holds a doctorate in community planning and development, and recently co-edited a book on the role of networks in fostering social change.