Sharlene Law

Executive Director

Sharlene Law

Executive Director

Sharlene devotes her time to helping all walks of life, from those struggling with addiction to animals large and small. With a strong administrative background and eight years of working in outreach, her promotion to Executive Director in November 2016, was a natural fit – and an asset to our clients and their families.

When she needs to unwind, Sharlene harnesses the power of 80’s hair bands, enjoys baking cookies, loves road tripping with friends, and spending time with her two independent and adventurous adult daughters.

Bronwyn Farley

Admin

Bronwyn Farley

Admin

Bronwyn is the friendly face and voice of the Umbrella Society and is often the first point of contact for those seeking assistance. After witnessing Umbrella’s work in the community, Brownyn admittedly pestered her way into a job! She draws a great sense of privilege from helping others at their time of need and offering comfort in times of vulnerability. Bronwyn loves to spend time off with her kids, trying to get them to eat the wide variety of food she cooks, while singing along to her record player.

Evan James

Team Lead

Evan James

Team Lead

Evan draws strength from living a sober life and attributes the support of the Umbrella Society to his own recovery. As an outreach worker, he is inspired by the courage of those seeking support and their willingness to open up. Evan’s greatest sense of accomplishment comes from witnessing lives being transformed while living his own wellness journey. He is a proud father of two kids and, in his downtime, can be found drumming for the band Dryspell.

Evan is Team Lead and supervises the outreach team.

Blake Andison

Housing Manager | Corrections

Blake Andison

Housing Manager | Corrections

Blake has been in the business of helping others for the past 20 years.  Coming from a background working exclusively with youth, he brings his personal experiences and solid communication skills into the world of addictions support.  Blake’s relentless optimism, empathy and caring nature makes him a good fit for our dynamic team at the Umbrella Society.  In his personal life, Blake enjoys playing music, exercise, cooking, and spending quality time with his beautiful wife and children.

Blake manages Umbrella’s recovery houses, runs our Corrections program, and is the face of Connections. 

Lesley Easton

AMCS

Lesley Easton

AMCS

Lesley’s personal journey of recovery led her to an education in Mental Health & Addictions from Camosun College and gave her valuable experience in the helping field. When the opportunity to work for the Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health arose she jumped at the chance to embrace a new role.

When Lesley joined Umbrella she started working with the SAMI team and has since moved over to the AMCS team at RJH. She enjoys meeting people where they are at and helping to create connections to supports and services in the community.

When she’s not working, Lesley spends time outdoors exploring Vancouver Island and practicing yoga and meditation at her neighborhood studio.

Robyn Bryson

SURF Team | Outreach

Robyn Bryson

SURF Team | Outreach

Robyn’s empathetic nature, combined with an interest in supporting others, led her to pursue a diploma in Community Family and Child Studies, and a Degree in Child and Youth Care.  Through her education she discovered a passion for helping others to recognize their own strengths. A desire to use her skills, and connect in a meaningful way, led her to seek out a career with The Umbrella Society.  Robyn finds balance in her life through creative expression, and spending time in nature.

Robyn is part of the new SURF Team two days per week and works with the outreach team on her other days of work.

Amy Cousineau

PANDORA CLINIC

Amy Cousineau

PANDORA CLINIC

You can find Amy at the Pandora Clinic Monday through Friday, helping patients of the clinic.

Amy’s personal recovery led her to pursue a career helping others. She completed her Mental Health and Addictions program at Camosun and immediately applied for a position with the Umbrella Society.

Amy is grateful for the support that she has received and the opportunity to connect with others on their journey.

Away from work, Amy enjoys spending time with her son, reading, and being outdoors.

 

Mike Powell

SURF Team | Salt Spring

Mike Powell

SURF Team | Salt Spring

Mike has a background in healthcare and military service, as well as a solid foundation of personal recovery. This combined experience helps him to be empathetic, resourceful and insightful. He is passionate about helping others directly, and is using skill and knowledge from his 14 months on the SAMI team to the new SURF (Substance Use Rapid Followup) Team starting in September. Mike has been gaining more experience over the summer pitching in to help the outreach team as they support the members of our community who are reaching out for support.

Mike has taken over Salt Spring Island on Tuesday’s from Lesley and is now facilitating Cooper House meetings every Wednesday evening.

His personal interests include scuba diving, traveling, and board games. Mike likes to host Umbrella board game evenings every so often which always brings out the laughter. 

Conor Rosen

ER | Outreach

Conor Rosen

ER | Outreach

Conor works with the Umbrella Society in the Emergency Room at Royal Jubilee Hospital and in the community providing outreach supports.
Having built a strong foundation for himself in his own recovery, Conor looks to give back what was freely given to him.  Conor enjoys acting, working out and playing the guitar.

Cait Marco

Youth Outreach | VGH AMCS

Cait Marco

Youth Outreach | VGH AMCS

Cait likes to live her life with a purpose. She believes her purpose is to somehow, in some small or large way, improve every person’s quality of life that she interacts with. Choosing a career that aligned with her purpose was an easy decision for her, and she hasn’t looked back since. She developed her knowledge through her education at Camosun College, studying Mental Health & Addictions.

When Cait isn’t working she enjoys spending time with friends, listening to music, reading a good book or spending time outdoors. It’s a bonus when she is able to combine all of those things!

Cait splits her time between VGH Addiction Medicine Consult Service on Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s and works with youth in an outreach capacity outside of those hours.

Louise Takhar

RAAC | OUTREACH

Louise Takhar

RAAC | OUTREACH

After forging her own path to recovery and accessing outpatient services, Louise was drawn to a career in addictions support. With a natural ability to connect with people, an education in Mental Health and Addictions from Camosun College, and a fifteen-year career in the service industry, Louise is a natural fit for our RAAC and Outreach programs. Connecting with people at their most vulnerable and being able to offer client-centered services is the most rewarding part of her work. When she’s not working, Louise looks forward to sunny, summer days watching the Harbour Cats.

Nicole Girvin

SAMI TEAM | Hudson House

Nicole Girvin

SAMI TEAM | Hudson House

Nicole completed the Mental Health and Addictions Program at Camosun and worked mostly with clients who were experiencing mental illness which provided her with great experience.  When the opportunity to work with Umbrella came her way she was very excited to accept the new challenge. Her empathetic nature and strong belief in meeting people where they are at has made working with the SAMI team a perfect fit for her.

Nicole runs Hudson House meetings and in a connection for the women residing in our only women’s recovery house.

In her free time Nicole enjoys spending time with her friends and family, staying active, and traveling.

Justin Bennett

SAMI Team

Justin Bennett

SAMI Team

Justin uses his personal life experience as a way to connect with individuals where they are at, and through his own recovery found a calling towards helping others.
Justin has always had a kind, compassionate, and empathetic nature which led him to successfully completing the Mental Health and Addictions Certificate program at Camosun College. Justin completed his practicum with The Umbrella Society  where he learned that his values and those of Umbrella’s were nearly identical.
Justin jumped at the opportunity to work alongside the team, moving away from a career of working in the restaurant/hospitality industry for the past 17 years.
Justin enjoys spending time with his beautiful daughter walking their dog, going to the beach, and cuddling up on the couch watching movies and eating popcorn. Justin also continues nurturing his passion for cooking and baking by experimenting at home trying to push the envelope of his own (and his daughter’s) tastes.

Terry Speller

Family Counselling | Foundation House

Terry Speller

Family Counselling | Foundation House

Terry has a Masters Degree in Education with a specialty in Counseling. His treatment philosophy is to see the humanity behind the person seeking recovery options – not simply the problem. Terry came to Umbrella after working in counselling and recovery because he found that the Society had an approach to treatment for addictions that he could identify with.

Terry spends his downtime strolling Victoria’s waterfront.

Bruce Budden

Foundation House

Bruce Budden

Foundation House

As a former resident of Foundation House, Bruce credits his remarkable recovery to Umbrella Society. Their hands on, humanistic approach to helping those who choose recovery, as well as the other residents in the house, were instrumental in his growth.

When the opportunity to give back to the house presented itself, he jumped at the chance. His personal experience, empathy, compassion and interest in seeing others succeed make him an asset to Umbrella’s team.

He volunteers for VPWAS during the week as a receptionist, with peer support being a large part of his days there.

In his spare time, Bruce loves to paint, sing, get out in nature to take photos, and make people laugh. In his mind he can still dance like a 20 year old.

Brianna Law

ADMIN

Brianna Law

ADMIN

Brianna provides administrative support every Thursday and Friday and provides holiday coverage for Bronwyn. When Brianna isn’t working or enjoying our beautiful island with friends, you will likely find her exploring the world, preparing for her next adventure and continuing her learning. Every day is a school day!

Dottie Stott

Casual

Dottie Stott

Casual

For the last 10+ years, Dottie has been fortunate to work in the mental health, addictions and supportive recovery field. Being engaged, ready to help and encourage others with compassion and kindness makes Dottie a perfect addition to the Umbrella/SAMI team.

Dottie loves being mom to her two adorable kids, cooking, music and live theatrical productions. One of her favourite quotes is “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” Les Miserables.

TJ

TJ

TJ started his journey with Umbrella as the house dog at Foundation House. When his favourite residents were moving to our third stage house, Cooper House, TJ joined them and is loving the quieter, less busy, house. He is a sweet, playful rescue dog who came to us via the Victoria Humane Society. TJ did not have a good start in life, and he is weary of strangers and has significant anxiety. The residents enjoy spoiling TJ with lots of walks, lots of treats and lots of love.

Lyca

Lyca

Lyca moved into Foundation House after TJ moved to Cooper House. Lyca, a rescue dog, is the most loving, sweet dog who greets every resident with kisses and a wiggly butt. She brings love to companionship to all the men, and makes Foundation House feel like home.