From Grief to Action is a registered Society in British Columbia (#S-0042377) having a Charitable Registration Number through the Canada Revenue Agency (#88871 9812 RR0001). Learn more about our financial model below. In addition to the 5 current volunteer Board members listed below, FGTA is supported by a book keeper and website administrator.
Bev Gutray is the CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division. She has led this organization, part of Canada’s oldest mental health charity, for 20 years, in addition to her earlier work with the CMHA Alberta and Manitoba. She has over 30 years of non-profit experience. In this role, Bev has worked to implement the Association’s broad vision of “Mentally Healthy People in a Healthy Society.” Bev has presented on a range of public policy issues to government committees and conferences. Education includes an undergraduate degree in Arts. Her concentration over her career has been on focused studies in the area of fundraising and non-profit leadership and skill development. Under her leadership, CMHA BC has promoted mentally healthy workplaces as a top priority over the past 15 years including the development and launch of the Bottom Line Conference – now operating for over 13 years. In 2013 the Association received the Top Innovation Affiliate Award of Merit: For My Health a program co-developed by Impact BC and CMHA BC Division. In January 2013, Bev received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of her lifetime contributions toward improving mental health for all British Columbians. In 2014 she received the Strengthening Our Voice Award from the National Association for her staff leadership role across Canada. Most recently, her organization has been honoured with the Doctors of BC 2014 Excellence in Health Promotion Award. In 2015 the Association is receiving the BC Health Care Award of Merit – Top Innovation Affiliate for Bounce Back. Bev’s leadership in BC has resulted in several BC programs being rolled out nationally. They include: Bounce Back: Reclaim Your Health, Living Life to the Full for adults and youth and a nation-wide fundraising event: Ride Don’t Hide.
Anita joined From Grief to Action as a board member in 2002 shortly after moving to Vancouver. Her experience as a sibling of an addict assisted both From Grief to Action and Parents Forever with understanding the issues of the “good” child. Anita’s input into The Coping Kit was highly valued, as were her attempts at starting a Siblings Forever support group. Anita resigned from the board in 2004 but then returned after taking time off to start a family. Anita currently works for the federal government in immigration policy and has two girls, Maya and Kayla.
Before discovering addiction in her family, Nichola had spent many years working and volunteering in the fields of social planning and community development, mostly with the Social Planning and Research Council of B.C. While her two boys were in school she completed her B.A. in Political Science and then specialized with a Masters degree in public policy. She spent 15 years at UBC as a Program Director in Arts, Humanities and Public Affairs, and served on the Board of the Association of Administrative and Professional Staff. She was named as a Woman of Distinction by the YWCA in 2003 for her voluntary activities. Now retired, Nichola represents FGTA on three community boards and has spoken on behalf of FGTA to various groups around the world from Melbourne in Australia to Waterloo, Regina and Quesnel in Canada. Nichola and Ray have two sons who have been on methadone for several years and are still struggling with mental health and addiction issues.
Tabitha understands how unique each personal story is, after personally losing multiple loved ones to preventable deaths due to drug and alcohol addictions. She’s learned a lot from her life losses and experiences, including how to manage her own personal challenges related to co-dependency, alcohol abuse, and grief and has lived sober for over 20 years. Tabitha writes and blogs as a form of self expression in advocating wellness and was hired in 2010 by Best Selling author, Melody Beattie, to write a a piece on surviving Multiple Losses. In 2016, Tabitha organized an International Overdose Awareness Day event in Vancouver that included a highly diverse guest speaker panel and the very first Proclamation for Vancouver signed by Mayor Gregor Robertson in solidarity with other IOAD events/rallies, globally. Tabitha is passionately committed to making International Overdose Awareness Day an annual Public Memorial and Drug Health gathering in Vancouver. Tabitha looks forward to being an active Board Member with From Grief To Action to stand beside many others who are taking their personal life experiences with drug addiction and advocating for needed changes that will create long term solutions in all areas of drug treatment, mental health, supportive housing and social services.
With over 25 years’ experience in the not-for profit sector and 12 years in regional government, Judy brings writing, editing and research skills. As well she has a strong knowledge base and understanding of political processes critical to the advocacy role FGTA plays for the families and friends affected by substance abuse. Having a child, who since the age of 14, struggles with substance use, Judy also understands the issues around early intervention and care for both the addict and their families. Judy also participates in Parents Forever.
Chris Richardson is a parent with lived experience related to helping his children understand and learn to manage their mental health and addictions challenges. Chris is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Population and Public Health where his research activities are focused on examining the relationships between bio-psycho-social development in adolescence and patterns of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drug use. He is also a Scientist with the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcomes Sciences at St. Paul’s Hospital where he works on a range of projects involving mental health and addiction including the Inner City Youth Program. Chris has worked with FGTA on and off over the past 10 years.