Our leadership team brings a wide range of valuable expertise and experience to PLEA.

Board of Directors

David S. Duncan, P.Mgr. F.CIM. CMgr. President:  David became President in 2004, after joining the Board in 2002. Formerly he was the CEO of the Legal Services Society of BC and prior to that Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Court Services, and Management Services Branches, Ministry of the Attorney General.  

David is a "FELLOW" in Management with the Chartered Management Institute (Royal Charter), United Kingdom. And holds a number of professional memberships including ones with the: 

  • Chartered Management Institute, United Kingdom, R.C. (Royal Charter),
  • Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, 
  • Justice Education Society of BC, Board and Executive Committee Member, 
  • National Association Court Management, USA; Canadian Institute of Management, Ontario Canada.  

He brings to the Board significant executive management experience as well as extensive connections with the justice system.

Elaine Murray, Vice President: Elaine first volunteered for the PLEA Board in 2011 when she retired from Community Living BC, a newly created Crown Corporation. As Director of Organizational Development, she was responsible for all aspects of service design and implementation including human resource management.   Prior to this, Elaine held a range of positions within the Ministry of Children and Family Services from Childcare Counsellor to Assistant Deputy Minister. In all her roles Elaine vigorously championed the rights of children and youth, and holds a strong belief that the best model of service delivery is individualized support services, combined with family care homes in the community when necessary.

Dr. Margaret Wright, Secretary:  Margaret joined our Board of Directors in 2002. She is currently an Associate Professor with the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia where she teaches in the areas of social work and the law and feminist theories. She has a particular interest in policy and practice issues at the interface between child welfare and justice systems. Her ongoing research interests concern decision making about children. She is the author of Judicial Decision Making in Cases of Child Sexual Abuse, published by UBC Press. Margaret previously taught at Ryerson Polytechnic University, the University of Toronto and York University.  Her career also includes many years spent as a social worker and an administrator in both young offender and adult correctional facilities.

Donald Gordon, Treasurer:  Donald Gordon is a business person in Vancouver.  He joined our Board in 2012.  He is also a long-time Director of a wilderness leadership program for youth, including at-risk youth, in northern BC.

Roland Bishop: Roland is a long-standing member of the Board having joined us in 2004. Now retired, he previously served as Regional Director of the National Parole Service for BC and the Yukon Territories.  When the National Parole Service and the Federal Penitentiary Service became the Correctional Service of Canada, he became the Regional Manager of Offender Programs, which included responsibility for psychological, chaplaincy and community programs. The Native Advisory Committee was also part of his responsibilities.  In addition he was part of the Federal / Provincial work team assigned to review and develop positions for the Law Reform Commission.   Roland was subsequently appointed to the Legal Services Society Board and became a member of its Executive Committee. He then became the President of Westminster's Legal Services Society, a position he held for ten years.

John Fleming: John joined our Board in 2007.  Now the Associate Dean for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Douglas College, John is well versed in strategic planning and program development.  Having previously been a faculty member in the Department of Criminology teaching Youth Justice, Child and Youth Care and Community Social Service Work programs he is also well aware of what life in our sector is like on the ground.

Joyce Preston: Joyce has volunteered her time to PLEA since 2008.  Having been Director of Social Planning for the City of Vancouver and British Columbia's first Child, Youth and Family Advocate, Joyce has a passion for social issues and a significant background in advocacy. Also a retired social worker and child welfare manager she combines these attributes with an in-depth knowledge of life on the front-line.

Allen Hutton: Allen is a business person in Burnaby. Joining the PLEA Board in 2008 he combines business know-how with extensive experience of ensuring the well-being of youth, adults and seniors in our community; experience gained through his involvement with the Burnaby Family Court and Youth Justice Committee, Community Policing, New Vista Society, Youth Prostitution Task Force and the Community Advisory Panel at the Burnaby Justice Centre to name just a few.

Judy Hayes: Judy is a retired manager for the Ministry of Children and Family Development.   She has experience in strategic planning, contract management, service development, change management, information technology development and operational management.  Judy led teams in restructuring and implementing several major service redesign projects.   Judy is currently an accreditation surveyor for CARF and has served on our Board since 2010.  She is committed to PLEA because “everyone working for the agency is always willing to take on a challenge or new approach and they never give up on the people we serve”.

Doug Cochran: Doug is an Adjudicator on two Provincial Government Boards as well as being appointed as the Lay Member of the Ethics Committee of the Certified General Accountants Association of B.C.  He was in private practice as a lawyer in Vancouver, B.C. for thirty years, has published two legal text books and taught in the Institute for Paralegal Studies at Capilano University for nineteen years.  He was a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Appeal Board of Canada for six years.  Doug joined our Board in 2012 and brings an eye for policy and a strong interest in youth justice.

Kera McArthur: Kera has diverse experience in strategic communications, public consultation, public policy development, and fundraising. She spent several years as a Vancouver-based consultant for the local, provincial and national NGO (non-governmental organizations) sectors. In this capacity, she ran communications, research, and fundraising programs for a variety of clients before moving to the public sector. She is currently the Director of Communications and Engagement of the University of British Columbia's Finance, Research and Operations department.  She has been a member of our Board since 2012.

Joan Andersen: Appointed in 2014, Joan is our newest member of the Board.  She brings to the table more than 30 years of experience improving governance, implementing strategy and building capacity in both the crown corporation and community sectors.  In addition to a long career with CBC, Joan has also volunteered with a wide variety of community boards including the Vancouver Public Library, where she was Chair, Literacy BC, ASPECT and the Fraser Works Co-operative.  She is presently the Director of Employment and Language Programs for MOSAIC.

Craig Norris:  Craig holds a Master of Social Work degree and is in the process of completing a PhD in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU. He is also a Doctoral research trainee at the Urban Health Research Initiative, a program of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Craig currently works as a Mental Health Clinician with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, is a sessional instructor at the UBC School of Social Work, and provides counselling through his private practice, Forseti Clinical Services. Prior to these roles Craig worked as a Case Manager with WorkStafe BC and as a Probation Officer with the Ministry of the Attorney General and MCFD. Craig has a strong volunteer history and has been a restorative justice facilitator for several years. He also sat on the Board of Directors of both the North Shore Restorative Justice Society and Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice. He is currently a Volunteer Clinician with the Provincial Health Services Authority Disaster Psychosocial Program and has spent the last 8 years volunteering for our KidStart program.

Rick Aird:  Rick has been a peace officer for 22 years serving in various postings in BC and Yukon. He is a member of Saulteau First Nations. He is a facilitator for restorative justice and currently works in First Nations Policing. 



Our Senior Management Team

Contact Information

Tim Veresh, Executive Director 

Tim was previously the Executive Director of the John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland.  He started his career in criminal justice, working as a child care worker at Ranch Ehrlo Society and secure custody at the Paul Dojack Centre in Saskatchewan. He then spent 3 years in the private sector while completing his Criminology Diploma at Kwantlen College and then a Bachelor’s Degree from Simon Fraser University.  In 1997, he started working for the John Howard Society as a residence worker.  During his career with John Howard he held several management positions, leading to his role as Executive Director of the Lower Mainland affiliate and 8 years as the Executive Officer of the Provincial Society. He is also President of the BC Criminal Justice Association and sits as a Board Director with the Canadian Criminal Justice Association, PARCA, Douglas College Youth Justice Worker Program and the Realize Strategies Cooperative.


Michelle Hawco, Director of Human Resources and Finance

Michelle began working for PLEA in 1995, becoming a Program Director in 2004, Director of Operations in 2009 and Director of Operations & Finance in 2013.  As of September 2016 she is now PLEA’s Director of Human Resources & Finance.  She is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and holds a PhD in Business with a research interest in Management and Organization Systems. She is a former Board member with the United Community Services Co-op and the McCreary Centre Society.


Mike Jeffreys, Senior Program Director

 Mike has been a Program Director with PLEA since 2008.  Following a teaching career in the UK, Mike joined PLEA as a one-to-one DARE worker in 1988 and became a Program Manager in 1998.  His is responsible for our Youth Justice programs for the Vancouver Coastal region, Tri-Cities Youth Services and Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Youth Services. 


Jason deZara, Program Director

Prior to joining PLEA, Jason served in the Canadian Forces for 8 years before pursuing a career in health, first as a Licensed Practical Nurse and then as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse.  He joined us in 2007 as a Residential Services Coordinator before becoming a Program Manager.  In 2013 he was promoted to the role of Director with responsibility for overseeing FolkStone, our specialized adult residential care program. 

Tina Tomyk, Program Director

Tina first joined PLEA in 2000 as a casual Youth Worker and was promoted to the role of Family Resource Worker soon after.   In 2002 she left PLEA, returning in 2004 as a Coordinator of Volunteers for our KidStart program.  In 2007 she was appointed to the position of Program Manager, first for our Tri-Cities programs and then for our Vancouver Coastal Youth Justice Programs.  In 2014 she became a Program Director. Tina oversees our specialized youth residential program. 







Paul Gordon, Program Director

Paul became a Program Director with PLEA in 2014. He first joined PLEA as Curfew Monitor in 2008, and then became an FASD Coordinator in 2009 before being promoted to Program Manager in 2010. He is responsible for our addictions programs.


Steve Quinlan, Program Director

Steve joined PLEA in 1998 as a Family Resource Worker.  He was quickly promoted to the role of Program Manager, a position he held until he was made a Director in 2012.   Steve has a varied portfolio:  he is PLEA's privacy and complaints officer, manages the Case Administration Management System and overseas policy development, staff development as well as our research agenda.  Steve is a Registered Social Worker and has practiced Social Work in England, Scotland and British Columbia.