Diverse Family Roots 2023/34 Board:

Angie is a white woman with brown chin-length hair and green eyes. She is looking into the camera and smiling.

Angie Palmer: Chair

Angie is grateful to live on the traditional and unceded territory of the Ktunaxa people, in the little town of Elkford, BC. She is a wife, mother, and Nana. Her youngest child, who is on the autism spectrum and has an intellectual delay, is what fuels her drive to be a voice and advocate to families and children with their own sets of diverse abilities. In the past she has worked in group home settings, worked as a support worker, worked in behavioural intervention, working in an elementary school as an EA and ran a support group in her community for families with children with diverse abilities. She currently works in a local daycare as an Early Childhood Education Assistant. She is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program with the goals to have an extra certification in Special Needs and Infant and Toddlers. Angie believes that education and programs from a very young age up to adulthood that are inclusive not only help the individuals who need it to thrive and succeed, but also helps educate everyone on how to be inclusive to others in their own daily life – and just be a little more patient and kind.

Lisa Gates: Secretary

Lisa’s home and work are in the unceded and traditional territory of the Sinixt people, in Crescent Valley. She is a dedicated mom, daughter, and partner.

Arriving in the Kootenays in 1995, she’s worked in schools and communities around the region as an EA, respite support, curricular developer, and currently as an Instructor in the Education Assistant and Community Support Worker Program at Selkirk College.

She’s passionate about connecting people with the services that they need, about equity and accessibility for all, particularly people with disabilities/disabled people.

A hobby farmer along with her fella, she also draws pictures and makes things for others over at her personal business, Insightful Ink.

This image is in black and white. Lisa G is a middle aged white woman with short hair and long bangs. She is looking directly into the camera, smiling slightly.

Gordon Fletcher: Member At Large

I have been a member of the People First movement for 30+ years.
Past President of BC People First
Past President of People First of Canada
Currently Treasurer of People First of Canada
Currently Co Chair of the PFC/ Inclusion Canada Task Force On Deinstitutionalization

I believe that we all should be treated in an inclusive way regardless of our abilities or disabilities.

Terri McLeod: Director

I have worked for the past three decades in a variety of programs that support persons with diverse needs. I passionately assist and advocate for individuals who may be compromised with any variety of health issues. I believe when all of us experience the power of belonging, great things can happen. Transformation is not limited by disability, age, or intellect. The measuring stick is different, and different is good!

Terry is a white woman with light-coloured shoulder length hair. In this picture she is shown outdoors on the cross country ski trail, wearing her woolen mitts and toque. There is snow in the background on the ground and in the trees. She is looking into the camera and smiling.

Ben is a man with short, light coloured hair. He is wearing a dark blue suit, with purple shirt and floral and paisley patterned tie. He has a goatee beard. He is looking directly into the camera and smiling slightly.

Ben Postmus: Founder and Executive Director

I have been involved in the disability world since my daughter Kayleigh was born 35 years ago. I am also the father of three adult sons who are each carving their way. This year marks 41 years of marriage to my wife and life long partner Debbie.

Our family has spent a lifetime seeking ordinary – and what a journey it has been – while living in the Kootenays. The phrase that resonates with me each and every day is “be the change you wish to see”.

I have an extensive background in supporting families and individuals as well as advocating for my own family, along with many years of experience volunteering with our local CDC, Special Olympics, Minor Sports, CLBC Community Council, and others.
I look forward to and am excited to connect, inspire, mentor, support, and advocate for Families as they navigate their own journeys.

I’m excited to be laying down the foundation for Diverse Family Roots, and to ride the rails as we continue to grow, looking forward to the legacy that this group will leave for other Families.

Heather Glenn Dergousoff: Treasurer

Moved to the Lower Columbia region 10 years ago to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. She chose to stay at home with her kids, after working in Law Enforcement for 8 years. Upon her return to work she decided to change direction. In a variety of capacities, she has worked to support families in the area for the last 6 years. Currently she works at the Skills centre to improve the lives of families living with low income. She is also the Executive Director of a local non-profit, the Family Action Network, where she dedicates her time to ensuring communities invest in families and to build a village of supports, to make this region the best place to raise a child.