Board & Staff

We wouldn’t be able to do the things we do for our community without these dedicated individuals.

Mary Bickert

Mary Bickert
Community Coordinator

That reassuring voice on the other end of our phone line, Mary, fields calls from our families, old and new, about events, resources, volunteer coordination, donations, updates, and general inquiries. She also coordinates the activities, marketing, and social media for PLAN Okanagan. She is the backbone and heart of this great organization, and we’re proud to have her on staff.

Lyndsay Parrott
Chair

Lyndsay Parrott is an Early Childhood Educator. I’ve been with the Boys and Girls Clubs since 2012 and have worked in many programs, including early years, middle years and special needs programs in centers across the Okanagan.  I recently was able to blend my two passions, working with children and travelling, as I completed my last contract for Carnival Carnival Cruise Lines in March of 2020.  I started volunteering with PLAN in 2018 on the Trivia Night Planning Committee and joined the board in 2021. I look forward to being a part of PLAN’s journey.

David Paynter

David Paynter
Director

David is a founding member of PLAN Okanagan and has served in various roles on and off the board. He and his family have been great supporters of PLAN Okanagan over the years.

Lena Charlton

Lena Charlton
Secretary-Treasurer

Lena Charlton joined the PLAN Okanagan Board in 2018. Passionate about supporting people with disabilities and their families. Her hands-on approach, knowledge, and experience help to make an impact on the organization. Lena enjoys facilitating the Safe and Secure Book Club. 

Maggie Lister

Maggie Lister
Director

Margaret (Maggie) Litster is a self-advocate and active member of her community in Vernon, BC. She is one of the founding members of Okanagan Accessibility, which was created in 2016 by a committee of individuals who believe that everyone has the right to access public places in the community and has actively lobbied local government and businesses to address barriers to inclusion. Maggie also serves on the Board of Directors for Plan Okanagan, Independent Living Vernon, and the CLBC North Okanagan Shuswap Community Council. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys an active social life, including going to the theatre, concerts, dinners, shopping, and travel.

 

Shae Lemire-Cochrane
Director

Shae Lemire-Cochrane graduated from Thompson Rivers University in 2005 from Early Childhood Education. Her purpose is to create a safe and exhilarating learning environment for all children through her trauma-informed curriculum. Shea’s passion is enabling children to flourish through offering a strong foundation of emotional intelligence, personal responsibility, and a mighty social support system. As we intuitively know, it takes a village to raise a child, Shea’s desire is to create a learning environment where the village surrounds each child such that it has the greatest potential to thrive. Out of the tremendous childhood adversity Shea endured, she experienced immense healing through the unconditional love of canines, specifically the boxer breed. From this posture of restoration, Shea built a community of like-minded people where she continually strives to provide social/emotional learning with an awareness of animal/human contact and safety. Shea’s ultimate goal is to create a deeply healthy, exploratory, trauma-informed family education centre. 

 

Presenters and Associates

Denise Martell

Denise Martell
RDSP Presenter

Denise is a financial professional and entrepreneur who has dedicated over ten years to helping families achieve their goals and dreams. Denise found her passion for helping others while advocating for her son. Realizing a strong financial foundation, including access to the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) would enable him to lead a full inclusive life in the community. Her personal experiences, post-secondary teaching, and Certified Education Assistant (CEA) backgrounds have been invaluable in helping with the success of PLAN Okanagan. She is committed to promoting safe & secure futures for people with disabilities through financial education, estate planning and implementation of the RDSP program. Denise is currently a Marketing Director with World Financial Group. When she is not working, you will find her enjoying time with her family and dog, Bo, walking the trails and exploring the many comforts of the Okanagan.

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