First Call Staff
Adrienne Montani – Executive Director
Adrienne has lived, worked and been a social justice activist in Vancouver since 1976. She joined First Call in 2000 and became the provincial coordinator in 2005. Prior to working with First Call, she served as the child and youth advocate for the City of Vancouver, and as the chairperson of the Vancouver School Board for three of her six years as an elected school trustee. Some of her earlier leadership positions included serving as the executive director of Surrey Delta Immigrant Services Society and of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland.
Adrienne has a long-standing interest in the issues of cross-cultural awareness and racism, women’s rights and the impacts of social exclusion on children and youth in low-income families. Her academic background is in Asian studies and adult education.
Adrienne’s work for BC’s children and youth has been acknowledged by a number of organizations:
- In the fall of 2022, Adrienne was the recipient of the Janusz Korczak Medal in Child Advocacy and the Annual Rosemary Brown Award, hosted by Simon Fraser University.
- In 2019, Adrienne was awarded the British Columbia Medal of Good Citizenship which recognizes individuals for their exceptional long-term service, and contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward.
- In 2018, Adrienne received the Bill McFarland Award for the Excellence in the Advancement of Child Welfare from the Parent Support Services Society of BC. The award is named after Bill McFarland, who was an advocate for children throughout his life and social work career.
- In 2012, Adrienne received the Above and Beyond Award from the Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks. The Above and Beyond award is given to a supportive adult who has gone above and beyond to support and improve the lives of young people in and from government care in BC.
- In 2010, Adrienne received the MOSAIC Human Rights Award, which is awarded based on an individual’s activities, altruism, personal risk and significant contribution in the field of human rights and ethnic relations.
- In 2009, Adrienne received the United Way’s Excellence in Action for Early Childhood Development Award and was also nominated for a YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the community-building category.
- In 2008, Adrienne received an Award of Excellence from the Federation of Community Social Services.
Barb McEachern – Office Administrator
Barb joined First Call in January 2022. She has brought over 30 years of experience working in the non-profit sector and has focused the last 20+ years on providing operational support while embracing and advocating for the purpose, mission and values of the organizations where she has worked and volunteered. As a creative administrator, she appreciates the opportunity to support and develop both human and organizational excellence, including building inclusive, respectful and effective relationships with team members, stakeholders and community members. With a long and diverse history in social activism, Barb continues to enjoy listening and engaging with people, supporting connections and collaborating to create brighter futures.
First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Society Board Members
Cheryl Mixon – Vice Chair
Cheryl has dedicated 43 years to improving the lives of children, youth and their families. She has always been and will remain committed to social justice and passionate about the delivery of quality service.
For 26 years she was a manager and director of both youth and family services for Family Services of Greater Vancouver, prior to that she worked for both MCFD and the YWCA. She has a degree in social work and has many hours training in the area of counseling, assessment and leadership. Cheryl has served on community center, day care and NGO boards. She remains involved with the PACE society, First Call and is an active volunteer in the community. She enjoys spending as much time as possible with her three wonderful grandchildren, her sons, husband and the elders in her family.
Cleta Brown – Director at Large
Emily Mlieczko – Treasurer
Emily is a licensed early childhood educator and has been in the field for over 20 years with certification in both special needs and First Nations perspectives in early childhood settings. Throughout her career she has been engaged at the community and provincial level in a number of different projects and events highlighting the specialty of the ECE sector. In May 2010, Emily accepted the position of executive director of the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC) and relocated her two teenage boys to Vancouver from the small coastal community of Prince Rupert.
Since that time, Emily has been engaged in strengthening and building connections and educating the community regarding the value of early care and learning. She has also expanded current ECEBC programs, such as Let’s Talk about Touching and Best Choices: An Ethical Journey, to ensure provision of education opportunities for the ECE sector. Emily is actively engaged with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC (CCCABC) and ECEBC on the joint project, A Community Plan for a Public System of Integrated Early Care and Learning in BC, or better known as the $10 A Day Child Care Plan. This plan is the potential solution to the child care crisis in BC.
Gyda Chud – Secretary
Gyda has a lifelong commitment to children and youth and is honoured to work with First Call in taking leadership for child and youth advocacy.
She has taught in the early childhood education (ECE) programs at Langara and Douglas colleges, and at Vancouver Community College, where she served as the ECE program coordinator and later as the dean of continuing studies. Gyda is very much involved with the national sector, given her role as chair of the Child Care Human Resource Sector Council and the Early Childhood Education Faculty Forum. In addition to her faculty responsibilities, she has also presented at a number of conferences locally, provincially and nationally.
With a passion for community work and volunteerism, Gyda sits on the board of the Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC and the Community Legal Assistance Society.
Jim Staton – Chair
Jim Staton has been working for 30 years to support families in BC and Quebec as a Child Protection social worker, foster parent, family counsellor and currently as a program manager in the Family Preservation and Reunification Program and Foster Family Support Services at FSGV. He has a passion for improving the quality of life for families in BC and has spent most of his professional career supporting parents to build strong families. Jim is a Registered Social Worker with a Bachelor of Social Work from McGill University and a Master of Social Work from UBC.
Moira Mackenzie – Director at Large
Moira Mackenzie has a long history of engagement in public education in British Columbia as a teacher, an educational program developer and leader at the school and union levels, both locally and provincially. Her work has always focused on advocating for improvements in student learning conditions.
After teaching for thirty years, Moira joined the staff of the BC Teachers’ Federation working in professional development and communications and campaigns. She went on to become the BCTF Executive Director, a position she held for nine years prior to her retirement. In this position, she also served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. In 2022, Moira was given the BCTF’s GA Fergusson Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to public education.
Since her retirement, Moira has volunteered on the Board of the Institute for Public Education/BC, continuing her advocacy for accessible, inclusive, and well-supported public schools. In the fall of 2023, she was appointed to the Board of First Call and is proud to be able to continue her advocacy for children and youth in this capacity.