Debbie Bell, Chief Executive Officer / President
Debbie Bell is the founding Executive Director of HIPPY Canada. Debbie’s Masters Degree in Adult Education is combined with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of adult education and community development in socially excluded communities throughout North America.
As the founding Director of Simon Fraser University’s Community Education program, Debbie concentrated her work on the development of innovative strategies to create access to education for low literacy communities.
She has continued this work as the President and Chief Executive Officer of HIPPY Canada, bringing the HIPPY program to more than 20 communities across the country in an effort to equip low-income and socially isolated parents to help their children succeed in school and life.
Jason Chabot, Finance Director
Jason Chabot is a graduate of the University of British Columbia where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours degree in 1997. He went on to receive his Chartered Professional Accountant designation in 2000 after articling with KPMG in the Fraser Valley. Upon moving to Vancouver in 2001, he left public practice to become a Director of Finance, working for a non-profit organization in the Gastown area for over twelve years.
When not crunching numbers, Jason fills his free time with creative writing, and his efforts have culminated with three-book publishing deals through HarperCollins Canada and Turner Publishing Company in the United States. Away from his computer, Jason also enjoys playing classical piano, ballroom and Latin American dancing, and caring for the fish in his saltwater aquarium.
Darlene Gage, National Director of Training & Education
Darlene Gage is an adult educator and social change organizer. She has a lifetime of experience in the non-profit sector both in Canada and overseas. Her role at HIPPY Canada is to support sites in their ongoing task of training Home Visitors to excel in their work of supporting families.
Although Darlene appears as a mysterious webcam entity as she delivers online training, she is actually easy to approach, amiable and often silly.
Wazi Kapenda, Director of Multicultural Programs
Wazi has been involved with HIPPY since 1999. As Multicultural HIPPY Manager, Wazi is responsible for developing and managing partnerships with organizations that provide services to newcomer and low-income families.
Initially, Wazi worked as a Site Coordinator and brings rich experience from the HIPPY program. Wazi also provides HIPPY site supervision and monitoring to ensure that families receive the high-quality program mandated by HIPPY. Originally from Swaziland, Wazi is fluent in SiSwati with a working knowledge of other Bantu languages and a bit of French.
Wazi holds a Masters degree in Public Health and has community involvement in literacy, equity to education opportunities, community development, and population/community health.
Susanne Nahm, Performance Management & Evaluation Director
Susanne has a background in business and international trade. Having tired of working in the business world, Susanne began at HIPPY in 2003 and has not looked back. Susanne began as the Office Manager and has since found rewarding and challenging work in re-building the Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) database for Performance Management. Susanne supports HIPPY Sites and conducts Site training for ETO. Susanne speaks native German, English and some French and Spanish. She is gold-certified in ETO Administration and ETO Results.
Susanne has a fun side, enjoying belly dancing, and has sat on the board of the non-profit organization, Middle Eastern Dance Association (MEDA), for seven years.
Stan Parenteau, Aboriginal HIPPY Director
Stan Parenteau is a Métis / Cree from Saskatchewan, and moved to BC as a child. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from the University of Victoria, and has worked in executive and management positions for the past 15 years with extensive experience in Education and Aboriginal Child Welfare.
His work focused on developing strong relationships with Aboriginal people, families, and communities. Stan has many years of experience in managing short- and long-term projects.
Previous experience includes: Associate Dean of Educational Outreach for the Native Education College; Child Welfare Consultant with the Métis Family and Community Justice Services (MFCJS); Chief Executive Officer of Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services (VACFSS); Deputy Director, Aboriginal Services at MCFD; and Vice President of Vancouver Native Health Society.
Elisa Vandenborn, Aboriginal HIPPY Training Coordinator
Elisa is originally from Brazil. She moved to Canada in 2004 and attained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts degree in Educational Psychology, and is currently at the final stages of the Ph.D. Educational Psychology Program at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Her research focuses on communal—relational, familial, community, and societal—approaches to child welfare, institutional practices and legislation, and sociocultural and historical constituents of self, identity, and personhood in Western society.
She has extensive research management experience, having lead multiple local, pan-university, and international Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded educational projects, and is a member of the SFU’s Indigenous Research Institute (IRI).
Prior to research in psychology and education, Elisa developed an extensive career in English Language Testing, Instruction, and Curriculum Development, in Canada and Brazil.