WRA Team

Coleen Doucette

Executive Director

For the last twenty years I have had the privilege of a career in wildlife response and rehabilitation. Working with wild animals and the teams of people that dedicate their lives to reducing suffering, is a humbling experience that has shaped who I am. My past leadership experience has been with Acadia Wildlife Foundation, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, International Bird Rescue and Focus Wildlife.

In the last five years I have focused on how we as humans create the world around us. Through my business founded in 2010, I provide services for mediation, professional coaching and business development. I work with progressive non-profits such as BC SPCA and Community Futures, as well as evolving small businesses.

It is a pleasure to bring all my skills to bear as Executive Director of Wildlife Rescue Association of BC (WRA). I have been involved with WRA since 2006 and am the most recent Past President of the Board of Directors. It is an honour to work with an amazing team of people as we contribute to the present and future of such an important organization.

Rob Vandermey

Operations & Finance Director

Rob joined the Wildlife Rescue team in September 2015 and brings with him extensive experience in the financial management of not-for-profits and charities. He has over 20 years of experience in the areas of project and construction management, finance, and budget administration. Rob graduated with honours from Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario with a diploma in Business Administration. He has also taken a number of university courses such as not-for-profit management, management accounting and management of human resources. Rob also served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of a nursing home in Ontario for four years.

Linda Bakker

Programs Director

Linda joined the WRA team in February 2008. She has a varied background that includes a degree in surgical nursing, a Master of Arts in Environmental Science, and five years experience working as an environmental consultant in the Netherlands. Linda worked as a Care Centre volunteer in 2006, and was part of the team that rescued and rehabilitated wildlife impacted by the 2007 oil spill in Burnaby’s Burrard Inlet. After volunteering for two years, she took up the position of Volunteer Coordinator in 2008. She became the Team Leader of Wildlife Rehabilitation In 2012. As well as working at the WRA she currently resides on the Board of Directors for the Oiled Wildlife Society (OWS).

Fiona Burness

Director of Human Resources

Fiona originally joined Wildlife Rescue in February 2015 as an animal care and helpline volunteer. She joined the staff as Director of Human Resources in October of the same year. She has over 20 years of leadership experience, gained through staff and project management positions in education, local government and retail. She holds an MA in English Language and Literature, a postgraduate certificate in education, an MA(Ed) in guidance and counselling and a university diploma in geoscience.

Sam Smith

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Sam joined Wildlife Rescue in March 2017 as the newly minted Marketing & Communications Coordinator. After having spent many years as a multimedia journalist working throughout B.C. covering crime, politics, art, and environmental issues, he eventually made the transition into Communications.

He spent his younger years growing up along Burnaby Mountain, and most of his childhood summers traversing the wilderness of Montana with his family. His passion and enthusiasm for nature was sparked there and has never faded since.

He can be reached directly at 604-526-2747 ext. 504.

Karen Becker, BA

Manager, Wildlife Hospital

Karen, a geography graduate from the University of British Columbia has always cared passionately about human impact on the environment and the welfare of wildlife, and in 2009 she started volunteering at the WRA Care Centre.

She loved it so much she signed up for a six-month internship the following year and completed several courses in wildlife rehabilitation. She became a full-time member of the Care Centre rehabilitation team in 2011. Karen is a member of the Hummingbird Monitoring Network and participates in an annual purple martin monitoring program.

Gylaine Andersen

Wildlife Technician

Gylaine started volunteering at Wildlife Rescue in 2010. In 2011 she joined the team as a summer wildlife care worker, and spent the next three summers caring for nestling and fledgling birds. In 2012 Gylaine graduated from UBC with a BSc in Animal Biology and was accepted into the Animal Health Technology program at Douglas College. In 2014, she graduated as a veterinary technologist and joined the Wildlife Rescue Care Centre team as a full time wildlife rehabilitator the same year.

Laura Evans

Wildlife Technician

Fulfilling a lifelong dream of working with wildlife, Laura joined Wildlife Rescue in 2007 as a volunteer. She began working as a summer wildlife care worker in 2010 and spent the next three summers caring for the baby birds.

After graduating from Simon Fraser University with a BSc in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, Laura joined the team full-time in 2013. “I love going to work each day to help wildlife that is being heavily impacted by human activities and sharing my knowledge with other staff and volunteers,” she says.

Janelle VanderBeek, BSc.

Wildlife Hospital Coordinator

Janelle joined the WRA team in 2012 as a summer camp counsellor. She spent two summers on the WRA education team while volunteering in Animal Care. Upon receiving her BSc in Zoology from the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan in 2014, Janelle returned to Wildlife Rescue and took on a full time position as Care Centre Coordinator. As the lead on the Wildlife Helpline and the person on the front desk at the Care Centre she shares her knowledge and passion for wildlife through her interactions with the public.