Maria Robinson - Chair
Jessica joined the Board of Directors in 2020. She is a lawyer at Pryke Lambert Leathley Russell LLP, a full-service law firm in the heart of Richmond. While in law school, Jessica co-founded the family law club, represented the University of Ottawa in the Walsh Family Law Moot, and volunteered as a workshop facilitator for various non-profit organizations.
Born and raised in Richmond, Jessica is no stranger to this beautiful city, and is excited to give back to her community. Having worked with children in the past and studying developmental psychology during undergrad, Jessica firmly believes that every child deserves equal opportunities for growth and fulfilment. RFP’s dedication toward supporting families and children aligns with her own values and goals, which include strengthening family ties and building stronger communities.
In her spare time, Jessica enjoys trying out the ever-growing number of restaurants in Richmond, dancing, and playing piano. She holds two Associate Diplomas under the Royal Conservatory of Music, one in Piano Performance and the other in Piano Pedagogy.
Jennifer joined the Board of Directors in 2018, and became the Vice Chair in 2019.
Jennifer emigrated to Canada when she was 3 years old and grew up in East Richmond. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management. She highly values the work done by the Richmond Family Place and believes that providing children with a strong foundation will help them build skills and resilience for their futures.
Jennifer’s background includes working in retail management, banking and currently in higher education, where she supports vulnerable student groups. She volunteers on her strata and serves as part of the executive committee that advocates for BC students on matters of student loans policy. She is excited to be joining the board and hopes to continue the wonderful work done by everyone.
With 24 years engaging in community development, Sherry still marvels at the good things that happen when possibility-minded people gather together. Sherry is a Certified Health and Life Coach, empowering clients to find lasting transformation in their lives. As the Director of Programs and Services for the Federation of Community Social Services of BC, the team engages and supports leaders to serve families of all ages across BC.
In her previous role as Executive Director at the Family Resource Programs of BC, Sherry shared a Statement of Reconciliation, spoke on Reconciliation, developed and instructed curriculum including for Reconciliation in Action. “Reconciliation is here now and stands with outstretched hands to you and to me.
Find someone today and have a conversation about reconciliation” Sherry Sinclair TEDx Chilliwack, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfsvLgaYz-Y
Sherry holds a Master’s of Education Curriculum and Instruction, Health and Active Living and a Family Resource Program Certificate.
Erica joined the Board of Directors in 2020. She grew up in the Okanagan, where her parents had immigrated in the 1980s. She moved to Vancouver to pursue her law degree at the University of British Columbia and fell in the love with the lower mainland. Erica is a lawyer at PLLR Lawyers, which has served the Richmond community for over 40 years.
Erica strongly believes in the Board’s mission to support young families and ensure children have equal advantages so that they are set up to succeed. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, playing badminton, and spending time with her family and friends
Christine Woodington is the Corporate Accountant at Coal Island Ltd. an Asset Management company. She is a CPA, CGA , recipient of the CPA BC Distinguished Service award and CPA Member Ambassador award that recognized her service to the profession as a volunteer to the CPA Chapters, Mentor Advisory Board and as a CPA Ambassador. She is currently the chair of the CPA Richmond South Delta Chapter and speaks at different events around the lower mainland sharing tips on networking and financial literacy.
She started bringing her daughter in 2022 to Richmond Family Place, attended the Baby Babble program, and met many moms that occasionally meet up to share their stories and advice.
When she is not volunteering or working you can find her singing the anthems at a baseball game or teaching a group fitness class as a certified BCRPA Fitness Leader.
Masud became a resident of BC in 2017 after moving from Winnipeg, MB. He is presently a faculty member at the University of the Fraser Valley. He has a doctorate in Organizational Behaviour and a masters in Human Resources and Labour Relations. Dr. Khawaja is also a certified Executive Coach and Motivational Interviewer. He has always maintained a passion for education and for helping young people to be their best. He has also served as a Director of the Manitoba Tobacco Reduction Alliance for several years and is interested in investing his expertise in our community.
Dr. Khawaja’s guiding light has been an abiding belief in the potential of every child. He is interested in further developing systems which would help in meeting the educational and nutritional needs of underprivileged children. He is therefore especially supportive of Richmond Family Place’s School Readiness and Family Program initiatives which help create a nurturing environment for children in our community.
Ahmed El Alem
Ahmed El-Alem, a proud resident of Richmond since 2001, is a dedicated professional with a strong passion for the well-being of families in his community. He has embarked on a recent journey to contribute to Richmond’s vibrant community which has instilled in him a profound understanding of the diverse needs and challenges that families face today.
Ahmed is an alumnus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Since then, he has pursued a dynamic career path within the field, currently serving as a Manager at Provision CPA, a local accounting firm based in Richmond. However, Ahmed firmly believes that genuine success is not solely defined by professional achievements but also by one’s capacity to give back to the community that has nurtured them. Fueled by a steadfast determination to make a positive impact, he is eager to leverage his education and professional expertise for the betterment of Richmond Family Place.
In his leisure time, Ahmed leads an active lifestyle, immersing himself in the beauty of BC’s outdoors and exploring new restaurants and cuisines alongside his wife.