Ruth Taverner

Executive Director


Ruth has worked with children in Alberta and BC for over 20 years in various capacities, including teaching visual arts in public and private schools and working as a birth and postpartum doula, supporting new families in their homes. She has four grown children, and a fur baby (dog). In her spare time, Ruth enjoys knitting, hiking in beautiful BC and watching British dramas.

Richmond Family Place

Valerie Allen

Administrative Coordinator 


Valerie joined Richmond Family Place in 2021, after volunteering in the thrift store for several years. She has a background in business and marketing, as well as office administration. Valerie speaks French and English. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and travelling.

Maha Abdelhamid

Team Lead
Early Years Bridging Project


Maha, a resident of Canada for 25 years, holds a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from the University of Assiut. Passionate about supporting families and young children, she brings extensive experience from her roles in the Richmond School District and the Richmond Family Place. With over 7 years as a Family Support Worker for refugee families, Maha is adept in trauma-informed parenting and mental health wellness. Her journey includes starting as a Peer Support Worker in 2007, and she served as an Educational Coordinator at Iman School for 17 years. Outside work, Maha indulges in her love for reading and enjoys walks through Richmond’s parks and trails.

Rachel Gilder

Family Support Worker  


Rachel has supported families in Richmond since 2013 through her work at Richmond Family Place. While studying at Simon Fraser University, Rachel completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Rachel enjoys travelling, trying new restaurants and spending time outdoors!

Diane Castillo

Family Support Worker


Diane joined the Richmond Family Place team in 2018. She has been an Early Childhood Educator since 2007 working in various roles and capacities in the ECE field. She has known at an early age that she had a passion with working and teaching children and knew this is what she wanted to do. Diane strongly believes that learning should always be fun, she loves finding new ways to motivate and excite the children into loving to learn. When given time and opportunities, children can do amazing things! In her spare time, you can find her either crafting, outside gardening, refurbishing or building something, or having movie marathons and game nights with her family.  

Victoria Liu

  Family Support Worker


Victoria joined Richmond Family Place in 2021. Victoria was born and raised in China and came to Canada in 2016. She is a certified Early Childhood Educator in B.C., in addition to obtaining a Master of Education degree from Thompson Rivers University. Victoria has worked in various childcare centres in Kamloops and Richmond. Her teaching philosophy focuses on creating an inclusive learning environment for every child, encouraging them to grow through purposeful learning, doing, and playing. Victoria is fluent in English and Mandarin. In her spare time, she likes traveling, reading, and hiking.

Leon To

Family Support Worker  


Leon started supporting families at Richmond family place in November 2023. He came to Vancouver as a little boy and has stayed in Vancouver since then. He studied at Vancouver Career College where he received his Early Childhood Certificate in 2010. He obtained his Early Childhood Educator licence in 2011. He has worked in a number of childcare settings in the lower mainland and also had the opportunity to work overseas as a native English teacher at a private English learning center. He enjoys building bonds and friendship with children and parents. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music and spending time with his family.   

Emily Yacobian

Family Support Worker  


Emily loves being around kids and helping people. She has been with Richmond Family Place since 2017. She started as a peer support worker and in 2019 she became a family support worker. She has a background is in psychology. She is always open to learn new things in order to support families and children better. Emily can speak both speak English and Spanish fluently. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and going to the beach. 

Crazila Stephan

Family Support Worker

Early Years Bridging Project


Crazila started working with children and families in 2014. She has lived in Canada since 2005. Crazila’s background is a journalist covering special needs and social matters. She enjoys writing, reading and walking with her family.

Nada Ghanim

Family Support Worker

Early Years Bridging Project


Nada has great experience working with children and was a teacher for several years. She currently teaches Arabic on Saturdays and enjoys walking and exploring nature with her daughter.

Cecilia Manriquez

Parent Connections Team Leader