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The 50 Women of Options: Ramona Kaptyn

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Ramona Kaptyn, President, White Rock Surrey, Chapter C.A.R.P.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? *

My name is Ramona Kaptyn and I am a communications specialist and former reporter, travel writer, editor, teacher, public information officer for the government of Ontario, hotel managing director, and fundraiser in Canada, Australia, England, Spain, and Asia.

From 2002 to 2008, I worked in international development in Southeast Asian countries to contribute to a more equitable world. Two of my most memorable posts were teaching hotel management and first aid in Vietnam and being an organizational development advisor to four NGOs in Bangladesh where my focus was on good governance and micro-credit.

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? *

I am the President of the White Rock,Surrey Chapter C.A.R.P. – A New Vision of Aging for Canada & City of Surrey Council Candidate

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? *

My greatest achievements have been mastering a variety of fulfilling careers; working in international development; meeting elected officials from both sides of the spectrum in my diverse travels, which nurtured my long-standing love of politics.   

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

Everybody needs a sense of belonging and everybody needs a home, a place to feel secure. In my travels, I did not have a permanent home for several years. Settling in Surrey has made me feel at home at last.

What are your social media handles? *

Twitter

Personal Facebook

Business Facebook

What is your web address?

Visit here.

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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The 50 Women of Options: Jamie Squires

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Jamie Squires, Senior Vice President and Managing Broker with Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? *

My name is Jamie Squires. I have been in the new home industry on the marketing and sales side for over 18 years this year.  I am a mother of two wonderful children and an avid animal lover as seen in our array of pets at home from our 2 dogs, 2 cats, and 2 lizards. I love reading when I can get a spare moment.  I love my career, which allows me to help bring people home in many different capacities.  Whether it is a first home, move-up home or downsizing, or helping with more affordable options with different BC Housing Programs and nonprofit organizations such as Options.   

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? *

I am the Senior Vice President and Managing Broker with Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? *

I am proud of the career I have built. I started out with not much and in low-income circumstances. Now I am able to sustain myself and my family, in addition to helping others do the same in their lives.  I am very proud of my children and their different aspirations and hearts.  

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

It resonates with me, as I am from a low-income background myself and I could have used help like this in the early years. I was lucky to have friends and family support me with food and shelter as I worked my way up from my first job at McDonald’s while attending post-secondary. This is an excellent opportunity to give back and help other women do the same for themselves. I know you cannot accomplish much without a safe place to call home at the end of each day.

What are your social media handles? *

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn

What is your web address?

www.fifthave.ca

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

 

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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Louella Mathias

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Louella Mathias, President, Rykelan Consultants Ltd.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are and your background? *

My name is Louella Mathias. I have a long history of working in the social services sector both at the municipal and provincial governments and in not-for-profit sectors. I believe in working together to enhance services to vulnerable communities. My work has focused on policy development, program evaluation, and risk management. On retiring from public sector employment, I now manage my own consulting firm focusing on program and project evaluation, risk management, and strategic planning.

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? *

I am the President, Rykelan Consultants Ltd. 

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? *

A wide range of achievements spanning my personal and work life.

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

This campaign resonates with me because the City of Surrey as one of the fastest-growing communities urgently needs affordable housing. As Co-Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Options Community Services, I am proud of the role the agency is playing in addressing homelessness and affordable housing in the region, and I believe this campaign is a key step in addressing a critical community issue.

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

 

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The 50 Women of Options: Judy Higginbotham

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Judy Higginbotham, former Surrey City Councillor.

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? *

My name is Judy Higginbotham and I served as a City Councillor for 25 years. In addition, I taught for 10 years, worked in the media as a broadcaster, writer/editor for 5 years, and have been a retired volunteer where I work in many groups and supporting many projects. 

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? 

I am retired and an active volunteer, advocate, solution finder, mentor, coach, and motivator. 

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? 

Receiving a National Award for Crime Prevention from the Solicitor General in the early 1990s.

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative?

Options Community Services gets projects done and runs them well. They believe in helping people get back on their feet. 

What are your social media handles? 

Twitter

Facebook

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Rosemary Wallace

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Rosemary Wallace, City Councillor, Langley & Local Artist. 

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background?

My name is Rosemary Wallace! My background is in my achievements, which I see as opportunities to connect to people, places, and the environment. I am the second oldest of a family of 12, a mother to 7, grandmother to 5. I have been engaged in the arts and community as far back as I can remember. I love nature and helping those to connect to it through arts and wellness. I have belonged to many organizations and currently a director of the Langley School District Foundation. 

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with?

I am the Langley City Councillor and a Langley City Local Artist.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of?

I am proud of a lot of achievements. The first being a mother and grandmother. Secondly, my service to Langley City as a City Councillor and once a Langley Township School Trustee. I have volunteered 3/4 of my life in East Vancouver where I grew up and in Langley where I moved to 25 years ago. I am proud of my commitment to the community in helping in the arts, culture, and coaching sports when my children were in school. I am also proud of piloting a small arts centre that afforded all ages to take part in programming. This included structuring a wide range of artists’ spaces and a gallery. I once owned a gallery for a short time “Freedom Arts Collective.” There are so many things to be proud of but connecting and supporting community and family is most rewarding. Volunteering at “Joe’s Back Door Soup Kitchen ” in Langley City for 15 years was very rewarding because of the friendship and understanding that I built while supporting the needs of those that struggled with loneliness and vulnerability. I am also proud to work alongside others in protecting the environment, especially youth.

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? 

It is a unique way to raise funds for affordable housing for individuals struggling to find housing. I love the idea of 50 women collectively coming together to help with such a worthy cause with the support of a well-organized campaign. I am supporting this initiative because there is a great need for affordable housing and there are too many barriers that get in the way of finding decent housing. Options is an organization that has and continues to help meet the diverse needs of individuals and families in so many valuable ways. There are so many stories of individual struggles that are so complex. It is important to listen, have compassion and do whatever possible to help. This is a way to help and in turn, maybe the success of this campaign could be carried out across other municipalities that are struggling to build affordable housing to meet the needs of so many individuals. 

What are your social media handles? 

Instagram

Facebook

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

 

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Charity

The 50 Women of Options: Raj Arneja

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On February 17th, Options Community Services launched its first capital fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million for affordable housing units. The money is currently being raised through a partnership with 50 local women, all of who have pledged to raise $25,000 each in support of this project. Surrey 604 is encouraging public support of this project by featuring each of the 50 Women of options. Today we introduce Raj Arneja, Author and Director of Corporate Engagement & Philanthropy at Nanak Foods. 

Tell us your name, a bit about who you are, and your background? *

I am Raj Arneja. I love music, traveling, and meeting people. I recently published a memoir, depicting my journey to motherhood through adoption. My story is filled with resilience and inspiration as I traveled to find my unconditional loves of my life – my children. 

What is your job title/what company or organization are you with? *

Director of Corporate Engagement & Philanthropy, Nanak Foods.

What achievements in your life are you most proud of? *

Becoming an Author of my book Love at First Sight, A Mother’s Journey to Adoption was my most gratifying achievement. Also, I am proud to have been part of some community projects locally and abroad. 

Why did the Women of Options affordable housing campaign resonate with you? Why are you supporting this initiative? *

I believe that in order for any community to thrive, people need a decent place to live. These days, it’s getting more and more difficult to find affordable housing so it’s initiatives like the Options’ affordable housing project that allows people to secure housing and be part of a community.

What are your social media handles? *

Instagram

Facebook

LinkedIn

What is your website:

www.rajarneja.com 

Learn more about the Women of Options and make a donation to this important cause by visiting the website: Women Of Options

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