Nirmal Parmar, Kermode Friendship Society board chair, Jolene Wesley, executive director and Chris Jennings treasurer of the board. (Supplied photo)

Nirmal Parmar, Kermode Friendship Society board chair, Jolene Wesley, executive director and Chris Jennings treasurer of the board. (Supplied photo)

Kermode Friendship Society appoints new executive director

Jolene Wesley starts on April 1 and has over a decade long association with the friendship centre

Jolene Wesley will take over as the executive director of Kermode Friendship Society (KFS) starting in April.

Wesley has been associated with KFS for over a decade in various roles and stepped in to steer the organization last year as its interim executive director after Cal Albright departed for Surrey.

The 43-year-old Wesley is Tsimshian-Nisga’a and comes with nearly two decades of experience in the social service sector in Terrace. She has previously worked for TDCSS, and has also served on the board of Ksan Society, Coast Mountain College, and the Skeena Diversity Society.

Wesley said she stepped up to take over the role in a permanent position after seeing KFS having a hard time finding someone to fit its vision and mission in northwest B.C.

Moving forward, there are a lot of goals the Wesley wants to achieve with KFS, including increasing the organization’s services and expanding the population it caters to. Addressing service gaps for men and the LGBTQ community are also priorities.

“We want to make Kermode a safe space for as many Indigenous people as possible,” Wesley said. But although the main focus group of the organization are Indigenous peoples, Wesley also said that the organization does not believe in turning away anyone who comes for help.

Wesley is also looking at strengthening partnerships with allies and neighbouring First Nation communities and will start in her new position on April 1.

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