The header graphic shows 6 pictures. From left to right: A mother pushes her baby in a stroller. A lady in a wheelchair takes a book off a library shelf. A lady pulls her luggage up a ramp. A blind man uses a cane down a hallway. A nice stone ramp leading into a public building. And a man walks with a seeing eye dog.

The Project Team


Project Director:

Project Core Team:

Project Steering Committee:

    Mary Sjostrom (Chair)    North Central Local Government Association
    Melanie Crombie    BC Paraplegic Association
    Theresa Healy    Northern Health
    Pat Harris    BC Paraplegic Association (Prince George)
    Maxine Koppe    North Central Local Government Association

Maggie Vilvang   2010 Legacies Now

Rebekah Mahaffey   2010 Legacies Now (Alternate)
    Murry Krause    North Central Local Government Association
    Jodi Mucha   BC Healthy Communities
    Laurie Ringaert (Staff)    Project Director
   Matt Herman   Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport: Age Friendly Communities
   Winnie Yu  

Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport: Age Friendly Communities

    Lori Slater   BCPA Board Member


Mary Sjostrom, North Central Local Government Association.


Mayor Mary Sjostrom and her husband Butch have lived in Quesnel for 27 years and have 3 grown children and one grandson.  Mary was a former Licensed Practical Nurse at GR Baker Hospital and a former retail business owner for 18 years. Mary gives many hours as a volunteer back to the community. She is:

Founding member of Sun Rise Rotary

Steering Committee Member of Quesnel Community Foundation
Former Director and Executive Member, Chamber of Commerce
Past President, Shiraoi Twining Society
Former Director of Palliative Care Association
Host Chair, BC 2000 Winter Games

 Accomplishments include:

Chair, Communities in Bloom / Civic Pride
Chair, Quesnel Spirit of BC 2010 Committee
City Liaison to Quesnel & District Museum & Heritage Commission
Member of the Communications & Accessibility Committee
Past President, North Central Local Government Association
Executive Member, UBCM
Former Chair, Justice Committee
Former Chair, Advisory Design Panel
Former Co-Chair Arena Task Force
Former City Liaison to DTASSOS / Chamber / Hospice Advisory


  Melanie Crombie, BC Paraplegic Association.


Melanie Crombie has been the Executive Director of the BC Paraplegic Association since 2004. With a background encompassing over 20 years in the not-for-profit sector, Ms. Crombie’s previous leadership experience with various health organizations includes significant accomplishments in the areas of advocacy, program development, strategic planning, fund development, and marketing and communications.

An effective communicator and consensus builder, Ms. Crombie has successfully brought together communities, special interest organizations and levels of government in support of social program development.  



Jodi Mucha, BC Healthy Communities.

Jodi holds a Masters in Environment and Management as well as years of community and sustainable development experience working in New Zealand, Ghana, Egypt and Canada. Her Masters thesis focused on the connections between spirituality and sustainable development and ways to mobilize them. She has a strong background in public policy research and spent 3 years developing the e-Dialogues for Sustainable Development with Dr. Ann Dale of Royal Roads University. Jodi is working with the BCHC team using an integral approach to building capacity for healthy municipal governance. Jodi is also passionate about active, healthy lifestyles and in her spare time competes in Ironman Triathlons.


Maxine Koppe, North Central Local Government Association.


Maxine has served as Executive Director for the North Central Local Government Association for more than 4 years. During her tenure she has provided the strong management base necessary for the organization to expand its role as a voice for local government in the North Central region of the Province. She is a member of the Core Working Group and the Steering Committee for the Measuring Up The North project, and sits on the Advisory Committee for the Communities in Transition Initiative, a partnership initiative planning for community transition in non-metropolitan regions.

Maxine has a varied background in business administration having been a Business Owner, Human Resource Manager and Operations Manager prior to joining NCLGA. She & her husband Peter own and operate a cattle ranch along the banks of the Nechako River near Prince George. They have 3 adult daughters, three grandchildren, and a wild assortment of animals.


 Maggie Vilvang, 2010 Legacies Now
Co-Director/Disability Initiatives

Maggie was born in British Columbia, graduated from the University of Victoria and has worked in support of people with disabilities and their families for thirty-years. In community, and through her work with the provincial government Maggie has developed expertise in the areas of organizational leadership, personal service plan design and facilitation, program evaluation, human resource management and labour relations.

Maggie, in partnership with people with disabilities, their families and the organizations that serve them has developed a number of initiatives designed to advance the economic and social inclusion of people with disabilities. 


Rebekah Mahaffey, 2010 Legacies Now (Alternate)

Rebekah Mahaffey, a Coordinator of the Measuring Up program at 2010 Legacies Now, has a background in social planning, international development and inclusion not-for-profit work. Rebekah completed her Masters degree in community planning and focused her thesis on policy planning with newcomer women. She is currently working with communities across British Columbia to generate and sustain welcoming, accessible, and inclusive communities for everyone. A globe-trotter she has lived in Indonesia , Libya , England , Guatemala and Sri Lanka.


Theresa Healy, Northern Health.


My name is Theresa Healy. I was just recently hired (April 2008) as the Regional Manager Healthy Community Development with Northern Health. I also hold an Adjunct Professor appointment at UNBC in the School of Environmental Planning with a cross appointment in Gender Studies and I have a Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University. I have lived, worked and played in Prince George since 1994 and would not live anywhere else in the world. Because of my grounding in community based and participatory action research I have been so fortunate to be involved in a range of research and communities across Northern BC from telehealth to lesbian health, from HIV to sexual exploitation of youth, from traditional foods and environmental contamination to community food security, in the not for profit and governmental sectors, from the marginalized to the professional. . I believe in the power of individuals and communities to be able to describe and provide the solutions for the issues facing them, given the right supports. I think the Measuring up the North project is one of those supports communities can rely on to help them make the changes they see as necessary. 


 Pat Harris, BC Paraplegic Association (Prince George).


Pat Harris has been employed by the BC Paraplegic Association since 1982. Pat has worked in the capacity of Rehabilitation Consultant assisting newly injured people with spinal cord injury and more recently works as the Regional Rehab Manager coordinating the services of 5 BCPA regional offices. Pat was a founding member and former chair of the City of Prince George Accessibility Advisory Committee whose mandate is to remove physical and social barriers which impede the full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of community life. Pat was also a founding member and Event Leader for the Rick Hansen Wheels In Motion event in Prince George.

A proponent of recreation and physical activity for people with disabilities, Pat competed as an athlete with a disability in the areas of athletics and basketball. He was a founding member of Prince George Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club and currently holds the position of Regional Coach for BC Wheelchair Basketball Society. Pat is also the current chair of the BC Wheelchair Sports Association. 


 Murry Krause, North Central Local Government Association.


Councillor Murray Krause is in his third term as a Councilor for the City of Prince George and in his first term as a Director for the Regional District. As a Councilor he serves on the Finance and Audit Committee and represents Council in a social development capacity on several committees. He has held the position of Executive Director of the Central Interior Native Health Society for the past 11 years and prior to that was the Executive Director of the Prince George United Way for 13 years. He has served as the Community Co-Chair for the annual UNBC Fundraising Campaign for the past two years. He currently serves and has served on numerous local, regional and national committees and Boards of Directors.

President of the North Central Local Government Association
Vice-Chair of the Barkerville Heritage Trust
Central Interior Native Health Society, Executive Director
Communities Against the Sexual Exploitation of Youth, Chairperson
Grief and Loss Support Centre - Advisory Committee Councilor, City of Prince George

Laurie Ringaert - Project DirectorProject Director of Measuring of the North in Prince George, BC, working for the North Central Municipal Association and the BC Paraplegic Association. Laurie Ringaert is a researcher, educator, consultant and occupational therapist who has been involved in universal design/access issues for over 30 years. She is the Project Director of Measuring of the North in Prince George, BC, working for the North Central Municipal Association and the BC Paraplegic Association. She is a Senior Researcher for the Canadian Center on Disability Studies and recently completed the first study on Visitable Housing in Canada and is a project lead on projects on Aging and Disability and Farmers with Disabilities. She has also been involved in international projects with the Centre in Russia and the Ukraine. She previously worked as the Director of the Center for Universal Design at NC State University and the Director of the Universal Design Institute in Canada as well as her own consulting business: Universal Design International Consulting. She has been involved on many codes/standards and policy committees nationally and internationally. Laurie has worked with architects, developers and the disability community on built environment issues through her training events and her research. She has been involved in several universal design projects and authored several articles and book chapters.

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North Central Local Government Association.