RVSS – a continuing strength for community outreach and support

Dianne St. Jean
RVSS – a continuing strength for community outreach and support

Executive Director
As of Nov. 6, Lina Thompson is the new executive director at the Robson Valley Support Society (RVSS). She brings along with her over 20 years of experience.

New Executive Director of RVSS Lina Thompson
New Executive Director of RVSS Lina Thompson
Dianne St. Jean photo
In collaboration with the RVSS senior management team, Thompson will lead the organization and manage all operational activities. In addition, she will serve as lead agency spokesperson and oversee all human resources functions.

Thompson, who moved to the Valley from Chilliwack, previously worked with the BC Provincial government for seven years, assisting in the establishment of several BC Provincial protocols to increase efficiencies, decrease spending and greatly improve services for community members and stakeholders.

She also assisted in establishing a Provincial Protocol for BC Children’s Hospital and designing a “youth space” for Chilliwack General Hospital ER.

As well as working in government, Thompson served as navigator and advocate for caregivers of children and youth living with mental health and/or substance use challenges.

She has a strong passion for adult and youth mental health awareness and will be working with area stakeholders to bring new ideas and programs to the Valley.

Thompson has a lengthy academic portfolio. In 2014 she was awarded top academic standing when she completed her Bachelor of Arts in CYC, on the Deans’ List, from the University of the Fraser Valley. She is also the recent recipient of the BC Provincial SPARK Award for Innovation and Design.

One of her main objectives is to educate the community on all the excellent services the RVSS has to offer, and work hand in hand with other services and agencies.

“I want [us] to be known as collaborative,” says Thompson. 

Aside from her profession, Thompson says she is most proud of being a wife to husband Shawn and mom to three children.

Thompson can be contacted at ed@rvssbc.org or by phone in McBride at 250-569-2266 and in Valemount at 250-566-9107.

Finance Director
Melanie Johnson, who is well known for her work with RVSS, has taken on the position of Finance Director for the Society.

Johnson first began working at RVSS in September 1990 as part-time bookkeeper. From 1993 to 2002, as new programs came online and financial and administrative duties increased, she began working as the agency’s Business Manager. In 2002 she entered into an additional role as the agency took on a new contract for a RCMP Victim Assistance Program, and has also filled in as Acting Executive Director during leadership transitions.

Johnson is a long-time resident of McBride. She is passionate about creating positive outcomes for residents of the Robson Valley. 

Program(s) Manager
The RVSS team has also welcomed Lori Wagner as Program(s) Manager. Originally from the Alberta prairies, Wagner gained leadership experience at a young age as an assistant manager in the restaurant business while working her way through an Education Degree with a focus on Special Education at the University of Alberta.

Her first passion of helping children succeed drew her to her primary position at RVSS four years ago as a Child and Youth Mental Health Worker.

Her leadership experience aided in a fluid transition to her placement as Program Manager in 2017, where she now actively engages and supports program staff, assisting them in successfully executing agency programs based on their contract deliverables and funding requirements.

Wagner believes in connecting family and community, and is passionate about how RVSS is able to facilitate her community’s growth. 

RVSS provides resources and programs for community members ranging from youth to senior citizens. If you or someone you know is in need, be it for counseling or to discover what community programs are available, call the McBride or Valemount office and they will do their best to assist.