Board President and Executive Board Member
Fearn has been with RAPS for more than 20 years (since it was Richmond Homeless Cats) and has been instrumental in the organization’s growth as it has become the large, multifaceted organization it is today. She is proud of the diverse and talented team of individuals RAPS attracts, each of whom is advancing the mission of the organization every day. Fearn believes in providing the tools and opportunities for all individuals to reach their greatest potential. She brings a background in marketing, public relations and community social services to RAPS and is committed to continuous learning and development to improve the various ways she benefits the animals and people she serves. As Chair of the Board, Fearn is a leader and a role model in the community, educating the public and providing advocacy for animals.
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Fearn has been with RAPS for more than 20 years (since it was Richmond Homeless Cats) and has been instrumental in the organization’s growth as it has become the large, multifaceted organization it is today.
She is proud of the diverse and talented team of individuals RAPS attracts, each of whom is advancing the mission of the organization every day. Fearn believes in providing the tools and opportunities for all individuals to reach their greatest potential. She brings a background in marketing, public relations and community social services to RAPS and is committed to continuous learning and development to improve the various ways she benefits the animals and people she serves. As Chair of the Board, Fearn is a leader and a role model in the community, educating the public and providing advocacy for animals.
Vice President and Executive Board Member
Catherine has been involved with RAPS for more than 15 years and has served on the board for almost the entire time. She brings to the organization a strong business management, marketing and communications background, having worked in management and supervisory capacities for several large retail chains and having owned and operated her own successful business for the past 25 years.
In addition to serving on the RAPS Board, Catherine has volunteered with the Sanctuary and with the Thrift Store. She is committed to seeing RAPS continue to grow more efficient, provide more opportunities, and improve the quality and care for all animals in the community.
Aeronn Zlotnik –
Treasurer and Executive Board Member
Aeronn brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the RAPS Board in the area of finance. Aeronn has served and is currently serving on numerous Boards. Aeronn is the President of the Richmond Country Club. He is a Past President and board member for the local chapter of Family Enterprise Exchange and also sits on the board of the Peninsula Community Foundation.
Aeronn has overseen two major capital projects in a volunteer capacity, sitting as the Treasurer on the Vancouver Hillel Board through a $10 million capital campaign to build a new building at UBC and was also on the Richmond Country Club board during their $6 million renovation. Aeronn has joined RAPS to assist RAPS with constructing, implementing and managing a financial legacy project for the organization. This includes all forms of estate gifts, animal retirement programs and other programs for RAPS’ legacy projects. Aeronn is a consulting member of ZLC Financial. He graduated in 2000 from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Economics and is a financial advisor and works with numerous large-scale businesses overseeing numerous financial assets and requirements.
Natasha Kulusic, B.A. LL.B.
Secretary and Executive Board Member
Since 2008, Natasha has had the greatest privilege of working in her dream career. She is a partner in a mid-sized law firm in New Westminster, focusing on family litigation, child protection and adoptions.
Natasha works in a dog-friendly law firm where three or four dogs roam around on a daily basis, going from office to office, asking for treats. Their presence in the office lightens the mood and helps clients feel more at ease while they are dealing with stressful life situations. Having immigrated to Canada as a child from Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994, Natasha has drawn on her life experiences to emphatically connect with her clients in one of the most difficult times in their lives, to provide lasting resolutions. Her firm is committed to providing legal services to individuals with low incomes through Legal Aid B.C. In her spare time, Natasha enjoys exploring the outdoors with her mischievous Shiba Inu, Nori (a former shelter dog), cycling around Vancouver, reading, playing the piano and guitar, and making culinary experiments in her kitchen. She is a proud resident of Richmond and a proud member of the RAPS Board of Directors where she is able to continue to contribute towards our animal friends in an added capacity. Natasha uses her legal knowledge and critical thinking skills to further the mandate of RAPS and best care of animals.
Being on the RAPS board for more than a decade has equipped Margaret with knowledge of all the important facets of the organization and confirmed how important animal welfare is to her and all who volunteer beside her.
The vision that has always driven RAPS as an organization is now ensuring even more achievements and seeing dreams become reality. Margaret has spent three decades working at the University of B.C., most of those years in the Pension Office, where her first love is helping the staff at UBC in their plans for retirement. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Management and Professional Staff as a member-at-large and sits on various committees dealing with benefits, employee engagement and policies and procedures. On the animal side, Margaret has two cats who love her husband (who is allergic to them) more than they love her, which is why she loves her time at the RAPS Cat Sanctuary – “cats that will let me pet them and want to be with me! What a wonderful feeling – nothing like it in the world.”
Board Member and Capital Campaign Committee
Born in Montreal and raised in a small town just north of Toronto, Keith attended Centennial College of Applied Arts & Technology, majoring in Journalism. At the age of 21, Keith opened his own travel agency in Markham, Ontario (Markham Travel Centre) growing it from nothing into one of the largest retail travel companies in Southern Ontario.
After 27 years in the travel tourism sector, which brought Keith to Richmond, he became licensed as a Realtor and he enjoys serving his clients and giving back to his Richmond community. Keith started his career as a Residential Realtor in 2006 (spending all 12 years with the same company) – RE/MAX Westcoast, based in Richmond. Keith serves on various not-for-profit Boards in Richmond. He is the past chair of the Gateway Theatre and Richmond Museum boards, former vice president of the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board, and currently serves as a director of The Bayit Synagogue. Fundraising is a big part of Keith’s life. He has served proudly on BC Children’s Hospital Miracle Panel – representing RE/MAX of Western Canada. Keith is married to Liz, a Leukemia Bone Marrow Nursing Specialist based at VGH. They have lived in their home in Steveston for the last 16 years and love their community. They have a grown son and two granddaughters.
Ken served 18 years as a Richmond city councillor and is also a former member of British Columbia’s legislative assembly, and has lived in Richmond since 1976. A Chartered Professional Accountant / Certified General Accountant, Ken is past-president of Novex Delivery Solutions, a Richmond-based delivery company serving Metro Vancouver.
In addition to his extensive professional and elective experience, Ken is an avid Senior Soccer Player and Youth Soccer referee and a past Director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Vancouver.
Andrea Jones, B.A. LL.B.
Andrea Jones is a partner with AMJ Law, where she has practiced since being called to the British Columbia bar, in 1993. Andrea is a trial lawyer who practices personal injury and insurance defence, labour, and contract and negligence disputes.
Andrea focuses on complex medical causation, disability and pharmaceutical issues. Prior to her legal career, Andrea worked for B.C. Transit and, for more than a decade, was a paramedic, including nine years as charge dispatcher/unit chief. Andrea is past president of the Law Students Legal Advice Program and has served on the board of the Louis Brier Home and Hospital, the College of Acupuncturists, College of Denturists, the Lawyers Assistance Program (including two years as president), and the International Lawyers in AA. She has presented at the TLABC Brain Injury Conference and has volunteered with the Lawyers Assistance Project helping lawyers in distress. Other volunteer positions Andrea has undertaken include working with the Burnaby Youth Detention Centre meeting with young inmates, and at the RAPS Thrift Store. Andrea has three dogs, enjoys camping, travelling and spending time with family and friends.
Martin van den Hemel
Martin van den Hemel spent 25 years as a journalist, covering every aspect of life and community affairs in Richmond as reporter for the Richmond Review and as managing editor of the Richmond Sentinel. He is now Director of Communications at Gokabu Technologies Inc., a ride-hailing app currently aimed at Chinese-language consumers in Metro Vancouver, where he specializes in media, government and public relations, while overseeing internal and external communications.
He has a Bachelor of Science degree from UBC in Cellular and Molecular Biology and studied journalism at Kwantlen. For 13 years, he has presented at Richmond Cares Richmond Gives, giving primers on media relations at an annual gathering of volunteers seeking to become more active in their community through leadership positions on local boards and organizations. He has served as a journalism mentor and a soccer coach and is conversationally fluent in Dutch. He is married and has three sons.
Dr Assaf Goldberg
Assaf graduated from the veterinary college at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2011 and received his North American practice licenses in 2013. He has intensive experience working as a veterinarian in emergency and critical animal care and specialist centers. Assaf came to Vancouver with his wife, Hagar, who is doing postdoctoral work in neuroscience at UBC. They have three children under the age of seven.
Dr Roey Kestelman
Originally from Israel, Roey and his family have made B.C. their home since 2008. After graduating in 2003 from a European university, Roey practiced veterinary medicine and surgery in Israel before moving here. He has since been practicing both emergency and general veterinary medicine in various clinics province-wide. His main fields of interest are emergency medicine, geriatric pets, soft tissue surgery and cardiology. Roey oversees staff recruitment and retention, as well as client relations at the RAPS Animal Hospital.
Ayelet is the Associate Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver and is transitioning to become second in command as Vice-President. As Assistant Director of the largest Jewish organization in Western Canada, Ayelet is in charge of overseeing the budgeting and allocations of a $15 million organization. She manages a large Board of Directors and sub-committees for the Jewish Federation. In addition, she oversees allocations and relationships with 37 separate Jewish agencies in British Columbia.
Ayelet has an impressive background in non-profit management, community relations and development. Her extensive charity, board governance and operational expertise will lend well to assist RAPS with meeting the highest standards in dealing with policies, protocols and human resources issues, especially when it comes to conflict resolution and mediation issues, with marketing, public relations and development/fundraising. She oversaw the most successful women’s philanthropy campaign ever conducted by the Jewish Federation.
Ayelet has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy – Conflict Resolution and Mediation, bringing great skills and expertise to our Board. She served as the Executive Board Member and Mediator for Minds of Peace, which brings Israeli and Palestinians together. Ayelet’s many achievements include being honoured in 2017 as one of the Jewish Independent’s “18 under 36” young leaders. All of these skills, experiences and her formal education bring a diverse set of expertise to the RAPS’ Board of Directors.