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Standing Strong Together

Meet The ECEBC Staff

Meet the team that powers ECEBC and learn about the various components and initiatives they lead and facilitate. The team has a vast amount of experience in the Early Years and non-profit sector and has a strong passion for the organization supporting ECE's across the province of BC.

Learn more about each member below.

children sitting outside on a bench with an early childhood educator
Emily Gawlick

Emily Gawlick

Executive Director

Emily Gawlick is the Executive Director for the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC), where Emily leads the association to support advancement of the ECE profession.

Before starting in this position Emily worked in rural BC in a variety of early years programs in both 100 Mile House and Prince Rupert.  After many rich experiences, including exposure to advocacy for the families she served, Emily decided to focus her attentions on the need to be a strong voice for the ECE sector. Her education, passion, understanding and commitment to make thing better for children, families and educators continue to guide her in work today.

Sue Irwin

Sue Irwin

Director of Programs & Operations

Sue is ECEBC’s Director of Programs and Operations. Known for her relationship based and ethical practice. ECEBC’s mission of advancing sector professionalization, education and uplifting ECE voices aligns with Sue’s values and beliefs. She has worked in a variety of roles, including manager of licensed child care programs, ECE instructor at Vancouver Community college, ECEBC Ethics Guide and Regional Coordinator of BC Child Care Resource & Referral programs. She is passionate about empowering leadership and creating healthy equitable communities with the ECEBC team and board.

Marichu T. Celi

Marichu T. Celi

Accounts and Office Administrator

Marichu Celi is the Accounts and Office Administrator for ECEBC. Before she migrated to Canada, she had become consultant of the Asian Development Bank on micro insurance and of the German Cooperative Development on risk-based capital. At present, she is also a volunteer and a member of the board of directors of One-Filipino Cooperative of BC and an Associate Member of Professional Business Accountants (PBA) Society of Canada.

Annie Charker

Annie Charker

Bursary, Education Services & Conference Coordinator

Annie began working for ECEBC in October 2018. She is the coordinator for the Bursary program, Education Services and Conference. She has Early Years qualifications, a BA in Child and Youth Care, and a post graduate certificate in Reflective Practice. She has two important accomplishments, gaining her degree and writing a play that was performed at the Millennium Dome in London in the year 2000. Annie’s areas of professional interest include increasing pay for ECE’s and having a graded pay scale to ensure financial stability for these amazing educators.

Tammy Dewar

Tammy Dewar

Project Lead: Leading in a Changing Environment: Promoting the Voices of the Early Learning Sector

Tammy Dewar is a Project Manager overseeing ECEBC’s project Leading in a Changing Environment: Promoting the Voices of the Early Learning Sector. Her 30 years of working in the early years sector include: family facilitator, educator, early years community developer, post-secondary instructor, leadership coach, and organizational consultant. She is passionate about empowerment, creative expression and well-being of child, family, educator, and community. Her coaching approach focuses on collaborative, strength and inquiry-based practices that activate and propel individual and collective growth.

Jupiter Juan

Jupiter Juan

Accounting Assistant

Jupiter has been Accounting Assistant for ECEBC since 2021, providing support to the Accounts and Office Administrator. He is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting. Jupiter has over 10 years of experience in financial administration, data processing, documentation review, bookkeeping, and has a broad understanding of workflow and accounts analysis.

Andrea Lemire

Andrea Lemire

Project Manager

Andrea Lemire is Project Manager for ECEBC. Her main focus is the project Evaluating the Early Learning and Care Recruitment and Retention Strategy where she supports the project consultants and the Sector Steering Committee. Additionally, Andrea can be found helping the Executive Director, Emily, with strategic initiative and projects, ranging from HR to database development. Before joining ECEBC, Andrea worked at a variety of non-profit agencies supporting children's rights and community development. Andrea holds a Masters of Public and Non-Profit Management and loves contributing to the important work of ECEBC!              

Helena Lynch

Helena Lynch

Administrative Assistant

Helena has been an Administrative Assistant for ECEBC since 2018. She supports the Bursary and Membership programs as well as the Leading in Changing Environment project. Helena received her certificate from Vancouver Community College coming to ECEBC as a practicum student. As her knowledge grew about the work of ECEBC, so did her strong appreciation for the organization’s dedication to Early Care and Learning and a respect for ECE’s and students, and to chose to stay on as a team member.

Shawn Nygren

Shawn Nygren

Membership and Engagement Coordinator

Shawn Nygren joined the ECEBC staff in 2016 as the Membership and Engagement Coordinator.

She has worked in the Early Care and Learning sector since 1982 with children and families in a variety of capacities, including being an educator in the Comox Valley and Lower Mainland. Shawn’s belief that ECE is a profession and ECE’s are professionals are what informs her work.  As well as having her ECE education, Shawn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography. You may have seen her photographing at conference, had her visit and take photos at your childcare program or at and ECEBC event. 

Jacqui Sloan

Jacqui Sloan

Program and Administrative Assistant

Jacqui Sloan joined the ECEBC team in 2020 as a Program and Administrative Assistant. Within her work she assists the Executive Director and supports the Learning Outside Together (LOT) and Peer-Mentoring Programs. Jacqui loves working with many different and brilliant minds in hopes that the programs she works with can improve the well-being of educators across BC.

Sonia Tavares

Sonia Tavares

Conference Coordinator

Sonia Tavares is the Conference Coordinator for ECEBC. Her main focus is coordinating and overseeing the ECEBC Annual Conference. Sonia has been a past ECEBC board member. She has been an ECE for over 28 years and has worked in a variety of roles in program research, policy development, implementation and evaluation. Sonia loves contributing to the important work of ECEBC and bringing the many educators together at annual conference!

Nancy Van Groll

Nancy Van Groll

Pedagogist

Nancy lives, works, and learns on unceded Coast Salish territory, specifically the lands of the sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

Nancy joined ECEBC as Pedagogist in 2021.  She designs and implements pedagogical project opportunities to meet the specific needs and context of ECEBC. Her work fosters, forwards and activates the vision and values of ECEBC, the pedagogical declarations of the ECPN and the principles of the BC ELF. Nancy strives to make public and visible ECEBC’s reconfiguring of the image of the early childhood educator: one who is responsive to the conditions of the 21st century and who creates lively pedagogical spaces with children that honour the complexities of our times. Her past experiences as an ECE, researcher, and post-secondary instructor inform her commitments to contributing to transformative change within the early years sector.

Kerry Watts

Kerry Watts

Project Manager

Kerry Watts is a Project Manager overseeing ECEBC's education projects. She has been working alongside ECEBC staff, other consultants and community partners to redevelop two of ECEBC's core professional development programs: Best Choices - the Ethical Journey and Let's Talk About Touching. As part of this work, Kerry has also been coordinating the revision of the ECEBC Code of Ethics and the development of an exciting new online learning management system - the BC Early Years Professional Development Hub. Kerry has spent over 25 years working with children, youth, families and communities and is thrilled to support the early care and learning sector through her work with ECEBC.

Questions or Comments? Contact Us

If you have any questions for ECEBC or need to get in touch with a particular staff member please contact us.