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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.

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.

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. 

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.

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 Flowers

Helena Flowers

Administrative Assistant

Helena has been an Administrative Assistant for ECEBC since 2018 providing administrative support to the Executive Director and the Bursary Department.  She received her certificate from Vancouver Community College and initially came to ECEBC as a practicum student.  Working for ECEBC gave Helena a strong appreciation for the organization supporting ECEs across the province of BC, ECEs that want to seek improvement on early childhood education, and students who are passionate to become an Early Childhood Educator.

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!

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.