Executive changes at PCLA in June 2014

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – Pioneer Community Living Association (PCLA) is saying goodbye to executive director Colleen Dewar after 32 years of dedication to PCLA. Colleen is retiring and leaving the association as a strong example of what vision, team effort and hard work can accomplish.

"I am so grateful for the 32 years I have spent with PCLA," says Colleen.  "The society has provided me with so many opportunities for personal growth and career satisfaction.  Every time a new program opened, and I saw the reactions of the individuals to whom we provide service, I felt fulfilled."

Colleen began her career as a psychiatric nurse and has always believed in consistent and respectful care for her patients. She brought this philososophy to PCLA. In 1982, PCLA opened its first program, Pioneer House, a thirty-bed community residential facility. In 1990, the short-term emergency program CRESST was opened to meet an identified need in the community. CRESST was the first facility of its kind in B.C. and now serves up to 300 clients annually.

Over the past 30 years, PCLA has grown to seven programs providing a unique range of housing and rehabilitation options for persons diagnosed with a serious and persistent mental illness. PCLA has the capability to house and service 90 clients at any one time and employs 137 regular and casual employees.

We thank Colleen for her years of service and dedication to the residents, staff and volunteer at PCLA and wish her a well-deserved retirement. PCLA would not be the thriving organization it is today without her leadership and belief in its programs.


Mark Johns is taking over the position of executive director on June 27, 2014. Mark brings a wealth of experience to PCLA. He has over 35 years of front line, middle and senior management experience in hospital and community-based health care.

"I’m pleased and excited to join PCLA," says Mark. "We will need to continue to work hard to strengthen the programs and services that are provided at Pioneer Community Living Association and embrace trends that will meet the future needs of our clients."

His most recent position was with the Provincial Health Services Authority in a variety of leadership positions focussing on clinical planning, facilities project management. Previous to that, he was with B.C. Mental Health and Addiction Services as director of clinical services.

Mark has a Masters of Health Science from the University of Toronto and has held registrations in Nursing, Radiation Therapy, General Imaging, Laboratory and Project Management. His experience in the mental health field included planning and supporting high quality, effective and integrated mental health delivery models.

PCLA's staff and board of the directors welcome Mark to the organization and look forward to working with him.

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220 Sherbrooke Street, New Westminster
British Columbia, Canada V3L 3M2

Telephone: 604.525.2084

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