Deborah Irvine

Deborah Irvine

Deborah’s career has spanned the public, private and non-profit sectors. With 20 years in executive and senior management roles, she has led philanthropic grant-making of more than $27 million annually and fundraised $47 million in annual campaign and government revenue.

Involved in strategic planning and community relations, Deborah was responsible for establishing the province-wide Better at Home seniors’ program and the United Way Public Policy Institute. She has led marketing, media relations, and strategic communication departments, worked as a speechwriter for corporate executives and cabinet ministers, and as a journalist.

Her roles have included Vice-President, Grants & Community Initiatives, Vancouver Foundation; Chief Operating Officer, United Way of the Lower Mainland; and Vice-President, University Relations, Royal Roads University. In addition to operating her own consultancy, Deborah has been a communications director with CIBC’s Global Human Resources Division and senior advisor/policy analyst to the Chairman and President of Ontario Hydro.

Deborah has taught as an associate faculty member and sat on numerous governance and advisory boards over the years. Now retired, she is currently a Board director and on the Programing Committee of the national Inspirit Foundation. She has an MA in conflict analysis & management and an undergraduate degree in journalism.

Having worked for community funders that grant to social services, health, research and education, I came to know of many hard-working agencies focused on mental health. Their programs and services differed, but their common cause was deeply-rooted challenges, systemic issues, and outcomes that could signal failure as much as success. Over time, we found that robust research, advocacy, and policy change was key to innovation in the community. The most promising initiatives were those that were multi-disciplinary, participant-informed, and driven by a willingness to learn. I see this echoed in Roots to Thrive. I am interested in the approach and how best to contribute based on my philanthropic and granting experience.

Other Board of Directors

Pam Kryskow


Medical Lead and Organization Steward

Dr. Pamela Kryskow is the medical lead for the Roots To Thrive Program.  She is a founding board member of the Psychedelic Association of Canada and the medical chair of the Vancouver Island University Post Graduate Certificate in Psychedelic Medicine assisted Therapy.  Pam is also a a clinical i...
Andrea Lemp


Board Member

Andrea has been leading health and wellness programs, serving British Columbians in Vancouver, and Vancouver Island for over 30 years. A specialist in Community and Hospital Mental Health and Addictions, Andrea has practised and led in diverse Specialty Hospital and Community settings, including ...
Todd Haspect

M.Ed., RCC

Lead Therapist, Facilitation and Alumni Lead

Todd is a Registered Clinical Counsellor. He entered the field of mental health and substance use as a peer support worker in 1998 and his work since that time, has been focused supporting humans heal impacts of trauma, mental health, substance use challenges.  Todd brings experience in various r...
Deborah is currently a practicing member of the Law Society of British Columbia. She holds a Masters of Law from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Alberta. Ms. Charrois is the Director of Legal and Labour Relations at the British Columbia Nurses’ Union. She sp...


Emmy Manson is a proud Snuneymuxw member dedicated to developing strong leadership and opportunities to live their best life. As an elected Council woman for her Nation Emmy has been a champion of addressing trauma and finding pathways to bring love and joy to her community. Emmy brings a wealth ...


My traditional name includes Emintchante from my father’s side, and Huukwamiis from my husband’s family. I am the great granddaughter of the late Xax’lip Chief Thomas Adolph, signer of the Declaration of the Lillooet Tribe and member of the 1916 Delegation of the Indian Rights Association. I have...
Scott Elliot
Scott is motivated by a deep desire to make transformative change in the lives of people with HIV, mental illness, addiction, poverty and complex medical needs. Scott joined the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation as Executive Director in 2017 and brings 30+ years in the non-profit sector. He has served as...