Zosia Ettenberg – Founder and Executive Director
Little Pieces Of Me:
- I know four languages: English, French, Polish and German.
- I have a service dog named Vanstone, who is the cutest! He loves celery.
- I have two sons who I am very proud of.
Hello, My name is Zosia Ettenberg and I live in Langley, BC. I had polio at 6 months of age which created a whole new set of challenges for me as well as opportunities. During my life, I have never let this slow me down! I used to be a Physiotherapist and graduated from McGill University with my Bachelor of Physiotherapy (B.P.T.) degree in 1966. I worked for 25 years in the field becoming Director of Rehabilitation Services and eventually Director of Education and Quality Assurance at Langley Memorial Hospital in BC. Eventually I changed careers and went into the Financial Asset Management business.
I created and founded the Langley Pos-Abilities Society in 2010. Since then, I have been working hard towards achieving the society’s goals. I have been president; I have helped to launch a gas app in Langley; I was part of creating the “Day of Pos-Abilities” and I am a firm believer in the TOAD Program. I know that it can help to create a difference in the community. I play a huge part behind the scenes that most people don’t even see!
Going forward, I will be bringing ideas to the table and asking questions. I have learned that inspiration can be found anywhere, from anyone no matter how young or old. I will be working hard to bring our current goals to fruition. Life is exciting when you can learn no matter how old you are. I work as passionately for the Langley Pos-Abilities Society as when I first started it.
Bill Robson – President
Bill was born and raised in the North-East of England. He emigrated to Canada in 1974 and continued his banking career with The Bank of Nova Scotia after having worked for the Midland Bank in England for almost seven years. Bill retired from banking in 2011 after 43 years in the industry. Bill is married to Lona and has two daughters, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Bill was invited to joint the provisional Rotary Club of Cloverdale in 1993 and went on to be the Charter President. He is now a member of Langley Central Rotary.
Bill has served at the District level in several positions including District Governor for Rotary District 5050 for 2015-2016.
He is now completing a three-year term at the Zone level.
Bill has been fortunate to travel widely through and on behalf of Rotary. He has been to Ethiopia, Uganda, New Zealand, Brazil, China, South Korea, Japan and of course, many places in the USA and Canada.
Bill is looking forward to being able to help LPAS with its programs and administration.
Bill speaks English but can order a beer in several other languages.
Colleen Loewen – Secretary-Treasurer
What Makes Me, Me:
- My husband and I have been married for 27 years and have three kids.
- I am described as being loyal, friendly, committed, outgoing, honest, and kind.
- I enjoy doing puzzles, collecting coins, and walking at beaches and parks.
Hello, my name is Colleen Loewen. I have lived in Brookswood and Fernridge for 45 years with my husband and three kids. During this time, I have seen a lot of changes. One of the things I love is seeing communities working together. I have witnessed this again and again in the time I have been here. To me, volunteering is a way to help give back to our communities. It sets a great example for those around us, including our kids. Volunteering means putting your heart into something because you truly believe in it and wanting it to succeed. If you are going to volunteer, do it because you want to make a difference. Don’t take on too much so that it ends up feeling like a “job” that you no longer enjoy.
I have volunteered for the Langley Pos-Abilities Society for eight to nine years now and have been a Treasurer/Board member for three. None of the schooling I have done has prepared me for the work I do for the Langley Pos-Abilities Society unless you want to include grade 12 introduction to accounting, haha! It’s been all life experience that has brought me here. During the time I have volunteered, I have learned a lot. I have learned so much about being Treasurer that it would feel strange to do a different position.
I love what the Langley Pos-Abilities Society stands for and the differences I’ve seen us make already. I love getting to know people. There is so much variety in people. We can learn so much from getting to know people’s stories. When I commit to something, such as volunteering, I try and put my all into it. For the Langley Pos-Abilities Society’s future, I look forward to seeing all the projects we are currently working on come to life. All the projects will make a huge difference for all of Langley and the Lower Mainland. Thank you for having an interest in what is happening with Langley Pos-Abilities!
Paul Volchoff – Director of P.A.D Program and Recycling
What Is Important About Me:
- I would give the shirt off my back for someone less fortunate.
- I am hard working, happy, giving, patient, funny, a prankster
- I enjoy playing golf, learning to play guitar, photography and studying human behaviour.
Hello, my name is Paul Volchoff. I have been a volunteer since November 2019. Volunteering means a few things to me: sharing and teaching your talents, performing quality and not quantity, and not being afraid to say no. I want to volunteer with the Langley Pos-Abilities Society because I am confident that I can make a difference based on my skills and being an advocate for people with various disabilities. I also feel it is my responsibility to help others for all the blessings I have been given. One of these was always being inspired by my mother. I was her 6th child and was born on her birthday. She was not the kind of person who preached. She was a Mother who showed me life lessons by her loving actions. She was also patient and a great listener. My Mother was my best friend!
I chose to volunteer with the Langley Pos-Abilities Society because it is an extension of what I do for a living. I have been a HandyDART employee for close to 25 years. I am presently a vehicle operator and have held positions such as Lead Instructor and Safety Manager. I attended Vancouver Community College and received a diploma in the BC Provincial Instructor Program. I am also a Certified Wheelchair Securement Specialist and have many certificates which I have obtained through my employment with HandyDART.
For the future, I would like to see others help each other. I have passionately adopted Langley Pos-Abilities Society’s philosophy, “Giving a hand up, rather than a handout.” It’s not about what you can get, but what you can give. Big or small. I am not just a board member, but a working board member. Currently, my board job position is Director of P.A.D. Program and Recycling. Not only do I oversee the program, but I also work it too. My plans are to see the Personal Assistive Devices Program expand throughout the Lower Mainland and then across Canada. I would also like to leave a legacy of the program by authoring a manual of the P.A.D. Program for others to follow in the future. Right now, I am leaving a legacy by writing articles for P.A.D. Storage Stories based on my true experiences picking up and delivering equipment as part of the P.A.D. Program.
Brayden Griffiths – Vice President, Director of Volunteers
Fun Facts About Me:
- I enjoy playing music. I play the guitar, ukulele, and saxophone.
- I have one younger sister, who is in the nursing program at Trinity Western University.
- I enjoy following MMA and the NHL. Go Canucks!!
- My favorite food is butter chicken or sushi.
- When it’s nice out, I enjoy hiking around BC.
Hello, my name is Brayden Griffiths and I live in Langley, BC. I started volunteering for the Langley Pos-Abilities Society two months ago. I became interested in volunteering here because I am wanting to pursue a career in medicine. Volunteering here will allow me to interact with people who have disabilities and gain an understanding of what an impact that has on someone’s day-to-day life. This also allowed me to have the opportunity to learn about personal assistive devices available and how important the right device is to improve the quality of someone’s life. I am very impressed by the direct ability of LPAS to improve an individual’s quality of life through providing a piece of assistive equipment. I wanted to be part of a team that made a difference in the lives of others.
Now, I am joining Langley Pos-Abilities Board as the Director of Volunteers. I think that there are some previous board members that could pass on a lot of experience and knowledge to individuals like myself that haven’t worked on a board previously. I believe that my own experiences and skill sets will further enhance the work of our Society. I am also seeking further understanding of how a non-profit charity operates, what it takes behind the scenes to accomplish our goal of providing assistive devices to our clients and providing education on living with a disability to our able-bodied community members.
I have my Bachelor of Science from the University of the Fraser Valley where I graduated from their Honours Biology program. Previously I volunteered with UBC, Langley Memorial Hospital and B.C. Children’s Hospital for clinical research studies. I have also volunteered at Avalon Gardens as a Health and Fitness Coach and as a coach for various volleyball teams. I really enjoy hiking, tennis, swimming and volleyball!
I am looking forward to developing our volunteer program. I am currently creating our orientation process for new volunteers. In the near future, I will be looking to develop our recruitment strategies. I am looking forward to the end of the restrictions COVID-19 has put on the Society so that our programs can be running at the highest level possible. I am very excited for the future of LPAS as it is overflowing with new ideas and strategies on how to further help people with disabilities in our community.
Graeme Thompson – Director of Marketing
- I am described as being loyal, diligent, hard working, caring, supportive, and a good listener.
- I have two dogs, both shitzus.
Hello, my name is Graeme Thompson and within the last month I started volunteering with the Langley Pos-Abilities Society. I believe that volunteering is an amazing opportunity to connect with members of your community. Often, you will meet people that you may have never had the chance to meet before. Also, when it comes to volunteering your time, anything is more than nothing! Volunteering has offered me the opportunity to practice some of the things I have learned while earning my university degree.
I received my bachelor’s degree in psychology, and I hope to go back to school to become a clinical psychologist. I had been in school until recently, so volunteering was an opportunity to learn in a more practical sense about what I was learning in school. I started my volunteering in 2018 with the Fraser Health Crisis Line. Through this, I was able to support people with developmental and mental challenges. My overarching life philosophy is to use psychological knowledge and principles to make the world a better place. I want to be doing that in whatever I’m doing, present or future. It’s a fulfilling path which is why I plan to continue my education so that I can help in more substantial ways in the future.
The Langley Pos-Abilities Society came into my view when it was mentioned to me by Brayden, another member. The picture he painted of the work, education, and passion going on here made me excited to join the team. As a board member, I hope to play a larger role in improving the lives of those we serve. My board position involves being responsible for marketing and education for the Langley Pos-Abilities Society. To others thinking about volunteering, this is the advice I give: Know how to set boundaries with your time, but be assured that any amount of volunteering, whether that’s four hours a week or a month is appreciated. Any way that you can contribute means more than you know.
Rod Bitz – Director of Accessibility Audit and TOAD Program
Interesting Facts About Me:
- I have a lovely wife named Debbie, three younger brothers – Jim, Tim & Rob and two younger twin sisters – Lisa & Lori.
- I am described as: hardworking, humourful, caring, helpful, athletic and selfless.
- I enjoy watching a lot of hockey & football, reading and watching good movies.
Hello, my name is Rod Bitz. As a person with a disability, I understand challenges and obstacles that can be faced by individuals with a disability. The Langley Pos-Abilities Society is an organization that works towards improving the quality of life for people with disabilities which is why I am so excited to be volunteering here. It is my belief that everyone should make an effort to volunteer and assist with community development. Volunteering to me means a sense of pride and achievement to witness strong communities where all citizens are provided accessibility and inclusion.
Over the past couple of decades, my involvement with various organizations encompassed roles assisting persons with a disability to improve fitness & recreation, employment mentorship & social interaction. Previously, I volunteered with Covenant House Vancouver for four years at a downtown Vancouver shelter. My role was at the front desk, I was first point of contact for youth coming off the street. Some were seeking shelter, clean socks & an apple/pastry or to just hang out, talk and keep warm. I am very grateful to have had that experience.
More recently, my experiences have revolved around assessing the accessibility of building environments and parking. I am thrilled to be elected to the position of Director where I can assist with the accessibility audits through the TOAD program. With that said, I am open to helping in areas where my assistance may be required. I am wanting to continue to improve myself – physically, intellectually & spiritually. I wish to continue to assist with improving accessibility & inclusion in our communities for all persons with a disability. I think it is a privilege to have an opportunity to strengthen our communities. I look forward to the future with Langley Pos-Abilities.