2019/20 Nominees for AFOA BC’s Board of Directors

Barbara Joe

Barbara Joe
CAFM – Current AFOA BC Director

Barbara Joe has been a member of AFOA BC for over ten years, and a Director for the last two years. She first became a member because she was very interested in being part of a group of professionals dedicated to supporting each other in the development of First Nation financial capacity.
Over time that mandate has expanded to address many First Nation governance issues including administration, human resources and economic development.

Barbara believes AFOA BC provides relevant, timely and practical conferences, workshops and courses. She received the Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation and has worked for the Sechelt Nation in both the finance department and later as the Chief Administrative Officer for over twenty years.
During the last five years Barbara has facilitated AFOA BC workshops and training and has travelled all over BC meeting First Nation elected officials and staff. What she has observed is that there continues to be a strong interest in building capacity within our organizations and governments as many new opportunities are being realized.

Barbara promises she “will bring to the Board of Directors experience from working and living in a First Nation community, experience in delivery of training and facilitating workshops directly with First Nations in BC and a passion for improving governance and financial systems”.

Norm Grdina

Norm Grdina
CFE, CAFM, FCPA, FCGA – Current AFOA BC Director

Norm is the Director of First Nations Services at Reid Hurst Nagy Inc. and an advisor in First Nations’ accounting, governance and auditing matters. As a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) he provides First Nations, Treaty Associations and Tribal Councils with responsible financial tools and reporting.
Norm continues to be excited by the direction AFOA BC is taking given the many positive changes that are happening within First Nation communities. He is very proud of the educational training opportunities AFOA BC provides for First Nations.
He is an AFOA BC workshop facilitator and has presented First Nation Government Finance to the Capilano University and Local Government Finance in BC course. Under the auspices of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC, he serves on the Government Organizations Accounting and Auditing Forum. His involvement in, and contribution to, the financial management knowledge of First Nation governments is extensive and includes a Reduced Reporting initiative originally presented to INAC and currently being developed by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). Together with the FNFMB, Norm is actively involved in the 10-year Grant Funding process currently available from ISC.

Norm believes “the content and delivery of AFOA BC services strives to meet the ever-changing needs of members and I would like to continue to be a part of this process. I am a Certified Aboriginal Financial Officer, Certified Fraud Examiner, Private Investigator, and Chartered Professional Accountant with a Fellowship”.

Heather Fader

Heather Fader
CAPA, CHRP  – Current Secretary

Heather Fader is the Executive Director for Shackan Indian Band located in Merritt BC. Heather has extensive knowledge and experience in Human Resources and Management with public, private and First Nations organizations. Her current position involves all areas of a First Nation management including, administrations, finance, HR, governance, economic development and housing.

Heather has been a member of AFOA Canada since 2009.  She received her Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) Designation in 2014, is also a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) and is now pursuing a Certified Aboriginal Financial Management (CAFM) designation with AFOA Canada.

In 2015, Heather was elected to the Aboriginal Financial Officers Association of British Columbia Board of Directors and is the Board Secretary.  She is on the Education Committee with the AFOA BC Board of Directors and is dedicated to lifelong learning.

Mike Mearns

Mike Mearns

Mike has worked for First Nation organizations since the early 1990’s in a management capacity. These positions challenged his skills as a leader and change coordinator in establishing new governance structures, improved business development, program delivery methods and financial management policy/procedures.
This work has been greatly aided through his experience as a member of the Klahoose First Nation. Mike has been able to draw upon his communities’ experience in administration, financial management and business with a view to improving training and education for all First Nations in BC.

In Mike’s recently past position as the General Manager for AFOA BC, he managed the business aspects of the organization which includes conference management, product research and development of financial training programs. As AFOA BC is not fully funded from government, the organization needs revenue-producing business lines and Mike had to manage funds carefully. Over the 17 years of his financial oversight, AFOA BC remained a financially strong and forward thinking First Nation organization.
In his time at AFOA BC, the organization hosted many economic development related events and Mike understands the importance of sound financial management for businesses. Mike worked to understand the support required for First Nations economic development corporations to thrive in terms of relationship to community, governance structures, revenue sharing and wealth management. There is now an annual conference that brings First Nations economic development boards and band councils together for education, training and networking.

Mike is a director on QXMC, the Klahoose economic development corporation and has gained important insight into band corporation needs. Mike is also a member of the Klahoose finance committee and was instrumental in helping achieve a First Nation Financial Management Board financial administrative bylaw and 10-year funding grant.
Mike holds a Certified Aboriginal Financial Manager (CAFM) designation and “would greatly appreciate an opportunity to bring my administrative and financial management skills, networks and enthusiasm to the AFOA BC Board of Directors”.

Brian Conner

Brian Conner

Brian has worked as an accountant since the mid 1980’s, when he started in the corporate world in Vancouver. Since 2003, he has focused on serving BC First Nations working as a Director of Finance and CFO at the Heiltsuk Tribal Council, Westbank First Nation, and most recently, the Penticton Indian Band. Brian has found a passion working with First Nations, working to bring transparency, trust, understanding and capacity to the community through sound financial management, ethical practices, and open communications.

Brian believes that “bringing good financial management to a community does not solve every challenge or problem, but it does allow the community to have the freedom to choose and build its’ own response, whether it is new housing, better infrastructure, enhanced education, better social programs, or a deeper understanding of their own culture, values, and identity.
I look forward to serving on the AFOA Board and working with all the excellent people, I have met over the years who are ensuring that First Nations in Canada will have a successful,
self-determined future”.

Brian Conner

Terri Muldon
CAFM, Business Administration

Teri Muldon is a Finance Manager at the Skwah First Nation in Chilliwack. Previously, Teri worked as a Director of Finance with the Sts’ailes and Kitselas First Nations. She has 16 years of experience providing full cycle accounting and administrative services in a First Nation environment. While at Kitselas and Sts’ailes, Teri was an active member of the Finance and Audit Committees for nine years. Teri is a CAFM and her education also includes a diploma in Business Administration.

Teri grew up in Hazelton, B.C. and is a member of the Gitxsan Nation. Work attributes include: paying attention to detail; being thorough with a need to be accurate; ability to meet deadlines and prioritize tasks at hand; and finally, is professional and reliable.
During her personal time you will find Teri quilting or creating some sort of craft. Family is extremely important to her and takes every opportunity to spend time with them. Teri has a great sense of humour and gets along very well with peers.