fbpx

MEET OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM!

Jill Ratcliffe
Director of 320 & V6A Garden Club Lead

Jill is of mixed Metis and European ancestry, and grew up on the East Coast on Mi’kma’ki territory. She has been working as a radical organizer and in grassroots food security for two decades, with a dynamic range of experience at the staff, management, and board level.

As the Director of 320 Alexander and project lead for the V6A Garden Club at the DTES Urban Farm, she brings invaluable leadership, care, and commitment to the work of creating community-led food sovereignty together from the ground up.

In her free time, Jill is a musician, gardener, and beader.

Eloina Alberto
Director of Food Programs

“I believe that nobody should be hungry or go to sleep without food.”

Eloina Alberto is Director of Food Programs at Watari Counselling & Support Services. She is a Latin American migrant woman who came to Canada 4 years ago.  As a nurse in her home country, she is very passionate about supporting those who are in need.  She is concerned about food security in the DTES and is grateful to contribute with compassion and dignity to the people we support.

Heather Scarff
Community Teams Supervisor & HR Administrator

“I believe there is always hope, that every story deserves to be heard and every life witnessed and valued.”

Heather is a valued and tremendous asset to Watari with her ability to wear many hats.  She began her journey here in September 2006 first with her strong administrative and community based skills with the Shannon Spirit Project, then eventually added other roles as Intake Worker, Community Addictions Counsellor and the Community Teams Supervisor as well.  However, her passion lies in the work she does with the people we support.

Heather draws on her life experiences of being a strong spiritual Indigenous woman which include her favourite roles as a mother, wife and Gigi.  Her lifetime of different experiences have helped connect her to a deeper understanding of some of the struggles the people we support face.

On her down time, Heather enjoys quality time with her husband, daughter and other family members.  Her favourite interests are music, laughter and nature.

Kevin Crofton
Youth Teams Supervisor & STAR Program Worker

Kevin Crofton has worked with Watari for 13 years and is Watari’s youth programs manager. Kevin worked as a youth and family worker for the Burnaby school system for 10 years, provided youth outreach support and coordinated Watari’s Integrated Community Outreach Program which provides one to one outreach support for at risk Indigenous youth. Kevin has also written and directed numerous youth theatre productions in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.

Ingrid Mendez de Cruz
Executive Director

Ingrid is Watari’s Executive Director.  Before taking up the role in 2018, she served as Watari’s Latin American drug & alcohol counsellor for 20 years.  A lifelong volunteer, she brought her commitment to inclusivity and social justice with her from Guatemala (Place of Many Trees) to Turtle Island in 1990.

When she arrived in Vancouver, she saw the need for supportive networks between newcomers like herself and existing communities in her new home.  She started building relationships that — over two decades later — remain integral to the supportive programming at Watari.

Ingrid lives in Vancouver with her family, which includes a cat, a ferret and an ancient beloved dog.