Nanaimo Seniors Task Force


The Nanaimo Seniors Task Force (NSTF) is a dedicated group of professionals from various backgrounds who are shining a lens on issues that affect the health and well-being of seniors in our community. Their goal is to continue the work of the Seniors Connect project to reduce social isolation of older adults in our community at the population level and to help Nanaimo achieve and maintain an “Age-Friendly City” designation by working with the municipality and other stakeholders. The group meets monthly at the Nanaimo Family Life Association. If you would like to learn more about the NSTF, please contact the Chair.


Marilyn Assaf

Marilyn Assaf is a communications professional with 25-plus years experience. She launched a career change after caregiving for an elderly friend and ‘adopted’ grandfather. She is now a passionate advocate for seniors. Marilyn currently works as a Better at Home contractor for Nanaimo Family Life Association and serves as the casual/on-call Centre Administrator at the Nanaimo Seniors Connect drop-in centre. She also served as Engage Life Coordinator at an independent seniors living facility where she discovered her passion and joy working with seniors

Geraldine Collins




Geraldine is the Vice President of the Nanaimo Harbour City Probus Club. She was a founding member of the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society. Other past volunteer positions include Vice President of Sorotimist International of Calgary and Vice Chair of the Vancouver Resource Society.

Judy Cashel

Born in Canada, educated in Canada, Britain, Germany and Australia. Worked as Secretary to Colonel in Chief, and periodically worked in various areas of business when children were young. Spent most of working life, however, as Acute Care R.N. in three different countries, mostly Toronto.  Happily retired  R.N.from Toronto to Nanaimo.

Jerry Des Groseillers




Born in Montreal in 1954 and attended McGill University: BA, MBA.  A Controller for 15 years for Ryder Truck in Montreal, Vancouver, Miami and Ottawa.  Owned two retail stores while living in Burlington, Ontario, for 19 years. A past president of a Toastmasters and a Rotary Club.  Currently living in Nanaimo since 2016 with spouse, Diana, and is a volunteer Senior Peer Counsellor for NFLA and has volunteered at the Seniors’ Connect.

Dale Harvey: Chair




Dale is a self-employed Financial Advisor with Compass Point Financial with over 30  years of experience. His volunteer experience includes Junior Achievement of N.S., Scouts Canada, High School Wrestling Coach, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Nanaimo Lions Club, Canadian Blood Services, NFLA Seniors Connect Advisory Committee and  Runners of Compassion Nanaimo.

Gillian Kanchowski




Gill Kanachowski was born and educated in England, lived in Australia for eight years and since 1969 has resided in Nanaimo. She is an X-ray technician by training.  She is currently the President of Artisans’ Studio and a founding member of the Mid-Island Surface Design Group.

Leona Kyrytow

Leona is a newly retired teacher of 39 years. Her career spanned all levels of education and gave her a myriad of experiences from which to draw for her participation on the Task Force. She is an avid ballroom and square dancer, loves to read, runs, and spends a lot of time with her Sheltie of 14 years, Henry. She is a new Weightwatchers’ leader, and loves retirement! As a new member of the ‘senior’ group, she has an interest in improving life for all who are faced with challenging circumstances as they reach and adapt to their senior years. She wishes to effect change in the lives of those who need advocates!

Tracey Leslie

Tracey’s passion has been working with older adults in the capacity of Recreation Therapy within long term care, acute care and community settings in four provinces for almost 30years.  Tracey thrives on being able to share her experience/knowledge to advocate for the needs of seniors, help break down barriers such as social isolation and community integration and collaborate with like minds to make a difference in the lives of others.  An implant from the East Coast, Tracey enjoys kayaking, pickleball, curling, photography, live music and travel.  She is excited to be a part of this task force and the opportunity to enhancing the lives of older adults within her community.

Del McBurney




Del is a retired Registered Nurse trained at the Royal Victoria Hospital. She was also the Director of Care and then the Administrator for the Nanaimo Traveller’s Lodge. She is also a former manager of We Care Health Services for the Nanaimo area and she coordinated the Mid Island Health Education course to upgrade staff in care facilities and home support agencies.

Copyright 2016 - 2018. All Rights Reserved.Design by Primal Communications