About SOWINS

Shelter, safety and support

About SOWINS

Our programs and services provide shelter, safety and support by helping individuals recognize, understand, and overcome the impacts of abuse. Our services are provided to individuals who have experienced, or who are at risk of experiencing violence or abuse in the South Okanagan (from Summerland to Osoyoos and from Naramata to Keremeos).

Established in 1981, SOWINS (South Okanagan Women in Need Society) is a Federally Registered Charity #12998 7665 RR0001 and Incorporated BC Society #S-16224.

SOWINS is governed by a volunteer board of six to 10 community members. An Executive Director oversees a staff of 60+ individuals. Staff is comprised of part-time, full-time and casual positions, at three Penticton locations locations throughout the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

We are a compassionate group dedicated to the vision of a society where all individuals have the ability to make choices to live a safe and healthy life. Collaborative and co-creative for the benefit of our clients and community, we partner with peer agencies, work on response and policy development committees, and provide educational information about abuse to the general community.

Vision

A community without violence and abuse.

Mission

SOWINS provides safe, accessible, person-centred support and preventative interventions to individuals who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing violence and abuse. SOWINS also provides community education to strengthen the safety net for our community.

Value Statements

We are accountable: Our services maintain the highest standards of ethical practices and demonstrate integrity in our engagement with our clients, our community, and our supporters.

We are person-centred: Each person’s journey is unique – each person matters. We promote self-determination, choice, and celebrate their resiliency.

We strive for excellence: Our services and supports are guided by best practices, are trauma-informed, strengths based and visionary. We believe in continuous learning.

We celebrate diversity and inclusion: We work to ensure our services reflect the diversity of our community’s needs, are equity based, and our staff and volunteers represent where we live and who we serve.             

We are optimistic and future focused: Our work is vital – we inspire change, both individually and societally. 

How we help

We are here for you. We will give you information and guidance to help you make decisions and choices based on your personal situation that will help you take the steps towards change – away from abuse. People can also call for information about how to assist a friend, family member or business associate who has experienced abuse.

Women may phone and ask for help whenever it is needed
No referral is necessary

Our services are free
Crisis Line 250-493-7233   /   250-493-SAFE    1-800-814-2033

The 24-hour Crisis Line provides support for women who are experiencing or at risk of abuse. Staff is available 24/7/365 as the first point of contact for individuals who are seeking help, support, and information.

If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening situation, PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.

help us end violence in our community

Rick – Director of Finance

Rick oversees the accounting and financial operations of the organization.
He is a CPA with extensive work experience in banking, construction, environmental services, and non-profit organizations.
Rick was also on the Board of Directors for several years with two non-profit organizations when he resided in the lower mainland.
You can reach Rick at rick.k@sowins.com or 250-493-4366 extension 112.

Susie

Susie has been working in the design and marketing field for the past 15 yrs, operating her own studio, with a strong passion for women-owned and small business. She is currently also on a planning committee for an attainable housing project in Summerland. Susie is honoured to help support SOWINS, and the invaluable work they do for women and families in our communities.

Sharon – Director of Strategy and Operations

With a BA in Administrative Studies Sharon enjoyed providing administrative support to SOWINS since 1993 and is proud to be a part of the client services that SOWINS provides.

Sharon can be reached at sharon@sowins.com or 250-493-4366 extension 116

Korina – Director of Human Resources

Korina joined SOWINS in 2020 as our Director of Human Resources and brings with her over 15 years experience navigating collective agreements, policy, and legislation in municipal government. She is passionate about supporting the organizational greatest asset, its people!

You can contact Korina at hra@sowins.com or 250-493-4366 extension 110.

Liz – Executive Director

For over 28 years, Liz has been employed with SOWINS in various roles. Her first 22 years were spent as a Family Support Worker and PEACE Counsellor and later moved into the Housing Coordinator role. In 2021, Liz stepped into the newly created Director of Community Based Programs and Services, overseeing the numerous support services SOWINS provides to families in the South Okanagan. Today, Liz is in the role of Executive Director for the organization.

Liz can be reached at liz.g@sowins.com or 250-493-4366 extension 120.

Irene – Manager, Residential Services

Irene started with SOWINS in 2003 as a Practicum student and it did not take long for her to be hired as a Women’s Support Worker in 2004.

For the past 6 years, Irene has been Manager of the Transition House and take pride in providing client centered support.

To connect with Irene, you can email her at TH.manager@sowins.com or call 250-809-6563.

Marni – Fund Development Advisor

Marni has been fundraising and raising awareness for community charities for more than 20 years. She manages all SOWINS fundraising initiatives, marketing, and media!

Reach out to Marni with any questions you may have about donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, media, and marketing at fundraising@sowins.com or by phone at 250-488-1268

Danielle Goulden – Executive Director

With over 20 years of experience working within the non-profit and academic sectors, Goulden is able to draw from multiple disciplines and professional experience to lead SOWINS into its next chapter of sustainable growth to meet the growing needs in the South Okanagan. Goulden believes that a fundamental component of any non-profit organization’s philosophy is to continuously strive for excellence through effective partnerships, collaboration, planning, and action.

To chat with Danielle, you can contact her at execdirector@sowins.com or 250-493-4366 extension 101

Sharon – Secretary
Sharon has been in business for 35 years. She has a Family Studies degree and an MBA. Over the years, Sharon’s commitment to her community has included the Penticton Rotary, the Penticton Chamber Board, and the Penticton Economic Development Committee. She is now retired and looking forward to supporting SOWINS with the critical work they do in the South Okanagan.

Erica – Director of Community Based Programs and Services

Erica has had various roles in SOWINS since 2000. Her passion for supporting children led to her working with families and children in the transition house and then to working as a PEACE Counsellor. Erica began to work in the Stopping the Violence program as a coordinator and counsellor. She then stepped into the role of Director of Continuous Improvement supporting staff to work from a trauma informed lens. Today, Erica is in the role Director of Community Based Programs and Services.
Erica can be reached at erica.mp@sowins.com or 250-493-4366 extension 104.

Kerri

As a communications professional with a business development background, Kerri enjoys bringing people together. Through her work in media and promotions, Kerri strives to provide innovative solutions and make meaningful connections for people and businesses. She looks forward to promoting and supporting all the great work that SOWINS does.

Sydney Bell

Sydney

Sydney moved to Penticton in 2022 and is delighted to be living in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with her husband and two dogs, Nigel and Penelope. Sydney is a prairie girl, having been born and raised in Saskatchewan. After living recently in Ontario for a few years she is glad to be back in Western Canada. A registered social worker, Sydney has contributed to the communities she has lived in through her work as a community developer, program manager and various volunteer roles. She also provides counselling support to individuals through an online psychotherapy practice.

Sydney has a long history volunteering and working with organizations that support vulnerable women and families and is thrilled to contribute to the good work of SOWINS in her new community as a volunteer board member.

Liz
Working in organizations to address community needs, program development and teaching are the threads that run through Liz’s work and volunteer life. She has worked in community recreation, employment readiness and fire prevention education. Her skills lead her into the fire service where she worked with children, youth and adults in fire prevention initiatives in Penticton and Indigenous Communities throughout BC. Liz is pleased to be a member of the SOWINS Board and looks forward to being a part of a team that actively supports healthy families and communities.

Brenda

Indigenous Tourism Association BC – Chair, Tourism Industry Association of British
Columbia – Board Member, Coalition of BC Tourism & Hospitality Businesses
As a member of the Osoyoos Indian Band, Brenda graduated as a Registered Nurse specializing in Indigenous health with a focus on community development, and worked with the Osoyoos Indian Band in the area of community health. Brenda is honoured and humbled to have been awarded the Order of BC in 2021 for her work in Indigenous Tourism.

Kayla

Kayla is a CPA based out of the BDO Penticton office and has over 8 years of experience providing audit and accounting services to a range of organizations including municipal governments and not-for-profit organizations. She also has extensive experience volunteering with another organization that supports women through education and women’s issues are a top priority for her. She is very excited to be able to serve her community through the important work that SOWINS does in South Okanagan.

Jessica

Jessica is a Senior Financial Planner at RBC and has been helping families and entrepreneurs reach their goals for over eight years. She specializes in business succession planning and estate planning. She has a passion for helping people achieve their goals and while sitting on the board of SOWINS she hopes to help women in need do so as well. She is excited to bring her skillset to the table alongside other inspiring women to help those in need!

Danielle Goulden – Executive Director

With over 20 years of experience working within the non-profit and academic sectors, Goulden is able to draw from multiple disciplines and professional experience to lead SOWINS into its next chapter of sustainable growth to meet the growing needs in the South Okanagan. Goulden believes that a fundamental component of any non-profit organization’s philosophy is to continuously strive for excellence through effective partnerships, collaboration, planning, and action.

To chat with Danielle, you can contact her at execdirector@sowins.com or 250-493-4366 extension 101