Our Team

The women who make up our team at Bridges and serve on the Board of Directors all play a vital role in making sure that the heart of Bridges keeps on beating. This community of women and their dedication to our mandate is what has allowed us to provide life-changing programming and services for over 30 years.

Our team of management at Bridges

Management Team

Patricia Rawson | Executive Director

Patricia Rawson has been at Bridges for the past 6 years in a variety of roles. She comes from a background in education and employment services. She has extensive experience working with women’s organizations and is committed to supporting women to have more opportunities and choices in their lives. Patricia is inspired by change development, creativity, travel and her family including a toddler grandson!

Elizabeth Skillings | Director of Finance

Elizabeth joined Bridges in 2019 and took on the role of Director of Finance in 2020. She is passionate about social justice and has used her financial management skills to support various community organizations  throughout Greater Victoria. 

Gwen Davies | Counselling Program Coordinator

Gwen Davies has been at Bridges for the past 12 years in a variety of roles. Her focus and passion lie in working with women and trauma as a therapeutic counsellor. She has worked hard to help create the Bridges counselling program and to make sure that women who have suffered from trauma, abuse and neglect are able to access services through a variety of pathways. She knows that real change can happen with the resources that Bridges offers clients. 

Heather Forbes | Director of Development

Heather Forbes (she/her) has been with Bridges since January 2020. She holds a MA in Community Development from the University of Victoria and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). She has spent her career working for diverse social and environmental causes, including Indigenous families, affordable housing, and food security. She is inspired by the strength, ingenuity, and determination of the Bridges community.

Board of Directors

Karin Landra | Co-chair

Karin Landra (she/her) comes to the Bridges board as a proud 1996 graduate, passionate about serving women who have experienced abuse. Karin graduated from University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Social Work and is completing her Master of Social Work at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Her professional and personal philosophy is based on anti-oppressive practice and intersectional feminism. 

She has a keen interest social justice struggles and in understanding and respecting cultures in their oppressive political contexts. She is committed to collaborating to bring about social change for women. 

Karin is inspired by her two adult daughters, who she still learns from and who remind her about life/work balance. She enjoys walking her daughter’s dog Olive, and hiking, swimming, and painting watercolours.

Erin Oscienny | Co-chair

Erin Oscienny, currently a Project Manager in BC’s Ministry of Education, has spent over 20 years working in not-for-profit and municipal government sectors. She is experienced in leading day-to-day operations, supporting staff and volunteer teams, building client relationships, and developing community-based programming. Erin loves to brainstorm and plan collaboratively. 

Erin is a graduate of the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University. She comes from a family of strong women who taught her to use her voice. She believes that more than ever, women need to find ways to lift each other up and grow together. She is proud to be working with the amazing women at Bridges.  

She is also a busy mom and, in her spare time, enjoys paddling, climbing, hiking, and reading. 

Kristy Mineault | Treasurer

Kristy Mineault was born and raised in Victoria, where she attained a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Psychology from the University of Victoria. She followed that with earning a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. Kristy has over six years of public-practice accounting experience, with a focus on corporate tax and tax planning for owner-managed businesses.  

She is passionate about empowering women and believes strongly in Bridges’ values. As board treasurer, Kristy is excited about her role as a steward of the organization, using her financial expertise to foster Bridges’ growth and succession planning.  

In her spare time, Kristy enjoys teaching group spin classes. 

Jessi Dhatt | Secretary

Jessi Dhatt joined the Bridges’ board in November 2019, and then was voted in as Secretary. Jessi joined Bridges because she is passionate about helping women reaching financial independence and economic stability.  

Jessi obtained psychology and law degrees before pursuing a career as a public servant, specializing in privacy and policy. As a volunteer, Jessi has served as a legal advocate for the MS Society and as a legal clinician with the Law Students Legal Advice Program, helping low-income clients in areas of civil litigation, employment law, and human rights. 

Jessi grew up in Vancouver and moved to Victoria in 1996. She is passionate about cooking, personal finance, and traveling. 

Kirsten Andersson | Member-at-large

Kirsten Andersson joined the board in October 2019.  She has volunteered with many organizations since retiring to Victoria in 2015.  

Kirsten was a long-time teacher in Alberta and Manitoba, then switched to labour relations. She was a labour relations officer for the Manitoba Nurses Union and the head of the labour relations staff for the Manitoba Teachers’ Society. She retired as the Director of Labour Relations and Chief Negotiator with the Manitoba Nurses Union. Her teaching background gives her insight into the work being done by the staff and students at Bridges; her leadership role in large organizations gives her the ability to provide knowledgeable, authoritative direction.  

Kirsten enjoys an active retirement with her spouse Barb and their overly indulged cat, Foster.  

Vivian Smith | Member-at-large

Vivian Smith, an editorial consultant, is a former journalist and journalism instructor. In 2015, her doctoral thesis became a book, Outsiders Still (University of Toronto Press), which looks at how women – in particular, women newspaper writers – deny who they are to try to fit into outmoded, patriarchal workplaces.  

Vivian joined Bridges to support its work to help women recovering from trauma to gain the strength and skills to move on in their lives. Also important to her is the education of Canada’s employers, who need to make workplaces and educational institutions inclusive, just, and flexible, so that all women can achieve their goals, whatever they may be.  

She grew up and worked in the Toronto area before moving to Victoria in 1994.

Coco Zhu | Member-at-large

Coco Zhu (she/her) comes to the Bridges board to support women on their journey to growth and independence. She is a public servant with the BC government and an active community volunteer.  

She holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Western University in London, Ontario and graduated from the University of Victoria’s Master of Public Administration program. 

Coco works to break down silos and create a safe space for human connections. She looks forward to using her education, professional, and personal experiences to strengthen Bridges’ organizational mission, vision, values, and clients.