Karen Dickenson Smith is the new executive director of the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre. (Submitted photo)

New executive director for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre

Karen Dickenson Smith succeeds Karen McLean, who has retired after 22 years

The Fraser Valley Child Development Centre (FVCDC) has announced the appointment of a new executive director.

Karen Dickenson Smith takes on the role, effective April 6, and succeeds Karen McLean, who served as executive director for 22 years prior to her retirement.

Dickenson Smith brings over 20 years of experience in health and social services, including senior leadership and board positions.

Her career includes significant contributions to child, youth, and family services; community health services; and public health.

RELATED: Fraser Valley Child Development Centre summer camp all about fun

She has held accountability for strategy and operations with budgets to $23 million and diverse programming across the Vancouver Coastal, Vancouver Island, and Fraser regions of B.C.

Most recently, Dickenson Smith was director of specialized family supports with Family Services of Greater Vancouver. Prior to that, she spent 10 years with Fraser Health in roles such as director of clinical programs.

The FVCDC board says that she is passionate about strengthening children, youth, and families and is recognized for ensuring innovation, sustainability, and service excellence while creating supportive environments where people can grow and excel professionally.

Dickenson Smith holds master’s degrees in public health and business administration. She serves on the board of directors of the Asante Centre (FASD Society of BC) and is a former board director with the Federation of Community Social Services of BC and First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition.

She Smith lives in the Fraser region.

The board says they would like to extend their “immense gratitude” to McLean for “her leadership and significant contributions as executive director” and wish her a happy retirement.

The FVCDC’s head office is in Abbotsford, and it also has locations in Mission and Chilliwack. It provides services for children and youth with developmental needs and their families.

RELATED: Child development centre makes difference for kids with disabilities with summer camp

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