To contact a board member directly please email


Bruce Knowlden


Bruce worked for the Federal Government as a certified French to English translator for 32 years. His first palliative care experience started in the 1980’s at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. His family and career took him away and when he retired from his work, Bruce moved to Canmore Alberta to be near family. Bruce took the palliative care training from Alberta Health Services in Calgary and joined the Board of the Palliative Care Society of the Bow Valley as their communication director. Bruce attended a number of end-of-life conferences and training sessions with AHS. He was involved in professional associations throughout his translation career, having served on a number of Boards. Bruce moved to Fairmont Hot Springs two years ago to care for his aging parents and is a great asset to the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley.


Daneve McAffer

Past President

Daneve was born in Canmore and attended the University of Alberta (U of A), graduating with a degree in physical therapy. She worked in ICU, Cardiac Recovery and in a Palliative Home Care Program at the U of A Hospital.
Daneve then worked part time as a physio for Corrections Canada. This gave her the opportunity to start her consulting firm in the areas of organization and interpersonal development.
She retired in 2010 and moved back to the mountains she loves. Daneve’s compassion has led her to volunteering for the Hospice Society, completing her “End of Life” and “Bereavement Visitor” training in the spring of 2015. This has led her full circle, supporting clients at the end of their life and the grief of losing someone they love.
Daneve’s greatest joy is spending her free time with her husband, Doug and her children and grandchildren. She loves being back in the mountains and is enjoying the many activities the Columbia Valley offers.


Dodie Marcil


Dodie graduated from Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg as an Operating Room Technician in 1973.
She earned a Diploma in Management and Administration at Mount Royal Collage, Calgary in 1990.
She spent her 35 year career in Surgical Services Division of Calgary Health Services in several management positions.
Dodie and her husband retired and relocated from Calgary to Canal Flats in 2006.Dodie grew up in a small town which relied on, thrived and prospered because of volunteerism, indeed she believes this is how small communities work. Dodie has joined the Hospice Society Board because she believes in the need for hospice support and feels she can contribute to its success and development.
Dodie enjoys all outdoor activities, favorites being hiking and golf. Her passion, however is gardening, she can lose herself in the garden for hours.
Dodie is a beginning artist and a founding Director of the Headwaters Arts Society which was incorporated in 2011, and she is Secretary of the Canadian Cancer Society- Columbia Valley Unit.


Barb Gagatek


Barb is a retired teacher with 37 years of experience in School District #6; she is currently working as a Teacher on Call. Barb was born in Invermere and has strong ties to the community through her teaching experiences, family, friends, her church and her volunteer opportunities. She is an “End of life” and “Bereavement” visitor for the Hospice society. During her free time she enjoys singing with the Valley Voices, running, mountain biking, skiing, hiking and almost any activity outside. She lives in Invermere with her husband and she has two grown daughters.

Scott Halford

Vice President

David Goldsmith

Director (Policies and Governance)


Linda Herbert

End of Life Coordinator

I have worked as a family physician for 33 years.  I relocated from Lethbridge, AB to this beautiful valley in 2017 and was introduced to Hospice during my medical practice in Invermere.  The value of the bereavement and end of life care is priceless, the people  I have met through hospice are amazing.  Upon my retirement, I have the privilege of being more involved in Hospice.  I have completed the bereavement care training and hope to complete the end of life care training in September.  I am privileged to be on the board.

In my free time I enjoy time with my husband, friends and family, usually on a hike or kayak trip, or over dinner. I love walks with my dog in the pure mountain air.

Karen Lillejord

Board Member

Michèle Neider

Executive Director

Michèle completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Québec in Chicoutimi. She then moved to British Columbia to study English.

For over 20 years she specialized in community development collaborating with numerous agencies and groups from governmental and non-profit sectors, as well as individuals.

Since 1985, Michèle has been involved in PRH (Personality and Human Relations) completing the Formation Program and receiving her diploma in counselling.

In 2005 Michèle completed a Master’s in Education from the University of Calgary. Michèle’s career has included serving as Executive Director of the bi-national Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Manager of Family Services with the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, Community Development Coordinator in the cities of Coquitlam and Surrey, and most recently as Director of Program Management with Family Dynamix Association in Invermere.

Michèle and her husband have been permanent residents in the Columbia Valley for the past seven years.

To contact the Executive Director please email

Wendy Cunningham

Office Assistant

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