The experts at KCDS have their fingers on the pulse of employment support programs, training and education. The team puts together job seekers and employers, helping them both achieve their goals.

KCDS is committed to diversity, inclusion and respect. This means:

  • Hiring employees who represent the population we serve
  • Removing barriers that may prevent equitable employment
  • Supporting respectful work environments where everyone feels included and able to produce excellent results

To support employment equity and diversity in the workplace, we welcome applicants from all groups. This includes women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, or expressions, (LGBTQ2S+) and others who may contribute to the diversity of KCDS.

In November 2018, the Living Wage for Families Campaign Employers Committee designated Kootenay Career Development Society as a certified Living Wage Employer.


In 2019 KCDS was certified a Great Place to Work. In addition to meeting certification requirements, KCDS was ranked 23rd in Canada in the “less than 100 employees” category. KCDS was also recognized as a top organization for mental wellness, as well as being one of the best workplaces in Canada for women.







KCDS is a non-profit society with charitable status operated by a volunteer Board of Directors and incorporated under the British Columbia Society Act.



Sue Adam | Chair

Sue has over 30 years’ experience as a business consultant and project manager, managing teams solving complex problems in major change initiatives across a wide variety of industries: hospitality, non-profit performing arts and museums, healthcare, software development, banking, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, telecommunications and insurance.  She has worked or volunteered with local organizations including Whitewater, Nelson Chamber of Commerce, Streetfest, Touchstones Museum, KCDS, Civic Theatre, and Oxygen Art Centre.  Sue’s education is in languages, including a BA in French and Spanish and a BSL with high distinction (Bachelor of Science in Languages / Translation) from Laurentian University; she is currently learning Danish to be able to talk with her grandchildren.  She is an avid traveler and when at home can usually be found relaxing with a book.

Jodie Brady | TREASURER

Jodie has over twenty years of experience leading finance and operations organizations in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She has extensive private financing, M&A, IPO, strategic planning and international operations management experience. Jodie served as Director of Operations for The Bitcoin Foundation, a non-profit focused on protecting and promoting the emerging crypto-currency. Prior to that, she served as Chief Financial Officer for CoinLab, a bitcoin business incubator, and Clear Path International, a non-profit, which provides support to conflict survivors around the world. She also held the positions of Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Business Operations for Pixelworks, Inc., a public company, which makes video and pixel processing semiconductors and software. Jodie received her B.A. in Business Administration with honors from Pacific University. In her free time, Jodie enjoys spending time outdoors with her family; she is passionate about healthy food systems and is an avid animal lover.

Sheila Achilles | Director

Sheila was the Director of Primary Health & Chronic Disease Management within the Saskatoon Health Region since 2003-2015. She was responsible for the development and implementation of Primary Health interprofessional teams within the Region, including Primary Health Centres, community development, team facilitation, and chronic disease prevention and management.

In 2001, Sheila completed a Masters Degree in Nursing, with a research-based thesis in understanding the dissemination of information within a primary health interdisciplinary team environment. She worked with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health for 2 years as the Co-Project Lead for Primary Health Care provincial system re-design. She has successfully become a Certified Lean Leader.

Board experience include sitting as a long term member of the Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Services Board (mental health outreach); member and Chair (2 years) of the Saskatoon Community Services Village (“The Village” was a collaboration and co-location of 6 community based organizations); numerous rural community-based interagencies, representing the Health Region/Ministry of Health.

Upon retirement, Sheila and her husband re-located to Nelson from Saskatoon in July 2016. Personal interest areas include canoeing, kayaking, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and generally outdoors! She volunteers at Touchstones Museum and Art Gallery and has recently joined the Board of Touchstones.

Laureen Barker | Director

Current commitments:

  • Nelson and District Credit Union Board 2010 – present.
  • Kootenay Insurance Company Board Member; Representative of NDCU
  • Upper Columbia Cooperative Council Board member; Representative of NDCU

Before arriving in Nelson I lived briefly in Trail.  I was downsized twice and ventured into entrepreneurism as a means to remain in the area with a stable income.  You may know me as a co- owner of Gaia Rising on Baker Street.

I have worked for large bureaucracies, small mom and pop businesses, benefited from programs similar to those offered by KCDS; Architectural Drafting 1979 at BCIT, The Britannia employment enhancement project 1984 in Vancouver (after being away from employment while my kids were little) Long Term Care Aide 2001 Selkirk College.

I understand financial statements and I understand cash flow.  I understand risk and I understand the risk of not taking a risk, remaining in the same place while the world changes around you.

Ashley Elliott | Director

Ashley grew up in Nelson and then spent 21 years living and working in Calgary. She moved back to Nelson in June of 2018 to join the Kootenay Co-op in their HR team. During her time in Calgary she completed a diploma and degree in Business with a specialization in Human Resources and Labour Relations and has worked in the human resources field ever since. Ashley has worked in all areas of HR over her career with a recent focus on employee relations, leadership coaching, and change management. During her career she has worked for multiple organizations of various sizes, including many large global organizations, and has also spent time abroad working in the middle east. Since returning to Nelson she has been supporting the local business community through her HR consulting work as well as working part time at the Kootenay Coop as the Sr. HR Manager.



Kootenay Career Development Society is a dynamic, diverse and change-responsive centre of excellence, that empowers individuals, employers and communities economically and socially through career development, employment counselling and human resource planning.




  • We are dedicated to the highest quality of client service based on the most current labour market information and job search tools and techniques
  • Kootenay Career Development Society establishes and maintains a collaborative relationship with clients that is respectful, inclusive, engaging and non-judgemental
  • Through human resource planning support employers in the development of a skilled workforce
  • Working together as a team we will continue to maximize our resources to support the employment and career development needs of unemployed individuals in our community
  • Contribute through all our activities to a healthy and vibrant economy
  • Encourage life-long learning and support individuals to form a long-term meaningful attachment to the labour market
  • Connect employees to employers through supporting employee recruitment, training and retraining
  • Offer support, inspiration and motivation to individuals seeking employment
  • Build partnerships with the employer community
  • Maintain an ongoing process to evaluate climate for learning and client service


  • Respect | Respect for our clients, community and each other
  • Inclusiveness | Embrace diversity and include our clients, partners and community members in planning
  • Responsibility | Ensure program and financial accountability to clients and funders
  • Learning | Work as a team to create an open, innovative learning environment
  • Integrity | Demonstrate fairness, compassion and honesty
  • Support | Encourage clients and members to identify their assets and strengths
  • Leadership | Provide leadership in the areas of employment and economic/social development
  • Change-responsive | Understand and adapt to change
  • Balance | Model meaningful work/life balance
  • Authenticity | What we say, we do
  • Professional Excellence | Demonstrating best practices