Addiction Recovery Coach of Canada Society

About Us - Our Project Development Team, Board and Advisory

The Addiction Recovery Coach Program was made possible with the generous support of Public Safety Canada and the Lex Reynolds Adoption and Permanency Trust Fund.

The concept for Recovery Coaches to support vulnerable mothers was created by Janet Christie and Liza Miles who have provided support groups, training, advocacy and outreach to vulnerable women with addiction and mental health concerns since 2003 in Victoria BC.

We are governed by a board who have extensive experience and specialized knowledge regarding issues experienced by the population we serve.  We also have a project development team and an expert advisory panel well versed in matters regarding research and best practices.

Our Society was incorporated as a non-for-profit agency in B.C. in January 2011.


Marie Fournier  

Marie Fournier started her financial career in Quebec and moved to
Victoria 12 years ago.  She has recently received her Certified General Accountant designation.  Marie has  worked for different enterprises and in government agencies and, since 2005 has been providing financial administration services to not for profit organizations.. She likes being involved in organizations that are helping and empowering women.

Sue Simard  (Chair)

Sue Simard has a degree in psychology/drama, and has worked in the social work field for over 30 years. Sues highest and greatest learning, however, comes from her personal experience as a recovering alcoholic for 21 years, and as a mother. Sue has fostered 16 teens and has experienced first-hand the prevalence and implications of FASD.  Sue has passion and is compassionate. I am especially interested in supporting and advocating for women with children because I realize how important it is to try and stop the cycle which causes FASD.

Lee Smith BSW (bio pending)


Deborah Rutman,PhD

Since 1994, Deborah Rutman has undertaken research exploring the strengths, challenges and experiences of (young) adults, women, and families living with FASD in order to identify supportive policies, programs and practices. Recent projects focus on: appropriate substance use treatment and care for women with FASD; parenting; employment; and the legal system’s criminalization of disability. Deborah also has extensive experience conducting evaluations of programs for people with FASD, including BC’s Key Worker and Parent Support program. Deborah is an Adjunct Associate Professor with the Faculty of Human and Social Development at UVic, a registered psychologist, and a co-founder of Nota Bene Consulting Group.

She can be reached at:

Cynthia Piercey

Cynthia Piercey brings a wealth of “experiential” experience as an adviser to the board. Her background working with vulnerable mothers includes being a mentor with the Moms Mentoring Moms program, and was involved with the development of the program since its inception.  Cynthia has a strong understanding of the issues that mothers face and, as a mentor assisted many women and children connect with resources in the community. Her approach and understanding of women’s issues has facilitated change in many people’s lives. Cynthia has also facilitated and co-facilitated support groups for at-risk populations.

Nancy Poole PhD (Bio pending)

Director, Research and Knowledge Translation
BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health
in Vancouver:  604-875-2066
in Victoria:  250-213-8144

Barb Smith MSW (Bio pending)


Janet Christie

Janet Christie is a well-known speaker, presenter and teacher in the area of women’s addiction and FASD. Janet has been at the forefront of numerous programs related to mental health, addiction and FASD including the provincial FASD Key Worker program in BC. She is also involved in national projects including the internationally recognized Knowledge Network video on adults with FASD. Janet has extensive experience and knowledge working with women with addiction and FASD and speaks openly about overcoming her own substance abuse issues and being a mother of a son with FASD.

Liza Miles

A graduate in theology and social studies and certified expressive arts therapist Liza is passionate about social justice issues, especially the impact of poverty, addiction and violence on w omen and their children. Liza is currently completing family mediation certification. Liza is a published writer and emerging artist. An immigrant from the UK, Liza moved to Victoria in 1996. In the UK, Liza worked as a documentary filmmaker  in factual programming, and set up Arts Counseling Trust to provide creative art therapy programs to men and youth in UK prisons and youth custody centres.

This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola