About

Our Mission

To develop and operate an accessible, innovative, and inclusive facility for children and young adults with medical conditions, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to attend camp.

Our Vision

Provide memorable experiences that empower campers of all abilities to participate, develop life-long skills, create lasting friendships, build independence, and have fun.

Our Vision

Provide memorable experiences that empower campers of all abilities to participate, develop life-long skills, create lasting friendships, build independence, and have fun.

Values

In fulfilling our Mission and Vision, Zajac Ranch for Children is guided by the following Values:

RESPECT and appreciation for the value and diversity we each represent

INCLUSIVE opportunities that welcome all participants regardless of ability

EMPOWER through opportunities

COMPASSION empathy and concern for the well-being of others

INTEGRITY and consideration for one another

EMBRACE the possibilities

EXPERIENCE the thrill of participating

Leadership & Staff

Ranch & Foundation Staff

Mel Zajac, Chairman

Mel’s present project, The Zajac Ranch for Children, is his most ambitious project yet. Mel’s drive, determination and devotion to his dream of creating a camp for children who otherwise would never have the opportunity to go to camp has become a reality. View a complete biography of Mel Zajac.

Kelly Baker-Pabla, Senior Director of Development

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Graham George, CPA, CGA, Controller

Graham earned his accounting designation in 2008. Upon completing his academic goals, Graham volunteered for many events and finance-related positions in the non-profit sector in his spare time. He jumped at the opportunity to gain employment in a charity in 2015 and has enjoyed working in the sector ever since. Graham enjoys working with the Zajac Ranch because of the positive and inspirational experiences that children have at the Ranch. Aside from accounting, Graham enjoys the outdoors and regularly competes in running races (10km to full marathons).

Katinka Neumann, Sales & Registration Coordinator

Katinka grew up on Vancouver Island and moved to Vancouver to attend university. Since moving to Vancouver, she has worked a variety of jobs for youth-based non-profits around Metro-Vancouver, including at a summer camp based in Howe Sound where she was able to witness first hand the life changing experience that camp can provide. Katinka’s background in marketing and design, and passion for providing accessible opportunities for children and youth is what makes her excited to be part of the Zajac team. Outside of work Katinka enjoys tending to her garden, painting and testing out new plant-based recipes.

Georgia Murtha, Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

Georgia grew up in Bunbury, Western Australia, and has worked in customer facing roles for 10 years. She most recently worked in the disability sector in Australia, guiding people with how to use their government allocated funding and assisting them with navigating the system. She moved to Vancouver in April 2022 and shortly after this, began her role at Zajac. Georgia has always wanted to work with people who aspire to make a difference in the community and found this at Zajac. When she is not at work, you will find Georgia at the beach, spending time with her friends, reading or hiking.

Carmen Zajac, President

Carmen Zajac began her career in the hospitality industry at the Pacific Palisades Hotel. She went on to the realm of commercial real estate and property management and moved to Arizona, where she attained her Real Estate License as well as her Commercial Pilot’s License.

In 1986 and 1987, Carmen’s two brothers, Mel Jr. and Marty, tragically passed away in separate sporting accidents. To honour their memories and create a family legacy of caring in our province her father, Mel Zajac Sr., founded the Mel Jr. & Marty Zajac Foundation. The Zajac Foundation is committed to supporting seniors, children, and persons with special needs through innovative community projects focused on developing life long skills and independence.

For over 20 years, Carmen has served as the President of the Zajac Foundation. She works closely with her father in the management of their various community initiatives, such as the Zajac Norgate House and the Zajac Ranch for Children. Part of Carmen’s role as President is to meet with government officials, voluntary health organizations, corporations and service groups to ensure the development of the Zajac Ranch, which provides a unique camping opportunity for children with life threatening and chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Carmen lives in North Vancouver with her husband and two sons.

Alicia Harder, Development Coordinator

Alicia grew up in Saskatchewan, and began her administration career working in property management, and then moving to work with the Government of Saskatchewan in various fields. She moved to Vancouver in 2019 and worked in a church setting, before moving to Zajac. Alicia has always wanted to work in a position where what she does makes a difference, and with Zajac, she has found that. Outside of work, Alicia enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and cat, and hiking.

Miranda Thomas-Merkley, Camp Director

Breeze Doner, Office Manager/ EA

Zajac Ranch Society Board of Directors

Matt Carver, Student

Tom Wong (Chairman, Treasurer), TCW Associates Ltd. (Director since June 2018)

Sheila Smith, Retired Administrator

The Mel Jr. & Marty Zajac Foundation Board of Directors

Mel Zajac (Chairman) – Founder, The Mel Jr. & Marty Zajac Foundation (Director since June 1997)

Corinne ZajacCorinne Zajac & Associates

Jeffrey UppalPresident & Founder, Velox Partnerships (Director since 2014)

Howard A. Blank – President & CEO, Point Blank Entertainment (Director since 2018)

Tom WongTCW Associates Ltd. (Director since 2012)

Rick BournePresident, Langara Fishing Adventures (Director since 2019)

Bradley ScharfePresident, Co-Chairman & CEO, Scharfe Group of Companies (Director since 2019)

Wendy HartleyPrincipal, Hartley PR (Director since 2019)

Gino CrudoOwner & Operator, Paramount Projects General Contractors

Stephen JaggerCo-Founder, addy Technology Corp.

Alexandria LeeGeneral Manager, Cactus Club Cafe

Lisa WilliamsonMarketing & Communications Manager, Canadian Association of Public Schools – International

The Mel Jr. & Marty Zajac Foundation Advisory Board

David AisenstatPresident & CEO, Keg Restaurants Ltd.

John DevitaPresident, CT Control Temp

Honourable John Reynolds, P.C.Senior Strategic Advisor, McMillan LLP

Careers

At Zajac Ranch for Children we work hard to ensuring hundreds of children with long term medical conditions and disabilities can come to camp each summer. We share a passion for helping children and take pride in our work inspiring others within our community.

Find more information about Volunteering at the Ranch
Learn more about our Summer Staff opportunities