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

Early in life Kelly’s father, who was an entrepreneur, taught her that to find happiness you have work hard, be a little uncomfortable and have a vision of your future. Kelly’s mother on the other hand was a life skills coach who instilled in her the passion for helping others.  These lessons form her parents shaped her career choices.

In 2010, with her parent’s teachings in mind, she began her career in fundraising working with an international consulting firm. Here is where Kelly found joy in helping companies access grants and government funding to help them grow.

After a successful decade in the firm, Kelly found that something was missing.  As her career grew, Kelly had opportunities to work within the charitable sector, and it was during this work when she felt a life altering shift.  Upon witnessing firsthand, the impact of how collaboration over competition affects positive change she was hooked!  Kelly found that this could be a way to combine her entrepreneurial spirit with her desire to help others.  Deciding to take what she had learned from her fundraising career, she dedicated herself to applying her skills to a variety of non-profits fundraising for important causes such as mothers and children, the homeless population, and mental health supports throughout the pandemic. 

When the opportunity to work along side of the legendary Mel Zajac presented itself, Kelly jumped at the chance!  Presently as the Senior Director of Development, Kelly is driven to help the Zajac Ranch for Children continue its mission of “raising spirits” of children with moderate to severe medical diagnoses and conditions through the gift of summer camp.

Kelly has finally had found a place where her passion has met her purpose and where she can apply her vison for the future – leaving this world a little bit better than we found it.

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

Miranda grew up in Abbotsford until she was accepted into a youth national volunteer program that took her across Canada to volunteer with several different youth organizations. Since this experience she has had the opportunity to work high level events at the largest recreation centre in North America, develop youth programming for kids with disabilities and continue to work towards her passion for providing a safe and inclusive space for everyone to participate in sport, recreation and camp. To supplement her experience Miranda moved to Vancouver Island to attend university before working in tourism before Zajac Ranch. She has had a lifelong goal of working for an organization that gives kids the opportunity to create lasting memories through recreation and sport and Zajac Ranch is the perfect fit. Outside of work you can find Miranda kayaking a local lake, hiking, or reading.

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)

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

Rick Bourne – President, Langara Fishing Adventures (Director since 2019)

Justin Carver Data Scientist, Intact Insurance

Gino Crudo – Owner & Operator, Paramount Projects General Contractors

Wendy HartleyPrincipal, Hartley PR (Director since 2019)

Stephen Jagger – Co-Founder, addy Technology Corp.

Alexandria LeeGeneral Manager, Cactus Club Cafe

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

Jeffrey Uppal – President, Mack Capital Group (Director since 2014)

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

Tom WongTCW Associates Ltd. (Director since 2012)

Corinne ZajacCorinne Zajac & Associates

 

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.

Facility Manager

Zajac Ranch for Children is looking for a mature, experienced and energetic person to fill this position. This is a year-round, live on site position; 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom residence provided. We have found in the past that managers who have a partner with them find it beneficial due to the location.

Responsibilities

  • On-call duty 24/7 for site responsibility and security
  • Ensure site security by closing gates, locking doors, and being aware of visitors on site
  • Perform routine maintenance on buildings and equipment, including electrical, carpentry, drywall repair, painting, mechanical and plumbing. The manager must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions.
  • Liaise with outside contractors for larger maintenance and construction projects
  • Ensure accurate inventory and storage of all tools and equipment
  • Other duties as assigned by Zajac Foundation management

Qualifications

  • Knowledge of and experience with building maintenance systems, including but not limited to plumbing, electrical, and fire protection
  • Experience in construction preferred
  • Maintenance experience required
  • Experience as millwright preferred
  • Knowledge of maintaining log books, tool inventory, water treatment records, maintenance of pumps, HVAC
  • Have efficient, safe work ethics
  • Self motivated and pro-active
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Organized, hard-working and detail-oriented
  • Proficient in written and spoken English
  • High School Education or equivalency
  • Additional tradesman tickets or certificates an asset
  • Previous experience working in a camp or resort environment

APPLY NOW

 

Seasonal Positions

We are hiring a variety of positions to work during our off season from September 2022 – June 2023, assisting with our rental groups, weddings and outdoor schools.

Wrangler (Camp Counsellor)

We are looking for staff to help facilitate private camps and group rentals at our Ranch in the off-season.

This is a live in position. Staff receive free accommodation during rental sessions. They will be scheduled to be on-site according to the booking schedule.

Responsibilities:

  • Serving as a role model and support.
  • Facilitate and assist campers in having a safe, fun and enjoyable session.
  • Lead campers to and from activities while providing constant encouragement and positive reinforcement.
  • Provide supervision and assistance, including but is not limited to: serving meals, cabin clean-up, camp fires, facility set up, etc..

Qualifications:

  • Be camper-focused with a professional attitude.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Be able to facilitate an empowering organized program through encouragement and support.
  • Have leadership and communication skills.
  • Have experience with outdoor recreation/camp activities.
  • Be willing and able to work in a physically and mentally demanding environment on a daily basis.
  • Have a friendly, caring personality.
  • Be effectively able manage self-care.
  • Be able to apply behaviour management techniques (as covered in staff training) to ensure a caring, positive, and fun experience for all campers.
  • Provide original Criminal Record Check and valid First Aid Certificate

APPLY NOW

 

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