About Us

About Us_367740026

Best Independent, Assisted and Supportive Living Communities in Canada

Optima Living operates Independent Living, Assisted Living and Supportive Living communities in Alberta and British Columbia. Our communities are located amongst the best places in Canada. You’ll find our welcoming communities in Chilliwack, Hope, Kelowna, Claresholm and Vegreville.

Our vision: For every person to feel at home.

This is truly supported by our credo is “Let Us Welcome You Home.” All of us here feel it is an honour to work with our Residents and we advocate a resident-centred approach where you, the Resident, is the focus of all our endeavours.

Our mission is to Provide intimate Home Style Living for Seniors. Our goal is to provide the Best Quality of Life Possible by enabling each resident to experience a full and independent lifestyle as much as possible.

We promise to:

  • Respect You – We actively listen to provide a dignified and welcoming home where you can live your life as you see fit.
  • Uphold Your Dignity – We respect what you say and support your right to make choices for yourself.
  • Work Together – We work with you and your persons of choice to create a resident focused community.
  • Do the Right Thing – We are passionate about doing ‘right by you’ every day.

Optima Living is also an approved service provider in both Alberta and British Columbia.

In Alberta, Optima Living operates both Private Assisted living and Public Supportive Living (SL4 & SL4D) facilities. Optima Living is a licenced care provider with Alberta Health Services and an approved Assisted Living Operator with Alberta Seniors.

In BC it has agreements with the interior Health Authority (IHA) and the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), is a licensed care provider under the BC Community Care and Assisted Living Act, and is registered as an approved Assisted Living (AL) Operator with the AL Registrar of BC.

Optima Living Communities congratulates Wayne Morishita on his appointment as the executive director of the Alberta Continuing care association. Optima is also pleased to announce that its Co-Founder and Principal, Karim Kassam has been elected to the board of the Alberta Continuing Care Association. We look forward to working closely supporting the work of the board with the Alberta Government, Alberta Health Services to ensure the best quality of care is provided to all residents of Alberta.

Optima Leadership Team

Farid F. Damji – Co-founder, & Principal

Farid Damji is the Co-Founder and Principal for Optima Living. Working with a team of qualified professionals, Farid currently oversees the operational aspects of the independent and assisted living sites as well as the residential and mental health care components, to ensure exceptional quality and resident-centred care.

Farid has a Master’s degree in Health Administration and previously held the position of Adjunct Clinical Professor for the Department of Health Care and Epidemiology within the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. He has over 20 years of strategic and operational experience in complex health care environments including both hospital and community care settings with: the BC Ministry of Health; Vancouver General Hospital; Vancouver Coastal Health Authority; Fraser Health Authority; and Interior Health Authority.

Karim Kassam – Co-founder, & Principal

Karim Kassam is the Co-Founder and Principal of Optima Living Communities with residences located in Alberta and BC.  Karim has over 25 years of senior executive leadership experience leading in a variety of organizations leading commercial, sales and corporate development.  He has had extensive experience in cleantech, commercial real estate, hospitality and seniors health care and housing

Karim held senior executive officer roles at Ballard Power Systems (BLDP:NASDAQ) for a decade, been a Franchisee at Boston Pizza (BPF:UN) for over twenty years and was recognized as one of the top agents in Canada at Colliers International (CIGI:TSX) where he led the creation of its multi-family investment division in Edmonton.

Karim has completed the Executive Development Program at Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Doing Business in China Executive Program at the China European International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. He holds an MBA from Queens and is a designated CMA.

He has volunteered extensively with a variety of organizations including being the Honorary Secretary of the National Ismaili Social Welfare Board for Canada and a member of the Ismaili Councils of BC and Edmonton.  Karim has also served as a Board Member on the Stratford Hall School Foundation, Vancouver Economic Development Commission, and the Wildlife Rescue Association. Karim served on the inaugural Board of the Women’s Health Research Institute in 2010 and subsequently has been on the board of BC Women’s Health Foundation as a Director since 2013 and more recently in 2017 was elected Chair of the Board.

Since 2019, Karim has served as a member of the boards of the B.C. Seniors Living Association and the Alberta Continuing Care Association

Ali Shivji – Principal

Ali Shivji. Ali holds an MBA from INSEAD and is one of Optima’s principal. Ali is a recognized best practice expert in care, housing, design and programing for seniors, and has worked in strategy and operations in both the public and private health care sector for over a decade, having worked with the National Health Service in the UK, and with McKinsey & Company’s International health care practice, primarily focusing on international healthcare system redesign, and most recently as the Chief Operating Officer for AgeCare Communities of Care and Wellness, a private seniors care and housing company with ten sites and over 1,800 beds across Canada. Ali also holds certificates in Value Based Healthcare Delivery from Harvard Business School, and Best Practices In Dementia Care from Johns Hopkins.

Marjorie Bungay, B. Comm. – Regional Director of Operations, British Columbia

Marjorie Bungay is a seasoned leader with more than 30 years of experience in the Seniors Complex Care, Housing and related areas of Hospitality and Healthcare sectors.She has held senior leadership roles in seniors living and food services organizations.
With her solid skills in care, strategic planning, finance, food services administration, she has successfully led interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary teams as well as completed accreditation in the areas of Disability Management and Complex Care. She has been a member of provincial, municipal and private boards and committees providing guidance to the governance of various seniors related organizations.
Marjorie has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, NS and a Bachelor of Business Administration from University College of Cape Breton, NS. She is also a Certified Occupational Health and Safety Professional.

Wei Li, CPA, Controller

Wei Li is an analytical and experienced senior financial professional with more than 15 years of experience leading a broad range of accounting and controller responsibilities. With her solid accounting knowledge and management skills, she has served in different industries including both public listed companies and private companies as Controller and was highly recognized for her proficiency in accounting reconciliations and reviews, financial reporting and analysis; as well as coaching and leading high performance team ensure maximum accuracy and productivity.

Wei has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from China and a Diploma in Accounting (DAP) from the University of British Columbia. She is also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) since 2006.

Site Leadership Team

Aman Grewal, Registered Psychiatric Nurse, MOC

Aman is a professional health provider who is registered with College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC and is a Psychiatric Registered Nurse. Aman has extensive experience with mental health patients and is passionate about resident-focused care and community integration.

In addition to building and maintaining a therapeutic relationship with residents, education is a pillar of Aman’s management style – it leads to healthy living and increased quality of life for all.

Sean Rathwell – Manager of Care at White Heather Manor

Sean Rathwell is a Registered Nurse and is the Manager of Care at White Heather Manor. Sean holds a Diploma in Psychiatric Nursing and brings several decades of experience in residential mental health care. Working with a team of multidisciplinary staff members, resident care is focused on Psychosocial Rehabilitation recovery with an emphasis on healthy living, illness prevention, health education, and disease management.

Wilma Wahl – Site Manager of Chilliwack Lifestyles

Wilma has worked with Optima Living since 2007 and is currently the Manager for Chilliwack Operations. She is also the Site Facilitator at Chilliwack Lifestyles. Wilma loves working with seniors, finding it very rewarding taking care of their needs and believes that they have so much to teach us. Wilma has lived in the Fraser Valley all her life and has lived in Chilliwack for the past 20 years. Prior to working at Optima Living, she worked in the hospital industry and feels like this is her favourite job ever.

Virginia Roberts – General Manager at Riverside Manor

Virginia is originally from Montreal and moved to BC many years ago with her family enticed by the beautiful natural environment that is so accessible and the quality of life that it gives her. Having lived in the city and in smaller rural communities throughout BC, her move to the smaller close knit community of Hope has provided Virginia the opportunity to experience the friendliness, helpfulness and kindness of the people here. Whether it is at a community event on the street or an emergency to be dealt with, the response is always heart warming.
Virginia has many years of training and experience in Business, Emergency Response, Health Care, and Seniors Housing Management. She is committed to the ageing in place model and wants the best quality of life for each resident possible. Her goal is to foster connections within the community while welcoming volunteers, family and friends to our various social, seminars and community events at Riverside Manor.

Yvette Elmquist, RN – Site Manager Century Park

Yvette is the Director of Care at Century Park. She is responsible for all clinical operations of the site, including audits.Yvette has extensive health care experience as an RN and leader in DSL, LTC and Acute Care and is passionate about professional care delivery and supporting employees.

Barb Kemery – Site Manager of Cottonwood Village

Barb has lived in Claresholm, Alberta most of her life and is a true prairie girl. She and her husband Doug raised two children in this fantastic, little foothills town and have no plans of leaving. She spent 39 years in the retail drugstore business, acting as front store manager for most of it. After retirement she relaxed, read books and visited family and friends. She soon realized she had something to offer to the community, and took on the position as the site manager for the lovely community of Cottonwood Village.  Her genuine love and care of people has made being at Cottonwood an easy transition. She believes that seniors are the backbone of our society and deserve to retire with dignity and love. One of her favourite expressions is “be kind to everyone but love and be gentle to yourself first”