THE GAME CHANGERS
Entrepreneurs and educators. Leaders and visionaries. We're like-minded people with the shared goal to help students access post-secondary education and ensure their long-term success.
They’ll achieve this by offering financial support and mentorships, increasing the scale of the program, partnering with industry sectors for paid internships, and engaging students in the continual improvement of the Beedie Luminaries program.
"In 2014, only 47% of 19-year-olds from lower income families were attending post-secondary schools, compared to nearly 80% from higher income families. "
Founder/ Beedie Luminaries
Ryan Beedie oversees one of the most successful industrial and residential property development companies in Western Canada. Born and raised in Burnaby, BC, Ryan’s passion for real estate was ignited early on, learning about the family business at the dinner table from his father Keith, who founded the company in 1954. Ryan joined the company in 1993 and became President in 2001. By 2018, the company had diversified activities while exemplifying its community-driven principle, Built For Good.
With a personal commitment of $50 million, Beedie Luminaries is Ryan’s biggest philanthropic endeavour to date. It furthers his belief that you have a responsibility to give back to the community where you live and work. A philanthropist at heart, Ryan has donated or committed more than $35 million in the past decade to organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, BC Children’s Hospital, Beedie School of Business, YWCA, BC Institute of Technology, and Vancouver Police Foundation, to name a few. Ryan holds an MBA in real estate from the University of British Columbia and an undergraduate degree from Simon Fraser University. He resides in Vancouver and shares his love of music with his wife Cindy and their three children.
Executive Director/ Beedie Luminaries
Martina is a social-profit leader with over twenty years of experience in strategic fundraising, business development, operations management, marketing, governance, and special events. She joined Beedie Luminaries from the Vancouver Police Foundation where she led the implementation of important initiatives that resulted in the organization’s growth from $2 million to $20 million in assets. Martina was instrumental in launching the Vancouver Police Cadets, an award-winning youth program that continues to change the lives of hundreds of aspiring high school students from challenging backgrounds.
Before joining the Vancouver Police Foundation, Martina was the Executive Director of Cystic Fibrosis Canada – BC, Senior Manager of Communications for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, and Senior Account Director of Spectrum Marketing Corporation. She also holds an MBA from Queen’s University. Martina’s personal experience of being a new immigrant and a beneficiary of scholarship funding herself solidifies her strong commitment to our mission. She sees her role as a unique opportunity to pay it forward and inspire others to achieve their dreams.
Anisha Arora, Ed.D.
"Stay on Track" Student Coach
Anisha holds a Doctorate in Postsecondary Education and a Master’s Degree in Counselling with a specialization in student affairs. Her doctorate scholarship focused on the experiences of first-generation students of color. Anisha’s knowledge and expertise spans 20 years in the areas of student services, student enrolment, academic advising, equity, diversity, and inclusion. She also has over 10 years of university instruction experience and has taught at several universities in the United States and Canada.
For fun, Anisha loves to travel, cook, give back to the community and spend time with her family. Anisha respectfully acknowledges that she is a settler immigrant and is thankful for the opportunity to live on the unceded and traditional territories of the Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), Kwikwetlem (kʷikʷəƛ̓əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw), and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations.
If Anisha could go back in time, one thing she would tell her teenage self is: Don’t rush and trust the process.
Community and Student Forum Facilitator
Always behind the scenes taking projects from the ideation to reality, Florence is a multidisciplinary team builder and group facilitator. Florence’s drive for helping people realize their ideas and dreams began with her work in theatre as a stage manager, and since then she has brought an element of play and creativity to all of her work.
She has trained and worked as a leader and facilitator locally and internationally in the areas of public art, youth leadership, student travel, wellness, personal development and experiential education.
Florence’s facilitation style centers on becoming more comfortable with the uncomfortable and establishing deeper and more vulnerable connections both to one’s self and others.
Guided by these experiences, groups and individuals are free to serve a greater purpose and create a world around them that they are proud of.
Community and Student Forum Facilitator
Mackenzie is a facilitator, educator, and professional futurist who loves engaging with groups in exploring both personal and global issues.
After completing his MSc in Strategic Foresight, Mackenzie took his relentless curiosity to UNESCO to further his learning about futures literacy and global systems. At UNESCO he had the opportunity to facilitate international workshops for policymakers and government advisers.
Drawing on his experience in group facilitation and personal development training locally and internationally, combined with his BA in Psychology from UBC, Mackenzie created FAM Studios and partnered with Florence Cosulich to design and offer engaging group experiences intended to provoke curiosity, vulnerability, openness, and connections.
Mackenzie is delighted to be working with Beedie Luminaries and is honoured to be a Community and Student Forum Facilitator for these amazing students. While he continues to develop new options for engaging online, Mackenzie and Florence are both aimed at making the student community self-sustaining over the next few years. And from what they’ve seen of these incredible students so far – it won’t be long!
Program Development Manager
Paula joined Beedie Luminaries in February of 2019 with over 30 years of experience in diverse administrative and organizational roles, working in the fields of law, insurance, office management, hospitality, and fund development.
In her role as the Program Development Manager, Paula brings her deep knowledge and experience to further expand Beedie Luminaries and our social impact through the management support of operations, governance, program delivery and evaluation, mentorship & internship programs, and external & internal community relations.
Previously, Paula worked for the owner and founder of Rocky Mountaineer and his family office, where she was also exposed to the philanthropic activities and many charity events and programs. From this experience, she had found her passion for the social profit sector and decided to join the Vancouver Police Foundation. In her role as the Executive and Development Coordinator, she assisted the Executive Director in the growth, program development and grants distribution.
Paula is excited to support this inspiring and meaningful scholarship program.
"STAY ON TRACK" STUDENT COACH
Margaret holds a Master Degree of Special Education (Poland), and a Master Degree in Counselling Psychology (Canada).
Margaret is an experienced, passionate educator and youth mentor with over 30 years of experience, assisting youth 13 to 25 years old from an extensive range of ethnic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds with issues around relationships, identity development, mental well being, developmental transitions and life issues including trauma, poverty, losses and acculturation. She has worked with youth in Europe, Africa and Canada.
Margaret feels privileged to have learned from the young people she has worked with and admires their perseverance, resilience and determination. She understands the challenges faced by young people who have recently immigrated to Canada, as well as for youth endeavouring to honour their heritage and family values whilst finding their own unique voice and identity.
Over the last 15 years, Margaret has worked with Vancouver Coastal Health as a clinical youth counsellor. During this time, she has also worked with the Child and Youth Mental Health Team, as a mental health clinician.
Understanding the need for balance in life, Margaret is involved in her community; she enjoys time with family and friends, reading, walking the family dog and kayaking.
“Stay on Track” Student Coach
Hala is very excited to join the Beedie Luminaries Team. She has supported students of all ages for over 15 years, most recently in the area of university admissions, enrolment services, and award adjudication.
Her expertise is in promoting financial wellness, navigating student campus life environments, and understanding how to make the most of an academic learning experience. She holds a B.A. in Family Studies and a Master of Urban Studies (M.Urb) where her research focused on Youth and Public Space.
In her free time, she can be found running the trails on the North Shore of Vancouver, biking around the city, or where she feels most at home in a boxing gym. She is always happy to talk about food, books, or books about food!
Marketing & Program Development Coordinator
With a boundless passion for community and people, June is dedicated to youth development, education, and marketing. As a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia, June holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Law & Society.
June comes with 7 years of experience in community building through municipal-run recreation programs, mostly focused in underserved areas of the City. During this time, she collaborated with local not-for-profit organizations and School District 41 (SD41) to curate, implement, and carry out a variety of programs for school-aged children—many of them from immigrant and refugee families. Through activities in the indoor and outdoor sports, aquatics, social, as well as arts and culture spaces, June has catered to participants of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
As an emerging marketer, June has worked with creative agencies over the last three years to contribute to various digital and experiential marketing campaigns on behalf of nationally recognized brands. June is never afraid to strike up a conversation and has used this passion to increase brand awareness and conversion rates at live events across the province with attendance often exceeding 100,000 people.
Though Toronto-born, June is a West-coast advocate with a love for outdoor activities, reading, and art journaling. She hopes to bring her creativity and thoughtfulness into this role and is thrilled to join the team. And, if anyone was wondering… no, she wasn’t born in June!
Originally from Saskatchewan, Ian is a social entrepreneur and pioneer in the field of executive development. From 2000 to 2004, Ian served as the first CEO of the Columba 1400 Community and International Leadership Centre on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Columba 1400 was created to develop the leadership potential of young people from tough socio-economic realities across the UK. He has since served as the Centre’s first Fellow, assisting operational outreach in both Australia and South Africa.
Before his time in Europe, Ian served as the Director of Programs for Operation Enterprise, a division of American Management Association International headquartered in New York City, USA. There he played an integral role in pioneering an initiative to bring young talent from inner-city USA to experience a regime of formal leadership development.
Advisor & Committee Member
Laurie is a senior executive leader in health, education and social service sectors with over three decades of progressive experience as the leader of fundraising and non-profit organizations. She has served as a chief spokesperson in all areas relating to fund development, donor cultivation, stewardship, and government relations and advocacy, and has extensive experience in board cultivation, development and governance.
As CEO of the BC Women’s Hospital Foundation and member of the hospital executive, the Vice President of Development at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and many other executive leadership roles, Laurie possesses a unique combination of strategic leadership and organizational effectiveness expertise in high-growth environments.
Laurie has served on numerous non-profit boards, campaign cabinets and as a member of the Burnaby Board of Trade. Currently, Laurie is a Fundraising Strategist and Consultant and serves on the national board of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
Avis Glaze, Ed.D.
Dr. Avis Glaze is the Founder and CEO of Edu-Quest International Inc.
As a recognized international leader in elementary and secondary education, Avis has been acclaimed for her work in leadership development, student achievement, school and system improvement, human rights, social justice, diversity and inclusion, character development and equity of outcomes for all students. She has been invited by political and educational leaders to improve school, district, and governance structures towards improved performance. Her areas of special interest include working with educators to close achievement gaps, improving student engagement, and forging strategic partnerships with parents, business and community organizations.
Avis has worked with educators in 50 jurisdictions across the globe including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, England, the United States, the Caribbean and the majority of Canadian provinces. She is in demand as a keynote speaker at international conferences and for system performance reviews. She is currently a member of Scotland’s International Council of Education Advisers.
Avis has received more than thirty awards for outstanding contribution to education, including Educator of the Year, The Distinguished Educator Award, the 2001 YWCA Women of Distinction Award, the Harry Jerome Award, Sandford D. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award for Character Education, Scotland’s inaugural Robert Owen Award and The Order of Ontario, among others.
For further information, please visit her website at: www.avisglaze.ca
As a founding shareholder, Kelly’s career with Colliers traces back to 1967, when he joined Macaulay Nicolls Maitland as an investment salesperson. Within 10 years he was Managing Director, expanding Collier’s presence across Western Canada, and then into the U.S. as President, Western Region.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Kelly was active on the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and as Director of Asia Pacific. After playing numerous integral roles in the growth of the company, he was appointed Vice Chairman in 2002.
Kelly has always adopted the attitude and motivation of a business owner, as evidenced by extensive internal and external partnerships he maintains around the globe. This network was achieved through the ethos of connecting and giving. As Kelly puts it, “giving is good for business.”
A big part of that giving has also come through his involvement with numerous community organizations and initiatives, including serving as a BC Government-appointed representative to the Chartered Accountants Institute for three years, Cabinet member of the BC Business Hall of Fame Gala, as well as member of United Way Cabinets, BC Children’s Hospital Telethons, and the UBC Chancellor Selection Committee. More recently, he has started working with BC Housing and several non-profit agencies to find real estate solutions to assist our region’s homeless population and is actively supporting several VCH and UBC Hospital public health research projects. For the past 18 years, Kelly has also remained an Advisory Board Member of the Salvation Army BC Division.
Kelly will be retiring from Colliers in May, 2021 and is looking forward to devoting more time to community initiatives.
Sharad Kharé is a storyteller, documentarian and the founder of Human Biography, a Vancouver-based content agency that produces original video content for the most incredible humans, brands, and organizations across the globe.
Sharad has documented people such as Dalai Lama, Meryl Streep, Arianna Huffington, Chip Wilson, Susan Sarandon, Val Kilmer, Maye Musk, and Katy Perry, just to name a few, as well as many leaders and CEOs from all over the world. Human Biography has also created content for organizations such as TED, Microsoft, UN Women, Beedie, RBC, The David Lynch Foundation, Goldcorp, BCIT and many more. This may include video content for advertising, social media, or for educational purposes. They have captured stories in Canada and all across North America, as well as Europe, Asia and the UK.
Sharad holds a Masters degree in communications, where his academic research focused on personal and digital legacy. He is also the co-founder of “The Indigenous Collective” and has been a prolific collaborator with the Indigenous community, directing and producing video projects that capture First Nations stories and culture.
Sharad serves on the board of the Laurier Institution, Live Big Society, and BC Cancer, and is currently the President of TIE Vancouver – a chapter of a global entrepreneur group that mentors and advises some of the most active entrepreneurs in the world.
Kris Magnusson, Ph.D.
Advisor & Committee Member
Dr. Magnusson has served as Dean of the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University since 2009. During that time, he also served two terms as the Chair of the Association of BC Deans of Education, was co-chair of the BC Advisory Group on Provincial Assessment, led the development of the ACDE Accord on Internationalization in Education, and was co-chair of the SFU Aboriginal Reconciliation Council.
Kris’ academic work is in the area of counselling psychology and career development. He was the recipient of the Province of Alberta Career Development Award of Excellence and the 2006 recipient of the Stu Conger Award for Leadership in Career Development. Kris is also a co-founder of the Canadian Research Working Group for Evidence-Based Practice. Before joining SFU, Kris was a junior high school teacher, a college counsellor, and a faculty member in counselling psychology at the Universities of Calgary and Lethbridge.
Heather is pleased to have re-joined her alma mater, the University of British Columbia, to lead its Development and Alumni Relations program after serving for three years as the Vice-President of Advancement at the University of Alberta. As UBC’s Vice-President, Heather is responsible for development and alumni staff and programming across the university’s two campuses. Throughout her career, she has been involved in several major campaigns and co-directed UBC’s successful Start an Evolution Campaign, which raised over $1.6 billion from 2008 to 2015.
In addition to over 20 years of experience in the post-secondary sector, Heather was vice-president of two associated consulting companies, Give Canada Fundraising Corporation and Spectrum Marketing Corporation. These organizations specialize in securing strategic business partnerships and multimillion-dollar donations on behalf of non-profit clients that have included the United Way of the Lower Mainland, the Rick Hansen Foundation, the universities of Calgary and Victoria, and the Toronto Rehab Foundation. Heather’s volunteer activities have focused on social services and disability resources.
Advisor & Committee Member
With her expertise, network, enthusiasm, and genuine love for education, Melinda Giampietro has built Options Solutions to be the industry standard in educational consultancies in Canada. Melinda takes great pride in being a lifelong educator with over twenty-five years of experience, and she has helped over 5,000 students find their educational paths in the US, UK and Canada.
Melinda, Options president, is a vibrant and widely respected educational consultant in the fields of academic planning, career counseling, university admissions, and sports recruitment. Melinda believes options are empowering, and she helps students–and their parents–work together towards their educational goals, finding majors, post-secondary institutions and careers that match each student’s unique interests and aspirations.
Melinda holds multiple degrees in education, and she is a graduate of both the Counseling for College Institute and the Harvard Institute on College Admissions. Before she started Options Solutions, she worked as an Advanced Placement (AP) teacher, head of a university counseling department, and a high school principal. She has earned both local and national recognition for her commitment to education.
To provide the best possible service to her clients, Melinda attends regional and national conferences, and to stay current, she travels throughout Canada and the United States visiting universities. She is also a member of numerous educational and college counselor associations leading to a broad and diverse professional network. She is in constant contact with admission teams and the British Columbia Ministry of Education. Melinda loves reading, researching, and sharing information about education, admissions, and career trends with her clients, her staff, and her community.
Melinda has also written articles for and served as an expert on post-secondary issues for the Globe and Mail, CBC Radio, the IB Blog, and Canadian Student Magazine.
Melinda has worked closely with WE Charities since 2014 to raise awareness of women empowerment issues and currently sits on the WE Care Vancouver Circle of Champions board. She has also served on other local education and entrepreneur boards.
Wayne Hand P.Eng. MBA
With more than 16 years of experience as an industry leader and 25 years as an educator, Wayne Hand, Dean of BCIT’s School of Construction and the Environment, is well-respected within the construction and environmental sectors and he understands the importance of such relationship to the success of educational programs and students.
Under his leadership, the BCIT School of Construction and the Environment has seen the development of significant research programs and capacity building of Architectural Ecology and Building Science programs. Wayne has also been very successful in the application and execution of various industry and government grants, in particular, the first ever BCIT Canada Research Chair appointment.
In advancing student and industry success, Wayne has been the forerunner in developing many new credentials, including the Carpentry Framing and Forming Foundation program, Interior Design diploma and degree, Architectural Science degree, two master’s programs in Building Science, and numerous Part-time Studies certificates. In 2019, Wayne was awarded the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VCRA) Outstanding Achievement Award in the Education Leadership category.
2023 SELECTION COMMITTEE
David P. Burns, Ph.D.
Dr. David Burns is an educational policy scholar at KPU. He has written articles and book chapters on education policy, science education, moral education, education politics, educational technology, and many other topics. You can find his writing in publications such as the Canadian Journal of Higher Education, the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, University Affairs and Times Higher Education. His work was recently featured in Maclean’s magazine.
David is currently the Vice-Chair of the KPU Senate and a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Educational Studies. He chairs standing committees on curriculum, budget, teaching, and research. Through his student research group, the Kwantlen Educational Policy Incubator, he is currently working on competency-based university admission systems.
Committee Member - SPARK/ YWCA
Ghezal Durrani is a Community Development Coordinator at the YWCA and a student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS) and minoring in criminology. She is also a single mother of two (almost adult) children. As a scholar, Ghezal is driven to advocate for social equality. She immigrated to Canada twenty years ago as a young bride from Pakistan. Her journey in Canada was not easy. Being a racialized young woman with little education, no work experience, no English proficiency, and no community or family support was an enormous challenge. However, she was able to overcome these challenges and find her voice in the community to advocate for her rights and her children’s rights. After twenty years of struggle Ghezal can share her story, be a voice, and stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. She is determined to make positive community changes and strongly believes in the power of action and making life decisions that foster change. She focuses on collaboration and empowerment rather than individualized views based on race, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, political views, and lifestyle.
Ghezal has volunteered with the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing, was a representative on the Education Council at Vancouver Community College, a student representative at the Board of Governors at Langara College and also was board chair at the Chair of the Board Assessment Task Form along with many other community endeavours.
Her inspirational personal journey and professional experience will provide an invaluable perspective to the selection process of Beedie Luminaries’ Single-Parent Awards.
Candy Ho, Ed.D CCDP
Dr. Candy Ho, one of our Committee Members, is the inaugural Assistant Professor, Integrative Career and Capstone Learning in the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, Canada. She also holds teaching positions in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Educational Studies department and in Douglas College’s Career Development Practitioner Program. Candy currently serves as Board Chair of CERIC, a Canadian charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development, in order to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians.
Prior to becoming a faculty member, Candy has also worked extensively in university student affairs in areas such as first year experience and student transition, campus and residence life, career and volunteer services, co-operative education, academic advising, and university advancement. Her collective professional experiences to date have culminated in her doctoral dissertation investigating the
conceptions of post-secondary career influencers in student career success, and she readily shares her expertise locally and globally.
At BCIT, Sheila Muinga is a Registration Specialist responsible for liaising between students and sponsors, coordinating the Student Services departments within the Registrar’s office and oversees the enrolment of BCIT employees. Sheila has a background in tourism and hospitality and has worked in hotels under the Accor and Marriott brands in Asia and the Middle East.
With over five years of experience providing exceptional services in the hospitality and education industries, Sheila has an underlying passion for service and empowering young people to adapt and thrive in a complex and fast-changing world.
Sheila earned her MBA in International Hotel and Tourism Management from Vatel International Business School in France, received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Hotel and Resort Management from SUNY College of Technology in the United States and is currently undertaking studies in Nonprofit Management.
David Paterson, Ph.D.
Dr. David Paterson has served as Dean for the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University (VIU) since 2017. In his role, he provides academic leadership to ensure the highest quality of instruction and program delivery for VIU students as well as entrepreneurial leadership to assist with program development and new initiatives.
Paterson has held many key roles within education. Most recently, he served for 10 years as an Associate Dean for the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He has also served a teacher and counsellor educator.
Dr. Paterson holds a PhD (1999) from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Counselling Psychology. He has consistently served his profession at a high level throughout his career as President of the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors, Vice President for the International Association for Counselling and Former President and Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.
Committee Member - SPARK
Shauna Tonsaker MBA has served in leadership roles in education within BC for almost two decades. Currently directing the strategic oversight of the SFU Beedie School of Business Co-operative Education program, she’s passionate about helping students grow and develop through experiential learning. Her past roles have included president and director on the board for the Association for Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning BC/Yukon (ACE-WIL), director on the board of the Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) association and director of work integrated learning at SFU. She’s presented at national and international conferences on career development and earned her MBA through the Executive MBA program at SFU in 2021.
Jessie Williams is a member of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, Squamish Nation, and of
mixed European decent. Leaning on her lived experience and elder teachings, Jessie is
committed to being a connector and a relationship holder.
Jessie is the first of her immediate family to obtain post-secondary degrees (Bachelor of
Business Administration and a Master of Educational Administration and Leadership).
This has inspired her meaningful career which includes senior roles in kindergarten-
grade 12 and post-secondary Indigenous-focused educational governance, policy,
strategy, programs, services, and administration.
Currently, Jessie serves as Director of business Development and Communications with
the New Relationship Trust, which is an independent non-profit organization dedicated
to strengthening First Nations in BC through: Governance Capacity, Education (K-12 &
Post-Secondary), Language, Youth & Elder programming, and Economic Development.
Jessie is passionately committed to promoting whole human well-being and fulfillment.
This includes creating opportunities for others to step into their personal power, for
themselves, and for each other.
Committee Member - Rise
Laura Pasut has worked extensively with immigrants, youth and adults over the last 15+ years, guiding and supporting them to achieve their educational and career goals. For the past 5 years, she has had the pleasure of working with ISSofBC (Immigrant Services Society of BC) Career Services where she has assisted immigrants and refugees in integrating and finding success within the Canadian labour market.
At ISSofBC. Laura has been involved with a wide variety of programs. These have included a soft skill training project developing the soft skills of internationally trained tech professionals to boost their employability and advance their local careers, a digital literacy training program for immigrant women building their capacity to access education and work, and an employment skills training program guiding newcomers to develop training plans and providing funding to build occupational skills.
Currently, she is the Assistant Manager, in the national research project “Empowering Employers for the Future of Work,” an initiative implementing Canada’s Skills for Success framework. Here, Laura and her team are responsible for identifying tech sector employer partners and delivering customized soft skills and leadership training to boost the productivity, retention and well-being of their technical workforces.
Laura is honoured to be a member of the RISE Scholarship Selection committee.
Committee Member - Rise/ MOSAIC
Romy began her career as a Youth Worker in 2002 and since then has worked her way up into a variety of management roles. She is a team player who strives to build effective teams while supporting the needs of the community with sustainable programming. Romy brings extensive experience supervising a variety of diverse teams and disciplines. Her strength lies in recognizing and developing individual capacity, building community, and creating safe spaces for individuals to thrive.
Her experience building community partnerships and serving the public encompasses delivering a variety of front-line programs and services for children, youth, adults, and seniors; settlement services, employment services specializing in services for survivors of abuse and violence, literacy, food security and engaging in community development initiatives.
Romy was first exposed to settlement services as a practicum student. Over the years, she has worked with a variety of newcomers including Jarai and Syrian refugees. Currently, in her role as the Senior Manger of Children, Youth and Family Programs at MOSAIC, she oversees a variety of programs for Early Childhood Development including MOSAIC’s Family Centre which specifically supports refugee families, Settlement Workers in Schools for the New Westminster School District and Youth Projects.
Romy has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child and Youth Care and has currently completed a Diploma in Gerontology. She is also a proud cohort member of the 2020 DIA Fellowship in Developmental Leadership.
Romy is a big believer in giving back and is currently volunteering as the Treasurer on the Moresports BC Board of Directors and is very excited to be a part of the RISE Scholarship Selection Committee
Committee Member - SPARK
Elaine Williamson has served in leadership roles in higher education and the nonprofit sector for over twenty years. She is the Director of the Diploma in Marketing and Sales Management at the UBC Sauder School of Business and is an award-winning Adjunct Professor in the Marketing and Behavioral Science Division and the Ch’nook Aboriginal Management Program. As a co-founder of the Sauder Sales Mentorship Program, she created a career development platform to connect students with industry professionals, develop career-ready skills and find employment. Elaine has over 25 years of industry experience spanning nonprofit, higher education, and corporate industry.
Having recently completed a Master’s in Liberal Studies (SFU) with a focus on Indigenous Studies, Elaine also holds an MBA from the Sauder School of Business along with accreditations in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Elaine is an experienced community leader with over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, having served on the Board of Directors for a variety of organizations including BC Women’s Hospital Foundation, the Vancouver Writers’ Festival, and the Vancouver Space Centre. She currently co-chairs the Board of Dress for Success, an organization committed to empowering women into the workforce. Elaine is passionate about helping individuals who are striving to advance their academic and career goals and finding ways to address systemic constraints to economic empowerment. Elaine lives in Vancouver with her husband, four adult daughters and dog, Archie.
Committee Member - Rise
Dal is an educator, learning strategist, facilitator, and certified coach. She has worked in higher education for over 20 years in a variety of roles supporting student success and engagement. As an independent consultant, she provides training and coaching to organizations and individuals in the areas of leadership, interpersonal communication, and equity.
Dal immigrated to Canada as a small child with her parents. Her lived experience as a South Asian woman growing up on unceded Coast Salish Lands has helped shape her perspective and commitment to creating inclusive spaces and improving access for people from historically marginalized groups. Her guiding leadership philosophy embodies caring connection, reflective thinking and listening, and promotion of continuous learning. Dal has a MA in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University and a BA from SFU.
Committee Member - SPARK
Pam held a senior position at Spectrum Marketing and Give Canada for over 20 years. Her areas of expertise include the development of strategic corporate naming and partnership agreements as well as long-term philanthropic leadership gifts, primarily for the higher education and non-profit sectors. Prior to that Pam worked as the Director of Finance and Administration for a large franchise organization.
Pam holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of British Columbia and was a graduate of the Certified General Accountants program.
Pam was a long-term member of the Executive Committee for Rockin’ for Research, an annual gala event benefitting the T1D community (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). She was recently on the selection committee for the Dream Homes Project on Vancouver Island. Pam is honored to be a member of the SPARK Scholarship Selection committee.
"More than 80% of university students will graduate with student loan debt."