HomeAbout UsBoard of Directors

Board of Directors

 Susan Tomaine  

Chair

Susan Tomaine

Susan joined Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland as a volunteer in 2008 because she believes every girl can benefit from having a supportive mentor. Susan began serving as a director on the board of Big Sisters in 2010 and continues to act as a Study Buddy tutor.

As a lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Susan practises corporate and securities law. Her practice involves advising public and private companies with respect to mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance transactions, as well as providing advice to her clients on corporate and commercial matters and compliance with securities legislation. Before moving to Vancouver, Susan worked as a corporate lawyer in London and New York.

 
       
amir_m - Pic 1  

Vice-Chair

Amir Moghadasi

Amir is the CFO of Lucidea, a knowledge management software company with offices in Canada, the U.S. and Britain. He is experienced in financial advisory, corporate planning, operations and reporting. Amir has previously worked with Grant Thornton LLP and Deloitte LLP in Vancouver and has spent 6 months working in London, UK. Prior to Big Sisters, he was a director of two not-for-profit organizations.  

Amir genuinely believes in Big Sister’s mission and values.  His goal is to focus on supporting volunteers, staff and the Board to champion every Little Sister’s potential, to promote mentoring and to be engaged in filling his role as a member.

He is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from UBC. When not at work, he enjoys travelling, reading, volunteering, skiing, networking and spending time with family.

 
       
  Wesley  

Treasurer

Wesley Marstaller

Wesley joined the Big Sisters board in 2015, after working with several other community service organizations in the US, Europe and Eastern Canada. The majority of Wesley's earlier service experience was with Rotary International.

Wesley is the Chief Operating Officer at Rennie Group in Vancouver. In this role, he oversees operating initiatives in the Rennie real estate businesses, Rennie Marketing Systems and Rennie and Associates, and is responsible for Rennie's non-real estate activities. Prior to joining in 2014, Wesley worked at Macquarie, a global investment bank, where he was a vice president in the private equity investment division. While at Macquarie, he worked in New York and London and was responsible for acquiring and managing companies in the infrastructure and industrial activity sectors. Wesley has completed over $2 billion worth of acquisitions and many corporate initiatives in renewable energy, marine ports, airports, toll roads, waste service, and other industries.

Wesley lives in Vancouver with his wife Rebecca and their son William. 

 
       
 Shelley Parker  

Secretary

Shelley Parker

Shelley was a Big Sister to Heidi for over twelve years and has been encouraging other women to become mentors since 2006 as a Big Sisters Ambassador.  She also volunteers at a number of the Big Sisters fundraising and community profiling events.  Shelley is a strong proponent of community volunteerism and as such has also devoted time to a number of other groups including Families for Children, the Burnaby Children’s Centres Society, and Vancouver Community College’s Office Core Skills program.

Shelley is a business professional with many years of experience managing all aspects of small businesses in the health care and pre-hospital care industries.  She has demonstrated leadership in sales, marketing, finance, operations, and human resources.  She is currently the Resuscitation Program Manager for British Columbia and the Yukon at the Heart and Stroke Foundation where she is responsible for managing a large network of instructors, ensuring standards are followed through rigorous quality assurance processes, and providing resuscitation programs expertise.

 
       
 Martina Lee  

Director

Martina Lee

Martina Lee was born in South Korea but grew up in Toronto, Ontario. She
earned her BSc in microbiology at the University of Toronto but decided that looking at petri dishes was not her future. She then came out West to obtain a LLB at the University of British Columbia. She worked one crowded summer in Seoul and spent one glorious year in Bordeaux, France enroute to becoming a lawyer.

She is currently Senior Legal Counsel at ICBC, providing advice on intellectual property, information technology, marketing, advertising, contest, social media and general contract matters. Before ICBC, Martina worked at Sierra Wireless and Air Canada. Martina is also a director of a not-for-profit arts organization called Public Dreams Society that puts on Illuminares and Parade of the Lost Souls. She has served as the Chair of this Board since 2007.

Martina thought about becoming a Big Sister for many years. In 2004, she became a volunteer mentor and in 2005, she was matched with her current Little Sister, Masha, who has already grown in so many ways since their first outing.

 
       
 Deanna Louie  

Director

Deanna Louie
Deanna is the Director of Finance and Operations at St. Andrew’s Hall (SAH), the Presbyterian College at the University of British Columbia. She is responsible for the overall operations of SAH, including financial oversight, facilities management, housing operations, human resources, and ministry of care to students and residents.

 

Deanna is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor with wide-ranging audit and accounting experience across diverse organizations and industries. She has worked with organizations, such as Ernst & Young LLP, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, London Drugs Limited, and the University of British Columbia. Deanna holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

 

Deanna strongly believes in giving back to the community and volunteers with several non-profit organizations.

 
       
Jennifer_Mackenzie
 

Director

Jennifer MacKenzie

As Chief Operating Officer for Vancouver Coastal Health in Richmond, Jennifer leads a dynamic team responsible for a diverse portfolio of health care services and programs spanning primary, home and community care; mental health and addictions; residential care; population and family health services and acute care services. Jennifer’s expertise is in strategic and operational planning, organizational performance, project and change management and business process redesign. Previous to this role, she was Vice-President, Strategic Planning, Transformation Support and Innovation for the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA). 

Jennifer was named Canada’s Outstanding Young Health Executive of the Year by the Canadian College of Health Services Executives in 2008.

She has published a number of research papers, lectured at UBC Sauder School of Business Executive MBA in healthcare program and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. She previously served on the Executive of the Lower Mainland Chapter of the Canadian College of Health Service Executives. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy and a Masters of Business Administration.

 
       
 Danielle Veldhuis Jan13  

Director

Danielle Veldhuis 

Danielle is a clinical counsellor who has been working with children and families for over 13 years through roles in the non-profit sector, government and private practice.

Early in her career, Danielle worked extensively with young, at-risk girls and as a result, has witnessed first-hand the critically important role of positive mentors for young people. She has worked at Options Community Services in Surrey, Jericho Counselling in Vancouver, and as a child and family therapist with the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development for seven years. Danielle is now with Foundations Counselling.

Danielle obtained a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Simon Fraser University and a Master's degree in Counselling Psychology from City University of Seattle where her thesis focused on the importance of caregiver role-modelling of positive body image for young girls. Danielle lives in Delta with her husband, Niels and their daughter Maelle.

 
       
 2014 KW profile photo
 

Director

Katie White

Katie is Director of Communications for Partnerships British Columbia Inc. In this role, she provides leadership and guidance in developing strategic communications, marketing and stakeholder engagement programs that support and attain a leadership position for major infrastructure projects.

Katie has extensive experience working with all levels of government and the private sector. She manages key relationships with the media that results in reputation enhancing coverage through creative story‐building. Activating stakeholder and community support that achieves a social license to build and operate through long‐term partnerships is her key strength.

 

Prior to joining Partnerships BC, Katie worked in corporate communications and public affairs, government relations, issues management and public consultation and community engagement for Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority and a major provincial transportation infrastructure project.

 

Katie is a long-standing member and award recipient of the Canadian Public Relations Society. She is an active participant with the Next Leader’s Council, Business Council of British Columbia, where her contributions are focused on public policy building and advocacy. 

 

She, her husband and their super dog Yorkshire Terrier live in Vancouver, BC.

 
 
       
 Barbara Meens Thistle  

Director

Barbara Meens Thistle

Barbara Meens is the VP of Corporate Services at the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC).   For more than twenty years, Barbara has held senior positions across Canada at organizations including ICBC, Emera (an energy company), BC Hydro, Intrawest, and Westcoast Energy (now Spectra Energy).  Barbara was also a consultant for several years, with a practice that focused on major human resources and change management initiatives in the public sector, energy industry, and health care.  She actively participates in a variety of personal and professional volunteer activities such as the Vancouver Board of Trade Leadership of Tomorrow Mentoring program; YWCA Mentoring Program; Canadian Women’s Foundation; BCHRMA, and the Conference Board of Canada HR Council.

 
       
Carol Robinson  

Director

Carol Robinson

Carol is the Owner and Principal Executive Search Consultant of Harbour West Consulting, providing leadership search primarily in the non-profit and broad public sectors.  Previously, she was the Senior Manager of the Board Resourcing and Development Office, BC Provincial Government.  In addition, Carol has spoken locally and internationally on public sector search, appointment and board governance practices.

Carol is a graduate in Psychology and Family Studies from UBC and Human Resource Management from BCIT.  In addition to serving on the Board Member of Big Sisters, she is a Public Member for the College of Midwives of British Columbia and is the Co-Chair, Nominations Committee, for the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.  Carol is committed to supporting a variety of organizations that support, mentor and enhance opportunities for woman and children.


 
       
 Lorna Nimmons  

Director

Lorna Nimmons 

Lorna is an audit partner in KPMG’s Greater Vancouver practice and has over 20 years of experience providing assurance and business advisory services to private and public companies, primarily in the real estate and hospitality sectors. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Lorna is a 1994 graduate from the University of Edinburgh, in Law and Accountancy LLB (Hons). She holds a Chartered Accountant (CA) designation from Scotland and British Columbia. Within KPMG she is Chair of Women in Leadership in Greater Vancouver and thus actively involved in mentoring women to achieve their leadership goals.

Lorna is passionate about being involved in her community and helping others. She is a former director of, Vancouver CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) (2005-2007) of which she was a founding member, and of the Association of Women in Finance (2011-2013). She is currently the President of the North Shore Disability Resource Centre (2010-present) and Treasurer of 365give (2014-present). In June 2014 she obtained her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Lorna is a former Big Sister and joined the Board of Big Sisters in 2016 as she is a strong supporter of the organization and in particular its mentoring objectives.

Lorna, her husband and two young daughters live in West Vancouver.

 
       
 Diane Jang  

Director

Diane Jang

Diane Jang, a Big Sister for six years, is the President of Sunrise Soya Foods, Canada’s leading tofu company. With over twenty five years of business experience in the food industry, she brings an entrepreneurial approach to building companies and organizations through her leadership in all facets of the business. Her particular focus is providing strategic direction and enhancing organizational culture for sustainable success, growth and profitability.

Diane continues to enjoy being a Big Sister with her Little Sister, Victoria. She is very passionate about the Big Sister program and has joined as a Board Member in 2016. Diane is also involved with Futurpreneur Canada as a volunteer mentor. In that role, she provides business advice, support and encouragement to young entrepreneurs striving for business success.

Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University, Diane also enjoys outdoor activities such as golf, skiing, biking, and running, as well as travelling and a wide range of cultural experiences. And yes, she’s a “foodie.”

 

 
       
   

 Director

Lynda Phinney

A seasoned communications professional, Lynda has a broad range of experience in the areas of strategic communications, media relations, employee communications, sponsorships and community investment.  She also brings experience in public consultation, government relations, and brand management. Lynda’s background includes senior communications positions in finance, telecommunications as well as several years working at public relations agencies. Previous board experience includes the YMCA and the Capital Campaign Executive Committee and Marketing Committee for West Vancouver’s Collingwood School.

Lynda is delighted to be a new member of the Big Sisters Board and looks forward to contributing in the areas of strategic communications planning and fundraising. She lives in North Vancouver with her husband Loring and their two children, Spencer and Grace. 

 

 

 If you are interested in volunteering to be a Board member with our agency, please send your resume to us.

We also have an Honourary Advisory Board which acts as a team of advisors to our Board and senior staff; offering their ideas, experience and expertise as needed. Click here to see who's on the Honourary Advisory Board...