LVI Board & Coaching Team

The team behind Leadership Vancouver Island is made up of dedicated community leaders and change makers who are passionate about leadership and the vital impacts it has on Island communities.

As an entirely volunteer organization, these Coaches and Board Members combine their wealth of knowledge, expertise and personal networks to support LVI’s mission of inspiring and generating capacity for outstanding leadership, learning and service on Vancouver Island.

Curriculum and Coaching Team:

Janet Sheppard

Coaches' Coach

Janet Sheppard

Coaches' Coach

Janet has devoted her career(s) to supporting adult learners in a variety of contexts. After a 30 year career in higher education, offering counselling, learning support, and career and life development courses, Janet retired to pursue her love of learning and became a Certified Executive Coach.

Leadership begins with leading self, becoming the best version of ourselves in this moment. Janet’s passion lies in helping to facilitate insight, confidence and growth in people who want to contribute to their relationships, to their organizations, and to their communities.

Working with Leadership Vancouver Island has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Janet also sits on the Curriculum Committee and sees LVI as providing powerful integrative, experiential learning opportunities to emerging leaders on Vancouver Island.

When not working with clients or volunteering in her community, Janet can be found in her garden, with her family, or walking trails with friends and her dog, Chappy.

Tammy Phye

Program Coach

Tammy Phye

Program Coach

Tammy is a Certified Professional Coach, she has a passion for leadership and people living their “Best Life” these were key aspects for her starting her business over 20 years ago. She began her entrepreneurial journey at age 12.

Tammy works with a solution focused approach to her coaching, where she helps entrepreneurs and budding leaders gain clarity to embrace change and say “Yes” to creating their Rich Fulfilling Life, whatever that might mean to them, professionally or personally. She loves travel, yoga, having fun and is a life-long learner and explorer.

Darlene Huff

Program Coach

Darlene Huff

Program Coach

Darlene is Head Coach at The Coaching Suite where the mantra is “great business comes from trusting relationships, one conversation at a time”.

As an experienced certified coach of over 20 years, she specializes in exceptional business growth through laser focused leadership development. She assists executives and leaders in family owned and corporate businesses to up-level their skills to meet the ever changing demands. Business is not as usual. Darlene will prepare for your future success with less stress, more focus and passion.

A note about Darlene’s experience. Darlene has been building top tier successful teams for leading retailers such as Williams’s-Sonoma, The Disney Stores and David’s Bridal. Throughout she has demonstrated extraordinary team building skills plus the proven ability to coach leaders to grow their effectiveness by growing trust. Effective conversations in moments that matter and steady leadership presence are a tangible result in working with Darlene at The Coaching Suite.

Cindy Thompson

Program Coach

Cindy Thompson

Program Coach

Cindy is a partner in Thompson Leadership Coaching with her husband Robert, with the belief that “Adversity is inevitable, while Resilience is a Practice”.  Cindy is the sole proprietor of Cindy Thompson Counselling and host of A Resilience Project – podcast.  

Over the past 30 years she has been diving into the psychology behind human relationships, communication, and self-development.  In witnessing amazing transformation among thousands of individuals, she has great confidence in human potential.  

Bringing these insights and skills to the coaching relationship, Cindy is not only curious about how good you are now, but how good you are going to be.  With a focus on developing leaders, cultivating resilience and building on strengths, Cindy considers herself to be a “Possibilitarian”.  

In the words of Norman Vincent Peale – “No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities.  Always see them, for they’re always there”

 

Carmel Ecker

Program Coach

Carmel Ecker

Program Coach

Carmel is a CTI-trained Life Coach with a passion for self-leadership based in a strong future vision and core values. When people know what they want and why they want it, both personally and organizationally, the path forward is clear.

As a parent and business-owner, Carmel has used the principles of leadership to make tough decisions and to help her clients do the same. She uses a 5-part framework to help her clients lead in all aspects of their lives, helping them to escape indecision and overwhelm while building strong habits that lead to both short-term and long-term results.

She is an avid mountain biker and personal growth junky, with a penchant for singing and organizing. Everything she does is motivated by her desire to set the best possible example for her 10-year-old son.

Leesa Vreugde

Program Coach

Leesa Vreugde

Program Coach

Leesa Vreugde believes the there is always more beyond the surface and believes coaching is a thought-provoking and creative process that will inspire you to maximize your personal and professional potential. Leesa will be your partner on the journey toward identifying, clarifying and achieving your goals. Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change.

“I believe that in the history of my life, so far, there has never been a more important time for compassionate, agile, and emotionally intelligent leaders. Leaders of positive change for families, corporations, and communities. My clients come to me from all over the world seeking clarity and solutions to their situations. For me, being able to help, to be the talisman for my clients and to do this kind of work fills me with gratitude. To impact people and assist in shifting their lives, in an area of such vast and incredible beauty, and with overflowing pride to be a third-generation Island Girl, I could not ask for a more beautiful life.”

Leesa Vreugde is a PCC accredited coach by the International Coach Federation. 

She is the Managing Broker of Engel and Völkers Vancouver Island North, has an independent coaching practice Morning Owl Coaching and in her spare time is a Volunteer Firefighter and Emergency Medical First Responder. 

 

Board Members:

Craig Richardson

Board President

Craig Richardson

Board President

Craig Richardson has been a public safety professional for over 30 years. He began his firefighting career in 1990 with the City of Surrey Fire Department. Craig’s family relocated to Parksville in 2003 and he joined Nanaimo Fire Rescue in 2005 where he held several leadership roles and retired as fire chief in 2017. He has a passion for lifelong learning and holds a master’s degree in leadership and training from Royal Roads University. For more than 20 years, Craig has travelled throughout Canada and internationally educating fire and emergency first responders on a wide variety of topics including leadership and fire service administration. During his tenure at Nanaimo Fire Rescue, Craig led a team that created the Vancouver Island Emergency Response Academy (VIERA) which is an internationally accredited fire training academy serving Vancouver Island fire departments.

In retirement, Craig has not slowed down. He spent a year working in Saudi Arabia as a Fire Operations Advisor for the large petrochemical company, Saudi Aramco. Upon return from the Middle East, he served the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) for a year as Director of the Fire and Safety Division which is the Provincial Fire Academy. He continues to teach and consult in the fire and community safety field and has been an elected member of the Pro Board Committee on Accreditation, the international accrediting body for fire academies around the world, since 2009. Retirement allows Craig to increase his community service and he is very honoured to serve alongside his fellow LVI Board members. Finally, Craig has succeeded Russ Burke in the Board President role for 2021 and is grateful for the guidance and learning opportunities shared with Russ during this transition.

Russ Burke

Recruitment & Sponsorship Chair

Russ Burke

Recruitment & Sponsorship Chair

Russ Burke is a recently retired career banker. Most recently he served as Assistant Vice President and Manager of Canadian Western Bank in Nanaimo, a post he has held for fifteen years. Mr. Burke is also Past President of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, where he served as a member of the executive for six years. During that time, the Chamber was recognized as the “2003 B.C. Chamber of the Year”, was a top three finalist in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Competition for 2004 in Calgary and received honorable mention at the 2005 World Chamber of Commerce annual meeting in Durban, South Africa. Under his leadership the Chamber completed a new $600,000 chamber office building construction program & related fund raising campaign. Other activities included cultural and business exchange visits to the Maples region of Quebec. Mr. Burke was honoured as Business Leader of the Year in 2011 by the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce at the annual Sterling Awards and in January 2015 was granted an honorary Lifetime Membership in the Chamber.

Mr. Burke is Past Chair of the Nanaimo Airport Commission which recently completed a $25 million expansion and reliability improvement project. Mr. Burke was also the Chair of the Friends of Malaspina committee, which was a successful initiative to have Malaspina University Collage upgraded to full university status. It is now known as Vancouver Island University. He was a founding member of the Invest In Yes-New Nanaimo Conference Center committee, which was successful in obtaining voter approval for the $70 million project. Russ is a past president of the Nanaimo Executive Association and served as a councilor with Trinity Catholic Church. Russ recently passed the Board President baton to Craig Richardson for 2021 and is eager to share his knowledge and passion for the program with the new Board President. Russ will continue to serve as Vice Board President and Recruitment and Sponsorship Chair. Mr. Burke was a founding member of Leadership B.C Nanaimo now known as Leadership Vancouver Island. This is a community driven, 8 month leadership training course which has graduated more than 250 candidates over the past 10 years. It is recognized by Vancouver Island University as an elective course towards a degree program or as credit for the Certificate in Community Leadership diploma.

Russ is a past director of Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, who’s objectives are to promote a sustainable and diversified economy, regional leadership, strong communities and First Nations development. Mr. Burke served 9 years as an Honorary Colonel of the 39 Signal Regiment, Canadian Armed Forces and has conducted a goodwill tour of CFB Camp Julien, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Russ is married with three children, all of which are graduates of Vancouver Island University. He is an avid golfer, photographer, fisherman & enjoys mountain biking.

Dirk Heydemann

Marketing Director

Dirk Heydemann

Marketing Director

Dirk is a professional image consultant who assists his fabulous clients with their marketing and promotional needs through digital imagery. Dirk of HA Photography has successfully organized and executed photo shoots for large national corporations, non-profits, and local small businesses. Dirk’s images have been published locally, nationally and internationally in magazines, annual reports, books and billboards as far away as China.

When Dirk is not photographing or assisting as a board member, he can be found being with his family. Dirk and his wife Ronei have vibrant and charming daughter Kaita who continues to be an inspiration to them both. They enjoy long road trips, exploring the world, sleeping in and laughing. Dirk loves playing music and jamming with friends and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Dirk has continually given back to the community over his 25 years of shooting professionally. He has donated his expertise and professionalism to The Vancouver Island Symphony. The Child Development Centre and Run for the Cure and the BC Summer Games, just to name a few. Dirk was a participant of the Leadership Vancouver Island curriculum 2016 -17, an invaluable experience that has been beneficial to his personal and family life as well has his business. Dirk believes leadership plays an important roll in advancing one’s own personal goals and making our community a more vibrant and inclusive community for all. It was a natural progression for Dirk to join the board of Leadership Vancouver Island. He is excited about the opportunities LVI has to play a more prominent roll in our community

Anita Sundberg

Board Treasurer

Anita Sundberg

Board Treasurer

Originally from Powell River, Anita Sundberg has called Nanaimo home for 30 years.  She moved to Nanaimo to attend Malaspina College (now VIU) and graduated with a Commercial Accounting Certificate. Hired by the City of Nanaimo in May 1991, Anita worked in the Finance Department for over 26 years.  She held a temporary position with the Legislative Services Department as Acting FOI and Records Supervisor, and recently accepted a new role as Project Budget Accounting Clerk with the Engineering and Public Works Department.

Much of Anita’s down time is spent with her family or volunteering with such organizations as the Nanaimo Judo Club, Badminton Nanaimo and the Wave Babes.  The Wave Babes raise funds for the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation and were recently recognized on their River of Life Donor Wall as Philanthropists, where their contributions have exceeded $150,000 over the past ten years!

Anita has one son, Braxton, and four step-daughters.  Anita and her partner, Rodney, have hosted international students with School District 68 since 2008, being home stay parents for 16 children over the years.  In her spare time, Anita enjoys walking, running and coffee with “the ladies” and with Rod enjoys hiking, kayaking, camping and travelling.

Anita graduated from the LVI Program in June 2018 and was appointed to the LVI Board in December 2018.

Trish Smith

Secretary

Trish Smith

Secretary

Trish grew up in Nanaimo and has always loved the friendliness and small town feel of this beautiful harbour city. After completing university and living in Whistler and Victoria for 15 years working in the event management field, she returned ‘home’. Trish feels fortunate to have gained experience in an industry she loves, including early days working at the Whistler Conference Centre in food and beverage, to organizing many weddings, conferences, festivals and film shoots at Royal Roads University, the Royal BC Museum and the Victoria Conference Centre.

Since returning to Nanaimo Trish feels privileged to have worked alongside some amazing volunteers and Boards of Directors to manage some pretty cool community events, including the Relay for Life, the BC Gymnastics Championships, the BC Senior’s Games and Parksville Beach Festival’s Sand Sculpting Competition. Trish works at Vancouver Island University in Human Resources organizing employee events and workshops. Outside of work, Trish enjoys mountain biking, dancing, and challenging herself with various fitness milestones, such as the Tough Mudder, the Spartan Sprint, and the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race.

Bradd Tuck

Recruitment & Sponsorship[

Bradd Tuck

Recruitment & Sponsorship[

Bradd Tuck is an alumnus of Leadership Vancouver Island and serves on the board as Recruitment and Sponsorship Chair. After completing the LVI program in 2020, Bradd was drawn to stay connected and involved with the organization. The program was a catalyst for change and growth in both his professional and personal life. Wanting to give back to LVI, Bradd volunteered as an alumnus during Orientation and on the Community Project Task Force. Never being one to shy away from a job, Bradd gratefully accepted a nomination to the board in 2021.

Bradd serves on the board of the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce and chairs the Young Professionals Committee, is an organizing member of 100 Oceanside Men Who Give a Damn, and a volunteer with the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock. Bradd has previously served on the board of the Young Professionals of Oceanside and SOS Project Rebuild Committee. As a board member, Bradd hopes to continue to find opportunities to grow and learn from fellow board members, coaches, and participants. In the recruitment role, Bradd enjoys sharing his firsthand experience on how the LVI program can create positive change. Bradd loves to hear the stories of participants and what has motivated them to further their own leadership journeys. Bradd is grateful to be able to continue his own learning through working with an incredibly engaging and knowledgeable board.

Always drawn to the island, Bradd Tuck moved to Parksville in 2013 after growing up in Manitoba and graduating from the University of Victoria with a degree in Social Sciences. Bradd started his career as Park Manager in Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. After he and his wife Carlea welcomed their first son, Oliver, in 2015, Bradd joined the family business, Yates Memorial Services. Bradd’s role as General Manager has cultivated a passion for team growth and development. Bradd’s family has grown to include another son, Bowen, and black lab Bentley. Bradd and his family enjoy camping, biking, and exploring the island. Bradd firmly believes that service is an integral part of being part of the business community.

“We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other.” – Vala Afshar

Holly Douglas

Program Coordinator

Holly Douglas

Program Coordinator
Holly was born and raised in the Valley and Vancouver Island has always been her home, aside from a brief moment where she took a marketing and management course in Vancouver after high school. In the past Holly has worked in the financial industry helping clients through her role as Financial Services Representative, and has worked behind the scenes in the pulp & paper industry as the primary billing and invoicing contact for a local contracting company. She is enthusiastic with her role as Office and Programs Assistant with Community Futures and looks forward to making an impact on our community through Leadership Vancouver Island.
Outside of the office Holly is an avid runner who has completed several half marathons, two full marathons (including World Marathon Major, Chicago Marathon), and other events. She loves volunteering for local races with her run club and believes exploring is best done on foot. Holly is passionate about helping others, active living, and animal welfare. She has two rescue dogs, Nala and Luna, and enjoys camping with her husband, spending time outside, and exploring all that the Valley has to offer.