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:

Jesse Kemp

Curriculum Committee Chair

Jesse Kemp

Curriculum Committee Chair

Jesse Kemp has travelled the world educating diverse groups of people: new professors, experienced teachers, corporate trainers, as well as inmates and the homeless. Now living in Nanaimo, he works as a Career and Work Integrated Learning Coordinator at Vancouver Island University.

When facilitating, Jesse’s specialty is active engagement; he fights for the participant’s attention in all of his sessions. He helps people develop their performance, all with one goal: IMPROVE. We all have the capacity to learn and get better, and Jesse likes to help people do it!

Jesse was referred to the LVI Program by David Gouthro and has facilitated sessions on team-building and goal-setting. Jesse was appointed to LVI’s Board in December 2018 and, as of 2019, will lend his knowledge to the program curriculum as the Curriculum Chair.

Randel L. Wright, EPC, CEPC, ACC

Program Coach and Curriculum Committee

Randel L. Wright, EPC, CEPC, ACC

Program Coach and Curriculum Committee

Randel is about increasing communication. He has worked in business for over 30 years both as manager and owner. In the past five years he has focused on Coaching, as well as running a medium sized underwater commercial construction company.

Randel has a small coaching practice that focuses on the clients’ needs; whether that is creating clarity around what they desire in life, what is important and why it is important. After creating clarity, clients can easily move toward the desirable feelings and situations they would like to have in their life. Randel has developed great communication skills through education and experience as a relationship coach. Whether your relationship is with your spouse, your boss, your employees, your kids or yourself, better communication is the key.

Randel has a Bachelor of Arts in business, is certified as a Solution Focused Coach, Family Coach, and NLP Practitioner through Erickson College International.

www.imaginefocus.net

Florie Varga

Program Coach and Curriculum Committee

Florie Varga

Program Coach and Curriculum Committee

Florie Varga is a business consultant and coach who joined the Leadership Vancouver Island team in 2017. Coach Florie applies an outcome based focus to support her clients in their inspired breakthrough to clarity, courage and commitment in business, life and family. In addition to program coaching duties, Florie also serves on LVI’s Curriculum Committee.

Florie is married and has two really cool daughters who keep her hopping in all things. She loves traveling, camping, yoga and is an avid life long learning. She has a keen interest in personal development and fostering how we can thrive in connection with each other.

Tania Walter Gardiner

Program Coach

Tania Walter Gardiner

Program Coach

Tania is a certified professional coach with a specialty in values and solutions focused coaching. She has a passion for leadership, coaching, learning and contribution to community. Tania has volunteered with LVI for 6 years, facilitating team building, coaching participants, Coaches Coach, Curriculum Committee and President of the LVI Board.

She has a coaching practice working in partnership with entrepreneurial business leaders who are seeking a clear path forward, want to learn strategies to achieve their goals and create a focused plan so that you can life your definition of success in business and life. We get clear on your vision and the results you want to create, why it matters and design a purposeful action plan to achieve it. You begin to control the demands on your time, gain increased confidence and create a balanced fulfilled life.

Tania also is an enrollment adviser and facilitator with Erickson Coaching International, providing coaching training. In addition to her professional coach training, Tania has a Masters in Leadership and Bachelors in Recreation Management with a minor in psychology and is a Master Neuro-linguistic Practitioner.

Christine McAuley

Program Coach

Christine McAuley

Program Coach

Christine is a Certified Executive Coach, having completed her education at Royal Roads University.

Christine has a strong entrepreneurial business background, with over 30 years experience in diverse industries ranging from healthcare, to customer focused retail, communications & public relations.

Supporting individuals and organizations navigate through transition and change is one of her passions as a coach.

Christine, together with her business partner, have a small coaching company. They support both for profit and not-for-profit businesses as well as those individuals who are wanting to change their path, find their passion and live their best life. She also continues to work with her husband at their print company and contracts to a not-for-profit company in their development department.

In her spare time, Christine enjoys writing, reading, boating and travelling to interesting places. She loves animals and is happy to share her home with an 18 year old Himalayan named Toby, and of course her husband Brad.

https://cohesiveconcepts.ca/

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.

Maarten van Wamel

Curriculum Committee

Maarten van Wamel

Curriculum Committee

Maarten van Wamel is a Leadership and Organizational Developer who helps organizations, individuals and communities to be successful at creating future added value. He has worked with First Nations, not-for-profits and various levels of government, from small businesses up to multi-nationals.

Maarten supports leaders in generating circumstances that allow our constantly changing and increasingly culturally diverse communities, businesses and organizations to be successful. His experience and firm belief in people’s ability to learn have allowed him to design, manage and deliver action learning leadership and personal development programs that make a difference.

Maarten works as a Consultant and Leadership Developer at Powell River based Alofi! Consultancy. Before moving to Canada, he worked with Van Harte & Lingsma, one of the leading leadership and organizational developers in The Netherlands. He is a certified Leadership Trainer, Core Qualities Trainer and Dynamic Balanced Leadership Scorecard facilitator.

Board Members:

Russ Burke

Board President and Recruitment & Sponsorship Chair

Russ Burke

Board President and 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.

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.

Craig Richardson

Board Vice-President

Craig Richardson

Board Vice-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.

Andrew Crosby

Director-at-Large

Andrew Crosby

Director-at-Large

Andrew Crosby is an Assistant Branch Manager with Coastal Community Credit Union.  He has more than 15 years of experience in the service industry, over 10 of those in the financial sector, helping people make sound decisions in all aspects of their personal finances.

Andrew understands firsthand the tremendous value of the LVI program as a past graduate of the program and continues to participate in leadership development opportunities to enhance himself both professionally and personally.  He enjoys giving back to the community through his church, as a board member with Leadership Vancouver Island, and throughout the year by participating in numerous community events. In the past he has also been involved in coaching youth sports alongside his wife Jennifer – something that they look forward to doing again with their own three children.

Laraine Ashpole

Community Projects Chair

Laraine Ashpole

Community Projects Chair

Laraine Ashpole has been a Nanaimo resident for over 20 years. She is looking forward to making Courtenay her home in the coming year.

Laraine has a diverse background that includes working in public service, private business and non-profit organizations. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Master of Arts in Leadership & Training from Royal Roads University. Laraine has completed certification in Mediation and Negotiation at the Justice Institute of BC. She currently works as an Employers’ Adviser with the Ministry of Labour and Qualified Civil Mediator with the ADR Institute of Canada/BC and MediateBC.

During her public service career Laraine has experienced many leadership roles including Program Coordinator, District Supervisor for BC Income Assistance, and Acting Executive Director & Acting Regional Manager for the Employers’ Advisers Office. She participated in executive coaching and has been a mentor and coach to aspiring leaders. She has a passion for supporting businesses and organizations to create cultures that promote professional & personal development and enrich our communities.

Laraine was the Program Coordinator and a Coach with Leadership BC – Ladysmith from 2007-2010. When the programs joined to create Leadership Vancouver Island, she took on the roles of Coaches Coach and Curriculum Committee member until 2012. She is very excited to return to Leadership Vancouver Island as a volunteer Board Member.

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.

Sarah Pachkowsky

Director-at-Large, Marketing Committee

Sarah Pachkowsky

Director-at-Large, Marketing Committee

Sarah Pachkowsky has been employed with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity Mid-Vancouver Island, Big Brothers Big Sister Central Vancouver Island and COCO Café. She has been instrumental in significantly increasing the volunteer activities, raising the profile and financial contributions to the organizations and building a stronger strategic plan. Sarah also owns a local residential construction company where she is the Project Manager. She supports customers through the process of making their dreams become a reality, through the design and build process.

Lifelong learning is important to Sarah and a priority she has made throughout her career. She has a background in Leadership, Marketing and Event Marketing and is currently continuing her studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Project Management for her PMP designation. She is also enrolled with UBC for her Real Estate Licence and will be starting her Master’s in International Leadership with Royal Roads University in fall 2019.

Engaging with and finding means to better the community are passionate objectives for Sarah. She has been engaged for over a decade with community non-profit organizations and developing sustainable social services that support and create a stronger community.

Sarah is an active Board member for Volunteer Nanaimo (serving as Vice Chair); The Leadership Society of Vancouver Island (serving as a Board Director); and is the Run Director for the 2019 Run for the Cure. She has previously served on the Girls Guides of Canada local Board and Co-founder of Mid-Island Gives. She served as the Director of Partnership Relations for the MBA Games Organizing Committee with Vancouver Island University. Additionally, she has civic government experience having served on two City of Nanaimo committees – Safer Nanaimo Advisory Committee and the Grants Advisory Committee. As a volunteer, Sarah has participated and provided her expertise to Young Professionals of Nanaimo (YPN), and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island.

Sarah has a passion to imagine and create innovative solutions that will affect positive and powerful change for the betterment of her community, both economically and socially.

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, one full 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.

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