At the Y, we think it’s time to get back to the things that matter. Communities all over the Lower Mainland are facing profound change and increasing social problems every day – youth are experiencing anxiety and lack safe places to go, children have behavioural issues impeding their readiness for kindergarten, and families are squeezed and lack the resources to make healthy choices. Now is the time to be bold and invest in building civil society, so that children, teens, families, adults, immigrants and seniors living in our communities can reach their potential.
The transformational What Really Matters Capital Campaign we embarked on two years ago wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated volunteers. 68 passionate and engaged individuals agreed to help us have conversations with the community about what really matters – they are the true driving force behind this integrated campaign.
Today, we would like to introduce you to the 11 members of the Regional Campaign Cabinet. Led by Co-Chairs Bob Chan Kent and Greg D’Avignon, this team of inspiring leaders took on the task of helping the YMCA secure Major Gifts and direct and operate the What Really Matters Capital Campaign.
BOB CHAN KENT, CO-CHAIR REGIONAL CAMPAIGN CABINET
Robert (Bob) Chan Kent is the past President and CEO of Quantum Apparel Group. As the owner and principal shareholder, the company was sold in April of 2018. Bob is now retired from active involvement in the Garment Industry. Based in Vancouver it is a business focused on the design, manufacture and distribution of women’s clothing throughout North America. Prior to that Bob worked for his family’s firm—Aero Garment Limited—where he also served as President. Bob received his education at the University of British Columbia where he holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a diploma in Urban Land Economics.
A member of the Downtown YMCA since 1972, Bob has a long history of service in the local business community and the Y. Since 1977, he has given countless hours to YMCA Capital Campaigns, the YMCA Board of Directors (as both Member and Chair) and the Downtown YMCA Advisory Committee. Bob was Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for YMCA Canada and also served on the Board of the World Alliance of YMCA’s based in Geneva, Switzerland. He is a member of our YMCA’s Heritage Club and Ambassador’s Club. We are thrilled to have Bob as the Co-Chair for the What Really Matters Campaign, bringing a wealth of campaign experience to help the YMCA invest in community.
What really matters to Bob?
“What really matters to me is that the Y continues to deliver quality programs to the community it serves—that those programs are available to everyone regardless of means. I want to see the Y continue as a safe, reliable and welcoming place to come for all.”
GREG D’AVIGNON, CO-CHAIR REGIONAL CAMPAIGN CABINET
Greg D’Avignon is the President and CEO of the Business Council of B.C., a 250-member driven policy and advocacy organization comprised of the province’s largest and leading businesses in every sector of the provincial economy as well as B.C.’s post-secondary institutions. Collectively BCBC members employ 25 percent of the province’s labour force.
A fourth generation British Columbian, Greg has held senior private and public sectors leadership positions over the last 25 years, including serving the Prime Minister of Canada. He is a frequent contributor, facilitator and commentator on business and public policy issues that influence the economy and prosperity of Canada and British Columbia.
Greg is the past-Chair of the BC Cancer Foundation and former Chair of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. He is a current member of the Board of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, Co-Chair of the YMCA What Really Matters Capital Campaign, and a Board member of the Premier’s Indigenous Business Investment Council and the BC Academic Health Science Network and several corporate boards.
Greg was a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and has been named one of Vancouver’s Power 50 list of influencers
What really matters to Greg?
“From an early age my family ingrained in me the importance of community, leadership and service to others, values I have tried to instill in my sons. I firmly believe that regardless of your capacity, whether it be small or large, that acts of service to others through a moment of your time, sharing your talent or resources is vital to ensuring a prosperous society. I get great joy and a sense of pride when I am involved in the successful results of the combined acts of people making a difference.”
CATHERINE VAN ALSTINE
Catherine Van Alstine is a Senior Partner of Boyden in Vancouver, where she has taken on many leadership roles including a three-year term on the Canadian Managing Board. Her ability to develop consensus amongst partners was utilized to build a national operating framework and collaboration model, which has been core to the company’s growth and its commitment to providing the highest level of client service.
Catherine’s expertise encompasses all aspects of the C-Suite including CEO, CFO, operations, sales & marketing and human resources functions. Her industry experience spans manufacturing, distribution, real estate, consumer products, retail and industry associations. Catherine has a particular focus on working with boards, private equity partners, and entrepreneurial business leaders looking to make organizational changes through strategic recruiting. Her extensive experience has provided Catherine with a broad understanding of the corporate environment and a thorough knowledge of contacts in the national and international marketplace.
Recognized locally and provincially for her commitment to her community, Catherine was a 2011 nominee for the Vancouver Women of Distinction, and recipient of the provincial government’s 2013 BC Community Achievement Award. She is Past Chair of the Board of Arts Umbrella, Chair of United Way of the Lower Mainland and Women in Philanthropy, and serves as the Chair of the BC Advisory Board for Breakfast Clubs of Canada. At the provincial level, Catherine sat on the PavCo Board for six years where she served as Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee and, for her last three years, Board Chair.
What Really Matters to Catherine?
“Creating a community where every child has the support and nurturing needed to reach their full potential. Children are our future—if we want to have a strong civil society, we need to ensure we celebrate what every child brings to this world. If everyone was committed to this goal, our children and this world would have a bright future. This is why I have been a lifelong supporter of the YMCA.”
Dallas is the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Global Container Terminals Canada, Canada’s largest container terminal operator, where he is responsible for the accounting, financial planning & analysis, procurement, risk management and administration for the company. Prior to joining GCT, he was a Senior Manager with Deloitte where his main focus was advising on mergers and acquisitions, providing strategic and financial advice, and performing financial due diligence.
He also gained valuable international experience with Deloitte, London, UK working on corporate finance assignments. A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Business Valuator (CBV), Dallas received his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia. Since 2003, Dallas has been a member of the YMCA Board of Directors, serving as chair from 2014 to 2016. Dallas’ other community involvement includes the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of BC.
Dallas was born and raised in Vancouver. He is married to Stella, and has a son and a daughter.
What Really Matters to Dallas?
“Seeing my communities thrive in all respect. I truly believe it takes a village to raise a kid, an adult or even a senior. I see the Y as being that catalyst or spark to make things happen in the community.”
MARY ANNE DAVIDSON, CHAIR INNER FAMILY CAMPAIGN CABINET
After a thirty year career as a CEO and Global Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Mary Anne retired to focus on board governance in the Private and not for profit philanthropic sectors across B.C. and Canada. She has held executive positions in the insurance, transportation, finance and major construction industries in Canada and Europe. She holds an MBA and has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors ICD Designation.
Mary Anne has extensive experience in board governance, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, risk analysis and mitigation and she has achieved significant milestones in Board and corporate diversity. Mary Anne is busy giving back to community through her roles of Vice Chair of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, Chair of the What Really Matters Inner Family Campaign Cabinet, member on the WRM Regional Cabinet, Vice Chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Board Director of YVR (Vancouver Airport Authority), Advisory Director of 58 West Hastings and immediate Past Chair of The Bloom Group.
As a teenager living in Saskatchewan, Mary Anne joined the YMCA. It has been at the Y where she found she could reach her potential and share her time, talent and treasure. As a member and volunteer, the Y has been an important part of Mary Anne and her families’ lives for over 40 years.
What really matters to Mary Anne?
“Facilitating opportunities for individuals to reach their potential by helping build strong communities.”
Gavin is a senior member of Harris & Company, the largest law firm in Western Canada focused on employment and labour law. He served as an executive member and Provincial Chair of the Labour Law Section, BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association, an executive member and Chair of the National Labour Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and is a Past President and Honourary Member of the Human Resources Management Association of BC (now Chartered Professional in Human Resources of BC and Yukon). Gavin has also instructed, led seminars and written a number of papers, articles and courses on various Labour and Employment Law & Ethical issues. He is presently an Adjunct Professor at Allard School of Law UBC. Gavin is a Life Bencher and a past President of the Law Society of British Columbia. He was the BC representative to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and chaired the Federation’s Standing Committee on the Model Code of Professional Conduct. He is a founding member and past President of the Canadian Association of Counsel to Employers.
In addition to terms as Board Chair and, since 1985, Honourary Solicitor with the YMCA, he is a Trustee and past Chair of the YMCA Foundation and a director of the YMCA Property Foundation.
He is an Honorary Life Member of the Vancouver YMCA. In 2009, Gavin’s commitment to the YMCA was recognized nationally with his appointment as an Officer to the YMCA Fellowship of Honour. In 2003, Gavin received the Canadian Bar Association’s Community Service Award: Vancouver.
What Really Matters to Gavin?
“I am interested in the development of our young people as fully rounded citizens. In my view and experience the Y programs and training based on the core values of respect, responsibility, caring and honesty contribute to that development.”
A graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the Post Graduate Site Planning Program at the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia, Houtan has worked in real estate development for almost 20 years.
As Executive Vice President of Residential Development at Beedie, Houtan has been instrumental in the inception and growth of Beedie Living, the company’s residential and mixed-use business unit. With 2500 residential units completed or under construction, and an additional 4000 units in the approvals process, Beedie Living has quickly grown to become a prominent player in the development of major projects throughout Metro Vancouver.
Prior to joining Beedie Development Group, Houtan held senior positions with several other established Vancouver developers. In addition to Vancouver, Houtan has managed large-scale projects in Victoria, Whistler, Calgary and Toronto.
Houtan is a member of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver Board of Directors, the Urban Development Institute (UDI Pacific Region) Board of Directors, is the previous Chairperson of the UDI Under 40 Executive Board, and recently completed the Leading Business into the Future Programme at London Business School.
What Really Matters to Houtan?
“A happy, healthy, progressive and vibrant community, city, region, for my family, friends, neighbors, and all of our fellow Vancouverites.”
TRACY PRICE, CHAIR COQUITLAM CAMPAIGN CABINET
Tracy leads the Tracy Price Wealth Management Team with RBC Dominion Securities specializing in developing life-long financial strategies based on each client’s vision, life and needs. She is a lifetime Tri-Cities resident growing up in Coquitlam and now living in Port Moody. She has dedicated countless hours to a number of community initiatives, including the Crossroads Hospice Society, Fraser River Discovery Centre, the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation, and Douglas College. Tracy is thrilled to be chairing the capital campaign to build the new Coquitlam YMCA to support the Tri-Cities, Anmore, Belcarra and Burnaby communities.
What Really Matters to Tracy?
“Located in my old stomping grounds of Burquitlam, this fabulous facility will provide a spacious modern community and recreation facility that allows our families to feel connected, engaged and empowered.”
LESLIE CASTELLANI, CHAIR SURREY CAMPAIGN CABINET
Leslie is the Chief Governance and Corporate Affairs Officer at First West Credit union with responsibility for corporate planning, board governance, government relations, legal and First West’s multi-year goal to move under federal regulation. She is focused on advancing First West’s strategic priorities by creating a dynamic, collaborative and engaging team environment that encourages diverse thinking, fosters corporate alignment and inspires the achievement of First West’s Why: to simplify lives— helping members and communities thrive.
As a champion of First West’s social vision to lead well, Leslie has managed youth sports teams and is a past director and president of Semiahmoo Family Place and a former Board of Governor on the University of the Fraser Valley. Leslie has three boys aged 20, 14 and three, and after gaining national awareness in 2015 for helping her middle son overcome a rare syndrome, Leslie is sought out for guidance and support by families across Canada facing the same medical condition. In 2018, Leslie was appointed chair of the What Really Matters Capital Campaign to build a new YMCA Centre of Community in Surrey City Centre.
What Really Matters to Leslie?
“In mid-August, my 20-year-old son became stranded overnight in a precarious situation, along with two friends, on Mount Schoen on Vancouver Island. They were uninjured but were unable to continue their climb or safely descend from their location. As a result, the RCMP and dedicated volunteers from Campbell River Search and Rescue were called upon to locate the boys and airlift them out by helicopter, for which I am tremendously relieved because it could have ended in disaster. What really matters to me is that my family is healthy, and that we are fortunate to live in a province where we have national organizations, local non-profit and for-profit organizations that work in collaboration for the health and prosperity of our citizens. It’s a symbiotic relationship and in this case, one that saved lives.”
Heather’s board experience began in 2005 when she was elected at-large to Vancouver’s municipal government as Chair of the Vancouver Park Board. Since then, she’s always sat on at least one Board at any time, gaining diverse experience with Provincial and Federal Crown corporations, post-secondary institutions, foundations, Provincial and Federal member-based organizations and operating not-for-profits.
She has been awarded the ICD.D designation through the Institute of Corporate Directors and University of Toronto Rotman School of Management joint Director Education Program.
Professionally, Heather is licenced as a discretionary Investment Counsellor and Portfolio Manager at one of the largest international banks where she has built her own book of business. Prior to this, she spent 10 years in science and technology working internationally as a professor and research scientist.
Her professional background allows Heather to be particularly helpful to boards in establishing their Investment Policy Statements and aligning their investments with their Granting or Spending Policies.
What Really Matters to Heather?
“That we all have the opportunity to live long, engaged, healthy and fulfilling lives.”
Jim Morton is an ardent supporter of and donor to the YMCA. As a youth he attended Camp Kitchikewana (“Kitchi”), the Midland Ontario Y camp. He was a camper, counselor and swimming instructor at the camp. Following his Kitchi experience, he assisted in the campaign to raise funds for the building of the Burlington, Ontario Y. Years later he brought together a group of family members for a family donation to the camp renewal campaign. 2019 marks the 100th year anniversary of Kitchi’s operation.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario, Jim enrolled at the University of British Columbia where he obtained a bachelor of laws degree. He is a founding and former managing partner and now a retired member of Morton Law LLP Corporate and Securities Lawyers, a Vancouver law firm. He is a director, chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee and member of the Audit committee of Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. He serves in an advisory role capacity to a technology company and is a director nominee to a venture company involved in resource exploration in British Columbia.
Since 2015, Jim has been a member of the Y Community Investment Steering Committee, subsequently the WRM Capital Campaign Transition Committee followed by the WRM Regional Cabinet. For a number of years, Jim served as a director and president of Hope House, an organization providing peer counselling support to cancer patients and their supporters.
When not involved in the forgoing Jim enjoys spending time with his partner Sorca, and with members of each of their extended families and friends. From his Y camp experience, Jim has had a lifelong interest in being physically active, particularly in an outdoor setting. He skis, treks, swims, canoes, kayaks, camps, road bikes, mountain bikes, golfs, plays hockey, sails and seeks out and pursues unique travel opportunities.
What Really Matters to Jim?
“Having a nongovernment community organization that has the facilities, human resources, programs, vision and culture that allows it to offer members of society opportunities to enjoy and improve their lives. I believe the Y culture and programs offered to children and young people have a significant impact in fostering and developing positive character traits and leadership attributes.”