Past Directors

Alexa Blain

Alexa is currently a Principal with The Deetken Group, where she is responsible for the initiation and management of the group’s asset management business. Before joining Deetken, she spent three years with African Alliance, a pan-African financial services group, where she focused on expanding the firm’s micro-finance and micro-insurance operations, as well as the origination and negotiation of new capital. Alexa also has six years of asset management experience with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Macquarie Group and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Alexa is a CFA Charterholder and holds a Masters in Financial Economics as well as an Honours BA in Economics, both from the University of Toronto. Alexa currently sits on the Central City Foundation Investment Committee.

Lauren Blake

Lauren practices at Legacy Tax + Trust Lawyers LLP, and has an extensive estate and family litigation practice. Lauren received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Toronto in 1991 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of British Columbia in 1994.  After clerking at the Supreme Court of British Columbia, she was called to the BC bar in 1996.  Prior to joining Legacy, she practiced in Vancouver as a litigator for an international law firm. Her trust and estate litigation practice focuses on complex estate litigation, advising corporate and individual trustees as well as personal representatives and beneficiaries of their legal obligations and duties in all estate matters. She acts for beneficiaries who question the actions of the trustees of their particular trusts, and also assists individuals with wills and related issues. She also assists individuals with respect to their rights to vary a will as well as issues relating to the validity of will. Lauren also has a family practice which focuses on the intersection of estates and family law. Lauren has authored numerous papers in the areas of wills, estates, trusts and the intersection of estates and family law, and is a frequent speaker on these topics.  She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada (in both Trusts and Estate and Corporate and Commercial Litigation).

Will Chan

Will is a commercial real estate lawyer with Dentons Canada LLP focusing on real estate development and commercial real estate transactions. He regularly advises clients on all aspects of real estate, including acquisitions, developments, dispositions, leasing, financing and subdivisions.
Prior to joining Dentons Canada LLP, Wil worked as corporate counsel for a real estate development company and as an associate for a boutique real estate law firm in Vancouver. Wil graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Biology and Juris Doctor in Law. He is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, Canadian Bar Association (BC) and Urban Development Institute.

JoAnne Chase

JoAnne retired from her position as Vice President, Administration Western Region for BFL Canada Insurance Services Inc. As Chair of the Projects Committee of the Board of Directors (a committee she continues to serve on), Ms. Chase oversees Central City Foundation’s program for the review of grant applications and the awarding of grants to projects in support of the Foundation’s mission.

Robin Elliott

A Senior Partner at Manning Elliott, Robin brings more than thirty years of accounting experience to the firm. His practice is primarily with small to medium sized owner-managed businesses and family holding and investment companies. Robin formed Manning Elliott’s predecessor firm in 1976, having previously worked for a Jim Pattison company and Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers) in Vancouver and San Francisco. He received his Chartered Accountant designation in 1969, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia (1965). Heavily involved with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia affairs, Robin is a member or past member of a number of their committees. He was elected a Fellow in 1991. He is also a member of the Trust and Estate Practitioners Society as well as the Canadian Tax Foundation. When not at the office, Robin is very involved in the community. He was a Director and past President of the Central City Mission Foundation and Central City Mission Society, as well as past President and former Director of the Arthritis Society of British Columbia and the Vancouver Lawn Tennis and Badminton Club. He is a past Director of the City Centre Care society, past Advisor to Leave a Legacy of British Columbia, and is a current member of the Sovereign Order of St. John. Robin is also a director of a large real estate development company and a privately held media organization. Recreationally, Robin continues to play basketball once a week, plays golf and tennis and enjoys retreating with his wife, Eleanor, to their property on the Sunshine Coast of BC.

Graeme Falkowsky

Graeme has spent almost twenty years in the Corporate and Investment Banking industry.
Most recently, Graeme was Head of Investment and Corporate Banking – Vancouver for BMO Capital Markets and was a member of the firm’s Canadian Management Committee. Graeme specialized in raising public and private capital and advising on strategic issues such as mergers and acquisitions for many of Canada’s leading corporations. Graeme has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Regina’s Paul J. Hill School of Business and a Masters Degree in Business Administration (with Distinction) from the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey Graduate School of Business.
Graeme is active with the Fundraising and Communications Committee and will take a leading role in the Foundation’s Investment Committee activities. In addition to his volunteer contribution, Graeme is an avid cyclist and continues to actively participate in numerous competitive road and cyclocross races in Canada, the US and Europe.

Christina Flanigan

Ms. Christina Flanigan is a principal of Praxis Projects, a real estate consulting firm specializing in mixed use and retail developments. She has been involved with real estate development throughout Western Canada for almost 20 years. Christina is a graduate of UBC with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Urban Land, and will be offering her extensive real estate background to the Central City Foundation Board. Christina is active in the local community. She established the Race for Shelter in 2007, an annual event now run by the Sauder School of Business to raise funds for the Union Gospel Mission. In addition to her volunteer contribution to the Central City Foundation, Christina coaches Little League. Christina is married with two children.

James Hatton

James Hatton is a commercial solicitor with 20 years experience in assisting companies to exploit the value of their intellectual property assets, focussing on licensing and related transactions. James is the partner responsible for the Technology Group at Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP. James is a member of the Governing Council of the National Research Council of Canada, a member of the Board of Governors of Royal Roads University and is involved in numerous organizations in BC’s research and technology industries. James has been active community volunteer and was the President of The Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society for six years, and remains an honorary life director of that organization.

Fred Inglis

Fred Inglis has served as a board member of Central City Mission since 1983, serving as board chair from 1988 to 1990, and is a founding member of the Central City Mission Foundation, serving as board chair from 2000 to 2003. Like most volunteers he joined the board because he was asked, and in common with the other board members finds a feeling of guilt that the personal satisfaction received exceeds the energy and time committed. He encourages anyone who can find time to consider doing volunteer work. Mr. Inglis is a graduate of UBC and a Chartered Accountant.

Keith Jensen

Keith joined the CCF Board in 2012. He works at KPMG LLP in the Transactions & Restructuring practice and is Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Business Valuator. Keith attended UBC and Queen’s. He grew up on the North Shore and has been active in the community as a youth soccer coach and as a volunteer for various events. Keith currently sits on the board of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators. The CCF aligns with Keith’s desire to help those in the community who were not afforded the same opportunities growing up as he was. While we may be unable to fix all of the root causes of the challenges faced by many people, Keith believes that we can undoubtedly better our communities by providing an environment that fosters hope and ambition. In his spare time, Keith enjoys playing golf in the summer and hockey in the winter. Keith is also the proud uncle of three nephews and three nieces, and is dad to a loving Havanese dog that he adopted.

Barb Justason

Barb is a leading market research professional and advisor to corporations and governments. During her 20-plus-year career, she has provided research and consulting services to almost every sector of the economy: energy producers, natural resource companies, retailers, developers, food and beverage manufacturers, tourism and transportation operators, First Nations communities, crown corporations, municipalities and the provincial government. Her research interests include civic affairs and urban planning. Barb holds memberships with the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. She received the MRIA’s Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP) designation in 2004. She is also a former MRIA board member and vice-president, publications. Among her work in the not-for-profit category, Barb’s work received MRIA’s Murray Philps’ Award of Excellence for her research about the volunteer workforce for the Hearth and Stroke foundation.

Nancy Kwok

Nancy Kwok is an Equities Trader at Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management. She Nancy graduated from UBC in 2002 with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Finance. While attending UBC, Nancy was the Fund Manager for the UBC Portfolio Management Foundation, a prestigious university program where she managed a balanced portfolio as part of a seven-member student team. Nancy spent the next three years in New York with UBS Securities where she worked as an analyst, in cash trading and equities and became an Associate Director in Statistical Arbitrage and Equity Prop Trading. Nancy is an avid tennis player, a former 1st rank player from BC in the Junior Tennis Nationals, and has recently taken up skiing.

Gary Ley

A Vancouver native, Gary Ley is one of Canada’s most experienced public affairs consultants, with 20 years of expertise devoted to a range of clients and issues. He has been a senior consultant with major national and international professional service firms, and founded his own practice to focus on providing counsel and expertise to a core group of clients. In his public affairs consulting career Gary’s work has been recognized by awards from the Canadian Public Relations Society and the International Association of Business Communicators. He has spoken at the Banff School of Advanced Management, the Young President’s Organization, the American Marketing Association, and the MBA programs at UBC, SFU, and the University of Calgary. He has been interviewed by CBC TV, CBC Radio, BCTV, TIME magazine, CKNW, The Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Sun, The National Post, and Associated Press. Gary has managed more than 60 crises for corporate clients, provided media skills and presentation skills training to more than 300 executives, and worked extensively in the resource, telecommunications, transportation, and food service industries. Gary is a member of the campaign cabinet for the BCIT Aerospace Campus project, a member of the Vancouver Symphony Foundation cabinet, an advisor to World Wildlife Fund Canada, and served on the Boards of Arts Umbrella and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice for five years. Gary, Jill, and their three children live in North Vancouver. Gary will be joining the Communications Committee of the Board of Central City Foundation and will take a leading role in the Foundation’s fundraising initiatives.

Julie McGill

Julie has more than 15 years experience in private equity, transaction advisory services and accounting. She is Managing Director of Fulmer Capital where she is responsible for deal origination and execution, as well as portfolio company development. Prior to joining Fulmer Capital, Julie was a Director at CAI, a leading mid-market private equity firm focused on investing in medium-sized businesses across North America. Before moving into private equity, Julie was a VP at Ernst & Young Vancouver’s office providing transaction advisory services to public and private clients across a variety of industry sectors. Julie joined EY after earning her CA and CBV designations working with small-medium sized clients at several professional services firms in Montreal and Yellowknife. Julie has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and is a member of the BC Association of Women in Finance, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators. She was Finance Chair on the board of Leave Out Violence (LOVE) British Columbia, Special Olympics NT and the Sport North Lottery Authority Board. Julie is the proud mom of two young boys, and enjoys travelling, spending time with friends and family, and fitting in golf and good books whenever she can.

Craig McMillan

Craig graduated from Durham University in the UK and joined the assurance practise at PricewaterhouseCoopers in London. Following a two year secondment to Sydney, Australia and further experience in London, he transferred to the Vancouver office in 2006, where he is now a partner. Craig has two decades of experience providing assurance and advisory services to both public and private companies in various stages of development. He prides himself on developing a thorough understanding of his clients’ business, building strong relationships and the early identification and resolution of issues. He brings advice and ideas to clients regarding accounting and financial disclosure as well as internal controls and operating efficiencies. Craig has experience across several different industry sectors, including mining, life sciences, oil and gas, and real estate.

Tracey McVicar

Tracey is a lifelong Vancouverite and graduate of UBC (B.Comm., Finance). Tracey’s background includes 11 years of investment banking experience in Vancouver and Toronto, and a summer spent volunteering with children and families in the South Bronx, New York City. The South Bronx area in which she worked in 2001 is the poorest congressional district in America and it is this experience that led to her appointment as a Director of the Central City Mission Foundation. Tracey is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Managing Director at CAI Capital Management Co., a private equity firm with investments across North America. She is also a director of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (BC).

Bryan Reid

Bryan Reid graduated from the University of St. John ’s School of Law and subsequently practiced law at a boutique real estate law firm in Manhattan. Realizing his passion was in the construction and real estate field, Bryan relocated to Dallas to work with a multi-family development and acquisitions group. This allowed him to become well-versed in both the financial and construction aspects of development, working on projects from the bid and lending phase, through construction and eventual resale of the property.

Bryan’s career later took him to Shanghai, China where he worked in commercial brokerage and gained a further understanding of the financial, banking, and lending side of commercial real estate, working with clients towards realizing and achieving their financially driven real estate objectives. Currently, as the President of Kindred Construction, Bryan uses his legal and real estate finance background to work with clients to ensure projects are delivered on target, keeping in mind the financial realities and outcomes faced by owners while balancing the quality and schedule objectives from the construction viewpoint.

Rikia Saddy

Rikia has worked to shift public opinion and behaviour for 25 years. A specialist in marketing strategy and positioning, She has worked on hundreds of campaigns for companies, non-profit organizations and political candidates in Canada, the United States and Europe. Active in the debate on Canada’s future, Rikia has written on education, civic engagement and foreign policy. She is a founding participant in Canada 2020, and has presented workshops and keynotes at the Global Youth Assembly, Couchiching Policy Conference, and Women’s Campaign School. She has also appeared as a panelist on CBC’s The National with Peter Mansbridge, and Connect with Mark Kelley. Rikia holds an MBA in International Marketing from Thunderbird, the number one ranked graduate school in its field, where she won the top prize in advertising. She earned her undergraduate degree in economics and sociology at the University of Alberta, a Diploma in Arts and Nonprofit Marketing and Management from New York University, and has studied at Parson’s School of Design and the Sorbonne.

Barbara Shason

Barbara was on the board of the Central City Mission Society and the subsequent Central City Mission Foundation board for over 22 years. Barbara’s background was in the Human Resources field. She was also the office manager of Gastown Printers and a real estate agent for the Sutton Group. Born in Berlin, Barbara’s main focus was the implementation and realization of the Youth Residential Treatment Facility, The Crossing at Keremeos, while the Foundation was pursuing this extremely worthwhile and desperately needed intervention. Barbara was a past president of the Central City Mission Society and past president of the Central City Mission Foundation.

Peter Spencer

Peter is a founding partner of the law firm of Gourlay Spencer Wade in Vancouver, and has practiced in the area of commercial and civil litigation since 1975. Peter was born and has spent all of his life in Vancouver except for a four year period in Seattle where he attended the University of Washington. Peter is married and has three children. He is active in both the professional and local community. He has been a presenter and course leader at continuing legal education programs, has taught at the bar admission course, and is immediate past-president of the Law Courts Inn. He competed internationally and has coached national and international level athletes in track and field and, more recently, community sports programs. He has been a director of the Central City Mission Society and subsequently, the Central City Mission Foundation for more than twenty years and is a former President. For the past five years, Peter has led the Youth Residential Addiction Treatment Committee which, with a coalition of two other community groups, has spearheaded the development in B.C. of a long-term residential facility for youth suffering from serious addictions. It will be the first of its kind in the Province.

John J. Swift

John is a lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia, with an independent practice centred on starting-up, organizing, financing and advising knowledge-based businesses and on technology transfer from public institutions and universities. Formerly a partner at Farris & Co., Mr Swift has served as Counsel to several technology based corporations including Microtel Pacific Research Limited, NCompass Labs Inc. NeuroMed Technologies Inc. and, currently, on a part time basis Apparent Networks, Inc and CellFor Inc. From 1984 to 1986 John Swift was Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada and Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Opposition. From 1973 to 1975 he was Executive Assistant to the Canadian Minister of Finance. A co-founder of Neuromed Technologies Inc. and of Ultrasonix Medical Corporation, Mr. Swift currently serves as a Director of BioFuture Fund, Connotative Reference Corporation, TerraMarique Shellfish Corporation, as a member of the Advisory Board of the University of British Columbia New Ventures Program, as a member of the BCIT Technology Management Program Advisory Committee and as Chairman of the Central City Foundation.