Meet Our Speakers

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Check Out Who’s Speaking

Niki Sharma

Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development & Non-Profits

Session: B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary of Community Development and Non-Profits: The First Year in Review

Niki Sharma's Bio

Niki Sharma was elected MLA for Vancouver–Hastings in 2020 and is the Deputy Caucus Chair and Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits. She is also a member of the Treasury Board. 

Niki is a lawyer whose practice focused on representing Indigenous people, including residential school survivors. Niki has worked throughout B.C. as an advocate on climate policy and reconciliation. She has also been recognized for her work on combatting racism.

Niki was elected to the Board of Vancity Credit Union, where she served as Vice-Chair and chaired the Climate Justice Working Group. She also served as Chair of the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation. In these roles, she worked to improve her community and make life better for people and our planet.

In 2017, Niki worked as a Senior Ministerial Assistant helping to deliver more childcare spaces for B.C. families.

Niki was raised in Sparwood B.C. A mother of two, she has lived in East Vancouver for over 15 years and has deep connections in the community.

Mary Catherine Williams

Executive Director, Volunteer Campbell River

Session: A Journey of Understanding: Steps on The Path Of Reconciliation For Non-profit Organizations

Mary Catherine Williams's Bio

Mary Catherine Williams has over thirty years of experience working with children, families, and communities to promote well-being, safety and success. Her career spans working in child care centres in the Downtown Eastside, instructing ECE programs, operating child care facilities, owning a small business, supporting families raising children with a variety of developmental disabilities and challenges, and providing training to families and community professionals.  During the past 18 years she has collaborated in community development initiatives in Campbell River with a focus on mental health and addictions prevention and supports, Reconciliation and community resilience. Volunteering has been a cornerstone for Mary Catherine throughout her life. She brings a range of experiences spanning social services, sports, education and government with roles on non-profit boards, provincial advisories, as a sport official, in fundraising and board development training. Mary Catherine is currently the Executive Director of Volunteer Campbell River which also supports the Comox Valley Volunteer Connector.

Cari Moore

Volunteer Fraser Valley & Chilliwack Museum

Session: Self-Care: Burnout to Boundaries

Cari Moore's Bio

Cari is the Director of Volunteer Fraser Valley where she enjoys connecting volunteers with different opportunities in the Fraser Valley. She has passion for volunteer management and the volunteer management cycle and takes great joy in sharing knowledge with local non-profits through training and workshops. She is also currently the Coordinator of Volunteers at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives to the Chilliwack Museum.

Carly Koeppen

Clinical Nurse Educator, Victoria Mental Health Centre

Session: Self-Care: Burnout to Boundaries

Carly Koeppen's Bio

Carly is a registered nurse of 10 years, specializing in psychiatry in both the community and the acute setting; she is currently the Clinical Nurse Educator for the Victoria Mental Health Centre. Carly remains a lifelong volunteer and advocate serving her community in various ways. She currently acts as the Mental Health Advocate for the South Island region of the BC Nurses Union and sits on the regional BCNU executive committee. Having experienced burnout very early into her career, Carly found hope in the Solution Focused approach and by digging into the concept of vicarious resilience. She is a strong believer in finding what works and doing more of it.

BC Community Gaming Branch

Session: Community Gaming Grant Updates with COVID-19 Related Info & Q&A

Ryan Painter

Executive Director, Charityworks | Founder & CEO, Tuzo Strategies

Session: How Digital Is Here To Stay

Ryan Painter's Bio

Ryan Painter is a digital media and online engagement strategist who has worked on campaigns all across the country utilizing digital tools to communicate important messages to target audience, motivating and inspiring action to bring change to local communities.

Lisa Kearney

President & CEO, Women CyberSecurity Society (WCS2) | International Women in Cyber Day (IWCD)

Session: Cybersecurity For Nonprofits – An Interactive Session

Lisa Kearney's Bio

Lisa Kearney is a cybersecurity veteran with two decades of expertise across all industries and cybersecurity domains. In the spring of 2018, she founded the Women CyberSecurity Society to fill a gap in response to the lack of support for women and diversity across the industry.  In Canada, women make up about 10% of the cybersecurity workforce at the entry level and only 1% at senior leadership levels.  Research has shown, diversity increases profits, aids in retention, fosters innovation, speeds resolutions and improves problem solving.  All of which is needed today as we defend cyber attacks across all levels of business, industry and government.

Consider donating to the Women CyberSecurity Society, a registered nonprofit to support our mission to advance and retain women and marginalized groups for a more diverse and inclusive cybersecurity community. Thank you!

Moussa Magassa

University of Victoria & Magassa-Intercultural Capacity Building Inc.

Session: Culturally Welcoming Volunteer Program: Lessons learned and Best Practices

Moussa Magassa's Bio

Dr. Moussa Magassa is a specialist in justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, human rights, social justice, intercultural communication, conflict resolution, and volunteer program development and evaluation.

Dr. Magassa works as the UVic Principal Strategist justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism. He also is an associate faculty in the UVic Social Justice Diploma program and the M.A in Global Leadership program at Royal Roads University; and an instructor in the UVic diploma program in intercultural studies & practice and at the UBC Centre for intercultural communication.

He holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction (UVic) with special focus on critical race theory, Anti-racism education, Islamophobia, human rights education, diversity, equity & inclusion, and immigrants and refugees’ integration and adaptation in host communities; An MA in human security & peacebuilding (Royal Roads University, Canada); a BA (Hons) in conflict resolution and peace studies (Kwazulu Natal University, South Africa); and various academic and professional certification in forced migration and refugee studies, in human rights and humanitarian law, conflict mediation, and intercultural communication and development.

Currently, Dr. Magassa is an advisor to various organizations: Resilience BC (anti-racism advisory and strategic planning committee); the academic and practitioner advisory committee for the Simon Fraser University’s Migrant Systems Change Leadership Certificate program; and also, as the co-chair of the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee; and a board director on the Victoria Multifaith Society. Formerly, Moussa was an advisor to the National Immigration Table of Community Cooperation in Francophone immigration; former president of the francophone society of Victoria; and the Vancouver Island board director for the BC Francophone Federation.

Previously, Dr. Magassa worked as an integration program coordinator for immigrants and refugees in Vancouver; and as a specialist in non-violence peace education in many parts of Africa. Moussa has extensive experience researching, designing and facilitating training curriculums, courses and workshops in Anti-racism awareness and intervention training; intercultural competency development; intercultural conflict resolution; human rights discrimination and harassment; social justice and anti-oppression education; and training in immigrants and refugee integration.

Moussa is also the CEO/owner of the consulting company: The Intercultural Capacity Building Inc. (www.magassa.ca), specialized in EDI, Intercultural capacity development and anti-racism education.

Dr. Moussa Magassa was born in Senegal and speaks many languages in addition to English and French.

Mary Barroll

President & General Counsel CharityVillage

Session: Discover the CharityVillage Crowdfunding Platform for Nonprofits

Mary Barroll's Bio

Mary Barroll is an online business executive and lawyer with a background in media, technology and IP law. A former CBC journalist and TV producer, in 2021 Mary was appointed President of CharityVillage Canada’s largest online job portal, career resource and learning hub for charities and nonprofits in Canada. The appointment came after 8 years of outstanding service as General Counsel & VP Media Affairs at CharityVillage and after 6 years as President for sister company TalentEgg, Canada’s No.1, award-winning job board and online career resource for students, recent grads and early career professionals, where she continues in that role. At CharityVillage and TalentEgg, Mary merges her background in media production and content marketing with her business and legal experience to help job seekers become career ready with virtual tools, e-learning courses and online resources and to help employers attract, recruit and engage employees across Canada in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Clients of TalentEgg and CharityVillage include award winning global and national organizations and companies committed to recruiting top talent, promoting diversity and inclusion and developing the leaders of tomorrow. A sought-after public speaker and thought leader on talent acquisition, employer branding and employee engagement, Mary is a certified Employer Branding Professional recognized by Universum Global and the International Employer Branding Academy.

Kristi Rivait

Director, Partnerships & Programs, Scale Collaborative

Session: Survive & Thrive – How Can We Become Thriving Organizations?

Kristi Rivait's Bio

Kristi Rivait is a social entrepreneur who brings 15+ years executive level experience, including 10+ years as an Executive Director. Kristi is an expert at operational transformation, change management and diversifying revenue. Kristi has an innate ability to develop unrestricted revenue streams that increase mission-driven impact and scale programs.

Kristi is the Director of Partnerships and Programs at Scale Collaborative where she delivers capacity building programs, develops cross sector partnerships and coaches’ leaders of non-profit organizations on transforming internal culture, building, and growing assets and integrating sustainable financial growth. She has been instrumental at growing community well being and the social economy on Vancouver Island and beyond.

Cate Watrous

National Volunteer Program Coordinator, Parks Canada Agency

Session: DEI, GBA+, ROI: How does this alphabet soup present opportunities for your volunteer program?

Cate Watrous's Bio

Cate Watrous has been the National Volunteer Program Coordinator for Parks Canada since 2015. She cut her teeth in volunteer management as the president and program coordinator for her local community centre, followed by a stint in municipal politics. She was also the founder and managing editor of a community newspaper. She teaches a course at the University of Manitoba in the Environmental Studies Department, in public engagement and facilitated decision-making, which includes a unit on citizen science.

Tina Barzo

Leader of Volunteer Engagement, Banff National Park, Banff Field Unit

Session: DEI, GBA+, ROI: How does this alphabet soup present opportunities for your volunteer program?

Tina Barzo's Bio

Tina Barzo has been the Leader of Volunteer Engagement in Banff National Park since 2006, where she developed the volunteer program from scratch. In April 2021, she was a recipient of the “Community Inclusion” award from Inclusion Alberta for her work on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with People with Disabilities. She has also worked in non-profits and corporate settings for more than 20+ years, in mainly volunteer management, ecotourism and voluntourism. In 2018, she earned a Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University, her thesis was on advancing conservation through leadership in citizen science. She l loves hiking, canoeing, and hanging out with her dog, cat and husband in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Lindsay Baker

Manager of Volunteer Services , Vancouver Aquarium

Session: VMPC PRESENTS – Volunteering: Where Do We Go From Here?

Lindsay Baker's Bio

Lindsay Baker, CVA, has been leading volunteer teams in a variety of settings for more than 20 years. Currently, she is the Manager of Volunteer Services for the Vancouver Aquarium and its Marine Mammal Rescue Centre. Prior this role, she coordinated volunteers for 2010 Olympic-related events in Richmond and led Volunteer Richmond’s volunteer management training programs.

Lindsay is also President of the Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC) and an instructor for the virtual Volunteer Management Certificate Program at Conestoga College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, a diploma in Public Relations, and has completed Co-Active coach training. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Impact Award for Exemplary Leadership of Volunteers awarded by AVRBC.

Tara Gilroy-Scott

Coordinator of Volunteer Services for the Victoria Police Department 

Session: VMPC PRESENTS – Volunteering: Where Do We Go From Here?

Tara Gilroy-Scott's Bio

Over the last 20 years Tara has had the privilege of leading several outstanding volunteer teams. Currently, Tara is the Coordinator of Volunteer Services for the Victoria Police Department. Previous Volunteer Administration engagements also include Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, Rest Haven Lodge, the Belfry Theatre, Kaleidoscope Theatre and the Vic Juba Theatre.

In addition to having her Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA), Tara is proud to be the Conference Committee Chair for Volunteer Management Professionals of Canada (VMPC), and past Vice President of Administrators of Volunteer Resources British Columbia (AVRBC). She is also a member of the Greater Victoria Police Diversity Advisory Committee.

With the strong belief that we each have a social responsibility to give back to our community, Tara has spent her entire career working in the non-for-profit sector, as well as embracing her own commitment to volunteerism. Our communities thrive and survive from the engagement and commitment of the people who live in them.

Martha Rans

Founder & Legal Director, Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO)

Session: Legal Compliance for Non-Profits: Is your organization in compliance with the law?

Martha Rans's Bio

Martha Rans is a lawyer specializing in the legal needs of non-profit societies, charities, co-operatives, and creatives. She has been practicing law in BC since 1997 and spent 10 years as a labour employment and human rights lawyer/mediator with the BC and Ontario governments. She is a recognized expert on both Canada’s Copyright Act as well as the BC Societies Act. She advises on copyright, charity law, incorporation, privacy, employment, labour, health & safety and human rights and is an advocate for public legal education and information. Martha is the Founder and Legal Director of Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society, home of the Artists Legal Outreach and Law for Non-Profits. (pacificlegaloutreach.com)

Anju Singh

Technology Lead, Pacific Legal Education and Outreach Society (PLEO)

Session: Legal Compliance for Non-Profits: Is your organization in compliance with the law?

Anju Singh's Bio

Anju is a technologist and consultant who has worked in the non-profit and arts sectors for over 15 years. Anju’s passion is to create low-barrier and user friendly digital tools, systems, and supports for users of community, arts & culture, and social services. While her work is often centered around technology, she is also a strong business analyst and strategist with years of experience to provide support for the development and strategy of system and program implementation. Some of the projects and organizations that Anju is currently working with include Pacific Legal Education and Outreach (PLEO), BC Rent Bank (A Vancity Community Foundation project) and Culture Brew Art.

Terry Clark

President, Real Board Solutions

Breakout Room: Ask an Expert – Board of Governance

Terry Clark's Bio

Terry is the Founder and President of Real Board Solutions is a results-oriented, not-for-profit professional who has a unique background and skill set that volunteer board members and their staff truly appreciate.

Twenty plus years of not-for-profit experience as an Executive Director with a high profile business association complements consulting assignments with hundreds of Boards of all sizes and sectors. Significant private sector experience in operations management, financial accounting and marketing management provides many value added benefits to clients.

Kelina Kwan

Executive Director, BC Association for Charitable Giving (BCACG)

Breakout Room: Ask an Expert – Community Gaming Grant

Kelina Kwan's Bio

Kelina Kwan have been helping non-profits with their fundraising and outreach goals for more than 15 years. During these times, she has worked with over 40 non-profits on areas such as grant applications, finance and accounting, special events, websites and other outreach materials designs (brochures, campaign packages, annual reports etc.) Her knowledge and experience on the BC Community Gaming Grant has led her to the current position as the Executive Director of BCACG. She continues to work with non-profits on other projects.

Laurie Bienert

Executive Director, Nanaimo Foundation

Panel: Funding Streams for Community Organizations

Laurie Bienert's Bio

Laurie Bienert joined Nanaimo Foundation in 2015 as the first staff person in the Foundation’s then 33 year history. As Nanaimo Foundation Executive Director, Laurie’s focus is on building relationships within the community and increasing the Foundation’s granting capacity.
Laurie is enthusiastic about helping others and participating in her community. She is the President of the Rotary Club of Nanaimo, a former President of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo, a Director of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners, and has volunteered on several boards of local non-profit organizations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island and Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. In 2016, she established Mid Island Gives—a civic movement dedicated to giving back, involving 35 organizations in Central Vancouver Island. In 2017, Laurie received a Vancouver Island Top 20 Under 40 Business and Community Achievement Award.
Laurie loves Nanaimo and can often be found picnicking in the evenings and exploring Vancouver Island on the weekends with her partner Ryan. In 2019, Laurie created her own fund at Nanaimo Foundation—a legacy she is building for now and forever for Nanaimo. Prior to moving to Nanaimo in 2015, Laurie was the Alberta Manager of Development for the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Cheryl Miller

Director, Grants & Community Initiatives, Central Okanagan Foundation

Panel: Funding Streams for Community Organizations

Cheryl Miller's Bio

Cheryl has over 20 years of experience in the Not for Profit sector with the majority of experience in community development and program management. Cheryl is focused on strengthening our community by supporting initiatives that increase the capacity of organizations and individuals to respond to challenges and opportunities, develop local leadership, promote self-reliance, emphasize prevention and mobilize civic participation and resources.

Dara Parker

Vice-President, Grants & Community Initiatives, Vancouver Foundation

Panel: Funding Streams for Community Organizations

Dara Parker's Bio

Dara is a nonprofit executive with over 20 years’ experience working in social purpose organizations who are pursuing meaningful, systemic change.

She is currently the Vice-President, Grants and Community Initiatives at the Vancouver Foundation, where she leads a team of 18 and is responsible for deploying $18M-$20M annually in grants. The Vancouver Foundation’s vision is healthy, vibrant and livable communities across British Columbia.

Previously Dara has served as Executive Director of SVP Vancouver and the Executive Director of QMUNITY, BC’s Queer, Trans and Two-Spirit Resource Centre.

Dara is also the co-founder of Lezervations, a nonprofit facilitating networking events for queer and trans women.

Dara lives with her partner in Syilx Okanagan territory and when not working in social change, she spends her down time chasing her French bulldgogs, Mr. Bumper and Sir Waffles.

This Isn’t “Just Another Zoom Event”

Our Volunteer BC BCACG Conference will empower, engage, and entertain you! With 2 days of workshops, speaker panels, networking sessions and more, you’ll experience the amazing aspects of our traditional conference from the comforts of an online setting!

Have Questions? Check Out our About Page!