Meet Our Speakers

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Keynote: Crystal Flaman

Founder | Inspiring Success Services Inc.

Session: Inspiration, Collaboration & Creating Your Extraordinary Future

Crystal Flaman's Bio

Crystal Flaman ~ Social Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author & Athlete

Social Entrepreneur and athlete, Crystal Flaman’s personal mission is to make a difference in the world. She’s raised over 1.4 million dollars for various charities through her work and athletic endeavors.

Crystal is an 11 x Ironman finisher, a two-time 273km ultra-marathoner finisher and has cycled across Canada on the first tandem bike to cross the country. Notably, Crystal completed the second hardest footrace in the world, not once but twice, a 273km multi-day, self-supported, running race through the desert, scaling mountains, carrying all of her food, clothing and supplies, where she raised $20,000 to help kids attend school in the developing world.

Crystal is the founder of Inspiring Success Services Inc. and DIVA Retreats. She inspires audiences around the world to get to the start line of their dreams and is a contributing author for several books about leadership and philanthropy and has designed several personal development and inspirational products.

Amy Bond

Acting Interim Outreach and Policy Manager

Continuous Improvement: Community Gaming Grant Policy Development that Supports Resilience in Community Life

Cherie Payne

Director of Government Relations and Sector Development | Vantage Point

Session: Collaborating for Results

Cherie Payne's Bio

Cherie Payne brings 20 years experience in communications, advocacy, and government relations for health, public interest, and education organizations. As Director of Government Relations and Sector Development at Vantage Point, she works to help not-for-profits build coalitions, enhance their advocacy skills, and expand their networks in order to have community and policy impact.

David Pyatt

Executive Director | BC Community Gaming Branch

Continuous Improvement: Community Gaming Grant Policy Development that Supports Resilience in Community Life

Jody Paterson

Executive Director | Board Voice Society of BC

Session: Governance as Leadership

Lee Herrin

Director, Coaching & Consulting | Scale Collaborative

Session: Strategies for Non-Profit Revenue Diversification

Lee Herrin's Bio

Lee has worked in management and leadership roles in both public sector and non-profit environments for over 20 years. Lee also has more than 20 years of experience serving on boards of directors including 15+ years chairing non-profits. In any setting, Lee is always focused on identifying opportunities for growth and greater impact. He has deep experience with social enterprise development, social purpose conversion of community businesses, acquiring and developing social purpose real estate, and developing organizational strategies for impact.

Lois Peterson

Communications Specialist | LPwordsolutions

Session: How We Talk & Write About What We Do

Lois Peterson's Bio

Freelance writer and communications specialist Lois Peterson worked in customer service, public relations and communications in the public and non profit sectors for more than 40 years. She is also author of nine books for children and a popular writing instructor. She holds diplomas in Public Relations and Fundraising Development from BCIT and currently supports the work of Volunteer Nanaimo by undertaking writing and marketing projects. 

Maria Turnbull

Associate Executive Director | Vantage Point

Session: Collaborating for Results

Maria Turnbull's Bio

Maria Turnbull brings over 20 years of leadership experience in staff and director roles within the not-for-profit sector, both here in Canada and in the UK. With a BA in International Relations and MBA, Maria is a skilled facilitator and consultant in board governance, organizational development, and management. She has consulted for Foundations, the City of Vancouver, various colleges, and hundreds of other not-for-profit organizations.

Nicholas Cheung

Marketing & Communications | PM-Volunteers

Session: Empowering Mindful Change


Since 2010 PMV has helped over 200 non-profit organizations achieve project goals through professional project management. We want to help non-profits succeed with their projects! And, we’ve got a proven track record of doing so! Do you think a project manager could help you achieve organizational goals? Contact us

Niki Sharma

Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits

Session: Recognizing the Strength and Resilience of the Non-Profit Sector

Niki Sharma's Bio

Niki Sharma was elected MLA for Vancouver – Hastings in 2020.

Niki is a lawyer whose practice focused on representing Indigenous people, including residential school survivors. She has advocated for her clients on many levels of the legal system, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Niki has worked across B.C. as an advocate on climate policy and reconciliation, and has been recognized for her advocacy to combat racism.

She previously worked in government helping to deliver more affordable childcare spaces for B.C. families and has volunteered with and assumed leadership positions at community organizations and non-profits.

Niki was elected to the Board of Vancity Credit Union in 2016, where she served both as board Vice-Chair and the Chair of the Climate Justice Working Group. She is also a past Chair of the Vancouver Parks Board, where she was co-chair of the environmental stewardship and education task force. In these roles, she worked to improve her community and made life better for people and our planet.

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.

Raaj Chatterjee

CEO | MeaningfulWork

Session: Attracting & Engaging Youth Volunteers

Raaj Chatterjee's Bio

Raaj is an award-winning social entrepreneur, researcher, and community leader. Raaj’s background in engineering led him to work on Apple’s latest products and recycling technology.Raaj’s passion for technology-enabled sustainable change drew him to research the major capacity constraints nonprofits face in building SDG-aligned community impact. In 2020, Raaj began to design a solution by bridging the corporate and nonprofit worlds, founding the startup MeaningfulWork. The startup’s online platform enables companies to embed social purpose by engaging their employees through skill-based volunteering with nonprofits in the community. MeaningfulWork also works with their 200+ nonprofit partners to connect their impact to a theory of change, UN SDGs, and actionable capacity-building plans. Raaj creates a unique impact by integrating an intersectional and justice-centred approach to building a sustainable future. He has served as EDI Officer on the board of The Starfish Canada, and is a researcher at SFU’s eBrain lab building the next generation of mental health diagnostics and treatment through neuromodulation. Raaj’s work has led him to the TEDx stage, and receive the prestigious Gordon Shrum, NSERC CGS-M, and Leadership in Sustainability awards from SFU. Raaj elevates people and organizations to maximize their impact and find their purpose.

Riley McKenzie

Indigenous Advisor | The Federation of Community Social Services of BC

Session: It’s Not What You Think: Stories and Strategies for Cultural Safety

Riley McKenzie's Bio

Riley McKenzie is Mohawk/Scottish from Ontario. She has worked in the field of child welfare for over twenty-five years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the work she does. Riley shares her life with her partner, daughter and two fur babies and enjoys all that the west coast has to offer. Based in Victoria, Riley offers a candid, lived experience approach to sharing how colonization and assimilation have affected both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Stacy Ashton

Executive Director | Crisis Centre BC

Panel: Reckoning: Towards Sustainable Healthy Work in the Crisis, Health and Non-Profit Sectors

Stacy Ashton's Bio

Stacy Ashton is Executive Director of the Crisis Centre BC and chair of the BC Crisis Line Network. Stacy started her career in the non-profit sector as a volunteer on what was then known as the Vancouver Crisis Lines, prior to completing her Masters in Counselling and working in the field as a Suicide Intervention Counsellor. She spent over a decade focused on non-profit management and volunteer engagement as the Executive Director of Community Volunteer Connections, and as the Provincial Coordinator of Volunteer Resources with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. She is thrilled to have returned to her roots at Crisis Centre BC, and is leading extensive change in the Province’s crisis mental health response continuum.

Shaminda Perera, MEd.

Session: Emerging Trends in Volunteerism—What’s here and what’s on the horizon

Shaminda Perera's Bio

Shaminda Perera (he/him) is Volunteer Canada’s ‘Knowledge, Practice and Learning Lead’. He leads the development of a learning agenda that will help strengthen Canada’s volunteerism infrastructure. Shaminda also plays a leading role in a data-driven engagement initiative to raise awareness, understanding and access to data on giving and volunteering across Canada. Since 2012, he has been leading learning initiatives to support not-for-profit organizations and community groups to apply best practices in volunteer involvement. He is an expert Performance and Learning practitioner with over 2 decades of experience in the field. He is a performance and learning strategist, and a specialist in community engagement and volunteer management. He holds a Master of Education in Adult Education degree from Yorkville University, New Brunswick. His volunteering and philanthropic activities are through Mississauga Cooksville Lions Club of which he is the current club President.