2022/23 Board of Directors

Board of Directors

2022/2023 Board of Directors Election

Abby Majendie, President
EduRate / Squamish Waldorf School

I moved to Squamish in 2016 after living and working overseas for 25 years. I have over 25 years’ experience in international education and school leadership around the world. Throughout my career, I have worked with the private sector to advance experiential learning programs and prepare youth for changing employment demands.

Since 2016, I have been a Senior Education Consultant and Adjunct Professor for two U.S universities. I provide educational management consulting and teach online graduate level international education leadership and management courses. From 2017 to 2020, I was the Director of Advancement at Quest University. I am currently the Head of the Squamish Waldorf School.  I have worked at the nexus of academia, business, and the non-profit world – experience that informs my participation on the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Board.

I served my first term on the Squamish Chamber in 2019, and now serve as President for the Chamber. I also participate on the Finance Committee, Board Development Committee, the Governance Committee, and the Business Advocacy Committee. More broadly, I believe the interests of Squamish are best served by a vibrant, growing community with a strong base of local businesses and other entitles.

I represent the education and training sector. I have over 25 years’ experience in international education and leadership in independent K-12 international schools and higher education.

I provide continuity for the Squamish Chamber by continuing to serve on the Board. I also support the Chamber’s strategic plan goals and efforts to assist local businesses post-pandemic to stimulate economic growth and development in Squamish.

I would like to continue to serve as President to ensure continuity and stability for the Board. I also plan to continue my work as an active member of the Governance and Board Development Committees to assist with the Chamber’s strategic goal of Organizational Excellence by further strengthening the Chamber’s governance structure, developing strategies to advance Board development and succession planning. In addition, I’d like to continue to serve on the Business Advocacy Committee. I would also like to continue to participate in the District’s Economic Development Partnership Forum to address community needs; spur innovation, research and development; and encourage educational and training opportunities for Squamish businesses, youth, and emerging adults. Additionally, I would like to see collaborations among educational institutions and the private sector to execute new ideas and prompt business growth through youth engagement and experiential learning.

Catherine Webster, Vice President
Sea to Sky Gondola Limited Partnership

Catherine Webster has lived and worked in the Sea to Sky Corridor since 1997 where she was drawn as a result of her love of nature and the great outdoors.

A Squamish resident since joining the Sea to Sky Gondola Limited Partnership team as Director of Finance and Administration in 2018, Catherine brings over 15 years of accounting experience and an in-depth knowledge of long-term strategic planning; particularly in the outdoor Recreation and Tourism sectors.

Working for one of our community’s largest employers, coupled with her previous experience as Assistant Corporate Controller at Whistler Blackcomb, Catherine understands the major challenges facing our local community, such as, affordable housing, transportation and the need for an expansion and retention of a skilled workforce. Previous to this experience, Catherine has also held senior accounting positions in First Nations government, and local hospitality organizations. Catherine’s previous governance experience includes representing Management at the Board of Directors meetings for the Sea to Sky Gondola Limited Partnership, and has held a position as Secretary on the Disclosure Committee during her tenure at Whistler Blackcomb.

Catherine proudly holds a Charted Professional Accountant designation (CPA, CGA), and hopes to help deepen the membership’s understanding of industry economic indicators within the community to drive sustainability and economic growth.

In addition to being a CPA, Catherine holds a Master of Science degree from the University of British Columbia, where she also taught undergraduate Business Mathematics courses to Commerce students. Catherine is Chair of the Finance Committee.

In my current position at STSG LP and previous positions at Whistler Blackcomb, I have extensive experience in the outdoor experience and tourism sectors, and large business. I also have Business to Consumer experience, having worked in senior positions for a local restaurant chain in the Sea to Sky Corridor, as well as working closely with the Retail and Food & Beverage divisions at STSG LP.  

The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is vital in its role of enabling Squamish organizations to work cohesively together and learn from each other through its networking and learning initiatives. I relish the opportunity to work with other like-minded individuals whose focus is the support and growth of local business within our community.

To bring financial and accounting skills to improve members understanding of industry economic indicators, in a way that enables them to develop long term strategic plans, to drive local business and economic growth.

Christine Barton – Secretary
Macdonald Realty Squamish

I’ve lived in Squamish for 19 years and have been a realtor here for 15 years. I am blessed to live and work in the beautiful community. I have raised my son here too, and been involved with Squamish Youth Soccer because of him. Squamish has so much to offer our local small business owners – and being part of the Squamish Chamber of Commerce creates an opportunity to support and contribute to fostering that further.

Having worked in Real Estate here for so long I have interacted with many local business owners and residents and feel I can bring some perspective and valuable input to the table, based on my experience. It will also allow me to be more involved with the Squamish community which I enjoy.

 Real Estate – 15 years, residential sales and listings (pre-sale/resale)

To be more involved in the community and support local business.

I look forward to supporting the Squamish Chamber and the local business community. 

Michel-Andre Aubin 
BDC – Business Development Bank of Canada

Michel-André is a Senior Account Manager at BDC. His mandate includes leveraging BDC’s resources (financing & advisory) to help business in the Sea-to-Sky corridor grow to their full potential. 

After earning his MBA from Laval University, Michel-André worked in various advertising agencies with Canadian blue-chip businesses. He then became BDC’s Squamish local presence when he moved to Brackendale five years ago. 

With BDC, Michel-André excels by providing creative solutions to client’s day-to-day challenges while driving insightful conversations. From start-ups to fast growing businesses, entrepreneurs can count on him for support and advice on how to get to the next level. He does so with financing options and tailored advisory services. Long-term relationships and trust are his modus operandi. 

Having a positive impact in his community has always been his priority. Back in Quebec he was a co-founder of the Tel-jeunes Ball in Montreal, an event that supports the organization’s mission of providing help services for kids. 

Being an outdoor enthusiast, he is an ex-mountain bike racer, backcountry skier and weekend warrior surfer. For him, Squamish is the promised land as it offers unlimited lifetime memories and a close-knit community

Banking, finance, and advisory services. I’ve been with the BDC for three years helping all size of business grow with financing options and advisory services. I’m responsible for the Sea-to-Sky territory. Before BDC I worked as a marketing consultant and freelancer.

At BDC, my job is to leverage every tool possible to help local businesses achieve their full potential. I love the job because I can have a direct impact in our community. I see the SCC and the Board of Director role as another opportunity/way to get involved with the community and help make Squamish an ideal place to have a business.

Day in and day out I see start-ups, small and medium size businesses not knowing what resources are out there to help them grow, and therefore leaving opportunity on the table. Success for me would be knowing that the Squamish business community is well supported and well informed of all the tools available to them. From grants to financing options to advice on how to successfully lunch a business, and management best practices, I want to make sure our community has access to as much resources as possible to thrive.

Brandon Baker
Garibaldi Eye Care

Hello all! I am a doctor of optometry and very excited to serve as a director on the Squamish Chamber of Commerce. I am originally from Calgary and have been a part of the Squamish community since 2021. I (along with my lovely wife, Dr. Ashala Mah) own and operate a brand new, state of the art optometry practice in downtown Squamish called Garibaldi Eye Care. We are very excited to serve the sea to sky corridor as both eyecare providers and as a retail store.

Over the past year I have been blown away by the friendly community in Squamish. As a business owner and a health care professional I hope to see the community grow further and flourish in a healthy manner amidst a population boom. I hope to see many new businesses and industries move into our area in the coming years. I am also a strong believer in buying local and supporting our community.

In my spare time I enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer and am stoked on making connections with all the 24,000 people who call Squamish home. I also enjoy travelling, specifically to third world countries to deliver eye care and training. I am also a proud board member of a medical charity called the Ascenta Foundation, which provides medical, dental and optometric care to sites in Nicaragua and the Philippines.

Brandon represents healthcare, retail and small business. In addition Brandon brings non profit / charity experience. 

I am keen to see Squamish grow and flourish in a healthy manner, supporting new businesses and buying local. By joining the Squamish Chamber Board, I can help the Chamber support the local business community.

I would like support the Chamber and the local business community, encouraging everyone to buy local and nourish a supportive business community that attracts new businesses

Nicola Jones-Crossley
Futurpreneur

Nicola Jones-Crossley is a Senior Business Development Manager at Futurpreneur Canada. Futurpreneur is a national non-profit organisation, focused on fuelling youth entrepreneurship via financing, mentorship and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. 

At Futurpreneur, Nicola works with start-up entrepreneurs to support them in the initial stages of their business, connects with mentors across sectors and collaborates with community partners to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in British Columbia. She is passionate about working with young entrepreneurs to help realise their dreams and working to support sustainable, mission driven businesses. 

Prior to her work in Canada, Nicola was the Founding Director of a community organisation in Bangkok, Thailand that focussed on promoting gender equality and celebrating female leadership. She worked extensively across Southeast Asia facilitating leadership development initiatives, implementing education curriculum and working with organisational partners to create social change. 

Nicola represents non profits, business, financial education. Futurpreneur is a non-profit that provides financial and educational support to young entrepreneurs who want to start a business. 

To connect with the Squamish business community and support those interested in starting a business in Squamish. 

Support the Chamber to continue to connect the entrepreneurial community of Squamish and promote Squamish as a great place to start a business.

Rajan Hans 
Diamond Head Security Group

Rajan Hans is an actively engaged member of this community with a history of volunteering with many organizations including, the Squamish Railway Heritage Park, Squamish Eagle Watch, Squamish Sikh Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Squamish Youth Soccer Association (SYSA) and Hill Top House. Currently he is serving as a board member for the Squamish Sikh Society and Board Director for the SYSA. 

 

Presently, Rajan is working in the insurance and real estate industries, while finishing up final requirements of his BBA in Finance at Simon Fraser University. Rajan believes he will bring a unique perspective to the table in our discussions on how to improve and support the business ecosystem for our members. He plans to become a bigger part of the business community in Squamish as time progresses. While continually engaging with our membership to gain insight on what we can do as a board to improve business in Squamish. Rajan is excited for the opportunity to support our local members and ensure their voices are heard.  

Rajan represents real estate and business services. 

I have always had a passion for business and my community. These passions are the driving force for my active involvement in this community and the reason I chose to study business in my post-secondary education. This position allows me to combine these passions and help businesses overcome challenges and issues they face in Squamish. I want to improve the quality of life in this community, by strengthening our business ecosystem. 

I would like to strengthen our relationship with the Squamish Council, working together on problems facing our community, while advocating for the needs of our membership. I will continue to work with the board and advocacy committee to cultivate a workforce housing plan and try to make mobile business licensing available. During my term, I would advocate for the creation of an additional committee, dedicated to economic development/growth. The knowledge and connections our members gain from our chamber is crucial. Therefore, I will strongly support more opportunities for training and networking events. Finally, I want to build and move forward on the great work done by the chamber in past years.

Gale Kim
Mackoff Mohamed Barristers & Solicitors

Gale Kim is a Squamish local and employment lawyer with experience in helping Sea to Sky Corridor employers with workplace challenges and protecting their businesses. 

In her legal profession, Gale practices employment law, civil and commercial litigation, and insurance defense. She has appeared in all levels of court in British Columbia and represented businesses before the Employment Standards Branch and Human Rights Tribunal. Gale is experienced in advising businesses on various employment-related matters, including employee / contractor agreement drafting, employee hiring / termination matters, accommodation and human rights issues, workplace policies, and employee retention programs. 

Since moving to Squamish, Gale has rooted herself in the community, volunteering on a pro bono basis for Squamish Helping Hands and serving on the board of directors for the Skyridge Montessori School. 

Gale enjoys connecting with all kinds of businesses and entrepreneurs, as she has a diverse background as a former animator with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in film and video production (Honours) from New York University and a Master of Fine Arts in experimental animation from California Institute of the Arts. 

Gale looks forward to contributing her professional skillset of advocacy and expertise in employment law and human rights, as well as her passion for innovation and creativity, to the Squamish Chamber of Commerce. 

 

Legal sector (private), specifically with civil litigation and employment law work for employers and employees.

I wish to be more involved with the Squamish community, help businesses adapt to issues and challenges that come with Squamish’s growth, and offer a diverse perspective to the Chamber of Commerce.

As a new comer to the Chamber Board of Directors, I intend to learn more about the organization and learn the ropes at the beginning. I am keen to be part of sub-committees on topics for which I can offer my expertise.

Jacqueline Menezes
7th Wave Consulting

I have been a member on the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Policy Committee since March 2018. As the current Chair of the Business Advocacy Committee, I have worked with the group and other District organizations to identity issues of importance to the membership along with advocacy polices and solutions. 

I support the Board to actively advocate on these key issues of importance to the organization and its members:
• Housing affordability
• A regional and local transportation plan funded by three levels of government.
• A 3- 5 year Economic Development/ Business Development action plan in collaboration with the District of Squamish Council;
• Economic Diversification: Attracting 5 new clean tech, IT and professional businesses to Squamish;

I’m a business strategist consulting on communications, marketing, public affairs and policy with over 20 years experience. A lifelong advocate for social justice and economic development I have worked as a communications and issues advisor to cabinet ministers in the Ontario legislature, as well as a stakeholder engagement and policy professional with Ontario’s transit plan at Metrolinx.

I have worked on a number of Boards: Women’s Habitat (women & children fleeing violence shelter), Rotary Club of Parkdale-High Park, PACT Urban Peace Program (at risk youth), Casey House Foundation and Interactive Multimedia Arts & Technologies Association (IMAT): I chaired many committees, working on board governance supporting the development and maintenance of best practices as well as advising on and delegating Board policies to Executive Directors in a consultative and collaborative manner.

1. Cannabis Advocacy – medical, industrialat Cannabis Council. 

2. Tourism/ Arts & Culture – Royal Ontario Museum & Harbourfront Centre

3. Transportation – Metrolinx – The Big Move Regional Transportation Plan

My experience includes government affairs, communications and media consulting for private-sector technology firms, bio-science for agri-food industries, tourism and arts marketing management and campaign organizing at the federal, provincial and municipal levels.

I moved to Squamish as I saw great growth potential; I would like to volunteer my experience and skills to help Squamish business thrive and attract more diverse businesses to the District. 

Since moving to Squamish in October 2017, I joined the Chamber and the Policy Committee, volunteered with the Squamish Motorcycle Festival, ran for Municipal
Council, was appointed to the District’s Advisory Design Panel and Public Arts Select Committees and am a current supporter of the Squamish Arts Council.

1. Advocate for and assist in the development of a 3-5 year Economic Development/ Business Development Action Plan in collaboration with the District of Squamish Council; attract 5 new clean tech, IT and professional businesses to Squamish.

2. I would actively advocate for a regional and local transportation plan funded by three levels of government.

Jack Montpellier 
Race & Company LLP

As a lawyer I understand many of the challenges that local businesses regularly face. I have spent most of my career in our community and I am familiar with many of the issues specific to Squamish that our members often encounter, along with how these affects both the businesses in question and our community overall.

I greatly value the role that the Chamber plays as an advocate for local commerce and the many resources that it provides to our members, and helping ensure that this continues is what initially drew me to the Board of Directors. During my past year as a Director I sat as secretary where I ensured that all decisions were recorded in a transparent fashion. As Chair of the Governance & HR Committee I help ensure that our bylaws were in conformity with the relevant legislation to keep our Chamber up to date.

I believe that local involvement is very important for establishing and maintaining a healthy and vibrant community. Outside of work I am supervising lawyer for the Sea-to-Sky community Service’s Poverty Law Clinic and am active with the Squamish Environment Society and the Squamish Climate Action Network.

As a Director I bring my professional skill set of risk assessment, governance, and advocacy to the Chamber of Commerce so that we can continue to provide the many exceptional services for our membership. 

Professional and legal

To help the Chamber continue to provide excellent resources to our business community.

Working with the Chamber to bring our organization into a post-covid world.th the Chamber to bring our organization into a post-covid world

John Olson
Northridge Mechanical Ltd.

Calm, cool, and a great motivator, John Olson has moved to Squamish twice in the last few years. Now this Mechanical Contractor is a committed business owner in Squamish after a successful career in a managerial role with a major Vancouver commercial HVAC & Plumbing company, where was highly respected in his field. 

John’s goal has always been to run his own company and is thrilled to be doing so in such an active, vibrant community and living with his family and two dogs. He is pleased to be coaching his son’s soccer team and spends his downtime mountain biking, hiking and skiing. 

With a strong background with Scouts Canada, John grew up on the North Shore and was an Honours Student. He is a dedicated member of Squamish’s business community, is always willing to pitch in and help as well as come up with ideas and solutions and feels moved to be part of the Squamish Chamber Board. 

Construction and building services (commercial, industrial & residential plumbing, heating and air conditioning)

I want to help grow the ” love local, love Squamish” movement and for networking.

I want to see more local businesses join the Chamber of Commerce. 

More About the Board

The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is Squamish’s largest and oldest business organization, representing hundreds of businesses. The Board of Directors is responsible for governance and policy making. The Executive Director is responsible for administration and management of the Chamber.  

The Squamish Chamber Board of Directors includes a President, Vice-President, Secretary and eight other Directors. Directors are elected to hold office for a term of one (1) year, up to a maximum of four consecutive terms. 

2022 Election

As set out by the Board of Directors, in accordance with bylaws:

  • Nomination Call Out (April 1)
  • Meet the Chamber – Member Meeting (April 13)
  • Voting for Board Directors* (April 27 – May 11)
  • AGM to elect the Board of Directors and then Officers (May 18)

* Voting is only required if there are more than 11 candidates. Once the board is elected, officer positions are elected.

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