About the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is Squamish’s largest and oldest business organization, representing hundreds of businesses. The Board 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 up to eight other Directors. Directors are elected to hold office for a term of one (1) year, up to a maximum of four consecutive terms.
Thank you to Mike Coyne, Susan Chapelle, Rajan Hans and Carlos Zavarce for their years of volunteering for the Squamish Chamber, and who are stepping down in 2021.
Quest University Canada
I moved to Squamish in 2016 after living and working overseas for 25 years. I have 30 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.
In 2017, I joined Quest as the Director of Advancement and direct fundraising for all major initiatives such as scholarships, research, projects, and programs. I support Quest faculty, staff and students in forging partnerships with the Squamish business community to address local needs and pursue shared goals. I therefore work at the nexus of academia, business, and the non-profit world – experience that informs my participation on the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Board.
I was elected to the Squamish Chamber Board in December 2018. I serve as Chair of the Governance Committee for the Chamber and sit on the Policy and Finance Committees. More broadly, I believe the interests of both Quest and Squamish are best served by a vibrant, growing community with a strong base of local businesses and other entitles.
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 for the executive where I ensured that all decisions were recorded in a transparent fashion. As a member of the Governance Committee I helped 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 will 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. Thank you for your consideration
Dr. Dawn Gareau, ND
Skin Focus Regenerative Medicine Inc.
Having a connection throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor since1990, Dawn is fortunate to call
Squamish home and has been living on the lands within the traditional territories of the
Squamish Nation full time since 2011.
Dawn has worked in the health and dental industry for over 20 years throughout BC (Whistler,
Prince George, Vancouver) and in 2019 opened Skin Focus – a fully integrated skin clinic
providing Medical Aesthetics and Naturopathic Medicine in downtown Squamish.
A former member of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team, Dr. Gareau assisted in the development
of the Vancouver Freestyle Ski Team, coaching provincial level athletes as well as beginner
leagues for young mogul skiers in the lower mainland till 2003. Her passion for sport and outdoor recreation and the incredible sense of community is an integral part of her reasons to live and work in Squamish.
Raised in Prince George, B.C. in a family strongly committed to community involvement, Dr.
Gareau is excited to be part of the Chambers board in hopes to bring her experience, ideas and passion towards long term growth and development of small businesses to the Squamish community.
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 Director of the Squamish Chamber of Commerce and board member of the Squamish Sikh Society. He has been hard at work on growing his business and navigating the challenges business owners face in the Sea to Sky region. With encouragements from a number of Chamber Directors and members, Rajan has decided to re-run for a board position. 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 continue 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 once again support our local members and ensure their voices are heard.
Cameron opened his first business in Squamish, a food truck, eight years ago as a Quest University Student. At the time, municipal restrictions on business prevented him from getting a business license and limited his operations to selling one day a week at the Farmers Market; the business had to close. He has continued on to open a construction business, and is now a Licensed Builder and owner of Regen Homes, an ecological development company. In 2019 he founded OurSquamish, a non-profit with the mission to improve Squamish’s public spaces, build community, and increase livability.
Cameron is interested in becoming a Director because he believes in the vision of the Chamber – enhancing quality of life through business in Squamish – and is dedicated to making that happen. He knows this is possible by removing barriers to local businesses to create more jobs in Squamish which will strengthen the local economy. He wants residents to be able to spend more time in the community they love and less time commuting.
Cameron brings lived experience as a small business owner in Squamish, as well as experience from sitting as an active director on two other boards. He is also already on the Chamber’s Policy and Advocacy Committee. Perhaps most importantly, Cameron brings a passion to contribute, inspired by a vision for a thriving Squamish where businesses aren’t unnecessarily restrained and have the support they need to grow.
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 out 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 help senior accounting positions in First Nations government, and local hospitality organizations. Catherin’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, Catherin holds a Master of Science degree from the University of British Columbia, where she also taught undergraduate Business Mathematics courses to Commerce students.
The Whistler Fireplace Company
Richard is the owner and operator of The Whistler Fireplace Company. Along with his wife, Emma, Richard operates the family run business from the Squamish business park. The family moved to Squamish over 14 years ago and opened The Whistler Fireplace in 2017, now employing a team of five. Richard and the team are committed to providing high quality products, customer service and technical expertise.
Richard brings the knowledge and perspective of operating a small business to the Chamber board table, along with invaluable entrepreneurial spirit. As a board director, Richard will use his expertise and experience to help businesses in Squamish thrive and enable the Chamber to continue to support the Squamish business community.
7th Wave Consulting
I have been a member on the Squamish Chamber of Commerce Policy Committee since March 2018 and have worked to identity issues of importance to the membership along with advocacy polices and solutions. Through our membership survey we identified that the top issues of importance to members are housing affordability, transportation, and economic development.
If elected I would advocate to develop three key initiatives:
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.
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.
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.
RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate
As a proud citizen of Squamish, I engage our community through the social recreational opportunities that our District has to offer. Whether it be pedaling alongside friends in SORCA events or battling it out in the local hockey, soccer, and curling leagues, I find joy in connecting with others through sport and adventurous endeavors. Sport has played a major role in my life and I am a firm believer that it is an integral factor in fostering good health, a strong community, and sense of belonging.
I also enjoy connecting with fellow parents with young children at various play groups, Brennan Park, the Library, and the like; Squamish has so much to offer for families!
From a career standpoint, I have been involved in various real estate consulting projects in Squamish and across BC during my time as a property tax consultant and commercial real estate appraiser going back to 2009. Although I remain an accredited commercial appraiser (AACI™) with the Appraisal Institute of Canada in good standing, my business as a Realtor™ focuses on helping buyers and sellers of commercial and residential properties in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
As a Realtor™, I am on the front lines of engaging with people and companies that are looking to move, invest, work, or develop real estate in Squamish. As a Director with the Chamber, I strive to share the feedback I receive in my experiences to help find solutions to recurring issues for our business community from a real estate perspective.