2024/25 Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Michel-Andre Aubin, President
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.

Laura Prosko, Vice President
Woodfibre LNG

During my fifteen-year career in government and community relations within Canada and the United States, I have been fortunate to incorporate my portfolios of – policy, lobbying, grant-writing, stakeholder management, community engagement and government relations – within the business community. I currently work in the large-scale, major-project industry sector, yet my entrepreneurial spirit values the chamber where advocacy for business builds sustainable communities.

My interest in becoming a Director for the Squamish Chamber of Commerce is to help serve the needs of the business community. I am motivated to ensure effective policy, bylaws, plus attraction and retention of membership is congruent with supporting the Executive Director and staff, as well as ensuring overall good governance. My passion for gender equality, diversity and inclusion as well as Indigenous reconciliation stem from my work in local government and expertise in the Local Government Act and the Community Charter. Economic diversification is key.

On a personal note, my family and I have lived in Squamish for over two and a half years and have found residents to be very welcoming. I currently am involved with the rotary club as well as volunteering with the Don Ross middle school hot lunch program. We are very involved with hiking, skiing, youth groups – and feel fortunate to live in a tight-knit community.

It would be a tremendous honor to represent and promote our vibrant business community, as well as lobby for increased business opportunities, as a Squamish Chamber of Commerce Director.

Jarrett Zavitz, Secretary
Zavitz Insurance & Wealth

Jarrett Zavitz is a financial planner at Zavitz Insurance & Wealth and is based out of his office in the Northyards building in Squamish. He works with small business owners on their benefit plans and their personal protection plans, as well as working with many families in the corridor who need life & disability insurance or financial planning. 

He holds many financial designations, including Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Life Underwriter, & Certified Employee Benefits Specialist. He has a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University. 

Through his work, Jarrett hears a lot from the local business community about challenges they are facing and areas which are working effectively. He wants to be able to take this feedback to influence positive change and build a strong business-friendly community in Squamish. 

Outside of his professional life, Jarrett has rooted himself in the community. He is a member of Squamish Search & Rescue and has also served on their Board of Directors. He is a sponsor of both SORCA and Squamish BMX. 

He lives in Squamish with his wife and 2 young boys and is a regular out on the mountain bike trails, fishing the rivers, or in the winter backcountry. 

Agustina Coccaro
WealthSense Financial

Agustina has been an active member of the Sea to Sky business community since 2020. Working with the Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton Chamber of Commerce to provide its members with comprehensive group benefits. Speaking with business owners across the corridor, Agustina has an in depth understanding of the struggles that are faced in running a business.

Agustina is interested in becoming a board member to not only be more involved in the Squamish business community, but be a link for the entire Sea to Sky region to work together.  As a financial advisor, she works with clients to take control of their personal finances and set themselves for success in the future. It is these same skills that she will bring to the Squamish Chamber of Commerce board.

Agustina spends her weekend in the community supporting small businesses and enjoy all the nature this beautiful part of the world has to offer.

 

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.

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. 

 

Mike VanCapelle
Blue Water Concepts

I have called Squamish home for over 11 years. I started my design-build construction company (Blue Water Concepts) here in town almost 8 years ago now and it has grown to become a medium sized business and employer. I grew up in Ontario and have been involved in the construction industry ever since I was a little kid working in our family business back East. I completed my advanced diploma in Construction Engineering and Architectural Technology at Niagara College and moved West to the Kootenays, where I lived before coming to Squamish. I am constantly blown away by the team we have built at Blue Water and I am excited to be a part of the business community here in Squamish. I have young twin girls and I am very excited to see them grow up in this amazing town. There is a ton of growth and change happening to Squamish and I hope I can contribute in a positive and meaningful way during my time here.  

Roxana Dees
Euphoria Natural Health

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. 

Ryan Kinghorn
Race & Company LLP

I am a third year associate lawyer at Race & Company LLP. My practice is largely split between
family law and civil litigation. Although I am a relatively junior lawyer, I have quite a diverse and
rigorous work / volunteer background. During my undergraduate degree, I obtained five professional
summer positions at Microsoft, Scotiabank, AGF Investments, Gowling WLG and DundeeWealth.
These positions allowed me to gain extensive and valuable professional development at an early age
and exposure to a diverse collection of industries, people and perspectives.

During law school at the University of Calgary, I volunteered / worked full-time for a pro bono legal
services charity providing assistance and advocacy to the least fortunate populations in the city. As
a student executive at this charity, I was exposed to a well-functioning Board of Directors that
comprised of lawyers, judges and other community leaders. My time working with this charity
awakened my desire to dedicate a significant amount of my professional capacity to communitybased programs like the Chamber of Commerce.

Since moving to Squamish in 2020, I have learned a lot about this special community and have
developed a large network of people who share this passion (with help from the Chamber’s Apres
events). In 2023, I became the Supervising Lawyer for Sea to Sky Community Services Legal
Advocacy Program, which offers advocacy support and assistance to financially restricted
individuals and families in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. In my free time, you can find me
skiing, mountain biking and hiking.

Sarah Strother
Glacier Media

Sarah Strother has over 25 years of experience in news media operations in Canada and
the U.S. having worked in operational management roles for city and community
publications.

She’s spent the last 15 years as President of Glacier Media’s Sea to Sky region as
publisher of The Squamish Chief and Pique Newsmagazine (Whistler). In her capacity
as Publisher, Sarah is responsible for all aspects of The Squamish Chief including
oversight of the newsroom, advertising sales and circulation departments.
Sarah sits on the BC & Yukon NewsMedia Association (BCYCNA) board as a director,
having served as a two-term President from 2018-2020. She also sits on the National
Newspaper Awards board of directors.

Sarah was a board member of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce (WCC) from 2015-
2023. During her time on the board she sat on the Executive, Governance and Advocacy
Committees.

Sarah’s experience in government relations and advocacy work is extensive, having
chaired the WCC Advocacy Committee from 2019-2023 and currently chairing the
BCYCNA Government Relations committee.  Sarah has spent many years as an alpine ski racing volunteer, and enjoys skiing, mountain biking, hiking and the great outdoors in the Sea to Sky region

Theodora Jean
Coldwater Communications

Theodora has over 12 years of public relations and communications experience in private industry, government, and non-profit sectors. Through her public relations agency, Coldwater Communications, Theodora provides comprehensive PR strategies, corporate communications, and thought-leadership services for clients in various industries, including academia, non-profit, film and entertainment, and environment. She is the Past President of CPRS’ Vancouver society and sat on the local board for five years. Theodora was named one of The Peak’s 2021 Emerging Leaders in Canada and was one of the Inspiring Females Accelerating Change by North America Women in PR in 2020. Theodora is currently completing a Certificate of Specialization in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Harvard. In 2021, Theodora completed a Harvard Business School Executive Education program focused on leading professional service firms. She also has an undergraduate degree from Queen’s University and a Masters in Communications from the University of Ottawa.

 

Theodora has lived in Squamish for the past four years and is passionate about helping Sea to Sky businesses thrive and helping local communities flourish. By joining the Board of the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, Theodora hopes to apply her skills and experiences in growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Squamish. 

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 6 other Directors. Directors are elected to hold office for a term of one (1) year, up to a maximum of four consecutive terms. 

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