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About YYJ

Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer

Eric Donald

Eric Donald

Board Chair
Nominated by the City of Victoria

A native of Victoria, Eric Donald began his 30-year business career with Bank of Montreal working in BC and Ontario in a variety of managerial and executive roles before retiring in 2000.

Eric is currently the President and General Manager of the Danzo Group of Companies, Victoria BC,  whose holdings include a wide variety of real estate, brokerage, commercial property management and hospitality.

Eric has been active in his community with past Board memberships including University of Victoria (past Chair), Science World BC, David Foster Foundation, Pacific Sport Training Centre, Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation. Eric has been on a number of fundraising cabinets for Island Health hospitals and served on task forces for various local governments.

Eric is a graduate of University of Victoria (B.A. Econ) and holds certificates for Advanced Management and Finance from a number of academic institutions.

Gordon Safarik

Gordon Safarik

Board Vice-Chair and Chair, Airport Consultative Committee
Nominated by the District of North Saanich

Gordon Safarik has held a number of executive positions in the cruise ship, food, shipbuilding and repair industries as well as the oil and gas sector.  With over 35 years experience both domestically and internationally (Europe, Asia and Mexico), his expertise has been utilized in the private and public sectors.

Gordon is past President of the Cruise Industry Association of British Columbia.  He has held a variety of directorships including the BC Shipbuilding and Repair Association and the Fisheries Council of BC.  He co-founded the Esquimalt Drydock Company, developing international relationships with shipping companies. He has served on a number of Federal committees and currently sits on the Board of Variance for the District of North Saanich.

Gordon graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics.

Marilyn Loveless

Marilyn Loveless

Board Secretary
Appointed by the Victoria Airport Authority

A native of the Saanich Peninsula, Marilyn is recently retired after 15 years as Councillor for the Town of Sidney.  She brings a lifetime of commitment to her community, including advocacy and leadership roles in arts, sport and agriculture.

Marilyn worked professionally in her early career as an educator, and after raising her family she returned to work with the seniors community.  She is past Chair of Saanich School District Board #63 and former member of the Saanich Peninsula Water and Wastewater Commissions, Peninsula Agriculture Commission, and the CRD Arts and Housing Committees.

Marilyn has travelled widely in Canada serving on the National Seniors Council, providing advice to the Minister of Employment and Social Development, the Minister of Health, and the Minister of State for Seniors.  She is the recipient of the Governors General's Award for Community Service and is a member of a team inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.

Marilyn and her husband Chuck continue to live in rural Saanich.  They have five sons and nine grandchildren.

Rod Dewar, ICD.D

Rod Dewar, ICD.D

Chair, Planning and Development Committee
Nominated by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Rod Dewar is the past President and Chief Executive Officer of Island Savings, a retail and commercial banking, insurance and wealth advisory services business, with a portfolio of $2.8B, employing 450 staff and operating 16 branches throughout southern Vancouver Island.   Island Savings has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Best Employers in Canada five consecutive years.

Prior to joining Island Savings, Rod was the Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) and Vice-President, North American Airports for Canadian Airlines International, where he spent 30 years in the aviation industry.

Rod is past chair of Credential Financial Inc., a $17B national wealth management and insurance products and services provider. 

He is current Chair of the B.C. Ferry Authority Board, and the Vice Chair of BC Life & Casualty Company, a subsidiary of Pacific Blue Cross. 

Former board positions include Calm Air International, the Canadian Professional Sales Association, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce Executive Board, Fundraising Chair, Canadian Cancer Society Manitoba, and the Calgary Airport Executive Advisory Board.

Rod’s community work includes serving on the Victoria Hospitals Foundation Board, chairing the Bayview Place/Island Savings Open PGA Golf Tournament, and he is a member of the Advisory Council of the Royal Roads University, School of Leadership Studies.

He recently completed his ICD.D accreditation with the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman School of Management Directors Education Program.

Rod lives in Victoria, is married and has two adult sons.

Cathie Ounsted

Cathie Ounsted

Chair, Audit and Finance Committee
Nominated by the District of Central Saanich

Cathie has been a resident of Greater Victoria for the past 30 years, and of the Saanich Peninsula for the past 20.  Cathie has been active on several local boards including the Central Saanich Police Board serving as Chair of Finance, the Island Catholic School Board, and the Peninsula Co-op Board of Directors serving as Chair of Finance, Planning and Nominations Committee.

Cathie is a former Councillor with the District of Central Saanich where she served as Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and the Planning and Development Committee.  She has owned and operated several businesses in Greater Victoria and held senior executive positions for a large local grocery chain.  She has spent a significant amount of time volunteering for local community and high school football.   

Cathie and her husband Chris operate Ounsted & Company, Chartered Professional Accountants.  They reside in Central Saanich with their two teenage sons.

Wendy Everson

Wendy Everson

Nominated by the Town of Sidney

Before entering law school, Wendy worked with Transport Canada and Winnipeg International Airport as a project manager from 1992 to 1995.  As a manager of commercial development, Wendy was responsible for groundside development and management of commercial retail projects, negotiation of commercial lease and license agreements, overseeing ground transportation initiatives and a participant in, and with, the development of an overall marketing plan for the Airport. 

Today, Wendy maintains a private legal practice, Wendy L. Everson Law, and provides legal services and advice to clients in the areas of real estate, development, business law, general corporate and commercial law and wills and estate planning.   Wendy has a long history of community involvement and has volunteered with a number of organizations and foundations throughout her career, both at the executive level and with general membership.  Her past participation includes being an elected member of the Provincial Council of the Canadian Bar Association, Chair of various committees and educational sections of the Canadian Bar Association, President & Director of the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, and a past member of the granting committee for the Victoria Foundation. 

Wendy obtained her Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce Honours (Finance) degrees from the University of Manitoba, and her Juris Doctor of Laws (J.D.) from the University of Victoria in 1998.  Wendy is a recipient of the National Trust – Donovan and Maryla Waters Award in Trusts and Estate Planning. 

Wendy is a resident of the Town of Sidney and is proud to also have her legal practice part of the local business community.

Lynne Henderson

Lynne Henderson

Appointed by the Province of British Columbia

Lynne was born and raised in Victoria.  She is a director and partner of Carolyn Developments Ltd., a property and development company in Victoria since 1983 and was a licensed realtor for 12 years.  She also served as Special Assistant to the Honourable David Anderson P.C., MP from 2001 to 2006.

Her involvement in the community is and has been very extensive.  In the past positions held are Vice Chair, BC Cancer Foundation - Inspire the World Campaign, United Way - Campaign Chair, Foundation of University of Victoria - Chair, Board of Directors for Destination Marketing Commission, Victoria Art Gallery and Victoria Symphony to name a few. She is presently on the Capital Region Music Awards Society, Inaugural Fellow Royal Roads University and Coats For Kids.

Awards and special recognition that Lynne has received are the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal for community service, Community Leadership Award from the University of Victoria and the Award of Merit from CFAX radio- Citizen of the Year.

Charles Lovallo

Charles Lovallo

Nominated by the Town of Sidney

Charles Lovallo is President of CRI Business Solutions, a private consulting firm specializing in business management, and Manager of the Themis School of Security Training.   He is past President and Chair of Innovative Solutions Now Inc., a biofuels research and development company.  Charles has held senior positions within Revenue Canada - Customs and Border Services in the areas of Information Technology, Revenue, Human Resources Management and Taxation. 

He was the founder and CEO of Angel Flight of BC, a non-profit organization of volunteer pilots who provide free air transportation to ambulatory cancer patients requiring travel to treatment centres.  

Charles is a recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for his work in business continuity and emergency management, and he has assisted in the development of a National Risk Assessment Program.

Brenda Nunns Shoemaker

Brenda Nunns Shoemaker

Nominated by the District of North Saanich

Brenda Nunns Shoemaker came to North Saanich 22 years ago from Ottawa where she was Vice-President of the Ottawa General Hospital and President of the Ottawa General Hospital Foundation.  Before that she was Vice-President at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.  In Ottawa she was on many local and national boards and councils, often as chair, in the fields of health, education and athletics.

Since arriving in the Capital Region with her late husband Michael, Brenda has served on the Board of Directors of the Capital Health Region and the Board of Directors of the Queen Alexander Foundation for Children.  She was also Chair of the North Saanich Parks Commission. In addition, for nine years Brenda was on the Vancouver Island Health Authority Board of Directors where she chaired its Health Quality Committee. Currently Brenda serves on the Board of Directors of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation as its Governance Chair. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for her community service.

As a consultant and faculty member of both the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Foundation for Health Care Improvement, Brenda taught Effective Governance for Patient Safety to health and hospital boards in several provinces.

Brenda has also served on several Federal Government advisory councils as a consumer representative.

A mother of five adult children, Brenda was once a member of the Canadian Federation Cup tennis team and winner of several provincial, intercollegiate and nation titles including the Canadian Open doubles championship.

Colin Smith, P.Eng, PE, FCAE, FEC

Colin Smith, P.Eng, PE, FCAE, FEC

Nominated by the Capital Regional District

Colin Smith received his BASc. in Mining Engineering from UBC in 1965; an MS in Mineral Engineering and an MBA from Stanford in 1972; and an Executive Program Diploma in International Business from the National University of Singapore in 1986. His career has included operations and corporate management responsibilities with major international mining companies in Nevada, California and British Columbia; private practice consulting; and over 15 years of public service with the Province of British Columbia in assistant and deputy minister equivalent positions including CEO of Forest Renewal BC; President and Project Director of Rapid Transit 2000 Limited (Millennium Line SkyTrain Project); and Corporate Secretary and CFO of the Vancouver Convention Centre Expansion Project.

Colin is a Past President of Engineers Canada; the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC); Engineers Canada; and the British Columbia Chamber of Commerce (BCCC). He is past Chair of the West Coast Railway Association.  An Honourary Life Member of APEGBC, the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) and of BCCC. Colin is a Fellow of five national engineering and geoscience associations including the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the BCCC and is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary Medal, APEGBC's Professional Service and Community Service Awards, the BC Community Achievement Award and the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medals.

Colin currently consults on infrastructure-related projects and is active in a number of voluntary pursuits including; APEGBC's Joint Board with ASTTBC and its Delegate to the bi-national Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Partnership; President of the Canadian Society of Senior Engineers; Chief Warden of Iron Ring Camp 23; Government House Foundation Trustee; the Capital Regional District's Core Area Waste Water Treatment Commission; Harbourside Rotary Club and Directorships of other Boards and Foundations.

Geoff Dickson

Geoff Dickson

President and Chief Executive Officer

Geoff Dickson became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Airport Authority in 2011. 

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Geoff is responsible for the strategic planning, operations and financial performance of Victoria International Airport.  During Geoff's tenure, Victoria International Airport won the prestigious Airport Council International Service Quality Award for best regional airport in North America in 2012 and 2014.

Geoff has over twenty five years experience in the airline and marine transportation industries with a background in marketing, business development, operations, customer service and finance.

Geoff began his career with Canadian Airlines where he ultimately led the international marketing team in the development and expansion of the Airline’s global network.  He returned home to Victoria, BC where he joined BC Ferries as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development where he oversaw all aspects of their commercial operations.

Geoff is a past member of the Canadian Tourism Commission's Asia and Europe Committees and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Airports Council (CAC) and Tourism Victoria.

Geoff is a graduate of the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business.