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Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer
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 the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and 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.
Board Vice-Chairand Chair of the Airport Consultative Committee
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.
Brenda Nunns Shoemaker
Board Secretary and Chair of the Governance Committee
Brenda Nunns Shoemaker came to North Saanich 25 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.
Chair of the Audit and Finance Committee
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.
Rod Dewar, ICD.D
Chair of the Planning and Development Committee
Rod Dewar is ICD.D accredited with the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman School of Management. He is past President and Chief Executive Officer of Island Savings, $2.8B retail and commercial banking, insurance, and wealth management business, employing 450 staff and operating 16 branches throughout southern Vancouver Island.
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, Airports North America for Canadian Airlines International, where he spent 30 years in the aviation industry. During this time he held senior responsibilities for domestic and international call centres, capital construction projects such as air cargo warehouses, aircraft hangars, flight training and simulator buildings, airport developments, and commercial office space. He also held senior responsibilities for the operations of 22 airports in Canada and the US.
Current Board responsibilities include, Chair, Consumer Protection BC, Board Vice Chair and Audit and Risk Committee Chair, BC Life & Casualty Co., BlueShore Financial Chair, Governance Committee, and Nicola Wealth Management. Rod is past Chair of, B.C. Ferry Authority, Credential Financial Inc. and the Canadian Professional Sales Association. He has also served on the Boards of Calm Air International, 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 as Chair of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, Chair of the Bayview Place/Island Savings Open PGA golf tournament, and the Advisory Council of the Royal Roads University School of Leadership.
Rod lives in Victoria, is married and has two adult sons.
Chair of the Human Resources Committee
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.
Until recently, Eric was 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.
Appointed by the Government of Canada
Carol Brown brings extensive business experience as an Organizational Development Consultant focused on change, conflict, and the people side of organizational life. She practiced commercial law for over 20 years advising SME’s as their corporate counsel. Carol has an accounting designation and completed the Institute of Corporate Directors, Rotman School of Management training.
Carol was the Chair of the Human Resource Committee with the Prince George Airport Authority, serving nine years on the Board of Directors. She is a past-director with the Insurance Corporation of BC, as well as other community board volunteer experiences. Carol was a Commissioner with the BC Utilities Commission for over five years.
Carol has a phd and is an associate faculty at Royal Roads University, teaching Law, Conflict Management, and Leading Change. Carol has been a resident of the south island for nine years and has two adult children.
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, 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. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Victoria Hospitals 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.
Nominated by the Capital Regional District
Paul has been involved in construction for over 40 years in England, Toronto and on Vancouver Island and is the owner and President of a multi-million dollar business in the construction industry in the CRD .
He was elected as a Saanich Councillor from 2008 – 2014 and was Chair of various Saanich standing and advisory committees including Finance, Planning and Transportation and Parks, Trails and Recreation in his two terms of office. He was also the Saanich Council representative on the Victoria Airport Consultative Committee.
Paul was a trustee and Chair of the Greater Victoria Public Library Board and of the CRD Housing Trust Fund Committee and a Board member of the Capital Region Housing Corporation, City of Victoria Board of Variance, Saanich Neighbourhood Place and a Director of the CRD Water Commission.
He was President of the Gorge Tillicum Community Association and won awards for service both as a public library trustee and for his community involvement. He is interested and involved with affordable housing issues in the Greater Victoria region and was also a member of the Leadership Council for the Coalition to End Homelessness.
Paul lives in the Gorge / Tillicum area of Saanich, is married and has two adult sons.
Nominated by the District of Saanich
Allan Haynes was born and raised in London, England, and has wide-ranging work experience in the UK, Europe, Canada and the Middle East and more limited experience in the USA, South America, Africa and South and East Asia.
He joined Air Canada in London as a passenger agent and later moved to the European Regional Office where he held a variety of marketing positions. He transferred to the Montreal head office in 1979 where he worked successively as manager of Schedule Development, Long Range Planning, Intercontinental Routes and Commercial Strategy.
He left Air Canada in 1992 but, after a brief spell as a restaurateur, returned to aviation as an independent marketing consultant where his clients included four of Canada's top ten airports, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Aer Rianta (the Irish Airports Authority), various regional airports and airlines and sub-contract work for larger consultancies.
His voluntary work includes Vice President House Leage of the Lakeshore Soccer Association (Quebec), a youth sports group with 3500 members, Director and Chair of the Passenger Marketing Committee of the Comox Valley Airport Commission and board member and past-president of Peninsula Players, a community theatre group based in Sidney for whom he has written and directed a number of productions.
Allan has a degree in marketing from the UK Institute of Marketing and currently lives in the Cordova Bay area of Saanich.
Appointed by the Government of Canada
Frank Leonard was Mayor of Saanich and Chair of the Police Board from 1996-2014 after serving as a Councillor from 1986. While in public office, Frank chaired the Municipal Finance Authority of BC, was President of the Union of BC Municipalities and a Director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He has also served as Chair of the Capital Regional District, the Hospital District and the region’s Housing Corporation.
Frank Leonard comes from a family business background, having managed Victoria Tire Ltd.’s three Kal Tire stores prior to their sale in 1996. While in business, Frank served as a Director of the BC Chamber of Commerce, President of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of local tourism and economic development groups. Frank has a B.A. (Honours) and M.A. from the University of Victoria, and has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Program (ICD.D)
Frank Leonard is currently Chair of Parkbridge Lifestyles Communities and Vice Chair of Coast Capital Savings. He is a business instructor at the University of Victoria and has previously served as a Director of the BC Investment Management Corporation, Chair of the Municipal Pension Plan and Chair of the BC Agricultural Land Commission.
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.
Appointed by the Province of British Columbia
Wendy Zink has extensive experience in community development and community facilitation and believes an engaged and inclusive community is a sustainable community.
Wendy has been actively involved in community affairs in Victoria for 25 years including the Vancouver Island YMCA-YWCA (nationally and locally), Our Place Society and past Chairperson of the Housing Impact Council -Greater Victoria United Way. She is currently a director on the Oak Bay Police Board as well as the Salish Sea Housing Society.
Prior to establishing her consulting practice, Bazink Solutions, in 2009, Wendy was the City of Victoria’s Manager of Social Planning and Housing. Her focus and passion was on planning for and with people in Victoria and encompassed housing policy, land planning and development. This is also the focus of her consulting practice.
She has worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors across western Canada most recently managing a commercial cleaning franchise on Vancouver Island for five years. Wendy brings a pragmatic yet creative approach to all aspects of her work. She employs the following skills: strategic planning; policy governance & decision-making; consultation and facilitation.
Wendy has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Design (Urban Planning) from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies from the University of Winnipeg.
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 thirty 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 Destination Greater Victoria.
Geoff is a graduate of the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business.