The Semiahmoo House Board brings together a strong range of skills and experiences, including business, education, social work, property development, municipal politics, real estate, retail management, and health services. The Board consists of 10 elected members, with an additional 3 that can be appointed on a yearly basis.
The Board practices policy governance: they spend time consulting the community and learning about current issues in community living and inclusion so they can create a vision for the organization that is innovative and forward-thinking.
R.J. (Rich) Gorman has live in Surrey for 30 years. He and his wife Judy have been married for 38 years and have six daughters including one who works at Semiahmoo House. Rich retired after a lengthy career as a senior executive in the retail industry. He attended BCIT and UBC where he studied business administration.Rich has a passion for helping people and sharing his experiences. He is dedicated to helping individuals to reach their full potential and leadership capabilities.
Jan Holt has been an educator at Southridge School for ten years, initially as Head of the English Department and currently in the position of Senior School Academic Director. During her time at Southridge she worked closely with Doug Tennant. As Doug was leaving Southridge to take up his position as the Executive Director of Semiahmoo House Society Jan felt it would be an opportune time to become part of the Board of Directors and continue the work Doug started in building strong links between the School and the Society. Jan noted she has always been impressed by Semiahmoo House and the work we do and very much wanted to be a part of the organization, learning and hoping to contribute to the important role the Society plays in our community. Jan has been a Board member since May of 2012.Jan is married to Peter and they have three adult sons.
Dave joined the board in the fall of 2014 after gaining some exposure to the good work that Semiahmoo House Society was doing from his children; one of whom had attended a program and another whom had done some volunteer work for the agency. He is the Senior Vice President, Finance of Mercer International Inc.; a Nasdaq traded global producer of softwood pulp, green electricity and chemicals. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in finance from the Sauder School of Business (UBC) and has completed advanced management studies at London Business School. He currently serves, or has served on corporate boards in the bio-technology, energy and pension management spaces along with non-profit boards of entities providing neurological research, child development and counseling services. Dave has lived in Surrey for over 10 years with his wife Denise and two teenage children; one of whom has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Baksho’s daughter Manjeet is a participant in various recreation and leisure activities provided by Semiahmoo House Society. When the family moved from Nanaimo, the transition was especially hard on Baksho’s daughter. While the family settled into their 'new lives' (new school, new place of work) Manjeet was very much isolated for the first year until they found Semiahmoo House Society. Baksho appreciates the opportunity to give back and enjoys volunteering as it provides self-fulfillment and meaning noting it is a pleasure to serve on the Board of Directors for Semiahmoo House Society as this is an opportunity to give back to an organization that has given so much to her daughter’s life. Baksho has been a Board member since 2008 and serves as the Board liaison to Inclusion BC.
Matt is Past Chair of Semiahmoo House Society, having served in this role from 2012 to 2014. He enjoys giving back to the community and feels that there is no better way to do that than through a great organization like SHS. He was attracted to the organization after touring through and seeing the incredible services they provided to the people they serve.
Matt is also the President and CEO of GroupHEALTH Benefit Solutions, an innovative group benefits company that focuses on cost containment solutions. He holds a degree in Business and Economics and has a broad range of experience gained while managing businesses ranging from manufacturing to financial services throughout Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Alex Magnussen has been elected by the Self-Advocate Caucus as their representative on the Board. Alex has presented about autism to staff, self-advocates, school children, and various other groups. He looks forward to being the voice of self-advocates on the Board and has an interest in doing more advocacy work in the future. Alex is an accomplished artist who has been featured in various galleries.
Muhammad Afzal Malik joined the Semiahmoo House Society Board of Directors with the goal of assisting the organization in further developing and meeting its objectives. With his Masters in Business Administration (MBA), he brings expertise in the areas of financial management, organizational development, change management, human resource development, community development and management consultancy. By profession he is a Management Consultant and a Realtor. He is also the President of Chartac Management Consultants, providing management consulting services. He is an active member of the community with a rich variety of experiences and strongly believes in giving back. He and his wife have two children and live in Surrey. He served on the Surrey Libraries Board for seven years as trustee and vice-president. He is a member of other committees and boards, including the Diversity Advisory Committee, the Fusion Festival Committee, the South Asian Literary Society of Canada, and the English Conversation Program for immigrants. He was elected to the Board in 2008 and serves as the Board’s multi-cultural community liaison and is also the Chair of Peninsula Estates Housing Society. He was recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his untiring dedication to community services.
Robert Downs is the President and CEO of OK Tire Stores Inc., Canada. He is interested in being a Board member because he sees the organization as part of his community and values the difference the organization makes in the lives of the people we support. He brings a wealth of expertise in business leadership and policy governance to the Board. He believes in breaking down silos by building trust and finding solutions that benefit all parties.
Colleen has a daughter with a developmental disability and is a strong advocate for a family voice in Community Living. She and her husband recently started the Family Alliance Network consisting of family members that have children or siblings with developmental disabilities. The group meets regularly to discuss issues and to learn from and support each other. Colleen has taught and facilitated workshops on oral communication and presentation skills in Canada and the United States for nearly 30 years. She has worked with college and university students, faculty, professionals, community groups, and even taught public speaking at a maximum security prison. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Washington in speech communication and education.Colleen was elected to the Board at the 2013 Semiahmoo House Society annual general meeting.
Teresita Aristizabal has been involved with Semiahmoo House Society since 2005 as a volunteer. She initiated and organized “Miles for Smiles,” a successful South Surrey run that raised funds for Rec and Leisure Services. She has recently completed her Bachelor of Commerce at UBC’s Sauder School of Business and is looking forward to contributing to Semiahmoo House Society as a Board member.
Bea Hadikin has lived in White Rock/Surrey most of her life. She is a retired Principal from the Surrey School District, most recently working at Semiahmoo Secondary. In her 32 years with the district, she also worked as a teacher and vice-principal. In all of her roles, she treasured her contact with youth, the excitement of problem-solving, and the opportunity to build positive futures. She now has the wonderful gift of time and wants to give back to her community. She feels that the work Semiahmoo House Society does fits with her beliefs and practice.
For over 25 years Ian provided leadership in organizations that make Metro Vancouver a better place to live. He held various senior positions including Chief Financial Officer at Metro Vancouver and Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at TransLink. He was President and CEO of TransLink from to 2009 to 2015 and retired from that organization in December 2015.
Ian became aware of Semiahmoo House Society by witnessing the positive impact it makes on the day-to-day life of his friends. He hopes that by serving on the Board he can leverage what he learned and practiced in his public sector career to support the continuing success of the Society.
Ian and family have lived in South Surrey/White Rock since 1987 and he is a graduate of UBC and holds CPA, CA and ICD.D designations.