Chair Bruce Flexman is the Immediate Past Chair and CEO of AdvantageBC and a former Chair of KPMG’s Board of Directors and Managing Partner of its tax practice, responsible for overseeing 900 professionals. He is past Chair of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Tax Policy Committee, which included the tax managing partners of the six largest accounting firms in Canada. Bruce is Treasurer and Board member for Vancouver Economic Commission, an agency of the City of Vancouver to strengthen the city’s economic future. Bruce obtained a degree in Engineering Mathematics from Queen’s University and an MBA with Distinction from Cornell University. Bruce was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia for his service to the CPA profession and community. He was previously awarded a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA). He is a past Governor of the Canadian Tax Foundation and a FCPA of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants. Bruce supports the Arts Club Theatre Company as the past Chair of its Board and member of its Foundation.
Vice-Chair Julia retired from her professional career in 2017 from RBC Phillips, Hager & North Investment Counsel after 21 years. At the time of her retirement, she held the position of Vice President & Investment Counsellor. In this role, she provided investment counselling and individualized investment management services to a diverse clientele, including private individuals, foundations and non-profit organizations, for 21 years. She also held senior management roles in the company and served on the Women Advisory Board. She joined Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. in 1996 and became a partner in 1999. Julia is a 2019 Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellow. The goal of the program is to assist experienced leaders to find a pathway to solving important social problems in the next stage of their professional lives. A key part of the ALI program is to spend one year in an intensive structured program at Harvard. Julia has a long history of volunteering in the community. Her current community volunteer work also includes serving as a board member of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, and a member of the Finance & Investment Committee. She is the Chair Emerita for SFU Board of Governors, past Chair of the Minerva Foundation for BC Women and the International Women’s Forum BC. She also served on the board for the Vancouver Opera, Family Services of Greater Vancouver, and volunteered for the United Way of the Lower Mainland. Julia graduated from the University of Calgary with a degree in commerce and obtained the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation in 1997.
Treasurer Aanu holds an MBA from St John’s University, Peter J Tobin College of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in the State of Illinois and is a Member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is an integral member of the KPMG Public Sector practice in British Columbia and has over nine years of experience servicing clients in the public sector practice including advanced education institutions, school districts, local governments, and not-for-profit organizations. She has experience implementing complex accounting pronouncements relating to financial statements audits, compliance audits, and pension plan audits. She is also part of KPMG’s accounting advisory group, for which she assists with technical issues and conversion plans, including those related to Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAS), IFRS, and Not-for-Profit Standards. Aanu continues to provide professional audit services to organizations for regulatory compliance including U.S GAAP. She is also a Junior Achievement Instructor by assisting in reinforcing important academic and leadership skills and assists as a volunteer for the immigrant integration program at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. Her Interests include travelling, community development and recreational sports.
Secretary and Governance Wendy Bryans is a retired lawyer who specialized in family law policy with the federal Department of Justice. In recognition of her work with Justice Canada, she received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2012. She also served on the board of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, an interdisciplinary and international association of professionals dedicated to the resolution of family disputes. In 2008, Wendy was active in setting up the bilingual HIPPY-Ottawa site. For the past 12 years, she has continued to support the local Ottawa HIPPY program through fundraising efforts and collaboration with a group from the Canadian Federation of University Women who help prepare the HIPPY materials and assist at group events and graduations.
Director Dianne leads from a faith-based perspective, with a focus on integrating compassion and social justice within the BC health system. A hallmark of her leadership has been the intentionality with which she has fostered a culture that is mission driven. In September 2006, she was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Providence Health Care (PHC), one of Canada’s largest faith-based health care organizations operating 17 facilities in Greater Vancouver, BC, including St. Paul’s Hospital. During her 12-year tenure as CEO, PHC made a significant impact on the health and well-being of many of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society. PHC was recognized in 2012 and 2016 as one of B.C.’s Top Employers as well as one of the best employers for new Canadians in 2012. Additionally, Providence was accredited in with Exemplary status by Accreditation Canada in 2013 and 2017. The organization received the Coaching Wise Designation from the International Coaching Federation in 2016 and, most recently, PHC was listed in BC Business’ Top 100 Companies in 2018 Dianne’s values are demonstrated outside of her profession in her volunteer work for many non-profits, and her incredible ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. Dianne has been active in her church and community, supporting many non-profit groups with her time and expertise. Dianne is the recipient of numerous leadership awards including a Lifetime Achievement award from the Canadian College of Health Leaders, top 100 Most Powerful Women award from the Women’s Executive Network, and an Award of Distinction from the College of Registered Nurses of BC. Dianne was the inaugural Chair of the BC Health Care Leaders Association, subsequently serving as board chair and subsequently a member for several years. Throughout her career she has participated on numerous health related boards including the Association of Academic Health Organizations, HealthCareCan, Royal Roads University, and the Registered Nurses Association of BC ( now CRNBC) . In 2018 she joined the board of the College of Dental Surgeons of BC as a Ministerial Appointment by the Minister of Health Dianne is recognized as a champion of Catholic health care provincially and nationally. She has been a speaker provincially and nationally and has held numerous positions including Chair for Catholic Health Association of Canada, Chair for the Denominational Health Association of BC and Chair for the Catholic Health Association of BC. Dianne has a BSN from the University of Ottawa and an MSN from the University of British Columbia. Her health leadership credentials include a CHA in Health Services Management, a CHE Certification, and Fellowship in the Canadian College of Health Leaders. She is a graduate of the ICD Governance Program. She brings more than 30 years of senior executive experience in health care to her role. . Dianne’s husband Ken Robinson is a BC Coast Pilot and they have three adult children, Ashley, Chris and Melissa.
Director Dr. Dawn Lavell Harvard, Ph.D., is a proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, and has worked to advance the rights of Aboriginal women as the President of the Ontario Native Women’s Association for 11 years. Dawn has recently taken on the role as Director for First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University since October 2016. Dawn was elected President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada at the 41st Annual General Assembly, July 11, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec and was Vice-President for almost 3 years. Dawn is a full-time mother of three girls. Following in the footsteps of her mother Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, a noted advocate for Indigenous women’s rights, since joining the Board of the Ontario Native Women Association as a youth director back in 1994, Ms. Harvard has been working toward the empowerment of Aboriginal women and their families. She was co-editor of the original volume on Indigenous Mothering entitled “Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth”, she has also released a book along with Kim Anderson, entitled “Mothers of the Nations”, and she has recently co-edited a book with Jennifer Brant entitled “Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada”.
Director Jane is a leader in Canada's public policy sector presently engaged as Vice President of Public Affairs and Partnerships at Blueprint, a nonprofit that empowers practitioners and policymakers with data and evidence to solve complex challenges. Previously, Jane spent four years as the Executive Director of the Samara Centre for Democracy, a nonpartisan charity dedicated to strengthening democracy to better serve Canadians. Jane previously worked on Parliament Hill. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Toronto and a BAH from Queen’s University. Jane and her family make the Prairies their home.
Director A career federal public servant, Stephanie Kirkland was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of the Pay Administration Branch at Public Services and Procurement Canada in June 2019. In this role, Stephanie oversees the administration of compensation for the core public service, ensures first point of contact issue resolution and employee supports through the Client Contact Centre, and provides leadership over the continued evolution of pay business processes and system supports. Stephanie joined PSPC in July 2018 as Director General of Business Enabling, Transformation and Analytics within the HR-to-Pay Project Office. Prior to joining PSPC, she held various senior management roles for over 10 years at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), including as the Director General of Settlement and Operational Performance Management. Notably, as the Director General of the Biometrics Project Office, Stephanie also led the implementation of a major Crown project to introduce biometric screening into the immigration process, winning various awards, such as the 2014 GTEC Distinction Award of Excellence in Collaboration. Stephanie holds a master’s degree in public administration with a specialization in management from Dalhousie University. Stephanie is a road-biking enthusiast and member of a sailing crew in Ottawa. She is a certified Spinning instructor, Ringette Canada certified competitive coach and fitness trainer, and an active contributor to cardiac disorder research and fundraising activities.
Director Originally from Toronto, Deanna is now an accounting and consulting services director in the PwC Calgary office. Over the course of her 14-year career with PwC, Deanna has developed a deep experience in the energy, mining and power and utilities industries serving her clients in both an audit and advisory capacity. Deanna has significant experience with complex accounting matters and Canadian and SEC filings. She is currently the secretary of the global energy, utilities and mining technical committee for PwC and volunteers as a member of the CPA Canada Oil and Gas Conference Advisory committee. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Wilfrid Laurier University in 2007 and obtained her Chartered Professional Accountant qualification in 2011.
Director Soumaya created and heads a compliance department of innovative solutions to research, investigate and undertake enforcement of bylaws for the City of Toronto. With a rich background in Risk Management, Mathematics and Statistics, she mandates risk assessments on modern threats that are designed to bypass traditional preventive measures. Distinguished by her ingenuity, Soumaya stands as an ambassador for purpose-driven organizational excellence that is agile and resilient despite disruptive change. She is renowned for spearheading the digital transformation of Toronto’s Municipal Licensing & Standards’ licensing services program through digitization, AI and process modernization, and is celebrated for implementing compliance audit programs involving multinational corporations operating in Toronto. Soumaya is an avid traveler and artist who has immersed herself in cultures around the world supporting artists from impoverished communities.
Jacquelyn Thayer Scott
Director Jacquelyn Thayer Scott, O.C., Ph.D., LL.D. (Hons.), Dipl. (Hons.) is the Chief Operating Officer of, Airesun Global Ltd. (www.airesunglobal.com) and President Emerita of Cape Breton University (CBU). Dr. Scott’s undergraduate training in political science and journalism was at the University of Kansas (1963-1967), her MBA was earned at the University of Manitoba (1981), and her Ph.D. in public administration/affairs was earned at the University of Colorado’s Graduate School of Public Affairs (1992). Dr. Scott is best known as a visionary educational, community and national leader. She served on faculty at the University of Manitoba, and was Director of the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto, prior to her appointment at the University College of Cape Breton (now Cape Breton University) in 1993. Nationally, she served 10 years on the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology (1995- 2006), three years as Deputy Chair (2003-2006). She served on the Board of Innovacorp for 16 years, and 7 years as its Chair and a year as its Acting CEO. In 2022, she was awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to Nova Scotia and Canada. She retired from Cape Breton University at the end of 2017, and in 2019 was appointed Chief Operations Officer for Airesun Global Limited, a cleantech firm developing and manufacturing plant-seed-based lubricants and de-greasers for heavy industry.
Director Danielle has dedicated herself to helping women, new Canadians and young people. Other areas of attention are Indigenous relations and fostering agricultural appreciation. Encouraging young women to gain the hard and soft skills they’ll need for leadership roles in work and/or communities has led to Danielle’s support and involvement with Equal Voice. Each year, she also mentors a U of T Political Science student for six months sharing work experiences and advice. She has travelled to developing countries to establish schools and social services so that communities have what they need to thrive. This influenced her efforts to help four refugee families relocate to Brant County and Brantford. She has served Brantford in various capacities, being appointed to several city board positions. In 2015, she decided to walk the talk and put her name on a ballot for a seat in the House of Commons. She came back in 2019 and made further inroads. Previous roles include serving as the inaugural Public Relations/Communications Coordinator for Kiwanis Clubs located between Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, and as President of the Canadian Club of Ottawa encouraging national dialogues. For the last ten years, Danielle has leveraged public affairs to pay forward the opportunities that have presented themselves to her. At TD Bank Group, Danielle’s government relations focus can be summarized as D&I (including HR, women in leadership, accessibility/PWD and combatting racism).
Ex-Officio Dr. Miriam Westheimer has worked in the fields of education, social service and nonprofit management serving as a founding executive director, international director, board president, project manager and organizational/educational consultant. She has spent the last 20 years adapting and disseminating a homebased, early childhood program (HIPPY) first in the USA as the founding executive director and later built the international network of HIPPY programs among the 10 participating countries. Dr. Westheimer coauthored the bestselling international textbook and multimedia series, Focus on Grammar, now in its third edition. Additionally, based on her experience teaching English in Israel, she helped conceive and create a global course to teach teenagers and adults how to communicate effectively in English: Dr. Westheimer has taught elementary, junior high and high school classes. Her graduate level courses in teacher supervision, staff development, program evaluation, curriculum development, and early childhood development at Teachers College, Bank Street College of Education, Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her consulting clients include Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Family Support America, Families and Work Institute, The Finance Project, Jewish Theological Seminary of America and Quality Evaluation Design.