Board of Directors
The Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games is led by a Board of Directors with a vast amount of experience, both volunteer and professional.  They are community advocates, supporters, builders, and champions.  Together they will lead 80 Chairs and as many as 3,000 volunteers to plan and stage the Games Juy 19-22, 2018.  This large group of volunteer will make the citizens of the Cowichan Valley and area proud as we host youth from across the province in a celebration of friendly, healthy competition.

Click here for information about the selection of the Board of Directors.
President
Jennifer Woike

Jen's activities include major fundraisers such as The Big Squish (CDH mammography machine), Queen of Angels School Galas and Funfairs, Cowichan Search & Rescue, and she is currently working with Alexander School to fundraise a new kitchen for their breakfast program. Along with her husband Ian, Jen owns and operates Farmer Ben’s Eggs, the Island’s largest egg production farm and wholesale grading operation. Jen and Ian were the 2009 recipients of the Outstanding Young Farmers of BC/Yukon Award, as well as the 2015 Black Tie Award for Business Achievement. Jen was the provincial chair for the BC Outstanding Young Farmers program from 2011-2014 and currently sits as a Director, and Vancouver Island representative, on the BC Egg Marketing Board. In this position she chairs the Production Management Committee and represents BC at the National table. In 2011 Jen was elected to City Council in the Municipality of North Cowichan where she chaired the Agriculture and Parks & Recreation committees. She was pleased to be the North Cowichan representative in the CVRD’s Sports Tourism initiative in her last year at council. Jen has three active and enterprising children, and has been involved in all of their schools at the Council and PAC levels. She was lucky enough to have her middle son Campbell compete in the Abbotsford 2016 BC Summer Games, where he brought home a silver medal in 4X400. That experience gave her great insight into the Games from the point of view of an athlete, a parent, and future Games President. It is Jen’s goal to put on the best Games ever in 2018 and to highlight her home—the Cowichan Valley—as a place for Games participants, coaches, and family members to come back and visit after the experience.
   
Vice President
Mona Kaiser

Mona grew up on Thetis Island, attended school in Chemainus and Duncan, studied literature at the University of Victoria (BA, hons.), and history at Simon Fraser University (MA) and the University of BC (Ph.D. research).  Together with her husband Dr. Tom Rimmer, they have lived and worked in many BC communities and in Nova Scotia, returning to the Cowichan Valley in 1999 to start a family.  While being a full-time parent of two, Mona has served in a number of volunteer positions.  Her work with the school Parent Advisory Councils included establishing SD79s first Outdoor Classroom.  Mona also spearheaded fundraising and construction of the Valley’s first intergenerational community playground and was integral in securing Aviva Community Funding that underwrote construction costs.  Nominated for Duncan-Cowichan’s Black Tie Award for Volunteer of the Year, her community involvement includes:  Duncan-North Cowichan Citizens’ Assembly on Amalgamation, Districy of North Cowichan Parks & Recreation Committee and Community Planning Advisory Committee, City of Duncan’s Totem Committee, Reel Alternatives Committee, Cowichan Valley Hospice, Canadian Parents for French-Cowichan Chapter, École Duncan PAC, École Mt. Prevost PAC, Cowichan Secondary PAC, and 100 Women Who Care-Cowichan.  Mona has travelled widely, is proud of her Swiss-English-French-Canadian heritage, and is a keen cook, hiker, reader, and sailor.  Coming from a family of runners, she spent a good part of her childhood ‘at the track’ and has since embraced the many sports her children have taken up, including her son Hugh’s recent participation in the 1200m event at the Abbotsford 2016 BC Summer Games.
   
Board Liaison
Cowichan Valley Regional District

John Elzinga

John was born and raised in the Cowichan Valley. After graduating from the University of Ottawa he returned to Cowichan. After 16 years in local recreation centre management, he moved to his current position of general manager of Community Services with the Cowichan Valley Regional District. Event highlights in his career have included roles with the 2005 BC Seniors Games, 2008 North American Indigenous Games, 2009 Olympic Torch Relay, and 2017 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships. He is happily married to Maria, and has two grown children, Brody and Lindsay.
   
Board Liaison
District of North Cowichan

Ernie Mansueti

A lifelong Cowichan Valley resident, Ernie is the Director of Parks & Recreation for the Municipality of North Cowichan. He has worked in local government for 36 years with the Cowichan Valley Regional District and including the last 24 years with the Municipality of North Cowichan. He is a graduate of the Business Administration, Leisure Development and Parks Maintenance Management programs and has his 5th Class Power Engineer ticket. Ernie has previously been involved in the 1991 BC Winter Games, 2005 BC Seniors Games, the 2008 North America Indigenous Games, and the 2016 National Aboriginal Hockey Championships all held in Cowichan. Ernie was the Recreation Facilities Association of BC President in 2000/2001 and is a volunteer member of the Recreation Foundation of British Columbia and the KidSport Cowichan Boards. Ernie has been married for 31 years to Denise and they have a daughter and son. Enjoys staying active with biking, hockey, soccer and golf.
   
Board Liaison
School District 79

Monroe Grobe

Monroe has been an employee with School District No79 (Cowichan Valley) for 32 years, the last 6 years as the Director of Operations. He has been actively involved in minor hockey as a coach and as an official and for the past three years as the referee assignor for Lake Cowichan District Minor Hockey Association and enjoys hiking, gardening, boating, and woodworking. Past experiences with Games includes the 1991 BC Winter Games, 2008 North American Indigenous Games, 2009 World Police and Fire Games in Vancouver, and most recently representing School District No79 on the bid committee to host the 2018 BC Summer Games.
   
Board Liaison
Town of Ladysmith

Clayton Postings

Clayton is the Town of Ladysmith Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture, where he is responsible for all aspects relating to community sport facilities, parks, recreation programs and arts and culture services. His passion revolves around sport and recreation and this passion has allowed him to work in various communities across the country and throughout British Columbia, where his focus has been supporting community and sport organizations in building and developing opportunities for people of all ages to get out and be active. Clayton lives in the Maple Bay area of the Cowichan Valley and enjoys spending free time with his family getting out and being active. His current passions are mountain biking, hiking, and canoeing while taking in the amazing outdoors opportunities which the Cowichan Valley offers.
   
Board Liaison
Cowichan Tribes

Jennifer Williams

Jennifer has been the Gymnasium Manager for Cowichan Tribes Gym for 30½ years. In this capacity she is in charge of booking gymnasium, dining hall, and kitchen facilities, for a variety of events, sports teams for tournaments, band meetings, Traand ditional/Ceremonial events as well. Jennifer served on the 1991 BC Winter Games Board of Directors, as Liason for Cowichan Tribes, which was a great event and a tremendous learning curve for her. When the 2005 BC Seniors Games came alone, Jennifer once again served as Liason for Cowichan Tribes. During these times, it was Jennifer's job the maximize the participation of Cowichan Tribes Members, which including representation in Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the use of venues belonging to Cowichan Tribes. For Tribes neighbouring to Cowichan Tribes it was also very important that when an event was held in their Traditional Territory that there be representation from the respective neighbouring bands. Jennifer also served three three-year terms on the BC Games Society Board of Directors – which she considers an absolute thrill! Jennifer was also a part of the Bid Committee for the 2018 BC Summer Games, which of course is now history because we won the bid!! Presently Jennifer is assisting the Board once again as Liason for Cowichan Tribes and is looking forward to maximizing participation and awareness of the 2018 BC Summer Games. It will be a very exciting and worthwhile event for all.
   
Director of Accommodation
Mark Margerison

Mark is a father of three and a grandfather of one, though he has to say he doesn’t quite feel old enough for that! For the past 16 years he has worked in the field of Occupational Health and Safety with the last 12 of those being within the K-12 public school education system. He is currently the Occupational Health and Safety Manager for School District 79. Mark’s passion has been, and always will be, photography. When not at work for the Cowichan Valley School District he can usually be found shooting portraits, local sport groups, weddings, or just whatever he finds on the trails in and around the Cowichan Valley. Mark was also Director of Accommodation for the Terrace 2010 BC Winter Games before being transferred to Cowichan.
   
Director of Administration
Tara Benham

Tara grew up in Duncan and graduated from Queen Margaret’s School. Following the completion of her Commerce degree at the University of Victoria, Tara began working in public practice and obtained her Chartered Accountant designation with Ernst & Young, Victoria in 1995. She moved to Vancouver to work with KPMG as a tax specialist from 1997 to 2003. Finally, she moved back to Vancouver Island to work with Hayes Stewart Little & Co (“HSL”). HSL merged with Grant Thornton LLP in 2016. Tara is currently a tax Partner with Grant Thornton. Tara consistently volunteers on boards and professional committees, as well as at her daughters’ school. Her community involvement has included positions with Cowichan Family Life Association (Director and Treasurer), Cowichan District Hospital Foundation (Director), CPABC – Practice Review and Licensing Committee (Committee member), Cowichan Chamber of Commerce (Director), BC Chamber of Commerce (Director and Governance Chair) and Queen of Angels School (Finance Chair). In 2014 she received her Fellowship from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC in recognition of her contributions to the profession and her community.
   
Director of Ceremonies & Special Events
Kirsten Schrader

Kirsten is the Manager of the Arts and Culture Division for the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD). Originally from Victoria, she moved back to Vancouver Island in 2010 after years in Vancouver and exploring the world. She worked at the Vancouver Art Gallery, as Executive Director for the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and as the Arts Coordinator for the City of Richmond during the lead up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, where she sat on planning committees for the Richmond Cultural Olympiad. In her current role, she manages the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre, a professional theatre with 731 seats and the largest stage on the Island, and is responsible for cultural development of the region. She is President of the BC Alliance for Arts and Culture, a board member of Byte Camp Society, and sits on the BC Culture Days Task Force. Kirsten studied art history and languages at UVic, University of Ottawa, and UBC and speaks English, French, German and Spanish.
   
Director of Communications Systems
Michael MacPherson
Michael MacPherson is the Managing Director of RBS Managed IT Services.  Based in Duncan, RBS manages the IT and communications infrastructure for clients in Victoria, Duncan, and Nanaimo.  A proud father of three, Michael is active in the community and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society (SIMRES).  He has worked with other local non-profit organizations including the Cowichan Community Land Trust, the BC Forest Discovery Centre, and the Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association.  Michael holds several technical certifications in networking and communications technologies and has been working in the IT field for over 25 years.
   
Director of Food Services
Chad Conrad

Chad Conrad lives in the Cowichan Valley with his wife and two children. Chad moved to Duncan in 2009 to open Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual, and since then has been the recipient of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce Award for Business Excellence, as well as being named one of Vancouver Island’s Top 40 Under 40. Chad is committed to supporting the community in any way he can by contributing to fundraising efforts for various local organizations, schools and sports teams. With a background in food and beverage operations, Chad is looking forward to taking on the role of Director of Food Services for the 2018 BC Summer Games.
   
Director of Friends of the Games
Daniel Varga

Daniel is a 20 year resident of the Cowichan Valley. Along with his wife Florie, and daughters Mikayla and Amelia, Daniel is entrenched in the warmland. In addition to a long career in the investment industry, the last seven with RBC Dominion Securities, Daniel is very involved in numerous community activities. He proudly dedicated over 20 years as a board member for the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation and for the past five year as a director and chair of the Cowichan Foundation. He was part of the Kinsol trestle project from the beginning to end. Daniel’s efforts have been instrumental in raising funds for the Cowichan Valley Soccer association turf field and he is now on the board of directors of the Cowichan Valley Soccer Association. Daniel is also an avid supporter of KidSport in the Cowichan Valley. Daniel continues to enjoy playing soccer when he can, but much of his spare time is dedicated to the growth and development of his two daughters. Whether it is watching his eldest perform on stage, coaching his youngest in soccer, or attending track meets to cheer on the Jaguars, you will find Daniel out and about participating in bringing opportunity for all youth.
   
Director of Logistics
Ann Buttner-Danyliw

Ann is currently a partner in Engel & Volkers Cowichan Valley-Nanaimo along side her husband Brian, where she oversees the operations of offices in the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo.  Ann is an active member in the local volunteer community supporting organizations such as Kidsport Cowichan, Cowichan District Hospital events, 100+ Cowichan Women, Special Olympics, and her children’s school with PAC and Gala events. Born and raised in Toronto, Ann moved to the Cowichan Valley in 1998 where she has called home for over 19 years with her husband Brian and their two children Jakob and Maggy.  Growing up Ann spent many hours in the local pools as a competitive swimmer representing at the provincial level.  Today you can find her running 5K’s, learning the art of golf, and supporting her kids in their respective activities.
   
Director of Marketing
Cam Drew

Cam is the Managing Partner of Thermoproof Windows & Doors of Chemainus. He has received a Black Tie award for Business Achievement from the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce and has been awarded the Scroll of Honour from the City of Duncan, Paul Harris fellows from the Rotary Clubs of Chemainus and South Cowichan. He is also an honourary Member of the Kinsmen Club of Duncan, and a Lifetime Member of the Cowichan Exhibition. Each year Cam volunteers for a variety of charity fundraisers as auctioneer.
   
Director of Marketing
Cal Kaiser

Originally from the Cowichan Valley, Cal returned to the island in the early 1990s to begin his real estate career. Over the past 24 years he has become one of the Valley's busiest and most respected realtors. Having grown up on nearby Thetis Island, attended school in Chemainus, participated and coached amateur sport in both communities as well as establishing his business in Duncan, his knowledge of the Cowichan Valley is second to none. He is an advocate for the beauty, resources and community diversity that makes the Cowichan Valley exceptional. As a teenager, Cal was active in Athletics (sprinting, long-jump), and competed at the national level. As an adult he has coached basketball, volunteered with the Cowichan Valley Athletics Club, sponsored Cowichan T-Birds Girls Hockey, and various CVSA soccer teams. Most recently, his spare time has been consumed as one of the founding directors of the Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society, a volunteer group that maps, plans, builds and maintains mixed-use hiking and mountain biking trails on Mt. Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain. In his spare time, Cal, his wife Jane and their four children enjoy hiking, biking, sailing, and travel.
   
Director of Medical Services
Dr. Nick Withers

Nick is an emergency room physician with Island Health and Medical Director for 24/7 Occupational & Emergency Medicine Solutions. He received his MD from Memorial University and completed his Family Medicine training at the University of Calgary. He retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in August of 2015 after completing a 22-year career within the Health Services Group. His military career brought his family from coast to coast and beyond, serving in Winnipeg, Goose Bay, Ottawa, Comox, Geilenkirchen, and finishing in Esquimalt. Career highlights include being the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command Surgeon as well as commanding the Health Services Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011. Prior to retirement from the position of Pacific Regional Surgeon, Nick was instrumental in the revitalization of the Maritime Forces Pacific Health & Wellness Strategy. His broad experience in the delivery of health care in both the military and civilian sectors provides a unique perspective of the challenges facing military families as they move across the country. Nick is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia. In addition, he is a member of the Victoria Division of Family Practice and has a keen interest on improving military family access to primary care in the Victoria area. He is married to an exceptionally supportive wife, Heather, who is also employed in the health care sector as a Public Health Nurse. They are the proud parents of three delightful and energetic children.
   
Director of Participant & Volunteer Services
Deb Savory Wright

As a resident of the Cowichan Valley for over 35 years, Deb is a true champion of the community and has a strong belief we should all do our very best to give back to the community in which we live. She has spent many years working within the Event Management and Not-for-Profit sector gaining vast experience in event management, recruiting and training volunteer workforce and accreditation of games participants. Bringing her extensive skill set as a Manager of Volunteers with the Cowichan North American Indigenous Games and World Special Olympics in Idaho, Deb is now the Chair of KidSport Cowichan, a member of North Cowichan Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and a representative on the Cowichan Physical Literacy Steering Committee.
   
Director of Protocol
Tamara Leigh

Tamara is a communications consultant, writer, and facilitator who has lived in the Cowichan Valley since 2012.  She came of age as an organizer in Alberta, working on social justice issues and as an active member of the organizing team for events including the Global Visions Film Festival and Edmonton Folk Music Festival.  An avid community builder, organizer, and volunteer, Tamara has managed events for government, industry, community organizations, sports, arts, and friends.  She is thrilled to be a part of the team for the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley.
   
Director of Security
Gary Burns

Gary has been employed by the RCMP since October 1969. He transferred to the Cowichan Valley in July of 1980, performing highway patrol duties, general duty policing, and recruit training. During his 35 years of service with the RCMP, Gary has been involved in security duties at most major events held on Vancouver Island, including three visits of Queen Elizabeth to Victoria, the visit of Prince Charles and Lady Diana to Victoria and Nanaimo, the visist of Prince Andrew to the 1994 Commonwealth Games, the United States and Russia Summit in Vancouver, APEC 1997, the G8 Forum, Kannannaskis, the Papal visit to Abbottsford in 1984, the Royal visit of Prince William and Katherine to Victoria in 2016, and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands’ visit to the Cowichan Valley. Gary looks forward to the Games as an opportunity for continued community service in the Cowichan Valley.
   
Director of Sport
Garrett Elliott
Garrett is a proud member of Cowichan Tribes and currently manages a Youth Group Home for the band and is an elected official for their Chief and Council. Sport has always been a large part of Garrett’s life as an athlete, coach, administrator, organizer, and volunteer. As a competitor he has played numerous sports from Golf to Soccer but it is Fastpitch Softball that he has had the most success as part of the famed Victoria Payless Senior A Fastball Team that won back-to-back national titles in 1991 and 1992. As a member of the BC Arrows, he was part of a dynasty who won three Canadian Native Fastball Championships and two National Indian Athletic Association (Canada and USA) Titles in the 1990s. Garrett was part of the Senior Management Team for the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games. As the Sport Manager he oversaw 16 sporting events for 6,000 athletes who represented 28 States, Provinces, and Territories from across North America. The Cowichan 2008 NAIG was arguably the most successful games to date due to the many people of the Warmland coming together to be part of a multi-sporting event. Garrett is honoured to be part of the volunteer board for the Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games and hopes to once again prove that Cowichan can deliver a great sporting experience for the athletes and coaches.
   
Director of Sport
Chris Mann

Chris has lived in the Cowichan Valley since he was thee years old and has been apart of the evolution of this wonderful community.  His background is in the food industry having worked for Safeway, Thrifty’s, Country Grocer, Bruce's, and Russell Farms. Chris was part of the Cowichan Minor Football program back in 1965 and has obtained his Level 3 Coaching Certificate.  He has been apart of the Cowichan Women’s Football League since 1984  -- coaching and organizing The Sun Bowl, (The Pacific Northwest Women’s Football Championships), which is the largest Women’s Football Tournament in North America, bringing in teams from BC, Alberta, Texas and Mexico.  Besides football Chris is also a biker, avid photographer of sports, portraits and what ever gets in view of his lens.  He loves
Halloween, gardening, and art forms and he is presently taking Tai Chi.  Chris and his wife Wendy live in the Old Trusdale Home, which has been part of the family since it was built in 1923.  They have had West Highland Terriers most of their  married lives and Wendy has a horse called Sampson.  They have three grown children and three grandchildren.  Chris' Dad is now 94 years old and is still able to get around and is looking forward to seeing the BC Summer Games.
   
Director of Transportation
Wendy Mitchell

Born and raised in the Cowichan Valley, Wendy is committed to all aspects of community living. Recently retired, she worked with School District 79 for 38 years in transportation, the last six as Supervisor with a staff of 50 and the fleet of buses and maintenance vehicles required to service the Valley’s students. Wendy’s most notable volunteer commitment involved transportation planning for the 1991 BC Winter Games hosted by the Cowichan Valley where Wendy’s responsibilities included overseeing volunteers and charter drivers, the implementation of all athlete schedules, a public shuttle service, courtesy car services, and maintaining dispatch, fuel and service centers.