Meet Our Board of Management
Annie Danilko, President. Being Haida "community" is very important. I have lived in the Grandview Woodland area for the past 17 years and my family members for over 30 years. As a volunteer at Britannia, I have been on various committees and helped as a cook for different events. I serve on the Asset Naming Committee and the Urban Indigenous Advisory Committee for the City of Vancouver. Volunteering has been very rewarding for me and will continue.
Pamela Dudas, Vice President. Pamela was born and raised in Vancouver and has lived in the Grandview Woodland neighbourhood for over 35 years. Pamela has served on the Britannia Board for the past 2 years and sits on the Finance, Planning & Development, Board Development and also chairs the Volunteer and Pool & Fitness committees. Pamela enjoys swimming, biking, running, triathlons and is currently training for yet another half ironman/woman this year. Some of her passions include promoting physical fitness for all ages and especially those on low incomes, volunteering at Britannia (for fun bike rides, special events, and various committees), strata property owner’s rights and responsibilities, as well as recycling and the environment (reducing our carbon footprint). In her work life Pamela is an accountant.
John Flipse, Treasurer, is passionate about Grandview-Woodlands. He has been the Treasurer on the Board of Management for his last 3 terms. A native Vancouverite and world traveler, John moved to Commercial Drive 19 years ago and has never looked back. Becoming a father 16 years ago was John’s main motivation for helping initiate the renewal of Grandview Park and his desire to complete the revitalization of Britannia Community Centre. He has been active on the Britannia Planning and Development Committee since 2010 and sat on the Grandview Woodlands Area Council as both a Board Director and a member of its Heritage Subcommittee. John brings to the Britannia Board a strong desire to renew and revitalize Britannia Centre and leverage its unique structure to create a multi-purpose recreational facility that will serve the growing needs of Grandview-Woodlands residents.
Vera Jones, Executive Member at Large, is a Nisga’a Elder and active community member. Vera is still working at the age of 72. As part of the reconciliation process, she works with the Indian Residential School Survivor Society as a support worker. Vera has sat on the board of the Vancouver Native Housing Society for many years and has a keen interest in the stakes for Aboriginal Elders and seniors in East Vancouver. She is involved with Aboriginal Days, the Nisga’a Ho-bi-yee (New Year) Celebration in February every year, Pow wows, community activities, workshops/meetings, and Britannia’s 55+ Centre.
Naina Varshney, Executive Member at Large, is a long-time user of the facilities at Britannia Community Centre and is serving her second term on the Board of Directors. A Templeton Secondary School alum and UBC BCom graduate, Naina presently sits on the Volunteer Committee and GWFC. An advocate for Equity and Accessibility, she strongly believes in creating public gathering spaces for the community and supporting continued Access and Diversity programming efforts at the Centre.
Susanne Dahlin, Director, has been a resident of Grandview Woodlands for the past 46 years. She raised two boys in the neighborhood and was involved in many community-based activities with her sons including soccer, hockey and baseball. She was active in Family Place, chair of her local Parent Advisory committee, active on the Inner-City Schools Advisory committee and former Chair of the local Traffic Planning committee. Susanne joined the Britannia Board of Management after retirement. In addition to volunteering for Britannia, Susanne foresees an active retirement in this community engaging in recreational endeavours, arts and culture, Spanish classes, library use, and culinary pursuits.
Ariela Friedman, Director. I believe in volunteering and social justice – and I walk the talk. Though I work full-time in non-profit, I have always been actively engaged in community service, especially in the Grandview Woodland area where I’ve resided for 21 years. I am an active committee volunteer on the Britannia Centre Pool and Fitness Centre Committee, The Cultch (Vancouver East Cultural Theatre) and York Theatre – when in operation –and have sat on several Britannia-related hearings and advisory committees. I currently lead the Communications and Marketing function at MOSAIC.
Farren Gillaspie, Director, grew up on a dairy farm in Ontario. He lived in Calgary for seven years while working in mental health. He came to Vancouver for holidays in 1980 and 1982; the attraction was too strong so he moved to Vancouver in 1983. In 2003 he purchased a home a few blocks from the Drive with his partner. They adopted a rescue dog with some high needs a few years ago. Farren is in the process of retiring from a position as a residential coordinator for people with developmental challenges, after 36 years in the field. He plans to write and garden in his retirement.
Pat Hogan, Director.
Ingrid Kolsteren, Director, is active in the Britannia community serving as vice president, and is involved in various committees including Child Care, Board Development, and is the chair of the Arts and Culture Committee. Her work experience includes working as an adult education instructor, union representative and in mental health. Ingrid raised her family in East Vancouver and is happy to be part of this wonderful, diverse, active, opinionated community. In her spare time, she likes art and having coffee with friends.
John Morra, Director, is a master’s student studying resource and environmental management and planning at Simon Fraser University. His passions in the field of environmental planning are centred on social planning, water-use planning, and Indigenizing planning. John has lived in Grandview-Woodland for the past two years and is looking forward to serving on the Board at Britannia Community Centre to affect positive change in this vibrant community. In his spare time John can be found swimming or exercising at Britannia, hiking, camping, running, gardening, practicing yoga, or enjoying a coffee at Continental Coffee.
Craig Ollenberger, Director, is a local community organizer and father of three living in Grandview. He has served on the Britannia Board for several terms and is a member of the Finance committee, among others. Craig was a founding director of Car Free Vancouver and the Commercial Drive Festival and has served as a director of the Grandview Woodland Area Council for about fifteen years. Craig values the diverse and significant role played by Britannia in this community. He’s committed to stewarding the Society as it continues to anticipate and meet the needs of local residents.
Ashki Shkur, Director. I am from Slemani in Kurdistan, and I moved to Canada 4 years ago from Kurdistan. I am a grade 11 student at Britannia Secondary School. I am currently involved in many clubs and activities, including the Britannia Anti-racism and Anti-oppression Committee, the Britannia Youth Committee, the co-founder of “The Ripple Effect” organization, the Britannia BIPOC Committee and the Britannia Secondary School Student Council as Vice President. I love being involved in my community because I want to give back and create change within it as much as I can.
Khai Truong, Director. I was born in Vancouver and am second generation Canadian, with my parents immigrating to Canada from Vietnam. I am very grateful for the life that I have been given as a settler on unceded traditional Coast Salish territory. I am a grade 11 student at Britannia Secondary, and as a Youth Representative on the Board of Management, I am very excited not only to offer my voice and the voices of youth but also to learn from the many other voices within our community. I have felt a sense of acceptance and belonging ever since I came to Britannia, and I want everybody who is a part of Britannia, especially youth, to feel the same way: included and represented. Volunteering is my way of giving back to the community. When I can find the time, I love painting skyscapes and landscapes in watercolour!
Emily Vickery, Director, is drawn to the unique, creative and welcoming experience at Britannia Community Services Centre. Emily has been in the sport administration field for 8 years, working with a provincial sport organization, and has a passion for sports, physical activity, and wellness. She has a keen interest in the pivotal roles communities play in overall individual health and belonging. In her spare time, Emily can be found volunteering as a Big Sister, cheering on family at triathlon races, trying out new exciting food recipes, or playing board games with friends.
Teka Everstz, Staff Representative.