Meet Our Board of Management
Scott Clark, President, is of the S’klallam (Strong People) from the Chewhaytsum village along Vancouver Island’s West Coast, Coast Salish territory. A founding member of the Northwest Indigenous Council (NWIC), Scott serves as President of NWIC and as the B.C. representative on the (national) Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. Scott is a founding member and the Executive Director of Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement (ALIVE) society, working to foster nation to nation relations across diverse civil society groups and to close the gaps between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Peoples. Scott is also one of the co-chairs of Our Place, Vancouver, which works to build villages through a collective-impact, place-based and reconciliation perspective.
Ingrid Kolsteren, Vice President, 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 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.
Freya Kristensen, Executive Member at Large. Freya has been a member of the Britannia Board since 2015. She is an active member of the Board Development Committee and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2017. Freya is a regular patron of the Britannia Centre, frequenting many of the facilities and services with her young kids, and therefore is keenly aware of the important role Britannia plays as a hub for the community. Freya is currently working as a Policy Analyst with Fisheries and Oceans Canada; prior to joining the federal government, she spent five years working on her PhD at the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at SFU, where her dissertation work focused on how to make communities both environmentally and socially just.
Pamela Dudas, Executive Member at Large,
Jane Stanier, Staff Representative, has been involved with Britannia for 30 years. When Jane first moved to Vancouver, she discovered the Britannia Fitness Centre. Jane first started volunteering at the Fitness Centre, and then became a member of the Pool and Fitness Centre committee, and now works at the Fitness Centre as a Fitness Attendant. Jane is also an artist, with a MFA in painting and has had an exhibit at the Britannia Gallery.
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.
Vera Jones, Director, 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.
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.
Naina Varshney, Director, 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.
Andrew Phillips, Director, is an active and proud member of the East Vancouver community who lives as a neighbour to Britannia across from Grandview Park. Andrew brings diverse know-how from the public, private and social sectors, having worked on projects involving education, the arts, civic engagement, tactical urbanism, public policy, design thinking, strategic planning, and multi-stakeholder communications. As a graduate student at UBC, his research focuses on the use of socially engaged art as a critical public pedagogy about our ecological crisis. Outside these endeavors, Andrew is front-line Mental Health Worker at PHS community services, providing support, advocacy, and housing services to the homeless and/or people living with addictions. He also was a founding board member with the Grandview-Woodlands Thingery Co-op.
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.
Li Mei Yip, Director. Li Mei’s experiences volunteering at Britannia have helped her call the community her second home. After attending and graduating from the IB program at Britannia Secondary School, Li Mei went on to UBC where she graduated with a BSc in Environmental Sciences and is currently pursuing her second degree in Nursing at BCIT. While in secondary school, Li Mei helped found the Britannia Volunteer Committee, which she’s been involved with for 10 years. During this time, she has helped plan the volunteer program and has supported special events and several programs for seniors and youth with special needs.
Emily Vickery, Director. Serving her first term on the Board of Management at Britannia, Emily 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.
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.