Our network is entirely volunteer-led. Here are the good people who have taken on leadership of our organization for this year.
Board of Directors
Here’s our 2016-17 Board of Directors and its Executive:
Ray Straatsma (President)
Ray has over 15 years experience as a consultant and advocate for walkable and bike-friendly cities. As Principal with RStreets Urban Strategies, Ray provides advisory services and design expertise – from concept to communication to implementation – on active transportation and complete streets planning.
Ray also provides specialized skills in public engagement, strategic communications, research and writing services. Ray values collaborative approaches to urban planning, public engagement and the art of the possible.
Ray lives in Saanich.
Emmy Marshall-Hill (Vice President)
Emmy has studied political science and environmental studies at UVic, and a semester through UBC took her to Haida Gwaii, where she learnt first-hand about environmental stewardship from members of the Haida First Nation. She is a graduate of the community economic development program at Simon Fraser University.
Emmy’s community work aims to reenergize deliberative democracy at the grass roots level, including strengthening relationships at all levels, individual, neighbourhood, community, and municipal, as well as across diverse groups. Emmy prides herself on her honesty and tackles challenging situations with an eye on resolutions, solutions and reconciliation.
Emmy lives in Victoria’s Fairfield neighbourhood.
Jim LaMorte (Secretary – Treasurer)
Jim brings an Urban Planning degree and 30 years of consulting in emergency management to the GVPN. While hiking from Mexico to Canada two years ago, Jim came to see communities as the critical link to a positive future. He draws inspiration from the book Happy City, among others, and from the collaborative energy among Placemakers.
Jim enjoys living in and building the North Jubilee neighbourhood.
Andrew Appleton is a Biologist who has spent nearly 20 years working with citizens to build greener communities. His experience has taken him from nature interpretation to fisheries science to corporate boardrooms, all with a passion for outreach, education and fun. In addition to spending over 10 years in nonprofit management, he has held positions at four levels of government and in the private sector as a consultant.
Andrew has an interest in all things related to sustainable communities, particularly cycling, public transit and local government planning. During the week you’ll find him working for the Province of BC and the rest of the time, on a bike, on a trail or on the water.
Andrew lives in Oak Bay and works in downtown Victoria.
Lorne was the founder and leader of the Placemaking Network for its first two years. He has a Masters degree in Communication Studies. After teaching at college level for many years, he started a successful consulting company and got a taste of downtown redevelopment as partner in a central Alberta property firm.
As a community engagement and urban change planner, Lorne has received awards from the Canadian Institute of Planners and the International Downtown Association. He is now retired and enjoys learning the nuances of place through writing, drawing and first-hand exploration. In 2015, he won the Thinklandia / Victoria Mayor’s Medal for Public leadership.
Lorne meanders throughout the Capital region from his home in Fairfield, Victoria.
Heather Gardiner is an accomplished executive leader and consultant with more than two decades of experience leading change initiatives in Canada and around the world. Her career has spanned real estate, arts management and international GPS sales.
Within the social profit sector, Heather is well known for leading three United Ways in Western Canada and for providing interim executive services to organizations undergoing change. Heather enjoys working with clients focused on systems-level change. Outside of work, Heather loves to sail and discover new places in Victoria and up Island.
Heather lives in Saanich.
Dallas has been working in economic development since 2004 when he joined a team that engaged over 150 people in a citizen-led change effort that led to big impact. That project led Dallas to the Saskatchewan Government doing policy work for several years, during which time he received a leadership award from Premier Lorne Calvert. Dallas moved to Victoria in 2010 where he eventually took the reins of the Greater Victoria Development Agency and helped evolve it to the South Island Prosperity Project—a more regionally-inclusive model launched in 2016.
Dallas was introduced to concept of “value of place” in 2005 when he and a group of friends created a non-profit to save a historic Vaudeville Theatre from demolition in downtown Swift Current, Saskatchewan (the theatre is still going strong!). Through these and other experiences Dallas realized that “progressiveness is the new competitiveness”, which means cities that embrace equality, democracy, sustainability and quality of place will actually have stronger and more resilient economies in the long-term.
Dallas lives in the Oaklands neighbourhood of Victoria, but works in and frequents the entire region.
| Kevin McGeough
Motivated organizational & management consultant, with over 14 years’ project management experience. With a passion for making positive social change through effective leadership, strategic planning, research, engagement and process, I have successfully managed a wealth of multi-industrial/community projects, specializing in environmental, food, agricultural, community and technological fields.
A passionate urbanist that believes in data driven, science based, community orientated solutions.
Kevin lives in Esquimalt/Vic West neighbourhood.
We are organized into two main areas, each with four volunteer teams. The teams, and their leaders, are as follows. If no leader is shown, the position is unassigned – we welcome volunteers to step forward for these roles!
- Education – Lorne Daniel
- Advocacy – Emmy Marshall-Hill
- Activities (Events) –
- Fee for Service –
- Marketing & Communications –
- Fundraising & Friendraising – Andrew Appleton
- Volunteer Management – Heather Gardiner
- Finance & Administration – Jim LaMorte