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 2017-18 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.
| Lorne Daniel (Vice-President)|
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 a college level for many years, he started a successful consulting company and got a taste of downtown redevelopment as a 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.
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.
Adina is an urban and environmental planner by trade and an explorer of cultures, cuisines and wilderness by nature. Other than being an avid promoter of great public spaces –green or grey– Adina loves creating beautiful maps, collaborating through co-design and experiencing urban nature. Adina relocated to Victoria this year from Cape Town, South Africa, and currently lives in Vic West.
Brekke has been navigating inter-systems change for 22 years: technical, informational, philosophical and human. For much of this time, she served as a Systems Engineering Officer in the Navy, where her specialty was consolidating the mess of relationships, capabilities and expectations of its integrated operational universes.
Brekke left the Navy in 2014 to figure out why economies everywhere seem so disconnected from people. Place-based communities are environments where multiple worlds collide. Brekke’s passion involves revealing the power of a place through the interweaving complexities of its stories. Now a leadership consultant in Community Economic Development, she inspires capacity in others to take action amidst circumstances of uncertainty, ambiguity and change.
Alessandra has a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba and works as a Building Technologist at Praxis Architects. She thrives on constantly learning, including recent Future Cities MOOCs from ETH Zurich. Last year, her passion for people, the urban environment & active public spaces led her to explore IAAC’s global summer school in Barcelona and Placemaking week in Amsterdam. She initiated the “My Blue Bridge” campaign to salvage steel from the Johnson St. Bridge for public art, along with and as a founding member of the Victoria Design Nerds.
She is in love with the idea of living in a playful city that immerses us in experiences. Where locals and tourists alike can spontaneously (re-)discover places with awe and wonder.
She lives in the heart of Fairfield: Cook St. Village.
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.
Teale Phelps Bondaroff
Teale is passionate about placemaking, and in particular little free libraries. He first got involved with the GVPN as a volunteer, working on building our little free library map. For their efforts mapping over 135 little free libraries in the CRD, Teale and his partner Stephanie Ferguson were awarded a Victoria Leadership Award.
Teale is a founder and partner in The Idea Tree, a consultancy that specializes in strategy, research and communications for environmental organizations and campaigns. He has a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge, and his academic research examines the strategic use of international law by non-state actors and illegal fishing.
Teale fills little free libraries around town with books, plays hockey and loves community. He is active in politics at all levels. He joined the board of the GVPN in 2017.
Teale lives in Saanich, near the Rutledge Park little free library.
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 a 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 the 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.
Steve has been actively consulting for a wide range of clients for over 20 years and is a community collaborator. He is the principal of Rethink Urban, an expert in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and trained in SafeGrowth®. With his ongoing commitment to lifelong learning, he has fused his passion for social issues and community development with his work. Steve continues to take it to the streets by creating a spark in every project he undertakes.
During the past few years, Steve has become increasingly focused on the tough issues that every city faces – crime, homelessness, housing, trauma, mental health and addictions. He has received awards for Community Safety and Crime Prevention from the Alberta government and believes we need to be more compassionate and inclusive in the communities we serve.
Steve resides in Victoria West.
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 grassroots 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.