Board of Directors

The Trout Lake Community Centre Association is a registered charity and incorporated BC Society that is led by an elected all-volunteer Board of Directors. Here are brief profiles of our current amazing team.

Lisa Kew

President, liaison for the Pottery Club, and member of the Arts & Social, Rental and Café committees

I grew up in a close knit, large extended family. We were expected to help at home and at our family’s small cafe. As well, my parents sponsored family members to come to Canada for a better life. This fostered in me a habit of continuing to look at ways to help people and places in my community.

Initially, I was drawn to volunteer for TLCCA to advocate for the pottery club to improve the pottery studio for all users. These days, helping to provide affordable recreational arts to our community is the reason I volunteer at TLCCA.

Leslie Tenta

1st Vice-President, member of the Program, Policy, and Seniors committees

Thirty years of varied experience in the education field, fifty years of motherhood and family life, with all the joys, difficulties and learning that accompany those experiences help me in my volunteer positions as a director on the TLVCCA Board and various committees.

I have been a willing volunteer throughout my life, starting as a teenager lugging water for horses in a nearby field, and then, like many of us, proceeding from there volunteering in whatever capacity was needed in our family’s life and in our community. After retirement I worked extensively with helping to implement a local Restorative Justice Program; that learning informs much of who I am today.

TLCCA welcomed me when I moved back to Vancouver in 2015 after half a century’s absence! I became part of a community of caring, fun people. And so I am happy to work with the talented volunteers and staff of the Trout Lake Community Centre Association in order that others will be similarly welcomed.1st

Valerie Spicer

2nd Vice-President, chair of the Policy Committee

I have lived in the neighbourhood since I came to Vancouver in 1994. Trout Lake is such a beautiful place and I am appreciative of the activities that take place in and around the community centre. 

I want to further connect with community through the TLCCA and by working with people from diverse backgrounds. I look forward to supporting new initiatives that are inclusive and welcoming. When I am not working you can find me cycling around the city, hiking, or relaxing in my garden. 

Jim Morris

3rd Vice-President, member of the Finance and Strategic Planning committees

While using the Fitness Centre I became interested in how the Community Centre was operated and the programs offered.

I’m currently a member of the Finance Committee. In the past, I have been a member of the Strategic Planning and Program Committees.

I have spent over 40 years as a journalist. I have had interaction with different levels of government and written about many issues that affect people.

Iona (思穎) Bonamis

Director and co-chair of the Green Committee

I was born in Vancouver and grew up in the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood. I have vivid memories of walking with my classmates in elementary school to the old Trout Lake Community Centre to use the ice rink, but aside from that, I didn’t really use the centre so I didn’t have the opportunity to fully appreciate it.

After living in other areas of the city, nine years ago I decided to move back to the neighbourhood with my partner. We now love raising our kids here. We use the centre all the time, particularly the children’s programs, and we are grateful to have access to such high quality programs within an easy walk of our home.

I currently work as a senior transportation planner at the City of Vancouver, focusing on sustainable transportation solutions. I am also a small business owner, where I empower people to lead greener and healthier lifestyles. I am passionate about helping to create communities that are diverse, inclusive, and sustainable. The centre is an important part of the community and touches the lives of so many people. As a board member, I would like to help further the work that has been done to integrate sustainability into the operations and programs of the centre.

Kevin Gilliam

Director and member of the Program and Finance committees

Hello my name is Kevin Gilliam.  I grew up across the street from Trout Lake Community Centre. I enjoyed using the Grandview-Lakewood room and the centre for many years.

I am semi-retired and wanted to give back. My background is in Announcing for 14 years, Daycare for 18 years, Funeral Industry for 30 years and Bartending for 40. I have experience on a Board of Directors for Co-op Housing. I am looking forward to helping with the Program committee.

Sam Simonton

Director, member of the Communications Committee

During the day I work as a CEO/Executive coach for TEC Canada, as well as run an e-commerce consulting firm. Originally from Calgary, I have lived in Vancouver for the past 12 years and am raising our daughter (7) with my husband in East Vancouver.

You can find me walking around East Vancouver supporting small businesses and volunteering with Girl Guides of Canada, as well as our daughter’s school. I am interested in giving back to our community by participating in future decisions for the vibrancy of the beautiful community that we are lucky to call our home.

Anchita Kaushik

Director and member of the Finance Committee

I recently joined the TLCCA as I was looking to get involved in the community. I grew up volunteering within the Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood prior to moving to the Trout Lake area and wanted an opportunity to contribute to the community here.

I currently hold a CPA and wanted to use my financial background to serve the community. I participate in the Finance Committee and as a Member at Large of the Board where I hope to use my professional experience to support the work of the community centre and the TLCCA.

Dacia Hernandez

Director and member of the Finance Committee

I am grateful that Canada opened its doors in 2010. I am originally from Guatemala. My daughter and I have wonderful memories of TLCC doing the Dancing the Parenting program in 2015. So much fun!

Currently, I am a CPA PEP Candidate. I started my career in the for-profit sector before pivoting to not-for-profit organizations. I currently work as an accountant for Community Policing Centres. Soon I will be joining an organization that gives a voice to 50,000 teachers across BC.

Giving back to my community is important in both my personal and professional life. For this reason, I have chosen to join the Board and Finance Committee, contributing my financial and management skills to help bring together our TLCCA community.

Bill Hawke

Treasurer, chair of the Finance Committee, member of the Seniors and Café committees

I was encouraged by a number of Seniors that we were working out with in the Fitness Centre to volunteer for the Board of TLCCA. Since I had some experience with governance of volunteer organizations, I decided to offer my services.

I have been a member at large with the TLCCA. I served on the Seniors Committee and also as a member of the Finance Committee. Now I am Treasurer following the retirement of a very capable person who served for 7 years.

I have volunteered in various capacities with many organizations for over 50 years. In Winnipeg, I started out helping to marshal the parade for the Red River Exhibition and 28 years later I was President of the organization. I was on the Board and Treasurer and President of the West St Paul Curling Club. I was Treasurer and scheduler of River West Baseball for 20 years. I was on the Board and Treasurer of EGALE, an NGO advocating for the rights of the LGBT2Q community in Ottawa. EGALE was a significant factor in establishing Equal Marriage for the LGBT2Q community in Canada.

Kari Jane Adams

Secretary, liaison for the Grandview Skating Club and member of the Policy and Café Committee

David Finnis

Director, member of the Finance, Parks and Communications committees

I’ve lived in the Kensington-Cedar Cottage neighbourhood for the last six years and during that time have taken yoga classes at the community centre and have brought my grandkids to various programs. My wife and I frequently walk around Trout Lake and with our extended family we have celebrated birthdays in the park, used the playgrounds, beach and other areas.

Prior to moving to Vancouver, my wife and I lived in Summerland where I worked for the Okanagan Regional Library for 15 years. One of my most enjoyable roles was leading the preschool storytimes and visiting the local elementary schools to promote the summer reading programs.

While in Summerland I served on the municipal council and volunteered with many community organizations and nonprofit boards. After moving to Vancouver in 2015 to help provide childcare for our grandchildren I worked part-time for the Burnaby Public Library for three years and served six years as treasurer for our small 10 unit strata. I volunteer with Clean-Up Vancouver, am active with HUB Cycling and am looking forward to my involvement with the Trout Lake Community Centre Association.

Yiman Jiang

Director, co-chair of the Green Committee, member of the Program Committee

Trout Lake Park is such a beautiful park, and the Trout Lake Community Center plays a very important role in building and connecting our community. I feel blessed to be part of this community and gladly contribute to its wellbeing and continued success.

Meeting people and working with people from a diverse background not only enriched my personal life, but also gave me a better understanding how our community can be better served.

Stacey Hagerty

Director, member of the Program Committee

I became interested in volunteering at TLCCA when I met with various local community groups through work. I worked with so many dedicated community volunteers throughout the neighbourhood that I was inspired to contribute as well. Trout Lake is a very special spot in East Vancouver, it’s a great place to volunteer.

I have enjoyed working with many community based arts and educational groups over the last 20 years in BC. I bring passion for increased access to food, arts and outdoor programming.

Igor Pavlov

Director, member of the Program and Rental committees

My daughter went to Laura Secord elementary school and attended a few programs at TLCC. It will always be a special place for both of us. It is surrounded by a vibrant and truly Vancouver community which makes it such a unique spot to volunteer.

In my professional career, I work as a software engineer. In my spare time, I serve on the Vancouver Japanese Language School and Japanese Hall (VJLS-JH) Board as a Governance Committee chair. I find this volunteer activity both important and rewarding.

I enjoy learning new things and pursuing new opportunities, so when I saw that TLCCA was looking for directors to join the Board, I didn’t hesitate to apply. Helping the development of community organizations is something I believe to be an excellent way to spend my spare time.

Teresa Whitehouse

Director, member of the Program and Seniors committees

I have lived in the neighbourhood for six years. I served on the Board of the community centre in my former neighbourhood for ten years. My background is diverse; I have worked as a personal trainer, community developer and anti-racism facilitator among other things.

I hope my passion for inclusivity will be useful as I strive to serve the community as a Board member. I’m excited to volunteer on the Program and Seniors’ Committees and also have an interest in the Policy and Planning Committee.

Rebecca McInnes

Director, member of the Green and Communications committees

I’ve lived in the Trout Lake area for almost a decade and feel very fortunate to have such an amazing Community Centre and Park at our doorstep.

From birthday parties, to yoga and the play gym, my young family and I have enjoyed programming at the Community Centre. By joining the Board, I hope to ensure that Trout Lake will be around for years to come.

As a Digital Marketing Consultant, I want to give back and use my professional experience to help TLCC develop a Marketing Communications Strategy. I’m honoured to be working with such a dedicated group of volunteers and I look forward to learning more about non-profit governance. 

Che Poppins

FORMER 1st Vice-President, member of the Policy and Planning Committee

I spent many years as a nanny where I spent a lot of time at Trout Lake. Although I’ve moved out of the neighbourhood, I still have a special place in my heart for the Community Centre and was so excited when an opportunity came up to volunteer with a special project with the board. I had so much fun on that project that I wanted to continue to be a part of such a great community and so I put my hand up to become a board.

In my professional life, I work as a People Partner at a local tech startup and am so excited to use my HR and people expertise in this role.

Nicki Simpson

FORMER 1st Vice-President, member of the Arts & Social and Green committees

I grew up in this neighbourhood, and spent a lot of time learning to skate at the community center and playing in the mud in the park. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of the lantern festival at Trout Lake.

I moved back to the neighbourhood in 2019 after many years away and wanted to get involved in the community. Volunteering at the community center is the perfect way to build community, and community centers are such a vital resource, so I thought it would be the perfect place to volunteer.

I joined the Board as a director in 2019, and participated in the Green Committee and Arts and Social Committee. I joined the Executive Committee as a Vice-President in 2020, and continue to be active on both committees.

I wanted to put my skills to work for a good cause. I have professional experience supporting a board at a non-profit, and I currently work in policy for the government. I hope to be able to use this experience as a member of the board to support the work of the community center, organize events, and create a space that everyone can use and enjoy.

Heather Armstrong

FORMER Board Secretary, chair of the Parks Committee, and member of the Strategic Planning Committee

I joined TLCCA in 2012 when I was looking to get more involved in my community. The newly built centre was down the street and I knew what an anchor a centre like Trout Lake could be. I had also heard that Park Board was going to conduct a Master Plan of John Hendry Park and wanted to learn more about the process. Years have passed and sadly the Master Plan is still unfinished. However, TLCCA volunteers have made some incredible achievements along the way. We have held countless annual social events and programs, completed and signed the Joint Operating Agreement with Park Board, updated our bylaws, operating policies and procedures and completed two strategic planning processes. We care deeply about our centre, our park and stewarding unique programming for our community. Naturally, there’s more work to be done to improve accessibility and the diversity of offerings and welcome any ideas or members to see them through.

As a former scientist turned governance geek, I was keen to help improve Association processes and to learn more about local community and parks planning. Having grown up in Ontario, I lived in the East Vancouver community for over 15 years which allowed me to bring a long list of experiences to the Association. Being a caucasian woman, I am continuously learning about decolonizing the systems around me as well as becoming a better ally to all members of my community.

David Clarke

FORMER Director, 3rd Vice-President & member of the Rental Committee

Sarah Lusina

FORMER President, chair of the Program and Green committees, member of the Finance Committee

Trout Lake Community Centre became an integral part of my life when I moved to East Van over a decade ago. You could find me running laps of the lake at sunrise and later sipping coffee at the centre as my tots whipped around open gym or attended their art classes. In my view, volunteering has a critical part in fostering a rich, welcoming community. When I was asked to join the Board in 2016, it felt like the perfect place to roll up my sleeves and give back to the community that had given me so much! In turn, I have been provided the gift of collaborating with and learning from neighbours and other passionate community activators in my tenure with TLCCA—an experience that has “filled my cup” and helped me grow in so many ways.

I joined the Board as a director in 2016. I served as President from 2017-2020 (and as Past President from 2020-2021) with a seat at the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Program Committee in 2016-2019. I also led the formation of the Green Committee in response to growing interest in climate and environmental issues among our CCA volunteers and staff.

I brought many experiences and perspectives to my volunteer work at TLCCA. My mother immigrated from Ireland in her early 20s fleeing an impoverished home and homeland. My parents taught us the importance of hard work—and to actively participate in community. I have spent my career in health promotion research and programming. My current roles as Director of Strategy & Partnerships with the UBC Active Aging Research Team and as Executive Director of the Active Aging Society have taught me how to build on the strengths of community to help facilitate meaningful outcomes and work toward policy and system change. My role as “mum” has underscored the importance of warm, welcoming community spaces, like Trout Lake. Everyone, my kids included, thrive when they feel like they belong and that they are part of something bigger than themselves.

Rick Havlak

FORMER Director & member of the Program Committee

I’ve enjoyed bringing my young kids to children’s programming at the centre, and playing in the softball league, and felt Board membership would be a good chance to give back to the community.

I volunteered on the board of the Strathcona BIA for several years, and used to organize cooking and self-sufficiency workshops in that area. I live a few blocks from Trout Lake with my wife, two kids, dog and cat.