Our Board

United Way’s volunteer Board of Directors sets our direction, takes responsibility for financial decisions and performance, and is accountable for achieving organizational objectives. Their diverse skillsets, experience, and areas of influence are critical in helping us build a strong community for all.

Victoria Schmid, Chair

CEO, BC Health Care Occupational Health and Safety Society

Victoria Schmid is first Chief Executive Officer of the recently established BC Health Care Occupational Health and Safety Society. The Society was created by the Provincial Government and its key stakeholders to collaboratively improve the health and safety of everyone who works in healthcare in B.C. Previously, Victoria was Vice President of Pandemic Planning and Executive Lead, Experience for Island Health where she led the health authority response to COVID and immunization efforts, as well as patient and staff experience. A dietitian by training, Victoria quickly realized a passion for change leadership and moved into leadership roles in The Saskatoon Health Authority, supporting quality, safety and patient and family-centred care. With the addition of staff safety to her portfolio in 2013, she took on the lead for creating a provincial safety alert system that brought patient and staff safety together. Victoria and her family moved to Victoria in 2015 where Victoria took on the Executive Director role in Quality, Safety and Improvement for Island Health. Victoria pays careful attention to the people, the system, and its many parts, which allows her to be creative in seeing possibilities and problem-solving. Victoria holds a clear vision of a better tomorrow and aligns teams to that vision. Victoria is passionate about family, connection and community, and spends her free time with her two kids and dog exploring local beaches, playing tennis and looking for the best ice cream shops.

David Zussman, Vice Chair

David Zussman is an adjunct professor at the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.  Concurrently he is also an Honourary Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and President Emeritus of the Public Policy Forum (PPF).  During his years at the University of Ottawa, David was the Stephen Jarislowsky Chair in Public Sector Management, Dean of the Telfer School of Management and Director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

David also served as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission of Canada, chaired the Board of Governors of the University of Victoria, and The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.

David is the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Vanier Medal.

Lisa Arora, Past Chair

Visual Facilitator/Mediator, Get The Picture

Born and raised in Victoria, Lisa has a deep love for the city, the people in it and the will to build a bright future for EVERYONE.

As a child raised in poverty, Lisa overcame many challenges in life with help from others, including services funded by UWSVI. That’s why Lisa is compelled to volunteer with UWSVI – she passionately shares the belief that ALL people deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Lisa is a consultant and experienced visual facilitator who helps executive teams and boards around the globe to mine their diverse perspectives, align on a desired future and focus on strategic action. She is also a certified mediator who uses visual communication to make the process of resolving disputes more effective.

Lisa earned a B.Ed from UVic and before becoming a Mom worked for 3e Training Inc. delivering Financial Management Curriculum to the government of BC. In those days, she was volunteering on the board of the Single Parent Resource Center on the Board of Directors, and the International Forum of Visual Practitioners.

Lisa believes that post-pandemic, community needs have never been greater and that they can be addressed only through the power of working together. That’s why Lisa encourages you to join UWSVI’s amazing community of dedicated volunteers and donors. Get involved with the United Way movement – volunteer your skills, become a donor, join a committee and experience the infectious hopefulness for the future that happens when we come together in a ‘united way.’

Alana Gallagher, Treasurer

Alana is an approachable, personable and accomplished financial executive who recently retired as CFO at BC Ferries.  She has a B.A. in Economics (with distinction) and Master of Business Administration from the University of Victoria.  She is also a graduate of Rotman Directors Education Program and holds an ICD.D designation.

Family and community have always been close to Alana’s heart.   She grew up on southern Vancouver Island as one of eight children and she and her husband chose to return to this area to raise their family.  She sees joining the UWSVI Board as an extension of her commitment to work for strong and healthy communities.

Samer Akouri

General Manager, Harbour City Kitchens

Samer is the General Manager at Harbour City Kitchens and has over 20yrs of experience in the construction industry. His career in the industry has concentrated on Vancouver Island and includes growing several companies that support the local economy. He currently serves as a board member at Vancouver Island Construction Association and is a former Board member at AWMAC-BC. He graduated from UBC in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Samer has a lifelong passion for learning, teaching and mentoring.

Samer has lived in Victoria since 1986 when he immigrated from Lebanon. He hopes to contribute to the local community through this posting.

Samer lives in Mt Tolmie with his wife Alesha and daughters: Isabella and Madison.

Florence Dick

Member, Songhees Nation

Nəʔəmtənat whose English name is Florence Dick is a member of the Songhees Nation. Florence was born in raised in Lekwungen Territory and has connections through family. She is the mother of a daughter and a son and has two grandchildren.

More than 20 years ago Florence advocated for and became the founding member of the community-led committee that imagined and eventually built the Songhees Wellness Centre.

A fierce advocate for, and tireless promoter of, the Songhees people, Florence was chosen by Chief and Council to represent her Nation as Community Cultural Liaison for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and the Royal BC Museum’s Collections and Research Building project.

Florence acts as a bridge between cultures and help to foster good relationships between, government, agencies and the Songhees Nation.

Ryan Foster

Digital Marketing and CRM Consultant

Ryan has over a decade of experience in digital marketing and CRM consulting, with a background in the automotive, apparel and software industries. His career has included time spent as a Senior Digital Marketing Strategist for AutoTrader Canada as well as a CRM and Marketing Automation Strategy Consultant for organizations as diverse as Manulife, Leatherman, and the United Nations Refugee Agency.

He enjoys songwriting, tennis, and when not working can be found reading a book at his favorite diner or spending time with his lovely partner and their pets.

Dr. Deborah George

Deborah holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Victoria where she also taught part time for some 17 years. Prior to that she was with the BC Government spending most of her career in the area of science and technology, with seven years as an Assistant Deputy Minister. She finished her final assignment with the Provincial Government in 2000.

Deborah’s volunteer work spans over 20 years including strategic planning with non-profit organizations, and extensive board, committee and event work. She has just completed six years as President of Pacifica Housing where she has been on the board of directors since 2005, and also volunteers with the Victoria Hospice Society. Past board appointments include the areas of education, venture capital, research and development and pension trusteeship.

Jaime Hall

Associate Counsel, Dives Harper Stanger & Mizrahi

Following a career as a commercial fisherman, Jaime Hall has practiced as a commercial litigation lawyer in Vancouver and Victoria for the past 35 years. As 15-year resident of Victoria, he is now Associate Counsel at Dives Harper Stanger & Mizrahi and his legal practice concentrates on property and construction disputes.

Jaime has always been an active community member and has served on the boards of several social services and arts organizations. For the past 15 years, he has concentrated on homelessness and housing affordability, serving as a board member and Chair of Raincity Housing in Vancouver and then Pacifica housing in Victoria.

Dr. Kevin Hall

President, University of Victoria

Kevin Hall has been president of the University of Victoria since 2020. He is an innovative academic leader and civil engineer known for his strong commitment to sustainability, innovation, community engagement, and an unwavering belief in truth, respect and reconciliation, equitable access to education, and equity, diversity and inclusion. He is a dedicated community volunteer and has served on the boards of the Guelph Art Gallery and Guelph Jazz Festival, the Kingston Triathlon Club and other community organizations both here in Canada and in Australia where he held senior leadership roles at the University of Newcastle. Kevin is excited to bring his energy and commitment to a just, equitable and sustainable world off campus and into the community as a board member of the United Way Southern Vancouver Island.

Kim Kerrone

CFO, Island Health

Kim has been Chief Financial Officer at Island Health since 2012. In this role she is responsible for the oversight of all financial aspects of the organization which has an operating budget of $3,7BN and a capital budget of $2BN.   She comes from Calgary and has spent most of her career in health care. Prior to joining Island Health Kim was CFO for Agecare Investments Inc., a private, for-profit residential care and assisted living provider. In this role Kim gained experience in raising financing and designing an optimal capital structure. Kim also spent 15 years with the Calgary Health Region in various roles including strategic and program planning, contract development and negotiation, and budgeting and resource allocation. In Kim’s earlier years she was a management consultant with Deloitte, and a loan officer with CIBC Corporate Oil & Gas Banking.

Tony Kiyak,Youth Representative

Law Student, University of Victoria

Tony holds a BA from Europe and an MA from the United States and is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Victoria. He has a diverse work and volunteer background, having collaborated with governments, private companies, government-owned corporations, and non-profit organizations across South America, Asia, Europe, and North America. Passionate about giving back to the community, he has served as a board member for several non-profit organizations. He enjoys playing chess and is an avid fan of teqball, tennis, soccer and volleyball.

Darlene Rotchford

Labour Representative

Bio to come…

Captain (N) Kevin Whiteside – DND Representative

Base Commander, CFB Esquimalt

Kevin is the father of three awesome children, and married to his life partner, Lesley Whiteside, an elementary school teacher in Victoria, BC. Joining the Canadian Armed Forces in 1998, Kevin’s operational experiences span the globe and many of the missions in which the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) participate. Amongst his various operational and strategic level roles, Kevin was Executive Assistant to the 35th and 36th Commanders of the RCN (January 2019 – December 2020), and most recently he served as Commanding Officer, His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Vancouver (January 2021- February 2023). Kevin’s amazing family have been active members of the Greater Victoria community for over 15 years. They look forward to furthering their involvement and strengthening their relationships with the community as they enter this next stage of their journey.

Learn more about UWSVI and what we do.