Board of Directors
Join other community-minded individuals in helping to build a connected, collaborative, inclusive and sustainable community. We are eager to recruit directors who have an interest in accounting, risk management, and facilities management to stand for election to the Board at our October AGM. We also welcome interest from those with other skills, experience, and perspective. We strongly encourage candidates from equity seeking groups to apply. For more detailed information read our Board Member Job Description or contact Vanya at firstname.lastname@example.org or (250) 382-4604. If you require any accommodations during the application process of to serve as a Board member, please contact Pippa Davis, Office Manager, at (250) 382-4604 or email@example.com
Anna Phelan~ President
Anna can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna has been developing her love and appreciation for Fairfield-Gonzales since her parents moved to the neighbourhood 22 years ago and she and her husband relocated here in 2016. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree at Queen’s University and two Master’s at Concordia, she spent more than a decade working in the Arts and Culture industry, as a festival organizer and Marketing and Communications specialist, collaborating with both grassroots community upstarts and some of Montreal’s biggest festivals. Anna was then hired as Interim Director of the Centre Culturel Georges-Vanier, a non-profit community arts centre, offering programming similar to the FGCA’s, where she gained invaluable insight into the challenges and rewards of running such an organization from the administrative side. Anna hopes the cumulative knowledge and experience she brings to the FGCA in a governance role will help to strengthen the organization in its mission to serve the community.
Quinn grew up on Moss St and spent the majority of his youth around the trifecta of Moss Rocks, Dallas Rd and Chapman Park. He spent many years living in different parts of the country for school or work and is now grateful to be back in Fairfield to raise a family. Like so many others in Victoria, Quinn is a dedicated public servant working to ensure that the provincial government maintains a high standard of accountability and transparency. In addition, he brings a variety of board experience including a music festival and environmental non-profit. He is ultimately quite grateful to be able to live in a place like Fairfield and provide support to the community through the FGCA’s programs and opportunities.
Joanna has more than 25 years working in the not-for-profit national sport sector followed by 10 years with the provincial government focusing on physical activity, healthy communities and age-friendly communities. She and her husband run a cycling program for kids ages 10-18 and are active in BC’s largest cycling club. She has lived in Gonzales for 24 years, restoring a 1908 heritage house with her family (they’ve all had a part!) and truly appreciates the community’s walkability, schools, variety of businesses, parks and beaches. Her involvement with the CALUC over the past two years stems from her belief in responsible density and community engagement.
Bianca is grateful to have lived in Fairfield since 2016 and loves its vibrancy and neighbourliness. Bianca worked in non-profits and neighbourhood houses for several years prior to earning a Master’s in Public Administration and joining the BC Public Service. During her time in government, she has worked in the areas of seniors service advocacy, privacy, and small business, and now works in economy sector policy analysis. Bianca brings experience from a variety of volunteer, stakeholder engagement and program management roles, and is excited to be part of the FGCA’s community building work.
Don Monsour ~ Past President
As an advocate for community involvement Don has enjoyed participating and leading organizations in achieving their goals. While working with profit and not for profit organizations for over 45 years in several key initiatives he has developed a strong understanding of the rules and regulations that govern many boards and committees. As a leader of volunteer groups made up of individual personalities and objectives, he has successfully managed challenging goals and budgets and helped to raise close to 2 million dollars for not for profit associations. This experience, coupled with his business background, has provided Don with the ability to work within board guidelines helping to achieve the strategic goals and direction as set by the board. Don truly believes that understanding the dynamics and chemistry that exists on a board is vital in supporting a board successful outcome.
Carrie has lived in the Cook Street Village in Fairfield for the past 12 years with her husband while restoring their 1907 home. She has two grown children with her daughter living in Gonzales with her husband and two grandchildren. She has an Executive Management Business diploma from Simon Fraser School of Business with experience in senior management as well as experience in real estate and a long history of renovating homes with her husband. In the past, Carrie ran a support group for individuals with pain through the People in Pain Network and was on the patient advisory committee for Pain BC. When the Fairfield Area Plan was created, she was part of a neighbourhood group that engaged with the community to provide input to the City of Victoria. It is important to Carrie that all voices are heard, respected and that through debate we can produce excellent outcomes for the community while remaining united and respectful in our neighbourhoods.
Scott is an award-winning renewable energy project developer with decades of experience operating, installing, designing, selling and teaching about microhydro technology. He is a founder and president of the non-profit Friends of Renewable Energy BC, and the author of two books on microhydro. He also gives workshops on microhydro at Mother Earth News bookfairs. Scott has been involved with the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association since 2011. He first became involved as a part of the group who planned and installed Fairfield’s first and only community garden, the Fairfield Food Forest. He has served on the Board of the FGCA since 2011, as the liaison to the Garden Committee, and continues to be an active member of the Garden Committee as its technical advisor and irrigation specialist.
Desiree has been working in the non-profit sector for the last decade, most recently in funding administration for federal and provincial programs that aim to support agriculture and food security here in B.C. She holds a Masters of Public Health from the University of Alberta, and a Certificate in Project Management through the University of Victoria. Before moving to Victoria, Desiree worked in the grape and wine industry in Ontario. Her spare moments are filled with a myriad of outdoor activities, including hiking and camping as well as dabbling in various art mediums. Desiree is eagerly looking forward to getting more involved in FGCA’s operations and community work.
James Coccola, a resident of Fairfield Gonzales for the past two years, is a policy analyst in the provincial government, concurrently holding an elected executive role within his union. With a strong background in governance and policy, James has also contributed to various provincial boards. He is excited to use his experience in these areas, along with a deep commitment to community organizing, to support the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association.
Hayley Lapalme is founding Co-Executive Director of Nourish Leadership, a national charity harnessing the power of food in health care for planetary health. Hayley is a systems thinker and facilitator who has spent a decade working with public institutions on pathways to more sustainable futures. Drawing on a background in adult education, community development, and systemic design, she weaves collaborations that rebuild connections to land, health, and each other. Hayley is a graduate of McGill and the University of Toronto, where she earned an M.Ed in Leadership, Adult Education, and Community Development. After traveling back to Victoria for fifteen years with husband Scott, Hayley is thrilled to be making a perch under Moss Rocks in her family’s home and is invested in building strong community.
Vanessa Gelhaar ~ Treasurer
Vanessa has a background in environmental sciences and renewable energies, with several years of experience working in communications and event management for an environmental non-profit in her hometown of Berlin, Germany. After a brief stint in Toronto, she moved to Victoria in the summer of 2018 and settled in Cook Street Village. While she misses Berlin’s culinary and cultural scene, she has fallen in love with Victoria, the Pacific Ocean, island-grown produce, and BC’s many museums – large and small. Vanessa is the Operations Manager for the British Columbia Museums Association, advancing sustainability, accessibility, and decolonization in the cultural sector as part of a small but mighty team.
Daniel earned a doctorate in English from the University of Victoria in 2016, and from 2014 – 2017 held a European Union-funded fellowship at King’s College London in the United Kingdom. Since returning to Canada in 2017, he has worked as a digital systems strategist in the nonprofit sector, as an innovation researcher in the BC Public Service, and as nonpartisan administrative staff at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia; his current focus is on information management and the publications, collections, and records of the Assembly. Daniel has come and gone to and from Victoria several times and rented in multiple neighborhoods; in 2021 he and his partner bought a condo in Northwest Fairfield adjacent to Cook Street Village, the AAA cycling network, and the Downtown Core. They live there with their two children and many, many books. Daniel believes in working to improve our neighborhood (and our city) not only for his boys, but for all residents and the generations to come after us.
Daniel currently serves as Treasurer on his building Strata Council, and has a deep interest in urbanism and land use, stemming partially from living abroad for several years and encountering first hand the many viable ways to structure our urban fabric for better access to services, safer communities, and happier residents.
Jennifer is a senior director focused on ‘people and culture’ for a global management consulting firm and brings years of experience working both with public and private sector clients. She grew up in Victoria before moving away to attend McGill University, later joining the Peace Corps in Rwanda before completing her Masters in International Relations at Tufts University. In 2013 she moved to South Africa to work in business strategy consulting but decided to move closer to family a few years later, relocating to Seattle. Along the way, she has worked collaboratively with executive teams on topics ranging from organizational design to strategic planning and internal processes. In 2022, Jennifer and her husband and daughter moved back to Victoria because Seattle was still just too far away from family! She is passionate about community development and is keen to contribute through her role on the Board.
Fairfield Gonzales Neighbourhood Liaison. Email contact: email@example.com
“Our community members take their responsibilities seriously, but with realistic expectations and enormous good humour. It is a pleasure to work in such an environment.” – former board member