Board of Directors
President: Valerie Smaller
Vice-President: Shelley Freedman
Shelley Freedman is a digital business strategy consultant, helping clients reimagine their current processes. Prior to this, she has held management positions in retail footwear and the recycling industry, as a Manager of Information Services in the latter. She holds a User Experience Certificate in Interaction Design from the Nielsen Norman Group and a B.A. in French from the University of British Columbia. Outside of work, she is an active volunteer, a book lover, and a painter. Since 2010, she has facilitated a monthly community arts workshop for seniors. She enjoys listening to live music and going dancing. An avid cook, she shares recipes on closetfoodie.ca. Shelley is married and has three grown stepchildren.
Past President: Pierre Leichner
Between Arts and Sciences, I first chose science. Curious about the mind, I eventually became a psychiatrist. But my frustration with the business mentality that has infiltrated health care led me back to question my early decision. I received my BFA from Emily Carr in 2007 and my MFA from Concordia University in 2011. I am presently a full-time interdisciplinary artist with a socially engaged practice. My works has focused on environmental and mental health issues. I am member of the Gallery Gachet and the Art Is Land collectives, a board member of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and the Emily Carr Alumni.
Treasurer: James Carter
Member-at-Large: Brittany Downey-MacDonald
Member-at-Large: Kristen Larsen
Member-at-Large: Stephen Lytton
Stephen is a member of the Nicomen Indian Band within the Nlaka’pamux First Nation. He lives with a disability (cerebral palsy), and is a survivor of St. George’s Indian Residential School. An accomplished actor, writer and presenter, Stephen has presented in western and eastern Canada to groups regarding his personal experiences in residential school as an Aboriginal person living with a disability. He has lived in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside since 1992. He loves the character, the heart, and the courage of this community where he’s learned about the human spirit and its will to survive in spite of all the challenges it encounters. He enjoys people he meets, poetry, creative writing, acting (The Downtown Eastside Community Play, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Storyweaving). He serves as President of BC Aboriginal Network on Disability Society (BCANDS). Stephen is the recipient of the 2016 Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in recognition of his significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to his community. He believes that the arts are one of many ways to build bridges culturally and socially.
Member-at-Large: Sylvia Ceacero
Member-at-Large : Jason Chan
Jason Chan is a communications professional with experience in internal and external crisis communications, social media, project management, stakeholder and government relations. He has held positions in several industries in Vancouver and Toronto, including not-for-profits, real estate, transportation and engineering/construction. In Vancouver, he worked as the Public Affairs Manager for Canada LIne, Corporate Sponsorships Manager for the Rick Hansen Foundation and was the Corporate Programs Manager for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan and has a Social Media Marketing Certificate from Northwestern University. Jason is a member of the Board of Directors of Red Housing Society – an affordable housing society for low-income families in the Lower Mainland. He has a lifelong interest in music and the arts.
Member-at-Large: Matthew Ramsey
Member-at-Large: Andrew Dawoud
A business development and marketing professional since 2010, Andrew Dawoud has built a skill set for developing, implementing and managing a broad range of business development, marketing, communications, brand management and client relationship initiatives that support strategic objectives. Andrew has overseen and developed the implementation of strategic plans and budgets to acquire new business and expand existing client relationships in his positions in regional, national, and global law firms, and most recently, in the tech sector. His highlights include business writing, competitive analysis, market research, client service, digital marketing, advertising and brand awareness. In his spare time, Andrew can be found appreciating local art installations, playing sports, or dining at a new restaurant. Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Andrew came to Vancouver, BC at the age of 5 and has been a true West Coaster ever since.
Member-at-Large: Laura Zeman
Laura Zeman currently works with Thoughtexchange, a crowdsourcing platform that cultivates community dialogue and engagement. Laura is also a Co-Founder of The Earth Network, a media production company with a purpose to share stories that generate social impact. Previously, Laura was an Associate Producer on the feature documentary The Search for Freedom, a story about living in the moment and doing what makes you feel the most alive. Laura has a Master of Arts in Leadership, where she studied the intelligence of emotion for personal and organizational leadership.
Executive Director: Eric Rhys Miller
Program Director: Johnny Trinh
Communications & Membership Coordinator: Patrycja Kamska
Reframing Relations Program Director: Ronnie Dean Harris
Artist-Facilitators for Reframing Relations:
Festival Coordinator: Lisa Goebel
Bookkeeper: Barbara Pollard