Build Site Supervisor
Board of Directors
Pat McKenna is the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North.
Born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, Pat has a 25-year background in corporate retail with Home Depot and Target Corporations and a 10 year track record with non-profit leadership.
Pat has been a resident of The Comox Valley for 14 years. He is actively involved in the community as the President of Three Legged Dog Productions, a 9-year member of the Board of Vancouver Island Music Fest Society and as a member in good standing and secretary of the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club in Courtenay.
Jun took on the role of Assistant to the Executive Director in January 2011. With his past experience as an accountant in the Philippines, he also assisted with bookkeeping and payroll functions. In the spring of 2015, he assumed both roles on a full-time basis. He makes certain that the bills are paid on time and every dollar donated is properly account for! He says he loves working at Habitat because he enjoys meeting new people and hearing their stories. He enjoys interaction with fellow staff, volunteers and our future homeowners.
Karen Bezaire has been with Habitat since 2012 when she started out as the Courtenay Volunteer Coordinator. Karen quickly saw some gaps in the marketing materials and went to work to produce some fresh new pamphlets. Quickly thereafter she was given the position of Communications and Marketing Coordinator, organizing successful events like 'Dancing Under The Stars' and the Team Generous 'Red Carpet’ Event. In 2016, Habitat's growth led to a need for a Family Service Coordinator, and Karen once again filled a gap. Karen has proven to be a very pliable staff member within the organization and isn't afraid to be stretched to learn new roles. Most recently, Karen completed the Global Village Team Leadership Training to one day lead a closed team to an overseas country. Karen is currently the host of the Global Village Canada Builds Teams, welcoming groups who visit and build locally. Additionally, she successfully launched ‘Invest in Yourself’ in 2017, expanding Habitat’s services by offering free financial literacy training to the whole community. Karen is also a James Taylor die-hard fan and a mother of four children and one redneck husband whom she adores.
Community Engagement Manager
Terri is responsible for volunteer recruitment, retention, and recognition, as well as a myriad of other activities that engage the local community in our construction projects. She divides her time between Campbell River and the Comox Valley. A self-professed ‘volunteer-aholic’, Terri has decades of experience both managing volunteers and volunteering. Much of her career has been invested in being a successful freelance writer and marketing professional, as well as running a small business and working as an employee or volunteer for a variety of non-profit agencies. She joined Habitat VIN in June 2015 because she has grown tired of working at home, alone, and wanted to not only make a living but to make a difference. In her free time, Terri enjoys backcountry horseback riding, competing with her Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever in canine agility, gardening, and (of course!) volunteering!
Tom Beshr manages needed resources to achieve Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North's mission. Raised in Vancouver and a graduate of BCIT's Aeronautical Engineering program, Tom is a qualified airline transport pilot and has spent 25-years in the aviation sector in operations and maintenance serving the United Nations and various relief agencies in the third world. A Certified Fund Raising Executive since 2017, Tom has a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from North Island College. He is currently is a volunteer with 386 Air Cadets in Comox, and sits on the board of Three Legged Dog Productions. He has been involved in non-profit leadership since 1997, including past positions with Vancouver Island MusicFest, The Haven, Rainbow Youth Theatre, Salvation Army and Comox Valley Housing Taskforce. Tom has been a resident of Comox since 1996, has a blended family including 6 children and loves to walk, boat, ski and occasionally fly.
Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Cady is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North. Cady gained employment with Habitat shortly after completing her Diploma in Writing and Publishing. What started as a three-month contract as Grant Writer turned into a permanent position as Communications Coordinator. She is focused on professional development, and has studied fundraising and grant writing through BCIT, SFU, and other workshops. She is currently completing her BA in Professional Communications by distance through Royal Roads University.
Campbell River ReStore General Manager
Donna-Marie is the General Manager of the Campbell River Restore. She has lived in Campbell River since high school, but prior to that was an army brat who grew up everywhere. Donna-Marie has an extensive retail background with Zellers, Home Depot and Target, and most recently as the assistant manager of service for Staples, Campbell River. Donna-Marie has lead community volunteering initiatives at all three of her past organizations, and has also been chair of the Joint Health and Safety committee as well as a community leader in Scouts Campbell River. Additionally, she serves on the Special Olympic committee, supporting their special events when needed. Managing the Campbell River ReStore combines her retail expertise with her passion for giving back to the community.
Comox Valley ReStore General Manager
Debbie Bowman, General Manager for the Courtenay ReStore, is living her dream, as she has always wanted to be a part of the Habitat For Humanity organization. Before becoming the ReStore General Manager, Debbie was the nutritionist, social media manager and writer for Edible Island Whole Foods Market. And long, long ago, before her two children roamed the earth, Debbie worked as a manager for White Spot Restaurants, where she traveled around managing new store openings. Besides working at a job she loves, Debbie enjoys weight training, mountain biking, trail running, traveling, general adventuring, and pretty much anything that takes her out of her comfort zone.
Peter Sanderson is the Build Project Manager for Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North. Born in Carman, Manitoba and a graduate of the University of Manitoba, his 35-year career in family-owned business has been intertwined with community service and a love of Habitat. Past community involvements include church, community, and fun. Peter has taken on previous roles as church elder and Chair of the Board, Chair of the Board for Boyne Lodge, Build Chair and board member for L'Arche Comox Valley, founding member and first Commodore of the Comox Valley Yacht Club, board member for Habitat VIN, and member of Courtenay Rotary. Peter has a passion for affordable housing and a heart for the families who partner with Habitat.
Ryan is one of our two site supervisors; joining the team in March 2018. Ryan received his journeyman/red seal certificate in carpentry in 2011. Looking after the Hilchey Road build in Campbell River, Ryan has quickly found passion in working alongside volunteers and future homeowners to put a home together. He strongly believes in promoting a learning culture on the job site where everyone is welcome to present their ideas leading to group discussion about how to complete a task. Ryan’s focus is on providing a positive and seamless volunteer experience. He welcomes you to spend any amount of time you can give on a Habitat job site. In his time off, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two dogs. Ryan also enjoys reading, woodworking in his shop, and learning the occasional song on guitar.
John Newman has volunteered with Habitat for 4 years mostly at the ReStore and joined the board in August 2014. Since retiring from his career as a petroleum engineer in Calgary, John and his wife, Louise have lived in Courtenay. John officiates soccer and basketball, is a volunteer ESL tutor. He enjoys sports and outdoor fitness activities.
Hans grew up in the Comox Valley and graduated from Highland Senior Secondary in 1985. He attended North Island College before transferring to the University of Victoria in 1986. Hans went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria, his Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, and his Juris Doctor from Queen’s University. Hans also earned his Graduate Diploma in Korean Language from Sogang University. When Hans completed law school in 2005 he articled with Cook Roberts in Victoria. He continued to work for Cook Roberts after his call to the Bar, later taking positions with the Ministry of Finance, Appeals and Litigation Branch and the Attorney General, Legal Services Branch, before relocating with his family to the Comox valley and joining Ives Burger.
Katja joined the Board in January 2012. She has extensive knowledge and experience in Not-for-Profit Finance Management and Accounting. She was employed at St. Joseph’s Hospital for 19 years and currently works for the Vancouver Island Health Authority as the Manager of Finance and Transition Services with a secondment to St. Joseph’s Hospital. While working, she earned her CGA designation (CPA) and also has a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Laurentian University. She joined Habitat to “give back” to the community and to help Habitat reach its full potential as it grows. She feels privileged to serve on the Board and to work with a diverse group of Board Directors who are as enthusiastic and passionate about Habitat as she is.
Amy is a resident of Campbell River with a passion for community sustainability. Through her role as an HR Manager for The Home Depot, Amy has worked to achieve the company’s strategic community partnership objectives within the vision of Habitat for Humanity. Her coordination efforts with Habitat and Women Build projects and The Home Depot volunteer workforce have instilled a deep respect for the positive impact Habitat has had on local families in both communities. Amy brings 20 years of HR expertise to the Board. She obtained a Commerce Degree specializing in HR and Marketing from the University of Saskatchewan and her career spans the fields of Engineering, Mining, and Retail. Her true passion is creating great workplaces where people feel valued, included, and are thriving to become leaders in their own lives. She believes in engaging the hearts and minds of team members in order to achieve amazing results. Amy is pleased to continue to support Habitat as a member of the board, keeping the North Island an amazing place to live…one home at a time.
George is a Mechanical Engineer who retired to Campbell River in 2012 after a 38-year career in Pulp and Paper and the Construction Materials industries. He has been volunteering at the Campbell River Restore for 3 years and participated in the Hilchey Rd build. He joined the HFHVIN Board in the fall of 2015. George also volunteers with the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snow Sports at Mount Washington. He and his wife Ellen enjoy many outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, camping and paddling.
Denise joined the VIN Habitat Board of Directors as part of her commitment to community development. Her interests in assisting people to reach up and improve their own and their family’s lives has been met in her volunteer efforts on Habitat builds across the country. Denise brings experience from the financial and risk management industries. She looks forward to working with the board to continue the impact Habitat has on the community.
Angela grew up in the Comox Valley, and graduated from GP Vanier with Honours in 1994. Her post-secondary education started by attending North Island College to earn the Business Diploma and Computer Information System Certificate, transferred to UBC Okanagan to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and finally UBC Sauder School of Business to attain a Mortgage Broker License. Angela started her career in the mortgage industry in 2005 and purchased the local Mortgage Centre office in 2012, which she has since re-branded to The Mortgage Centre – Your Island Mortgage Team, expanding to two offices and several mortgage agents. After volunteering with many local Habitat Builds, Angela wanted to get more involved and lend her business finance expertise to the organization, thus joining the board in September 2016.