Board of Directors

Greg Tooke (Chair; Appointed December 8, 2015)

Greg is a successful leader and relationship builder with over twenty years’ senior experience in strategy, business development, operational management and product/service delivery.

Originally from the UK, he has worked with organizations across Europe, Canada, US and Japan from various sectors including non-profit, transportation, government, health, technology and community services. Initially an engineer, Greg has held various senior leadership roles and now focuses mainly on strategic planning and implementation to engage, develop and support people toward improving long-term organizational effectiveness. He has helped start-ups through to large well established clients to discover the purpose behind their work, bringing clarity, aligning resources and supporting implementation.

Leading with his values Greg is currently a partner in a management consulting business, Light Trail Consulting, working with socially minded leaders to help them realize the full potential of an inclusive purpose driven organization. He works with boards and senior leadership on complex issues to help them build and engage their teams to sustain positive change. By example, Light Trail is also a Certified B Corp and member of 1% for the Planet, a movement of organizations that share the same philosophies of helping drive a shift toward a future of positive social and environmental change – good for people, good for the planet, and good for profit/purpose.

Frode Skulbru (Vice Chair; Appointed March 28, 2017)

Frode is a business development, finance and project management executive with experience from all facets of PPPs and other types of airport contractual structures.
Frode has 20+ years of international airport privatization experience across five continents, including consortium development, due diligence, transaction project management, financing and negotiations. Frode has greatly enjoyed an international focused career until moving with his family to the Vancouver area, which he now calls home. As a board member at Brightside, Frode provides valuable insight, experience and connections. He is fluent in English and Norwegian and functional in

Genine McCurdy (Past Chair; Appointed October 9, 2015)

Genine built a career over 35 years in the federal public service in industrial development, economic development and infrastructure. She holds a BA in Political Science, a Masters of Public Administration and a Diploma in International Trade. She retired as a Portfolio Director with the Department of Public Works and Government Services in the Engineering Assets Branch- dealing with bridges, dams and other major pieces of infrastructure across the county. Her work in industrial development with the Aerospace, Shipbuilding and Oceans sectors included collaborative projects with industry, associations and other levels of government, promoting the development of Canadian capability.

Over the course of her career, Genine has undertaken public consultations on prosperity, capital planning with Transport Canada, grants and loans to private business and not for profit groups and community relations. Born in Vancouver and a strong “west coast advocate”, she is married, with three grown children.

Vija Poruks (Appointed March 28, 2017)

Vija joined Brightside after a diverse career of over 30 years with the Canadian Federal Government, holding senior management positions with Public Works and Government
Services and the Canadian Coast Guard. She began her work life with Bachelor of Science and graduate courses in Business and has continued learning ever since. She has specialized training in purchasing and contracting, human resources, industrial relations, and project management. Vija has significant experience with financial and long-range business planning, delivery of complex operations over large geographical areas, conflict resolution and staff relations, and international conferences. As a result, Vija often refers to herself jokingly as a “professional generalist.” After leaving Government, she worked for three years with Vancouver Shipyards Ltd as a contract specialist, and now works part-time with Transport Canada.

Vija’s personal passion is travel and photography, and although she has already visited over twenty-five countries and been to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the tips of the Andes, her future adventure list still remains long.

Jack Wong (Appointed January 26, 2016)

Jack recently retired in March 2020 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. Before being named CEO in February 2011, Jack worked in finance and administration with the Vancouver Board of Trade for ten years. Prior to that, he was a project controller for major real estate development projects in Greater Vancouver. A certified member and fellow of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada, Jack holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration from UBC.

Jack has an active volunteer life. In addition to Brightside, he currently serves on the boards of the Immigrant Services Society of BC and the Chinatown Foundation for Community Revitalization. He has also served on the boards of the Vancouver Police Foundation, Richmond Museum Society, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network, Canadian Society of Association Executives, Society of Management Accountants of BC (Vancouver Chapter). In addition he was a member of the External Advisory Councils for the UBC School of Community & Regional Planning and the SFU Faculty of Environment, and volunteered as a UBC Sauder MBA student mentor. Jack is a fellow of the Ford Foundation’s Regional Sustainable Development Program. He lives in Steveston with his wife Alanna and has two grown daughters.

Willa Choy (Appointed March 28, 2017)

Willa is currently the Director of Internal Audit at Technical Safety BC, an organization known for its innovative approaches to regulating technical systems and equipment. She is a seasoned audit professional with over 25 years auditing experience and is a regular advisor to both Management and the Board of Directors on risk, compliance, operational improvements and corporate governance.

In addition, Willa is currently the CPABC Chapter Board Chair, and is on the Board of Directors for Brightside Community Homes Foundation.
Willa holds a Bachelor Arts degree in Economics and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Management, along with multiple professional designations. She was the 2012 recipient of the Top Talent Award for demonstrated strategic leadership and academic performance in the Certified Management Accountant Executive Program.

Mark Lester (Appointed March 26, 2019)

Mark is a commercial real estate professional with close to 30 years of experience in his field. Mark specializes in the marketing and representation of unique real estate assets, including: resorts, comprehensive development sites, forestry and resource lands, private islands, marinas, golf courses and other specialized assets. Mark has a long track record in the sale of all types of development properties in Metro Vancouver and across western Canada and is the founder and leader of the Unique Properties Marketing Group at Colliers International in Vancouver. As a former city planner and real estate consultant, Mark brings a hands-on understanding of the development market and approval processes in the city, and how these forces can impact Brightside’s comprehensive portfolio and strategic plan.

Joan Braun (Appointed March 31, 2020)

Joan Braun, LLB, MSW, LLM is a lawyer and mediator in private practice in Vancouver. She has been mediating since 2004 and currently practices at the Vista Law Group. Joan also has extensive experience in management in the justice sector and in organizations that deliver legal services to seniors. She was the executive director of the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta from 2013-2015, where she oversaw the final two phases of a three-phase project on using the law to prevent elder abuse. In an earlier position, she served as the Executive Director of the BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support (BC CEAS) where she established a specialty legal aid clinic for older adults. She completed a Master of Laws degree in 2011, with a thesis on elder mediation. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, with a dissertation on human rights law, elder law and disability law issues.

Frank Chong (Appointed March 31, 2020)

Frank Chong is Vice President and Deputy Superintendent (Financial Institution Regulation) with the BC Financial Services Authority (BCFSA). The BCFSA is the provincial regulator responsible for credit unions and trust companies, insurance companies, pension plans, mortgage brokers and the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Frank is also Vice Chair of the Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators (CCIR). He has participated in a number of industry working groups and is a member of the CD Howe Financial Services Research Initiative. Frank has 19 years of experience within the financial services sector. Prior to BCFSA, Frank held finance and management roles at a B.C. credit union, a chartered bank and an insurance brokerage firm.

Frank is a long-time resident of Vancouver and an active member of his community. He joined the Brightside Board with a desire to play an active role in local affordable housing. In his spare time, Frank works on his garden and loves to explore his City.

Aran Clarke (Appointed March 31, 2020)

Aran Clarke is Director, People Experience at Concert Properties. She is a seasoned human resources professional with deep experience with change management and transformation projects and initiatives. Her passion is people and supporting leaders and organizations to align their people related strategies with future organizational goals.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Post Diploma in Human Resources. In 2018, Aran completed the Leadership Academy, a program sponsored by the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and curated and taught by MIT.

Aran has had the great fortune to work with several different organizations and industries over the past 15 years ranging from aviation to banking and now real estate. Aran currently leads the People Experience department at Concert Properties Ltd.

She is mother to two talented elementary school aged daughters and on weekends she can be found reading a good book, running or ferrying the girls to their various pursuits.

Darren Sauer (Appointed March 31, 2020)

Darren Sauer is a leader in the construction management and property development industry, with over 15 years of experience in this dynamic and challenging area. As the Director of Development with Wales McLelland Construction focused on business development and preconstruction, he strives to understand clients’ and stakeholders’ needs and objectives, leading and driving projects forward.

Darren has always recognized the construction and development industry is more about building relationships and trust, than it is about bricks and mortar and brings these values to Brightside. He also brings expertise of all facets of development, gained through working on large scale, multi-year, complex rezoning and subdivision projects at one of western Canada’s largest private developers.

A recent graduate of the Executive MBA program from Simon Fraser University, Darren holds a PMP designation as well as a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours from BCIT.

Alison Silgardo (Appointed March 31, 2020)

Alison is the CEO of Seniors Services Society of BC. Alison is a Certified Executive Coach with a BA in Psychology and an MA in Leadership. She is knowledgeable in leadership and team development strategies. She is an established management professional with over 17 years in the private, public and not for profit sectors. Alison has had a diverse background spanning three continents Asia, Europe and North America in multiple sectors, Banking with Citibank Zurich (Risk Management), HSBC in India, Real Estate with Colliers, O&Y Enterprise, BC Housing and in the non-profit sector in leadership roles at Phoenix Society and as the past CEO of Pacifica Treatment Centre Society.

In her consulting work, Alison specializes in working with leaders, entrepreneurs and high-potential individuals within organizations to unlock their potential and deepen their knowledge and skills to maximize the impact that they can have in their position and to build the future state that they are seeking. Alison brings all of her 25+ years of professional experiences to her work. Alison brings a depth of cultural sensitivity from her global work experience in a diverse range of organisations.

Alison’s work has included strategic planning and visioning in operations, knowledge exchange and training as well as evaluation, implementation and audit in these sectors. Alison participates on a number of local and provincial level committees and groups with a focus on enhancement of system delivery.

Her mission in her role leading Seniors Services Society is to enhance the quality of daily life of low-income senior renters by developing a blue print for their care, knowledge exchange and training and developing a framework for implementation of a system of care for this group of seniors.

Alison’s enjoys volunteering and has served on the Boards of organizations like Dixon Society for women fleeing abuse and SHARE Society.