Board of Directors

  • Warren Beach

    Warren Beach is the CFO for Aritzia, a Vancouver based women’s fashion boutique with over 60 stores across North America, and is an accomplished finance executive with over 24 years of experience in senior financial roles. 

    He started his career as an accountant at Ernst & Young and was Chief Financial Officer of Sierra Systems Group Inc., and most recently TimberWest, Western Canada’s largest private timber and land management company. 

    He served on the Cabinet of the United Way for 7 years, serving as Cabinet Co-Chair in 2011, and is currently also a Board Member of The Boys & Girls Clubs of Vancouver. 

    Warren is a dedicated cycling enthusiast.

  • Dr. Jan Christilaw

    Dr. Jan Christilaw is Vice President, Provincial Women’s and Newborn Health, PHSA. She is also the Senior Medical Director of Provincial Women’s Health Programmes at BC Women’s Hospital, and is a co-leader of the Provincial Women’s Health Network.

    Jan’s contributions to women’s health services in Canada have been extraordinary. In 2007 she won the Federation of Medical Women of Canada’s National Leadership Award. Jan has been interested in international women’s health for many years.

    She has worked internationally on a number of projects, including partnerships with Makerere University in Uganda for services in maternal and child health.

  • Colin Copp - Secretary

    Colin Copp is the Chief Administrative Officer of Jazz Aviation LP with 25 plus years of experience in the aviation industry. He has been extensively involved over the years in the corporate and organizational strategy and has held several key positions of management and senior leadership in both the operations and administration sides of the business.

    He attended Trinity Western University's Aviation Program and holds a Commercial Pilot License.

    He is a graduate of the Justice Institute of BC where he obtained his certification as a Negotiator and Mediator; is a graduate of the Director Education Program at the Rotman School of Management - University of Toronto; and is a graduate from Richard Ivey School of Business - University of Western ON where he obtained his MBA degree.

  • Dr. Ellen Giesbrecht

    Ellen is Senior Medical Director, Acute Perinatal Programs at BC Women’s Hospital.  Prior to taking this role, she spent seven years as Head of the BC Women’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

    In May 2013, Ellen received her Canadian Certified Physician Executive designation, a national certification recognizing excellence in leadership through education and leadership assessment.

  • Barb Hestrin

    Barb has a long history with BC Women's, working as a Director for several programs, and more recently as a Senior Administrative Officer.

    She is well recognised for her leadership in women's health - receiving the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in 2001 and the Dr. Marion Powell Award for Leadership in Women's Health in 2004.

  • Karim Kassam

    Karim is Vice President, Business and Corporate Development at Ballard Power Systems.  He has extensive international experience, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, across a range of sectors, including commercial real estate, government and retail.  

    Karim sits on the Board of the Chrysalix Energy Limited Partnership and was previously a member of the Vancouver Economic Development Commission.  

    He has an MBA from Queens University and completed the Executive Leadership Development program at Harvard Business School.

  • David Lam

    David is a partner at Deloitte and leads the corporate finance practice in BC.  He focuses on mergers, acquisitions, financing and divestitures for middle market companies in a wide range of industries. 

    Previously, David held senior roles in Corporate Development at a large Canadian publicly listed company.  In these capacities, David advised on new business opportunities and led various strategic divestiture and acquisition mandates across Canada. 

    David also formerly served as a board member to S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and Food Innovation Council of BC.

  • Geoff Lyster - Chair

    Geoff Lyster is a partner with Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, with nearly 20 years experience in the areas of corporate mergers and acquisitions and franchising.

    His leadership roles include former President of the Vancouver Bar Association; former Chair of the Business Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association - B.C. Branch; and former President and current Director of Endeavour for the Benefit of the Arts, Science and Health.  

  • Marina S. Matei

    Retired Vice President and senior institutional portfolio manager at Phillips Hager & North Investment Management, and former director at the western Canadian operations of a major national consulting company.

    Since moving to Vancouver in 1982, Marina has been involved with the Boards of the Green Thumb Theatre for Children, and the Vancouver Playhouse.  She has volunteered with a variety of local community organizations including the United Way and the BC Cancer Foundation.


  • Colleen Noble

    Colleen is Past President of the Auxiliary to BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre.  She joined the Auxiliary in January 2009 and has contributed to numerous fundraising events as well as the ongoing revenue-generating activities and initiatives of the Auxiliary.  Colleen served as Auxiliary President from April 2012 to April 2014. 

    She moved from Orillia, Ontario to Vancouver in 1965 and had a career as an insurance broker from 1958 until her retirement in 2000.

  • Jill Schnarr

    As Vice President, Community Affairs, Jill Schnarr leads national community investment at TELUS. With her leadership of Connections-the TELUS women’s network, Jill has helped to foster a culture of learning and development, growth, engagement, recognition and well-being for women.

    With past experience on the board for Canadian Women in Communications, Jill now volunteers her time on the board for BC Women’s Hospital Foundation, as well as for the TELUS Vancouver community board.

    A relentless overachiever, Jill is constantly striving to lower her handicap in golf, and to ski faster down the black diamond runs. She also wants to be the best hockey & soccer mom ever for her 9-year old son Dylan.

  • Eileen Stewart - Vice Chair

    Eileen is the former chair of the Women’s Health Research Institute – the research arm of BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre. She has a strong background in looking out for the interests of women – spending 7 years on the board of the YWCA of Vancouver, including time as Chair.

    Eileen owns a human resources consulting practice, and in her (not so) spare time, she teaches Ikebana (Japanese flower design).

  • Kirsten Tisdale

    Kirsten Tisdale is a Partner with Ernst & Young and leads their British Columbia Advisory practice. She has a background in corporate strategy and leading organizational transformation and has worked in more than 15 countries, across diverse sectors including healthcare and public sector transformation.

    Kirsten was most recently a Managing Partner with Korn/Ferry. She currently also serves as a director on the boards of 2010 Legacies Now, BC Cancer Foundation, Canadian Council for Board Diversity and the Women's Executive Network.

  • Elaine Williamson

    Elaine is a Faculty member at the Sauder School of Business at UBC in the Marketing division.  She has a background in the IT, financial services and not-for-profit industries. 

    Elaine has served on numerous Vancouver not-for-profit boards and is the chair of the Twenty Eight group, a foundation for UBC female varsity athletes.

    Elaine’s four daughters, including her teenage twins, were born at BC Women’s Hospital.    

  • Linda Zhu - Treasurer

    Linda Zhu is a Partner of SunRonkai LLP.  She has a combined 19 years of experience in public accounting in Canada and China and holds the title of Canadian Chartered Accountant and the certificate of Public Accountant of US (Illinois).

    Ms. Zhu is also a board director of Canadian-Chinese Professional Accountants Association.