Board of Directors

  • Dr. Jan Christilaw

    Dr. Jan Christilaw is President of BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre. 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

    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 Acting Senior Medical Director for Acute Perinatal Services at BC Women’s Hospital.  She recently 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.

  • Sue Hutchison

    Sue Hutchison is currently a Corporate Director, serving on the boards of BC Women's Hospital Foundation and as Vice Chair of Nature Conservancy of Canada, BC Region.  She is also a Director of Women's Leadership Circle, Vancouver Board of Trade.  Sue was previously a senior executive with HSBC Bank Canada for eight years.  Prior to that, Sue worked for a large U.S. financial institution in Toronto and Vancouver for 14 years in increasingly progressive roles in corporate and commercial banking.  In 2010, Sue was honoured as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 and also received the PEAK Award for Knowledge and Leadership from the Association of Women in Finance.  In 2009, she was a nominee for the Performance and Excellence Award, Association of Women in Finance.

  • 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.

  • 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.  

  • Jocelyn Lyster

    Jocelyn is the Past President of the Auxiliary to B.C. Women's Hospital and Health Centre.  She remains actively involved with the Auxiliary and is a “cuddler” in the Newborn ICU at BC Women’s. After graduating from UBC, she taught primary grades before raising a family and taking on many volunteer commitments in the community.  Latterly, Jocelyn spent eighteen years in retail management and is now retired.

  • 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 Ernst & Young LLP and leads China market practice.  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.