Karim Kassam - Chair

February 6, 2017 1:18am
Karim Kassam is the Co-Founder and Principal of Optima Living Retirement Communities with seniors’ residences located in Alberta and BC. Karim has over 25 years of senior executive leadership experience in a variety of industries including commercial, sales and corporate development. He has had extensive experience in cleantech, commercial real estate, hospitality and seniors’ health care and housing.

Karim has held senior executive officer roles at Ballard Power Systems for a decade, has been a Franchisee at Boston Pizza for over twenty years, and was recognized as one of the top agents in Canada at Colliers International where he led the creation of its multi-family investment division in Edmonton.

Karim has completed the Executive Development Program at Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Doing Business in China Executive Program at the China European International Business School (CEIBS) in Shanghai. He holds an MBA from Queens and is a designated CMA.

He has volunteered extensively with a variety of organizations including serving as the Honorary Secretary of the National Ismaili Social Welfare Board for Canada, and as a member of the Ismaili Councils of BC and Edmonton. Karim has also served as a Board Member on the Stratford Hall School Foundation, Vancouver Economic Development Commission, and the Wildlife Rescue Association. Karim served on the inaugural Board of the Women’s Health Research Institute in 2010 and subsequently has been on the board of BC Women’s Health Foundation as a Director since 2013 and more recently in 2017 was elected Chair of the Board.  

Karim is married to Rehana, an alumna of the Maternal Fetal Medicine care program and together they are parents to Arman, an alumnus of the NICU.

Eileen Stewart - Vice Chair + Secretary
February 6, 2017 1:25am
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).
Warren Beach - Vice Chair
January 31, 2017 4:01am
Warren Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Hold it All Inc. He 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.
Marina S. Matei - Treasurer
February 6, 2017 1:22am
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.
Dee Brown
February 6, 2017 1:10am
Dee joined the TELUS Community Investment team in November 2012 to lead the creation of the local and regional cause marketing programmes, national marketing campaigns and communications strategies. In this time Dee has led and developed a high performing team and developed and launched multiple campaigns that showcase the philosophy of We Give Where We Live. 
Cheryl Davies
October 18, 2017 2:59pm
Cheryl is the Chief Operating Officer at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, one of the largest maternity hospitals in Canada and the only facility in BC devoted primarily to the health of women, newborns and their families. With a background in nursing and adult education, she has over 20 years of experience in women’s health leadership from community to hospital settings. She is a passionate advocate for women’s health, reproductive rights and social justice and is an active international health volunteer in her spare time. She believes firmly in the strength of servant leadership and the importance of honouring women’s values and voices in health care planning and system improvement.
Dr. Ellen Giesbrecht
February 6, 2017 1:15am
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.