Board of Directors

Board of Directors Executive

Chairperson

Priyan Samarakoone - [email protected]

Priyan was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and moved to Vancouver in 1996 when his family left during the civil war. He completed his Bachelor of Science majoring in Biology at the University of British Columbia in 2006 and completed his post graduate in the UK with an honours LLB from Nottingham Law School in 2008. He was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2013 and spent his first 6 years representing clients at all levels of court in BC, including multiple tribunals, for Access Pro Bono BC. He has developed his practice with a focus on all housing related matters and established, EQ Law, in 2019. He has worked on two separate projects for the United Nations (a Child Nutrition Surveillance project in conflict affected zones of northern Sri Lanka, in 2004, for the UN World Food Program, and a baseline Access to Justice study, in 2009, for the UN Development Program). In 2018 he helped create and launch a pro bono family mediation program in Vancouver to tackle family law issues in British Columbia and he continues to provide pro bono assistance to Vancouverites and British Columbians in need.

Treasurer / Secretary

Steve Kisby - [email protected]

Steve brings a wealth of experience in organizational and fundraising success from all levels of the Green Party. At other levels, he's the past vice president of the Green Party of Canada Fund. With connections in the greener transportation, greener energy, and electoral reform activist community, Steve is a quick leaner, with expertise in administration, promotion, and governance. Professionally, Steve owns and runs a small media release company, and by trade is an Information Technology professional. Provincially he resides in the Vancouver-Kensington riding and federally he's in Vancouver-Kingsway.

Membership Coordinator

Elaine Alpert - [email protected]

Elaine has served on the Green Party of Vancouver Board of Directors since 2015 and is focused on expanding party's membership, promoting active member engagement and participation, and strengthening our financial foundation through both one-time and monthly donations. Elaine has spent her career as a public health-focused academic physician and medical school administrator, focusing on education, training, clinical care, and policy development in violence prevention (primarily domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking). Although retired from clinical practice, she still teaches at UBC and consults both within Canada and globally. Elaine is married, with two grown children, a third child who is no longer with us, and three amazing grand-children. She is a classical choral singer and has a basic conversational facility in Spanish. Elaine has lived in Vancouver since 2009 and became a Canadian citizen in March 2019.

Executive Members At-Large

Meeru Dhalwala - [email protected]

Meeru is a chef and co-owner of Vijs restaurant and My Bambiri baby foods. Her focus is on food, agriculture, seafoods, animal husbandry in terms of environmental sustainability and climate justice. She is on the board of UBC’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Meeru uses her businesses as a platform to practice and promote community action for climate chaos prevention. She works with FoodStash Foundation and Quest Food exchange on issues of food waste and making healthy organic foods accessible to disadvantaged/low-income families. As a small business owner, a sustainable economy is closely linked to a sustainable environment if there is to be big, meaningful progress.

Alisha Rodriguez-Masonsong - [email protected]

Alisha works as a Social Planner in Community Economic Development for the City of Vancouver and previously worked for Exchange Inner City. She brings a wealth of experience in community engagement and developing community led programs, and has built strong relationships across Vancouver. She volunteers at the Kitsilano Neighborhood House, and sits on the advisory of Employ to Empower. Alisha has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Wilfrid Laurier University and a post-grad certificate in Community Economic Development from Simon Fraser University. When she isn’t working, Alisha enjoys being outdoors running, hiking and camping. As a new mom, she is motivated to make Vancouver a city where her daughter can thrive.

Board of Directors at-Large

Melissa Polak - [email protected]

Melissa is a second-generation Canadian millennial who works in the field of governance, compliance, audit and risk management. Prior to her current role as the VP, Compliance, Risk and Assurance for Aurora Cannabis, Melissa spent 15 years as a consultant and business advisor working with federal, provincial and municipal government bodies and agencies across Canada on the enhancement of critical social policies and programs to support small businesses, access to health care, and stewardship of community infrastructure, to highlight a few. Melissa currently sits on the Nature Conservancy of Canada's BC Regional Board (2021-current) and is past-chair for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade's Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council (volunteer 2014-2021). In her free time, you can find Melissa hiking, trying new foods, or biking around town, none of which would be possible without the incredibly vibrant community or natural surroundings we are so privileged to experience.

Kevin Reynolds - [email protected]

Kevin has lived in the lower mainland all his life and is a resident of Kitsilano. An Olympic medallist in skating and former world-level competitor, he studied international relations at the University of British Columbia and holds a professional certificate in clean power from Imperial College London. Kevin has experience with public relations having done numerous interviews across various media forms over the course of his athletic career, and he has done promotional work for the Japan Foundation, the Embassy of Japan in Vancouver, and Tourism Vancouver. With a strong interest in policy and strategy, he hopes to add meaningful input into the evolution of the party’s policy and outreach initiatives.

Stephanie Smith - [email protected]

Stephanie was born in St. Paul's Hospital, attended high school in East Vancouver, and grew up around a small family business downtown. She has worked in community service since the 1990s as a legal advocate and union activist, representing Vancouverites in housing, social benefits, employment, and labour matters. Stephanie is active in systemic advocacy to drive legislative and policy change towards social and economic justice, with a focus on housing affordability and security. Her current housing work includes the presidency of a housing cooperative in the Downtown Eastside, where she has lived for almost 20 years, and membership on the boards of the Cooperative Housing Federation of BC and Community Land Trust.