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.

Deputy Chairperson

Alisha Rodriguez-Masongsong - [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 the mother of an adorable toddler, Alisha is motivated to make Vancouver a city where all children can thrive. Alisha also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Vancouver Greens.

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 Member At-Large

Meeru Dhalwala - [email protected]

Meeru is a renowned Canadian restauranteur and chef of Lila 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.

 

Board of Directors at-Large

Ken Chiu - [email protected]

Ken is a data specialist and single father of two who firmly believes that environmental consciousness requires making inconvenient choices, but is ultimately necessary.  When his children were younger they frequently visited the Vancouver Aquarium, where Ken became more aware of how we choose to live, have an outsize impact for the life in the ocean. Over time, Ken became convinced that meaningful change primarily stems from the accumulation of small choices made over time. Having immigrated to Canada in the late 1980s, Ken has spent nearly 30 years specializing in data intelligence across various industries, which includes banking, finance, telecommunications, utilities, and retail. His cultural background provides the unique perspective of an immigrant who has resided in Vancouver for more than three decades. In his spare time, Ken enjoys ocean swimming, endurance biking, and when not nursing an injury, participating in triathlons. He currently resides in the Marpole area.

 

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.

 

Sally Powell - [email protected]

Sally Powell is a digital health executive with over 15 years of corporate experience. Sally is passionate about making healthcare more accessible, affordable and inclusive by leveraging technology to drive more equitable health outcomes. As a student, Sally did an internship with Per Gahrton, the Swedish politician, a former MP and MEP of the Swedish Green Party and former chair of the Green think tank Cogito.  This was the start of her lifelong dedication to seeking diverse opinions to inform on evidence-based decision-making. Being mixed race, she brings an international perspective to an increasingly multi-cultural Vancouver and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Sally’s career has taken her to Asia, Europe and North America where she has made Vancouver, Canada her permanent home. With a track record of scaling  a successful Vancouver based start-up, she is able to bring many transferable skills to the Green Party of Vancouver as we prepare for the next election in 2026. Sally coordinates events and fundraising for the Vancouver Greens.

 

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.

 

Geoffrey Wright - [email protected]

Geoff is an engineer with a PhD in Ergonomics, who has worked as a health and safety specialist at all three levels of Government. He has taught courses at the University of Toronto and McMaster University, has authored numerous scientific publications, and has had leadership responsibilities at multiple professional organizations and non-profit entities. In 2018, Geoff volunteered for the Green Party of Vancouver during the Civic Election. In 2019, he was the candidate for the Green Party of Canada in the federal riding of Vancouver Quadra. He still serves on the Board of the Vancouver Quadra Federal Green Party Association. Geoff hopes to apply his scientific expertise to support Green initiatives that improve environmental protection, fairness for all members of society, the increased use of renewable energy, predictable and stable housing, and a sustainable economy.