Board of Directors
Board of Directors Executive
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.
Tim Marskell - [email protected]
Tim is a veteran digital professional, serving as an Advertising Director in the paid search agency world. He holds a BA in English from the University of Toronto and is pursuing a master's degree in the same field. He is certified in Climate Change Policy and Practice and Digital Marketing. Additionally, Tim has a decade of experience volunteering as a mental health peer support facilitator in Toronto. He has been active in organizing for the Green Party since 2019, contributing to various aspects of campaign organization and communication strategy. Born in Toronto, Tim has lived in the UK and UAE with a few stops in between. Currently residing in Vancouver, he aims to strengthen progressive connections between the two cities.
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.
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.
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
Farrukh Chishtie (he/him/his) - [email protected]
Farrukh is an atmospheric, climate and earth observation scientist with over 20 years of research experience in climate science and policy, climate adaptation and mitigation. He holds three Masters degrees and two PhDs in Applied Mathematics and Education with specialization in environment and sustainability. Along with grassroots advocacy on issues of climate change and environmental degradation across the globe, Farrukh aims for holistic understanding and meaningful action. He has been a member of the Global Precipitation Mission (GPM) validation project by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in collaboration with NASA. He now is a climate expert with the University of British Columbia Sustainability Hub where he raises awareness on climate change across departments. He holds visiting scientist and faculty positions at ECCC, the European Council for Nuclear Research, the University of Toronto, and the University of Western Ontario. Farrukh is the Green Party of Canada's Shadow Cabinet co-critic and holds the Environment and Climate Change, Emergency Preparedness, Natural Resources and International Development portfolios. He is also a policy committee member for the BC Greens.
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.