Meet the Board

Who’s on the Board?

Board Co-chairs

  • Devon Hayley Farrell is entering her sixth and final year on the Friends Board in 2024, having joined in 2019 after volunteering with Friends for a year. She served as Board Secretary from 2021 to 2023 and Co-Chair during the 2023/2024 Board year. In her time on the board, she has migrated the Friends member database to a new platform, deployed SharePoint to manage the Friends Board documents in compliance with legal requirements and records management best practices, and worked on the development of several new Board policies. Devon holds a Master of Archival Studies and a Master of Library and Information Studies from UBC. She currently works as a Records Analyst with the shíshálh Nation. In her spare time, you’ll find Devon cycling, swimming in the ocean, or spending time with her cat and her husband at their home on the Sunshine Coast.
  • Christian Kruse Christian joined the Friends board in June 2020 as the representative of book’mark, The Library Store where he is a volunteer. Christian is a life-long library fan and professional librarian whose career started at VPL too many years ago to remember! Talk to Christian about the great new merchandise arriving at book’mark, volunteer opportunities in the Store, or anything else you may be wondering about. As a librarian, he loves matching questions with answers. And that’s why he loves libraries, it’s THE place to ask anything and find out about everything.

Board Members

  • Stefanie Chapman has worked in finance and public accounting across various industries from mining to tech. She is a designated CPA and is also in the process of obtaining a Masters of Economics. Recently, she moved back to Vancouver from Toronto and is excited to give back to her local community. Stefanie is passionate about accessibility and education in the community and loves to read.
  • Frances Chen Frances Chen has a background in English and Psychology, and holds a Master of Archival Studies degree from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Frances has experience working in both the public and private sectors; she has also worked abroad as an ESL teacher and education consultant. She currently works for the Justice Institute of BC. Frances is passionate about art, food, design, and travel. In her free time, Frances enjoys watching performances around town, wandering around museums, trying out new cafes with friends, and relaxing with a good book at the library. Her latest hobby is video editing.
  • Stewart Fast is is Director of the Office of Research and Scholarship at University Canada West and has extensive experience in program and people management and in research & science environments. As a new member both of the Vancouver community and of the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library, he is eager to contribute. Stewart is a lifelong lover of libraries and believes libraries offer us not only worlds of insight and beauty from literature but also provide a democratic space for accessing information, tools, resources, and even social services. When not reading or working, he enjoys exploring the outdoors, cycling, hiking, learning how to sail, and cheering on all sorts of sports teams and events.
  • Deepak Kumar is a seasoned Strategy and Project Management professional, blending a robust
    background in Technology and Business. Known for his strategic acumen and influential leadership, he excels in mobilizing cross-functional teams to surpass objectives, drive business impact, and cultivate enduring client relationships. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and an MBA in General Management from the esteemed University of British Columbia, Deepak has amassed over 15 years of diverse experience spanning North America and Europe across various industry verticals. Currently at Central 1, he is Directing Programs and Portfolios with a dedicated team to empower Credit Unions and smaller independent financial institutions across Canada amidst the dynamic landscape of electronic finance and increasing competitive pressures. His passions extend beyond the boardroom, encompassing interests in value investing, globe-trotting adventures, and swimming. Eager to contribute to the community, Deepak is honored to support the Friends of VPL in their mission to foster the success of Vancouver Public Library. 
  • Nicole Lee was born and raised in Greater Vancouver. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration and works as a Revenue Operations Analyst at Apploi, a software startup based in New York. Before that, she worked for seven years in a nonprofit as a fundraiser. With a passion for making an impact, Nicole joined the Friends Board in 2024, furthering her commitment to her community. Beyond her professional pursuits, Nicole enjoys baking and traveling, finding inspiration in exploring new cultures and cuisines.
  • Samantha Mak By day Samantha Mak is General Counsel for an internet technology company headquartered in Austin, Texas.  She advises on commercial transactions, internet law, technology and IP licensing, security compliance, business development, and business strategy. She sits on the board of the two Canadian subsidiaries of her company.  By night she flexes her creative muscles by entering random writing contests, recreating her favourite foods in felt and yarn, and trying to teach herself to paint via YouTube.
  • Donna Mathiasen joined the Friends board as Treasurer in October 2021 and is recently retired from career as a Chartered Professional Accountant in the BC Public Service, working in various financial management roles, and with a particular focus and passion to supporting service delivery operations. Wife and parent of two adult children raised in libraries across the lower mainland, and with a lifelong love of travel, music, books and theatre, she and her husband have recently moved to Vancouver. She is very much enjoying learning the city and engaging with the library and its programs, and is happy to join the Friends of VPL in supporting this vibrant community.
  • Bri Turner is a library technician with 15 years of experience in academic, public, school, and most recently, law libraries. In addition to a lifelong passion and a strong belief in the varied and momentous value libraries bring to communities, Bri has an insider’s knowledge of how important the roles of champion and advocate are to them. She brings to the Friends more than a decade of experience in volunteerism, grassroots organizing, and not-for-profit governance. In her downtime you can find her working towards a Bachelor of Arts, walking around the city taking pictures of crows, or on a sunny bench with her nose in a book (that she probably borrowed from the VPL).
  • Ray Wang is a community-minded entrepreneur with over ten years of experience in the digital marketing industry. He is currently the principal at RW Digital, an established digital marketing agency. When Ray isn’t helping businesses navigate the digital space, he is keen on taking part in volunteering, fundraising, mentorship and other community initiatives; he strongly believes in giving back and supporting spaces that help build communities around education. You can often find Ray searching for the next business book to pore over at his favourite library branch.