Who’s on the Board?
- Darius Maze is Chair of Friends of the VPL. Darius joined the Friends board in April of 2017. Professionally, Darius has experience in fundraising, marketing, events, and communications. An advocate of social justice, equality, and inclusion; he serves as Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ (AFP) Diversity & Inclusion committee and dedicates much of his time to supporting local causes and events that foster these values. Talk to Darius about fundraising and events with Friends. Darius loves the library because it provides a community space that encourages us to encounter and learn from new people and their ideas.
- Lana Bradshaw is a consultant focused on assisting organizations with hiring, employee retention, and recruitment best practices. She has extensive experience in DE&I, human resources, and charity work. She’s a relentless headhunter, connector, and of course, bookworm. Her superpowers are finding the diamond in the rough, networking, and community engagement.
- 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.
- Alicia Diottee holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and has more than 15 years of experience working for leading global brands across six continents including: Magic Leap, Hootsuite, Cisco Systems, Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, and the Olympic Games. She established Hack Communications (marcomms consultancy) in 2017 and has since worked with a variety of clients across CPG, Digital Media, Impact Investing, and Technology (emerging and SAAS). She is passionate about the arts, sustainability, health and wellness, animal welfare, and travel.
- Devon Hayley Farrell joined the Friends board in May 2019, but started volunteering for the Friends in February 2018. Since 2021, she has served as Board Secretary. In her time on the board, she has migrated the Friends member database to a new platform, helped revamp the board’s filing system, and sent countless membership reminder emails. Devon holds a Master of Archival Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies from UBC and works as a Records Manager with the Government of Canada. In her spare time, you’ll find Devon cycling around the city, swimming in the ocean, or reading a book with her cat, Mister Sir.
- Simran Gill is currently an Accounting student at KPU and will be pursuing a CPA designation post-graduation. Simran’s experience being the President of the Accounting Society of Kwantlen involves running events for students, managing budgets and finances for the club, and hosting fundraisers for various charities. Simran is passionate about community engagement and volunteering, and loves getting others excited about giving back! Simran loves the library because it allows people to escape their chaotic worlds and it is a place where you never stop learning. Simran also works as a freelance artist, and appreciates that the library is a creative and safe space for community members where they can express themselves freely.
- Kale Gosen is a settler born on Siksikaitsitapii territory, and is now living on stolen Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil- Waututh territory. She is a white, queer, disabled activist who is passionate about building and engaging community. She has been an EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) facilitator and has worked at the University of British Columbia for over a decade. She is also the co-founder of Humanize Consulting, an EDI firm that delivers interactive workshops and presentations to businesses and organizations, helping them create workplaces that are more inclusive for all marginalized groups. Her presenter experience goes beyond facilitating for hundreds of staff and students at UBC. She has been invited to keynote, as well as speak at Harvard. She has two YouTube channels, including one for Humanize Consulting, where she talks about the social justice topics that she is passionate about. These days she is focused on taking her experience in facilitation and knowledge of gender, sexuality, disability justice and anti-racism work to the wider community. Her absolute favourite thing is reading – feel free to check out her reading list. She loves talking about books, and gets most of them from the library, which she visits several times a month.
- Christian Kruse 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.
- Melissa Lee joined the Friends Board in June 2020 and has been highly involved in supporting funding development and policy/governance work. She comes from a not-for-profit background with experience including board governance, program coordination, community engagement, volunteer management, and working with diverse communities. She finds self-expression through film photography, painting, tufting rugs, and rocking out with her electric guitar. Melissa is continuously inspired by the library’s ability to foster community building and social connection.
- 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.