Elected as Directors by Dance Victoria Society members at the Annual General Meeting on Nov 3, 2019, the Board is actively involved in ensuring the organization maintains its position in the community as an innovative and financially sound contributor to the local, regional and national dance milieu.
Susan Howard is Development Director at Victoria Women’s Transition House, an emergency shelter with support programs for women and children leaving abusive family situations. Trained as a classical ballet dancer at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she turned her passion for performance to non-profit income development. Susan has more than 20 years non-profit leadership experience in communities across Canada in fund and community development, marketing, communications and board and executive management. A graduate of SFU with a degree in business and liberal studies, Susan has a deep passion and love of the arts, particularly dance, and is honoured to serve on the Board of Dance Victoria.
Emily is an Analyst in the Internal Control department at BCI (British Columbia Investment Management Corporation), working to ensure organizational processes are designed and implemented effectively. Previous to this, Emily was a Senior Accountant at KPMG LLP, providing accounting and auditing services for NPOs, local government, and private businesses in various industries. In addition to her Chartered Professional Accountant designation, Emily has earned her Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Professional Accounting.
Emily has developed a strong passion in dance and the arts from many years of dance and painting classes she took growing up. She is excited for the opportunity to contribute as a board member for Dance Victoria.
Heather Lejeune is Facilitator with Watershed Partners, where she works with organizations to help them navigate through complexity using collaborative design practices. Before she worked as a Facilitator Heather was an event manager, putting together some of Victoria's largest public celebrations and cultural festivals after she completed her education in Arts and Cultural Management.
At a young age Heather's parents placed her in dance classes, and while she took to stomping with abandon for many years in her tap classes, she eventually realized that this would not be a professional career path for her. Instead, she saw an opportunity to apply her creativity and organizational skills to support others in pursuing their artistic endeavours. Always a big believer in bringing people together to share a common experience, Heather still enjoys the thrill of a good event and the satisfaction of seeing people enjoy themselves through artistic mediums.
Heather is leading the committee for Dance Victoria's Night Moves program and is looking forward to getting more young audience members involved in dance.
Andrew Newcombe is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria. He previously worked in Vancouver practising commercial law and in Paris practising international arbitration. Andrew has both commercial law and corporate governance knowledge and skills and has worked with non-profits on policy and governance issues. Andrew takes adult dance classes and brings to the Board a passion for contributing to the local dance community.
As vice-president, advisory services, Colin Nicol is responsible for the financial performance and overall strategic direction of banking and wealth operations in the Island Savings region. Colin has 25 years of financial services experience and 20 years of senior management experience in Canada and the United Kingdom. He brings expertise in wealth management, commercial and retail banking, risk management, marketing, acquisition and retention, service quality and compliance.
Colin’s prior roles include general manager, insurance and financial planning at Island Savings, as well as leadership roles at CIBC and Royal Bank of Scotland. He has a strong background in strategic business planning, budgeting, relationship building, leadership, research and analysis, process engineering, business development, coaching and change management. Colin is a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and holds his postgraduate diploma in marketing from Edinburgh Napier University as well as his Professional Financial Planners Course from the Canadian Securities Institute.
Colin is married to Justin and they both enjoy living in the beautiful city of Victoria.
Kirsty Thomson is the owner and principal Financial Advisor for Willow Wealth Management. Originally from Toronto, Kirsty earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario. In 1988, after extensive travelling around the world, Kirsty began her career in the financial services industry. With a diverse background in trading, financial and wealth management, Kirsty has a well-rounded appreciation of the industry. She is committed to professional development and is currently working towards her Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. Since Kirsty believes in giving back to the community, she is very active in philanthropic endeavours. Among other recent philanthropic activities, she spearheads the very successful annual Cherish fundraiser for Victoria Women’s Transition House and Dance Victoria, an effort which raised $60,000. Her free time is spent enjoying her family, music, theatre, reading, keeping fit, and fireside chats.