MARC BURCHELL

MARC BURCHELL

PRESIDENT

Phone: 604 616-7933
Email: mburchell.equitas@outlook.com

Marc has an extensive and diverse background in retailing within department store & multi-store chain environments. Beginning his career in the stockroom at Woodward’s Stores he rose quickly through the ranks in operations, buying and ultimately as a Divisional General Manager. During this time Marc studied marketing at B.C.I.T. and graduated with highest honors. With a track record of fixing problems Marc’s responsibilities at Woodward’s grew from managing the smallest volume division and building it to be the largest as he acquired and maximized the potential of troubled category divisions. After short terms as VP Merchandising for Coast Mountain Sports & Tradeglobe Inc, Marc spent 15 years as VP and partner in Auld Phillips/Suzanne’s a highly respected chain of 52 western-based Ladies Fashion stores. Upon selling his stake to his partners in 2005 Marc spent the next 2 years as VP Sales & Marketing for Holey Soles Holding Ltd. During his tenure, the company was listed by Profit Magazine for 2 consecutive years as #1 & #4 fastest growing company in Canada. Marc is a graduate of the Canadian Securities Course & the Conduct & Practices Handbook Course and worked for 6 years in the Financial Services/Wealth Management industry.

Marc and Dodi, his wife of 42 years, moved to South Surrey, B.C. from Chilliwack in 2006. During that time Marc has been active in the community as a member of the City of White Rock Economic Development Committee, Director of Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP), Co-Campaign Manager for Mayor Wayne Baldwin, Consultant for White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society is currently President of the Surrey-White Rock BC Liberal Riding Association, Vice President of the South Surrey – White Rock Conservative Association and Director of Sources Community Resource Centers. He has 2 sons, 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters.

GERARD (GERRY) LENOSKI

GERARD (GERRY) LENOSKI

VICE PRESIDENT & PUBLIC RELATIONS CHAIR

Gerry Lenoski is a B.C. born government and corporate relations professional with a diverse background in Canadian public affairs. Holder of an undergraduate liberal arts degree from U.B.C., his post-graduate education was in the policy sciences at Carleton University (Ottawa), and in organizational development under a Royal Society of Canada scholarship in the Department of Government at Essex University, U.K. Gerry spent seven years on Parliament Hill in an advisory capacity alongside four federal Cabinet Members, and was chief of staff to a Mayor of Vancouver. He has been an officer and Board director inside both private and public companies, as well as a management consultant to business organizations large and small – specializing in stakeholder relations/financial communications strategies and corporate governance. His experience portfolio ranges from aerospace to telecommunications and technology, with major emphases in energy/oil & gas, resources and mining projects. Outside North America, assignments have taken Gerry to China, Japan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, South America, the Middle East and across Europe.

Gerry’s community involvement started in high school as an officer cadet (Irish Fusiliers of Canada) while also playing the snare drum in the St. Thomas More Collegiate Pipe Band. He has been active with the BC Canada Week Committee, the Vancouver Partnership for Business & the Arts and the Heart & Stroke Foundation (BC). He is a past Trustee of the New Westminster Public Library Board, and was a Director of the Burnaby Multicultural Society and of the Centre of Integration for African Immigrants (New Westminster).

Gerry has a son and two grandsons, is a life-long federal and provincial Liberal Party activist, currently sings tenor with the Vancouver Orpheus Male Voice Choir and serves as Secretary of the Indo-Canadian Friendship Society of B.C.

HEATHER GARRISON

HEATHER GARRISON

SECRETARY

Heather Garrison is the mother of a Canadian Forces Member, who for a long time has been passionate about supporting Canadian Forces members and their families. She has been a member of Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) since 2000, the year her son was deployed to Bosnia and later to Afghanistan. She served as a Board member, and continues to play an active role volunteering. The MFRC provides support to more than 2500 Canadian Forces Regular and Reservist families living within British Columbia through a variety of activities and programs.

Heather has been an active officer of the Billy Bishop Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Branch #176 in Vancouver. She currently serves as the RCL West Point Grey Branch #142 representative on the New Chelsea Society (NCS) Board, and has previously served as a NCS table officer. The NCS is a well-established Lower Mainland non-profit housing society founded in 1952, offering a variety of high quality, secure, affordable accommodation and services for seniors, families and persons with a disability. In addition, NCS operates Winch House, for the “new generation of veterans”, first responders and their families. Heather also is an enthusiastic volunteer for the Honour House Society, which provides no-cost, interim accommodation for families of Canadian Forces members and first responders who are receiving care in Metro Vancouver – a home away from home.

Heather has enjoyed her past association as a member of the Rotary Club Burnaby-Metrotown. At present a member of Royal United Services Institute, Vancouver (RUSI), she also serves as interim President/Secretary/Treasurer of the Citadel Society. As the proud parent of four and grandmother to four grandchildren, Heather has actively participated in their many sports including competitive swimming and baseball.

JIM GARRISON

JIM GARRISON

TREASURER

Jim was born and raised in Greater Vancouver. He graduated from UBC with Bachelors degrees in Geography and Accounting and has been employed in small business accounting positions in government and the private sector for over thirty years. As a young man he served the community as a member of Kinsmen organizing several fundraising events in support of Kinsmen programs and minor hockey.

Jim has volunteered for a number of years with the Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre, supporting the families of Canadian Forces personnel.

PAUL SMITH

PAUL SMITH

DIRECTOR

Paul Smith is a Senior Enforcement Counsel with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Since 2003 he has been conducting the public disciplinary hearings that ensure compliance with and enforcement of the rules related to trading and advising in securities for this national self-regulatory organization. From 2012 - 2017 Paul was Vice-President and then President of the Surrey Female Hockey Association, an all female minor hockey association that has a membership of just over 200 girls ages 6 – 20. Over a slightly longer period of time he also coached approximately 500 games for eleven different association teams. Paul has a Bachelor of Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Law Degree from University of New Brunswick. During his first two years in university he served in the Naval Reserves including two summers at CFB Esquimalt.
Paul lives in South Surrey with his wife and three school-aged children.

BRIAN MCKENNA

BRIAN MCKENNA

DIRECTOR

Warrant Officer Brian McKenna served in the Canadian Forces for 19 years between 1995 and 2015. He deployed on numerous domestic and international operations including two tours to Bosnia (2000-2001, and 2003), and two to Afghanistan (2011,2012). Brian was medically released due to injuries sustained while serving. He has served us in the past with government and media relations.

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HOLLY SCOTT

HOLLY SCOTT

DIRECTOR

Holly and her husband, Jim, are the parents of three adult offspring and welcomed their first grandchild in 2017. Holly previously worked for a major insurance corporation (1997-2015) as a senior injury adjuster and for two separate law firms (2015 – 2018) who handle bodily injury claims. Holly recently published her first fiction novel, the first in a three-part series.
Service to her community is important to Holly and she serves as a Director for Tabitha Canada, a non-government organization which assists poor Cambodians in working towards a better life. She has traveled to Cambodia on four separate occasions to build houses for villagers through this society.
The military was part of her life from a very young age. Her father served 22 years in the R.C.A.F. and they lived on various military bases across Canada. Her maternal grandfather, served in WWII. It seemed natural that their son would also become involved with the military. When their son was injured in Afghanistan on his second tour of duty the family encountered many soldiers injured in the Afghanistan conflict and learned about the disproportionately low settlements paid to these soldiers under the New Veterans Charter. It was at that time that her husband, Jim, started the Equitas Disabled Soldiers Funding Society, to assist disabled soldiers in pursuing a legal action through the courts.

DON SOROCHAN

DON SOROCHAN

DIRECTOR

A member of the Bars of British Columbia (since 1972) and Yukon and a Queen’s Counsel since 1990, Don Sorochan has long held an AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell® rating for legal skills and ethics, the publication’s highest level of professional excellence. He is Listed in Best Lawyers® in Canada and the Canadian Legal Lexpert™ Directory of leading lawyers and was a Recipient of the Lexpert™ Zenith Award honouring “Leadership through Change. Award”. The Canadian Bar Association (BC Branch) has awarded Don with the George A Goyer QC Memorial Award for Distinguished Service and the Harry Rankin QC Pro Bono Award.

Don Sorochan has appeared as counsel at all levels of the courts in Canada including the Supreme Court of Canada, the appellate courts of British Columbia and the Federal Court and the superior courts of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Yukon, He has also, in conjunction with local counsel, represented clients in litigation in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Australia.

ROB CHARLTON

ROB CHARLTON

DIRECTOR

Rob Charlton was born in Montreal but his childhood was split between Montreal, Toronto and New Jersey. He received an undergraduate degree from Princeton University majoring in English and minoring in art history. After some years enjoying life as a hippie then working in the audio-visual industry he attended Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. In 1978, with his law degree in hand he headed out to his favourite part of the world, the west coast, in search of a job. Happily, being able to talk knowledgeably about e-type Jaguars landed him his first position as a junior lawyer. He started his own law firm a few years later and carried on a busy practice for over 30 years eventually retiring to pursue his love of wine and music. Along the way he married and raised three kids. He now plays regularly at senior centres and has a website he’s working on at www.rockinrobcharlton.com.

JERRY PRESELY

JERRY PRESELY

DIRECTOR
JIM SCOTT

JIM SCOTT

PAST PRESIDENT

Jim Scott with his wife, Holly, are the proud parents of three adult children. Jim holds a Bachelor of General Studies Degree and a Masters of Arts Degree from the University of the Fraser Valley, focusing on aviation and the criminal justice system; the two areas of his professional career. For his ongoing professional and community service Jim has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor Award for Meritorious Service.

Jim’s interest in disabled soldiers started with his own son, who was injured in Afghanistan during 2010. As Jim came into contact with more injured soldiers returning from the Afghan Conflict, he learned of their disproportionately low settlements from Veterans Affairs Canada under the New Veterans Charter. Thereby Jim successfully approached the national law firm Miller Thomson to represent disabled Canadian soldiers across Canada, on a ‘pro bono’ basis, to seek a fair and equitable review of their benefits through the Courts.

To prevent these veterans from bearing the burden of the disbursement costs related to pursuing legal action, eg: air travel for soldiers to testify, medical reports and court costs, Jim formed a society to raise and distribute funds on behalf of disabled soldiers from all provinces and territories. Consequently, Jim Scott became the Founder and lead director in the formation of the Equitas Disabled Soldiers Funding Society, registered under the Society Act in British Columbia on September 19, 2011.

Advisory Council

The Honorable John Allen Fraser, Co - Chairman

The Honorable John Allen Fraser, Co - Chairman

CO-CHAIRMAN

Hon. John Allen Fraser, PC, OC, OBC, CD, QC, is a retired parliamentarian and former Speaker of the House of Commons (1986-1993).

John Fraser was the first Speaker to be elected directly by members of the House of Commons. He is a former infantry officer, lawyer, Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament successful in six general elections, and three times a Cabinet Minister under two Prime Ministers.

Mr. Fraser’s sense of history, his environmentalism — including tenure as Minister of the Environment — and his knowledge of the importance of Parliament and Canadian institutions all supported his activities to expand the educational mission of Parliament. He created the House of Commons’ Public Information Office, instituted the Greening the Hill environmental program, set up a task force on Parliament’s accessibility and employment opportunities for disabled people, established a program of parliamentary co-operation with emerging democracies in Eastern and Central Europe, and in 1993 published his book The House of Commons at Work.

Following his decision to retire from the Speaker’s Chair and not run in the 1993 general election, John Fraser remained active in environmental and military matters. Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien appointed him Canada’s Ambassador for the Environment (1994–1998), and he chaired the Minister’s Monitoring Committee on Change in the Department of National Defence (1997–2003) as well as the Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (1998–2005).

In 1995, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is a recipient of the Vimy Award, which recognizes a Canadian who has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the defence and security of our nation and the preservation of our democratic values

THE HONOURABLE PETER ANDREW STEWART MILLIKEN

THE HONOURABLE PETER ANDREW STEWART MILLIKEN

CO-CHAIRMAN

Peter Milliken, PC, UE, BA, MA, LL.B, is a retired parliamentarian and former Speaker of the House of Commons (2001-2011) who is a senior advisor at the law firm of Cunningham Swan in Kingston, Ontario. He has the distinction of having been the longest serving Speaker in Canadian history, and now serves as a Fellow at the School of Policy Studies of his alma mater, Queen’s University.

Born in Kingston,Ontario, Mr. Milliken educated at Queen’s University (1968), Dalhousie University(1971) and Oxford University(1970).

Peter Milliken was a member of the Canadian Parliament from 1988-2011 for the federal riding of Kingston and the Islands. His high profile career as speaker was notable for the number of tie-breaking votes he cast, as well as several historic rulings. Mr. Milliken prevented a federal election by breaking a tie vote on an amendment to the 2005 federal budget. He also met with many foreign dignitaries, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

Mr. Milliken practiced law from 1973 until 1988, when he was first elected as the M.P. for Kingston and the Islands. He was re-elected in six consecutive elections between 1993 and 2008. His other parliamentary roles have included Assistant Party House Leader (House Business), Member of the Standing Committee on House Management, Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader, Deputy Speaker, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, and Chairman of the Committees of the Whole House.

As a champion of parliamentary democracy who served the Parliament of Canada for several decades, Peter Milliken’s expertise and experience adds a rich perspective to the Equitas Advisory Council.

THE HONOURABLE BILL BLAIKIE

THE HONOURABLE BILL BLAIKIE

The Honourable Bill Blaikie, B.A., M.Div., P.C. is a retired parliamentarian who was a Member of the House of Commons from Winnipeg for almost thirty years, first elected in 1979, and re-elected eight times until he chose not to run in the federal election of 2008.

During his time in the Parliament of Canada Mr. Blaikie served in many capacities, as his party’s health critic, environment critic, foreign affairs critic, international trade critic, and defense critic, and as House Leader, Parliamentary Leader, and Deputy Speaker from 2006 –2008, the first New Democrat to serve in that position. When he retired he was the Dean of the House of Commons, and had been elected Parliamentarian of the Year by his peers in 2007. In 2009 he won a provincial by-election in Manitoba, and served as Manitoba’s Minister of Conservation from 2009 to 2011.

Bill Blaikie was ordained to the ministry of the United Church of Canada in 1978, and is currently an adjunct professor of theology and politics in the theological faculty of the University of Winnipeg. He served in the Canadian military as a reservist from 1967 to 1972 with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Winnipeg, and as a civilian piper with the Air Command Pipes and Drums in Ottawa from 1992 to 2000. Mr. Blaikie received an Honourary Doctor of Divinity Degree from the University of Winnipeg in 2007, and from Victoria University, Toronto, in 2009. He was sworn of the Privy Council in 2003.

In November 2011, his political memoir, The Blaikie Report-An Insider’s Look at Faith and Politics, was published by United Church Publishing House

PREM SINGH VINNING - Past President of the World Sikh Organization of Canada

PREM SINGH VINNING - Past President of the World Sikh Organization of Canada

Prem Singh Vinning has been involved in the political landscape of the Province of British Columbia and Canada for decades, and is widely recognized for his contributions to the Sikh community in particular. An active federal Liberal well known for his close associations with Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien, Rt. Hon. Paul Martin and Hon. Michael Ignatieff, he currently is the Past President of the World Sikh Organization of Canada.

Mr. Vinning was one of the founding directors of Jackpine Forest Products, a leader in the field of value-added wood processing located in Williams Lake, B.C. Raised in Britain and trained as a machinist, Mr. Vinning has been active in the labour movement, serving in a number of positions including IWA Plant Chair in 100 Mile House. He has been a director of the Surrey Food Bank and the British Columbia Achievement Foundation. Mr. Vinning also served as a Board member of the 2010 Olympic Bid Committee and on the Simon Fraser University Surrey Advisory Council.

Prem Vinning is the proud Father of a reserve officer soldier currently serving with the British Columbia Regiment (DCO).

Veterans Council

Gavin Flett

Kevin Berry