Candidates' Bio for Board of Directors 2017/2018
Mike is the Store Manager at the Choices Market located on King George Highway in South Surrey. He has been part of the Natural and Organic food retailing business off and on over his many years of retailing. Mike also has a background in the Hardware and Building Materials as he worked with Federated Co-operatives as the Regional Home and Building Supplies Marketing Manager. Mike and his wife Debbie live in South Surrey where they raised their four children. They enjoy spending time with their grandchildren whenever possible.Mike has always been a leader in participating with community events in his past careers. In Mike’s current role he is supported by Choices Markets Head Office which allows him to work with local community leaders through attendance, donations and participation in the local events such as the Tour de White Rock.
Jim graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc in Civil Engineering, and later earned a full MBA degree from the University of Calgary. He spent over 35 years in the construction materials industry in Western Canada, Europe and the US, most recently as President of a $1.5 billion business unit covering the eastern half of the US. Jim is now active as a business consultant and corporate board member, and he and his wife Valerie enjoy international travel, cycling, snowmobiling and good friends. He has been a Rotarian for almost 20 years and is a very involved member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club. Jim and Valerie reside in the Morgan Creek area and have two daughters, Riana, who is a graduate of the University of Victoria, and Victoria, who is studying at UBC.
Richard Thomas Coulter
Born January 24, 1956, raised and still a resident of the City of White Rock, British Columbia. Richard is married to Fiona Patricia Coulter and they have four children and two grandchildren.
Richard graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Commerce (Urban Land Economics/Finance). Richard has been employed in the real estate industry since graduation and worked for a number of notable companies; McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, Colliers International and Bentall Development. Richard decided to continue his career developing commercial real estate and has been self-employed for the past 10 years.
Richard also has a long list of volunteer positions within a variety of youth sports, including local soccer and hockey clubs and is currently the chair of the South District Girls Soccer Association; in addition to being a member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club for the past two years.
As branch manager of Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, Harjit Chima brings over 26 years of experience in the financial services industry. Known for her inspiring leadership style, Harjit leads an engaged and high performing team and prides herself on fostering change and encouraging diversity while maintaining high standards.
Well known in the community, Harjit has held a number of volunteer positions including board director of the BC Soccer Association focused on fostering the development of coaches and players, member of the BC Soccer Association’s Diversity Committee helping to promote diversity and individual growth, and director of the South Granville Seniors Centre, where she helped develop strategies to keep seniors engaged in technology and emerging trends.
As a life-long learner, Harjit is Lean Greenbelt Certified, has her Branch Manager Compliance Designation and Mutual Fund License. In her free time, Harjit enjoys local recreational activities with her husband and three children.
I was born and raised in Vancouver; a rare breed I am told. I have resided in White Rock for the last 15 years with my husband Carlos, and 3 step children. For the last 6 years I have been working as the BC Regional Manager for LegalShield. Prior to that I had my own Holistic Nutritionist practice in White Rock. My previous work experience was in the hospitality industry in Vancouver.
In my career now with LegalShield, I have been given the BC Regional Manager position which is very influential throughout this province. I train, mentor and work with a large team in a leadership role. This position puts me in front of various groups of people whether employees, non-profits or other where I present our companies benefits. I have received numerous awards for my hard work.
Living in White Rock I have truly found home, I love this community. When I moved from the city I first realized how friendly everyone was, I thought it was so unique that people would wave and say hi as they passed you walking down the road. I easily became a permanent resident and with no regrets. Although I love White Rock, I found myself leaving White Rock to work. So I really didn’t have a concept of what White Rock was all about. Through Carlos’s influence I joined the Chamber of Commerce and realized then what it meant to be a part of the community.
Born and raised in Vancouver and Coquitlam Graduated Simon Fraser University 1971 Bachelor of Arts, Economics and Commerce Major Articled with Deloitte (then Deloitte, Haskin & Sells) Chartered Accounts 1971 to 1974 Graduated as a Chartered Accountant 1974.
Joined accounting firm in Chilliwack 1974, subsequently purchased with two others and became partner in McKnight, Johnson Chartered Accountants 1975. Sold McKnight Johnson partnership interest in 1979 and set up sole practice in Kelowna then sold that in 1983.
Joined Manning Elliott LLP (then Manning Jamison Chartered Accountants) 1983 in insolvency practice in Vancouver and Surrey. Became full accounting practice partner 1984 and managing partner of the Surrey office in 1985. Remained with the firm for 25 years. Retired from the firm 2008.
Active in not-for-profit agencies in various capacities including: Director Surrey Board of Trade 2005 to 2012 (maximum term) and treasurer 2010 to 2012 Director, Secretary Treasurer Surrey Foundation 2009 – 2010 Member Fraser Valley Executives Association 1985 to current, past president, treasurer Director, Secretary Treasurer Pacific Condominium Association 2008 – 2010 (now dissolved) Director / Treasurer South Surrey Field House Society 2005 – current Member / Director / Past President / Treasurer Rotary Club of South Surrey (Millennium) Director Secretary / Treasurer White Rock Rotary Clubs Service Foundation (now dissolved) Advisor to Surrey Hospice Society Live in South Surrey and interested in not for profit governance, photography, woodwork, music, computers, travel and a host of other things.
Linda is an investment advisor and financial planner with RBC Dominion Securities. With the firm since 1999, she has more than 17 years of financial-industry experience. Her connection to the Semiahmoo Peninsula, however, spans decades. Born in White Rock, Linda grew up in Surrey, and studied business administration – with a major in finance – at Simon Fraser University.
Although her career took her to Toronto for a few years, family and community drew her back to South Surrey.
Linda has been a member of the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce since the summer of 2016, and has enjoyed being an ambassador at several chamber events in the months since. She is also a member of the Surrey Board of Trade, eWomen Network and Senior’s Platinum Pro-Connect.
Linda is currently working to improve her public-speaking skills and joined the Toastmasters club, “Finding Vino,” in the fall of 2016. Linda is highly organized, and has been involved in the development and oversight of several major business initiatives for RBC Dominion Securities, Canada’s number-one wealth management firm.
Her skills have not gone unrecognized. She has received a number of performance awards over the years for going above and beyond in her various roles with the company.
Linda knows how to lead, but is also a highly competent team player.
Outside of her professional life, Linda loves to dance, watch crime and comedy shows and be physically active.Integrity, compassion and equality are core values to Linda, and she is confident they will serve her well in representing the chamber.
It would be an honour to serve as a director of the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce. I am seeking your support so that I can offer my expertise and skills set to the Chamber and to our Community. I strongly believe that my qualifications will allow me to assist in fulfilling the objectives of the board including the following: “to promote and improve trade and commerce and the economic, civic and social welfare of the district."
Should my nomination be successful I will work to the best of my ability to use my skills for the benefit of the SSWR Chamber of Commerce, local business and residents of South Surrey and White Rock. I have lived in the South Surrey and White Rock area for over 20 years.
What follows is a synopsis of various entrepreneurial, academic and business activities that I trust support my qualifications for nomination and election to the SSWR Chamber board.
- Graduate of University of BC – Faculty of Education
- Completion of numerous courses and programs
- Educational Psychology
- Educational Leadership
- Business Leadership
- Business Finance and Entrepreneurialism
- Teacher and Counsellor Grand Forks, BC and Delta BC
- VP Marketing and Sales for Travel International – franchising travel agencies
- President and Founder of Strider Computers – Delta, BC (continues to operate today as Simply Computing)
- President and Founder of Software Plus – largest Canadian distributor of Educational Software.
- President and CEO of Ingenuity Works – Educational Software development and Educational Internet specialists
- President of Travalu International and Chambertech Solutions
Community Service Initiatives:
- Advocacy for “open dialogue” at the University of BC
- Advocacy for Canadian software content with CRTC
- Creation of “Adventure Canada” an award winning CD Rom about Canada, it’s history and geography
- Advocate and active leader in promoting “The Learning Window ” initiative in British Columbia to the Ministry of Education
- Advocacy for online internet collaboration in Education
- Invention and promotion of online tutoring for BC – Ministry of Education
- Creation and development of the Experience Brand for hyper-localized marketing strategies
Family and Personal:
- Married to Linda Gumley for 29 years and proud father to two vibrant and energetic daughters aged 26 and 28.
- I have a passion for travel and a keen interest in social and political events at the local, provincial, federal and international levels.
Ramona Kaptyn is a graduate of Ryerson University (Journalism) and the University of Toronto (Education and Political Science).
She is a communications specialist and has worked as a reporter, travel writer, editor, teacher, hotel managing director, event planner and fundraiser in Canada, Australia, England and Spain. From 2002 to 2008, she worked in international development in South and South East Asian countries to contribute to a more equitable world. Some projects were funded by the Canadian International Development Organization (CIDA). Her most memorable one was in Bangladesh where she was an Organizational Development Advisor to four NGOs. Focus was on good governance and micro-credit. Her last overseas job was in Malaysia preparing Grade 12 scholarship students for entry into Canadian universities.
Ramona has also been an executive director, communications director and fundraiser for a variety of non-profit organizations in Toronto, ON and was a program coordinator at Sources Community Resource Centres in White Rock, BC. As well, she has served as a director or president on a variety of boards and clubs including York Central Hospital Foundation in Richmond Hill, ON. In California, where her American sister lives, Ramona helped organize several Bachelor Auctions and Women’s Shows benefitting a women’s shelter and other charities.
Ramona works from her home office in South Surrey for Sheraton Parkway Hotel in Toronto, and is Chair of the White Rock/Surrey Chapter of CARP – A New Vision of Aging for Canada. Ramona landed in White Rock/South Surrey quite by accident in July 2009; she loves it here and says she is ‘home at last’.