Meet the Board of Directors

Executive

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Chair

Mr. Navtej Bains, BBA ‘13
Marketing Specialist, G&F Financial Group

Nav has spent close to a decade working in the financial services industry in a variety of roles for several organizations. With a passion for collaboration and strategy, Nav works with all lines of business to help achieve organizational goals.

Currently employed as a marketing specialist with G&F Financial Group, Nav received a Bachelors of Business Administration with a Minor in Communications in 2013 from the University of the Fraser Valley,

Nav was elected to the University of the Fraser Valley Alumni Association board in October 2013. Nav also served as chair of the chancellor selection committee for the University of the Fraser Valley and sits on the credit union fundraising committee for BC Children’s Hospital.

Born and raised in Abbotsford, BC, Nav has lived in Vancouver for the past 4 years and recently moved to Langley, where he resides with his wife.

 

Ali Siemens

Vice-Chair

Ms. Ali Siemens, BA ’13
Alumni Relations, BCIT

Ali Siemens graduated from UFV in 2013 and completed a Bachelor of Arts with an English Major, Media and Communications extended Minor and a Minor in Communications studies. While she was a student, she spent lots of time in the classroom but was also involved with The Cascade Student Newspaper, the elected Student Representative on the UFV Senate, and served as the President of the Media and Communications student group. Through various Research Assistant positions at UFV, she was able to bolster her opportunities as a student and now Alumni. Passionate about volunteering, Ali liaises with small non-profits and spends as much time as possible volunteering with dog rescues.

After spending a few years post graduation in the Valley, Ali took on the role of Operations Manager at the Abbotsford International Airshow. But as most stories come full circle she missed the education world and accepted a role in Alumni Relations at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

With a passion for building relationships, enjoying food with friends, and spending time in the outdoors, Ali now lives in Vancouver but still hasn’t taken the Sea Bus. Most importantly, her goals are lofty as she one day hopes to win a round of Jeopardy against the undefeated champion, her Grandma.

 

Melissa Kendzierski

Associate Vice-Chair

Ms. Melissa Kendzierski, BA Hons(Geography), ’10
Recreation Program Coordinator, District of Mission

Melissa graduated from UFV with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Geography, with an Environmental Studies concentration.

An active student on campus, in 2008-2009 Melissa served as president of UFV Students for Sustainability. During that time she spearheaded the successful U-Pass campaign and coordinated the well attended 2nd Annual BC Sustainable Campuses conference.

Currently, Melissa works as a Program Coordinator for the District of Mission’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department.  In 2011 she started a consulting business, Mkendzi Sustainable Community Consulting, where she works to support sustainability initiatives in the community—specifically specializing in graphic recording and facilitation.

Melissa enjoys playing roller derby, riding her bicycle, spending time with her husband… and of course serving UFV alumni as a director on the Alumni Association board since January 2011.

 


Directors

Mr. Joel Feenstra, RSE ‘05
Electrical and Electronics Instructor, UFV

Joel Feenstra started his career in trades at UFV back in 2002. After finishing UFV’s Entry Level Trades Training program in Electrical work, he completed his electrical apprenticeship locally. He represented UFV at the Canadian Skills competitions, earning Gold medals provincially and nationally for the university. He graduated through UFV in 2005.

Once fully certified, he started working in the local electrical industry. Wanting to expand his horizons, he ran his own company, and moved into the rapidly converging fields of agriculture, automation, and food processing.

Throughout that time, Joel stayed in contact with the university, and he split his time between the business world and teaching as a sessional instructor for UFV since 2005. With the opening of a full-time position in 2015, he joined the Faculty of Trades where he currently teaches in the Electrical, Electronics, and Automation programs.

He lives in Chilliwack with his wife and son, and when not with his family, he is usually outdoors enjoying BC’s many, beautiful wilderness spaces

 

 

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Mr. Mark Filiatrault, BBA ’11
Manager, MNP

Mark graduated from the Bachelor of Business Administration program at UFV in 2011. While completing his education, Mark began his career in the Credit Union industry. After working in a variety of branch roles for Prospera and Aldergrove Credit Union, Mark decided to move to public practice after obtaining his Chartered Professional Accountant designation and joined MNP’s Abbotsford office where he is currently employed.

Mark lives in Chilliwack with his wife and dog where he enjoys spending as much time fishing and enjoying the outdoors as possible. Mark was elected to the UFV Alumni Association Board September 2015.

 

Ms. Auriel Niven, ABT Cert ’08 (UFV), BFA ’06 (SFU)
Marketing Strategist, UFV

After completing a Bachelor degree at SFU in 2006, Auriel returned to post-secondary and added advanced software skills to her résumé with the Applied Business Technology program at the University of the Fraser Valley. A practicum with UFV’s Marketing and Communications department quickly became full-time employment.

Eight years later, she is working hard to enhance UFV’s reputation, attract prospective students, and foster community engagement as a Marketing Strategist. She values the experience she had as a student and employee at UFV and the opportunities her education has created. Auriel is passionate about engaging audiences everywhere to spread the word — UFV changes lives and builds community.

A self-proclaimed marketing and design junkie, Auriel also enjoys working as a freelance graphic designer. She currently lives in New Westminster, BC. Favourite activities include spending quality time with family and friends, discovering new music, and pretending she is a good dancer.

 

Mr. Wayne Ortner, BBA ’12
Account Executive, Flexibake

Wayne Ortner graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. While studying at UFV, Wayne was a supported learning group leader for introductory business courses.

Born and raised in Maple Ridge, BC, Wayne is passionate about travelling and exploring the great outdoors of British Columbia. He is an avid snowboarder and enjoys hiking, dirt biking and fishing.

 

Ms. Tricia Taylor, AA ’08, BA (History) ’10
Administrative Assistant, firstbase Business Services
Constituency Assistant for MLA Dr. Darryl Plecas

Tricia graduated from UFV in 2009 with an Associate of Arts Degree in History/Biology and again in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts, Major in History. While earning her degrees, she was an executive member of the Association of History Students (AHS) for 5 years, volunteered for several events held by the History Department and Student Life, was a youth member of Scouts Canada and worked in customer service for a variety of businesses.

Tricia recently started working with the excellent team at firstbase Business services, and previously was the Constituency Assistant to Honourable Darryl Plecas, Speaker of the House and MLA for Abbotsford South for almost three years, handling his social media, community outreach and event planning, along with case work.

Beyond volunteering with the Alumni Association, Tricia is also involved with 2nd Aldergrove Legion Scouts Canada group as a Beaver and a Cub Scouter and has been a Scouting member for over 20 years. This, along with being a mother to two active children, Tricia still finds time to enjoy her great love of the outdoors, healthy baking and cooking with her husband, Brent.

Tricia was elected as a member at large on the board of directors in October 2013.

 

 

Ms. Megan Capp, BGS ’15
Supportive Housing Coordinator, Abbotsford Community Services

As an alumnus of UFV, Megan completed her BGS, with a focus on criminal and social justice, human rights, and international crime in 2014.  During this time she had the opportunity to work on numerous and varied research projects commissioned at community, provincial, and international levels.  She is currently a Master of Arts student in Conflict Analysis and Management at Royal Roads University.

She spends her days as the Supportive Housing Coordinator for Abbotsford Community Services and is passionate about seeking out inclusive solutions for addressing homelessness while holistically balancing the needs of the general community.  Megan is a dedicated community volunteer and serves as the chair of the annual Abbotsford Connect event.  Additionally, Megan sits on the board of Vibrant Abbotsford.

She can often be found spending time with her family, in the garden, or in the kitchen experimenting with new recipes and/or nibbling on dark chocolate.

 

Ms. Ashley Ward-Hall, BA ’16
Coordinator, Coast Capital Peer Resource & Leadership Centre, UFV

Ashley graduated from UFV in April 2016. As a Libra, she has a difficult time making decisions – eventually, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with Extended Minors in Media & Communication Studies and Geography, as well as a Communications Minor.

Ashley is currently working as the coordinator of the Coast Capital Savings Peer Resource & Leadership Centre on UFV’s Abbotsford campus.  During her time as a student, Ashley worked on campus as a work-study in the Arts Advice Centre and then in Student Life. In the fall of 2015, she took a chance and applied for a part-time staff position at UFV which subsequently turned into a full-time role in Student Services. Ashley’s mom has always told her that she has horseshoes up her you-know-what, and a full-time gig right after graduation proves this to be true. Other notable examples of these horseshoes include: winning an opportunity to run with the Olympic torch in 2010, getting to travel to India (twice) thanks to UFV, and winning the lottery. That last one hasn’t happened yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

As an avid animal lover, she is a volunteer with the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) and plans to open an animal sanctuary of her own with her impending lottery winnings. In her free time, she likes to read non-academic books (the Shopaholic series is a guilty pleasure) and attend as many concerts & shows as possible. Ashley was appointed as a member-at-large in October 2016.

 

Mr. Derek Ward-Hall, BBA ’17

Derek graduated from UFV with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 2016. During his time at UFV, Derek quickly learned that the more you volunteered on campus the more free food they gave you. Thus began the grand quest to never have to pay for another meal on campus ever again. He got involved early with the Student Life department through the Ambassador, Co-Curricular Record, and MyCampusLife programs. Derek then decided that free Canadian food wasn’t enough, and decided to travel all the way to UFV’s India campus for six months to see what they had to offer. He came back 15 pounds heavier.

Derek has been lucky enough to witness UFV through the lens of a student, a volunteer, and an employee, often all at the same time. He has spent his time at UFV trying to ensure this campus is a community where everyone can learn, grow, meet new people, and have fun while they are doing it. He is excited to keep that vision going through the Alumni Association.

Derek lives in Abbotsford BC with his beautiful wife (yeah, the other Ward-Hall on this website) and can typically be found either on a soccer pitch, in a local craft brewery, or with his nose in a great book.

 

Ms. Danielle Synotte, BBA ’16
Director of Communications and Engagement, BC Agriculture Council

Danielle naturally fell into communications and public relations while working with the City of Abbotsford for nearly nine years. Her notable roles include Economic Development Coordinator where she worked on investment and business attraction and the other was the organization’s Communications & PR Specialist.

While working full-time, she spent her evenings and weekends completing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of the Fraser Valley. In 2014, Danielle left her government job when offered to be part of a small business start-up in the private sector to grow the organization’s communications and business operations function as the Communications Director. Once structure and process was implemented and running smoothly, Danielle found “greener pastures” at the BC Agriculture Council as their Director of Communications and Engagement in 2017.

Danielle’s greatest strength is found in her innate ability to build and cultivate relationships. A key role in this position is building connections between members and representing the broad interests of B.C. farmers and ranchers.

Danielle lives in Abbotsford with her husband and enjoys traveling, skiing, hiking and spending quality time with family and friends.

 

Mr. Joe Johnson, BCIS ’11
Web Operations Coordinator, Van Noort Bulb Company

Joe obtained a Bachelor of Computer Information Systems with a Business Administration minor from UFV in 2011. However, he wasn’t quite done with his education and stuck around to follow his other academic and co-curricular passions. With a strong appreciation for business, he continued to take courses to further develop his breadth of understanding. It was also during this time that he discovered and immersed himself in visual arts and photography, joined the university’s student press The Cascade, began a radio show on UFV’s CIVL Radio that continues to air, was elected to the University of the Fraser Valley’s Board of Governors, was involved with everything Student Union related outside of running for an executive position, and there’s likely more that he’s forgotten. He feels he owes much to the university for the experiences it has given him, including meeting politically active friends which lead to becoming involved with politics and taking up the role of Communications Manager in both provincial and federal elections.

Currently, Joe enjoys long-distance running and spends much of his time getting his own digital marketing company off the ground. He enjoys exploring craft brews and writing for the Fraser Valley’s own arts and culture magazine, Raspberry.

 

Beverly Keswick, BBA ‘11
Manager, Business and Advisory Services, MNP LLP

Bev graduated from UFV in 2011, completing the Bachelor of Business Administration degree, accounting concentration. In her last two years at UFV, she participated in the BASA Tax Service providing affordable tax returns for students and faculty.

Bev started her accounting career at MNP LLP in January 2012 and obtained her CGA designation in 2014. Currently, she specializes in accounting and advising for owner-managed businesses and is involved in MNP’s First Nation audit niche.

In 2016, Bev completed her last of six years as a board member with Chilliwack Society for Community Living where she helped govern the steadily growing, successful organization whose mission is to build capacity for the inclusion of people with varying disabilities.

In her spare time, Bev enjoys traveling, hiking, gardening and reading. She lives in Chilliwack with her husband Fraser and their dog, Angus.


Ex-Officio Directors

Dr. Gwen PointUFV Chancellor

Mr. Nikolas Venema, BBA, MSc
UFVAA Chair Emeritus

Ms. Whitney Fordham, BBA ’09
Manager of Alumni Relations, UFV University Relations

 

 


 

Chandigarh Chapter

Amandeep Singh

Mr. Amandeep Singh Anand, Chair

Aditya Akre

Mr. Aditya Akre, Vice-Chair