Board of Directors 2017-2018

Blair Matheson – President

Blair was born and raised in Edmonton where he completed a degree in Physical Education at the University of Alberta in 1979. Shortly after graduating, he moved to Victoria and ended up back to school at Camosun College earning a diploma in business administration and following that up with the Certified Management Accounting designation in 1988.

Blair’s work background includes 20 years in the provincial government working for various ministries and over 15 years as a consultant providing a range of financial and management services to private and public entities. He is currently semi-retired and fills his free time with golf, fitness, travel and volunteering.

Blair was introduced to Saanich Volunteer Services Society by his wife Laureen who has been very active with the Society for 10 years. He initially participated as a driver and found the clients always had an interesting story to tell. He is now happy to be involved with the SVSS board.



Nicole Hamilton

Nicole has been a Director on the Board since 2014. As a resident of Saanich she is excited to give back to her community through work with the Saanich Volunteer Services Society. She was born and raised in Courtenay, B.C. and initially came to Saanich in 2001 to attend the University of Victoria where she obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree. She later pursued a law degree at the University of Alberta but could not resist returning to this community to start her career and resume the westcoast lifestyle. Nicole is a lawyer practicing in the areas of general civil litigation, family law and administrative law. In her spare time she enjoys running, traveling and photography.

Nansi Blenkiron

Nansi worked as a Social Worker with older adults in Victoria for the past 12 years. She has always been involved with community support, beginning in Vancouver working with children and families. She moved to Victoria in 1989 and since moving, has been involved with Community Policing, Youth Employment and Disaster Response. She continues to stay involved with her community, believing we make the community we want to live in.

Peter Argast 2016 Board
Peter Argast

Peter was born and raised on Vancouver Island. He moved out east to attend university in Ottawa, where he obtained a degree in Political Science. After traveling and a stint living in Quebec, Peter returned to the west coast. He completed a Masters of Public Administration in 2014 and currently works for the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia. As a public policy professional, Peter has experience in the public sector at the federal, provincial and non-profit levels. Peter joined the board of directors of Saanich Volunteer Services in 2016. Peter is passionate about his west coast home and giving back to his community. When not exploring the back roads and hills of the Island as an avid cyclist and hiker, Peter can be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm or planning his next adventure.

Helene Driscoll


Helene Driscoll

Helene has a Bachelor of Arts in Special Populations (Therapeutic Recreation) from the University of Alberta and a Masters Degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University. Her professional experience includes over 35 years of working with older adults as a Recreation Therapist and more recently as Therapy Coordinator for Island Health, Residential Care and Geriatrics South Island. Helene retired in 2011, briefly came out of retirement in 2015  from June to September and served as Better at Home Coordinator at the Broadmead Care Society.  She is passionate about services for seniors that help them remain at home.  Her recent volunteer experiences include Victoria Grandmothers for Africa. In September 2106 she completed the 50 km cycle fundraiser. Besides cycling, her interests include quilting, reading, hiking and traveling with her husband.  She has 3 grandchildren who bring her lots of joy.


Lynne Graham
Lynne Graham

Lynne is a business writer and editor. She was born in England, raised in South Africa, and immigrated to Canada in 1994. Lynne began her career as a microbiologist and took a scenic route to communication — one that included lecturing at a university and managing the Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce. For the past 12 years, she has written and edited for organizations in fields as diverse as tourism and biotechnology, airport operations and health care.

Lynne believes volunteering is the best way to contribute to and become rooted in her community. Since arriving in Saanich a few years ago, she has volunteered with Volunteer Victoria, Rotary, and on the executive of the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island. She is delighted to join the SVSS board.

Lynne has an MA in Professional Communication, an MSc in Microbiology, and a Diploma in Professional Writing. When she’s not poring over text or volunteering, she can be found gardening, kayaking, or hiking in Victoria’s glorious outdoors.


Nathan Zhang


Nathan Zhang  CPA, CGA – Board Treasurer

Nathan is a Chartered Professional Accountant working with the BC Ministry of Finance as a Senior Financial Officer in Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Victoria as well as a Financial Management Certificate from the Government of BC. He has extensive volunteer experience from his role as treasurer on strata board, chief accountant for the LifeRing Secular Recovery Society Canada, and patient support at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. He is currently also a board member with the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival Association. He enjoys running, hiking and has a great passion in traveling and exploring new cultures.




Sarahs photo


Sarah McQuillan

Sarah joined the Saanich Volunteer Services Society Board of Directors in early 2017. Being born and raised in Victoria, Sarah was looking for an opportunity to become more involved with her Saanich community. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree in 2003 and a Master of Education degree in 2015. She is currently working at the University of Victoria as a Co-op Coordinator. Prior to working at UVic, Sarah was an Employment Facilitator at Camosun College and was a teacher at post-secondary and secondary schools. Sarah enjoys spending her time with her husband and their two boys.

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