Board of Directors & Volunteer Advisory Council
Board of Directors
Peter Argast, President
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. He 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.
Bryan Vermeeren, Vice President
Passionate about market development, managing projects and building teams, Bryan is excited to help enhance the quality of life for Saanich residents. Bryan studied Business Administration at the University of Victoria and recently completed the Masters certificate in Project Management through UVIC's executive education program. His volunteer background ranges from coaching, to team building, to event support, and he's excited to join the board of directors to help with community improvements for all.
In his free time Bryan enjoys travel, sailing, surfing and cycling. As a new member of the board Bryan is keen to meet volunteers and clients of the SVSS, so feel free to reach out and say hello!
Jim Yu, Treasurer
Katie Archer, Secretary
Katie's passion for communication, teamwork, and service has shaped her career in customer service and resource management. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Katie came to Victoria to complete a bachelor of science in biology and environmental studies in 2009, and has since settled in Saanich with her husband and their puppy. She looks forward to giving back to their community by supporting the Saanich Volunteer Services Society. In Katie's spare time she can be found enjoying the outdoors, gardening, surfing, and teaching her puppy new tricks.
Sarah joined the Saanich Volunteer Services Society Board of Directors in early 2017. Having been born and raised in Victoria, she was looking for an opportunity to become more involved with her Saanich community, and Saanich Volunteers Services seemed the perfect fit.
Sarah completed a Bachelor of Science degree in 2003 and a Master of Education degree in 2015. She currently works as a Co-op Coordinator at the University of Victoria. Prior to joining UVic, she worked as an Employment Facilitator at Camosun College and taught at secondary and post-secondary schools. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading and running, but her greatest joy is spending time with her husband and their two boys, playing tennis and vacationing in warm climates.
Liz was born in Victoria and raised in Victoria. She was encouraged by her parents to explore other parts of Canada for university - graduating from the University of Waterloo, with an Honours Degree, in Therapeutic Recreation in 1990.
Liz began her career in Toronto before moving back to Victoria. She has been working in island Health for 26+ years. Currently, Liz is a Coordinator, Restorative Health and Yakimovich Wellness Centre. As a recreation therapist, Liz worked with clients to engage in meaningful activity of their choice either in their home or in community and has seen firsthand the positive impact volunteers have on individual and groups lives.
Liz learned from her older brother, that volunteering is about something that brings you joy, is of interest to you and brings meaning into your life. She believes that volunteering in the community adds value to her life as she meets new people, is a part of creating healthy and vital communities and has fun along the way. Liz is excited to continue be a part of the Board of Directors with Saanich Volunteer Services Society.
Jacquelyn received her Political Science degree in 2012 as well as a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in 2015, both from the University of Victoria. While completing her MPA degree, she completed work co-ops with Island Health and the Legislative Assembly of BC.
Currently, Jacquelyn works as a Case Manager/Administrative Coordinator at Greater Victoria Police Victim Services, where she provides case management to victims and witnesses of crime and trauma in the Greater Victoria region. In addition to case management, she coordinates the Victim services social media platforms and website.
Jacquelyn is very proud to call Victoria her home, and as a resident of Saanich, she looks forward to giving back to her community. In her spare time, Jacquelyn has many hobbies including horseback riding, skiing, running, travelling and gardening.
Kezia was born and raised in Guelph, ON and completed her undergraduate degree at Queen’s University. She moved to Victoria in 2012 and immediately fell in love with Vancouver Island. She completed her JD at the University of Victoria and is a lawyer practicing in the area of family law.
Kezia has always been interested in supporting community organizations, and has been a volunteer with the Oaklands Community Association and continues to be involved with the Fernwood Community Centre. She is very excited to be joining the Saanich Volunteer Services Society as a board member.
In her spare time, Kezia enjoys biking, hiking, tennis and is an avid knitter.
Volunteer Advisory Council
Norman is a retired newspaperman and business magazine editor. He grew up in Burnaby and Vancouver and has lived here since 1973. He has two grownup children of my own and two more who belong to my present wife Mary. Norman is a keen walker and cyclist, curious and reads widely, still loves print. He has been a driver for SVSS for about 18 months.
I grew up in Nanaimo and in 1975 moved to Victoria to work for a private enterprise company where I worked for 40 years doing accounting and human resources.
When I retired I was looking for something to fill my time and to support the community in a meaningful way. Saanich Volunteer Services has given me that opportunity for the last 9 years with driving clients to appointments, companion visiting and assisting at the Macular Degeneration Support Group meetings.
I have also fundraised for a small children’s charity that provides a Christmas party for 150 children in need.
In my spare time I enjoy deep water conditioning exercise program, gourmet cooking and travelling with my husband Ron.
I’ve been married to my wife Judy for 45 years. We both grew up in North Vancouver, and moved to Victoria a year after we were married, when Judy graduated from Pharmacy at UBC.
We have two daughters, one of whom lives in Kamloops with her family, and works as an RN. Our other daughter is a teacher who lives with her family in Almere, Holland. We have four grandchildren, two in Kamloops and two in Holland. I first worked five years in mining exploration in western Canada, the US, and Australia. Following this I spent five more years drilling water wells and installing pump systems, followed in turn by twenty-three years as an accounting clerk and customer service representative for a local manufacturing company. During this time, I also acquired my industrial first aid certificate, and served as first aid attendant and coordinator for the company. This in turn led to my decision to become a BCAS paramedic and unit chief at Port Renfrew for ten years until my retirement.
Before joining BCAS I volunteered for five years with St. John Ambulance as a first aid attendant at community events
John is a retired civil engineer/planner, and has been driving for SVSS since October 2017. His work experience includes stints in England, East Pakistan, Montreal, BC, Australia and the Northwest Territories.
He moved back to Victoria in 2000, and then spent the next seventeen years as Roadie and Tour Manager for his wife who is known as the Singing Quilter. This entailed road trips across North America, and in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Europe.
Further education- Mechanical Engineering.
Most of my career has been in the heavy construction industry, working for Canron a major steel fabricator and erector. My main occupation at Canron has been project management with responsibility for some larger power stations, cranes, sports stadia and large bridges. Principal local projects include Seattle Seahawks arena and re-decking of the Lions Gate Bridge.
I retired in 2015, moving to Victoria from Vancouver. Principal interests include cycling, carpentry, car mechanics and home renovations.